Raw made a trade last night; they traded excellent writing from last week’s show for more wrestling. In some ways the trading off worked, but in other ways it didn’t work at all. In fact last week’s show was so much better than last night’s but trust me there are plenty of positives. And a few negatives. So let me start with the segments that I really did not like and finish on an upbeat note.
If the Undertaker and Randy Orton feud on Smackdown is a thorn on my side, then I guess it’s fair to say that the John Cena/Kurt Angle feud is a thorn on my other side. I was so hoping that this thing was a dead issue but last night it just kept going. Oh I’ve got so much in me that I need to get out. I’m at the point where I can’t even look at Kurt Angle. The heat I feel for Kurt is genuine it has nothing to do with the storyline. Kurt for me has lost it. Kurt Angle as good as he is in the ring doesn’t cut it as a bad ass demanding heel. He couldn’t make his GM character on Smackdown work and he’s not making this new “aggressive” character work either. If Kurt was the dork of years ago believe me this feud would be worth watching. I’m so turned off by Angle that I really wish he would take some time off, regroup and return as Angle, the Olympic champion, the spoiled brat and the guy who had some of the best lines ever.
I would love someone to explain to me why all these weeks the TV viewers got the You Suck chants bleeped out and that made Kurt ecstatic? Yet last night when Vince McMahon informed Angle that the editing was over, Kurt had a fit. It’s not like he wasn’t hearing those chants when we got them bleeped out. Talk about making no sense. And then to top things off they have Angle go off on the troops in Afghanistan. Sure this is just a script and it’s to make Kurt hated, but honestly I found the whole thing so disgusting, and I will bet if Kurt Angle was the same guy that he was a while ago he would never have agreed to bash the troops. And while John Cena did a good job putting Kurt in his place about his attitude I could have done without this segment all together. I’m still not into Daivari as Angle’s sidekick. But I will say he has superb mic work. I would like to see him used in another way. Also the You Can’t See match was lame as far as I’m concerned. So this was the first ever blindfold match? Well I remember a match where Hunter was blindfolded and took on D’Lo, but that’s a minor point. I couldn’t understand why Daivari just didn’t attack Cena from behind and beat the crap out of him. No that would have been too easy. So we saw Cena kind of looking like a fool for a while until he got the fans involved. A friend of mine said if you were there live it probably was a fun match yet on TV it lost something. Yeah to me it lost a lot. So I guess this whole Cena/Angle thing really got to me last night.
Also there’s not doubt in my mind that Matt Striker is another guy that has great mic skills. My God he’s a natural. It’s too bad he didn’t get a spot last week when the writing was probably at its best. While his mic work totally impressed me, the crap that he talked about bored the hell out of me. I guess he’s representing the far right, but with a script like last night, I’m not looking forward to the Striker segments. Hopefully things will improve. By the way was anybody put out that no GM was announced last night? I really was looking forward to seeing who would be named. It was a small let down that nothing happened but it didn’t ruin the show for me. So add the Chris Masters vs. Viscera match and it covers what I didn’t like about the show.
As I said wrestling took over last night and for the most part the matches were good. Big Show vs. HBK was short but I liked it very much. I loved how Shawn worked extra hard to show just how difficult it is to beat a 7 foot giant. Of course he got the win not because of his hard work but because a smiling Triple H came down and took out HBK causing Big Show a DQ and taking him out of the Elimination Chamber match. I enjoyed this part very much. Big Show has been in Hunter’s face for a couple of weeks and Hunter picked this match to get even. Now up until this match I never thought Kane would beat Hunter, but once Show was disqualified it was a given that Kane was moving on and Hunter was out. And sure enough Big Show came out and interfered in the Kane vs. HHH match. Now a few things about this match. I have always felt that Hunter and Kane have absolutely ZERO chemistry. I don’t like it when they wrestle against each other because it’s usually blah. I found last night’s match to be good, no not GREAT, but good. Hunter worked his ass off in there and bumped like crazy and the match turned out better than I expected. So Kane is in and Hunter is out and you can bet it will be Hunter vs. Big Show at New Years Revolution. Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito was another match that I liked A LOT. This was all Shelton’s baby and again he looked amazing out there. While I was hoping that he would have beaten Carlito I knew from the rumors out there that Shelton wasn’t going to be a part of the chamber match. Yeah I’m disappointed but with his loss comes more focus on Shelton’s new attitude. The attitude that caused HBK from getting a win last week and the same attitude that gave Carlito the victory last night. This is a positive for me, while I hate Shelton losing I’m seeing a storyline built around him and that definitely pleases me. And like last week I also found his interaction with a very serious Shawn Michaels last night very good and I’ll be honest with you. When Benjamin lost his match and the chance to be in the Elimination Chamber match, I figured that he would run out there not Triple H and interfere to make sure HBK missed that chance too. This would have set up HBK vs. Benjamin, but I was way off on that one.
I was hoping for another edition of the Cutting Edge, but Edge and Lita managed to keep me interested with their taunting of Ric Flair. Ric was far from upbeat after being disqualified by Kurt Angle. This was a nice opening match, Kurt and Flair work well together and I guess if you keep Angle wrestling and away from the mic it’s benefits him, well at least me, but anyway Ric was backstage looking a little somber. Smartasses Edge and Lita showed up and insulted Flair left and right. There was no response from Ric but I bet there is more to come as the weeks go on. Mickie James and Trish Stratus have one excellent storyline going on. I am waiting for that Trish heel turn; I really thought it would happen last night. I was waiting for Trish to knock the crap out of Mickie after she beat Victoria for the number one contender spot against Trish at New Years Revolution. Trish sat with Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler and Coach during this match. And I have to hand it to Coach; he laid it on thick when Mickie did one of Trish’s moves. He kept saying that Mickie did it so much better than Trish. You can just tell that Trish is ready to let James have it. It’s being played out so well, Mickie is doing a great job in this role; this is one of the best angles on Raw right now. So not a great Raw but good enough thanks to some nice wrestling and a couple of good angles.
Okay I want to leave you with this. I know so many of you are so anti Hunter which is fine. Maybe because of what you see on TV or because of so many things that are printed against him on the internet. Well I read the spoilers for next week’s Afghanistan show and there was something that just caught my eye. It’s something so nice and it’s really kind of sad that I found this on one site only. I guess it’s better to post crap about Hunter than something favorable. This came from Private First Class Tristan Hathaway and it was posted by John Meehan at 411mania.com. http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/news/newsboard.php?news_id=13249. So her you go. “I got to the location about 3 1/2 hours early, and there were MAYBE 30 people in front of me in line. So time went by really fast, we got to see all the wrestlers come in, and HHH (and only HHH), came out and walked down the line and shook every single persons hand, which at this point was about 500 people. When he got to me and my buddy, Sgt. Allende, he stopped and pointed out Allende’s sign “I came all the way from Italy to see RAW”. Trips asked him if he really flew in from Italy just for today, Allende says “No, but I’m pretending” and Trips says “Badass.”