I had planned to not only talk about last night’s Raw but also about Mick Foley. However since Mick wasn’t on Raw, I’m going to hold off on that subject and just focus on another really good
Raw. Was it two hours of perfect TV? No, but I’ll tell you there was some really good segments on there and I can’t wait to get into them. And it always makes me happy not to have to do a column with me bitching about what I saw. Raw was a solid show and I have to say that the Indianapolis, Ind., crowd came through loud and clear when they needed too. So let me just get rid of some of the blah spots and then on to a show that built up some feuds very well for Wrestlemania.
I could not get into the whole Vince McMahon segment. I mean as soon as Vince came out with Coach and had the barber shop pole and chair moved down by the ring I knew that Eugene was not only going to get manhandled by Umaga, but I also knew that he was going to have his hair shaved. While I didn’t hate this segment I can’t say I was really into it either. I felt bad for the live crowd and the Steve Austin fans that watched it on TV that he wasn’t on last night. I could have done with less of Vince over acting and maybe the noise of shattered glass breaking and Austin making an appearance. This segment did nothing to make me want to see this Hair vs. Hair match at Wrestlemania. In fact the more it’s hyped on Raw the more I wish it wasn’t happening. Another segment that did nothing for me was Lashley breaking the Master-lock. On second thought I might love this segment if we saw the last Master-lock challenge forever. And to make matters worse for me, the very first thing that I saw this morning onWWE.com was the picture of Masters and Lashley to hype their match tonight on ECW, oh yeah I need that like a whole in the head. And finally Candice vs. Melina was what it was, a bra and panties match and nothing more, but again Candice really tries out there and I really didn’t mind watching it. So as you can see nothing was really bad, just not good enough to keep me interested.
But I liked the opening with JBL giving it to Shawn Michaels. As good as JBL was on the mic, Shawn was just as good with his facial expressions as he listened to the trash talk. I thought this was a strong segment, and after reading that the chances of JBL wrestling were really slim I think having him put Shawn down like he did worked perfectly. And HBK certainly made me jump when he super-kicked JBL. I figured it was coming, yet with JBL’s back being in such bad condition I wasn’t sure if he would take that move, and sure enough HBK did it and JBL sold it beautifully. So Raw had a really nice opening. Now as excited as I am with the HBK/Cena WM match, I’m also getting extremely hyped about the Edge/Orton feud. I don’t know what it is, but now that these two are going at each other verbally I’m loving it, and last night was no exception.
I think Orton has really come alive, first working with Edge and now against him. I’m ready for this feud and I believe it is one of the latest highlights on Raw.
With that said I forgot to mention that I read where Edge broke his jaw in the MIB qualifying match against RVD a few weeks ago. I kind of figured he was hurt when he kept getting out of matches and that’s why I wasn’t surprised when hey did the old I hurt my knee routine in the Last Chance Battle Royale MIB qualifying match. I wasn’t buying the excuse that Vince was pissed with Edge for not helping Orton against Lashley last week at ECW. I figured Edge wasn’t going to lose that spot and with the fake injury I knew it was just a way to keep him from working with the broken jaw. I have read that they are holding him off so he’s good to go at Wrestlemania. The match was okay but what I really liked was having Carlito and Ric Flair as the last two in the ring. I have to say I like the chemistry that these two have and hopefully they will have a match at Wrestlemania. And the Flair win was nice while it lasted, but as I said I really expected Edge to get in there and get rid of Flair. Another match that I liked but it really wasn’t long enough was Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton. Let’s face it this match was done just to set up more tension between Edge and Orton, but the match and the Edge interference really played out so well, and as I said I can’t wait to see Orton and Edge go at it probably at Backlash. And finally it felt so good to see Chris Benoit not only on Raw, but in a main event match. I really am hoping that if the rumors are true about Benoit being moved to Raw after Wrestlemania he will be put in a top feud and not buried somewhere in mid-card land. I thought Benoit vs. Cena was a good match, the crowd was so HOT during this one and I was glad they put HBK at the announce table. I found Shawn to have an attitude with JR and come off like a heel. As far as John Cena beating Benoit I had no problem with that, but I will be honest with you it bugged me that Chris tapped out to the STFU. But as I said that tap out was just another way to make Cena look pretty unbeatable and tough. I also thought the mind games between Cena and HBK was quite entertaining, especially when Cena was in the process of giving the FU to Shawn. What a nice ending and on a selfish note, the announcement by JBL about next week’s main event with HBK/Cena vs. Taker and Batista had me shaking with joy. Why? Because I will be there and I cannot wait to see this match.
As you can tell Raw and Smackdown are again on a roll as far as building for Wrestlemania. I’m looking forward to Friday’s Smackdown and I am really looking forward to Wrestlemania 23, and I would like to think with just one more Raw and two more Smackdown’s left WWE programming will be stronger than ever. Last year at this time I was counting the days and hours until I would be at Wrestlemania, and this year I’m still counting down to the final day, that’s how psyched I am for the show.