Whoa, let me say this as gently as I can. Let’s see, you are missing the number one baby face in the company due to injuries, John Cena. And you have Triple H and Shawn Michaels back; now WWE’s number 1 and 2 top baby faces on Raw. So you would think that by having both of these guys on Monday’s show Raw would come off pretty wel? Ah but that wasn’t the case. No not when you keep your number 2 guy, Triple H off TV to sell injuries from the week before. Well wait let me continue this after I tell you that I thought Monday’s show was just miserable except for a few and I do mean a few segments.
So now back to Cena is out, Hunter is held off to sell Umaga’s beating and Raw is left with one top face, HBK. All of this just set things up for a Raw filled with way too much of nothing and so few highlights. The first highlight was the opening match with Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy. I like the way Orton and Hardy work together and an Orton/Jeff Hardy feud would be something that I could easily enjoy. Orton again impressed me so much Monday night and it’s great to see Jeff in such a high profile feud. As I said this match was very good and prior to the match I loved watching the Birmingham, England crowd and William Regal interacting. He received such a nice reaction from his fellow Brit’s. I loved when he made gestures to quiet the group and then get them to become loud again. This was a nice little spot on the show.
Okay as I said Orton/Hardy got things off to a very good start, but unfortunately it would be a long time before another highlight popped up. Now I want to list some of the segments that were okay but certainly didn’t help make Raw a strong show. I’ll start with the Santino Marella vs. Val Venis match. This was far from bad, and I could not be happier that Venis is still getting a push. I have a history with Val and my husband. Ah it sounds kinky doesn’t it? Well back in 1999 when I was channel surfing and I stopped at Raw to watch Mick Foley visiting Vince McMahon at the hospital along with Mr. Socko and then Austin beating Vince with a bedpan I stayed with the show. And I remember Venis coming out to his music and that video of his and I was hysterical. I called my husband down and both of us were laughing and like I have said so many times before neither one of us knew that Raw was more than wrestling. For the next few weeks it was Venis’s entrance that we wanted to watch and his feud with Kaientai members. So I guess you could say that back in 1999 watching the Venis gimmick and in ring work was always something we looked forward too. That’s why I’m glad to see he’s being used. The guy can wrestle and it’s ashame that he’s been with the company for so long and has been used as a jobber for the last several years. I did like the match, but I’m not going to say it was a highlight of mine if that makes any sense.
The women’s match with Candice vs. Jillian was okay; I thought Candice looked much better than last week’s showing at No Mercy. Again like the Marella/Venis match I wouldn’t call this a highlight but at least it held my interest. And finally while I guess I could do without Bob Holly defeating Cody Rhodes week after week, this feud is showing me two things, and that would be that Cody is a damn good wrestler and that pushing him in this feud also shows that he does some pretty nice mic work, so maybe I will say that this feud and the match was a mini highlight for me. I’m stopping here because I want to end on a high note and that would have to be when I talk about the main event. So now let me tell you why Raw was just a tough show to watch. Where do I begin? Maybe with the horrible unfunny Hornswoggle segments. It’s obvious that the whole illegitimate angle has totally bombed. It had the makings of something so good when Mr. Kennedy….Kennedy was supposed to play Vince’s bastard son, but that all died when Kennedy was suspended for 30 days. So they went with Hornswoggle to get a few laughs and that’s just what they got a few good laughs, but those laughs quickly started to disappear, and this week’s segments were so bad that I blame one group for that and that would be creative. There was nothing funny or even close to being funny. The TNT that Coach came out with was embarrassing to watch. And then to make matters worse you have a talented guy names Carlito that is stuck in a meaningless backstage skit with Coach. This was just a total dud as far as I’m concerned.
But why should I stop there, what about throwing in Rory McAlister into a match with Brian Kendrick. Listen there’s no bigger London/Kendrick fan that I am, but since they came to Raw they have shown very little. And it’s not because Hunter took them out a few weeks ago, this started way before that. I know what it is, it’s the fact that they are not working against MNM, or The Hardy’s, teams that are so similar to their styles. Instead they have had to wrestle Cade/Murdoch and now the Highlanders. The two different styles just don’t work, this match was average at best. I can’t stop now I’m on a roll. The one match that surprised me for coming off so boring was Mr. Kennedy vs. Randy Orton. Mr. Kennedy has had some nice matches against Jeff Hardy, and because of that I expected a good match against Orton, but I didn’t get it. This match wasn’t even slightly good, it just made Kennedy look like he’s out of place in this main event role. I have a theory; my theory is that this guy had the momentum before he got hurt when he won the Money in the Bank match, and when he returned things seemed to being going just fine.
The momentum continued until he was given that 30 days suspension and since he returned the momentum seems like it was suspended as well. I think maybe just maybe that the time away shook him up a little bit and he doesn’t seem to be able to get to where he was prior to leaving. This man is full of personality yet in the ring against Orton I didn’t see charisma or really any great wrestling skills. I was very disappointed by his performance. And finally one segment that just kept going and shouldn’t have was Vince with Umaga demonstrating to the fans what their choices are for Cyber Sunday. Umaga used a jobber to show Triple H the kind of beating he’s going to get either in a Cage Match, Street Fight or First Blood match. While I understand that Triple H was kept off to sell Umaga’s beating from the week before and that was fine with me, it seemed kind of senseless to do one thing after another to this jobber and let this go on as long as it did without some kind of Hunter appearance either live or on the titantron. They needed just something to wake the live crowd up and heat things up between Umaga and Hunter. This was another dull Raw segment.
So as I said it was the opening match with Orton vs. Hardy and then the main event that were the strongest parts of the show. Shawn Michaels got things going with one hell of a promo. This HBK character I like a lot. This guy is extremely driven and he should be since Orton put him out for 5 months with a possible “career ending concussion.” Shawn’s interview was solid as was the job he did in the main event. The match might have been a short one but Michaels and Orton put on an exciting match and as much as I like Jeff Hardy, I know I’m voting for HBK to face Orton at Cyber Sunday, I want much more of what we got on Monday night.
I felt very bad for the Birmingham crowd to get more mid carders than top guys. When you are over seas you need to give that crowd the best you have and Vince didn’t do that. Well he should do that no matter what but especially for crowds that only get WWE live every few months. I can only hope that Smackdown is a lot better to watch and that next week’s Raw will be a big improvement from what we got this week. Before I go I’m sure you all know that Booker and Sharmell were released from WWE. There are big rumors out there that he’s going to go to TNA and I have a feeling that that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Also Daivari asked for his release and got it. Here’s a guy that’s in the division that Vince just seems to like to ignore, the CRUISERWEIGHT division. From what I have read he felt that he wasn’t going anywhere and asked to leave so he could find other work and learn from the business. I wish him luck and I hope he does well.
I will be back over the weekend with my Smackdown thoughts and now with ECW and Smackdown merged, which I feel is a great idea I’m looking forward to Smackdown and ECW as time goes on.