I’m so happy to be able to write that Raw did a super jobbing of hyping Cyber Sunday. As of late the last minute build up for WWE’s pay per views have been extremely weak. It’s nice to see that Monday’s Raw did what it needed to do by making that pay per view almost the total focus of the show. I liked Raw very much this week and I guess maybe the reasons why I thought the show built up Cyber Sunday so well was because of the way they pushed the top guys in the title race and also the way that the second big angle on the show was done. And of course it was a Vinceless Raw so you can add that to my list of reasons why the show worked.
You know as I’m typing I’m thinking that there was really nothing I didn’t care for. Sure the Santino vs. Ron Simmons match wasn’t the greatest, but the continuous Steve Austin bashing by Marella is coming off very well. In fact I get a kick out of the serious delivery and straight face. The guy has a way of definitely making me laugh. Now I kind of touched on this last week about Mr. Kennedy…Kennedy, but I’m just not into this guy right now. It’s like he’s going out there and doing what he’s being told to do, but he’s putting nothing extra in his performances. His mic work lately isn’t exactly outstanding and with the exception of a few good matches with Jeff Hardy his in ring work has been nothing special. I don’t get what is going on but when I watched him interact with Randy Orton in the locker-room talking about working together against Hardy and Shawn Michaels, I couldn’t get over how he came off. Let’s just say he was there and that was it. I would like to see the Kennedy that we got on Smackdown return because as of now I don’t think he belongs anywhere near the title picture right now.
So as you can see nothing was horrible Monday night. The opening was good, but it wasn’t what Mr. Kennedy had to say it was when Jeff Hardy came out and interrupted Kennedy and then got the fans going by asking them if they wanted to see these two go at it, and that’s just what happened. This brawl brought out Randy Orton who teamed up with Kennedy against Hardy. And right when it looked like Orton was going to kick Jeff’s head the Heartbreak Kid came out for the rescue. All of this plus the Omaha, Nebraska crowd got things off to a very good start Monday night. Now the first match of the night was Mickie James, London and Kendrick vs. Melina, Cade and Murdoch. I thought it was kind of weird seeing Melina with Cade and Murdoch but the match turned out very well. Did you happen to notice that when Murdoch pushed Mickie out of the way, we saw her just stare with an amazed look on her face? Does that mean that a Mickie James heel turn is in the works? I am going to say yes.
Let’s see Randy Orton and Mr. Kennedy’s backstage segment didn’t do much for me, but watching Jeff Hardy interact with Shawn Michaels did a lot for me. Well maybe not a lot but I thought Hardy did very good job and I say that because he’s a guy that does very little mic work, but as of late when he has been asked to speak he’s done a pretty good job on the mic. And Hardy’s words seemed to bring out a lot of the old HBK, and by that I mean no funny DX stuff or any humor at all. Michaels seemed just so focused on getting Orton back for almost ending his career. This segment came off well and I really believe that it’s going to be a very close race between Jeff Hardy and Shawn Michaels. The next segment I saw coming after their first encounter. The very first time that Bob Holly defeated Cody Rhodes, Holly left the ring but not in that tough heel mode, more like someone who is trying to teach a young kid the ropes. And after Rhodes kept losing to Holly, I still felt that was what was going on. Now I wish I could be that accurate with my predictions most of the time. Anyway when Shelton Benjamin informed Rhodes that they had a match I just knew that Rhodes would beat Benjamin, and then Haas and Shelton would come back to beat him up and then professor Holly would run in and help Rhodes. So all of this was no surprise to me, but you know what? I still liked the match and everything that came after Cody’s win.
If I had to guess and believe me this is only a guess, I would say that Carlito is still in the dog house because of an interview that he did complaining back in March about how he hated playing a face and wanted to turn heel and about not getting a spot at Wrestlemania. Carlito got his wish about the heel turn, but other than that Carlito hasn’t really been a main guy on Raw. And this week he jobbed to a brand new guy, D.H. Smith. Now honestly I’m not so sure that losing to Smith was a way of punishing Carlito. I see it more as the British Bulldog’s son making his debut on Raw and beating one of Raw’s top mid carders. This was a win that I feel he should have gotten. The crowd responded nicely to Smith and I can’t get over how much he looks like his late father. I think a Carlito/Smith feud will be nice to see, so punishment or not this could benefit both men.
Now I remember a few months ago writing about how much I liked Umaga and John Cena going at each other out of the ring. I thought they both came off very well; in fact that one out of ring fight was better than any of their matches. And that’s just what I thought about Hunter and Umaga tearing it up Monday night. I knew as soon as William Regal made Hornswoggle vs. Umaga that it wasn’t happening, and that’s because this would be the perfect segment to bring out Triple H. And as I said this played out beautifully, and the crowd really took to what was going on. Umaga has looked very strong against Hunter and hopefully on Sunday whatever match we get will turn out to be one of the top matches on Sunday. I would be lying to you if I said this is my dream feud, but with the beating that Hunter took from Umaga two weeks ago and then this major brawl on Monday night I do not hate this feud as much as I thought I would. This was one of my highlights of this week’s Raw.
Did anyone else take a huge deep breath when Candice Michelle took that fall from the rope? As soon as she hit the mat I was thinking the worst. Well at first I thought maybe it was part of the match; however when I saw Candice sit up she looked totally out of it and then I knew this was legit. I kept checking for updates and I guess you could say I felt relief when WWE.com posted that she suffered a broken collarbone and that she wouldn’t need surgery. In a way Candice reminds me of Trish Stratus. That’s because of the way she’s improved so much in the ring and because her injuries are usually very serious injuries. I look forward to her return in about 6-8 weeks. Prior to the injury Candice and Beth Phoenix had a really nice 2 out of three falls match going on. The way this was coming off it would have been a perfect pay per view match. I think this had all the makings of being Candice’s best match to date, and the Glamazon looked pretty good out there as well. It unfortunate that things turned out the way they did.
Now the main event had plenty of action going on and that Omaha crowd was totally into what was going on. This was THE highlight of the night for me. You know I said last week that I want to see an Orton vs. HBK title match at Cyber Sunday, but let me just say this. If Jeff Hardy gets the votes and faces Orton I will be thrilled. I think Jeff has a very good chance of winning and as I said whether it’s a Hardy/Orton match or HBK vs. Orton it doesn’t matter to me because they both will put on very good matches. Now if anyone taped this go back and watch the match towards the beginning when Michaels is giving Kennedy a neck breaker. Kennedy was sloppy with the way he took that neck breaker, and the look on HBK’s face says it all. I know it seems like I’m bashing the hell out of Kennedy and I’m not trying too. I like the guy I do, and I’m hoping that we will get that cocky fun guy back very soon. The guy has it, but for now he’s just not letting us see it. Wow that sounds kind of vulgar, but I think you get what I mean.
But what the hell the main event was still a great way to end Raw and get the fans really into voting for Orton’s opponent.
Cyber Sunday is just 4 days away and you know what that means? This weekend I’ll have my predictions. And even though I have no idea how the final votes for each match will turn out, I will let you know who and what stipulations I will be voting for along with whom I see as winning their matches. Send me your picks as soon as you feel ready. I know I will wait until Friday’s Smackdown to get an idea what’s what for Sunday show. And even then I won’t really know who I’m picking. This weekend’s predictions should be quite interesting.