Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Bash & Monday's Raw

I'm not going to get into too much detail with these as ITVR podcast is only tomorrow night, but some quick thoughts (which as always could turn out to be not so quick ...)

  • My predictions were basically right on for the Bash - except foreseeing the Edge-Jericho pairing which makes sense in a Rated RKO kind of way (two top heels seeking to dominate the fed, not really trusting each other but figuring they're stronger together than feuding), and also forgetting to call the Jericho-Mysterio match, which I would have been wrong about as I didn't know about the unmasking stipulation, but would have called correctly if I had.
  • This means it was a basically predictable night but one that was strong on action; most matches here were good and the one REAL clunker (Khali vs. Dolph Zigler) featured Kane's much-anticipated return (what, he'd been gone? - shows how much I watch SD; I also thought Zigler had been released).
  • The one thing at the time I wish had been done differently was Cena defeating Miz - as you recall I called it, though saying it was a great opportunity for the WWE to have Miz get a fluky win over Dr. Thuggy-pants, by way of help from Big Show or what have you. I ended up appreciating the 'going the obvious route' much more by Raw, however. And why was that?
Well let me fill you in on my RAW thoughts ...

  • I'm actually going to go against the grain here and state I'm a fan of the 'guest host' concept; I'm not a fan that Vince McMahon felt the need to undo all the other things Donald J. Trump had done as Raw owner but not the 'weekly celebrity guest' idea, but I think this provides something new and different, an authority figure to still act on behalf of the show, but a chance to showcase some different names and talent every week. Do I think this is a bit experimental to be trotting out on WWE's flagship program and think it should have been tried on ECW or Smackdown first? Yes, I do. But it's still a worthwhile 'new' thing to try.
  • This week's guest host: Batista, who did a 4-man mini-tournament for the WWE Title Shot at Night of Champions next month. Triple H soundly defeated MVP, and John Cena beat the Miz, but here's the thing - Miz had some credible offense and seemed to have learned from the night before. That kind of detail and continuity is rare in WWE these days but those things ARE the small things that take a show from 'OK' to 'special'. Am I still disappointed that so early on in the tourney concept we have the same ole on the title chase? (Cena-H next week for a shot at Orton, who has feuded with both of them extensively) - yes. I think having MVP or Miz surprisingly go through could have added something here. But they both put on a good show and got a rub from working with the top two names on Team Raw.
  • I'm disappointed at the LACK of continuity on the other hand with Ted Dibiase Jr.'s questioning of Randy Orton at the Bash; I don't want them to hotshot Teddy's turn, I like the slow burn here, but to act like it never happened doesn't strike me as a trait of Ted's or Randy's. Perhaps this story will be a bit furthered next week when Dibiase's father, the Million Dollar Man, is the guest host.
  • Speaking of which - that was the other main element of Raw. Batista let us know that Trump, before re-selling Raw back to VKM, had orchestrated a 15-person trade between ECW-Raw-Smackdown; Randy Orton was going to fight a gauntlet match against 3 of Raw's 5 new acquisitions.
  • I liked the suspense thru the night here as to who would come out, and it was definitely a 'calling up to the big leagues' for young stars Evan Bourne and Jack Swagger; I enjoyed how they used Swagger here, purposely taking a 1o-count countout from the referee. I'm assuming he was paid off by Ted Dibiase, and Mark Henry by contrast teased he'd done the same before fighting Orton anyhow, begetting a (!) face turn. My only complaint here, on an otherwise perfectly-executed angle, was that WWE then went and revealed the names of the other 12 draftees involved in the trade; I'd have liked this to play out in reveals over the next week or two ahead on the various shows. But you can't win them all I guess ...
  • Other midcard storylines included the beginning of some dissention between Carlito and Primo Colon as they failed to beat Edge and Jericho for the tag belts; Mickey James earning a shot at the Diva's Title held by Maryse; some decent action and good storytelling.
The details of both shows, how Night of Champions is shaping up, other real world news and the ramifications of this midseason 'draft' will all be discussed on tomorrow's ITVR; be sure and tune in then and please in the meanwhile enjoy your Canada Day!


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