Monday, September 14, 2009

Breaking Point and Raw

Hi all - so I'm not going into desperate gobs of detail on Breaking Point and Raw (though whenever I say that, it always ends up going longer than I expect), so that Ari and I have something to talk about in a few evenings on the air; but some of the key thoughts I had were (and in no particular order):


  • The wrestling on this show was solid; even Kane vs. Khali didn't totally suck. There was not one stinker match on the card, for what the respective matches were supposed to accomplish (eg: John Cena vs. Randy Orton was hardly a technical standout, but absolutely brutal in its violence level, and to me well beyond WWE's sought-after PG rating these days).
  • My predictions were almost entirely wrong (should never have let Ari talk me into saying of the two title matches, Undertaker was leaving with CM Punk's belt), but I don't mind that; I knew that there was not one match that was 100% a lock, and the one I *did* think that of - DX vs. the Legacy - was a pleasant surprise when the young Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Jr. won. This win will not at all hurt Shawn Michaels and Triple H as they brought everything they had and vice versa, and will absolutely give Rhodes and Dibiase that last little push and polish they need to be taken seriously amongst the big boys. And kudos to the Legacy having been given more of a role than simply Randy Orton's window dressing of late.
  • I didn't so much mind the 'screwjob' ending of CM Punk-Undertaker, with Teddy Long ordering the match restarted after Undertaker used what turned out to be a still-illegal triangle chokehold to make Punk submit, although yes I understand it capitalizes yet again on a 12-year-old incident that both we Canadians AND Vince McMahon should have long since let go; but since it's entertaining and a 'thing' in Montreal, I don't so much mind that. My main complaint is, if you were going to have a screwy, 'send 'em home unhappy' ending to one world title match, and a feelgood, 'hero wins against all odds' ending ... tell me, which of these should have closed out the show? Yeah. I thought so. This ending was unpredictable and hot, but not so hot as to cancel out the disappointment of a questionable ending, and I'm obviously not the only one who thinks so.
  • I enjoyed the opening with Batista and Randy Orton; it wouldn't have been surprising, at Batista's age and with his injuries, if he HAD announced his retirement (although I'd have suspected we in the internet wrestling community would have heard more REAL rumours to that end by now), but he played it perfectly and, with Jeff Hardy gone and Edge on the DL, will provide a much-needed shot in the arm to the Smackdown brand. He should provide a worthy foe to CM Punk, and perhaps rekindle a very strong feud with the Undertaker.
  • It was great to see Trish Stratus again; referencing her history with Chris Jericho, and putting her in-ring with Beth Phoenix was a dream match scenario, even if it did involve the two teams from the tag title match last night; and tying her in-ring appearance to an existing storyline made some sense in terms of making it not just a gratuitous one-off, even if it did lower her ring time and visibility as such.
  • A nice bow-out to the Randy Orton-Batista feud while continuing Orton's feud with John Cena into Hell in a Cell - which I hope is the blow-off to this longstanding feud, and also marks I believe the first HIAC match not involving one of Triple H or the Undertaker. By the way - as a note for last night, they made it known that the main event matches would be HIAC matches; I am still not a fan of multiple HIAC matches in one night as it cheapens one of the WWE's strongest matches; but that' s better than a card full of them.
  • Chavo Guerrero vs. Evan Bourne again, with even less involvement from Hornswoggle; hopefully this becomes an exclusively big(ish) people feud soon.
  • Overall a decent show; my main concern is that potentially good matches - Bourne/Guerrero, Kofi Kingston/Jack Swagger - were too short and quick to have really stood out, a problem plaguing Raw while Smackdown for example gives stellar performers like Rey Mysterio Jr. and John Morrison a 20+ minute platform to do their stuff. But that's the ultimate difference between the two shows these days isn't it?
And that's it - as I said I suppose longer than I'd intended but those were my thoughts. Be sure and tune in to hear more about this, along with all the other wrestling news, on Thursday night when Ari and I podcast 'In This Very Ring'; meanwhile of course I will be around all week blogging any updates, for example, on Jeff Hardy, or other pressing news in the world of wrestling. Be sure and check it all out. Have a great night!


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