Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Raw Thoughts

So last night's Raw was very talk-heavy, moreso than usual, with incredibly short and mostly-predictable matches. That said, that's not necessarily a bad thing where segments work. Many last night did - others didn't. To-wit;

  • I liked the DX recap of the Shawn-UT promo last week and Triple H's expressing his support of Shawn's quest to end Taker's Wrestlemania win streak. We'll see if that support remains now that Shawn cost them their rematch for Show-Miz's tag titles. I figured that match was in place either to set up a DX breakup or, more likely (as that would be convoluting an already-complex and intriguing picture) to set up Triple H's WM opponent down the stretch, which turned out to be true. Without the world title in play, I'm curious as to how they will keep this, effectively a midcard match, interesting.
  • Cheech and Chong, however, were weak - mixing the most kid-friendly character on Raw these days - Hornswoggle - with a couple of trippers, who proceed to get high on the leprechaun's Lucky Charms, attempts to get everyone of all ages in on the skit, and as a result fails to ... ahem ... charm anyone.
  • John Cena as the smiling, baby-kissing, hardworking face and Batista as the heel with the chip on his shoulder looking for a good payday and perhaps a championship belt or two works, as it fits both of their reputations onscreen and off. These two, as Batista rightly pointed out last night, have had almost parallel careers since coming up from the heyday of the Ohio Valley farm system, without having truly engaged one another in any kind of lasting feud. Now they have the chance and are running with it.
  • It must speak well of the WM card so far that perhaps the least intriguing match so far (to ME, a lifelong Canadian Hitman fan) is Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon. MITB is always good, Edge-Jericho will steal the show, Cena-Tista has also been a long time coming, and Shawn Michaels-Undertaker, in terms of mainstream attention, is the showpiece of the night. Not that Hart-McMahon isn't interesting ... and I think they did an OK job last night in their roles ... this isn't an insult to them so much as a compliment to the 'Mania WWE is setting up. Let's hope it doesn't disappoint, as so many promising cards do.
  • All for Mad Dog Vachon being inducted into the Hall of Fame by fellow French Canadian Pat Patterson. Good choice for entrant #4.
  • In terms of the matches now ... MITB qualifiers aren't necessarily meant to be show-stealing, but they should at least not be so predictable as the round from last night. No one would assume Santino Marella would get an MITB shot over Jack Swagger, for example. That was unfortunate. The main matches that caught my attention - DX vs. Show-Miz and Ted Dibiase vs. Randy Orton - were not bad matches, but were also more intriguing in terms of how they pushed plot forward; a good thing for WWE to keep in mind and continue honing, as they do a good job of it when they let themselves - stories CAN be told in rings, without mics in hand. TNA is weak at this with Vince Russo at the writing helm; WWE can excel at this if they allow it.
So yes - a mixed-bag Raw, but one that confirmed up a couple more matches and participants for Wrestlemania and did it's job - they can't all be winners, and this one was at least not a total loser. One last note - Jim Ross was in attendance last night and made an appearance before the live crowd. Hopefully this speaks well of (a) his recovery and (b) the state of his negotiations with the WWE, that his wishes, as outlined in his blog (Google JR's BBQ), to return for WM26 can be realized. :)

Meanwhile, be sure and stay tuned here through the week as we continue to post thoughts on wrestling news as it comes up - Thursday is ITVR podcast as always, and hope to see you there. Peace and love all!


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