In Perspective: RAW With Joey Styles and An Unexpected Surprise

WWE RAW this week, overall, was a nice overall change of pace from last week’s broadcast. I enjoyed the program more so than I have in a while and it was a nice follow up from Taboo Tuesday. There was some mishaps and some loopholes but hopefully WWE will be able to smooth them out before 2007.

Joey Styles addition on the RAW Team, if this is a permanent move is a appropriate move by WWE. However, WWE either wants to find out if the fan base is really paying attention or they are trying to butter up Stone Cold Steve Austin by bringing up JR again and calling it “convalescing.” Wasn’t he fired by Vince McMahon on TV? Wasn’t that was “what all the fuss was about?” Maybe the storyline isn’t supposed to make sense anymore, maybe WWE doesn’t care if it does because bringing back Golddust and Vader to job to Batista didn’t make sense either. Who knows really what that’s all about. I’ll listen to Styles or JR again over Jonathan Coachman right now. It’s not even a direct slight against Coachman, it’s more that he’s not ready for that important position to be the guiding voice for a two hour show or a three hour PPV. I feel that Jerry Lawler and Styles have pretty good chemistry together (besides never bringing up the fact that The King hated ECW all those years) and it’s a more enjoyable experience to hear them work together than the hostility on the broadcast otherwise. However, what a embarrassing error in how no one could seem to get the appropriate number of Survivor Series correct. I can understand Styles not knowing, he worked for the opposing company for all those years, but what’s Lawler’s and even Coachman’s excuse? Sadly, it wasn’t even corrected in a reasonable amount of time, that it something that should have been shouted in their ear right away.

I enjoyed the opening segment, the massive gathering of the RAW locker room doesn’t bother me for a State of the Union of sorts with Eric Bischoff. It doesn’t happen every week so it’s not overdone. I appreciate the WWE’s consistency by having Eric Bischoff lay into Edge and punish him for not caring about RAW, Eric Bischoff or the fans. I really expected the way WWE writing has been going that they would overlook this but this was well written. It gave Eric Bischoff more of a dimension, it made him likeable for about seven minutes of TV.

Even though it was a basic given that Shelton Benjamin wasn’t going to defeat Carlito to get a prominent spot on the pay per view, it was still great that he was used. He even got some mic time, though the announcing team didn’t really touch on their past feud when Carlito first was on RAW. WWE has really dropped the ball when it comes to Benjamin, who was getting praised every week by JR on RAW as being one of the most gifted athletes in the WWE and he’s instead getting placed on WWE Heat or getting buried by other guys if he happens to be on RAW. They shouldn’t let Benjamin’s talents go to waste and either trade him to Smackdown again so he can fight talent like Rey Mysterio Jr., Chris Benoit and Booker T or use him appropriately and breed him to be a Bret Hart type wrestler. For what it was, it was a good TV match up that hopefully got Benjamin in the good graces of whatever grace he fell out of to be almost non-existent in the last few months.

The Mickie James/Trish Stratus relationship is fun to watch because at least it’s a new face in the same faces for the last few months. Mickie is very believable as a very enthusiastic “fan” of Trish’s and they keep this going until some heel turn takes place. It is like Tori/Sable from a few years ago but it hasn’t been done in a while and Mickie is able to be more annoying. The wand gimmick used by Candice for a win is ridiculous, a wand as a weapon? It better be a Tammy Fytch SMW type of loaded wand, that wand better weigh five pounds. It of course doesn’t but I suppose the viewers have to live with it.

The Gregory Helms and Rosey match up was interesting since Rosey dominated the entire thing but how long can they possibly spread this program out? It should end at the Survivor Series and I don’t expect Rosey to stay on the roster in 2007. I’d like to be pleasantly surprised and see him used since you don’t hear that he is a bad employee by anyone. They could keep him in the tag team division since WWE needs tag teams anyway and bring him together with Vader I suppose since they are two big men or let him be paired up with any possible up and coming talent that WWE cares to sign. Turning him heel I understand would be pointless right now since Helms is being a heel but eventually maybe Rosey too will be tired of being a cheap laugh.

The WWE Hardcore Tag Team Championship match was basically Kane and Big Show destroying Cade and Murdoch. There really can’t be any other believable outcome right now because as long as the two big men get along, there’s no tag team physically that could dominate them. I was really surprised by the Big Show fan base in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but good for him. Big Show at least looks like he’s having a good time out there, unlike Shawn Michaels in the first segment who looked pretty bored. Why the WWE chose to show Shawn during that segment is beyond me since it isn’t flattering to their storylines if one of their main eventers looks like he’d rather be doing anything else than participate in the opening segment. I think the only way WWE could realistically take away the titles from Show/Kane is to have them breakup and fight each other. I think anytime in the next three months would be too soon, let them enjoy a face run for a while.

The Kurt Angle storyline is a interesting one. I really enjoyed the intensity of Kurt’s promo about how he’s given so much for the fans who chant you suck at him each week while he has lost so much of his personal life. It wasn’t over done and it like any good heel, they were all valid points. However, it’s the strange twist that Kurt Angle picked Daivari as his special guest referee that is shaky. Granted, I did not see the Divari twist coming whatsoever, but it is a little out of no where and does that makes Angle a sympathizer to Daivari’s former cause? Is it a band of misunderstood talent coming together? Is the idea to bring back Daivari’s angle in a subtle way to prove that WWE fans are not sympathetic toward Daivari no matter who he is with? I would have rather seen Daivari come back as a face, to shed himself of the entire storyline to begin with, to bring some positive light to the Muslim/Arab community. Is Angle tired of being All American now? Daivari’s return is fine but it to me distracts from Kurt Angle in general. I was okay with Angle being hungry for gold, for performing and for being the best wrestler alive today. Daivari would be better utilized as bringing up another star such as a Chris Masters or a unknown but apparently Daivari has to equal controversy. As far as the censoring, it didn’t match the actual chants and how can the fans in the arena actually hear the bleeping? I’ve never been to a live show where you could hear “suck” being bleeped while you were present in the arena.

Finally, Triple H’s program with Ric Flair continues for a upcoming Last Man Standing match. I already for see Ric Flair losing this one but that only means they can go at least one more match after that to settle the tie. I like how it’s progressing, Triple H studying Ric Flair’s match as Ric Flair has Lilian Garcia add that he beat Triple H during his introduction. This may be the only storyline that isn’t being screwed with right now and that’s putting it in perspective. Thanks for reading and feel free to drop me a line at Bam@insidepulse.com.