The RAW before WWE’s ECW pay-per-view, One Night Stand II, was not as focused on hyping the pay-per-view as it should have been. Instead, RAW gave us the lack of quality wrestling matches (even more so than usual), the CEO’s further self-glorification of his billion dollar ass and ECW being inappropriately delivered to a audience that is expected to receive ECW well in Pittsburgh, PA.
John Cena looked stronger and confident in his presentation of himself than Rob Van Dam in the opening segment, as the audience cheered and booed Cena as the promo went on. The segment could have been received completely different by the audience if this was pushed toward the final hour of the show. The missing contact of Sandman’s caning with Cena, two or three consecutive times, with the announcers still selling it was silly, and then the embarrassing fumble of Sabu’s signature move was embarrassing and didn’t do ECW any favors for selling the show to fans who weren’t regular ECW devotees in the 90s.
My concern with the development of RVD is instead of reminding the world how talented he has consistently been over the years, examples of the hardcore and five-star stunts RVD has pulled in ECW and WWE by implementing their vast video library, RVD is left to flounder in promos with this hint in the air that we aren’t supposed to take him seriously because we’re at a WWE show. Is it because WWE is afraid that the old, original ECW content can upstage anything WWE is producing that is ‘fresh’ and ‘current’?
The WWE made a mistake by not booking Kurt Angle to start off the show since he’s the Hometown Hero. There would have been no question that the crowd would have been hot behind Angle, and it would have shocked the crowd more to see Randy Orton give Angle the sneak attack RKO. I find the use of Orton right now to be a let down, Angle’s open challenge would have been far more exciting to have against someone we haven’t seen in a while, never seen before in a ECW or WWE ring or a forgotten favorite with a ECW tie. The ECW crowd has every reason to get behind Angle for their respect for him as a wrestling machine, but instead, they are going to get a WWE-ECW Angle versus a WWE-Offender Randy Orton. It only has the ability to be good if Angle is allowed to shoot on Orton during the show. Another problem with this is, the RAW audience has to be reminded of a Smackdown storyline. Orton has been floating between brands attacking people for the last few months now, why isn’t he anchored down to either show? I’m not even sure if Randy Orton’s character has any definition other than Backstage Troublemaker.
The lack of quality wrestling matches was obvious as it’s ever been during RAW. Fans seemed incredibly bored with all of it. Carlito is left in this undefined and no purpose mid-card role. Beth Phoenix and Victoria can put on a good match however the fans have no reaction for Phoenix because WWE has not bothered to explain what the rift between her and Mickie James is. Trish Stratus needs to heal quickly because fans still want to see Stratus and James. And although I was happy that I was right about Charlie Haas versus Johnny Nitro, however, Haas needs to be more careful, he managed to take out Lilian Garcia just by bouncing off the ropes like the Ultimate Warrior. Matt Striker (Your Teacher!), Eugene and Jim Duggan was distracting and filler, and Old Kane stalking See No Evil Kane is ridiculous television. My sister and I had a good laugh last night about how funny the next Scary Movie will be if they take the time to make fun of See No Evil and this nonsense. Old Kane and the Scream mask guy can do Christmas carols as Cindy and Clone Cindy chase each other around, it would be hilarious. For more See No Evil fun, read Vinny Truncellito’s Alternate Reality review.
Can I blame the Highlanders gimmick on Dusty Rhodes logic? It’s the new Bushwhackers of 2005, just in time for all the immigration debates.
ECW is expected to become a top selling pay per view and a successful brand on the Sci Fi network, but yet has no matches on WWE RAW. How could I forget, WWE sells entertainment, not professional wrestling.
Speaking of entertainment, we’re ‘treated’ to the return of the drugging, as Shane McMahon attempted to drug Triple H’s water with Daddy Vince’s knowledge, when the table gets turned, because Triple H is booked smarter than Shawn Michaels and switched the water while Shane was on the phone with Daddy Vince. Vince talks about his own ass for three or four segments during the show and then with his pants down (like we haven’t seen that before), gets pedigreed by his (son-in-law) “almost like family,” no crotch chopping this week, Triple H. Triple H and I assume Shane and Vince McMahon as well, will have nothing to do with the upcoming pay per view but are the last image the fans are left with as RAW closed the show. I understand they have to push the WWE product as well, but why at the expense of the ECW PPV? For some really good debating about the state of professional wrestling, read Steve Murray and Iain Burnside’s debate at Look On The Anti-Bright Side.
Always remember, for things to change, you have to make movement. Thanks for reading and for all the feedback, feel free to contact me anytime at Bam@insidepulse.com.