RAW was interesting this week, not for what was shown on TV, but for what storylines aren’t being incubated. There are very few reactions in the WWE right now that are such a hot pop as Jeff Hardy gets each and every week. Jeff has consistently put on solid performances, but more specifically as a strong singles competitor. His match with Umaga at the Great American Bash was solid, and perhaps Umaga and Jeff are the two most under-appreciated workers on RAW right now. The fans in the arena express a excitement and desire for Jeff to win gold that I haven’t seen in any of the established face mid-carders in quite some time. The WWE should put some serious consideration into creating Jeff Hardy versus John Cena.
The passion the fans exhibit for both competitors would be off the charts and it would be interesting to see how the fans would divide up. Right now, Hardy is the only face other than Triple H (pending comeback) that fans are truly solidly behind each and every week. Fans cheer for Lashley for a while, but he seems to lose his pop in a main event situation with Cena by the end. Hardy has proven he can work with anyone and raise the profile of those he works with, such as Umaga and Mr. Kennedy. There’s nothing to say about Cena that I haven’t hammered on week after week, he’s Hulk Hogan 2007. I wonder when the day will come when Cena returns to being a heel, but for now, the kids and the girls stay very loyal to Cena.
Now the main event picture includes Randy Orton, who pretty much owned RAW this week with destroying Dusty Rhodes and defeating young Cody Rhodes yet again. I’m not sure what message this sends to the wrestling public to place Orton in this position based on his past history in the company, but since Hardy’s not elevated to main event picture yet, Lashley’s dangling with no sense of purpose (including the lack of asking for a rematch and is left with the task of punking Carlito), Mr. Kennedy doesn’t appear to be ready either. Basically Orton versus Cena, as they keep the belt nice and warm for Triple H after his program with King Booker is over. Orton can work, and I hope he’s cleaned up his act. The fans can hate Orton pretty easily – he’s destroyed the Rhodes, Shawn Michaels and RVD. Cody’s sort of green bait in the WWE right now, as they test his charisma and ability in front of WWE fans. I’m curious to see how they decide to proceed with Cody now, as Orton’s being moved on up the program. I would like to see him work more with guys like Carlito, but right now, the only things I associate with Cody are losing matches and his dropkick similar to Buff Bagwell’s ability.
Another aspect of RAW that I have to mention is the Women’s Division. Poor Mickie James, as over as she is, can’t get a title shot against Candice Michelle and has to work doubly hard in her tag team match with Maria against Beth Phoenix and Marlena. It’s sort of sad this is happening, Mickie is fortunate that she’s consistently over and popular with the WWE fans. I miss Trish Stratus so much, Mickie is the closest thing to Trish left. Where is Jillian? She can work. Maria is in a bizarre puppy love triangle (when in doubt, ‘pair hot Diva with Midcarder who needs the baby wipes pop from fans’ WWE storyline rule it seems) with Santino Marella. Imagine a drinking game with everytime Marella said “Mama mia!” last night. I’m glad the girls are getting camera time, but there’s so much more left to do. WWE women can create compelling storylines and work hard in the ring.
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.