RAW needed a boost this week since last week’s programming fell so incredibly short, even for week WWE writing standards. This week was better. If you had stopped watching wrestling for eight years and you tuned in last night, you would have seen some strong parallels to the early 90s era. That was a hot era so I can understand why WWE would love to recapture any of that glory. The opening segment has happened so many times over the years that ‘in this week’s edition, the role of Stone Cold Steve Austin is being portrayed by Triple H.’ It’s hard to not associate “anti-authority” with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Coach says Orton is getting suspended indefinitely – that’s even more unbelievable. So in that ‘stacked against the good guy kinda way’ it’s going to be The King of Kings versus Carlito and Mr. McMahon in a cage match. This lead to a ‘I’m sorry Hornswaggle so here’s Melina for you’ story segment to tie the rest of the show later with mini-gags, naturally, this is a good excuse to call him Horny. The PS segment of the first segment is how Coach reminds the audience that Regal is returning next week and Cena throws some chairs in the ring (ECW flashback?) and Coach says he’s going to make Cena surrender the belt in a Surrender The Belt ceremony. No one believes him and this storyline gag is just used way too much but considering we all need a pick-me-up from last week, then fine, “just this once.”
-I wonder if you add up all the numbers of “security” (indy talent) that WWE hires for TV shows in one year to guard Mr. McMahon and The Coach?
I’m interested in seeing what happens with Hardcore Holly’s storyline with Cody Rhodes, who needs all the help he can get. Unless Holly does his trademark impact moves on Rhodes, I don’t know if it should happen beyond one pay-per-view cycle but at least Holly is doing the “you must earn your respect” angle.
Afterwards, a pre-taped Orton heel promo aired, as usual Orton is a commanding heel but I still wish we were done with Cena/Orton storyline all together. The next segment was Santino Marella (a good heel in his own right) with Maria dressed in Santino-style wear and looking not-so-thrilled to be his valet. I would rather not have a Maria heel turn on Ron Simmons so let’s hope they don’t go in that direction. Since I was already in 90s wrestling mode since the start of the show, I had a mini-flashback to when Brian Pillman had Marlena come to the ring with him in his feud with Golddust. Nice seeing Ron in the ring again and this was just a teaser of that fact (and to burn time), as the cowardly heel Santino gets counted out.
-I wonder what a heel tag team similar to Strike Force would be like for Santino and Matt Striker?
The tag team division pretended it has other tag teams and The Highlanders wished out loud for title shots because they are “patient” (aka nothing’s going on). All this for a chance to say the ‘Kilt On A Pole’ match gag and to show them what’s under those kilts, to Murdoch’s admiration. Okay. Triple H wrestled next with a not-so-good tan this week. His “deck stacked against him” got to work a passable match with McMahon and Carlito, with no surprise to anyone that Carlito would be carrying the heel team. Vince sneaked out for the win and Carlito gets sacrificed. I suppose another Triple H versus Vince McMahon is in the works, again, milking the chemistry between the two, and we’re just burning time before The Game is champion again.
-The Diva Search for the (Bimbo) Limbo Competition and now there’s going to be a WWE Obstacle Course, are you freaking kidding me? Lifesize standups? How about Victoria and Beth Phoenix at the end of every American Gladiator like challenge? That would be MUCH better.
Later on, the tag team division got a little buzz when The Highlanders attacked the Good Guys (Kendrick and London – the Rockers of 2007) during their match with Cade and Murdoch. The money match to come I hope for WrestleMania if not sooner: The Hardy Boys versus Kendrick and London.
-I love the irony of how WWE justifies telling stories of divas taking showers with Horny chasing after her with cameras. Just ‘another day at the office’ when a WWE Diva is running around backstage with a towel with cameras in every corner being (sexually harassed) by a WWE superstar…I guess whatever gets a cheap pop in WWE’s eyes. (I miss Mickie James, and yes I remember her stalking Trish Stratus in the shower too. I miss Trish.)
More pushing of The Condemned occurred through the eyes of Santino who called it a below average movie. They really do push this guy and it’s fine with me despite his limited skill set. Triple H intimidated Vince into a match next week by playing into his ego, so next week’s NFL football game must be a good one. Hmm…New England versus Cincinnati, draw your own conclusions.
The next match actually surprised me more than any other happening on RAW: Jeff Hardy and Milwaukee’s very own, Candice Michelle versus Beth Phoenix and Shelton Benjamin. I was impressed even more with Jeff’s rock star pop (glow sticks giveaways is a nice touch) and Candice’s strong hometown reaction, that I was convinced even more that Jeff belonged in hour two and a strong push should be ahead for him. I was even more surprised at how good a match it was, and how Candice earned my respect with her risky bumps and her improvement in general over the month. Candice lost in her hometown which deflated the crowd a little, but I wouldn’t mind seeing these pairs of people working together again.
-Random press conference starring the Coach, as I laughed my ass off at the portrayal of journalists with pads of paper and pens. Impossible to take anything regarding Orton and Suspension in storyline form (or otherwise) seriously.
The MVP of the show this week may be Hornswaggle afterall, with Cena going over with the crowd being able to FU Coach through the table thanks to “Mr. McMahon” not stripping Cena afterall. A part of me hoped it was Orton under the table to give him a random RKO, but not this week. I liked the “Mr. McMahon” power play with Hornswaggle and it gave a nice ending to the show with the face going over, even if it’s Cena.
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.