It’s impossible for me not to start off my column by rejoicing that after over 9 years of not being on RAW, my best friend was back on WWE television! Sunny made a amazing return and if I do say so myself, looks amazing! I wish she had gotten some mic time because no one can entertain and work the crowd that is a female in the business quite like Sunny. I don’t know about you, but I would love a return of the original WWE Diva herself to show all those girls how it’s done. She’s still “got it.”
The three-hour show itself was a blast, and if only all shows could be that great. Jeff Hardy and Carlito was undoubtedly the match of the night, and I could have lived without Marty Jannetty headlining the main event but I understood why they went with that decision to give more heat to Shawn Michaels vs Mr. Kennedy. Jannetty and Kennedy’s “match” was the only thing that seemed to quiet the hot crowd down. Santino as usual makes the most of his time on RAW and what a pop for RVD! RVD’s pop has been bigger than Jericho’s and that’s undeniable.
There was no lack of Triple H on the show and love him or hate him, it’s clear he’s had a lot of storylines over fifteen years so it’s impossible not to show him with the McMahons, Evolution and Degeneration X. Of course they were going to have Stephanie kiss Triple H on TV for the big TV moment. The six-man tag match itself with Ric Flair, Batista and Ric Flair versus Orton, Edge and Umaga was fine for what it was.
They seemed to use Hornswoggle correctly all night long and even though I’m not a Hulkamaniac by any means, I think it’s a safe bet that we’re going to see The Great Khali versus Hogan at WrestleMania to relive the last possible Giant storyline Hogan can have. I suppose Hogan was teasing at a possible Macho Man reunion of some sort but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
I’m glad they let Jillian do her “thang” and get heel heat like only she can with her horrible singing, and I’m surprised they let Lita be herself and be a face and buddy-buddy with Trish, as opposed to the last time we saw her. I’ve decided if they ever bring Steve Blackman back, if they pair him up with Jillian it would be hilarious: her obnoxious personality with his quiet/lack thereof.
Some of the alumni was just not needed like Pete Gas of the Mean Street Posse, The Goon or Skinner. And maybe I’m the only one, but I really don’t need to see Sergeant Slaughter wrestle in every Legends situation. On the plus side, nice to see Ted Dibiase back as the Million Dollar Man buying off the tax man himself, IRS. And what a pleasant surprise to see Molly Holly even though of course she didn’t wrestle! They should have used Mickie in Trish’s segment and that was a missed opportunity for some fun. Trish and Sunny would have had a amazing segment together too but I guess there’s only so much you can do in almost three and a half hours.
I’m glad they used Bischoff and as usual he knows how to draw heat toward him pretty easily and Jericho’s promos work well for these situations to bring out Randy Orton for a little heat for this weekend. I don’t feel it’s really added that much to it but at least there is some physical momentum to work with before this weekend’s show. Disappointing for me, Cody Rhodes and Bob Holly are the WWE Tag Team Champions for a “feel good” face moment. I knew that was going to happen with Dusty Rhodes out there and this was all just so inevitable.
The final segment of the show was gold and a good way to close out the show. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and McMahon are RAW as much as anything in the last fifteen years. You can’t fake good on-air chemistry like that and in fifteen years that will be a highlight of the next big anniversary. I’m glad they went twenty minutes over because I really thought they wouldn’t let it go that much over. “Stone Cold” has always been one of the best reasons to attend a live WWE event and they really capitalized on the popularity and fun Austin has with the fans of the WWE. As much as I like the Rock, he would have overshadowed what Austin and McMahon created last night. It was also nice seeing some vintage Undertaker as well and I’m glad Mick was more Mankind than he’s been in years without being the cute, cheap pop Mick we’re all used to. Bringing all the superstars out for some good old kayfabe was a nice touch too, to remind everyone what we all already know – these are talented superstars who are damn good at what they do. Gotta love Regal for being the Coke drinker and I’ve heard over and over how Straight Edge himself had a beer. Oops.
WWE should be proud of their efforts and what they’ve accomplished in fifteen years and everything they’ve packed into for over three hours. I think most fans and most commentators want to see RAW return to steady good writing because we want to support the product. I enjoyed seeing elements of the past and the future. Last night, overall, they got it right.
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.