10 Thoughts On Raw – 03.31.2008

I actually wasn’t being lazy these last two weeks. I left for Boston the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day. Following that, I took the train to Albany where I stayed at my old place which doesn’t have cable (because I’m not there that much). I surprisingly stayed there through Easter (so I could visit the parents) and ended up missing two Raws, a Smackdown, and arguably an ECW. I was back home by last Friday’s Smackdown but by that point I figured it was smart to go on Blackout so I could just enjoy Wrestlemania and not really have an idea what was going to happen. I’m glad I did.

1) JBL declared himself the number one contender for the Raw title. You can do that? Can I? He also pulled out the line of night early: “You think they dislike you [Orton] as champion. They’ll…. hate… me.” I’m not quite sure of the logic of dropping a guy who was an announcer as recently as six months ago as the new number one contender, but I guess if they’re planning on re-routing Cena and Triple H elsewhere then it kind of makes sense. A random attack from Matt Hardy followed, which I guess means Orton was the most hated guy on Smackdown?

2) Apparently Matt Hardy wants Randy for something that happened when I was on wrestling blackout, so I can’t comment.

3) Very short promo from Shawn Michaels describing his feelings about ending Flair’s career. I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t exactly that. He just said that he doesn’t know how he feels about it? With the way the show ended, I guess this was just a quick way for Shawn to get his thoughts out there without making it about him. Great stuff.

4) Speaking of that, more props to the WWE for not making this any bit of this retirement about Vince. Vince delivered the stipulation, which he had to do as the owner of the company. Since then, he’s pretty much stayed out of the way. He let Flair go on a six month run through the company without losing. Then he let him wrap it up on his terms and Vince didn’t come out to gloat even for a second. If it feels like I’m continuing to slobber of this retirement angle, it’s because I am.

5) Apparently, Flair’s music has been passed on to Tiger Woods to promote Gatorade Tiger. Can we really stop trying to sell golf as a sport you need a power drink to recover from? I love golf, but any sport that you drink DURING isn’t one that you need to market a sports’ drink for.

6) I was a huge fan of seeing random clips of Flair’s title matches. It’s too bad they couldn’t have done something like when they showed all of the Undertaker’s title wins. I have no idea if they own all the footage or not… or even if there is footage.

7) I don’t quite understand the logic of the Jericho/Punk match. What purpose does it serve to have your newly crowned Money In The Bank winner and job him out the very next night in an IC Title match? Doesn’t that serve absolutely no purpose. “Hey here’s this new guy you’re supposed to take seriously. Watch him lose to Chris Jericho.” Really?

8) If Big Show’s next feud really turns out to be the Great Khali, I kind of feel bad for him. I feel like he should get a little guy to toss around and murder for a little while. Also, does it seem like this Khali/Show match seem like something that should build for a long time and be like a Wrestlemania Supermatch between a Raw and Smackdown guy who never met? This is what I always thought they should have done with Brock and Batista.

9) In an ongoing night of strange job-outs, they had Orton beat Matt Hardy. This is another match that seemed to serve no good purpose other than the continual screwing with Matt Hardy’s mind. Hardy made a point of doing a run-in during the ladder match to re-kindle a feud with MVP… now tonight they have him come out and screw with the World Champ when he’s certainly more on the US Title level? Why? What’s the point of having the two brands to keep guys separated if they just ignore them with no good reason?

10) I really can’t say enough about the ending of Raw. Much like the Flair/Michaels finish, it’s a wrestling moment I’ll remember for a long time. I found myself actually getting chills when the Horsemen’s music played. The same look that Flair got on his face when the horse’s neigh came in… I could feel it in my spine. I haven’t heard that music on television in probably ten years. For all the crap that Vince McMahon takes on the Internet, he deserves all the praise in the world for getting out of the way and handing over about an hour of television time to send Ric Flair off properly. It really and truly seems like Flair will not go back on this retirement. I hope that’s true. Nothing else that Flair can do in wrestling will match these last two days. Everything was executed to perfection.

Thank you, Ric. For everything.

10 Thoughts On Raw is cross-posted on The Wrestling Blog.

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