I’ve been out of the loop for ten days, which means I’ve missed two Smackdowns, a Raw, and Backlash. I’m a bit out of the loop. That said, I was very happy with tonight’s Raw. It seemed like they picked up exactly where they left off a couple weeks ago delivering reasonably solid shows.
I was kind of disappointed that I missed Backlash last night but if the “fallout” Raw was any indication it seemed like not much happened. I mean, there was the title change, but that was almost a foregone conclusion, no?
Anyway, solid Raw tonight. Let’s get into it.
1) I can’t decide if I’m surprised or unsurprised that Triple H finally grabbed the belt one more time. What I will say is that Orton continues to deliver some of the best promos on Raw. He’s just smarmy enough to make you unquestionably hate him. He’s not trying to be cool, he’s just trying to be every asshole you know. It’s great to see. This goes double for JBL and I really hope they give him the win over John Cena to legitimatize him some more.
2) After Billy Gunn left the WWE I was afraid that “slide in the ring under the bottom rope” would become a lost art. I love that, not only is it not lost, but both members of a young tag team do it ensuring it will be in the federation for a few years to come.
3) Trevor Murdoch was pretty much able to stay in tune until he hit the chorus and sounded mostly like Garth Brooks. Whether that’s a compliment to Trevor or an insult to Garth I’m not sure. Do we file this under “Vince Loves Rednecks”? Let’s.
4) JR is a great announcer… we all can pretty much accept this because most of us have heard Don West at some point in recent memory. That said, I wish that JR would not call an injury something that it totally is not. Why would you call a knee injury that certainly came when his knee was bent in the correct direction a “hyper-extension”? Yes, I realize it’s a nitpick but come on… “twisted” communicates the same thing and is not the specific injury that a hyper-extension is. I know… he’s JR and will never change.
5) I’m not sure who I was expecting to grab the King of the Ring last week, it wasn’t William Regal. I don’t mind it. I mean… is anyone out there offended by a William Regal push? If I had to make one request of the Regal character: he should now require bodyguards… but not flunky bodyguards but actual legitimate, beefy bodyguards who can kick the crap out of people who tick him off. Tell me that’s not a decent way to introduce a couple new guys to the roster.
6) I always thought I’d love to see Michael Cole raped. I didn’t know it actually happened. It wasn’t as cool as I thought. Ah, who am I kidding? Yes it was.
7) As much as I feel like Chris Jericho has been boring since he got back to the E, I’m a huge fan of the his current “get in to your head” heeliness. Is there anyone in the federation who plays the smarmy “you want to like me but I’m such a dick” guy better than Jericho?
8) Sweet Jesus is Roddy Piper packing a gut. I’m also glad that the Italians appreciate the Goonies as much as I do. There are never enough “Truffle Shuffle” references for a wrestling show is what I always say.
9) The Triple H/Orton match was particularly slow and plodding. I didn’t see the Backlash match so I don’t know if it was so awesome that one of the two guys is hurt or exhausted — but the pacing of the Raw match suffered. There were way too many dead spots, headlocks, ten counts, and such. It was one of the things that started becoming noticeable amongst WCW’s old guard. As much as the older guys don’t like to admit it wrestling’s a young man’s game as much as any other sport… maybe even more so considering the lack of off season and the brutal schedule.
10) For about thirty seconds, I didn’t know what I thought of the ending of Raw. Then for about ten seconds I hated it. Then I decided I loved it. It accomplished so much. It establishes the new King/GM Regal character as a bat-shit crazy maniac. It allows Orton to (I’m guessing) tap out cleanly without it being on television to have a justification that Triple H’s win didn’t count. It drives a HUGE amount of traffic to WWE.com (and all over the IWC for that matter). All in all, it’s probably a brilliant ending that accomplishes so much. The only problem with it is that Vince McMahon is such a well-established character that they’ll have to address if he’s OK with Regal “ruining” the ending of Raw. Well done, though.
Tags: 10 Thoughts, Raw, WWE