Monday, May 18, 2009

Kick-Out's Raw Thoughts - May 18, 2009

Last week's Raw was a little bit of an improvement over the previous weeks, but still wasn't coming anywhere close to matching Smackdown in terms of overall quality. I would say that this week had some bright spots, but the show is still really struggling to find a direction.

Here's how long Randy Orton's entrance takes, they were able to describe his entire match last night with Batista and have a slideshow along with it. Two hour show! Pick up the pace, Randy... vipers can be fast! Randy delivers a Randy Orton promo - lots of big talking in a monotone voice - and thankfully he's interrupted by "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair! Woo! Ric lets Orton know that he's got Batista next month in a Steel Cage Match and that one might actually be interesting. Orton punches Ric in the head, Batista and Cena make the save... as this was happening, all I could say to myself was "please don't make it a handicap match tonight, please for the love of God and everything holy, no handicap match!"

Unsurprisingly, God hates me and Vickie set up the handicap match soon after.

Diva Battle Royal is up next. It always makes me laugh when I see people on various message boards forget the fact that Diva Battle Royals don't have an over the top rope rule, they just have to be thrown out of the ring. It never fails though, I always see at least one guy go "WTF?!" even though this has been standard for several years now. Anyway, I was shocked that Mickie James didn't win and WWE swerved us with a Kelly Kelly victory. Good for Kelly, she's been improving leaps and bounds these last few months, she deserves recognition. Loved the bit with Maryse costing Mickie the win by spraying her in the face with some kind of perfume or hairspray. A French Canadian blinding someone with a toxic spray... Rick Martel would be so proud.

Santino Marella vs. Chavo Guerrero made sense considering last night's shenanigans, but did we really need to drag this out over two segments tonight? More on that later. Santino was great out there, acting surprised that he knew how to wrestle was pretty hilarious, but the match itself was obviously nothing to write home about.

I assume The Brian Kendrick auditioning tag team partners is going to be an ongoing storyline? I certainly hope so, lots of potential in a storyline like that. Obviously Goldust isn't going to be his partner after they didn't get the job done against Primo & Carlito, but the real story here is the fact that The Bizarre One is teaming up with Hornswoggle! I've been calling for these two to get together since Horny was drafted to Raw and I think Goldswoggle has potential to be comedy gold (pun intended).

The Miz - 5, Cena - 0... no matter what Jerry Lawler says. For the fourth week in a row, Miz is the highlight of Raw, they may as well just rename the show Mizday Night Raw. Big Show crashes the party and announces a submission match with Cena at Extreme Rules. Really? Submission match? Obviously it makes sense with Cena not being able to lock in the STF, but I'd much rather see these two in something like a Stretcher Match or Falls Count Anywhere. Oh well, maybe we can see a repeat of Cena/Umaga where Cena uses the top rope to get Big Show in the STF, that would be pretty cool.

MVP vs. Matt Hardy was Match of the Night, which is no surprise considering their storied history with each other. Earlier in the night, it was pretty much confirmed that this was Hardy's reward for taking out his brother last night at Judgment Day, but what goes around comes around and MVP retained. They really need to strike while the iron is hot with MVP, the crowd is going nuts for him, it's time to give him a big program.

Thankfully, Big Show took out Jerry Lawler earlier in the night, so we had JR out to do commentary for Santina vs. Vickie Guerrero (seriously). JR's commentary was the only thing that made this match tolerable until William Regal interfered and destroyed Santina, allowing Vickie Guerrero to be crowned Miss WrestleMania (seriously x2). Now, I actually found this segment somewhat funny, but did we really need a double dose of the Santino/Chavo/Santina/Vickie saga tonight? Kofi Kingston didn't get a spot on Raw tonight, but we got all this? Couldn't this have all been done in just one segment or spread out over two weeks? Oh well, hopefully it will at least give Regal something to do.

Main Event was what it was, another freaking handicap match. The 37th handicap match featuring Legacy this year was pretty much the same as every other handicap match... boring. What made it even worse was the ending was confusing as hell because we didn't see Big Show trying to interfere, Flair handing off the steel chair to Cena or Flair knocking Cody Rhodes off the top rope to help Batista get the win. WWE's production crew rarely misses stuff like that and it really took away from the match tonight. Cody's moonsault was pretty cool though.

In Raw's defense, I've already seen some people on Twitter
complaining about the two rematches scheduled for Extreme Rules, well what did you expect? If you didn't think Orton and Batista weren't going to have a rematch, you've apparently never watched wrestling. Going with Cena vs. Show again is probably unnecessary, but we'll see. Remember, last year's Extreme Rules had four rematches on it and it was arguably the best PPV of 2008. Last year's Judgment Day wasn't nearly as good as this year's, but don't count out a PPV just because two rematches were scheduled.

I don't know what exactly Raw needs right now to reclaim its place as the flagship show of WWE, but there's definitely something missing right now. I know I sound like a broken record, but Smackdown is surpassing Raw on every level at this point. Hell, I'll even say ECW is better than Raw at this point and they only have an hour to work with every week. Keep an eye out later this week, I'll have an editorial up dissecting what I think Raw needs to get back on the right track.


  1. Triple H and HBK could help ... Batista and Orton are just boring, personality-wise. It's not a good sign when a main event is the one I least want to see, week after week.

  2. You know a show is having problems when you compare a beatdown someone got to an early beatdown they had gotten a few months before. I am talking about the Jericho/Flair beatdown, which even without the blood was just brutal (but awesome). I think they should have let a few more months go by before going to that well again.