Monday, July 27, 2009

Raw Thoughts - July 27, 2009

Tonight's episode of Raw is powered by SHAQ DIESEL!

The man of the hour (or two hours plus overrun), Shaquille O'Neal kicks things off and the crowd is red hot! If you listened to last week's Kick-Out!! Radio, you'll know why I'm laughing... I thought he was supposed to get booed out of the building? Those DC fans don't seem too insulted to me! Shaq announces a Beat the Clock Challenge to determine the new #1 contender for the WWE Title, but is then interrupted by Chris Jericho! The confrontation with these two was perfect, Shaq bending over and kissing Jericho on the forehead was flat-out hilarious and both of them had the crowd in the palm of their hands. Jericho gets insulted and tells Shaq they have a "big" problem and WWE wastes no time giving us the moment we were all waiting for, Big Show and Shaq face-to-face! How often do you think Shaq or Big Show get to look someone directly in the eye like that? A special appearance from Cryme Tyme sets up our non-title main event; I can't remember the last time an opening segment got me that fired up. Only one word for it: awesome!

Mark Henry vs. Carlito kicks off the Beat the Clock Challenge and I was honestly fairly impressed by this one. Carlito got in a lot more offense than I thought he would and that springboard missile dropkick had me rolling because it looked like Carlito was walking on the World's Strongest Man. Henry gets the win and sets a time to beat of 6:49.

Mickie James, Kelly Kelly & Gail Kim vs. Beth Phoenix, Rosa Mendes & Alicia Fox was your typical six-Diva tag match, but I was just happy to see The Glamazon back in action. Honestly, did she even need Rosa and Fox on her team? I think she would've done just as well on her own. Weird ending there with Gail Kim tagging herself in and stealing the win, the look on Mickie's face makes me wonder if something's up there, but then Beth had an interesting look after the match as well. I'm all for Mickie vs. Gail vs. Glamazon at SummerSlam, make it happen, WWE!

MVP vs. ...CHRIS MASTERS?! Yes, Masters made his shocking return to Monday Night Raw tonight and even though I was never a fan of the guy, I think he looked rather impressive by forcing MVP out of the Beat the Clock Challenge. One thing I will say, if he's back permanently, he needs a new Masterlock. You're back from a two-year hiatus, you need something new, badder and better! All that said, I'm glad to see that Masters has put his past behind him, so welcome back to The Masterpiece. I still would've liked to see MVP win this one and get that shot at Randy Orton that he's deserved for two months now.

Hey guys, there's The Brian Kendrick! And there's Kofi Kingston! And the time it took you to read this sentence was longer than their match tonight! So much wasted potential.

Triple H is walking backstage and Ted DiBiase strikes him in the leg with a baton, Nancy Kerrigan style! But instead of beating The Game some more, DiBiase runs away? Oh come on! You guys suck that much you can't even properly ambush somebody?! One hit to the leg is all you got? Pansy!

Triple H vs. Cody Rhodes is the third match in the Beat the Clock Challenge. This match is special because it features the dumbest thing I've seen on WWE television in quite some time. Ted DiBiase interferes in the match, gets on the apron, but Triple H doesn't hit him because he might get disqualified. Huh? DiBiase is interfering! If anyone's going to get DQ'ed it's Cody Rhodes! I was literally sitting on my couch trying to figure out how in the world it could be construed in any way as a loss for Triple H, but unless DiBiase came in and attacked Rhodes, HHH should win! But due to The Game's inaction, the clock expires and he will not be in the match at SummerSlam, so at least we're spared Orton vs. HHH pt. 285.

Okay, it was cute a few weeks ago on Superstars, but Chavo Guerrero vs. Hornswoggle has got to stop. This time it was a blindfold match (only Chavo had to be blindfolded), and of course, Hornswoggle wins. What is the point to any of this? I'm not going to whine about Chavo "deserving better" or anything like that, but this has gone from silly fun to annoying really quick. At the very least, the revelation that Hornswoggle and Shaq went to high school together was pretty funny.

Okay, second completely illogical thing tonight was Jack Swagger confronting Randy Orton backstage and telling him he was gunning for the WWE Title in the Beat the Clock. Wait, didn't Swagger just forfeit a match "out of respect" for Orton a couple weeks ago? Now he's telling the champ to watch out? Huh?

Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne is up next and thankfully doesn't make me have to think about that stupid previous segment because BOURNE WINS! Bourne's also got some sweet new theme music with a high-pitched scream that would make Rob Halford of Judas Priest jealous. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come for Evan "Air" Bourne, like that US Title match that he's owed?

Jeremy Piven aka "Ari Gold" hosts Raw next week... cannot wait! Lloyd!!!

The final match in the Beat the Clock Challenge is John Cena vs. The Miz. Miz starts us off with some mic work, running down all the Washington sports teams, the crowd is fine with the Wizards insults,
I'm sure they wouldn't have minded a couple jabs at the Nationals either, but they're not having it when he goes after the Redskins! And then to top it off, he attacks Barack Obama in the nation's capital?! I'm sure Joey Styles got a little tingly for that one. And keep it up Miz, I'm sure Fox News will at least take a look at your resumé if this wrestling thing doesn't pan out. John Cena's not having any of it though, makes quick work of the Chick Magnet and crushes Mark Henry's time; Cena's the new number one contender! It's been awhile since we've seen Cena vs. Orton one-on-one, so I'll take it.

Main Event this evening: JeriShow vs. Cryme Tyme with Shaq as the special guest enforcer... where did they find a referee shirt that big!? Match isn't exactly a show-stealer, but I'm all for seeing more of Jericho vs. JTG and Shaq added a fun dynamic at ringside. Big Show gets himself DQ'ed by clearing house when he's not the legal man and then invites Shaq into the ring! The two behemoths lock horns, both trying to choke the other out, but Cryme Tyme gives the assist and Shaq Diesel hits THE POOOOOOOUNCE! You know he's got skillz! I think Shaq vs. Show at WrestleMania just became a huge possibility.

I'm going to sound like a broken record, but despite not being the most technically sound Raw, it was a lot of fun, so I have to give it a thumbs up. The Beat the Clock challenge usually hinders quality ring action, plus we got nonsense like Kofi/Kendrick and Chavo/Hornswoggle, but thanks to Shaq doing a great job as guest host, I can forget about the negative. Much like Stone Cold overshadowing all the garbage in the Attitude Era, the guest host gimmick has really made Raw something that I can just sit back and enjoy.

I'm especially excited about next week since I'm a huge Jeremy Piven fan and we're getting Triple H vs. Legacy. Wait, Razor's excited about a handicap match? Yeah, because I think a certain someone may just make it to Mohegan Sun next week to even the odds and set up a tag match at SummerSlam. I'm ready for next week - are... you... ready?


  1. I don't think the Washington crowd booed Shaq because they knew themselves their team isn't too good. Probably a 7th or 8th seed at best.

    But really...who can boo Shaq? He's one of the more likable icons in sports/entertainment today.

  2. But it wasn't a baton! The announcers said it was a tire iron! Even though it was clearly a baton ... or the announcers change their tires with a tool completely different from the one I use.

    Anyway, I loved when Jericho popped up between Big Show and Shaq in the opening segment. Hilarious.

  3. It was a tire iron! Or a tire! DIBIASE JUST HIT TRIPLE H WITH A BUICK!

  4. A Buick LeSABRE? OMG he stabbed him in the knee with a sabre!?!

  5. Ted DiBiase just cut his leg off with a lightsabre! VINTAGE LEGACY!

  6. I will admit, my mood was less than stellar going into Raw, but I felt really heavy on the nitpicks.

    I still don't understand why if the show is going to be heavy on short matches, then why is the longest match on the show a Mark Henry/Carlito match. I love Mizark and thought a Henry/Orton main event at least is a nice risk to see if this babyface run succeeds or fails, but Henry selling for five minutes to Carlito's offense (not to mention the baffling Mizark spot of the year where he pulled Carlito into the ring, despite the fact that Carlito would've gotten counted out, thus a win for Henry) was just boring action, that one spot excluded.

    I will actually be a reverse smark and say that I hate that Swagger lost. Jack Swagger is such a ready made main event talent and RAW NEEDS HEELS RIGHT NOW. It's Randy, Legacy, and...well...Miz? (JeriShow excluded since being on all three brands isn't exclusive.) Evan's a very solid talent, but there's a laundry list of babyfaces needing a push on the show, including MVP, Kofi, Primo, etc. and he's almost just another guy in that company.

    I didn't even see the Kendrick match, but booking is totally inept if Mizark goes seven minutes getting beat up and two of the finest high fliers in the company get maybe a minute.

    Also, wow, I guess the storyline's over, and as smark bitchy as it is, I don't see the point in Miz losing AGAIN to Cena, especially in shorter time than their Bash match.

    And Swoggle/Chavo was covered.

    But that said, Shaq was great. Shaq, Jericho, and Show in the opening were all phenomenal. Shaq also led to Santino's funniest moment in months (thank Christ). And the match itself led to a cool finish. I just wish they coaxed him into a Summerslam match (not a 1 on 1, but a tag where he can stand out there and Seth Green his big spots), because that's a lot of attention and instant buys for the show that they're emphasizing as their second biggest show of the year.

    Also, the re-exit of Triple H from the main event picture is fine, and at least the finish (as mind boggling as it was) led to SOME heat for the Legacy kids. They need something to get by at least, Christ.

  7. Trey - the Kofi/Kendrick match was worse than you were expecting. It was literally Kendrick yelling at Lawler on the mic, bell rings, turns around, Trouble in Paradise, pin. Maybe ten seconds total?

  8. ...Yeah. You joked that Kendrick's the new Noble, but I remember that Noble's even been allowed more competitive matches lately. What the hell did Kendrick do to piss off people, especially since I haven't seen a total washout of a talent like this...probably ever. I mean, how do you go from being in a WWE title match, having the longest "reign" in said match, PINNING THE CURRENT WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, to losing clean as a sheet to everyone in shorter and shorter fashion on a weekly basis?

  9. You know I hate throwing around words like "burial" and all that usual smarky whine language, but there's really no other way to describe Kendrick's situation. It's a pure burial.

    As you said, he was in a WWE Title match ten months ago, a major PPV event, winning a huge battle royal to get the spot and nosedived from there. I don't know if certain rumors regarding his de-push are true, but I just cannot see the logic in wasting a guy with so much potential.