Monday, February 1, 2010

Raw Thoughts - February 1, 2010

Really no better way to start Raw than with The Rated-R Superstar, Edge is here!  Edge takes us through the history of his injury and how Chris Jericho's trash talk inspired him to get back in the ring sooner than his original prognosis.  Edge obviously has a choice to make, and right now that choice is between The Undertaker and Sheamus, but it looks like Edge is going to do the smart thing and wait until after Elimination Chamber to make his decision.  Sheamus has something on his mind and interrupts the Royal Rumble winner, and we've got ourselves a war of words.  Despite being treated as background noise last night, Sheamus cuts what is definitely his best promo to date, and if there were any doubts about Edge's face turn, I think those were erased with the ensuing brawl!  Sheamus gets the upper hand at first, but the Ultimate Opportunist dodges the bicycle kick of doom and nails a spear, much to the delight of the crowd!  Yeah, let's definitely drag out Edge's decision, I'm all for seeing him on both Raw and Smackdown for the next few weeks.

Elimination Chamber qualifying match to kick off the in-ring action tonight and it's John Cena vs. Cody Rhodes.  I was worried when Cena came out first, I thought someone I'd want to see in the Chamber would miss out on an opportunity.  Nashville crowd is nutzo for Cena, has to be one of his most positive crowd reactions in quite some time.  Your typical Raw match, guys hit their signature moves and then it's over before you know it.  Cena picks up a quick and easy win, Cody's going to have to face the agony of defeat... and the agony of those purple trunks.

Vince McMahon thinks Bret Hart won't even bother showing up tonight.  We'll see.  Someone's in Vince's office, some rude Canadian with no manners, but not the Hitman, it's the Shatman!  Maybe not the best nickname ever, but William Shatner is here!

Another Elimination Chamber qualifying match, at least we'll get some wrestling tonight, now if only we could do something about match length.  Jack Swagger vs. Triple H was the match, and unlike Cody Rhodes, I genuinely felt bad for the All-American American.  Looks like the qualifying matches are just a formality this evening, bummer.  Much like Cena, crowd was electric for The Game tonight, here's hoping the hot crowd helps out the rest of the show.  Shockingly, this match was better and longer than I expected, Swagger actually looked great in there, Triple H made him look better than he has in months.  Of course Swagger lost decisively, but at least he's not getting humiliated by Santino Marella anymore.  Well played, WWE.

Okay, William Shatner singing entrance themes Shatner style was flat-out hilarious.  If you didn't laugh at him singing "Sexy Boy," check your pulse.

Oh hey, it's a match without a forgone conclusion! Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton in our next Elimination Chamber qualifying match.  I am worried about Shawn's chances though since he's likely distracted with losing the Rumble last night and not getting to face The Undertaker at WrestleMania.  I liked Triple H's pep talk before the match though, telling HBK that one of them should win the Chamber and then defend the title against the other at WrestleMania.  I actually really like that idea, but I'm excited about that potential match with or without the WWE Title on the line. So let's go HBK, win this one just to spare me from Orton!  You may have noticed over the last few months, I'm not the world's biggest Randy Orton fan (shocking, I know), but I do usually enjoy it when he locks up with HBK, they always work well together.

So far so good here, definitely have to applaud Shawn Michaels for being one of the few people to slip out of Orton's rope-assisted DDT.  Changing up usual spots, it's stuff like that I enjoy, especially on a brand that has been going through the motions in just about every way.  What I don't enjoy though?  Randy Orton winning and qualifying for the Elimination Chamber.  What the hell is HBK going to do at the PPV now?  I guess he could always work his way into the Smackdown Chamber match, win the title, then force Undertaker to use his rematch at WrestleMania?  Maybe I shouldn't give them any ideas...

Really, Ted DiBiase tries to mend fences with Randy Orton again?  How many times are we going to tease a break-up and reunion for Legacy?  End it already!

Our second to last Elimination Chamber qualifying match is not one I'm particularly thrilled about, Ted DiBiase vs. Mark Henry.  I already see where this is going, DiBiase wins, they pull the Batista/Triple H/Evolution bit with DiBiase/Orton/Legacy and I suppose set up a match at WrestleMania?  Oh well, at least Cody didn't win... maybe when it's all said and done, DiBiase will actually have a personality.

CM Punk is on Monday Night Raw!!!  And he wants his tag title match against DX, but ShowMizness want a shot too.  Whatever will we do?  Call in the Raw Match Negotiator!  Hilarious.  Shatner makes a triple threat match next week, CM Punk & Luke Gallows vs. Big Show & Miz vs. Shawn Michaels & Triple H.  I dig it, and Shatner might be our best celebrity host since Bob Barker.

Final Elimination Chamber qualifying match up next, Kofi Kingston vs. Big Show.  C'mon Kofi, this is your chance to get back on track after an inexplicable loss of momentum.  Of course, we can't forget that Kofi was supposed to be in Raw's Elimination Chamber last year too and was taken out by Edge.  Mike Knox still got to be in the match, but Kofi was the one that had to go, on second thought, maybe we should forget that.  Match gets underway and... another commercial.  Is it just me or are there more breaks than usual tonight?  Not really a great match here, a total mess on the outside with The Miz on commentary and then getting run off by MVP, but then Big Show accidentally punches the ref and then that damn Scott Armstrong comes down to disqualify him?  WTF, when has anyone ever been DQed by a second ref over the initial ref bump?  And to make matters worse, we can't even give Kofi Kingston a legitimate win over Big Show?  It was bad enough when the WWE Champion can't get a single pinfall victory, now we get something almost as stupid?  Oh well, at least Big Show screaming "IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!" was amusing.

Seriously, when I'm 78, if I even make it that far, I hope I'm 1% as awesome as William Shatner.  I don't know if Shatner falling in the ring was intentional or not, but he gets right back up and makes it work.  I am nowhere near that cool.

Our "main event" this evening was the second confrontation between Bret "The Hitman" Hart and Vince McMahon.  Before we get started on the actual segment, I want to address the fact that Bret said the word "ass" repeatedly, and Twitter instantly exploded with "OMG 'ASS' ON TV-PG!!!!"  Once again proving that some people really don't get what TV-PG means and they blow it way out of proportion.  Watch Burn Notice on USA this Thursday, it's TV-PG, and you'll likely hear "goddamn" or "bitch" being said, TV-PG doesn't mean you have to be Spongebob Squarepants.  People really need to get over it.  And oh yeah, the FCC doesn't govern cable television, Bret could go out there and call Vince the c-word and the only thing that could happen to WWE is sponsors drop out.

Alright, now with that rant out of the way, let's talk about the awesome war of words between Bret and Vince.  This was way better than their confrontation on January 4th, which really fell a little flat since we didn't know where it was going until Vince kicked Bret in the lil Harts.  Tonight, we knew exactly what was up, Bret was pissed and Vince had to answer for his actions.  Heated words were exchanged, Vince went for the jugular and finished it off by saying Stu Hart doesn't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame!  Oh no you didn't, Vinny Mac!  Bret pulls Vince's jacket over his head and starts throwing punches (that's how they teach you to fight in Canada), but of all freaking people, Batista saves Vince.  Ugh.  Batista roughs up Bret and holds him up so Vince can spit in The Hitman's face.  Despite Snoozetista being involved, the crowd ate it up and were begging for Cena to come make the save.  Didn't happen tonight, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be John Cena w/ Bret Hart vs. Batista w/ Vince McMahon at WrestleMania.  If they do go with the Battle of the Billionaires set-up, it will definitely make that match more interesting than had it been Cena vs. Batista one-on-one.  Who knows, might even make Batista interesting again!

And while Batista and Cena getting involved may make a few people raise some eyebrows, after I thought about it for a second, it makes perfect sense. Batista's whole bit as of late has been the spotlight-hogging, "it's all about me," whereas Cena is the living embodiment of everything that's good about WWE; he's the poster boy and doesn't shy away from paying respect to those who paved the way for him. So we've got Vince doing his "I chew up guys like Bret and spit them out once they lose their flavor" teaming up with the selfish, arrogant and disrespectful Batista to go against the legendary Bret Hart and the spirit of the WWE Universe, John Cena.  Classic storytelling.

Okay, I loved tonight's Raw.  I'm not overly thrilled with the WWE Title Elimination Chamber match, but the qualifying matches were mostly enjoyable and despite a couple wonky moments, made the show a lot of fun.  Hey, a Raw centered entirely around in-ring action was entertaining!  Shocking, right?  Keep it up WWE, we're on the Road to WrestleMania now, give me shows like this on a weekly basis and Raw will actually be must-see TV again.


  1. Hey The Shatman is a great nickname... it's even in Bill's book when he talks about his WWF stint back in 1995

  2. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say DiBiase makes it to the Chamber and Orton does not.

  3. What the hell was up with that finish? Was that TNA I was just watching?

  4. What was wrong with the finish?

  5. I just don't think Cena/Batista need Vince/Bret.....or vice versa.

  6. Shatner is 78? Wow.

    I'm interested to see whether or not Edge pays a trip to ECW within the next few weeks. It's not normally mentioned when the Rumble winner goes to pick an opponent but some Edge/Christian interaction would be nice.

    As for HBK, I wonder if Money in the Bank is in his future? I'm not sure it would be the best way to handle ending the streak if he were to win it, you'd have to leave enough room at the end of the show to have a match thus leaving it potentially obvious or you'd have to have it be a very short match, not really something you'd want to see. That or stick it in the middle of the show which you wouldn't imagine would happen.

  7. Yeah, they haven't acknowledged the Rumble winner going after the ECW Title since Undertaker won in 07. It would be nice to see Edge and Christian interact, and it would be a nice rub for ECW, but I doubt WWE cares that much.

    HBK winning MITB is an interesting way of getting him against The Undertaker, but it would be cheap. I could see them making a reference to it, but my current guess is HBK gets himself in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match. I could see him eliminating Taker, but coming up short with the title, and Taker wants revenge for HBK costing him the belt. Or maybe HBK just interferes in the Smackdown Chamber and costs Taker the match?

    But all that depends on whether or not HBK vs. Taker II is going to happen. I'm still convinced that this is a distraction to set up HBK vs. HHH, but if that happens, and Cena is presumably locking up with Batista, I don't know what Undertaker is going to do.

  8. So much going on I can't think straight...
    Uhm.. 1) I like Cody's purple trunks... lol but maybe that's just me.

    2)I cheered for Swagger for the first time ever in my life. Not cause I'm a smark, I don't have anything against Trips, but I have suddenly warmed up to Swagger. I was kinda disappointed he couldn't win.

    3)I didn't find the 'singing' segment remotely funny, I was rather pained by it, but I have an odd sense of humor I think.

    4) I've suddenly warmed up to Miz too for some reason and I actually like the 'ShowMizness' idea lol so, bring that on. :)

    5) I think Shatner was supposed to fall, but even if he wasn't, that was great xD

    6) Ass got blanked out here in Aus. It astounds me that it was. Seriously. WHO CARES? But anyway. Oh and on the Bret-Vince notion, I really was WTF??? when Batista came out.

    However, all in all I did enjoy RAW :) Just wish I got to see Evan, but I'm biased.
    I know I missed a whole stack of things but I don't have time to comment on it all right now.

  9. Aw c'mon Anneliese, not even a chuckle at "hands off... the merchandise!"?