Monday, March 15, 2010

Raw Thoughts - March 15, 2010

Even though it's 3/15, tonight's all about 3:16! To channel JR, "STONE COLD! STONE COLD! STONE COLD!"  Remember to keep refreshing your page for ongoing thoughts on tonight's show.

Starting things off right with STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN!  You'll have to forgive me if the updates are a bit slow tonight, Stone Cold will have my undivided attention any time he's on screen.  Stone Cold wastes no time breaking out the classics, talking about cans of whoop-ass and of course, gets a couple cans of beer.  And wait a minute... is Stone Cold drinking canned Corona with no lime?  Damn, he is the world's toughest son of a bitch.  Stone Cold gets the crowd pumped up, like only he can do, and out comes John Cena!  A little staredown, Stone Cold teases a Stunner, but gives John the "you can't see me" and heads out of the ring.  Hopefully this isn't the only interaction we'll see from these two tonight.

John Cena vs. Big Show is our opening contest and the first of our WrestleMania Rewind matches.  This match took place at WM20, John Cena's first WrestleMania match, his first taste of gold (winning the US Title), and he's never been in a non-title match at WrestleMania.  We saw Cena and Big Show square off a little too much in 2009, and the matches were surprisingly disappointing, so I can't say I'm stoked about this one.  Luckily, the crowd is hot and a short match on Raw should at least be fun.  Batista's music hits and the WWE Champion, and to channel JR once again, I think it's safe to say that business just picked up.  Cena hoists Big Show up for the Attitude Adjustment (which never ceases to amaze me), but Batista provides the distraction, Show rakes the eyes and nails the Malignant Fist for the 1-2-3, Big Show just pinned John Cena two weeks before WrestleMania!  A bit of a shocker, but it plays up the "bad things happen to Cena when Batista's around" story they got going.

Sheamus vs. Evan Bourne up next... poor Evan Bourne.  Although props to Sheamus for stealing the CM Punk microphone cheapshot.  "Before I start my match," *THUNK!*  Hey, if you're gonna steal, steal from the best.  Referee Jack Doan doesn't even start the match after Sheamus hits Evan Bourne with the Celtic Cross, and the Celtic Warrior just keeps talking.  This actually might be Sheamus' best promo to date, the guy gets more and more comfortable in front of the camera every week and I think after WrestleMania, he may just silence the naysayers for good.  That promo was so good, it almost made up for Evan Bourne being treated as an afterthought two weeks before he'll be in Money in the Bank.

Kelly Kelly vs. Maryse is our Divas bout for the evening, and could be decent, they are pretty much Raw's best female wrestlers, which actually isn't saying much.  And as I type that sentence, Maryse hits the French Kiss for the win; at least this is a case where a Raw match should only be two minutes long.  Things don't end here though, Maryse tries a beatdown after the match, but Kelly is saved by Gail Kim & Eve, who are then attacked by Michelle McCool & Layla.  Ugh.  Let me guess, Maryse, Michelle & Layla vs. Kelly, Gail & Eve at WrestleMania?  Well, we all knew something with the Divas had to happen at WrestleMania, I guess this is better than another 25-Diva battle royal or a pillowfight.

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho is our second WrestleMania Rewind match and definitely the match I'm most excited about this evening.  Make sure your eyes are on your television, this could be the last time these two future Hall of Famers wrestle each other.  A fantastic match between Jericho and Michaels (like you'd expect anything less), but criminally short due to Jericho getting himself counted out.  But of course, tonight isn't really about WrestleMania Rewinds, it's about WrestleMania XXVI, and Edge makes his presence felt after the match, attacking Jericho on the ramp, throwing him in the ring and hitting, you guessed it, a SPEAR! SPEAR! SPEAR! STONE COLD! STONE COLD! I MEAN SPEAR! SPEAR! SPEAR!


Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase has been officially signed for WrestleMania, which I figured would happen, but Rhodes & DiBiase have been a cohesive unit lately, why would they want to fight each other?  Fair enough, it's Legacy, the whole underlying theme of the stable is that they have their own individual agendas, but it still strikes me as odd that they just flat-out announced the match without some friction between Cody & Ted.

Triple H vs. Randy Orton is our third, and presumably final, WrestleMania Rewind match.  We all know my feelings on Orton, but I'll never deny the fact that he's earned his spot, and I'm definitely a Triple H fan, but these two have never gelled in a match together.  I don't get it, their styles aren't exactly dissimilar, they've been closely associated since Evolution, the crowd reacts to them both, but for whatever reason, they just don't have the in-ring chemistry.  That said, Orton hitting his trademark DDT off the steel stairs was NASTY!  Maybe this could be the match to break the unfortunate HHH/Orton streak?  Maybe?  No.  Just when things are getting interesting, Legacy shows up to cause a double DQ.  Triple H tries to fight them off, but Sheamus takes out The Game, I smell a 3-on-2 handicap match next week.

Gorgeous George is getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, which is long overdue.  Without Gorgeous George, professional wrestling in its current form likely wouldn't exist today.  Aside from the invention of the television, nothing has had the lasting impact on the industry like Gorgeous George, hell, one could even argue that George was responsible for the success of the television!  A pop culture icon before the term pop culture was coined, George's legacy has been somewhat lost to time, but if you read your history, you'll know that legacy transcended wrestling.  Every wrestler that has stepped foot in the ring in the last 50 years has done so because of Gorgeous George.

Kofi Kingston vs. Batista.  Okay, it makes sense since Kofi tried to save Cena last week, but come on, we're not going to put him in Money in the Bank? Really, WWE?  REALLY?!  The guy was on the cusp of moving up to WWE Title contention just three months ago and now he can't even get something to do at WrestleMania? REALLY?!  They have one Raw and two Smackdowns to fix this, and if they don't, I will be one angry Razor.  Unsurprisingly, his job here is to make Batista look like a bad ass, and he definitely did that well.  Despite Batista getting busted open (cue smarks losing their shit), Kofi got demolished and was finished off with a brutal Batista Bomb.  I have no problem with Kofi losing to the WWE Champ, but I cannot understand why they've completely abandoned his push.  Such a waste.

After all these years, I've always said that Pete Rose should be reinstated and inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but after booking a handicap match for next week's Raw, I'm not so sure.

The official contract signing between Bret Hart & Vince McMahon, along with moderator Stone Cold Steve Austin, is just getting started, but is one of the most surreal sights that I've ever seen.  The last time these three were on WWE TV at the same time, Vince McMahon was doing play-by-play... and probably wearing that hideous Monday Night Raw jacket.  Before things get going, Steve Austin overrides Vince's earlier ruling and officially announces Stu Hart for the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2010. Awesome.

Bret and Vince have a nice little war of words, Bret asks for a No Holds Barred match and both men sign the contract, the match is official!  "Hitman vs. McMahon," as Stone Cold calls it, and I'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that this match is actually happening.  Before the ink is even dry, Stone Cold tells Vince that Bret has one last thing to say... the cast is on the table!  That silly incident with the car wreck was actually just Bret tricking Vince into accepting the match at WrestleMania.  "Good thing John Cena knows someone in the stunt business," and hey, say what you will about that goofy skit, it was still better than The Marine!  Bret's "Vince screwed Vince" line at the end of the show just sold the entire slow build of this feud.  The Sharpshooter will be the ultimate payoff, but that line will be what we hear in the video packages for years to come.

Great ending to what shaped up to be a pretty good Raw.  Much like the last few weeks, the in-ring action was secondary to the hype for WrestleMania, but that's the way it should be.  This is WWE's biggest event of the year, and the hype for this WrestleMania has been nothing short of phenomenal.  Even as rocky as Raw's been in the last year, I'll take a show like this as long as it gets me this excited for the PPVs, especially WrestleMania.  Aside from Kofi's continued downfall and the fact that Michelle McCool was on my television, I got no complaints about this show.  Bring on Mania!

1 comment:

  1. If Ted DiBiase, Dusty Rhodes and The Undertaker act as Lumberjacks in the Legacy Triple Threat, I call shenanigans.