I have seen that some did not like Raw for one reason or another. But there are some very bright sides to not only the show (after having watched all of it) and the future of the Raw Crew in general. The show itself was nothing out of the ordinary in terms of style. I didn't expect to see drastic changes in the way the WWF presents a wrestling product. What I was pleased with was the fact that there are storylines which are going to actually be built up, thus building a new batch of upper-mid to lower-top card wrestlers. Every Title has an angle revolving around it (I think that's the first time that there has been a legitamite angle for each belt in at least a year) and there are even side feuds which will at least be interesting to watch (I think Kane and Bradshaw can do something in the ring with Hall and Nash). Even the end of the show was really fun. I bet I am in the minority on this one, but I honestly didn't think of the April Fool's thing at all and when Austin said it I was truly surprised. And I think that will be the last of Vince on Raw, because he has no reason to be there anymore.
Now about my other point. I really feel, after a week of thinking about this, that the Raw Crew has more upside than the Smackdown Crew. Right now, the only "Established Stars" on Raw are the nWo, Taker, and I'll throw in HHH because he's probably going to be feuding with Taker right now. From last night's show, you now know that Kane and Bradshaw will get the full push as top faces. Also, I see that some type of build for the reformation of the Dudley Boyz Tag Team is going to occurr over the next couple months, and last night's hardcore match showed the slightest hint of that (Slow Build = GOOD THING). Now the European Title angle will either be Regal against Spyke (probably him losing the Title only to get it back at the PPV). RVD and Eddy is solid, and I will look forward to hearing what Eddy has to say next Monday. From the final segment on Raw, it's going to be Austin against Flair in some way, so he'll be occupied with his own stuff. And this is the first week, so next week and in the long run people are going to be built up.
Smackdown on the other hand is going to be the same old stuff (more than Raw was perceived by many). Many of the top stars from the un-split crew are on Smackdown. The problem with Smackdown is they only have one top heel in my opinion. You can build a million faces to battle one top heel (Ric Flair era in NWA anyone?), but building a credible heel is a tough task that the current writing crew has no clue at all in how to create. Also, just because Smackdown has more of the "workers" of the entire roster means nothing in the long run. WCW had great workers, but focused on the same four people while those "great workers" were relegated to undercard matches that got no attention from the bookers. While the top of the card have very solid workers on it (except for Hogan), those four to five guys (they're going to have to elevate somebody into the top heel spots) are going to be the focus of every show because along with Vince, the Smackdown Crew's top guys are the talkers. Smackdown will become the show where there are good undercard cruiserweight matches with no story and the top of the card will slowly begin to repeat itself and start sucking ass.
Overall I see both as not being any different at first, but after a couple months of new guys getting attention on Raw and the "WCW Syndrome" (same guys on top with good undercard matches on bottom) will slowly eat away at the overall quality of that show.
Mr. Flugelman: Do you know what "nada" means? Dusty: Isn't that a light chicken gravy? - Three Amigos (1986)
I was very pleased with Raw. Some people are bitching about it, but a week ago people were saying how god awful and unwatchable it would be because they got all the crappy guys. Well, I think what people didn't realize was that last night's show was better than anyone expected it could be. It wasn't a perfect show, but with what they had to work with they did a great job. No one thought that they would be able to compete with Smackdown, but I think Smackdown now is going to have to put on a hell of a show to be able to beat this week's Raw.
I'll admit, when I first saw the rosters I was sceptical, but as it turned out that I was really entertained. And THAT is the sign of a good show.
I've always been curious as to what exactly Panda Energy is, because that has always seemed a little hazy too. Are their pockets really so deep that this is a great write off for them, or are they a bunch of mismanaged bumbling fools as well?