Wow - color me surprised that as of Tuesday morning, 9:35 am EST, no full RAW threads yet. Maybe I'll kick it off this week...
Maybe this wasn't the best RAW ever, but it sure seemed like the best RAW they've done in a while - even if the back half was a little light on actual wrestling. We can only pray that this show got some killer ratings for the actual wrestling segments.
Opening six-man tag team match - if they opened every show with a six-man tag, with an ultra-hot finish with everyone hitting their finishers and both men being legal for the next six months, then maybe I might get sick of it. Until then, it was great to see the show start with a really good match that includes that ultra-hot finish that the WWF seems to have down to a science. Not to mention it seemed to continue a few feuds, with Tazz/Spike vs. Dudleys and Booker vs. RVD.
Y2J interview - Okay. If I posted about it on the Net, I officially take it back. Y2J is better as a heel. His interview was damn good last night. He's taken the Foley/Hayes principal of "the heel must believe in what he's saying" and run with it really well with his "I am NOT a fluke champ!" schpiel. I would love to see the WWF keep him as champ until WM for that Triple H-Jericho main event. Prediction - Jericho wheels out the title win footage over Triple H from 2000 on Smackdown.
Edge comes thisclose to winning back the IC Title, only to have Nick Patrick screw him over again. So what happens? He snaps. That's why they call him Edge, folks. A little bit of pure rage to compliment the offbeat shenanigans might just be a really good thing. Here's to hoping that this leads to Edge regaining the title at No Way Out in a brass knuckles match - or better yet, RVD wins the IC title and we get an Edge-RVD feud out of it. RVD-Edge would rock the mid-card.
Oh yeah, Rock-Triple H vs. Jericho-Angle was pretty good, too.
Perfect's back - and he can wrestle!!!
Val Venis is back, doing a pretty funny Rick Rude impersonation - and look, he can wrestle, too!!
Things I'm not so enthused about:
Austin interrupting a perfectly good Perfect-Venis match (with, you know, actual wrestling) to quote the Beverly Hillbillies and say, "Oh yeah, just wait until next year." Austin, you old broken-down sonuvabitch, either start the feud with Perfect, find someone else to feud with, or get the fuck out of the way.
The inexplicable push of Billy and Chucky. Christ, I don't need to see Billy Gunn, tag team champion, again. I'm convinced this man has comprimising photos and information about Vince McMahon and other WWF officials at this point. And why do you have to feed Kane to these guys, who might actually get some heat soon for single-handedly eliminating Big Show at the Rumble?
Nick Patrick. I'm sooooo over the "evil ref who screws over the faces" bit. Considering Patrick's been doing this since about, oh, I don't know, five freaking years ago, I find it interesting that not many people are bored with it - or at least saying so. End it now, let the refs be refs, and let's try to let the wrestlers get over.
Vince McMahon promo. But this is mostly nitpicking. As things develop over the next few weeks, I may take this back and view the promo as a really good way to start the WWF split or the nWo return, if they actually happen. In and of itself last night, however - it sucked.
All in all, though, a very enjoyable show, and the first one I've actually wanted to sit down and watch the whole way through in months.
"People say that if you don't love America, then get the hell out. Well, I love America." - "Born on the Fourth of July," 1989. "One day, we will be reunited. But until then, my spirit will always be with you." - "Mortal Kombat," 1995.
It seems more like there are two or three Raw threads. This one is closest to the top, so it seems as good a place as any.
I wasn't all that entertained by Raw last night. It seemed like they didn't really have anything to do, so they just sent people out to say that, at some point in the future, they intend to do something to someone but currently have no idea what that something or who that someone is.
Thus, you had Vince come out to say that he was going to do something but not getting around to telling us what that something is. Later, Austin came out to say that he was going to fight someone, but not knowing who that someone was. And Goldust dropped by to put the two together, letting us know that he was going to do something to someone, but opting to neither let us know who that someone was or what that something is.
Sure, I understand building up to things, but all of that on one show just felt like they don't know what they're doing with most of the people in the fed, so they decided to tell us as much. It might payoff in the long run, but it doesn't make for a good night of TV.
I liked what RVD brought to that opening match. There was a spot at the end that it looked like he and Booker mistimed on - when RVD went up to get knocked to the outside, either he was slow or Booker got there fast, so they improvised with RVD ducking down to elbow Booker back and Booker bounced off the ropes as RVD made it to the top to knock him off. It came off really well, I thought. Booker vs. RVD could make for some good matches.
I liked Jericho and his awesome pants once again. I think he's doing great. I was less enthused about HHH - who, by the way, is a bigger clothing nightmare than Jericho by far. The goofy leather jacket with denim vest combo was bad enough even before adding the Iron Cross, now he's wearing that with track pants? Anyway, I really didn't like his portion of the segment. Essentially, Jericho and the Undisputed-UH World Title-UH are secondary to the honor of facing HHH at Wrestlemani-UH, based on his "maybe you'll survive and you'll get to face me, maybe you won't!" thing. Shouldn't it be the other way around?
Dunno where they're going with Edge. Not a clue, really. The shot of the KO'ed Regal on the Titantron when Edge walked up the ramp made me laugh, though.
Was the sound bad or did the crowd give no reaction to Mr. Perfect? That was a major disappointment. It's Mr. Perfect, damn it. Hennig looks good, though, and I'm glad to see him back. I'd love a brief Austin/Perfect feud, even if Austin/Venis looks more likely now. It was a shame they cut off the Venis/Perfect match, since like everyone else, I was looking forward to seeing what they could do. And I don't care if no one else agrees with me, but I swear Val Venis looks like Corey Feldman.
The Kane/Show/Billy/Chucky (are they calling him Chucky now? It sounded like it) thing was a mess. They just did the Kane/Show-team-for-no-reason-and-immediately-screw-up-in-a-match-so-they-hate-each-other thing a month or so ago. At the very least, they could have had Billy give Show a "Showy" headband and have Show gladly accept it.
What else was there? The Austin thing I touched on. It's fun to watch in a "Austin can get away with anything" sense, but sending him out there to basically admit they have nothing for freakin' Stone Cold to do is weak. Announcing his intention to enter the Rumble next year was funny, though, and one of those things only he can pull off. Hennig in the back with Debra was funny.
Were there any other matches before the end? I can't think of anything else. As for Goldust, someone in another thread mentioned Christian having a version of his entrance...that would be an interesting feud, and Christian has the otherwise useless Euro title and DOES fancy himself as a "shining star" type. Oh, and Godfather looked like Eddie Guerrero.
In all, the show was just "fans, things are going to happen in the future...we're not sure who they're going to happen to, who will be involved in the happening or just what will happen...but nonetheless, someone will eventually do something to someone." Not even a Maven appearance to toss HHH and save wrestling. Weak.
Isn't the roster crowded enough as it is, without bringing in guys like Val Venis and the Godfather? I am glad Mr. Perfect is back, and to a lesser extent Goldust, because that was a pretty cool promo he did last night. And what the hell was Vince talking about? The new nWo? His promo was pretty bad, and I thought even Flair took a little long for his promo.
-The Big Kat "It's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care." -Peter Gibbons, Office Space
RAW, for a show that was coming off a PPV and probably did good numbers, felt like a hell of a letdown. Lets of stuff that could have move forward was barely mentioned, things that people got excited about [aka Maven, for example] got completely ignored [well, Maven DID work the HWA show...], and things that did move forward barely did.
Would it have REALLY hurt that much for HHH to just bring up the times he's beaten Jericho, legit or not? I don't think it would have. I think he had enough time to do it, too...
---=---:---=--- [Look up a line] Wow, that belt looks like crap... I'll take it and carry it around for years and see if people can take it away from me... What? What was that? You mean even THIS belt doesn't matter! What? I'm insulted! Get away from me you... you... defiler!
RAW was pretty good...but a post-PPV RAW needs to be great. Still, The Godfather, Val & Mr. Perfect are back and better than before, and we're building to a bunch of good feuds leading into No Way Out and WrestleMania X-8 (Live from Toronto [dramatic pause] Ontario, Canada!) Still...the prospect of the new NWO pisses me off and scares me...to death. If you take a piece of crap and spraypaint it gold, it's still crap. It's just golden crap.
Last night's Raw proved how valuable the Royal Rumble concept is. There were so many angles from the Rumble that were turned into Raw storylines, that I marveled at the writers' ability. To note: Lance Storm, the "serious" wrestler, saw the return of the "legit" Godfather, and thought that the escorts and the off-beat shenanigans were offensive to him as a superstar. Therefore, he interrupts Godfather's promo. Big Show was impressed that Kane could do to him what he did to Rikishi last week, and told Kane so. This led to the tag match with the two monsters against Billy and Chuck. Mr. Perfect's big return was spoiled by Steve Austin at the Rumble, and decided to tell off Austin's wife. Unfortunately, Curt ended up being caught in that same position at Raw. Vince McMahon realized that he can't hang with Ric Flair in the ring, after he lost clean to the Nature Boy. Hence, Vince made some deal (perhaps with the Devil) and we will be seeing this play out.
Anyways, the great pay per views are the ones that start up and/or continue feuds, and I thought the Raw show was great in that respect. The crowd was hot, the wrestling was better than in previous weeks, and they even moved forward the Triple H/Steph breakup. My only problem with the crowd was the rather anemic pop HHH got. I don't need to see a heel Triple H until the summer at least.
-Ric and Vince went too long. I forgot what the hell they were saying, during the promo!
-Why can't all wrestling shows open with a match like that? **joins the line wanting to see Booker/RVD**
-We had Val/Perfect and had it thrown away for the Beverly Hillbillies? It was cute, but not as cool as an actual wrestling match! Hennig took a great chair shot, though! No hands or anyhting. Wish I had that kind of gumption..
-Jericho. Heel. Nuff said!!
-Goldust was his freaky self again...don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing...
-Godfather goes "legit" LAMEST THING EVER!! "Escortin' ain't easy"? Oy! Atleast we got to see Lance...for 45 seconds...
-The Ambiguously Gay Outlaws giving Kane the head band did bring a smile to my face. Of course they really need to give one to HHH. Hunter Hurst Helmsly would take up the whole thing! Well that and HHH is gay and all... well either gay or a Klingon (what's up with his forehead!?)
-HHH used a new move! The spinebuster! Gosh and it wasn't even PPV!! Must have been feeling giving or something. (Hey, I gotta get in my ribs when I can.)
-I like it when Edge does his creepy bigger than usual smile. Of course intense creepy Edge never got over...so hopefully he uses it in moderation.
-The NWO could work...if only Scott Norton were there! Norton! Why hast thou forsaken us!?
Nothing is better than X-pac! It's all in the inflection...
Did anyone see how pissed Lance Storm was last night during his interview? He looked like he was ready to just drop the mic and leave the arena. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, Lance hates the whole "what" phenomena, and can't stand it when they ruin his promos. I commend Lance Storm for keeping his composure and not taking out any aggression on those pathetic WWF sheep.
"It is a strange fate that we suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing...such a little thing." -Boromir
Man, I thought last night's RAW rocked the party. Yeah, it was a little promo-heavy, but as someone mentioned a few posts up, they had four 'new' characters to explain.
And it looks like the WWF is actually willing to try some new and interesting combinations. I mean, we've seen HHH/Jericho before, but who really thought they'd be feuding for the undisputed title? I may have to take this comment back in a month, if Jericho jobs at No Way Out, but here's hoping the champ retains.
Booker/RVD is somewhat new and definitely interesting. Austin vs. VAL VENIS? I dig it. I like Val, and it could be a nice push. Same with Austin/Perfect, if they actually pull the trigger on either of those feuds. The only top-card feud I'm wondering about is the seeming return of Rock-Angle. With Jericho tied up by HHH, will Rock go back to fighting Angle? I thought the two of them had some really good matches, but I'd rather see something different. And the UT is still floating around the main-event scene.
As far as all the teases and veiled threats, darn it, I like it. When storylines become too logical or realistic or what have you, wrestling just gets too damned predictable. Sometimes the slow, organic build is just too obvious. I'm really looking forward to SmackDown! and RAW next week, with plenty of possible new feuds and (potentially disappointing) returns. If Goldust comes out and attacks someone randomly, it will have enough shock value to surprise the audience and keep them interested, but it won't shock us to the point of Russo. That was prety badly worded, but what I'm saying is we can have swerves and surprised that are within the realm of possibility, and as such might leave us shaking our heads, but won't have us running to the keyboards to denounce the latest senseless plot twist.
And dammit, I still mark for Perfect. It reminds me of watching old PPVs when I was a mere youth, before I hit the old age of 20.
"If you attempt to ignite a petroleum product on this ship at 0:00 hours, you will activate the fire suppression system, which would seal off this entire compartment." Cmdr. Data
Googling shows that the source of the Dixie/Karen rumor is the Honky Tonk Man (or at least people saying they are quoting him). Further research seems to show a two month gap between Karen's return (January 13)