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3.11.2008

Tha Raw Report: Less Than Spectacular

“Raw” this week was scheduled to be a three hour WrestleMania Rewind gimmick. Instead we got a three hour better than average but far from great show. I didn’t hate the show, but I hated moments of it.

I did however love certain aspects of the show. Ric Flair gets a pop for showing up. Having Hardy finally drop the belt also got a pop, for different reasons than some expect.

Jericho also became an eight time Intercontinental Champion, which breaks the previous record of seven, held by Chris Jericho, but is that good thing? In this case, yes.

There are very few matches that on paper make me pop nowadays. CM Punk taking on Edge is enough to elicit an O. Two workers who while smark favorites are still able to get the casual fan to eat out of their hands. Two guys who know their gimmicks and play them well.

The match itself, while short did its job. Not only did they keep it short and sweet, they left it open for something more. They didn’t give too much away, they made a small schmoz at the end, but both guys still come out looking strong.

Hawkins and Ryder played their roles quite well too. They stayed on the outside until the perfect time. They let the guys in the ring tell their story, and get themselves over, and when it came time to act and set up the finish they fell into place perfectly. The spear to end the match was sick. I loved it and Punk sold it correctly.

Not only was I unhappy that Taker took on Mark Henry in a casket match that happened two years ago, I was unhappy for two other reasons. I was unhappy that Taker didn’t take on Giant Gonzalez in his hairy man/guerrilla suit. I was also pissed that it was the first match on the damn card.

Jim Ross’ commentary before the casket match began was painful. I swear to you, putting over a casket match isn’t hard, but the way Ross sold it, made me care less than I had originally. Sell it as fear JR, not as not knowing what to say.

Taker deserves top billing wherever he goes, not fourth match on the card for a World title last year, and not the first match on a less than stellar “Raw” card on March 10th. I understand putting Cena and Michaels in the main, but couldn’t Taker’s match have butted right up against it?

The show opening promo from Flair and Michaels wasn’t the best work of either man, but who cares? They’ll steal the show at Mania most likely, and Michaels calling Hawkins and Ryder the, “Two…Edge…dudes,” was awesome. Nice re-face turn for Michaels as well.

Tonight’s weigh-in for the Mayweather-Big Show match was done well. Here’s the thing though. Either Mayweather fell wrong, or the boys let Mayweather hit and really hurt his elbow, or Ric Flair taught Floyd how to sell.

I’m not quite sure what happened with Shane falling since nothing came of it, but oh well. I did like the “entire” roster uniting to take a stand against Mayweather making $20 million. I didn’t see the entire list of guys who caught Mayweather, but they could push a worker based on him letting Mayweather hit.

To me, Shane McMahon is a guy who gets it. He knows what people want. He is much more in tune with what the audience wants than Stephanie or Vinny Mac. He brought in Mayweather who is over in the boxing world, Money just didn’t know how to work on the stick, but I digress.

I realize that the Finlay/Hornswaggle/Vince/JBL angle is going to be pushed heavily going into WrestleMania, but why in the hell did they make Kennedy a casualty of it? He’s been in the spotlight over the last few weeks, but tonight he gets beat down in a non-match by Finlay.

I don’t see much logic in that, other than to get Finlay over, but using Kennedy as a stepping stone is questionable. I realize that JBL set Finlay off, but in no way does this keep Kennedy strong, or relevant for that matter. Could it not have been someone else?

The match that could have been the main event tonight, was Jeff Hardy defending his IC strap against Y2J. It was yet another good match put on by Hardy and Jericho, and I was relieved to see the strap taken off of Hardy.

To me that signifies that Hardy can now go on to bigger and better things, because now that the dead weight of the IC strap isn’t weighing him down, he can jump up and compete for the WWE title. Money in the Bank is stacked this year, but I’m thinking Hardy goes over.

Kennedy, Benjamin, Y2J, Jeff Hardy, Carlito and MVP have been booked so far. Matt Hardy is a favorite to compete, and rumors circulating say that Elijah Burke will get the other spot. Either way, Jeff Hardy still seems to be the logical and clear cut winner. The only other guy I can see is Kennedy.

If you’re a dirt-sheet follower, you have most likely already seen the “speculation” that there is heat on Jeff Hardy, and that’s why he dropped the belt. Every time Jeff Hardy puts someone over there is heat on him backstage. Who knows if it’s true, but it is possible that the E decided to take the belt off of him before it became forgotten.

The promo's done by Cena, Orton and Triple Hayche was a nice touch. I guess they’re going for the big fight feel going into WrestleMania. The thing that bothered me about them was Cena. I know, I know, more Cena bashing, but dammit, quit respecting everybody.

Show emotion, show grit. Don’t go Fronte with it. Talk about beating their asses and not caring what it takes. It takes something from my article last week, but not nearly enough. All phases must be implemented, not just one, and especially not that one first.

The HBK/Cena match didn’t really disappoint, but I can’t ignore the fact that the little exchange that went from STFU to Sharpshooter was botched worse than Fatty trying to pick up Cherry Bomb. If you’re going to hold hands to transition a move, please do so convincingly and not keep reaching and tugging.

Orton causing the DQ wasn’t unexpected and at least both guys still look strong. Having Cena stand tall to end the show again was expected. Triple H’s backstage show closing promo was dumb. Orton and Cena taking on the roster, did I hear that right? How in the name of hell are they going to have other matches? Think about things before you do them WWE.

All in all “Raw” wasn’t a great disappointment, but it wasn’t the blockbuster that was possible either. Either way, we’re only 19 days from WrestleMania as of Tuesday, so with eight matches announced, we could possibly see a few more added to Mania, and or two more guys added to Money in the Bank.

Tha Results…
*The Undertaker def. Mark Henry in a casket match
*Kennedy def. Finlay via DQ
*Chris Jericho def. Jeff Hardy to become IC Champ
*Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff and Windham & Rotunda heel on Jillian
*HHH def. Kane
*Melina def. Maria
*Edge def. CM Punk
*John Cena def. Shawn Michaels via DQ


11 comments: on "Tha Raw Report: Less Than Spectacular"

Andrew Gray said...

It looks like Hardy dropped the strap because of a wellness policy violation . . . what an idiot.

So much for him going over in MITB.

Dante Ross said...

Completely forgot that a three hour Raw was coming on and missed the first hour. Somehow only missed two matches. Huh? When did mark henry go from killing machine to J.O.B Squad member?

Really liked the Y2J/Hardy match. Hardy really needs to change his style a bit though. His back is getting all kinds of fuckered with his moves. I was just wondering when Y2J would use that new fnisher again and then, boom!

They gave Sheikie a mic and he...did nothing. The bitch. Now I think everything he shouts about is a work. Bah. And when did Windham start looking like Duggan?

The Kane/HHH match was alright. The ending blew ape ass but the rest was good. Made Kane look like a monster until he took the pedigree like Linda McMahon takes Stunners.

Ya'll can keep Maria and Candice. Give me Melina anytime! Damn, she looked hot. She can do her finisher to me in slo mo anytime.

Skipped out on the Edge/Punk match. Saw the end. Bathroom Break made a surprise appearence for the DQ.

Still trying to be positive so I wont mention the Cena/HBK match. Orton sold the FU and landed "Family Guy" style.

I swear Mayweather was smiling when he ran to the back. Why did he run anyway? He didnt even land on his arm so I dont get why he was grabbing it.

D.J.B. said...

According to WWE.COM Jeff Hardy is suspended for 60 days according to the WWE Wellness Policy.

It's his 2nd strike, and one more and he's out.

According to what guys have said, that, "he could have gotten away with it in the past," leads me to believe it isn't steroids. His appearance also leads me to believe it isn't steroids.

Sucks to be Jeff Hardy right now, and I can't believe, that AGAIN, on the verge of a mega-push he does something to get himself in trouble or suspended.

Anonymous said...

That carlito commercial was hillarius and hopefully this is a sign that they will start using the lesser belts more and actually defend them

D.J.B. said...

I agree. Carlito's spot in that commercial is awesome. Dude is entertaining, and as soon as Vince's point is "proven," maybe at Mania now, Carlito can get a push that means something.

With Hardy out of the picture the E will most likely go the way of pushing Kennedy....Kennedy....again. I challenge them though, to push Carlito, or Shelton Benjamin, or shock the world and push Matt Hardy or MVP.

metal god said...

This is great news for Jeff. Everybody knows that any higher-level star who gets suspended comes back and is immediately handed a big push: Kennedy feuded with Michaels, Chavo got the ECW title, Morrison got a tag belt, Umaga is still getting pushed. See a patternhere? Look for Hardy to take the WWE strap at King of the Ring.

PFK said...

There is no King of the Ring PPV.

Metal God said...

Oh right. It's Vengeance now. So many years of conditioning, so little room for new information. Fine. Look for Hardy to take the strap at Vengeance, then. At least they let him go out with a bit of dignity rather than being punked out by Triple H or Vince.

D.J.B. said...

Hardy will take the strap, I just don't know when. I hope it's as soon as Vengeance, but I don't see it happening that soon. Hopefully SummerSlam's main will be Hardy/Orton Hardy/Cena or Hardy/Helmsley. Jeff Hardy is a main event player who has made some stupid mistakes over his career. I don't think that anyone over the course of wrestling hasn't made stupid mistakes. Volume may lean more towards Hardy, but I don't think the E will jeopordize money making opportunities after the 60 day suspension. They need to strike while the iron is hot, so if they're going to run with Hardy the time to do it is when he comes back incase something happens again down the road.

PFK said...

And whoever writes the scripts for the promos needs to be fired.

Chris said...

I loved the Mayweather / Big Show segment, seriously got my attention. I went from dreading the whole thing to anticipating it. Maybe somebody can explain it to me slowly but how do you take a guy that's 1/3 the size of the other guy and make him a heel? Brilliant!
I don't think Y2J getting the strap is good for him, but we will get some good matches out of it.
Iron Shiek looked like a deer caught in headlights, awesome!
I thought the rewind matches were pretty lackluster and unimportant, the only exception being HBK Cena. Orton's interference didn't make a whole lot of sense to me other than they were running low on time.