Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Night Raw Review 4/20

Whenever there's a show before a PPV, THAT should be the show that makes you salivate at the mouth to purchase the PPV because you can't wait to see what happens next. Did the RAW brand deliver on this with tonight's episode? Partially, but I can't help but feel a little robbed of my intelligence. Sure, we (wrestling fans) are ADD, forgetful (on purpose), and we keep coming back for more, but that shouldn't make the writers sit in cruise control and do the same crap all the time.

With that said, RAW brought it tonight to London, England. The set was very London-esque with the stereotypical phone booths and rounded 1960's car. The crowd was pumped and seemed louder than a typical US crowd, often clearly telling the WWE who they liked and hated. At the top of the show, I said to myself "RAW is completely different from Smackdown! (in a bad way)," but after tonight, I think they took a page from Smackdown's all wrestling, little drama approach. I think the WWE is turning a corner a bit. It may be predictable, it may insult our intelligence, but it's wrestling none the less. It's a hell of alot better than Vicky Guerrero's love triangle though, so let's see how the night played out...

Chris Jericho opened the show claiming that this was his final RAW appearance, and that he's glad because he was never appreciated. Ricky Steamboat's music hits, and he and Jericho trade words for a bit, then Jericho challenges Steamboat to a match Sunday at "Backlash." John Cena then interrupts and Jericho cuts him off before he can say a word, and starts to walk backstage. Steamboat then says that he accepts the challenge which garners a sly smirk from Jericho. John Cena, after Steamboat, then says that since Vicky Guerrero is not at RAW tonight, they're going to have a match to send him (Jericho) off to Smackdown!.

There's something I just don't get....why do all of you boo Cena? Are you sick of him being the face of the WWE? I can't help but like the guy because he's all about the business and I applaud that. Sure, he can get a little corny sometimes, his rap skills suck, "The Marine" and "12 Rounds" suck, but the guy's a beast that gives his all night in and night out. Plus, did all of you get on Hulk Hogan for Suburban Commando? I don't think so (I secretly liked that movie). I'm one of you, but I'll never understand the mentality of the wrestling masses. I think you're all waiting for Cena to go heel, which I agree, would be awesome, but I don't think it's happening anytime soon. The WWE needs a big babyface, Cena's perfect for the role.

Batista vs. Chavo

The entrances of the two took longer than this entire match. Chavo went running at Batista who then nailed him, then gave him a Batista Bomb for the win. Why did the WWE waste space with Chavo? If you're going to commit to Chavo as a jobber, I'd rather see a "Barry Horowitz" than a Chavo. Make a new jobber, don't take someone from your ranks and then give him jobber status. I know what some of you are saying, "Chavo has always been a jobber." Well not a 10 second match type jobber...

Kane vs. CM Punk

I'm not sure why, but I just can't get into CM Punk. He's a good wrestler, executes some killer moves, but I just think his gimmick is boring. Maybe it's the fact that his music (screaming) is extremely lame. On the other hand, Kane is officially a mid-card wrestler. It's a sad thing to see too. Where's the old Kane that would slowly walk down the aisle, stalk his prey, and dominate them? Instead, he's an ugly human being (not a super power) who acts tough, but always loses. Punk had a great counter DDT for the win, but would the old Kane lose like that to a DDT? Not a chance...

Beth Phoenix vs. Melina

"sandwich break"

Chris Jericho vs. John Cena

This match was the best of the night. Again, Cena got alot of boos, but when he did the "five knuckle shuffle,(google that for me)" the fans chanted loudly "you can't see me!" See what I told you? ADD...

The match went back and forth for a lengthy period of time (which now equals a good match in today's standards), and both wrestler's kicked out of each other's finishers and didn't tap to their secondary finishers. I think the WWE saw everyone's reaction to Taker / HBK at Wrestlemania 25, but this one felt totally scripted. Jericho would hit the code breaker (which is an awesome finisher btw), and then take his time, because he's tired, to make the cover resulting in Cena kicking out. Then Cena would hit his FU, and again, take his time to make the cover resulting in Jericho kicking out.

Cena would then get the STFU on Jericho and he wouldn't tap, then Jericho would get Cena in the Walls of Jericho (lion tamer was a better name), and Cena wouldn't tap. This is a classic case of the WWE screwing up a good thing they had with the match at Wrestlemania 25. We didn't expect HBK or Undertaker to kick out. They could've gone either way, and it floored us the entire time. With Cena / Jericho we knew what was going to happen the entire time. The writers have to think this stuff through. But they won't because they think so top line and without any depth. I guarantee you that creative was sitting in a room and mentioned "people loved what happened with Taker and HBK, we should shock them with both wrestlers kicking out of their respective finishers." Ok, maybe they didn't use the words "respective finishers."

Anyway, I'm griping, but it really was a good match (don't you believe me now? haha). Edge came in to ruin the party, but that's the WWE right now. They use Edge to do this type of crap and instead of using him as a fantastic wrestler (which he is), they have him end a match that both wrestlers worked their tails off in. "Couldn't leave well enough alone, could you?" - "Johnny" in the Karate Kid.

Rey Mysterio vs. Big Show

Before going into this one, I thought to myself "If they make Mysterio win this match, I'm going to keep watching because I have nothing else better to do." I said last week that I'd like to see Big Show go on a little bit of a run, and it looks like he's doing just that. I'm now sold on the "knockout punch," and he did exactly what he should have done to Mysterio, destroyed him. There were some great "big man" moments in this match, most notably Big Show palming Mysterio's head from outside the ring and lifting him up over the top rope. If you get a chance to see that on YouTube, do it. It looked awesome and really made you feel like you were watching a "giant."

Triple H vs. Randy Orton

This was announced as a no DQ match last week which I think everyone in the world knew that it wouldn't end cleanly. You just knew Rhodes and DiBiase would get involved, and likewise with McMahon and Batista setting up the classic mini-battle royal to lead up to a stable vs. stable main event at a PPV. It's a proven formula. The actual match before that chaos was pretty good. I actually wouldn't mind seeing these two in a main event (singles) competition again because of it (it erased my thoughts on the underwhelming Wrestlemania 25 Main Event). I think the Backlash main event is a cop out, and in no way am I ordering the PPV to see this match. I have a feeling Batista's going to turn on Triple H, but we'll see.

There were a few things in this match that was all sorts of awesome. Triple H's spine buster on Orton onto the trash can and Triple H's figure four were my two main highlights, but let's go back to all of that chaos I mentioned in the previous paragraph to find out the result of this one.

When everyone who will be in the Backlash main event interrupted the match, Batista accidentally speared Shane giving Triple H an excuse to turn his back on Orton. Once this happened, did anyone who was watching not know that Orton would hit his RKO? Seriously, I'm sick of these results. I don't mind at all if Orton wins cleanly, but you've had this result about 1270273189047389278423902317908412378940321890324 times. Please be original. This just kills momentum that you have built up throughout a pretty good show when you end like this. There's no chance that the talent is enjoying this writing. No chance.

Overall I enjoyed the show. I know I complained, but that's me. I could look past the writing tonight and see that the talent gave an A+ effort. They're only as good as the creative makes them, but tonight they overshadowed the creative brown stain.

We have WWE Superstars and Friday Night Smackdown! left to make us feel like we should plunk down our change to order Backlash. RAW brought it tonight. Your turn Wednesday and Friday...

Random Notes:

- It's cool to see the Jericho / Steamboat angle considering Jericho's a HUGE Steamboat fan. Watch the "Greatest Superstars of the 80's" DVD to hear him go on and on about Ricky.

The WWE plugged "The Wrestler" DVD release throughout the show. Mighty big of them. I think they realized that any publicity on their business is good publicity.

- Lawler was on FIRE tonight. He had some gems. "London is such a historic city (understatement of the year)," and his ribbing of Jericho's former band, "Fozzy" were two of my favorites.

- I really wish they'd go back to cutting promos with an interviewer instead of making us think that there happens to be a camera where an intimate conversation, like the one Rhodes, Orton and DiBiase had, happened. The hidden camera approach sucks.

- Santino's skit with his "sister" "Santina" was epic. Santino pulled a Milli Vanilli. (Wrestlecrap)

- When RAW did their "WWE Slam of the Week" segment, they showed Shane's "coast to coast" that he attempted to do on last week's WWE Superstars. He doesn't get over as far as he used to...

- Cody Rhodes has a lisp like his father and it is fantastic!

- During the Orton / Triple H match, Michael Cole said "Orton's been waiting 5 years for this opportunity." Really? At Backlash? Didn't he have his "opportunity" at Wrestlemania? That's just poor writing there and not believable.


  1. LOVED the Jericho/Cena match tonight, definitely a candidate for free-TV Match of the Year and I would say it's their best match against each other to date. Coming off that awesome match with Bourne and Morrison on ECW last week, WWE's on a roll for good TV wrestling.

    I forgive the ending as well, because there weren't many options. They could've had Edge cost Cena the match, but they did a similar ending with Orton/HHH later. Jericho winning clean is obviously out of the question since Cena's defending the title on Sunday and Cena going over clean would not have done either one of them any favors.

  2. I miss the OLD big red machine.

    I also agree that I just can't get into CM Punk. I wouldn't have dogged on All That Remains (his screaming music), but his angst is shallow, and doesn't give me any emotional connection.

  3. Razor,

    True, but I say the WWE should go against the grain sometimes.


    It's screaming ;)

  4. Agreed, they just kinda booked themselves into a corner on that one.

    Don't get the lack of Punk love, although he hasn't really been given a chance to show his stuff lately. I have a feeling Smackdown will be a great fit for him though and hopefully he'll get to deliver some magic on the mic, which WWE's never really let him do up to this point.