Right off the bat with the exception of three segments that really put the crowd to sleep Monday’s Raw in Manchester, England was quite good. While I didn’t feel that the crowd was as good as they normally are, all in all the show had a nice feeling to it, yet I wonder why certain segments were even on TV. Let me get to those segments first and then I will just rave about the rest of the show. Well I won’t rave about it but I do have some very positive things to say about certain matches and promos.
I have to add Stephanie to my list of segments that I didn’t like. Listen she’s a beautiful woman, but I hate it when she does the “CLASSY” McMahon act. I always thought she was at her best when she played Hunter’s sidekick back in the McMahon/Helmsley era. Her character wasn’t over the top. In fact with Triple H at the forefront, Steph played her part perfectly. She added just enough, but as I said it was over done. But when you put her out their on her own, it’s like watching the female version of Vince. I like her, I have nothing against her, but I do not want to see this side of her, because trust me it’s going to get old real fast. I am not saying she ruined the opening segment, because she didn’t, and that’s thanks to Batista and Orton the real stars of that segment. Stephanie needs to have someone to play off of. Last week when she interacted with Shane she was fine, she does so much better when she’s not out there on her own. Okay enough of Stephanie.
While I didn’t mind seeing Santino lose his title to William Regal, I could not believe that the match was under a minute long. The loss I could see because let’s face it Santino hasn’t had a credible opponent in a very long time. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing Regal defend that title week after week. But having Santino lose it in about 35 seconds tells me that Santino was born to talk and not wrestle. The best thing they could do for Marella is to let him manage and do the mic work for a guy or even a woman that just can’t cut it on the mic. For the first time in a few weeks I thought Santino’s mic work was funny, because he’s been in kind of a rut lately. So the Regal win was fine with me, but the match was an absolute dud. Also I noticed the crowd was Santino crazy, and as one of my friends pointed out to me, that lasted until Santino called Italy the best country in Europe. Regal got a good reaction, but not the reaction that I thought he would get. I guess you could say this whole segment was odd.
I would love to know why D’Lo was brought back. Other than a few good matches against Santino, they have done nothing with him. And things just got worse when they threw Mike Knox against him and he played the jobber. I certainly would have waited a while before I threw Knox out there. He received no reaction at all. I like this guy, but I don’t think most of the fans are ready for the push Knox seems to be getting. And finally they build up this match with Randy Orton vs. Batista, a match that you could see was a crowd pleaser and out of the blue Cody Rhodes takes over and claims that he can beat Big Dave. What the hell? You talk about a crowd killer. Plus this crowd that went more for Santino then Regal, also booed the hell out of Batista when he opened the show. So now you have the fans looking forward to the Orton/Batista match with the live crowd probably cheering the hell out of Orton, and they get stuck with Rhodes taking on Batista. Just when you think things are going well, Vince pulls the plug and throws crap out there and that’s what he did with the three segments that I just mentioned. That’s it, enough of my complaining; I am going to save the best parts for last. Sure the rest of the show might not have been outstanding, but for some reason I was okay with the rest of Raw. Granted I could have done without another Kane vs. Rey Mysterio match, but Monday’s No DQ match was okay, but I’m glad that this was the last one on one match that these two are going to have against each other. I didn’t mind the backstage segment with Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton. I found it to be better than the Rhodes/Batista match. However, Manu still doesn’t fit with Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. He’s not making any impact at all when he’s on TV. Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix was a decent match, but like everything else on the show it wasn’t outstanding. But at least it was nice to see Mickie for a change because it seems like Vince has put her on the back burner again.
I guess for the most part the show was mediocre but the following really did it for me. I said this already, but I thought Batista and Randy Orton did an awesome job opening the show. Batista came off so much better this week than last week. He seemed much more focused, and Orton did an excellent job trying to run things. You know maybe it was because it was two former Evolution members that appealed to me, or maybe it was just the fact that this is something we really haven’t seen. So thumbs up to Randy and Dave for really setting up the show. I absolutely loved Chris Jericho’s promo. It wasn’t whiney and it was too long, but man it was to the point. He got his digs in about what he had done to Shawn Michaels, about how he beat Batista last week and what’s in store for the returning John Cena. This was Jericho at his best. And the highlight without a doubt was the Last Man Standing match with Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels. What a way to end one of the hottest feuds of the year on Raw. I thought this was an excellent match to give us on free TV and I even like JBL’s run in. Everything worked in this match. And after the show, WWE.com posted a new match for the Survivor Series. JBL’s team vs. HBK’s team. JBL has the Miz, Morrison, Kane and MVP vs. Michael’s team consisting of Khali, Cryme Tyme and Rey Mysterio. The reason that I am mentioning this is because I would much rather have this type of match than HBK vs. JBL. So I am cool with the team vs. team match.
I don’t know what it was but this show definitely worked for me even with all its flaws. It’s funny because I didn’t realize that there were so many, but maybe it was just having it in Manchester that won me over. I’m looking forward to Smackdown and yes I did read the spoilers and the show sounds pretty good, but of course reading it is never the same as watching it. By the way I’m sure most of you know that WWE released Elijah Burke, Kenny Dykstra, Lena Yada this week. Last week they released Chuck Palumbo and Paul London, and supposedly more releases are going to take place. Plus there is a major rumor that Christian is returning to the WWE. I wouldn’t mind seeing him return, but supposedly TNA and Christian are still trying to get something going. Okay I plan on returning over the weekend with my Smackdown thoughts and again if I’m not there it’s just because of all the work going on here. For instance today my Internet was out again, but thankfully after a few hours we got it back. So I hopefully I will be back over the weekend.