It still wasn’t a 5 star show, but Raw was better than what we got last week. I feel the show did a nice job building towards the Royal Rumble. The matches for the most part where nothing great, but at least one top guy qualified for the Rumble, and rightfully so, another top star has a chance of getting into the Rumble next week, and we saw one of WWE’s brightest stars sky dive last night. And in between well it’s the in between that didn’t always work for me. So let me get rid of all the nasty segments first and then on to some of the more positive parts of Raw.
The winners in the category of the nastiest segments are the following. First, the nastiest, the longest and one of the biggest time wasters of the night goes to JBL and his promo. That segment was so bad and so uninspiring, and to make matters worse, Chris Jericho was out selling his beating from last week. And with his absence we just got that much more of Bradshaw talking. Not having Chris Jericho come out just made this even more unbearable to watch. This was so bad, so very bad and you could just see how the hot crowd from Mobile, Alabama just kind of fell asleep the longer JBL stayed in that ring. Oh this was a DISASTER. The next runner up would have to go to the 6 woman tag team Diva match. Its official, I don’t like Beth Phoenix’s look. I have tried to stay with her but I think it’s safe to say she’s lost me. Maybe she needs a hell of a lot more than just a jacked up body and jeweled headband to keep me interested. This match was sloppy and I can see that Mickie James is again going down the ladder in favor of Ashley and the soon to be newest Playboy centerfold, Maria. Maria I can understand because I feel she tries, but Ashley should be nothing more than a valet, she’s no wrestler.
I could say that the Royal Rumble “mini” match is the next runner up, but I’m not going to say that. Granted we have seen for years little people come out like WWE superstars, and sure it’s gets old, but maybe because Hornswoggle was the star of this segment he was able to keep this from really going south. I didn’t love this but I didn’t hate it, it was okay. In fact I laughed at little Batista and little Kane. I thought they both picked up on each of their moves. I will say I saw Khali coming out and not a midget playing Khali. I figured it was a given that the real deal would walk out since we had one after another small person taking part in this match. I really LOVE Finlay is his new role. His concern for Hornswoggle is cool and I like how he’s there to protect him. So this wasn’t the next runner up for the nastiest of the night, no that’s because Snitzky gets that nod. Listen you could put Snitzky against, The Rock, Stone Cold, Bret Hart and so on and none of them could make me want to see them work against Snitzky. I will hand it to the crowd the Triple H chants were loud and consistent. But when Vince booked the Snitzky/Hunter match I wanted to cry. I have to hand it to the crowd with their continuous Triple H chants, they were nice and loud. Watching Snitzky made me want to go brush my own teeth to keep them from looking Snitzky yellow.
This match wasn’t horrible, but Snitzky brings so little to his matches that things really didn’t pick up until Hunter was able to get some good offense on him. I just wish Vince would stop pushing the wrong guys. Big is not always better, and it’s just too bad Vince doesn’t realize this.
So now that I shared the crap with you let me give you my thoughts on the better segments of the night, like Shawn Michaels vs. Trevor Murdoch, but first a couple of things that I liked prior to the match. For instance, I was so glad that Shawn Michaels cut a promo questioning why a guy of his stature should have to qualify for the Rumble match. I guess I liked that because I was wondering the very same thing when I saw the match listed on WWE.com. I don’t remember the Undertaker or Batista qualifying, yet HBK had too. So having Shawn bring this up was a perfect thing to do. Also PROPS go to Mr. Kennedy…. Kennedy for giving his best promo in a very long time. I truly liked his delivery as he interacted with Michaels and for the first time in I don’t know how long, I actually cared about what Kennedy had to say. As far as Murdoch vs. HBK goes? It was a decent match, it wasn’t great but still good and at least now Michaels will be in the Royal Rumble match and he should be.
William Regal vs. Ric Flair was okay, but it could have been one of the best of the night. Except it was way to short, it didn’t have a chance to get going. I was really looking forward to this all night, and I found myself just starting to get into it, but as I said it just was too short of a match. And while Hunter’s match was fair if that, I liked how he walked up to the screen as Vince was talking and destroyed it. Was it “cheesy” as some have said? Maybe so, but no cheesier then so many other things that goes on with both shows. For me the whole thing behind the destruction of the screen was to show how pissed Hunter is with Vince for not allowing him in the Rumble match. And with Triple H destroying the screen he was showing McMahon that he wasn’t going to take Vince’s shit. And now we know that next week Triple H will be in a qualifying match, but what we don’t know is just who Hunter will face. Could it be Big Show? Or Bobby Lashley? Or maybe neither one of these guys. I certainly can’t wait to find out who it is. Oh and before I get into the main event, I just want to bring up Finlay one more time. He is doing one hell of a job interacting with Vince. Anytime he’s had a segment with McMahon he’s come off well. Last night he was exceptionally good, I just love how natural he comes off in these segments. Finlay has really been one of the very bright spots for this company.
Finally I knew as I’m sure most of you did that Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy for the I.C. title wasn’t going to take place. Not with these guys in the Royal Rumble main event for the WWE title. So at the beginning of the show when Orton set this match up with Jeff for Hardy’s IC title I knew there was no way that the match would take place. By the way Orton and Jeff Hardy did a very nice job with that opening segment. I find Jeff much more relaxed on the mic and Orton came through as well. Now as far as the main event? It was all about Orton bullying Hardy and Hardy fighting back and putting Orton in his place. And by that I mean by back-dropping Orton off of the ramp and then by doing a 30 ft.., Swanton Bomb off the rafters onto a lifeless Orton. This was unbelievable and Hardy did a fantastic job. Of course my heart was in my mouth as he was jumping but thankfully all went well. Of course we aren’t supposed to know that because Raw went off with both Hardy and Randy Orton being placed on stretchers. I loved the very last shot with what looked to be an unconscious Hardy raise his arm up as to say I’m okay. Just remember, Jeff Hardy is more than a stunt man, he can wrestle and while I totally loved last night’s ending, I also don’t want to see Jeff Hardy week after week having to do things like this to make his feuds exciting. He has so much more to offer besides scary moves like last night.
Well Hardy’s flight from the rafters ended a better than last week’s Raw, but still not a great Raw. I will say that I missed Santino, Jericho and Carlito last night. I noticed that Carlito and Santino were on Heat; of course they were on Heat. How could Vince have room for them on Raw? I mean that’s Snitzky’s show. Okay I’m getting just a little more psyched for the Rumble. I’m hoping that Smackdown has a lot more to offer than last week’s show. I will be back with my thoughts on Smackdown over the weekend, and I sure hope they are extremely GOOD THOUGHTS.