Linda’s Thoughts – HBK/JBL/Jericho/Orton/Shane and More

Well I didn’t LOVE Raw, but I did like the show, at least most of it. While I thought it wasn’t as strong or as entertaining as the shows have been in the last few weeks, certain feuds advanced pretty well. There wasn’t much wrestling going on last night, and again Randy Orton was the major star and his angle definitely progressed, as did Shawn Michaels and JBL’s storyline. I thought the main event was very good as well as… wait I will tell you my second favorite match in a little bit. But there was something missing last night. Oh yeah, one thing missing was a boisterous crowd. The St. Louis fans were way too quiet. In fact they kind of killed the mood during many of the segments. And the only time they woke up was during the main event. And there were other parts of the show that left me blah and let me start with those segments first.
As excited, as I was to see CM Punk and Mickie team up against William Regal and Layla, the match left me cold. It ended too abruptly. I wouldn’t call it the worst thing on the show, but this had the makings of a very solid match. But before this could really take off Regal won with a kick to Punk’s head. Yeah this ending just happened to quickly and what could have been one of the top matches of the night turned out to be nothing. And right after this match we got another speedy one with another weak finish, and I’m talking about Cryme Tyme vs. Team Priceless. I couldn’t even get into this one because it ended even faster than the Punk/Regal match. Also I need more from Rhodes and DiBiase than just being thrown into a match like that. Give DiBiase the mic let him show his cockiness and get the fans against him. If the Punk/Regal match did nothing for me this did even less. And finally even though Candice did a much better job in the ring against Beth Phoenix this was another match that was just thrown out there. Why not have Melina come out and attack Rosa or Phoenix? Why not give Santino the mic for some laughs? These three matches were just filler matches as far as I’m concerned. It’s like they needed to fill some extra time so they just threw these three matches out there. There was nothing of importance going on with any of them. And maybe that’s why the crowd was so no reactive throughout the show.

From here on it’s all pretty positive. I still dug the opener with Randy Orton and Shane McMahon. Granted Orton’s reasoning for why Shane was able to take him out last week was somewhat lame, but I was okay with it because at least they addressed how silly and ridiculous it was to have Shane do so much damage to bad ass Orton. I thought Randy again was so on his game and for someone who was never a Shane McMahon fan; this time around I am really enjoying his appearances on Raw. So it’s official we get Shane vs. Orton at No Way Out and I couldn’t be happier with that match. Shane has always given 110% in the ring, so you know these two are really going to tear it up. I was also happy that Stephanie kept a fairly low profile last night.  And as the show moved on, I really liked the backstage segment with Legacy attacking Shane and Stephanie. And for me the most effective part of this was when Randy thought about punting Shane’s head but then turned and started to use the move on Stephanie. He was stopped dead at his tracks when Shane made the save to protect her. Randy is on a rampage and I love it. This was a cool segment and I still think that Stephanie is right in there with Legacy but it’s kind of nice that nothing is being rushed so far.

I can’t tell you how much I LOVED Chris Where’s My Smile Jericho. What an awesome promo he cut on Mickey Rourke and then on some of wrestling’s legends with the focus on Ric Flair. He ripped Flair to pieces, which made for a hell of a segment to watch. By the way there are so many rumors going around about Rourke. The two top rumors are that Rourke will wrestle and have Flair with him as he goes against Jericho. And the other main rumor is that Rourke will be there, but he won’t work in the ring and it could be some kind of legends match maybe with Flair and Roddy Piper taking on Jericho. Listen this isn’t going to be a wrestling work of art, this is going to be for fun and if Piper and Flair are in this match you know they are definitely going to get the fans going. Really I have no idea where this is going but with Jericho in this, you can imagine how worth watching this will be. Jericho is just a total joy to watch week after week.  This was an excellent segment. As was JBL evaluation of his employee, Shawn Michaels. Is the guys NUTS? Well yeah but this all turned out to bring so much more to their feud.

I’m sorry to repeat myself, but JBL has been total gold on the mic. Shawn Michaels has too and if you would have told me months ago before this two started up that they would click so well I would have asked “are you kidding me?” I never dreamed that Michaels and JBL would have such off the chart chemistry, but they do and I loved their interaction last night. So along with Shane McMahon vs. Randy Orton we are also getting JBL vs. Shawn Michaels at No Way Out. Should Michaels win, he gets his payment and he will be free of JBL. BUT, if JBL wins, Michaels will never be free. JBL will OWN Michaels. It’s like Shawn will have sold his soul to the devil. Michaels did agree to the match. And after he agreed the overly obnoxious JBL told Michaels that until their match HBK could not put a hand on him, or the deal would be off. So JBL continuously started poking Michaels hard in the chest with Shawn just taking it in, but facially this guy looked like he was going to break down. Shawn turned to the side as if he was going to super-kick JBL but instead he just left the ring. This segment was so strong and as I said it really made this angle even more interesting.

Okay there were only two matches that I really liked. The first one was with Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio vs. Kane and Mike Knox. This is the honest truth. My husband will watch like maybe 10 minutes of a show and that’s it. So he was with me when this match got started. And like usual I was very sour about these four in the ring. I told him great two high flyers stuck with two huge guys. This can’t go anywhere. And just like usual I WAS SO WRONG. This was a fantastic match. And to my surprise it was extremely fast paced with Kane and Knox hanging in there beautifully. I cannot say enough about this match, but I liked it so much that I watched it again last night and I believe I will be checking it out one more time tonight. All four men get MAJOR props for putting on a fantastic match. And along with this match I loved the main event.

At first I really didn’t want to see another Jericho vs. Cena match, but I’ll tell you after what I saw here, I am so glad that this is what they gave us. Cena not only works well with Shawn Michaels, but Jericho is another guy that brings out the best in John Cena. This is a match that I would say if you recorded the show and didn’t get to it yet, make sure you don’t miss this one and also the tag team match that I just mentioned. And as I said earlier this was really the only time that the crowd really woke up and started making some NOISE. Everything was right with this main event.

So this wasn’t a bad show at all. I just wish we could have gotten some better matches, but the non wrestling segments with Jericho, Shane/Orton, JBL and HBK were all very solid, and again there were two terrific matches. So with one more Raw before No Way Out I look for next week’s Raw with Ric Flair and Undertaker to be a pretty hot show. Oh and Taker will be there because after Orton attacked the McMahon’s, Stephanie made a deal with Kane. Her punishment for Orton comes next week with Taker vs. Orton and because Kane got Taker to show up next week, Stephanie put Kane in the Elimination Chamber match. So that’s why Taker will be on next week. Could next week’s Raw appearance with Taker possibly be the start of the rumored HBK vs. Taker match at Wrestlemania? I am starting to think this is just the beginning. Anyway next weeks show should be a hot one. Okay I will return with my Smackdown thoughts over the weekend.

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