Raw was fantastic last night. Everything was almost perfect. I did say almost. The show opened with a hell of a segment, it closed with a hell of a segment and in between there were plenty of things that came off so damn well. This show did a phenomenal job building towards No Way Out. And the Oakland, Ca., crowd was just as good as the show. We got a definite 5 star show last night and I can’t wait to talk about it.
As I said the opening was outstanding. Rick Flair and Chris Jericho tore it up with their mic work. My God this segment had me talking right with them. That’s how great Flair and Jericho’s promos were. Jericho was right on talking about how Flair has to have the spotlight, and I loved Flair’s statement about how he would never sell out and go back into the ring because of his respect for Shawn Michaels. I have to say Flair and Jericho brought so much to this segment, and yes this is one of those times that I wish I could have been in that arena to see this live. Jericho was just so awesome here and Flair was outstanding, he’s still the same Ric Flair when it comes to terrific mic work.
The first match of the night was with Beth Phoenix and Jillian Hall taking on Melina and Kelly Kelly. This wasn’t a bad match, but let’s face it, this was done to set up a title match next week with Melina vs. Beth Phoenix. Santino again was silent when it came to mic work, and Phoenix’s big fan, Rosa Mendez got her two cents in by preventing Melina from doing a springboard. So not a bad match, but this was one of many very fast matches of the night. I have two more matches that both came off well, HOWEVER they were so damn short that I don’t even know why they even bothered to put them on TV. I’m talking about Team Priceless vs. Cryme Tyme. Now I liked this match must better than last week’s match, but again this was really a rushed match. Also didn’t either Shad or JGT lose just about the same way last week? Didn’t we see one of them watch what was going on outside of the ring, and when he turned around he got either DiBiase or Rhodes finishing move and got pinned? Well I might be wrong but the ending sure looked familiar. And the third match of the night that was just way too short, was CM Punk defending his I.C. title against William Regal. Wow this one looked good but these two guys were given such a little time that I just wondered why they didn’t hold this off maybe until next week.
But there was one very hot match last night. And I’m talking about the 6-man tag team match with John Cena, Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston vs. Kane, Mike Knox and Chris Jericho. Without a doubt this was my match of the night. I loved the action and at least this match got the right amount of time that it deserved. In case you were unable to watch Raw for some reason, but recorded it make sure you catch this match, I’m telling you this was dynamite and props to all involved. Also I might have not been too excited to see HBK take on Mark Henry, but even though this was a very short match, damn it this turned out to be rather good. Let me set this all up for you. Early into the show, good ole boy JBL reminded Michaels that he’s still owns HBK. And that gives him the right to make a match. So JBL made a tune up match with Shawn vs. Mark Henry. Ah that sly JBL he would do anything to make sure Henry could “soften” up Michaels for their match at No Way Out. So as I said at first I thought this match wouldn’t be much, but of course I was wrong. Sure this lasted about a minute, but Henry and Michaels made this very interesting and fun to watch. Mark Henry won after HBK was DQ’D for super kicking a chair into the big guys face. I loved the ending but I also enjoyed what followed right after the match. JBL entered the ring and started shooting his mouth off. He would like HBK’s wife to be at No Way Out so she can witness what a broken down, battered old man her husband has become. And as JBL is popping with this Michael’s face is saying it all. You can see the anger in him, and I’m sure Shawn wanted to hit his “boss”, but that would mean their match at No Way Out would be canceled.
I loved this because JBL just kept baiting Michaels and the more upset Michaels got, the more JBL would mouth off. Again these two put on quite a performance last night and I really can’t wait to see their match on Sunday. And finally I was totally into the main event with Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker. The Undertaker on Raw is a nice change of pace and even though I didn’t expect Orton or Taker to win, this match really came through. Not only did we get a nice match between these two guys, but it also set up a run in from Shane McMahon. I was really disappointed when it looked like Shane wasn’t going to be on. I figured it’s the last Raw before NWO and I really expected McMahon to show up and have some kind of confrontation with Orton. Well once Rhodes, DiBiase and Orton started going after Taker I heard cheering and I knew Shane was on his way. And I think it was so appropriate to bring Shane out when they did. I could do without some of McMahon’s punches but when he did his version of the Van Terminator on Ted Dibiase it was just a perfect way t end the show. This set up Sunday’s match with Randy Orton against Shane McMahon so well.
As you can see Raw was a solid and entertaining show. If Smackdown can set up No Way Out like Raw did then we will have a perfect week of WWE programming. I can’t wait to see Smackdown and the return of Jeff Hardy. Oh and speaking of returns, ECW just ended and what a shock and surprise it was to see Christian make his ECW debut. I never dreamed ECW would be the show he would return too, but right now that’s just where he is. WWE really kept this quiet and it’s nice when something this big doesn’t leak out. I thought he did a great job on the mic making fun of Jack Swagger and in the ring against the ECW champion he looked awesome. So welcome back Christian. I will be back over the weekend with my No Way Out predictions. So start sending me your picks and check for mine this weekend I can’t believe there’s another pay per view so soon, but after No Way Out I believe it will be 6 weeks until Wrestlemania. That will be here before you know it.