Linda’s Thoughts – I’m Still Talking About The Main Event

I’m back and I’m so excited to talk about Monday’s Raw. But first let me tell you that our nephew passed away two weeks ago yesterday, and of course it’s been very tough to deal with.  I want to thank you all for you beautiful thoughts and condolences. I printed each one out and I shared them with my husband, son and my in laws. They were as touched as I was. Thank you again. I also want to mention that I did not miss any WWE shows. And it’s probably better that I didn’t put a column out for a while because for the most part the shows were good but not what you would expect right before Wrestlemania. Well I’m SO happy to say that today’s column is just going to be a glowing review of Monday’s Raw. And one more thing, this past weekend was my 9th anniversary of writing columns. I have to say I can’t believe how fast the nine years have flown by.  Hopefully next year at this time I’ll be celebrating the big 10. Okay let me get right to Raw and instead of starting with the negatives, I want to talk about the three HOT HOT segments that really made this show. And then I will end on a sour note with one angle that is going nowhere and it came off really bad the other night.

The show opened with a terrific segment thanks to Chris Jericho and Ric Flair. I have to admit when this angle with Jericho first got going I liked it a lot. Maybe it’s because I thought this was leading to a Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Jericho match at Wrestlemania. Well as the weeks went on it was obvious that Austin wasn’t going to be a part of this and all of a sudden the angle lost its zest, at least for me it did. But Monday, Ric Flair and Chris Jericho were not only brilliant on the mic, but the beat down that Jericho gave to Flair was off the charts. This opening segment was the way Raw used to be and it was so great to see so much excitement and yes violence. I know that sounds weird on my part, but what we got during Flair’s beating was something that has been missing for a long time. And that’s because the PG rating has taken over. So that rating seemed to slide during this excellent opener. This really set the tone for a terrific show.
The next big segment for me was with the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. I thought Michaels stole the segment with that fantastic video. It’s so nice seeing a strong HBK for a change. I loved it from the start that Michaels showed absolutely no fear anytime Taker showed up. This Michaels has been missing for a very long-time, welcome back SHAWN! Now back to the video. I liked how Michaels mentioned all the guys that Taker has defeated to keep his Wrestlemania streak alive. However, it’s HBK that has never lost to Taker and that’s the message that Michaels made sure Taker got. This video was dark and very good. Not only did Shawn bring it home, but also once the video was over, the expression on Taker’s face was priceless. It’s something we don’t see often if at all. This guy was down right pissed with HBK’s little message and just watching Taker react to Shawn made me want to see these two go at it even more in two weeks. This was another top HIGHLIGHT of the night.

But my favorite highlight was the main event with Randy Orton and Legacy. It wasn’t just Legacy taking out Triple H, but it was also watching Orton taunt the hell out of Hunter as he held Stephanie and hit her with a DDT that put the icing on the cake. This segment put Randy Orton over so damn well, that he actually creeped me out with his body language and facial expressions. He didn’t need to say a word when he grabbed Stephanie, and gave her the DDT, or when he slowly moved over to her lifeless body and kissed her on her lips. It was all done to torture the hell out of Triple H. Randy carried this all off so well. It’s been so long since we have seen an opening and main event with such excitement, drama and yes violence. Here I go again using that word. But after Monday night it made me realize just how much the PG rating is killing the shows.  This week’s Raw reminded me of the way things were back when I started in the middle of 1998. If the storyline was done right you just couldn’t wait until the week went by and the next show was on. And with Hunter and Steph back together on TV it reminds be how Hunter and Steph delivered just about every week on both Raw and Smackdown during 2000-2001. I was a big McMahon/Helmsley fan and I’m happy to see them together again. And now with a deranged Orton involved, you couldn’t help but get such a great main event this week. And speaking of Orton I have to say he gave a strong promo during the middle of the show promising to do something that would make his previous assaults on the family look tame. And he sure came through with that threat.

Yeah these three hot segments made the show. Don’t get me wrong; Jeff Hardy’s appearance on Raw was a nice surprise. He had a good match against Dolph Ziggler, but I couldn’t help but wonder where the hell Matt Hardy was. Why didn’t he do all he could to interfere and go after his brother? The Money In The Bank match with MVP, Kofi Kingston, Christian, and C.M. Punk vs. Shelton Benjamin, Finlay, Kane, and Mark Henry was a good match. It was fun to watch, but I just don’t feel that there has been much focus on this match. And usually this is one match that I’m always eager to watch, but so far the appeal isn’t quite there.  Rey Mysterio vs. William Regal was okay, but let’s face it the match was just way too short to make any kind of impact. JBL did a nice job on the mic, but that’s no surprise because that’s where he comes off well. I am just waiting for him to stop wrestling and just stick to mic work.  And speaking of mic work, it was nice to hear from Santino. He has been kind of silent lately. He wasn’t hilarious, but he still had me laughing.  Of course I did not expect him to beat Mickie James and becomes a participant in the 25-Diva battle royal, but for the short time this segment was on I was fine with it.

However the worst thing on the show, and on Smackdown is, you guessed it, is the Big Show/Vickie/Edge and John Cena. Up until Monday night, Cena wasn’t even a factor to me because it’s been about a horrible love triangle. Listen I think you all know I am a big Vickie Guerrero fan, but when they decided to put her on both shows and make this love thing a major part of Raw that’s when they totally lost me. Edge and Vickie are not the hot “lovers” that they used to be. Edge’s character has gone so far down since his return in the fall. And as good as Vickie is I don’t feel that she and the Big Show have or ever had chemistry. Throwing Show into this title picture was the worst thing that Vince could have done. I never was a Big Show fan. And from the reaction he got when Vickie announced he would be in this match, I’m guessing that he’s not the most over guy with the fans either. The guy has a great sense of humor, so maybe it’s creative’s fault that he just doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere. His feud wit Taker was bad and things aren’t getting any better in the World title picture. And while Cena hasn’t been doing a bad job, he sure stunk on Monday night. I understand that he has a movie coming out. Oh wait did you know that? Oh I knew we would see the previews over and over again, and at first I didn’t mind, but after the “700th” showing I think I have seen enough. There is no reason to see the movie. So we got that shoved down our throats over and over again the other night, and then they had Cena do some lame mic work about Vickie and her love life.  Let’s just say that his two pre recorded segments were horrible and leave it to creative to bring back the Cena that turns so many of us off. You know what?  He’s been doing so well, that I haven’t felt so much negativity for him as I did the other night.  But then again it’s not Cena’s fault, no the credit goes solely to that wonderful creative team. Everything about this angle stinks. And it gets worse week after week, show after show. The feud is doing nothing for Edge or Cena, and it certainly isn’t helping Big Show. Vickie should have been only on Smackdown along with this storyline. They could have sent Cena to Smackdown to build things up. I just feel it really brings Raw down as soon as any of the participants show up.

Okay so it’s one lousy feud and three very good ones. I just hope next week Raw can deliver, especially with Wrestlemania following six days later. It’s great to be back and look for me on Saturday with my Smackdown thoughts.  Hopefully Smackdown will be on fire. Well maybe it won’t be as hot as Raw was, but at least close to it. Again thank you all for your kind words while I was gone.

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