Linda’s Thoughts – Raw/A Slight Improvement

Yes this weeks Raw was an improvement from last week’s Raw, but I still found the show somewhat boring. Don’t get me wrong there were a few decent segments, but there is definitely something missing. Raw is starting to remind me of the way Smackdown was a while back when the show lacked star power and good storylines. Now if this were a Smackdown column it would be so upbeat. I just wish Raw could get back on track. Hey maybe I should have put another warning sign at the beginning of this column, or maybe even better Vince should put a “WARNING” message on before Raw airs. Of course I am being sarcastic, but let’s face it Raw lately is not the Raw that I’m used to watching.

I thought the opening was pretty good, a little too long for me but still good. We got a solid segment with Randy Orton and Dave Batista. Orton was trying to talk Batista in to joining the Legacy. Orton said if Batista joined they would be bigger than the 4 Horsemen, DX and Evolution. He told Batista that when they were in Evolution Hunter held them back, but they don’t have to worry about him, because Orton took him out. Batista of course refused and went on to say how much he loathed Orton and that he wanted to hurt him not join him. DiBiase got in there and tried to bond with the big guy. I guess he felt Batista’s pain because he said that the punt to his head was the best thing that could happen to him. He was going nowhere and now he’s a member of an elite group. As I said this was a strong segment and then the woman that everyone loves to hate, Vickie Guerrero came out and made another lame gimmick match. I’m so sick of these matches. Here’s what she came up with and I’m sure after this match was made we all knew the outcome. It would be Batista vs. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase in a handicap match. If Legacy won, there would be a three-on-one handicap match. She then said that if Batista won the match, Judgment Day would come early and there would be a match between Orton and Batista on Raw. And after this was announced she told Orton to leave the ring because the match was NOW! As I said this was a good opening to set up Batista and Orton for Sunday’s show.

The whole handicap Batista vs. Rhodes/DiBiase match was just what I expected. It was really nothing special and of course Batista lost. And that lost was credited to DiBiase for leaving the ring, getting a chair and then sliding it under the rope. Batista went to get the chair; he picked it up and then got disqualified. A blah ending but an ending that set up the three on one match with Legacy vs. Batista for the main event. The next match I happened to like very much. And I’m talking about Maryse vs. Mickie James. As I said last week it’s a pleasure to see Mickie out there doing what she does best, wrestling. I think these two have good chemistry and I really wish we would see them at Judgment Day fighting for the Diva’s title, but so far that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. We saw Josh Matthews interviewing Orton, and while the interview was going on Ted DiBiase ran to Orton to tell him Rhodes was missing. Orton and DiBiase ditched Matthews to look for Rhodes. Could it be that Batista took Rhodes out? We would find that out a little later.

Hey I’m starting to like what they are doing with Chavo’s character. He’s becoming quite the little conniver. You talk about kissing ass; he’s been doing just that with his Aunt Vickie. Chavo puts these little ideas in her head and so far she just seems to embrace each one. The latest from Chavo was to put John Cena in an exhibition match to see if he’s really injured. And Aunt Vickie jumped at that idea and decided that Cena would face the Miz. Listen watching Chavo like this with Vickie is so much better than watching Vickie and the Big Show interact, SO MUCH BETTER. And by the way, Chavo ended this segment by wishing his lovely Aunt a Happy Mother’s Day. He’s such a good boy.

Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler are in the ring hyping the matches for Judgment Day. The best part of this was that they added Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho to the card. I expect that match to be well worth watching. Okay so after this segment it’s backstage with Orton and DiBiase looking for Rhodes. They split up and after a few seconds Orton and Rhodes find each other. They are on their way to get DiBiase and they find out he’s down and the medics are coming to check on him. The only word he says is Batista and Orton just stares into space, you know like he’s thinking how can I stop Batista? Now it’s on to the next match, which was Carlito vs. Kendrick. I liked their match last week and I liked it even more this week. Again it was way too short, but we still got some pretty good action here. Unlike last week, Kendrick walked out the winner here. And then he got on the mic and made an announcement. He said the win was step one, and step two is finding a partner and not just any partner THE partner, and when he does he promises that The Brian Kendrick will become ½ of the tag team champions. I am starting to like this character more on Raw than Smackdown. I can’t wait to see who the partner is.

So now it’s time for the Miz vs. John Cena in an exhibition match. First Big Show comes out as a spectator. And then it’s Cena’s turn, and thankfully he doesn’t do his usual entrance, he is “too injured” for that. Cena got in the ring and stared Big Show down. And then Miz showed up and did a few one-liners. He made fun of Cena being injured and then he came up with another great joke. He said, “You should be excited this is just an exhibition, this is not 12 Rounds, people are actually going to see this.” But he wasn’t done, he came up with, “I know people are picking on you about your movie and all, but in all fairness your rap album sucked too.” Three weeks in a row, the Miz has done a hell of a job. The match was okay, it was nothing more than to get the Miz and Cena in a ring together and then to get Big Show out there just to shake things up a little bit by leaving and smiling at Cena. I had no problem with any of this at all. At least we saw a very quiet and serious Cena so that was a major plus as far as I’m concerned. They are backstage again, gee there sure were a lot of backstage segments; well anyway Orton and Rhodes were making plans for Batista. Orton told Rhodes to go find Batista, and while he looked we see Santino, Vickie and Chavo talking in Vickie’s office. Vickie questions “Santina.” She asked him if he called her a swine last week. And our little Santina said she wasn’t on the show last week. Then Vickie had Beth Phoenix and Rosa Mendes come in and she ordered Rosa to kiss Santina to prove that it’s Santino. Oh this was so lame, so she kissed him and Santino of course loved it, but instead of coming clean Santina says she’s a lesbian. Oh this was so funny, not really. And then Santina snorted like a pig and this led to another Santina vs. Beth Phoenix match with Beth again getting pinned by Santina. I’m tired of Phoenix having to work against him and lose week after week. And I think I hate Michael Cole even more over doing the laughter. He just comes off like such a tool.  It’s back to Rhodes and his trusty pipe hunting down Batista. Rhodes heard a noise and opened the side door and out came Hornswoggle. Rhodes thought he was in the clear and from behind Batista came up and attacked Rhodes. So I’m thinking is that handicap match over with and now it’s a one on one with Orton vs. Batista? Of course it can’t be a true match now with the pay per view on Sunday, so no matter what you just have to figure that Rhodes and DiBiase will find a way to come back. But meanwhile
John Cena did an interview that started out so damn cheesy but ended on a positive note. He started telling Josh Matthew He’s hurting, he’s been going through some hard times, and he said how does that make him different than anybody else? Everybody is gong through hard times in this great nation, and everybody across the world. There are hard times everywhere. He stood out in the arena at it was filled. Why? Because despite everything people have always found a way to adapt and overcome. Well he says he guesses he will have to ante up and do what he does best, adapt and overcome. See to me that’s so corny, again creative has him playing up to the fans, but after all of this he then made it better by saying. “See you are asking me how am I going to go to Judgment Day to compete against the Big Show.”  “I’m not going to compete I’m going to win.” He then left and returned and said to Josh, “You didn’t hear me,” and a little louder said, “I’m going to win.” This I liked this was all I needed not all the other stuff that was said.

I was very happy with MVP and Kofi Kingston vs. Matt Hardy and William Regal. I liked the action here and after all that Santina stuff I needed something to take my mind off of all of that. Regal and Hardy both came up with some good mic work and I especially enjoyed Matt’s because he continued to whine about being forced to wrestle with his hand that his broken in three places. He then said that his formal grievance to the WWE Board of Directors has been ignored. The guy is doing such a good job in this heel role; in fact the crowd reacts to him just the way you would expect. It’s all going so well for Hardy. As I said the match was a good one and I think it was my favorite of the night. And finally the main event. Oh yes it started out with Batista vs. Orton and while it didn’t last, Batista tried to do break Orton’s ankle just like Orton did to Shane a week ago. Batista took chair shot after chair shot and then tried to throw the steel steps on it, but Rhodes ran out with his pipe only to get the Batista bomb. However, DiBiase came from behind and went after Big Dave. This brought Orton back in and the two went at it. Batista tried to hit Orton with the Batista bomb but DiBiase broke it up and then got speared. I have to say things really picked up once all the members of the Legacy got in here. While this was going on Orton was on the floor and Batista threw the steel stair in his direction. It wasn’t a bad throw. This segment definitely was a positive way to end the show.

So as you can see I didn’t hate the show like last week, there was promise, just not enough. Well we have Smackdown on Friday and I’m anxious to see if Smackdown’s streak of hot shows continues. I will be back over the weekend with my Judgment Day predictions, and God knows I really need to improve. It’s been a rough few months for me. Please feel free to start sending in your picks.

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