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Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Raw Thoughts - February 9th

· Jericho and Flair kick off Raw. Ironically, having not met for months, they’ll meet again next week in their traffic anger management class. If this was WCW they would book some sort of Road Rage in Cage match or a gearstick on a pole match.
· I’m not sure what the segment achieved, though. Jericho doesn’t need any more character development to get himself over as a smart ass arrogant heel, and very little was accomplished. I’ll reserve judgement mostly because this could be leading somewhere, but if that was a one-off excuse to have Flair back, it was weak.
· Standard built to a title match with Beth and Melina. Have the challenger win to make it look like she is favourite to win it back. I don’t like the treatment of Melina on commentary, though, with them acting surprised when she was on offense. She is the champion, and supposedly on merit, not by fluke. If you sound shocked when she is doing well, it is pointless having the belt on her.
· Good, strong win for Cody and Ted. I’d suggest that if Miz and Morrison were not doing so well and were not heels then Priceless would be prime candidates for the belts, to do a similar thing as they did with Evolution, showing the stable’s dominance by having lots of gold. Would have like this match with Cryme Tyme to have gone a bit longer, mind you.
· What a terrific finish to the six man tag. Very innovative twist into the Codebreaker, great decision to have Jericho make the fall as he is the most likely contender to Cena’s title.
· I really like that idea – to have HBK lose via DQ in seconds. Why would he want to have a long match against a big guy? Makes no odds if he wins or not, really. Cut to the chase and let JBL do what he does best.
· JBL wants Shawn to bring his wife to No Way Out? I thought he was going to say Joey Styles.
· Good, hard-hitting action between Punk and Regal, but again way, way too short. This was treated as such an afterthought, and far from a big deal. It wasn’t promoted throughout the show, even when Cole mentioned Regal as a passing reference, he never pointed out that Regal would challenge for gold late that night.
· Right, the main event. I’ll bet there are plenty of you out there who are unhappy about a bullshit finish, but every now and again it has to be done, and this is one such occasion. It’s slightly worrying that they have to bring in Taker and Flair one on night to try to spark a rating (perhaps due to the dog show? Don’t forget they used to get shifted for that, so maybe they are looking for a big number to show USA how valuable they still are) and I was expecting Taker to perhaps get involved with Shawn again, hinting towards a Mania programme. The thing to look at in the booking of this is that Orton is the Raw top heel and Taker is......well, Taker. Neither man could really lose clean, so having Legacy join together and briefly beat down Taker made sense as an ending, and they managed to work Shane’s appearance in such a way that Taker didn’t look like he was being saved. Also, Shane’s “Coast to Coast” was a big moment to end a show, helping to build the show.
· One other point I wanted to make – to sell the PPV as a Shane v Randy spectacle is a risk given that they have not done a lot to build Shane up. It shouldn’t be forgotten that this guy has had two or three excellent matches in his life. Well, maybe not excellent MATCHES, but very entertaining spectacles, at the least. I’m thinking tangles with Kurt Angle and Steve Blackman, and to a lesser extent X-Pac, Test and Big Show. But nothing of late has really had Shane showing what he can do, so I think I would have had a video package with some of his major moments remembered. Don’t forget some of the audience won’t know who he is, at least wouldn’t know what he can do. A few rubbish punches and one, badly filmed, coast-to-coast would not excite someone who doesn’t know what Shane O Mac is all about.

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