The show opens with Jeff Hardy and Triple H vs. Snitsky and Umaga, and good grief did Snitsky look like crap, and I'm not just talking his appearance. An awful, awful match, which ended with an announcement that Armageddon will feature Triple H vs. Hardy for NO DISCERNIBLE REASON. Its a non title match, which means one of two things: Hardy will lose, or there will be a DQ, and Hardy gets pedigree'd anyway. Why? Why do this? Hardy has a ton of momentum, and is at a higher level as a singles performer than he has been in years. So you are going to feed him to Triple H? (And lets be honest, while there is potential for a good, interesting match, what are the chances that Hardy could win clean?) You go from giving him the rub to sweeping him under the ring. This makes no sense, no sense at all.
The man (or one of them, including Umaga) that Hardy should be working a program with, is Mr. Kennedy. Instead, Kennedy is working with Shawn Michaels (for no... discernible... reason). After cutting an odd promo that only served to plug the DVD set of his opponent, he worked a squash against Brian Kendrick. A squash is OK, I guess, but why on Earth against Brian Kendrick? This is a very athletic wrestler in his prime, a two time tag champ, one of which he held for nearly a year. So you have him Job out? Who's cereal did Kendrick crap in? They didn't have a local jabroni or a developmental call-up hanging around to do it? This makes no sense.
So... Y2J comes out and is interrupted by Santino Marella, and Jericho fought him. A pretty simple formula, but for some reason WWE had Santino go after Jerry Lawler. I know Lawler and Marella have a program of sorts, but it only helped to distract the audience from the guy in the ring that is supposed to be the focus, Jericho. And then, by waiting until after the break to have the match seemed to take the crowd out of it. Jericho was impressive in the match, and had a killer-looking new finisher, but all it seemed to accomplish was a collective shrug.
Instead of doing the obvious and pitting Orton and Jericho to start their program, Orton goes up against Ric Flair. Why? Whats the point? Flair "comes back," says he'll never retire, and then for NO DISCERNIBLE REASON, Vince McMahon comes out and tells him, first, that he's a valuable property, and second, if he ever loses a match, he's fired. Right. (And Vince, if you are going to senselessly apply random restrictions on people, why not go overboard and get it over with... Ric Flair vs. Big Vis & Umaga & Khali should do it just nicely. These are logic holes the Space Shuttle could fly through.)
So now, FOR NO DISCERNIBLE REASON, its Orton vs. Flair... in a non-title match, which means, of course, that Flair will win. Which he does. But in the process, WWE jobbed out their world champion on their A-Show to a 58 year old out-of-shape wrestler who hasn't preformed in six months (no offense to the Legend that is Ric Flair, but its not 1974 or 1984 or 1994 anymore).
All this after a SmackDown that insulted the intelligence. I have gotten used to mediocrity from WWE, unfortunately, but this was supposed to be somewhat of a turning point: Edge is back, Y2J is back, Flair is back. Yet, somehow, with all this sheer talent, WWE Creative proves utterly incompetent. I am not asking for miracles here, and I know that the folks in Creative (and yes, even Steph and Vince) are Human, but is it too much to ask for logical booking and quality wrestling? Nonsense storylines (disappearing leprechauns?) , senseless twists, even more senseless jobbing...
What utter crap, all of it. I love wrestling, I love WWE, but WWE is making it very, very difficult to be a fan of their product.
Jeffrey O. Gustafson
Good show overall tonight. Fun main event, good build towards Armageddon, good mic work by Marella, Flair, Jericho, and Kennedy (who's really stepped his promos up these past two weeks. Opening tag match was fine except that the wrong big man got protected in the finish. Jericho looked good for how long he's been gone. The Flair storyline already has me hooked even though I knew he was winning tonight. The crowd was weak though, even giving NC's own Jeff Hardy a smaller reception than he gets on most night's. Not surprising that they were so weak for guys like Jericho though when you look at how Cena and RVD got sub-par reactions at that same Arena during Vengeance 2006, and DX despite making their PPV re-debut got a pop that wasn't close to what they got on most nights during their 2006 run.
Well you can officially call me interested in Armageddon. Kennedy vs. HBK, Hardy vs. HHH big question in both these matches are can the old ego's put over the younger stars, Hardy going over HHH will be the final step into the main event for Jeff and could easily lead into a win in the 2008 Royal Rumble match.
Jericho vs. Orton looks like it will happen, Mickie vs. Beth is the 1st Women's match I've wanted to see since Trish and Lita left (although the Mickie-Melina feud around Backlash was better then I expected) Khali-Finlay will be a comedy match and a toilet break.
As for RAW it was a strong show that was hurt in parts by a quiet crowd but considering it was in North Carolina and the 1st 2 segments included Jeff Hardy and Ric Flair, the crowd was always going to be drained for the rest of the night.
Jericho-Santino were gold on the mic, Kennedy didn't make me want to gouge my eyes out when he was in the ring or block my ears when he spoke so that is something.
Nice tension in the main event but even with that the opening tag match was still the best of the night.
This was a solid Monday Night Raw this week. It was not great but good. I like the fact they cut the talk down and gave us a lot of in ring action. The open tag match was a good way to start the show it got the crowed into it and it was a fresh change from the normal 20 minute promo we get to start the show.
I also like the MR. Kennedy promo he did because I think him and HBK will work well together. The only thing I did not like was HBK should have cut a promo after Kennedy to continue the build. Jericho and Santino was fine for what it was it was a good way to get Jericho a match and not hurt some of the other talent.
The women's match. I know the WWE loves the Divas. However if they are going to make them wrestle can they please teach them how to wrestle so we don't have to watch the same four people wrestle every week. Plus if they learn how to wrestle we could have matches that last more then five minutes.
As for Ric Flair it was good to see him and he had a solid match with Orton and all but that whole win or retire thing is going to get old real fast. I wish Flair would retire from the WWE after Royal Rumble and go into the Hall Fame the Night before Wrestlemaina and take some sort of out of the ring job like an Agent or GM or booker something it's time for him to take his spot in the Hall Fame and out of the ring. But all and all a real solid Monday Night Raw.
Joe From New York