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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Raw is Pena

If you are looking for opinions on last night's WWE Raw which emenated live from Bridgeport, Connecticut, (thumbs up, yeah!), you will mostly find complaints and misgivings. Not here, not today.

Last night's Raw stood out in my mind because of a tremendous commitment to one special young man, Mr. Michael Pena. Pena lived out the dream of millions of professional wrestling fans when he was able to serve as Raw General Manager for a Day. Pena's wish was granted through the Make a Wish Foundation.

Now, a brief on camera appearance with an inappropriately dressed Maria would have been more than enough for the WWE to say they fufilled their commitments, but WWE went the extra mile in allowing Pena airtime with Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Edge, and Randy Orton to announce the four way main event at the upcoming Backlash Pay Per View.

Michael made these comment courtesy of WWE.com: “It’s bigger than I thought,” said Michael. “Today I’ve gotten to meet almost all the Superstars. It was very cool hanging out with Mick Foley.”

Michael showed no hesitation and no nerves when presented with the duty of making the announcement in front of a sold out arena and the millions of fans at home.

Michael added: “It was very fun and at the same time scary, because you never know what the reaction of the crowd is going to be,” said Michael, who received a great reaction from the audience. “It was exciting.”

Kudos to the WWE for really doing something special with this opportunity. It is truly a moment that I will remember for a long time.

Elsewhere on Raw, we witnessed the continuing emergence of one Mr. Bobby Lashley. With hair stipulations abounding, one has to wonder when his moniker will be changed to Bobby "The Barber" Lashley. At least it would further remove him from Lesnar and Goldberg comparisons, which WWE Magazine even makes in it's latest issue.

I read an article this morning where one fan feels that Lashley's Raw presence is a big FU (and I am not talking about John Cena's finisher to logical storytelling and to the fans. It is written that this is because Lashley is an "ECW" superstar.

To this I say, who the hell cares? Shane and Lashley put on an entertaining match, and while it ended with the typical beatdown a face normally receives, it does lead to a lot of intrigue as to how Bobby Lashley will be able to get revenge in the face of what seems like insurmountable odds. If any wrestling fan is a big enough fan to be blogging about the business, he or she should realize that when Vince and Shane are part of a storyline, that story takes presidence. Expect to see a lot more of Lashley on Raw as well as ECW. Only time will tell if he ends up overexposed, as questioned in Brady Hicks' The Wrestler article.

There is also written concern about the fact that ECW wrestlers seemingly have nothing to shoot for in the wake of the Backlash title announcement. The writers have done a pretty good job of tying up the most prominent would be contenders in a ECW Originals vs. New Breed feud, that frankly, writes itself. The most well groomed ECW title challenger at the moment is Gene Snitsky, and you can't tell me that a Snitsky/Lashley showdown at this time is a better story than what WWE is doing. The only real intrigue there currently is that they are the White and Black versions of one another with their black tights and bald heads.

I am not sure how any wrestling writer missed the memo that WWE pay-per-views would be tri-branded from now on. If you plan on being a wrestling journalist, you probably owe it to your fans to check on a WWE conference call report once in a while. This came straight from Linda McMahon's mouth weeks ago.

In one of my from the vault articles, there is an article I wrote that is almost a year old about Tag Team wrestling. It seems now that the WWE is showing some inkling of respect for the division as there was not one but two tag matches on raw that featured something more than makeshift tag teams. This is a week removed from not one but two ten team battle royals to determine the Tag Team Champions.

WWE is playing there cards right, setting up tension between Flair and Carlito for their inevitable feud. I am happy to see them building up some true anticipation for the match, rather than pulling the trigger immediately, as they have done over the past few years with many storylines. If done correctly, a Flair/Carlito feud could run for a long time. Flair has some issues with Kenny Dykstra that are seemingly unresolved. What if Carlito recruited Dykstra and two other young men (possibly WGTT or Cade and Murdoch) to form a heel faction that is representative of "New Era" Horsemen. After fans who don't know are educated by the release of this new Horsemen DVD, it would be interesting to see Flair have to tangle with a group that is as devious as he once was. Would he play dirtier than the youngsters? Would he repent for his old ways? It could make for some interesting TV.

Back to tag teams, how about Shelton Benjamin's performance in the match against the Hardys. Coming out on the losing end isn't so bad, when you get noticed. I think that people backstage had to see that fire back in Shelton that they saw two years ago. Great to see Cade and Murdoch get the victory as well, as they are more than deserving of a Tag Team title shot. Often afterthoughts on Raw, they will get the Hardys on Pay Per View.

It was great to see Mickie James and Victoria back involved with women's wrestling on Raw, as these are the top two in-ring divas, hands down. All four women put on a great match, and how great did Mickie and Victoria look in their new gear? Wow!

Rounding out the show, was one of the best matches on Raw in a long time. Michaels and Orton really put on a show. This is the type of wrestling you hope to see when you turn your TV's to USA on Monday nights. I know a lot of places are shitting all over every little idiosyncracy from last night's raw, but for me, I thought the show was certainly a step in the right direction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about that sweet chin music by HBK...knocked ortons block off!