Intercontinental Title Match: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Rey Mysterio: This was a fantastic way to open the show. Given the fact that this match was much better than the ECW Title match, the show should have been more aptly titled a "4-For-All" since this bout carried an excitement that made it feel just as important as any other title match on the card. I really love the mask story line, but if creative is going to continue down this road, then at some point they have to smarten Rey up by either having him relinquish the mask so that Jericho can’t use it to his advantage, or come up with some way to keep it secure during a match so that Jericho can’t always exploit it as a weakness. If Rey keeps losing matches because Jericho is messing with the mask, then it only makes Rey look more idiotic each time for keeping it on. Out of a possible 9 stars, I give this opening contest 7 stars.
ECW Title Match: Tommy Dreamer (c) vs Christian: Although this was a good bout considering how short it was, the time restraints here further proved that WWE doesn’t care too much about the ECW Title or the brand itself. The crowd was absolutely dead for this match, and in reality, you can’t blame them. Even though WWE finally decide to let Dreamer have a run with the ECW Title, they have done nothing with him in all of the years leading up to his big win that would make anyone suddenly care about him. I had a bad feeling that Dreamer’s title reign would be short-lived before Raw last night, and I feel even more confident it will be a dud of a reign following the show. WWE will use the excuse that Dreamer isn’t over with the crowd to eventually take the title off his waist, and it will be sooner rather than later, but the reality of the situation is that they have no one to blame but themselves for Dreamer’s lack of connection with the crowd because they’ve spent years burying him. 5 Stars.
Fatal Four Way Match for the Vacant WWE Title: Randy Orton vs. Big Show vs. John Cena vs. HHH: This was a very solid main event match, albeit a bit predictable. Big Show worked very hard here, and was moving with much more agility than I’ve seen from him in a long time. The problem with this match was the way it was booked to begin with. Show and Cena had no business being in the match, and it was pretty obvious neither of them would win, so it became predictable that Show was only there to take the pin fall since he loses every high profile match he’s in. The wrestling was generally good throughout, and all four guys worked hard, I just wish it would have showcased some new blood as opposed to the same 4 guys we’re used to seeing all the time in title matches. 6 Stars.
Diva’s Match: Mickie James vs. Rosa Mendez: This match was not very good. WWE is trying so hard to establish new stars in Divas like Maryse, Rosa, Layla and Eve, but at the end of the day they just don’t hold a candle to wrestlers like Beth and Mickie James. I like that Rosa’s gimmick seems to be that she’s a huge hot head in the ring, which leads to her down fall, but she needs a lot of work in the ring before she can actually compete with the likes of a Mickie James. 3.5 Stars.
World Heavyweight Title Triple Threat Match: Edge vs. Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk (c): This was a fantastic match, and as I guessed during VOW last night, was the match of the evening. All three of these guys worked their asses off, and there was some really great chain and counter wrestling offered in this bout. Most importantly, though, this match was booked appropriately and made Punk look like a credible champion as opposed to someone who can’t win a match without the help of someone else or luck itself. Edge shoving Punk off the turnbuckle was brutal looking, and the fact that Punk could get back up not once but twice after the injury, and after having the injury exploited by Hardy, made him look like a champion that was digging deep to secure his title defense as opposed to a champion that picked up a fluke of a win. This is the kind of booking that I hope continues with Punk, because if it does, then WWE has a great chance at pushing this young star over the line between a mid-card and main event player. 8.5 Stars.
The Hart Dynasty vs. Primo and Carlito Colon: A very forgettable match, which is a shame because The Hart Dynasty is a true tag team that needs to be pushed hard right now. I get that the purpose of this match was to fuel the angle between The Colons and Priceless heading into The Bash, but it did NOT have to be done at the expense of The Hart Dynasty. The Colons should have faced a team like Chavo and Noble last night, who have nothing to lose in a match designed to showcase another feud. 4 Stars.
10 Man Battle Royal: Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase vs. MVP vs. Matt Hardy vs. William Regal vs. Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz vs. The Big Show vs. HHH vs. John Cena: A lot of people are complaining that since HHH, Cena and Big Show lost to Randy Orton earlier in the night, then the three of them should not have been included in the Battle Royal match. I feel the exact opposite way about the situation. If all three of those guys competed in a match for the WWE Title earlier in the evening, then they have that to use as an argument in favor of them being considered for a spot in a battle royal to name a new number one contender for said title. So I had no problem with that. What I did have a problem with was talent like MVP being eliminated so quickly. How does that benefit the rising star at all? At least Priceless was not buried here, and the match did show that if the two of them work together they are a very formidable tag team. All in all this was a fun battle royal and it was great to see guys like William Regal, Rhodes, DiBiase and Kofi Kingston have their chance to shine. 6.5 Stars.
Overall, last night’s edition of Monday night Raw was a mixed bag, but I tip my hat to WWE for really trying to provide a unique feel to the show, and I hope this trend of booking Raw each week to feel like a must-see show continues. Out of a possible 9 stars, I give last night’s Monday Night Raw broadcast 6 Stars.
-Big Show spearing Edge looked like footage of Sea World attacking small children.
-Santino was hilarious last night. It’s no secret Vince has an enormous ego, it’s often times the down fall of his wrestling product, but at least he has no problem acknowledging it and making fun of it. You have to really put yourself in his shoes sometimes. If you were the chairman of the most successful wrestling promotion of all time, and created names in this business that have been known the world over, wouldn’t you be a bit of an egomaniac every now and then?
-I think at the end of a broadcast, Michael Cole and Todd Grisham are deflated and then hung back up in a closet somewhere. These two are definitely not real people.
-Why doesn’t Rey Mysterio just get a tattoo of a mask over his face? This way it can’t come off. I’ve been trying to get the tattoo I have of Bill Cosby off my right thigh for years now. Trust me, they don’t come off.
-One thing I liked about the Trump angle is that it does leave the door open for a GM to be named in the future, so we still have that to look forward to.
-Trump’s tan is so artificial it looks like he was rolling around in a melted Orange Popsicle for 5 hours prior to Raw. I bet he cries orange juice.
Thanks for reading, and as always please feel free to send any and all feedback to VOWNick@gmail.com!
Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?