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Obvious things aside like Goldust and Hornswoggle who continue to bore, and the lack of emphasis on the tag team champions, the main issue I had with Raw last night was the logic in which the WWE Title was handled and the eventual return of Triple H.
First off I'd like to say, for the record, that Triple H returning was not only a smart move, it was necessary. One of Raw's top stars is out for at least 4 months with an injury and the void needed to be replaced by someone who is truly over with the crowd, and like it or not that man is Triple H.
The problem I had though was Vickie's announcement that the main event would see Batista defend his WWE Title against Randy Orton, with the stipulation being that if Batista could not answer the 10 count he would lose the title to Orton via forfeit. Since when does the General Manager of any brand have the authority to force someone to wrestle who is not medically cleared to do so? I have the same problem with the current Matt Hardy angle. So if someone is legitimately hurt and in the hospital a GM has the power to book that wrestler in matches every week and they continuously lose via forfeit? That makes absolutely no sense. Additionally, did Batista even know the match was made? Who told him? When we watch a contract signing on TV for a bout that takes place on PPV for instance, we have to remember that all matches are "signed" even if we don't see it on live TV. So when did Batista sign the contract for the match? If and only if a wrestler is medically cleared to wrestle and he then refuses to sign a contract or participate in a match should he lose via forfeit.
This brings us to the match itself. Why did referee Mike Chioda ring the bell to begin the match when both Priceless members were still in the ring? Since when does a match begin with a valet in the ring along with the wrestlers?
Furthermore, why did the ref stop counting when he reached 9? Since when does a referee stop his count to allow for a wrestler to get back into the ring? If he can do that what's the point of counting in the first place? If the referee has the power to make those decisions, then we should be aware of such a rule.
The bottom line is that there HAS to be consistency in WWE where the rules are concerned or else the legitimacy of pro wrestling is illogically exposed and the suspension of disbelief becomes harder to create. Pro wrestling is NOT a legitimate sport, however it emulates one, and as such it must work within the confines of the rules it creates or else nothing makes sense. If Vickie can make a match like she did last night, why didn't she ever make a match for Edge where the World Heavyweight Champion had to defend his title after he had already left the building and then surrender it via forfeit? WWE needs to create to the top of one's intelligence, not the middle or the bottom.
Kofi Kingston vs William Regal: This match did not reach the level of intensity that it should have, and in the process it buried Regal as a formidable challenger to Kingston's US Title. This was a glorified squash match and I hated it for that reason. A guy like Regal, who is as competent of an in-ring wrestler as anyone in WWE, should be treated better in a match located in a division that he is tailor made for. The mid-card scene is thin at best in WWE, and guys like Hardy, Regal, Kendrick, etc should be made to look like worthy competitors for the US Title instead of easily disposed of talent by wrestlers like Kingston and MVP. Out of a possible 9 stars I give this opening contest 4 Stars.
Kelly Kelly vs Maryse (c) for the Diva's Championship: A decent match at best, and further proof that Kelly and Maryse are just not at the level of talent like Mickie James and Beth Phoenix. Although both Divas show flashes of entertaining offense, at the end of the day the two don't have enough gas in the tank to wrestle a match long enough that could venture past mediocre. Additionally, Mickie was weak on commentary, so I had to tune out 3 people coming through my speakers instead of just 2. 4.5 Stars.
Santino Marella, Goldust & Festus vs Chavo Guerrero, The Brian Kendrick, & Jamie Noble:
The Miz vs John Cena: I can't rate this as a match considering it never began, but I'm torn with this angle right now. As much as I DO NOT want to see Cena wrestle Big Show on another PPV, I think it's very interesting how creative is pitting Cena, The Miz and Big Show against one another as opposed to creating the obvious heel alliance between Show and Miz. The Miz looked great last night, and it was refreshing to see him booked in a way that made you think he could actually stand up to guys like Show and Cena if he outsmarts them. Let's hope creative goes the road of involving all three of these guys in a match as opposed to forcing us to sit through Show's 3,593rd loss to Cena in a singles match.
MVP vs Matt Hardy: I feel similarly to this as I did the Kingston vs Regal match. I understand that MVP needed to go over here to solidify his claim that he should be involved in the title hunt next week on Raw, but did he have to basically squash Hardy to do so? Cole and Lawler reminded us that these guys had a long feud on Smackdown awhile back, so are we really supposed to believe that MVP would have that easy of a time defeating Matt Hardy? Again, WWE needs to be logical. Just because Hardy is a heel now does not mean that he's any less intelligent of a wrestler or that's he any weaker when it comes to wrestling someone he's had many matches against in the past. This is why Triple H was always so successful as a heel, because although he was cowardly and a cheater, he maintained a level of intelligence and ability when it came to actually wrestling a match. 5 Stars.
Priceless (Rhodes and DiBiase) vs Carlito and Primo Colon: This was the best match on Raw last night. Did anyone see it? Did the announcers make any mention of the match at all during the show to promote it taking place? No and no. Once again, if people are going to take Priceless seriously, or The Colons seriously for that matter, then more importance needs to be placed on the consequences and implications of a match like this. I bet half the live audience thought it was a title match because no one mentioned anything about it until after the bell rang. That said, this was an excellent TV bout and I look forward to seeing these two teams collide for the titles in the future. I just hope I don't miss it because no one remembers to tell me it's on. 7.5 Stars
Batista (c) vs Randy Orton for the WWE Championship: Again I can't rate this because it never happened but come on, where was the logic here? This would have been so much better had Triple H come in BEFORE Chioda reached the 10 count, at say like the count of 6, attacked Orton, and then Orton would have won the match via DQ but Batista would have retained the title. It still wouldn't have explained how the match was even allowed to happen in the first place, but ah well, I'm supposed to check my brain at the front door when I watch Raw I suppose.
Overall, this was an eventful show in terms of story lines and of course the return of Triple H, but the lack of wrestling and logic in the program kept it from being the best it could have been. Out of a possible 9 stars, I give last night's Raw broadcast 5.5 Stars.
-Mickie James was terrible on commentary last night yet she still had the where-with-all to correct Michael Cole when he temporarily forgot what planet he was on. Cole is the Ron Burgundy of announcing. Put a script in front of his face that says "I'm as fun as a bag of dicks on Christmas" and he will read it and believe it.
-The crowd was going nuts when Vickie was decimated by Edge. What a great moment for her. She really has to be proud of how far she's come along since beginning her work with WWE. She has the crowd's focus in the palm of her hand. I have a feeling Eddie would have been very proud.
-Maryse should never speak. I understand Hornswoggle's grunts better than I understand her attempt at real words.
-It's starting to look like "The People's Ballin." Be careful WWE.
-For those of you who didn't see what happened to Batista at the top of the show last night, should I write it all out for you or wait for WWE to replay it 14 more times?