Nick’s Monday Night Raw Preview: “Caging The Animal”

Nick Paglino

wwe rawWhat’s up wrestling fans? Nick here with a look at tonight’s Monday Night Raw broadcast, which will make an effort, we’ll find out how large or small, to bounce back from the low rating they pulled in last week. Additionally, WWE is going to have to work extra hard in the creative department to make up for what has generally been considered by most fans to be a weak string of shows the past few weeks. That said, let’s take a look at what WWE has lined up for us tonight:

MVP vs Kofi Kingston for the United States Title:

I really think Kingston should go over here. With the release of Mr. Kennedy this past weekend, now is the time for WWE to step MVP up to the main event level and capitalize on the fresh momentum he has since coming over to the Raw brand. I think the US Title can do more to elevate Kofi at this point as he sort of appears to be hanging around in limbo.

If WWE does make the decision to keep the belt on MVP, then they should dovetail story lines by continuing to allow guys like Hardy, Regal and Kingston to challenge for the title while at the same time have MVP working with main event wrestlers as well. This gives the US Title more prestige and elevates its importance as the person who’s holding it is wrestling at the top of the card in addition to mid-card challengers.

In the end, though, I think the smartest move for WWE would be to give Kofi a run with the title and let us watch some great matches as Hardy and Regal challenge him.

Batista vs Cody Rhodes or Ted DiBiase in a Steel Cage Match:

I like the idea of this match, but fear the way it will be booked. Legacy without Orton has looked weak since Batista returned to Raw, and I fear WWE will book a 2 minute squash in a cage tonight should this bout actually go down as advertised.

WWE needs to establish that Priceless is strong as a tag team and individually, and while I don’t suggest that either one of them actually go over Batista a week before his cage match with Orton on PPV, it’s OK to allow Rhodes or DiBiase to give him a competitive fight. I just personally don’t need to keep seeing the same main event every week where Cena, Batista or another top heel decimates one or both Priceless members.

John Cena and a Mystery Partner vs The Miz and Big Show:

I like this match. They’re finally going to put The Miz in the ring with Cena but he’s going to have Show there to back him up. So it gives us a hint of what a singles match could look like between Cena and The Miz but it doesn’t spoil all the fun too quickly. If WWE books this properly and doesn’t allow Cena to make quick work of The Miz in one match, then they could be sitting on a really nice program here between the two that could last for awhile, not to mention boost The Miz’ status on Raw.

As for the mystery partner, I would guess it will end up being Santino, and this would be a very good time for them to start giving Santino more to do in the ring. If you’ve ever seen footage of Santno wrestling in developmental territories, you know he has the skills to get it done in the ring, and if given a chance, it would make a nice compliment to the comedic side of his character, which when it lacks substance, can drag too much on Raw. It’s time for Santino to become a wrestler, after all, isn’t that why anyone would want to work for WWE? To wrestle and win championships? He needs to start infusing some of that attitude into his character.

Beth Phoenix and Maryse vs Kelly Kelly and Mickie James:

I’m glad this match is being booked because it’s time for Beth to move away from the Santino/Santina saga and re-focus on wrestling for the Diva’s Championship. Maryse and Kelly Kelly aren’t cutting it as the two running the Diva’s department, and Raw needs Mickie and Beth back into the picture to make things interesting again. Hopefully tonight will be this idea’s beginning.

Overall:

The show needs to focus on one final push into this Sunday’s "Extreme Rules" PPV and needs to really hook us with some exciting, palpable tension if we are going to pay to see a card that we basically saw at "Judgment Day." Additionally, Raw needs to focus on the PPV story lines tonight and to a much lesser degree throw-away bits like Hornswoggle, Kendrick and Goldust. There is time for them next week, in very small doses, but tonight needs to get down to business.

Enjoy Raw tonight, be sure to tune into The Voice of Wrestling Radio Show with myself and Chris Cash tonight at 7:30pm EST right here on WrestleZone, and send in your Raw feedback after the show tonight by emailing me at VOWNick@gmail.com!

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