Tonight was the dawn of a new era in WWE broadcasting. WWEHD premiered, and with it a spectacularly impressive, crisper, extremely detailed show.
Well, that is if you have high-definition capability. Yours truly does not. So, just another show for Sean O’Mac.
But I will say this much – the new Raw set was sweet. I was pretty impressed with the new look. Now I know some of you out there will already get itchy trigger fingers on the e-mail button wanting to say how much it sucked. But it’s all a matter of taste, so to each their own. Personally, I give kudos to the designers and look forward to seeing the new Smackdown! set later this week.
With this being the last Raw before Sunday’s Royal Rumble, you’d expect plenty of the usual build-up. While it certainly was there, for some reason I just wasn’t sold on it. Usually I’ll get at least a slight uptick in the anticipation meter going into a PPV event, and make no mistake about it – I’m looking forward to this year’s Royal Rumble.
The problem is I’ve got the feeling things are just way too predictable this year. That coupled with the fact that the actual 30-man bout has got a lot to live up to to top last year’s.
I’ll save my predictions for the Royal Rumble preview we’ll be doing later this week, but I find myself hoping for some curveballs here.
Anyways, on with the show. I can’t gripe too much tonight even though my anticipation levels didn’t get the usual boost because it really was a decent show. Headlining tonight was the fact that after all the adversity thrown at him, Triple H made his way back into the Royal Rumble match. His “unknown” opponent actually ended up being a three-man gauntlet, and Trips made pretty short work of Snitsky, Mark Henry and a very frustrated general manager.
Nope. No Big Show tonight.
It was a decent twist, but didn’t completely sell me. Last week, Trips fought Snitsky to a DQ finish and brought in his “little friend” the sledgehammer as well. The big ugly seemed to fall a bit too quickly this week in comparison. Mark Henry did a bit more damage to The Game, but still seemed to go too soon. Well, I guess with any television production one must keep time in mind, eh?
Shawn Michaels and Mr. Kennedy did put on another good match as the two continue to work pretty well together in the ring. HBK picked up the win after nailing the Sweet Chin Music, taking the rubber match between the two. One could say that the veteran taught Kennedy a lesson after all the bragging about beating Michaels recently, but something tells me we haven’t seen the last of these two going at it.
Beth Phoenix and Mickie James continued their rivalry tonight, with Phoenix picking up yet another win but getting all she could handle from the challenger. But come on, folks. What’s with the bawling backstage bit? Personally, I found that a bit ridiculous. What are we leading up to here? A match where either Mickie wins the belt or quits the WWE? Another one to wait out and see what the creative folks are drinking this time.
Jeff Hardy certainly couldn’t top last week’s feat of death-defiance, but kept the momentum by refusing to shake Randy Orton’s hand (which was directed by VKM) and instead dishing out a Twist of Fate. This after working his way through a portion of the crowd to shake hands with all the people he respected more than Orton. Nice work there, but I think Jeff needs to work on pulling off the “anger” bit on the mic. I do enjoy watching him work, though. And let’s face it, this man is SO over with the fans that even if he doesn’t take the belt from Orton this weekend, he’ll be in the main-event mix for a while.
A few disappointing moments for me –
Hornswoggle and Finlay vs. The Highlanders. The Irish vs. the Scots. You know, I remember all the promotional work done to pump up the Highlanders’ arrival, and actually liked the angle. But these two have become nothing more than jobbers lately. It’s time to do something more with them and see if they can take advantage of it.
Carlito turned the tide after his loss to Hardcore Holly and beat the Alabama star this time around with a Backstabber, and a bit of a distraction from Santino. But the match just couldn’t keep my interest this week, and I was actually more interested in Maria. Isn’t it time she left that guy behind?
Brian Kendrick was back in action tonight. Unfortunately it was to be squashed by Umaga. But I suppose it was about time they started building Umaga back up into the monster he originally was, right?
And finally, I do have to say I was quite disappointed with Chris Jericho tonight. I’m a Jericho fan. I praised his arrival, and definitely think that when he’s on his game, he’s one of the best in the biz on the mic. But tonight’s low-key talk in the ring was just plain boring. He’s better than that. Whoever wrote that bit for him tonight needs to be sacked.
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