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07/08/08: “Hate It or Love It, Big D’s On Top” – Monday Night Raw

Hated: 20 Minute Opening Segments. A lot of times when WWE hits a creative slump, they produce what I call the “clusterfuck”, where they have a handful of mid-card to main-event talent come out and complain about wanting title shots and it always winds up with some kind of over-booked multi-man gimmick match. Thankfully, last night’s cluster actually built to something, although it could’ve easily been condensed to 10 minutes as opposed to 20.

Loved: Vickie Guerrero. I don’t think any heel “authority” figure has gotten as much heat as Vickie since Mr. McMahon in the Attitude Era (although Regal came dangerously close earlier in the year). I loved the surprise of having on the show appear just to irk people. I also loved how they FINALLY had CM Punk tell Vickie that what happened to Edge was a “what goes around, comes around” deal, something I’ve said since Punk won the title, that WWE HAD to acknowledge. Still, Vickie brings heat, deserved or not.

Hated: Rey Mysterio’s New Finish. It’s some kind of strange frog-splash where he puts his arms at his hips to start. It just looks really stupid. Give him a top rope legdrop or something.

Loved: Women’s Wrestling. What I once saw as blatant “bathroom break” time for Women’s matches has somewhat flipped. I’ve actually enjoyed a lot of the women’s wrestling in WWE and TNA for the past couple of months. Even Kelly Kelly, who still has a lot to learn, is truly working hard and has improved tenfold.

Hated: Racial Stereotyping. Gotta love how the two black hoodlums (Cryme Tyme) not only vandalized property with actual damage, but then used graffiti paint. Also, where the hell were JBL’s security goons? At least Shad and JTG are getting pretty big pushes now.

Loved: Spontaneous feel of RAW. I called the show WWE Nitro for the past weeks and it is well deserved. A lot of things happen now that are spontaneous and at times bizarre. Some of the things are very Russoriffic in the effect that they really don’t “sell buys” (like having WORKED fans get thrown out of the building or dropping a light during a promo). It sort of gives the show a fun feel, but I fear that after a while, the goof jokes will transform into TNA-like stupidity.

Hated: CM Punk breaking Snitsky’s Nose. Come on guy, the company puts a belt on you and you carelessly break a dude’s nose with a knee your second title defense? I know, I know, accidents happen, but now you’re in the highest profile push of your career. Don’t screw it up.

Loved: CM Punk breaking Snitsky’s Nose. Blah, who cares. It’s Snitsky. He sucks.

Hated: Wasting Talent. Charlie Haas is an awesome worker. Why keep him as a RAW jobber? Who did he piss off? Why not move him to Smackdown and put him back with Shelton and do a series of tag matches with Miz and Morrison. That’s BUYS! Plus, they can finally do a match that people have dreamed about for five years: The World’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The Hardy Boys. Why not?!?!

REALLY Loved: Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels. Best, most entertaining and riveting feud in the company right now. Unlike Hunter and Orton, I can watch these guys can wrestle on every other PPV for the rest of 2008 and not get sick of it. They’re just on another level. Chris Jericho is the best heel in the business, and nobody can play the sympathetic babyface quite like Shawn Michaels. Chris Jericho’s ability behind the mic is truly unquestionable and perhaps equal to his skills at having great matches. Shawn Michaels may be top-to-bottom the best performer that the WWE has right now and has had since his return in 2002. Jericho has meant little to nothing since his return other than this feud. Hopefully this can elevate Jericho back into that top spot (Shawn’s is reserved forever) and perhaps put him in a title program for at least a few months.

Huh? What: Kane. I don’t know what that finish of the show was meant to do. We can all speculate, but it’s obviously leading to a heel turn. Some have said Kane was screaming at Cole for the Undertaker, while I feel it was something with Mr. McMahon (Maybe he was the one who set up the stage collapsing). Reports from upcoming house shows state Kane will face Cena (credit: Anthony Brent Kincer Banks), a feud that has actually never happened, so that appears to be his first program as a heel. With that said, like I said earlier, I loved the spontaneousness of the show now, but they really need to explain this at some point. Still though, it draws your attention when these things happen and really sucks the mark out of you and brings it to the forefront. Kudos to WWE! THREE fun RAW shows in a row. KEEP IT UP!

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