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07/15/08: “Hate It or Love It, Big D’s On Top” – Monday Night Raw

This week’s edition of “Hate it Or Love It, Big D’s on Top” looks at this past Monday Night’s WWE RAW, an eventful, fun, and bizarre show, as it’s been for the past few weeks. It’s tough to get used to this “new direction” WWE is in, but I’m having a good time thus far.

Loved: Crash TV Done Right. Yeah it’s Crash TV, but it’s exactly how it is supposed to be! Unpredictable things happen and unlike TNA or any of the other companies that do this, the logical reasoning behind is that nobody is in charge whereas Smackdown is more like an old Saturday Night pro wrestling show. I don’t think this was a premeditated idea, but a good one that fell into their lap and they’re making good use of it. Everything from the constant interruptions of angles to the properly placed run-ins, to the opening brawl on the floor – this is making RAW fun again. There have been some great RAW shows in the past few years, but none that feel this thrilling and fun to watch – something live wrestling has needed for a while.

Hated: Michael Cole. Cole is definitely a lot better than I expected since moving to RAW (he may have stepped his game up after Vince flipped on him in the back), but with that said, I don’t think he’s good enough to be calling RAW, specially since it’s been awesome for the past four weeks now. Still, he’s still incompetent and I phase him out most of the time.

Loved: Battle of the Sexes. I’ll bet Vince Russo is weeping at the fact that not only is WWE doing Crash TV better than him, but they did the man vs. woman angle before they could and did it right. Santino vs. Beth was a decent match in the spirit of Andy Kauffman. Santino will never be a main eventer, but this position as comedy midcarder will at least guarantee him a paycheck for a few years (we hope).

Loved and Hated: Cena’s promo. It was good, but way too long. Shorten it up next time John.

Loved: Kane’s new character. It’s not really NEW (he’s done borderline psycho gimmicks before), but I like it a lot and I like the direction. He means more to WWE now than he has since he yolted Shane McMahon’s package in 2003.

Hated: … eh… umm.. I’ll get back to you…

Loved: Hacksaw Jim Duggan? I never thought I would actually like the segment with him and the tag champs but I understand that they did it to set up the six man main event tonight. I love how things have a purpose now, and I can totally see Holly and Duggan challenging for the titles in a no buys match. JBL’s promo was great, but Rhodes and Dibiase need to work on it a little. Then again, they said it themselves, they are in their early 20s; plenty of time to improve.

Hated: Punk is still a bitch. I liked the CM Punk vs. Kane match, except the finish was lame as hell and while I understand that the post-match was meant to get Batista over as a contender, is there really a need to get Big Dave more over than he already is? He’s already a top guy and it is recognized by all, so why have him make Punk look like a bitch. The face to face was cool, but the spinebuster made Punk look like a lil ho.

Loved: Chris Jericho. That promo he cut on Paul London gave me chills. They had a pretty fun match and we all know London was going to job, but they set it up so that perhaps he will turn and finally get that push that he has been glamoring for, specially since Ashley is gone. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: this feud between HBK and Jericho is the best thing WWE is putting on right now

Loved: Jamie Noble’s new direction. Comedy mid-carder who challenges big guys and hits on every diva is freaking awesome. There’s always a guy like that at almost every workplace – it’s realistic and fun. It’s a shame that James Gibson’s true wrestling talent may never be seen on a national scale anymore, Its good that not only is he featured on RAW, but he’s in an entertaining character and the matches are kept short enough so that it doesn’t bore you. Man, is WWE creative on steroids now?

Loved: Main Event. Team No Dues & JBL vs. The CMC reminded me of a classic NWA World Championship Wrestling Saturday Night main event style match, with two main eventers and a tag team in a six man. It’s used a lot more frequently in Japan and Mexico, and it’s refreshing to see it in WWE. It’s an easy way to get all six wrestlers on television without having them work that rough a style that they would get hurt before a PPV. I loved Flair, Arn and Ole against 3 babyfaces (usually one of the three was Sting or Magnum or a big star) and this was similar. I also liked how they built the heat on Cryme Tyme for a long time (no pun intended) before they made the big tag. This was a chance for the rookies to show off their skills while still having the big name talents in there to keep the crowd into it. This was tremendously intelligent, Mid-South style booking and I loved it. But…

Hated: Finish. A fucking kick caused a disqualification. WHAT IN THE HELL? Don’t you have until FIVE to come in before you get disqualified? What’s up with the horrible officiating and horrible calls, screwing people. Why didn’t WWE just have Cody tap out to Cena? Did they forget that Cena is THEIR TOP GUY!?! Is losing clean to your TOP GUY after a 15-plus minute match gonna BURY Cody? Didya think that maybe it’s his lisp, scrawny arms, and lack of promo ability. On a side note, tt’s amazing how men like David Flair and Cody Rhodes, with the fathers that they have, have such an inability to talk on the mic. I guess it’s not always pedigree.

Loved…. Hated… I dunno: Speaking of Crash TV. The Great American Crash So WWE is doing vehicular manslaughter angles again. They went back and looked at the 1999-2000 tapes and have brought the good, as well as the bad. It’s one thing if JBL just hit him with the lead pipe and left, but trying to kill him is a little ehhh… 2002 Hogan/Rock-esque. WWE.com explained that “Cena escaped”, so it’s one of those things where all of the people who read it will know Cena is okay for the PPV and it’s realistic while the others will think hes in the hospital or dead until ECW when they will surely announce he’s “alright” and he escaped. Whatever. Lame

This is the fourth week in a row that RAW has delivered a freaking awesome, fun show. Granted the shows from January to May of last year was the best string of great shows WWE has had in a decade, this past month is on it’s way to matching that. Still though, the ending has a lot of things to hate about it. It’s just lame. Another week without knowing what the hell happened to Kane. Oh well… still… the show is more fun to watch now than it’s been in a while…

You can also find more of Big D’s work on angrymarks.com as well as the monthly Full Impact Pro reports on F4WOnline/Wrestling Observer.

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