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Raw Thoughts – Last Train To Houston

There was a lot to like about the last Raw before Wrestlemania 25, but there was a lot that made you scratch your head too. Before I get to that, I’d like to get one major gripe out of the way. Can we please stop calling this the 25th Anniversary of Wrestlemania? Unless they’re celebrating the anniversary of Wrestlemania Zero, they’re wrong. Next year would actually be the 25th Anniversary of the first Wrestlemania.

Ok, I got that out of my system and now I can move on.

I have to say that if I was a fan that hadn’t just watched many weeks of television, the last angle to Raw was a lot of fun. But being that I’ve been watching Raw for many weeks leading up to Wrestlemania this weekend, I just can’t pretend that the angle closed off perfectly.

What was needed to really bring it home that Triple H wants to kick Randy Orton’s ass? For one, Triple H needed to talk. He needed to tell the fans that if Wrestlemania was his last night on earth, he would get revenge on Orton for what he did to Stephanie. But he’s such a terrible babyface, they instead made him nearly get revenge on the show before Wrestlemania. I almost wish that last week’s angle where Orton planted that gnarly kiss on a knocked out cold Stephanie was the last thing we see until the match. Really, Orton and HHH shouldn’t have even touched tonight.

I have to admit that it was fun to see the Bushwackers come out and beat up the security guards. Oh wait, that was Vince and Shane. You have to love their fighting gear too. If I knew I was going to get in a fight, I wouldn’t wear jeans and a polo shirt or slacks and a button up shirt. Those McMahons sure are fighters. Because of the heat in the building, you can kind of forgive them for the comical brawling of the McMahons. I think it would’ve been more effective to save both Vince and Shane for Wrestlemania.

If I didn’t really care about the product, I would’ve thought the closing angle was fun. But because I’m a fan who follows stories, I thought it was the wrong idea. Last week made me care about this match. This week only made me care about this match if they were building to a six-man match.

I really enjoyed the Shawn Michaels angle with the Undertaker. I love Shawn as the jerk. It seems more in tune with his real personality anyways. We’re being set up here for the Undertaker to beat him this weekend, but I’m fine with that. What Shawn did was make his match seem more important than any of the title matches. He even said that beating the Undertaker would be the biggest moment of them all. Shawn’s mic work has just overshadowed nearly everything else on both Smackdown and Raw leading up to Wrestlemania. That’s why he’s been able to survive for so long. I would expect this match to be far and above the most memorable match on the show.

If the idea was to effectively make you yearn less to see a match week after week, they’re doing a really good job with two of the other main angles. After watching John Cena wrestle the Big Show, I don’t want to see them wrestle ever again. What’s the point? Big Show is the largest athlete in the world. Edge is the dastardly heel trying to stir things up. John Cena is the babyface whose movie just bombed worst then anything. Ok, maybe that last part isn’t part of the storyline. Actually, what they should’ve done last night is say that the Big Show and Edge sabotaged his movie and on Sunday, Cena’s getting revenge for 12 Rounds. Ok, maybe not. But it’d still be more interesting than what they’re doing. I hope they have something interesting planned for that match because it looks like a dud.

The second match that they’ve just destroyed interest in is the Money In The Bank. I thought last week’s tag match was fun. But they’ve put these guys in the ring together week after week. Why? Isn’t the point to make us want to see them fight again, not to make us tired of seeing them fight over and over? I just don’t get it. And shouldn’t Christian be built up as this Wrestlemania ladder match king being that he’s won two ladder matches at Wrestlemania? It’s such a throwaway match that it’s not even funny.

I’ve been waiting for Jerry Lawler to finally be apart of the legends angle and I’m not really sure why because last night’s match against Jericho was just a nothing match. It wasn’t even there to get Ric Flair out there to cut the last money promo for Wrestlemania, with Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat, and Jimmy Snuka by his side. Is Mickey Rourke going to even be a part of this thing? Is he still alive?

Why did they even throw Rey Mysterio in there with JBL? Isn’t that the actual match for Sunday? Well, it seems like it was just there to give Rey Rey the win if JBL is going to win the match and then retire on Sunday.

Wrestlemania will still be a good show. All the guys will come through. And while I don’t think they’ve logically built the matches like they could’ve, it’s not my money they’re wasting.

As a bonus, Chris Koehler sent in a report of what happened after Raw went off air. Chris is also attending Wrestlemania 25.

What you didn’t see tonight on Raw!!!

I came home to check the end of the broadcast and saw that you didn’t see the end of the beat down that happened at the hands of the new McMahon/Helmsley Era…

Orton ended up fleeing into the crowd and Teddy Jr. ran up the ramp leaving the “Young Lisper” Cody in the ring with Shane, Vince and HHH. After a thorough beating and spinebuster from HHH, Trips went outside and grabbed the Sledge-O-Matic and Cody wished he were back home with Daddy Dusty. The power trio then went up the ramp and played to the crowd for another 10 minutes. It really was cool. My buddy and I were talking about Vince and Shane showing up on Sunday, but the crowd LOST IT when each came to the ramp.

I was watching the ring intently during the HBK/Taker segment and I couldn’t see where Taker came from. My best guess…lights went off and HBK and Taker switched places. It was impressive

Best sign of the night– “I’m surrounded by marks!”

As far as the rest I haven’t taken the time to watch the entire show…

Only Dark match – Cryme Tyme def. Dolph Ziggler and William Regal with Layla

He also mentioned that the crowd was mixed when HBK hit the Sweet Chin Music.

I’ll have a live report of Wrestlemania 25 on this site this Sunday as the show is ongoing (as long as I get cell phone reception in the stadium).

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