I'm sitting here now (before RAW) watching Jeopardy and wallowing in self pity. Prior to dating Stacy I had been fine with going to house shows in Portland (Maine), but he thought it would be fun to go to Boston to see the 900th RAW. I, of course, jumped at the idea. Then when the Rumble was coming to Boston, my mother bought us tickets as our Yule gift. I pretty much planned that I wasn't going to miss another WWE show in Boston, but then my health decided that was not to be the case. While we didn't realize RAW was coming back to Boston and when the tickets went on sale, I was so sick that I wouldn't have let Stacy buy us tickets. So much was up in the air and we didn't know when I'd be in for surgery, so we didn't push to go, even ending up in nosebleed seats. I can say all of this in a very matter-of-fact way, but in reality it's ripping me up inside. I'm totally bummed out about the whole thing, even though it was the right thing at the time, please realize all this when reading my Blog. I will try to not be cranky just for the sake of being cranky.
I did want to mention, even though Punk, Cena, JBL and Batista have all honored him, that this past Sunday was the five year anniversary of the loss of Eddie Guerrero. I remember that day, that moment so well. I remember it as clearly as I remember the space shuttle disaster and the World Trade Center attacks. Some might find it horrible that I lump Eddie in with those other moments, but to me it was another devastating moment that I had no control over. I had just sat down at our regular Sunday NaNoWriMo Write In at a Panera Bread. I opened up WNW to see if there was anything interesting going on before I went to get my coffee. My daughter Ellie had sat down across from me. I saw the headline and must have made an odd sound as she asked me what was wrong. I simply said, "Eddie." She then asked me what happened. "Eddie died." Her jaw dropped open as she stared at me. She had no question about who I was talking about, she knew. The rest of that day I wrote about Eddie, my novel was ignored for the day. We miss you Eddie.
In Ring Segment
C > You had to know I'd be annoyed with how JR was treated here, but JR signed on for it. He had to know what he was getting into, so I'm not going to really complain about this too much other than Cole being bloody annoying! Actually, JR's dancing was adorable! He's more than 20 years older than me, so I can say he's sweet, cute and adorable without anyone saying that I am thinking dirty thoughts about JR. I guess if he's willing to put himself out there for this, I can't complain too loudly. I will continue to complain about Cole and attacks on JR's health, but this I won't. What I will do is giggle about Cole taking the anaconda from Punk. That just made me giddy! I know this didn't come until after the next segment, but this helped bring up the overall score. Just seeing Cole tap and left in a pile on the mat made me smile.
D > I'm glad Laurinaitis was kept short as those are the only doses I can take him in. Yes, I say doses as in medication. Medication smells bad, isn't fun to take, leaves a bad taste in your mouth, totally pissed you off and sometimes leave you in a crying puddle (especially if you're four), that's how I feel about Laurinaitis most of the time.
B+ > Striker has never been one of my faves. I think the WWE could easily get rid of him and very few fans would notice this for months. I will admit that he was kind of cute in his excitement when that huge limo rolled in. It was a HUGE shock to see Foley getting out of an automobile like that considering everyone knows just how cheap he really is. Honestly, he looks like he's lost weight since I saw him last – about a year ago at the BTW show here in Augusta, ME. (Sorry about throwing in the Maine part so much, but most people will think about the more famous and larger of both Portland and Augusta.) I have to admit that his mullet haircut isn't my favorite, but being able to see his eyes is always a good thing.
Sin Cara & Kofi vs Cody & Hunico
B- > This Match took me as a bit of a shock. I understand that they have to continue pushing Kofi, even though Evan is out for 30 days. Also, since this new little faction is forming on SD, this made some sense. Honestly, Cody seemed to be the odd man out in this Match. It's like he's already moving into main event status in my brain. I also want to mention that I received a couple texts from my online friend Brett who was at the show. He told me that during the Superstars taping that Epico and Primo didn't get ANY reaction from the fans. I noticed the fans reacted the same way to Hunico in the ring. The fans were much more interested in the Match when it was Kofi and Cody in the ring even though Sin Cara and Hunico were hitting much higher spots.
It took me a bit to realize that Cody was out there without his mask. While it's nice to see him without his mask, I hope he doesn't lose a lot of his character with it. Even though Cody's mask was clear, it added so much to his creepy and off-balanced character; hoping he can continue on that vein and make it work without that security blanket.
Winners: Cody & Hunico
B > While Santino isn't any HBK in his sales approach, he is better than anyone but DX. His silly wording makes it more fun and a lot more endearing. He's comic relief, so why not use him whichever way possible? He also worked well with Ryder who has his own flavor of goofiness. I don't see them as the new DX-esque sales team, but the holidays are coming. You never know.
B+ > Vickie was as good as she ever is on mic, getting every bit of heat she could get, but it was Dolph who stole this segment. His mic work was solid and his comment about how easy it was makes me wonder if Vickie might be on the way out with Dolph. But I have to question Dolph being added to Team Wade. Will Ryder get his Title shot? Will Dolph be pull double duty at another PPV? Interesting thoughts.
Dolph w/ Vickie vs Ryan
C+ > I was disgusted to see JR again booted off announce. The show had been so pleasant to listen to as well as to watch. So much for that! As for the Match, Dolph didn't have a chance, but I didn't cringe at every move Ryan hit tonight. Either he's been working on his ring work or I wasn't playing close enough attention to him last night. I will say that I'm very confused by JoMo being further pushed when it looks like his contract will be up and there's no word as to whether he'll be staying.
C- > I love Ryder and absolutely adore Foley, but this segment fell a bit flat to me. It just felt forced and the elements didn't seem to fall into place for them. Hopefully they were just a bit off and will be able to pull it up to par in later segments.
This Is Your Life
D- & B+ > This, like before, was just horrible. It's like a train wreck booked to be a train wreck, but is still a train wreck! Honestly, and I know nothing about how this was created and booked, but Cena looked like he didn't know the script for most of this. Not saying he forgot what to say, just that that didn't tell him what Foley was up to until he was in the ring. The best for me was the video of Cena in 2003 rapping to the ring with Bull Buchanan and when Cena's father came out. He's quite a showman and a total riot. I will say that Cena Sr. looked better last night than when I saw him at the BTW event up here. At that point Cena Sr.'s hair was dyed very black and it looked like he had a dead baby porcupine on his head. Cena Sr. reprimanding the 'local crowd' for booing his son was just great. Cena's mortified look with his head down on the top rope was just wonderful.
The way Rock came out, hit the Rock bottom on Foley and left without a sideways glance or smirk was very fun. Heck, you know Foley had to have loved getting a Rock bottom like that. The look on Cena's face told so many different stories, but mostly looking at a hero in awe. I hope this doesn't get in the way somehow.
Sheamus vs Swagger w/ Vickie
A- > These two big guys (I always forget how big Swagger is) really left it all in the ring. They worked hard, hit solid moves and really treated the fans in Boston and on TV with this Match. What further made this Match great to watch at home was how into the Match the fans were. I liked the ending when Sheamus was able to get out of the ankle lock and send Swagger flying with his kick. I want to see more of these two in the ring one on one. It can only help Swagger get to the next level.
D > Ryder really doesn't have a clue. I know someone must like the Bellas, but I find them flat and not very exciting. Personally, I just don't care to see them. Being twins is a novelty that wore out years ago. Either learn to talk and really work the ring or go away.
Kelly vs Natalya
F! > I thought the Pats' jersey on Kelly was a little much for my taste. But what was so much worse was Kelly reversing out of Natalya's setting up for the sharpshooter. Natalya is a Hart! The sharpshooter is a Hart specialty and she was reversed and lost because of it? No! Heck no! Awe heck NO!
F > Ugh! More Laurinaitis. Stacy commented on how boring Laurinaitis is and how he's been cut to making overly obvious matches and little cell phone calls backstage. He actually said he'd prefer the Anonymous GM over Laurinaitis and sadly I agree. ADR didn't make the segment any better.
A > I'm always all for visually expressive wrestlers and Miz and R-Truth hit it wonderfully. Striker trying to be gung-ho while they wouldn't even look at him. It was wonderfully executed and wasn't dragged out too long. These two are becoming pros right in front of our eyes. I never expected much from R-Truth, but with Miz he's doing great! The more I see of Miz, the more I expect out of him. He is and will be a top heel for many years to come. I've compared him to Jericho many times, but now I'm seeing a touch of Rocky in him too. Very impressed that they pulled this off so well, but also that creative gave them this sink or swim change and they did so wonderfully with it. Bravo!
B > Solid attack on Punk from behind. ADR was on him hard and Punk sold it all very well. I really hope the WWE hands the ball (Title) back to Punk this Sunday, there's no limit to what this man can do.
ADR & Henry vs Punk & Big Show
B+ > The looks on the faces of ADR and Ricardo when Punk came staggering out was great! It was if Punk had risen from the dead to avenge himself.
I had read somewhere that the WWE was going to start using the wrestlers' true heights and weights, rather than the 'billed' weights they've used for as long as I can remember. People are still arguing about how big Andre was as he had so many different 'billed' heights and weights over the years. Henry is a big and scary 412lbs, but Big Show looks downright svelte at 441lbs! I remember when Big Show was almost 500lbs and how sloppy he looked. At this weight he moves very well, much faster than a man his size and age should be able to move in the ring. He looks better than he has in quite a while.
Henry working so hard to avoid facing a fresh Big Show in the ring made me smirk. Arguing with ADR so Henry wouldn't have to be in the ring with Big Show is such a typical heel move, but with the size differences in this Match it made it all feel that much more absurd. I loved Big Show and Henry pushing each other in collar and elbow lockups. When Brock and Goldberg did it at WMXX. It might have been that the fans were just that pissed at Brock and Goldberg for leaving the WWE the way they were, but I think it was more. Big Show and Henry are more showy than the other two were. The fans know them better and are more invested in them, especially after the recent ring crash.
Punk and ADR were also interesting and exciting in the ring. They gave us a great taste of what we're going to see at SS and I can't wait! I also have to say that the ending to this Match was creative and different. While I get pissed at TNA/IW for not having enough clean finishes, WWE really did a great job with this one.
Winners – ADR & Henry
In Ring Segment
C+ > I was wondering what they were up to with Santino in the ring, but then Nash came out and I knew. I will say that I loved how both of them brought up things that happened in Boston at the Royal Rumble. Santino talked about almost winning the Rumble but for ADR. Nash talked about getting the biggest pop of the night when he came out for the Rumble, and he did. Booker got great pop, but the loudest pop of the was absolutely for Nash. While I don't want to see Nash back in the ring, I think this feud with Trip could be a lot of fun if it's booked better than it has been. Like Trip's feud with HBK was so good because of how close they are.
Wade vs Orton
B- > As soon as Wade came out with his whole team, I knew this would devolve into an all out brawl. Wade actually looked better in this Match that I've seen him. More controlled than he was previously. Actually, I think their traditional SS Match will be fabby as the teams are both really well stacked, other than Ryan.
Winner: Orton via DQ
In Ring Segment
A > I want to defend this grade by saying I'm only grading this on entertainment value, nothing else! While Rocky is wildly entertaining, the 'boots-to-ass' and Twitter-tainment really annoyed the crap out of me! Yes, Rocky is high on himself, but that's a big part of why his character works so well. Honestly, I thought he was a bit over the top before Awesome Truth came out to the ring.
I thought Miz and R-Truth did a solid job of holding their own verbally against the Rock. That could be a daunting venture for many younger wrestlers and they did a great job with it. I think Miz is great on mic and keeps growing, but against the Rock he easily held his own.
I loved how Cena and Rocky went back and forth while facing off against Miz and R-Truth. It worked wonderfully; very impressed. Rocky's comment about Cena not being backed by anyone who hit puberty made me giggle, but Cena handled it really well. 'Fictional man-gina'? Beautiful! I'm so glad they've relaxed about the PG rating with Rocky around. First off he wouldn't work with a PG rating, but also Cena is so much more enjoyable when he's allowed to be a little looser with his words. He comes off as much less corny, goody-goody and silly when he's not so restricted. Honestly, I could handle Cena as a face if he was allowed to flex verbally as he does when Rocky's around. I will say I was a bit worried about Rocky as Linda is running for office again, but things panned out pretty well.
The end of this segment, when Rocky hit the Rock bottom on Miz after he didn't eat the AA, is how I see much of their tag Match going down at SS. They will keep trying to one up each other, possibly to the point of losing the Match, but not caring as they one up each other.
I'm still really bummed that I wasn't in Boston for RAW last night, but writing the play-by-play wasn't as bad as most three hour shows feel. It was fun, interesting and entertaining. I can't say the wrestling was the best, but it wasn't as bad as we see on Impact every week. They did a great job of pushing the storylines forward, gave Foley a wonderfully horrible segment and reminded everyone just how entertaining Rocky is when he's allowed to run roughshod on mic, especially on Cena's ass. I will be in Boston for the next live show!
An online wrestling friend of mine was at RAW last night and he sent me his reactions to the show. He said that Cody, Miz, R-Truth, Cena Rock, Foley and Orton were the only ones who could get any heat or pop, other than those speaking a foreign language like Hunico. The only other time anyone cared about him was when he ate the RKO. The This Is Your Life was garbage other than Cena Sr. To get the pop WWE wants, they should have Rocky or Austin come out, hit their finisher, then leave. I have to thank Brett for texting me during the show. Hopefully we'll be able to meet up at the next Boston show!
EDIT! I missed something important and funny that Brett sent me. During Sheamus' match there was a short "Scalabrine" chant. Brian Scalabrine was a tall, pale, ginger bench warmer for the Celtics for a bunch of years.