I’m confused. I’m extremely confused. Why in the world do these wrestlers want to shoot themselves in the foot? They’re not only ruining their careers, but burning bridges while they do so. Okay, everyone knows exactly who I am talking about. Evan Bourne (Matt Korklan) has received his second Wellness strike in a very short length of time. His first suspension was on November 1st, and less than three months later he has his second Wellness violation. I’d had thought that maybe he’s young and needs some growing up time, then I looked up his age. Yes, everyone ‘grows up’ at a different time in their lives, but he’s twenty-eight! Heck, his twenty-ninth birthday might be his return date from this strike.
I know I’m not in his life and I don’t know what his life is like on a daily basis, but I wonder why certain people, such as Bourne make these decisions that will only hurt their career. While I understand what a hold alcohol and drugs can have on a person through all those years of watching my brother as well as through my chronic pain issues and the meds I’ve been on post-op, I personally don’t understand the mentality of doing a drug for entertainment value, especially if it’s something that will hurt your career, your dream.
Even further I am confused by Bourne’s going to TPTB in the WWE and telling on R-Truth (Ron Killings). A huge part of the wrestling industry is going out to that ring and trusting that the person you’re facing will protect you from injury as much as they possibly can. I have read where many wrestlers said that the safest person they’ve been in the ring with was Triple H. That he was most worried about keeping his opponent safe in the ring. I think that’s very cool, but will people feel comfortable getting in the ring with Bourne after he received two Wellness strikes so quickly, and ratted out R-Truth as he did. Personally I’d wonder and worry.
In Ring Segment > B
I have to say how thrilled I was to see Foley on RAW. I’m a huge Foley fan, as many of you know. While I was impressed with how Foley took that abuse for his This Is Your Life sketch, I was shocked to hear him say he wanted to get back in the ring, even though the Royal Rumble Match can be an extremely easy match for those who need it to be.
I think Foley handled Vickie and Dolph well, but it’s when Punk came out that the segment started to sparkle. Between Punk’s derisive comments to Vickie and Dolph, and his chemistry with Foley, I was in awe. They just worked together so well that it seemed as though they’ve been friends all their lives. Certain people just have chemistry that works, Punk and Foley have it. Though I have to admit that Vickie getting up in Foley’s face, after Laurinaitis told Foley no, was perfectly horrible! She does play the heel better than most.
Air Boom vs The Colons > B-
This was just a squash match to show the fans – both in attendance and watching on TV – that Epico and Primo deserve to be the new Tag Team Champs. I thought Jimmy and Jey should have been champs months ago, but that’s just me. I will admit that I enjoy Primo and Epico as a team, but they’re not really full on heels. They’re too baby faced for me to take them as heels. The most heelish of them is Rosa and she’s never impressed me or held my attention. It makes perfect sense to strap the Colons, especially after finding out about Bourne’s second Wellness strike, but where does that leaves Kofi? Hopefully he’s not screwed over by Bourne and hopefully the Colons can bring some prestige back to the belts. Hopefully.
Winners – Primo & Epico
Backstage Segment > A
I really thought Laurinaitis was talking to Foley until the camera pulled back to show Jericho. I loved how Jericho purposefully turned off the lights and lit up his jacket. Another great Jericho segment where he doesn’t say a word. He’s playing this so well and obviously having a blast with it. Watching him have so much fun with it just makes it that much better.
Video > D+
This week I received a rather long email from the Professor about how I rip on the opening segment of Impact, and how formulaic Impact has become as they start every episode the same way. He claimed that I don’t rip on the WWE and they do the same thing. I explained to him that I will rip on the WWE if their videos were as bad as TNA/IW’s. Normally WWE’s video recaps are short, tight, and to the point while being wonderfully executed by the production crew. Well, not this time! I thought this video was long, dragging and downright boring! I was writing the RAW Results and I fast forwarded through this video package as it gave us every little niggling detail of their past couple encounters that we honestly didn’t need. As good as the WWE production crew is, this was an epic fail!
Swagger w/ Vickie vs Ryder w/ Eve > B-
I will say that Ryder sold well. Honestly I wasn’t overly impressed, but I think it’s because I’m unhappy about Ryder dropping the belt so quickly. I really do want to see Swagger get another solid push, now that it seems he’s gotten his ego issues. I keep saying that Swagger has what it takes and maybe this is his first step back up. Even more, I hope this isn’t Ryder’s step back to virtual unknown who’s only claim to fame on RAW is playing that he might possibly, maybe, if VKM agrees, then if Trip and Steph agree, then maybe that he could possibly bang Eve, possibly.
Winner & new US Champ – Swagger
Backstage Segment > C-
It’s one thing to have Laurinaitis back there being a jerk to Ryder, but the ‘my bad’ comment, then the way he treated Eve! Honestly, I’m not sure I could take something like that without saying or doing something back. After segments like that I wonder that much more about WWE’s Be A Star Campaign. Laurinaitis was downright bullying Eve there, but of course it would be passed off as storyline and not at all what kids should be looking up to. I’m just glad I’ve taught my kids, specifically my daughters, not to put up with crap like that, even from someone who’s supposed to be their superiors, such as teachers or bosses. Not the best image for the WWE to be putting out there.
Perez-fricken-Hilton! > F!
I’m not sure which was worse, Perez or the Divas Match. I will give Perez props for his Flair-flop, but other than that there was nothing good in this segment.
Winners – Not the fans! Wait, I think Kelly & Fox actually did win.
Video > A
I have to say I am really enjoying the Royal Rumble clips. This is where the WWE production crew is really shining right now. That really showed Flair in a beautiful light from back in the days when we didn’t mind seeing Flair not fully covered from chin to toes. It’s good to remember Flair from his glory days.
In Ring Segment > A-
R-Truth is older than I am and has been trying for quite a while to get to the top. I never thought he had that elusive it factor that makes a Superstar, until this past year. His pairing with Miz was genius and he’s taken it to a whole new level since splitting with Miz and becoming face. I truly didn’t think it was possible, but I’m loving R-Truth on mic and can’t wait to see what he’s going to pull out next. The way he works the fans, telling them not to ‘what’ him, then turning and telling them to go ahead, ‘what’ him, is wonderful! I can’t wait to see where the WWE is going to take R-Truth from here.
Over Top Rope Challenge > A-
This match did a wonderful job of reminding us of how friends become enemies and enemies become friends in a Royal Rumble Match. Miz helped throw Barrett out, R-Truth helped eliminate Sheamus. There was some serious eye contact between Sheamus and R-Truth after it was all over. What a wonderful little match to get us in the mood for the Royal Rumble and remind us that the least expected person could win it. Maybe it’s time for me to pull out my white board and start ruminating about my predicts for the Royal Rumble Match!
Winner – R-Truth
Swagger vs Cena > B+
This was great! It’s about time we see Cena getting overtaken by his emotions again. It’s been a while since he’s snapped like this. I’m one who has said that while I think it would be interesting to see Cena turn heel, I’d be just as happy (possibly happier, specifically for the kids who love him) if he changed up his character some and made it less corny. I’m terribly sick of Cena being the ultimate good boy and so predictable. This Cena wasn’t predictable. He was brutal and cruel in his attack on Swagger. His match with Kane at Royal Rumble could be downright fabby if he keeps this up! The look on his face when Kane was on the tron was torn, almost sickened by what he had done. He’s learned to express himself visually in more ways than smiling and being happy-go-lucky. I’m impressed.
Funkasaurus vs JTG > B
I know lots of people are not liking the Funkasaurus, but I think he’s great. He’s a monster, but not a heel. He’s a very strong character who easily squashes people, but has fun and is silly. I love it. The one thing I have to admit that grossed me out was the slo-mo of Funkasaurus’ flesh jiggling as he danced. That was a bit too much for me, but maybe it could be used as a diet aid for those who want to lose weight. Just a screen with that slo-mo playing on the front of your fridge? Just a thought.
Winner – Funkasaurus
In Ring Segment > C+
I know this wasn’t really in the ring as it was King and Cole on announce, then video, then Bryan on stage, but this was the easiest way of heading this. I will say that Bryan has done a wonderful job of going heel. Between saying AJ told him she loves him and he appreciates that, and claiming Big Show’s tears were fake, Bryan has sealed himself as a full out heel and I like it.
6 Man Tag Match > A
I won’t say this match was the best wrestled match, but it sure was an entertaining main event. Henry stayed out of it and Otunga was a goober, but it was Jericho who almost had me on the floor laughing. I really thought Jericho would ‘accidentally’ drop from the corner and not accept Punk’s tag, but this was so much better than that. The excitement he showed on the apron and in the ring was great, but almost funnier was the look on Bryan’s face when Jericho tagged out of the match. Jericho up the ramp, all smiles, then out – just brilliant! When Bryan and Henry left, I thought it was a very smart way to keep Henry out of the match so he can continue to recuperate.
Foley coming out and saying he was cleared by Laurinaitis was a great way to get Punk and Foley back together. Actually, while Foley is chubby, out of shape and will never be physically able to run a flight of stairs like most of the rest of the roster, he sure looks better than the last time I saw him live. So while not the best wrestler, he sure had the fans wild when he took out Otunga and brought Mr. Socko to the party. It was fun!
Winners – Bryan, Jericho, Punk & Foley
Winners – Otunga, Henry & Dolph
In Ring Segment > A+
Of course Laurinaitis didn’t tell Foley he could join that match! Even better than that was Punk ripping Laurinaitis a new one! That’s the Punk we love and had been missing recently. He really ripped into Laurinaitis in a huge way and I loved it! Segments like this, even though it wasn’t a spectacular match, is what makes the WWE the top of the food chain. The almost faked punch was beautifully executed.
We all know that Punk’s good, but this segment showed just how good Mr. John Laurinaitis, “My name is John Laurinaitis, Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim RAW General Manager,” can be! The way he moved, the unbuttoning of his shirt and loosening of his tie. The way he seemed to try and physically shake Punk’s words off his body. More of that physically saying so much without saying a word. Foley is great at it in the way he overdoes it. The cheesy grin and thumbs up work for him, but Laurinaitis is subtle and getting more interesting in how he handles himself. I know a lot of people think he needs to go, but I think he’s just reaching his stride. Not saying hitting Foley in the head is a good thing, as no head shot with a weapon is good, but it was interesting and show just how he’s being pushed. A feud between these two could be fun!
I read a comment that someone wrote about how horrible this episode of RAW was, but I couldn’t disagree more. This episode was interesting, fun and had a storyline start and end, then turn in a whole new direction. Actually, a couple storylines took some interesting turns here. As the Royal Rumble is usually the start of the road to WM, I think they’re starting early and making it all a lot of fun and very worth watching! I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do next!