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New Blood Gets Raw Back on Track

Posted By Pete Copeland On Jun 1 2010 @ 9:58 am In WWE | No Comments

In honor of the ongoing Stanley Cup Final (and the fact that the Flyers are down two-games-to-none), I decided to present my Raw Rewind in a “plus/minus” format.  Here goes:

PLUS – Evan Bourne.  Not sure if this is going to really be a big push for Bourne or not, but he was great, while bookending the show.  During the open, he scrapped with Edge.  Then, he was John Cena’s tag partner in the main event against Sheamus and Edge when Cena’s original partner Randy Orton couldn’t go due to Edge re-injuring RKO’s shoulder earlier in the evening. Bourne hit an absolutely sick “Air-Bourne” off the top rope and onto Sheamus for the win. It was shown several times in slow-motion replays and was more impressive each time I saw it…by far the highlight of the show.

PLUS-Daniel Bryan…or is it Bryan Danielson?  He’s been an Indy-darling for years, but has turned a lot of heads in the WWE –Universe in recent weeks; particularly after his attacks on announcer Michael Cole. He made the most of his one-night contract by beating the Miz and then continuing to take his frustrations out on Cole by launching Miz over the announcer’s table and into the play-by-players lap.  Just a wild guess that Danielson will ink some sort of new pact to stick around and continue the feud with Miz which had a nice buildup for weeks on NXT.

PLUS-The Usos.  Jay and Jimmy Uso along with Tamina were called up from FCW.  Last week they launched a sneak attack on the Hart Dynasty. This week, they cut a promo explaining who they were-that they had a strong Samoan lineage going back to the Wild Samoans and that they are in the WWE for one thing…”dominance.” The Uso brothers are the sons of former superstar Rikishi and Tamina is Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka’s daughter.

They were solid on the mic and got some heat (more than Drew McIntyre’s been getting on SmackDown in the last two months). When the Hart Dynasty rushed the ring to return the favor for last week’s beating, they gained the upper hand on the Usos.  However, the tables quickly turned (highlighted by a wicked clothesline on Natalya by Tamina) and the result was the same as last week;   top rope splashes by the Usos and Tamina and the Hart Dynasty was left laying in the ring.

PLUS-Vincent Kennedy McMahon returns.  He just couldn’t resist, could he?  After saying that the “Mr. McMahon” character was retired after Wrestlemania 26, Vince returned last night for a little taunting of new Raw General Manager Bret “The Hitman” Hart while simultaneously acting as his own hype-man.  He was equal parts snarky and goofy, and it was “vintage” (thanks Michael Cole) McMahon.

Now for the not-so-good stuff…

MINUS-Ashton Kutcher as guest host.  The first two times he appeared on camera weren’t that bad.  He was basically playing himself in short segments.  However, as usually happens with the guest hosts, there was a waaaaaaaaay too long segment in the second hour that brought everything to a screeching halt.  It had actually been setup earlier in the show, and it involved Kutcher, Zack Ryder, Great Khali, Goldust, and some stupid bit about a “hit” being put on Ryder because he called out Kutcher on Twitter.  These are the times the fast-forward button was invented for.  Except, I was watching live…ugh.

MINUS-Bret “The Hitman” Hart as General Manager.  Before I get crushed here, let me clarify…I love Hart as the GM. I don’t like the fact that the guest host still has decision-making power.  Wasn’t the point of having a permanent Raw GM to eliminate the need for the guest host to influence the show? I know the guest hosts aren’t going away…fine.  But, Bret should be the one setting matches, stipulations, etc.

MINUS-Edge.  He’s one of my all-time favorites.  However, since he came back at Royal Rumble, something’s just not clicking.  I don’t think it’s entirely his fault, though.  He was forced on us as a face, now he’s supposed to be heel again.  No matter what he does, it never seems to elicit the right reaction from the crowd. The Orton injury in their match at “Over the Limit” didn’t exactly help matters. 

Edge is a great worker who needs a meaningful feud.  If it’s not going to be with Christian, then I’d love to see him as a “tweener,” who can take on anybody.

MINUS-Chris Jericho.  It pains me to put him here, but a loss to new United States Champion R-Truth was weird.  R-Truth needs some quality victories to look strong…I get that. And Y2J has a history of helping get guys over. Maybe Jericho is getting phased out for some time off…who knows?  But, he’s another wrestler in need of a good feud.  After all, he was the World Heavyweight Champion as recently as Wrestlemania 26.

Overall, the show was solid.  If you take the silly, guest host stuff out of the mix, it would have been even better.  

No more matches were set for the upcoming “Fatal 4-Way,” PPV, although I would have to think that we’re headed for a tag match with the Usos and the Hart Dynasty.

 Evan Bourne was spectacular, and held his own with the big boys during the main event tag match.  If Randy Orton can’t work his own spot at “Fatal 4-Way” due to the shoulder injury, I wonder if Bourne gets in somehow. That would add a huge dose of excitement to the match.

There was also a mixed-tag match between Divas Champion Eve Torres and Santino Marella taking on William Regal (accompanied by Vladimir Kozlov) and Maryse. Eve and Maryse have delivered some solid matches lately with what little time they’ve been given, but the whole point of this one was for Kozlov to turn on Regal and attack him mid-match so that Santino could get the pin.  It’s too bad the Big Russian has spent most of his time lately in unfunny comedy skits or meaningless squash matches.

Mid-week musings, SmackDown stuff, and less alliteration (I promise), as the week moves along.  And you can always check out the “Busted Open” radio show on your Sirius/XM Radio…Mondays and Wednesdays from 2-4 PM, Eastern.

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