Toronto RAW

Greetings from under the black, 200X Resistol hat still recovering from a long trip from Oklahoma to Canada including the dreaded, unscheduled 4 hour layover in Dallas-Ft. Worth on Tuesday but just thinking of the live audience reactions on Sunday and Monday certainly made the journey worthwhile.

Unforgiven was a hit. Even most of the internet guys liked Sunday’s PPV and their job as critics/reviewers make overwhelmingly positive reviews rare.

It was hard to find an abundance of things wrong with the Sunday Toronto event in the Air Canada Center. For me, more wrestling and less talk is always a plus, OK usually always a plus, but the live audience in TO was, as we predicted, simply amazing. As has been said on many occasions, the live crowd reaction during any televised broadcast can make or break a show and the folks in Toronto were “stars” on Sunday night.

Jeff Hardy and Johnny Nitro had their best match at Unforgiven. Melina’s interference felt a little limp but nonetheless if Nitro and Hardy focus on wrestling and not being wall to wall daredevils their subsequent matches will continue to be better. I like this pairing and look forward to seeing more of this rivalry. The King may prefer ogling Melina’s ample cleavage, I’m not saying that is a bad thing, but at the end of the day the question remains was the match good or was it bad and cleavage usually has little to do with that answer.

The World Tag Title bout exceeded my expectations and The Spirit Squad vs. The Highlanders probably had a better match than most folks, including yours truly, anticipated. For the record, I don’t dislike the tag team division on RAW. I do think it can be better and that is going to largely be dependant on how well the teams perform when they are given the opportunity. I am not calling anyone out here, if I do you will know it in this forum, but RAW has several talents who could energize this area if given the ball. I enjoyed the tag team match at Unforgiven especially since it seems as if the fans have not made an emotional investment yet in these teams as I expect them to in the future.

I was surprised Umaga did not defeat Kane at Unforgiven. From the audience reaction, so were most of the fans.

Carlito had his wrestling boots laced tightly Sunday night and had a terrific effort against Randy Orton who, once again, came up big in a big match environment. RAW really needs these two young men to become the stars night in and night out that they can be as their best years and biggest opportunity to earn the big money lies ahead of them. Orton catching Carlito in mid air with the RKO was a helluva way to end that particular match. This was a strong wrestling match which the live crowd seemed to really like. I know I did.

The Hell in a Cell had some classic moments in it and delivered the goods from my perspective. Not seeing the Big Show on a regular basis in person any longer one forgets just how BIG this man is. This Cell and all Cell matches in the future will be compared to the first one with HBK vs. The Undertaker and the Undertaker vs. Mankind Hell in a Cell from Pittsburgh where Mankind/Foley was thrown off the top of the Cell. That is a compliment to the aforementioned men but not really fair for all the other individuals who torture their bodies and bleed buckets of blood in subsequent Cell outings.

Mr. McMahon having his bloody head stuck up the Big Show’s rather large ass was a sight to behold. I unfortunately read where someone compared this match to the “Kennel from Hell” B.S. of a few years ago which I found to be a ridiculous analogy. That’s just someone nitpicking to get a rise out of someone and it worked because I found that particular statement that of a dumbass.

Trish got the emotional send off she deserved and was even fortunate enough to win the Women’s Title for a record 7th time. As I mentioned during the broadcast, wrestling history is a dicey subject and has been “re-written” many times. From the best I can ascertain, the Women’s Title was officially reorganized in 1956 with the Fabulous Moolah as the champion. Moolah essentially owned this title for YEARS and I mean YEARS winning it 6 different times, again according to the records I was able to obtain. Trish had definitely won the title six times because I happen to have seen all of those. By my math, that makes the classy Canadian beauty the winningest women’s champion in the history of the WWE. Trish is getting married soon and we wish her the very best in her new journey. I would like to think we have not seen the last of her in the WWE but who knows for sure but Trish herself. She has been a treasure to be around and I can still vividly remember the day she walked into my Connecticut office to interview for a job. That hiring was an easy decision. I thought Trish using the Sharpshooter made famous by Bret “The Hitman” Hart was classy and obviously effective. It was certainly purely Canadian.

Talk about going “on the road” and winning an away game in hostile territory; John Cena was able to pull it off in Edge’s hometown Sunday in another emotionally charged contest. What an atmosphere! My black hat is off to both men for a variety of reasons. Edge was literally choked unconscious during Cena’s supercharged STFU during the match but recovered and took care of his business. Cena was able to maintain his concentration in spite of over whelming crowd venom directed John’s way. TLC matches are obviously at or near the top of the high risk food chain and sometimes it is feast or famine when executing maneuvers in that environment. For this being Cena’s first TLC match, it was definitely a hit and Edge’s performance was simply off the chart. I am not so sure that Edge did not come out of this match hotter than going in. I want to clarify something to for those that may not “get it”. When I describe John Cena as being “controversial” I mean it because Cena elicits an emotion from virtually everyone in the arena. Some cheer, some boo but everyone has an opinion and likes to express such. For many wrestlers, they either get cheered OR booed whereby Cena more often than not usually gets both sometimes at the same time! That’s my definition of controversy for a positioned fan favorite such as John Cena.

RAW had a hard act to follow Monday night but the Montreal crowd once again proved that they are one of the best we see all year any where around the world.

I like the elevation of Cade and Murdoch and feel they both have the goods to be able to compete on the next level. RAW has to be about making new stars and these two certainly have an opportunity to be two of the headliners in the near future.

It will be interesting to see what the disposition of the now vacant Women’s Title will be. Certainly one would assume that Lita and Mickie James are the leading contenders for the title.

The Boogeyman is gone from the WWE. Don’t you just love the obligatory…”we wish him well in all his future endeavors” line with every dismissal?

Why is Rene Dupree the most “Extreme Man” on ECW?

Watching ECW Tuesday night it seemed that Ariel had her front end aligned or something to that affect.

The talk of the internet and out of Kurt Angle’s camp is that Kurt is entertaining thoughts of getting into the UFC-like competition as promoters from around the globe are clamoring for the former Olympic Gold Medal winners services. From a promoter’s point of view, there is no doubt that the curiosity factor in signing Angle to fight would be potentially huge. How many Olympic Gold Medalists have stepped into this particular arena? I mentioned many weeks ago that some promoter would try and hook up the two former WWE stars Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar which is a lay-up. It doesn’t take a Vince McMahon or a Vince McMahon wannabe long to figure that one out. My two cents on this matter is that Kurt should stay as far away from the mixed martial arts world as possible. Yes, there is huge money to be made for a few fights but at what cost? I say the potential risk facing Kurt is too great to even think of traveling down this road. I am not condemning the promoters of this genre as they are in the business of making money and most defiantly Kurt Angle in the MMA world is money but is the risk of permanent injury worth the cash? Not where I sit.

I got a fair amount of emails last week when I touched on TNA. Again, I am not of the mindset to wish ill on any one and the more places the wrestlers can work and make a living the better in my eyes. Most of them that get really good will probably wind up in the WWE any way. TNA can have success if they wrestle more, go young and homegrown. The entire business is about building new, younger stars that get to dance the last dance on TV or PPV.

The WWE sold out Mexico City last night to the tune of well over 800K! Great job by all involved. This short tour of Mexico should gross close to 2M. That is a great success story for the WWE. Plus, just think of the crowds if had featured “Dog the Bounty Hunter” one of Mexico’s most wanted felons!

Good luck to the Smackdown guys this Friday night on their Premier on the CW Network.

RAW is in OKC at the Ford Center this Monday night. Should I wear an OU helmet or body armor as I usually get my ass kicked in my hometown. Perhaps I will get lucky this time but who knows? Tune in live Monday night at 9/8 central time. I would be interested in taking on an Oregon Duck…not a real human being but an actual Duck…..or a Pac 10 replay official.

Our on line store is going to be open imminently. I hope you will check it out and try our sauces and merchandise. The official Slobber-Knocker merchandise is one of my favorite items. Also take a look at our vintage photo gallery. More photos are added on a regular basis. Keep your emails coming and thanks a million for checking out our site. We will have a football blog up this week, too, as usual.

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.

Share