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Monday Night Raw had some compelling in ring action in Newark. Here are some of my Raw thoughts:
@WWESheamus vs. @HEELZiggler was the best match of the night. Certainly one of the better free, TV bouts that I've seen in a good while. If I had to pick 10 guys to start a new roster, these two would be on that list. Ziggler had an MVP like night and my only concern is his body holding up considering the athletic hell it endures on a regular basis. Dolph's the kind of guy that has one basic pace and that's all out. Sooner than later Ziggler will realize that more often than not that less is more is more than a often used wrestling Cliche.
Eve vs. Alicia Fox exceeded my expectations considering that they really don't have an issue of any significance in the Diva world. @AliciaFoxy has improved immensely and has the look of a true star if things were to work out in her favor. Eve is perfect for the role in which she is cast. It's hard to find beautiful women who are as athletic as they need to be in today's landscape. Plus, in case you haven't noticed both these women are willing to physically engage inside the ropes.
Even thought he four team, elimination tag did not seem to hit the live audience's hot button, I thought it was a positive that the four teams got the TV time that they did. The Uso's seem to have come out of the match garnering the most attention.
Any fan that thinks that @CMPunk did not have knee surgery likely is too stupid to be reading this blog. A case of J.R.'s HOT BBQ sauce says that the straight edge WWE Champion isn't even using medication to monitor the pain he's obviously having to endure while his knee heals.
Punk vs. @TheRock at the Royal Rumble in Phoenix will be a giant attraction especially as both talents begin to totally focus on the specific event. I'm curious to see how the build to the Rumble unfolds. Without question Paul Heyman @HeymanHustle will be an integral part of the process.
The AJ-Vickie/Maddox business was entertaining as I had almost forgotten about Referee Maddox. Speaking from experience. actually several experiences, one's 'homecoming' on RAW's can be quite the night as AJ found out on her return to her home state of New Jersey. Does Maddox now get a WWE contract? TBD, I assume.
Thought U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. IC Kofi Kingston had a really nice bout. Cesaro has that WWE HOFer Johnny Valentine quality of being a methodical starter of a match, being extremely solid and fundamentally sound, and exuding toughness. JV always took more time that most main eventers to get himself established but when he 'hit' he was entrenched where the promoter's wanted and needed him to be. In today's acrobatic, faster paced than needed world of wrestling, some fans who have never seen the art form of the business played out ala Johnny Valentine, etc will hopefully stay engaged with Cesaro who I think is a future, main event star. @AntonioCesaro is another keeper and building block for WWE.
Kofi showing more in ring toughness and adding timely flying to his game is refreshing. Kofi is a smart, educated young man who is another athlete that WWE can depend on day in and day out to not self destruct and to push himself to keep getting better. Les flying, but doing it when it means more, and displaying more aggression will continue to serve Kofi well.
Thought @TheShield innovative promo that they taped themselves was well done. Promos don't have to be a mini series in length to get the message across in today's short attention span society. Nice job by the three new men who I've seen a great deal of in NXT. They get to live their dream Sunday night on PPV at TLC in Brooklyn. I'd watch if only for that reason.
@JohnCena vs. @WWETheBigShow have obvious in ring chemistry. I liked the physical style of how they competed with each other.
Loved the closing moments of #RAW going off the air hot. Reminded me of Mid South Wrestling back in the day and some Monday night's during the Attitude Era. Funny how some younger fans tweeted me @JRsBBQ complaining because there wasn't a 'resolution' of the conflict before leaving the air. Seriously?
Toughest guy in the arena? Arguably @JerryLawler for wearing a short sleeve T Shirt on a chilly night in the Northeast and, yes, I realize that the arena is heated. A bag of JR's Beef Jerky says that the King didn't even wear a jacket on his trip from Memphis to Newark. The WWE HOFer detests outer wear.
2nd toughest guy had to be @MiketheMiz for wearing that striking suit on MizTV. Quite the eclectic segment...@DamienSandow in an old, Lou Thesz robe and @codyrhodeswwe in his starter set 'stache.
Speaking of the announcing, I enjoy it when WWE utilizes talents to join King and @MichaelCole but feel that the 'guests' need either two segments or one long segment to sufficiently make their needed points.
Watching at home, it felt like @Ryback22 got one of his best live audience reactions on RAW. Seems like the Las Vegas native is beginning to click and will likely continue to do so. Again, some fans with zero patience want it to happen "yesterday" but speaking from experience the process takes time. I can provide numerous illustrations of this going all the way back to the 70's when I started in the business.
What happened when RAW went off the air...spoiler alert...I went to bed.
Can't wait to see the Best 100 RAW Moments on DVD. It's always fun to see what, who makes the cut and to reminisce about some of the most exciting, fun and, at times, challenging times of my career.
I've updated the Q&A section of the site and invite you to read others questions and my answers. Feel free to participate.
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