Sorry I've been completely AWOL from feedbacking this past month ; I'm going to try and hop right back on the wagon now for obvious reasons, and as good a place as any to start.
Quite the show lined up for Raw tonight, what with the plethora of championship matches, Umaga's inevitable
ascension to the MITB match, and the feud-ender between Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels. Anyone would think we're heading for WrestleMania, the way you're stacking these cards
"Big challenge for the littlest big man tonight J.R, but listen to the response for The Coach!!! They love me in England."
I've been really enjoying the increased interaction you've been having between the broadcasters since you came back. You did it in fits and starts previously, but it seems like you've decided to really give J.R and especially Coach a much more vocal part in the show. In terms of entertainment, I have to say that one of the things that always used to entertain me personally in the WWF/E and wrestling as a whole, was the heel commentator, as they can be hilarious
when done right. That's partly why most Raw's, SD's, ECW's, iMPACT's, ROH shows etc. are not the 'must see' for the commentary. If anything, it takes away from the action. So, yeah, kudos for your work on Coach & J.R. Keep it up.
"hell, I love England "
It's definitely a two-horse race between yourself and KOP for whose character representation of Cena is the most accurate to his current WWE persona. Honestly, you seem to have him down to a tee
. You get guys like myself and Mac who are fans of his edgier, more brash side, and I think
that works too (though it is quite a dangerous territory, considering how long it's been since Cena had an edge to his character), but what you've managed to do is find your groove with this Cena persona, the one I like to call the "Safe Persona" and you've ran with it. Successfully. Very
successfully. In the past I've moaned a bit about you're Cena character, due to him not having any realy edge, bordering on boring and stale, and I was all set to do that in this review, until
I read over it again and realised just what Cena has become in your thread. For a fan of fiction like myself, I should've spotted it long ago, but Cena is the White Knight, the Hero of this journey, and to give him edge would thus turn him into an anti-hero, which you already have in the shape of Captain Charisma (no one that
cocky can be just
a hero). Therefore (and pat yourself on the back for this) you've turned me into a believer with your Cena, and a perfect example of how is with this last little speech:
"This here … is my WWE contract. And I’m willin to take this contract and tear it up, and walk away … not only from Raw … but from the WWE altogether, in exchange for one more shot. One more chance at facing Triple H, for the World Heavyweight Championship. If I win, I prove that I really am better … and if I lose … I’m gone … no questions asked."
So, it's the 'Last Chance Saloon' for Cena come SuperBrawl (or at least that's what I thought at this point). It's such a great stipulation the 'Last Chance' one, but only
when it's used on faces I think, as why would anyone care about a heel never getting a title match again? Bischoff's been a muted of late due to the air time the McMahon Family Empire obviously need to get every week, and with three of the members of that stable effectively Eric's boss, you can understand him taking a bit of a backseat. I'm very
surprised by Bischoff's complete 360 on Cena's proposal, but I suppose just handing him a title shot against big bad Triple H wouldn't do the heels any favours. But, if Easy was so set against Cena even having
a title match, why didn't he just say no? I'd guess that it's because he gambled that Lesnar would destroy Cena, and, of course, the allure of getting the chance to fire Cena as soon as possible must be hard to resist. However, the mere fact that you're giving us Cena/Lesnar now
most certainly erases the possibility of that match taking place at WrestleMania, which I have to say is pretty surprising considering the apparent set up you ran with on last week's show.
Certainly an incredible opening match up that really did just come out of the blue, and is a match that I know I've wanted to see happen in this thread ever since Backlash of last year when these two hooked it up in a Triple Threat match. It's a shame that we won't get to read a full, grander version of this contest at WrestleMania now, as it could've been like the awesome Cena/Batista contest from SummerSlam last year but x10 if you catch my drift, especially with the kind of explosive recap you gave it here, with the two bulls hitting each other with every power move in their arsenal. Cena takes a beating going through the announce table (awesome to see a spot like that on free TV), but still mounts a comeback to pick up a stunning victory out of nowhere with the roll up. Now, talk about flipping what I thought
were your WrestleMania plans on their head. Fantastic stuff. With Lesnar/Cena now seemingly out of the question, that only leaves one option for Cena and that is to put the strap on him at SuperBrawl and have him face Christian in a huge face/face match at WrestleMania, thereby continuing the growing tension between Triple H and Brock Lesnar by throwing them into a feud of their own for WrestleMania. Believe me, I love
all of the matches that are coming out of this, but I still think, for closures sake, at some point, be it Backlash or later down the line, Christian is going to have to continue his feud with the McMahon Family Empire. After all, they did
rob him of the belt months ago, they did
try to take away any chance he had of ever getting it back, and they did
place an enormous bounty on his head in the Royal Rumble match. It wouldn't make sense just to toss all that aside. Also, I'm a little uncomfortable with the thought that either Cena will be getting a pultry one-month reign with the belt from PPV to PPV, or that the winner of the Royal Rumble match won't be winning the strap. Like I said though, hell of an opening.
"This has not been an ideal night for the McMahon Family Empire so far … and they still haven’t even arrived!!!"
I love these kind of set ups for the show. Kind of reminds me of the old Corporation days. Loved this short parking lot segment between Bischoff and The McMahon's; nice to see Easy E actually growing a set and standing up for himself, eh?
"Brock Lesnar?? And Lesnar lost?? Wow, that’s convenient. What a god damn surprise. It wouldn’t surprise me Eric if Lesnar just lay down for him. Vince, you know Lesnar has it in for me dammit. He didn’t give a crap about winning tonight. You knew that too Eric. And trust me Bischoff … I’m gonna deal with you later, but I want to know where the hell big bad Brock is??"
Oh, baby, and those two are tag team partners tonight? I'm just waiting with baited breath for the shit to well and truly hit the fan between those two, and it should be epic when it happens. I'm just wondering whether Lesnar will remain in this kind of tweenerish role (which I think he works best as) or will go full-fledged face (which I very much doubt).
Brilliant move to postpone the tag team championship match, showing the complete cowardice of the champions and just continuing the hunt of the babyface challengers. However, in order avoid making MNM look like complete jokes and StraightEdge's bitches when they finally meet, I actually think you should let MNM go over at least once before Helms & Punk get the inevitable win (at Wrestlemania???). Also, Coach was once again GOLD here:
"Y’know, to be honest J.R … I’m starting to feel a little queasy here myself. You know that England isn’t the most hygienic country in the world. I saw Nitro and Mercury eating eggs earlier, I bet it was those."
I think you already know what I'm going to say about this next segment, but seriously, if you can keep going at this rate with this wonderful storyline between Triple H and Brock Lesnar, you'll get no complaints from me should you decide to go with the Lesnar/Hunter & Christian/Cena route. "You name the time, you tell me the place … I’ll be there."
Uh, WrestleMania good for you, Brock? I don't think these two will implode tonight or any time before SuperBrawl, but I can
see them imploding at
SuperBrawl via Lesnar getting involved in the championship match and somehow costing Trips the title. It's probably going to be my favourite feud leading up to 'Mania, seeing as you wont write SD in full
Wow, you really
like Umaga, don't you? Stating the obvious there, but a resounding victory over the Intercontinental Champion, a man who has had World title matches in the past, in barely five minutes, is really something to write home about. It basically confirms that you have no time for 'Mags in the Intercontinental division, and he's on his way to the big leagues. It'll be interesting to see hwo he does in the MITB Ladder match. Ignore Reney; I think it's a fantastic move, one I've thought about a few times myself actually. If a guy can fly, flip and everything else off the top rope, he should have no problem climbing a ladder. Hell, even THE BIG SHOW's been in a ladder match, and he's a tad larger than 'Maga. He might be the only one in it for now, but until Y2J is confirmed as a participant, Umaga's my pick to win it.
Another great, main event, PPV worthy match up between Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton, although I wasn't too keen on the treatment of The New Wave. They've essentially become the Hawkins & Ryder of this thread as the pose no threat whatsoever to anyone
and continue to get laid out by Orton's foes. Speaking of Randall, he didn't cover himself in glory either, but I guess since he'll probably only be competing in the MITB Ladder match at 'Mania (after his comments last week) and HBK will be going at it with Mick Foley in one of the main event feuds, Shawny needed it a little more.
"But first off, let me just say … it’s great to be back … RIGHT HERE … in WWE studios, in Stamford, Connecticut."
Mick Foley OWNS as a heel. He really does. The man is probably the most unique an entertaining mic worker of all time, so the run into 'Mania from this guy is going to be something special. Should be interesting to hear what he has to say next week, though I can see him swerving us once again, delaying the reveal of his master plan a little longer.
KENNEDY~ I think you know I love this guy. I'm enjoying his new serious
side, and who can blame him after spending the latter half of 2006 floundering in mid-card mediocrity. With that emphatic victory over DH Smith and the destruction of his microphone, Kennedy has done an almost complete spin on his face persona of a year ago. He could be a possibility for the MITB match, as I can't see what else there is for him, and he needs
something like the MITB briefcase to really propel him into the main event, whereas someone like Randy Orton (or even Chris Jericho) doesn't.
Short but sweet, effective and oh so fiery
promo from John Cena doing what he does best: hyping the match:
"But Todd … this time, I WONT fail, I WONT be stopped, I REFUSE to get screwed over this time. Triple H is gonna get hit with a freight train come Superbrawl … a freight train that goes by the name JOHN FREAKIN CENA!!!"
Triple H is going to need to some serious
damage to Cena next week (there's only two weeks until SuperBrawl right?) if he wants to come out of this thing with any
credibility. I mean, he's been running scared of Cena for months now, and if the next PPV is the be his last hoorah as champion, then I think he needs to make a big impression next week to make us remember him.
The Super Brawl does sound awesome. It's almost serving the same kind of purpose that the Elimination Chamber did at last year's No Way Out. I've already solved the problem you had with the First Blood fall, so just switch it around and it's all fine and dandy. This ain't no throwaway match either, with three former World Champions representing Raw. They could all
win, since Lesnar could use it to face Triple H, Orton to enter MITB, and Michaels to take on Foley. I still think I know who's winning it and he ain't on Raw. Then again, I'm usually wrong.
The Women's Match really acted as nothing but a vehicle to further the World Tag Team feud, which is a bit harsh on Melina and Laree I think, especially since I thought you were building Alexis up for a run at the title at WrestleMania. Oh, and MNM absolutely have
to win the first proper match they have with StraightEdge, as they've just been OWNED in this feud so far.
Glorious, GLORIOUS news that SummerSlam is coming to the Motherland. I might pay a visit
I'm really glad that Hunter is 'manning up' somewhat by challenging Cena to any stipulation he wants at SuperBrawl, which works as it will be the match to end their lengthy feud I suppose. But what will the match be? Both men excel
in gimmick matches, so Hell in a Cell? Last Man Standing? "I Quit"? Either way, it should be immense.
Seven matches on the card tonight? Bit risky. Crazy main event though. There was me thinking that the Triple H-Brock Lesnar situation would be the focal point and you completely caught me by surprise with Tomko creaming Christian and stabbing the Instant Classic in the back. I said a few weeks ago that it would be a smart move to have Tomko betray Christian for the economic gain of the McMahon Family Empire, but I'd almost thought you'd missed the boat with it. Very well played, sir. You dodged us all. I think you could've gone into a little
more detail with the climatic assault, maybe emphasising the emotion of the moment, seeing as this is Christian's best friend turning on him and trying to end his career, but that's probably just me being fussy. Still, I hope Tomko sticks around as the enforcer for the MFE, since anyone who watche TNA last year knows that he is actually a very good character in this kind of role. I imagine he will square off against CC at SuperBrawl now in order to give Christian some momentum leading up to 'Mania, but like I said, don't dismiss Tyson as a jobber. He can really go.
Just a few comments on the Sky Sports Special thing you posted last night: you caught me by surprise with the announcement of the Sixty-Minute Iron Man Match between Triple H and Cena at SuperBrawl, but it actually makes quite a lot of sense, with Cena's desire to prove himself as the best in the wrestling business against the best in the wrestling business. Looks like not much else will be added to the SuperBrawl card as a result though, which is fine, as it's heavily stacked already.
SmackDown looks sick too, with MVP probably making it into the MITB match at WrestleMania since both Batista and Lashley will probably culminate their U.S title program with Brent 'GREATNESS' Albright. The main event looks sexual too, but aren't both Angle and Jericho heels???
I hope this review was up to your extremely high standards, because the stuff you've been writing deserves only the best. The most enjoyable run of reading I've had in BTB for a long time. Keep up the brilliance.