Really, really sorry it's taken me so long to throw a review your way, bud. You've posted almost an entire months worth of shows now and this is the first time I appear? Bullshit. Sorry again, but I have been reading. All I can say is THANK GOD we've got another quality booker in this section. They're few and far between. Any time I get a new writer who I simply must read is a good thing. Anyway, enough ass kissin'. Raw time...
Right off the bat this is one hell of a card you have set up tonight. Not only do we have the WWE Championship match in Flair's home town (with the Street Fight sneakily replacing the TLC), but what sounds like a rather sexual Handicap First Blood match (TNA?), and a couple of solid mid-card bouts too. Always helps to have a solid backbone of matches as the basis for your show, and you've sure got that here. Not a squash in sight as far as I can see. Oh, btw, either turn King heel or fire his ass. No more dirty old man shenanigans please.
Kicking things off with Kurt Angle? Like Styles, I wasn't expecting this, but I have to say it's a pleasant surprise. At this time in the WWE, with Daivari as his manager, with his obnoxious gimmick of censoring his music, and just genuinely being a nut, Kurt was probably my favourite heel in the WWE. Brandon (Deadman) forced my
hand in having to turn him face at the start of my thread and it still irks me to this day. What I gather from this opening promo is that you're going the same route.
"And believe me, it haunts me. It does. The WWE Championship... itís all I think about. When I close my eyes, it thereís, when I go to sleep, itís there... I just canít stop thinking about it. For four long months, itís all Iíve wanted... itís been my life. Eight days ago, I fell short, again. But yíknow, I can take that. I can accept that. What I canít take is the fact that someone can just walk in, and on their first attempt, take advantage of an injured man for the WWE Title. I canít take the fact that Edge was able to just walk in and steal the WWE Championship from Cena, after I had worked so long, after I had worked so hard on earning it."
A wonderful paragraph certainly, and the one that, perhaps even more so than his interaction with Eric Bischoff a few moments later, really convinces me that you are going the face (or as close as you can get with this nut) with Angle. The emphasis on hard work etc. plays up to his face persona, whilst, to state the obvious, his verbal attack on the much despised Edge accentuates this. That's basically two weeks now that Angle hasn't had a bad word to say about a major face, which I, of course, factor in to my theory. Am I happy about this imminent face(ish) turn? Not at all. Cena, Flair and HBK are doing a sterling job in that department, with Big Show and Kane supporting them if needs be. As for the heel ranks, Edge and Triple H aren't enough really, though I suppose if your intention with this Angle turn is to allow yourself to elevate up and comers like Carlito and Chris Masters to main event status, then I'm all for it. Still, being the diplomat I am, I shall reserve judgement until all is revealed.
Angle's interaction with Bischoff just furthers his face turn really. What was this if not the usual dick heel GM stacking the odds against the crowd favourite (future) face? Bischoff is basically that. He doesn't really
have any alliance; his protection of Edge is a business decision, which I love
. A smarmy, money obsessed GM just floats my boat in every way. And I thought this show was stacked already? Kane|Show versus Trips|Angle? That some PPV goodness right there. Odds are this will go some way toward furthering Angle's face turn, as hostilities with the hated
Game would do nothing but bring the boys and girls at home even more on side. What this certainly has done is thrown a spanner in the works. It's created a sense of unpredictability around the already unpredictable Angle. Just whose side (or alignment) is he on? Angle's face runs in modern terms basically involve him having no
alliances whatsoever and pretty much just beating up whoever the hell he want, so if this is the route you go with the man, we could have a very interesting Royal Rumble build (assuming, of course, he's still in it) over the next few weeks. Oh, and keep Daivari please; either as Angle's manager or manager of his enemy (like with Mark Henry). He's just cool in a really obnoxious sort of way. Great start to the show. Short and sweet promo, something I really struggle to do: get to the bloody point. Good job.
Now while I do have a slight
problem with the way this HBK|McMahon feud has been going so far (it hasn't really differed from the real one much), I won't deny I enjoyed this little yet tension filled segment. Vince's line,
"And even though there is a method behind my madness, Iíd like to think Iím a nice guy. Iíd like to think Iím a fair man."
was wonderful, as he always is, as was Michaels' stoicness. It annoys me when Shawn is jovial even during extremely personal feuds. He got it right with Jericho last year, and you seem to have the right idea. I'm still lost though. I know
you aren't going to do McMahon|Michaels at WM. You just can't
. So where the hell is this thing going?
match up from Benjamin and Helms. Two of the better wrestlers on your roster and this was a nice little showcase for their actual in-ring ability, rather than the shit they usually have to do. It almost had a sort of 'Old School' NWA weekly feel to it or something, which is unsurprising since I know you are a well-travelled man in your knowledge of the wrestling world. Not surprised to see Helms pick up the win, as he is really the only one of the two being given any sort of a push right now and to have him loseto a man on a losing streak would flatten his momentum instantly. Intercontinental title on the horizon for Helms perhaps? As for Shelton? I hate
losing streaks. Unless you are purposefully burying the guy, I don'y see what purpose they serve other than to make him look like a complete joke. End it soon please.
The aftermath with Haas is obviously going to be Shelton's way out of this rut, leading to him joining forces with his old partner ... I think. Can't see you going any other route with it.
Good interview from Edge. Nothing astronomical. It was what one expects from the heel champion before a big defence, especially Edge. A paranoid, arrogant, self-promoting speech, with a fixation on Kurt Angle so strong that you're almost giving away yur planned WrestleMania main event. He touched on Flair and just
touched on Cena, but Angle? The man he's not even scheduled to face? Almost two full paragraphs worth of ranting. That reeks of future feud in my book. This closing line was wonderful:
"Tonight, itís Flair. At the Rumble, itís Cena. And at WrestleMania, if youíre able to win the Rumble, itíll be me and you. And yíknow what... I dare you to win the Rumble."
Don't really want to see Kurt with the Rumble though. Bit of a boring choice in my book.
Bit of a generic promo between Trish and the ultra bland Ashley, but, honestly, it's hard to help at this point, I know. You're kind of stuck with all of this build toward the inevitable Trish|Mickie match, and it kind of bogs down the Women's division. Just do something crazy to inject some life into it.
Disappointed that Cade & Murdoch are essentially worthless jobbers in this thread, as I've a really soft spot for them. I guess there was never any doubt about Shawn's involvement in the Royal Rumble though. He's a favourite, no doubt about it. Another very well written match up though. It's not easy to do this weekly ones, but you seem to handle them extremely
Good backstage segment between Triple H and Bischoff. Glad Eric's showing a bit f backbone under all this scrutiny. Hunter's in No Man's Land right now as it relates to feuds, with this business with Big Show & Kane little more than a filler. Intrigued by Bischoff's obvious plan, but I'm not quite sure what it could be.
Hate on Ashley and Candice much? Fair enough. Ashely's obviously getting quite a big role in this Trish|Mickie business, as indicated here. Not really the heel turn we're all waiting for from Mickie, as it seems as though you're going the 'Conflicted' route with her. Victoria is awesome and she has sweet chemistry with Trish, so their match at the Rumble should be decent, and, I'd imagine, absolutely jam-packed with interference. Goody.
Well, I guess I was right with my earlier assumption. Charlie Haas really does represent Shelton's 'Salvation' in this storyline. Loved this line:
"You know that as a team, we were the best... we were the worldís greatest."
Clever. Better get a move on with this story though, as Benjamin's losing streak can't end immediately if this is what you want to do, and WrestleMania isn't that far away, and I definitely see these two at least challenging
for tag team gold at that event.
this little interview from Carlito and Masters. I really enjoy them as a team and individually, so, like I said earlier, I hope you continue this push you'ce been giving them. Surprised you had Masters do almost all of the talking, but I like him, so whatever, and Carlito's obvious bullshit in this feud was pretty funny. Again, like I said earlier with McMahon|Michaels, don't go the same route as the WWE did with this feud. Spice it up a little.
"...the potential of Masters (fuck the haters; Masters owns)."
Oh yeah, Money in the Bank for The Masterpiece please; he does indeed own. Good match between he and Chavo. Not quite up to the standard of the earlier Shelton|Helms bout, but good nonetheless, with the impressive relationship between Masters and Carlito the major talking point. After that comment, and this win here, I'm expecting big things from Masters in this thread, sir.
Pretty standard pre-match hype from Flair and Michaels which pushed all the right buttons. In character? Oh hells to the yes. No real prior story for these two or anything following on from it, so I see no real significance here.
Van Dam OWNS. Awesome showing in the Rumble plz.
Wow, Angle really is getting pushed as a dominant force in this thread. But a face force? That remains to be seen. He certainly impressed here with the ease he managed to best two former WWE Champions and the current tag team champions, with essentially little assistance from Trips. Edge's interferences continues this show's theme of setting up the future Edge|Angle WrestleMania match, but I LOVED the way it all transitioned straight into the WWE Championship Street Fight, making this Raw as unpredictable and insane as any I have read before...
A quality main event certainly that finally
reminded us that Edge is actually feuding with someone other than Kurt Angle right now, as he had his hands full with John Cena as well as Ric Flair. Thugh there was obviously a lot of intereference from Lita, I still think you did a splendid job with the finish in making Edge, in his first title defence after all, look very strong. He might've had Lita interfering on his behalf, but Flair had JOHN FUCKIN' CENA, so you tell me what's better? And yet, Edge was still
able to see off both men and pin Flair to retain the title. Just as perfectly booked as their TLC match in real life. You made the new champ look good in his first defence. Good on Flair. Feel good aftermath with Cena sending a real message to his Royal Rumble opponent, though I still think you should've gone with a different WWE title match than the one we got in reality. I mean, even sticking Flair in for a Triple Threat would've done. Just something
original at least. Ah well, at least we know who isn't
Cracking first show for me to review, B. Brilliant match writing suggests great things for your first upcoming PPV and your promos were all pretty darn good too. The Angle situation has my head hurting, but, trust me, that's a good thing. Really impressed by you, mate. Thanks for giving me a new thread to follow