First things first, I don't think I need to say it, because you know how pleased I am to see you back in action. When there are times that I think of leaving this section, or am just not involved in things, you're one of the people who immediately recaptures my interest. Others have progressed in the section, some are good, but you're the best, end of. Not to mention I didn't make those damn SummerSlam and WrestleMania banners for you for nothing!
Also, on a side note, to the guy above me, good to see you back.
Let me just start by saying that you certainly haven't lost your touch when it comes to JR and Coach. I'm glad you didn't change the commentary team like you had previously suggested, because these two characters are absolute gold together.
Kicking things off with Kennedy is certainly interesting. I wouldn't expect it, but it's a welcome surprise. I'm glad you're really using the announcers, and in fact the placement of this match on the card, to give Kennedy importance, because he certainly needs it heading into Vengeance. His character has been one of the most interesting in recent times. Also, I'm still waiting for an explanation as to why he dropped the Kennedy nickname, then suddenly went back to the gimmick without any explanation whatsoever, and is now suddenly "serious" again. Promo, perhaps?
Wow, Shawn Michaels is certainly an interesting choice of opponent. Especially since this is the first encounter between these two I'm surprised that you're giving it away for free on RAW, but then again, not every match can be saved for a pay-per-view, so it's not a big issue. I'm guessing Kennedy will get the win here since he's challenging for the world title soon, but Michaels could do with a win too, since in his recent feud with Umaga he hasn't looked his best. This is going to need some careful booking.
In addition to what I just said above about you doing well in pushing Kennedy; I think the start of this match shows just seriously you're taking this. Kennedy getting the advantage over Michaels so quickly into the match was definitely something I didn't expect, but it's good to see. I thought the match itself was well booked to make both men look good coming out of it. I'm also glad that you had Kennedy pick up the pinfall rather than the submission win. I think this Crossface (I refuse to write it with a K) idea you have is good in making Kennedy look more 'legitimate' as a competitor, but I think faces tapping out cleanly to heels is something that always makes the face look somewhat weak. Anyway, a very good match to open the show.
Umaga's post-match attack was exactly how it should have been - brutal - and definitely continues to put him over as yet another guy on RAW who needs to be taken seriously. On a side note, it's actually interesting to see you pushing both Kennedy and Umaga, both heels, at the same time, especially when 'Mags has the Money in the Bank briefcase that will inevitably lead to a world championship. The Samoan Spike through the announce table was like the cherry on the cake of a well booked attack, lol. Estrada's little rant after the attack and the announcement of the Last Man Standing match were well written. I think after this attack, Shawn Michaels needs to get the upper hand next week, because right now as a viewer I don't see any way he could possibly beat Umaga at Vengeance. Not that he should by the way, but I'm just saying, to give HBK some
credibility heading into the pay-per-view, he needs to gain revenge in some form next week.
I think I would have preferred some sort of segment or promo after the commercial break than another match, but again, it's not a big issue. There's not much to say on this match other than the obvious. Matt Hardy's push continues as expected, and right now, you're doing an excellent job in building the King of the Ring tournament, because there are quite a few favourites involved. My only criticism is that X-Pac came to ringside, but did nothing. As a character, there's no way he would've just watched Tomko lose. Perhaps you wanted a clean win for Matt because you thought it would look better, but in that case, you could've just given Mr. Waltman the night off.
Miz's interview was...alright. I found it funny that he accused Helms and Punk of drinking before their matches. My only problem with this approach is that it's not exactly original. I'd like to see you slowly move Miz away
from the "reality star" gimmick and make him more legitimate, just like you're doing with other characters on the show. OK, he films superstars, so what? Where does that get him in the ring? It's a "I'm going to be stuck in the midcard for quite a while with this" gimmick. You know what I mean? The Melina/Beth thing was hardly groundbreaking stuff, but still interesting in terms of that particular storyline's progression.
That's a nice Vengeance banner. Whoever made it deserves some major props.
The small Bischoff promo was standard stuff. I like how you're slowly making him a fully-fledged heel again since he pretty much sucks as a face. The stipulation of Mickie possibly being stripped of the title is interesting, albeit predictable. I'd be shocked if you had Mickie *yes MICKIE, not "Alexis"* not show up. As a matter of fact, I'd challenge you to take the storyline in that direction. It'd certainly be intriguing.
Again, not much to say on this match since no one but Melina was ever going to win. I liked how even in such a small recap, you had Victoria as the major threat in the match, but then also showed just how dominant Beth Phoenix is going to be once she becomes an active competitor. This storyline is very interesting, so props to you for coming up with it, and props to me for being the catalyst.
Before I comment on the promo, I'd just like to say again, that Kurt Angle is yet another
character that demands attention right now on RAW, and that just goes to show how good your booking of this brand is right now. Since arriving on the show, Angle has made me question a lot, and I'm really interested in seeing how his character will continue to develop once this feud with Cena is over. Will he turn face? What more is there for him as a heel with the likes of Kennedy and Umaga on the rise? Anyway, the promo. What is there to say, Wolfster? Characterisation was absolutely spot on, the segment was solid in building toward Vengeance; and I like how you had Cena's intensity play off of Angle's slow, calculating approach. When you started talking about quitting I expected an I Quit Match, but obviously, Ultimate Submission favours Angle a lot more. I thought you showed a great understanding of Cena's character by having him walk off, rather than get into a fight with Angle, since if he's not antagonised, he would take the high road.
@ Coach continuing to own JR. Poor guy.
I think you may have slightly dropped the ball by having Rhyno admit to the attack from last week on Rey Mysterio. If you had had someone else be behind it, it could've been turned into a major storyline. You know how much I love mystery attacker storylines. That being said, I'm a fan of Rhyno, so I'm glad to see him back. I just hope he doesn't get fed to Mysterio. The subsequent squash of Scotty 2 Hotty was nicely done. One last thing:
The Coach: If Mysterio has any brains, he’ll be on the phone to Mickie James right now asking for a hideout.
Line of the night!!
I absolutely LOVE the Teddy Long character in this thread. I think this was yet another well written segment, with everyone involved coming out of it looking good. I'm looking forward to seeing where you take the Matt and Shelton situation considering both the Intercontinental Championship and the KOTR come into play here. I think Shelton will hold onto the title since I think there's no way he's winning the KOTR, but then again, Matt could easily pick up the belt and continue his recent winning streak on the road to becoming KOTR. Interesting stuff. Kennedy approaching is even more interesting, and I assume he's going to use them to ambush Christian later tonight.
"Greg" Helms picking up a win over Mercury was expected. Whilst I don't think he's one of the favourites to win the KOTR, I'm sure you're going to have him give his old friend Matt a real challenge when they meet in the next round of the tournament. Smith vs. Benjamin and Umaga vs. Benjamin for next week suggest another solid show. I'm ignoring Marella vs. Mysterio since Marella is a joke, and Rhyno will most likely interfere, so it isn't exactly going to be a good match.
I was disappointed to see you pull the trigger on the Cody Rhodes heel turn on Superstars. The storyline was progressing nicely on RAW, so why pull not turn Cody and give him some much needed exposure on the biggest television show you've got?? No wonder you write that he comes out to little reaction; you haven't given him the proper spotlight he needs to get a reaction. However, the actual promo, and the reasoning behind the turn, was very good. Cody being embarrassed by his family all his life is something very believable and a great catalyst for him to break out on his own. I just hope Cody gets some more exposure on RAW now, as he deserves it, instead of silly characters like Santino Marella.
DAMN YOU WOLFY!!! This is the EXACT
same scenario I had planned for the Orton/Jericho feud on an upcoming Smackdown in Era of Darkness!
Lucky I changed my booking plans.
Anyway, seeing Kennedy find a loophole in the Pick Your Poison was something I had expected. On one hand, I think it's a very clever move on the character's part. As a heel, he would of course look for an underhanded way to get an advantage over Christian. But, with his recent character change, this is the sort of move that ironically, could make the viewer not take him seriously, because he's getting someone else to do his dirty work in a very unfair situation, rather than just picking one, tough opponent, like Umaga. It's not a huge issue, but something to perhaps think about in hindsight. I myself am leaning toward it being a good move, but like I said, just think about it.
I'm surprised at the shortness of the main event, even if it was a predictable finish. Not a big deal (jeesh I've said that a lot, haven't I?), but I think considering this was Christian's only appearance on the show, he could've fought on a bit longer. A few minutes would've done it, in my opinion. All the heels ganging up on the champion with their finishers, with all five men then putting their foot on Christian, makes him look like an absolute bitch, but puts the Brotherhood over big time. They kind of needed that, because since their inception, they haven't done anything as big as this that demands attention.
The final lines from Kennedy were terrific. Short but sweet. This entire show has revolved around one central point; Kennedy proving himself as a legitimate title contender to Christian. With those last lines, and Christian being destroyed by the Brotherhood, he's certainly accomplished that. A fantastic ending to a solid show, and a very good way of really getting me, as a viewer, involved with the storyline which up until now, was a bit wishy washy.
This show was, as expected, a very well done piece of work. I would expect nothing less. Vengeance is an absolutely stacked card, and it will be awesome to see it when it's finally posted. You are absolutely nailing every single character to the tee right now, and it's very intriguing to see where some of them are headed, notably Angle, Umaga, Matt Hardy and Kennedy. PLEASE don't suddenly disappear again. After all these years, you are STILL the best, you are STILL producing quality work.