June 14, 2007
This took longer to get posted than I had hoped, but as the saying goes, better late than never. The 3-hour RAW draft special was way better than I expected and on the whole I really enjoyed it. I could have lived with out Moolah and Mae Young barking like dogs, but other wise a decent show.
The only real problem I had with the show was the logic behind the draft and how they did it. It made for a good show structure but really didnít make sense and it really goes against what drafts in real sports are supposed to do. In other sports the lowest team at season end gets the first draft pick and the strongest teams the last. This is done to better balance the league. In the RAW draft the Brand that won the matches got the Draft picks, which means the stronger brand gets the Draft pick, which would actually strengthen the strongest Brand and weaken the weakest. It also didnít really make sense for a guy to fight real hard to win, in order to bring additional competition to the brand. Something they illustrated in the very first match. Edge won and then was terrified to see Kahli join Smack Down. If Edge was smart he would have thrown the match in hopes of RAW stealing tough competition from SD with their Draft pick.
That is a real nit picky point because the match ups setting up the Drafts made for entertaining television. With the Draft picks intertwined with the matches it allowed WWE to give us different cross Brand matches weíd never see otherwise and give them purpose, the Lashley Ė Benoit match for example. The Drafts on the whole were also good; a few minor ones, and a few important ones to create interest for future match ups.
On RAW, Cena now has two (or 3) fresh challengers in Booker T, and Snitski, with Mr. Kennedy potentially, if he remains a Heel. They also have a new baby face in Lashley, which was a surprise pick in my books. I would have expected him to go to SD as a potential challenger for Edge, rather than RAW where he will have more Baby face competition.
SmackDown I expected to get more help, but perhaps that will come in the supplemental Draft Sunday. SD lost Booker, Benoit, Kennedy, and Boogey Man, and gained guys who donít seem like top challengers for Edge, which SD needs. Batista gets his last title match at Vengeance (I donít expect him to win) so after that Edge needs Baby Face challengers. Flair is Flair and can fill that spot for a bit but I donít think that is the best spot for him now. Kahli will not produce great matches. Masters is a Heel. Torrie while wonderful to look at will not be a challenger for the title. I hope Rey gets back soon. Iíd take the cruiser title off of Chavo so Rey can do a return program with him without being labeled a cruiser, and then send him at Edge.
ECW scored HUGE. Getting Benoit was a shock and canít be seen as anything but fantastic for ECW as a Brand. Put the Title on Chris and let him WRESTLE!!! If nothing else ECW can have an awesome main event every night. He will need challengers, so this is Monty Browns chance to step up. I think a lot of people see this move as a demotion for Benoit but it may not be. With tri-branded PPVs, Chris could get lost in the shuffle on other brands and miss PPVs. Iím not saying he should but looking at recent pushes itís a possibility. He should be the top dog in ECW so he should main stay the ECW brand PPV slot. Heíll work the same TV taping, work the same road shows as he did on SD, but will likely be featured more on PPV (where the money is). If I get 15 minutes of Benoit on ECW each week Iíll tune in.
Now for all the extras on the show: I found a lot of the guest promos and interviews entertaining. Iím not sure what the hell a lot of them were talking about, but they were entertaining just the same. The Iron Sheik mentioned racket ball at one point I think. Iím not sure if when ďCaptain Lou was talking to youĒ he even mentioned Vince. Jesse Ventura looked disheveled; did he leave his comb at the governorís mansion when he left office? Bret Hart was a HUGE surprise. I didnít think we would ever see him on RAW again. I have to admit I popped huge. Iím curious though that if when they asked Bret to appear on RAW he told them, ďOver Vinceís Dead BodyĒ, which resulted in the controversial the ending to the show, Vinceís DEATH.
Yes Vince is DEAD!! I was shocked to say the least. More shocked that this angle didnít leak out, than that they killed Vince off (or at least are teasing his death) but still very surprised. I thought his closing promo was very good. The suspense created by Vince not talking was amazing. I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was going to happen. It will be very interesting to see where this goes from here. Vince has been a main stay heel on TV for 10-years now so getting him off for an extended period of time will be very good. As great as Vince was as the tyrannical boss, that character has likely ran its course. Heís been trying to screw his top Baby Face now since Montreal, 10 years ago; itís time for a change.
My speculation on where this could go. Iíd leave him presumed dead and off TV for at least 1-year. When the time is right to bring him back, it could be discovered that after snapping under the pressure, he staged his own death to get away. He has been in seclusion finding his SMILE (for lack of a better term). He could come back as a Baby Face to over rule a heel Linda, Shane, or Steph, or to fire an existing manager and take the helm of the ship once again.
P.S. I would have paid to hear JBL do the Skittles plug instead of Cole. Hearing JBL say, ďFRUITY FRUITY FRUITY SKITTLESĒ would have been priceless.