Apparently, TNA iMPACT! now broadcasts on a Monday night in the US. They also broadcast at the same time as Raw. The internet went schizo over it on Monday, then felt deflated by it all on Tuesday. Would you like my opinion? Ok. Here goes….. MEH! Simple. We went through this during the trial-run in January, so did we really need to get worked up all over again, internet? If you want to read my extended thoughts on TNA vs WWE, you can read the piece I wrote in January by clicking here. If anything, TNA’s product has decreased in quality since I wrote it, so you should times my views by five. Shall we move on? Yes? Good.
You know Wrestlemania is drawing close when brand separation goes out the window. This week’s Raw started with a visit from The Undertaker, who gave a blood-curdling speech about how he wanted to end Shawn Michaels’ career. This, as you might expect, triggered a visit from HBK. I could recap the awesomeness that was their verbal toing-and-froing, but I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. Suffice to say it made everyone a little more excited about ‘Mania. But just to get the general vibe (sing along if you know the melody):
After that long dialogue we needed a match, and I was buoyed by the fact that the Raw Divas were given a proper match this week. Hoorah! No degrading costumes, no fluffy stuff, just a standard 6-woman tag with Maryse, Katie Lea and Alicia Fox vs Eve, Kelly Kelly and Gail Kim. The commentary was a bit iffy. Lawler and Cole seemed to be having their on little party in the corner while the girls busted out their moves. But the important thing is that Eve won the match for the nice girls by pinning Maryse. This surely means she’ll be challenging Maryse for the Divas title some time soon, right? This make me very happy.
Unfortunately for The Bella Twins, they’re still stuck being corporate escorts to the guest host every week. This time around it was illusionist and all-round cool dude, Criss Angel. The Bellas wanted to be his magician’s assistants. He declined their offer but demonstrated how he likes to swallow a piece of cotton and pull it through his eye. I get squeamish around anything to do with eyes, so I looked away. Here’s a picture of him rendering Jillian silent instead. It was pleasing.
Miz & Big Show are defending the unified tag titles against R-Truth and John Morrison at Wrestlemania. On this week’s Raw we were treated to a preview. We can’t see a match we’re going to have to pay for in a few weeks’ time, so this ended rather abruptly when both Truth and Morrison stormed The Miz and left him lying in the crowd.
Backstage, Josh Matthews was lined up to interview John Cena, and you knew times were getting serious because John put his worried face on, lifted his hat and rubbed his forehead. Classic ‘Cena under-the-cosh’ behaviour.
I feel we’re just a few days away from him giving one of his empowering and finger-tingling speeches about fighting the good fight and never giving up. I.CAN’T.WAIT.
Back over in Criss Angel’s office, lovely Evan Bourne was being super-excited about his Money in the Bank qualifying match against William Regal, when his opponent turned up.
After a brief exchange of words, Evan disappeared and Criss Angel attempted to read Regal’s mind with Skip Sheffield at his side. I didn’t want to like it, but it made me laugh.
Rhodes and DiBiase had a handicap match against Randy Orton, which they won. Considering this was Raw, the match was surprisingly long. I whole-heartedly approve of this development. While the match itself was strong, my favourite part was when the young whippersnappers mocked Randy’s posing.
Nice try, fellas, but I don’t believe this can be improved upon:
After a brief locker room moment where Batista pledged not to interfere with John Cena’s match against Mr. McMahon later than night, it was time for a visit from The Game. If you recall, last week’s Raw ended with an unexpected attack on HHH courtesy of Sheamus. This week, Trips wanted to respond. As anticipated, his moment was cut short when Sheamus came out to challenge him further. So Hunter did what he does best; he took his leather jacket off, got up in Sheamus’ face and gave him a good talking to. It was quite scary. In a tantilising way.
Sheamus was offered a match against HHH at Wrestlemania, but he was asked to really consider whether he wanted to risk his career against The Game. Sheamus had no qualms about accepting the challenge and marked the decision by brawling with HHH all around the arena. He only retreated when Triple H put a Spinebuster on him in the middle of the ring.
More of the backstage stuff with Criss Angel and Santino, then it was straight to the Evan Bourne vs William Regal MitB qualifier. It’s a good job Sidekick Andrew detests Raw and refuses to watch it, as he happens to be equally gay for both William Regal and Evan Bourne. He would have been especially conflicted during this match. The winner, however, was obviously going to be little Evan. Much I love Regal, I can’t quite imagine his current hefty frame leaping from a 20ft ladder when high-flying happens to be Evan’s forte.
Just one match left – the nonsense that was John Cena vs Vince McMahon. Even with John Cena’s limited moves, you just knew this fight wasn’t going to end fairly. John continued with the serious-face and Vince strutted down to the ring. It appears nobody told John this was a Gauntlet match. For anyone else, this would be hell. But for our favourite super-hero? He should be able to brush this off with ease, right? Let’s see:
Yes, the nicest strong-man in the world was forced to do some damage to Cena, despite being one of his bestest pals. Now THAT’s being conflicted! He twisted Cena a bit, then Vince tried to persuade him to whack John round the skull with the ring-bell. While this argument ensued, Batista broke him promise to keep out of sight and Batista-bombed Mark Henry all over the canvas. It was messy. With John in mortal danger again, he needed a new chum, so Kofi came out to lend a friend a hand. But Kofi, even fueled with fury over not being in the Money in the Bank match, was no match for an angry Dave.
Our hero has been duped by the evil Mr. McMahon again. Will he survive to fight another day? You’ll just have to tune in to the next exciting episode of Monday Night Raw, won’t you? Oh! And if you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know who’s guest hosting next week….. errrrm ……. just crawl back under that rock. This doesn’t concern you.