The commercial-free Monday Night Raw tonight was one of the best shows in a long time on WWE programming. I have not seen a Raw this exciting and action packed since before Wrestlemania. There was one simple reason for such a quality show: unpredictability.
An appearance by the Undertaker, Bret Hart winning the U.S. Title in Canada, Virgil (That’s right, Virgil. He's Ted DiBiase's right hand man.) making a comeback, and a great match between Edge and Christian, former seven-time tag team champions. All that packed inside a commercial-free Raw.
The high point of the show was the “Pick your Poison” angle for Randy Orton and Edge. It basically means Edge would pick Orton’s opponent and vice versa. Christian walked out as Edge’s opponent and if anyone knows the history between these two than you were fully intrigued by the match. I must say this was the best match of the night and I really see potential for this feud if the WWE gives Christian a legitimate shot.
After the match Orton explains to Edge he doesn’t know why Christian came out because that was not his opponent. GONG!!!!!!!!!!!! Here comes the Undertaker. Even though the match didn’t take place it was great to see the Dead Man back on TV.
It’s the small details like an appearance by Undertaker and Christian that made Raw a pleasure to watch. Unpredictability is very hard in the wrestling industry with the internet and so on. Big returns are spoiled days and sometimes weeks before it happens. But the WWE doesn’t need big returns to make their product unpredictable. There are plenty of things they can do in-house to shake things up. Tonight was a perfect example. Hart winning the title was another good swerve, but something I realize will not happen every week on Raw.
I understand the WWE has 50 plus Raws a year and there will be some great, some good, some mediocre, and some duds. But unpredictability can be created without going to extremes.
*Buzz Aldrin was an odd choice to be the guest host tonight and I would say when we look back at all the host we’ve seen, his will be one of the least memorable.
*Speaking of Aldrin, both he and Bret Hart slipped tonight and called the WWE the WWF. Aldrin has an excuse, but come on Bret.
*While we’re on the topic of Bret, it was great to see his return to Canada and it was even better seeing him win the U.S. Title because that means this Raw was not his last date with the company. Many reports surfaced this past week online that this was supposed to be his last date with WWE. He’s guaranteed at least one more Raw. Not sure about him “defending” the title much. I smell a U.S. Title tournament after he drops the title in a few weeks.
*Last thing on Bret, and I might get a lot of heat for this but I need to get this off my chest. Bret Hart is one of the worst wrestlers on the microphone that was a main event caliber star. Maybe I didn’t realize this when I was younger, but it’s very evident now. I checked some old clips of Bret in his glory days just to see if he ever had mic skills, but sadly he was always awful on the mic.
*Jon Lovitz will be hosting Raw next week. Lovitz may beat Aldrin in the “odd” category in terms of picks to host Raw.
*This Raw was not anything special because of the commercial-free aspect, although it keeps the pace moving. On a personal note, I didn’t do much channel surfing as I usually do during Raw with commercials.