Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Miz and Jericho together? Holy heck!

Last night's Raw was one of the best of the year so far, and by far the best post-draft edition. You might be asking, “Wasn't the draft last week?” Well, yeah, but still. Several factors made Monday's Raw worth catching.

The foremost of these you can surmise from my picture selection, as my two favorite performers, The Miz and Chris Jericho, seem to be forming some sort of alliance. Both of them ranted about how horrible the WWE crowds are, and about the lack of respect they got from the Big Show. Given that both are the best guys the WWE has on the mic right now, a partnership – whether it be for the tag team belts or just a mutual admiration society – could give The Miz the proper rub he needs to challenge for the world title.

It seems like the initial angle will be Jericho and The Miz going after the tag belts, which are currently held by the Hart Foundation. It was hinted that the pair would use this to gain access to Smackdown, in an attempt to lure the Big Show into a fight. The exact details weren't revealed yet though.

However, there was plenty of other good stuff going on in the show. There were two Beat the Clock matches, featuring John Cena vs. Wade Barrett and Batista vs. Daniel Bryan. For once, the WWE let Bryan actually go for a bit, as he managed to score a near-submission on Batista with a submission hold. Batista broke it and won in about five minutes, but Cena won the overall challenge in 4:30, and thus gets to pick the stipulation for his PPV match with Batista. The seeds for a triple threat already seemed to be planted though, as Sheamus kicked Cena in the face before he could pick the stipulation.

Although it got absolutely no reaction from the crowd, Maryse had a decent win against one of the Bella twins. Similar to Randy Orton and The Miz and Jericho though, I think her heelish behavior (and ridiculously hot looks) will eventually get her over with the crowd. Unfortunately, the only decent competition for her is either buried in the division (Gail Kim) or on Smackdown (Beth Phoenix, Layla and Michelle McCool) or released (Mickie James).

Wayne Brady was decent as co-host, in that he wasn't a detriment to the proceedings. He even had a funny backstage skit with Santino, William Regal, Goldust and Vladimir Kozlov, of all people. A Santino-Kozlov pairing was teased, which is so odd that I definitely think it could work, similar to the old pairing of “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Nikali Volkoff.

However, the highlight of Brady's night was probably receiving an RKO from Randy Orton in the final, intense segment of Raw. Edge was hosting a segment of The Cutting Edge, and Brady invited himself to it because he wanted to meet Edge's guest, Randy Orton. Orton came down and RKOed Brady, and refused Edge's offer of teaming up again. The two fought for a bit, setting up a feud between the two for a bit, it seems.

All in all, there was a good amount of action on the show, and the cheese was kept to a minimum. If Raw can keep stringing together episodes like this one, it might be able to challenge Smackdown as the WWE's best show.

Grade: A-

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