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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Thoughts on RAW Roulette.
October 9, 2002 - By Mike Coughlin

I've been hearing some people complain about Raw last night. They shouldn't. Raw has severe limitations. The show just doesn't have the calibre of workers that Smackdown does. Instead of having a feud building between Angle and Benoit, Raw has Trish and Victoria. No one in their right mind would ever think the two feuds could be the same quality, just for the simple fact that Angle and Benoit are two of the single greatest workers on earth. But that doesn't mean that the Trish Victoria feud is bad. It's probably the first time in the history of the womens division in WWE that I actually kind of look forward to a match. They had a heck of a match last week, and followed it up with Victoria (who is the new up and coming star who needs to be made special) destroy Trish. Imagine if a Randy Orton had done the same thing to HHH, everyone would be raving about that, and rightfully so.

Yes, the "Bra and panties + paddle on a pole" is a stupid idea, but the reality is that no one in America cares about womens wrestling. If that match, which wasn't nearly as horrible as any of the past such matches have been, got people to see the beat down that followed, I think that's all that much better.

The King segment/match. Ok, it was dumb, but it was fun. (well, I can see where a crowd would like it) It was kind of dopey and campy, but they needed something to cool the crowd down before the TLC match. No one cares about Richards, and they'll never do anything with him anyways, so they didn't bury anyone. The crowd seemed to enjoy it, so I can't really complain about it. Was it a Tajiri v. Noble for the cruiserweight belt type of match" No, but I don't think it necessarily hurt the show either.

The cage match was as good a match as you'll have with Big Show. I thought it went a bit too long, but it did kind of get the show off to a "this is a special show" feel, which is what I think they were going for. Afterwards Jericho lays out Booker, so that leads to a PPV match. If they can make Booker look really strong there by just destroying Jericho, it COULD be a step towards building him up. (again, I have to guess they'll do the right thing)

The blindfold match was short, and had some comedy to it. I think they realized the crowd is to "smart" now a days to REALLY believe anyones blindfolded, so it was over before it became a farce.

The two vignettes for Orton and Batista were not only good, but they're something everyone has been saying needed to happen for the longest time.

The harcore match served it's purpose, as it re-introduced Al Snow and again, the crowd was into it.

Really, that should be the judge of the show: the crowd was generally into everything.

I really think that peoples problems with the show are more of a "Well, Raw is always going to suck no matter what" attitude, and alittle bit of a "Let Paul have the show" vibe than anything. it's almost a "blind hatred" that would prevent people from ever loving a Raw.

Oh yea, there was no 20 min long promo, and the backstage stuff was kept to a minimum and really only done for the purpose of introducing gimmicks. How long have we been telling them to get rid of that stupid promo"

They spent alot of the show building up the main event and really treated it like it was something special the whole show. Ross called his heart out and did everything he could to make it memorable.

And finally, I can hear people complaining about "overdoing" the special stips and how it will kill them long term, and that's true. If they do them all the time it will kill it long term. But outside of the cage and TLC match, were there any other kind of matches that are special anyways" A blindfold match" That's never gonna draw, and the bra and panties is what it always will be. (and mind you, every other week smackdown seems to have a bikini contest)

I really think people who complain about last night might want to re-watch the show. They started the beginnings of pushes for Orton, Batista, and even Al Snow, three completely new faces. They didn't do the long promo. They had much more in ring goings on, and a main even to remember forever.

And yes, I realize Kane is the last person who should be challenging for the title, but at least they're doing what they can with him: one week he wins the tag titles, the next the IC title, then wins a TLC match. It's the wrong guy, but the right formula.

Or maybe I'm just completely wrong.
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