Monday Night Wars Analysis

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The Monday Night Wars Analysis for April 26,2010

Our resident philosopher compares the two Monday Night wrestling programs on several key components and picks the weekly winner.

Raw offered up it’s annual 3-hour Draft special. TNA countered with the beginning of the Rob Van Dam era. Raw threw out several “Draft Pick” battles, while TNA brought Ric Flair out of retirement, yet again, to face a Monster. Let’s compare the two and see who was better.

Opening Segment

RAW: The Hart Dynasty d Big and Awesome for the Unified Tag Team titles. Bret Hart dissed Miz, The Mountie and David Arquette in one little rant that was one of the best disses that I’ve heard in a long time. After the match, Big Show busted Miz in the jaw, dissolving ShowMiz for good. (Show would later be Drafted over to Smackdown)

TNA: Hulk Hogan came out and pushed RVD to the extreme. RVD then came out and talked about how some people didn’t understand his lifestyle and personal choices. Whatever. A.J. Styles and Ric Flair came out to rant and rave. Same ol’ Same ol’.

Winner: RAW

Hour Turner(s)

TNA: A.J. Styles and Sting took down Jeff Hardy and Jeff Jarrett. Sting used his baseball bat to blast Jarrett. Hardy was preparing to Swanton off a ladder onto a table when the ref counted three and rang the bell. Hardy didn’t complete his Swanton and the crowd was Not happy about it.

RAW: There were two hour turner matches, this week. The first was a 10-man Battle Royal for three Drafts picks. It was as dull as dirt. The other was John Morrison d Jack Swagger. That one was a little better but it was basically a re-hash of last Friday night.

Winner: Push

Diva/Knockout

RAW: Eve and Maryse lost to Team Lay-Cool because Maryse couldn’t quit bickering with her tag team partner. It was just a chaotic mess that really showed how bad the Raw women’s division really is.

TNA: Madison Rayne defended her Knockout title against Tara and Angelina Love. The match was actually much better than expected. After the fact, it turned out that this was almost-certainly Tara’s last TNA match. Tara, according to multiple reports, quit TNA because of scheduling and pay issues. Rather sad, really.

Winner: TNA

Comedy

TNA: They trotted out Jay Lethal, yet again. The Beautful People’s team rant about getting screwed/screwed over was hilarious.

RAW: My grandsons have been running around all week talking about putting eyeballs and ketchup haircuts on/in the mayo jar to make a Sheamus. That was one of the best bits that Cena’s ever done. Hornswoggle winning over Dolph “Mr. Ziggles” Ziggler was also a fun bit of fluff (it did turn rather dark when Ziggy slapped on the Sleeper and hurt the little guy). Raw also had Bret Hart rip into David Arquette and The Mountie as the “best World and Intercontinental (disrespectfully) Champs ever.

Winner: Raw

Interviews/Backstage Segments

Raw: Cena’s whole Guest Host rant was excellent. His shots at Sheamus were amazing. Teddy Long’s little dance when he found out Big Show was heading to Smackdown was priceless.

TNA: The Hogan/RVD intro piece skated around some questionable areas (especially RVD’s veiled drug reference). Most of the other backstage stuff was rather bland. Jesse Neal asking permission of Team 3D to face them was really classy. Bischoff’s run-down of the fan-based ranking system was interesting, as was Miss Teschmacher.

Winner: Raw

The Undercard

RAW: Hart Dynasty d Show Miz (new Unified Tag Team Champs), C.M. Punk d Evan Bourne, Chris Jericho d Christian, John Morrison d Jack Swagger (non-title match) and Hornswoggle d Dolph Ziggler by countout (that just about killed Mr. Ziggles’ push)

TNA: Kazarian d Shannon Moore and Team 3D v Jesse Neal & Matt Morgan for the Unififed Tag Belts went to a No Contest

Winner: Raw

Main Event

TNA: Abyss bloodied and beat down Ric Flair to allow Hulk Hogan to take Flair’s Hall of Fame ring. The match itself was rather sad to watch. Flair was a mere shell of his past self. Abyss seemed hesitant to really go off on Flair. Maybe he was scared the “old-timer” would have some kind of a major health related malfunction on him in the ring.

RAW: John Cena set up Sheamus v Randy Orton to find the number one contender for the WWE title. Batista, who got duct taped out of the WWE title at Extreme Rules, wanted in the mix. Cena pitched him in, as well. Batista waited until the bitter end to slink back into the ring and take the win. So, the fans get, yet another, Batista v Cena battle. Boring.

Winner: Raw (the Flair/Abyss match on TNA was That bad)

Surprises:

Raw: They should have been filled with surprises, what with the Draft and all. There really weren’t any earth-shaking shifts in talent. Now, if Undertaker had gone to Raw, Raw would have won this category, hands down. Edge, Christian, Kelly Kelly, etc… just didn’t spark the enthusiasm that a Batista trade would have ignited. Big Show knocking out Miz was a nice touch tho.

TNA: Well Samoa Joe came out and attacked, for no reason. Yawn. Mr. Anderson came out and attacked Pope. Hogan did take Flair’s ring and promise to give it to someone, next week (can we say RVD?)

Winner: Raw. The Big Show turn was the determining factor in this almost-too-close-to-call category.

Crowd Enthusiasm

A new category, this week. Both shows really got the crowd into their shows. RVD’s drug-related comment “Mother Nature’s Finest” got a mix of laughs and oohs. The Harts taking the tag straps blew the roof off the place.

Winner: Raw (although it was close)

This Week’s WInner: Raw

Final Thoughts: It almost came down to a coin-toss, this week. Both shows were weaker than they should have been. The Draft was a big disappointment. The “shockers” just didn’t shock. Edge and Jericho moving to Raw was another yawn-fest. Had Undertaker, Randy Orton, John Cena, Batista or Triple H been moved, then I would have gotten excited. It just felt like a mini-shuffle of the mid-level talent. Heck, I wanted to get Michael Cole back on Smackdown (since I only half-heartedly watch that show and can’t stand Cole stinking up Monday nights). I would love to see Lawler and Striker run Mondays. They could give Tenay and Taz a run for their money

–Jay Shannon
Jade89512@yahoo.com
(5/3/10)