The Katz Files
My Weekly RAW Notebook: The War Begins!
The Kingfish Arnie Katz delivers his and analysis of the 5/24 episode of RAW.
The Monday Night Skirmish is rapidly receding in the WWE’s rear view mirror as the promotion tries to tune up the product while tightening its corporate belt in light of uncertain revenues.
It appears that RAW is now benefiting from the extra effort and planning that the show got as a result of the head-to-head competition with iMPACT.
This definitely doesn’t mean that RAWis perfect. There’s still plenty of room for better plotting, tighter writing and hotter wrestling, but RAW has shaken off a lot of the listlessness that plagued it last winter.
Let’s look at some of the good and a little of the bad….
Batista Goes Bye-Bye
This storyline is a pleasant change from the one in which the wrestler who has just lost an “I Quit” match on a pay per view harangues the RAW audience about how he didn’t really quit.
The Animal not only acknowledged that he quit in his match against John Cena, he quit the whole company. I have no idea what real-world situation the storyline reflects, but I assume Dave Batista will return.
Bret Hart Becomes General Manager
Count me among those who winced when they announced that Bret would fight for the United States Championship on the May PPV. It’s so sad to think of Bret going out there on a regular basis to prove that he is definitely not “the best there is.”
It’s bad enough that Ric Flair took off his shirt and beat up Jay Lethal on iMPACT; WWE and Bret have spared RAW viewers a similar, weekly spectacle.
The GM slot is a much better fit for Bret, whose mic skills are still fairly sharp. His involvement with the Hart Dynasty might make for some interestingly sticky situations or WWE may consider keeping them more on Smackdown, which could use some bolstering.
R-Truth Takes the US Title
Putting the belt around R-Truth’s waist makes the best of a bad situation. Bret won the belt at the PPV and then gave it up the next night on RAW. That renders a pay per view title match meaningless, disrupts the linear succession and makes the whole thing slightly ridiculous.
It would’ve been much, much worse if The Miz had won his RAW match for the vacated title. R-Truth showed, on RAW, that he could beat The Miz and might well have won at belt if he’d gotten the shot that went to Bret Hart..
Going forward, The Miz should now show he can overcome the new US Champion, leading to a PPV showdown for the gold. Pf Miz doesn’t assert himself on the next few episodes of RAW, it would indicate that his push might be over, at least for now.
That’s all for today, but I’ll be back Monday with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising pro wrestling column. I hope you’ll come back then and, please, tell your friends about the column, too.
— Arnie Katz