The Katz Files
My Weekly RAW Notebook: The War Begins!
The Kingfish Arnie Katz delivers his report and analysis of the 1/4 episode.
It takes two sides to make a war. Monday, January 4 will go down in the books as the first head-to-head clash between the Hogan-led TNA and WWE.
The Katz Files has covered the clash from the TNA perspective. Now it’s time to take a hard look at what Vince McMahon and his promotion did on that fateful night.
Bret Hart’s Return
The Excellence of Execution did an excellent job as guest host. He talked well and forcefully and handled the confrontations with Shawn Michaels and Mr. McMahon very well.
Bret gave a better performance, by far, than Hulk Hogan did on iMPACT. He was articulate and focused, whereas the Hulkster babbled semi-hysterically about nothing.
The only hitch is that Bret Hart isn’t rejoining the show, just paying a one-night visit. You could argue that Hogan staying is a bigger negative than Hart not staying, but it is obvious that Hulk’s arrival in TNA is much more important than a Bret Hart guest shot.
It would be unfair, after ripping TNA for believing that it’s still 1990, not to mention to the folks at WWE that the whole Bret Hart-Shawn Michaels-Vince McMahon screwjob in Montreal took place 12 years ago.
This should be a fairly important consideration for WWE, which has driven its audience demographic lower with its alleged squeaky clean programs. If most fans are now in their teens, it doesn’t seem like many would have personal memories of that momentous match. At the least, there must be a sizable segment of the WWE fan base that doesn’t feel the same gut-churning emotion that Hart, Michaels and McMahon may harbor.
Good-bye to JeriShow
Having DX as Unified Tag Team Champions may not be the greatest move, but splitting up the former title-holders is a pretty good idea.
There really isn’t anyone for Jericho and Big Show to fight, because WWE currently has very few duos that specialize in tag team matches. The only other team that has any name is Legacy – and they are probably going to have another run with DX.
On the other hand, Smackdown can sure use Chris Jericho as a singles competitor. There’s a rumor that Jericho will put Edge over atWrestleMania, but he may have to carry the hype for the fight without that much help until Edge gets back in the groove.
The Big Show is less of an asset, but they can find a decent mid-card program for him, maybe even to put over one of the younger guys or turn one of them babyface.
Nobody Asked Me, But…
… Has Sheamus gotten pushed too high too fast? He has a lot of promise, but that title belt doesn’t sit easily on his shoulders at this point/
… Doesn’t Maryse look like the woman who’ll end up with the Divas Championship now that Melina is on the shelf with an injury? Maryse may well have been about the take the strap, but now will have to work her way through that tournament. She isn’t the greatest wrestler, but she really does have style.
… Will Mike Tyson stay under self-control when he hosts next week’s RAW? The one-time invincible heavyweight boxer could still be potent, and lethal, loose cannon if he gets carried away by the excitement. Good thing he has apparently mellowed so much.
… Wouldn’t you love to be a top-class independent wrestler about now? WWE and TNA will be foraging through the indies very soon in an effort to find sources of new talent to woo the fans.
… Did seeing Mark Henry and MVP fight each other at several points in the four way match to select a number-one contender to meet the Miz at Royal Rumble? If this wasn’t just a hitch in the booking of the match, it might mean that MVP is going to work a program against Mark Henry. I don’t think I want to see that.
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