Monday Night RAW came in to town again, but this time on a Sunday. Yes, instead of being live as always they were taping a show on Sunday for playback on Monday. Not sure why exactly, possibly because of tennis or a dog show or something stupid. I last saw RAW not that long ago with Jen and King Tom, but this time I went with the man who is responsible for all the time, money, and effort I’ve invested in wrestling, my dad. Call it one of those father-son bonding moments, but it was great fun all the same.
Our seats were really good, again. Last time our seats were near-floor but back aways from the ring, closer to the entrance stage. This time we were nearly on the 50-Yard line and in the lower bowl of the arena. It was perfect because it was high enough that you got a look down on the ring but still close enough that you can see everything you need to. And yes, you could still feel heat from the fire during the show opening.
I had read prior to going that the highlight matches of the night was going to be Umaga vs. Jeff Hardy and HHH vs. Carlito. Then in talking I heard of, but have not yet seen, a supposed list of wrestlers that will be getting “released” in the fallout of the Chris Benoit murders, due to the steroids. One of the wrestlers on that list was Umaga. That being known, when they entered the ring I figured that Umaga would lose the IC belt to the Hardy. But this is free TV…which is true, but it’s only the IC belt and if they need to get Umaga gone then have unload the belt. So we saw Jeff Hardy win the IC belt in a pretty decent match – although I really dislike Umaga, so I’m glad he’ll be leaving one way or another.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before the taping started there were three taped non-RAW matches. First was Val Venis vs. a Jobber, which was great cause I like watching Val Venis. Then it was Super Crazy vs. some Jobber, then it was Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. a Jobber, 2×4 and all, and then it was Lance+Murdoch vs. The New Age Bushwhackers…I mean The Highlanders. The Highlanders lost, but for a pre-show match this at least had two top-bill teams. After those then show began with a bang as always.
Unfortunately, the show had its share of chick matches. There were two and half matches. One full blown match that lasted all of one minute, which is fine by mean, and another inter-gender match which filled the mid-show slot perfectly, albeit a complete waste of time and talent — and film. Then some more tag action with the new age Rockers Hendrick+London vs. Shelton Benjamin and King Tom‘s favorite, Charlie Haas. Much to my surprise, Hendrick+London won and so they’ll face Lance+Murdoch for the belt at the PPV.
Then “General Manager” Stephan Regal came out to talk about Randy Orton and John Cena’s dad. See, the week prior Randy Orton beat up John Cena’s dad and Cena wasn’t too happy about that and, of course, wants revenger. Regal told Cena he’d have to wait until the PPV but Cena didn’t like that. So he came out to kick Regal’s ass. Conveniently enough, Regal is also one of the people on the might-be-fired list due to the steroids. Thus Regal made a clean exit from the spotlight as well. Two down…who’s next?
The other main event of the night was HHH vs. Carlito, which magically turned into HHH vs. Carlito+Umaga. This ended up be a DQ match quick but didn’t stop them from fighting. All in all, this was a “welcome back” match for HHH as before the match was over he had hit Umaga at least seven times with a chair and then went for the trusty sledge hammer. One good whack to the head and another to his back and Umaga is out for the count. So not only did Umaga lose the belt to Hardy but ended up a bloody mess as well — so long Umaga, don’t let the door hitcha!
After that we returned to the soap opera that is pro wrestling with the McMahons fighting about some bastard child and other uninteresting-yet-almost-funny plotline…well, what is a plotline only by definition. At that point the taping for RAW ended but there was one last match. Vince himself called out John Cena, who is still angry, to beat up Mr. Kennedy. And he did just that.
Another good WWE wrestling show that was worth the ticket price. Out of the three wrestling shows I’ve been to, I can safely say that none of them have been all that bad. I never felt like I got jipped or ripped off.
(Check the Flickr pages for more photos from the show)