Aside from one horrible spot involving Vicki Guerrero, the WWE gave its fans an early Christmas present this past Monday throwing together a Raw that had a few excellent matches. Those high-octane bouts easily made up for a lackluster start and proved to be one of the best shows of the year.
The start of the show, involved The Miz, Alex Riley and Michael Cole in a spoof on â€œThe Christmas Carolâ€ that did nothing to motivate the crowd. While he is a charismatic heel, The Miz has to make his arguments in the ring and finish them there. Otherwise, heâ€™ll be remembered more for his mouth, which is something no wrestler, not even Billy Graham himself, wants.
After that, a solid divas match, which concluded with what looks like a heel turn for Melina, got the show off on the right foot. The womenâ€™s division on Raw is a joke compared to the knockouts in TNA and getting Melina and Natty Neidhart in a decent feud is a great way to jumpstart that division.
While there were some matches that were average, two matches in particular were fantastic and are the types of contests the WWE has to have on a consistent basis to prove that they can keep up with the frenetic in-ring action on TNA. Simply put, while William Regal isnâ€™t nearly as talented as he used to be, his match with Daniel Bryan was a technical funhouse, the type of match that used to open up a Monday Nitro 15 years ago and get the fans excited for what was coming next. Thereâ€™s a reason why the fans applauded afterwards too. They want to see chain wrestling and matches of this caliber. Storylines by themselves just donâ€™t cut it anymore.
The Dolph Ziggler/ John Cena match was also an excellent one, in spite of a near 15-minute wait for the match due to the incompetence of Vicki Guerrero. Seriously, why is this woman on TV? What does she bring to the show? The whole idea is to make the viewer think what they are watching is real, even though they know itâ€™s staged; seeing Guerrero with Ziggler is something that no one would believe is real, even after a six-pack of four loko. Sheâ€™s not good on the microphone and canâ€™t wrestle either. So again, why is she allowed to be on television? Who knows if that stunt cost the show another short match, but in the end, it could have single-handedly ruined Raw that night.
Luckily, Ziggler and Cena tore down the house in a match that featured a few finishers and great pacing. When it was over, Ziggler proved that he can hang with Cena and this is the type of match he should be having at this point in his career. Not quite ready for the spotlight, but getting closer, these matches with Cena are going to prove to be some of the most influential in his career. All he has to do is get rid of Guerrero and talk for himself on the mic.
The last match, a six-man tag featuring Jerry Lawler, Randy Orton, John Morrision, Sheamus, The Miz and Alex Riley was entertaining, but again, show The Miz as someone who canâ€™t get it done in the ring. Having him get pinned by a 61-year-old, even if it is someone with a resume like Lawler, isnâ€™t good for his resume. The fact remains if his lack of size will hold him back from being the type of champion this company needs him to be. Good looks and charisma can only get you so far in this sport.
Overall, this Raw proved that this company still has athletes that can shine in the ring. They just have to make a conscious effort to promote them.