'Monday Night Raw' recap: The Rock is back
Welcome to the first of our weekly WWE "Monday Night Raw" reports. Have a question about something on the show, past or present? Leave it in the comment field and I'll answer it next time.
The good: Randy Orton teamed with Sheamus to defeat Christian and Cody Rhodes. Orton keeps getting better and better in the ring, Sheamus is showing renewed energy, and Christian is perhaps the best in-ring performer in pro wrestling today -- a good match that proved you can let wrestling carry the show and not always have to rely on backstage dramatics. Also, the opening segment with Triple H and Kevin Nash was pretty good -- until they got a little carried away at the end (more on that later). And CM Punk was money on the microphone, as always.
The bad: So, the show built up to a closing segment in which R-Truth and The Miz beat down John Cena. John Laurinaitis, the human fast-forward machine, came out and stopped them, and told Cena that he could pick any partner he wants to team up with him against Truth and Miz at the Survivor Series. After a dramatic build-up, it suddenly occurred to Cena to pick the one guy no one would expect: The Rock. Cue pause for dramatic reaction from the audience over this shocking news. One problem: WWE announced this news about a month ago, and ran ads all through Monday's show telling us that "The Rock returns to action at The Survivor Series." So what could have been a really dramatic moment, rich with possibilities, was ruined. Nice job.
The ugly: WWE's persistent fetish with making fun of Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross. Using Michael Cole to do a series of fat jokes? Really? And they wonder why so many people turn up their noses at wrestling.
The mystifying: Kevin Nash hit Triple H in the back with a sledgehammer, then followed it up by hitting him in the head with it. I'm all for suspension of disbelief, but that's taking things too far. I've never been a fan of the sledgehammer gimmick, because I'm thinking that if I hit someone in the head with a sledgehammer, they would never, ever get up.
What's next: The Muppets co-host the show next Monday, which should provide for some surreal moments. Also, as much as I hated how they bungled the return of The Rock, he should make for some really entertaining shows the next few weeks.
-- Houston Mitchell
Photo: Kevin Nash gets ready to hit Triple H in the head with a sledgehammer. Credit: WWE