THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
Things have been quite busy here in the realm of the Nasty One, but hopefully things will settle down soon enough. Some note before I begin; if anyone out there has a decent idea for a coloumn name please pass one a long, as I am terrible with coming up with titles.
RAW seems to be on a downward slide according to most. Given that where I moved to has only RAW available, I find myself in an interesting situation. The situation that myself, as a former freestyle wrestler and a student of the technical/submission style of wrestling, can only watch the brand that can best be described as the 'sports entertainment' brand. Smackdown! Is by far the brand that concentrates on the in-ring product, the WRESTLING. Smackdown! has my favorite wrestlers. So what exactly should I do?
Enjoy what I have. Look through the pile of garbage that will inevitably pop up on the "sports entertainment" leanings of RAW. Ignore Jerry Lawler. Ignore ring announcer feuds. Concentrate on the few moments where in the ring, people are undertaking the Art, and using it well. For myself, it has always been about the Art.
Booker T, a man who for YEARS in WCW never got a chance. I can now appreciate his ring work on a larger scale, in part due to looking for substance within the ring. His partner Golddust, has been a pleasant surprise. I never liked Dustin Rhodes in WCW or in the early WWF runs, but in his latest WWE run he's been doing excellent. Selling the moves well, and adding a slightly different dimension to his character. Lance Storm is one of my favorite wrestlers; a technically sound athlete who I am glad is on RAW. He's suffered the last while with the IWC being 'so under-rated he became over-rated'. This is one WRESTLING fan that appreciates his efforts, and his skills within the Art. Christian, his partner, has suffered in the same way. Ric Flair, the man I grew up watching, one of the men I used to study when preparing for meets, is still going strong at 53 years of age. Incredible. Chris Jericho has stepped up his game of late, and I've enjoyed watching his work. He has a unique style within the Art, which is pleasant to watch. On top of that, there is one man who I have been enjoying watching on RAW. And he's been enjoyable since a few weeks ago. I man I always respected and thought was under-rated. A man who quite possibly may be given a break finally.
Ever since the match he had with Stevie Richards, I hoped that Dreamer would be exposed on TV more. He's a solid wrestler who can have intense brawls but still keep an eye on the technical aspects. That match with Richards was excellent. The match he had with RVD at MSG was off the wall, and to hear once more those chants of ECW was very nice. For Dreamer, the man who stick by ECW till the very end, the man who broke his back for ECW....you could tell by his face it was special for him. RVD had the face of knowing that ECW made him who he was....Dreamer had the face of knowing that he helped make ECW what it was. The match, at MSG, was near his hometown. Dreamer not doubt had dreams of one day wrestling in MSG, and he had finally done it. When the match was finished, an emotional Dreamer lost. Most people may have thought that he was lost overall with the removal of the hardcore title.
Then came this past Monday.
Tommy Dreamer wrestled the Big Show. The Big Show dominated the match and actually did his role rather nicely. After the ref stopped him from using the chair, Dreamer recovered, and did a BEATDOWN of the Big Show with that steal chair. During this, Ross and JR weren't shilling the main event. They weren't shilling the pillow fight. They weren't shilling the defector. During the chair beatdown they shilled one thing;
Innovator of Violence.
After numerous chairshots, there he was with that crazed look on his face. The face that some of us saw in ECW. And it was then I decided that THIS man, Tommy Dreamer, has become the main reason I watch RAW. By this time I finally noticed the crowd was chanting something. A familiar term, one I was glad to hear.
The Innovator of Violence has returned. One reason to be glad to watch RAW, on top of the others. I'm getting a friend to tape Smackdown! for me if the spoilers dictate that it will be a good show, but I'm happy with the way RAW is right now.