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Craig Reade



The week after a dismal Raw, the WWE shows some life again

Well, wrestling was pretty terrible for me last week. First I was given a horridly boring Raw. This will happen from time to time, I know, but I missed Smackdown due to a Dodger game. I understand they replayed it on Saturday, but with the exception of PPVs, my weekends are usually better spent doing other things in the real world than watching wrestling. Mercifully Raw put on a great show (in my humble opinion), hopefully Smackdown will be just as good.

Up to this point, I have been writing one long column focusing on one point. Well, I thought it was time for a change. Why? Well, first it is hard to come up with something detailed enough to write a whole column about week after week, and to be honest, they were starting to bore me already. And since I would rather not bore people week after week (I would not want to get killed like Mini-dust), I'll try something new. Well, new for me.

Raw Thoughts

  • I actually groaned when HHH's music hit at the beginning. It was nice to see tonight's opening 20-minute promo have a little action, but HHH needs to cut down on the mike time. Especially since he says the same damned thing every time he talks. I liked the subtle new look, though. The jean/leather jacket was getting a little old-

  • Brock makes that Hulkamania shirt work.

  • I hope Lillian is on Smackdown still-

  • Are they turning Molly face? Wait, no, it MUST be Nowinsky... the virgins are heels by default in the WWE...

  • Howard Finkle cuts a great promo!

  • God help me, I am actually excited about Kane's return.

  • I wish that the WWE would have enough balls to have the Un-Americans burn the flag. Yeah, that would piss a lot of people off, but that is the point. They are heels! They could even do it properly, putting a tattered flag on a pyre, to satisfy the public, and 90% of the crowd would not know the difference anyway. They could burn the flag with respect, and still make it look like a frighteningly disrespectful act.

  • The shot of Mini-Dust laying in the middle of the ring knocked out was pretty brutal...

  • I didn't need to see Jericho's panties.... Of course this begs the question- does Jericho have to be totally humiliated every time he gets a clean win?

  • I guess Shawn Micheals is going to keep his promise to never wrestle as HBK again.

  • Great hardcore match. More on this later.

  • Another Hardyz break-up, but this one seems to make sense. We will see how this pans out. Hopefully Lita just turns heel along with Matt. That whole confusion just ruined the last break-up attempt. Maybe they should just have Jeff jump to Smackdown and the Cruiserweight division after the inevitable Hardy vs. Hardy match at Summerslam.

  • Is it just me, or has it been weeks since we have seen a or any other anti-smoking commercial? I, for one, am enjoying not being attacked week in and week out for being the scum of the Earth.

  • I am glad to see Bischoff getting upset about a Smackdown promo on Raw, but he should have done something to ban them all together. I know that will probably never happen, but I can dream. At least they are doing a lot to try and distinguish the two brands. I can honestly say that Raw and Smackdown seem a lot more distinct than they did when it was Vince vs. Flair, even with all of the talent jumps.

  • If they are serious about getting HHH over as a heel, he should probably quit with the posing, at least for a little while.

  • Even though two of them had already wrestled that night, the main event was pretty damned good. Test getting the pin on the Undertaker was a nice touch (were either of them even the legal man?), and the fact that it ended right there at the end of the match was great.

    They really picked up the ball the week after a very dismal Raw. HHH did not dominate the show, and a lot of the younger guys got a lot of time. Fantastic show- if they could put on Raws like this week in and week out, bouncing back in the ratings would not be such a pipe dream.

    Monthly title tournaments?

    I like the idea of having preliminary matches for the titles before a pay-per-view. Booker T fighting Christian for a T/dust title shot at Summer Slam is a good start, but they need to take it a little further I think. Maybe little four-man tourneys the first couple of weeks after a pay-per-view to determine who would be fighting for the Intercontinental, Cruiserweight, and Tag Team belts would be a good idea. That way they could save some feud-building for the latter two weeks to prevent people from fighting over and over for weeks in tag matches, virtually giving the PPV match away, and give some purpose to matches on Raw and Smackdown. I got to see Jericho and Flair in a tag team match before their probable match at Summerslam, and I really think that takes away from it.


    If anyone out there would be so kind to let me know if the Fozzy CD is worth buying, I would really appreciate it. Maybe I will have an idea after Raw next week, providing they actually play a whole song, but other opinions might be nice.

    Hardcore promise

    I have read everywhere over the last few weeks the general disdain for the Hardcore Belt, and I really could not disagree with it in the least. But after seeing the Dreamer/Steven Richards match, I have a different take on the division. I say keep the belt. Do away with the 24-7 rule (It was great when Crash held the belt, but it was an idea that ran its course a long, long time ago), tone down the backstage garbage, and keep the "One weapon each" rule, and I think the matches would become very entertaining on a continuing basis. A lot of wrestlers would certainly become known by their "weapons of choice," much like Jeff Hardy is known for ladders, HHH is know for sledges, and Bubba is for tables. It would also have the side-effect of making Hardcore matches between wrestlers higher on the card a lot more interesting- a RVD vs. HHH hardcore match would have an added, expected element with the obvious weapon choices, and it would almost become a chair vs. sledgehammer match. If they redefine the hardcore rules they have a real chance of revitalizing the lower card on Raw, as well as spice up some of the junk matches on both shows.

    The Next Big Thing

    Brock really needed that match with Hogan (that I MISSED!). I really think that they are doing a decent job with Brock's monster push, and I honestly can't say who is going to win at Summerslam. The 'obvious' smart money is on Brock, since the Rock is due to leave again just weeks after Summerslam. But if that is the case, what will the Rock be doing during that time? It is not long enough to start a new feud, and it is really kind of a waste to have him keep going after Brock with no further pay-off. I honestly think the Rock is going to beat Brock Lesnar, but from there I have no clue what the WWE has planned for the title. An Angle/Brock match for the belt does have its appeal though, but I would rather see them in a straight up wrestling match than a "sports entertainment match" their first time out.

    Brock "buying a ticket" for Raw was a nice way to get him out there with the Rock, without taking away from the split. Granted they really can't do this all the time, but it was a plausible explanation for Brock being there (unlike Benoit when he first came back), and as soon as he interfered he was gone, and no further mention of him.

    Smackdown thoughts

    The Dodgers won against the Pirates last Thursday 10-5. I don't really like to see baseball games with double-digit scores, and I am not really a fan of wither team, so the game did not much hold my interest. Besides, I am an American League kind of guy.


    Well, that is all I have for you this week. I am looking forward to actually seeing Smackdown this week (fingers crossed), so hopefully they put on a good show. More junk next time, along with some Summerslam thoughts. Have a good week!

    Craig Reade
    Wienerville: Pool-Boy

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