Ruses WWE Raw Review: 5th April 2010
by David Ruse on 7 April 2010
With Shawn Michaels having given the wrestling biz the old heave-ho and his Wrestlemania conqueror The Undertaker looking set for another lengthy sabbatical, the decision makers in the WWE need to pull the trigger and give their rising stars a break. If Monday night Raw was anything to go by, they are going to do just that.
David Otunga, Jack Swagger, Sheamus and Ted DiBiase were all handed their moments to shine, with perhaps the first name on that list making the biggest impact of the lot.
The self-dubbed ‘A-Lister’ was the night’s guest host after winning an over-the-top-rope battle royal on the previous edition of NXT. His initial gambit was to intervene in the star-infested opening segment, and announce that newly-anointed world heavyweight champion Swagger would face-off with Randy Orton, while John Cena would band with archrival Batista to try and prise the tag straps from the entertaining duo of ShoMiz.
Otunga spoke with poise and confidence and – while he could have done without the word Raw etched into the side of his head – the WWE rookie did not look out of place on the grand stage. He wasn’t finished there though. When Batista inevitably abandoned Cena in their bout with Big Show and The Miz, Otunga decided to issue a rematch – except this time he would be Cena’s partner in crime.
And even though you knew The Chain Gang Soldier would be deserted for the second time on the night, Otunga’s walkout was well done, embellishing his cocky, arrogant persona and giving the fans a reason to boo him. The Hollywood mover- and-shaker still has a long way to go, but he has the physique, the fiancé (Jennifer Hudson) and the smattering of charisma that could take him on a rapid ascent to the top of WWE.
Swagger has made that climb in the last few weeks and he further underlined his credentials with a sound match against Orton. Perhaps the All-American American should not have eaten the pin, but he gave a terrific account of himself and a defeat against the on-fire Viper is not going to do him much harm. If McMahon and co put his dork-like tendencies firmly in the past, Swagger could be a main-event player for many years to come.
Sheamus should follow suit and the burly Irishman was another man who had a productive showing on Raw. After decimating Kofi Kingston – a fellow whose push appears to have been thrown off numerous cliffs, trampled on by a herd of trudging elephants and completely forgotten about – The Celtic Warrior proceeded to berate Triple H, insisting he would soon be joining best friend Michaels in retirement.
The former WWE champ made at least one dodgy stumble during his verbal tirade but he still got his message across and even though he soon fled from the irate, sledgehammer-wielding Game, the copper-topped barbarian is still proving to be a tough opponent. A brutal display, and hopefully a victory, at Extreme Rules should synch Sheamus’ top-level spot.
DiBiase is just beginning his charge for the apex but having broken away from Orton’s shackles, he could scale it. The return of the Million Dollar belt gives Ted a glossy prop to tinker with and should serve him well, as long as he is portrayed as his own man and not a shoddy rip-off of his illustrious, cackling father. DiBiase, Jr. picked up an impressive win over IWC favourite Christian this week and I wouldn’t mind seeing them have a weapon-based clash at Extreme Rules.
They were the good bits of Raw, now on to the bad. The Divas evening-gown, number-one-contender’s battle royal was woeful with its only saving grace that I now get to see the busty dyad of Eve and Maryse rolling around together in an attempt to snare the Divas’ strap.
And even though I praised Otunga’s performance during the night’s tag-team bouts, the endings to both matches were as predictable as could be and must have taken all of ten seconds to come up with.
And finally, Batista. I’m really digging his new heelish outlook but why does he feel the need to wear a nose stud? It’s more teenybopper, than destructive, title-craving ruffian, don’t you think?
So there we have it, another Raw, another mixed bag. With David Hasselhoff hosting next week’s episode, I envisage more of the same.