Ruses WWE Raw Review: 3rd May 2010
by David Ruse on 8 May 2010
If that’s how post-draft Raw is going to shape up, I’m happy.
As always with the red brand, the show was not fault free, but it seems like last week’s switch of personnel will also a constitute a change in thinking – one where wrestling and the storylines linking it take precedence over dodgy “comedic” sketches.
One man who was not traded to Smackdown but seems as though his future lies away from Monday nights is Batista, with rumours continuing to mount that he is ready to walk away from the WWE. If his final few outings with the company are as enthralling as this week’s showing, The Animal will be sorely missed.
Big Dave kicked off the evening by delivering a fantastic heel promo, insisting that he would defeat John Cena at Over the Limit and reclaim the WWE title. Batista spoke confidently and brilliantly belittled the fans, and it is just a huge shame that ex-Evolution star is producing some of the most entertaining work of his career just as he appears set to trundle through the exit door.
The Animal would not end his arrogant rant without interruption, but it was not Cena who saw fit to intrude. Instead, Sheamus strode to the ring. Flame haired and fired up, The Celtic Warrior proclaimed he should be headlining the next pay-per-view as he was not pinned in the Edge-interfered triple threat bout last week. After a period of entertaining bickering, Sheamus declared we hadn’t heard the last of him. You knew the Irishman would make his presence felt somewhere, but what was more intriguing was that you weren’t sure whether Cena or Batista would feel the brunt of it.
While Sheamus went to the back to plot some demonic act, The Animal remained out front – he had a match to win. Both the Animal and Cena would compete in ‘Beat the Clock’ contests with the victor deciding what stipulation they would fight under at Over the Limit.
Big Dave was meant to battle The Miz, but the United States Champion, with a doctor’s note to prove it, was medically unable to brawl. He had, however, organised a replacement – Daniel Bryan. Batista inevitably won the match in just over five minutes, but it was five minutes that may just have cemented Bryan’s place as a major WWE player.
The NXT rookie locked in a number of exquisite submission holds, including the Crippler Crossface, and, at times, had his larger opponent reeling. The fact he lost and suffered three Batista Bombs after the match is irrelevant – Daniel Bryan is here to stay.
Cena also faced an NXT newbie, in the form of Wade Barrett, after a suited and booted Chris Jericho refused to wrestle. Barrett, whose mentor hurled a titanic tirade at the Raw announce team during the contest, used his power to trouble Cena and like Bryan before him, looked impressive. But the brash Brit eventually fell foul to the STF, allowing the WWE Champion to beat Batista’s time by thirty seconds.
So what stipulation did Cena choose for Over the Limit? Are you ready? Dun, dun, dun……… we don’t know. Just as the orange-clothed grappler was about to enlighten us, an orange-locked ruffian levelled him with a pump kick. That’s right, Sheamus was back. You know that presence I said someone would feel, well, Cena felt it.
Edge was also on the receiving end of pain, ending the show laid out in the ring after being unequivocally RKO’d by Randy Orton on the set of the Cutting Edge. The entire segment wasn’t a cracker and it was partially derailed when guest host Wayne Brady entered the fray and acted like a bit of a numpty. At least he was nailed with Orton’s lethal finishing manoeuvre.
But the action either side of Brady’s antics was terrific. Edge began by protesting the only reason he speared Orton was to make a statement and that it was nothing personal, but if you looked closely into the Torontonian’s beady eyes you could tell he had much disdain for The Viper, and so it proved.
When Orton – who was mute throughout – paced to the ring, Edge initially tried to make amends, reminding the silent assassin of their successful tag team of a few years ago. But he quickly changed his tune, and I’m glad he did.
The Ultimate Opportunist gave an outstanding promo explaining why he really speared Orton – jealousy. Jealousy that erupted because no matter how friendly he was and much he tried to interact with the fans, they never cheered him as they do for The Viper. Orton glared, pondered and, after some brief Edge resilience, connected with his RKO. This feud should be spectacular.
Elsewhere – and I’ll try to keep this short – it seems that Jericho and The Miz, bound by their grievances with the Big Show, are going to form a tag team. They joined the commentary booth for The Hart Dynasty’s victory over a reunited William Regal and Vladimir Kozlov – a short but fun bout – before dishing out a post-match beating to David Hart Smith. I don’t want “Mizicho” to win the titles, but I’m really looking forward to watching them try.
John Morrison marked his Raw debut with an enjoyable win over Ted DiBiase, meaning he did not have to become the third-generation superstar’s Virgil. DiBiase was not amused and ambushed the Shaman of Sexy until R-Truth made the save.
Maryse quickly pinned Nikki Bella, before scuttling away from an irate Eve who was looking for revenge for an attack earlier in the evening, while Mark Henry defeated Zack Ryder in a decent little match but one that will do very little for either man.
There was also a crappy backstage skit featuring Regal, Kozlov, Brady, Santino Marella and Goldust, suggesting that the comedy will be less frequent, rather than totally expunged, but in the main, Raw delivered. Whether that continues next week when Flavor Flav is in da house is anybody’s guess.