Wowzers! That was the best episode of Raw that I've seen since I rediscovered my love for wrestling earlier this year. This wasn't just any Raw, though. It was a 3-hour "old school' special. Vince didn't half-ass this one. I felt like I was watching an episode of WWF Superstars circa 1991. Let's dig into it...
~ They nailed the set. The metal barricades, the raised platform that "Mean" Gene Okerlund conducted interviews from, the cheesy backdrops in the backstage segments...everything looked fantastic.
~ Remember when a wrestler would deliver a promo in a box in the upper left-hand corner of the screen during a match? They brought that shit back! Yes, I marked out.
~ The Dolph Ziggler/Mark Henry match was better than I thought it would be. Henry's "sexual chocolate" gimmick that he ran with in the Attitude Era was exhumed for this oh-so-special occasion. Brilliant.
~ Harvey fucking Wippleman!
~ The Brooklyn Brawler made Ezekiel Jackson look good. That's why he's regarded as one of the best "enhancement talents" of all time.
~ The skit featuring Santino, Vladimir Koslov, Slick, The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff. I laughed my ass off when they cut The Sheik's mic. I'm surprised that they even invited him, what with him being a total headcase.
~ The tag match between The Uso's (with Jimmy "Supafly" Snuka!) and Santino/Koslov. I'm glad that they're letting Santino work more and more offense into his matches.
~ A match was added to Survivor Series between Sheamus and John Morrison. Wise idea.
~ I loved it when George "The Animal" Steele came out of nowhere and chomped on the turnbuckle. It was completely random.
~ The segment featuring (allow me to take a deep breath here) "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Aksana, Kelly Kelly, Dusty Rhodes, Ted DiBiase Jr., Ted Dibiase Sr., I.R.S., Tatanka (!?), Goldust, "Dashing" Cody Rhodes and Ron Simmons was hysterical. It seems that DiBiase Jr. will be undergoing a character overhaul. I like his new look.
~ The Alberto Del Rio/Sgt. Slaughter match. Man, Slaughter got a huge pop. I enjoyed the cameos by Tito Santana and Chavo Classic.
~ The Mae Young bit was priceless. I never want to see her in her ring attire again, though.
~ It was great listening to J.R.'s play-by-play commentary during the Daniel Bryan/Jack Swagger match. I wanted to shoot Michael Cole in the face. I realize that he's a heel, but I don't understand why the play-by-play guy needs to be a heel. He should stick to covering the action. On the upside, his irritating badinage gave Jerry Lawler ammunition for a few memorable one-liners.
~ Piper's Pit is back! Roddy's promo was amazing. He schooled the entire roster in three minutes. That's how it's done, boys.
~ I relished all of the "old school" logos and the retooled title sequence.
~ "Promotional consideration paid for by the following."
~ So The Hart Dynasty is finally broken up. I'm still not crazy about this angle. And where was Natalya?
~ Wade Barrett botched a couple of key spots in his match with R-Truth. His backbreaker, in particular, looked brutal for all the wrong reasons. This was his worst outing that I've seen in the WWE.
Overall, this episode of Raw was a fucking blast. I hope that the ratings are high. If not, we may never see a show like this ever again.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 7:04 PM