The Oratory RAW Review Crew: 02/11/02
It was a strangely paced RAW this week, to be sure. With the World Champion defending his title early in the first hour and the physical main event going down at the top of the second, it was crystal clear that HHH and Stephanie were meant to be taking center stage on this night. And that's not to say the storyline wasn't deserving of the final spotlight on RAW... hell, if there ever were an angle deserving of main event glory, it would be this one. This split's been building for more than two years, which really says something when you realize how short-lived it appeared back when it was first launched. No, the angle's a good one... I'm just the kind of guy who complains every time the main event doesn't include wrestling of some kind.
Interestingly enough, was it me... or did Hunter really come across as a prick heel at the end of that segment? I don't know, there's something about physically destroying a man standing up for his daughter that really bugs me. Even if that man is Vince McMahon (dammit). I also found it funny that WWF.com decided the best image to describe RAW on its main page was that of an enormous Stephanie ready to devour her former lover's head.
(note: with the original posting of this contribution, I included a photo of Triple H standing on the entryway, a furious / enormous Steph glaring down at him from the Titan-Tron directly behind his head)
Still, even though it didn't take the limelight last night, the wrestling and progression of in-ring storylines was dead on last night. Goldust's offense didn't take any tremendous steps forward in the last week, but he went back to his mind games and steered away from useless run-ins, so I won't complain.
Chris Jericho is officially over as a heel World Champ... but has it come too late? Regardless, he was in rare form last night, destroying Steve Austin through and through, and really getting under the fans' skins with that little beer-drinking display. Too bad they've saddled him with the russian legsweep as a finisher now... I've always had problems swallowing the credibility of that move as a finisher.
Kurt Angle's become one hell of a ferocious heel, though his promo left a lot to be desired. I really, really like the Olympian when he's in "kill all" mode, and he's leaving nothing to be desired in that department after absolutely brutalizing the Godfather in a minute-long squash.
Finally, Christian and Rob Van Dam gave us all a glimpse of what's to come in the future of the WWF. It was spotty, sure, but it was damn good fun all the same, and that frog splash to seal the deal came out of nowhere. Handled correctly, we could be seeing a rematch down the line for the World Title. Here's hoping, right?
When all was said and done, I was very pleased with the way things turned out.
The singers were on stage way too long, but if that's the worst I can complain about, it's a good sign. Thumbs up.
Score: 8.5 / 10