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The Crippler, Chris Benoit

The Radicals: Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Eddy Guerrero and Perry Saturn

Eddie 'Latino Heat' Guerrero

Slobberknockers abound
The Oratory RAW Review Crew: 07/08/02

Something was just missing from this broadcast, and I think I can nail it down with just a few words. Too few men in the locker room, with too much time to fill. You know, the WWE roster hadn't really been showing much sign of how empty it really is since Austin's departure prior to last night. Lord knows, I'm among the ravenous hordes who drools over Chris Benoit's every move. I truthfully believe Eddy Guerrero is currently the strongest heel in North America, with his ringwork landing him at or near the very top of the heap worldwide. But that doesn't mean I think we should see them fifteen times every night.

Listen, I've said it in the past when Vince McMahon shoved himself in front of the camera after every segment, and I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't repeat it here tonight; no matter how good or "over" a star may be, he / she WILL NOT SUCCEED if they're oversaturated. And last night, they took about ten guys and threw them, sensibly or not, into every other moment of the show. I almost expected Benoit to invade the ring after Jeff Hardy won the European championship, for Booker T to interrupt William Regal's momentary bout of sadness with a "Suckaahhhh!" If Raw's roster is truly this thin, which I doubt, then perhaps it's time to cut those losses and end the split right here and now. Matchwise, last night's show was very strong, excluding the main event and the mixed tag, but seeing the same half-dozen people in the ring time and time again just made it seem like the show was a one trick pony, exploiting its only good side.

Moving on, quickly, there are a couple things I wanted to touch on, but couldn't spread over the course of a whole paragraph... here goes. I'm growing extremely tired of Goldust's impersonations backstage. They stopped being funny after the segment with the Rock at this year's King of the Ring, and I'd be pleased if they'd cease sooner rather than later. I was very impressed with the way the writers took advantage of the strong ECW sentiment flowing through the arena, and thought it made for the most successful segment I've seen in weeks. I was also glad to see Benoit's almost back to full speed already. It's scary to think where he'll be in one year's time. Finally, I have doubts about the paths this new character development may lead William Regal towards. Then again, he needs freshening up so perhaps it's all for the best.

To wrap up, I thought the show was decent, though mired by the sore lack of a supporting cast. Better than Justin made it out to be, but a notch below average. We should expect a little better, a touch more variety.

Score: 4.5 / 10


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