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'Sexual Chocolate' Mark Henry

The Heart Break Kid, Shawn Michaels

Kane, the Big Red Machine

Slobberknockers abound
The Oratory RAW Review Crew: 11/11/02

I actually dug this week's show. There were certainly missteps and Victoria's character is falling like a rock, but this is a big step forward from the horrors of Katie Vick and the necrophelia contained therein.

Jericho / Christian and Kane / RVD started off incredibly slow, but once things started to lift off, it built to a sweet climax and wound up being a great opener for the program. I absolutely loved the way they played Jericho off last night, ruthless and focused. He's the kind of dominating heel they need in the main events, a guy I actually find worthy of holding the World Title. Triple H, unfortunately, I can't say the same for any longer. He's become so stagnant with that title, it's like an afterthought any more. Any wonder nobody buys the legitimacy of that gold strap? Anyway, good match that got enough time to tell the story it needed to. I'm not excited about Jericho and Christian breaking up so soon, but the way it was handled was ideal. Nobody loses any heat with a breakup like that.

Lance Storm and Jeff Hardy really clicked for the first two thirds of their match, with the last bit booked out the ass and surprisingly lazy and sloppy. Storm is just the kind of guy Jeff Hardy needs opposing him in the ring, a mat-based technical heel who knows how to take control of a match. He dictated the flow of that match, dominating the majority of the offense, and when the time came for Jeff to hit a big spot it actually meant something. Of course, there were some strange moments where the Canadian heel didn't really seem to know what to do with his opponent, but I'll let that slide on account of this is the first one-on-one meeting they've had in the ring. Give these guys a little time to get used to one another, something worth fighting over and a high profile slot on the show. You'll have a couple new faces at the top of the midcard.

I like the direction they're taking with Tommy Dreamer and the UnAmerican leftovers. Dreamer is the ideal scratching post, and these two have claws that need sharpening. Keep it up, I'm enjoying it.

I was hoping Terri would refuse to head out to the ring, so we could finally relieve ourselves of the horrid presence she brings to the show every week. Seriously, I'd rather watch Mark Henry than her. I'd rather see Viscera making a triumphant return to the ring than bear another few minutes of her horrifyingly altered body. I'd rather see MAE FREAKING YOUNG than... wait. No, I don't think there's anything that can make me clamor for more Mae. I guess Terri isn't that bad after all. Or maybe she's just not the single worst thing in WWE history. Though she's close...

Victoria should stick to the wrestling, and leave the acting in her past. She was already awful when they first gave her lines, and now they're trying to expand her theatrical portfolio?

Not sure why fans have been so unreceptive to Batista thus far. Last week we could blame it on the lame crowd, but this week's audience was red hot.. yet still nothing for TAFKA Leviathan. Maybe he looks too postured, or maybe we haven't been given a reason to care. I maintain that he'll get somewhere in the future, they've just got to find something that works for him... this whole Brock Lesnar v. 2.0 thing just isn't it.

I'm over the Three Minute Warning. Their moveset was cool once, interesting twice... but lame and overdone by now. They're slowing down as the enthusiasm dies and they dive into the midcard, and I still don't know which one is Rosey and which is Jamal. I'm impressed the red-haired one could get Bubba up for that altered samoan drop, but other than that I could've done without the match.

Man, that Nowinski / Snow match was odd. Nowinski's still a great heel, despite the slight need for some fine tuning, and really stands head and shoulders above Maven now. Of course, he's also had several months' worth of time to develop while Maven sat, injured on the sidelines. I still love the feud, it was just an off week for those involved.

Booker and Triple H had some good interaction backstage. I'm really happy to see them moving Booker away from the comedy act and more towards the aggressive, violent man he portrayed just after last year's Summerslam. The match was a step below what you'd expect, with neither guy really seeming to know when everybody would come barreling down the entryway. Of course, we get a kick-wham-pedigree conclusion (who saw THAT coming??), and then all hell breaks loose with the Elimination Chamber hard sell committee. There's certainly enough talent in there to make this one good, which is something they did their best to prove during RAW's final moments. And, lo and behold, just as I thought they were gonna close the show with Shawn Michaels' shaking ass once again, here comes Chris Jericho to finish things off the way that most made sense. What's that strange noise? It's applause, coming from my direction. That's what's called a bookend, folks. You start the show with an angle that promotes the upcoming PPV main event, and close it with the same angle. Chris Jericho looks like a legitimate challenger for the title now, and it only took like 5 minutes of programming time.

I legitimately enjoyed this one, and can't believe how far they've come in just under a month. Keep it up. PLEASE!

Score: 6.5 / 10


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