Posted by: Misha | July 7, 2009

The Million Dollar Man Gives Raw a Much Needed Bail-Out

Raw’s been hit or miss for me lately and it seems to miss more often hits, but tonight it hit a home run. Tonight’s Raw was really, really good and it owed a good portion of that to this week’s guest host, The Million Dollar Man.

The Million Dollar Man was this week’s guest host and for the second week in a row, I’m liking this guest host idea. The Million Dollar Man was a great guest host and the father/son relationship helped make Raw much better than it’s been lately. The Million Dollar Man’s pride in his son was obvious and so was the fact that he thinks his son is on the wrong path by being Randy Orton’s henchman and I loved when he told his son that Randy Orton is just holding him back, because I do feel that Ted DiBiase Jr. is the most talented part of Legacy.

I also had to wonder if the WWE is showing us that Ted Jr. feels like he’s been living in his father’s shadow? That’s what the “it’s still all about you” line made me think and maybe his desire to get out of his father’s shadow is why he joined Legacy in the first place. I also loved the way he defended his father to Randy, though, showing that parent/child relationships aren’t easy and he’s right in saying that Cowboy Bob Orton was nowhere near the wrestler The Million Dollar Man was. And the pain on The Millon Dollar Man’s face when his son slapped him was incredible. I know that The Million Dollar Man was always a heel, but I always liked him and I loved him tonight. For once the WWE did a great job capturing the difficulties of a parent/child relationship and using it to develop Ted DiBiase Jr.’s character.

The Million Dollar Man’s scenes with Cody Rhodes were hilarious, the way he set Rhodes up to take on Mark Henry had me laughing out loud. Then, when Rhodes tried to pay him off and The Million Dollar Man went onto his rant about how much he hated Dusty Rhodes? Well, I loved it, I thought that bit was inspired, given how often Dusty Rhodes and The Million Dollar Man feeded (something that The Man brought up when their sons started wrestling together). Wasn’t crazy about how the Rhodes/Mark Henry match went down. Poor Cody Rhodes just gets to be the whipping boy of Legacy, huh? I know it’s important to book Mark Henry as a tank and to try and slowly get him over as a face, but as much as Ted DiBiase is starting to shine, Cody Rhodes is starting to get buried and I really do think he does have talent, if not as much as DiBiase.

While we’re still talking about Legacy, could this be the beginning of the end or  is that just the wistful thinking of a Legacy-hater? Probably. I did feel that way at the beginning of the show, but then the way the Orton/DiBiase match went down made me change my mind. I am enjoying the way DiBiase is coming into his own, though. His match with Orton was really, really good and though I knew Orton would win, DiBiase held his own through most of it. I almost liked Orton (shocking, I know) at the end when he showed his obvious respect for DiBiase at the end of the match. But DiBiase is starting to come into his own and I don’t think he can be happy being Orton’s lackey forever, but I do think it’s wise for the WWE to do it slowly.

I enjoyed the tag team match. Jericho and Edge work amazing together and seeing them just made me even more sad about Edge’s injury and the fact that he will likely be out for sometime, because I really think this storyline could have been great. The match was decent, though Carlito turning on Primo and becoming a heel seemed to come out of nowhere. I’ve never really cared one way or another about the Colons, so the idea a feud doesn’t interest me, neither am I upset about splitting the pair up.

I loved the MVP/Jack Swagger segment. I like the fact that the WWE is using MVP’s real life past as part of a storyline. I think it’ll help MVP get over as a baby face, because there’s a lot to admire there. He made a mistake, he did his time and paid his debt to society and now he’s trying to educate others and prevent them from repeating his mistakes and I’m impressed that the WWE is using that and letting him get that message across. As for Swagger, as always, he played the cocky heel well. This could be a really good feud and I’m looking forward to it.

Gail Kim got to get a pin!!! And on Maryse!!! This is a truly remarkable occasion. I’m hoping that this is a sign that she won’t be as buried on Raw as she was on Smackdown. She’s one of the most talented of the current crop of divas and she deserves to get a good push. Or as good a push is the WWE is going to give any of their divas (read yesterday’s rant for more on that).

The John Cena/Triple H match was very good, but not as good as the WWE wants us to believe. Of course it was good, both these men are very talented and both know how to watch a good match. I would have been disappointed if it wasn’t good and it was a better quality match than we usually get on Raw, but that says about as much to the  current state of Raw as to the quality of the match. The ending was predictable, but I actually liked the fact that neither man seemed to dominate the match and the promos were very good, making it clear that this isn’t personal, it’s just business, since both men are faces (though, I, for one, am ready for Triple H to be a heel again). The Legacy run in was good and I liked the fact that Orton arranged it so that he wouldn’t have to face either man, only for The Million Dollar Man to spring a 3-way on him. The look on Orton’s face when the announcement was made was priceless!

All in all, Raw was really, really good this week. At one point we checked the time and were surprised to see that there was still an hour left, because Raw was moving fast and keeping us interested, unlike most weeks where Raw seems to go on for as twice as long as it really does. I really hope that this is a sign that things are getting better and not just a fluke of luck, but I’m not holding my breath.

Small nitpick: Do Rhodes and DiBiase share a Legacy T-shirt? DiBiase was wearing his at the beginning of the show, while Rhodes was shirtless and then at the end when they ran in and did interference at the end of the Cena/Triple H match, Rhodes was wearing the T-shirt and DiBiase was shirtless!!!


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