Well Raw tonight (5/29/2006) was full of surprises.
THE NEW RAW GENERAL MANAGER IS…
Although WWE promised that Vince McMahon would announce a new General Manager on Raw, he changed his mind, apparently after looking at the candidates and not finding any worthy of the job. He then named The Coach (Jonathan Coachman) and his "Executive Assistant". This doesn't come as a huge shock since Vince really likes Coach's on air persona for some reason but it was clearly a swerve on the part of WWE once again as they sent out a text messages touting a new General Manager would be named on Raw and that wasn't the case at all. If they keep swerving people with bait and switch tactics, they will lose all credibility.
HEYMAN NAMES HIS RAW AND SMACKDOWN ECW PICKS
Although he didn't say it, WWE.com is announcing that Paul Heyman drafted Rob Van Dam to ECW. In a huge shock, Heyman's Smackdown pick to jump to ECW was Kurt Angle.
This is a shock for two reasons. One is that the Smackdown roster is so depleted that taking its top star off the show is just ludicrous. Another shocker is that Angle is and was very vocally against ECW stemming from a few incidents before he joined WWE. Tazz publicly embarrassed Angle when Angle showed up at an ECW show and, later, Angle was very offended by the famous Raven/Sandman "Crucifixion Angle" feeling the angle was sacrilegious. Kurt Angle even walked out of the show during the mock crucifixion and hasn't stopped dissing ECW since. So, it certainly came as a shock to me to see, of all people, Kurt Angle moving to ECW.
Chris Benoit would have been a much better fit but he is on an "indefinite sabbatical" according to WWE which sounds certainly foreboding for Benoit. He was coming close to contract time but the word I have gotten is he is simply physically and mentally exhausted from years on the road and is taking time to recharge his batteries. Whatever the reason, he would have been the perfect pick for Heyman considering he is an ECW alumni and still a fine technical wrestler. It is clear that the new ECW is going to be a mix of past and new hardcore workers and technical wrestlers which, if you ever watched the original product, is what it always was. It was WWE that made ECW sound like garbage backyard wrestling when it really was only partially hardcore with a load of talent that had excellent technical expertise.
Obviously this is very much a Vince McMahon show as he said in a recent interview on WWE.com. In that interview, he said that Paul Heyman has "some say" in the product but in the end, it's his call.
So much for my vision of ECW as it was. Why not call the new show WWE-Lite? *sigh*
KANE vs. KANE?
In a jump back to the late 80's, Kane's mask came alive and a twin Kane debuted tonight with the mask and hair like the original Kane. Many people are speculating who played the part of the fake Kane. That would be Drew Hankinson aka Freakin Deacon aka Deacon Deville according to the Wrestling Observer. I don't think we have seen the end to this character and storyline. Could we see a Kane vs. Kane match at the next pay per view? We did, after all, see an Undertaker vs. Undertaker match at SummerSlam 1994. That whole angle flopped miserably and there is no reason to believe the fake Kane storyline will do much better. The irony in all this is that Glen Jacobs - the real Kane - played the Fake Diesel (Kevin Nash) when Nash left for WCW. Now he has his very own fake!
By the way, WWE is calling the Fake Kane "Jacob Goodnight". Give me strength, who comes up with this stuff?
NITRO AND MELINA DEBUT ON RAW
With no explanation whatsoever either about why Nitro and Melina were on Raw or where Mercury was, the duo debuted with Nitro losing to John Cena as his mystery opponent. WWE announcers did mention the two were fired from Smackdown but completely avoided talking about Mercury - or explaining who hired the two to be on Raw.
It was a less than stellar debut for Nitro, losing his first match and really only being in the match as fodder for Rob Van Dam to do commentary and confront Cena after the match. I sure hope he doesn't get lost in the Raw shuffle.
That is all for now. I wanted to catch you up on what was going on in WWE as it pertains to the storylines on Raw. I'm pretty disappointed to see Angle jump to ECW and wonder how much of a raise he got to go from Smackdown to Raw to Smackdown again and now to ECW where the fan base will be very small on the Sci Fi channel. He is either a true blue company man or getting paid so much that it just doesn't matter which show he is on.
By the way, don't forget the TV special called WWE vs. ECW Head to Head airing on Wednesday, June 7 at 8 p.m. EST on the USA Network. It will be a two-hour special featuring stars of Raw, Smackdown, and ECW in a final push for the ECW pay per view.
I leave you with a few hypothetical questions:
* If John Cena is putting his title on the line at the ECW pay per view on June 11, why is WWE.com advertising that Edge will wrestle Cena for the belt at the Vengeance pay per view on June 25? Are they telling us that Cena will retain without realizing it?
* How come Triple H can fight all five of the Spirit Squad single-handedly but Shawn Michaels ended up with a destroyed knee and beaten down by the same five guys? Oh yes! He's the King of Kings.
* Did you notice that all three of the female faces were blonde and all three of female feels were brunette? Is that WWE's way of telling us blondes have more fun? (Then again heels have more fun so maybe WWE is telling us blondes are "nice" and brunettes and "mean".)
* Is it hard to tell that Beth Phoenix isn't Trish when she wrestles or is it just me? Time for a change of wardrobe and maybe a different hairstyle so we know who is who.
* Don't Nitro and Melina have a great ring entrance? And are they now MN?
* Did you see that Kurt Angle's mouth guard had the word "Violence" written on it? And why is he wearing a mouth guard at all when he isn't even wrestling? In fact, why does he even wear one when he IS wrestling? No one else does.
* How true was it when Foley said that the road from ECW led only four ways…drunks, drug addicts, criminals, or corpses?
* And how true was it when Heyman asked how many title shots Foley got before he pulled a sock out of his pants and did comedy?
* And finally, does anyone on earth think Triple H will pucker up and kiss Vince's a$$ next week as Vince declared?
Until next time!