I have well-documented by disdain for the current wrestling product. TNA is unwatchable. I refuse to watch out of respect to the Jarrett and Angle families. AAA is fun, but I can only do it for so long. I love going to indies, but you can’t DVR an indy.
When asked to do a live broadcast before Elimination Chamber, I studied up on their product and got to watch their product for the first time in a long time. And for the first time in a VERY long time, I watched Raw. I found some things I liked and there were some awful things I didn’t.
What I liked-
1. New talent initiative. When I left a few years ago, there was nothing but the same five guys on the top and no hopes of them ever changing. All their new guys looked like Sylvan Grenier and they were going to be used for two months and then fired when they couldn’t get over. Now it’s a totally different thing. The new wrestlers are getting their opportunity. I saw new names like Sheamus, Drew McIntyre (dude needs subtitles, btw) and Alberto Del Rio. These are new guys who have legitimate opportunities to be stars.
2. There seemed to be some unpredictability again. Before, it was the same storyline happening over and over again. I could tell you what was going to happen before they could. Now, it seems like they’ve found their niche again. It’ll take a lot nowadays, but the crowd can be worked. It looks like they’re beginning to do that again.
What I didn’t like-
1. Michael Cole. Michael Cole with Taz is one of the greatest announcing tandems of all time. Michael Cole without Taz is awful. Michael Cole as a heel announcer is beyond awful. There have been some great heel announcers: Bobby Heenan, Jerry Lawler, Jesse Ventura. Michael Cole is not one of them. He just needs to go away off tv.
2. Tag Teams-I love tag teams. When I got started in wrestling in early ’96, WCW was a hotbed for Tag Teams: Harlem Heat, Nasty Boys, Road Warriors, The Steiner Brothers, Public Enemy, Blue Bloods, 4 Horseman, Meng & Barbarian, American Males, the Outsiders. The WWE has done their share of good tag teams, too. But now their tag team division is a joke. Their champions serve no other purpose than to lose to the champion in a handicap match. The WWE does not understand how to create a successful tag team division. Until they get some focus or they make it something special, dissolve your Tag Team division. Have a Triple-threat where Edge beats Gabriel and Slater. I’d like to say the WWE killed the Tag Team Division last night. It was dead long before that.
So the WWE is nowhere close to being complete. But for the first time in a long time, I felt like I had a good friend back with me.