Before the night began, I was anticipating a great show. It was the WWE Draft, taking place in a sold out Phillips Arena, in Atlanta, GA (where I resign).
(Promo One)- Immediately when Batista's music hit, I felt the same intensity he delivers every time he comes out. It was a great way to kick off RAW and get the crowd starting off hot.
Batista and Shane started to loose me during their conversation, until Triple H's music cued and saved the entire segment (he is just one of the best in the industry).
Vickie completely took it to the top when she came out. She had that nagging voice that is perfect for her character, and the GM (I believe) RAW needs. She is the perfect GM to hate, and Atlanta showered her with "booooo" and "you suck!" chants.
Vickie needed to work with the crowd a lot better! She said "Excuse Me!" once or twice, but not enough (trust me, it was LOUD there; people in the arena couldn't hear her).
Then Vickie made the handicap match (with the stipulations) to cap off (what I thought) an excellent way to turn Atlanta into Hotlanta and get RAW started.
(Match One) - Rey Mysterio vs. Evan Bourne - Starting off the show from its first commercial break with Rey was smart and exciting. Then seeing Evan Bourne as his opponent really excited me on where this show was going. This was a good, upbeat match, and gave me another reason I wish cruiserweights returned.
Rey controlled a majority of the match (as he should) and Bourne paired extremely well against him. Bourne looked very impressive and the crowded seemed to like him. It was a great first match and RAW won the first pick
RAW Pick: MVP - I thought this was surprising for the first pick. It was a great pickup however, and I think MVP will be great on Monday Nights.
(Match Two) - Kane vs. The Brian Kendrick w/ "Eazy" Jackson- It was a good comic relief after an intense first segment and a high-flying match (also because I laughed throughout the entire match). Kane dominated the entire match and "Eazy" went down real quick (I was surprised by that).
The Brian Kendrick is a talented superstar who has potential, if used the right way. He would be the perfect main cruiserweight heel. Overall it was funny, quick match with RAW getting its second pick
RAW Pick: Big Show - Called this one, but who didn't? I think a lot of people saw this coming because of Vickie taking the RAW GM job.
(Promo Two) - Orton's scene with Vickie was pretty awful. There was too much yelling for such a stupid conversation.
The Cena/Swagger segment was excellent. Cena's jokes started off kind of lame (I began to think of The Rock), but they got better as he became more intense (The Rock might of had the jokes, but Cena gets you more fired up).
Overall, Cena was the star of the promo (as usual) but Swagger wasn't too bad himself. He needs to learn how to speak; get him a diva or a manager. His attitude & cockiness were great however, and he reminded me of a young Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
(Match Three) -Six-Diva Tag Team Match - Michelle McCool was basically handed the spotlight for this match. It was an obvious push for her character. She delivered and stepped up, which was nice to see.
Mickie was a nice diva for Michelle to work with, they could be a wonderful feud in the future if Michelle keeps dominating.
SMACKDOWN! Pick: Melina - This was kind of surprising, but not bad. Melina started her career on SMACKDOWN! so she will fit in nicely.
(Match Four)- John Cena vs. Jack Swagger - This was the one match I was looking forward to the most (I wish it was the main event to be honest). I said Swagger looked like a young HHH, not so much in the ring.
He is one of a kind in the ring, and I was extremely impressed with the way he performed! He is still young and needs mic skills, but the kid was born for this (best young talent I have ever seen).
Cena didn't disappoint either and put on a good show as well (except when it looked like his head would explode). I give props to the WWE for putting these two together (still think it should've been the main event).
Good back-and-forth match at an even pace, which was enjoyable. Swagger missed a DDT, but both Cena and the "All-American American" recovered well (shows Swagger can think quickly).
I thought Cena would win due to Edge interfering, but he showed up after the match.
It was a good ending with Swagger loosing due to a rookie mistake. He got caught up on the top turnbuckle, F-Ued, and eventually tapped after an STFU by Cena. It was my favorite match of the night.
RAW Pick (Two):Matt Hardy - I got this one on the money, but I think we all knew one of the Hardys was going to switch brands. Triple H - It wasn't if he would get drafted, but when?
(Match Five) - Santino Marella vs. The Great Khali - Let me start off by saying that Santino is a gem to this business. He is a wonderful talent when it comes to playing to the audience (he gave a ridiculous speech to Atlanta before the match, but it was during a commerical - I wish WWE would've showed it).
Then Kahli came out and we all knew what the end result was going to be. Beth Phoenix came out and revealed the stipulation (if Santin"o" lost, the Santin"a" would appear on Khali's Kiss Cam), which made the match kind of interesting to watch.
Another comic relief after an intense match between Cena and Swagger. Good quick match won by Khali.
SMACKDOWN! Pick: CM Punk - Another one I called, but not very surprising. He could very well be the "hero" of SMACKDOWN! now that Triple H is gone. Should match well with Edge and Y2J.
(Match Six) - The Miz w/ John Morrisonvs. Kofi Kingston - Kofi is a very talented athlete with a Rey Mysterio mindset (I like him a lot). I thought this was ECW's pick for sure, but Morrison's interference cost ECW the pick. Good match, but I would've liked a better ending
RAW Pick:T he Miz - I thought they would put Morrison on RAW before The Miz, so it surprised me a little, but not much. The surprise came when The Miz clocked Morrison for costing him the match. I thought Morrison would be taken in the supplemental draft to RAW, but after the attack, seems more like SMACKDOWN!
(Match Seven) - 15 Man Battle Royal - Just like any other battle royal, but I like the last three remaining (made it interesting). I thought ECW needs a pick by now, but Mark Henry falling off the apron killed that. Once Henry went down, I think everyone knew Edge was going to take it, and he did.
SMACKDOWN! Pick (Two): Kane - I had him drafted, but not to SMACKDOWN! rather ECW. I'm glad he's going to SMACKDOWN! though because (just like everybody is excited for) the Brothers of Destruction are back. Chris Jericho - I called this one, but I didn't want to see it happen. What ever happened to RAW is Jericho?
(Match Eight)- Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin - Shelton is the most UNDERused superstar in the WWE. Christian is always enjoyable to watch because his style differs from a lot of other talents. I thought it was a good match, but ECW needed a pick badly, so we all knew who would win.
ECW Pick: Vladimir Kozlov - I called this as well, but I thought ECW would at least get two picks in the draft. This was a good move for the reasons I stated in my draft preview.
(Match Nine)- CM Punk vs. Matt Hardy - I thought this match was a toss up, which made it interesting to me. I missed a lot of the match, but caught the DQ that gave Matt the win (wish I could've watched this one).
RAW Pick: Maryse - I thought they could've waited on the supplemental draft for this one.
(Match 10) - Chris Jericho vs. Tommy Dreamer - I expected Jericho to dominate this match with ease. I enjoyed watching him wrestle though (he did say "ask him!" to the ref a couple of times).
Dreamer put up a fight, but Jericho was going to be the obvious victor here. It was enjoyable for me to watch Jericho without him acting like a jackass (probably because he wasn't on the mic).
SMACKDOWN! Pick: Rey Mysterio - OOOOHHHH!!!! I did not see that coming at all! I was 100% sold that Cena was going to be taken here. I guess they are putting the "lighter" heavyweights on SMACKDOWN! (Edge, Jericho, CM Punk, Rey).
MAIN EVENT - Shane, Batista & Triple H vs. DiBiase & Rhodes - This was actually a pretty good match. It had some back-and-forth action with Rhodes and DiBiase actually competing. With the stipulation Vickie made earlier, it also made the match kind of unpredictable.
It was a good match with a solid ending (Triple H tagging himself while Shane beats up Batista). Orton comes out and stares down "The Game" as RAW goes off the air.
(The Wrap Up) - I thought Cena vs. Swagger with Hardy and Triple H switching brands would've been a better ending for the show (especially with how everything turned out, it would've been perfect).
The show started off great, the ending not so much.
I wished Atlanta would've showed more support for Batista when he came out.
Overall, it was a pretty enjoyable show with some very good draft picks.