Relive the brutal clash between Cesaro and Samoa Joe, punctuated by Sami Zayn's sneak attack on The Destroyer, in this slow-motion video captured during the Feb. 27, 2017, edition of Raw.02/28/2017 - 00:30
The Architect speaks on Raw for the first time since suffering an MCL injury at the hands of Samoa Joe, and ponders whether he'll be part of this year's WrestleMania.02/27/2017 - 23:30
J.R.'s Superstar of the Week - Umaga
This week's highly anticipated and acclaimed RAW Superstar of the Week is the first guy I would pick if the RAW Superstars had a "let's whip somebody's ass in an alley team" … UMAGA! More on the large Samoan after these words…
I have to hand it to the crowd in East Rutherford, N.J., Monday night. In the face of extreme heat in the Northeast, long lines to get into the arena, power outages and sitting through nearly five hours of wrestling and talk, the 17,000-plus crowd stayed hooked for the most part, and for that they should be thanked. I have to be honest with you, I don't know if I could watch anything for five hours under the same conditions.
Personally, I am ready for some additional wrestlers to throw their names in the Intercontinental Championship picture. Johnny Nitro (wouldn't it be hell to be named after a canceled wrestling show?) is a talented, but beatable IC Champ. Those funky, roadkill-like coats Nitro wears remind me of some of the outerwear The American Dream (Dusty Rhodes) and Ric Flair used to wear on TBS 20 years ago. Two of Nitro's biggest assets, no pun intended, are Melina and Melina (only joking), and his aerial abilities. I would assume being a former gymnast -- speaking of Nitro -- doesn't hurt one to create effective high-risk and high-flying offense.
So Carlito wants to be the IC Champion, too. That's great. And I am sure Carlito's hair wants to be brushed as well, but that doesn't appear to be happening any time soon either. Carlito, albeit very talented, needs to decide if he wants the IC Championship worse than he wants to "socialize" with Trish. I fully realize that's a tough call. I may be a grandfather, but I am not dead.
And then there is the talented Shelton Benjamin, who has the abilities to perhaps be the best IC Champion ever, and could even rival The King's cousin, The Honky Tonk Man, for the handle of the "Greatest Intercontinental Champion of All Time." When that day finally arrives, the IC Championship will only be a stop-over for Benjamin on his way to becoming the WWE Champion. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
Do any other RAW Superstars want to get in on the IC Championship action here? If so, raise your hand.
Randy Orton could not have made any friends in the Hogan household Monday night. However, Orton's RAW version of Orton Knows Best rivaled the Hogan Knows Best TV show in length. I thought Orton was starring in his own mini-series. Orton vs. Jerry Lawler in Memphis, Tenn. Monday night could be a surprise for the young, master Orton. That could be the case specially if Orton goes to The King's hometown overconfident because Lawler is 30 years older than Orton, and is thinking he will have no problems putting down the veteran.
Why doesn't Mickie James defend the Women's Championship on RAW very often? Just curious.
If the NBA or WNBA referees all looked like Torrie Wilson did on Monday's RAW, their TV ratings would be enhanced.
Ric Flair and Mick Foley are two of my all-time favorites. I am anxious to see them square off at SummerSlam, which I assume will happen even though Foley doesn't seem too happy about it. By listening to what Mick says these days, I am not sure if I am supposed to like him or not, but it is certainly entertaining. Mick inserting the name of a sitting president with a porn star, again no pun intended, in the same sentence is creative. Flair was at his manic best on Monday night and almost sweat through his shirt, which might start more rumors about Ric's out of control sweating.
The Bottom Line, as old Stone Cold used to say (he actually still says it on occasion down in Australia where he is filming a movie for WWE Films), is to let Foley and Flair talk all they want with live microphones, because it could not be as embarrassing as what I heard the audience chanting on ECW's Sci Fi show Tuesday night. The Nature Boy and Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy will talk fans right into their seats for their Boston SummerSlam match. That is, if it happens, according to Foley. Trust me; it will happen, because there is too much money involved for it not to.
I mentioned this on the air Monday night in jest, but I do think this company needs a traveling sports psychologist to deal with these deep-seated issues that Mick and Ric, among others, allegedly have. The shrink could also be a part-time salesman, and we could call him "Dr. Shill."
In the face of being booed overwhelmingly by the folks in the live audience Monday night, John Cena steered the course and kicked your teacher's ass. I will be the first to admit I know very little about rap or street cred., etc, but I do know that Cena is a game day player who likes to whip people's asses and that works for me.
HBK and Umaga had an old-school match going, or so it seemed, until the McMahon men-folk got involved. I am not so sure that Umaga needed Mr. McMahon and his son, Shane's, help Monday night, especially with Triple H in custody, and that is taking nothing away from Shawn Michaels. Umaga is physically gifted, and if he was not heavily tattooed and managed by an unlikable individual, what would there be to dislike about this monster? He is big, bad and athletic, and has not lost on RAW. One has to be impressed with a 350-pounder with NFL-level athleticism. This Monday night in Memphis on Monday Night RAW, the Umaga vs. Triple H showdown should be a dandy. Knowing the McMahons as well as I do, and after seeing Umaga's abilities, I will be shocked if Triple H beats the Samoan Bulldozer.