J.R.'s Superstars of the Week - Kendrick & London
Greetings from Oklahoma and from under the black hat while preparing to fly across the Atlantic to London this weekend for Monday Night Raw. I wonder if barbecue will be served on the flight … most likely not.
Monday Night Raw had a hard act to follow from the memorable and emotional Raw from Orlando, Fla., where the greatest wrestler who ever lived, Ric Flair, gave his farewell address. Nonetheless, the Backlash pay-per-view card began to take shape. The Raw main event for the WWE Title will be a chaotic Fatal Four Way, which really puts the WWE Championship in jeopardy, and has made titleholder Randy Orton about as happy as Hillary Clinton after it was suggested that she might make a nice "vice presidential" candidate.
After 92 percent of those voting on the AT&T Mobile text poll voted that Orton would not retain his title at WrestleMania XXIV, the odds one could assume for the second generation Superstar to retain his title against not two but three Superstars at Backlash will be even greater. One could surmise that by winning the Fatal Four Way at the pay-per-view later this month from Baltimore, the main event match could be the defining moment of the young Orton's career. For Orton to leave Baltimore with the WWE Title and leave Triple H, John Cena and JBL all empty-handed would be damn near miraculous.
General Manager William Regal's challenge of the Legend Killer this Monday night from Regal's homeland could prove to be most interesting, because Regal still considers himself a wrestler first and an administrator second. A Regal victory over Orton would certainly change the landscape of Raw.
On with the proceedings … this week's Raw Superstars of the Week are the team of Brian Kendrick and Paul London, who have put together two impressive outings in a row on WWE's flagship broadcast. The supremely quick duo seems to have developed a little "attitude" as of late which seems to be serving them well. If Kendrick & London, who have also apparently smoothed over any internal strife they had a few weeks ago, can channel teams like The Rock ‘n' Roll Express or The Midnight Rockers, this team can be wearing tag team gold again just as they once did on SmackDown. It would be nice to hear from Kendrick & London in the future about how they feel about their chances of becoming the World Tag Team Champions.
Umaga looks like the prototypical NFL nose tackle, and with his Samoan heritage, which has blessed the 350-pounder with uncanny quickness for a super-heavyweight, the Samoan Bulldozer seems to be getting back to his dominating ways.
If you like Diva action in WWE, then your cup runneth over Monday night as two matches on Raw featured the lovely ladies. Beth "The Glamazon" Phoenix is the most dominant female in WWE, especially when she utilizes her "Fisherwoman's Suplex" which, as I have been reminded, is the politically correct way of describing her finishing maneuver that is devastating. Mickie James and Melina also have great competitive chemistry, and one has to admire Maria's desire to compete. Jillian may be the most underrated and entertaining Divas on Raw … as long as she isn't singing.
It seems like there might be a little trouble in the trailer park brewing between Lance Cade, who HBK originally trained, and his tag team partner, Trevor Murdoch, who was trained by WWE Hall of Famer, the government-mule tough Harley Race. Perhaps Cade & Murdoch should watch Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby together a few more times, as it always seems to cheer me up. I hope this potential conflict doesn't result in WWE having to call in Larry the Cable Guy for an intervention.
Being in the right place at the right time and mentally staying one step ahead of the opposition usually produces positive results, and that was the case Monday night when Triple H qualified for the main event at Backlash by beating the WWE Champion and the No. 1 contender for the championship. This specific misstep may come back and bite both Orton and "Mr. Mamajuana" JBL in the backside before all of this title business is said and done.
Carlito and Santino used to have one thing in common … they both had apparent lust in their hearts for Playboy cover girl Maria, not that there is anything wrong with that. Now they have two other things in common: Each of their names ends in a vowel, and they have their sights set on becoming the tag team champions. At times, Santino reminds me of a young Bobby Heenan, the best manager ever, with his wit and verbal delivery — which is high praise. No, I am not having a "senior moment" and I understand that Santino isn't a manager but his tart tongue is still Heenan-esque.
Did Triple H have the line of the night when he said what many people likely think and that is that JBL is an "arse"? There's a colonoscopy joke there somewhere, but these days that hits a little too close to home for yours truly. Ouch ... there goes my equestrian career.
Nice coup by Chris Jericho in securing both Shawn Michaels and Batista for his Highlight Reel on Monday night. It was more compelling than any Rome is Burning clones -- please stop the pain, hair gel boy -- and ranks up there with the Rosie O'Donnell meltdown days on The View. Listen, folks: I miss the hell out of Ric Flair even though we did speak three times last week on the phone, but I am not angry at HBK for doing what Shawn does best and is paid to do by bringing his "A" game to WM XXIV just as Shawn's boyhood idol Flair demanded.
Bottom line, the benefit for us fans out of this verbal confrontation -- no matter if we think Batista or HBK is in the right -- is that we will get to see HBK vs. The Animal at Backlash, which should be a most interesting contest. I wonder where Triple H weighs in on this Flair matter being best friends with HBK and also being close with former Evolution member Batista.
Just curious, but does any one know when Chris Jericho is next scheduled to defend the Intercontinental Title?
John Cena rose to the occasion at the right time Monday night to make the four-way dance at Backlash even more of an unpredictable train wreck by defeating Triple H and JBL (bad night for initials) thanks to an assist -- or so it seemed -- from The Game. One has to assume that Triple H had a reason for his actions Monday night as the Cerebral Assassin is damn sure a thinking man's wrestler. Perhaps we will find out more of each of the combatants' motives and mindsets this Monday from London.
For the record, I am still trying to ascertain what in the heck Cena was saying when he mentioned my name in conjunction with Randy Orton's on Monday night while holding court in the ring. Perhaps I will seek counsel from my broadcast partner, "Jerry Bobby," for the interpretation of Cena's remarks. Or perhaps it doesn't MATTER WHAT I THINK! Oops … I think I just channeled The Rock as I just previewed his upcoming DVD. Sorry for the emotional outburst, but I have not had my J.R.'S BBQ Sauce fix today.
Finally, it was nice seeing "The World's Most Dangerous Man" Ken Shamrock backstage at Monday Night Raw in Albany, N.Y. Ken was in the area on business and dropped by to see friends. We have a story about seeing Ken at our Web site www.jrsbarbq.com.
Boomer Sooner! (Cheers to our U.K. fans!)
Be sure to check out J.R.'s Family Bar-B-Q Restaurant at www.jrsbarbq.com.