J.R.'s Superstar of the Week - Mr. McMahon?
Each week on WWE.com, based on the events seen on RAW, Jim Ross will give his opinion on which Superstar he thought was the RAW Superstar of the Week:
There are several viable candidates for the RAW Superstar of the Week award after the three-hour marathon broadcast of the RAW season premiere Monday night in Columbia, S.C. Many competitors, including those from RAW, ECW and SmackDown, had strong showings on the RAW Family Reunion which garnered a great TV rating for the extra-long RAW.
Big Show dominated a man half his size – Jeff Hardy – but should not take away from Show’s abilities as ECW Champ. He is twice as big (or more) as most of the people he faces. However, we did discover that the 507-pounder will tap to the STFU of John Cena if the hold is locked in. Hardy got some surprisingly effective offense in against the world’s largest athlete, which should make RAW fans proud.
The SmackDown kingpin, King Booker, had a solid match with RVD, but it was in the midst of an announcers’ verbal spat which distracted me somewhat from the in-ring proceedings. Booker channeling Lennox Lewis with the dreads and the accent is challenging to endure. I knew Booker when he was from Houston and now listen to him. No one can discount Booker’s in-ring ability, but I never thought Booker would attempt to be something that he is not. That would be like Sir William Regal attempting to sound like he’s from Arkansas.
Umaga, who got an assist from his handler, Armando Alejandro Estrada, hung a RAW-exiting loss on Kane, which was impressive for the undefeated Samoan. Could Umaga soon have his sights set on John Cena and the WWE Championship??
The come-dressed-as-you-are Street Fight between DX and Cade and Murdoch was a damn good match from my seat at ringside. This match had some of the old school Mid South Wrestling qualities, which works for me. Cade and Murdoch, even though they lost, had their overall game elevated by hanging in so well with DX. This was one of my favorite matches on the show.
It was great to see Chris Benoit back in a RAW ring if only for one night. Benoit is arguably one of the top 10 wrestlers in the entire world, and SmackDown is fortunate to get the “Rapid Wolverine” (another J.R. nickname) back from hiatus.
Shelton Benjamin, on the other hand, just needs to talk less and wrestle more. Shelton has “It” and it still amazes me that Benjamin is not a WWE Championship contender in a big way. But Benoit is gold, Jerry, gold!
There are lots of talented stars on SmackDown, but none shine brighter in my eyes than Rey Mysterio. The SmackDown Six-Man Tag Match Monday night on RAW established that even stronger to my way of thinking.
I had a nice chat with The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young prior the event. Both ladies are 83-years-young and live in Columbia on Moolah Drive. Mae suffered a broken tailbone, which is why the native Oklahoman (Sand Springs) was using a walker. Mae told me a story about wrestling in Memphis, Tenn., and being at her hotel when she heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Mae and Moolah are two amazing ladies.
So now Melina, Lita, and Mickie James have all advanced in the tourney to decide a new Women’s Champ. The final first round match is this week from Los Angeles. (Wow, how hot is SmackDown’s Kristal??)
I am sure to some of you the announcing Monday night was enjoyable, hopefully more often than not. That’s a good thing. I am also equally as sure that at times the announcing (yours truly included) was annoying. I enjoy working with and listening to all the announcers there, but the volume of talk got a little overwhelming at times. I have been as guilty as anyone on this subject, so this is like the pot calling the kettle black, but the goal of broadcasting sports-entertainment is to underscore the abilities of the athletes and help the viewers connect with the Superstars and their ongoing trials and tribulations. Sometimes, just because we are all human, our emotions and/or egos get in the way of doing our job. However, there were times Monday night that I must admit the show had Wild West tendencies and I liked the out-of-control feel of the proceedings.
It was a memorable RAW moment for yours truly when Ric Flair brought our Rowdy Roddy Piper; Money Inc., including the Million Dollar Man and IRS; and former Four Horseman, Arn Anderson! Wow, what a group of talent! I wish all these guys were 20 years younger (yours truly included).
The most intense match of the night – and either man could easily be named RAW Superstar of the Week – was the final match of the night between WWE Champion Cena and the conscience of WWE, Undertaker. Taker is an awesome force, and for those simple-minded cynics that say the veteran should consider hanging up his boots are insane or in need of a drug test. There are few men who can withstand Taker’s aggressive offense and perhaps more importantly few men have even had The Deadman’s high threshold of pain. Cena hung in big time with the future Hall of Famer until the spotlight-starved ECW Champion and SmackDown’s World Champion had to interject themselves into the main event.
Edge and Orton should make quite the pair. And speaking of quite the pair, will Edge share Lita’s professional services with Orton?? Hey, the King will ask so why not beat him to the punch? Seriously, Edge and Orton have the ability to dominate any scene they choose, and these two, young former champions could easily change the landscape of WWE’s flagship broadcast. (Notice I did not call it the “A” show, as in George [JBL] Peppard’s “A Team.”) For the record, RAW is only two episodes away from 700. That is an amazing milestone.
So that brings us to the RAW Superstar of the Week. This week my selection goes to the Chairman of WWE, Mr. McMahon, not only for his timely return to Monday nights, but the fact that he has recovered well from his DX induced Hell in a Cell injuries and will give RAW a sense of direction some say it lacked during his absence. But mostly this award goes to the Boss for making the main event at Cyber Sunday – a history-making first, as it will be a Triple Threat Champions of Champions match featuring the WWE Champion vs. the ECW Champion vs. the World Heavyweight Champion on Nov. 5 in Cincinnati. This is again a first, and bragging rights are at stake big-time. Perhaps WWE will allow the fans to vote on which announcers get to call this huge main event. That would be interactive, much like the concept of the entire Cyber Sunday pay-per-view. The one great thing about a Triple Threat match, at least the ones I have seen, is that there must be a winner, which is great motivation for all three participants.
I am fully recovered, OK almost fully recovered, from OU losing to Texas last week in the Cotton Bowl and will talk more about that experience at www.jrsbarbq.com