- Joined Oct 15, 2000
Despite no PPVs, it's going to be a real big week of wrestling. Raw is live tonight with the entire WWE roster on hand with all the key Smackdown stars (Orton, Christian, Sheamus, Henry, Sin Cara) to be on tonight's show. Then, tomorrow night for one of the very few times in history, there will be a live Smackdown on SyFy special with the entire roster also on the show. The talk is that tonight's Raw will be used to build up tomorrow's Smackdown, and WWE is treating this as a major show that they need to hit a home run on. Despite what WWE says publicly, they know that UFC moving to Friday night's is a major threat to their ratings. Also, Friday night has always been a poor night for wrestling. Smackdown was moved from Thursday to Friday years back because UPN had Everybody Hates Chris on Thursday nights and Smackdown was a steady ratings draw on Friday nights. However, since the move from UPN, there has been no reason to keep Smackdown on Fridays. Also, they feel they can draw much better ratings off Friday nights which is a benefit to their TV rights fees and advertising revenues. So WWE is taking tonight and tomorrow's shows extremely seriously trying to pop a big rating. However, we have seen in the past that WWE viewers are creatures of habit and changes to their normal schedule usually results in a significant drop in ratings. We see it every time there is a 3 hour Raw. The first hour is always draws a low rating before bouncing back to the normal levels at the normal Raw start time. I didn't see Smackdown last week, but there was very little promotion of tomorrow's Smackdown ahead of time. I know they will be pushing it hard tonight, but I would be shocked if it drew above about a 2.4 rating. Raw has only been averaging around a 3.0-3.1, so it's not like there is a huge viewer base to promote to tonight. Anyway, like I said, WWE is treating this very seriously and plans to book these as PPV caliber shows, so we should be in for two good nights of wrestling.
The major things coming out of last week's Raw:
- The HHH/Kevin Nash/John Laurinaitis/CM Punk storyline continued. HHH, Nash, and Punk had a confrontation in the ring which ended with Nash punching Punk. HHH stopped Nash and then reprimanded him. Nash said HHH had changed and stormed out. Later in the night, Laurinaitis told HHH that Nash had been involved in a car accident, and HHH left the building to check on him. This lead to the main event....
- John Cena defeated CM Punk in a #1 contenders match when Kevin Nash returned and appeared on stage which distracted Punk long enough to let Cena hit the AA. After the match, Alberto Del Rio attacked Cena laying him out.
- Alberto Del Rio for the first time came across as a real star to me last week. He really held his own in the ring verbally with Punk and Cena, and then he looked really strong laying Cena out after the main event. I have a good feeling that Del Rio won't be another Miz, someone who is given the title but booked like a joke. Vince is really high on him, and I think this is the start of something really big for Del Rio.
- Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston defeated David Otunga and Michael McGuillicutty to become the new tag team champions. It was the second straight week that Lawler absolutely burried Otunga and McG, so it may be the end of them as a team. The tag team division has been dead, but the crowd really popped big when Bourne and Kofi won. I think they're a good little team.
- The Miz and R-Truth formed the Awesome Conspiracy team last week cutting a great promo in the ring. You see guys like Kevin Nash get flustered and thrown off by "WHAT" chants, but both Truth and Miz take them in stride and really worked the idiot fans right into their promo. It's nice to see both guys, especially Truth, dropping a stupid comedy they had been involved with and looking to form what will be a serious heel tag team, most likely to feud with Kofi and Bourne.
- John Cena vs CM Punk
- Randy Orton vs Christian in a steel cage
- Alberto Del Rio vs Sin Cara
- Mistico has not been released at this point.
- Hunico, not Mistico, will be playing the role of Sin Cara from this point going forward. This is the plan as of right now, but take into account that WWE has already changed their mind on this literally about 50 times, so it could very well change by tomorrow.
- Regardless of who is under the mask, the Sin Cara character will remain due to the huge merchandise sales associated with it.
- Many are worried that the Sin Cara character will not work with Hunico because Hunico does not have the star presence in the ring that Mistico has. And despite Mistico's sloppiness, Hunico is much greener as a worker.
- In regards to being a star, that is what has caused Mistico the majority of his problems. Despite being a huge star in Mexico, the "boys" backstage resent the fact that he walks around as a star here. They feel he hasn't proven anything in WWE, so he should not act like a star. It's such a stupid mentality, especially because WWE wants him to be a star. However, this has been how things have worked in pro wrestling for years, and it still continues.
- Many are said to be extremely happy that Mistico is a failure (in WWE's eyes). Not necessarily because they don't like Mistico, but because it is a major failure and embarrassment for HHH. They feel that HHH buried so many people over the years that they are extremely pleased to see his first major project fail.
- If Mistico did not have a major contract and be under the "HHH Protection Plan", he almost assuredly would have been released by now.