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RAW 1/15

WWE Raw on Monday night really had no place to go other than up based on some of the awful things that were thrown at wrestling fans a week ago. The Rosie-Trump skit that was one of the worst in WWE history was openly mocked by Vince McMahon, Carlito, and the crowd this week, and it was nice to see that they took a bad thing and basically put it to bed. Hopefully for the future, Vince will think twice before trying to run out stupid skits like that, and instead just stick to wrestling and things in the ring.

The show was built on a 2-1 match featuring Rated RKO vs Shawn Michaels. It was done as a match that was supposed to be the death of DX, but instead was a great showing from Michaels, and a beatdown of Rated RKO that ended with him winning by DQ, then using the sledgehammer to pound both men before wrapping up the show using a double chair shot on Orton.

Many, including myself, has wondered about the direction of this feud with HHH gone, and wonder if someone would come in to help DX. I still think in the long run someone will, but right now the writers are even unsure of who to use, and instead of forcing the wrong person, decided just to use Michaels in a spirited effort to beat off Edge and Orton, at least for one week. I am sure that the beat down of Michaels will happen soon, and when it does, you can bet that the rumor mill will be hot and heavy with who will be on his side for round two.

I also am more and more impressed with what they have turned Rated RKO into. I love the fact that they have gone from just normal old heels to now the level of "super" heels, and guys that week after week use totally sinister tactics to get over. I think that while we all knew that Orton and Edge were bad, in the long run, these two guys are going to stay at the top level of being bad guys for a long time to come. I can even see an eventual feud with Orton and Cena in 2007 for the WWE title.

They also pushed, as expected, a rematch with Umaga and Cena for the belt at the Royal Rumble in two weeks, and made it a "Last Man Standing" match. An interesting call on this one, as it seems that with the most likely thing happening with Umaga losing he is going to lose a lot of steam with the loss here, since it will be a total beatdown that gets him to lose. The only other thing I can think of is some sort of shady finish where Umaga can't answer the count of 10 after he gets "pinned" with some sort of object. I think they did this in the forgettable Chris Jerhico-Kane feud a few years back in a Last Man Standing match at a PPV, where Y2J won with that finish.

Jeff Hardy and Maria beat Nitro and Melina in a mixed tag, Ric Flair used the tights to beat Kenny Dykstra in another of their series of what seems like 100 matches. Mickie James beat Victoria in a womens title match rematch from the PPV clean, all but ending that feud. In the oddball segment of the night, Chris Masters pulled a "Masterlock Challenge" and Ron Simmons came out. As it appeared that Simmons may actually break the hold, Super Crazy jumped in and attacked Masters. Crazy was trying to get the crowd to cheer for him, but it was just a bad segment from the start.

As for the Carlito, McMahon segment, it was good to see that they mocked their own disaster from a week ago, and stated that the crowd didn't want to see such garbage again in a WWE ring. Of course just to run it in how bad last weeks skit was, they replayed it about 3 times, before finally pulling the plug on it. As Carlito and McMahon were about to get it on, Kahli came in, beat up Carlito and laid him out with a chokeslam. I still have this uneasy feeling about Kahli and Cena at Mania, don't ask me why.

The show though overall was much better than last week, and we'll see what else gets built around Cena-Umaga for the Rumble on the RAW side next week. I am assuming we'll see another round of Michaels vs Orton and Edge in some fashion, and I think in the next 2-3 weeks we'll see a beat down of Jeff Hardy as they get set to set up the match at Mania with the Hardy's and MNM.

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