I despise Teddy Long's performance as a general manager.
Anyone who has listened to From the Rafters Radio has heard multiple rants on the subject. But I give the devil his due, and on tonight's Raw, Long played his role well.
His on-screen appearances were kept to a minimum, and the decisions he made "off-screen" were a nice way to recognize and even troll the thoughts of the Internet fans, who have long mocked Long's fascination with tag team matches.
It's true that Long's character had a hankering for multi-man contests, and that shined at full force tonight, as Raw featured three tag team matches. At least one is announced for tomorrow's live Smackdown.
As a character, Long has annoyed me to no end, but at least he has a character. That's what the authority figure position needs - a character with personality, even if it's one that grates on my soul, and is a gimmick.
That's why I liked John Laurinaitis. It's why I clamor for the one-night return of Mike Adamle. It's why I feel the Mr. McMahon character has worn out its welcome.
Whoever ends up as the new permanent general manager on the 1,000th episode of Raw on July 23, I just hope it's someone that fans either rally behind or against. We need a compelling character who enhances stories rather than detracts from them.
I, for one, just hope it's not Teddy Long.
- The main event, especially the final few minutes, was tremendous. But what else do you expect when you put three workhorses like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho in the ring? To be fair, John Cena held his own, as well. Maybe I missed something toward the end, but I found myself wondering what happened to Jericho and Cena. As I said, I may have missed something if they left ringside, but I wasn't going to complain with what we saw. The ending was a little anti-climactic from an in-ring standpoint, but made perfect sense within the context of the greater storyline.
- Sheamus continued his Goldberg-esque streak of victories over Dolph Ziggler in a mixed-tag team match, but at least this time, it wasn't Sheamus pinning Ziggler in the end. AJ pinned Vickie Guerrero to pick up the win for her team. The Sheamus-Ziggler thing is beginning to feel overplayed. Is the roster really that shallow that they have to interact every week, even once their pay-per-view feud appears to be over?It's time for both men to move on to better things.
- It appears Sin Cara may be being written off television again already, which raises a number of questions. Alberto Del Rio, who had just been named as the number-one contender to Sheamus' World Heavyweight Championship, destroyed Cara before their match could even get started. It certainly made Del Rio look vicious, but it didn't do much for Cara, who had been rebuilt in recent weeks.
- Seeing all of David Otunga's partners walk out on him during an eight-man tag match made sense, as they all saw little to gain by continuing in the match. What didn't make sense was that five - yes, five, as Brodus Clay came out, too - babyfaces (four of whom are champions) ganging up on Otunga to keep him in the ring to get embarrassed by Santino Marella and Clay. Be a star, folks. Be a star.
- Putting Big Show over Kane in a no-disqualification match did more to make Show seem like a threat than anything else he's done in recent weeks. They worked a short match that saw Show pretty much dominate with weapons before putting Kane down relatively cleanly.
- Tyson Kidd scored a huge upset victory over Tensai. As the bigger man ran into the corner, Kidd moved out of the way and caught him in a schoolboy. This certainly gives Kidd some momentum heading into the Money in the Bank match, and it's deserved. He is one of the most promising talents on the roster, and given the right opportunity, he could run with the ball. After the match, Tensai once again attacked his manager.
- The Heath Slater angle took an unexpected turn, as the One Man Rock Band actually picked up a victory. He pinned Doink in a match that actually saw both men get a bit of offense in. After Slater won, though, DDP came out to celebrate with him. On a handshake, he pulled Slater in for a Diamond Cutter, proving that there are more moves than just the RKO that come out of nowhere. Oh wait...
- Paul Heyman pulled a Dixie Carter and used his hyped announcement to make another announcement. Brock Lesnar will announce his decision on whether or not he wants to face Triple H face-to-face on the 1,000th episode of Raw. The rest of the promo, shown via satellite, was good mic work from Heyman, questioning Triple H's motivation for wanting the match in the first place.
- The opening promo segment seemed destined for failure as just another clustered multi-man microphone debacle, but it was actually quite entertaining. Jericho doing his old catchphrases was the best part, but overall, the segment was well built and executed. It successfully mixed Bryan and Punk with the Money in the Bank candidates and created a hot opening to the show.