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September 9, 2008

A star is Bourne on Raw?

Last night’s episode of Raw was, for the most part, uneventful. There were no cliffhanger endings, classic main events or big angles.

But there was one potentially significant development – and it occurred in a mid-card tag team match. Evan Bourne, who teamed with Rey Mysterio against John Morrison and The Miz, made an outstanding first impression in his debut on WWE’s flagship show.

Bourne has been on ECW for a few months now, but Raw obviously has a much larger viewing audience. A fair amount of people in the crowd probably had no idea who Bourne was, but he got himself over with his acrobatic moves. Bourne is so fluid and quick that he actually made Mysterio look slow in comparison.

My wife, who is not a wrestling fan (but is frequently in the room when it is on television), actually looked up from the book she was reading to watch Bourne. She said that the match reminded her of the cruiserweight action in WCW back in the day. I assume she was referencing when the like of Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Ultimo Dragon, Juventud Guerrera and others would kick off Nitro with breathtaking matches, not when Oklahoma and Madusa feuded over the cruiserweight title.

If Bourne can develop a persona that is even half as entertaining as his ring work, he has star potential. He has a ways to go in that regard, as he has been less than impressive when given a few brief opportunities to speak in WWE. It wouldn’t be the first time, however, that a guy eventually became as proficient on the stick as he was at executing fantastic high-risk maneuvers. I remember seeing a young guy about 12 years ago who had a good look and could really go in the ring, but his lack of promo skills were holding him back.

That young guy was named Chris Jericho.

Other thoughts on last night’s show:

Speaking of Jericho, he opened the program with a good promo coming off his surprising world heavyweight title win at the Unforgiven pay-per-view on Sunday. The main event last night, which pitted Jericho and JBL against Batista in a handicap match, wasn’t much of a match, but it served a purpose as far as portraying Jericho as a weasel. It should be interesting to see what happens when he defends the title against former champion CM Punk in a steel cage next week on Raw. …

Randy Orton also turned in some good mic work, as his story line with Ted DiBiase Jr., Cody Rhodes and Manu continued to develop. If this stable of young heels with good bloodlines is ever given a name, my suggestion would be to call them The Greatest Generation. Hey, Generation Next has already been used…

With John Cena, Shawn Michaels and Punk not on the show, Raw was definitely lacking in star power on the babyface side. …

Kane has vowed to explain his actions regarding Mysterio next week. Hopefully, it’s not too contrived. Kane said last night that it had something to do with his old red and black mask. I’m starting to think that the plan all along was for Kane’s mask to have been in the bag he was carrying around, but once fans figured it out, WWE decided to swerve everyone. I’m guessing the creative team’s thought process was: “Let’s just put Mysterio’s mask in the bag and we’ll figure out a story line later.” …

Mike Adamle is not embarrassing himself as general manager, but I won’t go so far as to say that he is doing a good job. It looks as if he is supposed to be a tweener at this point rather than a full-fledged heel. I think it would be more entertaining if Adamle’s character was portrayed as a total buffoon. …

Charlie Haas was very funny doing his JBL impersonation. I’m starting to look forward to Haas’ segments every week. Did I really just write that?

Posted by Kevin Eck at 11:57 AM | | Comments (26)
        

Comments

Evan Bourne looked great. I remember reading that he had to do the Shooting Star Press a number of times in front of the bosses to get their approval to use it in the ring. It looks great when he does it.

WWE's finally getting the comedy right on their main show. Santino Marella's "Honk-a-Meter" bit made me chuckle...and I loved the dig on The Mountie.

But Charlie Haas' "CHL" may have been the best spot of the night. After his "Charlito" and Cena impressions, "CHL" was fantastic. I laughed out loud from the moment he started yelling for someone to let him out of the trunk and then hearing him plug and then goof up JBL's energy drink. Hearing the crowd chant "CHL" was cool, too.

That shooting star press Bourne did was amazing. Too bad the WWE lost interest in creating a viable tag divison, or Mysterio/ Bourne could be fun to watch. As far as the Kane/Mysterio angle, is there any doubt it will be bad? If there's one guy who's consistently saddled with lame storylines, it's Kane.
Now i figured HBK was kept off the show due to his legit injury, but was Punk kept off the show to sell the Orton kick, or does he have a legit injury as well that they wanted to give one more week to heal before the cage match. I would love to see HBK back next helping to screw Jericho out of the title against Punk, but i doubt they will take the belt off Jericho that fast, as it benefits them to have a heel champ for now with the excess of face contenders.
And I loved Haas' "CHL" character, especially the "mamajama, blah,blah, blah" stuff. Priceless!

I concur that the bourne and mysterio tore it up. It would be really cool to see that duo team up some more...maybe see Bourne get 'mentored' by mysterio...

Evan Bourne definitely left a great impression. Jerry Lawler almost peed his pants watching that shooting star press!

CHL was hilarious ... sneaking into the arena in JBL's trunk, the cowboy hat, mamajuana energy, the goofy smile ... it's going to be great to see where they go with that

I think last night really showed where CM Punk is in Vince McMahon's eyes. I kept thinking it would have been great during the post-main event beatdown for Punk to make the save for Batista. Then, Batista could acknolwedge Punk in the ring, raising Punk's value in the eyes of the fans. Instead, Batista took three people out by himself.

I also thought it was hilarious when Michael Cole said to the King, "You've been in the ring with Rhodes and Dibiase, explain what that's like," and King laughed and said, "You've been in the ring with them too!"

The CHL segment was great. I thought they would do something different in the main event, and just have JBL cost Batista the match and start a program between the two of them for right now.

its funny to me that Adamle has time for his general manager responsiblities considering he works here in Chicago as a sports reporter for NBC 5. He is pretty good...

Bourne definitely needs an identity. Okay...that was bad, I'll admit. However, Evan Bourne definitely has greatly needed potential for the flagship.

Eck,

Can you clear this up? One of the posters a week or so ago said ECW was going to stay with Smackdown. Last night, we are told of a ECW/Raw talent exchange. Have you heard which way the WWE is going with this?

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: They have gone back and forth on it several times.

"the Greatest Generation" is a great idea for that faction...I'm just feafrul of a lawsuit from Tom Brokaw...or as Tom would put it, "a glawsuit".

Jericho has been so fantastic. He has actually saved us.

Is Evan related to 'Maniac' Matt Bourne who was I believe the first Doink the Clown?

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: No.

I don't doubt what you wrote about the Kane storyline is true. I don't think it was just the fact that the fans had it figured out though, he just wasn't getting the heel reactions they wanted. I remember going to the Raw at Verizon Center back in July where he teamed with JBL/DiBiase/Rhodes and still got cheered. Putting the mask back on in that situation would have gotten him even more cheers, I think.

It was a good swerve, I'm not really interested in what happens from here on though. I just don't find Mysterio that entertaining anymore and Kane is what he is.

On another note, Manu's outfit sucks. He's got a wicked cool finisher and I like his potential,but he looks just like Umaga, minus the tattoos. Need to give him a little something more, I think. But hey, they send Rhodes and DiBiase out there in plain stuff, so not looking for it to happen...

I am entertained by Santino and Jericho week in and week out though. They are keeping Raw watchable right now for me. I just wish I knew what Santino has on Vince and the writers to keep putting him with the Divas. Phoenix is no Maria, but she works for me, lucky guy.

"I think it would be more entertaining if Adamle’s character was portrayed as a total buffoon.

Gee, a buffoon as general manager...... now there's something we haven't seen before......

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: I'm drawing a blank. What other buffoons have been GMs?

Kev , you mention your wife is not a wrestling fan , but she must be a saint .

Although I wish Punk could keep the strap until he grows into it...Jericho really did save the WWE.

Please no JBL and Batista program, that'll be like taking castor oil. I don't think anyone noticed how much chemisty Punk and Batista had in the ring. I think we really missed a good title program with those two.

Please no Mysterio and Kane program!!!

Please WWE keep Morrison off of his back. Enough with his losing matches already!

Great storyline with Santino and the weekly countdown of the Honk-O-Meter. Think Hass will ever do a Santino immitation, hmmmmmmm???

Why was the crowd so completely dead for last night's show?

I think Jericho-Punk in the cage should be saved for a PPV.

I was re-watching some clips of RAW on YouTube and completely missed the line of the night earlier:

When Layla came down to ringside and sat down next to the King & Cole, Cole said, "It looks like Jamie has a little extra spring in his step with Layla out here."

King then said, "I'm about to get a spring in my seat!"

The Raw after a PPV used to be one of the most exciting shows, but lately they have been flat out boring, as Raw was terrible except for the Bourne/Rey Vs Miz and Morrison match and Santino.

Kev, do you think the WWE is going to change the look of the World Championship belt? I certainly like the look of the new ECW belt so I figured that the next logical step is for them to make the World Championship belt their own with a redesign (not favoring it, just throwing it out there).

Anyone else notice the ugly Rose tattoo that Randy has?

The tag match was one of the best tv matches of the year, Its good for Bourne to be with Mysterio to learn from him, but he could also a few things from M and M's hilarious mic work and facial expressions. I hope they do something with those two.

Jericho really has saved us, although i do hope we get to see the ayatollah of rock and rolla persona back one day, even if it is as a one off treat, like when we occasionally get to see HHH in full on DX comedy mode.

And is it just me, but has JBL been very quietly glueing Raw together for the past couple of months? he's prominent every week and always does a good job.

Mike Adamle sucks. WWE needs to fire him so I can start watching Raw again. I tuned in Monday night with Jericho cutting a fantastic promo, then Adamle comes out and ruins the whole vibe. I changed the channel and didn't look back.

WWE should bring back Eric Bischoff. He has to be one of the greatest heels of all time, because for years I legitimately hated the guy. The Bisch would be SO much better than Adamle, words can't even describe it.

The guy has failed at three separate roles; interviewer, announcer, and GM. Shouldn't it be three strikes and you're out? If next Monday on Raw Adamle was gone with no explanation, nobody would care.

I also really think Jim Ross should be back on Raw, and Cole should go back to Smackdown. The switch never seemed to benefit anyone.

Bourne and Mysterio should definitely be kept together. It would give Rhodes/DiBiase some legit competition.

Ok, im gonna say it....The Miz is getting better. A LOT BETTER. he was in the right spot at the right time to take the shot from Morrison. he didnt have to stand there and wait to get popped. he was there perfect timing no stalling. he is pretty darn good in ring to. and his persona is SO irritating that it means he is DOING his JOB!!!!
Hello, My name is Matt. and i am.....a Miz Mark.

Part of me wants the general manager role to be eliminated completely. Wrestling experienced a golden age without the role, but then again, on a program that consisted of

A) squash matches in which the jobber didn't even score some token Funaki offence

B) interviews

C) pre-recorded promos about upcoming house shows...

a gm role was totally unnecessary. However, those Saturday mornings are gone, and they aren't coming back, so if we are stuck with a gm of some kind, I don't mind Adamle in the role. Call me crazy, but I think that he has some sort of charisma.

The WWE needs some sort of quality control council made up of someone besides Vince McMahon, Vince McMahon and Vince McMahon. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, Manu. One of these things is not like the other....

everyone stop being so blind, matt sydal has been great for years, all he did on monday night was 3 or 4 spots. so in that sense, i guess you're right about resembling the inconsequential wcw cruiserweight action.

Coachman was a bit of a buffoon, wouldn't you say?


Vince's character often acts like an over zealous buffoon.

Wasn't Armando Estrada somewhat buffoonish on ECW?


Santino plays the ultimate buffoon in a quite entertaining manner.


I guess qualifying as a "buffoon" is open to interpretation, but it just seems like WWE always has a good supply of buffoon characters. Another doesn't sound very interesting?

I think Adamlee's current character is a big of an enigma at this point given that he sounded like a buffoon as an announcer yet seemingly managed to get a promotion...maybe he's actually smarter than we were lead to believe. Finding out for sure is a lot more interesting, at least for now.

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: Buffoon to me means incompetent, even stupid. Coachman, Vince etc. were underhanded, but I actually thought they were cunning. As you said, it's open to interpretation.

Kevin, until youve actually gotten up to date on your wrestling, your opinion is very clouded. WWE is only beginning to behave themselves again, and as far as the last 6+ years go, groups like Ring of Honor have been writing the real wrestling history. Things have come full circle, wwe still kicking, wcw has transformed into tna, and ecw has fallen and many of the same concepts and behind the scenes workers have been reborn into ROH. I dont post anywhere it`s usually pointless, but it`s very worth it to spread the word on what todays real wrestling scene is, not what you know from tv or local indies.

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: Sure, wrestling junkies know about Ring of Honor. I've been to ROH shows, so I am fully aware of them as well. But if you think they are "writing the real wrestling history" it is your opinion that is clouded.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.
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