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Stylin¿ and profilin¿ on Raw

Watching Ric Flair being Ric Flair is always fun, and it was obvious that he also was having fun Monday night on Raw.

"The Nature Boy" was featured in multiple segments on the show, including an entertaining verbal confrontation with Randy Orton to start things off. He also did a run-in during a star-studded main event pitting Batista and John Cena against Orton, Ted DiBiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes.

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In a backstage segment, Flair told Batista that he was going to call out Orton on next week's show and beat him up in a street fight. I suppose having Flair compete in street clothes in a "fight" is a way to have him physically involved without technically violating the retirement stipulation. It's a fine line and WWE seems to be stepping just short of crossing it.

Like I said, it's great to see Flair taking part in the show. I'd like nothing more than for him to return to WWE in a full-time role as a general manager, advisor/manager or even a color commentator. Anything but a wrestler – not even if it was a "one night only" appearance. What – if anything – would be gained in the short term would not be worth what would be lost in the big picture.

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Other thoughts on Monday's show:

Cena coming out to join in on the show-opening brawl involving Legacy, Batista and Flair got a nice pop because no one expected to see him as part of that story line. The crowd was really hot for the handicap tag match main event, as well. Cena and Batista certainly have their detractors, but when the two of them are in the ring together either as friends or foes, there is electricity in the air. …

Santino Marella might be even more entertaining as a babyface than he was as a heel. Seeing as how Marella almost always gets squashed in his matches, I thought it was hilarious how he seemed so shocked that his offensive moves were effective during his match with Chavo Guerrero. In an upset of epic proportions, Santino won a match on the same night that twin sister Santina lost a match. …

Almost as big of a shocker was Bruno Sammartino's name being mentioned on Raw. …

Two weeks ago on Raw, I thought The Miz delivered a promo that elicited go-away heat rather than legit heel heat. I have to say, however, that his mic work Sunday at the Judgment Day pay-per-view and Monday on Raw was really good. I especially liked his parody of Cena's rap character. …

One nitpick with Miz's promo: When the crowd chanted "You suck!" at him, Miz said, "Haven't heard that one before." Yeah, Miz, but I have heard that one before, because you just said it the previous night at Judgment Day. …

The backstage skit with Miz and Maryse was strange. Perhaps this was a foreshadowing of them being aligned in the story line. I don't know if it's still the case, but apparently the two of them were dating at one time. I know, kind of ruins it for us Maryse fans, doesn't it? …

Speaking of Maryse, when she speaks French I suddenly feel like I'm Gomez Addams and she's Morticia. Some of you old-timers will get that pop culture reference. …

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Kelly Kelly winning the battle royal to earn a shot at Maryse's divas title was a surprise. I thought for sure Mickie James would win, but Maryse costing James the match furthers the rivalry between them leading up to their inevitable showdown for the title. …

Was anyone surprised that WWE announcers took a few verbal jabs at Denver Nuggets and Pepsi Center owner Stan Kroenke? I wonder who was in their ear feeding them those lines. …

I also wonder what was going through Dusty Rhodes' mind as he was watching the show. I'm guessing "The American Dream" swelled with pride as he saw his youngest son wrestling in the main event with three of the biggest stars in the business. When his oldest son came out with a painted gold face and a clingy gold bodysuit and began hugging a leprechaun, well, probably not so much. By the way, do you think Cody learned how to do that moonsault from Big Dust?


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