LOS ANGELES — One could probably get very used to life out here in California, particularly if your WWF Monday Night RAW is delivered at 6 pm Pacific Time, rather than the 9 pm Eastern Time that this reporter is used to.

I’ll confess that I rarely stay up until 11 pm ET to watch the finale of RAW, choosing instead to fast-forward through the show in the morning.

Being at RAW live means that you miss the little things that make life worth living — like being able to flip channels while the McMahons are babbling on interminably.

Monday night’s RAW at the Staples Centre in downtown Los Angeles was a pretty typical show for the WWF these days. It centred around the McMahon family, while the second-tier performers stole the show.

In this case it was The Big Show’s coming out party, if you will. He’s a comedian now, and has shown us his heart, and his dancing skills. It’s certainly the most over he’s been to date in his entire career, and this is only night number one. In case you couldn’t pick it out on the TV show, the crowd was chanting ‘Go Big Show, Go Big Show.’

Chyna’s turn on Chris Jericho to allow her new Latin Love Eddie Guerrero capture the European title was well done, if hardly a surprise. Doing it in L.A., with its huge Latino population made it the right place to run the angle.

Tazz and Chris Benoit put on a short, tough match that leaves fans wanting to see these two former world champs duke it out more often, with less of the unnecessary outside interference from the likes of Perry Saturn. Judging by the number of Tazz shirts in the crowd, his day is indeed coming.

Crash Holly got one of the biggest pops of the night, at least triple what his ‘cousin’ Hardcore Holly got. Also over were The Rock, Too Cool, Rikishi Phatu, the Hardy Boys and Val Venis. The rest of the performers got lukewarm receptions at best. Perhaps that was because they kept some of the best guys off the microphone, like no ‘RAW is Jericho’ spiel or cutting off Venis’s promo (albeit for another funny Kurt Angle line about kids having to stay home from school they were so distraught over his Euro-continental title losses Sunday at WrestleMania.

In the dark matches before RAW began, D’Lo Brown dispersed of Scott Vick (if I caught the name correctly), and the Headbangers beats the recent ECWers Bo & Jack, The Dupps.

After the show went off the air, The Rock continued to give it to Shane McMahon and then teased leaving the ring before giving his ‘Finally The Rock…’ speech.

Other notes:

I was impressed by the teamwork of Test and Prince Albert as T&A, though still a bit perplexed as to what Trish Stratus is doing with them. … I saw my first referee mark tonight. He was dressed in a WWF ref shirt, and would yell and scream to try and get the attention of whatever referee was in the ring. Seriously. … My advice to Too Cool — enjoy it while it lasts. And it can’t last. … Neighbouring fans in my seats when the Dupps were introduced: “What are they called? The Dimps? The Gumps?” The Dupps played the heels. … Can you believe $5.75 for a draft Budweiser. It’s American beer and in American funds! … Howard Finkel and Lillian Garcia plugged the WWF Aggression CD and the new Rock Nation t-shirts with the Rockstitution on the back. … Speaking of Garcia, she’s got a great voice, but can she do the Canadian national anthem. Are you listening WWF Canada? If they do it at a RAW taping in L.A., then I want to hear that our anthem was played in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver next month. … Security destroyed one beach ball before those crazy kids got out of control ….

Sign highlights:

  • ‘Edge, I’m pregnant’
  • ‘Finally Guerrero has brought the mullet back to the WWF.’ (See mulletsgalore.com for a laugh — obviously this sign-writer had.)
  • There were also a few ‘Latino Heat’ signs.
  • ‘McMahon’s head belongs in Rikishi’s ass’
  • A terrific Wheaties box done up as ‘Rockies’ — are you listening Wheaties promotions people? Perhaps it’s time for you to layeth the smacketh down on the cereal aisle!