For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 12/26/11
Welcome back to the longest running action-adventure, passive-aggressive, autobooked like all of Sports Entertainment column on the world wide web, For Your Consideration. I’m your holiday fatigued host Andrew Wheeler, and I sincerely hope that you had a happy whatever. Tonight’s RAW is coming off the heels of a very low rated edition last week, which means that there’s bound to be some scrambling going on up at Titan Towers. Let’s get to it, shall we?
The RAW Judicial Review for 12/26/11
“If ya smell…”
We open on the crowd in Chicago and without further ado here’s Punk’s music followed by…Johnny Super Ace. Ace is wearing Punk’s t-shirt over his suit, which is a surprisingly great touch, all things considered. Ace does a half-assed version of Punk’s entrance before launching into a tirade about how he’s unpredictable. You know, like a drunk uncle at a party. Everyone loves that, right? Anyway, Ace puts himself over as the man behind the current Golden Age of the WWE, which may or may not be that great of an idea based on the current numbers. Regardless, he’s unpredictable, and this, predictably brings out…
CM Punk. Punk gets a monster ovation from his hometown crowd, and if this doesn’t make him look like a ginormous star, nothing will. Punk says that Ace is the antithesis of unpredictable before teetering on the John Cena wacky joke line with a bit about space aliens. Ace reigns him back in and says that CM Punk will have the night off. Apparently, to paraphrase Tony Schiavone, that was a “swerve”. Punk will wrestle not one, not two but THREE opponents in a Gauntlet match. Sadly it wasn’t an Infiniti Gauntlet match, as I think the fans would have loved to see CM Punk reenact an early 90’s Marvel crossover event. Whomever beats Punk in this series will get a WWE Title shot.
Being the forward thinker that he is, Punk asks what happens when he wins. Ace said he never considered that, so Punk makes a suggestion of his own; should CM Punk beat three WWE Superstars (though based on how they book, we’ll assume 2 Superstars and Kurt SwAngle), he gets to face Johnny Ace live on RAW. The fans start a “you can’t wrestle” chant, to which Punk assumes is attributed to them watching All Japan tapes (though Glazer assures me that Ace wasn’t all that terrible in All Japan).
This bleeds into one of those creepy videos for what will ultimately be either Chris Jericho or someone else. Thankfully, we find out next week because these things are getting old and I’m tired of being that scared of a little girl.
Booker T and Cody Rhodes are heading straight for a…
Booker T v. Cody Rhodes
Interestingly, as Booker is coming out, we’re reminded that this is the last RAW of 2011 and not, in fact, the Best of Nitro. You also have to love how they’re giving away a “rare” Booker T free television match without any advertising whatsoever. Maybe the reason the ratings are soft is that the fans have no idea what they need to tune in for. Anyway, the gist of it here is that Cody is still looking to use Booker as a stepping stone and he didn’t take kindly to Booker serenading him on Smackdown (which subsequently led him to job to Zack Ryder which subsequently led him to probably trend worldwide…or something).
Booker and Cody have pretty good chemistry, though it’s obvious that Booker is definitely not in his absolute prime. On the other hand, the guy looks damn good for his age. Booker and Cody go back and forth but Booker winds up crashing straight into a….
And we’re back in what I can’t believe is a two segment match. Cody hits the Beautiful Disaster, because all wrestling moves must be named after Kelly Clarkson. Oh shut up, you knew that was a song by her. In the end, Booker T hits the scissor kick for the quasi-upset pin. So the fact that it would have made sense to have Booker beat Cody to SET UP the Intercontinental Title match has eluded the hearts and minds of WWE Creative. As this was nontitle, these two MUST wrestle again. And again. And again.
Zack Ryder is in the back and he puts over John Cena. Cena says it was all Ryder and that he was just there for the ride. They break up this lovefest to advance the plot, as tonight Cena will call out Kane. You know, deep down my hope is that they are going to turn John Cena based on all of the “haters”. And the best way for him to do that is for him to destroy Zack Ryder; an annoying guy who spouts catchphrases and shills merchandise yet doesn’t have to deal with the Cena-esque backlash. I know they won’t do that, but if this was something they were building to, then bravo.
Lawler announces that CM Punk will face Kurt SwAngle, Dolph Ziggler and Mark Hey-Hey-Henry. Well considering Henry’s injured, I doubt he’s making it past Dolph. And considering I picked Ziggler/Punk for the Royal Rumble, I believe I deserve a nice pat on the back.
Kelly Kelly and Big Show Big Show are talking about one of her inane beauty websites or something. Anonymous referee Scott Armstrong appears to tell Big Show that Timmy has fallen down the well and that Big Show needs to go see the RAW GM. Kelly teases that Big Show is in trouble with all the believability of a WWE Films star.
Johnny Super Ace and David Otunga are in the back and Ace is on the phone with Brodus Clay. Apparently he’s debuting next week. Uh huh. Big Show appears out of nowhere in his varsity jacket that makes him look like the world’s oldest high schooler. Ace didn’t take kindly to Big Show knocking out Otunga, and now Otunga is going to sue. Seems justifiable as there was a harmful or offensive contact to the person of another. Big Show says that he could beat Otunga with one arm tied behind his back, and connect-the-dots booking rears its head as that’s exactly what they book. Huzzah.
Ziggler and SwAngle are arguing over who is going to blow it in the Gauntlet match, despite Vickie shrieking for them to just all get along. Mark Hey-Hey-Henry lumbers by. Yeah, that necessitated television time.
Mixed Tag Match: Zack Ryder & Eve Eve v. Tyson Kidd w/ Hair & Natalya
Apparently this match is happening because Zack Ryder wants to fuck Eve. Not the worst reason to have a match, I guess. This is about what you’d expect, with Zack hitting the Ruff Ryder on Kidd for the innocuous pin. After the match, he gives Eve his US Title to hold. Guess we finally found something less prestigious than a Grammy.
We’re back and here comes John Cena. The fans do not seem to care for him, despite his ability to take his shirt off so quickly with one hand. What? That’s damn impressive. Cena blows Chicago for a little while, talking about all of the history he’s had in the city. He then points out that they could challenge New York as the home of the WWE, which is about the biggest load of bullshit one can legally sling in Illinois. He then calls out Kane, and, awesome, here comes The Miz. Miz says that he wants to beat John Cena to end his 2011 and prove Wrestlemania wasn’t a fluke, which, again, is a fine reason to have a match. Pretty much anything not involving coffee or shampoo is gonna be okay in my book.
Unadvertised Wrestlemania Rematch: John Cena v. The Miz
There’s a lot of stalling followed by even more stalling. Did Larry Zbysko book this thing? Miz goes to the outside to cut a promo and apparently gets counted out.
Miz talks about how he had a huge 2011, which brings out Resurrection-Truth. Truth kills Miz for a while and the crowd doesn’t quite know how to react. Truth goes on a rant about how once Christmas is over there are no gifts to open, so he’s going to drag out beating up Miz to make it Christmas every day. Somehow I doubt that was the spirit of the holiday.
Big Show v. David Otunga
Big Show has one arm tied behind his back but he’s still able to lob Otunga out of the ring. Mark Henry makes a walk-in, and as soon as he comes in the ring, the ref rings the bell. That is one proactive, trigger-happy referee. Henry lays out Big Show, but Daniel Bryan runs in for the save. How does he save Big Show? By distracting Mark with the shiny World Title. Maybe Henry thinks it’s filled with chocolate or something. Oh, and for no real reason Otunga takes a chokeslam.
Alberto Del Rio comes out in a gold wheelchair being pushed by Ricardo Rodriguez in a neckbrace. Del Rio talks about how he completely tore his groin, but that he will return. It’s his…what’s that word that means something is preordained to happen? Eh, it’ll come to me. The Bella Twins come out, which should really help a man with a pulled groin. They promise to throw him a party and then bicker about who will, in fact, throw the party. In the end, Del Rio will win the WWE Title in 2012 and be aggressive. Be, be aggressive.
Gauntlet Match #1: CM Punk v. Kurt SwAngle
SwAngle gets a decent amount of offense to start, though still no mention of the fact that he’s a former World Champion. SwAngle goes for the Vader Bomb but gets caught for a GTS, which he breaks out of and then gets his head kicked off by Punk for the win.
Gauntlet Match #2: CM Punk v. Dolph Ziggler
SwAngle jumps Punk before the match can even begin, but Punk demands they ring the bell and start the contest, so we get a…
We’re back and its two guys at their prime enjoying their few minutes of television time together. They go back and forth until Vickie interferes, which promptly brings out Johnny Super Ace. He starts yelling about how the ref needs to do his job, which distracts the ref from seeing that Punk had kicked Ziggler’s skull in and had him pinned. Punk confronts Ace but gets his from behind with the ZigZag and that’s all she wrote. Who am I kidding? There aren’t any women on Creative. And no, Stephanie does not count.
That’s gotta be…that’s gotta be Kane. He comes out to cut a rambling promo about war and death and stuff. Cena interrupts, and if him saving us from a Kane promo doesn’t get the fans behind him, nothing will. Cena starts to come down to the ring but a giant wall of flames blocks him. Kane, like a good James Bond villain, explains his actions. He doesn’t like John Cena’s message of rising about hate, as humans should instead embrace their hatred and use it to their advantage. When the hell did this turn into Star Wars? Kane talks about how Cena needs to use the fans’ hatred to his advantage, making him Cena’s life coach or something. In the end, Kane says that the last thing John Cena will hear in 2011 will be the fans chanting “Cena sucks”. Apparently right after this promo John will be taken into a soundproof booth until January 1st.
I like how they’re continuing to try and push Cena into the heel turn, but in the end the risk is pretty high in turning him, and Heel Cena isn’t needed to sell Wrestlemania. Regardless, hope everyone has a happy and healthy new year and I’ll be right back here on January 2nd.
This has been for your consideration.