For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 1/23/12
Welcome back to the longest running action-adventure, passive-aggressive, short-on-time-but-not-on-quality column on the world wide web, For Your Consideration. I’m your host Andrew Wheeler, and due to circumstances beyond my control, this will be an abbreviated column. My apologies in advance for you completests out there.
The RAW Judicial Review for 1/23/12
CM Punk comes out so that Vince can continue to mount his case that Punk is ratings death, as opposed to Kane, who in McMahon’s mind is a ratings bonanza. Punk mocks Johnny Ace and points out that while Ziggler has beaten him three times, they, like Evan Bourne’s Wellness sample, have been tainted. He demands that Ace come out to the ring and be berated to his face like a modern day Lana Del Ray.
Instead of getting one John, he gets another, as Cena pops out and looks all serious. Acting! Cena brushes off Punk’s cheapie insults and demands that Ace give Zack Ryder a rematch. This reminded me of the scene in “The Simpsons” where Krusty bursts into the recording studio to do lines for his doll and then leaves before they have a chance to record. If this didn’t prove that Cena is on autopilot then I don’t know what will.
Ace comes out and reminds us of his title and then books Ryder versus Kane in a falls count anywhere match, and if Cena interferes, Ryder never gets a US Title shot. So what that means is he automatically gets elevated to the main event? Ace then books Cena and Punk versus SwAngle and Ziggler…right now.
John Cena & CM Punk v. Dolph Ziggler & Kurt SwAngle w/ Vickie
The match was awkwardly paced in a lot of ways, as they kept teasing the hot tag to Punk but the announcers were almost blatantly ignoring everything going on in the ring. Speaking of which, Johnny sits ringside and spends the whole match texting and tweeting, which sends the message that if he doesn’t care, why should we? In the end, Punk shoves the ref so he can go to the top rope, but this alerts Ace, who immediately runs onto the apron to berate him. Punk grabs his tie (not smart, just ask Daniel Bryan) and gets rolled up from behind by Ziggler, who grabs the trunks.
After the match Punk loses his marbles and challenges Ace to a fight, promising to make him famous. Uh oh, somewhere The Undertaker’s ears just perked up. His very, very old ears.
Highlight Reel returns and Jericho’s latest shtick is that he keeps saying shush until the crowd is quiet. He then goes to the back and gets a t-shirt gun, because fans will pop for a lot of things but they will go apeshit for a free shirt. Before he can fire the shirt, he decides to take the camera and pan to the audience. Some folks get it and are booing while others (including a fantastic Michael Cole) are waiving their hands back and forth. Jericho then gives the camera back to the cameraman and then airs a highlight package of his greatest hits. He then finally speaks and promises that this Sunday will be the end of the world as we know it. Alrighty then.
Ryder and Eve are in the back and he tries to be brave despite wearing tape around his ribs. Mick Foley pops up for no real reason to let Zack know that Kane is dangerous, in case Ryder didn’t realize this fact the moment he got chokeslammed off a loading dock. Mick then evaporates into thin air, which makes me wonder why they bothered to fly him all the way out to TV for one small segment. Cena pops up and tries to convince Zack not to do it, but Ryder reassures him and says he doesn’t need his help. Can’t say I blame him, Cena heat isn’t gonna do him any favors.
Falls Count Anywhere: Zack Ryder v. Kane
Anyone wanna explain to me why it took less time for SwAngle to finish off Ryder than it took Kane? Regardless, Zack got too much offense in as he and Kane brawled all over the arena floor. In the end, Zack gets chokeslammed through the stage, but due to poor camera placement it doesn’t look all that devastating. Eve Eve freaks out so Kane decides he’s going to try and murderball her, but Cena pops up to tease the save…and the fans boo him. They boo Cena for trying to save Eve. Phoenix, ladies and gentlemen. Ryder gets a full stretcher job and the super cereal announcer voice. Later they announce he suffered a BROKEN BACK. The level to which this is stupid is astounding.
Sheamus v. Jinder Mahal
So Jinder was a big threat for like a week and now he’s back to being a jobber. I was half-expecting him to get fed to Brodus Clay. Instead, he gets fed to Sheamus, who finishes him off with the Brutha Kick. The highlight of this whole thing was Wade Barrett on commentary, who spent the whole time calling Sheamus an idiot. Fantastic stuff. After the match they tease physicality but it goes nowhere. You know what, I’ll take a clean Sheamus win over nonsense any day of the week.
Miz is in the back trying to be threatening despite that haircut when Resurrection-Truth pops up to do wacky comedy. These guys are supposed to hate each other and be out for blood, so why are they both standing around playing parts in a lame bit? Ace pops up to say that the loser of their match is #1 in the Royal Rumble.
Heath Slater v. Brodus Clay w/ Funkasauruses
William Regal is on commentary and him calling Brodus a septic tank was awesome. This match? Decidedly less. I don’t mind Clay and find his gimmick fun, but this is now the fourth or fifth time we’ve seen the exact same match. Poor Slater.
In the back Otunga has received a fax (who the hell still sends faxes) and tells Ace he should read it before their match.
CM Punk v. Johnny Ace
Ace comes out to say that he has received a fax (even the anonymous RAW GM had e-mail) and based on him telling everyone he was going to screw Punk, he is now going to have his job performance reviewed…by Triple H. He then says the match is off, but says Punk can face Otunga.
Punk beats the hell out of Otunga for wearing a sweater-vest. Ace is now all alone and after all the build-up, he finally gets hit with the GTS. On free television. Right before a major PPV. Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?
The audience doesn’t even get a chance to let what should be a monumental moment soak in because Dolph Ziggler drops Punk in what feels like a total afterthought. And herein lies the problem with the Ace/Punk feud; when it was Austin/McMahon, Vince had an army of guys that eventually led to The Rock getting all of the McMahon heat. Ace doesn’t have that guy. Dolph has been beaten and beaten to the point where he’s barely a credible contender and there’s no one else who can really step up in that role. Sure they could do Jericho, but Chris is hardly a follower. My guess is they needed to do the physicality before Hunter removes Ace, but it takes away all of the intrigue surrounding the Royal Rumble match. My head, it doth hurt.
This has been for your consideration.