For Your Considerationâ€¦Who Needs the American Dragon when weâ€™ve got the American Dream?
Itâ€™s Monday night and Iâ€™m back with another FYC Raw recap thing. It really doesnâ€™t seem to have an official name, since it isnâ€™t really a full-on recap and it isnâ€™t a column, but enough people seem to be enjoying it so Iâ€™ll stick with it as long as I can. I didnâ€™t have time this week to cover all the shows (though I watched them in glorious DVR fashion), so Iâ€™m all caught up. Speaking of catching up, if you want to keep up to date on the happenings of â€œFor Your Considerationâ€, you can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/awheeler316.
Quick thoughts before I begin this weekâ€™s show:
First, the departure of Jeff Hardy. Iâ€™ve been pissed about this whole situation for quite a while now, which is funny considering I really canâ€™t stand Jeff Hardy as a main event guy. My beef with Hardy has always been that he gives half-assed promos (though he has gotten better) and his erratic match quality, not to mention his reckless personal choices and selfish behavior. Jeff has, over the course of his career, been set up for that major push only to blow it by doing something stupid. This current push is of course being aborted because he wants out to go live his life. Iâ€™m fine with someone wanting to go do that, and Iâ€™ve read enough horror stories to know that someone burning out can have horrendous consequences, but Jeffâ€™s timing couldnâ€™t be worse. How many guys on the roster would have killed for the slot he was handed? Think about guys like Shelton Benjamin or John Morrison, who have consistently paid their dues only to have start-and-stop mini-pushes.
This was the bitching Iâ€™ve been writing about for months.
Iâ€™m thrilled that Jeff Hardy is gone. In fact, his leaving the company could not have been any better. Iâ€™ll go one step further. Iâ€™ll applaud Jeff for the way he left. In the past few months, Jeff Hardy did the near impossibleâ€¦he got CM Punk over with the mainstream fans. Punk is now a legitimate killer heel, and probably the #1 guy on Smackdown, all thanks to his program with Jeff. Hardyâ€™s exit from the company was unselfish; he jobbed cleanly to Punk at SummerSlam and then again on Smackdown, and then he followed it up by allowing Punk to lay him out during his goodbye. Sure, it was what was in the script, but how many top guys out there would have pulled strings to get the ending re-written? I might not have been happy about the circumstances surrounding Jeffâ€™s leaving, but I have to give him his due for exiting the right way.
The other big story this week was the signing of Bryan Danielson. If there was ever an inevitable signing that people dreaded, it was this one. The â€˜Net has been ablaze with speculation as to how The American Dragon will fare in the WWE. Some believe that guys like Punk and Bourne have cleared the way for Danielson to shine. Others point to Paul London and Brian Kendrick as examples of what happens when a break-out ROH guy goes to the big leagues. This weekâ€™s â€œAlternate Realityâ€ laid out the exact type of scenario I would like to see Danielson in; working ECW, aligning with William Regal, subtly getting the fans to follow him and then finally breaking out as a face. ECW seems like a great incubator, and having a show that protects talent can only help Bryan.
Whether Danielson succeeds or fails will depend solely on what Vince needs. RAW is desperate for a new main event superstar, but who out there honestly believes that McMahon is going to push a technical worker who isnâ€™t 6â€™7 as the face of the flagship entertainment program? Bryan could wind up on Smackdown, though with the return of the Undertaker, it seems more likely that Danielson would fit better in the midcard. Just as I typed that, I heard a million laptops fly open and a million enraged wrestling fans began bitching that Danielson is not a midcard talent. Well, for the time being, he probably is.
Bryan Danielson is not a household name to mainstream wrestling fans. Iâ€™m not talking about anyone who would read this site or even watch ROH, but rather those folks that have a WWEUniverse page and make signs for events that say â€œOrton Canâ€™t Play the Gameâ€. Danielson will need some time to establish himself, and the Smackdown midcard is a pretty safe environment. Having guys like Ziggler and Morrison and Finlay and the Harts to work with can only help him shine even brighter. If Bryan Danielson is going to avoid the pitfalls of a London or a Kendrick and become a Punk, he needs to slowly work his way into the minds and hearts of the mainstream audience.
If the WWE can convince fans that heâ€™s a mini-Kurt Angle, heâ€™ll be golden. Kurt was entertaining, yes, but he was also perceived as deadly. Angleâ€™s ankle lock seemed like a legitimate submission hold, and was one of the few that really can get the crowd to pop. Hell, these people pop for the STFU. If Danielson is allowed to do some flashy kicks and hit some high impact moves and ultimately sell the crowd on Cattle Mutilation, then he has a chance to climb the ranks.
The best thing working in his favor is that Shawn Michaels seems to be on a bit of a quest to â€œmakeâ€ new guys. Same goes for Jericho. Look, if the thought of Jericho/Danielson or Michaels/Danielson doesnâ€™t get your blood pumping, you might want to seek medical attention. Bryan has another big advantage in the fact that he was a product of William Regalâ€™s training as well. Regal has always been tight with Triple H, so maybe the American Dragon will be protected enough to get a fair shake.
Remember folks, this is the company that pushed Abraham Washington.
Itâ€™s not over, the world is watching.
Pyro. Ballyhoo. Detroit fans.
Tonight we get a Fatal 4 Way between Kingston, Miz, Carl Ito and Jack Swagger. Iâ€™m shocked that they arenâ€™t saving this for Breaking Point, as these four guys could probably put on an exciting match. And on a PPV built around submission holds for the main events, you would assume they would want exciting.
Speaking of exciting, weâ€™ve got Mark Hey-Hey-Henry versus Big Show. After watching that â€œRise and Fall of WCWâ€ DVD I was hoping for some Cruiserweight action, and it looks like I got my wish!
Lillian Gar-cya still hasnâ€™t left as she introduces The American Dream. I donâ€™t know why, but I love that fat Texan. I hope he sits in on commentary just to hear him talk about someone â€œgoinâ€™ to the pay windahâ€™.â€
Dusty does a little strutting as Cole and Lawler try to work up some excitement. Rhodes continues to slowly dance his way down the ring and we get a shot of Lawler and Michael â€œTieâ€ Cole. According to Cole, this is the first time Dusty has run RAW. I hope those months of booking WCW helped prepare him. Whatâ€™s the over-under on Bunkhouse Brawls tonight?
The Detroit crowd, clearly suffering from the recession and desperate to cheer for anything, start a â€œDustyâ€ chant. Rhodes references â€œNight Movesâ€ to show how hip and with-it he is. Dusty talks about how he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Detroit, and this leads to him blowing the crowd. Theyâ€™re blue collar. Heâ€™s blue collar. Theyâ€™re hard working. Heâ€™s hard working. They bottomed out in the 80â€™s and never recovered. Heâ€¦well, you get my point.
Dusty talks about being proud of his son Cody, and despite the fact that Cody is in Legacy, Rhodes is proud. Dusty says thereâ€™s nothing a father wonâ€™t do for his son, and somewhere in the back Goldust is sitting in a dressing room with the barrel of a gun in his mouth. Look Dusty, weâ€™re glad youâ€™re out there, but no one is nominating you for father of the year. Then again, you tried to push Dustin back in WCW, so props for that. You also helped push Erick Watts, so that cancels out everything good you ever did.
Rhodes prays that he can turn his son to the light and away from the dark. Dusty then hypes the â€œI Quitâ€ match between John Cena and Randy Orton. Wait, Dusty just said that Cena will faceâ€¦his son. Why? Was he going senile? Was this a Jeremy Piven moment? No, you see tonight weâ€™re going to see Cody Rhodes face Randy Orton for the WWE Title.
Dusty then makes John Cena the special referee, which brings out the slick man who hears voices. Wow, Randy just keeps shaving that dome closer and closer. A few more swipes with that Bic and heâ€™s gonna hit brain.
Randy is pacing slowly towards the ring, and I will be shocked if he references the cowbell match these guys had a few years back. Orton looks pissed and Dustyâ€¦well, Dusty looks like a wax statue left out in the sun. Seriously, I think his face is melting off his body.
Orton said that Rhodes is jealous because Randy is Codyâ€™s new father figure. Anyone else have George Michael in their head, or is that just me?
Dusty said that Cody is hungrier than Randy Orton, and then Orton makes my jaw drop as he actually mentions the time he kicked Dusty in the head. This then brings out Cody Rhodes, and Iâ€™m calling bullshit on the dissolution of Legacy tease. Cody and his duck-billed face points out that Dusty is in fact his father. Cody then talks about Dustyâ€™sâ€¦sighâ€¦legacy. Cody wants to become the youngest WWE champion, which makes me wonder why the hell Dusty just didnâ€™t make himself the special ref. When WWE Logic and WCW Logic meetâ€¦
Randy just NOW realizes that the fix is in, making him the dumbest man in Detroit, which is not an easy feat to accomplish.
The smart, powerful and sexy borderline plastic and Mystic Tanned WWE Divas are in the back getting instructions from the ref about a six-woman battle royal. Havenâ€™t we seen like 10 of these this year? Hey, at least they donâ€™t have tag belts.
Tomorrow nightâ€™s ECW, rather than air a show, is apparently going to just re-air Taker/Michaels from Wrestlemania. Huh?
Oh, apparently the battle royal is an â€œAmerican Dream Battle Royalâ€ and the winner faces the WWE Divaâ€™s Champion tonight. Cole, for the second time tonight, calls them smart, sexy and powerful. Itâ€™s almost like they hope if they say it enough that itâ€™ll come true. Like when they used to say that The Undertaker beating Sid was the greatest WWE Main Event ever.
Each and every freaking Diva gets their own entrance, which makes me think this show is running short and they need to kill time. Beth Phoenix kicks things off as she normally does by treating Kelly Kelly like her prison bitch. Then, she decides to dump Rosa Mendes over the top rope. Sheâ€™s then followed by Alecia Fox. Kelly gets dropped out of there and everyone is flying out of the ring pretty quickly.
Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix and Jillian Hall are left, but Beth gets eliminated. That leaves Gail Kim and Jillian Hall and the crowd could not care any less. Basically Jillian Hall keeps pounding on her as the crowd turns from bored to vicious. Thankfully, Gail Kim eliminates her but apparently Beth Phoenix was hanging on the apron and she eliminated Gail to win.
We get some replays of all of the nonsense, which thankfully is ended byâ€¦
A Chris Jericho entrance! Is he going to talk? Is he going to wrestle? No, heâ€™s going to pose as we go toâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and Jericho is still standing here. Replays about as we see Mayweather help MVP cheat to solidify random black tag team as the #1 contenders.
Speaking of which, MVP is out next, and Iâ€™m fairly stoked to see MVP/Jericho. Cole lets us know that Porter has no issues with speaking his mind, and Cole follows it up by taking about such dangerous words as â€œBig Dummyâ€ and â€œBeauty and the Beastâ€. Wow, edgy. Who knew the writing team featured the staff from â€œSanford and Sonâ€?
Jericho pounds on MVP asking where the knuckles are. MVP responds back asking where his main event push is. Seriously, how is having him smile for the cameras and delivering corny one-liners going to get him over? I know Vince has a habit of white-washing his more urban stars, but this is ridiculous. Porter was great as the WWEâ€™s T.O., but as the WWEâ€™s nonthreatening Black Guy, heâ€™s just going to take up space.
Porter and Jericho are having a spirited match in the ring, and the Detroit crowd is just mildly behind MVP. Porter goes for the Yakuza kick, misses and gets dropkicked out of the ring. MVP is out on the outside and we are out toâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and Porter and Jericho are still engaging in a highly competent contest. Seriously, Chris Jericho should not be able to wrestle this many good matches two or three times a week on television. Hopefully he realizes that more stars means less two-night weeks for him.
MVP goes for the Playmaker but Jericho tries to turn it into the Walls but gets small packaged for two. This then leads to the Codebreaker and we are finished.
This was the kind of match RAW needs more of. It wasnâ€™t too long, it told a decent little story, and in the end we came away with wanting to see more. Sure, MVP lost, but he got pinned by a Codebreaker out of nowhere. Heâ€™s still standing.
Weâ€™re in the back as Dusty looks at the â€œRise and Fall of WCWâ€ DVD and DX shows up. Hunter starts doing a Dusty impersonation. Rhodes believes he can turn Cody to the good side and give one of the guys from DX a shot. Hunter and Shawn squabble over who should get the title shot. HBK points out that they have nothing to do, so Dusty decides to invite them to hang out. And watch the WCW DVD. Right now. During RAW. Uh-huh.
Dusty then promotes his Dusty Rhodes DVD out of nowhere, so Hunter plugs the DX DVD. Shawn then realizes that they should be watching RAW and Hunter said that Rhodes could just tell him what happens. Ah, wacky shoot comments.
Hornswaggle is dressed like a cowboy and, sure enough, weâ€™re getting a Texas Bullrope Match.
Itâ€™s gonna be a long night.
Weâ€™re back with replays of Chavoâ€™s career ending. This leads to Hornswaggle dressed like the tiny cowboy from â€œHappy Glimoreâ€. Chavo comes out next dressed like a cow. A cow. â€œThis is udderly ridiculous.â€ Seriously, this man is running for mayor and heâ€™s saying crap like this.
Of course the black ref is working this match, just to ensure that everyone is offended. Black ref said he has one more thing, and sure enough itâ€™s a cowâ€™s head. Did NO ONE on Creative watch the WCW DVD? Iâ€™m waiting for a Vickie Guerrero on a Pole match.
The midget cowboy is now riding the former ECW Champion around the ring, and this thing canâ€™t end soon enough. Chavo goes up to the top rope but Evan Bourne has come out and Hornswaggle uses the rope to pull Chavo off the top rope. I wish this would lead to the return of Mantaur.
Chavo gets tied up, the match is over, and now Evan Bourne is trying to glam off the heat for a midget. Bring on Danielson!
Oh wait, the hilarity isnâ€™t over yet as Hornswaggle bites Chavoâ€™s ass and now is going for the tadpole splash while wearing the cow head. This is Detroit, why arenâ€™t they rioting?
We get a tale of the tape for Big Show/Henry. The result? Theyâ€™re both fat and overpaid.
Weâ€™re back, I see a copyright logo, and I hear Cole reminding us what program weâ€™re watching. So, for all of you out there who get high during RAW and have no short-term memory, youâ€™ve got a friend in Michael Cole. He needs all the friends he can get.
Big Show is out next with two title belts as we get an oddly placed Just for Men promo. Nothing sells hair coloring like a giant bald guy.
Mark Henry is out next, still decked out in his Kool-Aid Man suit. We then get a shot of the skankiest woman in Michigan as she takes a picture of Henry. I canâ€™t believe that THIS is what weâ€™re getting as our 10 pm main event.
Henry and Big Show are toe-to-toe, and I can only pray that this is short. We get two stalemate lock-ups and now a test of strength. Henry apparently is winning the test-of-strength, but somehow during his decade plus of employ, he never once watched any tape and thus gets kicked in the stomach as soon as he gets the upper hand. Henry now locks in a headlock while Big Show locks in a bear hug and the crowd is dying a slow, painful death. Come on WWE, Detroit has suffered enough.
Big Show now has a headlock on in the corner and Lawler is trying very hard to sell this stuff as impressive. Henry now hits a splash in the corner on Show and finally knocks Big Show down. Kool Aid splash gets two. Henry goes for another charge but Show removes the turnbuckle and I am now officially watching an old episode of â€œChallengeâ€.
Henry runs head-first into the steel turnbuckle and this draws a DQ. Show then knocks out Mark Henry. Charles Robinson signals for help, but I donâ€™t think they have a forklift.
In the back, Priceless have a meeting of the minds. Cody promises to make an impact, but Orton shows up to ask if he really wants to go through with this. Randy reminds Cody that tonight is all business. I smell shenanigans.
Coming up next, an actual wrestling match. Well, itâ€™s a fatal 4-way, but thatâ€™s pretty close to being a real match.
Weâ€™re back and we get a shot of the Fingerpoke of Doom. Dusty said that he had nothing to do with the finish, but blamed DXâ€™s friend Big Sexy. Hunter said that he would have kept Nash under wraps and then blames Dusty for losing the Monday Night Wars. We now get a Monday Night War argument and Dusty points out that from 96-98 WCW ran roughshod and that this was the same time that Shawn was champion. Well I never thought theyâ€™d point that out, but there it is. Hunter then points out that after Wrestlemania 14, they were right back on top. But that this all happened when Shawn left. Michaels then storms off. Hunter then buries Johnny B. Badd, but Dusty points out that he booked it. Shawn pops up to say that he created the Attitude Era and then leaves. This might have been the most entertaining DX segment this yearâ€¦not that there was much competition.
Jack Swagger is out first, and his entrance celebration has transcended cocky and now he looks like heâ€™s having a seizure. Then, just to further piss me off, his push-ups gimmick now has pyro.
Carl Ito and his sad panda poofy hair is out next.
The Miz is strutting out, and the crowd really let him have it. We again get the line about this being the biggest turn-around in WWE history.
Kofi Kingston is out next, and I have a sneaking feeling he isnâ€™t leaving with his title. Tonight has not been a great night for African American wrestlers. Smart move in Detroit. Next up? Going to Miami and jobbing out their biggest Latin stars. Well, their biggest Latin stars who arenâ€™t suspended again for a Wellness Violation.
Miz leaves the ring to let Kofi handle Carl and Swaggah. Jack hits a great belly-to-belly, but Carl goes for the pin. Now Miz is alone in the ring with Kingston, and it looks like our formula for this match will be â€œtwo guys in the ring while two guys are outsideâ€.
The crowd is solidly behind Kingston as Kofi clears the ring. Well, there are three heels on the outside and one face on the inside, which means a leap over the top rope. Cole calls it breathtaking, and I immediately have a â€œSeinfeldâ€ flashback.
Ah Jim Breuer pimping Pizza Hut. Talk about a fall fromâ€¦well, not greatness, but adequacy.
Weâ€™re back and apparently before the break Kofi was getting high. Oh, and he did a top rope move. Jack is in the ring going for a submission before Miz hits a neckbreaker.
The Miz is back in control but Carl hits a top rope dropkick to take over. Kofi then hits a splash before Swagger takes over. This match is all over the place, but at least it isnâ€™t dull. Swagger hits the running moonsault on Carl for two.
We get a double â€œBoom Boom Boomâ€ deal on Swagger and Carl, but Miz clearly looks like the true star in thss match. Swagger goes for the powerbomb but eats the BCF, who then eats a Backstabber and Kofi out of nowhere hits Trouble in Paradise retains. Guess we will see Miz/Kingston on PPV after all.
Tonight we get Orton/Rhodes and for the second week in a row, we are getting limited Cena. Either this is designed to keep him fresh or maybe heâ€™s injured.
So there was a commercial for Pandorum, and all I could think was that I was sorry for Dennis Quaid. Damn you, Meg Ryan! You ruined him!
Oh, and on another side note, if youâ€™re showing up to a party with a Twix, you donâ€™t deserve to get laid in the first place.
Lynard Skynyrd made the official song for Breaking Point apparently. Hip guys, hip. Next monthâ€™s PPV song is coming from Emmerson, Lake and Palmer.
Beth Phoenix is out again and we get not one, but TWO Divaâ€™s matches tonight! So exciting! Speaking of exciting, here comes Mickie James and her jaunty cap! I canâ€™t stop typing exclamation points!
Mickie goes for a quick pin, but no such luck. The crowd starts a weak â€œLetâ€™s go Mickieâ€ chant, and I just canâ€™t believe that James went from psycho lesbian stalker heel with limitless potential to bland female wrestler trying hard to be Trish but hoping to not wind up like Amy Weber. Thatâ€™s right, I remembered Amy Weber.
Phoenix is working Jamesâ€™s arm, and we might be seeing the best psychology all night. James tries to get some offense in with her one arm, but sheâ€™s horribly over-selling the hurt left arm.
James gets dumped outside and is pretty much unconscious as Beth Phoenix throws her into the barricade before tossing her back in the ring. This is a pretty one-sided match, though unfortunately the crowd is not backing this thing up at all. Phoenix hits a sick sounding kick but eats a DDT and Mickie James wins.
DX are still in the back with Dusty and Rhodes is talking about good things from WCW; Flair, War Games, Magnum TA and Sting. Hunter then asks where The Shockmaster is on the DVD, which is a pretty good point. Shawn and Hunter then re-create the Shockmaster bit and we reveal that the Shockmaster voice is Arn Anderson. We then find out that the Shockmaster is in fact Santino, replacing one giant bust with another.
Josh Matthews, looking like Randy Ortonâ€™s mini-me, interviews John Cena. Cenaâ€™s got the whole world in his hands. Cena, trying to be hip, wants us to tweet about the main event (twitter.com/awheeler316). John Cena then re-sets the stage for us again that itâ€™s a father and son reuniting to take down Orton. Because I doubt sincerely that this will end with Cody and Randy jumping John Cena to end the show. That would never happen.
Cena continues to blather incessantly about how Cena will call it down the middle. Oh, and Cena will not quit. Look John, do you not remember when Mick Foley gave a promo about not quitting and then The Rock used that audio to make it sound like he quit? Just saying.
We get a recap of whatâ€™s signed for Breaking Point as Randy Orton saunters to the ringâ€¦again. â€œHas Orton used up all of his lives?â€ Iâ€™m sorry Cole, I didnâ€™t realize vipers had multiple lives. I thought dogs laid eggs, and I learned something.
In the back we see Dusty giving his son some advice while Cody jumps around. ADDâ€™s a bitch, ainâ€™t it?
Next weekâ€™s RAW GM is Bob Barker. I shit you not.
Randy Orton, now rocking a Lord Voldemort look, stares on as Cody Rhodes comes down to the ring. Am I ashamed that I made a reference to the uninspired Harry Potter books? About as ashamed as Vince was to put on Henry/Show.
John Cena gets his own big entrance but its 10:58, so we might get less of a match and more of a beatdown. Part of me kinda wished that Cena was rocking the sleeveless ref shirt. Nothing says special referee like a sleeveless t-shirt.
Dusty Rhodes has the microphone and says â€œIâ€™m sorryâ€ as Legacy jumps Cena. Not going to lie, thatâ€™s a pretty good swerve. Somewhere in Atlanta Tony Schiavone is screaming on his couch that this wasnâ€™t on his programming sheet.
DX is out now to make the save, and you know they mean business because Hunter is wearing a hat. Dusty then takes off his boot and knocks out Hunter while Legacy beat down Shawn Michaels. Cody hits Crossroads (or whatever cutesy name they have for his finishing move) as the crowd chants for Cena. Apparently they forgot that he was already in the ring and heâ€™s already dead.
Orton RKOs Dusty Rhodes and Cody throws a fit as he looks like heâ€™s about to bawl. We see a torn Cody as we go to black. Let me get this straight, the borderline dead crowd comes to life in the final segment to cheer for Cena who gets laid out. They cheer for DXâ€¦who get laid out. They explode in hatred when Orton RKOs Dusty, and just as the emotion of the audience is at its apex, and Cody Rhodes has more fan support than he has ever had in his lifeâ€¦we go to black?! Cody Rhodes had a chance to become the biggest heel of his career by hugging Orton, but instead we close on him looking like a petulant and indecisive kid who didnâ€™t go either way. Dusty Rhodes put the ball in his sonâ€™s hand, and the kid dropped it.
Letâ€™s hope X-Pac doesnâ€™t show up to pick it up.
This has been for your consideration.
Tags: Bryan Danielson, Cody Rhodes, Dusty Rhodes, DX, For Your Consideration, john cena, Legacy, randy orton, Raw, shawn michaels, triple h, WCW, WWE