For Your Consideration…“Because Dan Quayle was Booked”

For Your Consideration…“Because Dan Quayle was Booked”

Sorry for being late again. Yesterday was Yom Kippur, which meant a LONG day of repenting and fasting (in other words, I got to sit around thinking about all the horrible things I did all year while not eating a scrap of food), so the last thing I had energy for was Monday Night RAW. Not only RAW but RAW with Al Sharpton. I can only imagine what this show has in store. If the company wants to stick to its roots, we’ll get a bunch of thinly racist shtick surrounding a confused champion of civil rights. If the WWE wants to move towards its TV-PG pansy root, we’ll get two hours of Vince rolling out the great African American wrestlers of the past (think more Ernie Ladd and JYD and less Koko B. Ware and Men on a Mission) while everyone is incredibly respectful towards the borderline historical figure (I say borderline because this country’s view of Sharpton waffles depending on how crazy he is on that particular day).

Before we begin, shameless Twitter plug: twitter.com/awheeler316. Ah, I feel better (and slightly cheep).

One quick bit before I get into this week’s show (albeit on tape, and since I’m pressed for time, I am going to be mighty tempted by that fast-forward button should I hear Hornswoggle’s music). I’ve been sitting here the past few days racking my brain trying to come up with some projected matches for Wrestlemania 26. Yes, it’s crazy-early to be doing this, but I’ve had some free time and figured I would try to project out where the company was going to go. So if you’ll indulge me (I promise this all has a point):

World Heavyweight Championship: Here’s the first big hurdle I’ve run across. See, right now Punk is the World Heavyweight Champion. He’s been doing a great job as the evil heel who tells the truths we don’t want to hear, but we all know his reign will come to an end (eventually) at the hands of the Undertaker. Since the WWE usually does these matches in threes, we’ll see UT/Punk at HIAC and Survivor Series. This leaves open Armageddon and the Rumble before heading into No Way Out (please don’t let them change that name…please don’t let them change that name…) and then Mania. With that said, the WWE has some options (none of them pretty). We could see Taker win at HIAC and beat Punk in the rematch before doing a two-show mini-feud with Batista. We could see Dave slipping into the Survivor Series main event as a three-way and Batista leaving with the gold. No matter what, Punk should stay out of the picture come Armageddon. Why? Because nothing would solidify him more than winning the Royal Rumble. The WWE has struck gold with making Punk seem like a true main event heel, but when it comes to headlining Wrestlemania, you need that certain something extra. Having a heel Punk win the Rumble would go a long way towards pushing him into that slot as the #1 bad guy on Friday Nights. This means that he would challenge either Batista or Undertaker. With Batista, we’d be getting a pretty lackluster feud between an underwhelming champion and a heel challenger. With Undertaker, it’s streak/title versus upstart heel. The nice thing about having Batista in that title position is that he can lose. Taker isn’t dropping that streak, especially to Punk. Sadly, I think we’ll wind up with Batista v. Punk, but on the plus side, CM would get a nice win at the biggest show of the year.

WWE Title: Here’s where things get depressing. Can anyone out there legitimately believe that there will be a WWE Title match without one of the following four individuals: John Cena, Triple H, Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels. Hell, we’ve seen almost every combination of these four a million times. Well, almost. The WWE has never given us a straight up Randy Orton/John Cena Wrestlemania main event. While I’m not advocating for that, I’m just saying we’ve never seen it before. Who else could we get? We could see Hunter and Shawn go at it one more time, maybe even with them both as faces. Seeing Triple H and HBK do a “man-to-man” match could actually be fairly entertaining. We could also see HBK/Orton, with a feel-good ending of Shawn winning the title. We could also get the one millionth HHH/Orton match…something NO ONE WANTS TO SEE. In the end, the only thing that’s clear is that there is no one capable of stepping up in the RAW title picture. Legacy isn’t there yet, Big Show got his token shot a year ago, and the rest of the upper midcard is pretty far away (though I wouldn’t mind seeing a guy like Swagger get a shot at either Armageddon or the Rumble just to see if he’d sink or swim). In the end, just to guarantee a decent buyrate, we’d probably get DX colliding and see Triple H v. Shawn Michaels.

Money in the Bank: Here’s where we’ll get a shot at doing some good. We know it’s an eight man match, so let’s throw in the folks that are guaranteed to be in it. Shelton Benjamin earns his keep every year by dropping jaws in MITB, so he’s in. John Morrison and Dolph Ziggler are the two “future” guys, so toss them in as well. Since we’ve got Morrison, why not throw in Miz? And if we’re giving them Miz, toss in Bourne or Kingston. We need an ECW guy, so maybe this slot will be reserved for Danielson or Nigel. The interesting thing would be for the WWE to have the guts to toss someone like John Cena in the mix. Cena has never been in a MITB match, and it might be interesting to see him “slum it” for a show. People will argue that it’s taking a marquee guy away from a big time match, but I’d argue that it’s adding star power to an already big match. In the end, I think either Morrison or Ziggler should get it. If Morrison got it, he’d finally get another shot at the main event. If Ziggler got it, not only is it a rub for the cocky heel, but it’s also a chance for the winner of MITB to actually LOSE when he cashes it in.

Undertaker Streak: Since I think we’ll be stuck with Batista/Punk for the World Title, I think the honor of jobbing to the streak this year should go to Chris Jericho. Jericho is a Smackdown fixture (yes folks, he’s actually on their roster despite being on RAW every week), so why not let him have a major feud with someone he barely ever works with. Imagine Chris’s promos about the hypocrisy of the Undertaker and his mythical streak (someone PLEASE mention the fact that one year he beat Giant Gonzalez…by DQ) followed by some old school mind games.

In short, what jumps out at me about Wrestlemania is the lack of excitement we could get from the current roster. In any of the possible combinations, nothing jumped out as mandatory viewing. We are all putting our hopes on the ROH stars to liven up the shows, but in the end we could be staring at the losing end of yet another subpar Mania.

Alright, depressing crystal ball time over. Time for depressing real-time excitement…

“Yessir we promised you a great main event tonight, but we also promised to not insult your intelligence and we give you a midget every week…”

Pyro, ballyhoo, fans holding up inane signs, and NO LILLIAN GARCYA.

Tonight we will see a gauntlet match, where John Cena will probably pin not one but two tag champs.

The show opens with MVP and Hey-Hey Henry in the MVP Lounge. I thought Creative forgot all about this. Porter introduces his partner to a mild pop. Big things are popping, little things are stopping…including the momentum of the show. Since we’re apparently going with racial sensitivity tonight, we’re gonna have the two most over black guys introduce the guest host. As soon as Porter says, “guest host”, the Albany crowd starts to boo.

Wait, it’s not Al Sharpton, it’s JeriShow. Not only that, but JeriShow is dressed to compete. Oh, and note to Big Show, stop holding the tag belt over your head like a moron. Just drape it over your giant shoulder and look mildly impressive. You jackanapes.

JeriShow get a full on introduction before Chris grabs the microphone to mock Porter. Jericho, for some reason, puts over Al Sharpton and says that MVP doesn’t have enough respect to introduce Sharpton. Jericho compares himself to Sharpton in that they tell it like it is. Not in that they both have called white people racists and ignorant.

Al Sharpton comes out to “Living in America” and…wow. Sharpton looks like a deflated balloon. Seriously, his shirt is like four sizes too big. Gotta love the fact that the fans are booing the hell out of him and he just keeps on going. Sharpton, Newt Gingrich and the Secretary of Education are going on tour starting tomorrow to get the drop out rates to stop skyrocketing. Because kids need to stay in school to be successful. If they don’t stay in school and don’t get a good education, they might have to tour Australia with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair in order to keep a roof over their head.

This segment is about as ill-fitting as I’ve ever seen. Sharpton is plugging education reform on RAW with a bunch of wrestlers. Porter transitions this from education reform to tag title reform. Uh huh. Good thing this wasn’t talking about health care, because I don’t want to be there when Rev. Al learns that these guys are all independent contractors with no insurance.

Then, for the SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK IN A ROW, the WWE steals MY joke by having MVP call the tag champs JeriShow. I will not stand for this, WWE. You have infringed on my rights for the last time. Now, the next time I torrent a PPV, I won’t feel guilty about it. There, we’re even now.

Jericho picks up the dropped ball by Al (who clearly forgot his line) and proceeds to bury the fans and then appeals to the good Rev. and asks for him to not book the tag title match. Chris then says that these people don’t deserve the right to vote or get an education. To be fair Chris, you’re in Albany, so it’s not like the education they were gonna get was going to be that high quality anyway.

Sharpton asks the fans what they want and they demand a tag match. Jericho calls this discrimination, but Sharpton says that people get what they want. There’s a racially insensitive joke to be made here about what would have happened if people did what the majority wanted instead of what was morally right, but that’s below me. Well, not really, but I’m pressed for time, so…

Commercial.

We’re back as essentially the only two tag teams on RAW go at it. I love the fact that the unified tag champs get to appear on all shows, but it sort of limits who can hold the straps. There’s no way that Vince would have let the Colons appear on every brand every week. MVP and Henry are a decent team and they give those two something to do, but would we really want them on every show? I don’t think so. JeriShow’s Hell in a Cell opponents, Batista and Mysterio, could appear on both shows, but I think that the WWE is waiting to have DX take the straps away from the champs.

MVP and Big Show are going at it now after Mark Henry actually caught Show in the corner. Then, using WWE face logic, Henry tagged in the tiny Porter so that he could get whooped by Big Show. You’ve gotta wonder if Vince has enough balls to job out his top black team to a white team when Sharpton’s there. Hell, given his obsession with sucking up to the host, I’m shocked he didn’t make this our main event.

The one plus to this match, as Jericho works over Porter, is that Jericho and Show are going to be tired for their match tonight. This way, when they both get pinned, they have an excuse. While it’s not great logic, it’s better than nothing.

Big Show is back in now and get goes for a MASSIVE headlock. Excitement personified. Lawler even calls him out by saying it’s the most basic move in wrestling, but the turns it around and says that when Show does it, it’s impressive. Alrighty then.

Jericho is back in and he’s just slapping MVP in the face. Chris goes for the Lionsault (which Cole actually called the Lionsault instead of Jerisault) but misses. Oh crap, here comes Mark Henry. See, the other nice part about having Henry in these kinds of matches is you can use him for limited spans of time and not expose him as the worst ever.

Henry launches Jericho over the top rope as we are launched into…

Commercial.

We’re back as Big Show spears Mark Henry. When Henry is your Ricky Morton, you know you’re in trouble. Show now hits a splash for two. Cole then compares Mark Henry’s leg to a tree trunk, so if you have your RAW bingo card out, fill in, “Use an unnecessary Jim Ross-esque analogy comparing the size of a big star to an inanimate object”.

I can’t believe that Big Show and Henry are STILL in the ring together. Watching those two go at it is like watching a lava lamp. It’s just a lot of slow moving bright colors that become less interesting every minute (unless you’re high…and even then people have their limits). Show tags Jericho in who goes for a sleeper hold. Yeah, that’ll liven up the crowd.

Mark finally breaks out but Jericho is still in control. When you factor in the opening interview, we’ve seen 1/4th of RAW dedicated to MVP and Henry, who are two men that are NOT on the upcoming PPV. The only way this makes sense is if they win the titles here and we get a triple threat tag match (a match that would be a clusterfuck disaster) at the PPV.

Porter is FINALLY tagged in now, and the match picks up the pace from crawling to jogging. Porter connects with a clothesline to keep this thing going and then follows it up with the Ballin’ Elbow for Two (which should be it’s fully name). MVP then goes for the playmaker but Big Show comes in and takes out MVP. Henry takes him out, only for Jericho to dropkick him out. MVP goes for the roll-up but only gets two. FYI Cole, when Sharpton is your guest host, it’s not a good idea for you to shout “MVP stole it!” Just sayin.

MVP just hit a DDT that might have been the most impressive thing he’s done in months. He then goes to the ropes only to get punched by Big Show and then eats a Codebreaker for the pin. So JeriShow work the first half hour of the show against MVP and Hey-Hey Henry and now have to wrestle in the main event. Jesus Creative, does RAW just have no roster whatsoever? Wait, when I say things like that, I get Primo matches, so I take it back. More Jericho, less Colon. Please. Please?

Commercial.

We’re back with Rev. Al in his office with Primo Colon. See what happens when I mention that the RAW roster is thin? I blame myself for this moment of suck-i-tude. Primo calls Al an inspiration to minorities, and Al responds by saying that Primo works sloppy in the ring and should be cut. No, he didn’t say that. But if he had any guts, he would have.

Speaking of crap, Hornswoggle runs into the office being chased by Chavo. Chavo points out that he’s Mexican American, so that Al can’t say that the entire roster is filled with a bunch of white folks. Chavo introduces his partner…oh fuck me in the beard…Chris Masters. Seriously, I make one off-hand comment and the next segment we get every cesspool of suck in the company. Wait, we still haven’t seen Santino, so there’s hope.

Holy shit, there’s Santino. I am not kidding, I literally finished typing that sentence and then Santino showed up. Why, WWE, why?! I sat through so much crap, why would you thrust more onto me?

Tonight is Masters/Chavo versus Santino/Hornswoggle. Marella calls Sharpton Don King. Then he thinks he’s Shaft. See…because they all look alike. How insensitive, Santino.

Never Gonna Be Mayor Lawler and Tie-Wearing Cole take us back to last week so we know why our crappy main event was booked.

In the back, Josh Matthews and Randy Orton discuss the finer points of shaving your head. Orton talks about how Cena can only win via miracle. Randy then points out that Cena’s never been in a HIAC match. Again. We get it, Randy. I promise you, we get it. When you’re shaving and you hit skull, that means stop.

Alicia Fox and Rosa Mendes are walking in the back arm-in-arm. Alright.

Commercial.

Mickie James, with her jaunty hat and full bosom, skips down to the ring. Her opponent, coming out to stereotypically Latin music, is Rosa Mendes. Oh, and she’s accompanied by Alicia Fox, who apparently is getting a slot on the PPV. Yeah, no MVP, but we’ll see Alicia Fox. So basically everyone is just keeping that trap stamp belt warm until Maryse comes back.

Cole and Lawler prattle on about how Rosa Mendes was picked on as a kid in elementary school, a fact I know will someday sell PPV events. Hell, I wanna buy Hell in a Cell now that I know this. Wait, what? Rosa isn’t on the show? Oh, well then I guess I can keep my $39.95 or however much they get for shows these days.

Mickie and Rosa are going at it before Alicia goes on the apron but gets kicked off. Rosa runs at her and misses and injures her…um…her…lower extremities. Mickie then kicks her in the head and ends this match.

Legacy is walking towards the ring for generic wrestling/promos as we go to generic…

Commercials.

We’re back and both members of Legacy are in t-shirts. Uh oh, this means we’re gonna get a promo. By the way, who the hell told Cody that cutting his shirt like that would be cool? Was this a rib? Because if so, well done.

Teddy says that no one expects them to win as the copyright logo pops up on the bottom of the screen. Teddy says that they are primed for the best victory of their career. Wasn’t their win at Breaking Point their greatest victory? Sure enough, we get a replay of it.

Duck-billed Cody Rhodes starts to put over DX and then reminds us that Shawn and Hunter are good. Shawn Michaels finally stops the madness by screaming “boring” from some mystery location. Wow, about ten minutes to late on that one, HBK.

Shawn and Hunter pop up and start to mock Legacy like Statler and Waldorf before Shawn reminds Hunter that this is TV-PG. Sigh. Then, trying to be cutesy, Hunter calls them both assholes.

Hunter then goes into shtick about how DX is like the Incredible Hulk. Not Hulk Hogan, mind you, because they don’t need to tour a continent to keep their home. Two cheapshots at him? Sure.

DX is now coming down to the ring, making this the longest and most pointless interview segment in a while. Well, at least since nine.

So DX gets in the ring and Legacy flee. Oh I get it, it’s supposed to represent the fact that they can’t escape because they’re gonna be caged like animals. Seriously Rev. Al, where are you with the human rights violations?

Hell in a Cell, for Legacy, will be their breaking point…no wait, it’s gonna be hell.

Commercial.

We’re back and Jack Swagger is wearing the US Title. This is just stupid, I’m sorry. When Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon did this shtick, it ended in a great ladder match. Here? No great ladder match.

Swagger’s opponent this week is the guy who was the most promising star on ECW until he was jobbed out to everyone, Evan Bourne. And yes, Cole did call him high flying. Thanks Michael for your original work. Bravo.

Jack starts to dominate but then Bourne does some flippy moves that ultimately fail. I think this is the kind of match-up that someday down the road can make the WWE money. Jack and Evan seem to work pretty well together, and maybe if they are both eventually established, this could be a David v. Goliath match for a major title. Wow, I just thought that the WWE would elevate Bourne, clearly I’m not thinking straight.

Bourne goes for a roll-up for two but Jack takes control. Swagger goes for the gut wrench powerbomb but Bourne hops onto the top rope and hits the double knees for two. Bourne goes to the top rope but hopes off. Bourne goes for a flying headscissor which gets turned into a powerbomb for the pin. Yeah, job out Bourne. Don’t make the PPV this Sunday a four-way or anything.

Jack’s got the microphone. He says that he has the look and the talent and the gold, but at HIAC he will become the champeen. This draws out The Miz dressed in his doucheiest outfit yet. Miz rips off Seth Meyer’s “Really” shtick and calls himself the best RAW Draft Pick. It’s a nice touch that Swagger won’t look at Miz while he talks.

Miz and Swagger start brawling only for Kofi to run out and steal back his belt. Yes, on the Al Sharpton RAW, a black man stole the gold belt. Thank you Vince for your thinly veiled racism. Classy.

Commercial.

We’re back and it’s Santino and its Hornswoggle and it’s the death of valuable brain cells. Chavo and Masters are out next as we replay Cedric the Entertainer’s match from last week.

Masters is wailing on Santino before tagging Chavo back in. There is no reason for Chavo to lose tonight. Chavo blind tags Masters who locks in the Masterlock and Cole calls it over before the match even ends. Finally, the ref rings the bell as Masters now grabs the midget. Matherpiece locks in the Matherlock on the midget before Chavo lays out Masters? Are you kidding me? This was the payoff? I…I…no. No. Just…no.

In the back, JeriShow and Orton confer as we go to…

Commercial.

We’re back as the WWE pimps their overseas tours. Oh, and next week’s host is Ben Roethlisberger. Not too bad. Not too bad.

Cole and Lawler pimp HIAC and I’ll pimp the Roundtable that’ll be up this weekend.

Reverend Al is in the back thanking everyone before Jillian Hall pops up. Oh come on! The more I listen to Hall, the more I realize her singing voice sounds a lot like Stephanie McMahon’s regular voice.

Wait, the Bella Twins are here now and they ask Al Sharpton to sing and dance. Sure enough, he sings “I Feel Good” and we’re done.

Cena is in the back room looking all contemplative as we go to…

Commercial.

John Cena is out to carry the last twenty minutes of this limp show on his back. Seriously, this has just become paint by numbers. It’s not TNA bad, but it’s not that good. This week’s RAW is just as formulaic as last week’s RAW, last month’s RAW and last year’s RAW. The whole idea about this show being live was that anything can happen. Tonight’s RAW? Pretty static.

Cena’s first opponent (i.e. first person jobbing to Cena) is Chris Jericho. Jericho makes sure to sell his injured head, which makes for a nice little “I’m gonna job” signal.

The crowd shocks the hell out of me by cheering for Cena, especially considering how much they hated Rev. Al. I know it had a lot to do with politics, but when the crowd won’t play along with the GM, they usually won’t play along with Cena.

Jericho is trying to wrestle a rest-hold-heavy match to conserve Cena’s energy, which isn’t a bad idea. Cena turns this into an FU but Jericho rolls through it. For some reason, Cena has just seemed lethargic as of late.

Shoulderblock, suplex, five knuckle shuffle and FU attempt but Jericho goes for the Walls. It’s locked in but Cena gets to the ropes. Oh I get it, they’re gonna DQ Jericho. Can’t complain with that.

Cena is still stuck in the Walls as Big Show comes out next. So basically John Cena is dead but Big Show, rather than go for the pin, just sort of slowly wanders over to him. Now he starts to wail on John. Yeah, don’t pin him or anything. I’ve seen enough James Bond movies to know that when the hero is all but beaten, you should toy with him instead of finish him off because he’ll never come back.

Then, we get an illogical…

Commercial.

We’re back and Cena is in a bearhug. Let me get this straight; Cena was left broken in the ring after the Walls of Jericho, he has a fresh-ish Big Show in the ring, and we go to commercial? We were expected to believe that he would survive for three minutes against a giant?

Show goes for a chokeslam but eats a DDT. Cole now reminds us that we’re live. Thanks Cole.

Cena now has Big Show up for an FU but Jericho runs into the ring to take Cena out. JeriShow stomp Cena, and folks, if you like stomping, here comes Randy Orton. Big Show locks in the…sigh…Colossal Clutch as we all hear voices.

Orton takes FOREVER to get down to the ring, allowing Cena time to get back to his feet. What the hell was the point of that? Cena gets to his feet and points to the ceiling. No, he’s not channeling Sabu, he’s calling for the Hell in a Cell to be lowered. Yeah, why not give away your main event on free television?

Orton tries to escape but Cena holds onto him. Why would Randy Orton be afraid of being trapped in a cage with a guy who has been beaten on by JeriShow for 20 minutes? Seriously, where’s the logic here? I know Orton is supposed to be a viper, but he isn’t a complete coward. Randy should be thrilled at the chance to kill Cena in the Hell in a Cell.

Randy sprints for the door but Cena cuts him off at the pass. Orton makes out outside of the cage but he gets lifted for an FU until Orton climbs up the cell. When did this turn into American Gladiators? Well, at the speed Cena’s climbing this sorta seems more like Nickelodeon’s Guts. Cena and Orton are at the top of the Agro-crag and one misstep and the RAW main event scene is over.

Cena has Orton on top of the Cell and hits the FU. Well, you just sort of gave away one of the biggest moments these two could have on LIVE television. For some reason, the FU leads to Cena’s music being played, so I guess the match is over. You know what, I don’t care enough to figure it out. All I know is that the show is over so…

This has been for your consideration.

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