For Your Considerationâ€¦Who Books This NASCrap Anyway?
Iâ€™m sad say that it took me less than five seconds to come up with that title. Lazy writing? Sure. But when they start tossing racecar drivers at me like a higher profile TNA, this is what they get in return. Iâ€™m Andrew Wheeler and this is â€œFor Your Consideration.â€
Wait, Iâ€™m not Andrew Wheeler. Iâ€™m Andrew Wheeler, Rasslinâ€™ Roundtable CHAMPION OF THE WORLD! Thatâ€™s right, I went a perfect 5 for 5 and am now youâ€™re champion. Why am I gloating? Is it because Iâ€™m a brilliant wrestling mind and you should all bow down to me (and follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/awheeler316)? No, itâ€™s because Bragging Rights was completely predictable. And thereâ€™s not a damn thing wrong with that.
Last nightâ€™s PPV event accomplished absolutely everything it was supposed to. I am always the guy that leaps at the chance to point out situations where the WWE drops the ball, but for once they did everything according to a logical plan. Was the entire show a genre-changing event? Nope. But in terms of by-the-books storytelling, it did everything it needed to do.
How so, you ask? (and if you didnâ€™t ask, why the hell not?)
Letâ€™s look at this thing match by match.
First there was Miz/Morrison. Right off the bat, the WWE put together a legitimate video package for these guys. That signals to the general fan that this is an actual match that they should care about. As for the match itself, it wasnâ€™t a blow away smash but it wasnâ€™t by any means bad.
Folks out there (coughGlazercough) have been critical of Morrison, and I think I understand why. First off, people wanted to anoint John as the next Shawn Michaels for years. The similarities between them are not only apparent but intentional. When the WWE got their hands on John through Tough Enough, he seemed like a generic guy with a look that they could mold. Honestly, can you watch some of his early stuff from that reality show and think that he was going to have the charisma he has now? Second, thereâ€™s the fact that Morrison hasnâ€™t seem to grow. John went through about twenty character changes over the course of a few years. He started perfectly as the Bischoff lackey, but that got dropped for him to be part of MNM, but that got dropped for him to be a RAW star, but then he was nothing more than a jobber who once was the corner guy for K-Fed, but then he was moved to ECW to be a jobber, but then an unspeakable tragedy occurred and he became a champion, but then he had his name changed because he kinda sorta maybe in the right light looked like a musician most of the audience barely knows, but then he got moved into a white hot tag team, but then he became a singles star, but then he became a face. Big Show eat your heart out.
John Morrison is a face despite the fact that everything about him screams heel. Heâ€™s got a cocky smirk. Heâ€™s got abs that most of us would sacrifice their arm for (though what would be the point of having a washboard stomach and be an amputee?). Heâ€™s got the Scott Keith approved good hair. His mic skills better suit him to be a snarky heel. Worst of all, his moveset screams heel. He does a lot of showy twisty moves that are designed to showboat rather than harm. Weâ€™re supposed to hate him, yet people thought he was cool so Vince rushed him into a face turn. If they were smart, they would have kept him a heel and let him get over organically by fighting the dull Smackdown midcard. After weeks of wrestling R-Truth and Matt Hardy, theyâ€™ll cheer him even though heâ€™s a dick. Instead, heâ€™s the standard â€œgood guy who smilesâ€, and thus most of the audience canâ€™t latch onto him. Heâ€™ll come along in the ring, because even Shawn didnâ€™t become HBK in a day.
The Miz did everything right. He seemed like a prick, he got the fans to boo and he was the only RAW guy to get a win. Like I said in the Roundtable, having Miz be the only guy to go over means that he better be the only guy on the show bragging. Loud and proud. Tonight better be all about Miz whenever he gets on television. He did something that most of the locker-room-including DX-couldnâ€™t do. Best of all, he won clean. Not only that, he telegraphed how he was going to win. When Miz was doing commentary a few weeks ago, he pointed out that Morrison tends to go for Starship Pain in such a way that he leaves himself vulnerable. Sure enough, thatâ€™s how he won. Thatâ€™s right folks, there was ACTUAL LOGIC as to the finish of a match.
The Diva match was inoffensive, no one got hurt, and the right team (and Diva) went over. Beth Phoenix needs to look like the dominant heel. Sheâ€™s like an Awesome Kong that doesnâ€™t scare people (or resemble the pig guards from Star Wars). Also, itâ€™s great that Smackdown won to ensure that Miz was the only guy to win from RAW at Bragging Rights. All in all, it served its purpose perfectly.
The Smackdown World Title Match was quick, exciting and effective. Punk looked like a prick who was kept safe by avoiding being involved in the finish, Rey looked like an annoying little gnat, Batista looked like a guy who should have won ten times and Taker looked like a guy who wasnâ€™t broken down. I figured Taker was going to go over because he canâ€™t keep having these one month title reigns, and the result of the show left the door open for a Taker/Punk match at Survivor Series if itâ€™s needed. Best of all, Batista finally turned. Finally. Iâ€™ve been calling for this since I started here at Pulse, so I couldnâ€™t be happier. Anyone that doubts his ability to be a heel should listen to his delivery when he told Rey that he was going to take his head off. It was cold, calculating and incredibly effective. Sure the fans are going to pop when it happens, but when given time, Dave is going to be a killer heel. Best of all, Batista/Taker finally has a different dynamic (and I said a few weeks back that Iâ€™d love to see heel Batista versus face Cena come Wrestlemania).
The seven-on-seven match served its purpose, which was to give everyone a payday. On top of that, there was the Big Show turn that everyone and their mother called (something I called first, I might addâ€¦mainly because I wrote it as soon as they announced that Show was joining Team RAW). Now we wanna see JeriShow/DX. More importantly, we wanna see whatâ€™s going to happen when Show walks into RAW tonight. Best of all, it allows Jericho to look like a true evil mastermind. He planned the Big Show turn from day one. He was willing to sacrifice his entire original team just to show that he could win with anyone (and you donâ€™t get more â€œanyoneâ€ than R-Truth). And now, JeriShow is a top team again (as opposed to being the go-to team to job out to main event guys). Also, by having this ostracized ex-Team Smackdown, you can set up a Survivor Series match with a true backstory.
Lastly, the Cena/Orton Ironman match was an absolute success. The fact that these two guys wrestled for an hour and put on a watchable (and at points entertaining as hell) match is nothing short of a miracle. Sure, there were a lot of restholds, but there were some truly entertaining spots. I think there was a moment in the match, right around the time Cena was going to FU Orton through the announce table, that he turned from manufactured badass to legitimate badass. He didnâ€™t have a cartoonish look on his face. He looked like a legitimate guy in a legitimate fight for the first time, and the fans bought it. Cena tends to lean towards the cartoonish way too much, and that was a little moment to show that he could keep a straight face at a dramatic moment. The match, like I predicted, would feature all kinds of no-DQ shenanigans, but they really added to the bout. The only spot that people seem to be up in arms about was the moment where Orton tried to kill Cena with the pyro. Like it or not, it was a brilliant spot. Iâ€™m sure a million people have mentioned this already, but Jesse Ventura used to ask why wrestlers donâ€™t bring a gun to a no disqualification match. Well finally someone took him up on it, in a manner of speaking. I like the spot because it was unique, but it shows the flaw in the Orton character. He seems to waffle back and forth between psychopath and calculating coward too much. You canâ€™t grab a resthold moments after trying to kill your opponent with an explosion. Eh, itâ€™s a minor quibble when you consider that in the end, every fan in that arena was on their feet as the seconds ticked away to zero. And that, like it or not, is what wrestling is all about, fans going nuts for an exciting finish.
Alright, onto Monday Night Liveâ€¦
Joey Logano and Kyle Busch are your hosts tonight. Yup.
â€œYouâ€™re fired!â€ No, not you Creative. You did well last night. Calm down.
We open with a shot of the beautiful Bragging Rights trophy. In case youâ€™re wondering where they got that from, they melted down the ECW Title. The opening package shifts into how Big Show demolished Kofi and knocked out Triple H. On top of that, we get a shot of Jericho scoring the pin and Team Smackdown celebrating with the meaningless trophy.
RAW open (thankfully still with Cena) brings us to the standard pryo and crowd shots. Cole is apparently still stunned, while Lawler stayed up all night. Jerry, you gotta tell those nineteen year olds that you need your rest.
JeriShow is out to open the show complete with Chris kissing the trophy. Cole calls Big Show a Brutus, which prompts Lawler to ask if he was referring to Brutus Beefcake. Great little quip to show that Jerry is still awake.
We get a shot of USA Today, which apparently featured Logano and Busch hosting RAW. Super. Big Show is in the ring and says that he is still a proud member of the RAW roster before Jericho stops Show from going into his James Bond villain monologue. Chris calls Show a man of loyalty as Jericho busts out solipsism. Chris then thanks Big Show for stopping DX and their constant shilling of products. Chris even gives him kudos. Thatâ€™s kudos the plaudits, not the granola bar.
Big Show says that he did what he did for himself. The most important thing to Big Show is his career. He struck a deal with Teddy Long and apparently Big Show is the #1 Contender for Takerâ€™s title. What the hell is going on here? The point of doing this was to make Jericho look like a mastermind and to establish JeriShow and DX for Survivor Series. Instead, they still squabble and weâ€™re going to endue another Show/Taker match.
The bickering gets interrupted by the racecars. The NASCAR folks wander out of their cars looking like complete rubes. The first NASCAR guy, who looks like Lance Cade off the gas, welcomes us toâ€¦RAW (that was his awkward pause, not mine). Fake-assed Lance Cade points out that the fans donâ€™t like what Big Show did, but heâ€™s with him. This guy starts spouting out some confusing nonsense and then shakes Big Showâ€™s hand. The other guy, who looks like heâ€™s 11, refuses to shake Showâ€™s hand. Apparently the 11 year old is Joey, while Lance Cade is Kyle. Seriously, Joey should have some legitimate fear of Big Show. This is, ya know, supposed to be real. Would anyone honestly walk into a UFC ring and insult Brock Lesnar and expect to walk away with all of his teeth?
Kyle Busch is apparently the heel as he buries Buffalo for sucking at sports. Since my Dolphins didnâ€™t look so great in the end yesterday, all I can say is thank goodness Buffalo sucks worse than we do. Joey books Big Show versus Triple H tonight. Kyle Cade books a match between Jericho and Kofi Johnsonâ€¦erâ€¦Kingston. You know, the Jamaican guy. Well, not the Jamaican guy, but the Ghana guy. Well, not actually from Ghana butâ€¦fuck it, heâ€™s the black guy with dreadlocks who hops around. Speaking of hopping, letâ€™s hop toâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and Jericho is stalling to wrestle Kingston. Youâ€™d assume that they would have had Kofi trying to get revenge against Big Show tonight, but whatever. My hope here is that Chris can pull a great match out of Kingston and show us that Kofi has some legitimate skills besides being able to pinball around the ring.
Chris is kicking Kofi all over the floor before Kingston goes for a rather sloppy roll-up. You know, if anyone can single-handedly turn the midcard around on RAW and make these guys look legit, itâ€™s Chris Jericho. If he isnâ€™t up for Wrestler of the Year, I donâ€™t know what he has to do.
Kofi tosses Jericho outside and then launches himself out to get a rise out of the crowd. This is then followed up with the leap into the corner and a 9 punch, but Chris launches him off before hitting ten, which has gotta be Jamaican him crazy. I miss Adamle at moments like this.
The crowd is cheering for Kingston as he eats the Jericho springboard dropkick and we have to eat moreâ€¦
Weâ€™re back on an exciting resthold. Eh, I canâ€™t complain, this thing has been rather quick. Kofi goes for another quick roll-up before eating a clothesline. Jerry feigns excitement as he reminds us that our hosts are racecar drivers as Chris taunts Kofi in the ring. Jericho then eats some fists before reversing an Irish Whip into a bulldog but gets launched groin first into the turnbuckle. Hey, Kofi pulls out some chops before leaping with a kick. Look, I get that you can leap, but show me something else. Boom Boom Boom hits but Chris just no-sells it and goes for the Walls. That gets blocked but he hits an enziguri.
Well, this thing sure has been given a little time to be fun. Kofi goes for a cross-body off the top but Chris rolls through before Kingston hits an awkward looking Russian Leg Sweep. Kofi goes for Trouble in Paradise before Chris turns it into the Walls but Kofi turns that into a roll-up for two before eating a Codebreaker. Kofi gets his foot on the bottom rope but Jericho is busy celebrating, because his decade and a half in the business hasnâ€™t taught him that a bell means the match is over. Chris then turns around and gets nailed with Trouble in Paradise. I swear I actually forgot that he isnâ€™t the Intercontinental Champion. Hell, I forgot that the title was on Smackdown.
Kofi is wandering to the back as Chris again jobs before Randy Orton shows up out of nowhere and launches Kingston off the stage. Refs come to check on him as the crowd actually chants for Cena. Thatâ€™s an odd twist. Guess that was revenge for Kingston interfering the night before. We then replay what just happened less than a minute ago. Randy then stands there and stares.
We have a graphic for Triple H/Big Show.
Lawler plugs WWE.com for Halloween as Josh Matthews interviews his shaved headed brother Randy Orton. Orton blames Kingston for losing his title. Apparently Randy has just begun on Kofi before Legacy shows up. They apparently feel he was robbed and they have a gift for him. Itâ€™s a Randy Orton racecar. I shit you not.
Teddy then says that they bought it because he is the son of the Million Dollar Man.
Kyle and Joey are in the back with Eve before Jack Swagger interrupts to meet the drivers. He thankfully has a logical reason for being there since they are all young champions. Swagger FINALLY lays claim to a shot at the title. I figured they would give Jack a shot at Cena come Royal Rumble, since it wouldnâ€™t have any impact on the buyrate. Jack turns his plea for a title shot into a chance to fuck Eve. This gets interrupted by The Miz, who really should have been given his own entrance. Miz then obviously brings up the fact that heâ€™s the only one who won last night and demands a title shot. He then kisses Eveâ€™s hand as she almost gags.
Speaking of almost gagging, Melina and Santino are walking in the back as fake paparazzi take pics.
Weâ€™re back and apparently Sheamus is debuting on RAW tonight. Heâ€™s a free agent? How did ECW let him get away? More importantly, if weâ€™re just moving every future guy to RAW to get held down, why even bother having a draft?
Santino and Melina are out next, finally combining useless with useless. We get some audio feedback as Lawler pimps Just for Men. Their opponents are Chavo and Jillian Hall. That sound you hear is brain cells dying.
Chavo and Santino start off to remind us that they are actually wrestlers. Well, Chavoâ€™s a wrestler. Santino is a comedy wrestler. We see a lower third hyping Batistaâ€™s DVD. Makes sense to turn a guy as his merchandise is coming out.
Jillian Hall comes in and she slaps Santino before Melina comes in to do her one cool visual, that being Trishâ€™s Matrix move. Hornswoggle shows up dressed like Shawn Michaels as Melina again botches her finishing move before hitting the screeching Iron Mike Sharpe leg drop. That was painful. One of these days, Melina is going to break Jillian Hallâ€™s neck. Santino and the fucking midget celebrate with Melina. Some guy shows up in a suit to give Hornswoggle a green envelope. The midget suddenly seems sad. Hornswoggle jumps in Lawlerâ€™s lap and itâ€™s revealed that heâ€™s got a cease and desist order for gimmick infringement. Yes, thatâ€™s a legal document. Most legal documents are served in a neon green envelope. Those and more legal documents with DX elements are available on WWEShopLaw.com, including reverse pre-nups.
Cena walks to the ring as we head toâ€¦
Legacy is out now and they mock John Cena. Duck-Billed Rhodes says that The Legacy is here. Really? Is that who you are? Apparently Teddy and Cody are challenging Cena, not to mention hammering home the fact that they are now called The Legacy. Apparently Teddy is making a direct challenge to John. He then challenges Cena to a handicap match. Finally, Cenaâ€™s music interrupt generic heel threats to a great reaction. I donâ€™t know what did it, but Iâ€™d like to think it has something to do with the blood in the match.
Cena has two options. He can keep his badass persona or he could go cartoonish. John says that last night was the best in the WWE competing in one final showdown. Well, thatâ€™sâ€¦whatâ€™s a polite way to put thisâ€¦wrong. Cena then points out that he dodged an explosion. He then says that he did it for the WWE Title and apparently for Buffalo New York. John then moves back into cartoon mode to talk about how no one wants to see Cena against Legacy. Canâ€™t fault him there.
Cody says that neither of them are Randy Orton. You can tell because their tans are not brown enough. They can still pass for Caucasian. Cena says that heâ€™s done with Legacy and that they canâ€¦wait, I mean The Legacyâ€¦talk all they want. If they want a shot at the title, they need to earn it. Apparently they havenâ€™t earned it. Really? Being strapped to a rocket and shot to the top at the card for no reason means they havenâ€™t earned it?
Cena calls them the baby oil boys club, which is kinda funny. Then he buries it by saying that heâ€™s a NASCAR fan. John apparently through the Guest GMs, booked Legacy against MVP and Hey-Hey-Henry.
Weâ€™re back as Cody is hammering away on MVP. Every time Cole says Logano, I think heâ€™s saying Lagana. I wish the WWE would bring him back just to fire him again. In the ring, MVP hits a clothesline before he tries to tag in Henry. Henry hits some clotheslines and a headbutt and doesnâ€™t botch any of them. DiBiase takes out Henryâ€™s leg for two. So they wanted to get a title shot but instead they have to wrestle Team Random Black Guys?
The Legacy attack The Mark Henry in The Corner. Henry powers out to try to make the hot tag, but MVP decides to just run in and distract the ref so that The Legacy can get The Double Team. Seriously, what I would give for some folks to use some logic here.
MVP finally gets tagged in as he goes for the BEFT (Ballinâ€™ Elbow For Two). Henry clotheslines Teddy while on the apron and MVP gets the pin. Hey, on the plus side, the match is over. So are The Legacyâ€™s chances at The Title.
I hear voices and here comes Randy Orton and his freshly shaved head. Legacy again looks petulant. Look guys, thatâ€™s not how to get them over as killers. They cannot continue to look like pissy kids.
Randy Orton informs us that the Guest GMs are looking for Cenaâ€™s next opponent. Apparently if Creative canâ€™t do it, two racecar drivers can. Too bad that chicken that plays tic-tac-toe was unavailable. Randy demands his rematch, which he actually is entitled to.
Kofi Kingston is in the back and interrupts. Donâ€™t look now, but this almost looks like a push for a new face. Apparently Kofi is standing on Ortonâ€™s custom racecar. Randy, sounding like an old man, demands that he â€œgets off his damn car!â€ Kingston is actually showing some personality here and I for one couldnâ€™t be more surprised. Kofi starts trying to deface the car. He pulls out a key and starts scuffing up the hood. He then pulls out a crowbar and smashes Ortonâ€™s face. This then turns into the â€œThis is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the assâ€ scene from â€œBig Lebowskiâ€. Kofi pulls out a bucket of orange paint and dumps it on his car. Apparently the car said, â€œI donâ€™t know.:
Well that was the most effective character building moment the WWE has done all year. How can they follow that up? How about aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back as we replay the car destruction. Eve Torres is apparently serving as guest ring announcer and here comes Evan â€œStop Jobbing Me Outâ€ Bourne. His opponent is The Miz, who I was sure was going to get a bigger push tonight.
Miz is picking apart Bourne here, as Evan just looks more and more like this generationâ€™s Barry Horowitz. If he were on ECW, heâ€™d be the #1 contender. On RAW? Mizâ€™s whipping boy. Look, I understand that every show needs a Mikey Whipwreck, but RAWâ€™s should be Santino, not a legitimately entertaining wrestler.
Bourne finally gets an offensive move by rolling through a sunset flip and hitting a double-knee drop from a seated position. Cole points out Bourneâ€™s proclivity for shellfish by calling him unorthodox before Miz takes over. Jack Swagger saunters out to the ring and starts flirting with Eve. Apparently everyone is watching Eve. Jack, you should know that thereâ€™s a pretty good chance that she got double-teamed by Cryme Time.
Miz gets in Swaggerâ€™s face before Bourne launches himself over the top rope to take everyone out. Evan gets back into the ring, which I guess means heâ€™s the #1 Contender for the WWE Title.
Next week, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are hosting. You read that right.
In the ring is Jamie Noble. Waitâ€¦Jamie Noble? The NASCAR guys are on the Tron and they announce that heâ€™s facing Sheamus. Well, Sheamus is on RAW and as pale as ever. I thought they were building him for a feud with Christian. I guess instead heâ€™ll be doing comedy shtick with a midget.
Sheamus cuts a promo about how he wants to make an impression andâ€¦thatâ€™s it. Noble comes on strong but gets launched outside. Sheamus is impressive, but on a show with Miz and Swagger, did RAW need another up-and-coming heel? I guess weâ€™ll see if they manage to not screw him up too.
Noble is getting beaten pretty badly and you gotta wonder why they booked two semi-squash matches in a row. Sheamus gets two backbreakers before hitting a bicycle kick for the pin.
DX is heading towards the ting, and since they shill anyway, why not go toâ€¦
JeriShow is in the ring without an entrance. Super duper folks. Super duper. Meanwhile, DX gets their full entrance. Apparently some fans unfurled a giant â€œARE YOU READYâ€ banner that looks like it was made on a dot matrix printer.
HHH gets on the mic and apparently he met with the NASCAR folks and this is apparently a lumberjack matchâ€¦made up of all the guys he screwed over. Glad everyone forgot that theyâ€™re trying to kill each other long enough to gang up on Big Show. Jericho, complete wit his trophy, sneaks out the back.
Shawn his the mic now and forgot to mention that this is a no-DQ lumberjack match. Oh, and Charles Robinson is out. The special guest referee is John Cena.
Weâ€™re back and the lumberjacks for some reason havenâ€™t just run in the ring and beat the hell out of Big Show. I mean, they totally can. Thereâ€™s no rules here. Why donâ€™t they just run in the ring and end this thing? Donâ€™t they all want revenge? I justâ€¦I justâ€¦if it werenâ€™t for my horse, I wouldnâ€™t have spent that year in college.
The crowd chants for HHH. Why hasnâ€™t Legacy jumped Kingston, by the way? Arenâ€™t they hella-pissed at him? I guess they have segment amnesia. Meanwhile, Big Show is beating the crap out of HHH before Chris Masters of all people interferes. Big Show tosses him in the ring and kicks him out. I nominate Primo to get the same treatment.
HHH hits the high knee but Show wonâ€™t go down. Show has the Chokeslam but HHH turns it into a pretty poorly botched DDT for two.
Big Show goes to the second rope before hitting a Vader Bomb before Cena fakes arm pains. Maybe heâ€™s having a stroke. Cena and Big Show go toe-to-toe before Chavo and Primo double-dropkick him. Swagger runs in and attacks him but gets launched. Miz tries the same and gets launched. Henry flattens him, MVP hits the kick and thereâ€™s the frog splash from Bourne. Santino is in the ring now yelling with a viper hiss before getting chokeslammed. Kingston hits Trouble in Paradise before Cena hits the FU. HHH puts a Smackdown shirt on Big Show as HBK hits a Superkick into a Pedigree.
A part of me kinda wishes that Big Show decided to shoot and kick out. That would have been the best rib of all time.
But wait, here come the rednecks! Cenaâ€™s opponent at Survivor Series will beâ€¦Hornswoggle. Weâ€™ve got a triple threat matchâ€¦Cena versus DX. Hmm. So, that happened.
This has been for your consideration.
Tags: Andrew Wheeler, Bragging Rights, DX, For Your Consideration, john cena, randy orton, shawn michaels, triple h, WWE