For Your Consideration…The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Be…Who’s that British Guy?

For Your Consideration…The Best There Is, The Best There Was The Be…Who’s that British Guy?

Welcome to another edition of “For Your Consideration.” This week I’ll be live even if RAW is in the can from jolly ole England. Before I begin, allow me to quote “Clerks: The Animated Series”:

British Man: [asking for cigarettes] Pack of fags.
Randal Graves: You’re a fag.
British Man: It’s a cigarette, mate.
Randal Graves: I’m not your mate, fag.
Dante Hicks: Boy, it wasn’t until years later that we found out what “fag” REALLY meant. Right, “mate”?
Randal Graves: You’re a fag.
Dante Hicks: No, a fag’s a cigarette, remember?
Randal Graves: You’re a cigarette.

Ah, good times…good times. You know, kinda like tonight’s RAW is hopefully going to be. Despite my smartass title, I am a big Ricky Hatton fan dating back to his old fights on Showtime in 2004. His “Blue Moon” entrance was the right kind of pro wrestling-esque theatrics, and until he ran into some roadblocks this year, was probably one of the best fighters on the planet (and a humble and nice guy to boot). Getting Hatton was a smart move by the WWE, since he’s still considered a hero across the pond despite the fact that he didn’t win his last two high profile bouts. That’s right folks, I’m actually getting behind a Guest GM. Watch that turn around and bite me in the ass if Hatton books a match featuring John Cema.

Speaking of things biting other things in the ass, I think everyone is officially sick of Hulk Hogan and TNA. And when I say everyone, I’m including those in TNA. This has literally become the biggest non-story story of the entire year. Hogan signed with TNA, which immediately thrust the national spotlight on the promotion. Unfortunately, the spotlight was attached to Hulk himself, who is selling a book in which he talks about almost offing himself. Also, since Hulk has yet to appear on Thund…er…Impact, every one of his media appearances has featured footage of him from “other” companies.

Worst of all, the big stories surrounding him have been what role he’s going to play. The signing of Hogan is the anti-Angle. When Kurt was signed, it was a blockbuster announcement that excited the fans because suddenly there were some dream matches that could become a reality. By signing Hogan, TNA has become a more well known entity, but as what? What the hell is Hogan’s role?

There has been some talk that he isn’t going to wrestle. To that I call shenanigans. Hogan will lace up the boots, milk the nostalgia reaction in front of a few thousand people (instead of the tens of thousands he would have in the WWE), beat some folks and maybe do a token job to Lashley (the token black monster who is probably going to bolt on the sport and collect his MMA paycheck as soon as CBS comes calling). Even worse, there are rumors that Hogan is going to be booked. Hulk Hogan. Booking. How the hell does that make sense? Maybe if they were putting Bischoff on the staff it would make some sense. That’s right, I’m grasping for air when the only logical solution is to put Bischoff and Russo in charge of the book. The two men who managed to literally kill a company on live television are getting yet another shot.

Lastly, Hogan’s TNA influence has seemed to do nothing but allow him to speculate as to “others” that might join him. First, if Ric Flair sets foot in TNA, I think the wrestling world is going to implode. Flair knows that any time he wants, he can be back in the WWE in any non-wrestling role he wants. What the hell is the advantage to him going to TNA? Why sully his reputation any further? Then there are the rumors about Savage and Austin. Jesus Hulk, you couldn’t promise Lou Thez and Frank Gotch? Oh, and don’t forget the fact that Hogan’s cronies are all making their glorious return. Get ready to see The Nasty Boys, Brutus Beefcake and Jimmy Hart on a weekly basis.

You can’t make this shit up. TNA has a roster that includes Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Kurt Angle, MCMG and Nigel McGuinness and there is a legitimate chance of seeing Brian Knobbs near the main event. Thank you Hulk Hogan for showing that all your years of bullshit at the beginning of this century about how you’re out to do the right thing were nothing more than a Tony Schiavone swerve.

Moving on to more positive things, there have been those rumblings again about a WWE Network. I, for one, think this is a brilliant idea. Anyone that honestly believes that having a WWE Channel is a stupid idea just doesn’t get the idea of boutique cable networks. First of all, Vince has THE wrestling library to end all wrestling libraries. He could just go down the aisles and air the shows in random order and it would still play to near infinity. Second, he has shown with WWE 24/7 that it is possible to construct intelligent wrestling programs that appeal to true wrestling fans. The only shame about 24/7 is the limited availability. It was (and still is) the greatest use of footage ever. Lastly, with the ratings of RAW and ECW constantly dominating their respective nights on cable to begin with, there is no reason to believe the channel won’t draw respectable numbers compared to Versus, MTV2 and HGTV. In fact, I have taken the liberty and programmed a given week of WWE TV:

Before I begin, let me give a quick crash course in how cable programming works. Most channels rely heavily on paid programming, so that means there is no reason to program anything between the hours of 2:00 am and 9:00 am. Most of the specialty networks don’t start until 9 or 10, and having paid programming alone would generate enough money to justify the channel. Also, most cable channels rely heavily on repeat airings. Think about how many times Comedy Central airs “South Park.” Seriously, they air a new episode at least four times in a given week. With that said, here’s the schedule:

Monday – Friday Daytime line-up:

9:00 am – 10:00 am:
WWE Superstars. This show has enough episodes in the can to run fresh for a good three years airing every day before a single repeat. That alone makes it perfect to kick off the daily programming.

10:00 am – 11:00 am:

WCW. World Championship Wrestling had several syndicated television shows, namely WCW Worldwide. Might as well continue that idea that WWE TV has an extensive library with some WCW action.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm:

WWE Challenge. Another solid syndicated show that has a billion episodes and can air daily without running into heavy repeats.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm:

TNT: Tuesday Night Titans. Noon is right around the time that most daytime talk shows end, so why not air the best fake wrestling talkshow ever. Hell, once you run through the loop of episodes once, you can do a week of “The Bobby Heenan Show.”

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm:

AWA. One hour of AWA’s best, including that awful set they had with the red shag carpeting on the walls.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm:

Prime Time Wrestling. How better to bring the kids home from school than two hours of Gorilla and The Brain bringing you the “best” of the “best” (all the Iron Mike Sharpe you can handle!)?

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

World Class Championship Wrestling/Championship Wrestling from Florida: Alternate daily which territory we get to enjoy, whether it’s some of Texas’s finest or some Graham action in Florida.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

Byte This. That’s right, bring it back. If ESPN can air Around the Horn and PTI, why not bring back this onetime WWE.com horror show?

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Mid-Atlantic: Nothing like coming home from work, cracking open a beer and watching the Horseman and the always hairy Manny Fernandez wrestle in the smallest television studio to ever house a 5-star match.

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

ECW: This should draw a great audience of people sick of “Family Guy” reruns and remind fans why ECW was such a big deal to begin with.

Primetime:

Monday:

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Showcase: This is the spot to air some of the great WWE Home Video documentaries or parts of previously released DVDs. Imagine watching the first hour of “The Ric Flair Collection” before starting your night of RAW.

9:00 pm – 12:00 am

Monday Night War: WWE 24/7 started airing this show that featured uncut episodes of RAW and Nitro so that fans could see what each show was airing on a given night. Best of all, they are all already produced.

Tuesday:

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm:

Encore of the prior night’s RAW.

10:00 pm – 12:00 am:

Second encore of prior night’s RAW.

Wednesday:

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

House Shows. 24/7 has been a goldmine, unearthing old house shows from MSG, Toronto and the Boston Garden. Why not do a two hour block here of some of the best moments and matches on a night where there’s no live wrestling?

10:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Encore of prior night’s ECW.

11:00 pm – 12:00 am

Second encore of prior night’s ECW.

Thursday:

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

WWE Smackdown: Starting from Episode One, airing every episode from the past decade.

10:00 pm – 12:00 am:

WCW Thunder. Just like Monday Nights with the MNW, we can see WCW’s piss poor Thursday show also. Get ready for all the Van Hammer you can Van Handle.

Friday:

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm:

Legends of Wrestling Roundtable: A great one-hour show where a bunch of old wrestlers sit around and tell stories about stars from the past. Also known as, “How many times has Michael Hayes taken a sip of what I cannot believe is actually coffee?”.

10:00 pm – 12:00 am

WWE Superstars Replay & Encore of the current incarnation.

Late Night Weekdays:

12:00 am – 1:00 am

ECW. Hey, if you miss it at 7, catch it at 12.

1:00 am – 3:00 am

Prime Time Wrestling.

Saturday:

9:00 am – 10:00 am

WWE Superstars.

10:00 am – 11:00 am

WWE Mania. Yup. Bringing back the Toddster.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Livewire. Nothing like seeing an anonymous Vince Russo looking oh so pudgy.

12:00 – 2:00 pm

WCW Saturday Night. Hugh Morris and Norman Smiley, come on down.

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Monday Night Wars encore.

5:00 pm – 11:00 pm

This week’s WWE programming in chronological order.

11:00 pm – 12:00 am

Velocity. See Paul London as you’ve never seen him before…winning.

12:00 am – 3:00 am

ECW Classic.

Sunday:

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

WCW PPV.

12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

WWE Classic PPV.

3:00 – 6:00 pm

WCW PPV encore.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

WWE Sunday Night Heat.

8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
WWE PPV.

11:00 pm – 12:00 am

Sunday Night Heat

12:00 am – 3:00 am

ECW Classic.

See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? Speaking of things that aren’t hard to do, you can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/awheeler316. Love me some shameless plugs.

“Andre the Giant.”

We start off with highlights of last week’s RAW finale where JeriShow obliterated Cena and DX. This moves to the RAW open, which according to PulseWrestling is going to be replaced by a song by the insufferable Nickelback.

We…are…taped…from the United Kingdom, which means its time to dust off that British phonebooth and give William Regal a token push.

Tonight, we get Mark Henry versus Randy Orton, because the bombings during WWII weren’t bad enough for England to endure.

Justin Roberts introduces Ricky Hatton who is flanked by the Bella Twins. Ah Ricky, you might look stumpy but you could beat the crap out of everyone in that arena twice before stopping for a Newcastle.

Hatton welcomes us to RAW as I’m shocked he didn’t come out to Bret Hart’s music. Ricky puts over the arena itself, which is where he won against Maussa. That was a hell of a knockout punch. You rarely get a clean punch like that in boxing. Hatton keeps thanking the fans long enough for someone in the truck to push the JeriShow theme and out come Big Show and Jericho in suits that make them look like Arnold and Danny from “Twins.”

Hey, Big Show and Hatton do have something in common besides both looking a little puffy. Thanks a lot Floyd. Show talks about how he’s knocked people out too. However Show, unlike your knockouts, Ricky’s weren’t scripted (because he never worked for Don King). Hatton says that he’s a big Big Show fan because Show got knocked out at Mania. The English fans chant something British before Show gives Hatton a free shot. Apparently they’re gonna roshambo. Hatton says that he’ll knock him out, but first he needs to get a ladder. Show gets on his knees, which I’m pretty sure is how he got his first WCW Tile.

Jericho stops Hatton from decking Show before saying that Big Show needs to worry about Survivor Series. Chris talks about that this is the role of his career because he won Bragging Rights, he beat John Cena last week and will beat The Undertaker (thanks for the spoiler warning, Jericho). Big Show, proving that he’s read a book or a really elaborate Highlights for Kids, calls Chris Napoleon. Ricky Hatton interrupts this to book JeriShow/DX, or as it will be known, the main event for Armageddon (or whatever the hell they are calling it these days).

Chris mocks the fans before mocking the Queen before Hatton says that he doesn’t understand what Jericho is saying. Hey, Hatton can hang with them. Not saying he’s amazing, but he isn’t terrible either. JeriShow have surrounded Hatton long enough before DX to make the save. Speaking of saves, you can save a bundle on DX merchandise at…oh wow, I just slipped so easily into shill mode right there that I guess I can’t fault them for doing the same. Wait, yes I can.

Hunter has a microphone, as apparently this will be a war of words. DX asks how many times JeriShow are going to do this before they get the hint. For as long as Creative is out of ideas Hunter, for as long as they are out of ideas. DX points out that Hatton was moments away from knocking them out, but thankfully DX stopped us from seeing that.

Shawn has the microphone and decides that they are going to take out JeriShow now. Michaels pops Jericho one and he goes out the ring as Big Show slowly rolls up his sleeves before leaving. You know, without the jacket and the loosened tie, Show looks like an off-duty Chilis manager. Hatton utters the Monday Night Live words of the week by leading the fans in a “Suck it” chant before doing the DX Chop.

Commercial.

We’re back as we relive the thrilling Battle Royal last week when Alicia Fox became the #1 contender.

Out now is Kelly Kelly with Gail Kim as the British fans fall all over themselves upon seeing what a real woman looks like. What? What did I say? This was an entire country obsessed with the Spice Girls for Christ sake.

Alicia Fox is out next with the human job machine Jillian Hall. How do you say “who cares” in English?

Kelly and Alicia go face-to-face and tit-to-tit before Fox faceplants here. Alicia pounds on her for a while as we see Melina watching in the back. Apparently she couldn’t afford a live ticket. Damn you, exchange rate. Thanks a lot Obama, way to not completely fix the worst economy in decades in less than a year.

Kelly now gains control and hits a Fameasser before Alicia Fox manages to botch GETTING PINNED. Fox hits a stungun on Kelly before hitting the scissor kick for the pin (but not before looking completely lost). Next week Alicia gets her shot against Melina in Madison Square Garden.

Wrestlemania ticket hype package leads us to Ricky Hatton and his kid in the back shaking hands with some local workers. John Cena shows up to meet mini-Hatton and asks for a match. Cena tussles the kid’s head as we tussle to…

Commercial.

We’re back and there’s a shot of a fountain in Sheffield. Ooh, aah. We then relive Sheamus killing Jamie Noble, who might retire now.

Sheamus is out next and he’s finally in an arena where people might understand what he’s saying. Not only that, he’s not the palest man in the arena. He’s also part of Team Miz alongside Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. They are facing Team Jobber…er…Morrison: Shelton Benjamin, Evan Bourne, Matt Hardy and Finlay.

Sheamus has the microphone and says that he succeeded in ending Jamie Noble’s career. Sheamus then promises to wallop his English opponent like the Irish always do. Every time he talks makes me want to watch “Boondock Saints”. In the ring, the well built Trevor Murdoch is murdering the no-name British local. Apparently his new finishing move is the Razor’s Edge. About time someone brought that back. Speaking of back, we’re back to…

Commercial.

We’re back as Lawler and Tie-less Cole put over WWE.com. Wow, that must bring Cole pain, talking about a product that got better simply by him leaving it. Can’t wait until we can say the same about RAW.

The Bella Twins talk about how much they love Hatton as he mentions that he’s a promoter, a clothing designer and gym owner. Oh great, here’s Santino. Marella is all puffed up…and Ricky Hatton has darts…I wonder how this is going to end. Chavo wanders into the shot and talks about how great he is at darts. Chavo tosses the dart and hits the edge. Hatton throws it and hits a bullseye. Oh, Chavo now wants to challenge Santino “Ricky Fatton”. Hatton books himself against Chavo.

Josh Matthews interviews Miz who again reminds us that he was the only RAW roster member to win at Bragging Rights. Miz declares that he’s…interrupted by Jack Swagger. Jack points out that he is still undefeated. Yeah, can’t be too hard when you face Primo every week. Not that I’m complaining about Colon jobbing on a weekly basis. Miz and Swagger trade “Reallys” as we head to…

Commercial.

We’re back and here comes Evan Bourne. He’s facing Jack Swagger so I’ve already filed this as a loss for Bourne in the all important record book. How I wish the WWE would give this some time.

Jack lifts up Bourne and drives him into the mat before pounding away on the “high flying” Evan Bourne. Jack whips Bourne into the ropes before launching him in the air. Jack then hits the running second rope Vader Bomb. Tell you what, Bourne can take a beating. Swagger takes a moment to do push-ups, which is a great heat magnet. He tosses Evan around for a while longer before Bourne gets some token offense.

Jack is back in control before eating the double-knees for two. Swagger gets up and just kicks Bourne in the face, and here comes The Miz. Swagger hits a belly-to-belly suplex as Miz continues to saunter towards the ring. See, with talent like this, there’s hope for RAW yet.

Swagger gets kicked in the face and Evan Bourne hits the 450 for the pin. Well, they sacrificed Jack Swagger’s winning streak to further the Survivor Series match. Thankfully, Lawler stops Cole acting all surprised over Evan’s win, since Bourne is a legit star. Miz says that this is why he’s the leader as Swagger looks on all angry and sweaty.

Here comes the inevitable as Mark Henry is walking to the ring and we rush to…

Commercial.

We’re back and we re-live Kyle Busch’s win on Saturday. Sure that’s impressive, but it would have been more impressive if he didn’t have a car.

Henry is in the ring WITHOUT A FULL ENTRANCE as we see Team Kofi (MVP, Mark Henry, R-Truth and Christian…who may or may not don the Roddy Piper blackface) against Team Orton (Duck Billed Cody, Teddy, William Regal and his pudge-protecting vest and CM Punk who’s just happy to not be jobbing to The Undertaker).

Apparently we aren’t getting the match yet as we are getting the VIP Lounge. Wow, MVP looks like shit. Big things popping, jet lag stopping…MVP. Mark Henry has a live microphone for some reason and he introduces their guest, Kofi Kingston. I wonder if he’ll say that he’s Ghanna win at Survivor Series.

Kofi is out now dressed like a normal person (as opposed to his ridiculous Jamaican sweats). Kingston gets sucked up to by MVP and Henry, who both remember what it was like to almost have pushes themselves. I wonder if there are any fans who tuned in this week for a nostalgia kick and thought that they reformed The Nation of Domination.

MVP and Henry crack open some champagne to toast MVP taking out Orton last week. Black folks are getting drunk in the UK and you can hear the crowd nervously cheer.

Legacy interrupts this with their fancy shirts and, for some reason, oiled up legs. It’s not like I wanted to notice this, but when three pantsless men wander out with shiny legs, it’s disturbing. MVP’s bouncer lets Legacy in, showing that he really isn’t earning his salary.

Orton slowly calls them a bunch of low class street thugs. Has nothing to do with race, mind you. Mark Henry stole a victory last week, MVP is a common criminal and Kofi Kingston vandalized Orton’s car. Wow, that actually makes sense. Orton says that the only reason he hasn’t taken out Kofi is that he wants to destroy him on PPV.

Cody calls them disgruntled outcasts and ex-cons before Teddy points out that he’s richer than they are. Legacy claims that they belong in the VIP Lounge, while the other three folks belong in the hood. Nope, no racism here. None whatsoever. We then fade to black. Well…uh…not black, but to uh…

Commercial.

We’re back and it’s Orton and Henry. Hope you didn’t fill out your Match of the Year ballots yet. Henry goes for a splash, misses and eats a bunch of Garvin Stomps. He then follows this up with some rest holds and some more stomps. Wow, Vince really hates England. We haven’t had a legitimate match tonight (Bourne/Swagger doesn’t count because while it was good, it was WAY too short).

Henry now is in control and he basically does the stronger version of punch and kick. Orton goes for a Sunset Flip despite the fact that he was a WWE Champion. Orton gets lifted to his feet by Henry and hits the RKO to mercifully end this match.

Kofi goes to check on Henry before Orton slaps him again but Kofi slaps him back and Legacy flees.

Commercial.

We’re back and next week we get to hear the new RAW theme. Ugh.

Ooh, Chavo. His opponent is Ricky Hatton who comes out to his badass version of “Blue Moon”. Hatton is wearing gloves and this is apparently a boxer v. wrestler match in which Chavo can only win by pin while Hatton can win only by KO.

Ricky goes to tap hands and Chavo slaps him. Hatton chases Chavo out of the ring with punches. This happens a few times and the fans are starting to lose interest. Hey, at least Chavo isn’t wrestling a midget. Chavo gets Hatton down and it goes all MMA for a minute (holding a guy on the floor with nothing happening). Chavo goes for a waistlock, Hatton escapes and nails Chavo in the head and he’s out cold.

Commercial.

We run down the Survivor Series card and Cena is in the back with Hornswoggle. DX shows up as the midget hides. They continue to play their triple threat match for jokes, including a “hip” joke about Twitter. Hornswoggle shows up now dressed like John Cena. DX leaves and Hornswoggle puts on his DX stuff. The WWE Title right now revolves around a midget. Yup.

Commercial.

We’re back with stock footage of folks drinking. Speaking of needing a drink, we re-live “RAW’s Got Talent.” For some reason, they made this looked like a recap when in fact they just replayed the ENTIRE thing with a fancy filter.

Next week’s guest host is Roddy Piper. Hope he has a designated driver. Wait, this just in, Hogan is trying to sign Roddy Piper to TNA. Tune in Thursday for the bad nostalgia, stay for the Rhino matches.

John Cena is out and Cole reminds us what show we’re watching. I know people explained why Cole does the shilling (I get it), but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

JeriShow are out again draped in gold as Cena settles in to do guest commentary. I still can’t believe they are giving this match away for free on a taped show. Even worse, why are they giving away Jericho/Taker on free television? Hell, a few months back, I had that as a lock for Mania. Now? Probably not.

DX gets their full entrance, which cuts down on the number of minutes we’ll get for this match.

Jericho and Michaels start it off for a moment before HHH is in. On a side note, Cena is playing his commentator role way too straight. HHH launches Jericho out of the ring and smack dab into a…

Commercial.

We’re back and Jericho tags in Big Show. Guess Chris handled all the heavy lifting during the break. Speaking of heavy lifting, Shawn is bouncing off Big Show like a pinball before Show tags in Jericho.

Jericho tags himself out to Big Show who lets Shawn tag in HHH and this thing is hardly a spirited contest. It’s just like they’re going through the motions.

Chris is in and now it’s time for Hunter to lay on the mat and take a resthold. Big Show is back in and the combination of the slow pace and Cena’s monotonous commentary is putting me to sleep. The only little positive is that Jericho is actually doing his own commentary on the apron. “Tell him! Tell him that he’s a giant destroyer.”

Jericho gets tagged in and he wails on Triple H. Chris’s enthusiasm is singlehandedly carrying this match. Just as I type that, he eats a spinebuster. Now HHH tags in HBK (I’m getting lazy and switching to 3-letter names) who takes out Jericho before knocking Big Show off the apron. Shawn goes to the top rope and hits the elbow before “tuning up the band.” He misses and Jericho goes for the Walls before Shawn flips him out of it. Big Show splashes them in the corner in what I can only call “First day in prison”. Show goes to knock out HBK, misses and knocks out Jericho. Match over. So glad they gave that away for free.

Alright, that’ll do it this week. Wait…Justin Roberts has announced that next week we will see DX versus Jericho and Big Show versus Cena and…The Undertaker. Wacky tag team combos at MSG!

This has been for your consideration.

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