For Your Consideration…A Full-Sized Review of RAW (plus “In defense of Sheamus”)

For Your Consideration…A Full Sized Review of RAW

First up, sorry for the unplanned delay. I got held up with plans last night and had to DVR RAW, so that’s why this review is going up a little late. With that said, you can get all your FYC update information at twitter.com/awheeler316. Before getting to the RAW recap, here’s a nice throwback to the days when “For Your Consideration” was an opinion column…

“In defense of Sheamus.”

Yes, I’ve ruminated about this for a week (well, not all week…I celebrated Slapsgiving and went on a cruise…I do have a life outside of fictional sports) and I think I’ve come to the logical conclusion: Sheamus winning the Battle Royal was a brilliant idea.

You read that right; brilliant.

First, you have to look at the options that the WWE really had for the TLC Pay-Per-View. The WWE was backed into the proverbial corner with their RAW roster (and no one on SmackDown could really be moved at this point thanks to looming surgeries). Creative realized they couldn’t go with another derivation of Randy Orton, Triple H or (the freshest option) Shawn Michaels.

We’ve seen Orton/Cena so many times that the WWE had to go ahead and put a “Never again” stamp on the match (though that stamp doesn’t seem to be waterproof). Had the WWE gone ahead and given us yet another John Cena versus Randy Orton match, I’m pretty sure the whole building would have rioted. Well, probably not riot. My guess is some folks would boo while most would file towards the exits and look for the next upcoming UFC event.

Then there’s the DX quandary. We got to see Shawn and Hunter compete for the title in an exciting but uneventful match at Survivor Series. If the WWE were to give us another match featuring one of them, then what the hell would they do with the other member of DX? Having two of your top stars in a tag team does tend to hinder their singles match appearances, and if say the WWE were to go with Shawn, what the hell would Hunter do at TLC? He doesn’t have a backburner feud waiting for him, and anything they would attempt to build now would be haphazard at best. For that reason alone, there goes DX as an option.

In a shorter paragraph, the same goes for Big Show. He and Jericho are locked in the potential main event of the PPV against DX, so there was no way to put him in there with Cena (not to mention the fact that his knees are about as stable as The Iron Sheik with a microphone).

So who does that leave? Well, the rest of the roster. On the other hand, all that leaves is the rest of the roster.

My pick many months back was Jack Swagger, the All American American. Swagger has the look and the skill set, but it appears that the WWE has cooled on him in the past few weeks. He went from dominating the US Title feud to wrestling Primo in a matter of weeks. Since Swagger appears to be a nonstarter, who the hell else could they pick?

Kofi Kingston right now is a white hot star, but his heat is only coming from his insanely entertaining feud with Randy Orton. The WWE wasn’t for a moment going to end that feud, not to mention the fact that Kofi/Cena would only confuse the masses. Don’t worry, Kofi will get his shot, but giving it to him here would make zero sense.

Then there’s Cody or Teddy. I’ve never been high on Cody or Teddy, as I tend to view them as decent to solid midcard guys. Rhodes has never really impressed me, but others (coughGlazercough) really see potential in him. There may well be star potential in him, but it isn’t there right now. His biggest drawbacks are his lack of a great look and lack of a definable style. No one is confusing Cody Rhodes with Triple H in terms of look, but at the same time no one is confusing him with Shawn Michaels in terms of in-ring performance either. Rhodes doesn’t seem to have a truly signature wrestling style, and the risk of him having a boring match with Cena would kill his future potential. Teddy, on the other hand, seems to have a better look, but his charisma needs some help. For fucks sake, he’s the son of the Million Dollar Man. His father did more on charisma than almost any other superstar, and yet when he gets on the microphone, he tends to be less Ted Senior and more January Jones on SNL. We’re thrilled you can memorize your lines Teddy, but you gotta sell them! Oh, and the fact that the WWE built them up for their epic turns already and never pulled the trigger only to have them sort of sink into the anonymous midcard hasn’t done them any favors either.

MVP and Mark Hey-Hey Henry aren’t the answer because they are not only a tag team but also a tag team that isn’t horribly over.

The Miz could have gotten this spot, but it would have been all for naught. Remember, The Miz already challenged (and got flattened by) John Cena a few months ago. Who thinks this time it would be horribly different? Besides, he’s already got the US Title and is needed elsewhere on the card.

Evan Bourne getting a title shot would probably kill Vince. Then again, if Primo got a title shot, I’d kill Vince.

Who does that leave? Sheamus. Look, there’s absolutely no reason not to give the kid a shot. Cena got a shot very early into his heel run against Brock Lesnar and I think he’s doing pretty good.

Sheamus so far has been made to look unstoppable, and in a gimmick where a fresh face gets a shot at the belt, he’s perfect. While many people will complain that he doesn’t deserve it and he’s only getting it because Hunter’s got a thing for him (FYI, the whole idea of men getting pushes because of man-crushes is an 80’s concept…if it were true, Orlando Jordan would still have a job), in the end he’s the only logical choice.

The Great Khali and The Big Show (back in his Giant phase) were super pushed to the top and they weren’t very good. Sheamus has a unique look and he’s actually quite capable in the ring (kudos to those of you completists who watch ECW every week), so maybe this will lead to something great. At the very least, it’s something DIFFERENT. The stipulation ensures that no one is going to be made to look bad, because tables matches tend to involve fluke wins. Sheamus isn’t going to pin Cena and John Cena isn’t going to pin Sheamus. Besides, the WWE would want Sheamus to win the gold in glorious fashion, and that usually involves a clean pinfall victory over the champion.

Vince knows that the TLC PPV is selling itself on the rest of the card, and he has decided to take a small risk. Quite frankly, I cannot blame him. TNA in the past few months has built what appears to be momentum (then again, since this is TNA, it could just be gas), and Vince wants to crush it.

TNA signed Hulk Hogan. TNA put on a triple threat match with three of the IWCs’ golden boys, made it for the title and put it in the main event of a PPV. TNA signed one of the biggest indie stars and immediately put him in a feud with Kurt Angle. TNA has amassed a locker-room with people like Hernandez, Matt Morgan and (for some reason) Eric Young and believes that they are the future of the industry.

Vince, in a few weeks, took back the momentum. He put on two triple threat matches, one of which included three of his top stars (and that match met or exceeded the TNA bout). He signed the biggest indie star and has him in his front pocket (again, no gay jokes). Now, thanks to this PPV, his potential future locker-room looks stronger than ever. He has Drew McIntyre (who he is crazy high on), Sheamus (who is already made to look like a true threat), Kofi Kingston (a babyface who actually is generating babyface reactions), Teddy DiBiase & Cody Rhodes (who could be true top threats), The Miz (who stepped up his game so fast that he may well be Most Improved of 2009), John Morrison, CM Punk and Jack Swagger.

Everyone and their mother were writing about Sheamus winning the battle royal, and gun to my head, I probably couldn’t tell you one thing that happened in TNA this week. Advantage Sheamus.

Alright, enough of that, time for…

Well, the opening kinda looks like Nitro with the fire.

On a plus side, the Kofi table spot is already in the opening video.

Cole calls this cable’s hottest show, so maybe I am in fact watching Nitro. Tonight we get…Orton v. Kofi? Huh? Why the hell are they giving that away for free?

Ah, we are reminded that tonight’s host is Verne Troyer, which explains the short-sighted booking.

Well, it’s JeriShow. Here comes both Big Show and Chris Jericho (complete with spiffy suits) as our opening promo is going to, of course, deal with DX. Even when they aren’t opening the show, RAW is about DX. Eh, criticizing DX for being on too much is like complaining about heat in summertime.

Big Show and Jericho bust out their awesome pose with the titles before Chris announces that there needs to be some clarification of some misconceptions. Apparently we are being woken up from our ignorant bliss (which I’m pretty sure is Punk’s gimmick). Oh wait, they don’t want us to stop doing drugs, they just want us to stop believing that DX is the greatest tag team of all time. No worries there Chris, we all still love Techno Tag Team 2000.

Jericho is there to clear up some rumors (though to be fair he did say broomers). Fact #1: JeriShow have been tag champions for over four months. They beat every tag team on the roster (all for of them). They won the straps in their first night of existence-even though they were a thrown together team-while DX has never been tag champions. Fact #2: DX are frauds. They shill for products but they are no DX. Hey, I’m pretty sure they beat Los Boricuas. Apparently when DX loses, their merchandise will be as outdated as Mister Kennedy t-shirts. Big Show points out that he’s held the WWE, WCW and ECW titles. Chris, in a nice piece of business, asks if they know what this giant man is saying to them.

On a sidenote, I love the little highlight reel playing behind JeriShow on the Tron (no pun intended). Show calls his fist a lethal weapon, mainly because it has killed millions of his future children. Hey, if the WWE is going lowbrow with their guest hosts, the best you’re getting are jerk-off jokes.

Show promises to put everyone into a deep coma. No arguments here.

Our final fact is that they’ve never been in a TLC match. You know, looking at JeriShow in the ring, I realize that I am really going to miss having them as a duo.

Well, the fun is over and here comes DX. Shawn appears to be wearing a DX skullcap (apparently HHH has one as well) and I have suddenly lost even more respect for Michaels. If you look quickly, they look like the Filthy Animals, which, by the way, is the closest anyone has ever come to comparing Michaels to Kidman.

Triple H points out fact #32, that JeriShow is boring us. Yeah, not so much. Hunter says that JeriShow are tag champs but no one gives a crap about them. No Hunter, the Colons no longer hold the titles.

Hunter says that they have amassed an army. Not since the fabled fighting force of Grenada have so many people united for no real reason. “No matter how much life dumps on you, you grab it by the throat and make it give you what you want.” Remember when the WWE used to air those “Rape is a crime. Always.” promos? For some reason that leapt to my mind.

Shawn talks about that he’s wrestling in his hometown in his first TLC match. The added bonus to them winning the tag titles is that Jericho is gone from RAW. Uh, how is that a bonus? Uh, even worse, this means that DX can appear on all the brands. Get ready to see Hunter beat CM Punk in two weeks in about four minutes.

Jericho gets the standard “Hey, hey, hey, goodbye” song, but Chris points out that without him, RAW is nothing. No arguments here. Jericho promises to save the ratings by keeping the straps, and suddenly I’m flashing back to old school WCW Chris Jericho magic.

Chris says that DX coasts on their laurels because they can’t do what JeriShow have accomplished. Again. Seriously, how many times are we going to say the same thing before we go to commercial?

Hunter says that two weeks can’t come fast enough so Hunter challenges Jericho to a one-on-one match. Chris accepts on the condition that if Jericho loses, he faces DX in a handicap match next week. If Jericho wins, Triple H has to beat JeriShow in a handicap match.

Jericho has four words for us: “I’m never leaving RAW.” I don’t know how quickly that’ll catch on as a chant, but I give him an A for effort.

Commercial.

We relive the Thanksgiving nonsense from last week, brought to you by Transylmania, which, I shit you not, is an actual movie. Unfortunately, the monkeys in the truck force us to hear Melina’s awful promo before Maryse made her return.

Here comes Melina and Gail “Yes, I Still Work Here” Kim. Apparently this breaks the camera as we get dead air before we see half of Maryse’s promo. Maryse’s wooden acting is still fantastic but apparently Jillian Hall is next to her and she warbles for a second. Stop. The. Pain.

Here comes Maryse and Jillian Hall and Maryse’s boobs. They are getting a bit out of hand and deserve their own billing. Jillian and Gail hold back their respective partners from fighting, because we all know this isn’t a match or anything.

Maryse and Melina tease locking up before Maryse tags in Hall. Melina goes after Maryse but Hall goes for a small package which unfortunately gets a two. Gail is in now and hits her top rope dropkick for a count of zero. Just a side note, this Friday the WWE is in Texarkana Arkansas, so pile into the station wagon and go see live wrasslin’ action.

Maryse is in now and she’s beating up Gail Kim before Kim hits a neckcbreaker. She finally tags Melina, who goes to work on Maryse. The WWE missed a moment by keeping these two from touching one another. Oh well. Melina and Gail take out the heels and then Melina goes for the Code Red That Will Kill Someone, but it gets reversed by Maryse who hits the DDT and then the full body cover. Heh, that looks naughty. Maryse does some posing before laying down on the mat for some reason. Odd.

Speaking of odd, Lawler in a bowling shirt and Cowboy Michael Cole show us the replay of Sheamus beating Finlay in a qualifying match (which is almost like a qualifying match) before winning the battle royal. The nicest part about his performance in the match was that he wasn’t a typically cowardly heel. He wrestled a smart match but never cowered. Gotta love that.

Sheamus is walking towards the ring and we fade to…

Commercial.

We’re back and Sheamus is coming down to the ring. Cole talks about how easy it is for Sheamus to win the title. Yeah Cole, that’s what you wanna do, minimize any future victory. Brilliant.

Sheamus has the microphone. He says that Cena should take him seriously because he put him through a taybul. He don’t hafta pin him, even though he can. He don’t haft make him submit, even though he can. He will becum tha new Double-Ya Double-Ya Eee champyun. Apparently this will mean he will be taken seriously.

Speaking of serious, here comes Santino. Marella comes out, mispronounces Cena’s name and talks about how Sheamus seems to be overlooking Santino. Marella says that he must be jealous that Santino has skin pigmentation. You know, because he’s pale. Oh, we then go for a Lucky Charms joke. Speaking of jokes, Santino mentions the fact that he’s a two time Intercontinental Champion. Sheamus then beats the shit out of Marella, which is something I can completely get behind.

Sheamus hits a nice looking short-arm clothesline and Cole goes into the super serious whispered hush voice, letting us know that this is dangerous and for realz. Sheamus then hits the bicycle kick made famous by Bull Buchannan before doing the Razor’s Edge, made famous by the Fake Razor Ramon.

Sheamus now pulls out a table and Cole finally realizes that this might be a message being delivered to John Cena. Gee, ya think? The crowd erupts in a Cena chant, which is further proof that Sheamus was the right choice. The fans will not run the risk of turning Sheamus a face. Sheamus scoops up Santino and drives him through the table in such a way that if he does that to Cena, it will be definitive. Sheamus rolls out of the ring, and then, like a special needs child, yells his own name loudly.

JeriShow are walking in the back before we get the obvious shot of big Show standing next to Verne. Holy crap that guy is tiny. He makes Rey Mysterio look tall. Verne ignores Chris Jericho because his phone call can’t sustain a little interruption. Apparently we have a short break, so we’ll be back after this…

Commercial.

Here comes Verne Troyer, who is already propped up on a stool. Cole mentions that Show and Verne were in the classic “Jingle All the Way.” Troyer says that he wanted to host RAW and that he had so much fun at the SummerFest. He says that one person was a jerk, The Miz. This brings out Miz, who just happened to be standing a minute distance from Verne.

Miz does his “Really” shtick before saying that he doesn’t remember seeing Verne at the party. Miz apologizes for insulting him before doing his Dr. Evil and promising to turn him into Mini-Miz. Apparently Verne has heard that before. Really? People have promised to dress you up like a RAW midcarder?

Somehow this all leads to Hey-Hey Henry to come out and we do Fat Bastard jokes. Seriously, how old are those movies? Miz says that Henry has no personality. No argument here. Miz says that their 15 minutes of fame are over. The only thing anyone will remember is that he’s the Miz and he’s awesome and he’s wearing a skinny tie. Verne then books Henry/Miz. I feel like this segment has been going on for about an hour.

Commercial.

Here comes Kofi Kingston, complete with his fake Jamaican music. Thankfully he’s jumped by Cody Rhodes, ensuring that our TLC match is still an option. The zebras to try to stop the Duck-Billed Rhodes as Kofi looks dazed. On the plus side, this is how you can get people to care about Cody again.

The fans chant for Kofi as he crawls gallantly into the ring. Well, this should get him over even more. See folks, someone in Creative is using his noodle.

Teddy comes out of nowhere and jumps Kofi just as I hear voices. This has now elevated to the level of Homer trying to catch his pig that Lisa liberated. Kofi’s just a little airborne, he’s still good, he’s still good.

Kofi says he can still fight because it was but a flesh wound and here comes Orton. We get the copyright logo as Orton goes for Kofi’s injured leg. Cole reminds us of all the times Kingston befuddled Randy’s dastardly plans like Walker, Ghanan Ranger.

Orton drives Kingston’s knee into the ringpost six or seven times before stoping him. The referee is being unnaturally loud about his disapproval of what Orton is doing to Kofi. My guess is that this guy will be gone in a week.

Orton continues to stomp on Kingston and I’m still distracted by the world’ loudest and most annoying referee. I’m all for adding realism to it, but he’s crossing over to the cartoonish. He’s kinda like the kid in “Not Another Teen Movie” who was playing Oz and did the overly cartoonish “Don’t do it!” (What? It was on MTV and my fiancé had the remote. Don’t judge me). Even worse, he starts doing his five count to break the hold, but gets wrapped up in counting the number of stomps Orton delivers that his cadence is WAY off. Unless this ref’s last name is Levesque, my guess is he’ll be future endeavored as soon as he goes through the curtain.

Kofi moves into his hope spot before being killed dead with an RKO. Cole says that the viper strikes, which is new and original. On the plus side, Kingston can get the pin at TLC.

Randy goes after Kofi after the bell as Annoying Ref continues to plead with him. Orton sets Kingston up on the top turnbuckle and delivers the DDT. Kofi sells it like he’s completely dead this time, which is great. Who knew Kingston had it in him? I mean sure the majority of his in-ring action is just adding jumps to basic punches and kicks, but the guy sells like a fucking champion.

Someone in the back decides that this is enough, so they play his music as we go to…

Commercial.

WWE.Com has the best of Highway Robbery. I doubt the Undertaker main event casket match is on that list.

MVP and Verne are playing “Smackdown versus RAW” before Mark Henry and Jillian Hall show up. Porter says that Henry has tremendous personality. Oh I get it, MVP and Henry are this generation’s HeadCheese.

Jillian Hall starts singing “Single Ladies”. Henry starts dancing with her and he’s already blowing up. This ends with Henry accidentally splashing Jillian Hall. For some reason this comes off as less comedy and more OJ. Verne hammers it home by saying that he thinks Jillian Hall is dead.

Big Lawlerbowski and Cowboy Cole review the TLC PPV. Let’s hope I don’t write another Roundtable only to find out that we aren’t doing one.

A car pulls up and it’s John Cena. He’s here just in time for a…

Commercial.

The Champ is Here. The Champ is also OVER AN HOUR LATE. Unless Sheamus messed with his car’s thermal viscosity breakdown, necessitating him to use some Castrol GTX, I don’t understand why he isn’t on time. Even worse, he is not dressed like a WWE Champion. However, based on his colors, he’s dressed like a University of Florida Champion.

Cena says that Sheamus hasn’t won anything and he’s still the champion. Yup. As the champion, if Sheamus beats him, Cena gets a rematch. Apparently if Cena loses, he will cash in his rematch at the PPV. So why not make this two-out-of-three falls? Well, I guess that means Sheamus can win the title and we get Sheamus versus Hunter at the Rumble? Hmm…

Cena declares war and demands Cena versus Sheamus tonight for the title. Wait, what? Who cares? It seems that the fans love it.

“I spit in the face of people who don’t wanna be cool.” Wait…WHAT? Seriously, am I on drugs? Carlito is out and he looks in shape and lucid. See what happens when you don’t have to work with Primo anymore.

Carlito doesn’t know Sheamus or like Sheamus. Carlito says that there is a locker-room full of Superstars that want Sheamus to beat Cena. Apparently everyone hates John Cena because they are all tired of him hogging the spotlight and his merchandise. Carlito asks why he doesn’t get the spotlight. Oh I get it, because this is what he does in the back. Carlito, who seems to have dropped the bulk of his cartoonish accent, says that Sheamus represents the Superstars. This is a smart and solid little promo. I bet Cena is going to now flatten Carlito.

John Cena says that Carlito picked the wrong guy on the wrong night and that Carlito should get out. Where the hell has this John Cena been? This is a John Cena that people can get behind (well, until he said, “Party time.”). Cena, who sounds like he’s about to cry, takes off his hat and t-shirt. Carlito goes to bite his apple and eats an FU. See, they made this seem like a serious and tense moment and then Carlito blows it by going right to his gimmick and biting the fucking fruit. Had he just charged Cena and we got a bit of a brawl before Cena FUed him, that would have been better.

Sheamus comes out to the ring and Cena drops the catchphrase. Sheamus stops at the top of the ramp and the fans are loving this. Sheamus then backs away. Alright. What the hell was the point of that? My guess is that Carlito is either starting a new push by costing Cena the belt of he’s being future endeavored.

Commercial.

The midget is sitting on the stool at the entrance ramp and he introduces his bros, Henry and MVP. Henry tries his hand-raising pop gimmick but no one seems to care. MVP prepares us for an epic moment.

MVP wants everyone to get to their feet (a phrase he’s used to saying followed by “and put your hands in the air”). Henry does some terrible rapping as we finally go to…

Commercial.

Jeff Hardy’s DVD is out today. His life, his rules. Unfortunately, the DEA’s rules apply in the real world.

We’re back and Miz and Henry are in the ring. We get some standard big guy/little guy shtick as Verne watches with his creepy smile. Miz is now in control and he’s beating down Henry. Miz goes to the top rope but gets caught in the World’s Strongest Slam for the pin. Apparently this will put him in the US Title hunt. His other option? Just showing up to the arena and not having a feud. Troyer asks, “The Miz who?” Apparently his brain can’t hold that much information. He then brings out the Divas, who earn their paycheck by dancing around the midget.

Jericho is walking to the ring, and the walk will take about as long as these…

Commercials.

Mark Cuban, ROH’s television sugar daddy, is hosting RAW next week.

Shawn and Hunter are in the back. Triple H reminds us about the Little People’s Court crap that I hoped they forgot about. Hornswoggle shows up with subtitles and they rip off “Airplane”. For some reason ,Sheamus is dressed like Roadkill. Verne rolls in on his pimped out Hover-round and tells them to sue them for everything they have.

Hey, here comes Chris Jericho. He’s a wrestler. He’s going to be in a wrestling match. On a wrestling show. I know, novel, right?

People think they can tell us what to do, but two men with glowsticks know otherwise. I’m shocked that the WWE hasn’t bothered to release water with Triple H’s picture on it. I will point out that Shawn Michaels came out with Hunter, while the courageous Chris Jericho came out alone.

By the way, when did Shawn stop calling Lawler Kingfish? Bring that back, damnit!

Oh wait, here comes The Big Show. He even gets his own entrance, thus ensuring Jim Johnston that he got even more royalties.

Jericho jumps Hunter from behind and Triple H is outside the ring and we are on our way to…

Commercial.

We’re back and Jericho is still pounding away on Triple H. Big Show has joined the commentary table to give us some of his dazzling bon mots.

Jericho launches Hunter into the steps and Big Show informs us that he’s sick in the head about hurting people. Alrighty.

Jericho locks in a resthold as Cole feels the need to explain the rules of a TLC match to Shawn and Big Show.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Hunter hits a high knee on Jericho for two. Jericho pops up and goes for the Walls but Hunter breaks free and eats an enziguri. Jericho goes for a bulldog before we transition to dueling punches. “I can’t wait to make you eat wood.” Thanks Big Show for discrediting my theory about homosexual overtones in wrestling.

Jericho gets a DDT for two and Shawn, like a confused old grandfather, mutters, “Awesome match.” Hunter hits a Spinebuster for two and Big Show is standing. Shawn stands up but Show swats him away. He delivers a right hand to Triple H and the ref ejects Big Show. Shawn slides into the ring and hits a Superkick on Jericho and he’s now ejected. Tough but fair, ref.

Both guys make it up before a ten count. Jericho goes for the Codebreaker, Hunter goes for the Pedigree, Jericho goes for the Walls but Hunter gets a small package for the pin.

Not bad folks, not bad.

Shawn reminds us that next week is Jericho’s last night on RAW and he has to face DX in a handicap match. We end with a family friendly “Suck it.”

This has been for your consideration.

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