For Your Consideration…RAW is TekWar

For Your Consideration…RAW is TekWar

Denny Crane is hosting RAW and I am pumped! Screw Captain Kirk, to me he will always be the greatest borderline senile barrister in television history (alright, the Screw Kirk thing might be a little harsh, but I was never a big “Star Trek” guy). Regardless of what happens tonight, I’m sure there will be at least one moment where Vince will regret giving William Shatner a live mic on national television.

Tonight’s RAW should prove to be eventful on the heels of the Royal Rumble, and I would be remiss if I didn’t give my two cents. First, let me get my shameless plugs out of the way and say that you can friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter at (twitter.com/awheeler316). Now that I’ve got the whoring out of the way, time to get down to business.

Now I’ve been wracking my brain for months trying to come up with a name for the nonsensical recap/rant things that I’ve been doing ever since “For Your Consideration” morphed from an op-ed Thursday column to a Monday column covering RAW, and despite my best efforts, I couldn’t come up with something. Thankfully one of you brilliantly suggested I honor my legal background, so tonight I debut…

“The Judicial Review: Royal Rumble”

Snappy, right? Eh, whatever, I like it. So, since I will be covering RAW also, I am not going to do a FULL recap of the Rumble (there are several other sources here on Pulse that can give you a blow-by-blow description, all of them BRILLIANT [I’m contractually obligated to say that…but they are all really good]), but I will hit on some of the high points of the night.

The show opened with the standard “Road to Wrestlemania” vignette, which isn’t to say that it was bad. It was just sort of what we expect from the WWE Production team, which is a solid and well produced opener to tell us the big story points along with a running narrative. That narrative for the Rumble isn’t too hard, seeing as this show is now officially the stepping stone for Mania.

ECW Title Match: Christian v. Ezekiel Jackson

The opening contest was the ECW Title Match between Christian and Ezekiel Jackson. While I might catch some flack for this, I actually liked the match. Now I’m not saying this deserved to be a MOTY contest, but I can’t really say that it stunk up the joint. Christian and Jackson told a simple story in the ring, and you cannot fault either man for doing something most folks wouldn’t have said they could do in the first place, which is string together a decent match.

In my Roundtable I picked Jackson to beat Christian (which cost me my Roundtable Title I might add), but I felt justified in my pick. People seemed to have forgotten over time, but when Jackson was first brought out as Christian’s mystery tag partner against Regal and Kozlov, the fans went more than a little nuts. For one reason or another, the audience just connected to the guy. Since his immediate heel turn, he’s done little to cultivate that same love from the audience, but with his size and his look, you can practically see the dollar signs in Vince’s eyes.

I also picked Jackson over Christian because I was worried that Christian as champion might grow stale after all these months. He’s beaten everyone that ECW has put in front of him, and eventually the fans are going to grow weary of seeing him defeat the entire roster. With that said, I do believe that there are some truly worthy challengers down the pike for the ECW Title, but I will get to that in a minute.

The match itself was a precursor for the Taker/Mysterio match later in the night, with a smaller speed guy trying to out-maneuver a big powerful guy. To Jackson’s credit, he seemed to hang with Christian for a surprisingly long match (by their standards). Sure, Ezekiel relied on a lot of restholds, but at no point could you say he looked completely lost. This is something you have to credit Christian with; since coming to ECW Christian has assumed both the mantle of a John Cena-like super face and a Finlay-esque grizzled veteran who can bring out the best in the next generation of stars.

In the end, Christian won with the Killswitch, but it wasn’t that simple. Christian went for the move so many times in the match you’d swear he was AJ Styles going for the Styles Clash. The point here was that the audience was supposed to believe that he can’t lock it in, and when he finally hit the move, it seemed more like a weary champion finally getting an opening and not just the same old same old. Hell, given the almost fluke nature in which he hit the move, it should be renamed the Hail Mary. Ya know…because he’s Christian. Look, this is the best kinda humor you’re getting from a Jew.

Now, as for the future of the ECW Title, the WWE can go a few ways. First, there’s the obvious rematch with Jackson. Assuming Regal sticks with Ezekiel, you have to imagine the outside influence will ultimately cost Christian the gold…er…silver. Second, there’s Zach Ryder. Sure, he didn’t have a great Rumble, but he’s undoubtedly the future star out of the current crop of ECW Superstars. In fact, I’m shocked this slot didn’t go to him, seeing as how he retired the Innovator of Violins, Tommy Dreamer. Zach has the look, he has the promo skills and now he has a valet, which means all the pieces are in place. Lastly, there’s Vance Archer. The one-time Lance Hoyt has looked pretty good since coming to ECW, and despite the fact that according to Trent Baretta he looks like Abraham Lincoln, he has the build to be an imposing champ. Besides, it’s not like the WWE has ever been shy about rushing the ECW Title on a newcomer.

After the match, we got our first taste of “comedy”, and to my shock, the segment was very effective. Teddy and Tiffany were in the back and Long put over the bright future of ECW, which is a nice touch. First, you have to assume that the fans don’t all watch ECW, so most of them probably don’t even know the girl who used to fuck Carlton Banks from “Fresh Prince”. Second, any time you can put over the lesser brand you need to take that opportunity.

Cryme Time got a little face time here as they bitched that only one of them was in the Rumble. They then say that they convinced Khali to give up his slot, but this somehow leads to everyone singing “Pants on the Ground.” Thankfully, The Miz shows up to point out how stupid this all is, which leads to him getting booked in a match with MVP.

I like this segment for a few reasons. First, the killer comedy. Okay, I’m kidding, the comedy was truly awful. Seriously, seriously awful. “According to Jim” bad. Seriously, I liked the fact that the WWE took the time to point out who is in charge of RAW without a Guest GM. Teddy go a chance to shine without being on “probation”, and I am thrilled they held off on dragging out Vickie for this segment. Also, I liked the segment because it allowed The Miz to shine at a point where everyone there seemed to be drowning in the muck of bad writing. It’s things like this that will make Miz more of a star (shining in segments that should be bad, not participating in lame comedy).

US Title Match: The Miz v. MVP

I’ve seen the match quite a bit and this was pretty much more of the same. The long and the short of it was that Miz got a fluke roll-up and then MVP attacked him. In a nice moment, the fans decided to just throw caution to the wind and cheer outright for Miz rather than pop for MVP.

This was the first time tonight where we saw the WWE put themselves in a bad position. There is no way the WWE can just outright turn Miz face, because he is so good as a slimy heel. Unfortunately, the audience just isn’t buying MVP as a face. Now this doesn’t mean they should turn HIM heel, but it does mean that they need to think about how they treat the babyfaces in the WWE. This current shtick of having the guy cut tame jokes and smile isn’t going to sustain the midcard, as the fans want to root for the cocky jerk because he is much more entertaining than the supposed babyface. Hell, the only time MVP was truly over was when he was facing Matt Hardy, because fans would cheer for Chris Masters before they root for Hardy.

WWE Title Match: Randy Orton v. Sheamus

This match had built some intrigue earlier in the night thanks to two surprisingly effective backstage vignettes. First, as Orton was just sort of sitting in the back staring into space (not quite sure why this was being taped in the first place), Cody Rhodes and his ridiculous t-shirt showed up. Cody said that he’ll be in Randy’s corner but that he couldn’t say the same for Ted. Basically, Teddy has a big head and said that he was going to win the Rumble and face Orton for the WWE Title. Then, as Orton was walking to the ring, Teddy walked up to Orton and said that Cody was talking about how HE would win the Rumble and face…Sheamus. Kinda cliché but still a nice little touch.

As for the match itself, I think the biggest story was Randy’s entrance. The fans went batshit insane for him. Now, before we begin the claims that Orton should be turned face, I will remind you that he gets these kinds of pops against pretty much everyone, including John Cena. Here, he was facing a heel champion that has so little “cool” about him that there was no risk of the audience supporting Sheamus. We were SUPPOSED to cheer for Orton here, because it would make the finish that much more interesting.

Randy Orton had the biggest challenge of the night by wrestling Sheamus. Sheamus against Cena is one thing, but Sheamus going in there with Randy Orton is a completely different story. Orton has never been asked to carry a title match against such a new opponent, regardless of whether or not he was champion. Cena’s wrestled everyone from Umaga to Khali to JBL and got decent to good matches out of them. Orton’s really only worked with more established stars from Hunter to Shawn to the aforementioned Cena (over and over and over again). This was Orton’s first chance to show that he could in fact carry a major PPV match as the veteran (which makes me feel really old to think of Randy Orton as a veteran). And before you say it, Kingston doesn’t count. Kofi had been around for longer, and based on Randy keeping his cool when Kofi botched a move, it’s been clear that Orton really can’t keep a poker face when someone screws up.

The match itself started out intriguing with the fans going all kinds of nuts for Randy, but it slowed to a near crawl as it continued. I wasn’t expecting a blockbuster match, and they met my expectations. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good. My main gripe comes from Lawler and Cole for selling Stryker up the river (or is it down the river, I can never remember). Either way, at one point Matt says that Orton appears to be more timid than normal, at which point both Cole and Lawler bury Stryker for saying it. Now I know why they stopped him (they thought he was bad-mouthing Randy), but what Matt was trying to convey was that Randy was facing another bad guy and his normal bad guy tactics wouldn’t work here, which would explain why he was wrestling the match as a quasi-face. Regardless, there was no reason to make the superior announcer look bad.

In the end, Cody ran out of the stands and attacked Sheamus, only to be spotted by the ref. Then, in one of those odd moments, the ref explained to Cody for a good minute that he saw what he did and he was going to disqualify Orton. Randy, meanwhile, hit the RKO for the hollow pin, being the only man in the arena to not notice the ref having a rather lengthy conversation with Rhodes. This of course leads to the DQ.

Then, finally, Randy Orton attacks Duck-Billed Rhodes to applause. Teddy makes the save and he gets laid out as well. Randy then stands there looking all conflicted and angry (you can tell because he was rubbing his freshly Bic’d head) for a LONG time before turning around and eating the bicycle kick from Sheamus, who does his retard yell and leaves.

I love the end of this match, because while the actual contest was pretty dull, the intrigue of the finish was what fans have waited forever for. Was Cody actually trying to help Randy, or was he trying to keep the title on Sheamus so that HE could dethrone the ginger? Ultimately, I don’t know where this will go, but it should be fun to watch. If the WWE were smart, they’d keep Orton a true tweener, wrestling faces and heels alike, while Priceless stays together if for no other reason than to have two heels that can wrestle a tag match on RAW.

Woman’s Title Match: Michelle McCool v. Mickie James

So that happened.

First up, giving Michelle McCool a microphone is always going to be a bad idea. She’s a mix between bad Matt Hardy and bad AJ Styles (calm down, when he’s got his passionate promo, he does well, but when asked to convey a character he always sounds lost). Anyway, after a few minutes of teasing a no-show by Mickie, we get Layla again in the pig costume. Ya know, I am a fairly smart guy, and yet sometimes I can be incredible stupid. For about half a second, I thought maybe the WWE pulled a coup and signed Awesome Kong. Alas, none of this happened and we got Layla in a fat suit. Again.

Anyway, after what feels like forever, Mickie comes out for the match. Well, the “match”. After dispatching Layla, she rolled into the ring and kicked McCool in the Undertaker’s Yard and hit the DDT for the pin. This was sort of the 21st Century answer to Backlund/Diesel. Hey, at least it was short.

After the match, a bunch of Divas come out with cake and sure enough, Michelle and Layla get covered in baked goods. Kudos to Stryker for pointing out again that whenever food winds up in a WWE ring, something bad is going to happen.

World Heavyweight Title: Undertaker v. Rey Mysterio

Well, they certainly let Taker and Rey do whatever they wanted. I said in the Roundtable that it would be big versus little throughout so as to allow Taker to preserve his rapidly depleting body, and it pretty much was a big versus little match, though Undertaker hardly phoned it in. Rey and Taker put on a very good match (I won’t join the camp saying this was a GREAT match), though the ending was never in question.

The big spots in the match highlighted the big-little dynamic, with Taker launching Rey out of the ring to start, Rey hitting 2 619s (which Styker called a 12-2-18) and Taker ultimately winning with the Last Ride. The match had blood (from an accidental broken nose on Undertaker) and high spots, so the masses have to be pleased. With Taker winning, people assumed that the Rumble main event was set in stone, but…

Royal Rumble Match:

What can I say about this Rumble that hasn’t already been said? It was beat-by-beat one of the best Royal Rumble matches of all time, standing alongside the ’92 Flair win and the erased for existence Benoit win (to quote “Back to the Future”, “Pretty mediocre photographic forgery, they cut off your brother’s hair.”)

The match opened with Dolph Ziggler and Evan Bourne, which was actually a bit of a big deal. See, those #1 and #2 slots are not really joke slots anymore since people have won by being in the ring first. Now nobody believed either guy would win the Rumble, but it was cool that they both got full entrances and a chance to get the spotlight in one of the biggest matches of the year. Their little double-take look at the Wrestlemania 26 sign was a little too cutesy for my taste, but that’s just nitpicking.

The third entrant in the match was the true MVP; CM Punk. As soon as I heard Punk’s music, I was very concerned that he was going to be marginalized. Instead, the WWE continued to do exactly what I praised them for last week, which was to allow Punk to maintain his heat absent a feud. Punk dumped both Bourne and Ziggler and then proceeded to CUT A PROMO in the middle of the match. This was interrupted by JTG, who almost immediately got eliminated so that Punk could CONTINUE THE PROMO. He said he would save his next opponent, who happened to be The Great Khali. Khali bounced Punk around and locked on the Vice Grip until he got interrupted by the next entrant…Beth Phoenix. I was pretty concerned this would be terrible, but it actually worked out. Beth kissed Khali, and while locking lips, she dumped him out of the ring. This worked perfectly because it played up Khali’s gimmick AND got rid of the terrible giant quickly. Meanwhile, Punk hit the GTS and eliminates Beth. He then CONTINUES HIS PROMO AGAIN, but this leads to Triple H coming out, which of course means the end of the initial awesomeness.

The Rumble can be broke down into thirds. The first third was clearly the CM Punk Show, with Punk demonstrating his incredible promo skills and showing just how versatile his character can be. Seriously, the way he was able to convey the crazy eyes combined with the touch of blood coming from his mouth was a sight to behold. The WWE has a license to print money with this 21st Century Jesus messiah gimmick (not to mention Serena, who Stryker called her Mary Magdalene), and giving him a prominent spotlight on a major PPV was a moment of brilliance.

Phase two of the Rumble was Triple H and Shawn Michaels ruling the roost as DX morphed into a cohesive unit. The nice thing here was that Hunter and Shawn got to be in the ring with a lot of younger up-and-coming guys; Drew McIntyre, John Morrison, Teddy DiBiase, Carlito and Cody Rhodes.

During this part, Legacy united together to save each other from being eliminated by Hunter or Kane, which makes me think they might not be done as a unit but might be finished as Randy’s lackeys. Also at this time, MVP and Miz continued their feud when Miz jumped Porter during his entrance and MVP subsequently ran into the ring to eliminate The Miz. The highlight of all of this was Matt Hardy coming out and being eliminated before his music was finished playing. That’ll teach him to ride in a cab, damnit! This phase came to a close when John Cena entered the Rumble and Shawn Superkicked Hunter out of the ring.

Phase three of the Rumble was the “most star-studded Rumble of all time”, with John Cena and Shawn Michaels at the center of it all. Shelton Benjamin and Yoshi Tatsu both got some token offense before they were both dumped. Then R-Truth eliminated Big Show and Mark Henry before Kofi Kingston got rid of him. Chris Masters came and left without much incident as well.

In the end, the Rumble came down to Cena, Michaels and Jericho, with two slots left. This is where the world went nuts and Edge made his return. Sure he looked kinda pudgy, but for him to return this early from such a serious injury is a great story. Kinda like when Cena did it a few years ago, only people like seeing Edge back a lot more. Batista was #30.

After Edge eliminated Jericho, our final four was Cena, Michaels, Edge and Batista. That’s a pretty impressive final four, especially when you consider every guy has a kayfabe story. Batista was cheated out of his world title and never got his fair rematch, so for him to win would mean he gets his true shot at the strap. John Cena lost his belt in a fluke tables match and got cheated out of HIS rematch. Edge returned from a near career-ending injury and was seeking to regain his place at the top of the card. As for Shawn Michaels, I think we all know the deal.

The entire Rumble had the story of Shawn Michaels trying to fulfill destiny, and when Batista eliminated him, the entire arena absolutely lost it. Seriously, this is how to convey real emotion from an audience. The fans were taking the journey along with Shawn, and when he got eliminated, everyone was shocked. Even better, they made his elimination look like a fluke, so there was the moment where everybody thought they saw a botched finish.

Shawn subsequently snapped and attacked a ref before Superkicking Lil Naitch (who sold the Superkick better than the real Flair did in his “retirement” match) and wandering out of the ring like a crazy hobo. Then Cena eliminated Batista (setting up the suggested match I predicted for Mania) and Edge tossed John Cena to win this year’s Rumble.

The entire Rumble match was paced perfectly, with all of the subtle storylines playing out throughout the course of the Royal Rumble (with the exception of the Jericho/Big Show backstage shtick). In the end, we had true emotion and a dramatic finish, not to mention further intrigue for Mania. THAT is how you can tell this was a successful Royal Rumble, when you are able to watch an entire Rumble and still want more.

Edge as the #1 Contender is interesting because he could go to either RAW or Smackdown and play either the heel or the face. On top of that, with Sheamus and Undertaker both holding the titles, we could see the world turn upside down at Elimination Chamber. Will the WWE go with Edge/Jericho? Edge/HHH? HHH/Sheamus (wow I hope not!)? Guess we’ll have to find out on…

Judicial Review: Monday Night RAW

Seriously, I am digging that title. It’s growing on me like a Jesus beard on Punk…or Edge…or Mickie James.

“The Manager of Champions.”

The show opens with an in memoriam for Jack Brisco. I’m glad they decided to acknowledge it here, and I hope we get a video package somewhere in the show.

And sure enough we open with the AWESOME RAW Nickelback song. Just kill me now. By the way, I just noticed the song has the lyric “balls out”, which I can’t believe is TV-PG.

Tonight Bret Hart confronts Mr. McMahon. Also, William Shatner is YOUR Guest GM, and before the graphic is off, Michael Cole makes a lame “Star Trek” joke.

Screw all that, because I think I know who’s opening the show. And sure enough, here comes Edge, decked out in his 50’s greaser look. My guess is he’s going to offer Sandra Dee a cigarette. What? I can’t make a “Grease” reference?

Edge trimmed his homeless beard so he now looks like a svelte Balls Mahoney. It sounds like the fans are giving him a positive welcome, so it’ll be interesting to see how long he keeps up Face Edge. Face Edge never really worked for him, or were you all Edgeheads?

Once the music turns off, it sounds like more of a mixed reaction. Edge screams that he’s back and he sounds a bit nervous. Edge says that he’s back in the main event of Wrestlemania. But before getting to all that, Edge takes us back to his injury. He talks about how he wasn’t going to be back until June if at all, but apparently as he was sitting at home watching The Slammy’s, he heard Jericho thank Edge for being injured and it magically healed him. Edge said the room got very silent and turns it into a dig against Dennis Miller. Edge says that he vowed that he won’t miss a third Wrestlemania, because he’s the Ultimate Opportunist.

Edge is giving his passionate promo about how hard he rehabbed, but the fans just don’t seem to know what to make of him. Maybe if they watched the show last night, they’d know how to respond to a returning star. Edge says that Jericho has a Slammy and his mugshot on TMZ, but Edge is going to Wrestlemania.

Edge mentions that two years ago he main evented the show and lost to Taker (a show I was at…yeah, I’m gloating). Edge says that unlike Shawn Michaels he can face Undertaker, but he asks if it was smart to challenge the 17 and 0 guy. He then says it might be smarter to challenge the guy who never competed at Wrestlemania. Edge says he’ll wait until after Elimination Chamber because it’s the smart choice. The sane choice.

“This year the Rated R Superstar will headline Wrestlemania.” This gets interrupted by Sheamus, who pounds his chest and lets out his patented retard yell.

“Looka tis, yer not back five seconds an ur mouthin’ off.” Edge says that RAW has been taken over by an evil Ronald McDonald, but Sheamus says he “bettur wuch ur mouf.” Sheamus says that he did what Edge couldn’t do, and that was beat John Cena for the dubbaya dubbaya eey champun. Edge interrupts and says he’s made a career out of beating John Cena, not to mention the fact he beat Randy Orton.

Sheamus says that he promises to win the Elimination Chamber and he won’t break a sweat beating Edge. Sheamus then tells him to head back to Smackdown before he “puts um buck on du shelf.” Sheamus then lays out Edge and lines up for the bicycle kick. Edge takes Sheamus down with rights and lefts before taking off that boss leather jacket. Edge sets up for the Spear (in jeans no less) and takes down the big bottle of milk. Cole says that Edge has fired the first salvo, and it appears that someone was nice enough to buy Michael a thesaurus. That’s kinda like giving a dog a calculator, but whatever.

We replay Sheamus getting Speared by Edge and Cole says it’s been quite a 24 hours for the #1 Contender.

We now get shots of “beautiful” Nashville as Cole throws us to the standard package about the Elimination Chamber.

You know, it just wouldn’t be a year in wrestling without a shot of someone welding a cage. Wow, this vignette even has a Joey Styles soundbyte, just to show that he hasn’t been Benoited.

In the back, John Cena is strolling to the ring, and apparently every match tonight is an Elimination Chamber qualifying match. In the words of Tony Schiavone, “That’s almost like a qualifying match.”

Commercial.

Did You Know – 2.3 Billion Photos were viewed on WWE.com. The number of them featuring Jillian Hall? Zero.

We’re back and here comes John Cena.

Holy shit did he get a major pop from the audience. Well, they booed Edge, so it would stand to reason that they would go batshit for Cena. Cole says that Psych did record ratings with John Cena last week, so this week Psych will have Stacy. Huzzah.

Cody Rhodes is out next in his dapper purple trunks. Duck-Billed Rhodes has a new shtick where he stands with his back to the ring when he comes out of the curtain, which I’m sure has serious subtext. Maybe it’s a commentary on vaccinations in Africa.

Cody wails away on Cena for a few seconds hitting a Russian Legsweep for two. You know, I’m really impressed to see Cena here wrestling considering how tough his match was last night. He was in that Rumble for a while. What? Fake fighting is really tough.

Cody goes for a high knee but no one’s home and Cena starts up the Five Moves of Mediocrity with the Shoulder Blocks, but Cody blocks the backbreaker. Cena shrugs it off and continues the Five Moves, including hitting the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He sets Cody up for the FU but Cody blocks it and hits a DEVASTATING clothesline. Okay, so it wasn’t so much devastating as…uh…occurring.

Rhodes goes to the top rope and hits a moonsault for two. Jerry Lawler for the second time this match calls Cody Randy Orton, so Cena decides to hit the FU for the pin to stop The King from embarrassing himself any further. Given a few more moments, Jerry might have called him Bob Orton. That would be embarrassing, hepatitis be embarrassing.

Well they sure did bury Cody damn well and good.

We are now going back to ’97 Survivor Series, and who is it odd to see Shawn’s face before his eyes decided to retreat into his skull. Mah gawd, Shawn locks in the Sharpshooter and there’s the bell!

Vince is walking in the back and Josh Mini-Orton Matthews asks Bret if Vince has seen him. Vince says no one will see Bret because he doubts that Bret Hart will even show up. Mr. McMahon walks into his office but he gets surprised in his office to see…a Canadian…and it’s William Shatner! See, because we were meant to think it was the Hitman but instead it was the true Rocketman.

Shatner says he can’t wait to see Vince get embarrassed by Bret Hart. Vince is so gobsmacked that we go to…

Commercial.

We’re back and our next Elimination Chamber match will feature Jack Swagger. He gets his full entrance with push-ups and pyro, which should make up for the fact that he’ll probably job to whoever he’s facing.

His opponent is…

Triple H.

Nevermind, I take it back. Swagger is SO going over here.

Just wanna point out that Hunter isn’t wearing his DX trunks. Hmm…intrigue.

Swagger starts the match off with a takedown and forces Hunter into the ropes. Jack then starts doing push-ups and Cole asks how wise that is. Hunter punches him in the face, but I don’t think that was subtle enough for Michael Cole. Hunter then clotheslines Jack over the top rope and he lands hard on the…

Commercial.

Taco Bell Commercial with Charles Barkley: “This box rocks.” That’s what she said.

We’re back and Swagger is actually getting some offense. He drops Hunter with a DDT and Cole says Triple H might win this match. Might? MIGHT?! Come on Cole, I’m begging you.

Jack has somehow stayed on the offensive here, which is pretty surprising. I guess this is his reward for sitting out the next PPV. I take that back, there could very well be an over-the-top brawl or maybe he’ll lose to Santino and a midget.

Swagger goes for the running Vader Bomb but Hunter gets the knees up and I guess this thing is coming to a close. Hunter drops Swagger with a face buster for two before hammering away in the corner. Hunter then goes for the Pedigree but Jack backdrops him. Swagger foes for the Running Vader Bomb and hits it for two.

Jack hits a belly-to-belly throw for two and Cole tries to sell this as an epic match because both guys seem to be blowing up. Swagger puts Hunter on his shoulder and points to the Wrestlemania sign, which of course means that Hunter wiggles free and hits the Pedigree for the pin. Then, just to hammer the point home, Hunter poses over the lifeless body of the All-American American.

Why the hell did I bet so much money on Jack Swagger? There goes my car.

Coming up next is Randy Orton versus Shawn Michaels.

Commercial.

We’re back and it’s Shatner doing spoken word of WWE Entrance Themes. He starts with “Sexy Boy” and this might be the best thing I’ve ever seen. He then does Cena’s theme. He then moves on to Rey Mysterio, and this officially becomes the greatest thing of all time. Sorry Renaissance. Shatner follows up with Triple H’s theme and it might be better than Motorhead. If this were a real CD, I would actually buy it and not download it illegally off the interweb.

Shawn and Hunter are in the back but Hornswoggle shows up. Triple H dismisses the fucking midget and we get super cereal. Hunter says that he wouldn’t have ever Superkicked Shawn but then says of course he would. Michaels says that last night’s Rumble wasn’t supposed to happen that way, and this has suddenly turned into Dante and Randall in “Clerks”. Hunter says that all Shawn needs to do is beat Randy Orton to get into the Elimination Chamber. Thanks Triple H for telegraphing what’s going to happen.

I hear voices in my head, but they’ve stopped just in time to see Randy Orton very slowly walk to the ring. He has to take his time to allow Cole to paint a picture with his words as he describes what happened last night.

Holy crap is this taking a while. Orton’s cartoonishly slow walk finally brings us face-to-face with…

Commercial.

Whoever decided to hire the Christopher Guest players to promote the Census was brilliant. And you people said Obama hasn’t done anything to help our country. USA! USA!

The WWE Rewind, brought to you by…seriously…ANOTHER Universal Soldier movie?

We get still photos of what happened last night between Randy Orton and Sheamus. Seriously, why can’t they credit these pics to WWE Magazine and make me happy?

Randy is still in the arena and his music is still playing. Those poor people in the crowd.

And here comes Shawn Michaels. Would it have killed the WWE to just use Shatner’s Version of the song? It’s a lot less creepy than hearing a dead woman squeal for Shawn’s love.

There’s the copyright logo, which means our 10 pm main event is about to start. Orton and Michaels lock up in the ring and my guess is Shawn’s gonna lose, Shawn’s gonna lose (you know…like “A League of Their Own”…topical).

Shawn and Randy stare each other down but Shawn then unleashes some chops in the corner. Why the hell is Shawn still rocking his DX gear when Hunter had the decency to come out in his Red Baron trunks?

Orton rolls to the outside and shows that he hasn’t forgotten how to wrestle like a true heel. Shawn goes to the top rope and hits a crossbody for two. Orton takes over and whips Shawn into the corner so that he can do his flip.

Randy starts his Garvin Stomp and I can feel my brain slowly shutting down. On the one hand, you’d assume Legacy would come out and cost Randy the match, but on the other hand I think the WWE wants to have Shawn go completely insane so that he’s the clear heel against The Undertaker.

Cole says that Michaels has the biggest heart, which is ironic since he’s the Heartbreak Kid. That’s like saying Randy Orton has a lot of snakes in addition to being the Viper.

Shawn goes to the top rope and hits the Vintage Elbow off the top rope. Michaels tunes up the band, but Randy ducks and goes for the RKO but Shawn turns it into an atomic drop. Shawn goes for the kip up but Orton rolls him up and gets the pin. Yep, we’re going with crazy Shawn here. Now finally the persona will match the eyes. Wait, I’ve been waiting forever to do this to Michaels. “Where’s yer messiah now, see?”

Shawn throws down his DX wristbands and stomps out of the ring, but not before unbuckling his pants. Uh…okay. Michaels storms off and throws his other wristband in anger.

“Did you or did you not screw Bret Hart?” We get another Montreal Screwjob package and I’m shocked that the Beta Tape didn’t snap from them using it so many times.

Commercial.

We are 55 days until Wrestlemania.

We get some footage of a Tennessee bar but now we get an on-cam with Jerry “Ed Hardly” Lawler and Michael “Causal Male” Cole. Teddy comes up to Randy in the back to congratulate him on his win. He says he can’t speak for Cody but he’s sorry. Randy shakes his head no and walks away. Lucy, you got some splainin’ to do.

Elimination Chamber Madness continues with Mark Hey-Hey Henry. His opponent is Teddy DiBiase, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I think Teddy is going to the Elimination Chamber. So far the Chamber is Sheamus, Hunter, Cena and Randy Orton. My guess is one slot is going to go to Kofi Kingston, so can the WWE really pull off having two black guys in one Elimination Chamber? Yes we can.

But no, no we probably can’t.

Henry bullies Teddy for a bit and dumps him out of the ring. Henry follows him outside and Teddy drops him into the steps. Both guys get back in the ring and Teddy shows why he is the star of the future by working an armbar. He’s like Chris Jericho, the man of 1001 holds.

Teddy comes off the top rope but gets caught but he turns it into an arm breaker over the top rope. Teddy goes for Dream Street but he can’t get it, so he goes after the arm with an arm DDT and that…uh…gets the pin? What? He beat Mark Henry with THAT? Was Henry in the cab with Jericho and we just didn’t know it? I doubt he’d fit, so maybe they were all in a party bus.

Sheamus, Orton, Teddy, Cena and Hunter are in; who will be next? Kofi Kingston. Wait, what? I was supposed to just tease that without spoiling it? Whoops.

In the back we see Big Show and Kofi Kingston in a split screen as they both punch air.

Cole and Lawler pause to talk about how great Jack Brisco was and we are actually going to get a video package. It’s essentially a reworking of his HOF package with Gerry Birsco, but that’s fine with me. We get a classy fade to black as we go to…

Commercial.

Anyone else find it odd to hear the WWE Voice Over Guy hyping that Travolta movie?

We’re back with highlights of Gail Kim beating Alicia Fox. Ya know, I just can’t win. When I say the Diva wrestling is terrible, I get beaten up. When I say it has gotten better, I get beaten up. I quit.

Gail and Kelly are in the back but Maryse shows up and says that she is embarrassed by the actions of the Smackdown Divas and she wants to show what real women do. Maryse then spews some French and walks away.

Miz and Big Show are in Shatner’s office talking about how show is going to win the Elimination Chamber. Miz beats me to the punch with a TJ Hooker reference. The door opens and PUNK and the Straight Edge Society show up! Well that’s pretty awesome. Big Show says that Serena gives bald people a bad name. Shatner shows up and we get a RAW Match Negotiator graphic. Okay, that was kinda funny. Shatner decides that next week on RAW it will be a Triple Threat match with Straight Edge Society, Biz and DX. Yes, I’m sticking with Biz. Shatner then plus his Hollywood Charity Horse Show before waiting for the freez frame and this very well might be proof that there is a higher power. And I don’t mean Vince in a robe.

Hunter is in the back and he’s trying to console Psycho Shawn. Triple H says that Shawn is Mr. Wrestlemania and that there are plenty of other guys for Michaels to wrestle. Apparently there’s no one else and he dramatically walks away.

Our final qualifying match is about to start, and you can feel the electricity in the arena. Unfortunately, that’s due to people rubbing balloons on their head. Yes, that was a static electricity joke. No, it wasn’t funny, but at least you learned something. Oh yeah, and Kofi Kingston walked out to the ring.

Commercial.

This Friday on Smackdown, The Cutting Edge returns with The Undertaker.

Did you know that RAW was the #1 show on cable? Take THAT History International.

Well, it’s the Big Show. Show has a new shirt with a bear and it says Established 1999. Wow, it was that long ago? I still remember his St. Valentines Day debut where he interfered in the Vince/Austin cage match. Fuck, we’re getting old.

Awesome, here comes The Miz. Big Show tosses Kingston around for a while as Miz (in his dapper tie and vest) joins commentary. See Cole, THAT is how you should dress. Miz promises to run RAW once Big Show wins the WWE Title and they win the tag gold. Kofi dropkicks Big Show out of the ring and into a…

Commercial.

We’re back and Big Show is clubbing Kingston. During the break, Big Show delivered our second spear of the night. Miz and Cole talk about Miz beating MVP before he takes of the headset to taunt Kingston. MVP runs out of the crowd and jumps The Miz. Assault and battery anyone?

Big Show palms Kingston, which was awesome. Kingston goes to the top rope, blows it as he climbs the rope, still goes for the kick and still misses it. Lawler tries to sell it by saying Kofi is dizzy but I’m not buying it. That’s a bad series of blown spots.

Kofi now goes for the punches in the corner but he gets caught by Show. Kofi gets a thumb in the eye and Big Show throws the punch that WILDY MISSES the ref, but apparently the gust of wind from the punch knocked the referee out. Another ref comes out and calls for the bell and apparently they are disqualifying Big Show. Yeah, that makes Kofi look like a strong competitor. Big Show sobs about what happened and we get a replay. Thankfully we get a better camera angle and it actually looks like he connected from the other camera. Big Show flips over the steps as the ref gets stretchered out.

Big Show’s lost his mind, and Kofi’s reaping all the benefits.

We get a replay of Bret Hart’s last appearance with Vince a few weeks back.

Commercial.

Next Week our guest host will be Carl Edwards. I think I speak for all of the excited fans when I say, “Who?”

Jerry Lawler is in the ring and he is going to introduce William Shatner. I love that the last time Shatner was on RAW he was embroiled in a storyline with Lawler and Bret Hart and he’s back. Shatner tackles Lawler and sure enough, there’s your “I can’t believe they let him on live television” moment.

Shatner says he’s had a great time hosting RAW before he introduces Bret Hart. I really can’t stand the new mix of his theme. Here comes Bret, who thankfully now is wearing jeans instead of jean shorts. Also, he’s rocking the slicked back hair, which means its game time. On a side note, I’m in the middle of reading his autobiography and it’s a surprisingly great read.

Bret has the mic and he says it was over a month ago that he was there and he’s had a month to think about things and put them in perspective. He said he came back to the WWE for all the right reasons and it took him that long to look deep down in his heart and decide to take Vince’s money. Hart says that he was wrong about believing that Vince could change and he wants to talk to Vince face-to-face. Bret promises to go to the back with a camera crew to find him if he doesn’t come out, and finally crosses the line by calling him Vinny.

Sure enough, there’s no chance in hell that this could go on much longer. Vince comes out doing a jig before feigning shock at the sight of Bret Hart. Because Vince is EVIL.

Vince says that he wants to get some things off of his chest, but he prefaces it by saying he doesn’t regret anything he did to Bret Hart. Bret congratulates him on being honest for the first time ever before calling him the world’s best liar. Bret says that Vince couldn’t lace up Stu’s jock strap, and I’m just gonna let that one go.

Bret says he knows all about pathetic because he was in a wheelchair. How does that make you pathetic? He’s gonna get letters. Hart said that someday he would get out of that wheelchair and he’d never feel pathetic again, damnit. Then he watched WWE 24/7 and saw his WCW material and began drinking heavily.

Hart says that he wrestled 300 days a year for 14 years uphill both ways in snow, but Vince wasn’t appreciative. It took Bret 20 years to build a reputation that Vince tore down in 3 minutes. Hmm…well put. Bret says this used up piece of chewing gum has enough flavor to kick his ass. Can we officially retire that analogy?

Vince starts rattling off Bret’s various names and catchphrases before saying it’s all a crock. Vince then mocks him for being a Canadian hero. Vince says he’s not a hero to anyone and he doesn’t get why Bret ever got over. Vince then says that Bret has zero personality and if it wasn’t for Shawn, Mr. Perfect and Steve Austin, Bret would be a footnote. Vince then rattles off all that is wrong with Bret and then says that Bret deserves to be screwed. In conclusion, he says that he was possibly going to nominate Stu Hart for the Hall of Fame, but apparently he’s rethought that and it isn’t going to happen because Stu doesn’t deserve it. Bret snaps and unloads with some punches on Vince. He then goes to lock in the Sharpshooter but Batista runs in and starts punching Bret Hart. Ah, I get it, we’re going to have Vince and Batista versus McMahon and Cena at Wrestlemania. I could live with that.

Batista holds Bret Hart back but walks out of the ring as the crowd chants for Cena and we…fade to black? Hmm, that was oddly anticlimactic.

This has been for your consideration.

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