For Your Considerationâ€¦RAW is (hopefully not) NASCrappy
Really? Another NASCAR host? What the hell did we do to deserve this?
Ugh, well Iâ€™ll make the best of it if you will. This is the penance we have to pay for having the awesome Shatner stint last week. If thatâ€™s the case, then bring on Ricky Bobby!
But, before we begin, I have some housecleaning to attend to. First, you can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/awheeler316 or you can friend me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=100000654073648. To paraphrase Bart Simpsons, â€œUgh, I suddenly feel so dirty.â€ Speaking of lascivious behavior, Iâ€™ve got some â€˜splaininâ€™ to do. See, I received several responses last week based on some comments I made in â€œRAW is TekWarâ€, and I figured I would take a moment to address them.
First, someone took me to task for pointing out that I was damned if I did and damned if I didnâ€™t when it came to commenting on the Divas matches. I hate to disappoint this reader who believed I simply bend in whichever direction the fans want me to go, but I always print my personal opinions regarding the wrestling content without being swayed by the masses. Several months ago, I lambasted the WWE for allowing Mickie James to parade out to the ring dressed in provocative outfits despite the fact that she was getting noticeably rounder. It was not a full-on criticism of women looking â€œfatâ€, but it was something that was becoming ever more noticeable by not only me but my fiancÃ© and my friends who all watch with varying degrees of a discerning eye. The fact that a Diva was being portrayed in such an unflattering light let me to call her Pudgy James. This unleashed the floodgates from fans who called me insensitive, rude and misogynistic. While their criticisms might have been valid (opinions are like assholes, everyoneâ€™s got â€˜em), I felt that I was still entitled to mine. Flash forward to a few weeks ago and apparently the WWE had the same thoughts I had, hence the borderline tasteless Piggy James skits (I say borderline tasteless because there have been rumors that apparently she had an eating disorder, but rumors on the â€˜Net tend to be about as accurate as notes scrawled on Sarah Palinâ€™s hand).
Anyway, two weeks I actually put over a Divas match for not being that bad. Was it a technical marvel? Not even close. But what I have noticed is that the women are making an effort to get marginally better in the ring. No one is going to confuse them with Lou Thez (unless they start getting wicked cauliflower ears), but they are slowly but steadily improving beyond complete embarrassment. So, I said last week that I thought it was funny that I get called out for burying the Divas as much as I do for praising them, which was my only point. Nothing more, nothing less. I have no real fear in offending you all (though unlike some incendiary writers on the Internet, I donâ€™t go out of my way to piss people off just for the sake of doing so and getting â€œclicksâ€), but I do tend to formulate my thoughts in a fairly logical manner. On this issue, however, I failed to spell out my point, so I figured Iâ€™d articulate it now. And believe me, if I didnâ€™t wanna piss people off, I never would have mentionedâ€¦
Matt freakinâ€™ Hardy. Holy shit did the floodgates bust open when I spoke ill of Matt Hardy last week. In burying MVP (someone, by the way, that few people were willing to stand up for), I mentioned that the only time Porter was truly over was when he was feuding with Matt Hardy because the fans would have rather cheered for Chris Masters than Matt. This led to all sorts of responses, from polite and well thought out e-mails (thanks to those folks who took the time to write them to email@example.com, I assure you I read every word) to the comments down below (though one or two of you just figured that youâ€™d call me an idiot for not liking Matt Hardyâ€¦coughmarkscough).
So I figured I would articulate my point a little further on why the â€˜Net seems to have such a big problem with Matt Hardy. I will start this out by saying that I have no true ill will towards Matt Hardy, but at the same time I am baffled at the amount of people willing to jump to his support. Iâ€™m thrilled that there are still wrestling fans willing to stick up for their Superstar when they are being attacked, but still baffled.
First, there is a misconception that I have never been a Matt Hardy fan; to the contrary. In fact, in a Best of wrap up a few years back I was the guy who wrote about the MVP/Hardy feud and I put over the fact that it was very well done. I nominated it for feud of the year, and was thrilled to do the write-up for it. I thought that both guys did well in the feud and showed the WWE that there is merit to a midcard feud that elevates both guys. They became the template for the Miz/Morrison feud a few months back, and everyone pretty much agrees that the two of them did a great job as well.
My issue with Matt Hardy is the fact that he seems to carry himself with this sense of entitlement that just isnâ€™t warranted. Matt has been given several chances to carry the ball, and at no point in time did he show that he could be â€œthe manâ€. And thatâ€™s fine. There is a major market out there in the WWE for a capable midcarder who can pop the fans and do his job, and if Matt wanted to, he could fill that role for years to come. Unfortunately, Matt has constantly taken the opportunity to not only bite the hand that feeds him but to consistently break the top rule in the industry, which is to not be a mark for yourself. Yes, I know several wrestlers tend to do that, but Matt is the most egregious.
It is true that Matt Hardy gets a decent pop, but just how much of that pop comes from Jeff Hardy fans? Hell, heâ€™s had the same theme song for so many years that the audience is conditioned to just pop for him regardless. Besides, if you wanna get in a pissing contest over pops, then listen to the ovation for R-Truth or for comedy acts like Santino and Khali get. Matt gets an initial pop but that doesnâ€™t translate into much else. Trust me, if the WWE thought they could make more money with him, thereâ€™d be a plethora of Matt t-shirts and merchandise. At best, he sells because he was the Marty to Jeffâ€™s Shawn.
In the ring, Matt has shown that he isnâ€™t anything too special, and due to a combination of his injury and his lack of motivation, he hasnâ€™t had a blockbuster match in quite some time. Again, I know there are several other stars you could make that argument for, but the evidence against Matt seems to pile up.
No one on this site had been a bigger supporter of Matt than myself. Hell, I included his return from being fired in my Best of the Decade column. I wanted to see Matt succeed because I wanted to show that the brother who stayed clean, kept his word and worked hard would be the successful one. Matt has shown that he can handle being a midcard guy and wasnâ€™t bad as the ECW Champion, but for me to say that his act has grown stale (yes, others like Cena and DX have grown stale but more people buy a ticket to see them than those that go to see Jeffâ€™s brother) or that he gives himself way too much credit despite not being a top draw isnâ€™t an unfair criticism. He knows how to work the â€˜Net, which is smart, but that alone doesnâ€™t warrant the love that he gets.
This is the last Iâ€™m saying on the Matt Hardy issue. Are people going to disagree with me? Sure. But my disdain for him comes from a fairly justifiable place. Matt is terrible on the mic, heâ€™s passable and borderline dull in the ring when heâ€™s unmotivated, and he thinks way too highly of himself. As long as Jeff is a viable talent, Matt will have a job, but people need to kinda notice that theyâ€™re rooting for Rick Steiner with a pop.
Whew, enough of that, itâ€™s time forâ€¦
The Judicial Review: RAW 2/8/2010
â€œIf ya smell…â€
We open with a replay of the Bret/Vince situation, and I think itâ€™s odd that they went with the Cena run-in after the show went off the air. Iâ€™m not sure if it was due to a lack of time or a concentrated effort to make fans believe that action happens even after the show goes off the air, but having John Cena make the save and then get beaten down by Batista felt like a bigger moment than a simple Smackdown video recap package. I will give it to them, at least it was different.
Nickelbackâ€™s silverware in the garbage disposal theme song leads us to pyro and ballyhoo and we are LIVE from Louisiana. Tonight, itâ€™s Straight Edge Society versus DX versus The Biz for the Undisputed Tag Titles. Also, the Smackdown package that showed us what happened on RAW will be shown tonight on RAW.
But first, Carl Edwards does donuts in the parking lot to show us that global warming is a myth and that thereâ€™s no such thing as a gas shortage. Wanna know why we pay around $3.00 a gallon? Because while people are trying to carpool, this guy is making circles on pavement.
The car pulls into the arena and itâ€™sâ€¦oh come onâ€¦the fucking midget. The fucking midget is driving the car. Wacky, wacky shenanigans. For some reason Kelly Kelly is in the ring to introduce our guest star, and sheâ€™s dressed like a black and white cookie. Look to the cookie, Elaine.
Carl Edwards comes out with the Bella Twins, and I wouldnâ€™t have picked this guy out of a lineup. He comes out to a Cypress Hill song because the WWE is on the cutting edge with the African American community. Carl climbs to the top rope and does a backflip, which looked impressive but would have made this an interesting show if he broke his neck.
Carl sucks up to the fans by talking about the Saints winning the Super Bowl before saying that the Super Bowl/Wrestlemania of NASCAR is the Daytona 500 on Sunday. My guess is the WWE tried to get Danica Patrick and she turned them down. Carl buries the other NASCAR guys who hosted (and rightfully so) before saying heâ€™s friends with John Cena. Tis draws out de Doubya Doubya Eey Champun Sheamus.
â€œMuh Supah Bowl is in seven weeks ut Wrestlemania.â€ He says he has to win the Elimination Chamber and Sheamus demands that he be made the last participant in the RANDOM draw. Wait, this isnâ€™t fixed, is it? Nah.
â€œCurl, Iâ€™m da champun, so yer a gust en mah show.â€ Sheamus then commits assault by saying that Edwards wonâ€™t make it to the show. This gets interrupted byâ€¦Christiain? Zuh? Did I just time travel to Tuesday? Great Scott!
Christian introduces himself and says that NASCAR is blowing up in Canada. He then makes a lame WNBA reference before saying Edgeâ€™s name, which gave me some crazy flashbacks. Christian is pissed that Edge didnâ€™t namedrop him last week, but he then says that because ECW is vanishing and being replaced by NXT, the pieces fell into place. Sheamus calls him a lame duck champun before Christian dubs him snaggletooth for some reason. Christian makes fun of his hair and beard and lack of a tan, which gets a pop. Take THAT Matt Hardy (okay, Iâ€™ll stop now). Sheamus says the only thing funny is that Christian will be unemployed.
In two weeks, all the ECW stars are free agents so Christian decides to challenge Sheamusâ€¦tonight. Christian says that they should make history and have the ECW Champion against the WWE Champion. Yeah, call Taz and heâ€™ll let you know how this is gonna work out. Christian gets a nice joke about how neither guy has a last name before a ref runs in and I guess this match is on.
Sheamus muscles Christian down to start and I hope they donâ€™t just job Christian out like a Canadian Evan Bourne. Sheamus hits the Razor Ramon throwaway slam and clotheslines Christian into aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and Sheamus charges Christian but he pulls down the ropes and Sheamus crashes to the outside. Christian leaps off the top rope to the outside and takes down the champun. Sheamus slams Christianâ€™s arm into the steel steps before pausing to do his retard arm raise.
Later on tonight, we will find out who the first Hall of Fame inductee will be. My guess? Barry Horowitz. Come on, no love for the best Jewish jobber of all time?
Christiain springs off the second rope with a missile dropkick and unloads with punches. Sheamus dumps Christian over the top rope but Christian catches him and gets an elbow off the second rope. Christian leaps off the second rope but gets caught. He ducks the bicycle kick but gets caught with a clothesline. Cole calls Christian â€œspiritedâ€, which is like saying your date has a nice personality.
Christian gets the spinning DDT for two and begins the clap to summon the Hail Mary. Cole asks how embarrassing it would be for Christian to beat him, which made me smack myself in the forehead involuntarily. Sheamus blocks it and hits the bicycle kick (after tossing Christian over the top rope for a THIRD time in the match). Sheamus hits the Razorâ€™s Edge for the pin. Well I guess Creative didnâ€™t completely forget how to make Sheamus look strong in a match. Too bad it had to come at Christianâ€™s expense. Welcome back to RAW Christian, hope you like counting the lights.
DX is in the back watching RAW. Shawn says that heâ€™s been a little distracted, but in 24 hours his world imploded. Thankfully he had his DX brand Prozac. Iâ€™m not proud of that joke. Hunter says that he did qualify for the Elimination Chamber and while going to DX sounds good, Hunter is going to do what he does in that Chamber. Heâ€™s going to hold down younger talent and then go to Wrestlemania. Shawn gets all pouty, channels Own Hart and says itâ€™s all about Hunter.
Jerry â€œGeneric RAW Shirtâ€ Lawler and Michael â€œCasual Maleâ€ Cole throw us to the disturbing footage from last week, complete with a little Spanish guitar. Oh, and apparently the footage was from after the Cena/Sheamus dark match.
Teddy and Cody are in the back and Teddy says heâ€™s proud of being in the Elimination Chamber. Cody says that while he had to face Cena, all Teddy had to do was beat Mark Henry. Teddy says that unlike Cody, he could beat Cena. Cody asks if the movie makes him better, and I think that no one can agree with that. Randy shows up and asks if Teddy thinks heâ€™s better than him. Orton got word from the Guest Host and tonight Teddy is facing John Cena. Randy then finally questions Cody over his actions at the Rumble before saying he appreciates the effortâ€¦lip smackâ€¦butâ€¦lip smackâ€¦heâ€™ll be facingâ€¦lip smackâ€¦Randy Orton.
Straight Edge Society is in the back with evil red backlighting, and they are strolling toward aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and weâ€™re getting the Unified Tag Team Championship Match. Sweet.
Out first is Luke Gallows and CM Punk, along with Serena. Much like action figures, each one comes out with his own accessory. Teddy Long is sitting ringside because he has a vested interest in what happens. In other words, something controversial is going to happen and the WWE doesnâ€™t trust Carl Edwards to clear things up.
Punk has the microphone, and already this is a great RAW. CM Punk says that this region turns to drugs and alcohol in hard times. He says that it makes it sadder that when they celebrate little football game wins, they turns to drugs and alcohol. They are all weak and they donâ€™t know another way. I guarantee.
Punk says that he will win the tag titles and show the fans why Straight Edge means heâ€™s better than them. He is pure gold and a license for Vince to print money. The fans will pay good money to see him get his comeuppance.
CM Punk says that they have a celebrity in the stands. Unfortunately, that celebrity is Jared from Subway. Punk compares himself to Jared because they both preach life choices, and Punk nominates him to be the Ministry of Propaganda for him. Jared turns him down, and Punk delivers the most menacing line read ever of â€œBring me Jared from Subway.â€
Jared gets saved by DXâ€™s theme music, as apparently the mere sound of their song freezes heels in their tracks. Cole says that everyone wants to be part of their society. Yeah, maybe fourteen years ago. Sorry Jeff Jarrett, Shane Douglas, and Chris Candido.
DX throws glowsticks out but Shawn appears to be phoning it in to sell his Psycho Sid turn. I guess this means DX is winding down. Again.
Awesome, here comes The Biz. Each guy gets his own entrance, and Iâ€™m glad to see that Big Show has gone back to his black outfit instead of the purple one heâ€™s been sporting. Before the bell rings, DX clears out everyone, including us as we go toâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and CM Punk and Shawn Michaels are in the ring. Just based on the fact that if Punk wins weâ€™d get him on RAW every week gives me enough reason to root for them. My guess, however, is that Biz is going to win because they have nothing else to do at Elimination Chamber.
Hunter, Gallows and Big Show are now all in the ring and the fans acquiesce and cheer for Triple H. Show headbutts everyone and then does his standard big guy offense. Hunter goes for a Pedigree but he gets launched over the top rope. Really? That spot again? Really? I need aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and itâ€™s now Miz, Hunter and Punk. Punk now hits a dropkick on Miz for two before Miz gets a jawbreaker. Miz then hits his running clothesline in the corner but Serena pulls him out of the ring and he runs into a Spinebuster outside the ring. Show goes to console his partner as Hunter tags in Shawn. Michaels goes after Punk in what would probably be one of the few dream matches the WWE could effectively pull off.
Michaels goes for the elbow and almost blows the spot entirely before connecting. He goes for the Superkick but Gallows comes into the ring and stops Shawn. Hunter takes him out and Shawn hits the Superkick to eliminate Punk and Gallows. Yep, Biz is winning this one.
Big Show clotheslines DX before working over Shawn. Michaels gets walloped for a while before beginning another comeback. Big Show hits a sideslam to stop that but it only gets two. Show tags in Miz who locks in a resthold. Miz goes for the SCF but Shawn counters and goes again for the hot tag. Big Show gets tagged and stops him before eating a Superkick. Shawn finally makes the tag and Hunter gets to wallop Miz. Hunter hits the high knee and the Spinebuster but Shawn tags himself in. Miz rolls Shawn up and itâ€™s over. Miz and Show celebrate as DX is in the ring pouting. Shawn throws off his sweatbands again (look how durable that merchandise is, it withstands a hissyfit) and he storms off to go find his smile. No, I didnâ€™t just make that hackneyed joke.
Tonight itâ€™s Marine versus Marine and Cody versus Randy.
Weâ€™re back and Cypress Hill is the official theme song for Elimination Chamber. Unfortunately, they arenâ€™t performing with the London Philharmonic.
Replays abound as The Biz are your new tag champions and DX continues down the Ike/Tine Turner path.
Biz is in the back with Tiny Orton and Big Show is gloating about having beaten DX on their first chance. Miz promises to win all the gold. He calls them the Miz-Show but Big Show says it should be Show-Miz, and I still like The Biz.
Shawn is in the back and he asks Carl Ito and Alicia Jackson where â€œheâ€ is. Shawn then grabs Teddy and asks to be traded to Smackdown. He says that he should be in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber but that match is set. R-Truth earned that spot, damnit.
Hunter says that Shawn is throwing his career away and Shawn says that itâ€™s already over before Superkicking Teddy Long. Happy Black History Month, folks.
Weâ€™re back with a replay of last weekâ€™s Fox/Kim match. We then go to a replay of Shawn killing Teddy Long, in case our memory doesnâ€™t extend past five minutes. Iâ€™m looking at you, stoners.
Cole and Lawler say that Shawnâ€™s obsession has taken him to a place heâ€™s never been. Maryse is ringside as apparently Gail Kim and Jillian Hall get no entrances. Maryse calls Cole a Vintage Nerd. Meh. Jillian hall rams Gailâ€™s head into the mat as Maryse talks about how reprehensible the Smackdown heels have been. Gail then out of nowhere hits that boot jawbreaker thing for the pin. Maryse then congratulates her before saying sheâ€™s a big fan and looks forward to their match in two weeks. She then starts talking in French, so my guess is she is burying Gail to her face.
The first inductee to the 2010 Hall of Fame isâ€¦Ted DiBiase. Awesome. I could not agree with that pick any more. We get several snippets of Tedâ€™s greatness, including him buying a public pool and costing a kid money in a basketball contest. We then see Ted getting his Million Dollar Belt before seeing him lock in the Million Dollar Dream onto a bunch of random jobbers. The package then mentions how Ted has led to his son Teddyâ€™s success.
Tonight: Cena versus Teddy. But first, Cody Rhodes versus Randy Orton.
Did You Know? A fuckton of people watched RAW last week.
In the back, Carl Edwards and Jared have a MENSA meeting before Santino shows up. He sings the Subway song in his boss new shirt. Apparently now you can get any footlong for five dollars. Speaking of lukewarm ideas, Carl Edwards books Santino/Swagger for Superstars. Kofi shows up and Carl apologizes for not booking him this week. Kofi says that next week all the Elimination Chamber contestants should face off in random matches to be decided byâ€¦Jerry Springer. Wow, heâ€™s gotten old.
The guys are in the back and apparently the audio screwed up so we uncomfortably fade to Cody Rhodes, who after months of living the high life, has finally lost his full entrance privileges. Randy Orton, on the other hand, gets his full entrance. I like how heâ€™s kinda sorta growing out the hair, because Iâ€™m sure heâ€™s sick of being mistaken for Josh Matthews.
The battle of the baby oil starts with a shoving match. Randy berates Cody so Cody slaps him. Randy punches him but Cody dropkicks him for two. The fans have no clue what to do here, since Cody has clearly become the more heelish of the Priceless duo.
Cody leaps off the top rope but Randy ducks out of the way and he starts pounding the mat like aâ€¦hmmâ€¦Cole, help me out here. Ah yes, a Viper. Sheamus out of nowhere slides into the ring (which he botches), and as he slides out Randy turns around and gets hit with Crossrhodes for the pin.
Sheamus now enters the ring successfully before hitting the bicycle kick and the retard yelp. Cody shows up with a chair to save Orton from Sheamus.
Cole doesnâ€™t oversell it at all, but here is that disturbing, disgusting, awful footage that will make you lose your belief in a higher power. You know the footage. We hear Spanish Guitar but then BATISTA runs out and by gawd he beats down John Cena.
Cena somehow survived that heinous and unconscionable assault and heâ€™s in the back with orange backlighting and heâ€™s heading to the ring right towards aâ€¦
Josh Matthews is in the back with Carl Edwards who says that next week all six participants will meet up. First, Sheamus will face Randy Orton. Next, Ted DiBiase will face Kofi Kingston. Finally, itâ€™ll be Triple H versus John Cena.
Ted DiBiase gets a full entrance, so take that Cody. Cena runs out and he just wails on Teddy. DiBiase is on the outside and there is a POOL of baby oil from where he landed. Seriously, Moses has less liquid to part.
Cena is roiding out as he locks in the STFU on the outside (yes, I know Cenaâ€™s clean) and the ref says thatâ€™ll do pig. John gets the microphone and says he ainâ€™t wasting and he ainâ€™t missinâ€™ Batista at all. Cena challenges Batista to come and finish him off, and I defy anyone to say that wrestling is even slightly homoerotic.
We then fade to an awkwardâ€¦
So thereâ€™s a video game based on â€œDanteâ€™s Infernoâ€ that uses â€œAinâ€™t No Sunshineâ€? That is WAY too classy.
Weâ€™re back and Cena says that Batista should be scared for his life. Cena then thinks that maybe this was a business decision. John then adds it all up and thinks that Vince McMahon did this, because he doesnâ€™t take kindly to people who donâ€™t take kindly.
Cena then calls out Vince McMahon. Vince comes out with the full Austin treatment of random security guys. John says that heâ€™s disappointed that Vince thinks theyâ€™ll stop him. He says that next time Vince should bring a tank. I wonder if he can get the same rate he did for DX.
Vince admits that it was him, it was him all along. He screwed Bret again and he paid Batista to attack Hart, but he says he had nothing to do with Batista attacking Cena. Vince says that maybe it happened because Cena eliminated Batista, or maybe itâ€™s because Batista doesnâ€™t like him. He doesnâ€™t like you. I donâ€™t like you. Cena then chops off Vinceâ€™s hand. Oh wait, wrong program.
Cena says that Vince only cares about the all ighty ollar. John says that everyone has to make a living but Cena doesnâ€™t do it for the money but rather for his love of the game. Sure. So does this mean heâ€™s donating his paycheck to Haiti?
John says you canâ€™t put a price tag on the fans chanting for him. Iâ€™m pretty sure you can. Itâ€™s called an admission ticket. Cena says that this is what guys like future Hall of Famers like Ted DiBiase do this for. Umâ€¦didnâ€™t you just kill his kid? Apparently Cena got a call from Bret Hart and Bret wants to wrestle one more match. He wants to wrestle at Wrestlemania againstâ€¦Vince McMahon.
Vince says that Bret wants none of that. Cena asks if Vince is about the money or the moment. McMahon says heâ€™s about both but that Bret wants none of him. Whatâ€™s it gonna be, yes or no? Anyone else having Meatloaf flashbacks?
Vince accepts the match. John says thanks for answering but Vince has one more person left to tell. Vince says that Bret doesnâ€™t wanna be embarrassed again. We see this video package AGAIN. Jesus, just throw this video package over the top rope and get it over with.
Bret runs out from the crowd and he starts throwing awkward punches at Vince before stomping on security awkwardly. He then launches one of them out of the ring, and at least that looked good. Hart grabs a chair and Vince says that he wonâ€™t face Bret at Mania, because he deserves to be screwed. Bret chases everyone out and then starts breaking stuff because heâ€™s angry. Hart then trashes the announce position.
Hart stands in the center of the ring looking confused and angry as his music plays. He mouths that heâ€™s right there and thatâ€™ll do it.
This has been for your consideration.
Tags: Bret Hart, cm punk, DX, john cena, Matt Hardy, Raw, wrestlemania, WWE