For Your Consideration…RAW is Freaky and the Monday Night WAR Begins Again

For Your Consideration…RAW is Freaky and the Monday Night WAR Begins Again

Welcome to the war to settle the score. Someone please keep an eye out for Dave Hebner.

Yes, the Monday Night Wars have been fake reignited, only this is less World War II and more the invasion of Grenada. I just have a hard time honestly getting excited about this Monday Night War when you consider the fact that TNAwful is in such a disastrous place right now. Sure, tonight they are probably going to bust out RVD, Jeff Hardy and Sting, but so what? Is that really what’s going to make people suddenly abandon RAW and start watching their inferior product?

First, there’s the overall TNA product that we’re dealing with. TNA has yet to turn that corner necessary to not be considered downright unwatchable. Some have called their product more interesting than the WWE, which is true, but pretty much in the way a car crash is more interesting than a basketball game. TNA has a roster of hungry young talent that could theoretically put on absolute blockbuster matches on a weekly basis, but instead they seemed to be bogged down by talky programming and disoriented, uninteresting contests. They are officially WCW circa 1999. We all remember 1999 WCW, right? Stop me where the comparisons end. WCW at this time was bringing in names from the past that were either beyond their prime or just not that interesting. WCW was relying on cruiserweight talent and younger stars to carry the bulk of the product while graying Superstars got to relax and rely on promos and the occasional main event that would go a few minutes. WCW was constantly reinventing itself on a weekly or monthly basis, but rather than try to be the alternative to the WWE, it was simply being redundant and a watered down version of WWE.

World Wrestling Entertainment has been pretty vulnerable for the past several months. RAW has morphed into Monday Night Live, where D-List celebrities engage in badly written comedy sketches and the actual talent on the show is forced to wrestle in four minute matches that have to be cut short so that Vince can squeeze in video packages highlighting the previous week’s storylines over and over again. Monday Night RAW’s roster was so depleted for so long that if the main event didn’t feature Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton or John Cena then chances are you were watching an old episode on 24/7. All TNA would have needed to do at that time would be to put on a show where there were consistent 15 minute matches with guys who knew how to work and pair that up with straightforward storytelling that didn’t insult the fans and they would have a decent shot of winning over those members of the audience that were sick and tired of the antics on RAW.

Instead, TNA has decided to show their hand, let the WWE know that it’s a losing hand and then go all in. TNA has shown over the past several months (ever since Hogan strode in) that they have no idea what the hell they’re doing. If TNA was serious about beating Vince McMahon, they would have stuck with the fresh talent angle they were working towards the end of the summer and beat Vince in an area he would have trouble competing in. Rather than do that, TNA has been relying on slightly familiar faces and “surprise” appearances that weren’t all that surprising to begin with. Hey, I’m all for seeing Rob Van Dam, but this is an RVD that is almost a decade past his true prime and was last seen as the face of the widely panned new ECW. Van Dam can still be a player for any wrestling show, but he is not the guy to give the ball to (or to do more than maybe put over Styles). Jeff Hardy is going to hedge his bets on the court case ruling and then he’s going to hightail it back to the WWE if he doesn’t wind up behind bars. Oh, and as for Sting, it’s pretty much a lock that he’ll be in the WWE Hall of Fame by next year so let him burn off those last little flickers of a desire to wrestle before he gets to take the stage for the competition.

TNA’s show tonight is being main evented by the returns of both Hogan and Flair. They literally are giving away the farm in an effort to lure eyeballs away from the WWE. Did Vince freak out and book his Wrestlemania main event on to oppose it? Nope. Instead, he decided to give us McMahon versus Cena, which is not exactly at the top of our wish lists but still should prove to be compelling.

Going against WWE when they were vulnerable was a smart idea. Going against a fully staffed WWE as they gear up for Wrestlemania is the dumbest fucking idea in the world. Wrestlemania is when Vince’s creative juices start to flow, and this year’s show is pretty damn solid from top to bottom. WWE has the momentum, and not even the promise of seeing some elderly gentlemen wrestle one more time “for the last time” isn’t going to get me to flip over to Spike TV.

One last thing before I get going, and that’s the shameless plugs. You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/awheeler316, friend me on Facebook, shoot me an e-mail at awheeler316@yahoo.com or just drop me a line in the comments section. I am nothing if not accessible.

The Judicial Review: Monday Night RAW
3/8/10

“Freddie Blassie…”

And yes, I saw Ultimate Warrior made the signature. Wow Flair, when they drop you for Warrior, you know you’ve pissed off Vince.

We are live from Portland and Cole wastes no time reminding us that this is the number one show on cable. Speaking of not wasting time, here comes The Undertaker. Alright, I will admit right off the bat, while I don’t feel like there really is a Monday Night War, I do feel like I’m watching a MNW era RAW with this kind of opening.

On the other hand, I have to slog through an Undertake promo, which I’m sure will include words like “Dark side”, “Creatures of the Night”, “Rest in Peace” and “soul”. How there isn’t an Undertaker Promo Bingo game I’ll never know.

Taker and his spiffy hat soaks up the applause from the audience before the lights get all spooky purple. He says that last week was symbolic of Shawn’s life since he became #17 in the 17-0 undefeated streak. Shawn Michaels…well, that gets interrupted by an HBK chant. Shawn Michaels life has now got a dark cloud that hovers above him. So he’s now a cartoon character? Taker says that Shawn’s obsession with getting rid of the cloud will cost him his storied career. It’ll be erased from existence, like that USA Today cover in “Back to the Future II”. Undertaker says there will be no victory, there will only be that damn cloud that will follow him around. Funny, I didn’t even know he talked to Marty. “In three weeks, Shawn Michaels career will…rest…in…” Sorry bingo fans, that line gets cut off by Shawn, who has pulled out a sharp black and camouflage vest from his gay hunter collection.

Shawn says that Taker can’t finish his line. Funny, I bet he said that phrase a lot in the late 90’s but in a different context. Shawn admits that he was full of rage, but apparently the cloud was gone. I guess he found his smile again. The reason Shawn cost Taker the title in the Elimination Chamber was because he had no choice. Taker costing Shawn the tag titles, on the other hand, was done because Undertaker is scared. Jesus, he wasn’t afraid of a fireball or carrying Giant Gonzalez, or seeing Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer Sara Undertaker naked, why would he be afraid now?

Michaels says that he came so close last year and that Taker was trying to scare Shawn away by putting his career on the line. Shawn says he knows he can beat him and that nobody lives a perfect life (except Mr. Perfect), nothing lasts forever (except Hulkamania) and at Wrestlemania he’s going to prove him wrong (like Benoit or Principal Skinner). Undertaker says that Shawn is full of pitiful desperation (like Tony Schiavone). Michaels says that he wants to propose that the match is a no-DQ match. Well, there’s the opening for Hunter to cost Shawn the victory. Either that or Vince get’s to once again yell during a Shawn/Taker match “That’s gotta be…that’s gotta be KANE.”

Undertaker accepts the match while talking like a janitor at a Renaissance Festival. How the hell can anyone be intimidated by a man wearing guy-liner? Seriously, when I see the big spooky entrance, all I picture is him standing in a mirror with one of those pencils coloring in his eyes. Taker will unleash hell and force Shawn to watch hours of “According to Jim”. This proclamation turns Taker heel and the fans boo. Shawn then promises that he’s going to win one more time and that’s it for this promo. I guess if TNA is going to restart the Monday Night War, Vince might as well just reuse a promo from 1997.

Later on tonight, Orton fights Legacy and Vince fights Shawn.

Commercial.

Kelly Kelly, Eve and Gail Kim are coming out for a six Diva tag against Alicia Fox, Katie Lea and Maryse. Gail and Fox start it out and I have no idea what the hell the WWE is planning on doing with the Tramp Stamp title. Gail Kim, by the way, just jumped on Alicia’s neck in a move that looked like it could have paralyzed her. Either she’s that good or it was botched

Eve comes in and Cole is really pimping her, which makes me think she’s the one in line for the push. I mean she DID win the pillow fight and all. In the ring, Maryse has Eve on the top rope but Eve turns it into a top rope armbar for the submission. Yep, Ece must be the chosen one. The faces screech and cheer as Maryse sells the arm.

Criss Angel is in the back with Hornswoggle and Criss is all excited to be there. The Bella Twins show up and ask to be in his act but he says no. He then pulls a thread off of one of the Bella Twins and he swallows it and then pulls it out of his eyeball. Uncool man, uncool. Speaking of uncool. Jillian Hall shows up and offers to sing his introduction. Shocker of all shockers, she sings poorly. Angel takes away her voice.

The Biz is in the back with a lot of gold and they are walking to the ring.

Commercial.

We’re back and we get a replay of Morrison and R-Truth becoming the #1 Contenders.

The Biz is coming out to the ring and Miz has a microphone. He talks about facing Team Wacky Buddy Cop Movie and asks how the hell they earned it. Miz compares them to the Allied Powers. Miz says he’d rather face the Bushwhackers before insulting the locker-room by saying that he can’t believe that there isn’t one deserving real tag team. Miz calls he and Big Show walking miracles and the last great tag team in the WWE. How much do I hope that we get some kind of crazy double turn and Miz and Morrison reunite?

John Morrison and his slow-motion entrance are on RAW. And…oh fuck…it’s R-Truth. He asks what’s up, and my answer is nausea. Truth goes after Miz and Morrison takes out Big Show. Truth and Morrison double-team Miz and the ref throws the match out after about ten seconds. Morrison and Truth double DDT Big Show and now they look “credible”. “Morrison and R-Truth are pounding those guys.” Thanks Cole for ensuring no one would think wrestling was gay.

Morrison says that he just showed The Biz how real it can get. Truth says we just saw the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but tha tooth. What an AB-stract Pairing. You know, because they both have ridiculous abs and their pairing is slightly confusing. And yes, I am aware that it is ironic I took Cole to task for making a thinly gay comment and then I myself talk about men’s abs. Shut up.

Commercial.

We are 20 days away from Wrestlemania.

John Cena is in the back with mini-Orton Josh Matthews. John looks all flustered and says that he can’t beat Batista. Dave broke his neck, took his title and left him for dead. He says that all that’s left is to beat Batista. Oh, and he’s counting on Batista to interfere tonight.

Evan Bourne and Criss Angel are in the back and Bourne thanked Criss for putting him in a MITB qualifier. Skip Sheffield shows up to mark out for Criss. Regal appears and now we get to see another Criss Angel magic trick. Criss guesses that Regal’s number was 56. Well, my mind has been freaked. I’m so flummoxed that I need a drink.

Legacy gets to come out first, complete with actual entrance music. Oh wait, this gets cut off by Orton, who attacks them on the ramp. See, even Randy is opposed to them getting a full entrance.

Commercial.

We’re back and just to clarify, when Randy jumped his opponents at the ramp, that was cool, but when Morrison and Truth were both in the same ring for 15 seconds that’s ground for a DQ.

In the ring, Teddy stomps on Orton and then tags in Cody who…stomps on Orton. Orton dumps Cody over the top rope and into a…

Commercial. Wow that segment was fast.

We’re back and Randy is taking apart Cody. “During the break, Cody and Teddy were having their was with Randy Orton.” Thank you again Macho Cole. Teddy pulls Orton outside and he gets dropkicked in the face. Cole says that them winning tonight would cement their…legacy. Yep. This is the stuff that is flattening TNA.

“DiBiase’s really cranking it here.” Oh come on Cole, this has to be intentional. Teddy hits a clothesline on Orton for two. Cody comes in now and he hits a dropkick for two. Cody then goes right back to stomping and punching Randy.

Randy takes back over again and this thing is kinda lifeless. The crowd has alternated between cheering and indifference, and it’s getting frustrated. Randy hits the inverted backbreaker on Teddy before he becomes transfixed by the Wrestlemania sign. He goes for the RKO but Cody distracts him and Teddy hits Dream Street for the pin. They then celebrate like they actually accomplished something impressive. It was TWO men against one guy. Keep in mind these TWO men beat DX. I mean come on.

Teddy and Cody stand victorious over Randy Orton and this better be leading to something.

Batista is in the back with Josh Matthews. Batista says that he won’t get involved. He gives his word, which we know is his bond. Dave wishes John Cena good luck tonight because he could use a confidence boost. Seriously, I didn’t know there was a promo steroid.

Next week, The Ringmaster hosts RAW.

Commercial.

We’re back and DX is officially dead because Triple H is back wearing a leather jacket. If only he would have busted out the brilliant leather jacket with a denim vest over it. Now THAT said manly.

We get a video package of Sheamus walloping Hunter last week before Hunter gives his director’s commentary. He respects what Sheamus did last week. If someone had just beaten Triple H, pinned him, took away his title and gave him a concussion, he would have done the same thing. This gets interrupted by Sheamus, who couldn’t have had the decency to put on a shirt for this promo showdown.

They both go nose to nose, but the ginger has the mic. “Made a statement? Dat wut ya tink? At wruslemunia, you got the guys to make a statement?” Hunter says that Sheamus has the best first year in the WWE ever. Triple H says that Sheamus has never been to Wrestlemania and that is all that matters. Hunter says he’s been there before with a rocket ship to the top. Is he gonna bring up the Warrior squash? Yes he is! Hunter says he got crushed at Wrestlemania and he went into a pit of obscurity until he became the guy. THE guy. The guy that fucked the boss’s daughter and secured himself a slot at the top of the card. Hunter says that beating him skyrockets your career like he did for Cena and Batista. Triple H says that there’s a long list of people that lost to Hunter and then vanished. You know, like Randy Orton.

Hunter says that Sheamus has to risk it all to be immortal at Wrestlemania like Bart Gunn and Liberace. Sheamus charges Hunter and its brawl time. In the end, it’s Hunter standing in the ring snarling and Sheamus shaking his fist violently on the outside.

Commercial.

Santino and Angel are in the back. Santino says that he is magical before making a Karate Kid joke. He then says Harry Houdini was Italian, but he was Hungarian. And he died of AIDS. Criss Angle has four cups set up next to a sushi knife. Santino hides the knife under one of the cups. Criss then slams his hands down on the cups until all that’s left is the cup with the blade and an empty cup. Huzzah.

Christian and Heath Slater are on guest commentary for the Bourne/Regal match. Regal is accompanied by Skip the Marking Out Cowboy. Regal takes Bourne down to start before delivering some wicked elbows and knees. Bourne comes back with Token Offense before Regal bounces him. Regal hits a great throw before arguing with Skip. He then eats a high knee and Bourne goes for Air Bourne and he is now in Money in the Bank.

Commercial.

Our Wrestlemania Recall moment is Austin stunning Goldberg and Lesnar.

Lawler and Cole recap the card for Wrestlemania before we see yet another Vince/Bret video packages.

Commercial.

Next week is Wrestlemania Rewind: Big Show v. John Cena, Shawn Michaels v. Chris Jericho and Triple H v. Randy Orton. All of this plus the Bret/Vince contract signing that will be supervised by Steve Austin.

Criss Angel is in the ring with a live microphone. He is out to present the main event, and his hyper-masculine voice is all jacked up.

John Cena comes out first to a nice pop. Vince comes out next in his masculine black mid-80’s workout get-up. He cuts a promo mocking Bret Hart before saying he’s going to pin John Cena. Oh, this isn’t an ordinary match either because it’s a handicap gauntlet match.

Cena’s first opponent is Vladamir Kozlov. I thought he was a face. Eh, I guess not. Kozlov slams John Cena and celebrates not botching it. He then dishes out some headbutts before hitting his slam. Vince gets tagged in for some reason and he goes for the pin. Cena kicks out so Vince calls out Drew McIntyre. Drew wails on Cena but that only gets two for Vince. Vince calls out Jack Swagger and we get summoned to a…

Commercial.

We’re back and Cena is in the middle of the Five Moves of Mediocrity on Jack Swagger. He hits the You Can’t See Me Five Knuckle Shuffle of Death but Swagger hits a powerslam. Jack hits the running Vader Bomb before Vince asks for one more. He hits a second one before tagging in Vince. McMahon goes for the pin but only gets a two count.

Vince now calls out Mark Henry. So wait, Henry is a heel now? Apparently since Vince is the boss, Mark has to do what Vince says. Henry looks all conflicted and sweaty but goes ahead and hits the World’s Strongest Slam, but it’s more along the lines of the World’s StrongSad Slam. Cena kicks out of that and now Vince wants a microphone. He now makes this a no-DQ match and then grabs the ring bell. Henry begs for him to not do this but Vince shoves him. Why is it Mark Henry only gets career advancement in handicap gauntlet matches?

Vince gives the ring bell to Mark Henry but then Batista runs out and mows down Henry. For some reason Kofi Kingston runs out and he takes apart Batista. Dave hits the Batista Bomb and I’m glad to see the WWE didn’t completely forget about Kofi.

Cena fires back and takes down Batista. Vince tries to hide the ring bell but gets scooped up for an FU. Dave botches the timing but still hits a spear. Batista then hits the Batista Bomb on Cena. Vince casually pins Cena for the pinfall. McMahon leaves as Dave stands over Cena. He gets his own spotlight as he poses over John and that’ll do it.

This has been for your consideration.

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