For Your Considerationâ€¦Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold!
Welcome back for another week and what a weekâ€™s itâ€™s been. I just got back from Las Vegas early this morning and am working off of about two hoursâ€™ sleep, so bear with me if there are some errors and inconsistencies. At the very least, I canâ€™t make as many mistakes as TNA.
Yep, starting off this weekâ€™s FYC by burying TNAful, how original. Last week I talked about the state of TNA going into their first Monday Night War, and the overall theme was that they just cannot hang with the WWE right now. Aside from the usual TNA supporters (yes, they actually do exist), the majority of you agreed with my general thesis.
Then the ratings came in.
Can anyone fathom for just one minute what that rating actually means? TNA has essentially averaged their two hours together for a core number of around a 1.0, and while I will leave my University of Florida Telecommunication Degree out of this, I will just say in laymenâ€™s terms that they pretty much got beat by Channel Ocho from â€œThe Simpsons.â€ That number is anemic, and the kind of bottom-rung figure that should lead to TNAâ€™s eventual retreat.
If last Mondayâ€™s TNA show was simply just another TNA program, then the 1.0 rating wouldnâ€™t be so catastrophic. Last week, however, had everything TNA could muster in its arsenal and it still they failed to generate any true heat. Like I touched on before, TNA gave us Hogan, Sting, RVD, Hardy, Styles, Flair and the indie darlings and they still couldnâ€™t get numbers higher than the old SyFi ECW shows. If that isnâ€™t a giant red flag that nothing is working, then I donâ€™t know what is.
As for the WWE, they seem to be firing on all cylinders as the juggernaut known as Wrestlemania looms closer and closer. Somehow under the rubble of all of the terrible Guest GMs and lame comedy has emerged one of the strongest Wrestlemania cards in recent memory. Almost every match on this show has a logical reason for existing, and aside from the overly stale Hart/Vince promos (that were dictated by outside forces due to uncertainties about Bret being able to wrestle and Vince having to hedge his bets just in case) and the relatively pat Taker/Shawn stuff (basically two veterans doing a greatest hits medleyâ€¦which is still pretty damn entertaining), everything has been entertaining. For the record, nothing could be creepier than CM Punk singing Happy Birthday to Reyâ€™s daughter. Havenâ€™t those poor children been tormented enough?
Due to the lack of sleep and the lack of time before RAW starts, thatâ€™ll do it for the preamble. You can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/awheeler316, friend me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=100000654073648 or just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alright, onto the show.
The Judicial Review: Monday Night RAW 3-15-2010
â€œGimme a hell yeah.â€
We open this weekâ€™s show reliving the thrilling RAW main event from last week, complete with that super sweet Spanish guitar, which makes me think that Iâ€™m watching the worldâ€™s highest quality telanovella (though something tells me that wouldnâ€™t be a hard distinction to obtain). For those of you who missed last week, Cena got wailed on by Swagger and McIntyre and then ate the Worldâ€™s Largest StrongSad Slam before Batista jumped Cena even though he pinkie swore that he wouldnâ€™t. Vince then pinned John Cena and statues wept blood.
Nickelbackâ€™s awesome, original and not vomit-inducing theme song leads us to the pyro and ballyhoo as we are in San Diego for Wrestlemania Rewind. I love this gimmick, by the way.
Shawn Michaels will face Chris Jericho, Triple H wrestles Randy Orton (yes, again) and John Cena will fight the Big Show. But first, itâ€™s time to break some glass (and I donâ€™t mean at a Jewish wedding).
Mah gawd, itâ€™s Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Steve Austin is back and apparently he hasnâ€™t been on WWE television in two years. Has it really been that long? Dang. Steve is wearing a blank black t-shirt, which is odd since I figured this would have given Vince an opportunity to sell yet another new Austin shirt. Heâ€™s also wearing a white undershirt that makes him look like heâ€™s sporting a pooka shell necklace.
Steve says itâ€™s good to be there to night standing in the ring. Hell, if Bret Hart could come back to wrestle after suffering a stroke, maybe thereâ€™s hope of seeing Steve work one more time. Austin says that the walk down the aisle made him thirsty, so heâ€™s gonna start drinking. Yeah, that always ends well.
Austin talks about how at Wrestlemania 13 he had the defining match of his career by passing out in a pool of his own blood. Austin then calls Bret one of the best cats heâ€™s ever been in the ring with. Cats? What the hell happened to Steve Austin? Steve says he hasnâ€™t seen eye-to-eye with that groovy Vince McMahon, but that when Vince wrestles heâ€™s a bad mammajamma.
Steve says that heâ€™s there to oversee the signing of the contract to make sure that Vince doesnâ€™t try to screw Bret over. Steve then chugs a beer and then says that he will break his foot off in Vinceâ€™s ass, but that offends the TV-PG gods who censor the rest of his sentence. Thatâ€™s the bottom line â€˜cause Stone Cold said so.
This then brings out John Cena. Cole says that this is the WWEâ€™s past meeting up with the WWEâ€™s present. I donâ€™t remember the last time these two were in the same ring. Austin does the â€œYou canâ€™t see meâ€ and then walks out to an awkward music cue of his theme song. This then gets interrupted by Big Showâ€™s music and Steve looks concerned. Donâ€™t worry Austin, you wonâ€™t have the unenviable task of carrying Show to a good match. Bonus points to Michael Cole for bringing up the St. Valentineâ€™s Day Massacre as I was in the middle of typing the sentence.
The match is on and now itâ€™s Cena versus Big Show. Wow, an opening promo going right into a main event level match? It really does feel like the Monday Night Wars. Show drives Cena into the mat and right into aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and Cena is locked in a resthold. John wrestles out of it and goes for the STFU but gets launched out of the ring. Cena slides back in and wails away on Big Show before going for the Hogan/Andre slam. Show winds up crushing him for a two count as the audience picks up another â€œCenaâ€ chant. Big Show then climbs to the second rope to go for a Vader Bomb, but after taking the majority of the segment to set up the move, he misses.
Cena hits the Rocker Dropper and signals for the Five Moves of Mediocrity with a â€œYou Canâ€™t See Meâ€. This somehow triggers Batistaâ€™s music. Something tells me the music cue supervisor is a heel. Why else would he agree to play the song?
John looks away from Big Show to see Batistaâ€™s entrance and then turns around to eat a Chokeslam forâ€¦two? Thatâ€™s gotta suck for Show. Big Show goes for the Knockout Punch but Cena ducks it. John goes for the FU but Big Show rakes the eyes off of a Batista distraction and then hits the Big Punch for the pin. Dave then slowly climbs into the ring before giving a creepy smile and then leaving. Dickish Heel Batista is now in the early running for Most Improved Star of the Decade. Bad things happen when Batistaâ€™s around, and for once weâ€™re not talking about his match quality.
Weâ€™re back and Evan Bourne is in the ring. Heâ€™s facing Sheamus, so I donâ€™t think this will go too long. Hey Evan, at least youâ€™re in Money in the Bank. Sheamus climbs into the ring and does the Oâ€™Doyle Rules yell. Sheamus asks for a microphone, starts to cut a promo and then nails Bourne in the head with the mic. He then hits the bicycle kick to knock Evan out. Well, at least it isnâ€™t Bourne jobbing. Sheamus hits the Razorâ€™s Edge and Bourne BOUNCES OFF THE CAMERA MAN. Lawler asks whatâ€™s wrong with him. I think it has something to do with the fact that he canâ€™t grow hair on his chin.
Sheamus says that he â€œwuz ulways fascinated by tha Dubulya Dubulya Eee Suppuerstars, but most of all a man whoâ€™d sell his own mudder up da river, Chriple Ache.â€ Sheamus then proceeds to blow Hunter as he reads off his rÃ©sumÃ©. Sheamus then says that he, in one year, became the WWE Champion. Heâ€™s all bitter and Irish because Hunter cost him his title, but heâ€™s grateful because he always wanted to face Triple H. â€œWrestlemania could be a turn-a-pint in my career and youâ€™ll never be the same again.â€ Sheamus says that the Celtic Warrior will take the King of Kingâ€™s throne. He does realize itâ€™s a metaphorical throne, right? I havenâ€™t been on WWE Shopzone in a while, but I donâ€™t think they sell a Hunter throne. Then again, now that Iâ€™ve put the idea out in the universe, look for the Triple H Throne, complete with Hornswoggle footstool.
Steve Austin is in the back and Shawn Michaels walks in. Great to see those two back together again. Shawn asks Steve if he thinks heâ€™ll win at Mania, and Steve says that Shawn could win but doesnâ€™t want to beat him. Shawn says that after Wrestlemania 14 they said his career was over, but he proved them wrong. At Mania, heâ€™ll prove them wrong again.
Chris Jericho shows up with his title belt and he says that heâ€™s going to embarrass Shawn Michaels before Taker retires him. Michaels promises to send a message to Taker and heâ€™s going to do that by destroying Chris Jericho. Chris then tries to get Austin to cancel the match and go drinking but Stone Cold throws him out. I love that Austinâ€™s dressing room has all of his merchandise AND a fake plant.
Weâ€™re back and itâ€™s Kelly Kelly. Her opponent is Maryse. Yay. Tickets go on sale this weekend for Over the Limit, which will be a PPV featuring only WWE stars with DUI convictions.
Maryse and Kelly Kelly have a pose-off to start and Iâ€™m pretty sure the winner was America (and parts of Canada where itâ€™s warm enough to feel anything below your waist). Maryse and Kelly trade dropkicks before it devolves into a catfight. Kelly goes for a two count but gets thrown into the turnbuckle before eating a DDT for the pin. Well that was fast and unsatisfying (thatâ€™s what she said).
Maryse kicks Kelly after the match and then launches her into the barricade. She throws her back into the ring before Gail Kim runs out to stop her. Eve comes out too and they help Kelly up. Layla and McCool run in to beat them down and I guess weâ€™re getting a six-Diva tag match at Mania. For some reason, Layla and McCool are dressed like UPS delivery men. Vicki is at the top of the ramp to high five the Ridiculously Good Looking People as we go toâ€¦
Weâ€™re back from the Whaleâ€™s Vagina and itâ€™s time for another Shawn/Taker video package. The theme here is other stars talking about how great each guy is. On the plus side, itâ€™s set to a Johnny Cash song, which makes this awesome. Snuka, Bundy, Roberts and Diesel get some screentime. Big Show, Cena and Punk all talk about how insanely dominant Taker is, complete with a Gorilla Monsoon soundbyte. I love a good Gorilla Monsoon clip.
We now go to a Shawn Michaels suck-up portion as MVP, Jericho, Cena, Rey and Hunter talk about how great Shawn is. I tell you what, as far as hype packages go, this oneâ€™s a doosey.
Speaking of Shawn Michaels, here comes the former Rocker. Out next is Chris Jericho and we head toâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and thankfully they held the bell so that we get all of the awesomeness. Shawn takes it to Chris Jericho, chopping him so hard that the copyright logo pops up on the screen due to the sheer force of the blow. Jericho catches Chris Jericho with a Thez Press but he gets dumped over the top rope onto the mat outside.
Back in the ring, Jericho locks in a nice resthold. Chris then slaps Shawn in the face as he screams that heâ€™s nothing. Well thatâ€™s not very nice. Shawn takes umbrage to this, and rather than explain that those that live in glass houses should never throw stones, he just wails away on Jericho. Shawn kips up before hitting the atomic drop. Jericho rolls through and goes for the Walls but Shawn gets an Asian (small) package for two.
Jericho gets taken down again and Shawn hits the top rope elbow. He then starts tuning up the band but Jericho bails. For some reason, when Cole says this, he puts the emphasis on â€œChinâ€. The ref counts Jericho out and this leads to Edge coming out (complete with his theme song, which signifies a face turn by the music cue guy) and he wails away on Jericho. The audience chants for a spear, and when Edge hits it they come unglued. See, he needs to do this annoying â€œSpearâ€ nonsense to keep the majority of the audience from becoming indifferent towards him. In yet another moment of awesomeness, Jericho clutches his belt like itâ€™s a baby as he holds his ribs.
Speaking of ribs, weâ€™re getting to relive last yearâ€™s Wrestlemania main event.
Weâ€™re back and Jerry â€œEd Hardyâ€ Lawler and Michael â€œCasual Maleâ€ Cole talk about how at Wrestlemania itâ€™ll be a Legacy Triple Threat Match. Yawn.
In the back, Randy is slowly taping up his arm but Randy Orton V 2.0 Josh Matthews shows up as the annoying Jimmy Olson to ask him about his match with Triple H. Orton says he hates Triple H but he respects him, however he doesnâ€™t respect Priceless.
Triple H is in the back and heâ€™s walking in the back and even his walk in the back HAS THEME MUSIC! Jim Johnston must have needed a new car or something.
Weâ€™re back and we get to relive the Hunter/Sheamus promo from last week. We now get a recap of everything thatâ€™s happened tonight in case you were watching TNA or were trapped under something heavy.
Here comes The Game. So far tonight Iâ€™ve seen Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho and Steve Austin and Iâ€™m going to get to see Bret Hart. I feel like Iâ€™ve travelled through time (or am watching a rerun).
I hear me some voices and they belong to the raspy singer of Randy Ortonâ€™s theme music. If this doesnâ€™t lead to a Priceless/Sheamus v. Orton/Hunter match next week then Iâ€™ll eat my hat.
Hunter and Orton lock up and Orton busts out the punches early. Hunter turns around with punches of his own before leveling him with a clothesline. Triple H then connects with the DX Chop Knee Drop for two. Orton turns around and dumps Hunter on the outside. Randy goes for the second rope DDT but then HE gets tossed outside. Randy then whips Hunter into the steel steps before Orton hits the DDT off the ring steps and onto aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and Orton has a restold locked in before hitting his inverted backbreaker. Randy starts pounding and thrusting against the mat before going for the overly telegraphed RKO. Hunter hits a clothesline to take Orton down instead. Hunter and Orton trade punches before Hunter hits the high knee. Orton then snaps off a slam for two. Cole surprises me here by calling these men athletes instead of entertainers, which is the kind of respect Iâ€™m not used to seeing.
Hunter hits the Spinebuster and then goes for the Pedigree but Orton blocks it with a back bodydrop. They collide in a double-clothesline but Hunter gets a Pedigree off the second rope. Rhodes and DiBiase run out and assault Triple H before they jump Randy. Guess my hat will remain uneaten. Priceless wail away on Orton. Hunter tires to save Orton but Sheamus shows up to lay out Hunter.
In the back, Batista is walking to the ring and right into aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back with a new Hall of Fame inductee: Gorgeous George. Well color me impressed.
Cole and Lawler run down the Wrestlemania card before we get the introduction of Batista. His opponent is Kofi Kingston, who still has nothing to do at Wrestlemania. Batista wails on Kofi for a while but Kingston gets some of that Evan Bourne Token Offense. He delivers some chops and kicks and finally takes Dave down with a flying chop. The fact that the audience is so blah to Kofiâ€™s offense shows how much the WWE might have botched this onetime hot character. Kofi leaps off the top rope but he eats a clothesline from Batista. Dave hits a Spinebuster and then the Demon Bomb for the pin. Jesus, when did Kingston become such a jobber? Did he sell someone some bad weed?
Coming up next, its contract signing time. As a lawyer, I can understand why this is exciting. As a wrestling fan, Iâ€™m just excited to see Bret Hart and Steve Austin back in the same ring again.
Weâ€™re back and its Pete Rose getting his ass handed to him by Kane. Speaking of Pete Rose, I saw him in Vegas at a store signing. By the way, Pete took one hell of a tombstone.
Next week, Pete Rose is hosting RAW and he bookedâ€¦my predicted handicap match. Even better, heâ€™s going to post the odds later this week.
Here comes Bret Hart, and heâ€™s rocking the cast and jean shorts. My guess is this is the night he reveals that the leg injury was faked. Vince limps to the ring and he scowls at Bret as the crowd chants for Austin. That should make Bret feel right at home, having the crowd chant for Austin when heâ€™s in the ring.
Austin comes to the ring and the place erupts again. He orders Vince to sit. Steve says that he has a piece of business to take care of. Austin says that he went into the Hall of Fame last year and it means the world to him. Steve says that Stu Hart deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame and that he is now officially going into the WWE Hall of Fame. Vince says he doesnâ€™t have a problem with that because the entire Hart Family is going to be there and that every Hart member is a dysfunctional derelict. Canâ€™t argue with that one. Vince says the only difference is that Bret is a dysfunctional handicapped derelict.
Bret says that he can and will beat Vince at Mania. He doesnâ€™t want it to be a wrestling match, so he says that they should make it a fight. Bret asks for a No Holds Barred match, which Vince accepts. Bret and Vince both sign the contract under the watchful eye of Steve Austin, who I guess got his JD during his time away from the ring.
Steve Austin says that heâ€™s looking forward to seeing Vince take the worst ass kicking, but the rest of the sentence vanishes due to an overactive censor. Steve walks up the ramp but says that thereâ€™s one thing he forgot to say but he says heâ€™ll let Bret tell him. Vince turns around and the cast is sitting on the table. That was a pretty cool move. Bret reveals his master plan that the stunt was rigged and that heâ€™s 100%. Even better, if Vince tries to back out, heâ€™ll sue him for everything heâ€™s worth. Guess Bret never heard of fraud in the inducement. Bret then nails Vince with the cast and McMahon is left lying on the mat.
This has been for your consideration.