For Your Consideration…That’s Pete Rose! That’s Pete Rose!

For Your Consideration…That’s Pete Rose! That’s Pete Rose!

That’s right, two weeks in a row my column’s title comes from an overexcited Jim Ross quote. I can’t believe how much I miss hearing him every week on television (then again, it isn’t quite as painful as when he was off television about a decade ago and we had to listen to Michael Cole try to carry the entire show).

Welcome back to FYC and we are one week away from Wrestlemania XXVI (which means we’re one year away from Adrian’s Revenge) and everyone at the Pulse is very excited about what should be the biggest PPV of the year. Yeah, I don’t know why I went into shill mode so early this week, but I did, so get over it. Maybe it’s because I’m still riding the high of Obama passing healthcare or maybe it’s because I caught TNA’s PPV and I’ve gone delusional, but either way I’m getting pumped for this year’s Wrestlemania. You can follow all my excitement on Twitter at twitter.com/awheeler316 or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=100000654073648

In all seriousness, this year’s Mania could be (at least on paper) one of the best Wrestlemania’s ever. If you look at the card, there is very little that promises to fall flat on its face. There’s no Khali match, no Henry match, no Boogeyman match and no awful outright terrible comedy match. For the first time in a while, every single contest on the card looks like it might actually be…gasp…good.

Now I know every match on the show isn’t going to be a five snowflaker, but in terms of storyline build and logic, this might be as good as it gets. The three main events for this show each promises something different from the WWE, and very few matches on the undercard feel like pure filler. Even better? No Kid Rock or Creed in sight.

First there’s the triple main event. John Cena versus Batista is the match that seemed to have the shortest build-up, but the company has actually constructed a fairly straightforward storyline. It’s easy; Dave feels he isn’t getting respect, he gets hired by Vince to do his dirty work, he gets rewarded with the WWE Title and now Cena wants revenge. There isn’t a shampoo commercial or stolen dog in sight! Sure, neither one of these guys are guaranteed to deliver a blockbuster match, but at the very least it’ll be a physical contest that the audience won’t sit silently through.

Last year, Batista was sitting at home watching this on television while John Cena was being shoehorned into a lackluster triple threat that was really a feud between two guys sleeping with Vickie Guerrero. This year? Cena and Batista have been bit players in the Hart/McMahon feud, but now have stepped front and center as a war between a megastar and a jilted wrestler who believed he deserved to be THE megastar.

Edge/Jericho has been brewing since last year, and just the fact that two of the famed Smackdown Six are main eventing the biggest show of the year is enough for me to just sit back and enjoy the fireworks. I doubt there are many people who believe that these two aren’t going to try and steal the show, and that’s reason enough for me to care about the match. Last year, Edge was stuck in that increasingly icky Vickie storyline while Chris Jericho managed to bring Ricky Steamboat back from the dead. These two deserve better, and this year they’re getting it.

Undertaker versus Shawn Michaels, for me, lacks some of the spark that they had last year. It does have a been there/done that feel, but I am confident that unlike last year, the WWE is going to capitalize. Like I said a few weeks ago, I believe that the window is wide open for Triple H to cost Shawn the match and thus set himself up as the most dominant heel in the company. Now before all you Triple H bashers out there unsheathe your plastic lightsabers, let me explain. See, Hunter has been away from the main event picture as a dominant heel for so many years that having him be the big bad King of Kings character would actually be kinda fresh. Even better, the fans will WANT to see Hunter versus Shawn again, in addition to getting a new perspective on Hunter/Cena and Hunter/Orton (a match I never thought I would ever want to watch again). I highly doubt that this will be Shawn’s true retirement, and anyone that honestly believes he’s walking away probably also believed Randy Savage when he lost his Wrestlemania match to Warrior.

As for the rest of the card, it’s a series of decent to really good matches that promise to enhance the show rather than detract. First, let me get the Diva match out of the way. Yes, having a six Diva match usually is a clusterfuck, but it’ll get some T&A on the show and the match itself should be relatively short and inoffensive. You can’t do a Wrestlemania without a Diva match, and with the loss of Mickie James and Melina, the list of faces that can carry a big match on their own shrunk to Gail Kim (who hasn’t exactly set the world on fire). The six girls will do their shtick, wave to the fans and then go to the back.

Hunter versus Sheamus is the most tacked on match, but to anyone who objects, I will just point out that at one point we believed this was going to be a title match. Besides, it’s Triple H using his star power to potentially elevate a newer star. Sure, he very well might squash Sheamus, but at least he’s nowhere near the main event (especially after what happened last year).

Speaking of last year’s main event, Randy Orton is now embroiled in a triple threat match that promises to be the weakest spot on the card. I never fully bought Teddy or Cody as legit heels, and making this a triple threat guarantees that it’ll be Priceless wailing away on a fallen Orton until they turn on each other and Randy RKOs them to win the match. On the other hand, there was nothing else for the company to do with Orton, and unlike TNA, the WWE actually likes to use their top talent on PPV.

Punk/Mysterio will be a great match regardless of buildup, though the company found a way to get the fans to care about a match between two guys who really didn’t have anything better to do. I would say that this is the TV-PG version of the old Rude/Roberts feud, where it’s an unscrupulous heel messing with the good guy’s family. Best of all, listening to CM Punk sing “Happy Birthday” was so insanely creepy that it might be in the running for promo of the year (bonus points to anyone that can bust out the “Sports Night” quote about the writers of the “Happy birthday” song).

Money in the Bank is always golden, even though this year’s pool pretty much comes down to Drew or Christian. If Drew wins, I hope he’ll finally be the first guy to actually lose when he cashes his suitcase in (to break up the monotony), while a part of me would love to see Christian win and cash it in at Wrestlemania to beat Batista and then end the show with Edge and Christian hugging in the ring. Will it happen? Absolutely not. On the bright side, this is the one match all year that Shelton Benjamin shines and ensures that he won’t be future endeavored.

Big Show and Miz versus Morrison and R-Truth should be…spirited. I would love to see this be John Morrison’s heel turn, as I think we can all say that his face turn hasn’t bore any fruit. I like John Morrison and I think he is still a main event kind of wrestler, but I just can’t see this watered down version of his character getting over with the audience. Also, having him join up with Miz, Big Show and Chris Jericho into some kind of quasi-stable would be a hell of a lot of fun (and a great response to TNA’s decision to try and revive a Horseman stable of their own).

:Lastly, there’s Vince McMahon versus Bret Hart. While I would like to toot my own horn and say that I called the whole fake car injury, I am also WAY too cautious to actually say that this is going to be a good match. It’ll be a decent street fight that will give the audience the satisfaction of seeing Bret Hart in action one last time. It’s an attraction for sure, but no one is expecting this to be on the list of Best Bret Hart Matches. In the end, I’m hoping that we get some fun moments and that nobody gets seriously hurt. Let’s just be grateful that it’s happening and that no one is trying to promote this as a true main event. After all, seeing two old men who can’t work anymore try to main event a PPV is TNA’s racket, and no one wants to accuse Vince of gimmick infringement.

Speaking of TNAful, I want to quickly talk about Destination X and the current state of that company. This will be brief and I hope slightly positive.

Dear TNA,

Your last PPV sucked. It sucked big time. It sucked before it even happened based solely on what was written down on paper. When your show looks like a rough draft of Slamboree, you need to make a change. Quickly. First of all, you need to learn what your fans actually want as opposed to pretending to give the fans what you think you can trick them into wanting. You started your show with the X-Division match, which is a brilliant idea. Even WCW at it’s darkest points knew to give the audience a Misterio/Psicosis match to remind them that there was actual wrestling in your company. You guys also gave us the Guns versus Generation Me because those two teams tended to put on amazing matches for indie companies like PWG (by the way, Kurt Russelmania might be the best name for an indie show ever). These are two moves in the right direction. By giving the audience a true alternative to the WWE with exciting and fast paced matches, you are going to get fans.

But unfortunately it wasn’t a two match show. Nobody is going to pay money to see Magnus wrestle Big Rob Terry. Even more confusing, how can you have a global title and a world title? They both mean the same thing. It’s like that bit in “Role Models” where Paul Rudd freaks out that Starbucks has two drinks that mean large and neither of them are actually larges.

Oh, and you also chose not to really blow off ANYTHING. Daffney and Tara wrestled and in the end their feud continued because Daffney stole Tara’s spider. Her spider. Read that again. They are continuing their feud because one girl stole the other girl’s arachnid. It’s like Tara is the Undertaker and that thing is her urn. What does that mean? That Daffney is now Kama, the Ultimate Fighter. Who knows? Maybe this will end with her becoming a pimp.

Doug Williams beat Shannon Moore and then drew on his face with lipstick. Really? Look, I like the fact that Doug Williams is now working a gimmick where he wants to be anti-X-Division because it harkens back to the old Foley in ECW days, but there’s one problem; your X-Division matches are your BEST MATCHES. When you take those away intentionally, I have to begin to question your sanity. That’s like Subway abandoning the $5 subs. No one goes to Subway because the food is good, they go because it’s cheap. No one watches an X-Division match for the depth of the character, they watch the match because the matches are high flying and entertaining.

Kevin Nash rejoined X-Pac and Scott Hall. Guys, this was an old idea in 2002. It’s eight years later and it isn’t any better. It’s not like swing music that vanished for fifty years and then suddenly became hip. The New World Order worked and ran its course, ultimately killing an entire promotion. You don’t turn around and BRING IT BACK AGAIN. Even worse, The Band that’s back together isn’t going to give anyone new a rub. It’s not like they reformed but they also brought in a young member. Nope. Instead, they flattened Young. This would be like the WWE bringing back the Mega Powers to destroy Santino Marella. Nostalgia is one thing, but this was such an overly telegraphed turn that they should have done it on free television to generate actual buzz instead of just have a bunch of people read about it on the internet. If you want to reunite those guys, fine, but at least do it on your Monday Night show to maybe steal some eyeballs for a segment or two.

Kurt Angle beat Mr. Kennedy after ref bump shenanigans and a tap out. And yet this feud still continues. Does nothing say, “We have no clue what else to do with you guys” than a finish like that? Who did Kurt piss off to have to just keep doing this month after month? I get it, TNA, you’re just sorta spinning your wheels for the next few months, but please don’t be as blatant. One of the things your competition did that pissed everyone off was having the same matches month after month. Mix it up a bit. Yes, Anderson needs to look strong to challenge Jeff Hardy for the TNA title in a few months, but you guys need to diversify. Please.

Morgan and Hernandez went over Beer Money despite being David Duke and Malcolm X in there. If there was ever a time to do the swerve, this was it. We all know they hate each other, but what does it say about Beer Money that they couldn’t beat two guys that are trying to kill one another. This is like Democrats and Republicans teaming up to beat Canada. Even worse, you have the Guns as the #1 Contenders, which means we could have had them facing Beer Money next month. Instead, who knows when (or if) they will get their shot.

Finally, there’s the main event. TNA, I know what you tried to do but it failed. You tried to send a message to the naysaying naybobs of negativity on the interweb who keep criticizing you for putting over WWE talent. You guys got in a little circle, chuckled and said that you would prove us wrong. You gave us two TNA Originals in a main event match. Unfortunately, in the end…

YOU THREW IT DOWN A HOLE.

A HOLE.

YOU THREW YOUR WORLD CHAMPION, A HALL OF FAMER AND A FUTURE MAIN EVENTER INTO A HOLE.

I mean, come on! Are you just trying to provoke the audience? A fucking hole? There are people who paid money for this show and were willing to look past the lame character change you did to AJ Styles, the blood spewing promos of Ric Flair, Abyss and his Hall of Fame power ring AND the return of the “American Made” song, but how much more can anyone take? Is your entire show being written by Brick from “Anchorman”?

Sincerely,
Andrew Wheeler

Alright, in all seriousness, the show was awful. It had two matches on it that meant anything, and they both occurred in the first hour and change of the show. There was no Desmond Wolfe match. There was no Pope…who is TNA’s #1 contender. There was no Foley. No Jarrett. No Rob Van Dam. No Jeff Hardy. No Sting. No Samoa Joe. Those are some mighty big names to just leave off of a Pay Per View. This isn’t 2005 and you’re not running a Smackdown Brand PPV. You can use your entire cast. It isn’t going to cost you any more.

TNA needs to do three things right away to fix their product. First, they need to knock off the asinine booking. There is no reason based on the talent they have that they need to rely on cheap gimmicks to sell their shows. Abyss is like TNA’s Kane; he’s big, he’s scary and he’s believable as a nutjob. He doesn’t need a ring of power. AJ Styles doesn’t need a gimmick change as drastic as the one that’s been slapped on him. Daniels doesn’t need to be busting his ass to get Brian Kendrick over. Just tell straight-forward wrestling stories combined with great wrestling (that your roster can provide) and the fans will return.

Second, get your asses off of Monday Nights. Scoring a lower rating than NXT with the roster TNA has is an embarrassment. At least on Thursday night there isn’t another company to compete with for eyeballs. Going against RAW as they are heading towards Wrestlemania is the dumbest move possibly in the history of wrestling (right up there with Judy Bagwell on a pole and Mr. Courteney Cox as the WCW Champion). Slink back to Thursday nights and try to remember how to write good television.

Lastly, scale back to four PPVs a year. Everyone is in agreement that the PPVs are nothing but advertisements for Impact, so just save them for special occasions. Running a show one week before Wrestlemania is a fool’s errand. Pick four weak months and run four PPVs. February, May, August and December. Look, I just picked four great months for ya. And for the other eight months that you don’t have a PPV? Run a supershow on Spike on a Sunday night. Fans are already conditioned to watch big shows on Sundays, so why not crank out eight quasi-PPVs on free TV and get massive ratings? At the very least you might make some advertising revenue money as opposed to running PPV shows that have to be losing a ton of money.

Stop saying TNA is WCW 2.0. That’s unfair. Especially when you consider WCW was at one point successful.

Enough TNA talk, time for RAW.

The Judicial Review…Monday Night RAW 3-22-10

“Wrestlemania!”

We start off with Nickelback. After that TNA rant, they don’t seem so bad.

I’m kidding, Nickelback is still terrible.

I see pyro, ballyhoo and morons waiving signs, so it must be time for RAW. This is the go-home show for RAW and they are in San Jose. Tonight we will see Triple H and Randy Orton versus Sheamus and Priceless in a match that I called last week (lest I eat my hat).

This week’s show opens with what could be the last Shawn Michaels appearance ever on RAW. Ever. Like when he was jumped by marines and was going to be gone. Or when he lost his smile and was going to be gone. Or when he dropped the ball and broke his back and was gone. Or when he lost to Taker last year and was a fry cook and was gone.

We get highlights of Undertaker beating Drew McIntyre before being jumped by Shawn Michaels and Superkicked on the entrance ramp. Cole said that this made a statement. I’m pretty sure it made an impression on The Undertaker. Get it? Now THAT’s comedy.

Shawn says he has a feeling and it was the same feeling he had in January 1992 before throwing Marty through the barbershop window. He said this is the same feeling he had in March of 1996 when he beat Bret Hart. This is the feeling that he can do absolutely anything. Oh shit, he’s back on the pain pills.

Michaels says that it could be coincidence that there is a new Shawn Michaels DVD out just when he is putting his career on the line. Shawn says that this isn’t the end and that he’s working on Volume 2. He says that he will abandon all of his nicknames and monikers but he will forever be remembered as the one and only man who ended The Undertaker’s streak.

The fans in San Jose don’t seem to agree. The lights then go out and we get a Shawn Michaels video package featuring old AWA footage, old WWE footage and then a historical retrospective. We get an awkward crowd shot in the middle of the video for some reason, which was a rare production snafu. The package of course leads to Shawn getting his ass handed to him by Taker and then ends with a graphic of Shawn’s career from 1985-2010. Not at all morbid. By the way, is it a sad thought that there are people reading this column who were born AFTER Shawn started to wrestle?

Shawn says that Taker should intimidate him to his face. So they’re going to hold wrestling court in the ring. Wait, here comes Pete Rose (who I saw in Vegas last week). Pete is wearing an old man had and looks like he’s lost. Pete wishes Shawn good luck and sounds like he has suffered a stroke or hit up the open bar. Rose books Shawn tonight to face Kane with the same stipulation as Wrestlemania. If Shawn wins, Kane is retired apparently. Tonight Shawn Michaels gets revenge for Pete Rose. Wow, there’s a sentence I never thought I would type sober.

Ugh, Cole said that Shawn tonight has a chance to hit a home run. Lightning strikes people every year…why not him? Jerry “Ed Hardy” Lawler and Michael “Casual Male” Cole throw us to a Batista/Cena video package. In the end, Batista wins and we lose as we have to sit through…

Commercials.

Well awesome, here come the tag champs. Quick note to Miz, you should wear your US Title and hold your tag titles. Otherwise it just looks confusing. Big Show is wearing his giant t-shirt that was made by an entire Malaysian village. Too bad the Wellness Program doesn’t cover migrant workers.

Big Show is on commentary as Miz will take on John Morrison. Morrison is accompanied by R-Truth, who is dressed like every douchebag you’ve ever seen in a club. On a side note, Big Show is getting gray hair in his goatee.

R-Truth is joining the commentary team as Miz and Morrison face off in the center of the ring. Unfortunately Big Show and Truth are busy bickering so loud that it’s hard to focus on the match. Show at least gets a nice line by calling Morrison a Solid Gold dancer. Morrison kicks Miz over the top rope before hitting a springboard moonsault to the outside. “Can Morrison keep it up?” That’s what she said.

Commercial.

We’re back and Morrison goes for a schoolboy on Miz for two. Miz kicks Morrison and he gets two. Big Show says that if Morrison and Truth try to do high flying moves, they’ll get shot down because he’s a tank. So he’s a tank with a bear on his shirt and a tiger on his arm; he’s the World’s Largest Metaphor. Morrison wails on Miz in the corner and then flapjacks him. Miz kicks out at two and Show and Truth’s loud commentary is drowning out Cole, who feels the need to now shout over them.

Morrison goes to the top rope but gets crotched. They battle on the top rope and Morrison hits a top rope powerbomb. John goes for Starship Pain and hits it for the pin. Big Show gets all pissy as Show and Truth continue to jaw jack. Show shoves Truth down but gets kicked by Morrison and Team Buddy Cop Movie flees. Show gets all angry in the ring and attempts to shout them to death.

Triple H is in the back in the afterthought locker-room strapping on his knee pads. Randy Orton shows up and Hunter asks why the hell he should talk to him. Orton says that Hunter has to make it to Wrestlemania. Look Hunter, I’m all for sportsmanship but the dude tried to RAPE YOUR WIFE. You can try and kill him. Instead, we get a…

Commercial.

Members of the 49ers are in the crowd. For those of you who don’t know, the 49ers used to be a football team.

We now re-live Batista beating Cena for the title.

Jack Swagger in a fancy suit is on commentary for the final MITB qualifier. Well, I guess Kofi is going to be at Wrestlemania after all.

Sure enough, he’s out first and gets a decent pop. Poor Kingston just keeps getting built up and torn down. His opponent tonight is Vladimir Kozlov, who has apparently turned heel again. Swagger says that he is rooting for Kofi because he wants nothing to do with Vladimir in the ring. To paraphrase, I love shoot comments that aren’t meant to be shoot comments.

Kozlov muscles Kofi out of the ring but Kingston fires back with punches. Kozlov headbutts Kingston and he goes flying. Big Red then starts to drive his head into Kofi’s chest before locking in a backbreaker that manages to strangle the interest out of the fans. He then hits the Razor Ramon fallaway slam before depositing Kofi on the top rope. Well, if Kofi’s winning this, it’s going to have to be a fluke.

Jack Swagger is wearing the hell out of that suit ringside as Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise out of nowhere for the pin. That was maybe his third offensive move all match. Talk about losing while winning. I guess Randy still has a lot of clout in the back.

Commercial.

We’re back with a graphic for Stu Hart, who was the latest name in the Hall of Fame.

Legacy is out now, complete with a full entrance. Oh no, they have microphones. Cody says that Wrestlemania is every man for himself, but after eighteen months of dealing with Orton, Ted and Cody are finally free. Yep, free to work “Superstars”.

Cody says that he and Teddy have accomplished so much that they would have been stars on their own. Really? Really? Wasn’t he teaming with Hardcore Holly? Now that’s a path to success.

Teddy says that Orton’s arrogance and ignorance will be exposed. Uh Teddy, hate to break it to you but the charges were dropped.

Cody says that he’s six years younger than Orton and three years younger than Teddy. And yet he managed to break into the business through a miracle. It’s hard to get into the WWE when your brother wrestles there and your father was on Creative and is a Hall of Famer.

Teddy promises that by next week we will respect Legacy. Cody then adds that this is because he will be the winner. That’s called sowing the seeds of doubt. Either that or the heavy-handed sledgehammer of plot.

Here comes Sheamus, who’s walking towards the ring and runs into a…

Commercial.

Triple H gets his full entrance as we return. How the hell hasn’t the WWE marketed a Triple H water? It can’t be as dumb as promoting Stacker 2, ISO-PRO or the JVC Kaboombox.

I hear voices and that means it’s time for a faux tan. Randy Orton slowly skulks to the ring, and my television pixels nearly explode as the camera cuts from Orton to Sheamus. That was as close as I have ever come to staring straight at an eclipse.

Randy keeps rubbing his jaw, and it just looks creepy. What I would give for Hunter to just say fuck it and wail away on Orton. Seriously, if there were ever two guys that have no reason to ever coexist again, it’s those two.

Hunter and Sheamus stare each other down but Sheamus tags in Cody. Hunter wails on him like he’s Duane Gill, complete with two corner’s worth of clotheslines. Cody gets the boots up and tags in Teddy. Hunter then wails away on Teddy before teasing a tag to Orton. Teddy jumps Hunter and now shows off that diverse offense of punches and punches. Hunter tires of this and takes out Teddy but eats a dropkick. Sheamus jumps Hunter on the outside. “Look out Itchy, he’s Irish.”

Sheamus is in now and he begins to stomp a bog into Hunter’s chest. Sheamus then delivers some wildly off punches before pulling out the O’Doyle Rules yell. He tags in Teddy who switches from punches to kicks. Teddy tags in Cody who stomps on Hunter. Cody tags in Teddy who stomps on Hunter. Keep in mind this is probably pulling a 4.0 rating right now, while TNA could literally have the Beautiful People nude Jell-O wrestling and it would get a .8.

Hunter Spinebusters Cody and now we get the slow crawl for the hot tags. Orton and Sheamus go at it and Randy pulls off a powerslam. He lays out all three heels and the crowd is going nuts. He hits the inverted backbreaker on Sheamus before humping the ground for his pre-RKO ritual. Randy abandons this to go DDT Cody and he eats a Bicycle Kick for the pinfal. Yep, Sheamus is losing on Sunday.

Legacy rolls Hunter into the ring and Sheamus sets up for the Bicycle Kick. Hunter ducks and he clotheslines Sheamus over the top rope.

We get another video package of Batista and Cena from last week.

Bret Hart is in the back and he’s walking towards…

Commercials.

Bret Hart is out tonight in his fanciest jean shorts. Two questions; 1) Where are the Bret Hart sunglasses and 2) why can’t he dye his hair black?

Hart says that when he came back a few months ago, he never believed he would get another shot at Wrestlemania. Clearly he didn’t believe his contract this time, as opposed to 1997 when he actually believed that document. Fool.

Bret says that he had a bad taste in his mouth but now he can leave with his head up. He got what he wanted, a match with Vince McMahon. That’s it? Way to aim low, Hitman.

Hart promises that next week all you’ll hear is “Bret beat Vince”. The fans immediately start chanting along. Hart says that next week in Phoenix there will be more dysfunctional Harts wandering around than you can shake a stick at. Sadly, some of the good Harts won’t be there. Ironically enough, Owen was the one best built for the current WWE product thanks to his great in-ring style and his comedic timing.

Bret paraphrases Shawn Michaels who said that if Bret comes back, good things will happen. Hart says that his fans have been dreaming of him getting his hands on Vince. Bret says that Wrestlemania is a special time for him; his match with Steve Austin, his match with Shawn, his match against Piper, him beating Owen and him beating Yoko, but this year he’ll be the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. That was so old school I’m almost ready for the next segment to be Adam Bomb versus Tatanka.

Wait, I spoke too soon. Vince McMahon just showed up in a suit that matches his hair and he promises that this Sunday Bret’s screwed. Why? Are Sunny days here again?

Shawn Michaels in the back and Pete Rose comes out of nowhere to wish Shawn luck.

Commercial.

We’re back for what might be Shawn Michaels’ last match ever. Cha, and monkeys might fly outta my butt.

Through hellfire and brimstone, that’s gotta be…that’s gotta be Kane! Would it kill the WWE to just insert that soundbyte into his entrance?

Shawn chops away on Kane but Kane turns around and just wails on Shawn Michaels. I miss Kane on RAW. I’m not a huge Kane fan, but he plays his role so well that he’s always an asset.

Kane gets Shawn up for a standing suplex for two before synching up a chinlock. Kane then pulls out a page from the Cody Rhodes playbook and hammers away on Kane. I will say one thing for the Monday Night Wars, it has certainly slowed down a lot of the lame WWE Monday Night Live comedy.

Kane goes for a Chokeslam on Shawn but Michaels gets an ankle lock. Kane powers out but Shawn hits the flying forearm. He kips up and goes to the top rope for the elbow. Shawn now signals for Sweet Chin Music but the lights go out (much like the awful LFO song) and when they come back on, Undertaker is in the ring and he chokeslams Shawn. So does this mean that Michaels wins by DQ and now Kane is gone from the WWE? The lights go out again and Kane is now back in the ring. Kane goes for the pin but that only gets two. Apparently this is a no-DQ match. Kane goes for a Tombstone but Shawn slides out and hits a Superkick for the pin. Alright, now someone bring Pete Rose out there to get Tombstoned. Please?

Instead we get another Cena/Batista video package. Hey, while this is going on, I checked online and Chris Evans has officially accepted “Captain America.” My pick was Mark Valley, who was born to play that role. My issue with Evans is that he’s too jokey to play a character that is essentially a giant boy scout.

Cena and Batista face off…tonight (as if they were going to wait to have the face-off the week after Mania).

Commercial.

We’re back and you can meet Cole and Lawler at Axxxess. We now find out who the last inductee into the Hall of Fame will be; Bob Eucker. Now I wanna go watch “Major League.”

Cole and Lawler recap the Wrestlemania card, brought to you by a stick of dried meat (no, not Ric Flair).

Pete Rose and Christian are in the back and Rose is talking about winning the World Series. Rose opens his door and Kane is there, complete with a red light and his music. Based on the lame sound effects, Kane is either recreating a “Three Stooges” movie or is initiating a prison rape.

Commercial.

We’re back and we re-live the build for the six Diva madness that will probably be booked for Wrestlemania between the faces and the Ridiculously Good Looking People.

Gail Kim, Eve and Beth Phoenix are in the ring and Mickie James and Kelly Kelly are ringside. The Ridiculously Good Looking People, Alicia Fox and Vickie Guerrero come out next. So I guess the Six Diva Mania match will be a ten Diva Mania match?

McCool and Gail roll around for a bit and then McCool hits the Styles Clash for the pin. Well that was fast. (That’s what she said).

We get one final (I hope) Cena/Batista video package to relive the Cena/Show match from last week. Well, at least they are trying to make this match seem like it’s had a long buildup, so I will give them an “A” for effort.

Batista and his security entourage are walking in the back, but they are no match for the…

Commercials.

Batista is out with his security force. Cole calls it sauntering, I like to think of it more as meandering. “Bad things happen when John Cena is in the ring with Batista.” Well that’s one way to sell their match. Maybe they are trying to subconsciously lower our expectations.

Dave quotes Scarface and welcomes the boos. Batista says that we have to get used to the fact that Batista is the WWE Champion and that John Cena is going to lose. I love the added effect of darkening the arena as Dave cuts his promo, though I’m not wild about the fact that Batista has added the full sleeves of tattoos.

Batista garners a “You suck” chant from the fans before pointing out that John Cena says the same thing all the time. Dave is the bad guy because he’s honest. Really? Where was your honesty when you were hyping the Punjabi Prison Match? Ha, I thought so.

Dave says that he doesn’t see fans, he doesn’t see people but rather he sees dollar signs. He sees even more dollar signs from the fat people who paid for two seats. That wasn’t a bad line. There’s a security guy behind Batista who can’t stop darting his eyes and it looks like he’s on meth. Guess those guys don’t have to piss in a cup to be on television.

The audience chants for “Cena” but Dave warns them that John Cena will disappoint the fans again. He says that he’s done and now it’s time for Cena to come down and run his mouth. Sure enough, here comes John Cena, still sporting those Gator colors.

John looks all serious as he says he’s let the fans down. He let the fans down the second Dave won the title. A “You can’t wrestle” chant breaks out for some reason because apparently the fans in the arena haven’t watched what Cena’s been putting out recently. Hate to break it to you folks, but he actually can wrestle. Cena turns the chant into a positive by saying that the fans have lost confidence in him for losing to Batista. Well played, Clerks.

Cena says that he’s been in a lot of bad spots in his career but he always gave the fans a chance to believe. Now apparently he doesn’t believe, but if you clap your hands and make noise and believe, you can restore his wings.

Batista calls Cena a common loser, as opposed to those high profile losers. John Cena says that it makes sense now because Cena is like all of the fans and they are all sick of Batista’s garbage. I don’t know, I’ve found it pretty entertaining and I wouldn’t mind hearing more of it.

John says that he knows who Batista thinks he is. He thinks that Batista believes that he really is the animal. Cena says that if he were any good at his job, he wouldn’t be standing there. John says that he doesn’t see an animal, he just sees Dave Batista. Not gonna lie, that’s still a pretty scary sight in a dark alley.

John Cena says that Dave Batista can be beaten and Dave Batista will be beaten. Cena rips off his shirt as Batista calls Cena a corporate creation. Cena unloads on Batista through the security and is being held back by a bunch of them but he breaks free. Batista slips out under the bottom rope as Cena wails on the security guards. The referees run from the back, as well as John Laurenitis. Cena is standing tall as we get one last copyright logo before Wrestlemania.

This has been for your consideration.

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