For Your Considerationâ€¦A Team Effort (You know, like the name of the movie)
Welcome back to another week here at FYC. Tonightâ€™s RAW is three hours, so get ready for a banner first hour from me followed by a significant decline culminating in my indifference towards the main event. Hey, at least Iâ€™m honest.
So tonightâ€™s RAW is kinda bittersweet seeing as how I live about an hour away from the American Airlines Arena (or the Triple A, which is known for holding down other arenas in the past but now just resorts to dirty jokes to generate heat while coasting towards retirement), and while I had every intention of going (assuming I could have gotten comped) I had to forego three hours of TV-PG madness in order to continue moving. Essentially, my loss is your gain, as instead of blowing off my Judicial Review, I will be able to do it live. Huzzah.
Before I begin, I just want to take a moment to discuss NXT last week (you know, like everyone else). First, like I said since about week three, Wade Barrett was and is the most complete wrestler in the pack of rookies. Yep, even more than Daniel Bryan. Now before everyone gets ready to jump down my throat, allow me to explain for a minute (that damn lawyer blood in my veins never rests for a minute.
Initially, the NXT program was designed around getting Daniel Bryan over with the WWE audience (that damned Universe is so fickle after all), but between trying to make him into the plucky underdog and highlighting that he canâ€™t cut a promo (even though he can), the WWE muddied the waters to the point where the fans werenâ€™t sure what to do with the â€œinternet darlingâ€. In hindsight, this worked out better than expected for Bryan, who is now in a hot angle with The Miz and Michael Cole of all people.
Wade Barrett was the most complete rookie in NXT who was actually a rookie. He wasnâ€™t a well known commodity, he wasnâ€™t a second or third generation star and he wasnâ€™t a crazy gimmick. Instead, he was just a guy with promo skills, size, a unique look and the ability to deliver in the ring. He was the diamond in the rough that the WWE was looking for. On top of that, unlike Bryan, he was a completely homegrown talent, which is what Vince always has a hard-on for. This is what made him the clear winner from the word go.
Some may argue that Justin Gabriel could have used the rub more, but that would have punished Barrett who was in fact the superior talent. While itâ€™s true that Gabriel would have generated a lot of buzz by winning (while Barrett would have been successful without the NXT rookie title), he just didnâ€™t generate a lot of buzz with the fans. None of the faces did. Skip Sheffield, who had some charisma and a decent catchphrase, accomplished exactly none of his goals until the week before he was eliminated. The One Man Rock Band Heath Slater had a cool nickname and that was it. Darren Young made no sense at all, seeing as he was a â€œparty guyâ€ that didnâ€™t have any charisma.
Yes, the fans always love to boo new faces, but youâ€™d think throughout the competition ONE of them would actually get over. Gabriel was FCW Champion when the show started, so the company knows that he can get over as a face. He had a flashy finisher that should have gotten over (hell, it got Bourne over in spite of everything), he had a mentor that had mark credibility, he had a look that girls would love and he had that kind of underdog spirit that works for smaller stars like Rey Mysterio. Unfortunately, he couldnâ€™t cut a decent promo, and instead of looking like a face fans could rally around, he came off as this desperate guy begging for applause. Say what you want about the WWE Universe, they usually see through that.
Wade Barrett will make the most of his opportunity because since around week five heâ€™s already looked like a WWE Superstar. Does a lot of that have to do with his size? Sure. But heâ€™s got everything else needed to back it up, so we canâ€™t say that this is a case of Vince shoving a guy down our throats just because heâ€™s tallâ€¦for once.
Alright, since this is a LONG show, I donâ€™t wanna waste any more time. Without further ado (after of course pimping my Twitter account at http://www.twitter.com/awheeler316 ) itâ€™s time for…
The Judicial Review: Monday Night RAW 6/7/10
â€œMah Gawd What a night!â€
We open on the American Airlines Arena, and in true Miami fashion, good seats are still available. The show opens with Teddy Long and Bret Hart strolling to the ring before cutting to Jerry â€œEd Hardyâ€ Lawler and Michael â€œCausal Maleâ€ Cole.
Bret welcomes us to the very first Viewerâ€™s Choice edition of RAW. For the first time ever, we can vote for matches and stipulations, assuming you ignore Taboo Tuesday and Cyber Sunday.
Teddy then pulls a Garrett Morris and says everything Bret said, but only louder.
Hart says that every person in the Fatal Fourway will wrestle tonight, but we get to pick their opponents. Because itâ€™s our choice. Weâ€™re the viewers. Can you feel the power? Can you also feel the laziness of Creative? Nothing like passing the buck, fellahs. Maybe spend less time taking your eyeballs out of your skulls and more time trying to write the best action adventure home gardening show on television.
Randy Orton is out now, sporting his RNN sling. The fans in Miami give him a hell of a pop, which probably stems from the fact that his fake tan makes him look Hispanic. Orton says he has a choice for Bret Hart because he wants Edge (no homo), so either Hart can give him Edge or heâ€™ll find him himself. Randy says that heâ€™s going to take Edge out. Whether or not this involves a nice seafood dinner has yet to be determined.
Speak of the devil, here comes Edge, who is sporting a wristband that looks like itâ€™s from Hot Topic. Now thatâ€™s controversy we can believe in.
Teddy then whispers into Bretâ€™s ear to pretend that he told him a big secret so that Orton will think he told him a big secret and in turn reveal a big secret. Bret says that the fans in the arena should decide. Edge will face Randy Orton in either (a) a debate (b) a sit-up contest or (c) a one-arm match. I vote for A. I want to hear Edgeâ€™s thoughts on the oil spill.
The fans in the arena vote for option C, though I will point out that Floridians are not known for making smart decisions while voting. Edge says that the ruling wasnâ€™t fair, which makes me wish there was a dimpled chad sign.
Our first match is Jericho versus The Big Show, and we get to vote on the match: (A) over the Rope Challenge (B) Submission Match (C) Body Slam Challenge.
Itâ€™s gonna be a long night.
Big Show is out first in his giant bear t-shirt, which I think is an allusion to the gay bear culture. But I could be wrong. If he winds up on South Beach at 3 am, then I guess weâ€™ll know. Not that thereâ€™s anything wrong with that.
Weâ€™re back and during the commercial break, Big Show took his shirt off. Wow, Showâ€™s goatee is starting to get some salt & pepper, which makes me feel old. Matt Stryker is ringside with the results and a spiffy vest, and the winning match option that isnâ€™t at all already rigged is: Body Slam Challenge.
Jericho is out next, and he looks slightly perturbed. Cole talks about how Show and Jericho used to team together for those of us who have Alzheimerâ€™s.
Big Show is giggling and gives a little wave to Jericho, before allowing Chris a chance to slam him. Jericho instead slaps him, so Show beats the shit out of him. He fires off some crazy loud slaps before charging Chris. Jericho moves and goes for a bodyslam and I think we know where this match is going. All this match is missing is a duffle bag full of cash.
Show cocks back his fist but Chris bails. Big Show then palms him like a basketball but Chris breaks free and goes after the arm to prevent Big Show from being able to slam him. Unfortunately, Cole and Lawler didnâ€™t realize this so they start coming up with lame hypotheses as to why heâ€™s doing this. Clearly these men also believe that 9/11 was an inside job and that JFK was killed by aliens.
Jericho leaps off the top rope and Show smacks him down with one hand. Cole says that thereâ€™s a buzz in the arena for some reason as Show slams Jericho for the win. Show then locks in his Hog Lock and they declare him the winner as a result of submission. To culminate this burial of a former world champion, he launches Jericho over the top rope to win the Over the Top Rope challenge.
Cole says that this is going to be a rather fun evening, to which I say liar liar, pants on fire.
Tonight, the Harts will either face Greek Booze, the Dudebusters or Khali and That Fuckinâ€™ Midget.
Weâ€™re back and the winners (and I use that term loosely) are Khali and That Fuckinâ€™ Midget. What happened to the promise of Khali taking time off to go to India? For once Iâ€™m in favor of outsourcing.
Khali and Kidd start it out, and if thereâ€™s any evidence that Bret has no real pull, itâ€™s on display here. Khali elbows Kidd for a while before showing that he has mastered the Big Show chop. Heâ€™s one step away from becoming our generationâ€™s Lou Thez.
Khali then slams Kidd before tagging in Hornswoggle for the Tadpole splash. Kidd rolls out of the way and Smith takes out Khali. Meanwhile, in the ring, Kidd rolls up Hornswoggle for theâ€¦snickerâ€¦small package.
After the match, Greek Booze run in to attack the Harts, and they keep their streak of botching stuff alive as one of them fails to take a clothesline over the top rope properly. Somewhere Rikishi is shaking his head in anger as he enjoys eating a bucket of chicken.
Jerry Lawler gets up and leaves for some reason as Michael Cole has to sell the Taker Smackdown angle without cracking a smile.
Weâ€™re back and thereâ€™s Bradley Cooper. He says he was supposed to be joined by Rampage Jackson and that dude from District 9, but he doesnâ€™t know where they are. He promises that tonight will be a great night before turning tail and running.
Lawler is in the back and he looks lost. He says heâ€™s looking for someone before being kidnapped by Rampage Jackson and the District 9 dude. Apparently they were in costume. Lawler is upset because someone stole his crown. Wonder if the locker-room is shitting in it again. Jackson says that he watches RAW and that he knows where it is.
They run out the door and into the Bella Twins. Oh, apparently the actors are playing by WWE Twitter rules and theyâ€™re in their A-Team characters. Stop the pain.
Oh wait, instead of stopping the pain, theyâ€™re bringing out Santino Marella. Looks like Iâ€™ll be opening the Scotch a lot earlier than I anticipated. He will face Vladamir in either (A) a match (B) an arm wrestling competition or (C) a Dance-Off. I wish a pox on everyoneâ€™s house.
Weâ€™re back and Dance-Off wins. I never thought Iâ€™d say this, but TNA had a shot of beating RAW this week.
Santino dances first. No comment.
Vladamir dances next. He does the robot, the moonwalk, the worm and then shows more flexibility and range of motion than in every match heâ€™s ever wrestled. Vlad wins the dance-off. This was reminiscent of the Flair-Steamboat Electric Boogaloo breakdance at The Great American Bash.
Cole rightfully blames the fans for this. If you took the time to vote for this, reconsider your position on late-late term abortion.
Next is a Diva match which is either a 6-on-6, a battle royal or a champion versus champion.
The winner is a battle royal. The loser is the audience. The Divas eliminate each other in rapid succession until the only five that are left are Lay-Cool, Eve, Jillian and Maryse.
Lay-Cool get eliminated together, so Maryse and Hall beat on Eve for a while. Thereâ€™s a lot of grunting, which makes this sound like a tennis match orâ€¦well, itâ€™s TV-PG so thatâ€™s all I can think of. Eve gets dumped, leaving Jillian and Maryse. Maryse then throws Hall out of the ring, thus ending another classic tonight.
Why am I so bitter? Because this is a night that has every wrestler under one roof but instead of giving us dream matches, weâ€™ve gotten an hour of nonsense. Hopefully the other two hours will have SOME serious stuff. I get that the show needs comedy, but all comedy and no wrestling is a dangerous, WCW-esque mix.
Sheamus is in the back walking and he runs into Kane. Kane says that just because heâ€™s on RAW doesnâ€™t mean that he couldnâ€™t have fake killed Taker. â€œOy tuk owt da Undataka, ya tynk ahd be shuy about it, fellah? Uid stand on top of tha tara and tell the entire world. When ah took out Chipla Ache, ah made sure everybody wuz watchin. Aye don waste me time wit sneak attacks. Ah don take kindly to fauls accisations from ewe.â€ Kane doesnâ€™t take kindly to liars. So what? So letâ€™s dance!
Sheamus will either face Kane, Evan Bourne or Mark Henry.
Weâ€™re back and Sheamus will face Kane. The blood pours from Sheamusâ€™s face and heâ€™s as a pale as a ghost. I think.
Through hellfire and terrible, terrible storylines, thatâ€™s gotta beâ€¦thatâ€™s gotta be Kane. Man, I miss doing that.
Kane, who has assumed the Leslie Nielson role as Undertaker investigator, wails away on Sheamus before dumping him over the top rope. Kane then rams Sheamus into the barricade before tossing him into the ring. Kane then climbs to the top rope, but gets crotched, which would hurt him if he wasnâ€™t horribly burned in a fire and turned into a unic. Or was that storyline forgotten? Ughâ€¦tryingâ€¦toâ€¦makeâ€¦senseâ€¦ofâ€¦Kaneâ€¦headâ€¦hurtsâ€¦needâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and Kane is beating the Irishman as if he didnâ€™t paint his chicken coop. Kane connects with a clothesline off the top rope before calling for the chokeslam. Sheamus kicks him but he gets locked up again. Sheamus leaps out again and he hits a backbreaker. By the way, ten bucks says that Kane was the one who attacked Taker.
Sheamus goes for the bicycle kick but gets launched out of the ring. Kane gets him in the ring and hits the Chokeslam but Sheamus rolls out of the ring. Cole says that he was too close to the ropes despite being in the center of the ring. Sheamus says screw it (though it probably sounded like skrute) and leaves.
John Cena tonight will face Rey Mysterio, Kurt Swangle or CM Punk.
Weâ€™re back with an NXT package. In the back, Random Asian Reporter is with Wade Barrett. â€œHow are your thoughts on winning?â€ I thought Asians were smart.
Barrett says the results were never once in question before saying that the winds of change are blowing. Wade says that he will accomplish something that has never been accomplished in the WWE.
Teddy is in the back with Virgil when the two actors from the A-Team show up. Virgil gets a little too nervous when they flash their badges and goes to flush his cocaine. Rampage Jackson then says that heâ€™s going to punch Virgil in the face, but then IRS shows up wearing the crown. Apparently Lawler didnâ€™t pay his taxes, so they took his crown. Deytookhiscrown! Money Inc 2.0 then gas the cast of the A-Team and I canâ€™t even begin to explain whatâ€™s going on tonight.
The Miz and R-Truth are walking in split-screen towards aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back (I keep saying that, I know) with Resurrection Truth beeboppin and scattin down to the ring (and thereâ€™s your random Seinfeld reference for the night). Truth then cuts a promo because he wants to know who heâ€™s facing tonight. Heâ€™s either teaming with Christian, MVP, or John Morrison. Now the way I see it, two of them are winners.
The winner is John Morrison. Because you wouldnâ€™t want MVP to wrestle in front of his hometown crowd and sound like someone whoâ€™s over with the fans. That would be cuh-razy.
John Morrison comes out, and just to be safe, apparently the crew had set up his pyro. Because these votes arenâ€™t rigged. At all. Integrity, itâ€™s one of the three Iâ€™s.
Miz is out now and heâ€™s come to talk. Miz says that the crowd chose John Morrison. They also chose Khali and a dance-off. Well, the man does have a point. Miz says that tonight heâ€™s going to beat team Wacky Buddy Cop movie. Mizâ€™s partner is either Dolph Ziggler, William Regal or Zach Ryder.
His partner is going to be Zach Ryder. The fans should pop for him, since most of the fans are from Long Island originally anyway. Truth and Miz start it off, and Miz gets hiptossed after a lot of running around. Truth then tags in Morrison, who then helps Truth in a double-hiptoss. He then tags back in Truth and they connect with a double-suplex.
Truth then gets distracted by Ryderâ€™s exposed leg, because apparently this is a Looney Tunes cartoon, and Miz jumps him from behind. Miz then beats on Truth for a while.
Morrison and Ryder come in with hot tags, and Morrison kicks Ryder in the face but eats an SCF and Miz wins. And with that, Marty Morrison does the job. By the way, if Miz, Ryder, Jericho and Barrett form a stable, RAW would get about ten times better.
Edge and Bret Hart are in the back and Edge complains that tonight isnâ€™t fair. Kane then emerges from behind a corner to ask if it was Hart that destroyed Taker to preserve his legacy. Kane then promises to put Hart in a vegetative state, which is really a sensitive thing to say to someone who HAD A STROKE.
Here comes Edge, heading down fro what Iâ€™m pretty sure wonâ€™t be a sit-up contest. Orton comes out next in his sling. The ref ties Edgeâ€™s arm behind his back, making this the WWE equivalent to wheelchair basketball.
Edge and Orton feel each other out before Orton connects with a clothesline and busts out the Garvin Stomp. Randy then starts humping the mat but he canâ€™t connect with the RKO. Edge then removes the binding and uses his free hand toâ€¦stomp Orton. Uh Edge, you could have done that with one hand tied behind your back. The ref then calls for the bell. He goes into â€œSpear positionâ€ according to Cole but Randy kicks him. He then kicks him out of the ring. Clearly this is a job for Richard Kimble.
Edge uses a chair to hit Orton in the arm before smashing him again as everyone looks on all horrified. Wow, Edge just really hates Ortonâ€™s arm.
Cena and Bourne are in the back. Yes, Cena and Bourne. John says that Evan showed the WWE Universe that heâ€™s one of the best that the WWE has. Tricia Takanawa shows up to ask Cena how he feels about Fatal Fourway. John then sucks up to the fans for a while and walks away.
Weâ€™re in the back and District 9 dude wakes up next to Mean Gene. Donâ€™t know why itâ€™s happening, but I love seeing him nonetheless. Mean Gene then buries Lil Orton before saying that District 9 guy knows what he has to do.
Drew McIntyre is here on RAW, and he has a chance to not be the dullest thing on television tonight. He will face either Yoshi Tatsu, Goldust or a mystery opponent who is doing Matt Hardyâ€™s mannerisms. Because Matt is suspended, remember? Me neither.
The winner is the Mystery Man Matt Hardy. Teddy says that Matt was suspended from Smackdown, but not from RAW. Right, that makes sense. I guess the WWE doesnâ€™t support Full Faith and Credit.
Matt attacks Drew and clotheslines him out of the ring. Hardy throws him into the announce table before going to Lawlerâ€™s computer to Tweet about how he isnâ€™t being used enough. He then rams McIntyre into the ringpost but as he comes into the ring, he gets kicked in the head. Drew charges Matt but he moves and then hits the Twist of Fate and the downward spiral of Drew continues. I donâ€™t think theyâ€™ll be done until he jobs to the fucking midget. Matt then wails away on Drew, shoves the ref and attacks Drew some more. This culminates with him holding strands of McIntyreâ€™s hair, making this one hell of a catfight.
Rampage Jackson is in the back and heâ€™s chained to a chair. Teddy, Virgil and IRS are interrogating him. Bradley Cooper clearly has a better agent than him.
Teddy is in the ring and he says that everyone has a price, even him. Someone called Ted and said that he wanted Rampage in the ring. It was apparently Rowdy Roddy Piper. How many drugs did the writers take tonight?
Piper is wearing a jaunty hat. He says that at the first Wrestlemania, all he heard about was how hot the A-Team was and that Mr. T was the biggest star in the world. Piper silenced Mr. T and now heâ€™s going to silence the new Mr. T. Piper says that every time you have the answers, he changes the questions. Roddy is going to do the world a favor and heâ€™s going to beat the Mohawk off of him tonight. He pities the fool that messes with Hot Rod.
This gets interrupted by a golf cart holding District 9 Guy, Mean Gene and Dusty Rhodes. Yep, you read that right. Rampage Jackson breaks out of his handcuffs and he hits one hell of a spinebuster. Dusty hits the Bionic Elbow to IRS. Rampage lays out Virgil with the Vlad Slam. Mean Gene then congratulates The A-Team. Dusty then gets to say that itâ€™s great when a plan comes togethah, if you weel. Let us never speak of this again.
Next weekâ€™s guest host is that nice Jewish boy who played a Republican on â€œThe West Wing.â€
Josh Matthews is in the back with the three potential Cena opponents. Rey says that you have to go after the top dog. He says that heâ€™s Smackdownâ€™s top dog. Aw, thatâ€™s so cute and delusional. Kurt Swangle says that he should be selected because it would be champion versus champion. Punk says that Matthews asks the stupidest questions. Punk says that he and only he can make Cena a better person.
Cena is out first and his opponent will beâ€¦CM Punk. Well that kinda surprised me. Hey, maybe a great main event could save three hours of silliness. I doubt it, but I can hope, right?
Punk fires off some kicks before grabbing a headlock. Cena breaks it and connects with a shoulderblock. The fans in Miami chant â€œYou canâ€™t wrestleâ€ and Iâ€™m mystified at how stupid some people can be. Then again, the news didnâ€™t name I-95 the deadliest highway in the country for nothing (these people canâ€™t seem to drive and talk on their phone and text at the same time). Cena goes for the mask and now the fans all chant â€œCenaâ€.
CM Punk connects with a low dropckick on a dazed Cena. He then locks in a nice leglock and does the old school heel move of rubbing his forearm in Cenaâ€™s face. Cena breaks free and tries for the Five Moves of Mediocrity but Gallows trips him up. So why not throw to aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and on the outside, Serena kicks Cena in the ribs. Punk brings him into the ring and he starts firing off kicks. Cena comes back with punches and then the Shoulder Block. We are now smack dab in the middle of the Five Moves of Mediocrity. He goes for the â€œYou Canâ€™t See Meâ€ but Wade Barrett shows up with an â€œNâ€ arm band. Cena goes for the FU but gets distracted by Wade.
The rest of the NXT wrestlers show up and jump the SES. Theyâ€™re all sporting â€œNâ€ Bands. The entire NXT Roster surround John Cena. Otunga knocks out the ref for good measure, so Iâ€™m glad he didnâ€™t blow that spot. Cena gets jumped and all eight rookies take out John. Well, itâ€™s something different, Iâ€™ll give them that.
Where the hell is anyone from the locker-room? Skip Sheffield takes out Matt Stryker as Gabriel and Slater take out Lawler. Admittedly, this is kinda cool. Darren Young lays out Mark Eaton and then they attack Justin Roberts and the security guys. The rookies then rip apart the ring. Wade Barrett destroys the announce chair. Cena tries to fight back but he gets laid out again. Otunga hits his slam on Cena before Slater throws him into a lariat from Young. Young then launches Cena into Slater. Punk tries to fight back but he gets overpowered. Sheffied gets a turn to clothesline Cena before Slater chokes him with the ropes. Bryan then says that Cena isnâ€™t better than him before firing off a kick to the back of the head.
Wade Barrett then picks up Cena and connects with his finisher. This all culminates with Justin Gabriel hitting the 450. I guess the NXT rookies can be useful.
Ladies and gentlemen, if this is handled properly, this could be one hell of a game changer. At the very least, this might have salvaged three hours of nonsense.
This has been for your consideration.