For Your Considerationâ€¦(Hopefully Not a) Royally Painful RAW
Welcome back to the best Judicial Review on the Net (though to be fair Iâ€™m pretty sure itâ€™s the ONLY one, so Iâ€™m setting the bar pretty low). Allow me to be hacky for a minute and say that this past week has sure as hell been an eventful one for the IWC. Alright, time for me to remove my hack hat and get back to normal.
So last Monday Night, the WWE pulls off one of the biggest and most surprising angles that theyâ€™ve possibly ever done. The world goes apeshit. The WWE Universe gets so excited that they start collectively wetting themselves (both in the juvenile bladder and the excited female varieties). Everyone and their mother begins writing on message boards, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and cave walls that the WWE has pulled off the greatest thing since man first invented fire and that fire singed off Kaneâ€™s dick.
Then Friday happened.
Apparently no one in Titan Tower decided to observe the Sabbath, and in their blasphemy (blas for me, blas for you, blas for everyone in the room), they released the American Dragon back into the wild. At least thatâ€™s what we thought. See, Iâ€™m writing this now mere moments before the start of RAW (I write the top portion of the column before the show starts and then post my full Judicial Review as soon as the show is over so as to appease those fans that donâ€™t like to wait), and for all I know this entire portion could be moot.
Yes, dear reader, I cannot state with complete confidence that Danielson being released was a shoot. Except Iâ€™ve got the feeling that it very well might be. The one thing that is making me believe that he has in fact gone the way of the dinosaur and Shelton Benjamin is the fact that the company future endeavored him. They future endeavored him under the WWE News banner on their site, rather than do it splashy on the front page. Sure, a few people in the IWC were going to pick up on this, but not your average, run of the mill viewer.
Working the IWC isnâ€™t that hard. Remember all of those stories about Randy Orton trashing hotel rooms and being a prick to women? Well, I hate to be the one to burst your collective bubble, but 80% of those stories were a work. The WWE worked the IWC, because if we thought he was a legit douche, weâ€™d hate him the way marks do. And you know what? It worked. Sure, heâ€™s had a few legit run-ins with people, but for the most part the guyâ€™s been pretty straight and narrow.
The WWE is very protective of the Future Endeavored tag. While the majority of the site is a complete work, the release of talent has to be viewed as legitimate because the WWE is still committed to making us believe that the Wellness Policy is in full effect (and for the most part I believe that it is and think that anyone that believes otherwise is trying so hard to be a smart mark that they just donâ€™t wanna believe the truth).
This is a publicly traded company, and if theyâ€™re going to make announcements about people being legitimately fired, they need an avenue that hasnâ€™t been carnied. In fact, my fiancÃ©, who is pretty much a novice to the world of wrestling, knows what the term future endeavored means (the fact that she wishes me the best of luck in my future endeavors whenever Iâ€™m going to the bathroom is a different story, though what I do in there and what some of the guys fired do in the ring arenâ€™t that far off).
So as the evidence piles up, weâ€™re faced with an interesting conundrum. If this is in fact part of a storyline and we are living in a world where dogs and cats are living together, then I think this NXT angle is going to potentially revolutionize the industry.
If this is a shoot and heâ€™s really gone, then it plays into what Iâ€™ve said all along about the WWE. Itâ€™s business. Itâ€™s why I said there wasnâ€™t going to be blood on the air or why you wonâ€™t see a thong on a pole mud wrestling orgy. This has nothing to do with Linda McMahonâ€™s campaign and everything to do with the ad revenue.
The WWE is one of the smartest creations in media history because they make money at every single level of their show. Fans pay a fortune for tickets to see a taping. Advertisers pony up bank to have their names slapped on everything from replay graphics to PPV names. Commercial revenues get split between the WWE and USA. Every wrestler either has a t-shirt, a wrist band or a ringtone to hock. And yes, every wrestler has a toy.
Mattel is taking a lot of the blame for this potential firing, and if itâ€™s legit, I canâ€™t really blame them. The WWE has a list of rules about what you can and cannot do on television. One of them includes choking someone out with an object. Blame Benoit, blame standards-and-practices, blame the toy company, but itâ€™s a rule. Just like the no pills without a note rule. Just like the â€œno clean shots to the headâ€ rule.
Remember the shock the day after Mister Kennedyâ€¦Kennedy was cut? He was tagged as unsafe and a liability and he was gone. Carl Ito is gone now because of pills. Sure, heâ€™ll say he doesnâ€™t have a problem and he asked for time off, but whatâ€™s the benefit for the WWE to lie about his issue? Theyâ€™re sick and tired of looking like the Noahâ€™s Ark of users, and yet another guy getting chopped for narcotics is another blemish on their record.
If this is all legit, Danielson will be back. In fact, this might actually HELP him. Everyone here is a winner. First off, thereâ€™s the indie scene, who is getting a major star at a point where they could use it. Iâ€™ve heard more about Gabeâ€™s Evolve and DGA in the past few days than I have in months. This will also help Danielson, who is now the poster child for everyone who has ever been wronged by the wrestling industry. Hell, even John Cena is Tweeting about him (which might be a sign that this is a work, but if it isnâ€™t, thereâ€™s nothing better for the mainstream fan than to see that the indie darling is being put over by the biggest star in the industry today).
At the very least, this has got everyone talking, and with WWE.comâ€™s clicks slipping, DVD sales down and ratings at a standstill, that ainâ€™t half bad.
Before I begin, let me whore myself out and say that you can find me in all the usual ways; friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/awheeler316), e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just leave a comment below. Alright, on with the showâ€¦
The Judicial Review: Monday Night RAW 6/14/10
â€œThe world is watching.â€
We open with a recap of last weekâ€™s madness. You all know the story. Cena and Punk get surrounded and the NXT rookies unleash the kind of hell only seen at the hands of JBL on a legit rookie.
We open live with Wade Barrett in the ring and an eerie silence thatâ€™s actually a nice touch. Wade then reintroduces himself as the NXT winner and basically the future of the WWE. Wade says that Bret Hart demanded that he apologize for last week. Maybe if he does it, Danielson can come back.
Barrett then asks for the rest of the rookies to join him so that they can apologize properly. The rest of the NXT rookies come through the stands, sans Bryan. Cole and Lawler talk about how disgusted they are with what theyâ€™re seeing, and I doubt heâ€™s talking about the lack of Bryan Danielson.
Cole and Lawler drop their headsets and they leave. Heath Slater is up first and he refuses to apologize. Apparently he would do it again in a heartbeat. Justin Gabriel says he wonâ€™t apologize before reminding us of why he sucks on the mic. Skip Sheffield says â€œNo apologize, no regrets.â€ Thatâ€™s his motto. Well, that and everybody Wang Chung tonight. Michael Tarver says that what he did last week will live in his dreams. Uh huh. Darren Young refuses to apologize before flubbing his line as well. David Otunga wonâ€™t apologize for his beatdown or for sucking in the ring. No one apologizes for using a tie.
Wade says that they were treated like animals, and sooner or later theyâ€™ll behave like animals. Wait, like Batista?
Barrett says that they were forced to change in a broomcupboard and they were put through stupid challenges and had to deal with WWE management. Apparently management kept changing the rules and cutting people on a whim. They tried to make an international joke out of everyone. He said no one was laughing last week, as if it were a Police Academy movie.
Wade says they impressed everyone, but this gets interrupted by Bret Hart. Man, I am still not used to hearing his music. Hart says 8-on-1 makes you a coward. He talks about how everyone got roughed up last week. Wade Barrett then says that Daniel Bryan had remorse but we will never see him again. Well I guess thatâ€™s how he got written out.
Bret says that John Cena will be at Fatal Fourway whether they like it or not. Barrett says that this has nothing to do with Cena or the fans, but rather between Wade and WWE Management. Barrett has no beef with the locker-room. Wade has a contract and a title opportunity but the rest of the guys have demands of their own. Apparently the WWE does negotiate with terrorists.
The rest of the rookies want WWE contracts, their own dressing rooms and first class travel accommodations. If Bret doesnâ€™t comply, last week was just the beginning. And the end for the only one with legit credibility. But thatâ€™s beside the point.
Wade says that this isnâ€™t a hard decision because the people in the ring with him are men that could be the future of the company. Well, thatâ€™s debatable. Hart says that his job is to find fresh talent, but he wonâ€™t sign them. Clearly heâ€™s a good judge of talent. Out of that group, there were two viable wrestlers, and one has a contract and the other one was fired. Bret says that Barrett has lost his title match (but not before dropping another WWF) and then Hart fires him. The rest of the NXT Rookies are told to leave before Old Man Hitman calls the fuzz.
The rookies then just kinda stare blankly while I wish someone would yell â€œShake harder boyâ€ and we fade toâ€¦.
Weâ€™re back and we get a replay of Bret firing Wade Barrett. Why the hell didnâ€™t they fire him like they did Bryan Danielson? Oh wait, because this is fake.
Jerry â€œEd Hardyâ€ Lawler and Michael â€œCausal Maleâ€ Cole are back and theyâ€™re all giddy that the NXT Rookies are dead and buried. Cole is so happy that he canâ€™t stop hyping the PPV.
Our first match is a Fatal Fourway match for the US Championship. Thanks Justin Roberts, and might I say thatâ€™s a very handsome necktie.
Out first is Resurrection-Truth, the US Champion. He comes out with his 21st Century minstrel show and it sounds like heâ€™s already blown up from rapping. Apparently weâ€™re live in Flair Country.
John Morrison is out next, and if I may channel David Spade, â€œLook children, a falling star. Make a wish.â€ Thereâ€™s a sign that a homely young woman is holding urging John to marry her. Well, she canâ€™t be worse than Melina.
Zach Ryder and The Miz round out the match, and I guess it would have killed them to do this match at the PPV. I wouldnâ€™t mind seeing these four do this match for real, since I doubt this is going to get a lot of time.
Miz and Ryder jump Truth and Morrison but Team Mixed Race Buddy Cops clean house before they start wrestling one another with the bland rolling around youâ€™d expect from two guys that are â€œfriendsâ€. Ryder comes in and gets rolled for two by Morrison. Ryder then launches himself outside onto Truth but misses.
Morrison then powerbombs Miz off of the apron onto everyone and else and into aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and Morrison is trying to pin Miz, who apparently got seriously injured by that commercial. Morrison now has Ryder on the second rope but R-Truth turns it into a suplex/powerbomb X-Divison-y gimmick. Truth tries to pin everyone but nothingâ€™s doing. Miz then rolls him up for two.
Cole reminds us that this is similar to what we will see at the PPV this Sunday called (youâ€™ll never guess) Fatal Fourway. So itâ€™s not just a clever name.
Miz and Ryder are alone in the ring as Cole has to explain to Hall of Fame wrestling great Jerry Lawler that Zach and Miz are opponents. Because Iâ€™m sure in all of his years of wrestling he never realized that.
R-Truth hits the Lie Detector on Ryder and then takes out Miz before hitting a unique looking move on Truth. Again, if he does this more often and stops botching stuff, he could be decent. Ryder hits the Ruff Ryder but Morrison breaks it up. Morrison goes for Starship Pain (despite the fact that Cole is yelling that Truth is his friend despite explaining to Lawler moments earlier that friendship means nothing in this match thus proving that he is a fucking moron) and it connects but Miz tosses Morrison out of the ring and pins Truth to win the US Title.
And all is right with the world.
Miz celebrates as we go to the back with Randy Orton and Junior Orton. Josh asks how his shoulder is and Randy says anything can happen in a Fatal Fourway match. He thinks another title will change hands Sunday. Josh asks about what happened last week with NXT. Randy says he respects what they did and how they made an impact, but he thinks theyâ€™re nothing but punks. Not CM Punks, but punks. He thinks they should be fired. Uh, they donâ€™t work for the WWE. That was the point.
Weâ€™re back and Mark Feuerstein and the Bella Twins are hyping Royal Pains. And yes, Iâ€™m stoked that this is yet another â€œWest Wingâ€ alum on RAW. Sure, his character was a Republican, but he was still on the show. Teddy then shows up and offers Mark a car if Teddy can be co-Guest Host. Jesus, take it. Itâ€™s a car in exchange for a meaningless title. Mark says no before mocking him because The Big Show is standing behind him. See, itâ€™s funny because Big Show is tall and heâ€™s standing there. Big Show books a tag match; Teddy and Virgil versus Big Show and Main Event Mark. Glad to see heâ€™s having some fun. He then does an ice skating routine and that chases off the Bella Twins, who apparently fuck every Guest Host. Or as was my understanding.
John Cena is limping towards aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and here comes Chris Jericho. Last week he paid for hosting an ABC show by jobbing to Big Showâ€¦three times.
Last week, 500,000 people voted during Viewers Choice RAW.
Jerichoâ€™s opponent is Evan Bourne, and Cole says that last week, a star wasâ€¦born. I want so badly for something heavy to fall on him.
Jericho goes after Bourne to start the match with punches by Bourne busts out a hurricarana and some kicks for a two count. Evan then unleashes another kick but Jericho takes his head off with a clothesline. Jericho connects with a belly-to-back suplex as Cole and Lawler make more puns about Bourne reaching new heights.
Chris synchs in a resthold before whipping Evan into the corner. He then goes for another belly-to-back, but Evan fires back with some kicks. Because if he were Jewish, he would be Conservative or Reform, because heâ€™s unorthodox. Evan hits some Token Offense before eating a Codebreaker but Evan Bourne kicks out. Jericho looks like heâ€™s seen a ghost. Chris then fires off some punches but the ref tries to break it up so Jericho shoves him and gets disqualified.
Jericho still goes after him but eats a kick to the skull before Bounre connects with AirBourne.
Weâ€™re back and the Champ is present and accounted for. Also, he isnâ€™t deaf, because heâ€™s here. Well, heâ€™s there, but if we were there then weâ€™d say he was here. But we arenâ€™t in North Carolinaâ€¦unless you are in fact in North Carolina, in which case youâ€™re probably there. Or not. Look whatever, his catchphrase is The Champ is Here and I didnâ€™t feel like being original, so live with it.
John is still rocking the Gators Orange and Blue and he has a stern look on his face and a WWE SAP logo on his shoulder. Cena says that he will handle things the only way he knows how. John thanks Bret Hart for not meeting the demand for thoseâ€¦radicals. Because everything worked out well for the original Radicalz.
Cena says he has the biggest target because heâ€™s champion, so heâ€™s used to being jumped by men. John says that NXT is pissed about Management so they decided to take the show away from the audience. Cena says that NXT made 5,000,000 new enemies. Also, since they destroyed a WWE ring, every wrestler wants their head on a platter.
John says that Wade getting fired and them being arrested for a misdemeanor wonâ€™t stop them. I wonâ€™t even waste time explaining why that doesnâ€™t make sense. Cena says that he will stand in the ring every week and demand that they show up to finish this. John says that he will not press charges. What about all the other people assaulted?
The NXT rookies apparently are back in the building (great security) but Bourne, Lawler, Santino, Regal and Truth all show up. Well thatâ€™s a random crew. The NXT rookies run in the ring and itâ€™s chaose again. Mark Hey-Hey Henry shows up to make a splash. Randy Orton then shows up. Edge shows up and Spears Barrett. Sheamus shows up with a pipe and he clears the ring. The NXTers (Coleâ€™s term, not mine) flee.
Weâ€™re in the back and the rookies run out the back of the arena. So if youâ€™re in Charlotte and you see a group of men wearing what looks like underwear heading down the street, donâ€™t be alarmed. If youâ€™re anywhere else and see men running down the street in underwear, you should be alarmed.
Back from break and here comes Eve Torres, YOUR Tramp Stamp Champion. Her partner is Gail Kim. At Fatal Fourway, itâ€™ll be Eve versus Gail Kim versus Maryse versus Alicia Fox. Super.
Out next is Alicia Fox on the longest running episodic action adventure home and gardening show on television. Maryse is out last dressed in all gold and she looks shiny. The women start shoving and the ref stops them because you donâ€™t want a fight to break out before a fight.
Maryse and Eve start it off and Eve kicks Maryse in the stomach. Had that been Mickie, her foot would have gotten stuck. Maryse then kicks Eve in the head for two before tagging in Alicia. Fox then hits a nice Aurora Borealis Suplex, and while it might look like sheâ€™s a house of fire, itâ€™s just the Northern Lights.
Fox tags Maryse back in and theyâ€™re beating on the Latina champion as if they were in Arizona. Alicia gets tagged back in and she takes out Gail Kim, who is really earning her paycheck. Fox goes for a kick but misses and hits Maryse and Eve hits an ugly looking neckbreaker for the pin. Cole reminds us AGAIN that itâ€™s every woman for herself. Gail holds the title and gives it Eve. Because theyâ€™re friends. But not on Sunday. On Sunday theyâ€™re opponents. Remember?
This Week in WWE History: The Spectrum saw Pedro Morales versus Don Muraco for the Intercontinental Title. Don won by using an International Object.
The next match is our tag team Guest Host match, which is why most of you tuned in. Big Show is out first in a t-shirt that is so massive that it could probably plug up that hole in the Gulf. Show then introduces the Guest Host Mark â€œThe Main Eventâ€ Feuerstein. Not since Goldberg have I been so excited to see a Jew wrestle. Mark fires off some chest bumps before leaping around.
Teddy and Virgil are out next, and itâ€™s nice to see that Virgil is apparently wearing slacks. Those must be Dockers, because wrestling in anything else is just pants.
Big Show and Teddy start off and itâ€™s the standard â€œBig Show is big and people try moves that wonâ€™t work on himâ€ shtick. Show then knocks Teddy in the corner before bringing back the Stinkface. He then chops him very loudly. Cole compares it to being hit with a frying pan, thus continuing the long legacy of bad analogies for Big Showâ€™s body parts.
Virgil gets tagged in and Show palms him like a basketball. You know, because heâ€™s black. Virgil tries to leave and Mark flings him back into the ring. Big Show slams Virgil, who sells it like heâ€™s been shot. Big Show then steps on him. He then rips off Virgilâ€™s shirt and slaps the crack out of his lungs. Big Show then Chokeslams him and Teddy, in a classic moment, commands Virgil to get up. Mark then brings back the Worm before delivering the most ridiculous Popeye elbow of all time for the pin. And to think thatâ€™s probably not the most degrading thing Virgilâ€™s done all year.
Teddy stands in the ring in disgust as Virgil may or may not be dead. DiBiase grabs his belt but instead decides to stick a hundred dollar bill in his mouth. Teddy says that itâ€™s from his old man. Because Jesus always taught charity. Teddy then comes back and takes the money back, but not before wiping the spit on Virgilâ€™s chest. In case you didnâ€™t know, thereâ€™s a staggering amount of money in the United States with traces of cocaine on it. Guess you can add that bill to the list.
Weâ€™re back and Santino and Regal are already in the ring. The Guest Referee will be Vladamir Kozlov. Wacky, wacky stuff. Vlad comes out in a ref shirt thatâ€™s under his robe.
Vlad calls for the bell and Santino fires off some air kicks before Regal takes him down with a shoulderblock. Cole reminds us that Regal was King of the Ringâ€¦and now heâ€™s a pawn being used to help get Santino and Vladamir over. Santino rolls up Regal with tights and Vlad gives him a fast count for three. This now brings out Bret Hart. He demands that all three guys stand on stage with him. He said he asked every star to stand on stage and he wonâ€™t let history repeat itself. A cavalcade of wrestlers show up on stage. Coming up next is Cena and Orton versus Edge and Sheamus. All the wrestlers are there to make sure no one is attacked with a cravat.
Did You Know? People go to WWE.com. People also like blood sausage.
Edge is out first and he gives a nice little nod to Mark Henry. Unfortunately, because theyâ€™re all standing on the ramp, he gets no pyro. If he did, that might kill most of the midcard. And thatâ€™s a bad thingâ€¦though I can see how this would be a close call.
Sheamus is out next, and he doesnâ€™t get any promo time. Well datâ€™s jus unasseptubul. Wie duhmand day ey be allowd ta talk, fellah.
Randy Orton enters with his freshly shaved head, but no sling and no wristbands. Lawler says that Randy looks like he was chiseled out of stone, which sounds gay but in reality isâ€¦uhâ€¦yeah, itâ€™s still pretty gay. Randy then gets up on the second rope to signal that the extra point was good.
John Cena comes out last and he gets saluted by Mark Henry and Khali. Thatâ€™s like being told youâ€™re a sharp dresser by Anne Frank. Because she was blind.
Hey, all four of these men in this match are going to be competing in the main event at the PPVâ€¦but tonight they have to be partners. I wonder if Cole will subtly remind us that they wonâ€™t be allies on Sunday.
Cena and Sheamus start things off, mainly because if Randy did, his arm would fall off and twist on his body like a windsock in a hurricane. John grabs a headlock before taking him down for a resthold. In the first minute.
Jerry Lawler then blows the four guys in the ring by talking about how talented and amazing they are. They eat lightning and crap thunder.
Randyâ€™s in now and apparently heâ€™s now called the silent assassin. I guess because heâ€™s really really super quiet when he whispers calls. Sheamus throws him in the corner and stomps before he does the Oâ€™Doyle Rules Yell.
Edge is in now and I actually forgot he was on RAW. Randy hits the inverted backbreaker before he humps the mat. So heâ€™s the silent assassin but he telegraphs his finishing move by making as much noise as humanly possible. He goes for the RKO but Edge counters with aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and Cena and Edge are pinballing all over the ring as the RAW roster is looking on. Wait, that means that the locker-room is empty. I bet the rookies are shitting in everyoneâ€™s bags and stealing food from catering. Oh the humanity!
Edge gets kicked to the outside and he rolls in to drop Cenaâ€™s neck across the top rope. Edge then pulls Cena to his corner and tags in Sheamus. Cena fires back but Sheamus punches him in the head and drops John. Sheamus then connects with a running knee lift.
Edge and Sheamus engage in wacky heel corner shenanigans as Randy protests, despite the fact that he knows that the only thing that distracts a referee is yelling at him. Literally, out of everything he could do in the world, he is doing the one thing that doesnâ€™t help Cena.
Sheamus comes in again and beats on Cena before yelling again. Sheamus throws Cena to the outside and rams Cena into the barricade. Hmm, I wonder if the NXT rookies are going to show up in the production truck. Maybe one of them will throw Rey Mysterio into a trailer like a lawn dart.
In the ring, Sheamus shows that he too can administer a dreaded resthold. Cena powers out of it but Sheamus locks it back in. You know itâ€™s 11:00 and this resthold is effective because itâ€™s putting me to sleep. â€œSheamus is a large individual. Heâ€™s deceptively big.â€ Man Jerry, youâ€™re just bringing the heterosexual with ya tonight.
Cena, with Sheamus on his back like Yoda in Empire, almost makes the tag but collapses under the weight. Yes, he was literally carrying Sheamus in the match. Edge gets tagged in now but almost eats an FU before dropping Cena like a health company handling a patient with a pre-existing condition.
Cena finally makes the slow crawl for the tag and then Orton comes in with all of his frustration and baby oil and he takes out Sheamus. He sets Sheamus up for the Second Rope DDT and connects before he drops down to beat the mat like it owes him money. He RKOs Edge but turns around to eat an ax handle. â€œSheamus now looks to have his way with Randy Orton.â€ â€œHeâ€™ll get him right in the mouth.â€ Actual banter between the announcers. You canâ€™t make this shit up.
Sheamus then locks in ANOTHER resthold, this time on Orton. Randy breaks free but Sheamus punches him down for two. Sheamus tags in Edge (a fact that Cole reminds us of four times in a row: â€œTag! Tag! Tag! Tag!â€) who stomps on Orton. The fans chant for Randy, who uses their chants to heal him in a way drugs could never. See, itâ€™s your prayers that keep them going, not the gas. If youâ€™re not cheering right now, youâ€™re part of the problem.
Edge and Orton trade forearms and Randy connects with a clothesline. Cena is screaming for a tag and in comes Cena with the Five Moves of Mediocrity. The lights go out and in the back, the NXT rookies are destroying everything in their path. And I called it. Bonus points for me.
In the back, the rookies have jumped Bret Hart and they stuff him in a limo that speeds off. The limo smashes into another car. They then back the limo into yet another car. They then hit a Ford. Well, at least the carnage is American. The rookies then open the door to yell at Bret before having the drover smash the limo into a bunch of other cars. Wade Barrett demands an answer by Sunday before scampering off. Yeah, thatâ€™s not a misdemeanor anymore. Thatâ€™s attempted vehicular homicide.
This has been for your consideration.
Tags: Andrew Wheeler, Andy Wheeler, big show, Bryan Danielson, chris jericho, Daniel Bryan, edge, evan bourne, For Your Consideration, john cena, randy orton, sheamus, undertaker, WWE