For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 8/23/10 with John Cena, Sheamus & Randy Orton PLUS Paul Heyman On TNA

For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 8/23/10

Welcome back to the longest running action-adventure smartass wrestling rambling on the dumptruck known as the interweb. I am still Andrew Wheeler (despite it saying that my name is Andy) and this is still For Your Consideration. I had a big week planned, but due to that pesky thing known as real life, I had to cut my preamble a little short. I promise that next week all of the extra stuff I had planned will make an appearance (because I know Glazer hates it when he’s the only one to write long-winded pieces and I hate to disappoint him), but in the meantime, I promise to make the most with what I got. Remember, you can friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/awheeler316), e-mail me at awheeler316@yahoo.com or post on the comments section below. Alright, that’s enough whoring, time to get down to it. In addition to my normal Judicial Review for tonight’s RAW, I’m going to weigh in on everyone weighing in on TNA. In fact, let’s get down to it…

A TNAwfully Battered Company

This has been a bad couple of weeks for TNA, and that’s saying something when you consider its history. First, they throw a subpar ECW-lite PPV event that doesn’t seem to translate into major ratings. Next, their World Champion (who has a history of flaking out on the industry) does the unthinkable and flakes on the company. Finally, everyone with a microphone and a history in the business buries their product. It’s a good thing Dixie Carter has deep pockets, because she’s going to spend tons of money on shrinks to fix her post-traumatic stress disorder.

The first person to really rip into TNA was Booker T. Booker jumped ship from the WWE thinking that he could still be a main event guy. Booker leaving the WWE was surprising to me. When Booker seemed to have outlived his usefulness in the WWE, the company gave him a fifth life (the first being when he was rescued from the GWF, the second was when his name was changed from Kane to Booker T, the third was when he was freed from the dead weight of Stevie Ray and allowed to be a singles star, the fourth was when he was liberated from the terrible GI Bro character) by changing him from Booker T into King Bookah. King Booker generated a lot of heat and was a solid main event heel, getting over enough to garner Booker another run with the World Title. Once Booker was fed to Hunter, however, it was clear that his reign at the top was coming to a close. The WWE offered him a role as a veteran enhancement talent, somewhere higher than Hardcore Holly but lower than The Undertaker. This would have allowed Booker to continue to appear on TV, as well as allow his wrestling school to become a feeder system for the WWE.

Booker instead chose to make another run with TNA. TNA was smart to grab Booker T, because having Booker in the locker-room could only benefit younger talent. Now that Booker is gone, he’s decided to bury the company, mainly because they didn’t let him work with top-tier talent. His membership in an organization called the Main Event Mafia notwithstanding, Booker felt that he should have been in main event against Joe, Abyss and Styles. Here is where I can’t completely fault TNA, because this was an instance where they didn’t just give a veteran the top slot. Sadly, unlike guys like Nash and Steiner, Booker could still go at a level that wouldn’t embarrass the talent. On a scale of baseless to dead-on, Booker’s criticism is best described as slightly off the mark.

The next person to take aim at the company was veteran wrestler/chubby guy in a Polo shirt Shane Douglas. The dean of wrestling complained (again) that TNA had no purpose in running an ECW show, and that if they wanted to do it right, that they should have used Douglas. I can’t fault him at all because Shane was a major part of ECW, and unlike the charred to pieces bridge he has with the WWE, Douglas still has some ins with TNA.

Douglas claims that Terry Taylor (or one of his secretaries, depending on what day of the week he’s telling this story) said that no one knew why they were doing an ECW show, other than to make money. I don’t know, considering they’re a for-profit company, that sounds like an okay reason to do a PPV. Yes, I know that we all need to look out for the soul of ECW, but if there’s a promotion willing to pay those guys to wrestle, I think the amorphous soul of a nonexistent company takes a backseat to helping aging wrestlers afford food and drugs (no thanks to that damn Dawn Marie).

Shane’s final gripe was basically the same gripe he’s had since the original ECW, that Ric Flair should be exposed as the awful human being that he is and be publicly executed. When you realize that the “Flair is Dead” chant is older than most of the current wrestling audience, you kinda have to realize that this is a lost cause. If Ric’s assault on his ex-wife, assault on his kid, assault on a motorist and faked retirement didn’t ding his legacy, there’s pretty much nothing Shane Douglas can say that will.

Shane claims that fans want to see him wrestle Ric Flair. Douglas’s feud with Flair is about as one-sided as the scripted Miz/Cena feud, only their feud didn’t seem this pathetic. When Shane attacked Flair in the 90’s, it felt edgy. It felt new. It felt ECW. Now, it feels formulaic, tired and…well…TNA.

On the gripe-o-meter, I’m going to put this at about a sour grape, but just above full-on bitter.

The next entrant in the “Who Can Tarnish TNA” pageant is none other than Eric Bischoff. How in the blue hell can someone on the TNA payroll do this much damage to the company? And why the hell are they allowing him to keep doing it?

Eric Bischoff when on the Internet and ripped the IWC. There’s a line from “The Distinguished Gentleman”, a surprisingly decent Eddie Murphy movie, (that I’m paraphrasing) that sums this up. “I admired the congressman a great deal. I saw him at an NAACP rally where he said that if we would get off of our lazy asses and find a job that this country would be a better place. And that’s exactly what I did.”

Eric Bischoff went on the Internet to criticize the Internet. What did he hope would happen, exactly? That we would read this and realize that our position is completely wrong and suddenly start watching TNA? The IWC is a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them. When the collection of people are known as “Smarts”, the general idea is that they aren’t imbeciles. But I digress…

Bischoff has been trying to court the IWC in an effort to turn the tide to TNA. He started a Facebook page where he gives revisionist answers to questions. Every time I see one of his responses, I keep waiting for Brodie from “Mallrats” to show up and say that his answers are the cheesiest responses to an honest question that he’s ever heard. Then, Bischoff joins Twitter, where he talks about motorcycles, drinking coffee and how great the TNA product is. Then how much it sucks. Then how awesome it is. Then how awesome it would be if anyone would listen to him. Then how everyone is one happy family. Jesus Christ is that guy bipolar.

Eric conducts an interview for the IWC in which he says that we represent 10% of the audience, that we don’t know what’s good, that the products we like (or liked) were stupid, and that if we don’t see that TNA is the best thing going that we know nothing about wrestling. This is like Justin Bieber telling us that The Beatles aren’t very good. How does Eric expect us to respond?

This garners some responses, but my favorite came from Kevin Kelly. Kevin made two very good points in his rebuttal. First, he pointed out that ROH’s house shows draw about as much as TNA’s, which is beyond pathetic. TNA is on national television and has a roster that includes Sting, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Ric Flair, Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan and Desmond Wolfe. ROH has The Kings of Wrestling, Davey Richards, Roderick Strong and Tyler Black. By the end of this year, Richards and Black will be gone from the company. If ROH is around by December and they are still drawing numbers comparable to TNA, then I think it’s time TNA just sells off it’s shares to the Insane Clown Posse and calls it a night.

Kevin’s second point is that Bischoff hasn’t done anything to shape the world of pro wrestling in fifteen years. Eric Bischoff’s reign as King of WCW was on the back of Hulk Hogan, a great Japanese angle and more money than most African nations. Even with all of that, he couldn’t succeed. Kelly points out that Bischoff created Goldberg on his own, and that’s it. While it’s true that Goldberg was a phenomenon, it wasn’t nearly enough to stop the inevitable. Since then, he’s done nothing in terms of shaping the discussion. His run as RAW GM was entertaining, but he was basically playing a character. Bischoff has no clue what wrestling fans want, yet he’s the first one to say that we don’t know what we want.

Someone who does know what we want is Paul Heyman. Heyman did an off-the-cuff bit about TNA during an MMA talk show, and in about ten minutes completely ripped the company a new asshole. Somehow a guy who hasn’t been an actual player in wrestling in about four years was able to accurately assess and correct TNA’s problems in one conversation.

Heyman once again said that TNA wasn’t ready for him. His idea was the cut everyone on the roster over 40 and focus on the young. He said that TNA needs to lay out a two year plan and stick to hit. He said that the company needs to build around MCMG/Beer Money main events that have innovative wrestling and stop trying to get the audience to care about ideas that they’ve already seen before.

He said everything we’ve been saying for years, yet somehow he manages to add that instant credibility that makes us believe that our already stated ideas are fresh and new. That’s the magic of Paul Heyman. How Dixie Carter didn’t decide to just hand the reigns over right away is beyond me. Absolutely beyond me. Kevin Kelly called her the biggest mark in wrestling, and she absolutely is. She is a mark for Hulk Hogan and for Vince Russo. She thinks that fans actually give a flying fuck about Sting and Nash and Jarrett. Newsflash: we don’t. If Paul Heyman was booking TNA, the ratings would instantly shoot up. I know I’d be in front of my television to see what he’d do, and so would the majority of the people reading this column.

I liken Paul Heyman in a way to my personal writing idol, Aaron Sorkin. Sorkin has a writing style that speaks to me on several levels, and regardless of what he’s writing, I’ll tune in. His name attached to a project guarantees my eyeballs will be there and, if necessary, my wallet will be open. When I heard there was going to be a Facebook movie, I scoffed…until I heard who was writing it. Now? I’ll be first in line. Same deal goes with Paul Heyman. Heyman has enough capital saved up with wrestling fans that most of us will tune in based purely on blind faith. I’m not saying that his show would instantly turn around the company and that he could make a run at Vince, but I know there’s a heavy possibility that I’ll be entertained.

Paul won’t come to TNA because of his experience with WWE’s ECW. You could see that he was trying to write a show that he thought would be amazing, but he was handcuffed at every turn. SyFi wanted the show to appeal to their audience, which was a demand that subsequently vanished once they saw the ratings. Vince wanted ECW to have WWE stars appear, making them look like a bad spinoff. Had Heyman been given a fair shot, his WWE version of ECW would have absolutely worked. He had a killer roster: Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Kurt Angle, Big Show, Tommy Dreamer, Stevie Richards, CM Punk, Sandman and John Morrison. He had a blueprint that everyone could kind of see, but Vince kept fucking with him. Vince made him push Bobby Lashley. Vince made him book over-the-top angles. Vince made him use Test and Hardcore Holly. Paul finally reached his limit and had to quit, and that feeling of being forced to write something under someone else’s thumb is the reason he couldn’t bring himself to come to TNA. But it sure as hell didn’t stop him from eviscerating their current product.

The RAW Judicial Review for August 23, 2010

“You’re fired.”

We open with a recap of last week’s Nexus-heavy RAW, culminating with Black Cena getting kicked to the curb. This blends seamlessly into the incessant Nickelback-saturated RAW opening.

Like two homosexuals celebrating the repeal of Proposition 8, tonight’s RAW is already in the can. This taped show opens with Sheamus coming to the ring, complete with a replay of Orton wailing on the Irishman with a chair from last Monday. Cole says that the beating didn’t’ sit well with Sheamus, mainly due to the fact that the chair was bent.

“Now da un ting ah knowtized about ewe Amuricans iz dat ur childrenre spoiled brats. Dere annoying, dere selfish and dell cruy und cry until dey get wut dey wunt. Take a lookahem.” Sheamus then climbs out of the ring to mock children. He walks up to a boy with crazy long hair who says that he sucks. Sheamus calls one of the kids fat, which is classic. Sheamus says that there’s a bigger spoiled child, and his name is Randy Orton. Hey, what are the odds that there’s a kid who has the same name as a WWE Superstar? I mean out of all of the names in the worl…oh, he’s talking about that Randy Orton.

Sheamus says that despite Orton beating him with a chair, he isn’t the WWE Champion. Sheamus apparently doesn’t get along with the GM, and with Night of Champions coming up, the GM shouldn’t give Randy a shot. I will point out that Sheamus said that Night of Champions is prestigious, which clearly shows that he doesn’t know what that word means.

The GMail goes off and it says that Sheamus should be rewarded. A throne is brought out because tonight Sheamus gets to pick his challenger. Whoever impresses Sheamus the most will be the #1 Contender. Sheamus says that finally, finallyfast.com, he gets justice.

Edge is the first participant and he’s on his way to the ring, but gets cut off by a…

Commercial.

The Impress Sheamus Open Match: Edge v. Resurrection Truth

R-Truth comes out and continues his flawless streak of being unable to properly rapping his entrance theme without blowing. Cole points out how much he sucks, so I guess his subtle heel shtick is now full-on. If you took a drink every time R-Truth says “What’s up”, you’d be dead. And not just if you were drinking alcohol. The human body can’t hold that much liquid.

R-Truth starts off with a flying headscissors and clotheslines Edge over the top rope. Truth springboards to the outside, but Edge moves out of the way. Edge throws him into the heavily padded barricade before tossing him into the ring. Edge looks to be developing quite a little gut. Jeez, it’s not enough that he took Matt Hardy’s girlfriend and his heel push, but he’s also got to steal his ponch?

Edge wails away on Truth with stomps as Lawler says that Sheamus should pick the worst wrestler. Well there you have it, Sheamus will be wrestling Primo Colon. Edge and Truth collide in midair with a double-belly-touch, which takes them both down. Truth fires off some clotheslines before botching a flying fist. Truth then does a cartwheel but after doing a leg split gets dropped. Nope, nothing at all racist about a black guy deciding that rather than going for a victory that he should breakdance. Edge takes this opportunity to connect with a Spear for the pin.

Edge has the microphone and says that Sheamus can sit on King Booker’s throne and talk about everyone that he’s beaten, but he’s never beaten a nine time champion…nine times? Is that true Ed Rooney? “Nine times.” Thanks for clearing that up. Anyway, until he beats Sable’s former mystery tag team partner, he hasn’t beaten anybody.

Later on tonight, The Miz will wrestle John Cena, complete with terrible LSU colors. We now get to watch Cody Rhodes on Warehouse 13. I think its Warehouse 13. It could be Pacific Blue. Cops on bicycles, how could it go wrong?

Commercial.

We’re back with Jerry “Ed Hardy” Lawler and Michael “Casual Male” Cole talking about the WWE in China (which is much better than being in Chyna) as The Great Khali lumbers to the ring.

The Impress Sheamus Open: The Great Khali v. Chris Jericho

Wow, last week he jobbed to Wade Barrett and this week he has to wrestle Khali. It could be worse, he could host a game show involving a giant piece of exercise equipment. Oh wait…

Khali tosses Jericho in the corner where he slaps his chest, which is one of the few moves he can’t really botch. Khali then connects with a punch that misses by a country mile. He goes for a Hogan legdrop but Chris moves out of the way. Jericho goes Flair broomstick style as he works over Khali’s knee. For a long time. Chris then goes for the Codebreaker but gets swatted away. He then runs headfirst into some clotheslines and puts his life at risk by taking a powerslam. Khali goes for a high knee but Chris clips him and goes for the Walls of Jericho. Chris finally locks it in after another two minutes of trying to turn him, and Khali taps.

Jericho says that he was the first undisputed champion, he made a giant tap out and he’s the best in the world at what he does. No one else can pull off that haircut, that’s for sure. Khali then chops Jericho out of the ring, just in case we didn’t realize that Chris has fallen from grace.

We no relive The Miz and Alex Riley taking out Daniel Bryan.

Mini-Orton is in the back with John Cena. Cena puts over Bryan and says that The Miz has a massive ego. John says that The Miz has an attitude problem, which is coincidental since his finisher is called the FU. Fuck the name change, FU sounds cooler.

Commercial.

We’re back and Jillian Hall is singing. How the hell is that gimmick still alive?

Tramp Stamp Champion Melina v. Jillian Hall

This is the battle for the title of ugliest WWE Diva, and with the exception of Snukette, it might be a two-way tie. At least Jillian can wrestle. Melina does a leg-split to show why John Morrison kept her around before brining back her screech as she goes for a leg drop. Jillian moves and goes for a resthold. Melina now decides to scream again as my ears begin to bleed. Hall then stands on her back before Melina tries to roll through but botches it and drops her on her head. Melina goes for the Matrix move, which isn’t at all a dated reference. Maybe she can do the Wazzup.

Hall goes to the top rope and sings before going for a legdrop, but lands on her ass. Melina then goes for Last Call, which is named after the time of night when someone sees her and realizes that it’s better than nothing.

LayCool appear on the screen and they say that they don’t feel bad. Next week is the 900th episode of RAW and they are going to be there. They have an offer for Melina. She better listen. Don’t fuck with Michelle McCool. Undertaker fucked her and now he looks like he’s moments away from death.

Josh Matthews is in the back with The Miz. Miz says that he hit Bryan in the back of the head, but it was Cena who put Team WWE at risk by picking Daniel over The Miz. Miz says that Cena shouldn’t talk about egos. Miz talks about how Sheamus was lying beaten at Summerslam but Miz chose to not cash in the suitcase so that he would be fresh for the main event. Wow, that is some solid logic. I’m impressed. Miz promises to beat Cena and show that there will be consequences. Miz says that he can pick Sheamus any time that he wants. Basically Sheamus is cotton and The Miz is a racially insensitive joke.

Commercial.

Sheamus is sitting in his throne as Nexus comes out. Sadly now they only spell NNNNNN. The GMail goes off and apparently he was impressed by Nexus and lifts the ban on Nexus not being able to compete for titles. I’m impressed that Skip Sheffield is out there considering his leg is fractured. He looks fine. He looks as good as he probably did before he broke his ankle.

Wade says that the truce between Nexus and Sheamus has gone the way of disco.

Cena and Miz are walking in split-screen towards one unified…

Commercial.

The Impress Sheamus Open: The Miz v. John Cena

Cole points out that this show has been on for a really long time as Miz wails away on Cena. Well, if John was willing to sell for Darren Young, why wouldn’t he sell for Miz as well?

Miz whips Cena into the turnbuckle before delivering some stomps. John fires back with punches and a sidewalk slam for two. Cena charges Miz in the corner but hits steel. Miz connects with a belly-to-back suplex for two before delivering some forearms to the head. Lawler points out that next week’s RAW is in Boston, and that there’s no better place to celebrate 900 episodes. Really? It’s not like the show originated in another city or anything.

The Miz delivers a nice looking legdrop, which Tony Schiavone would explain is effective because he can direct all of his bodyweight into his leg. At least that’s what he would explain when Hogan would do it. Cena pulls out the Throwback before going for the Rocker Dropper. Miz knocks him off the top rope and he crashes into a…

Commercial.

We’re back and Miz has a sleeper. Cena breaks it by ramming him into the corner, which is something that everyone that wrestles Dolph Ziggler can’t figure out. Miz kicks Cena in the face for two and follows that up with a kneelift. It’s great to see that he looks like a true main event threat in there finally.

Miz goes for his diving clothesline in the corner but Cena moves out of the way and Miz ensures that he won’t be having children. Cena busts out the Five Moves of Mediocrity and goes for the FU but Miz turns it into a backbreaker-neckbreaker for two. Miz goes for the SCF but John reverses into the STFU. Miz makes it to the bottom rope. Lawler: “Somehow Miz managed to stretch those last couple of inches.” That’s what she said.

Miz goes for the SCF again but Cena turns it into an FU but Miz leaps out of the ring. Daniel Bryan comes from out of nowhere to jump Miz and launches him back into the ring. Cena hits the FU but it’s a DQ. Daniel Bryan then goes into the ring and locks in a Crossface and Miz taps. Would it kill him to bust out Cattle Mutilation? Several referees try to make him break the hold as Cole continues to bury Bryan.

Commercial.

We’re back with Santino and Vladimir Kozlov. Stop. The. Pain.

Borscht Marinara v. Greek Booze w/ Snukette

Santino goes for the Cobra against one of Rikishi’s ejaculate before tagging in the other one who clotheslines him. Santino gets slammed and leg-dropped for two. Pants Booze is in now and gets dropkicked but he forgets to sell it and wails away on Marella. Pants Booze locks in a resthold but Marella breaks free and makes the lukewarm tag. Kozlov takes out Shorts Booze with a kick and a headbutt. He slams Shorts but it gets broken up by Pants. Santino clotheslines him out of the ring but Marella gets kicked out of the ring. Kozlov slams Shorts for the pin.

After the match, Snukette checks on Santino, so I guess we’re doing this bullshit now. She blows a kiss at him and I throw up all over my laptop.

This Week in WWE History:

In Toronto, 70,000 fans showed up for the Big Event. Fun fact, Edge was at this show. We get glimpses of Hulk Hogan, Don Muraco, Adrian Adonis, Ricky Steamboat, Harley Race, Iron Mike Sharpe(!) and Jake Roberts. There were 20 future Hall of Famers there…and Brutus Beefcake.

Commercial.

The Impress Sheamus Open: Teddy DiBiase w/ Maryse v. John Slo-Morrison v. Randy Orton

They all walk out to the ring and we get a…

Commercial.

We’re back and they were nice enough to hold the bell. It’s almost as if it were edited that way. Sheamus decides to leave his throne and go to the back. DiBiase and Orton start out and Randy pounds on Teddy. John pulls DiBiase to the outside and gets nailed with a flashkick. John climbs into the ring and he goes one-on-one with Randy. John connects with a dropkick but Teddy breaks up the pin and launches Morrison out of the ring. Teddy kicks Randy in the head for two. DiBiase then stomps away on Orton, showing that he learned all of Randy’s signature moves. He can punch and kick and mug.

Randy fires back with some punches but gets taken down with a clothesline. Teddy connects with a neckbreaker on Morrison. Randy starts clotheslining both midcarders before pulling out the same scoopslam used by Martin Luther on the Catholic Church…because it’s Vintage. Randy then hits the second rope DDT on Teddy. Morrison tries to stop this but gets dumped out of the ring. Teddy goes for DreamStreet but he gets knocked out of the ring. John leaps from out of nowhere and Randy hits a similar RKO that he did to Bourne for the win. After the match, Randy RKOs Teddy.

Sheamus is in the back with Josh Matthews and he says that he made his decision as to who the #1 Contender will be.

Commercial.

We’re back with Sheamus in the ring. He’s been tinkin about it for a while and he’s still the Celtic Warrior. That’s good because they’d have to make new merchandise for him otherwise. Sheamus promises to defend his title right now and he demands a referee. He says that he saw a lot of competitors tonight and he wants to go left field with his choice and make a new #1 Contender out of someone who never had a championship match before. His opponent will be Zach Ryder. Wait, when did Ryder become a complete joke?

Ryder says that Sheamus made the biggest mistake of his life because he’s going to be the next WWE Champion.

WWE Title Match: Sheamus v. Zach Ryder

Sheamus charges Ryder and hits the bicycle kick for the pin. Seriously, what the hell happened? Ryder had a hot gimmick with a legitimate catchphrase and in-ring skills and now he’s Funaki?

Sheamus says that he doesn’t have to defend his title for a month thanks to WWE rules. This brings out Wade Barrett who says that legally speaking Sheamus doesn’t have to defend his belt for 30 days, but because Wade won NXT, he gets a title shot at a PPV of his choice. He chooses Night of Champions. Hey, that’s the next show! What are the odds?

The GMail goes off and says that Wade’s request has been upheld. At the PPV, it’ll be Sheamus v. Wade Barrett. But wait, there’s more. Does he also get a Shakeweight? No, instead Sheamus gets to face Wade Barrett, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Edge and John Cena. All of the men come out to the ring like a shirtless game of Red Rover, but they all decide to jump Wade Barrett. Serves him right for wearing a t-shirt in a main event promo. Everyone attacks everyone and it ends with Orton RKOing Cena.

This has been for your consideration.

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