For Your Considerationâ€¦The RAW Judicial Review-lette 9/13/10
Welcome back to the longest running action-adventure, passive-aggressive, game-of-chance emulating professional wrestling column in the English Speaking world (because thereâ€™s a guy who writes in Tagalog that is dominating the Filipino wrestling community). I am still your more modest than Glazer host, Andrew Wheeler, and do I have a column in store for you.
Iâ€™m sorry, that last paragraph should have ended in a question mark. Iâ€™m not entirely certain if I have a column for you. See, today I decided to watch the MTV Video Music Awards and realized that the term â€œmusicâ€ no longer means what I thought it meant. With that knowledge the entire world has gone mad. As long as â€œsports entertainmentâ€ means predictable and derivative programming with mildly watchable moments, I know that everything will be alright.
MTV Makes The Slammys Look Watchable
Now Iâ€™ve usually set the bar pretty low for the VMAs, but this year they somehow managed to come up even shorter than usual. The event felt overly tame from start to finish, which is an uncharacteristic way to describe this show. Every year, I count on one drugged out rock star or one borderline-human rap entourage member to storm the stage or go on a rant or do something completely absurd. This year? Nada. Nothing.
This was also the first time I had ever heard what Justin Bieber sounded like. I had seen his name on Twitter as a major trending topic (which reminds me, you can follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/awheeler316), but had managed to completely avoid his shitty brand of tweeny hip-hop thanks to my XM Radio. Sadly, my streak of not having to actually listen to his prepubescent warble came to a crashing halt during the broadcast. And I know what youâ€™re thinking. Youâ€™re thinking why the hell didnâ€™t I just fast-forward through his set. Well, to be honest, my Bieber wound was self-inflicted. I was morbidly curious, and like a wrestling fan home alone on a Thursday night clicking over to Spike, my mild inquiry was met with severe mental anguish. That kid is honestly terrible, and after decades of girls being suckered into these gimmicks, youâ€™d think by now theyâ€™d see through it. But I digress.
Chelsea Handler made a comment in the beginning of the broadcast that it had been 16 years since a woman hosted the show. Based on her performance, weâ€™ll be lucky if a woman hosts that show again during this century. She took unfunny and made it into an art-form. To watch someone not only tell hackneyed jokes but also watch her telegraph them from a mile away makes me wonder how she functions on her own live show. Ten bucks next year will either be Daniel Tosh or Joel McHale hosting. Ten bucks.
Alright, thatâ€™s more than enough talk about MTV, onto what we all came here forâ€¦
Wrestling With Death
So the biggest wrestling story this week was that two more in-ring performers passed away; Luna Vachon and Mike Shaw. This of course opened the floodgates for everyone both in and out of the business to talk even more about how wrestlers tend to die young.
Before I get to this, I would like to touch on the two recently deceased performers.
Mike Shaw was best known as Bastion Booger during one of Vinceâ€™s odd phases where he just kept giving people horrible gimmicks that everyone knew would sink. Shaw was previously saddled with a monk moniker, and before that WCW was nice enough to make him a psychopath and a truck driver. Bret Hart wrote about Shaw in his book, talking about how Mike worked in Stampede and was a good foil for Owen. One has to assume that if Owen was able to get good matches out of him (or at least watchable), that Bret or Shawn Michaels probably could have drawn money with the guy. Sadly, Shawâ€™s legacy in wrestling is that of an in-ring joke, alongside Man Mountain Rock, TL Hopper and Mantaur.
Luna Vachon was the boilerplate for bizarro heel women wrestlers. She lived her gimmick, and found success pretty much everywhere in the wrestling landscape. Iâ€™ll always remember her as Bam Bam Bigelowâ€™s valet (though I use that term loosely) and for being the only woman who was playable in the old Super Nintendo RAW video game. Lunaâ€™s crazy look, gravelly voice and commitment to the craft pretty much ensured her success, and itâ€™s a shame that there isnâ€™t a female performer in the WWE today thatâ€™s willing to take the risks that she did.
Now, back to the early deaths in wrestling. Without going down this path for the billionth time, I just have to say that the wrestling industry the way that it was wasnâ€™t a very clean and happy place. People who wanted to make it in the industry had to drive for long hours with the promise of little to no pay and perform in suspect conditions in front of an indeterminable number of customers. Nobody was forced into wrestling, the way that people are forced into work as a coal miner or fisherman. Wrestling isnâ€™t a job of necessity, itâ€™s a passion. Men and women who go into that line of work know the risks, and the possibility of becoming an adrenaline junkie is in their DNA.
Everyone loves to hear old road stories. Every wrestler has dozens of crazy near-death tales or can spin you yarns about wild parties with ring rats and copious amounts of drugs. The allure of the spotlight and fame, no matter how manufactured it is, becomes enough to get them hooked.
Is it a shame that wrestlers die before their time? Unquestionably. The fact that so many men and women have passed away without the benefit of a long and happy life is always a tragedy. But the job of pro wrestler was never designed to be a healthy lifestyle. Steroids, drugs, physical abuse and the wear-and-tear of the daily grind is a lethal combination.
The hope is that this current generation of wrestlers will be smarter than the ones that came before them. With the advent of the Wellness Policy (which I know is suspect but is better than nothing), the WWE seems to have taken steps to either eradicate the problems or, if the wrestler is unwilling to accept help, take away the stage for them to perform. This ainâ€™t charity, itâ€™s business, and hoping that people make the right choices is noble, but in this day and age, the blame falls squarely on the broad shoulders of the sports entertainers.
Enough of the heavy stuff, ontoâ€¦
The Judicial Reviewâ€¦Monday Night RAW Roulette 9/13/10
â€œGimme a hell yeah!â€
We open with the RAW Roulette Wheel alone with John Cena, Randy Orton and Mini-Orton. Josh Matthews welcomes us to RAW Roulette before introducing the concept of how a wheel spins. Come on, we know how booking with a wheel-of-chance works, weâ€™ve seen Vince Russoâ€™s booking.
John Cena says that Lady Luck should spin the wheel, but since sheâ€™s not there, we got Eve Torres dressed like a Roman Whore. Her spin lands on Tables Match. Josh points out that Cenaâ€™s last tables match ended with him losing to Sheamus. Cena welcomes us to the season premiere of RAW and then spins the wheel one more time.
In honor of a new season of RAW, weâ€™ve gotâ€¦the same terrible Nickelback song. Hanging above the ring is a steel cage and sitting next to the ring is the worldâ€™s most semi-competent announce team.
Justin Roberts introduces the Guest Host of Monday Night RAW, Chad Ochocinco. Cole and Lawler verbally blow the guy, talking about how he pisses champagne and can explain the finale of â€œLOSTâ€. Chad welcomes us to the season premiere of RAW, which John Cena already did. I feel so welcome. Chad says thereâ€™s never ever never ever never been a guest star as handsome as him. I donâ€™t know, Bob Barkerâ€™s pretty dashing. Ochocinco says that RAW Roulette is back, which brings out The Miz. Awesome.
Miz welcomes Chad to RAW and explains that this is his show. Miz says they both say what they want when they want, because they can. Chad is a 6 Time Pro Bowler, while The Miz comes out without putting on pants. Miz says that heâ€™s a champion but Chad isnâ€™t. Miz calls Cincinnati the Bungles, which is not the early 80â€™s band who recorded â€œVideo Killed the Radio Star.â€ Chad then says â€œChild pleaseâ€ when we all thought he was going to tell us to suck his dick, because this is a TV-PG show. Chad points out that the Bengals won their division last year and that the Reds are going to the playoffs. Apparently, according to The Miz, 85 represents the number of passes heâ€™s going to drop. Wait, he isnâ€™t Brandon Marshal.
The GMail goes off and Alicia Fox spins the unquestionable RAW Roulette Wheel. Tonight he will be in a submission match. His opponent will be selected by Chad Ochocinco. Chad says that 85 represents the number of ways Mizâ€™s opponent can tap him out. Well, it isnâ€™t 1,004 ways, so we know it isnâ€™t Chris Jericho.
Wait, I hear generic rock music, which meansâ€¦
Submission Match: Daniel Bryan v. The Miz w/ Mizfit
Weâ€™re back and Daniel Bryan is kicking the holy hell out of Miz. He goes for a double-dropkick in the corner, but Miz moves out of the way. Miz chop-blocks Bryan and then goes to work on his leg, which thanks to the Stimulus, was hiring. The Miz then goes for a figure four, which I thought was a banned move. Bryan immediately reverses it and then goes for the LeBell Lock Miz gets to the ropes and runs to the outside. Alex Riley tries to pump him up, but Miz wonâ€™t move.
Miz gets on the microphone and says that he thinks he has a hernia. He looks like heâ€™s in pain. Maybe he saw â€œLegendaryâ€. Miz says heâ€™s pulling out, like a kid on prom night. Miz says that Bryan will now face his apprentice, Alex Riley.
Riley is apparently Dante because he wasnâ€™t even supposed to be here tonight. Alex fires away on Bryan with some punches before botching what looked like a suplex and instead just kicking him in the knee. Riley tries to stretch him, but Bryan locks in the LeBell Lock for the submission.
After the â€œmatchâ€, Miz jumps Bryan. Wait, does this mean he was lying about his hernia? That would mean that someone wasnâ€™t being above-board in wrestling. Miz then grinds Bryanâ€™s face into the US Title, making Bryan realize that he will never wear the gold because the belt is in fact made of metal. Bryan reverses the beating and locks in the LeBell Lock, forcing Miz to tap.
Jillian Hall is in the back and she spins the wheel for Edge. Her and Edge then sing terribly as the wheel continues to spin into aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and there are some Bengals players, who have a ton of kids. Hopefully no one will ask them what their childrenâ€™s names are.
Edge is out and seems super pumped for some reason to be there. Maybe itâ€™s because RAW is brought to you by Five Hour Energy, which is basically crack boiled down into liquid form. His opponent is Evan Bourne, who really loves making bunny ears with his hands.
Bodyslam Challenge: Edge v. Evan Bourne
Edge and Bourne lock up and Edge goes for the slam but Evan breaks free and unleashes Token Offense. We then have a few moments of Edge teasing a slam but Evan kicks him in the head and knocks him bonkers. Evan tries to slam him but he canâ€™t lift Edge. Well, to be fair, the Canadian to English conversion rate is very high. Edge then scoops up Bourne and slams him. Wow, that was pretty stupid.
After the match, Edge sets up and hits Evan with a Spear. He then has a Sneer. After the match, heâ€™ll go have a Beer and have sex with his wife in the Rear. I think the joke is clear.
Speaking of jokes, the GMail goes off. Michael Cole says that since Edge took advantage of Bourne, he has to have another bodyslam challenge. Really?
Bodyslam Challenge: Edge v. Mark Hey-Hey Henry
Henry comes out and seems really happy to be on television. Edge fires away with some punches but gets swatted. Edge tries to slam Henry but then Henry collapses on him. Mark Henry then slams him, ending this match and officially beating Steamboat/Savage as the best WWE match of all time. Oh, and if this winds up with Mark Henry and Even Bourne as a tag team, might I suggest they become the 21st Century version of Jabba the Hut and that little rat thing that hung out near him?
Weâ€™re back with Maryse taking off her jacket. I could get behind that.
Song & Dance Competition: Resurrection-Truth & Eve v. Maryse & Teddy
A Song & Dance Competition? Are you fucking kidding me? Are you FUCKING kidding me?! We are 40 minutes into a show where nothing of any consequence has happened, and weâ€™re now going to endure this shit? Iâ€™m fired up.
R-Truth unveils his new song, much the same way Polio was unveiled on the American people. In the ring, Eve dances. Apparently, this is the right to get crunk. Is that like parole?
Teddy says that no one wants to hear R-Truth rap, which might be a face turn. DiBiase says that he should just forfeit, but then we get a big swerve and we find out that he will NOT forfeit.
DiBiase gets a spotlight and sings Frank Sinatra. Even bad Sinatraâ€™s better than R-Truth. The fans chant â€œYou suckâ€, but since this is Ohio thereâ€™s gotta be a curve. DiBiase and Maryse jump their mixed-race minority opponents. Eve takes out Maryse. Teddy goes for DreamStreet, but it just looks like heâ€™s trying to do the Heimlich.
At this point, the WWE could re-air Katie Vick and it would be an improvement over this shit.
William Regal is in the back and calls RAW Roulette the highlight of his year. He gets a trading places match, where he dresses like his opponent. His opponent? Goldust. If anything could save RAW, itâ€™s William Regal.
The Bella Twins then try to fuck Chad, but Sheamus shows up. Ochocinco says that if John Morrison beats Sheamus, Morrison will be on the PPV. â€œBellas, make yersulves useful and spinda wheel, ah down ave ahl day.â€ They spin the wheel and it lands on Falls Count Everywhere. Sheamus makes fun of Chadâ€™s name with some surprisingly racist names. He says that heâ€™s going to treat John like the Pats treated the Bengals. Chad calls Sheamus the Red Rooster as we go toâ€¦
Twix: for when youâ€™re cheating on your girlfriend and donâ€™t have a good excuse.
Weâ€™re back and Edge is pacing back and forth. Clearly he read tonightâ€™s script. Zach Ryder pops up and asks why the GMail hates him. Ryder says he isnâ€™t a tool but he will drop the hammer. Put that on a t-shirt now. Edge says that when he wins the title, he will hold out. Sheamus then sneaks up on them and says that Edge shouldnâ€™t hold his breath. Wow, Zach Ryder is way too entertaining.
John Slo-Mo-rrison is in the back doing pull-ups on a truck and then does parkour, which is basically jungle gym with a fancy name.
Falls Count Anywhere: Sheamus v. John Slo-Mo-Rrison
We get a spot for WWE NXT, and I know Iâ€™ll get heat for it, but I didnâ€™t completely hate the show. Maybe itâ€™s because I knew it would be a trainwreck or maybe itâ€™s because I think I have a major crush on AJ.
Last week: Chris Jericho lost his slot on the PPV. How was that not enough of a qualification to put John in the match?
Sheamus starts the match wailing away on John Slo-Mo-rrison, but John rolls him up for two. Sheamus then clotheslines him down to remind us that heâ€™s the chumpun and he duhzurves uhr respect.
Morrison dropkicks Sheamus to the outside but then botches a hurricarana. He recovers and goes for a pin on the outside, because unlike absentee ballots in Florida, falls count anywhere. Morrison then dumps Sheamus over the barricade and onto an arena employee. I smell a lawsuit. John leaps over the barricade and tackles Sheamus for two. Thereâ€™s a little black kid rooting them on and I wish one of the guys would use him as a weapon. Just pick him up and launch him into his opponent.
Sheamus hits a backbreaker and then suplexes him onto the barricade. Sheamus goes for the bicycle kick but misses and hits electrical equipment that crackles. That probably shouldnâ€™t do that. Sheamus recovers and slams Johnâ€™s head into the stage for two. Morrison almost gets tossed off the ramp but he breaks free before ultimately being launched off the ramp but does some gymnastics nonsense to land on his feet. He then takes Sheamus down for two. You know, I find it odd that this training was never mentioned before, but the first time that it is mentioned it comes into play. Was this match booked by the security guard character Chris Farley played in â€œWayneâ€™s Worldâ€?
Sheamus grabs a chair but John Morrison is on the top of the stage. He hits a crossbody for two but then Chris Jericho and his spiffy suit hits John with the chair. Sheamus then gets the pin. Well, thatâ€™s a shame-us.
Chris Jericho is in the ring, and that crazy man is using the chair toâ€¦sit. What an animal.
Weâ€™re back and Chris Jericho is back on the escalatorâ€¦I mean the chair. Chris says he isnâ€™t going anywhere until he gets exactly what he wants. He will sit there, in this chair, with his facial hair. During this promo, Chad Ochocinco tweeted about how heâ€™s watching the football game. What an assclown.
Jericho says that if he doesnâ€™t get put into the main event of the PPV, heâ€™ll quit. Chris says that he will expose the GMailâ€™s identity to the entire world. The GMail goes off and Jericho yells at Cole to read the e-mail. Brilliant. The GMail doesnâ€™t like ultimatums before hinting at being Vince. Jericho says that McMahon isnâ€™t the GMail because he isnâ€™t a coward. The GMail will make the main event a 6-Pack Elimination Challenge match and Chris will be in the match, but he must win his match tonight in a handicap match against the Hart Dynasty. The match will also be in a steel cage. As we fade out, Jericho demands to know the GMailâ€™s e-mail address. Classic.
Steel Cage Handicap Match: The Hart Dynasty v. Chris Jericho in a Suit
Weâ€™re back and itâ€™s Canadian Cage Carnage! The Hart Dynasty are dominating Jericho. Smith hits a powerslam and before he and Kidd hit the Hart Attack. Tyson and Smith both climb out of the cage. Smith makes it out but Kidd gets stopped. Tyson comes off the top rope for a crossbody for two. Did this just turn into Jericho/Kidd, because if so, this could be awesome.
Chris takes over and rams Kidd into the cage. Chris tries to escape but Kidd slides out in front of him but he gets stopped. Chris connects with a belly-to-back suplex and follows it up with a rest hold. Kidd breaks free and hits some dropkicks. Jericho tries to climb out of the cage but Kidd stops him and leaps off the top rope into the Walls of Jericho. Tyson reverses it and rolls up Jericho for two. Kidd locks in the Sharpshooter but Chris gets to the ropes and breaks free. Kidd scales the cage but Jericho ultimately turns it into the Walls of Jericho and Tyson taps.
And as this exciting match ends, I go on Twitter and see that Chad is still writing about the Jets game. Bravo.
Weâ€™re back and Pete Rose is there. I wonder who heâ€™s betting on for the main event. My guess is that Nexus will appear in the tables match.
Trading Places & Losing Dignity Match: Goldust v. William Regal
Goldust still looks creepy even in Regalâ€™s outfit. Regal actually makes a fairly decent Goldust, though very few people can pull off that blonde wig. Regal does the weird breathing thing, so Goldust pulls out Regalâ€™s brass knuckles and hits the Power of the Punch for the pin. See, thatâ€™s how to do a comedy match quickly.
Alright WWE, you went out and hired a Scotsman to do the voice over for â€œNight of Championsâ€. Youâ€™re intentionally bating me to keep doing the Sheamus voice, yah bahstahrds.
How can the girl from â€œCovert Affairsâ€ be burned if the guy on â€œBurn Noticeâ€ was burned? Thatâ€™s gimmick infringement.
Weâ€™re back as Michael â€œCausal Maleâ€ Cole and Jerry â€œEd Hardyâ€ Lawler recap the Night of Champions card before throwing back to Chad Ochocinco. Glad he could take time away from Twitter to come to the ring. Chad introduces himself as Guest Ring Announcer. Based on his introductions, heâ€™s got anti-charisma.
Tables Match: John Cena v. Randy Orton
Cole points out that this is the first tables match in three years on RAW. Well thatâ€™s probably because it has its own PPV and because the Dudley Boys are busy being old in another company.
Orton and Cena lock up and we get a stalemate. John then grabs a headlock as Lawler says that this is the kind of match to make hair on the back of your neck stand up. My neck hair (which I donâ€™t think I actually have because Iâ€™m not party simian) doesnâ€™t stand up for rest holds. Cena and Orton trade shoulderblocks as itâ€™s clear that the crowd isnâ€™t going to give this the kind of face v. face reaction they need. Wonder why that is. Oh yeah, because the WWE killed its audience with a terrible first hour.
Randy tries to suplex Cena through a table, but John counters with a shove into aâ€¦
Weâ€™re back as natural tan and artificial tan trade punches as Cole says that this is why RAW has been on for so long. Iâ€™m going to respectfully disagree. Randy takes over and unleashes the Garvin Stomp. Cena teeters on the apron for a bit before realizing that the spot makes no sense, so he comes in and unleashes a fishermanâ€™s suplex, stealing from Bretâ€™s Five Moves. John and Randy connect with a double-clothesline as itâ€™s pretty clear that they donâ€™t want anyone to have the advantage until the run-in.
Cena goes for the FU but Randy hits a DDT that Lawler calls an RKO. Thanks for playing, Jerry. Go run for mayor or fuck a twelve year old. Cena fires back with the Five Moves of Mediocrity but Orton comes back with the Vintage Scoopslam used by Napoleon at Waterloo. Cena then locks in the STUF and here comesâ€¦
Wow, who saw that coming? Oh wait, I did. Tarver eats an RKO and Cena hits an FU on Otunga as Cole decides to literally sing â€œJohn Cenaâ€. Barrett hits Wasteland and he and Gabriel set up a table. Justin then tries to put a table cloth and flowers on it, but heâ€™s stopped.
Justin Gabriel goes for the 450 but gets knocked through a table. Barrett then takes out Orton. Wade lifts up Randy and is going for â€œGrace Under Fireâ€ but gets reversed and he winds up getting launched through a table. Apparently according to Cole tables are exploding throughout the arena. Thatâ€™s not what tables are supposed to do. Someone call 911.
Randy drops to the mat and starts humping the ground, which means its RKO time. Edge and Jericho run in and they jump Orton. Randy must be nuts because theyâ€™re salting him. Oh, itâ€™s assaulting him. Well then that means my peanut joke makes no sense. Speaking of no sense, Edge somehow accidentally spears Jericho through the table.
Sheamus finally arrives and he lays out Orton before launching Cena to the outside. Cena hits the FU on Sheamus on the outside and does the slow crawl into the ring, but gets caught for the DDT. Cena reverses it and hits the FU but they both go through the table. The ref says that Randy Orton won as he apparently reversed the FU into an RKO. Or a botch. Whichever is more convenient.
We end with Orton celebrating in the ring over all of the broken furniture. Itâ€™s madness at IKEA.
This has been for your consideration.