For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 9/20/10

For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 9/20/10

Welcome back to the longest running action-adventure, passive-aggressive, even-handed-like-Fox-News pro wrestling column on the ‘net. I’m your always modest master of ceremonies, Andrew Wheeler, and this week promises to be a big one. Between the fallout from Night of Champions, the comings and goings in the WWE and a live RAW, this week’s FYC should have something for everyone. Just a reminder before I get down to business that you can, as always, follow me on Twitter http://www.twitter/awheeler316 Friend me on Facebook, e-mail me at awheeler316@yahoo.com or just post in the various comment sections down below.

Speaking of the comments section (and yes, I do read them and am always grateful for the feedback), last week a reader made a rather bold and surprising accusation. Apparently, without my knowledge, I had become a racist. Or, at the very least, I was branded one. Now I’ve shouted down my better angels who told me to just let this lie, because quite frankly, I’m fired up about this.

Race to Judgment

Last week, I made a joke about Sheamus and John Morrison using a black kid as a weapon in their falls-count-anywhere match. During the match, Morrison and Sheamus had hopped the guardrail and were brawling in the crowd. And, just as Sheamus was gaining the upper hand, this 3-foot tall kid just happened to pop up on screen. What struck me most about this is the fact that the kid wasn’t completely terrified that a massive heel was destroying a face mere feet away from him. When I was a little kid and genuinely believed that someone like Andre the Giant could reach over and attack me, I would have run for the hills. Instead, this boy of about 7 or 8 just stood there, never once believing that he was in any real physical jeopardy.

It was at that moment that I got the visual of Sheamus grabbing the kid, and like Kevin Nash did to Rey Mysterio, launch him into John Morrison. As I was writing the line, I said “black kid” instead of kid. Since I identified him by his skin color, I became an insensitive bigot. See, simply by saying the color of the child, I had committed an egregious violation in this particular reader’s eyes. Nowhere in that remark did I make a joke about him being black or did I throw in some sort of racial stereotype. I’m all for judging someone by the content of their word, but in this particular moment, identifying the kid for someone who wanted to see what I was talking about put in the position of having to use a descriptive word, and like it or not, skin color at that moment worked. It wasn’t as if I was saying that because he was black that he should be used as a weapon, which seemed the way this particular person wanted to take it.

He then went on to say that on the whole I am always racist against any black wrestler. Therein lies the fallacy of the argument; if we are truly to view individuals in a colorblind society then what would it matter what color skin the wrestler I’m disparaging is? He took umbrage with the fact that I asked if R-Truth’s new theme song “Get Crunk” meant “Get parole”. Was it a joke about him because he’s black? No. It was a joke about him because he WENT TO PRISON. And not only did he go to prison, but he also tried to use it as a way to get him over when he came to Smackdown, by saying that he had learned from his past and was looking to start anew.

The reader then took this to the next level by listing off several other black wrestlers that I have taken issue with: Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, MVP and Cryme Time. The Shelton claim is ludicrous when you consider the fact that I had repeatedly said that he deserved the title and was being misused. As for Kofi? When he was first on live television, he fucked up a lot. Did he get better? Yeah. The problem is that he’s doing better on Smackdown, which I don’t cover. MVP was another guy I put over huge when he started, and if you’ll go back and see, I did the write-up on his feud with Matt Hardy as feud of the year. Does that mean I’m not entitled to think that currently he’s doing nothing of any major significance in the WWE? Lastly, there’s Cryme Time, a team that is a walking racial stereotype to begin with, and isn’t currently a team in the company.

Did I bury any of these guys because they’re black? Nope. Hell, if you look at the guys that I think should be fired, it’s a United Nations of terrible wrestlers. At the top of that list for the past year has been Matt Hardy, and it looks like I might soon get my wish.

So, to you average, level-headed reader who is probably wondering why I chose to spend any time writing about this topic, I leave you with this. The last refuge of a scoundrel looking to create an argument is claim that their opponent is hateful. It is a very valuable tool in the cable news world, and a highly reprehensible action in both the forensics world and the legal community. See, once you hurl the accusation of someone being a racist or a homophobe or any other hateful term, that person is immediately put on the defensive. It’s the nature of the claim. When it’s a justifiable tag, it becomes the last resort effort when all else fails. Here, we’re talking about professional wrestling, an admittedly silly topic. But so what? We all love it and have a passion for it. This whole thing is about having fun. I make a pretty clear delineation in my column between something I am seriously talking about (like last week where I talked about premature wrestling deaths) and when I’m just being goofy (like when I advocated the WWE Champion to use a child as a lawn dart).

The reason I do this is because 99% of my audience is made up of smart, well educated men and women who appreciate my commentary and my humor. Then there’s that 1% who wants to cause trouble and stir up controversy to get themselves over. Well, to this one commenter, congratulations. You got the spotlight thrust onto you. Your over-the-top and offensive claims managed to mar what, in my humble opinion, was a pretty good column last week. I do this thing to entertain people, and based on the feedback I’ve gotten it seems like I provide a little bit of levity to most people’s busy week of school or work, but if you can’t tell the difference between a joke and actual bigotry then it’s going to be a very long and hollow existence for you.

Enough of the seriousness, onto the…

Night of Champions…and Big Show

So last night was Night of Champions, a show by all estimations that has fallen into the “not too shabby” category, like a quarter of Harrison Ford. The night had some high points and some low points, and while I wasn’t able to do a full write-up, I will do a few thoughts on each match (and I promise to bring back the “indiscriminate number of thoughts…” gimmick for the next show).

Kofi Kingston v. Dolph Ziggler: From the opening Vickie announcement to the finish, this was booked about as well as can be. Guerrero’s role as the mentor-cougar who gets used for her power and then dumped for the pretty girl has been gangbusters, so that added level of tension between her, Dolph and Kaitlyn. I know that it’s unlike me to praise such pedestrian booking, but anything that is going to elevate a midcard title belt is fine by me. As for the match, it was a standard Kofi/Dolph contest, which isn’t to say that it was terrible. It was passable, though I liked the bit where Dolph begged Vickie not to get him disqualified. If they wanted to go cliché, they would have had that be the finish, but instead they faked us all out with the clean win by Ziggler. My guess is that he and Kofi will meet in the cage at Hell in a Cell, probably due to Guerrero running her mouth and getting him in hot water.

CM Punk v. Big Show: Punk’s promo before the match was a thing of pure beauty, highlighting once again why he very well may be the WWE’s true MVP. Seriously, who else can carry an entire feud completely on his own and then cut a promo where he plays the entire audience like a fiddle? As for the match…oy. My hope is that by Big Show beating Punk cleanly that this “feud” (aka a giant waste of time) is over, freeing Punk to go do something bigger a better. Sadly, I don’t see anyone else with a free dance card, so I guess we will see more wacky Punk/Show-nanigans next month.

Daniel Bryan v. The Miz: The feel-good moment of the show, despite the fact that I picked against it on the Roundtable. I’m glad Bryan got the clean tap-out win here, and in doing so made himself King of the Midcard, but I truly think they could have gotten another month out of this feud. Once Bryan moves on from The Miz, he’s going to be relegated much lower on the card (or worse, to Superstars). Towards the end of the match, the audience was finally buying what Bryan was selling, which is a major windfall for him. Unfortunately, Cole’s constant burial of him is eventually going to turn the mainstream audience against him, since there’s no one there to really sing his praises. Reason #4,238 why Michael Cole should be off of RAW.

Michelle McCool v. Melina: I’m a moron, I admit it. I did my Roundtable picks before watching Smackdown. Had I watched Smackdown and seen the tease for the end of LayCool, I would have realized that Michelle was winning the belt. I didn’t so I paid the price. Oh, and this is further evidence as to why Melina has no right being the top face Diva on RAW.

Undertaker v. Kane: Is it silly? Yes. Is it barely watchable? Yes. Do I care? No. We know that the WWE wanted to do another Undertaker/Kane feud, so why not do one more where Kane wins a few before being banished forever by Survivor Series. There’s no one else on Smackdown to step up to the plate just yet, so hopefully this buys the company some time to decide on a future face for the SyFi brand. Though, for the record, awful match.

Tag Team Turmoil: My head hurts. The WWE has two decent heel teams in The Dudebusters and The Gatecrashers, and instead we get Santino and Kozlov. I’m glad Cody and Drew won, as they will have incredible value through the benefit of being on two shows, but that whole thing was a bit of a trainwreck. I guess the idea here was that they wanted Cody and Drew to win the titles but not actually beat the Hart Dynasty, so that we can get a rematch down the line. Sure, the logic works, but it’s faulty when you consider that the Harts jobbed to Greek Booze. That’s a tough thing to swallow.

Six-Pack Challenge: I miss Chris Jericho already. He really was the best in the world at what he did, which was make every segment he was featured in an entertaining one. If this is his actual farewell, then at least it came at the hands of Orton and Cena. As for the rest of the match, I thought it was actually really good. Everyone had a moment to look good, and Orton winning was a nice surprise. Some people are going to say that Randy winning was rushed, but it really isn’t. See, we know that Sheamus and Orton are going to face each other at Hell in a Cell, but with Orton going in as champion, Sheamus only gets one more match against Randy before someone new is the #1 Contender. On top of that, Wade Barrett got his heroes moment by pinning John Cena. Sure, Nexus looked like the Keystone Cops, but I think by now the WWE has realized that the rest of the group are the Spirit Squad without the pom-poms.

Overall it was a show about a journey and not a destination. The Kane/Undertaker feud was advanced, the Cena/Nexus feud was advanced, the Kofi/Ziggler feud was advanced and the Orton/Sheamus feud was advanced. Will we remember Night of Champions as being the greatest PPV of the year? No. But thankfully it wasn’t designed to be that. It was the night where Daniel Bryan won his first WWE gold and where Face Randy Orton won his first WWE Title as a true babyface (as I think we’d all like to forget his last run as a babyface champion).

Hardly a Mystery

So Matt Hardy wants out, huh? I never in a million years thought that it would be Hardy that wanted to leave, as opposed to the WWE kicking him to the curb. In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen this bizarre story play out; Matt bitches about his job, he gets sent home, he denies it, WWE comes out and says that he was sent home, WWE doesn’t fire him despite the fact that all the warning signs were there, Matt goes on Twitter and attacks everyone that was responsible for keeping his bank account above zero, WWE still doesn’t fire him, Matt asks to be let out of his contract, we all sit gob smacked at the notion that he hasn’t been fire.

Seriously, just fire the kid already. The WWE has said that they don’t want Matt to be free and reunite with Jeff, but let’s be honest – we didn’t care about the Hardy Boys when they were in the WWE anyway. Vince reunited those two so many times that the luster was completely lost. What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen if Matt goes to TNA? If Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam, Hulk Hogan and Kurt Angle couldn’t draw eyeballs to their show, what the hell makes you think that anyone is going to seek out the show now that it has a pudgy orange guy in camo pants?

Long story short, the day Matt Hardy gets wished the best of luck in his future endeavors is the day that the WWE takes another step towards being a better company. Screw this shameless self-promoter and complete phony, and let’s hope he spends the rest of his days at shady autograph signings in high school gyms where he can take pictures with his YouTube fans. Marty Jannetty, eat your heart out.

Well, onto the show.

The Judicial Review – Monday Night RAW 9/20/10

“The maker of champions…”

We go right into the muddled world of Nickelback, which seems to feature some guy with long hair and a big nose that I vaguely remember. This is followed by pyro, ballyhoo and some mildly enthused Inianapolisians.

Justin Roberts and his snazzy haircut introduces our new WWE Champion, Randy Orton. Randy, complete with a new t-shirt and that goofy “I’m a face now” smile, comes out to the ring. Before Randy can say a word, Sheamus rears his bright red head. “Hole own. Relax, wila. For das aka da dubaya dubaya eeye universe, ah cahn leh ih happen. Ah cahn leh Randy have dis moment.” Sheamus says that the title was stolen from him twice in his career and claims that he’s been discriminated against. Don’t look at me, I have nothing but the utmost respect for whatever the fuck accent he’s got. Sheamus says that he isn’t going to let the belt rest on Randy’s shoulder because it’s pathetic.

Randy points out that Sheamus won the title through chicanery and has never beaten Orton means that Sheamus is pathetic. He is right, however, that he gets a rematch. Apparently if he doesn’t cash it in soon, he’s going to get a punt to the skull. Sheamus points out the lunacy of Orton humping the mat before going for an RKO before threatening to kick his head off.

The GMail goes off and in two weeks, Randy Orton and Sheamus will square off in a Hell in a Cell at a PPV called Hell in a Cell. So it’s not just a clever name. Sheamus reminds us that he ended Chiple Ache’s career, which means he’s going to win the Hell in a Cell. Well that’s some crazy logic. Speaking of which, Sheamus demands that Randy give him some gold…you know, because he’s like a giant leprechaun. I mean, it’s not like the WWE is actually going to have an actual leprechaun character, give him a monster push and keep him in the company and fire The World’s Greatest Tag Team. Oh wait…

Randy says he would RKO his own grandmother before RKOing Sheamus’s grandmother. Well that sounds about right based on his reputation as a GILR, Grandma I’d Like to RKO. Orton says that if Sheamus wants the gold really badly, he should go ahead and take this. Randy tosses the belt to him and then RKOs him. After he teases leaving, Orton comes back into the ring to go for a punt, but Sheamus escapes.

Was it just me or was this segment listless?

Commercial.

We’re back and the Hart Dynasty are on commentary. Well that makes sense, since I’d rather see Kidd and Smith talk as opposed to wrestle. They’re known for their promo skills, right?

Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes v. Borscht Marina

It’s good to see Cody and Drew on RAW so quickly. They instantly seem like a big deal, even if their tag title belts look like pennies.

Santino and Vladimir are out next and my enthusiasm for this segment has already plummeted. My hope is that Cody and Drew flatten them in moments.

Cody beats on Santino as Michael Cole and the Hart Dynasty engage in the most awkward and stilted commentary ever. Drew gets tagged in and he demands the Russian. McIntyre locks in a front facelock, but Vlad shrugs him off. Cole calls the Harts boring on commentary, which goes to show you that they aren’t paying attention to how dull this match is.

Vlad tags in Santino, who steals R-Truth’s split gimmick but then gets kicked in the head for two. Cody comes in and continues to beat on Marella. He then tags in Drew, who stomps on Santino for a bit before tagging in Rhodes. Marella tags in Vlad, so Cody tags in Drew. Kozlov then channels Tiffany and beats the wholly hell out of McIntyre for a while until Santino and Cody come in the ring and after some shenanigans, Drew hits the Future Shock and pins the Russian.

Kidd points out that Cody Rhodes is holding the title upside down, making this the highlight of this entire segment.

Jerry “Ed Hardy” Lawler and Michael “Tonally Unbalanced” Cole pimp the “Legendary” DVD before throwing us to highlights of Morrison and Sheamus from last week. John Morrison is in the back doing wacky pushups as we throw to…

Commercial.
Edge and Zach Ryder are in the back, and Ryder thinks that Edge not winning is great because now they can go clubbing, take some ecstasy, violate the Wellness Policy and get fired. Daniel Bryan then wanders over and asks them to keep it down, but Edge takes umbrage to the fact that Bryan doesn’t respect the JBL code of respecting legends. Edge challenges Bryan to a match, and this night might actually rebound. Edge then points out that Ryder’s L is backwards.

John Slo-Mo-rrison v. Chris Jericho

Let us pause for a moment and silently pray that Chris Jericho won’t leave the WWE. Apparently 5 Hour Energy is made for guys like me. Hey, I’m a guy like me!

John Morrison is all business with his slow motion entrance and fancy pinwheel fireworks, because he now has a beard and a scowl. Chris starts the match heading out of the ring, but as he runs in he gets clipped with a spinning heel kick. Jericho charges Morrison in the corner but John moves out of the way and Chris winds up outside. John leaps over the top rope and takes out Chris, knocking him into a…

Commercial.

We’re back and Jericho is in control, connecting with an enziguri. Lawler keeps saying that Chris is off of his game, despite the fact that he’s in complete control. I’m all for getting the point over, but at least save it for when he’s getting his ass kicked. Anyway, Jericho kicks Morrison to the outside, and his fancy shmansy leaping gimmick couldn’t save him.

Jericho brings Morrison back into the ring and hits a suplex for two. Chris keeps calling John a stupid man, which would have been great except that Cole had to comment on it and say how much he liked it. You cannot be the commentator AND a heel color commentator at the same time. It is so disjointed that it is now actively taking away from the product.

Morrison rolls Jericho up for two but Chris breaks out and hits a clothesline before locking in a resthold. Morrison breaks free and gets a flurry of offense, culminating with a dropkick. Chris fired back with a kick of his own and a bulldog. Chris goes for the Lionsault but Morrison reverses and goes for the Flash Kick but Jerich locks in the Walls of Jericho. John slowly tries to crawl to the bottom rope to a chorus of boos. Jericho and Morrison exchange pins before Jericho again locks in the Walls but Morrison rolls free and knees Chris in the head. John then hits Starship Pain for the win.

After the match, Chris has his super sad face on. He shows some “Legendary”-like acting as he looks dejected. Speaking of “Legendary”, we get a shot of a door with John Cena’s name on it. Smell the excitement…

Commercial.

We’re back with John Cena and Mini-Orton. Matthews asks if Cena is disappointed that he didn’t win the WWE Title. John makes some jokes and then says that Nexus went from 8 to 5 after Cena promised to take them down one by one.

The Miz is out and he says he didn’t tap out and Daniel Bryan didn’t beat him. I thought the WWE banned somas. Miz says that he had a ligament tear but he still competed and he will get his title back and I’m shocked at how uninspired he is. Jesus, is the entire company on autopilot tonight?

Commercial.

Miz is on commentary, which means OverCole is back. Super.

Edge v. Daniel Bryan

Daniel Bryan has new music, Ride of the Valkyries. I really hope this doesn’t completely backfire and turn the fans against him.

As soon as the bell rings, Edge attacks Bryan. Daniel fires back with punches but once again gets overpowered by the suddenly chest-hair-growing Edge. Edge splashes Bryan across the second rope and then tosses him outside and rams him into the barricade. Edge tosses him back into the ring and kicks him some more. Miz points out that he hired Alex Riley to a personal service contract, so I guess that’s his gimmick.

Bryan trips Edge and then does a top rope backflip before hitting a clothesline. Bryan goes for the LeBell lock but instead opts for a jawbreaker and a running knee for two. Bryan comes off the top rope for a dropkick but Edge swats him down. Edge then goes for a Spear but Bryan turns it into an other LeBell Lock Attempt. Just as he’s about to lock it in, Riley runs out to distract the ref. Miz attacks Bryan, who then gets Speared for the pin.

The GMail goes off and due to outside interference, the decision has been reversed, making Daniel Bryan the winner. We get another opportunity to hear some Wagner, but it gets cut off by Crazy Edge, who is sick of the GMail and Michael Cole (Amen). Edge says that this isn’t a joke, but rather his career.

Miz and Riley go in the ring and beat down Bryan in snazzy blazers. Miz then smacks Bryan in the face a few times. Well the joke’s on him because that beard is going to give him a wicked burn on his hands. Finally, Miz hits the SCF. While the beatdown went on a little too long, it certainly made Miz look dangerous.

Commercial.

Hell in a Cell’s theme song is brought to you by some random heavy metal band.

Hey, here comes LayCool. Apparently each one of them has her own Tramp Stamp Title.

Tramp Stamp Title Match: Layla v. Melina

Holy crap, another guest commentator?! Stop the pain.

Melina starts off the match attacking Layla with punches and this thing is already disjointed. Layla takes over dumping Melina on the outside, but Melina fires back with a clothesline before she chases Michelle McCool around ringside. Melina rams Layla into the ring apron before tossing her into the ring. We get the Matrix nonsense and more punches. Melina perches Layla on the top rope, but gets kicked in the face. Layla hits a top rope Stunner kinda thing for the pin.

Well, at least it was short. That’s what she said.

Commercial.

Nexus are in the back, and how embarrassing that they all wore the same shirt.

Josh Matthews is in the back with Chris Jericho. Jericho holds up a copy of his new DVD, and I can’t wait to make it part of my collection. Chris brought this out to show that he will keep getting better. He has the IP Address to Cole’s computer, which means he can figure out who the GMail is. Jericho demands to face the winner of Orton/Sheamus, which of course makes Randy appear out of thin air behind him. Randy challenges Jericho to a match next week on RAW, and if Chris beats Randy, he can get a shot at the title whenever he wants.

Hey, here comes Eve and Resurrection-Truth. It’s been one week and I’m already sick of this song. You know, these lyrics don’t even make sense. If this is the right time for him to get crunk, then it certainly isn’t the right time to wrestle. Wrestling when you’re fucked up doesn’t work unless you’re Jake Roberts, and you R-Truth are no Jake Roberts.

Commercial.

We’re back and R-Truth and Eve are still dancing. Still.

Resurrection-Truth & Eve v. Ted DiBiase & Maryse

So last week Ted DiBiase talked about how much he hated rap and now this week he has new theme music featuring autotune. I’m begging for some continuity.

Truth and Teddy start off in the ring and R-Truth begins the match by dancing…again. He then gets some offense, complete with that odd spinning move. Eve and Maryse get tagged in. Truth dances for Maryse, so she smacks him. That’s a start. Maryse and Eve start catfighting, which is fine by me. Feels a lot more believable than the Melina/Layla stuff. Eve hits a neckbreaker in the end to beat Maryse. Super.

After the match, Teddy and Maryse argue. On the Tron, we get a message saying “I will have you.” Creepy.

Commercial.

The Colts are there and after the game against the Giants all I can say is that I hope something very bad happens to them…besides having to watch this episode of RAW. I just don’t know what it is but this week hasn’t clicked at all for me. It just feels so paint-by-numbers despite seeing Bryan/Edge and Jericho/Morrison.

John Cena v. Wade Barrett

John Cena is out first in his LSU colors, and I would like to point out that the Florida Gators are still undefeated…as are the Miami Dolphins. Wade Barrett comes out with the Midcard All-Stars, who decide to all stay up on the entrance ramp. I hope Kane doesn’t do a run-in during this match, or they’d be fricasseed. On second thought, let’s hope for a Kane run-in.

Wade Barrett hops onto the announce position to say that if Cena wants to pick apart Nexus one-by-one then he can wrestle a gauntlet match.

John Cena v. Heath Slater

Cena gets the early advantage but Heath fires back with some punches. Heath then hits a neckbreaker for two. Heath continues his offense as Lawler points out correctly that Cena should have beaten Slater already or else he’s done. Slater comes ff the top rope, which gets turned into an FU.

Here comes David Otunga. Quick, please someone fade to commercial. I don’t even care if I have to see that Taco Bell commercial again…

Commercial.

John Cena v. David Otunga

We’re back and Otunga is hitting some shoulder-blocks in the corner, which is one of the few moves even Khali can do. Otunga hits a suplex and flexes some more to show of his oddly disproportionate body. He hits another suplex for two, but Cena kicks out. Cena then small-packages Otunga for the pin.

John Cena v. Michael Tarver

Tarver starts off with punches and then chooses to yell at the referee with some sort of feral growl. This gets repeated for a while until Cena just kicks him down and locks in the STFU.

John Cena v. Justin Gabriel

Gabriel goes for a quick pinfall but Cena kicks out. Gabriel fires off kicks to the body and head for another two count. Gabriel then pinballs around the ring for a few moments before just opting to throw punches. Cena battles back with punches and then throws a dropkick for two. “John Cena’s added a dropkick to his repertoire.” Really Cole? THAT impresses you?

Cena goes to the top rope but Gabriel cuts him off and hits a superplex for two. Gabriel then hits a top rope moonsault for two. Gabriel goes for a suplex but it’s reversed by Cena. Cena and Gabriel trade punches before Justin hits a sloppy legsweep for two. Gabriel leaps off the top rope but Cena comes back with the Five Moves of Mediocrity. The rest of Nexus then runs in and they beat him down but Cena gets a chair and they all run away.

Cena says that it’s time for Cena/Barrett right now, but Wade says that Cena needs to put himself on the line; Cena v. Barrett at Hell in a Cell, and if Wade wins, Cena joins Nexus. If Cena wins, Nexus is future endeavored.

This has been for your consideration.

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