For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 10/4/10

For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 10/4/10

Welcome back to the longest running action-adventure, passive-aggressive, magical-urn-unleashing column on the Internet, For Your Consideration. I am your host Andrew Wheeler, so let’s play the Feud.

Five hundred people surveyed, top five answers on the board. Here’s the question, “Name a way to end a professional wrestling match.”

“Pinfall?”

“Show me pinfall! There it is, our number two answer. Pass or play.”

“I choose to play.”

“Alright, name a way to end a professional wrestling match.”

“Submission?”

“Yes, number three answer. We’ve got three more answers.”

“Disqualification?”

“Show me DQ…yes! Number four answer. Two more.”

“Um…count out?”

“They’ve got ten seconds to get in the ring but you’ve only got two more answers so show me count out! Yes! Number five. You’ve got one answer left and one strike to go.”

“Uh…gee…um…guy opens an urn, shines a light at his fake biological son so that his other son can use said mystical power to win.”

“Um…that has got to be the dumbest answer we’ve ever had on this show. And I mean ever. But fine, show me uncorked urn spotlight power zapper…I don’t fucking believe it, that’s our number one answer.”

“Really?”

“No. Of course not. Who the hell would end a pro wrestling match with hokey crap like that?”

Hell in a Cell a Tough Sell

So last night, a portly man with a mustache and a mortician’s license opened the top of a plastic urn, shined a flashlight at a twenty year veteran and somehow this was the finish to what was on its way to being one of the best shows of the year.

To quote Randy Orton: “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!”

Overall last night’s PPV was a stellar outing despite being massively handicapped. First, there was the main event, which, even without the hokey crap, was pretty uninteresting. Second, there was the Nexus/Cena storyline that everyone knew has to end with John joining up Team Midcard All-Stars. In spite of that, the WWE managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat and stick it in a domed cage.

Due to a VERY long and VERY fun bachelor party weekend (thanks to my buddies for making it three days I will never forget and never fully remember all at the same time), I was unable to get through the majority of my standard preamble. To top it off, I wound up working roughly 12 hours, so I made it home just in time to watch the PPV on my computer and then start RAW. Because of all of these delays, I had to cut some pieces I was working on for tonight, but they will be there next week. This is also why I missed the Roundtable, which sucked because I would have pulled a perfect score.

With that said, I do wanna give a few bullet points on the night.

First, the triple-threat US Title Match was everything it needed to be and a bit more. My valuation of a match, for those of you new to the party, is whether or not the wrestlers left the ring better off than when they walked in. Daniel Bryan, John Morrison and The Miz all benefitted from this match. Bryan got another BIG win on a PPV, Morrison got to take a crazy bump that will undoubtedly be used in his video packages for months to come, and The Miz once again showed that he is absolutely ready to be a main event player. To quote Michael Scott, “Win, win, win.”

The Orton/Sheamus title match was oddly placed, but that was out of necessity. You can’t have back-to-back Hell in a Cell matches because we as wrestling fans just cannot handle such a thing. If we were to see two cage matches one right after the other, we might start assaulting people uncontrollably like in “Breakfast of Champions” or we might just flinging shit everywhere. Trust me, the WWE doesn’t want shit just being flung against the wall. If they did, they’d have kept Russo. The match itself was aggressive, well-paced and just fun. Sheamus looked like a killer and Orton looked like a resourceful and resilient champion. In the end, Randy needed to pull out one of those super-finishers to actually put down Sheamus, which makes him look cutthroat and makes Sheamus look unstoppable.

The Edge/Swangle/Del Rio nonsense was fine. Edge isn’t so much good with the being a face gimmick, but having someone silencing stupidity is a welcome respite from the normal plan of allowing stupidity to run amok. I actually kinda liked the match despite Swangle getting jobbed out. Ever since he’s come to Smackdown and been allowed promo time and a bird mascot, Swangle has proven that he can get real heel heat. He’s not Punk, but as a formidable upper midcarder, he’s gold. Losing isn’t going to hurt him all that much.

Cena/Barrett was flat out entertaining. There was intrigue (despite there not being any actual intrigue in terms of the finish) throughout the match and a fun moment where everyone left the locker-room to jump Nexus. Sure, the finish was going to be bullshit, but we all expected it. Wade Barrett showed everyone that he can hang with a main eventer, and Cena is proving that he is capable of having entertaining (albeit a bit formulaic) match with just about anyone. He’s not Shawn Michaels, but he isn’t Hulk Hogan either. As a fan, you should come away with this match wanting to see what happens next.

Natalya beat LayCool, which just felt random. Natalya hasn’t really been portrayed as a dominant wrestler even though we know she is, but at least it means that no one has faith in Melina. Natty versus Beth Phoenix should be interesting, though.

Undertaker/Kane was the stuff that Wrestlecrap was made for. The match itself was listless and uninspired, while the finish was so telegraphed that my fiancé (who happened to just wander into the room) was able to call it without knowing who Paul Bearer was.

Hey WWE, wanna know a little secret? You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You want to be TV-PG, that’s fine. We can live without the blood and the “Who Can Shake Her Tits the Most” contest and the constant jokes about old man balls because we get that kids are where the money’s at. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a John Cena t-shirt or an Edge wristband, but I guarantee if I walked into a school that I’d see a Rey Mysterio backpack or a Triple H pencil. Kids buy the toys and the merchandise and beg mommy and daddy to order the shows and go to live events. I have no problem with the company going for that revenue. In fact, the downgrade to TV-PG hasn’t really altered too much of the show.

Until last night.

You cannot give us a physical and exciting match like Sheamus/Orton or a sports entertainment contest like Barrett/Cena and then end the show with supernatural bullshit. I will let you all in on a little secret: I don’t like The Undertaker. I respect him for all the work that he’s done and I think that over his career he’s had some great matches, but even as a kid I knew that any time he was in a storyline, my intelligence was going to be insulted.

Sure, everyone likes the video packages now that feature the shot of Taker’s eyes flinging open inside the casket. Everyone likes the images of him building coffins or rising up from dirt. What we didn’t like was having to actually sit through the matches and angles that gave us those moments. No one wants Rumble 94 to ever happen again, but for some reason we’re veering dangerously close to mystic green gas levels.

Yes, Smackdown is on SyFi. So what? There isn’t much room for a crossover audience. It’s not like if I loved watching a half-shark half-octopus I would now watch pro wrestling because there’s a magical urn being held by an egg-shaped pale guy who is following around a bald dude. No one is going to tune INTO your show because of shit like that. And everyone just seemed embarrassed to be part of this.

Worst of all is that the WWE doesn’t need to be doing it in the first place. They put on a solid, entertaining Pay-Per-View that had appeal for everyone. Then, they end the night with the kind of bullshit that makes us embarrassed to tell people that we watch this shit. Respecting the audience is paramount, even when that audience is children. When I was a kid, I knew Undertaker wasn’t a living zombie. And guess what? Kids today know he isn’t either. The finish of this show was the equivalent of dressing up like Santa for you kids…who are 15. You feel embarrassed, they feel embarrassed and everyone is left confused.

If there was EVER a chance for TNA to make up any ground on the WWE, it would be for this weekend’s Bound For Glory. Put on a show as solid as this one and end it with a Match of the Year and maybe you won’t be the biggest jokes in wrestling. Oh sweet Jesus, the finish of the PPV has made me so delusional that I’m actually talking about a world where TNA might not suck. I think it’s time to head for a shameless plug and start the show.

Remember, you can follow me on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/awheeler316), friend me on Facebook, e-mail me at awheeler316@yahoo.com or just post in the conveniently located comment section. With that said…

The RAW Judicial Review: 10/4/10

“Gimme a hell yeah!”

We go right into the Nickelback-infested RAW open, which makes sense since the WWE might want to save the reveal of Cena as a member of Nexus for a live shot.

There’s pyro, there’s ballyhoo and there are multi-colored signs in WWE:HD, which allows us to see questionable booking in crystal clear high definition. We are LIVE from Kansas.

Nexus is out first as Michael Cole is using the super-cereal voice. Well, they exist, so I guess Cena lost. I’m saying this as if I didn’t watch the show and just do a recap.

Wade Barrett has a smirk and some stubble as the fans chant “Suck You”, but I could be getting that wrong. Wade tells them to simmah down now. Barrett lets us know that he was victorious. Come on, spoiler alert.

Wade identified the two mystery assailants, Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty. Barrett says that he didn’t ask them to help and they aren’t part of the Nexus. You known, like when Jesse James and Billy Gunn weren’t in DX about a week before they were suddenly in DX. Barrett says that he didn’t need help, so he didn’t understand why they came down to the ring to help him. We then get introduced to…

John Cena.

Hey, he’s still wearing LSU colors. What the hell? Anyway, John comes out without music as Lawler calls this the hardest thing he’s ever done. I don’t know, carrying Great Khali to a * match was pretty damn hard.

Michael Tarver gets the microphone and points out that John Cena has failed. Speaking of things that fail, Tarver has some Nexus merchandise for him. Cnea takes the armband, which might clash with the twenty armbands that he’s already wearing.

John removes one of his arm bands in dramatic fashion before putting on the Nexus one. Wow, John Cena in the Nexus. We’re not in Kansas anymore.

Wait, yes we are.

Heath Slater says that Nexus is all there for him. Slater pulls out an official statement that Cena is supposed to read. John is told he has to read it now, and THIS might be the hardest thing he’s ever had to do, read lines.

John Cena hereby acknowledges that he is a member of the Nexus. Any enemy of Nexus is an enemy of his. Something, something, Dark Side. Wade says that his first order of business is that he will have his first match tonight in a tag match against Bourne and Hey-Hey-Henry.

John Cena and Michael Tarver v. Bourne Fat

Cena and Evan Bourne start it out as Cena asks for a handshake. What the hell is this, ROH? Tarver takes umbrage to that, so he gets tagged in. Tarver comes in and delivers a leg lift before hammering down Bourne. We get a close-up of Cena looking forlorn, because here comes a…

Commercial.

We’re back and Mark Henry is working over Tarver’s arm. Hey, be careful, that’s his panhandling arm. Henry muscles him into the corner and then tags in Bourne, who delivers a double-knee to Tarver’s arm. Evan locks in a submission hold as Cena extends his hand for a tag ala Sid Justice. Bourne breaks the hold and tags in Henry, who is positively giddy.

Tarver goes for the tag but Cena develops a case of alligator arms. Alligator…gator…Gators…Florida/Bama…stop the painful memories… Henry takes advantage of this and delivers a double-axe handle before he steps on Tarver. Bourne comes in and hits a standing moonsault for two. Well, that was mighty impressive. Tarver slowly crawls for a tag again but John pulls his hand away. Cena pulls out a Sharpie and begins signing autographs. Henry sneaks up on Tarver (assuming that’s even possible for him to sneak up on anyone) and hits the StrongSadSlam for the pin.

Cena grabs the microphone and he says as the newest member of Nexus that he plans on destroying it from within. Like the Tea Party is doing to the Republican Party. John will prove that he can be Nexus and against us. He then blasts Tarver with the microphone before slamming Tarver onto the steel steps. He then whips Michael into the ring and locks in the STFU.

The GMail goes off and says that the terms of the stipulation for the HIAC match was that John had to join Nexus. Nexus takes direction from its leader, so if John doesn’t follow orders, he’ll be fired. Jim Crowe Laws are apparently in full effect here on RAW.

Commercial.

Natalya v. Alicia Fox

Both gals are already in the ring as Natalya catches Fox off the top rope and goes for a slam but Alicia wiggles off but eats a clothesline. Natty locks in the Sharpshooter and Fox taps. That was quick and unsatisfying. That’s what she said. Because that can also refer to sexual intercourse.

Commercial.

Johnny Knoxville is in the back talking with Melina and Gail Kim, who are excited to see Jackass 3D. Zach Ryder shows up and gets hit with a giant hand. Wacky.

John Cena is in the back with Mini-Orton. Cena says that he doesn’t know if he’s going to either do what Nexus tells him or be fired. I wonder if he’s aware there’s a recession. John runs to the back and finds Nexus standing with McGillicutty and Husky Harris. Barrett says that he has big plans for him. To quote “Clerks” “Is this some sort of gay thing?” “No.” “You’re sure?” “Um….yes.”

Commercial.

Atom Smash are there, and if you don’t know who they are, join the club. Daniel Bryan is already standing in the ring, which feels a bit disjointed.

Daniel Bryan v. Sheamus

I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

Here comes Sheamus, who apparently won’t be cutting a promo. Tis a real shame. Sheamus drives Bryan into the corner and it’s full-on jobber beatdown. Sheamus keeps dropping his knee into Bryan’s head and the ref calls for the bell. Bryan is unconscious so Sheamus sets him up for the Razor’s Edge. I refuse to call it a High Cross, because I believe in a separation of church and wrasslin’.

Edge is in the back and walking towards a stupid…

Commercial.

Cole is in the ring and he will no longer be communicating through Johnny-5. Instead, he will continue to communicate through Michael “Casual Male” Cole. We relive Edge versus a laptop as I secretly hope that this will end with Edge feuding with the Computerized Man for the 1990’s: Terry Taylor.

Michael Cole demands that Edge come out to apologize. Edge obliges but he refuses to apologize. He reminds us that he’s on a crusade against stupid things. Edge calls the GMail stupid and Michael Cole stupid. Edge would rather listen to a taped JR as opposed to a live Michael Cole. Amen brutha.

Cole says that tonight we will determine the next #1 contender in a 20-Man Battle Royal. The winner gets Orton at Bragging Rights. Edge disrespected the GMail too many times, so he won’t be in the battle royal because Edge has been traded to Smackdown. The fans begin cheering for a Spear. Edge says that this is one of the greatest nights of the year by getting off of a show that has consistently not used him properly and put him in dead-end feuds in middling matches and…okay, he didn’t say that. But he would have.

Michael Cole demands respect for him and all of his Cole-miners, which thankfully gets interrupted by The Miz and his Mizfit. Miz calls Cole a visionary because he was the first one to realize how awesome The Miz was. Edge calls Miz an Edge-wannabe. One-word name, trench coat, Money in the Bank, use of the word awesomeness. Good case. I wonder if Miz also got STDs from Lita. Edge then insinuates that Miz and Mizfit are engaged in a homosexual relationship. Mizfit points out that Edge is the one calling them gay despite him having long hair and soft lips. Edge reminds us that Miz tapped out, but in three weeks Miz is either competing for the WWE Title or he will be leading Team RAW against Team Smackdown. Ugh, we’re sticking with that gimmick. Edge calls him a jackass before ramming Miz into the computer. Edge then spears the Mizfit before being hit from behind with the SCF.

Cena is in the back with Barrett. Wade says he’s been looking to get rid of Tarver for a while, but John better not rest on his laurels. John has to help Barrett win the battle royal. “Wait a minute, wait a minute, I’ve seen this one. It’s a classic. This is the one where Shawn Michaels helps JBL become the number one contender.”

Commercial.

The Bella Twins v. LayCool

LayCool come out with cordless microphones that don’t seem to work too well. So the gimmick is that they will do commentary on their match as they wrestle. McCool gets taken out by one of the Bellas as the other one knocks down Layla. One of the Bellas hits an X-Factor but Layla breaks it up. The Bellas do the whole switching gimmick and pin Michelle. Thankfully it was short.

Maryse is in the back with Johnny and Maryse thinks he was sending the love letters. Teddy shows up to confront him but gets hit by a giant hand. Maryse then gets hit with the giant hand. Knoxville says he’s sorry and I need a drink.

Commercial.

Jerry “Mystic Tan” Lawler and Michael “Stop the Pain” Cole throw us to a clip from Jackass 3-D. Johnny Knoxville comes out and on a scale of one to stoned, he’s pretty high. Teddy shows up with his auto-tuned new rap song entrance theme, which makes sense since he’s supposed to HATE that music.

Teddy asks if he knows who he is, which might be a residual effect of being hit by the giant hand. Teddy locks in DreamStreets and Knoxville just decides to go limp rather than selling. We then find out that the man sending Maryse the messages was Goldust. I can’t believe they’re going to let him have a program. It’s about damn time. Goldust says he doesn’t want Teddy. He doesn’t want Maryse. He wants the Million Dollar Belt. If this is a callback to 1991, I will mark the fuck out right now.

Commercial.

We’re back with a nice Make-A-Wish foundation video.

John Cena is in the back with David Otunga. Otunga says that Nexus isn’t all bad. Barrett might be demanding, but deep down they can make this work. If he ever needs to talk, Otunga is there for him. The whole creepy gay vibe continues…

John Morrison, Resurrection Truth, Borscht Marinara and Sheamus all get entrances. They play John Cena’s music, but he doesn’t come out. Instead, we get Nexus music, and here comes all of Nexus…and John Cena. It would have looked cooler to have him come out in their shirt. At the very least, that would be one more sale.

Commercial.

I sent you a bottle of sparkling apple juice to your house. Did you get it?

Battle Royal

We’re back and it’s Nexus versus everyone elsse. Sheamus dumps Bourne and DH Smith, who can’t even fall in an entertaining fashion. Cena eliminated Regal. Miz eliminates Santino and Henry launches Ryder. Henry then dumps Primo, which raises Mark in my eyes by about ten fold.

This is a rather dull battle royal, with everyone just standing around. It’ll come down to Cena and Nexus and Sheamus, so they’re just wasting time. Henry goes to dump Barrett, but Cena saves him. Nexus jump Henry and they dump him. Cena dumps Otunga and he and Wade engage in a Lincoln-Douglas debate before we go to…

Commercial.

We’re back and John Morrison is attacking Morrison and Barrett. During the break, Vlad and Darren Young were eliminated. Wait, Darren Young was IN the match? Cena goes back to attacking Morrison before jumping Teddy.

Sheamus tries to eliminate Slater and its GINGER VIOLENCE. Morrison then dumps Slater but gets kicked by Justin Gabriel. DiBiase tries to eliminate Cena on one side while Team Buddy Cop Movie try to dump Barrett. John breaks free and stops Morrison and Truth. Morrison eliminates Tyson Kidd with a kick and Sheamus tries to eliminate Gabriel. Miz and Morrison are battling each other, which makes sense since it isn’t like they’d be jumped by Nexus or anything.

Miz kicks Truth in the head before trying to eliminate Morrison again. John dumps The Miz and now its Nexus, DiBiase, Sheamus and Team Buddy Cop Movie. Sheamus goes after Barrett as Cena brawls with DiBiase. I love how they are making Sheamus seem like a monster. I don’t love that they’re trying to make DiBiase look like a credible threat one segment removed from him being treated like comic relief.

Truth eliminates Justin Gabriel and DiBiase dumps Truth. Barrett eliminates Teddy and it’s now Sheamus, Morrison, Cena and Barrett. Sheamus goes after Cena while Morrison goes after Barrett. Morrison eliminates himself by kicking Barrett in the head. Way to make him seem like a complete fucking moron.

Cena busts out the Five Moves of Mediocrity but Sheamus escapes the FU and hits the Drinking Problem. Cena gets back up and dumps Sheamus and now we’re down to two. What a swerve. Who saw that coming? Oh yeah, pretty much everyone.

Wade demands that Cena eliminate himself, and I’m not gonna lie, this is getting a response from the crowd. John seethes for about ten minutes before he climbs over the top rope and ultimately leaves the ring. Wade Barrett is now the #1 contender according to the overly elaborate graphic.

Randy Orton wakes up from his two hour nap in a tub of baby oil and he’s on his way to the ring. The two men circle one another and Randy holds the title in the air as we fade to orange…I mean black.

This has been for your consideration.

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