For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 2/14/11 w/ The Rock, John Cena & The Road to Wrestlemania

For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 2/14/11

Welcome back to the longest running action-adventure, passive-aggressive, slightly-delayed semi-professional wrestling column on the worldest of wide webs, For Your Consideration. I am your de-Cupid-ified host Andrew Wheeler, and first let me apologize for the lateness of the column.

Last week I climbed up on my soap box (because InsidePulse refuses to buy me a soap box) and talked about how I prided myself on getting my column up mere minutes (minutes I say) after RAW ended. If the show was done by 11:08, this thing was up by 11:09. That’s the kind of dedication you only get from someone here at Pulse Wrestling (and maybe some medical professionals). However, yesterday was in fact Valentine’s Day, and while it is a horrible commercial “holiday” built around an attempt to bilk you out of money in order to show someone how much you love them, it is still nevertheless an excuse to show the special someone in your live how much you love them. And if you think for one second I’m going to spend my first Valentine’s Day as a married man watching RAW then clearly you’re on whatever Vince Russo’s taking. (To be fair, my wife did in fact offer to watch RAW with me last night, but there was no way I was going to do that. On a side note, marrying a woman that can cook is highly recommended; I came home to pâté, filet minion, twice-baked potatoes, zucchini, pecan pie and a chilled can of Dr. Brown’s…so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend it.)

Anyway, that is why you are reading this column on a Tuesday instead of a Monday. All complaints can be forwarded to the United Brotherhood of It’s None of Your Damn Business. Speaking of complaints, I will not be here next week with a Judicial Review, as I will be out of town for something fairly important, though I promise do something special for you when I return on Thursday. In the meantime, sit back, relax and let’s get down to bid-ness…

TNA’s PPV Defies the Odds

TNA’s Against All Odds was not a very good PPV, which is oddly enough a heaping amount of praise. Most of TNA’s outputs are labeled with words like “disaster” and “abomination” and “The horror! The horror!”, but this one simply gets a “meh”. And in TNA world, a “meh” is as close to a standing ovation as they can get.

This past Sunday on one of their TWO Phil Collins related PPVs (the other, obviously, being Genesis), TNA put on a fairly lucid show. Like most others have pointed out, the show didn’t completely revolve around aging stars of yesteryear, and at no point in time did anyone fall into a giant pit. This is progress, people.

Kazarian v. Robbie E w/ Cookie

The show opened with Kazarian versus Robbie E. Ironically enough, this happened because the high-flying Generation Me were unable to fly. Here’s my first bit of praise for TNA, so get ready…

The didn’t overthink anything. That’s it. They didn’t overthink anything. The Bucks can’t make it to the show, so what does TNA do? They announce Robbie as the winner by forfeit and have him cut a heel promo. This is Booking 101, which makes the move all the more stupefying. Knowing Russo, he would have wanted to have two other guys go out there in wigs pretending to be the Bucks (and yes, by guys I meant midgets) and done a full 11-minute match. Instead, he used the unexpected issue as a way to generate more heat on the heel. As a side note, hearing the clunky nervous delivery of Robbie E makes me continue to wonder how the WWE can sleep on Zack Ryder, who plays this character a thousand times better yet is relegated to teaming with Primo on Superstars.

Anyway, Kaz did his dramatic entrance (a few minutes too late, but that’s really a minor thing) and we had a passable match. Robbie E is by no means a great wrestler, but he uses his gimmick when he wrestles and doesn’t blow a ton of spots and he served his purpose well of getting Kazarian further over with the fans (this was their first chance on PPV to support the fully-face Kaz, and having him beat the easy-to-hate Robbie worked perfectly).

No one’s going to remember the match, but in terms of forward progress, this was a success.

Beer Money & Scott Steiner over Rob Terry, Gunner & Murphy

So here’s where we sort of see where the “They” storyline was going to give the company headaches. If all things were equal, this would have been two separate matches. Beer Money, like Kaz before them, are freshly minted faces that the fans are desperate to cheer for (they got face pops even as the dastardly bastards they were supposed to be) and they needed a chance to show that off on PPV. Unfortunately since they’re the tag team champions, it’s hard to have them compete against a fairly unworthy team for the straps (even a nontitle match feels out of place against Gunner & Murphy who have already been jobbed out to Ink Inc.).

The next major issue is Scott “No, I don’t know how I’m still alive either) Steiner. Since TNA has to justify having him on their shows now that the Main Event Mafia storyline is DOA (and by that I, of course, mean that TNA never planned on doing a MEM reunion and the Booker & Nash thing was completely planned by them…like…for reals), they needed someone in Immortal for him to feud with. Well, Jeff’s fighting for the title, Matt’s fighting RVD & Not the Harris Brothers are lined up with Beer Money. That leaves Rob Terry, who has done wonders assuming the role Scott carved out as the man of a million steroids. However, seeing them face off in a Wellness Policy Violation on a Pole match wasn’t going to get anyone’s money, hence the six-man tag.

And to their credit, none of these six men completely Gayda’d the place up. Hell, they barely R-Truthed it. Robert Roode is clearly someone they just now noticed is employed in their company, and their hope is to remove the stigma of 21st Century Billy Gunn that has permeated his jheri curl (in that he’s been pushed and dropped a lot and not because he can’t work a main event level to save his life despite everyone trying to get him over like Sisyphus’s rock. James Storm is always a capable and captivating guy, and as long as he and Roode are there to carry the match, everything’s fine.

Steiner did his shtick, including the push-up elbow drop, but again that’s pretty much all they can really trust him with. He’s like a higher functioning Mae Young; he can handle a few select spots but to give him anything more to do and he’ll go crazy, curse and try to make out with everyone in sight.

In the end TNA gave the fans their “feel good” moment as Steiner busted out his Frankensteiner one more time. The simple fact that he hasn’t completely broken his neck from that move never ceases to amaze me. In the end, TNA took chicken shit and made chicken salad, so I once again can’t rant and rave about how terrible this was (aside from the fact that they actually put it on PPV).

Samoa Joe v. D’Angleo Dinero

Oy. This was not so good, Al. I think the thing that amazes me the most is that Joe and The Pope are two guys who should be able to wrestle consistently good matches. For whatever reason, this whole thing just didn’t work. The buildup around the fact that Dinero was terrified of Joe seemed to evaporate, but that wasn’t the biggest glaring issue. The biggest issue was the finish, where Pope immediately tapped before Joe even finished locking in his finisher. Again, if the idea here was that he was too “scared” of it, that would be fine. But you can’t just turn on and off storylines like that and expect the audience to remember. Also, if that was in fact the finish, someone needed to tell Samoa Joe, who looked more like someone who just participated in a blown finish and less like someone who understood that his opponent was taking the coward’s way out.

This entire feud was built around the fact that they had nothing better to do, but it has yet to really succeed in establishing (a) Joe as a destructive babyface or (b) The Pope as a devious heel. It just feels like a filler feud, which would be fine if we were getting great matches. But…we’re not. It’s time to move on.

Oh, and the post-match surprise attack once again managed to make Samoa Joe look like a complete chump (and proved that unnecessary blood adds nothing to a segment).

Madison Rayne v. Mickie James

Um…uh…they…sigh…

So it’s a Last Knockout Standing match. The rules of said match are to knock out your opponent. That’s it. This didn’t involve opening a suitcase or putting someone in an electric chair or anything else that could be confusing. With that said, who in the blue hell booked this shit?

Madison Rayne has zero mind for the business. Zero. Don’t believe me? Then explain to me why she tried to PIN Mickie. Unless her character is sharing concussions with Mr. Young, there is no reason for her (a champion, no less) to be that stupid. Further, there was no reason for her to hide the fact that she was going to use her “loaded” glove. It’s NO disqualification. That means if she and Tara went out there and double-teamed Mickie the entire time, it would have been perfectly legal. She didn’t need to act all clandestine about using a foreign object when the very nature of the match gave that object a visa.

Oh, and she’s a terrible wrestler…and this is coming from a guy who has to recap Diva matches.

Rob Van Dam v. Matt Hardy

Yeah, I’m not going to join the legions of people praising this match based on the sheer fact that Matt Hardy didn’t go out there and piss himself. Hardy and RVD have wrestled for long enough that they should be able to go in the ring and have a passable match with their eyes closed.

Last month these two wrestled in an abomination of a match, which is stunning since Matt wasn’t away from the ring for all that long. This time he abandoned the dreadlocks and shrunk some of the pooch, but in the end we got a Sunday Night Heat episode on PPV.

The point of this match was so Van Dam could “get his win back”, and he did, so I can’t really unleash a full amount of venom. With that said, it’s time for Matt to slowly sink into the tar pits that are the TNA midcard, where he can realize that life (and catering) was much better in the WWE.

Matt Morgan & Hernandez Segment

My biggest gripe about this is that they did it on PPV. This would have been fine on Impact, especially when you realize that no one watches their PPVs. Morgan isn’t the worst guy on the microphone, so having him talk instead of wrestle wasn’t a bad idea. What may in fact be a bad idea is the Road to Racism they are sending Hernandez down. This is Hispanic America? Really? Because the Nation of Domination race wars brought in so much money?

Morgan and Hernandez are two more guys who need something to do, so throwing them in there together and having the reignite their old feud isn’t the worst thought in the world. What is potentially going to backfire is the fact that they are having Hernandez play the “evil” Hispanic at a point where even the WWE is realizing the Latino market is the make-or-break. Is Russso’s dream scenario for Hispanics to suddenly adopt Hernandez’s cause and break out in actual race-related riots at shows? It’s shit like this that makes me glad that all the WWE does in terms of horrible ethnic stereotypes is mariachi bands and piñatas.

Bully Ray v. D-Von

Here’s another old WWE storyline that made them billions of dollars.

Ray clearly enjoys being the dickish heel, and at the same time he realizes that no one wants to see The Dudleys as a full-time team. His solution was to reinvent himself…just like the time the WWE split them up. At least that idea spawned Batista. This idea? D-Von’s kids (which, according to Dudley lore, would make Bully their uncle).

Everyone expected D-Von’s kids to turn on their father, but I knew that couldn’t happen because clearly they can’t act. Instead, one showed he could take a punch on a DiBiase level and the other one showed he couldn’t take a bump through a table (his head sprung off that mat so hard that I’m amazed he didn’t seriously injure himself).

The match wasn’t good but the storyline elements actually progressed properly; the bad guy messed with the good guy’s family, and now the good guy wants revenge. If this were a movie, this would be the point in where the evildoer burns down the hero’s home as the good guy looks on with tear-stained eyes.

Unfortunately, this means that the feud WILL continue (though on the plus side at least they’re self-contained).

Jeff Jarrett v. Kurt Angle

Here’s a bright idea, how about they made this “walk her down the aisle” versus “reinstatement”. Dragging the kids into this made everything feel about a million times more unsettling, and this was an instance where “real” doesn’t equate to “better”.

The match itself was a passable, overbooked deal between an older Jarrett and an older Angle. What amazes me is that TNA actually had a little traction with the Jeff as MMA Star angle, and in true fashion abandoned it in favor of melodrama. Look, we all knew that Kurt was going to walk Karen down the aisle (this is wrestling, after all, where no wedding shall go un-fucked-with), but the kids stuff just felt unnecessary.

Oh, and there is now a six month moratorium on Kurt Angle being able to retire again. Take your boots and stay at home until August. You’re starting to give wrestling retirements a bad name…and that’s saying something in a company that employs Flair and Foley.

Jeff Hardy v. Mr. Anderson

Mr. Kennedy…Kennedy gets kudos here for trying. He gets an “A” for effort. He showed some good hustle out there. Unfortunately, he and Jeff churned out a really awful ladder match.

The key to a good ladder match is the pacing. There are times for high spots and times for slow crawls, and this looked less like a well-paced match and more like some kids playing “Smackdown v. RAW” on PS3. Come on Jeff, even you must realize that having a good match with Ken would have counted as community service.

The finish of this match was supposed to be that Anderson would go for the Mic Check only to have Jeff hold on to the ladder and grab the belt. Unfortunately, the ladder no-sold for Hardy, and had he not been so heavily medicated, he probably would have broken his neck

In the end, Jeff won the title. I know the point is that this will lead to Hardy/Styles so that AJ can take the title off of him, but it just really rubs me the wrong way that Jeff Hardy was given the championship as he heads on the way to jail. The message that should be sent is that going to JAIL does not mean you get to be champ. Say what you want about the WWE, but they tend to give the belts to guys as a reward for good behavior, not bad.

At the close of the show, one has a sense that TNA might have some bastardized form of forward momentum. With Hardy as champion, the intrigue is who will take the strap off of him. RVD? Styles? Anderson? There’s also the further drama of Angle & Jarrett, the looming Immortal/Fortune war, the Morgan/Hernandez battle and the next stage in the Dudley feud.

We don’t have to like (or even tolerate) what their storylines are, but for one night, Vince Russo moved them forward without a ton of wacky shenanigans, so I proudly bestow upon TNA the ranking of “meh”.

With that said, let me get some plugs out of the way and get this show rolling. You can follow me on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/awheeler316), friend me on Facebook and post in the comment section down below. Without further ado…

The RAW Judicial Review for 2/14/11

“If ya smell….”

As the show starts, we get a crawl on the bottom of the screen letting us know where we can find the Westminster Dog Show, which can’t help but make me nostalgic. To those fans who don’t remember, RAW would always be preempted for the dog show, making the WWE look like an afterthought and allowing Nitro to run an unopposed broadcast with a promised (but rarely delivered) blockbuster main event. Now, in 2011, it is the dog show that gets bumped. Take that, bitches.

We go straight for the pyro and ballyhoo, sparing me a full-on Nickelback assault. Oh WWE, you truly gave me a meaningful Valentine’s gift. Tonight from Anaheim we will find out who the host is, which has been rumored to be Will Smith or Justin Timberlake…apparently. Also, Sheamus will face Orton, John Slo-Mo-Rrison v. Resurrection Truth & John Cena versus Punk.

Now that truly felt like an old school opening.

John comes out first and blows a kiss to the camera, because there is nothing more he loves than HD technology. Speaking of feelings of love, we relive Cena low-blowing Punk on RAW last week.

Cena has the microphone and he thanks Lawler for the chair assist before sucking up to the fans in Green Bay…er…Anaheim. John points out that it’s Valentine’s Day and he says that nothing says love like tickets to a WWE event. Also in the air is Wrestlemania, which has gone airborne. The only cure for that is to order the PPV (or a series of painful shots that clearly violate the Wellness Policy).

John debates who should host Mania. He suggests Lady Gaga, Sammi from Jersey Shore, or Michael Cole. Lady Gaga, Sammi, Michael Cole: name three people with venereal disease. I’m kidding, that would mean Cole would have had sex.

Cena calls Cole a homosexual male because he is obsessed with The Miz & Mizfit. John says that he has never seen proof of Cole being a man, which means he’s stealing The Rock’s old shtick with The Coach. On an unrelated note from The Rock, Cena says that we will find out who will go to Wrestlemania as the #1 Contender.

John says he needs this Wrestlemania moment because he was a slave, he was unemployed and he had to deal with the people who oppressed him. John Cena is single-handedly carrying the load of honoring Black History Month.

CM Punk comes out to interrupt a promo we’ve heard a million times, and contrary to reports, Punk still has his nose. Punk says he doesn’t need to listen to the diatribe (my word, not his) and he doesn’t need PuNexus to beat CM Punk. Right now it’s Punk 2, Cena 0. He doesn’t appreciate Cena mocking Michael Cole, who is a good Samaritan (last I checked he has never been arrested for selling drugs). Punk says that good things happen to good people…in wrestling. Uh huh.

John Cena v. CM Punk: There Must Be a Winner

Punk and Cena get in the ring and Cena pushes him into the corner. Jjohn opens up with punches but charges shoulder-first into the post and falls to the outside. Punk leaps off the apron with a flying clothesline and knocks him into a…

Commercial.

We’re back and Punk is going for a cover that gets two. Punk suplexes John for another two-count and then locks in a rest hold. John breaks out but gets kicked in the face for two.

Punk locks in a leg-scissor, but Cena again powers out. John tries to turn it into an STFU but Punk grabs the ropes. Punk then steps on Cena’s head, which is just a great bit of heel work.

Punk fires off some punches and a roundhouse kick as the fans chant “Quack! Quack! Quack!” Cena feeds off this and busts out the Five Moves of Mediocrity. And much like angels in the outfield, Punk can’t see him. Cena goes for the FU but Punk connects with a running kick for two.

Punk again goes for a resthold but Cena stands up and piggybacks him into a gutwrench for two. Cole for a third time reminds us that there must be a winner, a phrase that has never been said on the set of a WWE Studios film.

Cena goes to the top rope but Punk knocks him off his perch. Punk connects with the high knee and tries for a bulldog but Cena reverses it into an STFU attempt. Punk reverses that for a swinging neckbreaker for two and these guys are wearing their working boots.

CM Punk goes for the GTS but Cena rolls him up for two. Punk fires back with some kicks and delivers a knockout kick to the head for two. The fans chant “Cena” as Punk comes off the top rope with a cross-body. Cena rolls through and tries to hit the FU but Punk grabs the ropes. John knocks him to the outside and a mystery hand slides a chair out from under the ring. Thing has clearly joined Nexus at he hands Punk a wrench.

With the ref distracted by the apparently fascinating chair, Punk hits Cena in the ring with the wrench for the pin, making this one hell of a game of Clue.

Michael “Casual Male” Cole and Josh “Mini-Orton” Matthews deliver awkward condolences to Jerry Lawler, especially considering they are supposed to be mortal enemies.

We’re waiting for the arrival of Vince McMahon as we fade to…

Commercial.

Ricardo Rodriguez is in the ring, which can mean only one thing…pondering how the hell he developed those disturbing circles around his eyes. Oh, and it means Alberto Del Rio is there.

Del Rio lets us know what his name is, but we were already privy to that information. Alberto points out that his density will lead him to win the World Title at Wrestlemania.

You think you know who interrupts. Hide your wives, its Edge. Edge points out that he’s been so busy burying Dolph back in the midcard that he forgot when Del Rio Jeff Jarretted him (with a guitar, not with his children). Edge has a destiny, and that destiny apparently is to end promos mid-sentence and attack Alberto.

Edge sets him up for a Spear but instead takes out Ricardo. Del Rio cheapshots Edge, so Edge shoulderblocks him into the ring barrier. Edge poses with the belt, but this gets interrupted by Vickie Guerrero. She says that there will be a World Championship Match, but she wants to interrupt the new World Heavyweight Champion, Dolph Ziggler.

Dolph comes out dressed like John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever” as we see highlights of the Edge/Ziggler match on Smackdown. In the end, Edge used the Spear, which means he should be stripped of the title. Well, the law is the law. Can’t argue with that.

Vickie says that this Friday Night on Smackdown, there will be a coronation of Dolph Ziggler as the new World Heavyweight Champion. Hope someone remembered to order the red ring cover. Vickie says that Edge lost the title and now he’s going to lose his job because he is the one who assaulted Teddy Long. Oh fuck, I hoped they forgot about that. Ugh…

Eve and Natalya are heading to the ring as we go to…

The cabin in the woods. I suddenly want maple syrup. We look through the window and clearly see The Undertaker looking out the window. A candle blows out and he walks into the rain. He shouldn’t do that. He’ll catch a death of cold.

Commercial.

We’re back as they again hype the host of Wrestlemania. Tonight we will see Daniel Bryan v. The Miz.

Tramp Stamp Title: Eve Torres v. Natalya

This is a lumberjill match and they start by shaking hands, which means the Code of Honor is in effect. Eve and Natalya do some chain wrestling and throw dropkicks at the same time. Josh Matthews and Cole ignore the match to clear up what happened with Mark Henry and Sheamus last week.

Natalya takes Eve down and drags her into a surfboard. Well there go Eve’s Valentine’s Day plans. Eve bridges out of it and turns it into a pin, which shows off her flexibility. Nat and Eve run the ropes and Eve hits an elbow and a flipping legdrop for two. That would have worked better without the unnecessary pause.

Nat hits a big clothesline but gets tossed out to the Divas as the heels beat her up. Melina threatens Snukette with her shoe but Eve leaps off the apron to take out all of the heels.

Eve rolls back into the ring and the two women bump heads and the fans just drop to a dead silence. It’s clear they’re trying but the timing is just way off. Nat rolls up Eve but Eve botches it and lands on top of her for a good 30 seconds before the ref counts the pin and Eve sloppily retains.

After the match, Natalya shakes her hand as we go to…

Commercial.

Did you know that RAW airs live around the world as millions of people sleep?

Rev Theory are there because they like RAW and not because they have an album out tomorrow.

The Bella Twins are in the back bullying Eve who start choking her. Gail Kim makes the save and the Natalya breaks it up. On the plus side, this brawl didn’t completely bury Daniel Bryan.

Speaking of pain, here comes a “Chaperone” trailer.

Speaking of MORE pain, here comes Mark Hey-Hey-Henry. As he comes down the aisle, he’s jumped by Sheamus. Sheamus his the Bicycle Kick on the ramp in his snazzy new shirt. Green with gold foil? Who is he, me grandmother?

Sheamus points out that the otha fellas bettah see dat’s ow hees gonna treat da otha men in da Uhliminashion Chambah. Sheamus then kicks Henry in the head again and unleashes his O’Doyle Rules scream.

The Miz is walking in the back as he knocks down a random geek in the back as we go to…

Commercial.

And yes, I saw Michael Tarver lurking in the back again. If the WWE turns him into the GMail, my brain may cave in.

We replay Lawler and Bryan beating DiBiase & The Miz last week.

WWE Champion The Miz w/ Mizfit v. United States Champion Daniel Bryan w/ Generic T-shirt

The Miz is sporting a variation of William Regal’s trunks, which I found kinda interesting. Bryan and The Miz circle each other before locking up. Bryan gets taken down with a shoulderblock and then Miz chews him out. Speaking of which, how come Gail Kim isn’t out there with Bryan?

We get another long lock-up and now it’s Bryan who gets the advantage for a few seconds. They run the ropes and Daniel hits some dropkicks. Bryan then eats a boot before unleashing some punches and kicks.

Miz locks in a resthold as a Chaperone graphic appears on the bottom of the screen, which appears to also wear down Byran. Daniel Bryan locks in a rear naked choke but Miz gets to the ropes.

Bryan fires off some kicks and an elbow for two. Miz gets a resthold of his own and the weak “Daniel Bryan” chant needs to pick up if he’s ever going to get anywhere. Bryan fires back with punches and does his turnbuckle monkeyflip and hits a clothesline. Daniel connects with a corner dropkick for two as Mizfit buries him as being boring when he probably should be showing concern for his mentor losing.

Miz gets backdropped out of the ring as Bryan signals for the Suicide Dive. Miz moves out of the way so Bryan hits a running knee that knocks Miz into the barricade. Again, the lack of a really loud pop for that is disconcerting.

Bryan comes off the top rope with a dropkick for two, which seems to stir some emotion. Miz comes back with a kick but almost gets caught in the Patti LaBelle Lock but gets into the ropes.

A bit of miscommunication occurs and Miz hits a neckbreaker through the second rope on Bryan but Daniel falls to the OUTSIDE as we go to…

Commercial.

How the hell didn’t he break his neck for real on that?

Miz props Bryan on the top rope and goes for a superplex but Daniel reverses it into a top rope powerbomb for two. We get another replay of that neckbreaker, that looks insane.

Bryan unleashes the kicks to The Miz’s chest and goes for the knockout kick but gets rolled up for two. Miz gets another small package or two. Miz locks in the backbreaker-neckbreaker but Bryan reverses it into a belly-to-back suplex and a knockout kick for two.

Daniel Bryan goes for the Patti LaBelle Lock again but Miz breaks free. Bryan leapfrogs onto Miz’s shoulders but he gets dropped on his head and Miz hits the SCF for the pin.

After the match, The Miz asks if we saw what he did to the United States Champion. Unless we’re blind or have a brain injury, we pretty much remember what happened literally 20 seconds earlier.

Miz says that Jerry isn’t there because his mother passed away, so The Miz takes a moment to offer his sincere condolences. What I would have given for him to be a complete prick and pull a Shooter McGavin and dedicate his title retention to Lawler’s mom.

Commercial.

We’re back and PuNexus are hanging out in the ring. John Slo-Mo-Rison comes out with a black eye and apparently we’re getting John & Truth versus Slightly Perfect & David Otunga.

John Slo-Mo-Rrison & Resurrection Truth v. Slightly Perfect and David Otunga

This match happened because of a GMail change. Truth and SP start it out and Truth has yet to botch anything. He gets distracted by Mason Ryan and is knocked to the outside. Once out there, Ryan kicks him in the ribs.

SP tosses Truth into the ring apron and whips him back into the ring for two. Otunga is tagged in and PuNexus hit back-to-back clotheslines. Otunge connects with a suplex for two as we realize we’re seeing Truth/Otunga on live television. The camera cuts to John’s injured eyes, which look like a sunburn.

Truth his a suplex on Otunga and makes the hot tag to the King of Artificial Butter. John spinebusters Otunga, who tags in SP. Morrison unleashes some punches on SP because he’s all angry about the hairspray to the eyes. Whatever the reason, the intensity is a welcome change from the malaise he used to show.

Morrison takes out Mason Ryan before launching Truth into Ryan. John hits the knockout knee to SP for the pin, as Slightly Perfect continues his role as PuNexus’s resident job guy.

Mason Ryan runs in and lightly shoves John before Truth and Morrison punch him to the outside. That was…odd.

Commercial.

Did you know the Elimination Chamber weighs a lot?

We’re back with Ariel Winter from “Modern Family”. She says she is so excited to be in the ring for Monday Night RAW. Her father in “The Chaperone” is Triple H, but since he’s too injured to exist on WWE television, her job is to hype the film with…

The Khali Kiss Cam.

She dances in the ring to Khali’s theme music as Khali lumbers out to the ring. I know she’s like 13, but I wouldn’t mind at this point for Kane to come out and chokeslam her. Khali introduces the kiss cam as we get people kissing. In the back we see Santino and Snukette kiss, which sparks his Cobra. Vickie and Dolph then make out. Teddy and Maryse are about to kiss when she fakes him out and kisses Yoshi Tatsu. The heart appears around William Regal and Zack Ryder, so Regal kisses him on the cheek. The Fuckin’ Midget appears from under the ring with a box of chocolates. He approaches Ariel and does his best Jerry Lawler impersonation, so she kisses him.

They did give us a Daniel Bryan match so I can’t really complain.

Commercial.

King Rib Sheamus v. Randy Orton

Orton and Sheamus brawl to the floor to start. Orton tackles Sheamus off the ropes and unleashes some punches. He goes for a leaping knee but Sheamus moves and drops a knee before HE unleashes punches.

Sheamus gets caught with an inverted backbreaker as Randy now hits the leaping knee for two. Sheamus flings Orton into the second turnbuckle and connects with the double-axe-handle for two.

Orton is draped across the second rope and choked while Sheamus celebrates. He then clubs Orton’s chest with punches and hits a high knee on the apron. Sheamus connects with a Patriot Missile for two before locking in a rest hold.

Randy battles free but charges into a boot. Orton comes back with clotheslines and his Vintage Slam. Sheamus out of nowhere hits the Irish Drinking Problem backbreaker for two.

Orton gets propped on the top rope in almost the exact same spot from Miz/Bryan, but unlike The Miz, Sheamus actually hits it. Cole says this might be the TNA PPV of the match but out of nowhere Randy hits the RKO for the pin.

CM Punk and PuNexus run out and jump Orton, which brings out Morrison. John takes down Morrison and this brings out Truth, who attacks Mason Ryan. Red rover, red rover, John Cena’s coming over. Orton RKOs Otunga and SP. He tees off on Mason Ryan before he and Cena double clothesline him. Cena hits the FU on Punk and it’s Randy and John alone in the ring.

The limo door opens and we see women’s shoes walking towards a…

Commercial.

And the host for Wrestlemania XXVII is…

Delayed as all of the lights in the arena turn off. Wait, if there’s no electricity, that means we’ll need something to electrify the arena.

Sure enough, it’s The Rock. The place comes completely unglued and there’s The Rock. He comes down to the ring and does the one-armed salute, though he kinda looks like Steve Austin now that he’s bulked up.

I like the fact that he’s out there with The Rock’s intensity instead of being Dwayne Johnson, movie star who is just happy to be there.

After seven long years, finally…finally…finally The Rock has come back to Anaheim. Finally The Rock has come back to Monday Night RAW. Finally The Rock has come back…home.

In a few short lines he seemed to remind everyone that he is a step above everyone on the WWE roster when it comes to controlling the fans.

The Rock rattles off his nicknames, “The Great One”, “The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment” and “The People’s Champion”. He takes a moment to revert back to Dwayne and says it’s been a long time since he’s been back, but he wants to tell us why he’s back. It’s not because of the money (the millions…and millions) or to promote a movie (Fast Five), but he’s back because of the fans. He dreamed big and he accomplished his goals to make some modest films with diminished box office returns. He tells the fans he loves them and it is because of us he’s back. He will never ever go away. He’s like a Samoan STD.

The Rock puts the sunglasses on and reverts back into character. He wants to do something unprecedented, which is to host Wrestlemania. The Rock mocks Justin Bieber for a bit before saying he told Vince to think big for hosting duties and that one man is (insert a lot of rhyming here) The Rock. And yes, they censored him saying “ass”.

The Rock is going to host Wrestlemania and he will layeth the Smackdown at Wrestlemania…but to who. Actually, it would be “to whom”. Will it be The Miz? He cracks on The Miz by saying he isn’t awesome, but rather he sucks. There’s one more man that The Rock is going to see, and that man is…

The GMail interrupts, and the look of pure ecstasy on Michael Cole’s face is bound to be someone’s avatar. And I paraphrase…

The Rock interrupts Cole and says if Cole walks towards the computer, he’ll be smacked. The Rock asks if he thinks we care about the GMail. The audience in Anaheim is now eating out of the palm of his hand. Cole sets up The Rock and is the told that it doesn’t matter what he thinks.

The Rock tells him to know his role and shut his mouth, for those of you playing Rock catchphrase bingo. Rock talks about his Facebook and says that he will go over to Michael Cole, grab the computer, shine the computer up real nice, turn it sideways and shove it straight up Michael Cole’s candy ass. (No bleep there).

There is one man The Rock is going to see face-to-face. The guy was talking trash about The Rock, and his name is John Cena. The Rock says that the company has gone from Austin 3:16 to dominant “Can you smell what The Rock is cooking” to “You can’t see me.” He asks if he’s playing peek-a-boo and in about seven seconds he buried John Cena. The Rock asks how we could have missed Cena’s shirts and calls him a bowl of Fruity Pebbles.

Rock says he will see John Cena at Mania, The Miz at Mania and everyone at Mania. The Rock makes a crack about Cena coming out of Barney the Dinosaur’s ass, which isn’t all that topical. Rock says ass for a fourth time before saying that he and the millions…and millions…of the Rock’s fans go to Wrestlemania, if you smell what The Rock is cooking.

Well that segment really highlighted the difference between The Rock and everyone on the current roster. Yes, part of it was nostalgia, but part of it was the fact that he is just better than pretty much every current star. Part of it is the fact that he’s allowed to work without a script, but the big part is the fact that he doesn’t need to resort to pandering. He acted like a grown-assed man, which if John Cena was allowed to do, would make him a hell of a lot more effective.

Stepping back and looking at Mania this year, the fear of it not being able to fully “deliver” now seems quaint. On top of a series of matches featuring young stars, the show will have The Undertaker, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and The Rock. Never forget that when Vince McMahon is backed into a corner he isn’t afraid to pull out all of the stops.

This has been for your consideration.

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