For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 7/25/11

For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 7/25/11

Welcome back to the longest running action-adventure, passive-aggressive, regime changing column on the world wide web, For Your Consideration. I’m your tenured host Andrew Wheeler, and tonight begins the new Triple H Era on RAW. Huzzah.

The WWE is doing what it always tends to do, which is panic. When Vince panics, good things tend to happen. As numbers drop and buys soften, the ability to do something “different” finally peers through the murky darkness of mundane booking. We saw it with the ECW rebirth. We saw it with the rise of Benoit and Guerrero. We saw it with The Nexus.

Vince’s desire to “shake things up” usually lasts for a few months, but he eventually gets sick and tired of doing something new and reverts back to the old familiar way of doing things. And what do we do? We buy into his wacky plan hook, line and sinker only to be let down for the thousandth time.

The current CM Punk storyline is mining uncharted territory for the WWE, mainly because they’ve been able to go forward with it for about a month without coughing up the football. Yes, there were some fumbles (namely having to tape a RAW show right after the crazed live Punk promo) but overall it was a great storyline that led to one of the most memorable matches of the decade. We, as wrestling fans, should be thankful for that.

That being said, we’re now about to turn that corner. Punk was off television last week and wisely put himself in a very public forum by attending a Cubs game. Fans knew there would be no CM Punk on RAW. He then popped up at Comic-Con to “crash” the WWE panel with the kind of guerrilla spirit that has made this entire storyline work. And just when we thought it couldn’t get any crazier, Punk appears at a random indie show to remind us that, like the wind, he’s everywhere.

But RAW last week was a very pat, very dull, very lackluster show. The shows were lackluster before the Punk promo, and have been pretty lackluster ever since. Don’t get me wrong, last week was a solid show. We had a wrestling tournament that pretty much guaranteed us solid (if unspectacular) matches and meant that the shenanigans would be minimized. Then, just when we thought we were going to sit through a Miz/Mysterio match for the title, we got the “bombshell”.

Vince McMahon relieved of his duties by Triple H.

For a storyline, it has great resonance. There’s that poetic moment of the son-in-law being forced to remove his father-figure. There’s the sudden change in emotion for Vince from all-powerful tyrant to stunned old man. There’s the sight of two grown adults crying. The problem? The lack of realism.

Does anybody believe that Vince is really gone? Absolutely not. We always knew that Hunter would take over someday, but that day sure as hell ain’t today. The talk from inside the walls of Stamford had been that Vince would reduce his role come April of next year, but who knows how long that would even last. This is just the one thousandth version of “Vince is off television forever” storyline that never really goes anywhere. If there was any juice in the story, we would have seen brilliant television following his limo explosion, his stage crash, his televised divorce, his power struggle with his kids, his power struggle with Ric Flair and the sale of his show to Donald Trump. Look, if the United States Government couldn’t oust Vince McMahon, nothing can.

This is where the seesaw can tip towards shlock. The company followed up the very real, very intense CM Punk leaving storyline with a potentially huge “regime change” storyline. The problem is that you only get one bite of the apple when it comes to Vince really leaving, and if you use that card now, you damn well better be ready to play it. And folks, this ain’t the time to do it.

Vince still has a lot of usefulness as the face of the WWE. His promos still tend to get the audience in a tizzy, his heat is still fairly intact and his penchant for terrible suits forces you to pay attention. Hunter will no doubt be a fine figurehead, but that means he has to be done with wrestling. Yes, I know Vince wrestled even though he was the figurehead, but that worked because he wasn’t once an actual…ya know…wrestler. Triple H was last seen in a major storyline with The Undertaker, so fans aren’t going to fully accept him as the “guy in charge” if they believe he’s going to be a player-coach. He needs to put that suit on and keep it on, using his promo skills to help elevate storylines involving guys that aren’t him.

Ultimately my problem here is that I just don’t buy the whole “Vince is gone” storyline as being the definitive “Vince is gone” storyline. He was fired and is supposedly adrift in a sea of misery, but he’ll be back. I hate to play fantasy booker, but it looks like the clear trajectory of this story is that Punk comes back by Summerslam to do a champion versus champion ladder match ala Shawn/Razor. This means that someone needs to lure Punk back into the ring. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s Vince, with a stipulation that he gets his company back if Punk wins.

The RAW Judicial Review for 7/25/11

“The Champ is Here.”

The WWE Championship: Rey Mysterio v. The Miz

Well they aren’t wasting any time, are they?

Oh good, they’re sticking with the spinner title belt. Nothing like still being culturally relevant seven years too late. Rey comes out first and Cole sings the Ballad of Brave Mysterio.

Awesome, here comes The Miz, who is being booked like the babiest of all babyfaces by overcoming injury to advance. They cut to the back where everyone’s watching one television set. Guess they’re saving money left and right. On the plus side, Evan Bourne managed to keep a straight face.

Cole guarantees that we will get a WWE Champion by the end of the night. Well that was cryptic. The fans chant “Miz is Awesome” as we get some rope running. Rey leaps to the top rope but gets flipped and lands face-first on the top turnbuckle. Miz measures him but Mysterio is weighed down by that fake tan. Finally, Miz hits the running clothesline for two.

Miz locks in a resthold and then goes for a pin that gets two. Cole has so far called Mysterio the biggest little man and the magic man. Who the hell is using these nicknames?

The Miz whips Rey to the outside and then connects with a leaping dropkick. Miz charged Mysterio on the outside but gets dropped into the steps as we fade to…

Commercial.

We’re back with an exciting rest hold. Rey breaks free but gets caught with a Reality Check for two. Rey reverses an Irish Whip and sends Miz into the corner. Mysterio hits the seated senton and a cross body for two. Rey then gets dropped by Miz for two.

Miz does the “Home Alone” face when Rey kicks out. Hilarious stuff. Wonder if that means his finisher will be the tarantula. Rey tries for a 619 but gets bounce powerbombed for two.

Miz ties Rey up in the Tree of Woe (the only tree impervious to Global Warming) but Rey moves the blind charge and hits a 619 and the Missile Splash for the pin. Blech.

After the match, Miz jumps Rey and knocks him into the corner. Sure enough, this brings out Alberto Del Rio. Rey dropkicks Del Rio into the announce table and Alberto heads for the hills. Not literally. He heads for the curtain.

Triple H is delivering a “State of the WWE” Speech tonight. Like most of his promos, it’ll go 20 minutes long and wind up burying everyone.

Commercial.

Did you know that a million women watched RAW last week? I should tell my wife she’s not the only woman forced to sit through this.

Rey walks through the curtain and people give him the champagne bath. John Cena pops up to shake his hand. Rey tells Josh that he’s coming home with a title, which should make up for being an absentee father.

We get a “touching” recap of Hunter firing Vince before we go to…

Commercial.

Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero v. Evan Bourne

They Billy Gunned Dolph’s theme. Dolph and Evan run the ropes before Ziggler gets dropkicked in the face. Dolph takes over and hits a dropkick of his own for two before locking in a rest hold. Ziggler goes for a suplex but Evan breaks free. Dolph goes for a splash in the corner and Bourne dodges that. Evan gets his Token Offense and then hits a hurricarana for two. Bourne goes for AirBourne but Dolph hits the ZigZag. He then locks in the sleeper and that’ll do it.

Commercial.

If I never see the two cops singing while eating candy, it’ll be too soon.

Eve and The Bellas are arguing and then Keith Stone shows up to calm them down. Keith gives one of the Bella Twins a tattoo sleeve.

Maryse & Melina v. Kelly Kelly & Eve

Cole said that The Bellas were so embarrassed about what happened earlier that they left the building…even though they were in the LAST SEGMENT.

Maryse and Eve start it out and Eve drops her with a Downward Spiral. Eve does a booty shaking thing and then hits a splash. Melina distracts Eve and Maryse kicks her in the head. Maryse delivers a Stinkface to Eve, which is…um…painful?

Melina comes in but Eve tags Kelly and smacks Melina on the ass. She then smacks Maryse on the ass and drops Melina for two. Eve takes out Maryse and that leaves Melina and Kelly alone. Melina gets kicked in the gut and takes a FameASSer for the pin.

Triple H and Resurrection-Truth are chatting in the back as we fade to…

Commercial.

Cee Lo will be at SummerSlam.

And here comes Triple H. Hunter starts by acknowledging that the WWE is what it is because of Vince McMahon. Tonight they crowned a new WWE Champion, Rey Mysterio. Since Hunter’s in charge, he can do things differently, so there is going to be a second WWE Championship match between Rey Mysterio and John Cena.

Hunter says that there’s one name that should be back on RAW, and so Triple H has resigned him…Jim Ross. Cole gets all pissy. He climbs on top of the announce table and calls Jim Ross the walking dead. Cole says that he’s done everything they asked to keep his job. He will do anything this company wants him to do…except work with JR. Michael Cole goes on a crazy rant about Jim Ross being sick and fat and old.

Triple H says that he was going to fire Michael Cole, but his contract severance package is ridiculous. Cole says he will sit and do his job the rest of the night, but Hunter says he’ll be late for his match if he does that.

Resurrection-Truth comes out with his comedy club background. He says that Hunter is part of the conspiracy and then congratulates invisible Little Jimmys. Truth says that Little Jimmy cost him his title shot and spiders & heights cost him Money in the Bank.

Hunter points out that he’s crazy and Truth asks if this is a joke. Hunter talks to his own invisible people and Truth calls him crazy. We’ve now moved into the DX Triple H portion of the promo.

John Morrison comes out and he isn’t wearing a shirt. That just doesn’t seem right. John knocks Truth down the ramp. He beats him into the ring and hits Starship Pain, which just doesn’t match his “aggression”. “I’m gonna kick your ass and then do a flippy move.”

Commercial.

Michael Cole v. Zack Ryder

Michael Cole comes out dressed like Triple H. Get it? It’s funny because he isn’t Triple H.

His opponent is Zack Ryder, who kicks Cole in the boot and rams him into the turnbuckle. He hits the Rough Ryder and gets the pin. Well good for him.

Commercial.

Alberto Del Rio v. Kofi Kingston

Ricardo Rodriguez is back and all is right with the world. Also, there was something weird before about seeing Del Rio come through the curtain instead of from one of his cars.

How the hell was it an upset for Kofi to beat Del Rio when Kofi’s been in the WWE longer?

Del Rio jumps Kofi and drops him to the mat. He hits a dropkick to the back of Kingston’s head for one. Kofi knocks Del Rio to the outside, but Alberto heads up the ramp as we go to…

Commercial.

We’re back and there’s nothing better than hearing Jim Ross welcoming us back to Monday Night RAW. During the break, Kofi got kicked and now he’s in a rest hold. Del Rio charges him in the corner but Kingston moves and hits a cross body for two. Almost another “upset” by a guy who has held several titles. Kofi hits some Boom Boom Boom

Kofi and Del Rio trade roll-ups until Alberto makes it to the ropes. He then hits the Cross Arm-Breaker and Kingston taps.

Well so glad he was able to get his win back. Can’t really fathom why they couldn’t just let Kofi build some momentum off of that win last week.

Commercial.

We’re back with Jerry “Mystic Tan” Lawler and Jim Ross who throw it to Josh Matthews and The Miz. Miz points out that Cena was the guy who got us into this mess in the first place. He looks so sharp in that suit. He plugs his George Lopez appearance and then calls the Triple H Era a mistake.

WWE Championship Match: John Cena v. Rey Mysterio

Rey walks out and poses with that title for a few seconds before…

Commercial.

Next week we will get a Diva Battle Royal. Gee, thanks Triple H.

Cena comes out and the fans cheer him. Alrighty. Rey keeps kicking Cena’s quad but gets shoulderblocked down. Rey then gets a quick roll-up for two. Mysterio then grabs a rest hold, which doesn’t endear him to the fans.

John and Rey wind up outside and Cena clotheslines Rey’s head off. Cena locks in a rest hold for a while but Rey counters with a DDT for two. John tries for an STFU but Rey makes it to the ropes. He hits a moonsault for two. Rey goes for a 619 but Cena blocks it into a slam.

Cena fires up the Five Moves of Mediocrity but Rey gets a quick flurry of offense until Cena finishes with a Five Knuckle Shuffle. Rey leaps for a crossbody but Cena catches him. Mysterio gets headscissors for two. Apparently Lawler thinks that just by saying this is a tremendous match will somehow make it be true.

Rey goes to the top rope and hits the seated senton for two. Rey then locks in an STF on Cena. Cena goes for the FU but his leg buckles. Rey hits the 619 and then goes for the top rope splash but Cena gets his knees up.

Mysterio connects with Cena in the corner but gets caught with a powerbomb that may have killed Rey. Cena connects with the top rope Rocker Dropper for two. John goes for the FU but Rey breaks free and sets him up for a second 619. Cena pops up and hits the FU and that’ll do it. Thus concludes the Rey Mysterio Title Dynasty.

Cult of Personality starts playing and here comes CM Punk. They face off title-to-title as we fade to black.

This has been for your consideration.

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