For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 9/19/11

For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 9/19/11

Welcome back to the longest running, action-adventure, passive-aggressive, gimmick heavy but not in a bad way column on the world wide web, For Your Consideration. I’m your host Andrew Wheeler, and no, I didn’t miss going live last night due to the fact that I was sideline at another football game. I elected to hold off this week and take the time necessary to make this a more thoughtful and thought-provoking column like this used to be. When I started doing the live RAW Judicial Reviews, I enjoyed the opportunity to cover the “flagship” show of the WWE. Then, as time moved forward, the things that made my column so popular began to fall by the wayside in an effort to get the damn thing up and posted quick enough that I would beat the madcap rush of other RAW recaps. Well, you know what, to hell with that. I worked too damn long and hard to make this a respectable brand on the internet as opposed to just some other article lost in a sea of benign columns, so this week I’m going back to what made me want to do this in the first place.

The RAW Judicial Review for 9/19/11

“You’re fired.”

There’s pyro and ballyhoo and women from Cleveland. CM Punk comes limping out, which I thought was Kevin Nash’s gimmick. He does the usual ring-kissing by talking about how battered and bruised he is from the Night of Champions match, because even if you’re a “rebel”, you still have to make the obligatory “fighting Triple H is unlike facing any other opponent” statement. It’s in their bylaws, which may explain why the stocks are doing what they’re doing.

Punk says that Resurrection-Truth and The Miz are right and that there is a conspiracy in the company. I got news for ya, Punk, Jeff Jarrett, Shane Douglas and a host of other guys built that bandwagon in the mid-90s. Just as CM Punk is about to pull the curtain off of this miscarriage of justice, Triple H’s music hits.

Hunter comes out without any bandages or a limp or even a wince as he stomps to the ring in his oversized Vince knock-off suit. It’s ironic that Vince McMahon spent decades building his body up because he wanted to look like a wrestler, and now his wrestler son-in-law has spent years trying to look like Vince. Oh what tangled webs we weave when we bang the boss’s daughter for fame and power. Hunter says it’s time to get down to business and announces that at Hell in a Cell it’ll be John Cena versus Alberto Del Rio versus CM Punk in a triple-threat.

If I may for a moment: The Night of Champions PPV was a brilliantly booked transitional PPV. While it wasn’t as flashy as Money in the Bank, it was yet another example of the fact that the company can, when it needs to, handle its business. People gripe about John Cena winning (again), but it was completely necessary. See, the WWE has its pattern, which is someone wins the title and then faces the challenger in a rematch. Normally, that is preceded by some fuck finishes where the challenger begs for another rematch. The problem here is that because CM Punk got so hot and the company needed to do a two-month Cena/Punk story, they had to rush the Del Rio title run. With the Survivor Series main event already announced, the chances of doing Del Rio/Cena III would be impossible, so thus the dropping of the title and the burning off of the rematch.

Triple H then moves back into the conversation with all the subtleness of a sledgehammer (yes, I couldn’t resist) and says that if Punk thinks that he is still part of the conspiracy then it’s a time for a fightin’. He bolsters this claim by ripping off his jacket and tie, which signifies he’s changed from COO Clark Kent to Wrestler Superman. The only thing missing would be if he actually decided to wear glasses as an affectation and would remove them when he needed to be “intense” (though it would be hard to find frames that could fit his…unique…face). Punk calms him down and says that he realizes that it isn’t Triple H, but rather someone else. This is rapidly turning into the final scene from “Clue”. CM Punk thinks it’s someone higher up on the ladder pulling the strings, and that Johnny Ace is following orders so that he can someday be COO.

Speaking of the raspy devil, Ace comes storming out to the ring to save his name (a boat that has sailed a LONG time ago). He calls Punk a liar and then decides to fire him. So the Vice President of Talent Relations fired the hottest act in the company at a point where he’d make the most money? Yeah, that sounds like a Johnny Ace move.

Hunter overrules the firing because in this Game of Thrones-esque hierarchy, he outranks Ace. He then rehires Punk (who sells this nonsense convincingly with a mock celebration upon being rehired) and vows to get to the bottom of this. Kinda like the way Mick Foley did in “Who hit Steve Austin”, which means that this entire conspiracy is being orchestrated by Rikishi. He’s a bad man.


Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston, Sheamus & Justin Gabriel v. Christian, Wade Barrett, David Otunga & Slightly Perfect

Sadly, Christian didn’t join this New-New-Nexus. Also, for some reason, Bourne seems to be ripping off Yoshi Tatsu’s trunks. Always a good career move to emulate a guy who lives on Superstars. This is the normal “make the crowd happy” eight man, which is fine. They needed to get Nerf AirBoom a chance to look dominant without them wrestling PuNexus for the thousandth time, and this was a great vehicle to do so. It also put Justin Gabriel on RAW so that the fans could realize that he’s now a face. In the end, Sheamus hit the Brother Kick and the Razor’s Edge on Otunga’s misshapen body for the pin. Bonus points go to Christian who looked on with an A-list snarl. Shake harder boy.

Hunter is in the back assuring the referee that everything is safe and that it’s all going to be alright. Del Rio then pops up to protest his triple-threat match. He goes giant nose to inverted nose with Hunter, and Triple H says he can have his rematch tonight. Del Rio says he wishes Vince were still there. Maybe because Vince was one of the only guys buying a 1980’s cartoon villain as the top heel of the company.


Alberto Del Rio w/ El Ojos de Bichos Rodriguez v. John Slo-Mo-Rrison

First off, the smiling happy John Morrison is downright disturbing. This was a guy who played the cocky, vein, arrogant asshole character better than most, and yet he’s being saddled with this go-nowhere midcard shtick because his ladyfriend can’t keep her ridiculously large mouth closed. Oh well, maybe he’ll fare better in this matc….and he’s already tapping.


It wasn’t a good sign when Jerry Lawler was spending all that time putting over how “cool” Morrison’s entrance was. So to recap: all of Morrison’s heat is in his slow motion entrance and he just lost in about a minute to a guy who tapped out on the PPV. If this doesn’t lead to an eventual heel turn, then best of luck in your future endeavors, Mr. Nitro.


Hugh Jackman comes out to promote his new movie. Did you ever notice that movie stars never show up to promote one of their great movies? They only pop up here to shill films they know are going to shit the bed. But since Vince is a grade-a starfucker, he’ll welcome Hugh in with open arms. On the plus side, Jackman appears to be having some fun. Because it’s tough being rich, famous and able to sleep with any woman in the world.

Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero interrupt so that she can hit on Hugh. He tries gamely to play along, but I’ll be damned if Dolph Ziggler didn’t run circles around him in terms of charisma. Long (LONG) story short, Jackman’s all about helping the underdogs and tonight he’s going to find someone to beat Ziggler. The fans, who are either clairvoyant booking geniuses or proof that the company is stale, immediately chant for Zack Ryder. Jackman runs into the stands and grabs a “Ryder > Wolverine” sign and sprints to the back.


Sin Cara v. Cody Rhodes w/ Baggers

Before the match can start, Sin Cara’s Rainforest Café music hits and out comes the other Sin Cara. Wait a minute, four Krustys! Cody Rhodes disappears into the ether like a defeated video game boss from a bad SNES game and now it’s Cara versus Cara. They manage to kill the crowd dead with this confusing nonsense, and I for one have no clue where this is going. At the very least, Ted DiBiase could have managed the evil Sin Cara for a bit of continuity.

Hunter is in the back trying to get coffee, which has got to be a rib. The Miz and Resurrection Truth pop up all contrite with their tails between their legs and they apologize. Truth hasn’t looked that remorseful since his last parole hearing. Hunter tells them that everything’s gonna be alright (rockaby) and then fines them each $250,000. Jesus, why not make it a bajillion dollars? If Truth had that kind of money lying around, do you think he’s have that haircut?

By the way, I’m almost 100% convinced that this is going to lead to a stable called The Conspiracy, with Miz, Truth, Ace and Nash (and maybe Morrison if they pull the trigger on that one). If not then we can take comfort in knowing that the kids watching will learn what the word conspiracy means.


We’re back and Jim Ross is going to interview Mark Henry. Based on JR’s track record with interviewing wrestlers, this probably won’t go well. But what is going well is Mark Henry’s push, as of late. They booked him as an unstoppable monster who took out Big Show, Kane, Kozlov and most of the Smackdown midcard, they let him talk about his 15 years of toiling away (because honest storylines are usually the best) and then had him squash Orton to win the title in convincing fashion. Who would have thought that they were capable of getting Mark freakin Henry over?

Jim Ross asks him what it will be like to face Orton in Hell in a Cell. Henry…sigh…says he will give him hell. Alright, but no one else is allowed to use that pun for the rest of this PPV build. Henry then launches into a tirade about how Jim Ross wanted to fire him years ago because he was injury-prone, but now he’s the champion. To JR’s credit, the only reason Henry was around so long was because Vince signed him to a ridiculous contract, which meant they had to keep pushing him despite the fact that he always got hurt whenever they did. This altercation leads to Henry manhandling Jim Ross, which of course sends Lawler sprinting in to make the save. He then takes one hell of a beating, complete with being driven through a table. I was worried for a minute they were going to do a Henry/Lawler match like we got with Miz, but instead we just had Mark Henry murder Jerry. That man is heating up like crazy.


Kelly Kelly & Eve Kelly v. Beth Phoenix & Natalya

The less said about this one, the better. Josh Matthews joins Cole on commentary and keeps talking about how Natalya faced Kelly at the PPV when it was actually Beth. And that, folks, is why he’s on the taped show. In the end, Eve won with Kelly’s impactful finishing move, the fluke roll-up.

The problem with the Divas of Destruction is that once they finally beat Kelly and take her title, where do they have to go? The Diva division always builds up a monster heel but once she wins she has no future challengers. Holy crap, I’m trying to apply logic to the Diva division. Brain…hurts…

Hugh Jackman meets with Zack Ryder and promises to make him a winner. Hopefully a casting couch was not involved.


Zack Ryder w/ Hugh Jackman v. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero

Jackman’s sporting the Ryder headband, so that should move some merchandise. Dolph and Zack have a spirited match, but I’m distracted by the fact that this isn’t for the US Title. Really? They couldn’t afford to do a title change when they knew this would get mainstream coverage? In the end, Vickie gets tossed and Hugh cold-cocks Ziggler, which allows Zack to hit the Rough Ryder for the win. It’s nice to know that movie stars now need Zack Ryder’s heat to get themselves over.


We get a Kurt SwAngle video package, which leads to Vickie signing him to her stable. Yes, she said stable. In 2011. Maybe wrestling really isn’t dead.


CM Punk & John Cena v. Awesome Truth

Cena and Punk work together in perfect harmony, which is disturbing and unnecessary. Why the hell did CM Punk play the role of the smiling babyface when he’s supposed to be the edgy rebel? On top of that, why were Miz and Truth already playing up miscommunications? If anything, this match would have been a great opportunity to tease the potential mistrust between future OPPONENTS Cena and Punk while highlighting the cohesive unit Truth and Miz are. Instead, they got jobbed out cleanly. Oh, and then Triple H came out to fire them. Because if there’s one thing that’s iron clad, it’s getting fired by Triple H. Just look at Kevin Nash and Vince McMahon.

In the end, this show was designed to make people excited about Hell in a Cell. It’s now been established once again that Mark Henry is a destructive force, which is a good thing. We have a triple threat, which is a nice way to protect us from another Del Rio/Cena one-on-one match. Plus, there’s a conspiracy. My guess is that the Commies are behind it. Oh wait, they already fired Kozlov.

This has been for your consideration

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