For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 10/17/11

For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 10/17/11

Welcome back to the longest running action-adventure, passive-aggressive, south of the border yet just north of sanity column on the world wide web, For Your Consideration. I’m your siesta-craving host Andrew Wheeler, and it’s a taped RAW from Mexico. Huzzah. Since they seemed to put minimal effort into putting this show together, there’s little incentive for me to go the extra mile in my preamble, so…

The RAW Judicial Review for 10/17/11

There’s pyro, ballyhoo and Mexicans as far as the eye can see. We are live (taped) from inside JBL’s nightmare, and there are a lot of people who turned out to see this show. Either they are all major WWE fans, or their a/c broke. Super Johnny Ace comes out with a raspy look of self-satisfaction. We are treated to a fantastic time-filling video package that recaps Hunter being fired and Ace being made Interim GM. Was it really just a week ago? Feels like months. This fast-forward storytelling is really doing a number on my ability to comprehend WWE logic. I still don’t understand the urgency to rush everything, but then again this is a company that chose to open its international show with a Johnny Ace promo, so go figure.

Ace mocks the fans by teasing a Rey Mysterio appearance, but sadly he ain’t there. Quite frankly, I’m shocked Vince didn’t set something up via satellite just so he could embarrass Rey. Old man must be slipping. Anyway, Ace apologizes for firing Jim Ross, but, ya know, it’s a requirement of the job. Every heel, sooner or later, has to fire JR. It’s a rite of passage. He brings out Ross, only to tell him that he won’t be announcing. Es un swerve! Turns out Jim Ross will be competing…oy…in the main event…double oy…against Michael Cole. Yes, I am aware it’s a tag match with Ross and Cena against Cole and Del Rio, but the thought of two old men wrestling at or near the main event is so….so…TNA.

Randy Orton comes out to the ring, showing both his determination for victory and his indecisiveness regarding facial hair as we go to…

Commercial.

Randy Orton, Sheamus & John Slo-Mo-Rrison v. Mark Hey-Hey-Henry, Cody Rhodes & Christian

It’s five men who are in the middle of a push and John Morrison. I wonder how this’ll turn out. Christian and Orton start out but Sheamus is quickly tagged in so he can sell his feud with Christian. Christian tags Rhodes, which makes sense since you wouldn’t want to tag the giant monster world champion instead of the guy with chicken legs. Sheamus beats on Cody until Rhodes finally tags in Henry. Randy Orton decides that attacking Cody is more important than staying loyal to his team, so they brawl up the ramp and into the back as we go to…

Commercial.

And then there were four. Morrison gets some Token Offense on Henry until Mark tags in Christian. They do some fine wrestling until Henry’s tagged back in. All of a sudden, Sheamus and Christian are now a fussin’ and a fightin’ and they run into the crowd, never to be seen again. These teams are dropping members like a Mr. Burns softball team. Anyway, in a shock to no one, it’s Henry and Morrison alone in the ring as John battles inevitability. Eventually, Henry just tosses John in the air like a wiffle ball, catches him and flattens him with the world’s strong-saddest slam. Squashed and buried all in the same match. Poor John. I’d say at least he has Melina to come home to, but, neigh.

The purpose of this match was pretty clear and it did everything it was supposed to do. We got to see that Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes don’t really like each other, and therefore must fight on PPV. We got to see that Sheamus and Christian don’t really like each other, and therefore must fight on PPV. We got to see that Mark Henry is a monster and that the WWE doesn’t really like John Morrison, therefore John must not be allowed to appear on PPV. Hey, anything to make Henry look like a monster heel after the consistent beatdowns he’s been taking on Smackdown is a plus.

Commercial.

Johnny Ace is in the back with the Bella Twins, who are sexually harassing him. There’s no place for that in wrestling, ladies. Ricardo Rodriguez, continuing to prove that he’s awesome, whispers loudly the presence of Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio and his hot pink shirt aren’t happy about the main event. Ace calms him down by saying that the winning team would decide the stipulation for the WWE Championship match. And that’s calming how?

Eve Eve w/ Kelly Kelly v. Natalya w/ Beth Phoenix

Natalya carries Eve to a decent match as we learn that Eve is the #1 Contender. Sure, why not? At one point in the match, Natalya spanks Eve, which is the kind of cheeky “offense” these girls were supposed to be rallying against in the first place. Wait…trying…to…use…logic…in…Diva’s….division… In the end, Eve hits a moonsault off the top rope as Natalya tries to conceal her terror.

Commercial.

CM Punk v. The Miz w/ Resurrection-Truth

CM Punk comes out to a monster pop, which leads me to believe that good workers know no borders. Awesome Toof come out to rap about us all sucking before Miz says that they are going to win at the PPV. This prompts Triple H to come out in a suit. Hunter apparently gets so mad at his jacket that he rips it off, and now he looks like a dad who left work early to see his son’s soccer game.

Miz and Punk just seem to go through the motions, as the match wasn’t all that exciting. There were liberal uses of headlocks, which is a sign that they were both really just killing time until the finish. Truth, on the other hand, was going a mile a minute on the outside, which was actually pretty damn funny. The match was the standard “bad guys cheat, good guy tries to help friend but ref sees him” match, which is fine but not particularly memorable. Truth nails Punk with water, which in Mexico can be pretty dangerous. This sets off Hunter, who sees spilling water as gimmick infringement, so he goes after Truth. Johnny Ace comes out and informs us that Hunter had problems with his work visa and he’s being deported back to America, making this the rare exception where that’s a bad thing.

Commercial.

So now it’s essentially a handicap match, which means this should be academic, right? Right?! Wrong. Miz and Truth turn into the Keystone Cops and Punk pulls out a roll-up for the win. After the match, Miz and Truth beat down Punk to get some heat back, but was it necessary in the first place? Miz and Punk get reinstated last week only to get beat down by Hunter and Punk. They then are in the battle royal on Smackdown where they can’t seem to best Randy Orton. They now appear on RAW only to have MIz job to Punk. Why not just beat him down as soon as Hunter was gone? Why would they suddenly care about a meaningless win? Why, on a taped show building up to a forgettable PPV am I now suddenly craving logic?

Commercial.

We get to see the Spanish Announce Table, which, out of respect for their audience, survives the night. Cole and Lawler sell the hell out of the WWE Network, which will feature a reality show where ex-wrestlers live together in a house. That has good idea written all over it.

Vickie Guerrero, Kurt SwAngle and Dolph Ziggler come down to the ring. Vickie lets us know that Team Natural Hair and Skin Color will take on Nerf AirBoom at the PPV. Well it makes sense since they already lost to them once that they would be the natural #1 Contenders. Ziggler fires off a pretty convincing heel promo where he actually refers to himself as a heel, before allowing SwAngle to Volkoff the National Anthem. Zack Ryder interrupts, because clearly he hates America.

Kurt SwAngle v. Zack Ryder

SwAngle attacks Ryder but Zack hits the Ruff Ryder for the lightning fast win. So apparently the WWE’s answer to getting Ryder over is establish the fact that he can’t really win on his own unless they’re fluke wins? Is this because they made so much money with Barry Horowitz? After the match SwAngle and Ziggler double-team Ryder, but Mason Ryan decides to look out for the Wellness of Ryder and makes the save.

Commercial.

Mason Ryan v. Dolph Ziggler

Having this be the longer match is like saying the quiet part loud and the loud part quiet. Ziggler gives Mason the full broomstick treatment as he sells everything for him like an in-his-prime Shawn Michaels. Outside the ring, Vickie smacks Mason. Not that I’m casting aspersions or anything, but hitting a man with an unnatural physique may provoke a certain kind of rage. Allegedly. Ryan goes batshit and wails on Ziggler, which prompts a disqualification.

So we don’t get the tag champs on RAW but we get the challengers who are either jobbed out or beaten down all to get over Mason Ryan. And why? Because he’s big enough, he’s strong enough, and doggone it, Vince likes him.

In the back, Jim Ross points out the obvious that he has no place in the main event. Cena gives him a pep talk, which seems to work as they head out towards a…

Commercial.

John Cena & Jim Ross v. Alberto Del Rio & Michael Cole w/ Ricardo Rodriguez

Thankfully, Mexico isn’t bizarro world like Canada and they actually boo Del Rio. The place also comes unglued for Cena. Why they would build an arena out of glue is beyond me, but Mexico just doesn’t have the safety regulations the US does.

Jim Ross slugs Cole before we get Del Rio and Cena on free television. Cena eventually gets to the Five Moves of Mediocrity but Del Rio, out of desperation, tags in Cole. Michael Cole begs for his life, so John, being the babyface, FU’s him. Jim Ross comes in and applies the Ankle Lock and Cole taps out.

After the incredibly important match that determines the stipulation for the PPV, Del Rio now decides it’s time to attack Cena. John counters him and lays him out with steel ring steps before telling him that at the PPV it’ll be a Last Man Standing match.

So there you have it. Two hours of filler to establish a stipulation for a match at a filler PPV. I can’t really fault the WWE, as this was an international show, and those events are designed differently. When the WWE tapes abroad, the point is to appease the international broadcasters who rarely get to see how much a live crowd craves WWE programming. Mexico is a thriving market, and by demonstrating the outpouring of support, the WWE can now justify it’s demands for high rebroadcasting rates. This show, while completely forgettable and lackluster, did everything it needed to do. They didn’t pander to the Mexican crowd since Del Rio would have been in the main event anyway, and they didn’t go to a lucha style to show that Mexican audiences will accept WWE Main Event style. The fans got to see all of the big stars, including John Cena, Del Rio, Randy Orton, Sheamus, CM Punk, Triple H and Mark Henry, and they had a feel-good ending that sent them home happy. You and I might not have liked this week’s RAW, but we weren’t the master they were looking to serve. Like it or not, this was the smartest decision they’ve made in weeks.

This has been for your consideration.

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