For Your Considerationâ€¦The RAW Judicial Review for 11/7/11
Welcome back to the longest running action-adventure, passive-aggressive, pond jumping column on the world wide web, For Your Consideration. I am your host Andrew Wheeler and itâ€™s a taped show from England. We all know what that means. Vince is going to revert back to his notion that nothing of major significance should happen on an international show because (a) itâ€™s taped and spoilers would kill any surprises and (b) international fans are just happy to be there. With that saidâ€¦
The RAW Judicial Review for 11/7/11
â€œAndre the Giant.â€
Thereâ€™s international pyro and ballyhoo, which is like domestic pyro and ballyhoo but worth more due to the exchange rate. The fans in Liverpool seem excited, but thatâ€™s mainly due to the fact that they donâ€™t have to hear Michael Coleâ€™s incessant Beatles references.
John Cena starts the show by tweaking the now clichÃ©d random London cab that sits on the top of the stage. The fans in England donâ€™t like John Cena because he has nice teeth and a complete lack of irony (speaking of clichÃ©s). John talks about how Wrestlemania tickets have sold very well, proving that people wonâ€™t spend money on their mortgages but they will spend it to see an Intercontinental Title match. For the record, I will be at Wrestlemania thanks to my buddy Ethan, so I now have a vested interest in the show and hope it wonâ€™t completely suck.
Ways that Wrestlemania could suck:
1) Daniel Bryan versus Mark Henry: it was like watching a child try to beat up a Buick on Smackdown
2) Rain: While it might help with the smell of some of the people sitting there (Iâ€™m talking to you, Jose Luis Miguel Martinez who chose to wear a sleeveless t-shirt that allows your mountains of chest and arm hair to flow freely in the breeze), the thought of sitting in the pouring rain isnâ€™t going to make the show any more fun.
3) The Rock doesnâ€™t bring â€œitâ€. And by it I mean hair dye. Youâ€™re looking old, Dwayne.
4) A quasi-main event featuring a celebrity who canâ€™t really work. The last Mania I went to had Floyd Mayweather versus The Big Show. Yup.
5) CM Punk versus Alberto Del Rio: Itâ€™s charisma versus the black hole where charisma goes to die
6) A Diva Battle Royal: Unless someone goes rogue and self-eliminates, itâ€™s just a lot of pretty girls being flung in different directions until Beth and Kelly flip a coin to see who wins
7) A guy with a giant sign sitting in front of me. No one cares that you went to Office Depot and got art supplies. Youâ€™re a grown assed man and the person you made the sign for thinks youâ€™re a mark.
8) Overly Hispanic music. This isnâ€™t South Beach and Iâ€™m not wearing a white silk suit. Just because weâ€™re in Miami doesnâ€™t automatically make this North Cuba. While I know for a fact Pitbull will show up (heâ€™s the South Florida equivalent of Slash), I donâ€™t need the world thinking that weâ€™re a town that spends its days making one giant Conga line.
9) A repeat of last year. It was three hours to see a lame main event finish. I know Cena/Rock is going to try and capture that Hogan/Rock spirit, but the thought of them doing a shit finish to build to anything else just makes me sad.
10) Parking. I hate South Florida drivers. I hate parking at SunLife Stadium. I need to get me a helicopter fast.
So after Cena pisses off the fans in Liverpool (did you know The Beatles were from there?) by reminding them they wonâ€™t be at Wrestlemania, he further riles them up by letting them know that The Rock will be at the NEXT RAW. Bet youâ€™re glad you paid for your tickets now, you tea drinkers. Miz and Resurrection-Truth show up to do damage control after they were made to look like Tom to Cenaâ€™s Jerry. Thankfully, wins and losses donâ€™t matter in the WWE, and had they not brought it up, I doubt anyone would have remembered.
Cena informs them that they will be facing him and a future Hall of Famer. That, of course, winds up being Zack Ryder. So the company went from not pushing him to pushing him in a quasi-joking manner. Heâ€™s being treated like Zach Gowan or Eugene and not a legit Superstar, which means that he will never wind up getting fully over. On the other hand, the fans seem to dig him in England, so we know he travels well.
John Slo-Mo-Rrison v. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero
John and Dolph have the kind of match they were having for years on Smackdown. These two know how to have good-not-great matches , which leaves room for when they want to really ramp up down the line. Morrisonâ€™s losing streak since August is finally being explained, and it has nothing to do with where heâ€™s been parking his car (this was a kid-friendly euphemism for him fucking the unpopular Melina). Apparently John came back too soon and hasnâ€™t been 100% mentally. Hey, thatâ€™s a better explanation than â€œYou suck and your contract is running out soon.â€ In the end, Dolph tries to capitalize on a Vickie distraction but Morrison reverses it and itâ€™s a nice healthy kid snack of Fluke Roll-Up for the pin.
So now Dolph is being saddled with a losing streak? When the US Champion, the Money in the Bank winner, the tag champions AND John Morrison all have losing streak gimmicks, the well is gonna eventually run dry. But heyâ€¦The Beatles.
It will be Team Orton (Randy Orton, Sin Cara, Mason Ryan, Kofi Kingston & Sheamus) v. Team Barrett (Wade Barrett, Christian, Cody Rhodes, Kurt SwAngle & Hunico). Who would have thought that it would be Evan Bourne with the Wellness Policy and Mason Ryan would be the replacement? Are there enough drugs on the planet to make that make sense. Maybe I should ask Bourne. Also, how is it Team Barrett and not Team Christian? Aside from SwAngle, Christianâ€™s the only World Champion on their team.
Thereâ€™s a video hyping Mason Ryan, and you can through all the nonsense you want at him from a graphics standpoint, heâ€™s still like watching grass try to grow but somehow manage to botch it.
Mason Ryan v. JTG
What is this, Superstars? Mason gets zero reaction from the fans who donâ€™t know whether to boo him or cheer him or pelt him with rotted fruits. He winds up locking in a Matherlock-esque full nelson then turns it into a slam, which mercifully ends the match. On the plus side, JTG is still working for the WWE. Good for him.
We get a Wrestlemania 28 ticket sale video package. I was there live and the WWE managed to make the organized chaos of the event look like a well-oiled machine. On a side note, itâ€™s always nice to see Kelly Kelly in person.
The Bella Twins flew all the way to England just to stand next to Zach Ryder while he talked about being in the main event and how he has an online petition. Now thereâ€™s money well spent.
Weâ€™re back and Michael Cole informs us that the Michael Cole Challenge is essentially the Chinese Democracy of open challenges.
Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez v. Kofi Kingston w/ lame duck title belt
Poor Kofi. Without Evan to protect him, heâ€™s back to being a really chipper job guy. Alberto and Kofi have one of those uninspired matches that are becoming a Del Rio trademark. Heâ€™s competent in the ring, but he just doesnâ€™t really elevate any match or situation. Worst of all, based on his finisher, heâ€™s like a far less capable Ric Flair; killing time until he works the arm. Here, he got the Cross-Arm Breaker on Kingston for the win.
A win for the WWE Champion is still a win. After his loss last week to Big Show, there was a risk of him becoming more of a Miz-esque champion who can never win clean. On the other hand, itâ€™s Kofi, so letâ€™s not all wet ourselves.
CM Punk comes out as we go toâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and Del Rio is already yelling at Punk. He blabs about density and such before mocking England and Punk. CM Punk then seems to tap directly into my brain and points out that all Del Rio ever does is talk about density, and that heâ€™s a one-note joke. TouchÃ©. Punk promises to make the WWE Title interesting again, which ainâ€™t a bad promise to make. Del Rio asks if Punk will reneg on his title shot, Punk says no, Cole mentions The Beatles and thereâ€™s a wild brawl. Lather, rise, repeat. Ultimately Punk gets his hands on Ricardo Rodriguez and lays him out with the GTS, because Ricardo is now every henchman from every movie ever made.
CM Punk as WWE Champion certainly makes the belt more interesting. Chances are heâ€™ll defend against anyone at any time, and heâ€™ll get good matches out of people. The thought of a Punk/Ziggler feud down the road does have a lot of potential. On the other hand, Punk was too on the nose with his burial of Del Rio, and this feud may kill his character dead.
Santino Marella w/ Sock Puppet v. Kurt SwAngle w/ Vickie
Nope. Not gonna get worked up about this one. Thankfully, SwAngle gets 98% of the offense and gets his win back with an AngleLock. Fine for what it was, but this even-steven booking for the lower card does no one any favors.
Kelly Kelly is in the back and weâ€™re promised to see her like youâ€™ve never seen her before. Tooâ€¦manyâ€¦jokesâ€¦
Lawler is in the ring and calls Kelly his favorite Diva, because he might get older but they stay the same age. Sheâ€™s on the cover of Maxim, where she looks equally airbrushed and confused. Beth and Natalya come out to mock her for being a Barbie doll, but Nat goes deep into Barbie mythology by using various names. It went past being mean and instead just kinda made her look like a dork. Eve and Alicia make the save. That was pointless but got over her magazine cover. Sadly, it didnâ€™t drop from the ceiling like Sunnyâ€™s did.
Johnny Super Ace introduces Kevin Nash, who I canâ€™t believe survived sitting on a flight from the US for that long. Kevin reminisces about how he met Hunter and debated about whether or not to bury him. He then becomes the bitter, grizzled veteran when he bashes Hunter for not â€œbrining the band back togetherâ€; mainly due to the fact that Shawnâ€™s retired, Waltmanâ€™s off the reservation and Scott Hall is half-man, half-high school chemistry project. Kevin then flies right past the straight-face test when he says he still has it and could be a World Champion. Donâ€™t get me wrong, he could, but only if a company was dumb enough to give him the book. He then puts himself over for attacking Hunter to get him back in the main event. Guess that explains why Curt Hawkins was spared.
Brodus Clay is comingâ€¦eventually. Hey, Johnny Curtis was worth the wait, right?
Johnny Super Ace is in the back with David Otunga and Otungaâ€™s coffee when CM Punk pops up. He mocks Ace for his inability to push Brodus Clay and his general inability to handle talent. He takes a cheap shot at Otunga, but this gets interrupted when Alberto Del Rio comes charging in from out of nowhere and they brawlâ€¦ruining a perfectly fine snack table.
Awesome Truth v. John Cena & Zack Ryder
So last week Cena beat them senselessly by himself. Guess Zack canâ€™t be a real detriment. These guys have a fun match for the international crowd, with Cena and Ryder playing well off of one another. Itâ€™s also encouraging that the audience was responding to Zack. Heâ€™s a one-note guy, but at least heâ€™ll sell merchandise. In the end, Miz pinned Cena thanks to Truth holding his legs down.
On the one hand, Awesome Truth got their heat back. On the other hand, they were made to look like fools who got a fluke win and are more likely than not going to have their lunches eaten by The Rock. But hey, Zack Ryder was in the main event andâ€¦uhâ€¦did I mention The Beatles?
This has been for your consideration.