For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 12/19/11

For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 12/19/11

Welcome back to the longest running action-adventure, passive-aggressive, internet jubilee embracing column on the world wide web, For Your Consideration. I’m your host Andrew Wheeler, and…I’m exhausted. Last week I bought a house, and if you think that’s a smooth process then you must also think that TNA is the better wrestling program and that WWE Films churns out a quality product. On the plus side, come Wednesday all my stuff will be moved in and I can kick back, relax and stare at my walls.

WWE had a PPV on Sunday and the Internet lost its collective shit over it. Yes, it was great to see Ryder, Bryan and Punk walk out with titles, but it’s like I always say; marks make the kneejerk reactions while smart fans look at the big picture. CM Punk deserved a chance to headline a PPV and be the central focus of the company based on what he’s been producing both in-ring and in merchandise sales, so he got it. His TLC match was innovative and fun, two things that are bound to get a great reaction. Zack Ryder beating Dolph Ziggler was a great end to what has been a unique social experiment. More importantly, the fans got to see someone genuinely happy to win a title. It wasn’t a throwaway moment; Ryder was legitimately thrilled. His dad was thrilled. The Big O was thrilled. It worked…even if the match wasn’t the most memorable. And finally, there was Daniel Bryan’s big win. The Henry/Show match was cut down significantly due to injuries, which threw the crowd for a loop. Then, Lawler and Cole botch the commentary because they chose to not sell Big Show’s right hand as the end-all-be-all WMD, which made everything feel abrupt. Finally, Mark Henry’s post-match beatdown didn’t seem all that menacing. But sometimes the end justifies the means, and Daniel Bryan is World Heavyweight Champion. Now the question is, was it worth it to have instant gratification instead of letting him have his Wrestlemania moment? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The RAW Judicial Review for 12/19/11

“The champ is here.”

The show opens with a drumroll and a black screen. This is either going to be really good or really stupid. Thankfully, the voiceover guy is Punk, so we should be safe. From the darkness, he teases the mystery of who won the WWE Title at TLC like he’s announcing the number of stars someone got on “Star Search”. Had you read the last paragraph, you already know the outcome.

Punk comes out in all his glory, basking in the adoration of the Philly crowd. Well, if there was ever a city to appreciate the current situation, it would be Flip-a-delphia. Punk then does the same shtick for the US Title match before bringing out Zack Ryder. Wait, are they saying boo or boo-urns? Ah, they’re chanting “Woo Woo Woo” as Ric Flair slowly dies inside. Ryder pumps his fist and acts like the kid from “Rookie of the Year”, all the while Punk has a grin on his face that seems truly genuine. Hey, maybe the WWE is finally realizing that CM Punk is the guy to give the youngsters the rub they need…in a non-Penn State kind of way.

Finally, CM Punk brings out Daniel Bryan, who, like an Oscar nominee with no shot of winning, is just happy to be there. He gets a decent pop because this is an ROH-style crowd who remember a time when Bryan could get over just based on the threat of kicking someone’s head in. Punk acknowledges that being in Philadelphia makes the moment work, which prompts an ECW chant. Who knew these people loved them some Abraham Washington? Punk and Bryan point out the irony that ten years ago they wrestled down the street and now they’re both world champions.

The Miz appears at the top of the ramp, followed shortly by the ill-timed spotlight. Bryan and Punk pull a trick from the DX playbook and feign shock at the sight of him. Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio appear beside him, and it is on like the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan. The faces get the better of the heels before Johnny Super Ace comes out to book the most logical main event based on who was out there at the time. He calls it our Christmas present. Cheap bastard.

In the back, Randy Orton and Wade Barrett are walking. Look out guys, you’re about to run into a…


Wade Barrett v. Randy Orton

Yay, a rematch to a match we’ve seen many times. I have been a big Wade Barrett supporter (seems like the right word what with him being British and all) but his matches with Orton have been like watching paint dry. And as someone who just painted the inside of a house, I can tell you that even THAT was slightly more exciting than their tables match. Wade has embraced the WWE Main Event style, which sadly means a lot of lumbering between nonsensical spots.


We’re back and they are still brawling. There was little reason for Orton to win at the PPV. A tables match, by design, allows someone to get the epitome of a cheap win. Instead, we had Barrett essentially leap off of the turnbuckle to JUMP through the table. Suicide is painless, indeed. Tonight’s match seemed like a superfluous rematch, and in many ways it was. In the end, Wade gives him the old fork in the eye…er, thumb in the eye for the DQ. He then hits Baba O’Reilly through the table. Man, NOW I want to see these two face off in a tables match. Oh wait…

Cole and Lawler turn on the serious voice as they show us still photos from the Hunter/Nash match. Ye gads that was dull. We’re told Nash will be out between six weeks and eternity, and I think we all know which one we’re hoping for. That match was slow and painful, and in many ways reminded me of the sad WCW main events featuring past-their-prime stars still clinging to bygone glory days. Also, Triple H looked a little pudgy. Maybe Vince is going to be a grandfather again…

Beth Phoenix is walking while Alicia Fox appears to be getting attacked by some sort of woodland creature.


Beth Phoenix v. Alicia Fox

There’s less than a minute of action before Fox hits a neckbreaker and gets the pin. Like Frank Costanza in a car with an Asian lady, that match seemed to stop short. Fox gets on the microphone after and makes nonsensical noises.


Sheamus v. Jinder Ali Singh

Oh good, they gave Jinder a turban. Even better? Cole is hoping next week he comes out on an elephant. My guess is that in two months they’ll make him a customer service operator/wrestler and in three months they’ll make him unemployed. Sheamus comes out to the ring looking all jaunty and pale. Jinder comes out and cuts a fairly generic promo about not liking Sheamus. Sure.

Jinder actually gets a few moments of offense but then gets hit with the Brutha Kick for the pin. Short, inoffensive squash matches are a great way to keep someone over when they have nothing better to do.


John Cena is back from his day off and he looks chipper. Cena takes some shots at The Rock and points out that the fans don’t really seem fond of him. He then focuses on Kane, but not before getting subtle jokes about him being the Christmas Monster and Isaac Yankem. Oh he’s so insidery. This brings out Mark Henry, who talks about the Hall of Pain. All I can focus on is the crowd chanting Sexual Chocolate. Let’s give the Philly fans a hand.

Anyway, Henry blathers on about how he would have crushed Cena like a bug, but this summons Kane. Kane beats the hell out of Cena, smothers him with his hand and then rips his shirt off. Would it have killed him to just chokeslam the guy through the announce table? It’s sitting right there! That’s like when someone hits a guy with the butt of the gun. You’re holding a gun! Use it!


Greek Booze v. Epico & Primo Marx w/ Rosa

It’s a thriving tag division. Three teams means thriving. It’s science. We get some flippy moves from both sides, but all I can focus on are the ugly matching trunks both teams are wearing. Come on WWE, we don’t do yellow & blue versus blue & yellow. It’s like watching Michigan play Michigan. In the end, Epico hits the worst backstabber you’ll ever see on Other Uso for the pin.

We get a Santino Royal Rumble promo which leads to Cody Rhodes in the back talking about the promo which leads to Santino appearing with a cobra sock puppet. Wackiness meets synergy.

Cody Rhodes v. Santino Marella

Zany Santino offense gets cut off by Cody who beats on him and then wins with the Alabama Slam. Short, to the point, and effective. Hard to get bent out of shape over it.


Josh Matthews is with The Big Show. Show talks about having the title in his hands and how it so quickly went away. He blames himself for pushing Bryan to cash in the briefcase but then gets all golly gee shucks about it. Matthews says that Show is a nice guy but not that nice, so Big Show gives him the evil eye. So what this means is that Show will regain the title just in time to headline Mania in what will be a slow, plodding match against Orton. And just like that, I already fell asleep.


Daniel Bryan, CM Punk & Zack Ryder v. Alberto Del Rio, The Miz & Dolph Ziggler

We get intros, followed by another…


We’re back with actual in-ring action. This was the kind of fun six-man match that RAW needed. Everyone got a moment to shine, the crowd was into it and it wasn’t horribly overbooked. Yes, the groundswell that these are the faces of the future is fun, but it’s what the company does going forward that will truly measure their success. In the end, Del Rio gets caught in the Patti PaBelle lock for the submission and the audience gets to go home happy.

This has been for your consideration.

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