For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 8/9/10
by Andy Wheeler on August 9, 2010

For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 8/9/10

Welcome back to the Pulse’s longest running action adventure passive-aggressive self-aggrandizing smartass wrestling column. I am still your gracious and modest host Andrew Wheeler and this is looking to be a pretty jam-packed column. In addition to the standard RAW Judicial Review, I’ll have thoughts on TNAwful’s ECDoubleU show plus a look at ten men who never held the WWE title but probably should have. As always, I am available on all of the vast social networks out there, so you can friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/awheeler316), shoot me an e-mail (awheeler316@yahoo.com) or just post in the now overly complicated comment section down below.

An Indiscriminate Number of Thoughts on TNAwful’s ECDoubleUv2.0 Hardcore Justice

Rather than do an entire write-up for the show, I’ve decided to try and condense my thoughts into one of those fancy, newfangled lists that seem to be all the rage. Chances are, I’ll wind up having like 40 thoughts, but that’s okay because this is my column and I can pretty much follow whatever rules I’d like (because not talking about King of the Mountain is more of a guideline…the ONLY time I will ever make a joke comparing the underrated classic “Out Cold” to TNA).

1. This first note or bullet point our whatever the hell you wanna call it (since I’ll probably get sick of doing a new number for each thought and this will once again morph into those overly long and wordy things called paragraphs that some people are averse to slugging through) is going to be dedicated to all of the attention that’s been paid to looking back at ECW’s impact in wrestling. This sudden urge to bury the accomplishments of ECW makes a lot of sense, since people are bitter about the idea of yet another rehashed reunion show. That’s fine. I’ll be bitter right beside you, since I’m usually accused of being Captain Negativity. My issue is with people going out of their way to trivialize the legacy of the company.

Sure, they were violent and a lot of their wrestlers weren’t very good and they ran their business into the ground. But so what? They really had a much bigger effect on the wrestling landscape than anyone can realize, from promos to video production to blending genres. When ECW became a breakout company, WCW was still running Hogan versus The Shark and WWE was pitting plumbers against garbage men. ECW’s ability to hide the weaknesses of their limited roster was nothing short of a miracle, and sometimes that meant that all they could do was engage in violent matches. Does anyone really think that if the company had a no-blood policy that Axl Rotten and New Jack would have become the next Kurt Angle and Ric Flair? Besides, that over-the-top violence was what helped get them noticed.

If people didn’t want to watch, the company would have folded very early on. The WWE and WCW had no problems taking every bit of that violent garbage wrestling and integrate it into their product, because it drew eyeballs. Now I’m not about to say that hardcore wrestling didn’t have any casualties, but (and I know this is going to sound insensitive) the survival rate for the ECW wrestlers is impressively high. The majority of the “big names” from that era are all still around, despite working in a hazardous environment and giving in to all of the temptations of drugs and alcohol that were readily available. Raven, Sandman, Shane Douglas, Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, Rob Van Dam, Cactus Jack, Stevie Richards, Rhino and Taz are all still around, which is why these ECW reunions are even possible. I’m not saying that they’re all healthy, but when you go wrestler-for-wrestler between ECW’s late-90s roster and the WWE’s mid-80s roster, it’s kinda surprising.

But this isn’t about the sad, it’s about the happy. ECW made wrestling fun, which was something that the Big Two were having issues with. They put on competitive matches and they had talent that actually made you think that they cared about winning titles and putting on great wrestling contests. So sure, you could blame them for not always putting on the best cards, but that had to do with (a) most of their great talent being raided and (b) realizing that they were only able to work with the hand dealt to them.

Does ECW try too hard to highlight the talent that only worked for them for a very brief time? Absolutely. Jericho, Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, Psicosis and Steve Austin weren’t long-term stars for them, but so what? They either got these guys first or they helped nudge them forward towards greatness. All I’m saying is that it’s very easy to be critical of the company at a time where having negative thoughts about them isn’t too hard, but I’m begging for people to remember that ECW was the company that kept a lot of us into wrestling.

And if that’s not enough, just realize that these wrestlers who “sold out” are once again getting a pretty good payday and a shot at PPV instead of wrestling in a gym in front of 200 people. There is no way I can hate on that (Unlike the potential train-wreck PPV I’m about to watch).

2. The opening was a smart idea and a great way to get around not having any actual footage. It was effective…until I saw the TNA footage.

3. Production note: please figure out how to avoid the sloppy technical nonsense, like hearing the production truck countdown. At least the crappy production design is in line with old school ECW.

4. Would it have killed Taz when he came out to put on the black towel?

5. Taz’s opening promo is the pretty standard “ECW was great” promo that Paul Heyman would have cut, though he seems concerned with preserving the legacy of ECW when he should be more concerned with protecting the TNA reputation.

6. Opening with the FBI is always a smart idea. They’re familiar faces to ECW fans and WWE fans.

7. Kid Kash seems to have morphed from his old Kid Rock look to more of a Jeremy Renner. Simon and Swinger’s motivation for this match stemming from a ten year old grudge sounds about right for indie workers.

8. So the company is going with an odd blue light to try and recreate the ECW look but it just comes off as a Glacier match.

9. Glad to hear the old “Where’s my pizza” chant, but I wonder how many of those people actually had the privilege (or depending on the A/C that night the displeasure) of going to the ECW Arena.

10. When the opening 6-man match turned into a dance off, it was a great reminder that we’re watching TNA. Why the hell would they need to get heat for these guys when this is a one-off? Just let them wrestle and be done with it. I’m supposed to feel like I’m reliving Extreme Championship Wrestling, not Too Cool. At least Kash got his high spot.

11. Nice to see that Tod Gordon’s been eating well since we’ve last seen him.

12. I like the touch of having TNA wrestlers talking about matches and moments they remember, but it’s yet another reminder that they don’t have the footage.

13. Al, Stevie and Nova’s little shtick backstage was actually kinda funny by pointing out that they’re gonna get sued. Then it devolved into nose-picking, and that moment of goodwill died a painful death.

14. It’s Mister Anderson….Anderson. Either Randy Orton’s voodoo curse worked, or that’s actually CW Anderson. Nice to also see Flash Funk, who looks like Missy Elliot in that black garbage bag thing. At least he can still hit some impressive stuff off the top rope despite resembling a black Bat Boy. This was the kind of solid ECW-style midcard match that once again shows that ECW guys did have what it took to put on a good match. Solid stuff from both men.

15. Somehow you get RVD back with Fonzie and he remembers how to cut a promo again. Either Fonzie inspires him or he’s got the good weed.

16. PJ Polaco’s entrance was just incredible. He’s got that X-Factor. He’s like a Man-o-War. He…can’t use his legal wrestling name. His opponent is Stevie Richards, and suddenly people are realizing they paid money to watch Sunday Night Heat. If the next match features Essa Rios, there might be a riot.

17. Wow, it didn’t take Sandman long to put that weight back on. Guess all the WWE had for him was Lite Beer.

18. Francine doesn’t look too bad at all. Ten bucks says there’s an indie promoter who’s going to offer her a job as a MILF manager. Ten bucks. Bonus to Taz for this: “She took it.”

19. Spike Dudley, Al Snow and Rhino? Yeah, it’s officially Heat. This is a pretty random three-way dance. Part of the fun of One Night Stand was seeing old rivalries for one more time, but right here it’s just three guys in the ring. That’s going to confuse the audience, and you can tell it because there was actual silence at parts. On the plus side, no one taxes a Gore like Spike.

20. Kahoneys? Cute.

21. Joel Gertner looks horrible, even for him. Nice to see the old tye dye on the Dudleys. This might mark the last time I’m ever happy to see the Dudleys in a ring.

22. Is it wrong that tables are more over than about 90% of the TNA roster?

23. The actual tag match was pretty much what we’ve seen from these guys. It was fun but it wasn’t anything revolutionary.

24. The Gangstas? Jesus, I hope that building has insurance. I wonder if TNA had to comp their parole officers.

25. So after the whole “brawl” between the Dudleys and the Gangstas, they just all hug like this was a Broadway Show. I can’t even begin to tell you how annoying that moment just was. New Jack and Mustafa killed the Dudleys with a crazy series of weapons and they just shrug it off? Yes, I know it was meant to be a “bonding” moment, but when you just abandon selling you’re pretty much tossing any kayfabe out the window on a show that is still trying to hold onto it.

26. Kudos to Raven for pointing out that he’s a Tribesman. Raven also has done a nice job creating motivation, but again how do I take this seriously after watching someone take a guitar shot and a kitchen sink to the skull and then watch them pop right back up?

27. I’m thinking this Joey Styles package was meant to lure him down to Orlando.

28. Seeing Francine and then seeing Beulah in 2010 might make me re-evaluate my old #1 and #2 from ECW.

29. It was fun to see Raven and Dreamer back in the ring once again, even though it’s kinda clear that they are nowhere near the same performers. Dreamer bled buckets, which isn’t surprising when you consider he’d do just about anything to get this show over with the fans. The barbwire crossface was a nice spot and seeing Foley use the mandible barbwire claw was a decent touch. Beulah’s run-in (well, trot in) would have worked a little better if she wasn’t already at ringside, but it was nice to see her back in the ring nonetheless. And in true ECW style, Raven beats Dreamer. On the plus side for TNA, even though this is the “final showdown”, they could have a rematch whenever they want.

30. Bald Sabu looks so evil that I’m shocked he didn’t do it earlier.

31. RVD and Sabu went out there to try and kill one another, and why not? Van Dam, as the TNA Champion, wants to get TNA over even if he has to still be the whole fuckin’ show, and Sabu just likes to go out there and risk his body. The ending was never in question, since there was no way RVD was going to job to Sabu, but they still had a very competitive match.

32. To the fans chanting “Fuck you Vince”, are you nuts? Are you serious?

33. Seeing Dixie in the ring with all of the ECW guys reminded me of when Stephanie McMahon was announced as the new head of ECW.

34. Overall: TNA tried very hard to get that vibe, but it came off as very Mickey Mouse. On the plus side, they didn’t have the WWE’s burden of trying to cram Superstars onto an ECW show. On the negative side, they didn’t have any old footage, and combined with the changing of a lot of wrestler’s names, it was a real reminder that we were watching at most a reunion with restrictor plates. The matches themselves were alright but nothing spectacular. RVD/Sabu was a fun spotfest, CW/Scorpio was a solid midcard match and Raven/Dreamer gets a pass based solely on that insane looking barbwire crossface. The rest of the card is relatively forgettable (I hope I can forget that dance-off), and aside from the egregious error of having the Gangstas and Dudleys hug, there wasn’t anything enough to make me really want to gouge my eyes out, so that’s a plus. Right? Right?

Alright, I survived the entire PPV in tact. And while I didn’t follow the Mango’s shot rule, I still feel a little woozy (must have been that odd lighting). So now that the ECDoubleU (don’t want anyone to get sued) show is over, the world can spin again on it’s axis and follow the magical land of the WWE.

With a lot of folks out there writing about The Miz the past few weeks and whether or not he is going to cash in his briefcase and win the title, I was thinking about those folks that, for one reason or another, just never held the big one. Since I have a few minutes (and since I miss just talking about random wrestling stuff on top of covering RAW), here’s a not at all scientific list of…

Fifteen Men Who Never Held the WWE Title (but probably should have)

1. Rowdy Roddy Piper: I feel like any good list should start with Hot Rod (even though this list isn’t in order). Roddy Piper is one of those guys that everyone just sort of assumed had a title run despite the fact that he never actually did. Roddy Piper’s feud with Hulk Hogan carried the WWE through one of it’s most lucrative periods ever, and had his heel shtick not been so successful, Wrestlemania might not have been the triumph that it was. Piper was great in the ring and a legend on the mic, so it’s strange to think that he never got the chance to carry the company on his back. Then again, aside from that Intercontinental Title run (thanks to Bret Hart’s “flu”) and a Tag Title run with Ric Flair (how many people actually remembered that one?), Roddy was never one to carry any gold for Vince. Piper was more than capable of holding the belt, and I’m sure there is a fantasy booker or two out there that would have preferred to see Piper/Hogan main event Wrestlemania 2 with Roddy defending as opposed to Hogan/Bundy.

2. Ted DiBiase: Speaking of men everyone just believed had a title run, there’s The Million Dollar Man. Sure, Ted bought the WWE Title, but that doesn’t really count. DiBiase was another man who was gold on the mic and could hold his own in the ring, but for whatever reason, Teddy never got a real run at the top. In the current era, everyone seems to get one shot with the title, but back then, it was only a very small number of men who ever got their greedy little paws on it. Ted was one of those guys who had the right amount of heat to have been one hell of a heel champion.

3. Mr. Perfect: Yes, I’m aware that my first three guys are all heels, but given that young heels like Sheamus and Swagger have already had runs with the belt, it’s hard to argue against a guy like Perfect. Mr. Perfect was another spectacular heel, and one can only imagine how amazing it would have been to see him have his run at the top in the late 80’s, early 90’s. Unfortunately, his back injury sidelined him during what would have been his golden opportunity. Had Perfect been able to actually compete at 100%, having him at the top of the card along with Flair and the young duo of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels might have turned the WWE into not only the best sports entertainment but the best wrestling show on television.

4. Ahmed Johnson: Yes, you read that correctly, Ahmed Johnson. During Ahmed’s run, he was about as over as any Superstar could be in the WWE. Despite not being in the Clique, Ahmed was given a chance to hold the Intercontinental Title. Even better, he was allowed to be that kind of badass face that would later come to define Steve Austin. Ahmed was limited due to a series of injuries (not to mention the sheer stupidity of his feud with Faarooq, mainly due to that odd helmet Ron Simmons had to wear) and never saw his full potential, but had he remained healthy, he would have absolutely been given a run with the title (and probably would have been successful to boot).

5. Vader: Vader was one of the most dominant WCW Champions of all time. In the early 90’s, he was booked as an unstoppable monster that both appeased the wrestling fans and the Sports Entertainment crowd. When he came to the WWE, he was portrayed as a monster (despite those awful trampoline promos) and had Jim Cornette as his mouthpiece. All of the dominos were in position, except Shawn Michaels had no intention of dropping the title to him. Had Vader come in a few years earlier or had Shawn not had so much pull, maybe he would have worn the gold around his wai…er…arm.

6. Goldust: Here’s another one that sounds surprising at first but then makes perfect sense. As a heel, no one had more heat than Goldust. In fact, he had so much heat (based in large part due to perceived homophobia) that the WWE decided to give him Marlena as a way of appeasing the overly ignorant fans. Goldust was the kind of edgy mid-90s heel that, had Vince not chickened out, would have drawn big money at the top of the card. Goldust had great Intercontinental feuds, especially with Razor Ramon, but he never really got a shot at the main stage. It’s a shame because all these years later, Goldust is still a fantastic utility player for the company.

7. Jake “The Snake” Roberts: Jake Roberts was insanely over as a heel and insanely over as a face. Jake Roberts could cut a promo that was so intense and believable that he could not only talk you into the building, but probably also into loaning him some cash for narcotics. Roberts had an incredible “It” factor, and thanks to the snake gimmick, had amazing marketing potential. As an evil heel with an animal hook, Jake could have been a great foil for a hero like Hulk Hogan. In fact, his feud with Randy Savage could have very well been tied in with the title belt and probably could have headlined Wrestlemania.

8. Owen Hart: Owen’s feud with his brother Bret was the stuff of legend, and thanks in large part to the Hitman’s popularity, the fans bought Owen as a true threat. Perhaps had things gone differently with his feud, he would have actually been allowed to take the title off of Bret, instead of having Yokouzuna unseat him only to turn around and job to Hogan. Or maybe he could have taken the title off of Bret instead of Bob Backlund only to have him turn around and job to Diesel. All I’m saying is that Owen winning the title could have prevented a lot of heartache and bad booking.

9. Lex Luger: Lex is on this list not because he necessarily deserved the belt but because the storyline dictated it. The WWE spent months and months convincing us that WBF great Lex Luger was not a narcissistic prick but rather a proud patriot who wore American flag workout pants along with his fanny pack. When Luger choked and choked, it not only killed all of his personal momentum, but made the nearly year-long build around him seem like a giant waste of time. Maybe if he actually got the title, he would have caught on. Maybe. Probably. Possibly. Nah.

10. Razor Ramon: Ramon is yet another guy on this list who comes from that amorphous early-to-mid 90s who seemed to really catch on with the fans but just never won the big one. Razor had a shot at the gold against Bret Hart at a Rumble, but that was pretty much as close as he got. Maybe if he and Nash decided to stick around, the WWE would have realized that Ramon and Michaels have insanely good chemistry together and they could have put something together. Michaels/Ramon, Michaels/Owen and Michaels/Ahmed probably would have all been interesting matches to see play out. Instead we got Sid/Undertaker (and for the record, I’m not burying Sid because his feud with Shawn was actually halfway decent after watching it again on WWE 24/7).

11. British Bulldog: I’m not talking about Wembley Stadium Bulldog, though he did kind of demonstrate that he had what it took to get over. I’m talking about Camp Cornette Bulldog. The British Bulldog as a cocky heel feuding with Diesel wasn’t half bad, and despite all the bad stuff going on behind the scenes, his in-ring stuff was still solid. It would have been interesting to see what he could have done at the top of the card. It certainly would have been better than King Mabel.

12. Bobby Lashley: Whether we like it or not, had Bobby stuck around a few more months, he would have been the next WWE Champion. He’s on this list simply because of the inevitability factor, which just goes to show you that you can’t be too sure about The Miz.

13. Big Bossman: Bossman was another incredibly over upper midcard guy who never got a shot at being the face of the company due to Hogan’s dominance Bossman had some legitimate skills in the ring, and the young fans loved him. Hell, ten years later when he had his terrible feud with Big Show, it was more than plausible that he could have become champion. With Corporate Bossman as champ, Steve Austin would have had another veteran to work with during the always insane Russo era.

14. Earthquake: Earthquake killed Jake’s snake and destroyed Hulk Hogan. Earthquake was pure character and yet wasn’t a complete train wreck in the ring. Earthquake deserved at least one run as the standard heel that Hogan would destroy in the end. If he were around today, he would have beaten Cena and then had John chase. Back then, Hogan didn’t job, so Quake never got his shot with the gold.

15. Shane McMahon: If Vince could get two separate title runs, the least he could have done was throw one Shane’s way. Shane was a surprisingly natural fit in the wrestling ring, and after taking some seriously sick bumps, probably would have been halfway decent as a gimmick champion. I’m not saying I would have wanted to see him hold the gold, but I am saying that he was more deserving than his dad based on his work in the ring.

Alright, enough hypothetically questionable booking, it’s time for actual questionable booking…

The Judicial Review: Monday Night RAW 8/9/10

“Gorgeous George…”

We waste no time as we burn through the Nickeblack theme and go right to pyro, ballyhoo and excited Sacromentoans (Sacromentans?). Tonight, Edge and Jericho will face John Cena and Bret Hart.

Speaking of which, here comes The Hitman, who is apparently Batman. Well that makes sense since he’s a scientist, just like Batman. Cole starts out with a lie saying that this is the first time we’ve seen Bret since the limo attack, despite the fact that he was on a few weeks ago when Cena announced the Summerslam team.

Bret starts out with the Mick Foley cheap pop before saying that he was in Calgary training like a lunatic but now watches as everything falls apart. He’s disappointed. He’s a sad panda. Bret’s upset that Edge and Jericho both lost their smiles and bailed on the team. Hart said that he vouched for those dirty Canadians, but they stabbed him in the back right in front of his face. Bret calls out Jericho and Edge to face him face to face…to face. He wants to put the machine back together, so I wonder if this will bring out Giant Machine.

Instead of a masked wrestler, it’s Chris Jericho, in a truly dapper black suit. Seriously, he is wearing the hell out of that suit. Chris wants Bret to dazzle him but instead, Bret tells him to shut up. Well that seems kinda rude. I thought Canadians were supposed to be friendly. Bret says that this is Chris’s chance to be a man because Hart put his reputation on the line with John Cena. Man, that stroke must have scrambled his brain because he puts way too much faith in what Cena thinks of him. Bret says if Nexus wins at Summerslam, they will all be dogs without bones. Clearly his “Lonesome Dove” training is in full effect here. All that’s missing is a horse, but sadly Lillian Garcia no longer works for the company.

Jericho turns down Bret’s offer to rejoin the team. He then calls Hart a phony and says that he’s just concerned about getting his ass handed to him later tonight in the tag match. He’s desperate. He can see it in his eyes, he can see it in his smile, he’s all he ever wanted, his eyes are open wide…

Chris says that no one can replace him (read: re-sign me or you’re all fucked) and he has no interest in teaming with Cena and what’s left of Bret Hart. Tonight he wants to dismantle Hart, which I can’t imagine is going to be too hard.

This brings out Edge, who looks like someone who went shopping in Mick Foley’s closet (wow, two Foley references already). Edge asks what’s wrong with Jericho because they both idolized Bret Hart. Edge had Bret’s poster on his wall (available now on WWEShop.com). Edge wished that he got Bret’s sunglasses at a house show. Edge says that he’s now part of Team RAW. Jericho acts all stunned and leaves but Edge tries to kick Hart. Bret catches the foot and then very slowly tries to put a Sharpshooter on him but Chris slides back in and pokes him in the eye. What the hell is this, a Three Stooges movie?

Natalya charges to the ring sobbing and in the back we see Nexus beating the crap out of the Hart Dynasty. Wade Barrett says that tonight isn’t his day if they thought that the Hart Dynasty were going to be his replacements. Bret sprints (well, trots) to the back and runs right into a…

Commercial.

We’re in the back as Kidd and Smith get looked at by the trainer. Bret grabs a chair but John Cena pops up from off screen to calm him down. He says that this is what Nexus wants, and using standard horror movie logic, they will try to pick people off one at a time.

Awesome, here comes The Miz. He’s brought to you by Twix, because The Miz is the only wrestler with the cookie crunch. His opponent is Evan Bourne, who’s sporting some nice black eyes.

The Miz v. Evan Bourne

Bourne charges Miz early but Miz catches him with a kick that kinda missed by a country mile. The fans start chanting “Miz is Awesome” as he takes apart Evan. As Miz is beating on Bourne, Cole continues to hammer home just how much he loves The Miz. I’m all for allowing Cole to continue this oddly subtle heel thing, but it might backfire when it comes to The Miz.

Bourne gets a quick hope spot before Miz takes him down. As Miz locks in a rest hold, he jams a finger into Evan’s black eye, which is a nice little heel move. Evan comes back with Token Offense before rolling up Miz for two (which Cole AGAIN calls a huge upset after the WWE spent all this time convincing us that Evan could be a main event guy going into Money in the Bank). Miz then out of nowhere hits the SCF and I guess Evan’s back to being a JTTS.

After the match, Miz says he doesn’t care who wins at Summerslam because when he’s ready to cash in his contract, he will be the WWE Champion, because he’s The Miz and he has a catchphrase.

In the back, John Cena is talking to The Great Khali despite the fact that Khali doesn’t speak English, so we fade to…

Commercial.

We’re back and so is Melina. Like I said before, I know that people dig her, but I just don’t see it. She is borderline beastly. Her opponent is Alicia Fox, so I guess they don’t want to save this “dream match”.

Melina v. Tramp Stamp Champion Alicia Fox

Fox charges Melina to start and kicks her to the apron, but Melina rolls through and drops her for two. So this is now a match between ring rust and general sloppiness, and ring rust is dominating. Melina busts out the Matrish before going back to punches. Fox rolls to the outside and jumps Melina.

Once back in the ring, Fox continues to dominate (which consists a lot of hair pulling and rest holds). She then sets Melina up for a back stretch thing before Melina pulls out the Code Red for the pin.

Mini-Orton is in the back with Khali. Apparently Runjin isn’t there, but thankfully Khali appears to speak English. Khali says that he is part of Team WWE. He then issues a challenge to Wade Barrett and I’m thinking we have a potential classic on our hands.

Commercial.

During the break, a GMail came through and booked Alicia Fox v. Melina at Summerslam, so they just earned my 50 bucks. Jerry “Ed Hardy” Lawler and Michael “Casual Male” Cole inform us that Khali/Barrett is booked. Tonight we will get a Diva’s Summertime Spectacular, which will be three teams of Divas in bikinis. Sheamus is also going to call out Orton.

Edge and Jericho are in the back bitching about Bret Hart. Jericho says that Bret could be right that Nexus could beat the WWE and take over RAW. He’s worried they might have screwed themselves. Edge says that they’ve survived Austin, The Rock, Undertaker, The Alliance and DX, so they can survive Nexus. Jericho says that if they take out Hart and Cena, there’s no Summerslam match. Clearly someone’s using Underpants Gnomes logic.

R-Truth and John Slo-Morrison are in the back and they say that they need to find replacements. Mark Henry pops up out of nowhere and says that he should be a replacement and for them to consider his match an audition. We then cut to Nexus, who are all watching the TV. Wade gives them a nod and they begin to peel off like TIE Fighters.

Commercial.

Teddy DiBiase v. Mark Hey-Hey Henry

We’re back with Ted DiBiase, Maryse and Maryse’s cleavage. Teddy is apparently pissed off that he wasn’t on Team WWE, so he’s hoping to impress them. Keep in mind that he’s trying to impress people who were impressed already by Khali. The bar is set pretty low.

Speaking of a low-set bar, here comes Mark Hey-Hey Henry. Henry and his hobo beard wander down, but Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel pop up out of nowhere. The rest of Nexus jump him from behind and ram him into the steel steps. Henry is apparently dead, or very badly burned. Why the hell would Team WWE want Henry anyway when he got his ass kicked in that 7-on-7 match a few weeks ago? Henry still isn’t moving, but he’s tough. Hell, his character fucked Mae Young and he survived.

Sheamus is in the back with the WWE Title and he’s on his way towards a…

Commercial.

Here comes Sheamus, which means it’s time for a Sheamus Promo.

“Aftah Rah wentahf tha air lass week, da entire Dubaya Dubaya Eey You-nih-vurse wuz convinced ah wus scared ta get inda ring wit Rhandy Ortin. Well da trut is ah wuz scared. Ah wuz scarda wut ah might due ta him. Usually when a fellah talks like that, he’s talkin’ out his arse. But nutme. See, I hart people. Ahn dat’s why ahm da Dubaya Dubaya Eey chumpun. If dere’s anyone who tinks Rhandy’s gunna take me championship away, ah advice ewe wuch da followin’ very carefully.”

We then get a video of Sheamus dominating a whole bunch of people. Super.

“Dat footage proves ahm not afraid of anybodeh in da DubaDubaEey. Ah have ended careers in dis ring. But rite now, ahd like ta call ouh Rhandy Ortin. So Rhandy…”

Orton interrupts the promo as Cole promises us high drama for some reason. Now, for the sake of my sanity, I’m going to suspend the Sheamus voice for the rest of this little exchange, or else I might suffer an aneurism.

Randy says that he has something to say to him. He believes that Sheamus is capable of hurting people, but if he says that he didn’t get in the ring because he was afraid of what he might do, then he’s full of it. And by it, he meant Christmas spirit. Sheamus says that everyone takes him seriously. Yeah, not so much. Orton says that Sheamus is going to blow it at Summerslam, but not before the fans start chanting RKO.

Randy says that Sheamus has never beaten Randy Ortwitter. Sheamus says that Chiple Ache and John Cena both looked him in the eye, but Randy points out that he isn’t Cena. That’s true, I don’t think Cena’s ever shit in a Diva’s bag. Sheamus points out that he’s the champion, in case the ostentatious gold belt on his shoulder wasn’t enough proof. Sheamus then swears that this is Orton’s only shot at the gold, essentially guaranteeing that Randy’s going to win. Thanks for making my Roundtable pick a hell of a lot easier.

Orton and Sheamus snarl at each other for a few moments before the GMail goes off. Cole says that since Sheamus’s title matches have had outside interference running rampant like syphilis in an old folks community, so anyone that interferes is suspended. Randy also will only get this one shot at the title before going to the back of the line, right behind Mark Henry and R-Truth.

Randy and Sheamus face off again but Sheamus begs off before faking a punch. As he turns to leave, Randy jumps him. Sheamus hits him with the axe-handle of doom before measuring for the bicycle kick. Randy ducks it and hits the inverted backbreaker. Orton decides to measure him for the punt to the head but stops short and promises to do it at Summerslam. For those of you who didn’t take AP English, that’s called foreshadowing.

Commercial.

Sheamus is still pacing outside and we’ve got an NXT match.

Kaval, Percy Watson and Lucky Cannon v. Michael McGillicutty, Husky Harris and Alex Riley

Watson and Michael start it off for a few moments before Alex Riley and his over-the-top offense takes over. Riley yells to the point of distraction as we keep cutting to Sheamus sitting at ringside clutching his knees, rocking back and forth chanting “Can’t sleep, clown’ll eat me.” Percy comes back and kicks Riley in the head before tagging in Kaval. Kaval unleashes some kicks to a Low-Ki chant. Kaval chokes him on the ropes before coming off the top rope with a kick for two. Husky Harris makes a blind tag and takes out Kaval. He then hits the giant splash for the pin.

After the match, Sheamus destroys Lucky Cannon and Michael McGillicutty before hitting the Razor’s Edge on Kaval. “Dat wuz a messuge to da general managah. So allah ewe ahn Rhandy Ortin, nex week ahl still be Dubaya Dubaya Eey Chumpun.”

Team Mixed-Race Buddy Cop Movie are in the back heading towards a…

Commercial.

Tomorrow night will be another NXT elimination, and I’ll be rooting for Lucky Cannon.

Resurrection-Truth & John Slo-Morrison v. William Regal and Zach Ryder

Here comes Resurrection-Truth in full minstrel mode. I still don’t get how he can continue to botch the lyrics to his song. John is out next, complete with his quasi-beard. So Regal and Ryder don’t get any entrance but each of these guys get his own entrance?

Ryder and Truth start off and Zach is yet another guy who had loads of potential but now seems to kinda been relegated to lower card status. Truth tags in Morrison who takes his turn wailing away on Zach. Truth takes out Regal as Morrison hits the flying kick and Starship Pain and this Shotgun Saturday Night match is over.

Cole and Lawler are looking for any kind of positive as they talk about how Khali swears that he’s part of Team WWE. Talk about a glimmer of hope.

Commercial.

We’re back and the ring is decked out in beach nonsense with Santino and Kozlov. Gail Kim and Eve Torres enter from an inflatable waterslide and if those bathing suits don’t scream TV-PG, I don’t know what does.

Bella Twins v. Gail Kim & Eve Torres v. Jillian Hall & Maryse

Maryse and Eve start out and instead of looking like they’re wrestling in batching suits, they look like they’re wrestling in the Fabulous Moolah’s rejected costumes. Rather than talk about the silliness, I’ll just say that the Bellas win and then the Snukette comes out of nowhere in her bathing suit. She stares down Santino and he leaves.

Your Summerslam flashback is Big Bossman v. Mountie from 91. This was a fun feud despite a ridiculous gimmick.

In the back, Khali gets jumped by Nexus and limps towards the…

Commercial.

Nexus is out and Wade informs us that the instant classic of him versus Khali has sadly been cancelled. The balance of power in RAW is going to shift dramatically and permanently because they’re going to beat Team WWE and have achieved more than anyone could ever imagine. Well since I thought most of them would have been future endeavored, he’s got that right.

Skip promises to get rid of the Hitman like they did to Ricky Steamboat and Vince McMahon. Skip is also going to break John Cena mentally to the point where he never recovers. So they’re going to give him a concussion.

Otunga says that if anyone is considering joining Team WWE, think about what they did to Hart Dynasty, Mark Henry and The Great Khali. You’re either Nexus or you’re against us.

John Cena and Bret Hart are in the back but they’re stopped by The Miz. He says that it was a matter of time before they come looking for him, and he wants to hear them ask him. Bret and John ask if he’s in or out like some kind of mutant Project Runway. Miz says we’ll find out Sunday…live on PPV. But this isn’t a PPV right now, which means we get another…

Commercial.

Next week’s RAW is hosted by “Ed” star Justin Long.

Nexus has surrounded the ring already in time for the lumberjack match.

Nexus Lumberjack Match: John Cena and Bret Hart v. Edge and Chris Jericho

Edge and Jericho are out first without incident. Bret Hart and his t-shirt are out next, followed by John Cena and John Cena’s massive pop. Lawler says that if you’re not fired up for this match that you have ice water in your veins. If you believe that this is going to be any kind of match, you’ve got marijuana in your lungs.

Edge and Cena start out and Edge launches Cena outside into the waiting arms of Nexus. Nexus wails away on him before tossing Cena back into the ring. Edge tags in Jericho, who tosses Cena back outside to Nexus. Cena comes in and Jericho does it again. Cena then tosses Jericho out of the ring, but they don’t touch him. Chris does a cocky little shoulder shrug before rolling back into the ring. Cena goes for the FU but Jericho turns it into the Walls but John breaks free and fires away with right hands. Cena tries for the shoulderblock but he gets thrown out of the ring. Cena gets back in and Jericho gets tossed out of the ring so Nexus attacks him. Edge joins into save Jericho as Bret Hart punches Justin Gabriel before Justin gets pulled out of the ring.

Nexus hops onto the apron, but Morrison and R-Truth run in. Edge and Jericho bail up the ramp and tease helping before leaving. They then change their minds and run into the ring to rejoin Team WWE. They all charge one another and the place erupts. Nexus retreats, leaving the six men in the ring as Cena’s music blares. So basically the past few weeks of dissention and people quitting was all for nothing, though it at least appears that The Great Khali is off of the team. Well, when Vince closes a door, he opens a window.

This has been for your consideration.




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Andy Wheeler

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  • Dhaise

    All around good article, #15 and 24 made me laugh.

    Jake, Hot Rod, Dibase, and Earthquake? Whats not to love?!

  • http://www.wrestlinginsidepulse.comandonlineworldofwrestling.com Sebastian Howard

    This entire thing was pretty funny, though the match reviews were sortive slow, I understand though, as I have done matches live, and it’s a pain, thx for the review :)

  • Walter Kovacs

    In terms of Bobby Lashley … he fell into the realm of Goldberg, and Brock Lesnar (and to a lesser extent, The Rock) where they didn’t really enjoy wrestling. The Rock was more a case of “done it all, moving on to bigger things now” situation, Goldberg just did it for the money in the first place, and Brock disliked wrestling and wanted to do something else. Seems like Lashley wanted to be “Black Lesnar” so badly that he copied his career path a bit too closely, although he left even earlier. Brock left when he was starting to return on his investment while Bobby left before the WWE could benefit from his massive push. Those two are probably responsible for why the WWE was gunshy at making new stars for so long.

    I highly doubt that Miz will turn into someone like Lashley. He used his reality TV celebrity to get INTO wrestling … he doesn’t seem to be the kind of guy that just wants to wrestle to try to get into bigger and better things (not to mention that, considering the Rock has had the best Hollywood career … wrestling to acting isn’t really a logical career path.) Miz could miss the boat, but I doubt it would be a result of him leaving wrestling for ‘greener pastures’. He could suffer a string of Edge/Kenedy like injuries that constantly strike at the wrong time, but he has seemed pretty lucky so far in terms of injuries. Miz is very much in the mold of Cena as a fanboy of wrestling that is happy to be living the dream and seems to avoid the pitfalls that could hurt his career in the long term. He doesn’t have the size of Cena, so he can hopefully avoid becoming a bland dominant babyface.

    Hopefully Khali is officially out of the match, as that allows them to bring in Miz (probably, I doubt they would pick anyone from the team that was already dominated; also, it wouldn’t be a PPV without a suprise Miz match) and then hopefully turn Bret’s spot into a suprise pick.

  • http://www.wrestlinginsidepulse.comandonlineworldofwrestling.com Sebastian Howard

    Agree with Walter on everything.

  • http://www.wrestlinginsidepulse.comandonlineworldofwrestling.com Sebastian Howard

    From Miz’s facebook page: Be Good! Be Bad! Be MIZ! That’s the saying… Why you ask? I created a character called The Miz because of a feeling I get. Everyone has a Miz in them. People fear bringing their MIZ out because of what everyone’s reaction may be. They care too much about what people think instead of being themselves. That fear, that feeling of being scared is what gives MIZ it’s amo! Whether it’s the fear of approaching someone you desire in a bar for the first time, bungee jumping, sky diving, or just plain old fear of anything, it’s allowing yourself to be scared! But when you are being Miz, you step up to that fear and turn that knot in your stomach into energy which then turns to adrenaline which builds up and builds up until you explode. And that my friends is when you are being “MIZ.” The Miz is bringing out that raw, primal side. The side that has no judgements that is just you. It doesn’t care what people think or how they’ll react. The Miz steps up to that fear and shoves it right up someone’s ass. Some people say “Be yourself.” I say Be good. Be bad. BE MIZ.

  • Beadle

    Did anyone else imagine that, when Cena was talking to Khali without Runjin, all Khali could hear was the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher? No? Just me then.

    Oh, and a list of people that should have held the WWE Title that does not include the Ravishing one is a list that is at least one name short. Rick had everything necessary: technical ability, psychology, size, “the look”, heat and great ability on the mic, but he never got the rub.

    I’d also suggest FatDust and Steamboat might have warranted consideration before some of the names on your list, and possibly even Snuka (OK, that last one might be a stretch).

    In order of agreement:

    2. Ted DiBiase – Absolutely positively a scandal that he never got the belt.
    5. Vader – Definitely
    1. Rowdy Roddy Piper – Almost certainly
    3. Mr. Perfect – Again, almost certainly.
    14. Earthquake – Probably should have been at some point.
    11. British Bulldog – Would like to have seen it, if only briefly.
    9. Lex Luger – Still surprised he wasn’t, but I was never exactly a fan.
    10. Razor Ramon – Again, I’m still surprised he never got there, given the politics at the time.
    7. Jake “The Snake” Roberts – He was close, but never QUITE there. But he was crazy over.
    12. Bobby Lashley – You’re right, it was inevitable. So I’m actually pleased he left when he did.
    4. Ahmed Johnson – Never interested me.
    13. Big Bossman – I’d definitely say he deserves more respect than he got (or gets), but I’m not sure the big title was due.
    6. Goldust – It would have been hilarious, and possibly credible, but would have gone down in history as a gimmick champion and probably hurt his long-term smark credibility.
    8. Owen Hart – Owen was never, EVER real Main Event level. I loved watching the guy, and I actually cried watching the tribute show, but we shouldn’t let nostalgia convince us that he was a realistic potential WWE Champion, because he wasn’t.
    15. Shane McMahon – Again, loved watching the guy in his sick-bump matches, but he got what he wanted out of the business. He should never have been champion.

  • Mark Allen

    Another winner all around from Mr. Wheeler…

  • Jason

    I think I was zoning out during the last Nexus promo, but when they said they got rid of “the Dragon,” I thought Daniel Bryan Danielson. Anyone else think so as well, or am I just demented?

  • http://itaintthatserious.wordpress.com ReyTheHussein

    He can see it in his eyes, he can see it in his smile, he’s all he ever wanted, his eyes are open wide…

    ^^^

    #ISeeWhatYouDidThere

  • Anthony J Zinzi

    In regards to your list of guys never to hold the WWE title, Wheeler, I’m going to throw some names out there and I’d like to know your thoughts on them:

    Rick Rude
    Bad News Brown
    Greg Valentine
    Brutus Beefcake
    Hacksaw Jim Duggan
    Tito Santana
    Junkyard Dog
    Adrian Adonis
    Paul Orndorff

    Would any of them make Honorable Mention or possibly replace some guys on your list?

  • S D

    Rude and Orndorff probably would’ve been good honorable mentions. I agree Piper/Hogan at WM 2 would’ve made that show lots more memorable than it is. I do remember Piper/Flair win the tag titles.. I was there!! I met the Rowdy one that day too… Ahmed Johnson actually for a while was Rumored to win the big one at WM 13.. he way WAY over.. I’ve once heard regarding Ahmed: Imagine Goldberg, but black. that’s how over he was. and if he didn’t get hurt and kept the momentum, his win at WM 13 could’ve been HUGE. DiBiase and Vader definiately should’ve got won the big one.. but politics were rumored to shoot down both of them as with a possible Luger win.. that Made in the USA did get tons of hype and momentum.. and they sure killed that one off…

  • flamingwombat

    Good column, sir. It was nice to read an article by someone with actual knowledge of ECW as opposed to only having knowledge in retrospect.

  • The Shaman Of Hedon

    Dude! Don’t say Owen Hart! He was NEVER in wrestling AT ALL in any way shape or form remember? (wink nudge). What are you TRYING to get sued by bitter money-hungry twonks from Calgary who do more to destroy their dead husband’s legacy than anyone she drags to court?

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