For Your Considerationâ€¦The RAW Judicial Review for 3/28/11
Welcome back to the longest running action-adventure, passive-aggressive, end the Road to Wrestlemania-approaching column on the world wide web, For Your Consideration. I am your host Andrew Wheeler, and what else needs to be said other than the fact that this is the go-home show for Wrestlemania?
Traditionally, two of the biggest nights in wrestling are the RAW before and the RAW after Wrestlemania. Tonightâ€™s show is the absolute final chance for the WWE to get your fifty or sixty bucks for this weekend, and they have a very difficult task of getting you excited for the show without jeopardizing anything. This is why Vince is stacking the show with a ton of â€œconfrontationsâ€, so that there is little chance that guys like Miz, Cena, Undertaker and Triple H can injure themselves (though it doesnâ€™t stop them from Tweeting nonsenseâ€¦oy).
Tonightâ€™s show has to (yes, this is the â€œbefore RAWâ€ happens portion of the column) give us every reason possible to plunk down our money and see the show. Every match on the card is set (aside from the 8-Man tag and maybe a Divaâ€™s title match but neither of those are selling too many PPVs), so right now itâ€™s about ratcheting it all up without peaking too soon.
Last weekâ€™s RAW was a bit of a train wreck. The entire show just felt lethargic, which isnâ€™t a good sign going into Mania. Hunter cut a rambling-uhâ€¦dull-uhâ€¦slow-uhâ€¦promo that managed to take a lot of time without saying anything. The Miz hyped a major announcement all show, only for it to be him showing off his â€œnewâ€ belt, which wasnâ€™t so much new or exciting. Oh, and John Cena managed to overcome a two-on-one obstacle (one of them being the WWE Champion) and look like the dominant, unstoppable force. And worst of all, no one really is going to remember it.
This weekâ€™s show is, in my opinion, giving away the farm. The only thing we had left from the WWE for Mania was the Cena/Rock face-to-face confrontation. Thatâ€™s about it. For those of you on the fence about ordering Wrestlemania, the one thing that made the show a â€œmustâ€ was the fact that John Cena and The Rock were going to be dueling on the mics at Mania.
Is it wrong that the main event of Wrestlemania is a promo? Not at all. The company firmly believes that Taker/HHH is the true main event of the show, which demonstrates just how delusional they truly are. There is very little to get excited about from those two. First off, it isnâ€™t going to be as good at Taker/Michaels. Undertaker is more injured than he was there and Hunter hasnâ€™t worked a match in almost a year. The â€œNo Holds Barredâ€ stip means that they can recreate their Mania 17 match, which was passable but by no means the most memorable match on the show.
No, the true main event of Wrestlemania was The Rock and John Cena going at it verbally. Nobody really expects The Miz to retain the title, and based on the subpar buyrates for Elimination Chamber and the falling RAW ratings very few could expect otherwise. Miz was the victim of bad booking, and no, I do not think that this was the WWEâ€™s intention. They just wouldnâ€™t fully commit to the guy, and because of that, he came across as a wishy-washy midcard fluke who got to play champion and by dumb luck wound up in the main event. Like I said last week, heâ€™s Jericho from X-8.
The Del Rio/Edge match did have a lot of momentum and excitement going into it, but then the WWE jobbed Del Rio out to Christian two weeks in a row. The one thing this guy had going for him was that he had barely been beaten, and then he goes and loses to a guy not even officially in the match (and this is coming from someone who is a Christian fan!).
Tonightâ€™s show is a very tempting chance for Vince to give away everything on the hopes that weâ€™ll still go and buy Wrestlemania. Tonight has Trish Stratus & Snooki being wacky, Triple H and The Undertaker in the ring for the first time since their non-promo and The Rock and John Cena with open microphones on live television. Hell, this may be better than Mania itself, which isnâ€™t something one should be thinking mere days before the PPV.
Alright, enough of that. Last week was my fourth anniversary here at Inside Pulse. The site has changed quite a bit since I first debuted â€œFor Your Considerationâ€, but I could not be prouder to associate with some of the hardest working people writing today. In case you never saw it, hereâ€™s my first column: http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2007/03/20/65875/ which talks all about how the fresh new babyface CM Punk would make one hell of a heel in the WWE. And remember, you can follow me on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/awheeler316), friend me on Facebook and post in the comments section down below. So without further adoâ€¦
The RAW Judicial Review for 3/28/11
We open with CM Punk sitting Native American Style in the middle of the ring in Chicago. I guess they figure since heâ€™s gonna get a heroâ€™s welcome so they might as well get it out of the way. Punk calls the fans his people.
Punk says heâ€™s a realist, unlike Randy Orton. The truth is that whether youâ€™re PuNexus or you live in Chicago, he doesnâ€™t care what happens to them. Glad I called this coming a few weeks ago. CM says that heâ€™s cool with everyone getting punted in the head, because it isnâ€™t his problem. His problem is Randy Orton, and can you blame him? Look at the quality of matches Ortonâ€™s churned out at Mania over the past few years.
Apparently Punk has people at his beck and call to fetch him some coffee, so he doesnâ€™t need the PuNexus. Ortonâ€™s psychological advantage was a false sense of security. Randy slipped up by talking about his Lex Express, which lets us relive Punk laying out Orton. Iâ€™m sure Punk misses that wrench, since unlike Nexus, it was a tool that was reliable.
Punk knows that Randy cares about his wife, no matter which actress plays her that week. He loves the fact that she has to go to sleep picturing Randy knocked out like Eugene on too many somas.
As Punk tries to leave the ring, we hear the music of the Big Red Machineâ€¦Randy Orton. Orton hits the Second Rope DDT on Punk and begins humping the mat, which means its either mating time or RKO time. After some pounding, Randy stops (premature?) and decides to punt him in the skull. Randy starts to run but his knee gives out.
Punk smells blood in the water (which, on a TV-PG show is the only place we can have blood) and he toys with Randy before kicking him in the knee. Punk then sets up Orton for the GTS, which gets a nice pop. Always a good sign when Ortonâ€™s supposed to be the super babyface. I guess Chicago is Canada and CM Punk is Bret Hart.
Edge and Christian are in the back. Edge reminds us that Del Rio canâ€™t be struck on Smackdown, but he can be struck on RAW, thanks to the RAW GMail. Edge & Christian team up on RAW, after aâ€¦
Edge & Christian v. Alberto Del Rio & Brodus Clay
Edge and Christian come out first. I think I know them. Ricardo Rodriguez introduces Alberto Del Rio, who is out in one hell of a Bentley. Brodus Clay just sort of materializes out of fat air.
Edge wails away on Clay to start, which is like watching a kid wail on one of those clown punching bags. Christian gets tagged in and comes off the second rope with an arm bar. He tags in Edge and they double-team Clay with stereo clotheslines in the corner.
Christian leaps onto Clay on the outside but Brodus catches him. Edge dropkicks Christianâ€™s back, which drops him onto the padding as we go toâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and Del Rio has a dreaded Rest Hold locked onto Christian. Christian fights back but takes a kick to the face for two. Del Rio drapes Christianâ€™s neck across the bottom rope and chokes hi before tagging in Clay, who drops some elbows. Take THAT, gravity.
Brodus Clay steps on Christian before slamming Christian to the mat. Del Rio comes off the second rope with an elbow for two, but his fiery Latin temper starts taking over. Did they give him that stereotype yet? Eh, itâ€™ll happen eventually.
Christian nails Del Rio and makes the hot tag to Edge, who bounces off of Brodus Clay like a child on a bounce house. Edge drops him with a reverse bulldog before setting up for a Spear. Del Rio catches Edge from behind and drops him, but he then gets jumped by Christian. Del Rio and Christian take each other out on the ramp, which allows Edge to Spear Brodus for the win.
After the match (because wins and losses mean nothing), Del Rio locks in the Cross-Armbar before Edge chases him to the back. Apparently Edge canâ€™t go to the back because of his fear of curtains. As he heads back to Christian, Del Rio jumps him from behind and locks in the Cross-Armbar on him.
We go to New Jersey to a bar where Trish Stratus and Spalding are drinking as we blackout toâ€¦
Hereâ€™s our token Sin Cara promo.
We get a shot of The Mizâ€™s â€œcustomâ€ WWE Title Belt as heâ€™s turned the WWE logo upside down so that it says an â€œMâ€. Oy.
The GMail goes off and Cole says he has the message on the iPad: And I paraphraseâ€¦Jerry Lawler will face Kurt SwAngle tonight.
We get a Triple H/Taker package about ending the streak. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Team Hilary Swank is already in the ring and they hold all of the unimportant gold in the WWE.
Justin Gabriel w/ Team Hilary Swank v. Santino Marella w/ Kozlov, Snukette, Big Show & Kane
I love the old Kane/Big Showâ€™s theme. At Mania, itâ€™ll be Team Hilary Swank v. Big Show, Kane & Borscht Marinara.
Santino and Gabriel do some mat wrestling before Gabriel kicks Santino in the head for a sloppy two count. He grabs a rest hold but Santino breaks free. Marella comes back with Five Moves of Wackiness but Santino gets distracted. Outside crazy shenanigans distract everyone and Santino hits the Cobra for the pin.
After the match, everyone does the stupid trombone spot, which means that there is no way theyâ€™re winning at Mania.
Tomorrow WWE All-Stars comes out, and they hype this by showing us Big Show v. Andre The Giant. Holy crap, thereâ€™s some fast-paced action.
Triple H is in the back and heâ€™s walking towards aâ€¦
Who told Steve Austin that a baby blue Polo was going to make him look more manly?
Keri Hilson will be performing America the Beautiful. Yeah, I donâ€™t know who that is either.
And here comes The Undertaker. There isnâ€™t a grave that can hold him down, in case you didnâ€™t know. So I guess when he dies, heâ€™ll be cremated.
Cole calls Undertaker mythical, which makes sense sine he somehow got Michelle McCool to marry his leathery, uncooked chicken-skinned ass. Johnny Cash gets interrupted by Motorhead, which may be a first.
Triple H goes to do his water spit when thereâ€™s a gong and the entire arena goes black. I guess even he got sick and tired of that spot. Once the light turns onâ€¦both guys are in the ring. With all that leather, I guess PETA isnâ€™t joining GLAAD in partnering with the WWE.
The two men stare each other down when out comes Shawn Michaels. Shawn is wearing a skullcap, looking like he just got out of prison and found Islam. Michaels is all full of energy until the music stops and he realizes heâ€™s the third wheel in an epic staredown. Thankfully his lazy eye can pull that off.
Shawn apologizes for interrupting and he says thereâ€™s no way heâ€™s missing this. I guess he doesnâ€™t get USA at home. Michaels says at Mania on Sunday the biggest match of their careers will happen again for the first time. Shawn rattles off their accomplishments, in case weâ€™re all new viewers. After this weekend, neither of them will be the same again. Of course not, theyâ€™ll both have some more cash in the bank.
Michaels asks Hunter what makes him think that he couldnâ€™t. Maybe because heâ€™s holding the book? Hunter calls Shawn soft and says that Michaels became more obsessed with being the Showstopper and didnâ€™t care about winning. Triple H cares about winning (insert three-week-old Charlie Sheen joke here). Hunter has to win and he will win.
Sixteen years ago Triple H walked into a locker-room with â€œlegendsâ€. Really? Like Duke the Dumpster & The Goon? Hunter says that The Undertaker wrestled with broken bones, torn ligaments and a smashed face. Triple H learned to respect The Undertaker more and more every single day, and thereâ€™s only one guy he respects more than him and thatâ€™s Shawn. Take THAT, Ric Flair.
Hunter and Shawn had made a pact that if they couldnâ€™t go anymore, theyâ€™d tell the other one itâ€™s time. Also, if they were both single at 50, theyâ€™d get married. Hunter looks Undertaker in the eye and tells him out of respect that itâ€™s time to hang up his boots. Wait, is he future endeavoring Taker in the middle of the ring?
Triple H calls himself the one. He clarifies that heâ€™ll be the one in 18-1 and not, in fact, Billy Gunn. At Wrestlemania, the Streak and The Undertaker will rest in peace.
Undertaker says that if he ever got to the time when he should be put down like a rabid dog, heâ€™d want it to be Triple H, but this isnâ€™t that time. He knows that Hunter is going to kill himself trying, but in the end the Streak will still be alive and so will he. If Hunter wonâ€™t listen to Undertaker, he should ask Shawn.
Taker says that Shawn walks around saying he gave Undertaker two great Mania matches, but Shawn couldnâ€™t get it done. Now Undertaker sees Shawn as a man he humbled. Did he go Sheik on him? Undertaker will go into the Hall of Fame full of regrets because his career was ended by Taker.
Shawn goes for the Superkick but gets caught in a Chokeslam attempt before Hunter breaks it up. They stare nose-to-giant-nose as Hunter asks Shawn why heâ€™s going to beat The Undertaker. Michaels goes all quiet and walks out of the ring. This suddenly turns into an awkward loverâ€™s quarrel as Michaels keeps muttering â€œIâ€™m sorry.â€
Undertaker tips his cap and leaves.
That was a master class in how to cut an effective promo.
Kurt SwAngle w/ Michael Cole v. Jerry Lawler
Lawler has new music for some reason, so I guess they figured out they didnâ€™t own the rights to his old song. SwAngle jumps Lawler from the bell and hits a Vader Bomb before kicking him to the outside. Jerry gets launched over the barricade as SwAngle is made to look like a complete monster. Too bad none of this happened when he was actually champion.
Jerry fights back and then whacks SwAngle with a chair for the DQ. Lawler keeps swinging away until he Khaliâ€™s him. Jerry then chases Cole, who hops into his Cole Mine. Lawler starts hitting the actual box, which would be great if Cole was scared of loud noises. Security holds him back (a multi-racial team because Cole is tolerant of all) and Cole throws his water at him.
Jerry walks to the back all soaked as we fade toâ€¦
The WWE Slam of the Week is brought to you by Subway Breakfast: â€œHate your arteries? Start your day with steak and eggs.â€
Vickie Guerrero comes out and clearly she hasnâ€™t been hitting up the Subway Breakfasts anymore. She is getting really skinny. Vickie does the Slo-Mo-Rrison entrance, which, had Lawler been out there, would have said that this wasnâ€™t in slow motion.
Vickie says that she hopes Snooki is watching through her drunken stupor because at Wrestlemania, sheâ€™ll find herself in a familiar placeâ€¦passed out and unconscious. Classy.
Dolph Ziggler & Sheamus v. John Slo-Mo-Rrison & Daniel Bryan
Sheamus takes down Morrison and hammers the spray-tan off of him. John pops Dolph but gets caught in the Drinking Problem Backbreaker for two as we head toâ€¦
Weâ€™re back and Sheamus is still bouncing Morrison like a basketball. Speaking of which, we still have the Snooki segment to look forward to. Sheamus locks on a resthold for a few seconds before John breaks free with a mule kick.
Bryan and Ziggler get tagged in and Daniel Bryan gets some Midcard Offense before going for the Patti LaBelle Lock. Sheamus breaks it up before Dolph can tap and Sheamus turns Bryan inside-out with a clothesline.
Dolph takes a kick to the synagogue and Sheamus dumps him to the outside. Bryan goes for the Patti LaBelle lock but Sheamus blocks it. Bryan goes for a corner dropkick but Sheamus moves and hits the Razorâ€™s Edge for the win.
Orton is in the back being iced down when he gets interviewed by Scott Stafford, who sounds like a brain-dead moron. Randy has serious anger management issues and heâ€™s ruined the careers of men he barely knew simply because he could. Randy asks if CM Punk will make it out of Wrestlemania. Whatâ€™s the other option? Locking him in the stadium?
We get the Legion of Doom Hall of Fame spot, and itâ€™s awesome. Though if they show the fucking dummy, Iâ€™ll lose it.
They cut â€œliveâ€ to Trish and Snooki and Snooki seems plastered. Some guy wanders over and tries to hit on them. Snooki says that she is trained â€œso goodâ€ and she has â€œsick movesâ€. Snooki slaps the guy doing the bad Zack Ryder impersonation.
LayCool show up and get drinks thrown at them and it turns into an APA brawl. Oy.
Why does every Five Hour Energy commercial look like it was shot by a porn company?
We open on The Rock in the back looking all â€œelectrifiedâ€ before coming out to a monster pop. Jesus fuck do those people love The Rock.
Finally, The Rock has come back to Chicago, which is where it all started for him. Chicago is where The Rock wrestled at Wrestlemania for the very first time. He never admitted it but that night The Rock was nervous. Iâ€™m sure Vince wasnâ€™t going to stiff him on his pay and Randy Orton wasnâ€™t around to shit in his bag, so there was no reason to be nervous.
That night was the unofficial birth of Team Bring It. Team Bring It isnâ€™t a slogan, but letâ€™s hope it sell some t-shirts. You can take your worries, turn them sideways and stick them straight up your candy ass.
The Rock had a dream and this led him to calling out John Cena. A â€œCena Sucksâ€ chant starts, though it does kinda sound like â€œCM Punkâ€. Rocky calls Cena a homeless Power Ranger and The Rock talks about putting his foot in his ass. It turns out this was all a dream and in reality The Rock is here and he has millions (and millions) of his fans.
And here comes John Cena. I hate that they are giving this away on free television. Cena says that this is what he wanted, The Rock in a WWE ring. And heâ€™s not just back, but he says he hasnâ€™t missed a step (which he appropriately flubs).
Cena said he was one of the millions, but he didnâ€™t know why he left. He then talks about how special the moment is, thus defeating how â€œspecialâ€ the moment actually is on itâ€™s own merits.
John verbally blows The Rock for a while before saying that he was honored to be roasted by Rocky. Cena said that everything he said had meaning and merit, but he wanted to know what problem The Rock had with him. John says that there were lots of problems, like his color palate, his shitty promo skills, his terrible music, his lame catchphrases, his moral code and his audience of children. John is damn proud of what he has become and if The Rock has a legitimate gripe about him not killing himself for the business, he should say it.
Cena asks who the hell The Rock is to do what he wants. John comes down the ramp every day as himself, and while some like him and some hate him, and when itâ€™s all said and done, he wonâ€™t be judged by The Rock. Heâ€™ll be judged by the higher powerâ€¦Vince. It was him, Cena, it was him all along.
The Rock says that Cena wonâ€™t be judged by him but he will kick his ass. Cena says that if he wants to fightâ€¦
Awesome, here comes The Miz, flanked by The Mizfit. Miz asks really as heâ€™s dressed like a tobacco salesman. He calls them the â€œOâ€ brothers, overhyped and overrated. This prompts Cena to talk his shirt off. Miz says Cena will lose at Mania, but at least heâ€™ll come for a fight. Miz says that The Rock wonâ€™t do a thing tonight because his movies made 1.2 billion dollars and he wonâ€™t risk getting embarrassed. Oh, and heâ€™s The Miz and heâ€™s awesome.
The Rock tells Miz that it doesnâ€™t matter what he thinks but Mizfit takes The Rock down. Yes, you read that correctly. Miz and Mizfit double-team The Rock, but Rocky knocks Mizfit over the top rope. The Rock hits a DDT onto Miz and tries a kip-up but botches it. The Rock brings back the Peopleâ€™s Elbow and then launches Miz out of the ring.
The Rock turns around and John Cena hits an FU on The Rock. Why the HELL didnâ€™t they save that until after Wrestlemania?
This has been for your consideration.