For Your Considerationâ€¦The RAW Judicial Review for 11/28/11
Welcome back to the longest running, action-adventure, passive-aggressive, Brodus Clay postponing column on the world wide web, For Your Consideration. Iâ€™m your host Andrew Wheeler, and this weeksâ€™ RAW promised a WWE Title match, and bah gawd they delivered a WWE Title match.
First, I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I mean, I really donâ€™t care, but it does seem like the polite thing to say. After all, a lot of you read this outside the United States and are confused as to why Americans would devote an entire holiday to the turkeyâ€¦or worse the turducken. I spent the holiday with the wife in New York, where we got to walk in the Macyâ€™s Thanksgiving Day Parade (with Dora the Explorer and some straight-from-the-depths-of-hell infant music group called the Fresh Beat Band) and I got to spend some quality time with the other resident curmudgeon, Pulse Glazer. For those of you in the city, I gotta recommend Rare; great burgers (which they flambÃ© in Whiskey), great bar and reasonably priced. Also, if you know where the Burger Joint is hidden, itâ€™s definitely worth checking out.
Enough of this nonsense, itâ€™s time to bring onâ€¦
The RAW Judicial Review for 11/28/11
We start out with Nickelback, which makes me wonder in an age where people are petitioning to ban Nickelback from football games and petitioning the WWE on everything, why is there not an anti-Nickelback RAW petition? I demand answers, damnit.
The show opens with Piperâ€™s Pit. Roddy tries his damndest to milk his entrance for all itâ€™s worth. And why not? Itâ€™s Piper. He deserves a little love from the fans. He talks about feeding off of the energy from the fans, and if I were a lesser writer, Iâ€™d probably make a joke about how that â€œenergyâ€ was really cocaine, but Iâ€™d like to think Iâ€™m better than that. Roddy talks about how thereâ€™s someone in the back who is questioning whether that â€œenergyâ€ is enough, which brings out John Cena.
Cena comes out, looks at the camera and does his shtick where he talks to the audience. Ugh, this is always death. John comes into the ring all confused because he loves the WWE Universe. Piper, ever the scientist (like Batman), does a little experiment. He names some Superstars to gauge the audienceâ€™s reactions. Long story short, they cheer for everyone and then boo Cena. Then, just to be difficult and make the open-shirted veteran look crazy, they chant FOR Cena. Come on guys, play along.
John goes on script and talks about how the fans buy their tickets and can cheer or boo whomever theyâ€™d like because thatâ€™s what fans do. You know, provided they donâ€™t bring signs that stray from the corporate message or demand a wrestling union. And NOT the Union, despite peopleâ€™s love of 2×4â€™s and cheesy theme songs. Cena runs down all of the times and places where people ripped him a new one, but says that it doesnâ€™t bother him. Me thinks he doth protest too much.
Piper warns him that heâ€™s gonna lose at Wrestlemania, though he doesnâ€™t outright taunt him like the little kid in â€œA League of Their Own.â€ John talks about how kids love him, how he helps the veterans, how he can leap tall midcarders in a single bound, but Roddy ainâ€™t buying it. He talks about Cena having repressed anger, tries to give him his Hall of Fame ring. If John thinks it has magical powers, I quit.
Cena says he doesnâ€™t need the ring, so Piper slaps him. John refuses to get mad, muttering â€œSerenity nowâ€ as he stares blankly. Rather than play along any further, Cena bails.
Alright, so this didnâ€™t completely work because John is very much about staying on-book while Piper likes to go off the rails a little. But itâ€™s clear to see what the WWE is trying to do; make John Cena interesting. They started tweaking him with the Mick Foley stuff, where Cena played along up to a point. Then, The Rock taunts and humiliates him at Survivor Series. Now, heâ€™s being goaded by Piper. The WWE is obviously scared that the Cena backlash is now costing them viewers, and by putting the screws to him, they might make his character interesting again. The Cene Superman gimmick works up to a point, but by humanizing him as a guy who can only turn the other cheek for so long, they might create someone who can draw money in a brand new way. Wait and see, folks. Wait and see. (Or, you know, they could forget all of this and decide heâ€™s happy and jolly and sober by-golly and just let him flatten The Miz).
Falls Count Anywhere: John Slo-Mo-Rrison v. The Miz
John comes out in slow motion for the last time before doing his ridiculous posing in the unemployment line. Miz wonâ€™t even let him finish that as he beats him down with a lead pipe. Or was it the revolver? Or the candlestick? Anyway, John hobbles to the ring anyway because heâ€™s brave and plucky and the kind of guy audiences should get behind andâ€¦heâ€™s getting his ass kicked by The Miz again. Miz and Morrison brawl up the ramp, where John goes smirk first into the WWE sign and takes an SCF for the pin.
Morrison gets carted off the same way RVD did in his last WWE appearance as Miz goes into the ring to gloat. He says that heâ€™s getting rid of all of the ghosts of his past, which means Mizfit might wanna hide next week. I like a more intense Miz, and this killer instinct kinda character could really help re-establish him as a main event talent. On the other hand, heâ€™ll probably get built up just to job to Punk, but thatâ€™s fine by me. My only fear is that the damage done to his character in the past few months may be irreparable. Then again, the WWE did get over Mark Henry, so anythingâ€™s possible.
Alicia Fox & Kelly Kelly v. The Bella Twins
Ye gads. Natalya and Beth jog out during the match, doing a â€œrun-inâ€. Get it? Itâ€™s funny. Anyway, the run-in did nothing in terms of a legitimate distraction as Alicia pinned one of the Bellas. It probably took the Bellas more time to put on that red pleather outfit than it did to actually compete.
Sheamus gets a video package talking about how heâ€™s the Great White. Not quite as good as Riefenstahl but it did the job.
Johnny Super Ace is on the phone with Brodus Clay again, telling him that heâ€™ll debut next week. I hope the company is paying for Clayâ€™s cell phone bills. Otunga pops up to question this move, but Ace says that his goal is to keep making Brodus madder and madder so that he debuts as a killer. The racial overtones here are fantastic. Del Rio pops up to talk about how density has bought him there, but Ace cuts him off and says he heard the same song and dance at Survivor Series and we know how that turned out. Punk appears through what sounds like the APAâ€™s door to say that heâ€™ll keep his title. Who is he now with the pop-ins, Mr. Roper? After he leaves, David Otunga, who is a LAWYER, says that they should strip Punk of the title if he gets intentionally disqualified. Iâ€™m sure this wonâ€™t come up later in any capacity or anythingâ€¦
Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero v. Randy Orton
Wade Barrett is on commentary, just to British things up. Dolph and Randy take it to a really great level early on and stay there, as Ziggler shows us yet again that he is ready for the main event scene. This guy has been on the precipice for so long that itâ€™s nice to see him get the proper push. In the end, Dolph teases bailing, Wade distracts Orton and Ziggler hits the Zig-Zag for the pin.
I like that Randy Orton has been so willing to take this role as of late. He started down this magnanimous path when he laid down for Mark Henry, making him appear more and more like a monster. Then he â€œliberatedâ€ Codyâ€™s character. Now heâ€™s feuding with Wade Barrett, which is only going to elevate the so-called Barrett Barrage initiative. On top of that, he was willing to do the job for Dolph here. Maybe the days of shitting in peopleâ€™s bags have finally passed him by. Maybe.
Michael Cole brings out Daniel Bryan and we get to re-live Smackdown. During that show, Bryan got the Chris Jericho treatment as he â€œwonâ€ the title only for Teddy Long to reverse the decision because Mark Henry wasnâ€™t cleared to compete. Bryan showed some real passion here, but it just doesnâ€™t sound like the fans are fully behind him. This push almost feels like the Benoit title push, which is fine with me. Daniel Bryan will get his title shot on Smackdown and then hopefully cash in at Mania. He can have a fluke title run so that they can always refer to him as â€œformer world championâ€ and plug him into the role that Benoit would have occupied as the technical hand who can be used to get others over. Long term stability is the best thing anyone can ask for short of a major push, right?
Mark Hey-Hey-Henry comes out through labored breaths and promises to beat Bryan. Daniel Bryan walks up there and kicks at his injured leg before walking off. That wasâ€¦odd.
Zack Ryder v. Kurt SwAngle w/ Vickie
Standard Ryder match where heâ€™s overpowered and outwrestled but pulls out the quasi-fluke win with the Rough Ryder. At this rate, heâ€™ll be the 21st Centuryâ€™s answer to Barry Horowitz. Beats being Gillberg.
WWE Title Match: CM Punk v. JBLatino
These two went out there and gave it their all to make this feel like a big-time match. And kudos to the WWE for treating it as such. Yes, itâ€™s sweeps, but from years of Nitro weâ€™ve learned a title match can start at 10:58 and last a minute. While the nod to Eddie was cute, it just doesnâ€™t gel with me in terms of the Punk character. He isnâ€™t â€œwackyâ€. In the end, Punk bounces Del Rioâ€™s head off of the exposed turnbuckle and hits the GTS for the pin.
So thereâ€™s how you get to your TLC main event: Punk used the exposed turnbuckle which should have been a disqualification, so now Ace can strip him of the title and make it a TLC match. Wait, so the cops knew internal affairs was onto them the entire time?
This has been for your consideration.