For Your Consideration….The Jericho Judicial Review for 1/2/12
Welcome back to the longest running action adventure, passive aggressive…you know what? We all know why we’re here today so let’s just get down to it, shall we?
There’s no point in recapping all of RAW this week, because, well, nothing really happened. Here are the bullet points (and I to mean bullet):
John Cena cut the same promo he’s been cutting for years now about how we can pay our money and hoot and holler like the caged animals we all are deep down because we did in fact pay our money. This leads to a Kane voice over (a nice way to ensure he doesn’t ramble) who, like Rex Banner, swears he will bring the Beer Baron to justice…er…turn John Cena heel. Cena yells no, Kane yells yes, and suddenly the WWE’s top babyface and monster heel are reduced to children squabbling on the playground.
There is no satisfying pay-off here because there is little chance that the WWE will in fact fully turn John Cena heel. The Rock will undoubtedly be the babyface at Wrestlemania because he’s The Rock. You could put Rock against pretty much anyone outside of CM Punk and they would chant “Rocky!” So by calling a spade a spade and acknowledging that there are fans that don’t care for Cena, the WWE is preparing those ten or fifteen fans that refused to believe it for the shock of John Cena being booed in Miami. Ultimately this makes Kane look like a petty bully and not a psychopathic monster. Why does he care what the fans think of Cena or if John promotes an anit-hate message? Shouldn’t he be more concerned with the fact that while away he’s developed a way to regrow hair at a rate not seen outside of science fiction movies?
Daniel Bryan v. Cody Rhodes
Daniel Bryan is the World Heavyweight Champion because the WWE decided to put the title on him. We, the wrestling community at large, did not. So why the hell are they content to punish him like we were the ones that made this happen? Bryan can and should get over based on the fact that he’s a tough guy who can make people tap. It has worked in the past. Bryan should not get over by constantly telling people he’s boring (see Storm, Lance) nor should he get over by being a big guy’s buddy (see Jesse). Daniel Bryan is a world champion that needs to work hard to get acceptance as a midcarder. The way to do this is to have him make everyone from the top of the card on down tap out to him to establish a threat only seen on his shirt, “Everybody taps”. That is one hell of a gimmick. But does he get to do that? No. Instead he wrestles in the second segment of the show in an effort to give the WWE time to hype Booker T v. Cody Rhodes on Smackdown. Then, in the end, Bryan wins with a fluke rollup…the same finish they would use for a Bella Twins match! If you’re saying to yourself that this is not how one books a World Champion, you would be right. If not, then maybe you are the person behind Kurt SwAngle’s run last year.
Miz ran around the building being scared of Resurrection-Truth because those weeks of him being a legitimate badass are now a thing of the past. Miz is a scared puppy once again, which means the days of him being a credible WWE Champion are probably a long way off from returning. This is lower card nonsense and in the end won’t help either guy. Miz is a coward and a chicken and should be throttled. R-Truth as the returning crazy babyface should throttle him. There is no suspense whatsoever. It’s just waiting for the inevitable.
Wade Barrett fought Santino because no one cares if Wade injures Santino. This was purely to get him on television and show highlights of The Amazing Flying Randy Orton.
The Miz v. Sheamus
Since Sheamus has had nothing to do for quite some time, he replaced The Undertaker as Teddy Long’s go-to random opponent. Johnny Super Ace has stolen that gimmick, and so we got this match. Well, it wasn’t so much of a match as it was two long entrances followed by angle enhancement. Sheamus wailed on Miz, Miz got distracted by Truth and then got his ass kicked by a combination of Truth and Sheamus. Pure paint-by-numbers and hardly a segment or a feud anyone is going to actively tune in for.
WWE Title Match: CM Punk v. Dolph Ziggler
How in the bluest of blue hells does this get the 10 pm slot? This is like last year’s Miz/Morrison title match that OPENED the damn show. Cleary Vince has no faith in CM Punk, which is why this match is where it is. The two men in the ring put together an entertaining match with a fuck finish, which is fine. We knew that they needed to do Ziggler/Punk at the Rumble, so there was no way to do a clean win for either guy. The countout victory by Dolph due to Ace-ference worked just fine. They deserve more time and a brighter spotlight, so hopefully the Rumble match with Johnny as ref will give that to them.
The Bella Twins v. Eve Eve & Kelly Kelly
So because Vince wants more Bella Twins we get to see them doing the same match we’ve seen a hundred times? Poor spot, poor spot, twin magic, fluke pin. Even a TNA agent could handle that one. Oh, and someone please tell Eve to stop doing the top rope moonsault; you’re going to hurt yourself in matches that no one really cares about. Not worth the risk.
The Chris Jericho debut was absolutely perfect. Absolutely picture perfect. The creepy videos with the boy and the girl didn’t make a damn lick of sense, but the second Jericho appeared, no one cared. This entire segment was step by step one of the best things possibly ever done in a wrestling ring, and yet another reminder of why Chris Jericho is an all-time great.
The problem with a Chris Jericho debut is that we’ve basically seen it all. His first RAW appearance was legendary and to this day remains one of the most memorable moments in WWE history. His second debut wasn’t quite as spectacular, as it felt like a warmed over sequel with familiar tropes. The one thing they had in common is that the fans were guaranteed to go apeshit.
Here, Chris Jericho had to combat the fact that the fans were going to cheer him despite the fact that he’s a heel. How does one deal with this? Give them exactly what they want. He gave the kid who likes ice cream gallon after gallon until they begged him to stop. Without uttering a word, Chris Jericho went from biggest babyface on the planet to biggest heel on the planet. He stole a page from Memphis wrestling and pulled an Andy Kaufman.
The jacket, the smile, the yells…perfect. He crafted a return that just worked. The fans thought they outsmarted him by posting pictures of his arrival at the airport. They all made signs and put on t-shirts and were hoping to be one step ahead. Then, when he came out looking like the happiest man in the world, they audience went nuts. They forgot that he left a heel and embraced him as the wacky Y2J they loved to watch. Then, as his celebration dragged out, people started to get confused. Then annoyed. Then embarrassed, both at him for being a jackass and for themselves for falling for it. In the end, the build-up was a major letdown. Their response? Boo. Boo the hell out of this man who humiliated them for buying into the hype.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why Chris Jericho is brilliant.
Six Man Nonsense
After that debut, the WWE just kinda regurgitated the same nonsense we’ve seen before. Big Show hits Henry with a chair so they’re both gone ala Andre/Hogan. SwAngle is one-on-two against Cena and Ryder, so he gets finished in short order. Kane pops up from under the ring and tries to drag Ryder down into the hole, but Cena saves him before pyro explodes out of the “abyss”. This was more insulting and stupid than the Jericho stuff, and sadly, this wasn’t by design.
Who did this appeal to? The kids in the audience who are too young to really understand the “Cena Sucks” storyline’s undertones? The adults who know well enough that supernatural hokum does nothing but insult the audience that tries to view this as legitimate entertainment? Worst of all, by making this crap the main event, the message has been sent that wacky sports entertainment featuring the same guys from the past decade trump actual in-ring competition for the WWE Title.
Much like most folks during that Jericho promo, I’m confused, angry and embarssed.
This has been for your consideration.