For Your Consideration…The RAW Judicial Review for 1/9/11
Welcome back to the longest running action-adventure, passive-aggressive, Planet Funk inhabiting column on the world wide web, For Your Consideration. I’m your host Andrew Wheeler and this week’s RAW was…different. Eh, let’s just get down to it.
The RAW Judicial Review for 1/9/11
They open with a promo recapping Kane’s attack from last week. All of it. Every. Single. Moment. The only thing they changed was that they added cheesy music in the background to really hammer home the fact that this is pretty silly and that there really isn’t a swirling dimension of hell under the ring but rather some beams and probably a midget.
Kane comes out in his masks on top of masks attire, because why not have a physical representation of redundant booking? Kane talks about hate and how we should embrace it. So we should love hate. In the end, the emotion we should be feeling is love. This is the message that the giant guy in the spooky mask is preaching.
Anyway, he wants Cena to turn evil because fans should see that even John Cena is capable of hatred. Oh, and he’s going to keep torturing Zack Ryder until Cena does in fact let the anger flow through him so that his lightning bolts will be stronger. Or something. Look, just rent “Star Wars” and get it over with. In the end, Kane’s gonna get thrown down a hole yelling “No!” at the top of his lungs.
John Cena comes out because he hates Kane and hates Kane’s message that we should hate each other. They fight. And fight. And fight and fight and fight. Based on this booking scheme, nothing could possiblie go wrong…possibly go wrong. Cena and Kane brawl to the outside by the loading dock (which I guess is now an unlockable level on this live-action video game that’s going on) where Cena gets a crowbar and this turns into “Home Alone”. ..except Kane knocks John out with a cartoonish punch and then disappears.
And somehow THIS gets ratings over CM Punk wrestling.
Sheamus & Santino Marella v. Wade Barrett & Jinder Mahal
On the plus side, Sheamus is in a scheduled match as opposed to just sort of being plugged in whenever someone needs an opponent. On the downside, he’s partnering with a guy wearing a sock who isn’t Mick Foley. The match itself was completely forgettable and very short, with Jinder Mahal taking a Brutha kick for the pin.
So the guy loses CLEANLY and is made to look like a complete buffoon mere days after he was perpetuated as a giant threat. And they wonder why ratings are what they are. Look, pick a direction and go with it. If Mahal is a joke that is meant to be squashed…squash him. If he’s a serious international threat…make him a threat. This whiplash booking is killing everyone involved and the only winners are whatever channel people keep flipping to.
In the back Miz is pissed that he is continually being assaulted by Resurrection-Truth, which is a legitimate gripe. He is levying this legitimate gripe to a heel GM. The heel GM mocks him and makes jokes about penises. WHAT IS GOING ON?! They have made Miz look like a coward and a buffoon and this was a guy main eventing Wrestlemania last year. Who does this segment help? It didn’t make Johnny Super Ace any more hated because he came across as a babyface. It didn’t help Miz who now seems even LESS like a credible threat. This was ill-conceived.
The first inductee into the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame is…Edge. While it is an obvious choice, it’s nonetheless a good one. Edge has always been in Vince’s good graces because he is one of the first truly original WWE Superstars in the Monday Night War era. Edge never jumped ship and he is a 100% original WWE creation. Sure, he had many terribly aborted pushes akin to Billy Gunn, but when his Rated R Superstar gimmick clicked, it exploded. The guy has had a number of great matches, great feuds and great theme songs, which is pretty much the trifecta. People will say that this is coming too soon, but based on the WWE’s track record, they like to strike while the iron’s hot. Plus, it’s another nice payday for Edge. A happy story is always a good story.
Zack Ryder is backstage with Eve Eve and after last week’s near death experience, he has decided to make his move and ask her out. Is it just me or does he seem a little old to be in high school? Anyway, Eve says yes, he celebrates and everything is happy. You know, until the camera pans to a door that Kane pops out of. Good thing he was randomly hiding in that exact location at that exact moment, huh?
Daniel Bryan v. Kofi Kingston
So there was a reason given for this match but I’ll be damned if I really paid enough attention. The gist of it seems to be friendly competition, as evidenced by the handshake. Yes ROHbots, there was a handshake on WWE television before a match. Rejoice. Now go back to BitTorrent. The match was very short and ended abruptly with Kofi tapping. Hey, a clean win is a clean win.
After the match, Big Show comes out to the ring to plaster on a smile. Bryan immediately embraces his cowardly lion gimmick and tells Show that he is pissed about how the World Title match ended and that Big Show can have a rematch whenever. Big Show says that he will get his rematch on Smackdown in a no-DQ match and then smiles some more. This segment was awesome. It made Bryan look like a legitimate threat against a lesser opponent but a bit of a weasel when confronted with Show. For whatever reason, this is working, and I am not one to look a gift whore in the mouth.
Brodus Clay v. Curt Hawkins
So after all the buildup Brodus Clay debuts…as Flash Funk. He’s from Planet Funk and his nickname is the Funk-A-Saurus. This may be the best piece of television I’ve seen all year. Clay danced, he sang and he had two Funkettes with him. Brodus flattened Hawkins, all the while berating him verbally with things like “My bad”. Incredible.
Yes, this is supposed to be silly and wacky and at the end of the day it is just goofy enough to work. The fans may have been shocked but they will embrace this as the zany character that it is. Give it time. Ultimately, this was a fantastic swerve and I laughed uproariously. Oh, and if you are legitimately mad about how this was handled, you need to reprioritize your life a little. Even I, who is growing ever more frustrated with elements of this product, could see that this was just something designed to make people smile…and it did.
CM Punk v. Kurt SwAngle
Johnny Super Ace comes out to say that if Punk wins, SwAngle & Vickie are banned from ringside at the PPV. Fair enough. SwAngle and Punk have a great back-and-forth match that reminds people why SwAngle was considered such a potentially huge star and not just the glorified jobber he’s been turned into.
We’re back and Punk and SwAngle are still determined to have a damn fine match. The sequence where they keep attempting finishers on one another was timed perfectly. Punk goes to the top rope and hits the Savage Elbow and the ref screws up and calls it three when clearly it was a kickout. Punk seems legitimately hot about it but then realizes he’s on television and this is supposed to be real so he slips back into character and celebrates. It would suck if they blame all this on SwAngle and negate what was such a fun match.
John Cena and Zack Ryder are in the back and Cena rips off “Back to School”. He plugs Ryder’s Twitter and tells him that he is gonna be fine. Just…fine…
The Bella Twins are in the back trying to use Ricardo Rodriguez as a way to get to Del Rio and his pulled groin, but this is interrupted by The Miz. Miz tried to get Mason Ryan, Epico & Primo to help him, but that all failed. Instead, he’s going to make Ricardo go out there and call out R-Truth. Sure, why not?
Hall of Fame inductee #2: The Four Horsemen. Namely Tully, Flair, Arn, Barry and J.J. Dillon. Sadly, no McMichael or Roma. And for those keeping score, yes, I do think Flair will be on hand at the HOF ceremony.
Ricardo comes out to the ring and timidly mocks R-Truth. Truth comes out and the racism starts to fly. He makes Ricardo sing La Cucaracha, which Rodriguez gamely knocks out of the park. Truth ultimately attacks him, which makes R-Truth seem like a huge heel and a major douchebag. The Miz runs out of the crowd and beats up Truth. They brawl and ultimately Miz flees. Ricardo was the real star here, as Miz and Truth just continue to try and navigate through some really poor booking.
Chris Jericho is announced as the first undisputed champion and the only man to beat The Rock and Steve Austin in the same night. He comes out again all happy and peppy and then starts to cry. Fantastic. He’s playing this really well, but it may be too sophisticated for most live audiences, as some people continue to cheer for him…and not in the “We’re in on the joke but looking to be spoilers” kinda way.
Eve Eve v. Beth Phoenix
Match never happens as Kane’s music plays before Beth ever appears. Eve immediately starts to cry and becomes paralyzed with fear. Ryder appears, takes her by the hand and leads her outside where they get into a car. But the tires are slashed. I can’t make this up. Rather than try to run or go to another car or find security or tell the camera guy to stop filming their whereabouts thus cluing Kane in on where they are, Zack opts to try and change the tire.
John Cena v. Dolph Ziggler
They barely have a match because the Tron shows Kane accosting Zack Ryder for not being able to change a flat tire. Zack gets Chokeslammed off the loading dock, which prompts Cena to try for the rescue. Ziggler jumps on his back and goes for a sleeper but it is flung off like a toddler. John runs outside, is attacked by Kane and laid on with the evil glove of death. He is left lying next to Ryder as we fade to black.
What. The. Fuck.
So the #1 Contender was completely marginalized as an ineffective goof while Cena put on his Superman costume only to be jumped by Kane. Yes, I get where they are going but it is so silly and so cartoonish that it literally appeals to none of the audience, as it is too goofy and embarrassing for adults yet too dark and twisted for kids. I need a nap.
This has been for your consideration.