- Jan 1, 2012
Speaking of awful booking ideas!
NO CHANCE! THAT'S WHAT YOU'VE GOT! Its a cold open as Vincent Kennedy McMahon, the Chairman of the Board, makes his way to the ring with a grim expression. Michael Cole and Jerry "The King," Lawler welcome us to Monday Night Raw, live from Green Bay, Wisconsin. We are less than 24-hours removed from Money In The Bank and the historic victory, and even more historic departure, of the current WWE Champion: CM Punk.
The crowd is absolutely raucous, and Vince is drowned in 'CM Punk,' chants three times as he attempts to start his address. Finally, he powers through: "Last night, this company... MY company was embarrassed. My company was embarrassed, my family was embarrassed, and most importantly, I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed by a man you all consider to be a 'hero.' Well that man, who's name I will NOT speak... ('CM Punk!' 'CM Punk!')... THAT MAN is not a hero! He is nothing more than a petty! Ungrateful! Selfish! PIECE! OF HUMAN! GARBAGE! And he has stolen, STOLEN, something that is rightfully mine! If I had anything to say about it, he would walk out to this ring RIGHT NOW so I could wring his scrawny neck myself, and take back MY championship, personally!"
After letting the crowd roar at this notion, Vince continues: "But... but, unfortunately for me, he is not here tonight. (Boooooo!) That's right, ladies and gentlemen, your hero isn't here tonight. You know why? Because when he walked out of Chicago with the WWE Championship, he was abandoning you. Even as you cheered and celebrated, he was leaving you, the audience, and every person behind that curtain who admires him, behind. Like the greedy ingrate he is, C-*ahem* ('CM PUNK!' 'CM PUNK!) THAT! MAN! has gotten what he wanted, and so he has abandoned you!"
"You all THINK that you got what you wanted too! You think that man stood up for the little guy, struck a blow for the people, gave Vince McMahon a much-needed punch to the face. I'm willing to bet that you'll even cheer for this little announcement: earlier today, as I promised, for failing to defeat that man, JOHN CENA! IS! FIIIIIIRED!" This indeed prompts a huge cheer. "John Cena will never return to Monday Night Raw! Its just like you always dreamed it would be when one of 'your guys,' finally won the big one, right? But I have news for all of you people! I'm still here! VINCE MCMAHON IS STILL STANDING! AND YOUR HERO IS NOT COMING BACK!"
"So, since I am the one still standing, as always, whatever I say goes. And I say that man is, from this day forward, erased from WWE history! Last night never. Even. Happened. And that means that since John Cena has been fired, we don't have a WWE Champion. So tonight, on Monday Night Raw, we will start an 8-man Tournament! The two finalists will face off at Summerslam to name a new WWE Champion! And the first match of that tournament is going to be RIGHT! NOW! ...Boy, this is exciting, isn't it? A new champion, and it could be almost anyone. But the best part is, I know... and you know... exactly who it WON'T be." Vince smirks as he holds up the mic, and allows the crowd to chant: CM Punk. CM Punk. CM Punk.
Rey Mysterio vs Drew McIntyre! BOOYAKA BOOYAKA! Rey was out first for the first match of the tournament, taking his time with the crowd and handing out head-touches and extra masks to the kids. Drew McIntyre was naturally not as friendly. Rey starts out fast and tries to keep Drew off balance, but the Scotsman manages to take control and keep him grounded. Commentary put over The Chosen One as a young stallion out to make a name off Rey's back, using his significant size, weight, power and youth advantage over Mysterio to great effect. Rey continues trying to get into the air to get the crowd behind him, but McIntyre manages to take him back down time and time again.
However, when he sets up the Future Shock underhook DDT, Rey shows veteran instincts and still-peerless agility, countering the hold into a hurricanrana! A flurry of quick moves culminates in a snap drop-toe-hold, setting up the 6! 1! 9! Rey wastes no motions going straight up the turnbuckle and into the dead fish splash! 1, 2, 3! Misterio moves on to the semifinals!
"Backstage, Brie and Nikki, the Bella Twins, seem to be looking for something. They pause to stare at a few passing men, mumbling to each other, but ultimately moving on. Finally, they catch sight of a familiar figure leaning against a wall: its Brooklyn's own JTG!
They approach from behind and try to catch his attention: "Heeey, its JTG!" "Money money, yeah, yeah!" "Right? I always loved that! I mean, the catchphrase, not money." "We're not the kind of shallow women who are only into money!" "Of course not! J knows that, don't you J?"
JTG seems to be nodding along to their words, and replies with a 'drat strait,' to Nikki's question, so the girls push forward even though he doesn't look their way. "Listen J, Brie and I, we've been feeling kind of.... lonely recently." "Unfulfilled." "Exactly! Its like there's something missing from our lives." "We're ladies J, and ladies need to be cared for." "Pampered!" "Right? But the problem is... I mean, look at us! We're basically the hottest women on Earth." "And on top of that, we're twins. TWINS, J!" "The point is, most men just can't handle our... needs." "We need a REAL man J. A man who can satisfy our... needs." "So, how does that sound to you?"
"OH, drat, that sounds nasty as hell, man! Get outta here!" The Bellas, suitably shocked by this response, drop their temptress facades and walk off in a huff. JTG then turns to reveal that his hidden ear had a bluetooth headset! "Listen man, I'm sorry about your food poisoning, but I gots to go. Peace." He hits the button just as a stage hand walks by in disbelief, and quickly explains just what he missed out on. "drat... why I pick up my phone?"
David Otunga and Michael McGillicuty vs ????! The Tag Champions, cast-offs from the dissolution of the group known as Nexus, won their titles under 'controversial,' circumstances. Michael Cole's sources say this mystery opponent match was booked as some kind of test, but not by whom. The champs are kept waiting a few moments... and then a battle cry rings out! It's the haka of Jimmy and Jey, the Usos! They've jumped ship to Monday Night Raw!
Otunga finds himself quickly overwhelmed by the preferred pace of the Usos, who show off their flashy, acrobatic offense and their specialty with tandem moves. King demands to know what Smackdown guys are doing fighting Raw's champions, and Cole informs us that the Usos are not only twin brothers. They're the sons of retired Superstar Rikishi, and the heirs to the Anao'i Wrestling Dynasty, a family nearly as prolific in the sport as the Harts. The Anao'is have produced three of WWE's most decorated past tag teams: The Wild Samoans, The Samoan Swat Team, and 3 Minute Warning! Whoever signed these guys to test the Champs clearly has an eye for talent.
Despite the overwhelming attack, Otunga manages to gut out multiple pin attempts, showing impressive toughness. Jey looks for a satellite DDT, but Otunga counters with an inverted atomic drop and McGillicuty adds a dropkick, giving his partner the space needed to make the tag despite the referee's protestations. McGillicuty takes Jey apart with surgical precision, grounding him with amateur holds and attacking his legs. A superkick allows Jey to make the hot tag to Jimmy, but McGillicuty scouts his running lariat and counters with his one-armed swinging neckbreaker, the McGillicuter! Jimmy is out, and Otunga assists with a backbreaker hold, allowing Michael to finish the job with a diving elbow. 1, 2, 3, Champs Win!
After the commercial, we got a hype video showing highlights from Ricky Steamboat's career in the WWF. Spots from his best matches, his best promos, and his legendary feud with the late Macho Man. It closes on his World Championship win at Chi-Town Rumble '89, as he hoists up a small child in a green karate gi alongside the title belt, and the voice of Jim Ross saying "Ricky Steamboat with tears in his eyes, holding his youngster... and see what his dad won for him - for him - for him-im-im..." The echo fades into a music change and new footage, showing a lithe young wrestler executing many of the same maneuvers we just saw in those legendary highlights. Three particularly hard-hitting blows are interspersed with text: A NEW. DRAGON. RISES! Richie Steamboat, coming soon to Monday Night Raw
Back in the locker room, Otunga and McGilicutty are kicking back after their win when they're confronted by perhaps the most stereotypical businessman to ever live. In a gravely voice, he introduces himself: "Gentlemen! I'm John Laurenitis, Executive Vice President of Talent Relations. I don't think we've ever met in person before." The Tag Champs shake his hand.
"There's so many of you boys I've never gotten to meet in person even though I'm the guy who cuts your checks and signs your contracts. Its a drat shame, but I'm sure I don't have to tell a Harvard Lawyer how much paperwork my job entails, eh Mr. Otunga? And you, Mr. McGillicuty, a 3rd Generation Sports Entertainer. I'm sure I don't have to tell someone with your pedigree how many wheels need to keep spinning behind that curtain so you can perform? Still, that's no excuse really. My name's been coming up more and more since that... former employee mentioned it on-air during that incident several weeks back. What are the boys calling it? 'The Pipe Bomb?' Anyway, since people are talking about me, I figure its about time I get my hands a little dirty around here, if you catch my meaning. And I can already tell, you two? You've got a big future. Hiring you was clearly an Ace Move. Keep in touch, alright?" The tag champs seem very pleased by this encounter, and share a fist-bump.
Zach Ryder vs R-Truth! The Long Island Iced-Z was WOO WOO WOO'ing all the way to the ring. WOO! WOO! WOO! Shortly after R-Truth came out, mic in hand, no music playing. He started ranting as he made his way down. "You know what I know, Ryder!? You know, that I know, that you know, that I know... you don't know IT! And IT, Isn't even worth knowing! Bet you didn't know that!" I miss the rapping. Getting into the ring he paced around manically while bellowing into his mic. "But all the Little Jimmies, they know IT, and I know IT..." Taking to the center of the ring, Truth yelled, "So why don't you make some noise, MILWAUKEE WISCONSII... Nah nah nah, you know what, you Little Jimmies don't deserve IT! And you know IT!"
King loudly reminds Truth that "You're in Green Bay, you dolt!"
Match was above average back-and-forth action, aided by the crowd being hot for Truth getting their name wrong. R-Truth got the upperhand in the latter half and never let go of... it. Ryder almost pulled out the upset, countering an axe kick with a neckbreaker and going up top for the Rough Ryder, but Truth ducked underneath and nailed him with a Lie Detector in return. Truth wins in just under ten minutes.
"Excuuuuse me..." BOOOOO! "I SAID EXCUSE ME!" BOOOOO! The incomparable Vikki Guerrero faces her usual welcome, and screeches into the microphone so she can be heard over the heckling. "It is my honor to introduce: The greatest United States Champion in WWE History, my client AND boyfriend, The Showoff DOLPH ZIGGLER!" She claps as Dolph's music hits, and he offers her an arm to properly escort her to the ring.
Once they arrive, Ziggler speaks. "Can you believe it? Dolph Ziggler takes one night off and everything goes right down the toilet. There we were, snacking on strawberries in Miami Beach, enjoying a vacation due to lack of worthy challengers for my title. I tune in to Money In The Bank, and as I watch that event play out... I mean, when I'm not getting an eyeful of the world's sexiest woman in her leopard-print thong... What do I see in the main event? I see... nothing. You know why I saw nothing? Because Mr. McMahon said so." The crowd riles up with Punk chants, and Ziggler waits them out before moving on. "Anything Mr. McMahon says is good enough for Dolph Ziggler. That's why I don't have to fight UNWORTHY challengers like John Cena did last night. And that's why I'm not FIRED!"
They two heels have a good laugh at this, before coming to point: "So now your United States Champion, Dolph Ziggler, has been made part of this WWE championship tournament. Next week I have my first round match, and I'm gonna win it all baby! Oh, you can bet on that! I'm going to be a DOUBLE Champion. Because there is nobody in this roster good enough to-" Ziggler's rant is interrupted by an unexpected theme: its Justin Gabriel!
Vikki demands to know what a Smackdown wrestler is doing interrupting her client. "Vikki, honestly, I'm just sorry I didn't interrupt him before we all had to hear about your thong." Vikki gasps like a carp at this, while Ziggler exclaims that she has the body of the goddess! "Yeah, I know. I can't remember his name but he's the one that sits around all day drinking wine and getting fat, right?" Ziggler throws a punch to defend his lady's honor, but Justin blocks and smoothly counters into a hammerlock without losing his mic! "Whoa, slow down cowboy. I came out here to talk, alright?" Vikki pleads and Dolph relaxes, so Gabriel releases him with a friendly slap.
"What am I doing here? I'll tell you Vikki. I watched the main event last night too. And I didn't see 'nothing.' I saw the future. I saw somebody like me, who's been ignored because he didn't fit the mold, stand up for himself. I saw somebody like Dolph, marketable and corporate-friendly, go down in flames. And I saw the Boss, who keeps men like me down, and men like you up, completely humiliated. In short, I saw the dream I fought for as a member of Nexus come to life, right in front of my eyes. And I needed to be a part of it. As of tonight, I am a full-time member of the Raw roster!"
Ziggler claps and says that's nice, but this is his time slot so he wants Gabriel to leave or be removed. "I don't think so, Dolph. See, my first Raw match is up next, and I came out here to tell you: watch it. Closely. Because my roster change came with a little perk. I get to be part of the tournament too. And the opponent I specially requested for the first round... is YOU! You know why, Dolph? Because after I beat you next week, and after I become World Champion... I'm going to follow last night's example, and rescue that US championship from an rear end-kisser!"
We go to commercial with Dolph talking trash off-mic, and the promise that Justin Gabriel's Raw debut is up next!
Justin Gabriel vs Local Jobber! We came back from commercial and Gabriel was in the ring with some unknown guy. They chain wrestled for a bit to start so Gabriel could show off his agility, and he easily came out on top. Then came a suite of signature moves, almost all of them airborne in nature. After a couple more minutes of flashy offense and reversals, Gabriel knocked nameless down near the corner, setting up his finisher, the 450 Splash! 1, 2, 3, easy win for Gabriel.
Backstage, we find the suit from earlier, John Laurenitis, offering congratulations to someone off-camera for their big win last night. We pan out to reveal Mr. Money In The Bank, Alberto Del Rio! "Mr. Lauren-eyetis, not that I'm not happy to meet you in person, but I think... this is not a social call, yes? I think you're here because I demanded to know why this little tournament is happening. I'm Seņor Dinero El Banco! And before John Cena convinced Mr. McMahon to reinstate that perro who beat him last night, I was #1 Contender. So why am I preparing for a tournament match instead of being handed my title?"
"That's a good question Mr. Del Rio. Let me ask you a good question: if you hadn't let... certain people... leave the building last night, if you hadn't taken a blow to the head and ended up on your back instead of in the ring, don't you think you would be Champion right now? And don't you think, if that were the case, that everyone around here would be a lot better off?"
Alberto seems to be only barely containing his rage at this until John moves on: "Of course, WWE Management doesn't want to discount the fact that you made the effort. On the contrary, the fact that you uh... answ... that you showed up when you were needed is great. I think it proved that you're a guy I can point to when management needs something 'special.' But there's one problem: some parties worry that you might not be reliable. I mean, lets face it, you couldn't beat Edge, or his little friend Christian, when you got World Title opportunities this year. And the fact is, you came up short when you were called last night. What I need from you, Mr. Del Rio, is to show me what you're made of. To show me that giving you a space on this roster wasn't just a good decision, but an... Ace Decision."
Del Rio asks what he has in mind, and Laurenitis reveals that he's going to settle a score that was left unsettled two months back at Capital Carnage: his opponent tonight is The Big Show! Del Rio reacts with panic. "What's wrong Mr. Del Rio? Oh, I see, you missed the news preparing for the ladder match. Last night Big Show's opponent, Mark Henry? He slammed Show's ankle several times inside a folding chair. Official reports aren't out of the trainer's office yet, but Big Show is competing tonight Against Medical Advice." Del Rio's expression becomes predatory at this news. "So, can you show me what I need to see, Mr. Del Rio?"
"Mr. Lauren-eyetis... tonight, Alberto Del Rio is going to show what everyone needs to see. Alberto Del Rio is going to show his DESTINY. ...But you already knew that." Wink.
Reks and Hawkins vs Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne - Air Boom!. Coming back from commercials, we had tag team action. Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins were already in ring, trotting around looking mean, or as mean as Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins can look. Their opponents are Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne, high fiving kids and jumping down the ramp to set off fireworks. Commentary put over that with the Tag Titles being a hot RAW commodity, and King mentioned that some in the back consider them to be the most legitimate titles in the company in light of last night. Cole talks fast to sandbag that comment, making a comment about not rocking the boat, and adds that lots of superstars are throwing their lots in together for opportunities at those belts. Kofi and Evan have even gone so far as to officially register a full-time tag team competitors, which is why the ring announcer referred to them by the team name "Air Boom." King thinks that spliced entrance music need work.
Good amount of action from this. Kofi and Evan worked super well together and put on a strong showing. Reks and Hawkins looked fairly decent, although they couldn't keep up with their opponent's speed. Late into the match after some dirty outside work by Hawkins, Reks was able to dominate Bourne with sheer power. Kofi delt with Hawkins on the outside while Reks stacked up Evan, setting him up for a Burning Hammer! But before Reks could land it he turned straight into a Trouble In Paradise, knocking him clean out! Legal man Evan climbed to the top rope and smashed Reks with a Shooting Star Press for the pinfall win. A strong start for Air Boom!
After the next break, the ring was set up with leather couches, directors chairs and a red carpet. Down the ramp came The Miz (wearing the brightest white suit you could possibly have) hand-in-hand with a surprising companion, Maryse Ouellet. "Welcome everyone to the most must-see talk show in WWE history..." The crowd booed while Miz mugged for the camera. "...Miz TV! And today is a very special Miz TV because today we introduce a beautiful, intelligent, radiant new co-host. You may know her from NXT Redemption... my new girlfriend, Maryse!" Michael Cole immediately defends Miz's choice in women before King can comment on how many boyfriends Maryse has had.
"It's not every day that an A-Lister like me graces the filthy streets of Milwaukee. You didn't expect me to come here without something nice to look at, did you? And with this welcome, I don't know if I'm coming back here!" Miz raises his hand to try to silence the crowd but they didn't stop, of course. Unflappable, he continues anyway. "I'm supposed to have a guest on Miz TV tonight. I, of course, was granted a spot in Mr. McMahon's tournament, and I'm supposed to meet my 'mystery,' opponent before our match next week. But frankly, I'd much rather talk about myself. You see, today is a landmark day in WWE, because finally real opportunity exists. For ten years, there has been, as my good friend R-Truth put it, a conspiracy. A conspiracy to keep John Cena on top, because he sells T-Shirts and cheap plastic toys. I was the biggest victim of that conspiracy! I main-evented Wrestlemania, defeated Cena, and the next day every headline was about him and The Rock! Well guess what kids, there IS no John Cena anymore. He's FIRED."
"But you know what's even better than Cena being gone? Its the fact that YOUR GUY is gone too." (CM Punk! CM Punk!) "Yeah, that's the one. See, you've all kept me down too! You don't appreciate me! I could have saved you from Cena, but I'm not 'underground' enough for you. So you cheered for a guy that walked out instead! I mean, Really? REALLY? REALLY!? Well guess what, he's gone. Without him, and without Cena, there is NOTHING in my way anymore. I will be the new face of this company. Why? BECAUSE I'M THE MIZ! AND I-"
A massive guitar riff hits! IT'S JOHN MORRISON! Back from neck surgery, the Shaman of Sexy poses in slow-motion as fireworks go off behind him. Miz looks suitably shocked. "Miz! Buddy. Good to see you." He bounces into the ring and stretches himself out across one of Miz's couches. "I think I'm supposed to be on this show, right?" Miz seems incredulous that Morrison is his opponent after being in the shelf for several months. "Well, they said I should take a little more time in rehab, yeah. But let me open up the gates to the Palace of Wisdom for you, Mizzy." Morrison swings up from his rest and gets in Miz's face: "We're in a moment of transcendent history. There's a cosmic energy in the WWE right now. The People have their voice again, and they're making waves that are going to push somebody to the top! If the guy they want most isn't here to catch that wave, you bet your rear end that John Morrison will!"
Miz knocks over his chair to get some distance from JoMo, and Maryse steps between them. "Hey, Maryse! Miz, I gotta say I'm impressed. After all those years we spent as a tag team, I never thought you'd be able to get a girl who used to be into me." Maryse seems unimpressed, though Miz does step in with an angry look and says that he's glad Morrison is his opponent. Everyone's seen for years now that The Miz is the better man between them, and he'll prove it again next week. "You know Miz, you may have a point. You've been WWE Champion, you have a fine lady... but the funny thing is, I'VE got a fine lady too. She's coming to ringside with me next week. And as great as your little second-hand french poodle is, she's not even in the same league as who I've got. So I'm gonna beat you, and everyone else in this tournament, and when I'm WWE Champion and I have a hotter girlfriend then you... tell me again who's the better man."
The Main Event! Alberto Del Rio vs The Big Show! Show has an obvious limp as he makes his way down the ramp, and we are reminded that he is competing AMA tonight. Michael Cole reads from Show's twitter: "Chances at a title don't come every day. Chances to make something fake turn real don't come every lifetime. #ForgetPain #SaveWWE" As always, Alberto is introduced by Ricardo Rodriguez, his personal ring announcer, and drives into the arena in a $100,000 Excalibur Roadster! Mr. Money in the Bank hoists his briefcase high, taunting the crowd.
At the bell, Del Rio takes a clinical approach, probing Show's defenses, testing his mobility. The giant is clearly minimizing his movement, relying on his superior reach, but Del Rio is to quick for him to really get his hands on, and he absorbs several early blows as a result. Del Rio's target is clearly the damaged leg, although Show is able to use his bulk and several impressive power moves that send Del Rio flying like a rag-doll. The pace of the match remains slow (to the point of obvious stalling, as his power offense seems to have left Show gassed) until Del Rio slides right under his defense with a baseball slide and topples him!
Now nearly helpless, Show endures an absolute assault on his injured leg, multiple kneebreakers and stomps tearing at the joint. After several minutes of damage and trash talk, Del Rio sets up a kneebar to finish the job... but with pure power Show kicks him into the corner! He drags himself up and delivers echoing open-palm slaps to Del Rio's chest, hushing the crowd each time to maximize the impact. Not daring to waste another moment, Show signals the Chokeslam, grabs Del Rio's neck... and is distracted by Ricardo climbing up on the apron! The referee rushes to get rid of Ricardo, and Show turns toward the commotion, leaving him wide open for a vicious chop-block that puts him on his knees, screaming in agony! Del Rio gives a blood-thirsty scream of his own, and delivers a sickening mule kick right to the temple. Show's lights go out, and Del Rio covers. 1! 2! 3! Mr. Money In The Bank advances to the second round to close out Monday Night Raw
Overall Rating: B
This one was a little longer than I had hoped, because I tried to write everything that I wrote assuming a first-time viewer/somebody who doesn't remember 2011. Character establishment and setting details (especially those that establish Punk's central importance to everything and how widespread the fallout from last nights event was) was a premium concern. I'll be more truncated going forward, since I even ballooned stuff that other people wrote with extra details for that purpose. Hopefully readers will find the effort worth it.
Sanguinia fucked around with this message at Jan 7, 2017 around 05:30