raw(lite): he came, then he left

Due to time constraints and with The Bash looming within the next few hours, this week’s Raw reminder will be in a shorter form than usual.  You gotta do what you gotta do!

For those of us in the UK, commercial free television is nothing new. The most powerful broadcaster on this island, the BBC, is entirely free of advertising. Ok, so we’re legally obliged to buy a TV licence for the privilege, but I believe it makes for better television and radio. Still, Raw is shot in dollar land, where advertising is the bread and butter of all broadcasting.  So I understand the excitement. Seriously though, America, do you have to have SOOOO many ad breaks? It kills my buzz. Anyway, here are the …..

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS WEEK’S RAW

BEFORE THE BASH

Catchy, eh?

  • Trump’s Da Boss

Yes, that’s right, Donald Trump now owns the Raw brand and kicked his tenure off with a full ticket refund to everyone in the crowd who kept their ticket stubs. Those who threw them away on their way in to the arena probably needed some of this….

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  • John-Boy’s a Farmer

John Cena who, despite making a triumphant return to his charismatic, funny  ‘old self’ came out in his most ghastly merchandise line yet. Not in any way inspired by a certain world-famous farming equipment brand. No. Not all. And call me a cynic, but I don’t think it’s any coincidence that it was launched in Pack-land. Home of the Green and Gold. I shall discuss this rant about this further in the next audio post.

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  • The Miz is a Puss

John Cena flipped the coin over and called The Miz out for a change. After much cuteness and frivolity, John got serious, gave The Miz a match at The Bash and warned Miz that his days were numbered. Oooh. It was deliciously perfect. Welcome back, John. The Big Show was obviously killing his good times. Favourite line? “You’re not a reality show ‘has-been’. You’re a WWE never was!” BUUUURN! Miz got rattled, punched John when he wasn’t looking and ran. Puss.

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  • Lemony Kick-It

Vince was left with the back-up limo (Trump had Road Force One), which happened to be a total lemon and broke down a hundred yards from the arena. Don’t you just hate when you have to use the back-up limo? So much less comfy than the best one. Vince made the poor little driver carry him down the street on his back.  Yah, ’cause that’s so much less humiliating than WALKING to the arena. Vince’s weight caused the driver to drop him so Vince kicked him in the arse. Nice guy!

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  • SD Trumps Raw

For the second week running, despite claiming full brand separation, there was a Smackdown match on Raw. I can only assume it was a ratings thing. They must have figured that the audience for Trump Raw would be larger than usual with the news of The Donald’s involvement causing a buzz in the mainstream media. What better way to impress than to bring your (real) superior brand in give off a good impression to first time viewers.

Jeff Hardy , Khali and Rey Mysterio beat Jericho, Edge and Ziggler when Jeff pinned Ziggler. Punk, being a nice guy, came to celebrate with Jeff, but he pushed him away like a lover who had been caught cheating. Oh, yeah, Punk wore clothes.  I sulked.

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  • Prelude to Crap

Cody Rhodes beat Primo in a prelude to what will undoubtedly be a tag-team belts win for Rhodes and DiBiase.I didn’t mind them so much when they first started hanging off Randy’s coat-tails……now…meh! Some sort of illegal crap will go down and the Orton Groupies will grab the titles ar The Bash. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. Prove me wrong. Please.

  • Song for Santina

Santina was fired. About two months overdue. Let’s celebrate with a song even more annoying than the actual character. Bet you don’t make it past the first 20 seconds.

  • Regrets, dear?

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Maybe it’s not all about da monaaay after all, Mr. M?

  • The King Ain’t Dead

That’s right, the King of Kings redeemed himself, remembered his job is not to be a corporate lackie and wrestled his oversized heart out. As did the delightful Randy. Best match they’ve had. Better than Wrestlemania even?

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  • The Penny Drops

You know how Vince McMahon is a smart businessman? Not so much. It turned out that Trump was giving money away and cancelling advertising contracts in the hope that Vince would buy Raw back for double the price. Oh Donald, you wiley fox. And I thought you were just a puffed up ball of orangey powder. The plan worked. The real Vince McMahon is indeed  great businessman, orchestrating this whole angle with hardly anyone knowing about it until the night of the show. But why so short? Ok, so I wasn’t exactly on board from the beginning, but there was a lot of mileage in that there storyline. I’m aware that I’m whining a lot today. I’m tired. I was up late and got up early. I’z grumpy when I’m tired. Donald bitch-slapped Vince, it all kicked off and they had to be separated by some burly looking security.

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  • Shut Your Trap

Rosa Mendes lost to Mickie James and Maryse got all pissy, telling Rosa to shut her yap while she tried to compose herself. Is it just me or are Maryse’s jubblies (thanks, Gok Wan) getting more plastic-y by the week? I don’t even care about boobs that aren’t my own and yet, I cannot look away. (?)

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  • Most Aspirational Stat Evah!

You know how much I live the WWE ‘Did you know…? stats. This week was the best ever. Check it out.

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Yep, because quantity is ALWAYS better than quality, right guys? Sweethearts, I love you enough to spend my life recapping your shows, but it’s not the size of your product that counts, it’s what you do with it. An hour of True Blood does not equate to an hour of Raw. We cool? Good. I love you. Mwah!

  • If you think I’m gonna recap another Cena/Big Show match….

you be trippin’. That is all.

  • Get offa my Randy

Just as Randy Orton was leaving the arena, Triple H whacked him, proper mobster style. At first it looked like he was gonna give Randy the lonely man in prison treatment against the back of his car, but he just dropped the boot door on him. Phew! REALLY! Writhing in agony, Triple H made it clear that their feud was SOOOO not over.

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FAVOURITE CROWD MEMBER OF THE NIGHT

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The KFC buckets. For managing to get in so many camera shots and for showing such dedication to the show. Bravo, bucket of grilled chicken, bravo indeed.

smackdown(lite): eh-men

After the ridiculous dramatics of Trump Buys Raw, I was looking forward to the understated genius that is Smackdown. To kick things off, Josh Matthews decided to hold an in-ring interview with Jeff Hardy.  First, Josh reminded him of his win over Edge at Extreme Rules. Ahhh. Good times. But then he reminded him of how CM Punk cashed in his MITB contract just seconds later. And theeeeen, just to rub even more vinegar in to the gash, Josh went on the remind Jeff that he had been SOOO CLOSE to regaining the title on the special Raw earlier in the week, but Punk had foiled his plans again and kept the belt. Bloody hell, Josh! How about you remind ME not to call YOU next time I’m feeling a bit blue.

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Jeff was given  a moment to leave his failures in the past, so it’s only fair that CM Punk has his say too.  The crowd are still confused about what to make of New Punk. It’s kind of like when New Wave music hit in the very early 80s. It’s not hard, it’s not soft. Kind of in the middle. New CM Punk is the Blondie of WWE, but with black hair and strange insomnia bags under his eyes. Phillip, get some sleep chicker, or at least borrow some of Debbie’s concealer. (BTW I’m not actually old enough to remember New Wave ‘hitting’. I just watch a lot of rock-docs.)

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They ALMOST did the Drugs v Just Say No story, but they bottled it. Chickens! They just skated around the topic, like the Seinfeld ‘The Contest’ episode.

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During the break, Punk left and Jeff stayed to have a roll around with Jericho. This match had no reason, other than to be exquisitely entertaining and not to ruin the PPV matches by showing us something we have the priviledge of paying to see a couple of weeks later. But wait, there’s a twist. A simple but perfect twist.  The front row directly left of the ramp was graced with three guys in Rey Mysterio face-shirts and masks.  Ah! But! One of them WAS Rey Mysterio. At an opportune moment Rey jumped the barrier, swung his legs around Jericho’s neck, took him down and jumped back in to this seat. Naturally, the referee was otherwise engaged in the ring and missed the whole thing. With Jericho dazed and confused, Jeff was able to make the pin for the win.

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PSSST! REY! The guy behind you with the camera is blowing your cover.

Oh, Smackdown. It you were a fella I would have the biggest crush on you right now. I’d write I <3 SD on Post-Its and stick them all over my office. Which would be quite embarrassing as I am:

a) a fully grown lady

b) more immature than the students I try to teach how to be a grown up

Anyway, backstage Layla and Eve were arguing over who a can of hairspray belonged to. Yeah. Really. They needed Maria to separate them and allocate the spritzer to Eve. Seems the dance-off, the arm-wrestle and the cat-fighting was all worthless ’cause all they needed was a gentle word from Freuline Maria. Who knew? Their moment was interrupted by Dolph Ziggler who, by some freak of nature, I am starting to dig. DOH! The ladies pretended they didn’t know what his name was and he skulked off in a mood.

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His match with Khali was kind of a wipeout. Ziggler won via DQ. I’d like to see him get  a feud going with someone else. I’m kind of biased against Khali.

He's the shame of sexy? Duh! Actually, Todd looks amazingly handsome in that picture, so he may be in with a shot.

He's the shamen of sexy? Duh! Actually, Todd looks amazingly handsome in that picture, so he may be in with a shot.

Alright, time for the girls to get up and, oh boy, am I happy there’s going to be a Women’s Title Match at The Bash. There hasn’t been a proper Women’s division match at a PPV since before Wrestlemania. Alicia Fox took Melina on with, of course, Michelle McCool at her side. The match was fine.  I think at one point Todd Grisham might have said “you’ve gotta bend Melina pretty good to make her scream.” Oh, Todd. You like to pretend you know that from experience, don’t you? Melina went on to win the match but Michelle took exception, kicking her in the face and out the ring.

But here was the shocker….. Michelle took a microphone and SPOKE! Yes, a women’s match at a PPV AND a promo. My cup runeth over. Although, the lack of mic time might have hampered Michelle’s delivery technique. She seemed a little….awkward. But I don’t care. A promo, however disjointed,  from one of the girls totally made my day.

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Alrighty. Back to the boys and Edge was in the ring, not too chuffed about being paired up with rising star, John Morrison. I swear, every single time I write about Morrison I type ‘Jim’ and then have to backspace for ‘John’.  Anyway, Edge accused John of wanting to ‘be’ him. Morrison responded by doing a REALLY bad Canadian accent, and he told Edge he’d better stop complaining of he’d give him something to complain about. Oooh. Handbags at dawn.

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It's rai-ning eh's. Halleluiah! It's raining eh's, eh-men!

I heard lots of talk about the mainstream introduction of The Hart Dynasty last week, but Morrison’s big match with Edge was an understated big-deal too.  Definitely a step up the career ladder. Brilliant match! BRILLIANT! Edge took it with a spear, but it was so good. How many times can I say I love Smackdown before I get so annoying people stop visiting? I think I’m probably on the borderline right now. I’ll stop.

R-Truth and Cryme Tyme took Charlie Haas, Shelton Benjamin and Ricky Ortiz on in a three-man tag. It was fine. Ya know, as expected.

Fresh from his stint sitting in the crowd, Rey Mysterio made his way past the crowd and jumped in to the ring. You know what I was thinking when he was touching foreheads with the masked kids this week? That he must whisper inspirational phrases in their ear. Life-affirming statements that will carry them through their adolescence and in to adulthood.  Stuff like this maybe…….

mm

Ah. If only I’d touched faces with a masked wrestler when I was a kid, maybe I’d have been a superstar. *day-dreaming*. Anyway, Mysterio challenged Jericho to a rematch so he could regain his Intercontinental Title. His speech was interrupted by Jericho who, after a beautiful verbal tustle, told Rey that if he wanted a rematch he’d have to be willing to de-PVC his face if he lost. This was all agreed so we’ll see  how that pans out at The Bash, but it’s pretty safe to say we won’t be seeing Mysterio’s face any time soon. Or will we? Oooh.

As Smackdown is all about delicately interwoven storylines that don’t need to show you a PPV main event before the PPV, Rey Mysterio stayed in the ring to go up against CM Punk while Jericho slid over to JRs hip, donned a headset and spoke mean words about Rey.  Jericho is wicked on commentary. Seriously. He never runs out of the perfetc words. Take note Rhodes and DiBiase. Stringing a coherent  sentence together is part of your job. K?  When Jericho reaches retirement, PLEEEEASE give him a commentary job.

By the way, don’t think I didn’t notice at the beginning of the show that Punk was back in his lavender tinted shorts again. The article of clothing that made CROTCH WATCH possible in the first place. So just in case you thought the white trunks on Raw were a fluke…. see? He DOES like the attention.

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The match was moving along nicely when Jericho jumped out of his seat, drove Mysterio in to the turnbuckle while the ref was twiddling his thumbs and left him in the grip of a count-out. Rey managed to drag himself back under the ropes but Punk stuck the GTS on him and it was all over. Being the fine, upstanding citizen he is, Jeff Hardy could not ignore the injustice he had witnessed and tried to reason with the ref and Punk. Neither wanted to listen , Punk was booed and he held his belt aloft and exited the arena. Game on!