The jury’s still out on the whole guest host thing. It’s a shrewd business move and I’m not necessarily against it, but it would have been nice to see a few more former wrestlers getting a night with the mic. Jobs for the boys and all that. For me, ZZ Top hosting was hideous. But I’m really not a fan of theirs so it felt kind of pointless.
Everyone loves Shaq. Even people like me who get turned off by the whole bad boy thuggery of the NBA and get sick of hearing about King James. So I was certainly looking forward to this one. He didn’t disappoint. In fact, Vince should keep him on the books and snap him up the minute he hangs his high-tops up for good.
Shaq was eager to get to work straight away and set up a 5-man Beat-the-Clock challenge up. Whichever fella beats their opponent the quickest becomes number one contender against Randy Orton at Summerslam. But, oh dear, looks like the be-suited genius that is Chris Jericho has a little beef with Shaq. If someone gets a poster made of Shaq kissing Jericho’s forehead, make me a copy at the same time? I’ll put it up in my office and look at it in moments of general malaise and aggravation. How they both kept from cracking thoughout that segment is beyond me. And the crowd’s spontaneous chanting of CHRIS-TI-NA (Shaq’s new moniker for Jericho) made my heart smile.
Shaq flicked Jericho away with one finger, so Chris decided to introduce him to his new tag-partner. It would appear that just 24 hours in the company of Chris Jericho has rubbed off on Show. Ooooh, look at him in his stylish bespoke suit.
Ok, so pretty much every piece of clothing Big Show owns is going to be bespoke. I doubt even High n Hefty or Lofty n Mighty or whatever those shops are called stock Big Show Size as standard. The verbal slanging match between Show and Shaq ping-ponged back and forth beautifully as Shaq challenged Show to a match. Show wriggled his way out of it with a wordy theory on why he would not accept the invitation. Oh and…………
Shaq was determined to make the tag champs fight SOMEONE that night, so he put Cryme Tyme in front of them, leaving the champs to scuttle away up the ramp.
With that hilarity done and dusted it was time for some fisticuffs and the first man jostling for that number one contender spot was Mark Henry, up against Carlito. Bad luck, Carlito. You drew the short straw on that one. Carlito decided to implement the tactic of flying kicks and piggybacks in the hope that he could topple Henry and keep him down long enough for the pin. But just like a really huge Weeble, Mark Henry rolled back to his feet again and smooshed Carlito in to the canvas. You remember Weebles, right? Those freaky, egg shaped people that always swung back up no matter how much you knocked them down?
Mark Henry wrapped his hands around Carlito and finished him off in 6 minutes, 49 seconds.
Moving on and the brand new Diva’s Champion, Mickie James, brought Kelly-Kelly and Gail Kim along to take on Beth Phoenix, Rosa Mendes and Alicia Fox. This is exciting. No. REALLY! First off, Beth is back and without even a whiff of Santina. Second….err….off (?) a storyline involving Mickie and Beth is a female feud I think people will actually get behind. Mickie has always held a special place in my heart. Her feud with Trish Stratus was brilliant. I’d love to see something that big again. Do it!
From one blast from the past to another, part two of the Beat the Clock Challenge involved M.V.P vs Chris Masters. Yep! Chris Masters! Back in the ring and clean as a whistle. I’m guessing. Proof positive that the there is always a road back to WWE. One thing though, if you’re gonna go down the spray tan route, you need to make sure you get it everywhere. That means lifting your arms when you stand in the tanning booth, Chris. Ask Randy to go with you next time.
Both were out of the ring too long and were counted out. No M.V.P vs Randy Orton at Summerslam. Shocker!!!
Another break from Beat the Clock – The Brian Kendrick vs Kofi Kingston. Kendrick was giving Jerry Lawler some verbal heat when Kofi Kingston took him out with a kick in the face and ended the match. A few days later Vince McMahon metaphorically punched Kendrick in the stomach and ended his contract.
Back to business and it was time for Triple H to take Cody Rhodes on for his ten millionth shot at Randy. But wait, what’s this? Ted DiBiase ran out with some form of truncheon and gave Hunter a big whack on the back of the knee.
Cody Rhodes did the most camp little run out to the ramp ever (watch it again, you’ll see what I mean) and Triple H limped out to the ring. In the words of my brother, “Triple H has got the best fake limp in the business.” But that’s probably because he’s had a lot of practice with real limps. I believe that’s called method acting.
The match trundled along nicely and I was super impressed when Triple H pulled off a dainty pilates move when he reversed Cody’s figure-4. The countdown was getting close and Triple H really needed to stop messing with his prey and finish the job. But Ted DiBiase reappeared and began doing a strange little leg dance which, with a bit more effort and a few additional spins and head flicks, he could totally have turned in to Jennifer Beals’ Maniac dance in Flashdance. If you’ve never seen it, watch. It is a thing of fitness beauty.
At first it seemed odd that DiBiase even got involved in the end of the match. There appeared to be no point to it. But all became clear when Triple H gave his Josh Matthews interview later on. More on that in a bit. Cody was pinned but after the time had expired. No dice for Hunter.
Time for some light relief, so we go to Shaq’s office where he is playing an epic game of scrabble with Santino. I try not to smile at Santino, but I can’t help it. The Cryme Tyme boys rolled in, bumped fists with Shaq and generally loved all over each other, slipping in to Money, Money, Yeah, Yeah! But Santino felt left out so he threw a Cavs hat on at a jaunty angle, did some rapper-fingers and added his own lyrics. Careful, Tony. You don’t want that Canadian accent to slip through. The Italian’s not so easy to keep up while you’re hippin’ and hoppin’, eh?
I won’t crush your enthusiasm by speaking about Hornswoggle and Chavo, so I’ll scoot over to the Jack Swagger/Evan Bourne Beat the Clock match. I’ve mentioned my brother a couple of times since being back from the USA, but that’s because he’s been watching wrestling with me again and it’s interesting to hear the views of someone who stopped watching wrestling because they couldn’t handle the silliness of it any more. He REALLY likes Jack Swagger and was impressed by Evan Bourne. Anyone who questions the pushing of all the new collegiate guys has got it wrong. If their hard work and new style can prick the interest of someone who abandoned wrestling can only be a good thing.
The match only lasted about three and a half minutes. Evan Bourne took the pin, so there’ll be no Swagger/Orton at Summerslam. That just leaves John Cena to beat Mark Henry’s time. Hmm. Wonder how that one will turn out?
Triple H was still fuming backstage about Ted sabotaging his match with Cody and vowed to take both of them out by himself next week. By himself? Really? Seems like an awfully big task to set yourself. He could probably do with some help. From someone who’s refreshed by a long break, maybe? Someone to act as a tag partner? Has Hunter ever been in a tag team?
By the way, Triple H mentioned ‘the tail that wags the dog’ in his JM interview. For a perfect explanation of this phrase, watch the Wag the Dog movie. It’s brilliant. And it’s De Niro and Hoffman (pre-Meet the Fockers). How could you possibly lose?
The final Beat the Clock match was John Cena vs The Miz, with Randy Orton watching from the annouce table. Not that I would ever dream of complaining, but why was Randy without trousers when he had no involvement in any matches that night?
The Miz had already dissed various D.C. sporting teams and tried to run Cena’s clock down to force his exclusion from the BTC contest without getting hurt himself. Didn’t work. John forced Miz to tap out with well over two minutes to spare. Randy joined John in the ring and I went all…..
Remember several months ago when John and Randy (being BFFs and all) asked the writers if they could work together? I wrote a post about it. John was even willing to go heel. Looks like they got their wish. And I, for one, am joyous beyond belief.
Final match of the night was Shaq’s special tag match between little and large and Cryme Tyme, with Shaq himself at ringside to keep an eye on proceedings. All was moving along swimmingly until Show interfered with the pin on Jericho and the match had to be called off. Shaq was furious. He whipped his shirt off and faced up to Show himself. Show had him in a chokehold, Cryme Tyme came to the rescue and Shaq rolled Show out of the ring. Jericho dashed around and started screeching at Shaq like a Jack Russell defending a Great Dane.
Best. Raw. In. AGEEEEES. Congratulations, Shackwheel….. as Santino would say.