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RAW: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Hands-On Refereeing 2: Electric Boogaloo
June 7, 2011

by PyroFalkon
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

A few obligations and projects have wrapped up for me, and now I can get back to Netflix and watching movies I should have, but haven’t yet, seen. I still have absolutely no knowledge of Crocodile Dundee or its sequels aside from one-liners and the two Family Guy jokes, and I’ve still yet to see Disney’s animated The Lion King. That one, indeed, draws funny looks from people the instant I mention it; people’s eyes pop more than what should probably be anatomically possible.

 

Now, I refuse to see Titanic and Brokeback Mountain for the same reasons: allegedly overhyped love tragedies that have people dying at the end. Fling all the Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, or whatever else you want at me: a movie should be entertaining first, which is why I’ll watch Unbreakable over Million Dollar Baby or American Beauty any day of the week. (Yes, I’ve seen both of them, and they’re boring to me.)

  

I also get to see some TV series I didn’t get to catch the first time around, or that I was stupid to get. Specifically, Sports Night hit Netflix about a month ago, and I’ve been watching the hell out of that over the weekend. I enjoyed the fast-paced dialogue and character interaction way back when I was a junior in high school and the show was new, but I admittedly didn’t understand a goddamn thing since my entire world experience was pretty much confined to Xenia High School and its stereotypical high school environment. But now, I can keep up with the dialogue, the plot, and the irony of how the show is about a struggling network TV show that was under constant threat of the network pulling the plug, which in turn is what happened to Sports Night itself since it couldn’t get enough of the market share. Still, I can’t help but think that the over-enunciated speedy dialogue is similar to pretty much everything Kevin Smith has written, in speed not content, of course. Unless there’s a Very Special Episode of Sports Night I’ve not gotten to yet wherein Casey and Dana spend a half-hour talking about blowjobs.

And on that wonderful imagery, let’s move on to RAW, where surely things can’t suck as much as… uh… you know what? Given my preceding line, I think I’ll just get right to the show.

Segment 1: Cold open, I guess? Some dude just won the Tough Enough competition. Either that, or my DVR decided to start late.

Well, fuck it, I’ll set the stage. So one douchebag and one long-haired guy from Tough Enough are in the ring, and Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon are there too, which is making me trip a little bit. Douchebag apparently loses, so he leaves, and the winner is the long-haired dude whose name is, I think, Andy Levine. Hopefully, like Jinder Mahal, I’ll figure out how to properly spell his name soon.

Anyway, Vince congratulates the young man, welcomes him to WWE, then stiffly slaps him in the face. Austin wants to know what the fuck, helps him up, congratulates him, then stunners him. Vince and Austin on the same page? What the fuck?

Oh, wait… this is the end of Tough Enough! I get it, Tough Enough was live, and the end of it is also the first segment of WWE RAW! It’s a meta moment!

So Levine leaves, but first gives Austin a bit of a handshake, effectively no-selling (or at least half-selling) the Stunner, but whatever, no one cares.

Austin and Vince want to share a beer, but then R-Truth’s voice announces “The truth shall set you free!” But instead of that line being followed by silence, as is his new “entrance theme,” instead it’s followed by an instrumental version of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” (or “The Ants Come Marching One by One” for those of you who don’t know Civil War songs), and he’s prancing out in a confederate soldier’s uniform while singing the Weird Al version by putting in that Little Jimmy is marching home, though he’s singing a completely different tempo than the song is playing. There is absolutely no word I’ve written thus far in the recap that makes not think someone snuck hallucinogens into my orange juice this morning. I’m more confused than a LARPer at the Playboy Mansion. I expected to be watching Monday Night RAW tonight, not the nightmares of the bastard child between Ayn Rand and Uncle Tom.

Truth eventually gets to the ring and we get a replay of last week, where he splashed a drink in some poor bastard’s face in front of his son, and now Truth is forced to apologize. Vince and Steve look on as Truth gives the most insincere apology since Michael Richards was in front of a camera, to which Steve replies he’s sorry that Truth “is dressed up as a damn jackass.”

But see, Truth is dressed up like this because we’re in Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy! The crowd cheers! “Because this is where all those in-bred rednecks like these people formed the states of the Confederacy!” The crowd boos!

Then Steve gets political: “That happened 150 years ago, what’s that got to do with today?” I’m guessing Steve isn’t a History major, but at least he still downs beer like it’s Spring Break.

Truth goes on that almost nothing good came from the south (I’m thinking KFC begs to differ), but the Confederacy did have one good idea: succession. So tonight, he’s succeeding from the WWE Universe! But, he’s quick to point out, he’s going to keep his title shot; he’s just not going to let WWE sell merchandise of his from here on out, because of the company-wide conspiracy!

Vince attempts some light-hearted comedy that falls flat, but does invite Truth to his office during business hours, and Steve should be around as well in case Truth doesn’t like what he hears.

And here comes The Miz in one bitching suit that makes me insanely jealous. Miz says that we’ve got Vince himself here tonight, and we’re not going to be pestering the chairman with imaginary conspiracies. Instead, we’re going to talk about realities, such as the reality that Alex Riley is the reason Miz isn’t WWE Champion right now. Miz points out that it should be he who gets one last title shot.

And here comes Alex Riley to a very loud pop. Awesome lighting, awesome music, decent suit (nothing will look good next to Miz’s)… all he needs now is some actual wrestling and promo ability, and we’re good!

Alex simply says one line: “All you deserve is one more week of beatdowns.” Not exactly a win in the promo column since it’s only one line, but it’s definitely no loss.

And the reason Alex only got one line is because John Cena’s music fires up. Superwigger pops out, and he’s got the title belt around his waist, which is sure to make Vince have a stroke right there in the middle of the ring. Cena gets booed mightily, but he decides us to give us a recap of what’s going on: “Vince is out of patience, Miz is out of excuses, Alex is out for vengeance, Steve’s… almost out of beer, and Truth is out of his mind.” That’s a recap I don’t mind recapping.

Cena puts Alex over, then cuts a promo against R-Truth that isn’t worth talking about; Cena stays in his idiom, but Truth sells it with his crazy eyes and bouncy feet as if he’s a kid in a candy store, so the crowd is tentatively on Cena’s side now (or at least, they’re against everyone he’s also against).

Then General Manager Sony Vaio wants to talk, and Michael Cole goes through his rigmarole. Vince, playing the greatest tweener ever known, tells him to shut up in a way that only Vince can. Vince says that since he’s here, he’s going to just make the matches, and we’re going to have a tag match: Cena & Alex versus Truth & Miz… and Steve is the special guest ref, which he reacts to with a look of disbelief in mid-beer sip.

Strong opening, if a bit on the crazy side (especially when Steve leaves the ring by doing the “You Can’t See Me” taunt to Cena, and no, I didn’t type that backwards), but undeniably entertaining!

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Santino Marella (w/ Vladimir Kozlov) defeats Mike McGillicutty (w/ David Otunga) by pin. Bizarre match here… for the first half, both guys seemed just this much off each other in terms of chemistry. Santino’s second offensive move was to ram McGillicutty’s head into the turnbuckle, but halfway through his motion, Santino was distracted by the ref and turned to face him. He lost his grip, yet McGillicutty magically maintained momentum and slammed his own face into the turnbuckle. It’s like WWE is choreographed or something, and Santino missed his cue. Shocking!

They continued to be off-kilter for a bit, moving just a step off-line with each other. At one point at the midway mark of the match, Santino hit a dropkick but landed awkwardly and sold his knee. No mention was made of his knee again and McGillicutty capitalized, so I’m not sure if that was part of the plan or not, but it did look clumsy.

They got it together for the second half of the match, but make no mistake: the match was all Santino. McGillicutty got a couple punchy-kicky spots in, but Santino went judo on his ass and arm dragged him so much that his left shoulder put in for two weeks vacation. Otunga tried to get involved, but Vlad put a stop to that by shoulder-checking the hell out of him, and Santino ended things with the Cobra. Not bad for a comedy match, once they got it together. Still makes the tag champions look weak, though.

Post-Segment 2: Here comes Beth Phoenix and Kelly Kelly for a match, and I’m only bringing this up because Beth’s outfit is frickin’ awesome. I always liked the design anyway, but this black-and-flames color scheme is way better than her old green-and-white, blue-and-silver, and other variations.

Pre-Segment 3: And after commercials, here come the Bella Twins. They’re wearing the same tops they did last week except for an extra strap around their necks. Someone must have been paying attention to the dozen near-nip slips last week.

Segment 3 [Tag Match]: Beth Phoenix & Kelly Kelly defeat the Bella Twins by pin. Pure formula, and pretty shitty overall. K2 was the Face in Peril, Beth went House of Fire (and got so excited that she stumbled after doing a reverse atomic drop, but managed to recover smoothly), and ended things with the Glam Slam. Inoffensive, but nothing to talk about.

Commercial: If Zookeeper is anything but Mall Cop crossed with Doctor Doolittle and set at about a quarter of the IQ in the script, I’ll buy each of you tickets to see it.

Segment 4: Trish Stratus and Booker T are chatting in the back, and Booker says that now Tough Enough is over, he’s going to show her how to do a Trisharoony. She’s game, despite wearing a cleavage-enhancing shirt, which should be awesome for multiple reasons.

But the potential naughty fun is ruined by Jack Swagger, who says that Books is so totally not tough enough anymore, especially not against the All-American American. Books accepts the match, and screams “Can you dig it?!” as Jack leaves.

Segment 5: Here comes CM Punk to talk. He says that last week, he beat Rey, which is makes like the 600th win over him. And as Rey normally does, he cries and begs for a rematch, and so Punk accept. He accepted not for his own ego, but to show that New Nexus is an unbreakable force, and he asks the fans to join him in dismantling Rey.

But we’ll have to wait for the other side of the commercials.

Segment 6 [Singles Match]: Rey Mysterio defeats CM Punk (w/ Mason Ryan) by pin. I don’t have much to say about this one because, as you’ll know if you’ve been reading me for any length of time, Rey bores me to tears. The match was solid, yes, but it was standard Rey fare and I just don’t care, even if his playing partner is Punk.

The match had a bit of a smooth ending. Punk was in the prime 619 position, and Rey hit the opposite ropes to do the move. But Mason Ryan then hopped up on the apron, screaming at Rey. Rey put on the breaks, and Punk got himself out of harm’s way. But then, Rey hopped up and started a tornado DDT on Punk; while doing the “tornado” part of that, he spun around and booted Ryan directly in the face, then delivered the move. As Punk was on Dream Street and Ryan was trying to find his second bicuspid, Rey hit a diving headbutt from the top rope and made the pin, then quickly got out of Dodge before the heels could beat him down.

Segment 7: Cena and Riley are arguing in the back, mostly about who gets to beat the hell out of The Miz during the main event. Cena also isn’t too sure that Alex isn’t just going to stab him in the back and start helping out Miz anyway, so he puts him on notice.

Cut Scene: New DVD set announced: The Best of WCW Monday Nitro, narrated by Diamond Dallas Page. It comes out tomorrow (or today, if you’re reading this). Not on my Christmas list, but I bet it’s on many of yours.

Segment 8: Here comes Alberto Del Rio to talk, though Ricardo Rodriguez is nowhere to be found. He recaps the nonsense between himself and Big Show, and we get a video clip, and this is one bit of recapping that I won’t recap.

ADR is in the ring by the time the video clip is done, and he calls out Big Show so he can personally apologize to him. No music, so ADR of course says that Show is just so totally afraid of him, or maybe so totally afraid of getting run over again.

So Big Show’s music plays, but it’s… uh… some dude wearing a fat suit, a mitt on his left hand (because his hands are so totally huge), and crutches while munching on, I don’t know, painkillers, I guess. God, I hate WWE sometimes.

Stupidity ensues, which includes Cole “snickering” in the mic that sounds more like tight-asshole farts, but it finally ends with ADR hitting his punch line that bad things happen to bad people, and so Show deserved it.

Oh, I see, the guy was Ricardo Rodriguez. You’d think I would have guessed that, except that I just don’t give a shit.

Pre-Segment 9: Oh hell yes, Zack Ryder finally gets on RAW! …But only to Dolph Ziggler’s music, because Ziggy and Vickie Guerrero are on commentary. Damnit. I love Ryder’s theme song. It’s not especially WWE-worthy, but Ryder just makes it work. Woo woo woo, you know it!

Segment 9 [Singles Match]: Kofi Kingston defeats Zack Ryder by pin. Practically a squash, Zack didn’t get much offense in, and ate a Trouble in Paradise out of nowhere. Dolph gave us the winning line, “Zack just kicked Kofi’s face off his neck!” I’m no better than Dolph, but it’s still amusing.

Segment 10 [Singles Match]: Booker T reverse-squashes Jack Swagger by countout. Decent enough match I guess. Books got his ass kicked, but then started a comeback and hit his own Five Moves of Doom… or four of them really, when he dodged the scissor kick. But then Swagger said fuck this, and left.

Post-Segment 10: But after the match, Evan Bourne hit Jack in the back of the head. Jack hopped up immediately, since apparently his pride was more hurt than his body, and chased Evan… right into the ring, where Books kicked him in the gut and hit the scissor kick. But Evan isn’t one to miss out on the fun, so he hits a ridiculous shooting star press, one where it looks like he got an extra foot or two of altitude than normal, even for him.

And after that, as Jack bailed and licked his wounds, Evan and Books did a Double Spinaroony, because why not? Pretty sweet, but underwhelming.

Segment 11 [Tag Match, Stone Cold Steve Austin is the guest referee]: The Miz & R-Truth defeat John Cena & Alex Riley by disqualification. Entertaining match, not technically proficient, but good enough. The early story was the heels frustrating the faces by not giving them their desired matchups; that is, Miz always tagged out when Alex was legal, and Truth always tagged out when Cena was legal.

That ended when the heels took control of the match, and kept A-Ri as the FIP. Punchy-kicky ensued—which is pretty much all Alex did as well—with Miz getting in Austin’s face. See, Miz was a little overzealous doing punchy-kicky to A-Ri in the corner, and Austin pulled him away, which led to Miz screaming at him with something that included a censor bleep.

Soon, Cena took the hot tag. His House of Fire spot concluded by slapping on the SSTF on Miz, but Miz reached the ropes, and Austin gave the five-count, with Cena breaking at four. As Cena got up and turned around, Truth had rematerialized and introduced a chair into the proceedings. Cena ducked it and hit a dropkick so the chair hit Truth in the face, then Miz and Cena then hit each other with clotheslines, putting them both down. As they stirred, A-Ri found a briefcase and positioned himself over Cena’s corpse, ready to deliver the blow… until he turned and hit Miz with the case in his gut. As Miz reeled, Austin hit him with a Stunner, and Cena delivered an FU. Pin, Austin smacked the mat four times (yes, four), then handed out the beers. Even Cena sipped one, which really is surprising given his prepubescent fan base.

And that’s when GM Vaio pinged the arena, and immediately disqualified the faces for Steve being Steve.

Post-Segment 11: Next week on RAW is going to be a three-hour special, and the GM tells Steve that he’s got GM powers for next week, which doesn’t make a damn bit of sense, but whatever. Steve is happy with that, exits the ring, tosses the laptop to the ground, and kicks over the GM podium. He calls for a “Hell yeah!” as he drags Cole to the ring apron to punch him in the face, then toss him in the ring.

As Cena looks on, Steve calls for some beers and dumps them on Cole’s face. Cole takes a Stunner, and Austin’s music plays. But Cena wants to play, shrugs to the camera, gets Cole on his shoulders, then hits Cole with an FU while still keeping a firm grip on his beer. Cena’s music plays, and we’re…

…Uh, well, I thought we were done, but Austin gets a mic. He slides in the ring and gets in Cole’s face as Cole acts like he’s tasting ass. Austin promises that he’s going to see Cole next week for sure, and that’s the bottom line, ‘cause Stone Cole said so!

Play Austin’s music again. Cena’s already halfway up the ramp but Austin starts flinging beers at him anyway. When no more are forthcoming, Austin smiles, jumps out of the ring, then back body drops the cooler into the ring, flinging the ice and water absolutely everywhere. Get that man a designated driver!

Final Thoughts: Pretty entertaining episode, although not exactly sustainable episodic TV; a little stunt booking here and there and entirely too many “Last week” video packaged filled time that could have been better spent elsewhere. But it was a fun little ride, and I could think of many horrible ways I could have spent my two hours. R-Truth especially continues to be all sorts of entertaining, though his act could wear thin very quickly if he gets repetitive. So far, he’s doing great, and I encourage more insanity as long as he can keep it up.

Looking back, I was kinda talkative today, and I think I covered everything specific. So I’m going to call it here, and I’ll catch you guys this Saturday for SmackDown.

Episode Grade: B-

 
E-MAIL PYROFALKON

BROWSE THE BYTE THIS RECAP ARCHIVES


  
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PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 

 

 


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