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Ring-a-Round the Rosey,
Pocket Full of Crazy

June 12, 2012

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
Read Pyro's Words
at Blogspot --/-- View Pyro's Videos at Youtube

Even though I mentioned the special start time of RAW last week twice, I still forgot. Whoops. Luckily, as I write this, it’s only three minutes past eight, so it’s not like I missed much. I’ve got nothing for the precap and there are things I want to do after RAW, so let’s get to it…

Segment 1: Here comes Johnny Ace to start the night off. He’s still on the People Power Rascal, but he rolls his way down to the ring and gets between the ropes under his own power; no Eve yet. But all he gets out is “My name is John Laurinaitis,” and we instantly get “No chance in hell!” without even the rest of the song build up. Vince hits his new little pose at the stage (something that really looks like the Scott Hall arm spread taunt), and he hits the ring to massive cheers. I love how Vince’s alignment basically changes depending on how long he’s been away from the show.

Before anything is said, Ace offers his hand, and Vince immediately insults him with “I’m not going to shake your hand; I don’t know where it’s been!” Uh… okay, that’s a good way to set the tone for the promo, I suppose. Vince demands just one single reason why he shouldn’t fire Ace instantly.

Ace smartly replies “I have two words for you: People Power!,” then proceeds to say how awesome it is that we’re approaching the one hundredth episode of RAW. Vince’s expression tells the story of how he feels about that particular verbal gaffe.

Ace tries to insist that he’s an “astute businessman.” Vince counters that Ace is so astute that his dealings with Brock Lesnar has caused the company two lawsuits, and the “true story” that Ace was so stupid he “hired the wrong one-legged wrestler,” whatever that means. [Ed. Note: Zack Gowen reference.] And finally, Ace was so “astute” that he gave Big Show a no-release contract. Ace defends that last one, and insists that Vince will know it’s the right choice once we get to No Way Out.

And here comes Sheamus to add his two cents. Sheamus mentions that Ace is actually a friend! …A friend who will put you on permanent probation and fine you for accidentally touching him on the stage (though Sheamus glosses over when he, you know, Blarney Booted the ref). At this point, someone throws up on the Titantron and our home signals that the #1 trend on Twitter is #FireJohnny, which Vince draws Ace’s attention to. This also draws a “Yes! Yes!” chant from the crowd.

Sheamus finally finishes that Ace is also the “kind of friend” who is the worst general manager in the history of forever. Ace gets in Sheamus’s face and insists that he’s going to… go to the back to find someone to fight his battle for him. Heh.

So Ace starts to leave, but Vince stops him. Vince says that’s fine, go find an opponent for Sheamus. And in fact, it better impress Vince—indeed, all the matches tonight need to impress Vince—because if he’s not impressed by the end of the night, Ace is totally fired.

Ace leaves the ring and hobbles his way up the ramp on his crutch, completely ignoring his People Power Rascal. So as Vince’s music plays, it’s Vince who hops o nit and pimps his way up the ramp, then pushes the Rascal off the stage. Sheamus is all smiles as he hangs out in the ring waiting for his opponent, and that match will happen after the commercial.

Pre-Segment 2: As we come from commercial, we find that apparently, Khali concussed Alberto Del Rio on last week’s SmackDown, and he’s out of action “for a while.” Covering for a legit injury, or just another storyline? [Ed. Note: the former. Alberto may be out for a month or so. Also, I'd like to point out that when I talked about PPV replacement options on the Forums, I pretty much nailed it: Tensai would be "credible" in the sense that he's not a jobber, but it's not a match fans would want to see. But Ziggler would put on a PPV-caliber performance against Sheamus, it's just that he's such a jobber, it'd take some work to anoint him as Alberto's replacement. So Tensai/Sheamus on free-perview, and Ziggler winning a convoluted 4-way it is! A winner is me!]

Anyway, Ace pops out a second later, then announces that Tensai is Sheamus’s opponent. The crowd’s response is to chant “Albert! Albert!” the way a decade ago they would chant “Goldberg! Goldberg!”

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Sheamus defeats Tensai (w/ Sakamoto) by pin. Basically a reverse-squash in a full-length match, it was all right but nothing special. Sheamus was able to hit all his signature moves as counters (such as the Ten Chest Clubs using the ropes as leverage), and he got his Blarney Boot out of nowhere for the pin, but spent the rest of the time getting his ass kicked. No noteworthy spots.

Segment 3: We smash-cut to the back, where Vince is still all smiles as he says to Johnny that that certainly didn’t work out for him. And that’s strike one. So, why doesn’t he use his big idea brain to suggest an opponent for Sheamus this coming Sunday at No Way Out?

Ace stutters, and then Vickie Guerrero arrives to opine that Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler could and should take him on. Vince thinks this is fine… unless Johnny has a better idea. Ace just turns the floor over to Teddy Long, who is also in the room but was just being a piece of furniture until then. T-Long takes a moment to look strangely at Ace, since he (Long) isn’t used to being asked his opinion since Ace took over.

Teddy doesn’t use the opportunity to be a smartass; instead, he corrects Vickie that there are two other former champions in the house tonight, those being Christian and Khali. (I seriously don’t remember Khali ever holding one of the top belts.) So Teddy says to shove all four in an elimination Fatal Four-Way match, and whoever wins gets Sheamus. Vince thinks that’s a bitching idea, and Ace says that’s totally what he was going to say.

Ace immediately dismisses Teddy to get some coffee, then turns to Vince and wants a fist bump. Vince leaves him hanging with the aside, “You’ve got small hands.” See, that’s supposed to be funny because it implies Ace also has a small penis. Can’t you see the hilarity? Why aren’t you laughing?

Segment 4: After commercial, we’re back in the ring and we see Tensai beating the shit out of Sakamoto. This goes on for an entirely too long, then switches to both commentators fellating themselves on nearing a thousand episodes. Good to see them making use of their extra hour.

Segment 5: We get another video package of RAW memories, this one hosted by Seth Green. Yes, Seth Green.

Segment 6: R-Truth is talking to himself in the back, and then Matt Striker arrives to interview him. Truth insists that he’s fine from getting knocked out from Show a couple weeks ago, but it’s Little Jimmy who’s traumatized. He then holds a quick conversation with Little Jimmy, then segues into how Big Show will totally lose to John Cena on Sunday. Then a fist comes in from off-screen, knocking out Truth and making Striker haul ass away. Show stands over Truth’s body, then leaves.

Segment 7 [Mixed Tag Match]: Beth Phoenix & Ricardo Rodriguez defeat Layla & Santino Marella by pin. Looks like someone hit the “Random” button again on the player select screen.

Despite the match rules, it was really a divas match, and a pretty decent one at that. Layla doesn’t click especially well with Beth, but their moves weren’t nearly as awkward as most divas matches. Ricardo tagged himself in at one point, apparently thinking he would get to wrestle Layla, and I’m pretty sure I’d take that chance too. But Santino immediately charged in, causing Ricardo to tag out immediately.

More back-and-forth between the women, until Ricardo got in the ring for no damn reason, and wound up eating an accidental headscissors from Layla, sending him out of the ring. Santino stalked him and readied the Cobra, which freaked out RR so much that he turned around ran… directly into the ring post. Cute spot and it popped the crowd well.

Back in the ring, Beth quickly took control and hit the Glam Slam for a clean win. Fun match, did what it needed to do, and it gives Beth some momentum. I assume we’ll see these two again at No Way Out.

Post-Segment 7: Santino checked on Layla and gave RR a little golf clap. RR responded by celebrating like Daniel Bryan on how totally awesome he was for winning. Santino confronted RR, then wound up ripping off his over-shirt… to reveal a skin-tight Justin Bieber shirt underneath. This is so totally humiliating, and RR runs away crying like a girl. Well played, WWE. Let me know when your sense of humor leaves 2009.

Segment 8: David Otunga is in the back and sucking up to Vince, then pimps himself to take over for Ace just in case, you know, Vince fires Ace after all. Vince actually admires Otunga’s ability to suck up, but he hates lawyers and backstabbers, so that’s not going to happen.

Otunga wants to say more, but then Kofi Kingston busts in the room and demands to see Ace. Kofi wants Big Show after the latter’s attack on Truth! Ace coincidently comes in then, and goes ahead and grants the match after mentioned that Truth “isn’t doing so well” according to the doctors. But, oh, it’s going to be a preview of No Way Out, because it’ll be in a cage.

Kofi shows no fear, but does look pissed as he leaves. Even Vince admits that’s not too bad of a decision.

Segment 9: Daniel Bryan hits the ring and opens with this: “CM Punk… Kane… Daniel Bryan… one of these wrestlers is not like the others. And I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m nothing like the other two.” Nice twist to where I thought he was going with it. DB says that he’s not like them, because he doesn’t have AJ to distract him. It’s all because of attempted jealousy of course; Punk is upset that DB caused him to totally tapped out, so Punk is trying to get with AJ to make DB jealous. And Kane meanwhile “thinks it’s second base when a woman looks him in the eyes and doesn’t vomit,” a fantastic line that I need to quote somewhere.

DB insists that AJ is just still in love with him, and she needs to admit to herself. “After all, as AJ knows, once you go Bryan, there’s no point in tryin’. OHHH YEAHHH!!!” That was awesome.

But DB doesn’t care about her anymore, but he does care about the WWE Championship. That’s why at No Way Out, he’s totally going to win it. Yes! Yes! Yes!

And here’s CM Punk, who has gone entirely too long in RAW not talking. Not this week though: he’s got a mic, who points out that if DB doesn’t want AJ, he does sure talk about her a lot. But Punk and AJ have been talking, and she’s totally out of DB’s league; while in the ring, DB isn’t in Punk’s league. Punk also digs crazy chicks!

He also digs his WWE Championship. Sure, over the past month, Punk has beaten DB, DB has beaten Punk, and Kane has beaten them both. But none of that matters since they’re all going after each other on Sunday, and Punk is sure he’ll “either beat the deranged out-of-his-mind freak, or I’m going to beat Kane.” Heh. [Ed. Note: Hey, if Bryan can pull a swerve on "one of these things is not like the other," Punk can do the same on which one of the three is a deranged freak!]

DB replies that Punk calls himself the “voice of the voiceless,” but the reason the fans are voiceless is because they have nothing to say. To wit: they may boo Big Show and call him a sellout, but really, the biggest sellout in WWE is Punk.

Punk, uh, turns tweener I guess as he reminisces that it’s been about a year since he cut his stellar promo on the stage to trigger the Summer of Punk. He says that since then, he’s had people who come up to him and say that it was “one of the greatest promos in RAW’s thousand episodes,” but Punk says that’s crap, mostly because the people who tell him that didn’t like him when he cut it. And Punk still doesn’t like those people. Nothing has actually changed from when he cut the promo to now: he hasn’t compromised himself for anyone, and he’s achieved his success only by his own hard work. Meanwhile, since DB broke the glass ceiling, he’s been nothing but a “self-absorbed, arrogant, insecure, obnoxious, goat-faced moron.” Which is fine, Punk says with a smirk, because WWE always needs self-absorbed, arrogant, insecure, obnoxious, goat-faced morons.

Punk starts to wrap up, but he has to pause as the crowd fires up a “Goat face! Goat face!” Punk finishes that he’s going to give DB a wake-up call on Sunday, ironically when he puts DB to sleep.

And here comes Kane, who gets in the ring presently and says that he’s one badass motherfucker, and his “pipe bombs are actual pipe bombs.” That’s why he’s going to win the WWE Title on Sunday, so there.

And here comes AJ, who hits the ring with her own mic and still wearing a Punk halter top. She says that Kane so totally has a heart no matter what he says, which causes Punk to say “You gotta love crazy chicks!” Once again the fans are chanting everything Punk says, so they fire up “Crazy chick! Crazy chick!” AJ responds by sweetly rolling her eyes and giving a little smirk that says, “Oh, stop it you guys, I know!” So hot.

So once the fans settle down, AJ goes on to say after last week she knows Kane has a heart, admits to DB that she isn’t exactly over him, and then tells Punk he is “pretty much the coolest guy I’ve ever known.” Heh. AJ’s point is that the best man will win this Sunday. Well that’s cryptic.

Then Ace appears on the Titantron, who says that we’re going to have a Very Special Match tonight: DB and Kane will be teaming up, and they’re going to face CM Punk… and AJ. AJ loses her smile and looks spooked. Punk looks worried, DB laughs his ass off, and Kane doesn’t care.

Okay, so WWE is ultra-hyper-paranoid about any man-on-woman violence, but goes ahead and makes this match? How silly. I mean, we all know that AJ isn’t going to get touched, but really, what’s the point? It’s a tepid end to an otherwise decent segment.

Segment 10, Part 1 [Fatal Four-Way Elimination Match, winner is #1 contender to the World Heavyweight Championship]: Everyone defeats Khali by pin. Khali went house of fire immediately and beat the shit out of everyone, so they decided to hell with alignments, they need to work together. So Swagger chop blocked Khali’s leg, then Ziggler hit a sweet dropkick, then Christian hit the Frog Splash. All three dog-piled the guy, and he took the pin.

We go to commercial, then…

Segment 10, Part 2: Dolph Ziggler defeats Jack Swagger by pin. Back-and-forth pretty much the whole way, with Dolph getting tossed from the ring after a bit. Jack took that moment to lock in the ankle lock on Christian’s surgically repaired ankle, and he couldn’t get the ropes. But Christian eventually rolled through and sent him shoulder-first into the ring post. Christian then hopped to his feet, no-selling the damage to the ankle, and hit the Killswitch. Then Christian sold the damage to the ankle, and he was unable to make the pin. That made Dolph quickly slide in the ring and made the pin on Jack. Huh.

Segment 10, Part 3: Dolph Ziggler defeats Christian by pin, and is #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Title. Fantastic finish to the match. From Swagger getting eliminated, Dolph and Christian basically went balls-out with speed and smoothness, and nothing I write will do it justice. There were no noteworthy spots per se—nothing extremely unusual or high risk—but they clicked very well together and everything they did was rapid-fire and silky-smooth. They paused momentarily for Dolph to put Christian in a modified single leg crab, so Dolph was putting extra pressure on the ankle, which helped tell the story. Otherwise, both guys had legitimate near-falls, and the crowd was deservedly and ridiculously into it. YouTube this bad boy.

The ending sequence was excellent. Dolph went for the Zig Zag, but Christian slipped out and hit a reverse DDT. He went for the pin and failed, so he quickly went to the top rope. Dolph jumped up on the bottom rope to try to distract him, but Christian punched him off. Christian readied a Frog Splash, but Vickie started screaming something from ringside. It distracted Christian, but he jumped anyway as Dolph came up off the canvas. Christian simply tried to land on his feet, but the ankle damage was too great, and he wasn’t able to stick the landing. Dolph quickly followed up with a Zig Zag, this time hitting it, and he made the pin.

As Dolph celebrates after the match, he screams “About damn time!” I’m sure there are many in the IWC who are saying the same thing, buddy.

As Dolph headed up the ramp, Sheamus came out, and they stared each other down and talked some shit. Sheamus posed with the title, but Dolph was unimpressed, and was very confident.

Segment 11: Natalya is wearing a gorgeous pink dress, and she’s thanking Vince McMahon over and over for his match at WrestleMania 25 against Bret Hart since the entire Hart family was there. Natalya totally wants to do that again, but Vince politely peels himself away from her grasp and excuses himself.

Naomi and Cameron arrive then and form the Ass Voltron two inches in front of him. This makes him happy (who wouldn’t be after that?), so they ask him for a favor: reverse Ace’s decision to ban Brodus Clay from RAW. Vince declines, so they simultaneous screech a whine in stereo. Ugh.

Cameron says she thought Vince was actually in charge around here. But she also heard he knows how to get funky, and is that true? He considers it, screams that they need to call his mama, and then—despite being backstage—the lighting goes multi-color as Brodus’s music plays. All three “dance,” then the girls run off as Vince hits a pose.

He turns, and Zack Ryder is there with his jaw dropped. Vince considers him for a moment, then screams “Woo woo woo, you know it!” with a fist bump before leaving. I can’t believe it either, Zack.

Segment 12 [1-on-2 Handicap Match, Tornado Rules]: Ryback squashes Some Guy & Some Other Guy by pin. These fans were way less into this than before. Stranger still, they actually started chanting “Goldberg… Goldberg…” halfway through. Interesting, and funny. Why is Ryback still wasting my time on my TV, anyway?

Commercial: The next season of Burn Notice starts this Thursday. Fucking A.

Segment 13: Hornswoggle and Vince are watching TV in the back, specifically Horny’s spot where he dresses as Jim Ross on the last SmackDown. Vince follows that up by taking Horny’s hat, screwing his face up, and screaming “Stone Cold!” four times. Apparently Vince still isn’t over hazing and mocking good ol’ JR for some reason.

Horny leaves, and John Cena comes in. Words are exchanged, and Cena wants to know why Vince hasn’t fired Ace already, since he sucks. Vince thanks him for his management advice, but points out that Cena lost at WrestleMania. How that has anything to do with Ace objectively sucking at his job, who knows.

And anyway, Cena points out that if we’re judging success by one’s WrestleMania record, let’s run down how Vince has done: lost to Hulk Hogan, Bret, Shawn Michaels… and wonders if he lost to Snooki. Heh.

Vince diverts subjects and wants to know if Cena can take out Big Show on Sunday, then warns him not to run down and interfere with Kofi’s match against Big Show. Cena says he talked to Kofi, and Kofi will “handle his business,” just Cena will on Sunday. So since we’re all handling our business, Cena needs to handle his on Ace. Then Cena sucks up and says Trump so totally stole “You’re fired” from Vince, so Vince needs to use those words tonight. Vince says he’ll consider it, and that gives me a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Cena leaves, and then Otunga arrives to do more sucking up. Vince says no one has any respect for a man who would literally pucker up and kiss someone else’s behind. Then Vince turns off-camera and says “No offense.” Camera pans… and it’s William Regal sitting there looking like he just got caught masturbating. I thought Regal had been fired… who am I mixing him up with? Probably Finlay.

Anyway, that’s the end of that retarded segment.

Segment 14 [Singles Steel Cage Match, Modern Rules]: Big Show defeats Kofi Kingston by cage escape. Storyline match, not technically entertaining, but it served its purpose. Show basically beat the crap out of Kofi in every way imaginable, until Kofi got an out-of-nowhere Trouble in Paradise. But one finisher with nothing else isn’t going to keep the world’s largest athlete down.

Kofi tried a second one a bit later, but Show caught his leg. Helpless, Kofi ate a WMD, and that was it. Rather than make the pin, Show just sort of wandered around for thirty seconds, absorbing the boos and giving the fans dirty looks. Finally, Show casually strolled out through the door and walked away.

On the stage, Show did the “You can’t see me” taunt in the crowd’s general direction before leaving.

We get a smash cut where Ace is in the back, watching the match on a monitor, and smiling like a loon as he sees Kofi unconscious and in pain. Ass.

Segment 15 [Singles Match]: Sin Cara defeats Curt Hawkins by pin. Decent match, nothing special, other than the fact that Cara’s spots were way more smooth this time; no split-second setup delays. The match ended with his new finisher, which from this particular camera angle looks more like a tilt-a-whirl bulldog. Kinda neat.

Cut Scene: WWE promotes a series on its YouTube channel called “Backstage Fallout,” which is “instant feedback from superstars” as they go back through the curtain after matches or segments. Interesting idea, but it’s not something I would point out, except… well… they do a montage, and OO’s New Favorite is there in one of the clips. Damien Sandow looked at the guy and just says in an absolutely perfect tone, “Are you trying to allude that I fail at anything I do?” The interview sheepishly replies, “No, uh, I would… I would never do that.” Ha! Even in a tiny clip in a throwaway cut scene of a separate series on a different medium, Damien Sandow somehow adds to his character and is more awesome for it.

Segment 16: DB is stretching in the back, and Vince arrives to wish him luck. DB is wary: why would Vince wish “someone like him” any luck? Vince hesitates, then admits that DB certainly doesn’t look like a WWE superstar, let alone a WWE champion. DB says that they do have one thing in common: they’re self-made successes that defied expectations.

Vince agrees with that, but “unlike the time it took you to lose your WWE Championship [sic] at WrestleMania, I don’t think I’ve ever finished anything in 18 seconds.” See, that’s funny because Vince is implying that he doesn’t climax to orgasm while having sex in a mere 18 seconds, because he’s such a virile man. Once again, can’t you understand and appreciate the hilarity there? You do get it, right?

Segment 17: Now we get the RAW memory of Dolph Ziggler, and his memory is the very first RAW ever back in 1993.

Pre-Segment 18: Heath Slater is already in the ring for a match. Justin Roberts has the mic and announces the opponent, Some Guy who is apparently excited about RAW’s 1000th episode, a “main eventer” from the past. Slater arrives to bitch out Roberts and wonder why, in fact, we give a shit about 1000 episodes. And for that matter, why are we caring about starts from the past, when he’s the future! And it’s his time!

Actually, no: it’s Vader time!

Segment 18 [Singles Match]: Vader defeats Heath Slater by pin. I don’t know if it was because he was wearing black rather than red, but he looked way less fat than the last time we saw him. Solid match with a couple cute spots: we saw Slater whip Vader off the ropes, then grabbed him for what was probably supposed to be a scoop slam. That obviously wasn’t happening, so Slater just collapsed backwards and fell with Vader on him. Slater kicked out of that, but wound up eating a Vader Bomb to lose.

The fans were extremely hot for this. They had at least three or four separate chants from bell to bell, including “You still got it!,” which was certainly deserved. Good stuff.

Segment 19: AJ is freaking out in the back, so Punk calms her down. He adds that it’s just a glorified handicap match. But don’t worry, because unlike the heels, they can trust each other. AJ adds: “And we really really really like each other!”

Punk gives her a “Did you forget your meds?” look, then politely orders her to stand on the apron and, “though it goes against every fiber of your being, don’t do anything crazy.” She seems mollified, and she smooches his cheek. She runs off, but we see Punk looking a little less mollified. Either way, we’ll see the results on the other side of the commercials.

Segment 20 [Intergender Tag Match]: CM Punk & AJ defeat Daniel Bryan & Kane by pin. Not exactly a thriller, but that was a fun match that served its purpose.

Punk and DB to start, with DB getting the upper hand. He tags out to Kane, and Punk starts to tag out before remembering who is partner is. He stops and resigns himself to face Kane, but Kane gets the upper hand with that too. Punk manages to go belly-to-back to Kane, but Kane runs backward, driving Punk back-first into his own corner… where he collides with AJ’s hand.

Referee McDoucher is on top of it and signals a legit tag while Punk flies through the ropes. AJ hesitantly gets in the ring as Kane stands in the middle of it, staring at her. AJ looks nervous, but then whips out her best weapons that are PG-rated: those lovely brown eyes and infectious smile. Then she merrily skips circles around Kane, who just looks confused, but who finally turns to face her when she stops at his back.

She’s still all smiles as she jumps at him, locking her arms around his neck while sticking her legs straight forward. He doesn’t support her weight at all attesting to AJ’s arm strength, and she then applies her most vicious move at all: the dreaded Lip Lock of Womanly Charms. Kane even closes his eyes as the one-way make out session ensues, while the crowd ballistic and starts chanting “Yes! Yes!,” apparently confused about whether they’re watching WWE or a porn scene with particularly crappy writing.

I really wish I was making up any part of the preceding paragraph, but if I must be honest, it did work, though it wouldn’t have if the last few weeks (from AJ going nuts to her interfering with everyone) hadn’t set it up this way.

AJ finishes her rest hold and hops off. Kane didn’t move an inch the whole time, but once she dismounted, his immediate reaction was to “tag” DB in by smashing him in the chest. Kane then went through the ropes… and promptly left entirely.

DB ran in the ring and charged AJ, but Punk had recovered by then. AJ dodged DB’s charge while simultaneously tagging Punk, who went old-school by just punching DB in the face, followed by a roundhouse kick over the top rope. From there, Punkers hit the Macho Man Elbow Drop, made the pin, and took the win.

After the match, AJ mimicked Punk by sitting in the middle of the ring cross-legged like Punk, then started swaying off-beat to Punk’s music. Nice! Just as Damien Sandow is doing everything he needs to do to exude “prick,” AJ really is doing all the little things to exude “three books short of a library.” [Ed. Note: I concur. OO does not like crazy chicks, because crazy chicks are obnoxious loads, if you're talking about real life. But OO sure has been enjoying AJ lately, because OO DOES like watching crazy chicks pointing their crazy at OTHER dudes, who have to deal with it. This all goes back to the run-in with the Big Show, when she stopped seeming an entirely one-dimensional "Miss Elizabeth" and forced you to wonder if she was Adorable or Accomplice. And now, there's a chance she's an independent mastermind... or maybe just a whackjob. Good times...]

Segment 21: Well, that was our main event match, so now it’s time for the main event promo. After commercials, Vince hits the stage with a shit-ton (read: five) of Arena Security Staff. Once in the ring, he says that he has a special place in his heart for Connecticut, especially Hartford, where they are. After all, one life started here (Stephanie to be specific), so he thinks it’s poetic justice that another life at least professionally ends here.

So he calls out Ace, who starts by saying he totally doesn’t appreciate Vince breaking his People Power Rascal, but that he also shouldn’t have bothered bringing security, because no matter what Vince says, Ace wouldn’t touch him. Vince replies that the security isn’t there for him, but to walk “a certain someone” out of the arena and their company.

Ace throws himself on the mercy of the court one more time, once again citing People Power as the reason. Vince says that “People Power” are two words synonymous with Ace, but Vince has his own two words synonymous with him. So Ace…

Well, it’s the Big Show. Show hits the ring and points out that, due to Ace’s ironclad contract with Show, Show can say or do anything he wants. Of course, Vince could still technically fire him, but WWE would still have to pay him millions of dollars for many, many years. Obviously, Vince would totally not to do that. Regardless, don’t blame Ace for any of that: there’s only one person to blame. For that matter, there’s only one person to blame for all of Show’s costumes, for all the movies and interviews, and everything else over the years: Vince McMahon himself.

Show was too big, too scary to be a giant; ergo Vince wanted him to be “entertaining.” But now that he’s no longer under Vince’s contract or thumb, Show can be what he really is: a giant. So don’t worry about firing Ace: Vince should be concerned about the other John. Because on Sunday, Show will be the holy hell out of him, and Cena will no longer be fit to be the face of WWE.

Now that Cena’s name has been uttered, Cena has an excuse to grace us with his presence, and he gets a solid cheer… so solid that I can’t friggin’ hear his pre-entrance words. Cena points out that when Show first turned, he blamed it on Cena for not defending him to Ace. Then, Show blamed the fans for turning their backs on him. Now, he’s blaming Vince; really, the only one who can be blamed is “that chain-smoking cripple” Johnny Ace for giving him a crap-ton of money.

And now Sho wants to say that he’s “now able to be a giant,” but he’s always been a giant! No, what Show is really worried about is that, now, everything revolves around Show. He’s got a huge amount of money, he’s got management’s backing, he’s got the match he wants, and he’s got the opponent he wants. Clearly, Show has put himself in a match he has to win!

But what if you, you know, don’t win? Then Show will be out of excuses! If Cena gets up from their match at No Way Out, then Show will have no one left to blame! He’ll no longer be the “world’s largest athlete,” he’ll be the world’s largest disappointment. And due to the ironclad contract, he’ll have to still show up to the shows and face the crowd’s music of being called a sellout every week. So what then?

Well Vince has the answer: he’s going to be sitting at ringside at No Way Out, and he’ll be sitting by Ace. And if Big Show loses, then Vince will fire Ace.

This pisses off Show enough to grab Cena’s throat. The Arena Security Staff swarm and separate them, but Cena and Show toss their respective security off them, then go after each other. Ace and Vince then try to separate them to no avail, and Show goes for the WMD… nailing Vince.

All action stops, and Show leaves the ring on Ace’s orders. Cena looks on in a little too much shock as one trainer hits the ring to check on Vince, and we fade out.

Final Thoughts: What a ridiculous ending. I don’t mean the punch to Vince; that’s fitting within the story. I mean Vince changing his mind a thousand times about when or if to fire Ace. I know slow-burning a story is good and can make for a better payoff, but this whole teasing about firing or not firing is annoying. And more to the point, it’s a little pointless given that this is, you know, professional wrestling. I don’t see how putting Vince or Ace ringside for the No Way Out main event adds to the match at all.

Overall the night was all right. Usually when we get episodes of WWE containing segments of mixed quality, the good is really good and the bad is really bad. This time, that didn’t happen: the good was really good, but the bad was “meh” at worst. Nothing actively annoyed, but the bad did actively bore… though the good actively engaged. In my view, that’s a net positive, especially given a DVR and the ability to fast-forward through stupid crap, but your opinion may differ.

Here’s the thing though: normally when RAW is three hours long, it’s predicated on some special gimmick to excuse it. This is the first three-hour RAW I can recall that was supposed to be just a normal, extended episode (Vince’s presence excepted), and the over-thinking part of me wonders if this was a test run for next month’s permanent change. If so, it wasn’t a failure, but damned if it wasn’t anything special. If adding a third hour is just a way to get some of the undercarders more exposure, then I’m down for it. I’m sure the mixed tag match would have been axed without the third hour, and Layla/Beth worked pretty well together. All I worry about is if they add a whole bunch of stupid bullshit for the third hour, like even more recaps or more Ryback squashes or something. For one night, the added hour didn’t feel like it make the show overly long, so hopefully they can keep that up when they make the change in July. Forgive me, however, for not being optimistic about it.

I’ve got nothing more, and we’re nearly at 6000 words, so I’m gonna go. Have a good week, and we’ll see you this weekend for SmackDown.

Episode Grade: B-


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