“Monday Night Raw” Post-Mortem

Monday Night Raw
Monday, December 22
Toronto, Canada

Tonight begins with an emergency–I snap out of an Entourage marathon (got hooked last weekend and dropped romaine for all four available seasons this afternoon–I get Vince, E, Drama, Turtle, and Ari; everyone else: enjoy your cards) with three minutes to spare, spill a manmade tower of CDs and novels reaching for my lucky spiral, then race up and down stairs looking for a suitable pen.

Fuck these pens.

Fuck these pens.

First I plucked a Pilot Precise Gel, but it sputtered on the second swoop (nice flow, but its tiny inkwells are for SHIT). Got plenty of Pentel Wow!s scattered about, but you’re better off writing with a sheep’s tongue. In desperation I grabbed a reliable substitute, the Zebra Zebroller 2000, from a package I brought back last year from my old job. Red ink’s a drag–I feel like I’m grading papers–but I cannot argue with its speed (it actually keeps up with even the most scattered mind) and  comfort. So, here we are, hello.

Ho, ho, ho, it’s Christmas in Toronto, even though Canadians don’t actually celebrate the holiday–they’re still pissed we call ’em reindeer and not caribou. But that doesn’t stop heel comic relief Santino Marella from opening the show with an announcement sure to rock junior hosers right outta their washrooms. It’s about the veracity of Santa Claus (spoiler alert: he’s real, and a John Cena fan to boot!). But before he can spill the dastardly beans, idol to all audio-sweetened kids John Cena runs interference with emasculating comments about Barbie and frilly pink apparel (I’m a little sloshed, so I could very easily be making that last thing up. Oh, this pen feels so nice.) Foiled, the outraged Marella challenges the otherwise unoccupied champ to a mixed tag team match with him and his better, more masculine half, Women’s title-holder Beth “The Glamazon” Phoenix. Good thing–otherwise CM Punk/Chis Jericho’s the main event with Cena basically thumbing through Burl Ives records and hanging stockings backstage. The champ accepts and beats a hasty exit to locate some honey for his eggnog.

Meanwhile, within the clamor and heat, Kane drags Kelly Kelly out for an impromptu epilogue to last week’s G-rated torture porn. Apparently, he’s been asked by Raw impresariatrix Stephanie McMahon for an official apology. (Guess he ran out of crayons!) “I apologize,” he spits through a haunted-house picket-fence of booga-booga bile. He knows now that the Miz, the poor fellow he used as a jackhammer last Monday, is not her paramour. Our collective contemplation is cut off by the cawing entrance music of Mr. Shawn Michaels. “I’m just a sexy boy,” his atonal vocals growl. “I’m not your boy toy.” (Wrestlers seldom make good crooners–anyone remember JYD’s “Grab Them Cakes”?) It’s certainly not him. He’s married and old.

Kane vs. Shawn Michaels
Forgot to mention: tonight’s four main brouhahas determine participants in next week’s Fatal Four-Way, the victor of which tangles for Cena’s belt at the upcoming Royal Rumble. The opener is a fast-paced bruiser, with Kane employing the Heartbreak Kid as an unwilling prop in a demonstration of physics. Finally, Michaels dismisses the class with some Sweet Chin Music for the big man, who snoozes malevolently through the 1-2-3.

Winner: Shawn Michaels (advances)

Kofi Kingston vs. Manu
Nothing on the line here, folks, just a surly Samoan and partner Cody Rhodes glowering at ringside, both in stark contrast to the chipper Kofi wishing everyone on the planet a merry Christmas. What an irie joe. Aerodynamic and sneaky too, with enough counters and reversals in his arsenal to keep red pens swooning across paper. The last sequence is a dooz: Kofi springboards off the top turnbuckle and into Manu’s waiting embrace. Manu’s about to hug him into two Kofis when his slippery quarry scrambles off his shoulders and somehow flips the bigger man counterclockwise onto his back for the pin, furthering fueling speculation that Kofi Kingston is actually a Pixar creation.

Winner: Kofi Kingston

John Cena’s spotted backstage making time with Kelly Kelly. Has she agreed to be his tag-team partner, or is he recruiting her for The Marine II? The bigger question, of course, is with Kane already a Crock Pot of apeshit, will this send him over the edge?

Somewhere else among the loose mats and stacked tables stands Sim Snuka selling Randy Orton a bill of goods: himself, as an addition to the growing Legacy. With Manu a loser, Orton seriously considers the offer. Manu and Snuka stare winter wonderlands into each others’ souls.

Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole remind us that the D-Generation X holiday spot we’re about to see was recorded before Shawn Michaels’ current financial woes, before he allied himself with cabbage-dripper John Bradshaw Layfield. And, yup, there’s DX (Michaels and Triple H) in happier corny times, shilling WWE merchandise and slapping each other across the chest, first as good-natured ribs, then as chops chock full of meaning. Michaels extolls the complete WWE SummerSlam DVD set, highlighting his 2002 victory over Triple H. Triple H retorts with a catty slice about homeboy’s fading hairline. Blows are exchanged.

Flash to Now Shawn, Downtrodden Shawn, gabbing Now Words with CM Punk when Now Triple H saunters into the locker room to ask his trusted partner why he’s been so tight-lipped about his money troubles. “Don’t let pride bring you down,” Triple H advises, borrowing from any of Talia Shire’s Rocky series speeches. “I’ve got to do this my way!” Michaels barks, reminding me of that old forgotten FOX series The Heights, for some reason. (“It’s about me, Mom! What I want! And I wanna play pandering pop with my good-looking pals!”). H exits, ominously whistling “How Do You Talk to an Angel.” Speaking of angels…



Mickie James and Melina vs. Jillian Hall and Layla
With Double-Kel and Beth Phoenix lost in their own storylines, the remaining divas (where’s Candice Michelle?) get to claw each other for Christmas cheer. William Regal mumbles patter from the commentators’ table. Many flips, countless flashes of thong, and at least one British butt crack (Layla’s) ensue until finally Melina gets the full-body pirhouette on poor top-heavy Jillian.

Winner: Mickie James and Melina

Rey Mysterio vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
In the second qualifying match of the night, Mysterio drops an immense weight from his worried mind when Stephanie McMahon gives human Chevy van Mike Knox the night off. Sadly, Rey has to contend instead with the weight, both literal and financial, of JBL, who looses at least seven elbow drops on his smaller victim, then later ejects him from the ring completely. Groggily, Mysterio stumbles back in, barely beating the ten-count. Miraculously, the momentum shifts, but before Rey can execute his devastating 619 finishing move, Layfield’s staff of one pulls his CEO to safety and, after making sure the referee is watching, stings the ol’ hoss across the left cheek. Poor Rey watches in horror as JBL’s declared the winner after “outside interference.”

Winner: John Bradshaw Layfield (advances)

Randy Orton vs. Batista
The only blows delivered are verbal and one-sided. Batista, who Orton punted in the conoxsis last week, is declared unable to compete, leaving his opponent an entire ring from which to reflect upon his fortune. He recounts his accomplishments, all of which pale in comparison to his strategic placekick. “I have been dreaming of kicking Batista in the skull for four years,” he reveals. “Christmas came early.” He wraps with the ooo snap! o’ “Your career ended right where it started: taking a backseat to me.” Orton predicts his new title reign and scrubs down with the essence of Canuck raspberries.

Winner: Randy Orton, by forfeit (advances)

A floating finger taps Kelly Kelly as she prepares for tag-team battle. It’s Dolph Ziggler, who extends his hand in introduction. (Hasn’t he met everyone, multiple times, by now?) Soon another digit parks atop her shoulder, this one more persistent and not quite as friendly. It’s the Miz and his partner, the Shaman, John Morrison. Neither are happy with their treatment at the chokeslammin’ mitts of Kane last week. So they’ve taken revenge, trashing the poor girl’s hotel suite, something Jim Morrison could’ve done all by himself.

Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk
Here’s a switch: Jericho, a maple-leaf resident, receives a vocal-wall push over his opponent, the babyface CM Punk. Y2J’s Canadian brothers serenade him with loutish choruses of their stirring anthem, and it’s just what he needs to administer a sudden Codebreaker on his straight-edge side-thorn after the latter pounces from the top rope for a potential finishing blow. It’s enough to tuck a young Punk in for the night and the holidays. Strangely, Jericho doesn’t speak for the first time in weeks.

Winner: Chris Jericho (advances)

Oop, Cena just lost his partner. The panicked Kelly clomps into the parking garage for the drive to her h0tel, where she’ll likely find a jumble of her Nora Ephron novels and Conde Nast publications strewn about the carpet like an intellectual hiccup. Cena, meanwhile, struts ringward alone, a knowing smirk across his Rushmore puss.

After weeks of humiliation (he lost to Hornswoggle, for God’s sake!), Santino Marella finally scores a marquee match again. The Canadians shower him with love. He points out Beth Phoenix audience plant Rosa Perez and declares himself her idol. “Listen up, children of the world,” he warns. “I’m gonna tell you something so big, it’s gonna change your life forever.” Sadly, his secret is buried under John Cena’s rousing theme. Christmas is saved!

His gay jokes exhausted, Cena claims he knows all about Santino’s bombshell. “Santa Claus, tonight, is here!” he yells excitedly, and sure enough, Kris Kringle’s among the Hollywood Northerners. “He gave me one Christmas wish,” Cena continues: an alternate, surprise tag-team partner. And when said shocker swivels  out, the roof tumbles from the dump and the world knows love again. It’s Trish Stratus, that Ghost of Diva Past!

Not accustomed to being upstaged, Phoenix explodes on Stratus, Stratus explodes on Phoenix, and we silly wolves watch the pretty fireworks and pant. Alas, it must come to an end (gotta make time for Burn Notice), which it does, with Stratus on the apron lookin’ sharp and Cena sending Marella crashing to the earth with a deadly FU.

Winner: John Cena and Trish Stratus

Merry Christmas. Send more pens and Entourage Season 5!


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