“Monday Night Raw” Post-Mortem

13 Jan

Monday Night Raw
Monday, January 12
Sioux City, IA

Well, hello, blog. Long time, no see. Wednesday, was it? My apologies. But I’m back, delivering but one of many shocks this evening! Zow! Zag!

But first, some fun facts about Sioux City (pronounced soo-suddy), Iowa: eggs, biscuits, soup, cheese — whoops, that’s my shopping list. Which is just as well, ’cause Sioux City isn’t all that interesting save for one important exception: Monday Night Raw has leased the local abandoned Kmart for a sweaty soiree tonight. Welcome! Yeah!

It’s two hours of gasps aplenty, though you wouldn’t know it from the prologue, with Shawn Michaels in economic anguish as John Bradshaw Layfield lays out his grand scheme for the upcoming Royal Rumble, beginning with Michaels’ toe-to-toe tango with heavyweight champ John Cena tonight. “You’re not fighting for a title,” JBL explains to the heartbroken Heartbreak Kid, “you’re fighting for a paycheck. You can consider this your Wrestlemania.” How much longer will Michaels accept this humiliation?

Speaking of humiliation, let’s go live to Raw general manager Stephanie McMahon and her bug-light zzzt! delivered to smuggo Chris Jericho, who spits up one “hypocrite” too many in his public harangue of the boss’ daughter. The big news is that Vince McMahon‘s returning to the (deep breath) LONGESTRUNNINGEPISODICPROGRAMINTELEVISIONHISTORY (exhale) next Monday, a day upon which, according to Jericho, all wrongs will be righted. The formal complaint he’d filed the week before will finally be considered, the proper action finally taken. Stephanie will tumble down the corporate ladder as Y2J’s stature and influence continues to grow. Jericho’s growing right now, in fact, his chest expanding in gaseous righteousness, his countenance swelling to an ungodly size. What he doesn’t count on is Stephanie’s possession of an icepick in the form of two words made legendary by her father, then Donald Trump, and, finally, to zealous Taco Bell managers across the Pacific Northwest: “You’re fired!”

Ouch! Oh, Chris, these ain’t exactly the most ideal economic conditions for your thick-headed pride. Shock 1 tortures the Great Wall as security escorts him from the venue. I hope he doesn’t have to get a job in town. See that cat scrubbing potatoes off your Mighty Mite Platter, son? Why, that’s Chris Jericho. He used to be somebody, till that fateful night two weeks before the 2008 Royal Rumble. Drop a quarter in the juke,  boy. Punch up B7, and I’ll tell you a story of hubris and heartache.

The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio
Shock 2: For the first night in I dunno how many weeks, Mysterio‘s 619 actually works as a finishing move. As usual, Mike Knox rumbles from the earth’s core to crush the tiny dynamo, but the Lilliputian by way of San Diego ain’t hearin’ it from hirsute bullies tonight, delivering Shock 3 in a sudden ability to drop the human brickhouse to its moss-laden knees. All Knox can do is retreat and glare as Rey vanishes in a perfect storm of adulation.

Winner: Rey Mysterio

Intercontinental Championship, Part II
CM Punk vs. William Regal
Faithful viewers will recall last week’s shenanigans, when Regal retained his title by purposely disqualifying himself. He lost the match but kept the belt. Stephanie interrupted his creep-away by demanding he defend it this week under a new stipulation: He could not weasel loose with a DQ again. Tonight Regal trades rodent’s skin for a fox coat as he treads lightly with Punk to avoid any notion of reptilian behavior. He sees his chance when the ref is out of skeptical range, really selling a Punk blow to the tummy. The ref accuses the challenger of hitting below the belt and disqualifies him. The bell peals; Regal escapes with Shock 4.

Winner: William Regal (DQ)

Backstage, Mickie James and Cody Rhodes gab about the snow when a human blizzard sweeps past, carrying the dejected Sim Snuka and Manu, late of Randy Orton‘s Legacy goon squad. The duo want revenge, informing Rhodes that Orton faces retribution tonight — they’re gonna slap the ink right off his tattoos and make him cry. To ensure their success, they’ve enlisted a mysterious third party, ” a second generation, just like us.” Who could it be? Ted DiBiase Jr.? Goldust? One of the long lost Flairs? Personally, I wish it were Liam Neeson in Taken:

Shock 5: Stephanie McMahon’s fed up with Regal’s antics and orders the Intercontinental Champion to face Punk again, this time in a No Disqualification contest. Isn’t that what she should’ve done in the first place? Of course not. See, Raw‘s broadcasting live next week from Punk’s hometown. Boffo gate, baby. Shrewd! (And bad news for Regal.)

Off in the locker room Shawn Michaels carries the world’s burden on his grizzled shoulders. Not only does he have to worry about John Cena, but what’s poor Chris Jericho gonna do now? “Don’t worry about Chris,” JBL assures him. “He saved his money.” Michaels must focus tonight, to set up his boss for Royal Rumble glory.

Kane vs. Randy Orton
Orton’s accompanied by a very preoccupied Rhodes, who keeps a watchful eye on every corner of the arena for foreign blurs and shadows. He’s got a lot on his mind too: Does he betray his new keeper or fight by his side? Orton’s got his own problem: a pissed-off slab of man who sees him like a pit bull sees a Frisbee. Both men counter each other’s finishers, and it seems like Kane‘s got it wrapped up as he clambers to the top rope to spread his victim across the canvas like so much Play-Doh. Instead, Orton boots him in the tummy, loosing all the cadavers Kane devours with a tall glass of formaldehyde before each match, and pins the big man for the win. Or, actually, he doesn’t. The instant replay shows him clearly raising his shoulder before the dead-man three. He follows the ref down the corridor to protest or maybe slurp up his lungs.

As promised, Manu and Snuka materialize to make good on their threat. They also reveal the identity of their third man: Ted DiBiase Jr., whom Orton had RKO’d a month or so ago right onto the injured list (DiBiase was actually filming a movie). The trio advances, and when Rhodes steps into the ring, it looks like the Legend Killer is boxed-in doomed. That is, until Shock 6 reveals itself. DiBiase suddenly switches sides and joins Orton and Rhodes in a monumental thrashing of their banished partners. The Legacy faction is fractured, but somehow stronger than ever. And Priceless is back, presumably to reclaim the tag-team title.

Winner: Randy Orton, all the way around

Beth Phoenix/Jillian vs. Kelly Kelly/Melina
Mercifully, this one never makes it to the ring. Mercifully, Jillian doesn’t know the Iowa state song. As Melina struts down the runway, a figure in black explodes from the gallery to flail and wail on the Californian beauty. It’s Phoenix super-fan Rosa Mendez, again, incognito in hat and shades. Security drags her off as Jillian and Beth take advantage of Shock 7’s diversion to continue clobbering their babyface quarry.

Winner: N/A

On a more celebratory note, Orton congratulates Rhodes and DiBiase for their loyalty and performance — the most gracious he’s been in months — but adds ominously that come Rumble time, it’s every man for himself. Elsewhere a line of second-stringers (Jamie Noble, Dolph Ziggler, Cryme Tyme, and Goldust) waits outside Stephanie’s office to audition for the upcoming 30-man extravaganza. Santino Marella emerges triumphant and dogs the hopefuls. Ziggler introduces himself to Noble, whose face gnarls in disgust.

Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena
JBL’s limo sputters toward the ring and coughs up master and servant. Michaels mopes toward the ring as his peppy theme cries out, “I’m just a sexy boy!” The Heartbreak Kid looks anything but cocky and desirable tonight. The gracious Cena offers his hand in a display of sportsmanship. Michaels approaches it like it’s a barely caged tiger, but shakes it heartily.

It’s a vigorous, rigorous battle, kids, one for the books. There are submission moves aplenty: Michaels ensnares Cena in both the Figure 4 and crossface, the latter twice. Both men even deliver their finishers. Cena fans past his jaw with the trademarked “You Can’t See Me” swipe, then looses the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Michaels counters with a DDT. No pin attempt is successful. Later, Cena avoids HBK’s deadly Sweet Chin Music and executes an FU. No dice. But Michaels does eventually land his patented puss-kick; unfortunately, Cena’s got too much fortitude to buckle under the 1-2-3. Another submission ploy, this time deployed by the champ, is stymied when Michaels reaches the ropes with some barely discernible assistance from his ringside supervisor. Finally, battered by fatigue and expectations, Michaels launches another Sweet Chin Music, mops the champ’s chops in just the right spot, and Cena hits the ground like a big, beefy fir, this time for keeps.

Winner: Shawn Michaels

Shocking! Zap y’all next week.

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