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UNDER THE MICROSCOPE - 1/5 WWE Raw: HBK's "history," Axiomatic Jericho, Substantial Penalty for Early Withdrawal

Jan 6, 2009 - 11:36:41 AM
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By Lee Stevens, PWTorch Specialist

Thank you for taking the time to join me once again as we put Raw "Under The Microscope." For new readers, this is not a full recap. It's a chance to take a closer look at important events during the broadcast, or little things you may have missed.

Enjoying the show?

There were several contenders for fan of the night, but my money is on the guy in the blue sweater. In the first few minutes of the show, he held up a sign stating "Rosa Mendez Fan," then quickly switched to "Greatest Of All The Time" and finally transitioned to "Nick Hogan Drove Me Here." Tasteless? Sure, but thanks for giving us so many options so quickly. After dropping the signs, he took some pictures and then had time to take a phone call all before JBL arrived. He showed more effort in five minutes than most of my staff did the entire day.

Later, I noticed the only other possible candidate and his seat was in the same general area. I hope you saw the fan dressed in full "old-school" Kane mode, complete with the long hair and red mask. He loses points for not trusting the quality of the costume as he also held up a big sign which read "Kane." Thanks for the help. We had it narrowed down to The Big Red Machine or one of the Olsen twins, but the sign cleared it up nicely.

Other duties as assigned

I respect the opinion of those who are not enjoying the JBL/Shawn Michaels arrangement, but I personally don't see anything wrong with the story line. In fact, I think they should take it another step further. Why isn't Michaels driving his limo? If JBL has this kind of control over Michaels, I want to see him dictate what he wears to the ring. As an employee, Shawn's entrance music should either be JBL's music, or a modified version of the theme. Continue breaking the man by insisting that every aspect of his on-air role is determined by JBL.

Where did you get it?

JBL has clearly evolved from his role as one of The Acolytes into his current persona as the Wall Street genius. The tattoos on the chest are gone as is the menacing goatee, so why is his finishing maneuver still "The Clothesline From Hell?" I understand that it gives the move a powerful name, but it probably fit much better when we thought he did most of his shopping there. He bills himself as coming from New York City because of his Stock Market leanings, so why not change the name to match? It could be "The Stock Market Crash" or "The Final Bell" or even "Substantial Penalty For Early Withdrawal."

I remember him doing this briefly just before pairing with Orlando Jordan as "The Cabinet," referring to it as "The Clothesline From Wall Street," but reverting to the current location. Maybe it means something to him. Maybe he knows people there. I shouldn't judge.

Never mind

For the past several weeks, many readers have speculated that Stephanie McMahon had issued an edict stating that she must not be shown on camera from the waist down.

Never mind.

The miniskirt was the defining fashion statement for London in the 1960's and it was reportedly developed by Mary Quant, who ran a clothing store in Chelsea. Thank you, Mary.

Word of the day

Axiomatic--taken for granted or self-evident

So, when Chris Jericho said that his involvement in The Royal Rumble was axiomatic, he was doing two things. One, he was insisting that it was an obvious selection and two, he forced me to consult a dictionary.

I certainly hope Microscope Reader and English teacher Ian Carter is reading this. My brain hurts.

I-C you've made your choices

It's tough to argue with the names C.M. Punk chose during his interview before his Intercontinental Title match. Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect are in the WWE Hall of Fame and Ricky Steamboat will likely be inducted at some point. Despite the obvious respect, Hart and Curt Henning each held the belt twice and Steamboat was champ only once. Their combined five title reigns are less than Jeff Jarrett and Rob Van Dam, who each held the belt six times, but with both out of the WWE, clearly couldn't have been named and the leader is Chris Jericho, who was I-C Champion a record eight times.

If you're using a modified Honk-A-Meter, Mr. Perfect's combined reigns were longer than Hart's, with Steamboat in a distant third among the three legends.

Celebrate Accordingly

William Regal and C.M. Punk provide an interesting contrast and not just in the ring. Punk prides himself on his "straight edge" lifestyle, which appears to extend to his personal life and not just his on-camera role. Regal's edge hasn't been as straight, with an arrest during his time in WCW for drunken activities on a plane and a 60 day suspension in 2008 for his second violation of the WWE's Talent Wellness Program. To his credit, Regal has rebounded from those incidents.

Don't know much about history

John Cena was right to question Shawn Michaels about his motives going into the tag match. Michaels quickly fired back "What does history tell you?"

1991--Michaels turns his back on tag team partner Marty Jannetty by superkicking him through the window at Brutus Beefcake's Barbershop. He doesn't even offer to help sweep up.

1994--Michaels turns his back on tag team partner Diesel by accidentally superkicking him. Brutus Beefcake was not affected in any way.

2005--Michaels turns his back on tag team partner Hulk Hogan by superkicking him. Beefcake consoles Hogan.

History did not repeat itself on Monday, but that history provided an added level of intrigue into the match. This is one of the many benefits of having a veteran like Michaels. He has such a wide-ranging body of work that even a short backstage segment can mean something much more.

One of the problems with The Legacy is that we aren't invested in them yet. Randy Orton mentioned last night that Manu's father was one of The Wild Samoans, so what? At some point, I agree with him. It's fantastic that he's a second generation wrestler, but then there needs to be more. With Michaels, we have a back story. We have experience with him.

If Sim Snuka had been sent packing after years with the group, there would be have been more emotion to the decision. He's out of The Legacy? Many viewers probably didn't remember that he was ever in the crew. Hopefully they won't rush through the process, wasting what could be a solid group. The reason why The Four Horseman, D-X, and Evolution are referenced as stables is that they were given time to become a respectable force. Be patient. History takes time.

Lee Stevens goes "Under The Microscope" for Raw and Smackdown. You can leave comments below or e-mail him at GLStevens.Torch@gmail.com


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