THE SPECIALISTS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE - 1/19 WWE RAW: You're Fired, Top 5 Bad Signs, Punk's new artwork, Sting mention
Jan 20, 2009 - 11:04:05 AM
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By Lee Stevens, Torch specialist
Thank you for joining me again as we put Raw "Under The Microscope." For new readers, this is not a complete recap. Instead, it's a closer look at certain aspects of the show, whether it is signs in the crowd, action in the ring, or something in my head.
The popular Vince McMahon phrase was tossed around several times concerning Chris Jericho and Randy Orton, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone heard after the cameras went off. I'm sure you noticed the lights going out near the start of the show and there were several awkward camera shots near the end. Whenever I see a technical glitch, I'm usually waiting for the camera guy to reveal himself as a returning wrestler or whomever is involved in a feud with the person in the ring. Sometimes a glitch is just a glitch.
He shoots, he scores
Credit goes to Kelly Kelly for working the hometown crowd for the easy applause by wearing the jersey of Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews. Toews is the 34th captain in team history, the third-youngest player to earn that honor in the history of the NHL. While Kelly Kelly didn't fare well against Beth Phoenix, Toews enjoyed better luck against Phoenix, scoring twice and adding an assist as the Blackhawks beat the Coyotes 6-0 just two weeks ago.
Congratulations to C.M. Punk for winning the Intercontinental Championship against William Regal despite an obvious distraction. I'm not referring to Layla or nerves performing in front of his hometown crowd. Kudos to Punk for emerging victorious despite having an outdated logo on his arm. Punk has declared his love of a certain soft drink with a well displayed logo. With Pepsi unveiling a new design, does Punk stay true to his classic cola composition or does he add another piece of artwork?
This is not an endorsement of any particular product, unless, of course, someone would want to send samples. In that case, drink up!
At the end of the match, Regal tried to break out of the potential GTS by drilling Punk several times in the head with elbows. They happened so quickly that even the announcers couldn't keep up, with Jerry Lawler admitting that he didn't even know how many there were.
If you count a relatively soft one at the very end, your answer is 11. Make sure you show your work and then turn in your papers.
While we are on the subject of numbers, WWE did a great job of selling the Royal Rumble during their "by the numbers" segment. Even if they gave us nothing else, they showed classic footage of past Rumbles, including Chyna, The Warlord, and Big John Studd. I'm not sure if they did enough to promote the pay-per-view throughout the rest of the show, but this was a solid piece that took a closer look at the history of the event.
The number which stood out to me was that 70 percent of the winners since 1993 have gone to win a championship at WrestleMania. It happened every year from 2001-2007, with John Cena breaking the streak by invoking his title shot at No Way Out against Randy Orton.
Among the past Rumble winners, eight are still on the WWE roster. Jim Duggan, Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon, Triple H, Batista, Rey Mysterio, The Undertaker, and John Cena have all celebrated Rumble victories.
We can't have nice things
Loyal viewers shouldn't be surprised that things went awry with the JBL and John Cena contract signing. The contract signing is easily in the Top 5 of events likely to end poorly.
(5) Award presentations, preferably with a large trophy
(4) Contract signings, bonus points for the table being flipped over
(3) Arm wrestling competitions
(2) Thanksgiving with your family (No, it's not wrestling-related, but I'm sure you've been there.)
(1) On-air celebrations requiring food, likely a birthday cake in close proximity to an announcer or manager
Mike's mic time
Last week, I wrote an article talking about the virtues of taking a small amount of time to make the audience care (Hey look, a link!) One of the wrestlers I specifically mentioned was Mike Knox.
I certainly don't think I influenced the course of Monday's show, but I was pleasantly surprised to see Knox get a moment to explain what his reasoning was for constantly attacking Rey Mysterio. Some may not enjoy his answer, but I thought it was a well-played, understated moment, which makes him seem even creepier as a result. How long did it take? Less than a minute to add a bit of depth to a match. I hope they continue to follow up on Knox so he can explain his attack of Evan Bourne too.
Did you notice the tape around Shad's hands before Cryme Tyme's match with Miz and Morrison? On the tape was clearly written "Paul E." I certainly don't know the recipient of his message, but wrestling fans can certainly guess. The first one to come to mind would be former ECW boss Paul Heyman, also known as Paul E. Dangerously, but I can't imagine that would be received well considering Heyman's issues with Vince McMahon.
Let's not forget Paul Ellering, the former manager of The Road Warriors. Perhaps we shouldn't limit Shad's affection to just inside the ring. It could have been directed to Paul E. Waldschmidt, the priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross and former president of The University of Portland. Maybe not. In all seriousness, does anyone know if Shad has a special Paul E. in his life?
Watch your mouth
If you heard Mr. McMahon gush about his daughter's work by saying that it "warmed his cockles," it didn't warrant changing the parental rating of the overall show. Cockles is defined as "the core of one's being," usually used in the phrase "warming the cockles of my heart." It's also one of the great words which sounds dirty, but isn't. Kumquat, masticate, and shuttlecock also received votes.
If you can't laugh at your impeached Governor, who can you laugh at? I noticed the sign from the fan proclaiming that he "bought his seat from Gov. Blag." Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested on corruption charges last month and The Illinois House of Representatives recently voted 114-1 in favor of impeachment. He is charged with several things including soliciting bribes to fill the seat recently vacated by new President Barack Obama. He also has what could politely be described as a "full head of hair." To me, it resembles that hair clicked securely onto the heads of my Lego characters when I was a child.
Near the end of the show, we had an unlikely plea from a fan to "Hire Daffney." Daffney spent a brief time under contract with the WWE, but never making it out of the developmental territories. She worked for TNA in 2002 as Shark Girl and then reappeared during the Awesome Kong challenges and has been a vital part of the Sarah Palin challenges. She's probably best known for her work with WCW, aligning with David Flair and Crowbar. She does not have Lego hair.
I don't spend much time worrying about the possibilities of what could happen simply because Vince McMahon has always proven to be quite predictable with his unpredictable nature. In this case, we have now seen footage of Sting, a cover shot of Sting on the latest DVD release, and now his name has been spoken on the broadcast. I don't think Goldust went off script, so all that is left is for an actual live appearance. I'm not predicting anything, but if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and he has face paint on his bill...quack.
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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