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THE SPECIALISTS
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE - 6/29 WWE Raw: Raw Trade Players to be Named Later, Spellchecking Signs, A closer look at Lilian Garcia, Can Big Show really bench press a VW?

Jun 30, 2009 - 2:47:47 PM
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By Lee Stevens, Torch specialist

Thank you for joining me as we put Raw "Under The Microscope." If you're a new reader, this is not a complete recap of the show, instead it's a closer look at Monday's broadcast.

I can do whatever I want (except for that...and that...and I can't really change that)

The first week of Raw PT (Post-Trump) started with the new/old owner of the show, Vince McMahon. Mr. McMahon has always took great pride in being able to set the rules, routinely insisting that it was "his" show and "his" ring. That's why it was a bit surprising to hear that he was stuck with several moves set forth by Donald Trump last week in less than two hours.

Although he resisted having no commercials and he refused to offer refunds, he did stick with the guest host concept suggested by Trump and a fairly large trade. McMahon complained that there was a "15 superstar trade that I have to live with," despite the fact that he was back in charge and if history is any guide, he could do whatever he wanted to do regardless of events from the previous week.

Also, after claiming to be duped by Trump last week, it was surprising that he was so quick to turn over control of his show to someone else, especially Batista. I completely understand the logic of getting "The Animal" back on TV and then extracting a bit of revenge on Randy Orton, but it seemed to be another questionable course of action from McMahon.

Several readers wrote in suggesting that Batista's threats of firing Legacy for looking at him funny were ludicrous simply because if he really wanted to fire them, he could just pull the trigger on the decision without any warning or reason. It did seem like a lost opportunity at first, but in wrestling-land, it's always better to get revenge on someone physically rather than with exit paperwork, so I like the decision.

And a player to be named later

The 15 superstar trade obviously had an impact on Raw with Evan Bourne, Jack Swagger, and Mark Henry "making an impression" against Orton. While those three names were a welcome addition, we were missing 12 others. As reported on the main page, the other two superstars coming to Raw are Gail Kim and Alicia Fox. ECW will be receiving William Regal, Shelton Benjamin, The Bellas, and Goldust, while Smackdown will welcome Matt Hardy, Finlay and The Hart Dynasty.

I understand wanting to keep the fans interested throughout the week, encouraging them to tune in on Tuesday and Friday for the rest of the names, but for me it felt empty. If they didn't want to reveal all of them on one night, it would have been nice to hear at least two of the names from each brand. The would go on to unveil the complete trade on their website after the show, so I'm not sure why we didn't hear more about it live on Raw.

I think I'm complaining too much this week. It's this whole Billy Mays thing. Let's clear our heads and move on.

Mini Me

The "la la la, I can't hear you" quote of the week goes to Jerry Lawler who likely gave John Cena fans an unwelcome memory by reminding everyone "If you remember back when Cena first arrived on the scene here in the WWE, he was a little bit like The Miz. He would get in people's face. He would talk a little smack."

Going back to 2002, Cena debuted against Kurt Angle after he answered an open challenge. Despite losing, the fans gave him a warm welcome and eventually teamed up with Billy Kidman. When the team lost in the opening round of the tournament to crown the first WWE Tag Team Champions on Smackdown, Cena turned on Kidman and turned on the mad microphone skills. He would start most of his matches with a freestyle rap and adopted "Word Life" as one of his catchphrases. His posse included Bull Buchanan and Red Dogg and one of his biggest feuds during this time came against Brock Lesnar. To mock Lesnar's finishing move, the F-5, Cena developed his F-U, his fireman's carry slam.

Cena and Miz share other similarities not related to attitude as both started their wrestling careers in Ultimate Pro Wrestling and they began their WWE careers in Ohio Valley Wrestling. Both held OVW Tag Team Titles as Cena won with Rico Constantino and Miz held the belt with Chris Cage. They've both appeared on game shows, with Cena visiting "Deal Or No Deal" and The Miz was a part of "Identity."

And neither of them have ever visited my Aunt Grace, although she'd love to have them.

Boo to apostrophes!

Spellcheck sign of the night belongs to the overly excited fan who wanted to join the termination bandwagon and proudly proclaimed "Your Fired."

My fired?

Small detail? Absolutely, but confusing "your" and "you're" on an important document is just the type of thing which will encourage your boss to insist that "you're fired."

Common workplace errors include your vs. you're, its vs. it's, and there vs. they're vs. their in a triple threat match.

Uncommon workplace errors include someone insisting that they were a manger at a local restaurant. If you were a manager, that means they trusted you. If you were a manger, I guess they needed extra storage out back. We sing a song about you every December.

Another hasty typist insisted that he was adept at taking calls, dealing with customers and handling their odors. I believe he meant orders, but I'm not one to judge.

Finally, another person with good intentions, but poor proofreading claimed that his business was skilled in pubic relations. Either he meant public or I'm in the wrong career field.

We'll always have Paris

As Lawler became irritated that Maryse would choose to sit beside Michael Cole rather than The King, he called the duo "The hottie and the nottie," one of the few people to be able to reference a Paris Hilton movie in the middle of Raw. The "hottie" part of the 2008 movie was Hilton, with the "nottie" role going to Christine Lakin. The film earned just $9,000 in its opening day and just shy of $28,000 in the opening weekend. Hilton won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her performance in the film.

Hilton has been featured in other movies, but the lighting wasn't nearly as good.

As for the comparison of Maryse and Paris, both have worked as models, both have blond hair and most of the time I have no idea what either of them are saying.

On the cover of the Rosetta Stone

Apparently I'm not the only one who finds Maryse's French a bit of a challenge as the announcers admitted that they "need(ed) Rosetta Stone," a reference to the language learning software. French is just one of the languages available in addition to Russian, German, Thai, and Swahili. The name comes from the ancient Egyptian artifact which was helpful in deciphering Hieroglyphics and advancing modern language. The stone was discovered in 1799 and the software was developed in 1992. Maryse was born in 1983, discovered in 2006 with the Diva Search and I refuse to speculate on when she developed.

Speed Reader

Kudos to WWE for being a part of the Summer Slam Reading Jam. I know it's promoting the pay-per-view, but between supporting the troops, registering people to vote and this reading program, they often have good intentions adequately mixed in with the other bad decisions. On Monday, we saw MVP, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy, and CM Punk enjoying pieces of literature with several WWE fans.

It also gave Lawler a chance to guess "The Big Show's favorite book - Little Women." Written by Louisa May Alcott, the novel traces the lives of four sisters, Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth. Remarkably, the book has been translated into a movie several times from the first version in 1918 to the most recent in 2001. In 1933, Katherine Hepburn played Jo and in the 1949 version, Elizabeth Taylor took on the role of Meg. A 1978 TV version had perhaps the best TV-related cast as Meredith Baxter, from Family Ties played Meg, Susan Dey, from the Partridge Family was Jo, Eve Plumb from The Brady Bunch portrayed Beth and William Shatner was thrown in for good measure even though he was not little, nor was he a woman.

In 2005, a musical version toured 30 cities in 49 weeks. It was a big show. It was a big bad show, as it received mixed reviews from critics.

Lift with your legs

After the discussion of little women, the announcers talked about big men, specifically that "Big Show could bench press a Volkswagen!" According to chacha.com, a classic Beetle weighs around 2,800 pounds, while the average car weighs 3,500 pounds.

For a bit of perspective, Mark Henry, who followed The Big Show later in the night is billed as "The World's Strongest Man" as a result of his still world record squat of 953 pounds in 1995. As for the bench press record, Ryan Kennelly bested his own mark by pressing 1,075 pounds in 2008. Perhaps Big Show could bench press half of a bug with one seat and part of an engine.

Power To The People

Thank you to everyone who voted in The Microscope Poll this week. Lillian Garcia narrowly defeated a closer look at Night of Champions, although I wonder if some readers took the idea of "taking a closer look at Lillian" too literally.

Garcia recently announced that she would be leaving WWE after 10 years with the company. She was hired as an in-ring announcer in 1999 and quickly got the attention of Jeff Jarrett who put her in a figure-four leglock in September of that year. Jarrett was frustrated that she announced his loss by disqualification to Luna Vachon.

Later that year the announcers position got even messier as she became involved in an incident involving X-Pac, The Kat and pudding. The Kat (not Ernest Miller) and Tori (not Torrie Wilson) faced off in the traditional chocolate pudding match for the Women's Title. X-Pac came to ringside, bringing goggles and a snorkel(just in case). He became involved as Tori jumped on his back, causing both to fall into the pudding resulting in an easy win for The Kat, however Garcia announced "Miss Kitty" as the winner, forgetting that this feline had just changed names. Once again, Garcia's announcement came with repercussions. This time it wasn't a figure-four, it was a trip into the pudding pool.

As the years went by, she feuded with Howard Finkel after The Fink abandoned her as she was attacked by Three Minute Warning. She got her revenge by winning an evening gown versus tuxedo match.

She later fell in love with Viscera only to have him turn down her offer of marriage in favor of boarding the Ho Train with The Godfather.

The broken heart probably didn't hurt as much as the sprained wrist she suffered in 2006 as Charlie Haas knocked her off the ring apron. WWE used it to advance the storyline of Viscera trying to get back with Garcia as Big Daddy V went after Haas to get revenge, however he inadvertently gave a Samoan Drop to the object of his affection instead of the intended target.

She also missed time in 2007 as she recovered from ACL surgery to repair an injury suffered while skiing.

In advertising for her replacement, WWE asked for the obvious ring announcing skills, but they also wanted someone who could sing. Garcia has stood out from other announcers with her singing voice, including renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner. She opened WrestleMania 2000 and her version of the national anthem just after the attacks of 9/11 set the stage for an emotional evening.

She performed the theme music for herself and Torrie Wilson's and released her own album in 2007. She will be getting married for the second time later this year just in time for her new post-WWE life.

Although I will be sad to see her go, I will be even sadder if this doesn't mean at least a brief return of The Fink. He was on the cover of The Wrestling Album. There's your musical ability.

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


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