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Sunday, 16 January 2011

Booking a new megastar.

I look this time of year. The build up to Wrestlemania is probably my favourite time of year, and it tends to get not only Vince McMahon's creative juices flowing, but mine as well.

If you are anything like me, you will occasionally think of an idea which you genuinely think is the greatest idea of all time. Generally speaking, this happens to me about once a month, and about two days later the feeling wears off. Today, I feel like I have thought of a booking process to see WWE through the next SIX months and to create a massive superstar and an amazing feelgood moment. You might read the upcoming outline and think it's utter nonsense. I'm not saying it is perfect, but I do think it would make for great TV, and would make a certain man who is probably best described right now as an upper midcarder into a genuine top babyface.

Are you ready? Here we go.......


We start at the Royal Rumble, and the most important thing is that John Morrison is drawn number one. The announcers talk about the time this happened to Shawn Michaels, and Morrison lasts until the final four.

Triple H returns at the Rumble, and comes very close to winning, also getting to the final four. He eliminates Morrison, but is straightaway eliminated by Sheamus. Sheamus is beaten by Alberto Del Rio, who wins the Rumble (actually, it doesn't really matter to this storyline who wins the Rumble, but it ought to be someone on Smackdown.)

Morrison is lauded on Raw for his performance. He says he is inspired by Shawn Michaels constantly. Have the announcers compare him to Shawn Michaels for weeks on end, whilst Morrison wins a few matches on Raw. He is placed in the Elimination Chamber match.

Triple H's time is consumed by Sheamus, and they cost each other matches which would get them into the Chamber. The Raw Chamber match is Cena/Miz/Orton/Punk/Morrison and one other, perhaps Daniel Bryan or maybe Batista or Jericho should they return. Morrison is in the match first, and is the last one beaten. For argument's sake, lets say Orton wins the title, but like Del Rio at the Rumble, this individual doesn't matter. Meanwhile, Triple H wrestles and beats Sheamus, getting his revenge.

Triple H declares that he is going after Undertaker, and wants to be the man to end the streak. He is inspired by how close his best friend Shawn Michaels got. Taker accepts the challenge. Michaels makes a special appearance on Raw to give his friend a pep talk. While he is there he chats to Morrison, and puts over how great he is. There is friction at the show between Michaels and Taker, and Shawn is booked as Special Guest Referee.

Morrison is placed in Money in the Bank, and wins it. Triple H faces Taker, and Shawn calls it down the middle. Triple H pedigrees Taker, but can't beat him. He shapes to cheat, using a sledgehammer, but Shawn stops him. Taker grabs him, hits a tombstone and wins.

Triple H sells huge shock as Taker leaves. Michaels consoles Hunter, but HHH turns viciously on Shawn, laying him out with a series of sledgehammer shots and a pedigree. Taker runs Hunter off, but Michaels is seriously hurt.

On Raw, Triple H cuts a hateful promo on Michaels, whining and blaming him for holding him back, hogging the limelight. "Even when it was my moment, it was me and Taker, you had to get involved and steal my spotlight". Morrison hits the ring and Triple H scarpers. Morrison is furious, and vows to avenge Michaels.

We do Morrison v Triple H at Extreme Rules (although in an ideal world this wouldn't be an Extreme Rules match) and Trips wins with a very liberal use of cheating, perhaps once again with a sledgehammer, or perhaps Morrison's own briefcase.

Morrison demands a rematch, but Triple H ducks it. Sheamus attacks Morrison, and aligns himself with Triple H. The Game says he admires Sheamus for being the only man as sadistic as Hunter himself is. Sheamus and Trips attack Morrison a couple of times, but Morrison gets saved the third time by Undertaker.

At Over the Limit we have Undertaker/Morrison v HHH/Sheamus. The heels win with Sheamus getting the pin on Taker. He uses this for ages to brag about beating The Undertaker.

Morrison has a match on Raw to qualify for the Fatal 4-Way main event, but loses due to interference by HHH/Sheamus. Triple H qualifies for the four way. Morrison wrestles Sheamus at the PPV and wins. Triple H just about wins the Four Way and wins the WWE title.

Morrison challenges Triple H the next night on Raw, and again Triple H refuses. Morrison teases using the briefcase on him, but Sheamus and Morrison viciously assault him. He is declared out of action indefinitely. Sheamus goes on a winning streak on Raw, annihilating people similar to when he debuted. Triple H defends his title against whomever was the previous champion (Orton?) at Money in the Bank PPV. The match closes the show, and after Hunter has won a gruelling contest, Morrison's music hits. It looks as though he will cash it in, but he takes the mic, says he is a man, and wants to do it fair and square. He wants Hunter at Summerslam.

Sheamus' bragging finally catches up with him, and he is beaten by Undertaker at Summerslam. Morrison and Triple H have an epic match, with Morrison coming agonisingly close to winning on several occasions. Sheamus capitalises on a distraction, and nails Morrison with a Brogue kick. Morrison kicks out. Gong sounds, Taker chases Sheamus away. Ref bump, suddenly HBK runs in. Sweet Chin music to Hunter, Morrison hits Starship Pain. The ref gets up, Morrison wins.


And there we have it. A programme keeping several of the top WWE stars occupied for the best part of seven months, culminating with a cracking match, a brilliant feelgood moment, surprise run-in and big title win for Morrison.

It ought to be remembered that Triple H has helped 'make' several superstars in the past, most recently and notably Jeff Hardy whilst on Smackdown. This would keep him relevant, give a rub to Sheamus and push Morrison to the very top. The fans would surely rally behind someone who is endorsed by both Shawn Michaels and Undertaker, and enjoy getting behind him in his quest for glory.

I think it would you?

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Raw #11

And the Raw music plays once again. You know, the really bloody annoying one that we had to hear on the Old School show three times. Yeah, it's annoying isn't it? No? You prefer to the Nickelback one and the Thorn in your Eye one? You odd person.

Music over......where's Rob Bartlett? Just Vince and Randy to start us off - please say Bartlett has gone. I'll change my ringtone to the old Raw theme if he has.

Vince welcomes us to the show, and says Wrestlemania was last night, and says it was one of the greatest Wrestlemanias of all time. I'd say, at that point, it was in the top ten. Mind you, there had only been nine of them. Now, it's just slipped out of the top 25.

Hang on, is this a live Raw then? If it's the night after Mania? So they pitched everyone up from Nevada to do a Raw in New York? Either tough going on the schedule, or they cheekily filmed this before Mania. Let's see if we can work out together what really happened.

They hype Virgil v Bam Bam (neither of them were on the Mania show) and Beverly Bros v Steiners. Ah, the Steiners were at Mania, so there goes the theory that perhaps Raw might just feature who didn't wrestle at the big one. Jerry Lawler making his Raw debut on this show too, apparently.

Virgil and Bammer make their way to the ring, as Savage and Vince make blatantly v/o-ed comments about Hogan winning the World Title (pending an investigation, says Savage). I'm guessing we ain't live, folks.

I might have said this before, but Bam Bam Bigelow looks like Wayne Rooney. Vince tells us that Yoko and Fuji have complained to President Jack Tunney because Hogan's match wasn't sanctioned. Thing is, they are right.

The New York crowd chant Virgil sucks as Bam Bam largely dominates in the ring. The commentators basically don't call the match at all. They are recapping Bret/Hogan/Yoko events, and build up what happened (off screen) with Bret and Luger, too. The in-ring stuff is largely slow, though notably Bam Bam dominating draws a "Virgil" chant. Make your mind up, NYC! I wonder if that makes him as 'controversial' as John Cena.

Bam Bam with a submission hold (a long one) as Vince says Bartlett lost it all on the slots in Vegas, but mind be back next week. Oh well......

Chinlock, Bearhug etc from Bammer, who is wearing down the opponent and the crowd here. Vince starts talking about Doink and Crush, as Virgil makes a recovery (i.e. boot to face and weak missile dropkick.) Savage says Virgil is "very very" but does not get to finish the point as Vince goes into his commentary zone. Virgil nails a couple of jabs and a flip in the corner, but Bigelow soon clotheslines him out of his boots, followed by a top rope headbutt for the win.

Back from a break, one of the big ladies from last week has troubles holding a sign up, and then here comes the King. Vince talks over The Fink's announcements, which would be a no-no these days, and here comes Lawler. Of course this is 1993, so Jerry was 43 then. Only twice as old as his girlfriends, not like now, where the difference is three times.

Lawler wants a mic......I hope he calls the fans peons. He is the only man I have ever heard use that word. Even Jericho never said peon. He does call them 'imbecilic idiots', though. The fans chant 'Burger King' at him, so Lawler threatens to leave. They don't stop, so he leaves. No, really, he did.

To Gene Mean, who is with Fuji and Yoko. Has Fuji learned his man's name yet, I wonder? Oh, well we won't find out, because Gene just talks at Fuji for a bit, and that's all. Back to the ring, and Kimchee is there. You know, Kamala's handler? Yeah you do, the guy with the mask and funny hat? Well Google him then.

His opponent is Bob Backlund, and I assume it's Steve Lombardi (Brooklyn Brawler) in the Kim Chee guise. Maybe we'll find out if they do a three-disc Kim Chee DVD set with documentary.

It's all Kim Chee early in this match. The comms talk about maybe King returning later, as Kim Chee has a chinlock on. Yes, a chinlock. Backlund reverses, has a small comeback, and then Kim Chee puts him back in a chinlock. Yes, a chinlock.

Vince says Luna Vachon and Sherri will be on the show next week, whilst in the ring Backlund makes a small comeback and pins Kim Chee with an innovative leg hook and bridge. Savage calls it "The joy of wrestling". Vince no-sells (I think Randy lost him with the word 'wrestling') and says Bartlett will be on the phone after this break. Wow, what a hook that is. They do a plug for the Wrestlemania hotline. See this is why they hate the Internet, because they used to get you to spent two dollars a minute listening to a slow phone update about what was going on.

After a break, Damien Demento is in the ring as a designated jobber, and his opponent is.......Jumping Jim Brunzell? Really? A killer bee. I didn't realise he was still in WWE at this time. Sadly, I can't enjoy seeing Brunzell, because Bartlett stinks up the segment on the phone talking about losing his money in Vegas, like anyone gives a damn. Savage tells Bartlett to "get a life", explaining where Swift Cover got the idea of the ad with Iggy Pop some sixteen years later.

In the ring, it's all armringers with the odd Brunzell roll up, until Damien knocks him down, and then it's all elbows and kicks. Vince says we might get Tunney on the phone later on. Small 'boring' chant in the crowd. Jumping Jim does a comeback (not too much Jumping, mind you) and hits a dropkick, but Demento gets his foot on the ropes.

Demento reverses an Irish whip, and kicks Brunzell in the the gut. He hits a neckbreaker then a standing knee to the chest, and that's it. As easy as that. Vince - and this is not an exaggeration - doesn't even call it. He simply talks over it, mentioning Mr Perfect fighting Shawn Michaels at Mania, then advertises Lawler after the break again.

Oh, man, bloody Bartlett is on the phone again.....wait, no he isn't, Vince says Rob called in collect, but it appears they ignored him. Then it's time for some ads. Bret puts over Icopro in a mannish, growling fashion. Yeah! Then Savage says we should eat Slim Jims, and he does it in a rugged, manly style. Grrr! Then.........err, Lord Alfred advertise Odour Eaters. Ohhhhhh.....Kay.........

Back to the arena, and it's Jerry again. The cameras show the fans chanting Burger King again, including a bloke who looks like Ant (as in 'and Dec') doing Movember. King hears the chants and leaves again. Fair enough.

A Wrestlemania package of stills plays. Vince voices it, and calls it Riveting Nonstop Action. Yeah! RNA! RNA! RNA! Basically, Vince tells you to watch WM9 again. No, Vince. I did it last week, years later, and it was torture.

The Beverly Brothers are in the ring. Remember them? The one that looked like Chris Masters with a tache and mullet, and the other fella. The Steiners follow, and the match starts pretty slow, with Scott using some nice chain wrestling, and the Bevs complaining about hair pulling. Vince says the Steiners are the pride of the University of Michigan Wolverines. Sssh, don't say Wolverine, it'll make you think of, you know..............

Some general back and forth before Bevs take over with some standard heel tag team stuff. You know, everyone bemoans the demise of tag team wrestling in WWE, but I think the tag team wrestling in WWE has sucked for a long time. I'm not worried about it dying. The Hardys/E&C stuff around 2000, where they innovated with all sorts of stuff, was cool, and actually two matches this year - KoW v WGTT and MCMG v Beer Money - were among the best I've seen in2010, but generally I can't bear the typical heel dominate, refs miss tags, hot tag comeback standard tag match.

That tangent over, we return to see a ref miss a tag, and the Steiners make a comeback. They, of course, pick up the win, too. Vince, after a plug for WWF Mania with the much missed (But only by snipers) Todd Pettingzoo, says after the break - It's the King. Wow, didn't see that coming.

Regal music, and here comes Lawler again. Lots of fans do the thumbs down gesture, which is much underutilised these days. Lawler gets to the ring and shapes to disappear again, but the man, the myth, the legend JIMMY POWERS attacks Lawler. No, I vaguely remember him. Just. Vince says "Oh my goodness" like the little girl in Annie (Yes, I've seen Annie. What of it?)

Powers dominates with traditional babyface 'fire' early on, and Lawler takes a powder, only to hear the Burger King chant again. King back in, hip toss scoop slam, and back out he goes. This is great heel work, you know. Lawler hasn't hit an offensive move yet, but the entire show has been about him. Powers avoids a punch in the corner and hits one of his own, then lands a back drop. Still no attacking move, just good selling from Lawler.

Powers misses a dropkick, and Lawler starts to take over with general Lawler tactics i.e. punch, cheat, punch, fistdrop. Vince calls Lawler 'allegedly one of the greatest wrestlers of our era'. Savage does an appalling Taxi Driver impression after Lawler shouts at him, and Powers gets back on top. He hits another back drop, and then goes for yet another. Lawler blocks and hits a piledriver for the three. Lawler celebrates, and directs more gloating towards Savage.

After a break Lawler still in the arena. He heads towards the announce desk. Vince gets a mic, and interviews Jerry. Lawler basically says that Savage doesn't have the guts to face him, but before Randy can respond, the music starts to play. Vince says we have MONEY INC v The Bushwhackers next week. (That's how it was typed, with the tag champs in capital letters.)