Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Worst. Raw. Ever. (10-10-11)

Let me just preface this by saying that Monday's installment of Monday Night Raw spoke volumes about the creative deficiencies plaguing WWE. There are plot holes so big, you could have Hornswoggle drive a toy truck through them. Yeah, it's that bad.

Storyline wise, they picked up right where they left off the previous week, with most of the personnel off-camera, staging a "solidarity rally", unified in an effort to force Triple H out of power. The embattled COO was first out, but there were no announcers, not even ring announcer Justin Roberts. This way, you could hear a lot more of HHH's theme song, especially if you're a Motorhead fan like he is.

This entire angle is on a grander scale than the machinations of Vince McMahon in ousting his daughter, Stephanie, as GM of Smackdown 8 years ago, but taking less time, largely because the writers they're employing now are not being trained to understand wrestling psychology, and that flaw is working against McMahon now. Like Stephanie back in '03, HHH took a stand, declaring he wouldn't quit, not that we ever expected him to. Realisticially speaking, he should be the one running things now anyway, not the fossil that won't go away. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

John Cena, Sheamus, & CM Punk all came out, and opted to stand by their boss, with Punk noting that he was the one who started this need for change in the first place, but not the way it's going now. HHH then pitted old rivals Cena & Sheamus against each other with himself as the ref, and Punk, like a kid in a candy store, doing commentary all by himself, plus doubling as timekeeper. This lasted less than 10 minutes before Chairman Wackjob himself, 66 year old Vince McMahon, came out and called a halt to the proceedings. Punk, Sheamus, & Cena departed, leaving HHH all alone with his father-in-law.

In a stunning reversal, McMahon announced that the same Board of Directors that had ousted him as chairman in July, now had rescinded their support of HHH, if you will, citing "financial concerns" over the walkout. Total BS, I say. Executive VP/Talent Relations John Lauranitis, uncle of Rams star James Lauranitis, was named acting GM. The fans booed, and rightfully so. Before the hour was up, they had more reason to, when Lauranitis decided to "fire" Oklahoma native Jim Ross in front of friends, fans, & family, the 2nd time that this had happened to Ross in 6 years. Sources say this wasn't in the script, but it is typical of McMahon's myopic attitude, especially when it relates to Ross, regarded as the best announcer in the business. No one came out to go to bat for Ross, and Lauranitis used Ross' involvement in the walkout against him. A typical heel move, of course, but this is where the writing team screws up royally. Let me explain.

Rightfully, if you craft the story properly, Ross has an option to pursue legal action for wrongful termination without due cause vs. Lauranitis, and, more specifically, McMahon, who has orchestrated the entire mutiny against his own son-in-law. Like I said, this was on a larger scale than when he sabotaged his own daughter's administration 8 years ago, and is evidence that McMahon refuses to do right by his audience, only throwing them bones when it suits him, and not them. At 66, he should be retired, and letting HHH & Stephanie run the company as they see fit, which, in this writer's opinion, might be more of a back-to-basics approach.

You would have a case against McMahon, citing the fact that he is unfit to run the company at the present time, because, in terms of storyline, he's taken too many chair shots over the last 20 years, and it's affected his mind. Over the last 10 years, McMahon has grown progressively more insane in character, and it's a fair bet to suggest that in reality, as his creative skills are diminishing, McMahon is unwilling to walk away from the business that he helped return to the mainstream in the mid-80's. That makes him no different than the likes of Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, and the over-the-hill gang in TNA, who don't have clue one, either. McMahon doesn't want to be shown to the television audience as being weak, but that comes with old age, and he has to accept it. Period. That means he has to accept the fact that the story as it is presented now is wrong and full of holes, and requires immediate repair.

The solutions are easy, but McMahon refuses to consider them.

1. Get rid of the current staff of writers. Most of them are guys who failed in Hollywood, though that cannot be said for actor Freddie Prinze, Jr., who at last check had checked in for a 2nd tour of duty with the writing team. Since Vince refuses to allow these folks to learn any history as far as the business is concerned, they're hopelessly adrift. That has to stop.

2. Give the agent-producers the added assignment of composing the show. Former Freebird Michael Hayes, until recently, was head writer of Smackdown, before being promoted to a front office position earlier this year, along with his Raw counterpart, Brian Gewirtz. I say, get rid of Gewirtz, and have Hayes, along with fellow retired grapplers Rick Steamboat, Arn Anderson, & Mike Rotundo, take over the writing. These guys have to lay out the matches for the wrestlers anyway, so let them go the extra mile!

At this point, Vince McMahon has no choice. What he's building toward now is a likely singles match vs. Triple H for Wrestlemania 28 in Miami on April 1, but McMahon's the biggest fool for taking that tack. He never wins at Wrestlemania (0-4 as a wrestler, 0-2 as a manager), so this would be no different. Instead of waiting until April to likely say goodbye, he should be doing so now.

I used to be more interested in watching Raw on Mondays, but now, not so much. I'll still tune in, but it's not a priority anymore. Besides, at this time of year, football's more compelling.......

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