Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Monday Night Raw: What went right or wrong, 1/16/12

It seems someone else uses the title, "The Good, The Bad, & the Ugly" for a weekly column reviewing Monday Night Raw, so, to avoid stepping on someone else's toes, I've come up with a new name for my periodic reviews. It's kind of like the "3 Up/Down" segments on SportsCenter. You'll see what I mean.

What went right?

Former champion and best-selling author Mick Foley returned, and the stage has been set for a possible changing of the guard in the GM's office. Executive VP/Talent Relations John Laurinaitis has worn out his welcome in the GM's role after 3 months. Well, it wasn't that hard, as he's got the charisma of a broken tree branch. At the end of the show, Foley confronted Laurinaitis about his role as a referee in the WWE title fight between CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler at the Royal Rumble on 1/29. Laurinaitis admitted he intends to screw over Punk, which has been the mission all along, dating back to the Money in the Bank event 6 months ago. Foley had conned his way into the main event after Chris Jericho walked out on his first match in nearly 18 months, leaving Punk & Daniel Bryan in the lurch. Foley scored the pin, but Laurinaitis voided it, citing the fact that Foley didn't have clearance.

Well, guess what, pilgrims? The Uncreative team did it again. They left a gaping hole that could've been patched by having Foley simply say he answered to a higher authority, and, no, we don't mean God in this case. This would've been the perfect entry point for Triple H to return and settle a score with Laurinaitis himself. At least, in this case, you can expect some physical fireworks, the kind we couldn't get when it was necessary to oust Vickie Guerrero, a co-conspirator in this case, to be sure, for her power abuses on Raw & Smackdown. Bad storytelling, as usual, but there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

And, really, that was all that worked.

What went wrong? Plenty.

For starters, Laurinaitis deliberately held back a medical report on US champ Zack Ryder, and the internet idol lost the title to Jack Swagger. Ryder was "injured" at the hands of Kane a week earlier, and shouldn't have competed at all, but apparently he was told that if he didn't, he'd have to forfeit the title, and he didn't want to do that.

This is where Uncreative fails over and over again. You don't have anyone set up to counter-balance Laurinaitis and his legal flunky, David Otunga, who never seems to go anywhere backstage without a cup of coffee these days. That has to change, and preferably, yesterday.

John Cena, upset that his friend had been essentially robbed of the title, was granted a non-title match against Swagger, which was just a front to continue his poorly designed angle with Kane. That has gone south rather quickly. Swagger was destroyed, and Kane, trying to lure Cena to the dark side, applauded the effort. I've a bad feeling about this.

Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton was the guest ring announcer for the women's match, and prevented the Bella Twins from taking a shortcut to victory, which led to Kelly Kelly & Alicia Fox defeating the twins. Hilton is not exactly the most popular guy in Southern California, since a lot of his gossip reports have gotten him and/or his subjects in trouble. His presence was not advertised in advance, and smacked of a need for a quick jolt of ratings. Excuse me, I don't think so.

Back to Jericho. His act has also worn rather thin way too quickly. The idea is he's looking to turn the people against him in a rather novel way, but someone forgot to tell him that in this context, silence isn't golden. The hijinks, I think, will end at the Rumble.

Solutions? Yep.

1. The US title should either be vacant, or should still be in Zack Ryder's hands. The title match could've been postponed 'til the Rumble, but that isn't how corrupt GM's roll. The idea is that if Ziggler wins the WWE title, then Vickie Guerrero controls the two men's singles titles. Speaking of stale acts, the widow Guerrero is Exhibit A by a long shot.

2. As noted above, the writers jumped from point A to point C without stopping at point B at the end of the show. That has been a problem for WWE Uncreative for years. I'd have plugged HHH into the mix right away to turn the tables on Laurinaitis with the reveal that Foley, for the first time since the end of 2003, would be a co-GM, since it appears Foley will be around on and off until at least Wrestlemania.

What do you guys think?

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