Shaqenfreude, Pt. 1: Shaq Hosts Monday Night RAW

July 27th, 2009 by John Krolik

Welcome to Shaqenfreude, where we attempt to deal with our new superstar’s penchant for extracurricular activities. (The term has been coined before-I’m sure lots of people could lay claim to it, but McHale’s place was the first place I saw it, so I’m giving him the HT. Also, he makes up a lot of words. )

We begin with Shaq’s special guest hosting appearance on Monday Night RAW, which may actually have broken my brain. To be clear, I was watching because of the potential team-related business, not at all because I loved wrestling when I was 10 and still watch sometimes. Generally speaking, what I do with these sort of happenings is try to distill some sort of larger meaning that relates to the player, the team, or anything. That was not the case tonight. Tonight was all about sitting back and letting the crazy wash over you, like you’re dealing with a pack of separatist wolverines with a firehose. Here’s what transpired:

-Before the show,  Dan Steinberg Tweets “Shaq just saw John Cena and did the hand waggle. Also, he said he didn’t know the Wizards and Cavs are rivals.” The most bizarre part of that to me is that Steinberg and Mike Wise somehow got WWE credentials from the Washington Post. This is why Politico is kicking your asses, guys. That said, SummerSlam is at Staples in 4 weeks and I want creds. Badly.

-By the way, is this an opportunity for me to put my much-studied “History of The Hand Wave and Its Meanings” on Cavs: The Blog? I think it is!

In what I believe to be chronological order:

Tim Thomas: “I can make a long shot in a variety of adverse conditions: it does not matter to me whether or not there’s a hand in my face. Actually, shockingly few things matter to me when it comes to basketball.”

John Cena: “I have theoretically put you in a state of temporary incapacitation so severe you actually cannot see me right now. If you think about it, the very nature of my taunt means that you cannot see me doing it. Now I shall pretend to punch you in the face.”

Tony Yayo:  “I am currently unable to feel my face, quite possibly due to the fact I am high on cocaine. Normally, this news would be disconcerting or cause for outright panic, but in my current state I find it something that should be shared with all as cause for fascination and outright celebration. As was previously mentioned, I am currently high on cocaine.”

DeShawn Stevenson: “I have just made a long-distance basket. At this moment, I feel as though my proficiency at making long-distance baskets has taken over my nervous system and put me into a ‘zone’ of temporary semi-consciousness. I find this feeling analogous to that of being high on cocaine. Also, please look at me.”

Damon Jones in the 2008 playoffs: “I will do anything to remain relevant. I will sit on the bench in a chicken suit. Please, please remember me.”

-Shaq comes out to start the show and stands in the center of the ring, talking about the matches for that night. The plan is for 5 different wrestlers to have a match with different opponents, and the one who wins in the fastest time will get a title shot. In other words, this is the most boring RAW ever devised. At this point, I was just hoping that Shaq wouldn’t end up getting the title shot.

-Wait, this RAW is in the Verizon Center in DC? A prominent Cav? Whose idea was this? This is uncomfortable and weird.

-Shaq comes out and says “My new teammate LeBron James says hi.” Hearty boos. So the elephant in the room has been discussed, I suppose.

-Chris Jericho, who at this point of his career has a “I am way, way too smart to still be a professional wrestler, but I’m just going to roll with it,” thing going, comes out in a blazer and starts telling Shaq that Shaq should respect him. Shaq responds by calling Jericho “Christina.” Max money, the Cavs are paying.

-Chris Jericho has “The Big Show,” who’s Shaq’s height but somehow has like 150 pounds on him, come out and get into a stare-down with Shaq. I must say, at this point I was happy about how in-shape Shaq looks.

-Shaq challenges Big Show to a fight. Big Show backs out, saying that he’d hurt Shaq but doesn’t want to have to deal with the wraith of David Stern and his lawyers. The crowd boos like they’re supposed to, but I’m actually surprised that didn’t go over better in an arena full of Wizards fans. (I kid, I kid.)

-To my surprise, Shaq actually won’t be wrestling tonight. Instead, Jericho and Big Show are going to fight “Crime Time,” who seem to be a WWE version of street thugs, which is exactly as embarassing as you’d think it would be.

-Shaq’s 2nd promo of the night: None of the following is exaggerated. Shaq is in a room with a mini-hoop, then starts joking with a mute midget dressed like a Leprechaun named Hornswoggle, saying they “went to high school together.” He offers Hornswoggle something called “Enlyte Energy Strips,” gives him a mini-ball and tells him to dunk on the mini-hoop, saying “‘come on, Nate Robinson.” Hornswoggle declines the energy strips, runs around the room, and gets rim-stuffed by the Nerf hoop. Shaq puts the energy strips on Hornswoggle’s chest. Someone says “That was Shaqalicious.” All of that actually happened.

-After the commerical, Hornswoggle wins a match against Eddie Guerrero’s son, who is wearing a blindfold.

-In the 3rd Shaq promo, he does this exact commercial with an Italian stereotype character, then begins to rap with Crime Time and the Italian stereotype.

-In the co-main event, “The Miz,” who used to be on the real world but is now a professional wrestler, is set to face John Cena, whom I’ve met. Miz is apparently from Cleveland, and gives the Washington crowd crap about loving the Cavaliers, to hearty booing. Miz then does nothing for 4 minutes before getting tapped out by Cena, who maybe performed like 3 moves in the match.

-As for Shaq’s actual match, he stayed outside the ring and did nothing, and the match went exactly the same as every tag match in the history of wrestling. Jericho and Big Show got disqualified, then after the match Shaq and big show put each other in fake one-handed choke holds. After about 10 seconds, Crime Time helped Shaq kick the Big Show out of the ring. That was the end of the show.

Like I said, I have no possible clue how to make sense of any of this. Once we get onto the second extended bit involving a midget, I’m generally out of reliable analysis. This is one of our stars, and he’s going to play a big part in the championship run. This is part of the deal. Just try and embrace the crazy.

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