Induction: Raw is Aldrin: The Eagle has landed in Wrestlecrap

50 Submitted by on Thu, 04 July 2013, 19:00

Buzz00

May 17th, 2010′s Monday Night Raw may have been the most historically significant ever. I don’t mean wrestling history here, either; I mean history history. This was the night that Raw was hosted by Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, second man to step foot on the moon. And really, like the Royal Rumble, that’s pretty much the same as being number one. This would be like if Christopher Columbus hosted Raw (except without Vince McMahon reciting a glaringly inaccurate bio). The fact is, for better or for worse, in a thousand years’ time, Monday Night Raw will best be remembered by historians as that show that Buzz Aldrin hosted one time. If you happened to watch that episode, though, you already know that it would be for the worse, not the better.

While Buzz’s lunar lander roommate, Neil Armstrong, shied away from the public spotlight after the Apollo 11 mission, and Michael Collins had the unenviable task of flying all the way to the moon only to not touch down but orbit around it…

rendezvous

…and provide footage to confuse the hell out of moon hoax conspiracy theorists…

…Aldrin has relished the attention in the forty-plus years since the historic landing, appearing on shows like Dancing with the Stars, Punky Brewster, The Simpsons, not to mention countless documentaries and talk shows. That is to say, this wasn’t Aldrin’s first TV spot. It would, however, be arguably his most embarrassing.

And speaking of national heroes sacrificing their dignity, the show (a “commercial-free” edition, by the way) opened with Canada’s own Bret Hart. Oh, did I mention that this episode took place in Canada, not the U.S.A.? Ah, well. It shouldn’t affect their appreciation for Buzz Aldrin. After all, I am told that Canadians can see the moon in their night sky, as well. Buzz01
 Buzz02 Bret declined a challenge issued by U.S. champion The Miz the week before, not wanting to be one of those guys who hangs around too long and tarnishes his legacy. Those in attendance in Toronto may have disapproved, but more mature viewers at home knew it was the right decision. Wrestling can’t live in the past, even if Bret did accidentally call the company “WWF” every now and then. Of course, after some goading by Chris Jericho, Bret decided that he did want to be one of those has-beens who didn’t know when to give up, after all.
Long story short, Hart “wrestled” The Miz in a minute-long no-DQ match, putting him in sharpshooter after the Hart Dynasty interfered. This drew the ire of Michael Cole, showing his pro-Miz heel tendencies for the first time outside NXT. Still, Bret was so excited at winning his first U.S. title that he forgot how to climb the ropes. bret falls
 Buzz03 What’s that? He had already won the U.S. title four times before? Well, this was his first WWE U.S. Title, so that was totally worth the meaningless victory lap of a reign (Hart would forfeit the title the next week, whereupon the Miz would win it back in a match against R-Truth).
What a great night for Canada! Not only did they get to see Bret Hart’s last and most unnecessary title reign ever, but they also got commercials, as Canada’s The Score wasn’t gung-ho on the whole, “not making any money” aspect of USA’s commercial-free Raw. I’m not even being sarcastic about commercials making for a great night for Canada, as they at least got to see real ads rather than the pointless mock-ads by WWE, parodying famous commercials of the moment. The fans in attendance weren’t so lucky, and they expressed their disapproval at once. It probably didn’t help that the first “commercial” was a Geico parody featuring Hornswoggle. Buzz04
Buzz05 Other important non-Buzz-related crappings on the show were the mis-titled “Pick Your Poison” matches in which Randy Orton and Edge chose each other’s opponents. Shouldn’t it be called, “Pick the Other Guy’s Poison”?
Edge showed up to the ring and was greeted by his brother, I mean, ex-best friend, Christian, with whom he had an inexplicably boring match, killing any interest in a program between the two. Poison indeed. So yeah, the commercial-free aspect wasn’t the only way that WWE lost out on piles of money on this night. That was about par for the course from WWE Creative at this time, though, considering that the only reason Randy Orton was a face in the first place was because they screwed up the booking of his Legacy feud so badly that the fans cheered the sociopathic Orton over Cody Rhodes and the would-be babyface star Ted DiBiase, Jr. Buzz06
Buzz07 Edge won (in a match where the wrestlers simulated the conditions on the moon by sucking all the heat out of the arena), but the joke was on him: Orton never said that he had picked Christian; in fact, Edge’s real opponent would be The Undertaker, who had no trouble dispensing with the blown-up Edge. How little trouble? Edge immediately left the ring and took the intentional countout loss, only to be thrown back into the ring after the bell by Christian and chokeslammed. Congrats on fulfilling your yearly Raw quota, Taker!
Edge would later send World Champion Jack Swagger – yes, World Champion Jack Swagger (I don’t even know which part of that phrase to emphasize, it’s just that unbelievable) – to face Orton. Buzz08
Buzz09 Hey, I recognize that skyline! This is where Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi was filmed! I knew I had heard of “Toronto” somewhere.
Just when you thought that all the other crap on this episode would eclipse (Ho ho! Get it?!) the lunar astronaut, Buzz appeared backstage with his wife, a space suit, and a bunch of astronaut-related paraphernalia. Vickie Guerrero, who lasted one week as Raw GM before quitting, complained that the room should be her office before Buzz explained to her, very slowly, that she wasn’t in charge. Poor Buzz must have been confused by Bret’s “WWF” gaffe earlier in the night, as he seemed to have forgotten what the company was even called. Buzz10
Buzz11 Fortunately, his personal security skanks The Bella Twins dragged Vickie away before she could make a scene.
As painful as that segment was, it was at least good to see that Aldrin wasn’t hurt after Mark Henry smashed him with a chair the week before. Buzz12
Buzz13 And it’s really only fitting that Aldrin would host Raw. Just as the moon landing was a pioneering venture into the uncharted and unexplored reaches of our solar system and universe, so too was the introduction of guest hosts a pioneering venture into Wrestlecrap. The problem is, when you decide to induct a particularly bad guest host stint, you end up falling way further down the craphole then you ever wanted, discovering layer upon layer of forgotten awfulness from the Asinine Era of wrestling. Case in point: R-Truth and Ted DiBiase’s feud being recapped in the form of a faux-Mastercard commercial.
That’s not all; Ron didn’t want to be Ted Jr.’s “Virgil,” so DiBiase did what any sensible person would do in 2010, and that was hire Mike Jones himself! While I wouldn’t want to be redundant by going into great detail about an angle that probably deserves a separate induction, I must point out how brilliant a move it was to re-introduce Virgil on the Buzz Aldrin-hosted episode.  Buzz14
Buzz15 I mean, Mike Jones is the wrestling equivalent of Michael Collins, who flew solo around the moon on the Apollo 11 mission to become the loneliest, most isolated person in human history (until around 2005, that is).
You know who would have made for an even better return to WWE on this night? Max Moon. Alas, Paul Diamond’s rocket thrusters must have overheated en route to Toronto.  Buzz16
 Buzz17 Here’s a Dos Equis parody starring Santino Marella, dubbed, “The Most Irritating Man in the World.” I love it when WWE writes my jokes for me.
Hey, remember when both Layla and Michelle McCool carried around Women’s Title belts? Never mind, I don’t want to get any more sidetracked with unrelated Wrestlecrap. Sidecrapped? Anyway, back to our guest host.  Buzz18
Buzz19 Buzz, aptly nicknamed for his apparent tipsiness during his promo, tried his hand at cheerleading for WWE and “our space program” (the United States’ that is).
“The President has a good program!” “Orbits between the Earth and Mars!” buzz windmill
buzz speed windmill Look at him go!
He even tried a bit of rapping. “Randy and Jack on the mat/What’s better than that?” Someone get Verne Gagne on the phone; we’ve got a fresh young talent for the Wrestlerock Rap, part 2! The American hero may have finally found his true calling. Buzz20
Buzz21 Really, though, he’s not just a hero for America, but for the human race. That didn’t stop the astronaut from trying to ingratiate himself to the Canadian audience, though, accidentally damning the country with the faintest of praise. The Toronto fans should have been grateful to hear that Canadian engineers built the landing gear on the Apollo 11 lunar lander, but no. No one ever cared about astronauts anyway; back in the 60s, every little boy wanted to grow up to be a landing gear technician! The fans in attendance, thinking Aldrin was turning heel on them, booed poor Buzz, even after his enthusiastic exclamation of, “Woo. How ’bout that?”
Just before the fans could start a riot, or worse, accuse old Buzz of screwing Bret, someone even more despised arrived on the scene to take the heat off him: None other than Zack Ryder, who was still sporting his half-tights/half-trunks. Buzz22
buzz punch Ryder belittled Canada (intentionally) and implied that Aldrin never went to the moon. This led Buzz to show footage of him punching a moon-truther who followed him around calling him a coward and a liar.
For the next seven minutes or so, Buzz and Zack had a stand-off until someone in the production truck couldn’t wait any longer for Buzz to deliver the cue. Evan Bourne and Gail Kim came to ringside for a match with Ryder and Alicia Fox (Zack’s hoe-ski of the month). By the time the two opponents got to the ring, Aldrin was still in the middle of introducing them over top of Bourne’s music. Buzz23
buzz moonwalk Our guest host celebrated his team’s victory in the ring. Neil Armstrong may have performed the very first moon walk ever, but Buzz performed the very worst moonwalk ever.

 

If this episode weren’t enough of a crapfest, remember that it will likely be a time capsule of sorts for future historians researching the Apollo 11 mission. Millennia from now, people will assume that Buzz’s dance was the proper way to do “the moonwalk,” that Bret Hart was an immobile old man, that Mike “Virgil” Jones was once relevant, and, worst of all, that Jack Swagger was world championship material. Now that’s an impossibly heavy load of Wrestlecrap, even under moon gravity.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He currently runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws and Hasbro WWF figures.
50 Responses to "Induction: Raw is Aldrin: The Eagle has landed in Wrestlecrap"
  1. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    Oh, man… I am so glad I somehow missed this episode. Nicely done, Art.

  2. Raven7309 says:

    They actually got Virgil to come out of retirement for a one-night only appearance? Simply incredible.
    That picture of him sitting all by himself at an autograph signing almost makes me feel sorry for him, “almost.”

    • mfm420 says:

      actually, virgil ended up staying for 2 months or so, then got replaced with maryse ( spoiler alert, ted jr. still didn’t get over)

      • Thomas Moffatt says:

        Ted Jr never got over because they were trying to turn him into his dad which never happened with Orton or Cody

        • John Darc says:

          It was much later they realized that no one, especially in this economy, liked rich people. So Ted DiBiase Jr. started the DiBiase Posse, which was basically him hanging out with tailgaters.

          • Deathedge says:

            And coming out with a sack of toys for the kids with his rap theme music, basically making him a pimpin’ rich version of Santa.

  3. dennett316 says:

    Remember when LayCool carried around HALF a WWE Women’s Title belt each? Awful, so bloody awful…

    • Al Lobama says:

      I do! It was cut zigzag down the middle so that the two halves could be joined together like one of those BFF heart-shaped lockets, which I actually thought was really clever. Anyone know why’d they go to all the money and trouble to make one of those, only to drop the whole thing and give each girl her own belt?

    • Raging_Demons says:

      Yup those two KILLED the Women’s Title. Actually it had some life left but realized later that it would be around Michelle McCool again so it committed suicide.

      As for Buzz Aldrin this wouldn’t be the last time he gets himself embarrassed. Just recently he was on stage with Thomas Dolby to sing “She Blinded Me With Science” & well that didn’t turn out too well for him. SILENCE!

      http://youtu.be/BpRgY9GXLO0

    • adamclark52 says:

      I remember the episode were they argued over who got the belt then “broke” it in half. It was around the same time I stopped watching WWE on a regular basis.

  4. Mike says:

    Since this episode aired, my brother and I have been referring to being drunk on the job as “Buzz Aldrin Moon Sickness.” It has held up over three years.

  5. cobra says:

    One thing I remembered about this episode was I believe MIchael Cole mentioned like 100 times that Buzz Lightyear was named after Buzz Aldrin.

    • "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

      You know, I never made that connection before. Now I kind of feel stupid for not figuring that out.

  6. Cameron A. says:

    TSN hasn’t aired WWE Raw since 2006. The Score aired WWE Raw from 2006-13; Sportsnet 360 (a renamed version of The Score) currently airs it.

  7. Sir Thomas says:

    Yeah, this one was pretty bad. Though this actually got me wondering: how have we gone this long without inducting Lae-Cool?

  8. Nick Nutter says:

    Missed this one, as it was during my Post-Wrestlemania XXVI boycott of WWE.

  9. Kellen says:

    I’m going to be “that guy” It was TheScore that aired Raw at this time, not TSN. And the shoehorned commercials were jarring to watch. Especially when Cole would remind that it was commercial free everywhere except Canada

  10. Ryan says:

    Only in Toronto would they boo a guy who landed on the moon. Take it from a Calgarian, most people in Toronto figure the moon is second to their city. What a craptastic episode.

  11. Bone White says:

    Why is Buzz pretending to be Pete Townshend?

  12. Bastard1 says:

    The moon landing being real: Still more likely than Swagger ever being a legit champ.

  13. RD Reynolds says:

    Was literally in tears reading this one. Absolutely your best induction yet!!!!

  14. D says:

    The Edge vs Christian match wasnt bad at all, but I guess you decided you had to attack everything.

    • BigDaddyDave says:

      I agree with this. I remember that match being a PPV quality match that didn’t need a bunch of stipulations added.

      • John Darc says:

        I’m just confused as to why Christian went out there if he wasn’t Edge’s poison. Maybe he wanted to wrestle his friend in Toronto?

    • Art0Donnell says:

      I watched it when it happened and thought, how is this match this ho-hum? And how do they fail to elicit a reaction in Toronto of all places, especially after they teased an Edge vs. Christian feud a few weeks before on Smackdown?

      Then I watched it again for this review, and I stand by my initial impression. WWE apparently agreed, too, as the Edge/Christian feud got halted in its tracks and they never faced each other again, even on house shows. Sorry, I have an opinion that differs from the rest of the IWC.

  15. King Of Kings says:

    All that’s missing in that gif above is him holding a buzz lightyear action figure :)

  16. Jr. says:

    Where did that Lonely Virgil pic come from?

  17. adamclark52 says:

    No matter how many times I see the “Virgil: Wrestling Superstar” picture I still laugh my ass off.

  18. Iron Smark Tyson says:

    I felt bad for Buzz. Here you have an American Hero. WW2 and Korean War fighter pilot. He was the man who piloted the ship too and back from the moon.

    Unfortunately he appeared on this show. If I remember correctly, the previous guest host before Buzz was Flava Flav and the week exceeding him was Al Sharpton.

    Sigh………

  19. Alan says:

    That pic of Virgil is sad IMO. Reminds me of Randy “The Ram” Robinson in “The Wrestler”.

  20. Deathedge says:

    To be honest, this is one of the very few cases RAW as “So bad, it’s good” for me. It really was just because of Buzz looking back, but it was just such a fantastically big train wreck, you couldn’t help but laugh at it.

  21. Y2G says:

    I think it’s a shame Bret gets quite a lot of fun poked at him in this article.

    They guy recovered from a massive stroke and his entire run from his turn as guest host and beyond in the WWE was a massive healing process. I know he was no where near the Bret we remember but I think for his well being it was totally necessary for him to be involved in things like this.

    Yeah he called it the WWF a few times, again he;s had a massive stroke in his life that will affect your memory. It will also severely affect your co ordination hence the rope slip.

    I get the theme of this site and love it, but sometimes I think things like this miss the mark by quite some way. It seems to be happening a lot more here since RD stopped doing the inductions.

    just my opinion to be constructive. No hate here.

    • Alan says:

      110% agreed. Tasteless stuff like making fun of Bret here, a stroke victim who has had it affect his memory & his coordination, is uncalled for. There have been similar things like this happen with RD being less involved with the site. It looks like the original theme of the site that “We’re not making fun of the wrestlers, just their bad gimmicks” has gone out the window.

      • Alan says:

        Bret Hart. Auto correct strikes again!

      • Art0Donnell says:

        While I applaud Bret Hart for recovering from his life-threatening stroke, WWE needs to recognize that he is still a recovering stroke victim and, as such, should not be wrestling, let alone winning titles. What is worthy of derision is not Bret Hart, but WWE’s insistence in involving him in pointless matches that he cannot possibly work.

  22. TheDude says:

    i miss lay-cool. more interesting then anything going on in current wwe diva wise.and personally thought jack swagger would have been a good champ had they booked him right, and currently
    is better then anyone holding a heavyweight title in wwe

  23. Jimbolian says:

    Was the Al Sharpton gig get inducted yet? If not, that’s a definite Wrestlecrap induction because that was one train wreck of an episode. Whether you agree with his politics or not, you have to admit that it’s always a bad sign the crowd hates your guts when you’re suppose to be the face.

    • Mr Maddog says:

      Oh yes, Al Sharpton & newt Gingrich setting aside their differences to promote public education for the poor on Raw. Well that worked out well…

  24. SCLSCL says:

    Wow… you forget just how much crap there was during the guest host period of Raw. I just get the impression that we all just stopped watching during that period as it seems that most people including myself just don’t remember or have blocked out all of the terrible crap that took place during that period! Great induction.

  25. Shelb says:

    I was at this Raw. My first wrestling show since the St Valentine’s Day Massacre go home show way back in ’99.

    It was brutal. Terribly boring. The Edge/Christian match was good but no one cared because the lack of commercial breaks really killed any chance of keeping the crowd hot. The match was half way (I think) through the show, and people had been there for hours by that point.

    Buzz Aldrin was TERRIBLE. He was so loopy and out of it that he either: a) forgot he wasn’t in the US until he mentioned Canada’s role in the landing gear (yippie!) or b) doesn’t realize Canada doesn’t exactly celebrate the moon landing of a US space ship.

    During the Guest Host era (error, amirite?), there was at least one other Raw in Toronto. The guest host? Sgt. Slaughter, playing anti-Canada heel for the night. It was nonsensical for WWE to pick two terrible (even considering the whole thing was bad enough) guest hosts for one of their best cities, crowd wise.

  26. George says:

    Alicia is not a “hoe-ski” and the Bellas are not “skanks.”

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