Monday night's Raw featured a truly strange segment of Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel.
The skit, which also featured The Miz and Wade Barrett, appeared to exist mainly to promote current WWE Studios' releases Dead Man Down and The Marine 3: Homefront. But, believe it or not, the shameless movie promotion was actually the least offensive thing going on in the segment.
First of all, the obscenely expensive Jeritron 6000 mysteriously disappeared halfway through. Per PWTorch, there was a technical malfunction and the ring crew quickly scrambled to get it out of the ring while The Marine 3: Homefront trailer was playing.
Then a hyper-sounding Jericho made a crack about the vanishing TV before doing a cringe-worthy Ace Ventura impersonation (note to Mr. Jericho, it's not cool when Cena does it, and it's not cool when you do it, either).
Finally, Raw's assistant to the managing supervisor, Brad Maddox, stormed out and made a match between Miz and Jericho. Maddox was awful: he seemed flustered, botched his lines and, in a truly weird moment, ordered the ring crew to get the Jeritron 6000 out of the ring (even though it already was).
"This is the worst segment in the history of Raw," Michael Cole deadpanned while Jerry Lawler pleaded that they go to a commercial break.
Yes, this was so bad it got buried live on air. What a debacle.
In this week's (subscribers-only) Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer notes that there is internal heat towards both Maddox and Cole for the disastrous segment.
There was a lot of heat on Cole, feeling that the segment was bad, but that most people wouldn’t have noticed or said anything about it, but Cole’s reactions called attention to it and killed it to the live TV audience. But whenever Cole buries a segment like that, it’s Vince telling him. Among a lot of the performers the next day, they were talking badly about Cole, but one performer noted to us what I’d consider obvious, that the smart people all know that Vince fed Cole every word. Backstage, Vince was calling the segment one of the worst ever and Maddox was the one who was blamed.
Ideally, people in WWE will cut both guys some slack. As Meltzer writes, Cole probably was just following orders from the boss. It's hard to imagine him just deciding to trash the segment on his own.
As for Maddox, while he undoubtedly had a bad showing on Monday night, he still has shown great potential in his heel authority figure role (there's more than a touch of a young Eric Bischoff about him). He has star power; he just needs to learn how to be a bit more confident out there, that's all.