Tonight’s Raw opens up like many others, which is with John Cena making some nonsensical promo about his ability to persevere and never giving up and blah blah blah we’ve all heard it before a thousand times. He’s eventually interrupted by the Dolph Ziggler, AJ and
Ryblack,I mean Big E Langston. Don’t get me wrong, stupid finishing move aside, I really like Big E Langston. Those who’ve seen him on NXT know his whole “5 count” gimmick is pretty rad, and his speech patterns while at first jarring, become awesomely weird once you get used to them. On top of that, he has the potential to conceivably take on any of the untouchable, invincible white men I keep hating on each week here. They’ve shown him pretty easily wipe the floor with Cena, and after tonight I have no doubt he could take on The Ryback. When It came time for the typical opening promos turn into opening match cliché to start, I was hoping Big E would end up in the ring with Cena, but instead we got another Ziggler/Cena match.
The great thing about a Ziggler/Cena match, is so far they’ve not been milked to death yet. So much so that I was actually really into this match throughout the entire thing. For the first time in a while a match with Cena managed to keep me on my toes and keep guessing. At first I was super confident that Cena would win, because you know, he’s Cena. But then Ziggler kept countering finisher after finisher, and landing his finishers in turn. After the 3rd consecutive finisher and kick out, I was getting pretty riled up and wanted Cena to lose more badly than ever before in a long time. It was a great match because it even made a smark like me forget for a few minutes, that Cena is invincible. That’s what credit has to be given to Ziggler, is that he made the in-ring psychology of the match work perfectly. You can have big invincible white guys as your wrestlers sure, but you have to create some suspense of disbelief that they could lose, or else you just end up with a bunch of boring invincible white guys. Which the WWE has in spades. They need to book more matches like this, so everybody can realize that there are guys out there like Ziggler who deserve your recognition, and to raise the stakes of the average match in general. Sure Cena won, but what was surprising about it, was that it surprised me.
Oh Eve. You’re come a long way baby. You started out as a mediocre girl dressed as Wonder Woman who shaked her butt and did a crappy moonsault for a finisher, but now you’re becoming something more. You’ve started to act like a real heel, and not just a bitchy girl anymore. Seeing you walk out with your fake smile that turns into a sneer back into a smile again was great. Then the heel retreat into the 10-count to keep your title? Wonderful. I’m glad you ditched the moonsault, and now use that weird cross-rhodes style neck breaker as your finisher, but I’d appreciate it if you’d use more fake Jiu-Jitsu. It looks good in the ring, and sells you as an actual threat. Keep posing over the dead bodies of your defeated opponents, and keep up the good work. You get an A-.
Kaitlyn… What did I tell you about the dress code? This is your 5th violation in the last few months. Report to my office immediately for detention. You get an F.
This is a feud that has me troubled. On one hand, I love Team Hell No, and on the other I love Team Rhodes Scholars. I think they’re both equally great. Now believe me when I say I’ve thought about his a lot, so it’s a bit painful to say out loud, but I think it’s true. I think Daniel Bryan and Kane should drop the tag team titles. Now hear me out, firstly this isn’t me saying they’re stupid and should drop it, far from it. I think they’d benefit as a team from having the solidarity that is created by both of them wanting the same thing. When they first teamed up, it was by chance that they won the tag titles, and then formed into the team we all know and love. If they lost the titles now, it’d do one of two things.
1.) They’d split up and we’d lose a great tag team.
2.) It’d motivate them more than ever before to regain the tag team championship.
I’m hoping it’d create the latter. I have dreams of them beating the champions, (presumably Rhodes Scholars), hoisting up those belts, and together saying “WE ARE THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!”
It’s gotta happen. IT’S GOTTA.
As much as I love Heath Slater and 3MB, they still have on main problem and that’s that they don’t make for a realistic threat against anybody. Especially not Randy Orton. Believe you me, I wanted to root for Randy to get his butt kicked, but at no point did I ever even more a moment believe Heath Slater had a chance, and that’s with 2 of his buddies helping him out at ringside. This match is the exact diametric opposite of Cena/Ziggler match earlier in that way. It was boring because there were no stakes, since we all know Orton was gonna win anyway. I’m not partial to sports or baseball, but I’ve heard people complain about the Yankees because of this reason. I’m guessing seeing them win is as expected as Randy Orton doing an RKO somebody for no reason. Regardless, I WANT to see Heath Slater pull an upset victory over him, or anything. I’d even love to see him cheat to win, but he’s not at that level yet unfortunately.
Perhaps one day, Slater will beat somebody of mid level significance and it’ll change everything for him. Somebody like The Miz. I’m calling it now, once Heath Slater beats The Miz, he’ll get his super-heel powers and become a legit contender. Let’s see it happen.
I’m so glad Wade Barrett has the IC title now you guys. It finally means something again. I love it not only because Kofi doesn’t have it, but because now me and my friends who watch WWE constantly joke about Wade now that he’s the champion. It was one of those nights where maybe you’ve had a few, and what with the latent racism in WWE you start talking about racist characters and how they could be made funny instead of just offensive. Or at least funnily offensive, if “funnily” is a word.
Well after trading impressions of Wade Barrett saying “OYM WAYED BEAR-IT AN THIS IS MAH BEAR-IT BEAR-AHHHJJJ”, we somehow made him start saying terrible racist things. We didn’t want to sully his name directly, so we instead started having this newly created character refer to himself in the 3rd person as “Horrible Racist Wade Barrett”, and then say awful things like:
“OYM ‘ORRIBLE RACIST WAYED BEAR-IT, AN I HATE ALBERTO DEL RIO. YOU KNOW WHY.”
Things like that, over and over until we were both ashamed of ourselves pretty thoroughly. Anyhow, what I’m getting at is that Wade Barrett as champion is as inversely awesome and great as Kofi was terrible and awful.
This match seriously doesn’t even seem fair. Especially since Cesaro destroyed Khali last week on Main Event. Was it a surprise to anyone that he destroyed him again? Other than little children or total adult idiots, thought that Khali had a chance? Furthermore, who are these people who could think Cesaro is boring, or somehow not goddamned amazing? The dude comes out each week, wrestles his butt off, and finishes each match by shoot lifting heavier and heavier people, until the only thing he hasn’t lifted is an actual half-ton kodiak grizzly bear. In fact, I’m sure the bear would charge him, and he’d just flap jack it 10 feet into the air and knock it out with a european uppercut. Then he’d make fun of it for being lazy, crack his neck and pump his fists into the air.
If you don’t like Antonio Cesaro, you just don’t like good wrestling. Period.
This match was almost so identical to the earlier match with Slater/Orton that I seriously contemplated copy/pasting it and changing the names, and adding “See what I did there” at the end, but I felt that would be a little too lazy. Even so, it has all the same problems in terms of stakes, expectations and believability. The main difference is Mahal isn’t nearly as good at selling as Slater is. Heath Slater actually made the RKO look good for the first time in years. But same with the earlier match, even with Slater and Mcintyre in his corner, I couldn’t think for even a moment that he’d beat Sheamus. In fact the whole thing was basically a copy and paste of the earlier 3MB match, right down to the same knockdown move/pump up the audience for my finisher dynamic Orton uses. Just replace that running body slam Orton uses with Sheamus’ White Noise, and the RKO with the Brogue Kick. The whole thing was an exercise in futility really. C’mon 3MB, beat The Miz! Then you’ll start winning! I know you will!
Holy crap. HOLY CRAP. This match was so great. So great you guys. This is the kind of match I wish could happen every episode of Raw. For the longest time I’ve been saying that Punk was just biding his time, slowly raising his confidence in himself to take on The Ryback, and finally tonight he showed he could hang with him. He showed us all that HIAC was a fluke, and that he really can beat The Ryback if he puts his heart and soul into it. I know this may get a lot of hate from The Ryback’s fans, or Punk haters, but the fact of the matter is that he’s the only one (aside from Dean Ambrose), who’s gone toe to toe with The Ryback and really held his own for any length of time. Did he take a whipping? Sure he did, but he came back. And he came back again. He didn’t give up, and he didn’t chicken out at any point. He acted like the arrogant, awesome, resilient heel I knew he could be, and after so many weeks of Punk not really wrestling, it was a refreshing change of pace.
In fact, the only reason he would have lost is because The Ryback got lucky by countering Punk’s offense into a throw through a table. Punk was in control before then, and if had landed that Shining Wizard I’m positive would have won the match clean. The Shield showing up is meant to continue to provide us with questions as to what their real agenda is, or to make us think they’re aligned with Punk, despite Punk repeatedly telling us how honest he is, and demonstrating it publicly, which I’ll get to later. This match was a roller coaster, and I’m positive was what they originally had planned for TLC, before Punk got injured and the card was changed. Regardless, getting it for free here on Raw was a win for everyone, Punk included.
First off I was shocked to find out that that last match wasn’t the finish to tonight’s Raw, and I was inconceivably disappointed when Kofi showed up. In fact I planned to complain about it extensively here, but then the most glorious thing happened. Big Show finally did what I’ve been saying he should do. He just straight up smashed Kofi in his stupid face, knocking him the F out, and pinned him to win in under a minute. It was so amazing I’m sure it made my heart grow three sizes. I looked on twitter and two of my favorite internet wrestling journalists, (Brandon Stroud and David Shoemaker ) left identical tweets at the same time:
“Best. Kofi Kingston Match. Ever.”
I’m inclined to agree.
Aaaand then we get to the last 10 minutes of the show, where we get to see Punk do his wonderful thing where you’re not sure if he’s shooting or not. The thing is, this seems like the real Punk to me. This seems like the Punk who over a year ago lambasted the company and spoke angrily about all the things that irritated him. People became Punk fans after that because he quickly got re-packaged as an anti-authority figure, which was fun but it never seemed as genuine as that promo he made. He lacked the anger and the fire in his promos from that point on, because he had settled. As a heel now, you can see his anger reaching that boiling point once again, and it shows because he’s one of the few people who will speak honestly about everything around him. He’ll say that his face persona was just that, a persona, or that he thinks most fans are pieces of gullible, stupid trash, and unfortunately he’s not wrong. He basically represented every real truth that fans don’t wanna hear, only now instead of it being conveniently directed at somebody like John Cena, it was directed at the fans themselves.
And he’s not wrong. It’s all of the terrible WWE fans fault that WWE faces think the awful, regressive, racist, sexist schlock they use is the key to popularity. Punk simply came out and said it’s all of their faults for watering down the WWE into the state of affairs that it is today. Everything he said was coherent, bitter, full of passion, and brutally honest. Often people don’t like hearing the painful truth, and prefer pre-packaged catchphrases and juvenile name calling. Which is why they love The Rock so much, because of all people, he’s the king of catchphrases and juvenile name calling.
It’s why when The Rock came out I wanted so badly for him to not just make up stupid baby-talk to make fun of Punk, and really lay into him in a “You don’t know what you’re talking about, son” sort of way. Own your relative seniority Rock, take it and make it your strength. Instead he just came out and called Punk “Cookiepuss”, because that both references the stupid ice cream bar thing from Punk’s face tenure, and vaginas. Because The Rock. The segment was saved though, by Punk shutting down The Rock with a simple declaration. The Rock has never competed with anyone like Punk before. He’s never fought anyone on his level, and quite simply CM Punk is going to kick his ass.
How great is that? How simple and perfect was it, that Punk just said “F*** all your dumb baby talk, I’m going to KICK YOUR ASS.”?
It was amazing, and The Rock could only reply by basically going “NUH UH I SHALL BE THE ONE DOING THE BUTT KICKING!”, and following it up with a Rock Bottom. That Rock Bottom didn’t make you look dominant Rock. It made you look afraid. It made you look weak. Sure you may win the match, but not because you’re better, but because we all expect you to, and so does Vince McMahon. If the WWE wants to truly shock everyone, they’d have Punk win, but he wont. The Rock will win at Royale Rumble and go on to defend against Cena at Wrestlemania 29.
And in the immortal words of Alberto Del Rio, “But you already know that…”
- CM Punk