Tag Archives: Brock Lesnar

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 5/13/13

Tonight’s Raw opens up with Jerry Lawler telling everybody that there is going to be a dance contest between Jericho and Fandango, in order to settle some aspect of their rivalry. Particularly the dance related portion, because Jericho was on Dancing With The Stars you see.

This is one of those segments where I can literally imagine the writers of the WWE sitting in a circle, flabbergasted and totally unable to accept or embrace the organic popularity of Fandango, and have no idea how to capitalize on it in any way that doesn’t seem forced or weird. So they come up with stupid things like making his titantron entrance spell out the ‘Da Da Da Da Dada Da” words to his theme song to assist people in singing it, or putting him in dance contests with Jericho because reality tv. I like Jericho the wrestler, I like Fandango the character, why can’t we just have them fight, and Fandango continue to insanely insist his name is being mispronounced? Insane flamenco dancer is better than whatever the hell it is they’re trying to go with for Fandango right now. Granted he’s still flashy, fun to watch, and his entrance doesn’t take Funkasaurus levels of length and redundancy to come in yet, but I fear that’ll happen soon. They clearly have no idea how to handle Fandango right now, because for the first time something became popular in spite of them, and now they’re scrambling to understand why.

Holy crap what the hell did Zack Ryder do to get buried SO hard? I know i’ve given him crap as a lame-o, annoying little brother character before, but he’s clearly trying to change something about himself. The hair being down, the new style of ring wear. I’m tentatively hopeful they’ll take my insane-Bob-Backlund idea and use it for him, but I don’t think they will. I wonder if Zack Ryder is genuinely trying to get over seriously now, or if he’s just depressed? I heard he quit doing his silly internet videos, but I haven’t checked for myself to see. Basically, if I hear that Zack Ryder got released from the WWE soon, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. It’d be a bummer, because he’s halfway talented, but just can’t hold the spotlight. Or he really pissed off somebody higher up, and they’ve consistently decided to hold him back over and over, except for a brief period last year. That’s how it goes with some guys I think. Not everyone can breakout from the bottom rung and ascend to the top.

This is one of those mid-card tag team matches that is hard to care about for a bunch of reasons. The main being that between the two teams, we’ve barely been given any story to tell between them. Not throughout the length of the show week to week, but just in the ring. These guys come into the ring and really seem to be going through the motions with each other, rather than telling a captivating in-ring story with their tag team wrestling. The closest we got was Darren Young using his afro pick to hit Funkasaurus in the face, which is a classic heel move, despite not making any sense. Usually when a heel hits a wrestler with an object, it’s inherently “loaded” in some fashion. It’s implied it has an added weight to it, or is in itself something you wouldn’t want to get hit with for fear of injury. Absolutely not the case with an afro-pick. The worst I can imagine from an afro-pick would be gouging it into your eyes, and this was not done. Are we supposed to by that getting hit with an afro-pick is somehow more devastating than a normal punch from a 200+ pound man? Am I supposed to believe the afro-pick is functioning on some level as one of those plastic personal self defense devices you see for sail in weird knife catalogs? I’m just gonna pretend it was something else because every possibility I think of is somehow worse than what actually happened, so that’s a first.

As per the rules I’ve established in this column, I refuse to write about Kofi Kingston unless he’s getting horribly beaten and/or thrashed about backstage. Being that neither of these things happened in this match, I’ve no interest in commenting on it. Kofi is the worst. That is all.

This segment was stupid, because it really only served to hype up the strap match between Sheamys and Mark Henry for Extreme Rules, but in a forced inorganic way, that had Mark Henry gingerly explain the rules of the match to a crowd of fans who didn’t really care. Granted I’ll give them most people probably don’t know what a strap match is, so good on them for explaining it. I dunno though, maybe try explaining it at Extreme Rules though? To the audience that’ll be watching it and should know? You can get audiences excited based on the merit of the feud that Sheamus and Henry are having, and make the match stipulation the cherry on top, rather than the entire sundae itself. I digress however, because not for one second in any universe, how in the world am I supposed to buy that Mark Henry is too afraid to get whipped by a 6′ 2″ white as hell irish man wh…. Oh.

OH.

OKAY THEN. WOW.

Well then. Moving on.

So this match brings the amount of times Randy Orton has beaten a mid-card talent who deserves better, for no real reason other than “Randy Orton” to approximately 5,291. I’ve literally lost count of how many times he’s beaten both Wade Barrett and Antonio Cesaro, and it’s utterly maddening because they were usually the mid-card champions when it happened, and nothing ever came of it because Randy Orton. Why people are fans of Randy Orton, I really, truly, still do not understand. Yes I like his pose, but it’s wasted on him. I feel like I’ve written this same anti-Orton paragraph a million times, probably because I have. This is what Randy Orton is, he’s the same damn thing, doing the same damn moves, in the same predictable way, with no sense of excitement or charisma, or really anything interesting to bring to the table. At least John Cena will occasionally throw a hurracanrana or flip out and make a balls out wacky-but-really-bad-so-bad-it-hurts promo from time to time. Randy Orton just stands there and raises his arms. In a perfect world, he’d have some psychopath gimmick to explain why he never talks or does anything.

I love the idea of Heath Slater and 3MB being hilariously delusional as to the effectiveness of their abilities. Every week they really truly think they’re going to come out, blow the socks off of everyone, beat whoever they have a beef with, and leave the arena to thunderous applause. They’ve taken the concept of an air guitar and applied to almost every aspect of their lives. They have air confidence, air popularity, and even air wrestling ability. Which isn’t to say they aren’t shoot talented, but goddamn. Heath Slater is the perfect kind of guy for Miz to go up against, because I can viably understand someone like Miz beating him cleanly, and I can totally accept that Heath Slater would be shocked from that loss, because it’s The Miz. He’s not the greatest, but he’s not the worst either. He used to be an annoying on purpose mega-douche heel, but not he’s just that annoying bro that laughs too much at his own jokes, but has a posse that’ll force themselves to laugh with him. Only now that posse is several thousand people in an arena. Conversely, Heath Slater has the exact opposite thing going on, where the jokes he makes are really funny, but thousands of people don’t get it or can’t.

Holy crap this was a good match. Here’s a great example of what I mean when I say that there’s a story being told in the ring. We know the dynamics of how The Shield work, we know that Kane and Daniel Bryan have their powerhouse/technical thing, and John Cena is used as the sparing instrument of blunt force he should be used as. He’s an unstoppable machine basically, but using him sparingly, building to him coming out rather than taking on all comers at all times, is the way to use him. We know he’s invincible, so keeping him limited that way works well to build suspense. On top of that, the effective use of the elimination tag stipulation was brilliant, and brought the whole thing together as a whole. Right up until Roman Reigns was eliminated I thought The Shield had it in the bag, and afterward while I knew Cena would win, I was still surprised to see it happen by DQ. Every person in this match is incredibly talented in their own ways, and they complemented each other perfectly tonight. Matches like this are the reminder of exactly how awesome and great tag team matches can be, when they’re not boring pieces of crap like that PTP/ Tons Of Funk match from earlier. More stuff like this please, and make it the main event of the evening? Because WHY WOULDN’T YOU?

Here’s another good example of one of my favorite type of matches, which is two big ass strong guys realistically challenging each other in a battle of strength and speed. Big E Langston looks great picking up Swagger nearly effortlessly for a top rope superplex, and Swagger picks up the win using his ingenuity and wherewithal to win by count out, which is something I haven’t seen effectively used in a long time. I know they’re building towards the Swagger/Del Rio match, but Langston really ought get more matches like these, where he looks challenged but still dominant. I prefer that every time over “Big guy squashes little dude to assert dominance” every single time, because holy HELL have we seen that story a bunch. They did it three times at the same time last year, with (then) Tensai, Funkasaurus and The Ryback all at once. It’s pretty clear they sometimes throw whatever they can at the dartboard just to see what’ll stick, and that time it was The Ryback. Now they should just try working on focusing their aim, because Langston really does have a great in ring presence. Despite his weird, meaty buttocks that cling too tightly to his singlet.

No, I'm not going to post a picture of Big E Langston's butt on here, so you'll just have to deal with this instead.
No, I’m not going to post a picture of Big E Langston’s butt on here, so you’ll just have to deal with this instead.

http://youtu.be/ecgPmHnLVk4

At this point I’m just glad to see women’s matches on Raw, and furthermore to see AJ competing in them, because she’s goddamned adorable and I love her. The only downside is that the commentary turns into a f**king reddit thread every time they have one now. Lawler won’t stop calling AJ a slut, the Bellas (who were on commentary for the match) won’t stop being horribly jealous, insecure, women haters and Michael Cole and JBL more or less just chuckle to everyone’s terrible, sexist jokes and enable them in the process. It would be impossible to just comment on how talented these female athletes are of their own accord in any way right? I love women and I love wrestling and I’d love to see good women’s wrestling without having to feel like it’s some downplayed, forbidden product or an embarrassment to the industry I love, or worse, to feel embarrassed for my whole gender by their reaction to women wrestling.

Plus, AJ had possibly one of the greatest, smoothest, most amazing submission counters I’ve ever seen, and she deserves recognition for how amazing it was.

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 5:13:13- AJ-Black Widow-Submission

And of course the reason why The Shield/Team Hell No/Cena aren’t the main event of the show is because of Triple H’s massive ego needing to claim the spotlight. I don’t care about this storyline. I don’t care about Brock Lesnar, I don’t care about Triple H. Best case scenario for me is they both permanently injure each other forever, and we never have to see either of them again. It’s the worst thing about the show, and every single time they’re brought up I roll my eyes and ignore it. I don’t even have anything interesting to say about them, because this has literally been the same, boring, stupid story for a year now. I’m done with it, and the fact that it’s closing out Raw only goes to show how badly the booking is being done. Why not have a “main event” close out every hour of Raw? Why not make this the middle? Why not have the best match come at the end? Why not do anything logically or reasonably? Why do we need to keep pretending Brock Lesnar is someone we’re supposed to care about, along with Triple H?

Anyhow, that’s awful. Here’s another picture of AJ, because bluuuughhh, let’s get all that dumb Lesnar/Triple H crap out of our heads.

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review- 5:13:13- AJ Lee

Oh AJ. You’re wonderful. Just wonderful.

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WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 3/4/13

Tonight’s Raw was a blast from the past with a theme that I can certainly get behind, that theme being “Old School” night. Sure it’s a cheap way to get people excited and induce nostalgia, but seeing that old logo and introduction brings back great memories from when I was a kid watching WWF with my gramps, and well that’s what nostalgia is for isn’t it? It also helps that last week’s Raw was particularly bad, so riding on the heels of that this was a breath of fresh air. Furthermore any episode of Raw that opens up with The Undertaker returning to ominously raise his arms and summon fire and lightning is fine by me.

As if that wasn’t enough, then CM Punk strolls on out, more or less to complain. He’s in this great place right now where you can tell he just loves annoying the fans, and isn’t above getting cheap heat by acting like an indignant bastard. The thing about Punk for me is despite trying his hardest to be super annoying, I still find him innately likable. For me, if there’s no Punk at Wrestlemania, it’s not purposeless, but it sure does seem like it. Whenever Punk comes out and talks about something, you believe him, even if what he’s saying is complete BS. He’s that damn good on the mic that he makes me even tolerate and accept the entire concept of “straight edge”, which if you knew anything about how often I drink you’d know that’s a damn good feat.

He was interrupted by Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show however. Since it’s the beginning of Raw, and despite being Old School night, that doesn’t mean that typical Raw clichés won’t apply, which is that any group of people talking at the beginning of Raw, will inevitably end up fighting at the end in some kind of fatal 4 way/tag team match. The tag team clause triples if there is a Teddy Long presence anywhere within 1000 feet of the ring.

Here’s a good chance to explain to those who don’t know, what the words “shoot” and “kayfabe” mean, in terms of literal character strength. In the WWE, The Ryback has been trumped up and promoted as being “The Strongest” in the company. He can lift two guys over his head (as long as they’re both really skinny), and certainly looks like a living human action figure. He has the look of strength, but still has trouble lifting any guy over 200 pounds over his head. Then you have a guy like Antonio Cesaro, who has consistently been able to dead lift 400+ pound dudes, and occasionally picks people up by their legs and smashes them into walls. Also there was that one time where he picked a guy up by the legs, and spun him around 100 GODDAMNED TIMES  

Antonio Cesaro is shoot stronger than The Ryback, because he’s clearly and obviously really picking up dudes using his actual strength. The Ryback while strong sure, is just a weightlifter who counts on getting the assistance from his opponent to help along his feats of strength. Here’s a good way to tell if someone is strong for real or not: If they’re lifting people up by the legs and swinging them into walls, they’re DAMN STRONG.

BAH GAWD CESARO THAT IS A HUMAN BEING!
BAH GAWD CESARO THAT IS A HUMAN BEING!

That match was immediately followed up with a match between Zack Ryder and Mark Henry, which is a laughable pair up at best. I don’t think Zack Ryder even made it longer than 1 minute before he got World’s Strongestly Slammed into the ring and died a horrible death. I know a lot of people feel like Zack Ryder is this under appreciated godsend, but he had a big push last year, and his character was AWFUL. He was a stupid, pussy whipped, weak willed moron who couldn’t even get the girl (Eve)who was right in front of him, and ended up losing her interest to JOHN CENA of all people. Then he went and started acting like she was a total “hoeski” for not sitting around and waiting for him to grow some balls, and both and he and Cena went on slut shaming her for the next year because she kissed Cena once. After he rescued her from notorious fire rapist Kane. How DARE she get emotional and weird and kiss a guy after being saved from fire rape! WHAT A SLUT RIGHT? BETTER MAKE A SHI**Y OVERPRODUCED SONG ABOUT IT.

That’s who Zack Ryder is now folks. He’s that annoying friend of yours who talks up how much of a ladies man he is, but never ever gets laid, and wears lots of bronzer and spikes his hair and can’t wrestle. Why do you like him again internet? Why?

This match is yet another testament to how good Dolph Ziggler is at losing. He can make guys like even The Miz look like total powerhouses, and if it weren’t for all of The Miz’s other mediocre matches, you’d think he was this great all the time. I do want Ziggler to cash in his contract and become champion and attain greatness and all that, but to be honest I’m perfectly fine watching him lose all the time and getting everybody over. He’s like the anti-John Cena that way. Plus I really love Ric Flair and any time I get to see him strut around like a rooster, elbow drop the mat for no reason and yell out WOO indiscriminately, I’m pretty happy.

Oh boy. This whole promo was just one big exercise in both of these egomaniacs trying to get the last word on one another. It was one big circle jerk of “No I’ll beat YOU!” “No!” “No I’ll beat YOU!”, over and over again that communicated every main talking point they made last year, with the added subtext of Cena’s “Oh I’ve failed now, I need redemption” rhetoric that’s so trite it makes The Rock’s talking points of “DON’T BE A WOMAN, WOMAN, YOU’RE A WOMAN I HATE WOMEN AAARRGGGGHHH” seem almost reasonable. Well, as reasonable as a pair of dickheads can be. This is a match I honestly couldn’t care less about, if it weren’t for the fact that Cena is going to clearly win, meaning I fully plan to bet money on it and reap in the rewards. You reading this Marcos? YOUR $5 IS MINE. (Ryan, if you’re reading this, show it to Marcos.)

Not that I didn’t enjoy it, but is there a storyline reason why Swagger is attacking all of these American icon wrestlers? Is it because they don’t actively support his racist agenda? I know in reality it’s to get heat because ZOMG SO DISRESPECTFUL, but maybe I fast-forwarded through a Zeb Colter promo where he rallied against those from the past who’ve encouraged illegals through omission of condemnation? Knowing the WWE, that’s almost definitely not the case, and instead we just have a match of Swagger beating up some old timers, because he’s eeeevil now. Which is fine! I actually loved it, he’s being a really bad, bad guy! Which is good! I love it when my bad guys are actually bad, and the good guys are actually good. I’ve typed variations of that sentence probably a thousand times on this column but it just stands to reason that that’s the way things should be. Right? Right. Although I gotta say, downgrade on changing Swagger’s finisher to “The Patriot Lock” from “The Patriot Act”, which I’m guessing is from real life political pressure, because stupid racist tea party members found his character insulting, rather than recognizing he’s a cartoon because all of this is a cartoon, you’re watching a wrestling show what is wrong with you?

So what, is this like the third week in a row where the entire tag team division has been Team Hell No vs The Primetime Players? And the last two weeks it was in gimmick blindfold matches? They’ve entirely given up on any pretense of an actual, legit tag team division haven’t they? It’s just gonna be Team Hell No vs The Primetime Players forever, and nothing will change but match stipulations. Eventually it’ll be Team Hell No fighting The Primetime Players in a bikini match or something, and we’ll all wonder what prestige the Tag Titles have, or if they ever even used to mean anything at all?

Please don’t let Brodus Clay and Tensai become a real team. Please don’t let this happen. Please don’t… Oh god.

UGH
UGH

NO. THIS IS NOT WHAT SHOULD BE HAPPENING! WHY? WHAT FOUL GOD HAVE I ANGERED TO DESERVE THIS?  If Funkasaurus and Tensai end up being the team that beats Team Hell No for the titles, I will eat my damn hat. Awful.

This is one of my favorite matches from the whole night for 2 main reasons. 1.) We didn’t have to see Kofi Kingston wrestling, and 2.) we finally got to see FANDANGO. Here’s a tip, if you want me to immediately love your new wrestler, all you have to do is one, give him a wonderfully obnoxious gimmick like “Flamenco dancer narcissist”, and then have him insist everyone is mispronouncing his ridiculous name. Not only will you get him to draw heat from the crowd, (because homophobia) but it’s hilarious. Nearly 3 minutes of a dude insisting you’re not pronouncing his name right because you’re not “letting the A’s breath” as you say his name, is great. I now have been walking around the house lately, grabbing random objects, dipping them like a dancer, then I rub myself a little bit and say in my most sultry voice, FAAAWWWWNNN DAAAAWWWNNNN GOOOOOOOooooo, and it’s never not fun you guys.

TOO SEXY!
TOO SEXY!

I may also be partially a psychopath, so there’s that.

Hey look, Triple H took 10 minutes to announce a match between him and Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania! Do you care? No? Do I? Certainly not. The biggest tip off that Triple H is a waste of time for everyone whenever he speaks is that he takes at least 10 minutes to say anything, and the good folks over at WWEYoutube edit his stuff down to less than 5 minutes. Imagine how much you’d hate The Undertaker if every year he came out and made a 20 minute long speech about HIS STREAK, and how much IT MEANT TO HIM, and droned on and on, when instead he could just point and say “YOU’RE NEXT”? You’d f***ing HATE Undertaker if he did that. So why do people cheer when Triple H does that same thing? Undertaker doesn’t even talk anymore, he just stands there and you know that it’s about to go down. Why can’t you just take a hint from Undertaker, Triple H? Why?

I love Alberto Del Rio, but Wade Barrett can’t get any respect. They’re doing a great job at devaluing what it means to be a mid-card champion by having them be beaten all the time these days, and I don’t understand it. I did enjoy that Swagger coming out didn’t distract either Barrett or Del Rio however, and instead they just ignored his presence and wrestled anyway. That’s what should happen every time, and the whole “distracted, leading to roll up pin” thing is the worst staple match finish that the WWE has, and they should stop doing it. Now that i’ve said that, it’s going to be used at least 3000 more times in my lifetime. But hey, Alberto Del Rio! Yayyy!

Seeing this match made me have a bunch of mixed emotions. On one hand, I used to love the New Age Outlaws. I used to know their whole opening spiel by heart, and couldn’t wait to say it every time they showed up. Now I watch Road Dogg do that shuffle titty shake dance knee drop thing he does, and I can’t help but think what the hell was wrong with me? I must have been a retarded little boy, because dear GOD these guys are annoying as hell, and their weird, watered down PG version of their gimmick, which was more or less “Suck My Dick”, is just terrible. The one thing I did enjoy was Rosa Mendes clearly shaking her ass over and over in front of Jerry Lawler, apparently to get him to turn back into horrible-lecherous-creep Lawler from 1999. He even mentioned (but didn’t explain) puppies! Which was his old catchphrase, that more or less communicated his desire to see the tits of any woman who was in front of him. I do the same thing sometimes, but I’m not on live television performing in front of millions of children, okay? So there’s a difference there. Also my catchphrase is “Show me your tits”, which isn’t as catchy as “Puppies!”, but it’s a hell of a lot more direct. My other catchphrase is “I Am A Great Man”, so you know…

I’m a super cool dude.

This was a pretty great match that consisted of 4 dudes just trading finishing moves back and forth. If you’re gonna do big dumb hoss wrestling, this is the way I like it. Have some dudes get in there, have ’em trade chops and kicks for a while, then just go insane with finishers. It makes for a good end to the show, and it creates realistic suspense between who could actually pull off the win. They did a good job keeping everyone who had easily predicted Punk as being the obvious winner, by seemingly putting him out of the picture early on, and having him pick up a “cheap” (but still clean), win at the end via GTS. Out of all the people in this match, Punk is the most interesting to feud with Undertaker because you’ve got two legends facing each other, only one is being made and the other nearly ending. It’s a great dynamic, of the beginning and the end, of respect versus the streak, and personal achievements measured as success. 434 days vs 20-0. It’ll be a great match, even if I do expect Undertaker to win. But, it’ll be fun to hope Punk beats him.

If there was anyone who I think Undertaker SHOULD be beaten by, it’d be either Punk, for the reasons I stated above, or Kane. Kane makes the most sense to me, because in storyline terms, he was the one who has always had an equal standing with Undertaker in terms of kayfabe strength and heart, as well as fire powers to match Undertaker’s lightning powers. On top of that, it’d be great to see that character arc finally resolve with Kane burying Undertaker, once and for all. But perhaps that’s a bit too “gimmicky” for the WWE now, and if it’s gonna be Punk, then let’s let it be Punk. I’m all for it. Wrestlemania, get here already. Let’s go.

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE.
THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE.

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 2/4/13

Tonight’s Raw opens with CM Punk coming out to talk, almost immediately.

While I typically don’t care for it whenever Raw opens with Not Wrestling, I can make an exception for Punk because his promos are usually pretty captivating. Unfortunately tonight, while not boring, his opening promo wasn’t very captivating, and really was just a clarification of talking points made from previous weeks. Moreover than that, it’s a testament to how popular, innately relatable, smart, and likable Punk is that after everything he’s done to try to make people hate him recently, he still gets cheers just for showing up. Even ripping up a little kid’s birthday sign couldn’t get this guy real Heel heat, so what the hell is he going to have to do? Eventually it’s just going to boil down to him having to turn face again, or upping the ante by doing some Big Bossman style animal abuse or something. Either way those are things I don’t see Punk doing, so until something gives he’s gonna be stuck in this Supposed-To-Be-A-Heel character for a while now.

After all the introductory noise, we get a match that I’ve actually been looking forward to for a while now. The Ryback is supposed to be the kayfabe Strongest One There Is, while Antonio Cesaro is actually the strongest one there is, as has been demonstrated by the guy in every damn match he’s in. When it came to a match between them, it created some actual drama as to who’d win, given the nature of all previous The Ryback matches. Surprisingly, it was actually a pretty great match, and the two complemented each other well, and gol’ durn’ it there was actually some good wrestling on this wrestling show! I disliked The Ryback beating Cesaro, not only because I’m a Cesaro fan, but because it makes the US Championship look weak, but I understand they want to keep The Ryback looking strong. The problem is they do this with all of their Invincible White Guys, but you already know that. I was just glad to see Cesaro showing up The Ryback, and making him look mortal. Sometimes that’s almost as powerful as beating him.

Well I never thought I’d be saying this, but holy crap am I happy to see Jack Swagger back! The guy just sorta disappeared last year back when AJ was the Raw General Manager, and neither hide nor tail has been heard of him, until last week’s Smackdown, and tonight’s Raw. I’m glad he’s back for 2 main reasons, #1.) he has a great gimmick that’s being underutilized, especially with Cesaro having more or the less the opposite gimmick of Swagger, and #2.) it’s about time the guy got some kind of push. It seems to me like the obvious choice here is to have him feud with Cesaro, with Swagger as the All American American American, and Cesaro as the Anti-American, and they rumble to see who truly deserves the US title. It’s such obvious, plain booking it’ll either totally happen immediately, or it never will, because the WWE writers are weirdly predictable like that. They’ll either totally go with the obvious thing, or ignore it entirely. Let’s hope this time they choose the obvious one, because for once it’s a good thing. Also, Swagger re-naming his Ankle Lock submission The Patriot Act? Brilliant.

Boy am I loving Alberto Del Rio as a good guy. I seriously can’t express enough just how great it is to have a good guy who actually is good, and man I know i’ve said all of this before but DAMMIT IT”S THAT DAMN REWARDING. Plus this match was pretty great. I’ve long said before that Alberto Del Rio’s finisher being the Cross Armbar should mean that when he uses it, it should end matches immediately, and as the current face world champion that’s happening. It builds up the move as a match-stopper, and makes it realistic and fearsome. There’s no reason that you shouldn’t immediately tap when he slaps it on, so seeing Cody Rhodes quickly and painfully tap the second he used it really worked. On top of that ADR builds up the dynamic of the arm being weakened throughout the match, and you’ve finally got a submission finisher I can totally buy, rather than a weaker, faker looking version of a real MMA submission.

It’s a shame that video cuts it off, but the first few minutes of this match was a great demonstration of why Daniel Bryan is an excellent innovator who’s unafraid to try new things in the ring, or at least new things for WWE audiences, when he countered a hurracanrana into what I can only describe as a reverse backstabber, with his knees plowing into Mysterio’s chest. On top of that he countered Mysterio’s stupid little 619 finisher by just catching his damn legs, (why has nobody done that before?), and best of all ended up making Mysterio tap out with the No-Lock, which I haven’t seen anyone do in a while. Then a glorious thing happened, and MARK GODDAMNED HENRY showed up, and DESTROYED EVERYONE IN AND AROUND THE RING. I quickly started freaking out because I thought he was back to get revenge on Daniel Bryan for enabling the chain of events that would lead to him losing his championship, and Kane for injuring him last year. It was so perfect because now they’re BOTH on the same team, and it made SO MUCH SENSE. Then he brutally and viciously attacked Rey Mysterio for good measure, and caught Sin Cara’s stupid jump offense at him, and smashed him into the ring as well. All the while I kept gawking at Mark Henry’s TERRIFYING MURDER EYES.

I'm really looking forward to the Team Hell No/Mark Henry feud and it BETTER HAPPEN. C'MON WWE, USE CONTINUITY JUST ONCE! JUST ONCE!
I’m really looking forward to the Team Hell No/Mark Henry feud and it BETTER HAPPEN. C’MON WWE, USE CONTINUITY JUST ONCE! JUST ONCE!

In a show full of fairly good wrestling, I’m tempted to say this was the weakest of the bunch, but only just so. It’s not like it was bad or anything, it just didn’t stand out like the others. There was a few great moments, especially when Kane finally, FINALLY got out of that stupid 10 fists to the chest thing that Sheamus “traps” you in on the apron. It’s always driven me mad that he never even ties your arms up on the ropes or anything, as if somehow your arms just being under the ropes themselves is totally incapacitating. Regardless, Kane did what every single person should do from now on, and just took his damn arms out of the ropes and hit Sheamus to stop the stupid move. It ended lamely because Daniel Bryan came out to distract Kane, because they’re fighting right now. It led to Sheamus getting to the Brogue Kick on Kane, and picking up the win, but I’ll be damned if this doesn’t really look to spell out the end for Team Hell No. I know their whole thing is arguing and fighting, but they’re probably gonna break up soon, and that’ll be a sad day for me.

I gotta be honest, I kinda checked out on this segment. Not even the brilliant and great Paul Heyman can make Miz TV interesting. I do have to admit that I admire Paul Heyman’s dedication to his lies, and I understand the need to make it apparent that it was Vickie who re-signed Brock Lesnar and all, but that could all be handled with a quick backstage segment rather than a long, drawn out, and frankly pretty boring segment like this. I like the idea of Vickie taking comfort in Paul Heyman’s arms, because that would just be the sleaziest, creepiest, most awful power couple ever, and if things are building to that I’m pretty glad. Just as Vickie was coming out to explain herself really well, and make a bunch of salient, succinct points about her motives and logical reasoning, Miz just calls her a liar, and some bad names, until Brock Lesnar shows up. Then Brock F5’s Miz and leaves, because he’s goddamned worse than The Rock in that regard. The amount of crap people give The Rock for only showing up when it matters to him, goes goddamned DOUBLE for Brock Lesnar. The guy only shows up when his paycheck is big enough, and the only credit I can give him is that he’s honest about it. It doesn’t make me respect him at all though, and I’ve written previously in this column why I think he’s the worst, so I’ll spare you from a thousand words about why Lesnar sucks in real life too. Regardless, he works well more or less as a force of nature than as a wrestler, and I’m guessing that’s what they’re going with this time around. All I know is I certainly don’t understand why he ever gets cheered.

And here’s another example of the Invincible White Guys being invincible again. I’m really hoping that Randy Orton is going for an Intercontinental Championship run or something, because having him beat Wade Barrett only makes the champion look weak rather than Orton look strong. Sometimes I think the bookers at WWE don’t know anything about ring psychology, or proper story building, especially when it comes to mid-card championships. It’s the most schizophrenic thing they have going on in their promotion, and it’s always in a flux between the champion being dominant until they’re suddenly not anymore. It’s one of the most maddening things about the WWE.

CM Punk VS Jericho
WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review- 2:4:13- Punk-Jericho-GTS-1 WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review- Punk-Jericho-GTS-2

For some RIDICULOUS reason WWE didn’t post the video of CM Punk and Jericho’s match on Raw, and now I am forced to simply visually represent it with those GIFs up there of Jericho getting put to sleep by Punk. There’s not much to say about this match other than it was great, and another great example of why Punk is really at the top of his game when up against someone who can keep up with him. Jericho is still better than most even at his advancing age, and the fact that he can still do the Lionsault is pretty amazing. It was the match of the night in a show mostly full of video packages, (of course all of THOSE got posted to the WWE youtube page, but I digress) and was well worthy of the THIS IS AWESOME chant it got. Of course, that didn’t get unrecognized by Punk, who responded in a delightfully spiteful way right in the middle of the match.

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review- 2:4:13- Marks-1 WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review- 2:4:13- Marks-2

I don’t understand why we’re supposed to hate Brad Maddox. How am I supposed to hate a pitiful, desperate, willing to do whatever is needed little shrew man? He’s a pathetic antagonistic character, not a downright evil, loathable one. You’re not supposed to hate and jeer Falstaff from Shaksepeare’s Henry IV, you’re meant to look upon him as utterly pitiful and ultimately worth redemption, but simultaneously flawed and hopeless. Brad Maddox is a man drawn into a web of darkness around him he couldn’t possibly imagine the consequences of, and has paid for it over and over. He’s a tragic figure, and so The Shield mercilessly beating him up accomplishes two things. Firstly, it portrays them as ruthless villains, and secondly, it SHOULD portray Maddox in a sympathetic light. Unfortunately WWE audience’s moral barometers are so far out of sack they end up oddly cheering on the Bad Guys kicking the crap out of the poor, defenseless, little shrew man who can never win. For as much as commentators like Jerry Lawler says audiences love an underdog, boy do people sure love seeing real underdogs get beaten down over and over again.

Well you could tell Brock Lesnar was back tonight, because it seems like every time he shows up, the amount of video packages in every episode of Raw rises pretty exponentially. The dude doesn’t really do anything, so to “have” him on the show they just show what he did do at least 4 different times in their 3 hour-long program. That’s the main drawback from his presence on the show, but the good thing was that aside from all the damn video packages, we actually got a lot of great wrestling tonight. I suppose it’s a trade-off, and while it sucks to have to watch the same stupid video packages over and over, if the actual wrestling on the show is good I can deal with it. It would be too much to ask for all good segments and video packages, along with good wrestling, so I’d rather take this kind of episode over stupidly long John Cena promos, or anything involving General Manager power struggles. It’s just a reminder to the folks at WWE,that if you just show us good wrestling, everything will be fine. Seriously.

Oh also, buried throughout the myriad video packages, was this promo video for Fandango(o), which  was pretty damn great. When it came on it reminded me of that old SNL skit with Chris Kattan as Antonio Banderas, and his two mariachi players in the background would beg him to not take his shirt off because it was too sexy for them.

NO! TOO SEXY FANDANGO! TOO SEXY!

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 1/28/13

Tonight’s episode of Raw follows probably one of the most disappointing Royal Rumbles I’ve seen in years. Disappointing mostly because it was so insanely predictable that it ended up just being depressing rather than exciting. On top of that the match between CM Punk and Rock being incredibly underwhelming, and you had a PPV I was sure glad I didn’t pay for this month.

Although this was probably the greatest moment ever.
Although this was probably the greatest/creepiest moment ever.

Well tonight’s Raw is in Las Vegas, Nevada, so they’ve brought back one of the weirdest features they occasionally use, which is the Raw Roulette Wheel. Basically there’s a wheel with gimmick match types, people spin it and that’s the match they have to do. Unfortunately this means we don’t get to see a bevy of cage matches, or No DQ’s, or anything interesting. It means we get a bunch of “joke” match ups, or different things meant to essentially set up lame comedy skits. Raw was packed with that kind of thing tonight, and if it wasn’t for a handful of great moments, would have been one of the worst Raws in a long time.

Like I said, Rock and Punk’s match was very underwhelming, and without going into extreme detail (So many rest holds), I’ll just say I was disappointed that Punk “lost” after winning, because The Rock can demand a rematch immediately if he loses for some reason. However it was almost worth it to see Punk storm out on tonight’s show, absolutely fuming, barely less than 24 hours after the fact. I kept laughing at the idea that Punk had left the arena after the Rumble, into his private bus and utterly destroyed everything around him, shaking with rage. Then being tortured by it all night and day, seething with anger and waiting until Raw to talk about it. Watching him explode with anger so wildly was really funny, and somehow managed to endear him to me all the more. It’s like his passion and love of that belt has gone beyond wanting to be the champion, and is now some obsessive need that barely keeps his complete psychosis reeled in.

I’ve been pretty impressed with Randy Orton lately, not because he’s gotten better, but because he’s more or less actually taking steps to stop being an Invincible White Guy so much. Of course he’s still winning matches like this against Antonio Cesaro, but he’s out of the main title scene, and is making the mid-card work pretty well. When he’s up in the main card he’s pretty boring, but in the mid-card now, he’s gone from being a given winner to actually having good matches with the people he’s wrestling. I’ve praised Antonio Cesaro plenty in this column so it’s a given that he’s always great, and I’m hoping we’ll get to see him on the main card one day. The problem with this match is that Miz as the special referee didn’t really add anything to the story of the match. Typically a special referee match should carry more weight with it, but it didn’t do much as Miz more or less called it down the line. The feud between Cesaro and Miz seems really forced and doesn’t make any sense or provide any real reason as to why Miz is the guy we should be cheering over Cesaro, so frankly I don’t. Cesaro is pretty much better than Miz in every way, and I LOVED The Miz.

This is the beginning of the stupid nonsense from the Roulette that would bog down the entire show and make it nearly unwatchable. Vickie Guerrero was hosting the Roulette and had 3 wheels, one with the match stipulations, one with a bunch of superstars (that we never saw her actually spin, or if she did I consistently missed it each time), and the other with a random list of non-wrestling related activities whose place I’ll never understand on a wrestling show. Anyhow, The Ryback and The Primetime Players were picked for a Make Me Laugh challenge. At first, I thought this was great. Previously every time we’ve seen The Ryback talk it’s been weird at worst, and downright unintentionally poetic at best. We all know the PTP are funny, so their joke was a let down, but I was hoping big for The Ryback to actually tell a joke. Even a stupid 3rd grader one would have been great, but he just beat them up. I was totally ready to write off this segment as a wash, but then The Ryback Rybacked Matt Striker, who is a sniveling little shrew man who I can’t stand, so that redeemed it for me. Granted it’s another case of a wrestler beating up non-wrestling personnel, but Matt Striker is just the worst. WWE, in the future, have The Ryback tell us some reserved existential jokes about whether or not his hunger is spiritual, and then we can talk.

There’s a great story being told here with this rivalry. At the Rumble, having come from NXT and formed the Nexus, Wade Barrett targeted current NXT rookie Bo Dallas, but ended up getting eliminated by Bo Dallas himself. Tonight Wade got to choose the match himself, and picked Bo Dallas to get revenge. Their match was relatively short, and Bo Dallas pulled a 1-2-3 Kid and shocked everyone by quickly getting a pin on Barrett. I was completely expecting Barrett to destroy him and the fact that he didn’t was really refreshing. I’m pretty glad that the WWE is no longer afraid to bring in some new talent into the picture and I hope they keep on using more people from NXT. I could see it all leading to the New New Nexus stable I’ve been talking about for a while, but this time with actually New Nexus members. You could have Barrett form his own New New Nexus of former Nexus members, and then the NXT members would form their own New-New New Nexus, with all new New Nexus members who are new to the New-New New Nexus. It’d be something new.

John Cena. Man am I tired of writing about you. Your matches have no suspense, no drama, you cut terrible promos, you do the same 5 moves over and over each match, right down to that being nearly the only moves you did in this very match. It’s like you’re purposely trying to aggravate me in every way possible and it’s the worst thing I can imagine every week is seeing someone go up against you, because I know the next few minutes are immediately a foregone conclusion. Don’t believe me? One of my favorite bloggers Angry Jake over at Jakehateseverything.com took the time and effort to look through the back catalog of Cena’s matches in PPV’s to see when exactly he became the prototypical Invincible White Guy of WWE.

The guy had to go back four whole goddamned years, and in those four only FIVE GODDAMNED TIMES was Cena ever beaten cleanly. It says something about the man that he’s more or less refused to actually lose “for real” as many times as you can count on one hand in 4 whole years, and even more as to why his matches hold no real meaning for me. What’s the point of cheering a guy as an underdog or a guy who can overcome all odds when the odds are and have been disproportionately stacked in his favor for years on end? He’s like a cheap end game boss with 5 life bars, regenerating health and a million distracting minor bosses on the side to keep you from ever actually beating him. I know there are people out there who are Cena fans, like actual grown men, but for the life of me I still don’t understand why. What is it about him that is so appealing? I seriously don’t get it. His presence is perplexing to me in every way, and the worst thing is if I was a WWE writer I’d have no idea how to fix his character. I’d just make him a werewolf, and hope for the best.

After that pointless match we got to highlight #2 of the night, where we finally, FINALLY see The Shield absolutely wreck John Cena, then tear through Sheamus, and finally take down The Ryback, all in perfect succession. I really like The Shield, and it was great to see them finally take down the entire spectrum of the IWG in one fell swoop. I was getting tired of seeing The Shield beaten up by these guys who are way bigger than they are, and their serving of justice was much appreciated. Next time they should tie them all together and force them to listen to Great Khali singing, and make Cena promise to stop making stupid promos, Sheamus to stop being an awful racist, and The Ryback to… I dunno, get a personality. Or devolve back into Skip Sheffield. Regardless, Great Khali singing should only be used as a form of torture from now on, and certainly not in a pointless joke skit later in this show.

I’ll be honest, I went into this segment expecting to roll my eyes out of my head and puke for hours on end in disgust. At first it went that way, as Funkasaurus’ dance moves are tired and I don’t care about him anymore, like at all. Then it came to Tensai, who still believed it was a lingerie match. No I didn’t laugh at Tensai wearing lingerie, because it wasn’t funny, and in fact he was actually more clothed than normal wearing it so I have no idea why he was “covering up”. I laughed when he started dancing because for a single shining moment it actually looked like Tensai was having fun, and I’ll be damned if that isn’t infectious. On top of that, he shockingly HAD MOVES!

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review- 1:28:13- Tensai Dance 1WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review- 1:28:13- Tensai Dance 2

 

I guess they’re slowly trying to get Tensai over as a comedic relief wrestler, because his stint as a weird, semi-racist, uncharismatic fake japanese wrestler white guy was pretty horribly received by everyone. I’m not saying I want him shucking and jiving his way into the ring from now on, but if he can continue to actually just be entertaining to watch I’ll be happy.

This is the highlight of the night by far. I’ve often complained that in the WWE, good guys never act like good guys, and bad guys never act like bad guys, and for the most part that still holds true. Thankfully, with Alberto Del Rio and Big Show, we’ve finally got a bad guy who acts like the worst MFer there is, and a good guy who actually is pretty damn heroic and good. At the Rumble Del Rio did kinda/sorta cheat to win, by having Ricardo duct tape Big Show to the ropes so he couldn’t stand up for the Last Man Standing match, and I’ll be honest it was saddening to see him start to go that path of the typical WWE face, but it was a far cry from the typical unforgivable BS that Cena and Sheamus pull on the reg.

Well anyhow, Big Show comes out here tonight, immediately knocks out Del Rio, duct tapes him to the rope, and starts beating the everliving crap out of Ricardo in front of Del Rio while he looks on helplessly, unable to help his best friend get destroyed mercilessly. It was pure goddamned evil from Big Show, and was finally something an actual BAD GUY would do to somebody who didn’t deserve it at all, and now Alberto Del Rio is JUST in whatever retribution he enacts against Big Show, because tying someone up and beating the crap out of their friend in front of them is BAD, and deserves punishment. That’s what bad guys and heels are supposed to do, deserve the punishment they’ll get from good guys and faces, so that a sense of justice is served and vicariously lived out by the audience. It made me hate Big Show because what he did was wrong, and like Del Rio because I can’t wait to see him enact said justice. Thankfully, it’s finally on the correct sides of the moral spectrum as to who should be getting comeuppance in this feud, and that sort of thing is as refreshing as it is depressing.

What? What is this match? Showgirl Lumberjills? Why are the Lumberjills interrupting the match by jumping into the ring? Why does that end the match? Why can’t it just finish? Why is the Divas division basically 2 women now? Why don’t Kaitlyn and Tamina just finish the match anyway? Why was this even on my tv? Why didn’t I just fast forward it?

Oh. Right.
Oh. Right.

This promo is important for two reasons. The first and most obvious is Punk setting up the rematch at Elimination Chamber, which blugh. Whatever. The second though, is how much he’s getting booed despite saying probably the smartest, truest damn thing anyone’s ever said as a comeback against the audience, and tells them how in 20 years they’ll all be talking about how much of a genius he was. He’s 100% right, because anyone who’s watched his Best In The World dvd knows they’re already starting to do that for him, and that was before he became his current BITW Heel persona.

A lot has been said about The Rock not deserving the title, and how he’s a terrible character, and that him being the champion undermines the meaning of the title in the modern era by virtue that a retired, 10 years gone wrestler of an older era who can’t be bothered to actually show up and properly return is now “better” than the rest of the roster by being it’s champion. I’m not really sure I can say anything that hasn’t already been said, either by Punk himself or by any of the myriad other wrestling writers out there, so I’ll just say that I really hope Rock leaves again soon, and doesn’t come back. He’s not doing the WWE any favors, the WWE is just favoring him.

Well here goes another Sheamus match. Sheamus, unlike Cena, at least has a repertoire of moves, so his matches are unceasingly repetitive. I thought for a moment that perhaps the nature of it being a table match meant Sandow could outthink Sheamus and perhaps shove him through a table, or generally make it happen in a way that would be surprising. Unfortunately that’s not the case, and Sheamus simply destroyed him and slammed him through a table as was to be expected. I really hate this kind of wrestling match. Not table matches mind you, which I think are just fine, but I hate it when there’s no suspense as to who is going to win. I went in trying to trick myself thinking maybe Sandow could, but when Sheamus goes and does his thing it just puts be back into a lapsed state of boredom and I start wondering why I even watch this show. That’s not a good thing, and it shouldn’t happen. I don’t understand how the average fan can be happy with the same guys winning all of the time forever and ever, but I guess they are. I dunno, maybe just give me an actual reason to like Sheamus and I’ll see it? Either way let’s stop pretending like putting up mid-carders against main-card talent liker his is at all a contest.

This pointless joke skit should not be in this wrestling show. This is a wrestling show, not some weird segment on a WWE themed episode of The Surreal Life. Am I dating myself with that reference? Oh well. I was actually kind of looking forward to 3MB actually singing, but once again Great Khali ruins everything. Make this nonsense stop.

GUYS! Jericho is back! Again! I wonder how many times he’s gonna have a return. The dude is the Rolling Stones of wrestling. He’s had how many final comebacks now? I’m not exactly complaining because I love Jericho, but just be honest with us and just tell us he’s leaving for a few months to tour with his band instead of coming up with a slew of ridiculous reasons as to why he’s getting fired, or suspended, or leaving, or whatever. On top of that, you’ve got Vickie who was the one to sign him, which makes perfect sense since AJ more or less signed him out, and he’s the Batman to Ziggler’s Bane, as I’ve previously illustrated in this column. It also contributes towards my theory that they’re slowly trying to get the audience to hate Vickie less. I’m not sure if they’re trying to turn her face, but moves like this surely are things the audience likes, and are a step towards her being a good/fan friendly General Manager/Supervisor/Whatever. If you’ve ever been to a live WWE event, then you’ll know just how loudly she gets booed every time she shows up, and how much of an effort it’d take to make everyone suddenly not hate her. You wouldn’t believe how much they edit the sound levels for the Raw/Smackdown broadcast when she comes on, because when it’s live, I swear to you it’s impossible to even hear her.

Also why does Big E Langston’s singlet keep getting smaller? Eventually he’ll just be wearing that Borat bikini.

I totally forgot this match even happened despite it having four of my favorite wrestlers in it. I suppose that’s because it was about 4 minutes long, and was mostly just a stepping stone to further show us how Team Hell No are dysfunctional now after the Royal Rumble. But they’ve always been dysfunctional. So… Well it was nice to see Jericho wrestling again. For a minute.

Hey! Alright! Finally some payoff to this storyline! So as we all suspected all along, Paul Heyman really did pay off Brad Maddox and The Shield. Vince McMahon continues to ask Heyman about his honor and whatnot, and the entire time Heyman denies ever being in collusion with Maddox or The Shield at all. Then McMahon shows him the most damning hidden security tape in the world, showing Heyman clearly talking about paying off Maddox and The Shield, quite blatantly. Heyman then claiming that it still wasn’t him was goddamned hilarious. You gotta give the guy props for sticking to his lie. Brock Lesnar showing up was yet another surprise tonight, as I genuinely didn’t expect him to show up at all.

I’m probably one of the handful of wrestling fans who really doesn’t like Brock Lesnar at all. I don’t like his character, I don’t like the man, and I don’t really care about seeing him in the WWE ever again. However I do have to admit I did like him picking up Vince McMahon and F5ing him to death, because Vince is just the worst, and Paul Heyman’s screams of NOOO! NO MORE! NO MORE! STOP! NO MORE! STOP! while hovering over McMahon’s dead body are pretty hilarious. I was really sad that Heyman was about to be fired, so I have to thank Lesnar from keeping that from happening.

As the final shot of Raw came to a close on Vince McMahon’s lifeless body, I kept thinking about how things in the WWE right now seem like they’re in a strange reluctant transition period. We’re slowly getting more new talent, but we’ve got an old champion, and an old chairman. I’ve said here before that I think Triple H must be doing a better job in his executive position because he’s allegedly responsible for all the new wrestlers on the show. I can only hope that once Vince McMahon finally steps down, we’ll get to see at the very least,  the wrestling in World Wrestling Entertainment become highlighted again. Shows like tonight, that are a host to a series of stupid gimmick matches, with moments of genuine shock and surprise scattered throughout are all the more frustrating, because I can’t just hate it entirely, but I can’t love it all the way either. Hopefully next week things will be better.

Now dance Tensai! Dance!

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 1:28:13- Tensai Dance 3

 

An Overview of the CM Punk Panel at Wizard World

This weekend I had the honor of spending a great deal of time at the Austin, Texas stop of the Wizard World Comic Con tour. The comic con covered a wide range of media including: comic books, horror movies, pro wrestling, manga, and Star Trek. The convention also presented a slew of celebrity guests and comic artists/writers that kept the crowds coming all weekend long.

One of the guests there, and undoubtedly the one I was most excited for, was WWE champion CM Punk. Punk was at the convention on Saturday to take pictures with fans, sign autographs, and give a Q&A panel, which went 40 minutes past the allotted time because Punk was unwilling to leave before all fan questions were answered. His down to earth persona was captivating to everybody in the intimate atmosphere, and fans were able to hear one of their favorite WWE superstars respond to their personal questions. With a great sense of humor, and a great deal of patience with a couple idiotic questions, Punk covered a wide range of topics including: his input for others on getting into the wrestling business, his favorite comic books (because he is actually quite the comic fan), his feelings on Brock Lesnar, and much more.

One of the most surprising aspects of his Q&A was that he name dropped Shawn Michaels multiple times as somebody he would like to compete with in a one on one match. Fans have been beating a dead horse with begging for a Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. CM Punk match at Wrestlemania. So seeing Punk have an obviously greater interest in a match with Michaels was quite surprising.

When asked about Brock Lesnar, Punk said that he would be more than willing to have a partnership with Brock. This was another moment that I found interesting because a bit earlier in the panel Punk said he was done with groups and cliques. He stated that he feels like too much of a “control freak,” to be a part of them anymore. This most certainly left any fan in the room putting the final nail in the coffin of hope for Punk to bring back the NWO. At the same time however, I think everybody is now wondering what type of relationship Punk and Heyman will have with Lesnar once Brock returns.

When asked if Punk has past injuries that still haunt him in the ring, he openly admitted to having a few.  While answering this question, he seemingly hinted a couple different times that he may not be wrestling for much longer. This would align with a recent interview that he did where he stated that he thought that he would be done wrestling by 2015.

Outside of the WWE, CM Punk has recently been working on another project, this one in the comic book world. Punk was asked to write the intro for the Avengers vs.  X-Men hardcover, which is due out this November. As a lifelong comic book fan, this offer was a no-brainer. During his Q&A, Punk was asked to name his all-time favorite comic series, to which he quickly replied with the Garth Ennis series, Preacher. Punk also stated that if he were to watch a dream wrestling match between two superheroes that he would of course choose Superman vs. Batman.

The panel gave fans a great opportunity to hang out in a room with their favorite WWE wrestler and hit him with their own personal questions. Punk, who celebrated his birthday just the day before, was treated to everybody singing him Happy Birthday. He also passed out cupcakes to those who he deemed had asked ‘intelligent’ questions.  As a huge wrestling fan, I have to say, the experience was about as good as being at a live show.

I’m the dude down front in the Blue Tigers cap…