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Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 8/13/12

Tonight’s Raw opened up pretty uniquely, in that it was a wrestling match, immediately. Not 20 minutes of talking, or backstage skits, or video packages, and for that, I was thankful.

So while I was looking forward to seeing a straight up match between Show and Punk, it obviously was interrupted, At first, Daniel Bryan comes out, demanding a title match at Summerslam, allowing Punk to gain momentum against Show, until Bryan interferes and slaps Punk in the Yes (No?) Lock, resulting in a DQ. The moment Show stands up however, John Cena arrives, to ostensibly take down Show. Why there’s this weird power play between who is or isn’t better at knocking down Big Show between Cena and Punk, I don’t quite understand. It’s like they’re ignoring the fact that Show is a person too, and not just an obstacle in between them and the title, although I suppose that’s the point. To that end, as much as I like Punk, it really makes Big Show out to be the underdog in a way here, despite being the proverbial “mountain” that has to be climbed for either Punk or Cena to be champion. Maybe I’m thinking too much into it, but despite my lack of enthusiasm for Summer-Slam, I will be very pleasantly surprised if Big Show ends up victorious. But he won’t. Anyhow, after the match AJ comes skipping out, and announces that all 4 of them will be in a tag team match later in the show, with Big Show and Daniel Bryan being paired up, and Cena and Punk  on the opposing team. I can’t decide If I like AJ as a GM or not, but she is following the Teddy Long school of GM-ing, which is tag team match ad infinitum. Somehow though, she’s not as grating. It must be because she’s so beautiful. Perhaps if I was attracted to elderly, bespectacled, balding black men I’d be missing Teddy something fierce.

On second thought, no I wouldn’t.

Cutting backstage, JTG and uh… Krystal? I think her name is? I’m not sure because she’s one of the Divas who we never ever, EEEEEEVER see. Well they’re both there, complaining about not getting matches, because frankly they never do, until AJ shows up. She listens to their plight, cocks her head the way she does, and gives JTG a match. He walks away happy, ignorant of his dire fate to come later. AJ then asks Kailtlyn? God I don’t know her name. She asks Kristen if she thinks that she’s unstable, to which Kristina answers no. AJ seems pleased with this answer, despite Katalinn’s answer being a blatant lie. Seriously, I have no idea what her name is.

Google said her name is… Kaitlyn. So I got it right the second time. Too bad I’m literally already forgetting about her as I type this sent- wha? What was I talking about? Why I am I typing this? Who is this woman whose picture I’m writing under? Why am I wearing an evil lizard mask?

The Ryback is unleashed on JTG, and unsurprisingly, he Ryback’s him pretty hard. JTG becomes yet another in a long line of delicious man meat to be fed to The Ryback, who continually begs us to feed him more. I know I’ve given him crap before about his catchphrase, but it’s almost like they’re daring me to not make jokes about how subtly homo-erotic a giant super muscley man with a very phallic bald head, constantly demands to be fed more men to sate an unstated appetite that is insatiable, and can only be staved off by multiple men “taking him on”. If that doesn’t sound a like a cock-thirsty young upstart ready and willing to prove himself in The Biz, well I guess you just don’t think about gay stuff as much as I do. Ahem.

Backstage, we see Rowdy Roddy Piper and Shaun Michaels talk to each other for a moment about Brock Lesnar, to set up the chekov’s gun for when Brock, “gets” Shaun Michaels, as he alluded he would on last week’s Raw. Shaun then gets on the phone with Triple H, although that’s who I inferred it was, because they were trying to keep it ostensibly a secret. They did this a lot back in the Attitude Era, where the audience was guessing who it was that was “on the phone”, and it was always Vince McMahon or whoever “The Commissioner” was. Whatever happened to the Commissioner? Is that still a fake/real job? Or was it superseded by the General Manager? I don’t know, I should probably just do what all the WWE writers do and ignore it.

I’ve grown to love Heath Slater. There was a time when I saw him on my screen and tuned out, but his incredibly delivery of “ONE MAAAAAANNNN BAAAAANNNNDDD BABAAAAYYYY”, as well as his pretty great ability to sell, has warmed him up to me. Even though he lost to R-Truth, seeing the both of them trade spots was entertaining, and despite Truth’s gimmick getting a bit stale, and Slater’s only just coming into blossom, the match itself worked well. After the match ended, The Primetime Players showed up to ruin Truth’s celebratory victory dance with Lil’ Jimmy, and demolish him pretty swiftly.  I should note, they showed up without AW, because AW was fired. While I personally didn’t even notice the “offensive” joke he made in last week’s Raw, I’m not really missing him that much, because his God-Voice was irritating, and he didn’t bring much to the Primetime Players that they didn’t already have on their own. I’m worried this will mean their presence will be buried, since they’re good heels, but I’m optimistic that it won’t.

So long AW, your voice was impossibly loud.

I didn’t write this article as I watch the show live like I usually do, so when it came back to reviewing the show again, I had entirely and completely forgotten about this match, because it was so boring and pointless. I’ve repeated enough times why I don’t like Tensai, and his match here is another carbon copy of all his other matches, up until the end. While I want to like Sin Cara, I actually watch other wrestling promotions, as well as, you know, actual Luchador wrestling, like the CMLL, and Sin Cara would be fired in one night from any half-decent Luchador promotion because the dude is sloppy. There’s a meme online that calls him “Botch-Cara”, which while exaggerated, isn’t wrong. Mostly, he’s a mediocre at best wrestler of his style, and the fact that the WWE seems so poised to push him as such a “revolutionary and innovative” Luchador style wrestler really irks me, when there are actual, truly revolutionary, truly innovative Luchadors out there, that they could be recruiting RIGHT NOW. Luchador style wrestling is AWESOME, and very hard to screw up, but somehow, Sin Cara manages to make it boring every time I see him. Botched moves or not, that is his main problem. Period.

Oh yeah. Sin Cara wins, and Tensai beats his asian manservant while we pretend that’s not really racist. Boring. Next.

Backstage Shawn Michaels keeps asking people if they’ve seen Triple H, and we’re supposed to keep pretending to not know it’s Triple H.

So it’s the Piper’s Pit! And the WWE Universe voted who’d be in it! And thankfully, they picked a good choice of Jericho, who is now in full Y2J mode. While I like Y2J Jericho, I prefer his heel, “f*** all this” Jericho that he had been up until recently. The main problem with this promo, is that despite ostensibly being a comedic bit, that would build momentum and re-establish roles in the Ziggler/Jericho feud, it mostly made me sad at how much Roddy Piper has lost his knack for cutting a good promo. The guy seemed really confused, and openly admitted to not remembering things, and it didn’t seem kayfabe at all. At one point he just starts to ramble like your weird old drunk uncle, and even starts to say random things to Jericho, like “I know how you feel, I KNOW YOUR DAD.” Read that through a drunken sad Uncle filter and you’ll know where I’m coming from. Eventually Vickie Guerrero thankfully interrupts Roddy from flailing about like an old drunk fish out of water, and EXCUSE ME’s her way to the ring, with Dolph Ziggler in tow.

Ziggler comes out and berates Roddy Piper for being an old, out of touch weirdo, and rightfully points out how sad it is. Roddy tries to insult him about his pink shirt, but Jericho hilariously comes to Ziggler’s defense by saying “They’re summer colors”. All of them continue arguing about this and that, until The Miz enters. He points out how Ziggler and He both can actually win matches, and backs up Ziggler’s point that Jericho has lost his touch. He then attempts to take over Piper’s Pit, telling Roddy and Jericho to get out of “his” ring, and Roddy starts NO NO NO-ing, which I thought was gonna cue up Daniel Bryan, which confused the hell out of me. But they both attack Miz and Ziggler instead, and throw them both out of the ring, thus winning?… Piper’s Pit? Can that happen? What is Piper’s Pit for again? Save us Ziggler, save us from weird sad segments like this where we’re forced to watch legends slowly crumble away before our eyes.

AJ then makes a pretty smart decision, and schedules a match between Ziggler, Miz and Jericho, that was by far the highlight of the actual wrestling on tonight’s show. All three of them worked amazingly together, and i’d have loved to seen the actual match go on another 15-20 minutes. If this is part 1 of a potential PPV feud, where we get an awesome part 2, I’m all in. The highlight by far was this AMAZING Superplex-Powerbomb that involved all three of them. As much as I tried, I just couldn’t find a GIF of this move to show you either, but rest assured, it was goddamn awesome.

Well despite all three of them being excellent, and putting on an incredible match, there had to be one winner, and after a trio of finishers, near falls, and chain counters into other finishers, Ziggler got the Zig Zag on Jericho and pinned him successfully. I’m really hoping they’ll build this 3-way feud up more, because it’s one of the few 3 way feuds I’ve seen in a long time that totally works.

Backstage, CM Punk is stretching, and Eve comes over to talk to him, looking all sexy and shit. She thanks him for his “new” attitude, basically trying to confirm his Heel status. He rebuffs her, reiterates that he deserves respect, and that’s all he’s fighting for. She says he better go tell that to Cena. I say “F*** JOHN CENA’S OPINION PUNK, YOU GOTTA BEAT HIM, NOT MAKE HIM LOVE YOU!”. Then I go back to looking at Eve’s cleavage.

We then cut to Shaun Michaels dicking around backstage more, asking about Triple-H. Why he doesn’t, I don’t know, wait for Triple H in the green room, is beyond me, but whatever. Punk then approaches Cena and gives him the usual, ” We’re working together, and we don’t like each other” speech, and then makes some solid points explaining himself and his actions to Cena/The Audience, despite his actions being self-evident and justified. I’m guessing the writers feel it necessary to have Punk try to ride his whole “Tweener” thing right now right down the line, despite him being clearly in the right if you just put any thought into the status quo at all. But asking the WWE Universe to think is like asking for Wade Barret to not be british. Oh snap! Segue!

I know they showed this promo last week, and you may be wondering why I’d be talking about it again, but goddamnit if I’m not totally stoked for Guy Ritchie’s™ Wade Barrett to debut, and make his BEAR-AGE known to all who stand in his way. I’m hoping he shows up, speaking in that weird Pikey language from Snatch, asks John Cena if he likes dags, and then just one hit KO’s him. When Big Show comes out complaining about Barrett stealing his finisher, Barrett caves his face in while screaming OI GUVNA as loud as possible. Either that or have him come back and literally beat down Randy Orton with face punches until Orton is blind, deaf and dumb.

Hey! Another Divas match! And Krissy or whatever is even in it! Good for them! Despite the amount of botched pins, (I seriously don’t understand why these women cannot handle any kind of roll up pin whatsoever), the match was a pretty average Divas match. Layla hit her moves, stopped to dance for a little bit, everyone looked adorable, and Karoline actually even got a roll up pin on Beth Phoenix for the win! Good for her! Whoever she is!

So this match was functionally the main event of the show. 2 hours and some change in, and the match began, and while the match ended in 15 or so minutes, it was pretty standard tag team fare between the four of these guys, who we’ve all seen interact with each other one way or another for the last month at least. The highlight by far though, was when Punk, after seeing Cena wanting to be tagged in, copies Cena’s trademark 5 Moves of Doom sequence, and is interrupted right after pulling off the “YOU CAN’T SEE ME” taunt part right before the 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Cena interrupts it, by tagging himself in, and copies Punk’s corner turnbuckle flying knee/running bulldog combo. Punk then obstinately walks out of the ring, leaving Cena to finish the match alone. While some would say it’s a tit for tat sign of mutual disrespect, I’m on Punk’s side because… well because he’s just cooler dammit. F***. Sometimes that’s all the reason you need.

Look how cool he is! 

Anyhow, Cena wins because he’s Cena, and fails to notice Big Show about to brutally sneak attack him. Punk then runs up and conks Show in the head with his belt, thus saving Cena. Punk then becomes the bigger man, and offers his hand in respectful reconciliation, and Cena refuses to shake it, officially being the biggest weeaboo paranoid crybaby pussy ever. Punk rightfully walks away angry, and I and everyone else with a brain who isn’t under 10 years old, finds yet another reason to hate Cena.

After the match, Josh Matthews catches up with Punk to ask him “what happened” at the end of that match, and Punk sums it up perfectly. Cena is out here to make Cena look good. He doesn’t care about winning as a team, or anyone other than himself.  He then rightfully points out Cena’s incredibly rude sign of disrespect by not shaking Punk’s hand, and vows to “teach him, and everybody, respect.” You know, just watch the end of the video above, because he says it a lot better than I can paraphrase it here. My point is, that CM Punk is and has been unfairly treated, despite being the goddamned champion for nearly a year now, which in WWE is quite a feat, that legitimately and truly does deserve respect. Why would anybody boo him for this? Why?

Now, while the Daniel Bryan/Cena/Big Show/CM Punk match was supposed to the main event of the night, common knowledge dictates that the last match in a wrestling show is traditionally the main event. So with much glee, I can now say that DAMIEN SANDOW, THE INTELLECTUAL SAVIOR OF THE UNWASHED MASSES, IS NOW THE MAIN EVENT OF MONDAY NIGHT RAW!

Thank you Damien. Thank you for annihilating Funkasaurus. Thank you for crushing Christian in the ring. Thank you for ignoring Funkasaurus’ attempted interruption-causing-you-to-get-distracted-and-lose-to-a-roll-up thing. Thank you for doing a cartwheel to celebrate your victories. Most of all, thank you for wearing pink wrestling briefs, the most sophisticated color of wrestling briefs you could wear.

Thank you Damien. Thank you.

 

So the last half hour of tonight’s Raw was all dedicated to this impossibly stupid Triple H/Brock Lesnar feud, where we get the EXCITING PLEASURE of watching them SIGN A CONTRACT.  The tension had me on the edge of my seat! Either the tension, or the shit I needed to take, that I took while this segment dragged on and on. We get it. Brock bad. Triple H good. Things personal. Paul Heyman talky because Brock is a effing moron who can’t string 2 sentences together. Shaun Michaels stand there confused for reasons! Important reasons! And the beat goes on. Then a few minutes of some more Touts, (which I’ve started doing, because  I’m weak and IT’S STILL REAL TO ME DAMMIT) and then cut to a parking lot. Any knowledgeable longtime WWE fan knows that NOTHING good ever happens in a parking lot in the WWE.

So Shaun Michaels is trying to leave, and gets boxed in by Paul Heyman, who sits there screaming ‘I’LL MOVE IT I SWEAR REAL SOON MAN SORRY I’M SORRY”, until Brock Lesnar shows up, and kidnaps Shaun Michaels by dragging him out of the car. He also knocks down the camera guy, making the camera cut to black, while we hear loud thuds, and HBK screaming or something. In my mind’s eye, Brock Lesnar was just ripping his skin off in large chunks and eating it like huge strips of man-jerky, but that’s almost definitely not what was happening.

Coming back from a commercial break, we see Triple H overlooking the damage done to HBK’s car. Apparently Brock Lesnar smashed HBK through the window shield, and broke all his windows for good measure, as well as denting the sides of the doors. Basically, Brock Lesnar pulled an old-fashioned Street Fighter Car Smash Bonus Level on HBK’s car. Triple H runs in horror, desperate to find HBK, and we cut back to the main arena. Lesnar shows up with HBK on his shoulders, being carried like a freshly killed deer. I actually can picture Brock Lesnar doing this exact same thing to a deer, only he snatches it from the woods, suplexes it into a random car nearby 8 or 9 times, and then just punches it to death to end its suffering.

So Lesnar takes the now ragged HBK into the ring, and F5’s him, because an F5 in the ring is WAY more brutal than, I don’t know, smashing a dude into a car or something. Triple H then shows up to defend his gay frenemy, and Brock Lesnar puts HBK into a fake Kimura. Now, while this is an indirect nod to this UFC career, in which he NEVER put dudes in Kimura’s, the hold itself is actually dangerous, if only anybody like Triple H or HBK knew how what bone the damn hold actually broke. When Lesnar “broke” Triple H’s arm 3 months ago, he clutched his elbow like an asshole, because the move looks like it breaks your elbow, when in fact it snaps you upper arm/shoulder bone area.

Well Paul Heyman tries to warn Triple H to not save HBK, or else Lesnar will break his arm. Triple H stalls, because they need to pad out their airtime. 8 minutes of show left with 2 minutes of material does that. Lesnar then kayfabe snaps HBK’s arm, and Triple H chases Brock out of the ring, while Paul Heyman screams OH MY GOD YOU BROKE HIS ARM. YOU BROKE HIS ARMMM. YOUUU BRRROOOKE HIS AAAAAARRRRRMMMM!!!  I’m guessing Heyman was fearing the legal repercussions, or is super squeamish. Either way, the show ended with HBK writhing around in pain, actually selling the Kimura arm break better than Triple H, despite rolling multiple times onto his “broken” upper arm. Lesnar and Triple H point at each other, and Triple H takes his shirt off for some reason while pointing. End.

Then Lesnar continued his transformation into a living Cabbage Patch Doll.

In conclusion, tonight’s Raw had a good amount of wrestling in it. I can’t stand the Triple H/Lesnar feud and will be so happy when Brock Lesnar shoot quits to go… well I presume suplex and punch deer to death or whatever the hell he does in his free time. I’ll be glad to see it all come to an end at Summer-Slam. As far as Raw goes, the 3 hour time expansion so far seems to be beneficial, and not too much time is wasted. Or maybe it is, and the mind controlling waves are starting to sink in, and soon I’ll be a member of the Cenation. A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH.

Take it away, Rodney!

Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 8/6/12

Tonight’s show opens up with a new credits sequence, and new logo. Why they waited until the 1002nd episode of Raw to debut a new credits sequence, or logo, beats the hell out of me. I guess the guy who edits all of the promos went insane after the ridiculous amount of video packages he had to make for last weeks show. Well the new Raw GM AJ skips out, and announces right off the top of the show, a series of matches featuring Big Show vs Randy Orton, and Daniel Bryan vs John Cena. Before she says what her third match up will be, CM Punk interrupts her, and walks out to a kinda-sorta mixed applause from the crowd. The fans seemed to mostly be on CM Punk’s side, despite a few fans giving thumbs down here and there.

Punk begins to make a promo explaining his actions last week, with him yelling in AJ’s face, demanding respect. He does get “What-ed” by the audience while making his apology, and booed as well. He then starts to make the typical coward-heelish action of trying to butter up the GM and asking for the Triple Threat match between Punk/Cena/Show to be cancelled. AJ says her decisions stands, and Punk accuses her of getting revenge for his refusal of AJ’s marriage proposal a few weeks ago. He also points out how lame it would be if she started acting like yet another one of those Evil-GM’s for no reason, which falls in line with his “No bullshit, tell the truth” character. He’s riding a pretty thin line between actual truth teller, and tweener heel. Then John Cena comes out and says words about respect. I don’t know what the rest of what he said was past the word “respect”, because I passed out from boredom. The gist of it, was CM Punk and John Cena measuring each other’s dicks. Their insults and taunts were pretty grade-school.

” I beat you last year!” ” No you didn’t!” “Yes I did!” “Nuh uh!”

Awful. Punk, you’re better than that. Anyhow, Big Show enters because he legally has to. He doesn’t do anything, but he shows up, because that’s the law. AJ then says that CM Punk will be opening the first match of the night, with the WWE Universe picking his opponent. The selections were picked on twitter, and were: #PunkMiz, #PunkKane, and #PunkMysterio. I voted for #PunkMiz, because Kane is Kane, and I hate Rey Mysterio. Also Miz could use the push. I kinda like the idea of being able to push the stars we like, but a part of me thinks that the whole damn thing is rigged to begin with, either that or I really underestimate how much people inexplicably like Rey Mysterio. http://youtu.be/gfGuEvdoHyI So even though I dislike Rey Mysterio, I have to admit he’s a pretty good worker. Add to that that I’ve never really seen Punk have a bad match, and we had the makings of a decent match unfolding. Jerry Lawler made some idiotic comments about Punk needing to “earn respect”, which means either in the canon of WWE that ROH doesn’t exist in its entirety, or he’s just retarded and forgot all the events of last year, because if ANYBODY has “earned” respect it’s Punk. I literally cannot understand how you could think he hasn’t. Arguably you could say John Cena has “earned” it, except his whole Robo-Cena act bores me to tears, because it’s so repetitive.

This is every match of his. Every single one.

I gotta say the match made both of them look pretty good. Mysterio’s acrobatics work well on a guy with the build of Punk, because he’s not a Goliath style monster for him to overcome, and thusly his moves are more believable in their effectiveness. Punk though, did manage to pick up the win by pulling up his knees when Mysterio attempted a dive off the top rope, and landed the GTS. He then (shoot?) sold a mouth injury from Mysterio’s 619 finisher, and let out his patented BEST IN THE WORLD top rope yell.

Coming back from the break, we see an actually pretty badass comeback promo for Wade Barrett. The guy’s sporting a beard now, and seems to have a new “bare knuckle boxer” gimmick, that’s reminiscent of the UK’s Charles Bronson. The guy looks leagues tougher than he used to be, and the promo was effective at communicating that he’s not to be messed with. Good Job Video Package Editor Guy!

Back to the actual show, and Alberto Del Rio shows up backstage to talk with AJ. He butters her up, and tries to push for his whole “I don’t need to wrestle these plebes” thing. She says she had nothing planned for him, and is happy to hear it. But, he makes the mistake of saying that he thought she was going to do something “Crazy”, and she takes offense. She then puts him in a match, immediately. AJ seems to be a very wrestling oriented GM, who is eager to actually make wrestlers wrestle, and not have stupid goddamned tag team matches all the time. I knew she wouldn’t let me down. Oh AJ, shine on you cra- I mean uh… sexy diamond. Yeah. Then they had, “Hey guess what, TRIPLE H/BROCK LESNAR VIDEO PACKAGE. THE SAME ONE THEY SHOWED 5 TIMES LAST WEEK. SUMMERSLAM! IT’S HAPPENING! TRIPLE H! BROCK LESNAR! CARE ABOUT IT! CAAAAAAARRRE” promo, yet again. If I ever see Brock Lesnar or Triple H in person, I’m going to be the most annoying, autograph demanding, horrible fan I can possibly be to them. Annoy them as much as these promos have annoyed me.

ADR enters the match with a boot still loose, presumably from having “just gotten ready.” I’m guessing that ADR’s whole “I don’t wanna wrestle until Summerslam” thing, was actually a meta attempt to get pushed more by whoever actually books the matches. As a heel he says he doesn’t want to do something, and falling into a cliched reverse psychology trap, the booker gives ADR match after match, where he pummels people relentlessly until he snaps their arms in half with his cross armbar. Christian this time, is the victim, and Christians around being Christian, until ADR pulls off his loose boot, and conks Christian in the head with it when the Ref isn’t looking. Because an empty boot to the head is somehow more damaging than one with a foot in it.

After ADR wins (duh), Sheamus shows up on the Titan-Tron, and steals Alberto Del Rio’s car that we previously saw him park backstage. Sheamus is the worst face in the world. I think from now on, whenever Sheamus does something really shitty or stupid or boring, I’m just gonna write “SCREW SHEAMUS”, and save myself another repetitive paragraph wherein I am trying to find a new creative way to say just that.

Hey, how cool is scheduled wrestling matches actually happening? Like, you know, an actual card being announced and followed through, and not full of tons of filler? Even though Randy Orton annoys me, I’ll support the idea of actual wrestling being the focal point of my wrestling show, any damn day of the week. So I don’t like Randy Orton. He’s dumb, his tattoos are dumb, and his “viper” gimmick is stupid and dumb. He’s a big dumb dummy who is so dumb he reverts me back to an age where I can only make infantile insults about what a doody-head he is. So I enjoyed seeing him get clobbered by Big Show, and was really fearing his typical mid-match momentum shift, where he body slams the guy from an irish whip, and then hulks out or whatever that weird ground pounding thing he does is, and RKO’s his opponent. Well, it was happening, and I was about to begin audibly groaning, when Show countered it into a choke slam. Then Orton kicked out of the choke slam, and the match continued. They then kept exchanging blows outside of the ring, resulting in a stalemate between the two of them, when the match came to a double count-out. Which I have to admit, was legitimately surprising, and somehow not a disappointing end to that match. They built up Orton without making Show look bad, and Show gets to still seem strong. Of course, after the match Show tries to hit the WMD on Orton, who finally lands the RKO on him, looking pretty ridiculous while doing so.

It seems like The Ryback shows up sometimes on Raw, and occasionally he’ll have a burst blood vessel in his left eye. Or a very bad case of pink eye. Or he’s having some kind of weird half-stoner stroke, and every time he smokes pot only half of his body gets high, thus resulting in his one bloodshot eye. I’m guessing they want us to think that he’s a hardcore fighter, and someone is always smashing him in the face hard enough to do that to him, but I’m inclined to think he’s really prone to quick fits of anger for no reason. What’s that? Big Bang Theory is eclipsing Community in the ratings again? THE RYBACK MUST RYBACK TV WITH HIS HEAD. THE RYBACK HUNGRY FOR GOOD THURSDAY NIGHT MUST SEE TV. FEED ME MORE DANNY GLOVER.

Yeah, that can’t feel good.

As for the match, The Ryback Ryback’s Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks again, in a match identical to his previous matches with them. While I like The Ryback, he’s starting to reach Funkasaurus levels of repetition. Blegh. Feed ME more, The Ryback. Feed me an original match.

Alright! This is how it should be! One wrestling match, immediately followed by another wrestling match! Awesome! Either this means they’re actually putting more wrestling into their 3 hour show, or the next hour after the other two previously announced matches will just be endless promos and skits that will make me eat my words about the WWE actually taking steps towards improving their product. I was about to start writing about how these guys were imprving in ring, because their match was building up in a nice fashion, until the Primetime Players, AGAIN do the whole “we had enough of this” thing, and backwards walk out of the ring. Then Kofi Kingston’s horrible music comes on, and the mere presence of the Tag Team Champions stuns the Primetime Players long enough for Primo and Epico to pull them forcefully back into the ring, where they pulled off a clean win. Yay. After a video package reminder of who Damien Sandow is for the unwashed masses, we see Josh Matthews interview him about his actions last week, where he attacked the Funkasaurus. Damien then goes on to say, more or less, that he hates dancing, and considers it foolishness that contributes to the delinquency of society. How goddamned hilarious is that? Damien Sandow hates dancing. Dancing! I can imagine him seeing the trailer for Step Up 5: Back 2 Tha Streets: Tha Reckoning 4 Tha Streets That Step Up AGAIN, and sneering derisively at it. I’d be right there with him, and then we’d play a game of chess together while sipping fine whiskey. Amazing.

Finally, FINALLY somebody comes out, and just beats the shit out of Funkasaurus during his long, ostentatious, unnecessary dance intro. He just comes out, tackles him, and just laus into his leg pretty horrifically. Then he just stands over his writhing body, and yells I TOLD YOU. YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELF, over and over. Then, when off camera, presumably cartwheels his way out of there. This is why Damien Sandow is awesome.

He is the best heel.

Backstage, AJ is sitting with Daniel Bryan. She tells him she thinks he has anger issues, which may or may not be true. He does mention how it’s probably because she left him at the altar, but stipulates that if he beats John Cena tonight, she should turn the Cena/Show/Punk match, into a 4 way match. She then tells him no, and that he already has a match at Summerslam, against Kane. Bryan then stands up and starts NOing at AJ, while she YES’s back, until they do it simultaneously, which somehow makes AJ defeat him verbally. He stomps off in a huff, and I’m left feeling really bummed we won’t get another chance for Daniel Bryan to become WWE champion.

There hasn’t been a Diva’s match on Raw in a long time, and while I love women’s wrestling, what the WWE Divas do barely counts as wrestling. But they’re both so goddamn gorgeous it’s still entertaining to watch. The thing about Kelly Kelly, is she’s just a relatively athletic model, and not really a wrestler, so all of her moves are really shout-ey and simplistic. Eve, while not a great wrestler either, is a slight step up against Kelly Kelly in terms of wrestling talent. That being said, they managed to give a fairly long match, for Divas anyway. In fact, I found myself surprised that it was as long as it was, and managed to make them both look good, in more ways than one. Mostly because Eve was dressed like this: Holy crap. And Kelly Kelly was in her typical barely not lingerie garb as well.

Oh… oh my.

Ahem. So yeah. Diva matches. Of notable length relative to past Divas matches. In skimpy clothes. Let’s have them actually improve their wrestling ability, and hot damn. I’m ready. Don’t let me down WWE. Don’t let me down. Who am I kidding? They’re totally gonna let me down.

Look folks! HBK is back! He was back as recently as two weeks ago, but he’s BACK! Again! He can’t really do his entrance that well anymore, and his hips are clearly hurting him, and his voice sounds like he’s been gargling asphalt every morning for the last 10 years, but HE’S BACK! Cheer for his ineptitude!

I know, I know, HBK is awesome, but man, it’s like watching your beloved old uncle slowly wander into senility, and he doesn’t even know it’s happening, so he keeps walking around talking about how much the WWE Universe appreciates him while making comments about he can’t walk that well or do his entrance anymore. Ok, I might have gotten metaphors and commentary mixed up there, but my point stands. I think. Also I wish HBK was my uncle. So HBK continues his promo, talking about Triple H and then mentions Brock Lesnar, so of course, Brock Lesnar’s music starts up. Before they even finished thie promo, I understood the purpose of it, and how it’s been done before. For a few years in a row, they had HBK come out to basically taunt Triple H/Undertaker into fighting each other, because for some reason, HBK is Triple H’s big brother/rival/frenemy/cypher, who constantly must make all of Triple H’s affairs his. He’s like a needy friend who’s also really nosy and butts into business that isn’t his. I had a few friends like HBK Then I challenged them to a Hell In A Cell match, and tombstoned them horribly. I believe all social problems can be solved with a modified pile driver or a quick suplex. Awkward date? Elbow drop the waiter! Weird party where you don’t know anyone but have to attend? Choke slam the host through the punch bowl! Can’t get an erection during sexy time? Stone Cold Stunner your cock, and spin into a repeating ouroboros of infinite pain and humiliation! I’m really torn, because I shoot hate Brock Lesnar and shoot love Paul Heyman, so their pairing makes me all conflicted inside. I like the idea of Paul Heyman promoting his “client” as an actual wrestler hellbent on wrestling. I also really like him legitimately referring to Brock Lesnar as “The Baddest Dude” in WWE today.

Pictured: Brock Lesnar.

But this promo was more or less just more boring fluff for that Triple H match, where HBK pulls out the “YOU MENTIONED HIS KIDS! THAT’S AWWWWFULLLL” thing, because that somehow makes the match more important or something. Blah blah blah. More wrestling please. Or alternatively, have Brock Lesnar actually quit WWE just like he has every other damn thing in his life. That’s right Brock, COME AT ME BRO.*

Then of course, Triple H comes out, and it gets all tense and shit, and points really hard at both of them, while vaguely threatening HBK. Lamesauce. After that we get to watch Sheamus’s Tout (ugh) of him with Alberto Del Rio’s car. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler argue over whether or not it’s grand theft auto (it is), and then we get another match.

This was actually his real argument.

Chris Jericho comes out to join Cole and Lawler ringside to give commentary on Dolph Ziggler’s match. He then explains why he’s been wearing Dolph Ziggler’s pink shirt, by saying he found it in the trash, which is somehow meant as an insult, but really it makes him sound like a dirty trash picker. As for the actual match, Dolph Ziggler was dominant against Alex Riley. Big surprise. The only thing that made the match was when Dolph Ziggler started showing off doing Jericho’s classic cocky pin, and Jericho stands up to Tout Dolph right then and there, and of course, this distracts Dolph long enough for A-Ry to get the roll up pin. Normally I hate the “distraction/roll up” ending to matches, but they haven’t done it in a while, and the us of Tout (ughh) made it novel. Another Tout from Sheamus is shown. Seriously? What we’re getting now is footage of footage being touted? I like the amount of wrestling i’m getting tonight, but little dumb moments like this add up to make the overall pie shittier in flavor. So to speak.

So I guess Kane and Miz were gonna have a match tonight no matter what, and if the people had voted like I did for #PunkMiz, we’d be seeing Rey Mysterio vs Kane right now, or some combination of the three choices we were given. Either way, the big surprise was seeing Miz hold his own against Kane. It’s fascinating how a big-boy haircut and a new attitude can improve a wrestler who people previously took only as a joke. I give Kane a shit pretty passively, but sometimes he’s able to tap into a talent reserve and make a match really work. Miz and him traded a lot of spots until Kane got the upper hand, and ended the match with a choke slam, but the effort put out by Miz was noticeable, and the match did a good job of making Kane still seem strong, while not making Miz look like he’s being squashed or jobbed into hell. Coming back from the break, we see Sheamus deliver ADR’s Ferrarri, absolutely trashed and covered in dirt, making him an impolite bastard, as well as a felon. Screw Sheamus.

I’m loving Daniel Bryan’s new “insane” character, who is obsessed with nobody but him saying “Yes”, and now is fixated on saying NO all the time at people. Plus he keeps walking around clutching his head like the brain-grubs are hatching, and they crave the YES YES YESing from the audience to grow and thrive. The match opens up with a rousing clamber of anti/pro Cena chants, that Daniel Bryan detests, and John Cena seems confused by. Throughout the whole match in fact, they seemed to bewilder him, as if he’d never heard them before. Daniel Bryan at one point does an awesome face to face with another fan, where he yells NO right in their face, while they YES him right back. I’d mark the eff out if that happened to me. Anyhow, Daniel Bryan get’s the upper hand during the commercial break, and the inevitable Robo-Cena countdown clock begins. Eventually he hits the 5 moves of doom, but just as Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment, Daniel Bryan locks him into a guillotine headlock. After a minute in the headlock, Bryan gets the advantage again, and builds up his newfound insanity powers to land a flying headbutt on Cena, but Cena still manages to kick out. After that, Daniel Bryan starts his signature kicking thing, which Cena counters in the STF, which Bryan re-counters into the YES-Lock, and for brief shining moment, I thought we were about to see Daniel Bryan beat Robo-Cena, but of course, he countered it again into the AA somehow. After he pins him, CM Punk’s music starts, and Punk enters the ring. He then raises his belt, as he has done to Cena so many times before. Suddenly, Cena throws CM Punk out-of-the-way, and Big Show enters to fight Cena. Cena raises Show into the AA, but in a repeat from last week, he knocks Show off Cena’s shoulders. He then grabs a headset and berates Jerry Lawler again, pointing out that he’s been letting people disrespect him, and that he won’t any longer. That he won’t let people say he’s “turned his back” on the WWE Universe, and even makes a comment referencing how Raw ends the same way it did the last two times. He then goes int he ring to take out Big Show, who catches Punk’s kick, and WMD’s him hard. Show follows it up with a WMD to Cena as well, and ends the show by grabbing the WWE title triumphantly, standing tall over Punk and Cena.

Woo Woo Woo. You know it.

So wow, tonight’s Raw seemed almost like an apology for last weeks. What with the entire IWC reacting pretty goddamned negatively to the entire hour of stupid Lesnar/Triple H promos, they jam-packed this Raw with wrestling, with nearly 10 whole matches, almost all of good length, and none of the skits or promos were overly long, and the annoying ones were kept thankfully short. I’m hoping this is a portrait of things to come, because it’s a definite step in the right direction for the WWE. Except for Sheamus. Screw Sheamus.

*actually please don’t come at me, you’d friggin’ kill me.

Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 7/30/12

Tonight’s Raw opens up with a quick bit on how the set quickly caught fire, in some kind of pyrotechnics test before the show actually started, or the audience was let in. It had no actual effect on the televised show, other than delaying the crowd into the arena for half an hour. I’m uncertain why they even bothered to tell us, other than to address the possible potential issue of viewers at home wondering why a small part of the Titan-Tron was a little black and smokey. This was followed up with a quick video package re-capping last weeks show, playing up all the important parts and excluding any and all mention of Charlie Sheen. They would then go on to repeat this news about the fire, 5 more times over the course of the show. Seriously.

After the end of last weeks show, people have been wondering what CM Punk’s exact motivations were for his attack on The Rock, even if they’re obvious and awesome. A recently shorn CM punk walks into the ring, grabs a mic, and lays down the law. He says that he takes issue with how Jerry Lawler said “CM Punk has turned his back on the WWE Universe”, at the end of Raw last week, and exits the ring, approaching Lawler directly, who sits there silently shitting his pants. Punk slams his championship on the Announcer’s Table, and just really starts giving Lawler shit for what a terrible commentator he is, continues to make great points about The Rock’s arrogance and generally explains all of his actions last week perfectly. The Rock is a washed up blowhard who shows up, says he’s the greatest when he isn’t, disrespects everyone without backing up his words like he used to, and makes the WWE play second fiddle to his Hollywood career, until he decides to randomly take back the championship as if it’s a foregone conclusion. Not to mention all of the inane baby talk he spouts and everyone pretends like it’s even 1/4 of the quality of promos or insults he used to throw out 12 years ago. Frankly, he’s been phoning it in the last year, and If I didn’t hate Cena so much, I would have been rooting against him at Wrestlemania 28. So seeing Punk once again, FINALLY actually speak up and become the Voice of The Voiceless, was excellent, and a return to form from the wise cracking, Jim-Halpert shrugmeister he had become for the past few months. Of course, all the Bandwagoners quickly jump ship and start boo-ing Punk for making his opinions well-known, despite cheering him for claiming to always do this in previous months.

“YEAH CM PUNK BEST IN THE WORLD WOOO HE ALWAYS SPEAKS HIS MIND I RESPECT HIM SO MUCH FOR THAT until he doesn’t say things I agree with! What the hell Punk I trusted you.”- All Ship Jumping Former CM Punk fans.

Screw the honey badger, CM Punk don’t care!

After leaving Jerry Lawler sitting there, with shit in his pants slowly collecting, Big Show’s music starts up, and he enters the ring. At first I thought he was gonna come out, and reiterate his point he made a few weeks ago about how it’d take just one thing to make the WWE Universe turn against CM Punk, and how they didn’t really respect him, but he goes on his usual heel schtick where he promotes himself as the true focal point of the end of Raw 1000. He then takes credit for being the reason Punk is still champion, and vows that he’ll be the next WWE Champion. Then John Cena runs in because his name was mentioned, and chases Big Show out of the ring, while Punk stands aside annoyed as hell. At this point, AJ walks out, clad in a suit as the new Raw GM. She quickly announces tonight’s main event, between Big Show and Cena, with the stipulation that the winner will face Punk at Summerslam for the championship. Punk stands aside not giving a crap, while Cena looks on in his dumb starbucks shirt.

Back from the break and we see a quick scene of Daniel Bryan walking past the office of the new GM, looking distraught.

After that quick Daniel Bryan bit, we get this match between Santino and Alberto Del Rio. Why? If this is an example of AJ’s booking, then she’s picking poor match ups, because really, how else can this go? They try to make some sort of sense of tension between commercial breaks, by having ADR take a bump from Santino that throws him outside the ring, but when back from the break it’s the normal case of ADR destroying his opponent in the ring.  I’m guessing they’re trying to build up Santino as an actual contender or something, because for a bunch of brief shining moments he’d gain some momentum before ADR quickly shut him down again. Santino even tries to pull out the Cobra, which ADR just sidekicks before trapping his arm in the cross armbreaker, because holy crap is the Cobra stupid, and how great would it be if ADR kayfabe broke Santino’s arm? He’d basically be stripping Santino of all his power forever.

Then Del Rio makes a great promo, saying how he just destroyed Santino, that Santino is beneath him, Sheamus is beneath him, and so is everyone else, so he will not compete any further until Summerslam, to get his WHC shot, which is the only thing that he finds worth his time. I really can’t disagree with him either. Why should he be wrestling idiots like Santino? Why isn’t he being put up against anyone who is actually of his caliber of talent? His whole “Eff this noise” attitude is something that makes sense to me, even if I will be missing him destroying all of the even remotely ethnic wrestlers on WWE’s roster. Summerslam better be the fulfillment of his destiny to become a champion, because holy hell, the dude deserves it. Also, I’ll save my obligatory weekly insult of Sheamus for later on in this article, if he shows up.

Returning from a break, Funkasaurus is already in the middle of his dance intro, which is a good thing, because that damn intro is so long. It’s then interrupted by Vickie Guerrero’s banshee shriek of EXCUSE ME, and she mocks the Funkadactyls for their dance moves, and starts dancing herself. She then busts out the patented Elaine-From-Seinfeld-Little-Kicks dance, thumbs up and all, until she herself is interrupted by Damien Sandow.

Our Intellectual Savior then shows the clip from last week, of DX attacking him, proclaiming himself once again as a martyr, and starts beating down Funkasaurus, and leaves triumphantly, in the name of non-irritating wrestling gimmicks all around.

I really love Damien Sandow. 1.) He’s a good wrestler, and 2.) his gimmick is hilarious, and necessary.

It also helps that’s he’s fancy AND classy to boot.

We need a wrestler like him, a guy who can come out, point out how stupid everything is, beat the crap out of them/it, and cartwheel his way out of there, all the while in pink and purple briefs and knee pads. Not to mention his totally luscious ascot/bathrobe combo he enters the ring in, because if anything, I am a man of comfort who appreciates the finer things in life. I think Sandow and I would get along well. We’d both lounge in our armchairs together, drinking different blends of exotic herbal tea, while watching Criterion blu-rays. Plus he’d probably be a really awesome Dungeon Master.

My fantasies of being best friends with Damien Sandow aside, we cut to a recap of the Jericho/Ziggler storyline. It’s storyline that could have a great build up, as I said last week, where Ziggler should destroy Jericho, and be the man to finally BREAK THE WALLS DOOOOWWWWN and break Jericho. If Jericho is gonna be leaving WWE, have him go out with a warriors death. Make him go down fighting, and leave it all out in the ring, defeated once and for all. But tonight anyway, we’re getting a tag team match, because GM’s just LOVE tag team matches and oh no… AJ. Don’t do this to me baby. We had something special. Don’t be this way. Don’t be Teddy 2.0. I’m begging you. SAVE ME JOHN LAURINAITIS!

Aww but you look so good in that suit there baby… Alright, I’ll let it slide this time.

After spending the last 48 minutes mustering his courage outside her office door, Daniel Bryan finally confronts AJ about last week. She immediately asserts herself by telling him to shut up. She then brings up the quick plot point from last week, where we saw what looked like a bunch of mental asylum orderlies being spoken to by Daniel Bryan, that I assumed was a red herring. He says they were his groomsmen pretty defensively, and she says he’ll have to deal with a match later tonight, that’ll pit him against Sheamus (ugh). He asks her if it’s for the title, and she NO NO NO’s him out of the room.

A video package starts to play, showcasing the retarded Triple H/Brock Lesnar storyline from last week. Seriously? How many recaps from Raw 1000 are we going to have? Is the “extra” hour in all of these new episodes of Raw just going to be an entire hour recapping the previous Raw? I guess they have to, to keep Brock Lesnar in the story without him actually being there, because his stupid quitter-contract doesn’t require him to actually wrestle any more than a set amount of dates this year, and they’re being saved for PPV’s almost exclusively. They also must think we’re amnesic Alzheimer goldfish, because they played this promo at least 5 more times after this.

There was a time when I would have really liked to have seen this match. That was about 6 months ago at Wrestlemania, because the “Quick-Strong” wrestler against the “Methodical-Technical” wrestler pairing of Sheamus/Bryan was in theory, a great idea. We all know how horribly they screwed that up, but it led to Daniel Bryan really getting over, so in hindsight it was a necessary evil. Daniel Bryan comes out YES-ing as usual, but then flips out in ring, saying that the fans have “No right” to chant YES anymore, and that is his thing alone. The crowd then taunts him by chanting it, and he responds by losing his mind and shouting NO over and over, like a broken man after being left at the alter by his bride. Oh wait…

Well, Sheamus enters, with a clearly healing black eye, because presumably, people can’t not punch him in the face upon seeing him. They then announce that the match will be a “Street fight”, which in WWE terms just means “You guys can wrestle outside of the ring if you want.” Bryan and Sheamus open up the match by keeping things in the ring. After a few minutes of trading moves, they slowly battle up the ramp, with Sheamus throwing Daniel Bryan around, until they reach the top of the entrance ramp. Bryan gets the upper hand by kicking Sheamus off of the ramp, all 4 feet onto the concrete below. Sheamus then writhes around in pain like his knee is hurt, and Bryan lays a flying knee into Sheamus’ face, and the fight cuts to commercial. After returning from the break, they’re both back in the ring, and Daniel Bryan has Sheamus in an arm lock.

They go back to trading blows, and the momentum between the two of them continues to shift back and forth, now with Sheamus gaining the advantage. He brings out a chair and a kendo stick, which Daniel Bryan wisely removes from the ring before they can be used on him. Sheamus kicks Bryan out of the ring, while the crowd chants audibly for tables. Daniel Bryan then uses the kendo stick on Sheamus, wacking him multiple times, letting out all of rage on Sheamus with each swing. Eventually Sheamus gets kicked by Bryan into a steel chair he set up in a turnbuckle. Sheamus grabs a hold of the steel steps, and sets them up, trying to slam Bryan into it, until Bryan counters Sheamus’ grab and throws him into the ring post.

At this point, even though I hate Sheamus, i’m just glad to see a match last a considerable amount of time on Raw. My joy was quickly shattered however, when Sheamus brogue kicked Daniel Bryan into the steel steps that had been set up in the ring. However, I gotta say, the match itself was quite refreshing, mostly because it was good, and long by modern WWE standards. Let’s get this kind of thing happening more often, cut out all the recapping, and Raw can really become something truly great once again.

After a recap of the CM Punk promo from an hour ago, ostensibly in case you’ve got some kind of Leonard Shelby Memento disease, and can’t make new memories longer than an hour or so. They cut back to Daniel Bryan being helped up by referees, claiming he’s hurt his neck and needs a doctor. So while a popular, important, talented wrestler writhes around in pain in the middle of the ring, complaining of a neck injury and needing a doctor, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler ignore him in place of showing ANOTHER recap of the events from an hour ago, showcasing the Punk/Cena/Big Show thing, and the impromptu main event made by AJ. After a while, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth come out, claiming that Daniel Bryan is faking, and tell him to leave, saying there’s no place for him here.

Truth then mentions how Little Jimmy is in the ring with them, and Daniel Bryan asks where Little Jimmy is, and begins speaking to him directly. In what was the highlight of tonight’s show by far, he then violently kicks Little Jimmy CLEAR OUT OF THE RING, and R-Truth rushes out to console him, while Daniel Bryan goes on about how dumb the entire concept of Little Jimmy has become. He then goes on a huge tirade about how Little Jimmy doesn’t exist, and points out how stupid Kofi Kingston and R-Truth are, and the orderlies that Daniel Bryan had last week come out to take R-Truth, until AJ interrupts. She starts to say that Daniel Bryan is “mentally unstable”, and has the orderlies escort him out. He then comes face to face with AJ, makes a mean face at her, and leaves. This entire segment was hilarious, and I’m liking the concept of the mentally unstable Daniel Bryan, who is the foil to AJ. Or AJ is his foil. Either way, his character is evolving beyond “Just say YES or NO” all the time, so I’m digging it.

After some Tout nonsense, AW introduces The Primetime Players. They walk out and do their weird little Barking-Dog-Butt-Buddy, while AW’s voice continues to BOOM throughout the arena. I still don’t understand entirely why he, different from any other ringside manager, gets the loudest mic in the world to make ringside comments. Kofi gets dominated by Titus O’Neil for a while, until Kofi manages to get in his stupid BOOM jump thing, but AW provides a distraction by throwing his shoe into the ring at Kofi, which lets Titus land his powerbomb finisher, and win the match.

This whole match is a classic exercise in one half of a respective tag team, both being less than the half their whole as tag team competitors, and generally both being boring to watch the entire time. Kofi Kingston is boring period, and Titus O’Neil only really works with his partner as a lousy/funny heel team. I kept getting distracted during this match because I just didn’t care about it at all. In the immortal words of Jay-Z, on the next one.

We then cut to CM Punk and John Cena bro-ing it out together backstage, where Punk seems to express some terms of respect and agreement between the two of them to have each other’s backs, and the whole thing was just a weird step backward for Punk in my opinion, because John Cena sure as hell doesn’t give a shit about Punk, and his silence and condescending look as Punk walks away says about the same.

Back from the break, Heath Slater is once again in the ring, and we get another recap from last week, (oh god please make it stop, it hurts us, IT HURTS USSSS), where I assumed the whole “WWE Legends feud” thing came to an end, but here we are. Well it seems that now we’re gonna see Heath Slater used to bring back anybody who has been missing for a while, and Randy Orton shows up, having been thankfully missing for a few months now. I can’t stand Randy Orton. He’s boring. His gimmick is non-existent, and he has no imminent charisma to speak of. He’s like somebody took the default create-a-wrestler from a WWE video game, gave him tattoos that they thought were “totally sick bro”, and transported him into real life. The dude’s whole thing is being a “viper”, which I guess is supposed to reflect the “rattlesnake” thing Stone Cold Steve Austin had? I really don’t know actually, all I know is that he bores me to death, and his RKO is an insanely shittier version of the Diamond Cutter.

Oh yeah, he beats Heath Slater. Shocking, I know. Ugh.

Backstage, we see Daniel Bryan speaking to a doctor about his mental health. He goes through a series of questions, that are all yes or no answers. He of course continues to berate the doctor by LOSING HIS MIND at him, and screaming YES over and over. Crazy Daniel Bryan is already pretty goddamned awesome.

Now, tag team stupidness aside, this is a match that has real potential to work really well. Everybody involved is really talented, and Christian has always worked better in a tag team environment to start with.  After all four of these guys come out, taking a really long time to make their entrances, the match finally starts.

The thing about all 4 of these guys is, with the exception of Christian, they tend to work better individually. Their strengths are better accustomed to the one on one back and forth flow of a singles match. A good example was Jericho’s Wrestlemania match with CM Punk, where it was one big chain wrestling fest, or Dolph ‘s matches with Sheamus, where he actually managed to make Sheamus look really good, while still losing the match himself each time. Then you’ve got The Miz, who is in full Post-Crisis mode, and with his newly found Non-Stupid Haircut powers, has re-established himself as an actual contender to be reckoned with. The problem is now with Christian, who I’ve seen referred to constantly by the IWC as the “Little Brother” of wrestling, and i’d be hard pressed to disagree.

Let me explain. Everything Christian does, is basically just an homage or a borrowed move from other, better wrestlers he’s purposely or not comparing himself to. A main example is his spear, which is an obvious nod to Edge, the only problem being that Edge’s spear wasn’t even that good to begin with, and Christian’s spear is even lamer. He’s like the “Little Brother” of wrestling, who is constantly imitating his bigger brothers as inspiration, but never shakes off the trappings of being someone who is, well, imitating. Add to that, that his Killswitch finisher, when he does rarely manage to pull off, looks like crap, and you’ve got a guy who I WANT to like, but just can’t. He should have stopped way back when, because he’s basically stuck in sidekick hell, and should go quietly into that good night already.

All that being said, the match was pretty good, in spite of Christian, because Ziggler and Miz kept controlling him, keeping Jericho out of the match pretty effectively.That is until Christian gets the hot tag to Jericho, who quickly jumps in and makes a huge comeback, gaining momentum, until Christian jumps up and lands an unseen-by-the-Ref eye poke on The Miz, letting Jericho land the Codebreaker on Miz, winning the match. For Christian, who is supposed to be a face, that move wasn’t very… Christian. Eh? Eh? Get it? Right? What’s that? Oh This gun? Yeah I bought it.  Oh I’m just holding it here. Don’t worry about it. I’ll… use it later.  Oh dear sweet lord how I’ll use it later…

Anyhow, all suicidal threats aside, the match was fine. I just would rather see these guys compete in singles matches. Excuse me while I read about how to aim a gun directly into my brain stem for instant death.

Cutting back to Daniel Bryan again, he’s still answering questions from the doctor. Now he’s taking a series of rorschach tests. On the second test, the inkblot is obviously a goat face, and Bryan starts to freak out, and accuse the doctor of being put up to this by Charlie Sheen of all people. Then he starts speaking openly and aloud to Charlie Sheen, as if he is watching him at all times. I’m not looking forward to the inevitable Charlie Sheen/Daniel Bryan feud, but if we get totally insane Daniel Bryan being awesome because of it, I’m all for it forever.

It does really look like a goat’s face though, I mean c’mon!

Back from another commercial break (jesus), we get more Touts about something, I’m not sure because my eyes roll back in my head in boredom every time they do that.

Tyson Kidd is on Raw! Take a shot!

I remember hearing about how Tensai was going to leave the WWE soon, because he’s been extremely shoot unpopular WWE crowds, and frankly, i can’t wait. I’ve never liked him, even back when he was Albert, or A-Train, or whatever the hell you want to call him, he’s shitty no matter what gimmick he has. Plus his constant hissing is by far the most annoying affectation a wrestler could possibly have. His whole gimmick is offensive, (I don’t care if they stated he’s not asian, it’s still confusing and dumb), he’s awful to even look at, and his move set is boring. He doesn’t look good winning, nor does he make anyone else look good losing. Not to mention his constant abuse of his asian sidekick, the whole thing comes off as really offensive towards asians, and wrestling fans in general.

But yeah, he takes down Tyson Kidd and wins. Then after continually attacking him, the Ref reverses the decision, because reasons. Why? I don’t know. Let’s see Tyson Kidd wrestle someone who isn’t literally horrible to watch in the ring.

Back to Daniel Bryan and the doctor, the doc proclaims Daniel Bryan is officially sane. Then the lighting goes red, and Bryan is attacked by Kane, who claims he is Daniel Bryan’s anger managment counselor, in the most un-subtle reference to Charlie Sheen’s show, called  Anger Management.

After the 5th (?) Summerslam promo, which I’ve been neglecting to mention each time they show it in this article, as a kindness to you, because I’m not joking when I say an entire hour of this 3 hour show has been recaps and promos for Summerslam. Anyhow, after all of that yet again, we finally get to the main event.

CM Punk came out to join Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole  at the announcer’s table for the match, and hearing him give Jerry a constant stream of shit for being a really limp dick announcer with lame opinions that always fall into a predictably boring point of view that idolizes faces like Cena and Rock in spite of all logic and reason pointing to them be lackluster in many ways. It’s the same kind of person who promotes a needlessly Mark-ey kind of view regardless of character motivation, or continuity, or story development. Lawler is supposed to be what the worst WWE writers want all of us to be, a mindless, blind Cena lover who is entertained endlessly by Santino dicking around with a sock, or literally anything involving Hornswoggle, who thinks that parlor tricks and stupid skits are the focal point of a wrestling show.

Throughout the match Punk was making excellent commentary, and making solid, legitimate criticisms of Lawler the entire time. I’d really love to see Punk become a full-time announcer, who also wrestles, because he’s miles better than nearly every current commentator they have on any of WWE’s shows.

But anyway, the match itself was ‘old hat’. Lots of motifs we’ve seen from all of Cena and Big Show’s matches in the past. Big Show gets a sleeper put on him. Cena starts his 5 moves of doom, and is countered. Big Show taunts Punk at ringside, Cena gains the upper hand after kicking out miraculously like a robot. Big Show takes a big bump. Cena takes a big bump. The only thing that broke it up was the end, where Show threw Cena into Punk at the announcer’s table. After nearly being counted out, Cena managed to barely jump back into the ring, and pulls out the attitude adjustment, but it’s interrupted by Punk. Then Punk knocks out Big Show with a kick to the head, resulting in the match becoming a DQ, but for whom it’s unclear. Punk then grabs the mic, and says the winner is: Nobody. And that they’re both losers, to loud boo’s from the crowd.

Then AJ comes out says they’re actually both winners, and makes them both #1 Contenders, and makes the title match a triple threat at Summerslam. Punk comes back, and says AJ is a bad GM, calls her crazy, and demands she show him respect. The show ends on him screaming at her for respect, while AJ smiles away gleefully.

Knowing her, it’s probably turning her on.

So there’s the end of the 1001th Raw. Frankly, I’m glad Punk is going back to being a Tweener, because arrogant asshole CM Punk is far superior to any other version of his character. For every awesome Crazy-Daniel-Bryan promo we’ll get, we’re still gonna get terrible things like that Tyson Kidd/Tensai match that I can’t stand watching, or the entire hours of worth of repeated promos for a match between two guys who don’t wrestle full time, or god forbid more inane “Touts” from insipid, mouth breathing fans. This Raw wasn’t the worst in the world, but it wasn’t really that good either. I had a hard time trying to focus on it the entire time, and mostly found it boring, which is a bad sign for the future of Raw.  I can only hope that next week’s show will pick up in entertainment value. That’s really all I ask from WWE any more, and man, they should at least deliver that. I want to be entertained, not reminded about how IMPORTANT this match between TRIPLE H AND BROCK LESNAR is on SUMMERSLAM over and over and over again. If you’re gonna do stupid shit, have more guys kicking invisible children in the face, and less promo/recap filler of things we’ve already seen, especially if they’re from the same show we’re still currently watching.

Man. Here’s some pictures of AJ to cheer you up, because I’m just really bummed now.

There. Now I feel better.

THIS IS NOT a “Fifty Shades of Grey” Review

Today I’m going to give you a brief run-down of an ever-so-popular story that has a lot to do with the color grey.

“I can’t get over how awesome these colors are!”

No, we’re not going to talk about those guys, unfortunately.  The grey I’m referring to is Fifty Shades of Grey.  You may have heard of it.  It’s the best-selling book and series that sexually deprived and cranially vacant women are going bat-shit crazy for.  The book’s also going to be turned into a movie and is supposedly out-selling Harry Potter (all I can say to that is this is a sad, sad world we live in).  It’s livened up marriages and spiced up the bedroom all across the world, and because most women instead of men read it no one dares to call it what it really is.

Let me be clear: I have never read Fifty Shades of Grey, nor do I plan to in the near future.  Or maybe my lifetime. However, because of my intuitive nature I know exactly what it’s about without having to read it, and I’m here to tell you everything.

We start with a girl.  And yes, she’s a girl, not a woman.  Her name’s Anastasia Steele.  She’s really naive, to the point where you aren’t sure she could actually exist in this world without someone having murdered her already because she thought they really were going to give her a ride home.  She’s also incredibly non-sexual; apparently, as readers we are to believe she’s never done anything in that realm at all, with anyone (including herself).  It’s possible she is an extreme version of a Vulcan.

Then Anastasia meets the dashing billionaire Christian Grey.  He’s described as being “tormented,” most likely due to the fact that he is having an out-of-body experience and can see what his life would be like outside of this book (i.e. better).  He’s probably also tormented because his first name is Christian and there’s no way he can live up to its meaning.  How hard his life must be, and yet somehow millions of women have fallen for this guy.  In fact, in England, experts are betting that there will be a baby boom this year because women got so worked up over Mr. Fictional Grey that they went home to their Mr. Real-Life Dudes and got it on.

Moving on.  So after some happenstance meetings and overall non-existent character development and dialogue, these two end up having sex.  And since Anastasia was so non-sexual from the start, she loses her virginity to Mr. Grey, who seems to think it’s perfectly acceptable to “f*** hard” and then turn around and say, “Sorry, but I gotta get some paperwork done now.”

This is why Anastasia always remains a girl; throughout the book she never thinks for herself, which means she’s not a woman.  I don’t care that she had sex; she’s still a little, annoying, daft girl who doesn’t seem to have a care or idea that the man she says “Oh, my!” about a lot is really just treating her like a piece of meat.  She can’t think for herself; she just constantly wants to be around, near, on, under Christian.  She has no idea what Christian’s “playroom” is, and obviously would not understand the literal definition of the word innuendo if she saw it.  We’re supposed to believe this girl is a literature student?  She must be studying children’s books.  This is what her lack of a brain is telling women:

Christian is a whole other issue.  So long, feminism.  Adieu, years and years of trying to build respect between the sexes.  Christian Grey is here to screw with your goals by screwing Anastasia.  A man like him would be called a scoundrel, an asshole, and a dick in real life, but on the printed page he’s a godsend to all of womankind because he has, well, a dick.  Mr. Tormented seems like one of those guys who you may want to climb under the sheets with, but if you’re a sane human being you laugh at yourself hysterically and say, “He just wants to get into my pants!”

But, you know, apparently all the kinky sex Anastasia and Christian have is “hot” or something.  It made the New York Times bestseller list, which somehow makes the writing and its content legitimate.  What this implies then, ladies and gentlemen, is that people should start having BDSM parties in the streets to make the New York Times headlines to justify their sexual cravings.  Oh, wait.  That gets you arrested.

Overall, the book is about sex, and not much else.  It’s titillating, raw, and passionate.  Anastasia and Christian have lots of it while their characters and the story plummet into literary demise.  You can see Ellen DeGeneres read an excerpt here to get a good summary of the majority of the book.  Or, if you’re like me and prefer something more realistic, you can view this incredible 50 shades of grey poster (my kitchen remodeling suddenly looks so much more attractive now).

Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 7/23/12 1000th Episode!

In 1993, Raw was an hour-long, and in 1997, it switched to be 2 hours long. Now in 2012, after 1000 episodes, it’s going to be three hours long. Presuming this is a pattern, in 2016, if the world still exists and isn’t blown up or overrun by gas stealing mutants, Raw will be 4 hours long. By 2031, when Cyber-McMahon makes Raw 5 hours long, and we instantly stream it to our Mind-Cloud, it’ll still be 4 and a half hours of weird/ promos and skits, and still only half an hour of wrestling. The promos and skits will be about the Literal Robo-Cena Army invading as the GWE (Galactic Wrestling Entertainment) has Sub-Monday Night Wars with UCW (Universal Championship Wrestling, a new promotion run by Neo-Ted Turner.2), but they’ll still be awful, and The Undertaker will be preserved as a head in jar who guest stars at Uber-Wrestlemania every Post-Solar Cycle.

What I’m saying is, accept this. We’ll be getting new versions Raw for the rest of our lives. WWE is going to change, and you’re not going to like it as you get older. That’s kinda the nature of aging I suppose, but that’s not to say we still can’t enjoy things for what they are. I mean, c’mon, that Undertaker head jar thing sounds pretty cool right? What kind of gimmick match would he compete in? Hell In A Futuristic Polytransdermal Sub-Aquatic Life Preserving Nutrient Rich Bio-Sludge Filled Cell? Bah, enough pondering about my make-believe future WWE, let’s get to tonight’s Raw, which as we’ve been told countless times over the last couple months, is the 1000th, and a milestone that blows all other shows out of the water.

The show opens with Vince McMahon introducing, as promised for months now, the return of Degeneration X, arguably the most popular wrestling stable of all time (Although the NWO would be it’s main contender).

Shawn Michaels and Triple H walk out in their DX fatigues and shirts, glow sticks in tow, and parade around in the ring, and yuck it up for a few minutes about not wearing underwear, but get around to admitting that they alone aren’t just DX. They then invite the rest of the DX stable, and point towards the stage ramp. X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn then come out in an army jeep, and join Shawn and Triple H in the ring. They all start a few rounds of crotch chopping, and go through their series of old famous catch phrases, which Road Dogg was the master of back then. I’ve been watching old episodes of Raw from 13 years ago, and while I used to love Road Dogg’s longwinded speech-phrases, hearing them again, and realizing how repetitive and loooooong they are, I now find it excessive and grating. But here, he thankfully keeps it short and gives up the mic to Triple H, who winds up a very long and kinda rambley version of his “LET’S GET READY TO SUCK IT” thing. After a weird little comedy bit between Billy Gunn, Triple H and Shawn Michaels, they awkwardly fumble through trying to say some catchphrase together.

Suddenly, Damien Sandow’s music plays, and he walks in, denouncing DX as “common degenerates” who compose themselves crudely. He also recognizes that they could all kick his ass, and after pointing out this fact, he says their would be attack of them would make him a martyr. DX decide what to do together in a group huddle, which Sandow calls them rude for doing. They then of course, attack him, and prove Sandow right. I like(d) DX, back when they came off as a ragtag group of rebels who were fighting against authority figures, but this really just kinda makes them come off as a bunch of “cool guy” jocks who are bullying people to get cheers from the on looking crowd.

After that, we come back from a break to Jim Ross making his entrance, to join the announcer’s table for the night.

This was a pretty typical 6-Man Heel Vs Face tag team match. Probably the most interesting thing about it is that it was Jericho’s 360th match on Raw, which is a pretty damn high number any way you think about it. While seeing Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara on the same team makes sense to me, other than the fact that they’re all faces, I don’t understand their team up with Sheamus. Then again, Jericho, Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler have no reason to be on the same team either, so at least it’s fair while being totally arbitrary. The match went through the paces, building up to a hot tag to Sheamus, where Sheamus and Jericho went at it for a while, until Dolph Ziggler, who as it was established last week, has beef with Jericho, ended up laying a cheap shot on Jericho, letting Sheamus get the brogue kick in, and winning for his team.

While this match was a bit underwhelming, I’m enjoying the slow burn on the Jericho/Ziggler feud, because Heel/Heel feuds can be the great when done right, and when you have two guys who are both as talented on the mic and ring as ZIggler and Jericho, you’ve got as close to a sure thing on your hands as possible. Knowing WWE though, they’ll find some horrific way to screw it up, but I’d like to remain optimistic, simply because they’re both so entertaining to watch. The only wrench in that machine is the fact that Sheamus has the WHC title right now, and as long as Ziggler doesn’t have the title, then the stakes between Jericho and Ziggler won’t be as high as they could be. This whole angle could go one of two ways:

1.) They continue feuding, and they include Sheamus in it. They all argue with each other for a few weeks until a PPV comes up and then they fight in a Triple Threat match for the title, that Sheamus will win because blleeeeeeeaaagghhhhh.

2.) With the rumors of Jericho leaving WWE and retiring for good, and with Ziggler taunting Jericho last week about “having lost it”, and being on a losing streak in general, they turn it into a last dying hurrah sort of thing. Jericho goes full-bore into committing himself to destroy Ziggler, and launches himself into a suicidal match against Ziggler, where the loser leaves WWE forever. Ziggler then pulls a Bane on Jericho’s Batman, and breaks him once and for all (these are Knightfall spoilers, not DKR spoilers so shut up), and Jericho retires from being Batman Y2J forever. Ziggler comes out on top as the new force within Gotham WWE Universe, and makes a long speech about how he is the WWE’s reckoning. Then, as Jericho writhes in pain from the worlds most brutal Zig-Zag, Ziggler gives Jericho his permission to die. (okay, so maybe some of those references were DKR related, but c’mon that movie was awesome!)

But goddamnit we all know it’s gonna be #1. It’d be nice to see this again though.

I’ll never get tired of this .GIF

What is this? Why are you on my wrestling show?

After some Tout nonsense, which I refuse to write about, other than mentioning it here, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler make a Skype call to effing Charlie Sheen, who very quickly manages to say something subtly racist about Sheamus, and at the same time be really boring. Why he was even there, I don’t understand, but Cole and Lawler make it a point that it won’t be the last time we see him on the show tonight.

Holy crap. The next segment of the show, is literally one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen on wrestling, EVER, and that’s including Mae Young giving birth to a hand. In fact, it’s in direct relation to that, because I couldn’t even write about this segment for a solid 10 minutes after. My mouth was agape the entire time, and I was so surprised I laughed for almost that entire 10 minutes, until my sides hurt and was gasping for air. But here goes: After the weird Charlie Sheen moment, we cut to AJ’s dressing room, where she stands with Layla, both preparing their makeup. Layla asks AJ if she’s sure she wants to go through with this, and implies that she’s still mentally unstable. AJ then makes the most brilliant point ever, and says that EVERYTHING in the WWE is unstable. Batshit crazy things happen here ALL THE TIME. Well, she didn’t say those words exactly, but she did open the door to see Hacksaw Jim Duggan, walking backwards and saying his catchphrase to an unseen friend, all the while holding his 2×4. Then we see Roddy Piper and R-Truth trying to help Little Jimmy jump rope, because apparently people can see him now, including Layla. I’m not sure If I already wrote a piece on how Little Jimmy started out as a brilliant defensive colloquialism to separate and insult those who R-Truth believed were antagonizing him from behind the scenes, while simultaneously illustrate how the WWE Fandom is a collective entity that casts judgement unfairly on deserving talent, by giving them an all a Good’ Ol’ Boy nick name. That may have been looking a bit too into it, but I prefer to see my wrestling gimmicks as high brow as I can, when I can. Now, Little Jimmy is just an invisible child? Maybe? I’m still not sure if he’s a kid or a midget actually. It’s very unclear. Either way, he then “runs away”, and Truth and Piper chase after him.

Hoo boy. Here it comes. Then AJ and Layla see something off camera, that silences them. The camera pans over, and we see a man in a giant hand suit, standing there next to Mae Young. He claims to be Mae Young’s son, now all grown up.

I shit you not. A man, in a giant hand suit, was there. That has got to be the most AMAZINGLY WEIRD and awesome call back of all time, because I was SURE the WWE wanted to forget Mae Young giving birth to that hand as badly as possible. After seeing this bit, as I previously said, I probably tore a muscle from laughing so hard. Say what you will about the WWE, they manage to STILL surprise you no matter what. Jesus god.

This match was so quick, that I’m positive that Funkasaurus’ entrance was once again longer than the actual match. Before the match actually starts, Funkasaurus invites up Dude Love to the ring. Dude Love stands there, and the match begins. Jack Swagger is on a now recognized “losing streak”, and barely even gets a single move in before he gets squashed by Funkasaurus. Then Funkasaurus dances with Dude Love, who puts on a tie-dye Mr. Socko to put the mandible claw on Swagger, because the WWE Universe couldn’t give a shit about Jack Swagger, and punishing him relentlessly for trying to wrestle is now “in”.

After that “match”, we see Trish Stratus backstage with Triple H, who is coaching him on how to do advanced Yoga poses like “bend over slightly”. Then the rest of DX walk in and quickly start making gay jokes because bending over is always gay and yoga is for gay dummies AMIRITE GUYS? Well, then the rest of DX walks away, leaving X-Pac in the room with Trish, who then proceeds to put on the creepiest of creep moves on her, and we cut away pondering what dark fate she’ll succumb to left alone with X-Pac. Hopefully she just slaps away his groping hands and leaves, because we all know X-Pac sucks. We see Daniel Bryan standing in a garage, talking with a bunch of dudes who look like asylum orderlies, you know, the men in the white shirts? It was at this moment that I then began to become worried. What if this whole time Daniel Bryan really DIDN’T love AJ? What if all this was a ruse to get her committed? If so, it’d be one of the most effective Heel moves in history, because even I would have to admit that Daniel Bryan’s character arc with AJ ending in this way would be a  pretty indefensible.

Now, the actual wedding itself. Jerry Lawler introduces the reverend for the wedding, which turns out to be Slick. Who… Ok, I’m just gonna have to man up and admit this guy is before my time, and apparently everybody else’s, because I have no idea who he is, and neither did the crowd. He came out, said some strange things about yardbirds, and Daniel Bryan quickly makes his way into the ring/chapel. Then AJ walks out in her bride’s dress, looking goddamned gorgeous.

I will see her in this dress again one day, and it will be at OUR wedding.

Daniel Bryan then goes on to make some very sweet vows, and when asked to take AJ’s hand in marriage, of course, says yes. When AJ is asked the same thing, she chants yes as well, but then adds an addendum, that she is NOT saying yes to him, but is accepting a proposal from ANOTHER MAN. At that point, Mr. McMahon enters, and says that he isn’t marrying AJ, but that she’s accepted a business proposal. He announces her as the new Raw General Manager, and leaves. AJ then throws her bouquet at Daniel Bryan, and leaves, YES-ing the entire way out of the building.

I have such mixed feelings about this bit, because on one hand, I really felt that Daniel Bryan’s character really had fallen back in love with AJ, and was trying to make things right between them both, as they both moved on together. On the other hand, I was proven right all along about AJ’s endgame. She really WAS playing everyone against each other, to manipulate herself into the coveted GM position of Raw. All along she knew exactly what she was doing, just as I’ve been saying. This could also be the beginnings of a face turn for Daniel Bryan, because you’d be heartless to not feel any sympathy for a dude who was left at the alter, has his heart-broken, and now has a former fiancée as his general manager to deal with. Then CM Punk walks out, and while he says he’s not there to rub this in Daniel Bryan’s face, c’mon, he totally is.This is actually now pretty fitting, considering the ending of tonight’s show, but more on that later. Daniel Bryan then argues with Punk about who is the best in the world, or more accurately, who is the greatest superstar of all time, until The Rock enters the ring, because he’s now considered the greatest of all time. While that’s a sentiment I don’t quite agree with, I don’t disagree with it either. He’s definitely ONE of the greatest of all time, but I have no idea or clue as to how to rank someone as THE greatest. Regardless, Rock comes out to re-iterate how he plans to win the championship come this years Royal Rumble, from whoever is the champion, be it Punk, Daniel Bryan, Big Show, or Cena. Punk says it’ll be him, Bryan says it’ll be him. The Rock leaves, and now we have a championship match to look forward to in… many months. Whoopee.

Bret Hart enters the ring, and says a few words regarding his Intercontinental Championship, sounding as Canadian as possible. I seriously don’t remember him sounding as Canadian as he did here, but I guess years out of the WWE would ruin your Americanized diction. Anyhow, he introduces Christian, the current IC champion, and The Miz. The Miz and Christian made a pretty good pairing against each other, since their move sets complemented each other well. This new Post-Crisis Miz is by far a more serious contender than he ever used to be, and while he hasn’t expressly changed his gimmick, his demeanor gives him the affectation of an actual wrestler who can be taken seriously now, rather than the former-reality-star-turned-wrestler-for-fun thing he had previously. With this new attitude, he weakens Christian’s knee during the match, attacks it systematically, and counters a bunch of Christian’s moves until he lands his Skull Crushing Finale on him, and picks up the win, and the Intercontinental Title.

I couldn’t have been more happy with this outcome, because I love The Miz, I love the Intercontinental Title being a championship that is coveted rather than ignored or looked down on. I like championship matches happening on Raw, and I like titles trading hands on Raw. Everything about this match was stellar, and even if it’s literally an hour and 40 minutes into the episode, and we’ve so far had about 15 actual minutes of wrestling at most, this kind of match is the thing that should be happening on future episodes. It’s awesome. Like The Miz.

Charlie Sheen returns on Skype, and comments on Daniel Bryan’s character, plugs his show, and then criticizes him for how he treats women, which is just so insane coming from him, but whatever. I can’t imagine why they picked Charlie Sheen of all people to be their special guest star, but they did, for reasons I’ll never know or even understand if I did.

After a video package from Regis Philbin about how much he loves the WWE (Weird, I know), we get Triple H returning to the ring, to continue the very boring and stupid Brock Lesnar storyline feud he has with him. Let me explain why I find this feud boring to you. First, they’re both pretty dumb, especially Triple H for reasons I’ve pointed out in this column previously, but also Brock Lesnar for mostly squandering all the myriad amazing chances he’s been handed on a silver platter his whole life. Without going into full detail, the guy has been given every opportunity to do a lot of great things in his life that other people would break their backs and kiss endless amounts of ass to even get a shot at doing, and Brock Lesnar has shamelessly and selfishly shunned the lot of them, because he found them boring. In short, he’s a quitter, so that’s one legitimate gripe Triple H has with Lesnar’s character.

So when Paul Heyman came out in place of Brock Lesnar, I feared the worst, that this would be another 3 WHOLE MONTHS of teasing to advance what should have been a 1 month storyline at best, that could have ended 3 PPV’s ago. The entire thing is a waste of everyone’s time, and even Paul Heyman continually pointing out how stupid Triple H is doesn’t make this segment not boring. Paul even makes a great jab at Triple H about how inept he’s been, and how counterintuitive it is towards his goal of doing things that are good for “This Business”. Paul then passively mentions Triple H’s kids, when making a very solid and salient point about Triple H’s character, which enrages Triple H, and apparently also makes Stephanie McMahon mad as well, because she enters the ring. She goes on with the same rhetoric of You-Don’t-Talk-About-My-Kids-OR ELSE crap that Triple H does, and ignores the whole legal trouble that they’re in with Heyman, and provokes another potential lawsuit by attacking him. It’s like the McMahon family doesn’t understand what due process, assault and battery, or lawsuits even mean. They’re all convinced that Triple H beating Brock Lesnar will somehow fix all of these things. Paul Heyman gets all riled up after he’s slapped by Stephanie, and accepts the challenge on behalf of Triple H. Heyman then mentions Stephanie’s kids again, and she of course, attacks him again, because god that family is dumb. Brock Lesnar’s music comes on, and Triple H and him trade a series of blows, until Triple H knocks Lesnar out of the ring, and Lesnar does the typical Slow Walk Backwards up the ramp thing, that all defeated heels do. This whole thing was a waste of time, because they could have done this months ago, and it may have been less lame, because it didn’t waste so much stupid time over such a stupid subject.

Coming back from a particularly long commercial break, Santino and Hornswoggle (ugh) both walk out, giving out little WWE dolls to the kids in the audience. They then leave or disappear or something, because Heath Slater then enters and steps into the ring, and makes an open challenge to any former WWE Raw legend to a No-DQ, no count out match. Lita’s music comes on, and she walks out, dressed in what looks like a bra and yoga pants to the ring.

She’s actually hotter now than I remember her being.

Slater then incredulously accepts her challenge, and has the bell rung. Lita then says she’s not here alone, and says she’s hired some protection, which of course, means the APA walk out. Slater then attempts to retreat, but is stopped by all of the previous WWE Raw legends, who have now amassed as a group, and force him back into the ring. The APA attacks Slater, and Lita pulls off her Twist of Fate/Moonsault combo on him, to win. The legends all stand around the fallen Slater, and Farooq grabs a mic, standing directly above him. He looks around, and lets out a loud “DAMN”, thus bringing the Heath Slater/Legends feud to an end.

After that, we cut to Daniel Bryan being interviewed backstage, who complains about being insulted by Charlie Sheen. He seems pretty rattled by Charlie Sheen’s words (really?), and says he’d put the YES-Lock on him if he ever saw him. Back to Michael Cole, we see him standing there interviewing the 100,000,000th social media follower, who gets to have a few words about loving the WWE, and afterward, Lawler makes a weird segue into a video package about catchphrases.

So yeah, that sure was a video package of catchphrases! Wokka Wokka! Oh god kill me.

After the video package, we cut to Zack Ryder and John Cena talking about G-TV with Gene Okerlund. The Rock then steps into frame, and he and Cena talk about their potential future match at the Royal Rumble. It certainly seems like that’s the match we’ll be getting come this Royal Rumble, especially in light of the show’s later events, but yet again, more on that later.

So I guess Jinder Mahal, who is now the king of the boring jobbers, walks out with his now jobber posse, and attempts to surround and beat down Kane, because…. Kane… is… a guy? I don’t know exactly. As they surround him, we hear the ominous BONG of the Undertaker’s bell theme song. He appears wearing his Super-Shredder suit, and sloooowly walks his way into the ring. At first it seemed like he was going to fight Kane, but they quickly team up to attack the gaggle of jobbers, who stupidly initiate the fight against them both. After a series of punches, tandem chokeslams, and tandem Tombstones, they pose together, as the Brothers Of Destruction once again. I’m not sure if this was anything other than a cameo for Taker, or a wrap up to the long love/hate relationship between Kane and Undertaker, or even a new beginning. Either way, it was pretty cool.

They just can’t quit each other.

Ugh, once more we’ve got Charlie Sheen returning to speak with Cole and Lawler, and he claims that he’ll actually end up fighting Daniel Bryan, if he ever ends up in LA, effectively challenging Daniel Bryan to a match. Cole then points out that the next time they’ll be in LA is at Summerslam, which means I suppose we’ll see Daniel Bryan get jobbed out to Charlie Sheen, which is the biggest downgrade possible. Hopefully this isn’t the case. Hopefully we’ll see Bryan get his due, or continue his feud with CM Punk, or literally anything else than a stupid celebrity match.

Ignoring how this match is a complete waste of the Money In The Bank contract, and how much that annoys me, I can say this match started off like a typical CM Punk/ John Cena match. Which isn’t bad per se, but it’s a bit formulaic. So Cena tries his 5 moves, Punk finds creative ways to counter them and gain the upper hand. Eventually, Cena counters a counter into the Attitude Adjustment, and accidentally knocks the Ref out of the ring.With the Ref incapacitated, Big Show enters, and WMD’s Cena, knocking him out cold. He leaves, and CM Punk has some internal conflict about whether or not to take advantage of Cena in his knocked out state. He rouses the Ref, and attempts the pin, but Robo-Cena kicks out. Punk attempts the GTS, and Cena counters into the STF, and what with The Rock wanting his match against Cena at this years Royal Rumble, there’s an actual chance Punk could lose. Just as Punk begins to look like he’s gonna tap, Big Show attacks again, ending the match in a DQ. He then continues attacking Cena, while Punk watches from a distance, looking on as if confused as to what to do. The Rock then comes to Cena’s rescue, and beats down Big Show, and attempts the People’s Elbow, but it’s INTERRUPTED by CM Punk, who clotheslines THE SHIT out of The Rock.

Then he taunts Rock by mocking his signature pre-Rock Bottom taunt, and puts The Rock to sleep.

It’s as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

That’s right, CM Punk has turned heel.

Punk looks towards the camera, grabs his title, and walks away solemnly to increasing amounts of boo’s from the audience. The end. Amazing.

So yeah, a strong finish to an overall entertaining Raw, despite the fact that there was very little actual wrestling in it, just as I predicted. However, the wrestling that was there, was pretty good. I’m mostly excited by Punk’s heel turn, because it’s something I’ve been calling for a while now, as he never truly acted like a real baby face to begin with. In addition to that, the match this Royal Rumble is so clearly going to be Cena VS Rock 2, so this is a way for Punk to lose the championship and the mainstream fans won’t go insane with Cena hatred. I’m also hoping this is the beginning of a face-turn for Daniel Bryan, but the whole Charlie Sheen thing seems to be suggesting that that’s not the case. In a perfect world, Daniel Bryan would have a face turn, and him and Punk would switch roles in their feud, with Punk being the bastard heel, and Daniel Bryan being the former bad guy learning from his mistakes, trying to make things right.

Anyhow, 1000 episodes. Man, where the hell was Stone Cold Steve Austin? Is he just dead? Or does he hate the WWE now? Oh well. See you in 2031, when we get to the 2000th episode, now 5 hours* long!

*still only 20 minutes of actual wrestling

CCI 2012: Westboro Baptists = Nothing Accomplished

Christians never cease to baffle me.

When I read about the Westboro Baptist Church’s protest of Comic-Con International, I had to make sure that I did not turn around and punch a hole in the wall.  Then I had to laugh maniacally at their antics.  Then I just had to shake my head.

Everything I have read about this church just makes me cringe; it appears they never do anything truly Jesus-like and right according to the Bible they supposedly follow.  This protest was no exception.  Now, the Bible doesn’t say “don’t protest,” but it does tell us to love one another as Christ loved us, and I don’t believe Westboro’s signs or actions at Comic-Con imply this one little bit.  Sure, their intentions may have been mostly correct, that they don’t want people to be idol-worshipers (no, Thor is not really God, and if you want a better understanding of how the Norse gods actually reflect biblical truths just read up on all of J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings regarding that).  I also don’t think it’s good nor sane to make idols of the subjects at Comic-Con, either.  However, I am guessing only 20-25% of the people who attend Comic-Con (if that) are actually putting our beloved superheroes, game developers, and all-around cool people up on a pedestal they can grovel under.  The rest of the attendees are just there to have a wonderful time, a break from the real world where they can delve into worlds of truth, honor, and justice (and isn’t that what the Bible says God is, anyway?  That’s probably an entirely new article, though…).

Are those 20-25% people really worth the time to protest?  No, because protests rarely work, if ever, and the majority of the time they are never fully thought-out correctly by whoever happens to be organizing them (even non-Christians).  In fact, protests only ever seem to accomplish one or all of these things:

1.  Turn away the people you are supposedly trying to help.
2.  Imply that you’re ignorant about the topic or haven’t truly thought about it long enough.
3.  Reveal that you’re insane.
4.  Confirm that you’re both #2 and #3.
5.  Show that you could be doing something better with your time to actually change the situation.

#1 and #5 I think are the most disconcerting out of that list, however.  As Christians the entire point of believing in God is to bring people to his love by showing them his love.  Protesting simply cannot ever accomplish this.  A while back, I read a very articulate article about the issue of protesting in the Christian world, specifically as it related to the Starbucks public support of gay marriage this past year.  I wholeheartedly agreed with the author’s point that protests are in essence self-defeating, as they claim to argue against power in numbers yet by their very nature are indeed a “power in numbers” group.  The author’s concluding thought was, “Let’s not boycott our neighbors. Let’s not picket or scream or bellow. Let’s offer a cup of cold water, or maybe even a grande skinny vanilla latte, in Jesus’ name” (Moore).

What this implies about Comic-Con specifically is that Christians need to start participating, working, or creating in that geek culture.  This relates back to #2 in my list.  I am going to venture a solid guess that most Christian protests are based off of fear of the unknown.  How many protesting Christians actually read Harry Potter?  How many of them have ever picked up a comic book?  And how many of them have ever studied the biblical truths that simply resonate out of many science fiction creations?

Have you ever run across a Christian geek and been utterly amazed at their very existence?  That’s because we are in the minority, and many times we don’t want to admit that we are believers, not because we are ashamed of our beliefs but because we are immediately associated with people like the Westboro Baptist Church protesters.  We are not all the same (though we really should be if we all truly followed what God teaches).  Some of us simply adore Batman instead of protesting him, and would have less to talk about with others if we didn’t know about him.  Some of us think discussing the finer points of the latest video game instead of protesting it helps make others feel more loved and accepted in this world, not shunned.

So Westboro may continue to protest for years to come, and there will undoubtedly be counter-protests, pointing fingers, and all-around disgust towards them.  Remember, though, that they were never able to actually shut down CCI, and probably never will.  Just as they are wasting their time, you yourself could use your time wisely by hanging out with the geeky Christians who love stepping inside the San Diego convention center, possibly even dressed head-to-toe in Wonder Woman or Thor getup.  You’ll hopefully find that not all of us are ignorant, and you may even enjoy the experience, too.

Check out more Comic-Con coverage here, more pics on Tumblr and follow us over on Twitter! Oh, and Like our Facebook page while you at it!

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review: 6/11/12


Tonight’s Raw was 3 hours long, which usually means we get around 30 minutes of actual wrestling, and 2 1/2 hours of video packages and skits. So I was not surprised when Raw began with John Laurinaitis entering the ring, closely followed by Vince McMahon, who is here to give Mr.Laurinaitis his performance evaluation. On TV. Like all normal chairmen do. Watching the whole segment was a series of weirdly and poorly rehearsed dialogue that was botched continually by both men involved, and many of their lines were flubbed so often it made me start looking at the abundance of misspelled crowd signs, many saying “your fired” (sic).

So the two old executive types argue for a bit about Laurinaitis’ future, with Johnny L himself claiming to have been serving the people’s wishes, (which he has, people just don’t realize what a great heel character he is), until Sheamus shows up and throws insults at Laurinaitis, making Big L schedule a match for Sheamus, because all insults and transgressions in wrestling are settled by a match. Vince then tells Laurinaitis that if the match isn’t impressive, and if every match In the show tonight isn’t up to par, then he’ll be fired. As I Thought, it’s YOU’RE FIIIIIRRRRRED Vince who is partially returning tonight. Vince then crashes Laurinaitis’ super scooter off the stage, ruining one of Laurinaitis’ better character props.  I imagine that backstage he was using it to try to gain sympathy from other wrestlers, playing up the wounded lion card as hard as he could, not realizing everybody knows that it’s not even needed for kayfabe reasons, but he truly thinks he’s a mastermind duping everybody and looking totally awesome while doing it.

Sheamus’ opponent is revealed to be Lord Tensai, who I really can’t stand and is probably the only person I’d cheer for Sheamus to defeat. Between the two it’s a match where two boring invincible white guys fight each other until Sheamus manages to brogue kick Tensai and nab the win. After his defeat by Cena, Tensai is now broken, he’s lost his undefeatable power and possibly his mystical asian powers too, and is now just a normal Tensai and has lost his rights to Lordship. Or something. Either way, it was a boring match.

Backstage, Vince McMahon tells Laurinaitis that match is strike one towards Laurinaitis getting fired. To be fair it was a pretty horrible match, and Johnny starts to scramble for ideas and actually asks Teddy Long for match advice. This might as well be career suicide because Teddy has never made an interesting or creative match ever. His entire thought process is:

Wrestlers? Feud? “Lemme Hep you a minnut playa!”, Impromptu Tag team match? Feud settled? ??? Dancing!

This is all he knows.

Teddy suggests a 4 way elimination match with Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, The Great Khali, and Christian, which aside from being a very loosely associated group (former world champions? Khali had the belt? What a dark and horrible thought). He stipulates the winner will face Sheamus for the title at No Way Out. This isn’t too bad, because it means either Ziggler or Christian will end up at No Way Out, unless they’ve gone full retard and really decide to push Great Khali as someone who can do anything other than painfully limp around and fake chop people. Of course, Vince loves the idea and Laurinaitis sends Teddy off to get coffee. This is a new/interestkng spin for Teddy’s character, and him becoming the downtrodden matchup genius who is stymied by his superiors, and gets the credit for his booking ideas stolen, is a neat one, and I’d be into it, if it was literally anyone with a booking history other than Teddy Long.  But WWE hates continuity, so we’ll have to keep pretending like Teddy is some kind of matchup genius who has been unjustly wronged. Surprisingly, we return to the ring, where Tensai is insulting and attacking his man-servant Sakamoto, because he’s a big angry baby who hates losing.

Then there’s a video package commemorating the upcoming 1000 episodes of Raw milestone, by showing a 2009 clip where Seth Green showed up and hosted/wrestled, because THAT was a defining Raw moment, somehow. Seth green, wrestling legend. You know. Because that makes sense. Anyhow, we cut to R-Truth talking up the match between Big Show and John Cena at No Way Out, until Big Show’s fist Monty Pythons its way into the screen, smashing R-Truth in the face, knocking him out cold. We barely even see Big Show, he walks away really soon and the camera just focuses on R-truth laying unconscious.

Assuming that Show plans to continue to do this to the entire roster, it makes me think that Big Show’s new contract also includes secret invisibility powers, because HOW do you miss that man coming at you fists clenched? Maybe he got detachable rocket fists with his new contract, or some kind of psychic ability to innately stay out of peripheral vision? Anything to explain R-truth and John Cena both not noticing GIANT FISTS coming at them somehow.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an inter-gender tag match, but the match itself was fairly entertaining, as Ricardo is a talented spot taker, and Santino is at the very least, good at comedy matches.  Plus the inclusion of them in the match made this pseudo-divas match last longer than the usual 2 minutes in its entirety. Beth wins the match by defeating Layla, and Ricardo starts celebrating as if he’d won himself. Santino then jumps up, and rips off Ricardo’s dress shirt, revealing a purple Justin Bieber shirt underneath. And that’s a sentence I just typed. Wow.

Apparently Ricardo isn’t a true Belieber.

Backstage David Otunga is talking with Vince McMahon, and is trying to snipe Laurinaitis’ job, IF he gets fired. Vince counters that he doesn’t like people who “pucker up”, backstab others, or lawyers. Which is weird, because of those three things, only Lawyer is something Vince hasn’t forced others to do or has been himself. Clearly he’s forgotten his whole reign during the Attitude era. Kofi Kingston enters demanding a match with Big show, in revenge for Show taking out R-Truth earlier, and Laurinaitis calls his incredibly stupid bluff, and puts him in a cage match with Show. So let’s look forward to Kofi Kingston hopefully getting WMD’d into oblivion, and never wrestling again, and we’ll finally be free of the suffix “Boom” being added to wrestling lexicon in any way shape or form.

Thankfully, we cut to Daniel Bryan who starts a promo about his triple threat match with himself, CM Punk and Kane at No Way Out, and proceeds to comment on the interaction between all of them and AJ. It’s a decent promo, and it furthers his character motivation for winning the match at No Way Out, and then CM Punk appears. Punk lays down a bevy of insults towards Daniel Bryan and continues his backhanded compliments towards AJ by stating again that he digs crazy chicks. They trade insults and hints towards their respective ROH past, and Punk basically explains out loud, that despite Daniel Bryan saying he’s sold out, he’s still the same guy he was last year when he made his 4th wall breaking promo. This is interesting, because a lot of fans have criticized Punk for basically acting like a heel, despite currently being face. In effect, this explains his actions, as he hasn’t actually changed his admittedly dickish, heelish behavior that much, he just has more fans now. It’s a good thing, because it makes sense, and goes a long way towards setting up his inevitable heel turn in the future, whenever that may be.

Punk continues insulting Daniel Bryan coming up with a new chant for anti-Bryan fans, by calling him goat face. The crowd chants “GOATFACE GOATFACE”, which is pretty funny any way you slice it. These two have great chemistry together, and I could watch them wrestle and/or argue all day. Then Kane has to come and ruin it all with his fire music, and walks in with a mic, and says dumb things about how eeeeeevil he is, and how he’s gonna win the championship. Then of course, AJ enters the ring, and actually starts to begin a possible LOVE TRIANGLE (wait, 4 people… Love Square? Whatever) storyline with Kane, claiming she saw that he has a heart, deep down, after looking into his eyes. Which really proves that she IS crazy, because he’s KANE. The guy who literally drags people to hell, sets them on fire, and is a goddamned rapist. So I guess that match at No Way Out isn’t just for the WWE title, but also for AJ’S LOVE. Which kinda makes me wish I was a wrestler and could be in that match, because screw the title amirite? But sadly, this is not the case. I’m imagining the worst case scenario being this whole thing turning into a situation where she seduces all three of them and they have the worlds worst 4-way, and we’re forced to see Kane, Punk and Bryan all Eiffel Tower AJ while Zack Ryder films it for his YouTube channel. Thank god we don’t live in the dark world my mind creates, because that would officially be The Worst Thing.

Regardless of that horrible image I put in your head, there was no video of this segment yet, so this picture will have to suffice.

“Once You Go Bryan, There’s No Point In Tryin’, AWWW YEAAAHHH”- Actual quote by Daniel Bryan during this segment I wish I had video of.

Laurinaitis then interrupts, and borrows a page from Teddy Long’s handbook, and schedules all 4 of them to have a tag team match. It’s an hour and change into Raw, and so far we’ve had two matches of actual wrestling. I’m hoping that this isn’t the precedent that will be set for the July 23rd change, when Raw permanently becomes 3 hours long. Who am I kidding, of course it will be.

Great Khali is not a wrestler. He cannot wrestle.  He is bad at his job, and is only there to appeal to Indian wrestling fans, which is a sizable demographic, so i understand why he’s necessary, but holy crap is it impossible to employ an actually talented wrestler of Indian ethnicity? Even Jinder Mahal is a lousy, boring, borderline racist jobber. Get someone talented, named him the The Bollywood Basher or something, and fire Khali. The man can barely walk, I’m sure he just wants to relax and rub some icy-hot into his probably aching joints.  I’m also sure he’s a great person in real life, but holy crap I do not want to see him chop people anymore. It’s awful.

So after Khali is eliminated, the match picks up greatly, and we get a great series of setups and spots between Dolph Ziggler and Christian, that leads to Ziggler finally getting a clean win and becoming the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. It’s about time Ziggler gets his due, because he deserves to be at the top, and even if he loses his match for the title, it’ll advance him further as the best #Heel in WWE.

For Realsies.

This scene with Vince and the Funkadactyls is notable for two reasons:

1.) It finally gives the Funkadactyls actual purpose and character, even if they’re kinda annoying.
2.) Vince McMahon summoning Brodus Clays music, disco ball, and mood lighting OUT OF NOWHERE is goddamned funny. Dude’s got swagger.

Follow it up with Zach Ryder standing there, reacting exactly the same way I did, made it even sweeter.

Ryback’s jobbers this week are named Willard Fillmore and Rutherford P.S Hayes. Anytime you get historical presidential references in WWE, it’s a guaranteed awesome moment, even if they’re doomed to be power bombed to death. If anything this needs to continue, where each week the Jobbers Ryback wrestles get more and more bizarre, until he’s literally pitted against three 4′ 8″ historically accurate wrestling versions of history’s major players. This week! Ryback vs The Founding Fathers, Benjamin “Shocker” Franklin, Thomas “Sugar” Jefferson, and John “The Cock” Hancock! Then Ryback ends the match by ripping up the Articles of Confederation and forcing them to write the Declaration of Independence.

Or maybe he’ll just keep Goldberging new local skinny guys to sate his man flesh addiction. Either way, I’m looking forward to it.

Back from the break, we see Vince McMahon getting back in touch with his illegitimate child, Hornswoggle (seriously, thats WWE canon), and then John Cena enters to convince McMahon to fire Laurinaitis, by belittling him. Vince then tells Cena to NOT interfere with Kofi Kingstons ma… his mat… Sorry, his MAHahaahahah sorry, Kofi Kingstons MATCH (pffft) against Big Show. The thought of Kofi up against New Monster Big Show in a cage match is actually laughable to me. Anyhow, then McMahon considers giving Cena some sort of involvement in tonight’s show. Otunga enters, and gets insulted by McMahon, we see William Regal looking sad, and we all die a little inside.

Surprise. Big Show wins. Kofi sadly doesn’t die in ring. Next.

Sin Cara is back on Raw again, and brings his mood lighting with him. I’m not sure why he has mood lighting for his matches, but I bet it can’t be beneficial to his vision with that mask on. Maybe its same sort of thing where he summons mood lighting via his presence alone, and it’s an ability he learned from Vince McMahon. Anyhow, Sin Cara does a bunch of flips and pins Hawkins. Sin Cara racks up another win, and maybe one day we’ll get to see him wrestle someone interesting.

Backstage, Vince approaches Daniel Bryan. This segment is for all the Smarks out there, who are aware of Vince’s propensity to not hire guys who he thinks are “Too small” to compete in the WWE. He likens Daniel Bryan to someone you would see on the street and never expect to be a wrestler, let alone a world champion. We’re then treated to a glorious moment where Bryan utterly shuts down Vince by bringing up his previous firing, his subsequent re-hiring and proving everyone who doubted him wrong, and most of all, proclaiming (correctly) that he and Vince are both self-made success stories. Vince then smugly reminds him of his 18 second Wrestlemania loss, and wanders away, because making a real point would take an effort. Daniel Bryan brushes it off, and readies himself for his upcoming match. Then we’re told that John Laurinaitis has invited a former superstar to compete in tonight’s show, in commemoration of the 1000 episodes of Raw thing again.

And the former “Main Eventer” is: VADER. Holy crap! I didn’t even know he was still alive!

Vader shows up, looking in surprisingly good shape for a dude his size and age. The crowds enthusiasm for Vader alone, begins to wear against Heath Slater’s stamina, and we all know a stiff breeze can take him out. So it’s pretty unsurprising when the fans begin chanting “Vader Bomb”, and Vader then ends it with a Vader Bomb. Cutting to AJ, we see Punk comforting her by assuring her that he’ll keep her safe in the match, and AJ responds with her continued Overly Attached Girlfriend act, and kisses him on the cheek.

This matches whole dynamic is pretty much a glorified handicap match. CM Punk literally even says so in an earlier segment. Punk accidentally bumps into AJ and the Ref for some reason considers it a tag. AJ then enters the ring and faces Kane. She stares at him for a few seconds, smiles, and then starts SKIPPING IN CIRCLES AROUND HIM, LEAPS INTO HIS ARMS, STRADDLES HIM, AND FULL ON KISSES HIM ON THE MOUTH. It was astounding. I never thought I’d EVER say this, but holy crap, Kane is getting to first base on Raw, consensually! Furthermore, I’m ODDLY JEALOUS OF HIM. Kane stands there, dumbfounded, and utterly confused, tags in Daniel Bryan, and probably tucks his boner back, when out of camera. Daniel Bryan steps in the ring with AJ, and she tags in Punk, who quickly elbow drops Bryan and wins the match. Kane walks away, still puzzled and probably horny, while AJ sits in the ring and smiles oddly at CM Punk, and generally just looks adorable. Everyone else in the world, is f*cking confused.

Returning from the break, Vince McMahon struts back out into the ring, surrounded by security guards to give John Laurinaitis his performance evaluation. Laurinaitis enters the ring to be evaluated, and Vince tells him the guards are here to escort Laurinaitis out of the ring, after he fires him. John then argues for his job using People Power as the backbone of his argument. Right before Vince can fire Laurinaitis, Big Show interrupts, and enters the ring. Big Show backs up Laurinaitis, mentions how his Ironclad Contract can let him do whatever he wants, and even if Vince fires him, he’d end up paying him millions of dollars,(MILLIONSOFDOLLASMILLIONSOFDOLLASMILLIONSOFDOLLARS!)for many years, to do nothing. Which sounds like a pretty great contract if you ask me.

Show then brings up every stupid costume, appearance, promo, backstage story and embarrassing moment in his career, blaming it on the behest of Vince McMahon. Tired of being his dancing monkey, Show declares himself a GIANT (WCW yay!), rallies against John Cena, and of course, is interrupted by Cena himself. Cena charges down, tries to blame Laurinaitis for all of his and Show’s problems, ignoring all of the completely valid reasons Show has given over the last two weeks for his actions. He then tries to say that Show is somehow selfish or greedy for being mad at having to do stupid bullshit for 14 years, and then suggests that if Show doesn’t beat him at No Way Out, somehow Show will have nobody to blame but himself for his actions, which makes as much sense as AJ falling for Kane, but I digress.

Cena then calls Show a sell out, and asks him what will happen if Show loses? Vince then says he’ll be at No Way Out, and makes a new stipulation to the match. That stipulation being if he loses, he’ll fire Laurinaitis on the spot. Show then attacks Cena, the body guards intervene, and Show starts throwing them around too. Laurinaitis and McMahon then try to stop Cena and Big Show from fighting. Big Show accidentally knocks out McMahon, and is then put on backstage time out by Laurinaitis. The show ends on a shot of Vince McMahon, unconscious.

Then they took his shoes and wallet.

So, this is probably what we’re gonna start getting come July 23rd. A 3 hour show, with around 40-50 minutes of wrestling at best. That’s not to say I wasn’t entertained by tonight’s Raw, I definitely was, but the pacing has been better than the first hour consisting of only 2 matches. I’m going to remain optimistic, and hope that the new format will force them to structure their shows better, and improve Raw overall.

It probably won’t though. Oh well.

WWE: Extreme Rules 2011 – Outcome Predictions

There’s nothing better than trying to predict the outcome of a predetermined sporting event. But that is exactly what I’m going to do before this Sunday’s Pay Per View event.

Randy Orton vs CM Punk – Last Man Standing

This feud has been ongoing for way too long for them to not end it tonight. Last Man Standing usually means someone is getting their ass kicked definitively, so I’m fully expecting CM Punk to get his ass handed to him once and for all, so Orton can solidify his role as main attraction on Smackdown. If you think about it they are on separate shows and the feud is really run it’s course. It’s time to end it.

WINNER: Randy Orton

Jerry Lawler/Jim Ross vs Michael Cole/Jack Swagger
Country whipping match

I’m not exactly sure what a whipping match is except that people will be whipped. In this tag match, unless Cole is getting beat into a coma I could care less about. The Lawler/Cole feud is about as drawn out and old as the Orton/Punk feud, except with less entertainment. Michael Cole was funny to an extent in the beginning and I know we all need someone to hate, but let’s leave that to the wrestlers and not the commentators. This thing has been going for close to a year it seems like, and Cole is just downright annoying to the point where I almost hate watching Raw because he disrupts it so badly. And he says everything three to four times over in the ring which is very annoying when you can hear him clear as day.

Winners: Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross (hopefully)

Alberto Del Rio vs Christian

Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship

With the World Heavyweight belt vacant, Del Rio and Edge’s best buddy Christian will be duking it out in a ladder match to decide who the next champ will be. You might think with Christian being the master of ladder matches, Edge’s friend and all around likable guy, that he would be the one to win it. But I have to disagree because it seems like they’ve been all about Alberto Del Rio for quite some time, building him up over the course of last year as a major contender and hated heel. It all culminated in Del Rio’s Royal Rumble win and eventual championship match against Edge. Then he lost to Edge at Wrestlemania… didn’t see that one coming.

It’s pretty evident they found out about Edge’s health woes and need to retire just before Wrestlemania 27. They weren’t going to have him lose in his last match ever, so they just delayed Del Rio’s victory until now with the title vacant. Edge gets to retire a champion and Del Rio gets to win the title finally and score tons of guest appearences on Univision. Everybody wins!

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes – Falls Count Anywhere

This match is yet another long, drawn out feud that has run it’s course. Like a lot of the other ones it was fun at first but has definitely overstayed it’s welcome. I like what they did to Cody Rhodes, switching from pretty boy to masked freak. (even though it’s pretty apparent that not much was wrong with his face.) I see no reason for Cody to win this one. He’s a heel that is narrowly on the jobber level.

WINNER: Rey Mysterio

The Miz vs John Cena vs John Morrison

Steel Cage Triple Threat Match

The words Triple, Threat, Steel, Cage and Match should fill any wrestling spectator with glee. But for some reason I’m not all that excited for this match. It could be that two of the participants were involved in this past Wrestlemania’s worst main event in the history of the WWE. John Cena and the Miz = boring. So you’d then think I’d be rooting for John Morrison, but I’m not. Seriously? A guy wearing sunglasses with the worst tan ever, calling himself the Prince of Parkour? There’s no one to root for period in this one. There should be a triple disqualification that somehow makes the title vacant. But that won’t happen, so I have a feeling that the Miz will still hang onto the belt for this one. Of course it will be a cheap bullshit win, because they haven’t wrote the monkey faced turd of a champion winning the old fashioned way. I’m thinking R Truth will interfere to blow it for Morrison and win it for Miz.

WINNER: The Miz

Well those are my two cents. I’m hoping this pay per view will at least be mildly entertaining but with all the rehashed replay matches they have scheduled make me skeptical. I’m pretty sure almost everyone of these matches except the Del Rio one occured in one form or another at Wrestlemania 27.

Either way comment below and let us in on your own predictions!