Tag Archives: RAW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OH.

OKAY THEN. WOW.

Well then. Moving on.

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

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

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

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

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

http://youtu.be/ecgPmHnLVk4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh AJ. You’re wonderful. Just wonderful.

Advertisements

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 4/29/13

Tonight’s Raw opens up nearly immediately with a strange match between Ricardo Rodriguez, Zeb Colter and Big E Langston, which is strange for a multitude of reasons. The main one being that I feel like I missed something from an episode of Smackdown as to the particular reason this matchup even happened in the first place, or perhaps I missed something from last Raw. All I know is that it’s a No DQ match that involved the managers of the usual wrestlers, and the no DQ part never came into play until the end. So really, it was utterly bizarre.

This is the kind of match where the odds are so obviously stacked towards Big E, that the entire time I was watching it I kept expecting something to distract him so one of the “non-wrestlers” could steal a win. Sure enough that’s what happened, and I expected Zeb Colter to win, but it turned out to be Ricardo. I’m glad, because I really like Ricardo Rodriguez and seeing him happy always makes me happy. He has the mod infectious smile! Ahem. Yes and the good part is that Alberto Del Rio got to use this win to make the stipulation for the Triple Threat match between him, Ziggler and Swagger, and made it a ladder match. Ladder matches are never boring, so that’ll be interesting to see eventually.

Racist Zeb Colter doesn't approve.
Racist Zeb Colter doesn’t approve.

Aw jesus. This is the exact sort of thing that gets me all riled up. How do you boo a man who’s basically making 3 little sick kids dreams come true? That’s the line between being a smark and just being a stupid asshole. I may not always like John Cena’s character, but he makes hundreds of children’s dreams come true and for that I always have to respect the man. Now that being said, man do I hate these segments on the show. It’s nice, and good on him for making the kids have a special moment, but they’re just standing there, all three nearly identical, with their identical moms, and god… Is it horrible if I say to pick sick kids with more personality to grant wishes to? Hell, maybe I’d freeze up too if I was put on live television, so I can’t really blame them. I do have to congratulate those kids on their wrestling names, because somehow they picked kinda awesome 80’s style wrestler gimmick names. Including the first kid who even said it in that stereotypical Hulk Hogan style wrestling way, where you breath in really deep and making your voice all raspy and weird. I don’t know how kids these days are even still getting the cues to talk like a stereotypical wrestler, because those stereotypes don’t really exist anymore, but I guess some things never change. Either that or wrestlers from the 80’s accidentally mimicked the natural strange cadence of a young child yelling strangely. Which actually doesn’t sound too far off. All I know is that “Lightnin'” Logan is actually a pretty badass name for a wrestler.

This is the first time in a long time that a match happened on Raw because that was the card, and there was no real storyline reason for it to happen. Ostensibly Raw is supposed to be a wrestling show, with a card that’s pre-made, but every night things go wrong, or the General Managing Managers make on the spot decisions to change the card. Presumably every night on Raw dozens of matches are being bumped every time Triple H comes out to talk about nothing for half an hour, or John Cena get’s CHALLENGED TO MATCH, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW! So to see an actual match just happen with no real provocation or reason, reminded me that Raw is actually supposed to be a normal wrestling show. Most of the time anyway.

What made it more interesting though, was seeing them openly acknowledge continuity by mentioning how Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton used to be in a group called Legacy together, that has since long broken up. It actually added a bit of depth to the match, that was promptly sucked up by the whirlpool of boring and un-charisma that is Randy Orton. Every single time I see Orton in a match, he looks bored. I suppose he’s going for aloof confidence, but it comes off as bored, and it shows. Every match of his is him going through the motions. There are times when I look at him and I can see an interesting character that could be developed, but it’s too difficult when he’s sleepwalking through all of his matches.

And here we finally have an example of a referee finally noticing that the Bella Twins totally are discernible from each other now. Granted they didn’t go on a big thing about one being “larger” than the other like they did last week, but still. “Twin Magic” was never even that viable of a move anyway, because it’s not like the other fresh twin would use her renewed strength and vigor to overcome her tired opponent, she’d just go for a roll up every single time, and somehow this time, the roll up was effective. Basically the other twin could have gone for the roll up and have won on her own, but the magic in twin magic must be that the roll up pin becomes unstoppable? Either that or it’s just horrible, stupid booking meant to purposely sell a bad product in relation to the men’s wrestling? Either or.

This started out as your typical Shield promo, where they talk about their accomplishments, and list who they’re after next, and explain to you something about some vague sense of justice. In the past it was easy and obvious to argue their points for justice, because the guys they were attacking or fighting, despite being fan favorites or faces, were still pretty morally in the wrong. I understand The Shield are bad guys, and while it’s not like their motives are exactly bad per se, they just seem to be going along. You could argue their entire motives are just to disrupt the status quo, and that their entire sense of perceived injustice is based on the way things are now. But when they attacked Undertaker the only explanation they gave is some vague explanation about them not bowing down to anyone. I’m guessing the subtext there is that they believe all institutions should end, and they mean to be a guiding agent through which justice will enact its will. Unfortunately, right around the time they were about to get to the point, 3MB entered.

Hilariously, my prediction about 3MB has come true. They’re now an entirely delusional group of fake rocker/wrestlers who think they’re stronger than they actually are, and attempted to take on The Shield, who promptly stomped their asses into the ground. I like that 3MB really honestly feel under appreciated and overlooked by The Shield, and see themselves as worthy opponents to them. They’re the real underdogs if you think about it. Even more hilarious, Team Hell No came out to ostensibly “save” 3MB from The Shield, but then started beating the crap out of 3MB anyway. JBL said it best when he asked incredulously; “Does EVERYBODY hate 3MB?” It would seem so. Poor 3MB.

No.

I am placing this here instead of actual commentary on the millionth Ziggler/Kingston match.
I am placing this here instead of actual commentary on the millionth Ziggler/Kingston match. Because.

Here’s where I have to admit I’m a huge homo for story lines like this. Firstly, I’m just glad there’s some semblance of a women’s storyline now, and furthermore that it’s a secret admirer storyline. If you’ve been paying attention, it’s been obvious Cody Rhodes has had feelings for Kaitlyn for the past few weeks, and frankly I like a little romance story here and there, and this kind of romance story hasn’t been done in the WWE for a long time. My only issue is that Kaitlyn’s secret admirer bought her a creepy leather daddy hat, and even creepier she actually really liked it. I’ll refrain from going into the implications of what that means if Cody Rhodes bought it for her, (think Goldust and you’ll get it) but it’s a nice enough gesture. Then again there’s always the possibility it’s some retarded reveal like Hornswoggle and oh god the thought of that just depresses the hell out of me. Please let that not be the case. Hornswoggle is the worst. THE WORST.

You deserve better than Hornswoggle, Kaitlyn.
You deserve better than Hornswoggle, Kaitlyn.

I guess Zack Ryder is no longer taking care, or spiking his hair. Which is fine by me, because he looks slightly less like a douchebag, but only slightly. I’ve heard rumors he’s been trying to change his gimmick, and they really ought to have him do that Bob Backlund style broken man gimmick I proposed last week. Let’s have him start obsessively talking about Long Island, and Iced Z, all the while beating the crap out of people and claiming they’re joining his team in the “Zack Pack”. Have him release new videos online that are weird, avante garde min-Herzog films, and eventually have him come out wearing giant bear suits or painted entirely black or something. A terrifying, Herzog wrestler with no sense of reality who only believes in chaos and the nihilistic reality of Monday Night Raw is a better one than the one he has now. Every week I see him and until I see Zack Ryder do something interesting, I’m going to suggest better, alternative gimmicks for him, because this one is so tired and awful it’s nigh unbearable.

First off, why is this on my wrestling show? Or even my Sport Entertainment show? Regardless, it’s not like they haven’t done this before. And with more people against Mark Henry, and Mark Henry still won. I don’t care how fat you are or how much you can dance, you’re still not going to be stronger than 6 guys, which Mark Henry WAS, because he’s the WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN. That’s his thing! THAT’S WHAT HE DOES! It’s also all he knows. Jesus guys, please make existential crisis Mark Henry an actual thing? Please have him smash people through tables and yell “THAT’S ALL I KNOW!” in exasperated confusion and dismay! Have him do anything other than pretend to lose to Sheamus in a tug of war contest for a minute, before inevitably beating him because he’s Mark F’N Henry. Pleeease.

Hey look! Some great wrestling between two of your most talented guys! Why not give this match some meaning and stakes? Oh no? Just another match with Cesaro losing, because he’s being buried for some reason? I understand that some wrestlers just have to lose eventually, because by their nature everyone can’t be pushed all the time, but they’ve been doing a pretty terrible job at utilizing Antonio Cesaro lately, when he’s such a damned amazing talent. The fact is they had him lose to Kofi Kingston, which is really the worst insult I think you could give as a booker. There’s no way they could have looked at Cesaro, saw his gimmick, ability, mic skills and everything else and thought of no better way to wrap up his storyline with the US title than to lose it to Kofi. I’m glad Cesaro is still around and visible, because at least he’s not relegated to Main Event/Superstars purgatory. Not yet anyway, because he does have a match with Kofi on Main Event next week. As long as we’re still seeing Cesaro there’s the chance he’ll get another chance to do something interesting. I don’t care if he gets another title shot, I just want him to be active and in a storyline of some sort.

What? What is this? Why is this on my WRESTLING SHOW? WHY IS THIS ON A SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT SHOW?! Ok, I like Fandango, but good lord man. If this is what you’re bringing to the table, take it back. I like you when you’re a psychotic flamenco dancer who insists people say his name correctly, and will violently destroy anyone who says his name wrong. I don’t like you when you’re this weird, pandering sycophant to the legions of people singing your theme song. I do like you attacking Great Khali though, and I especially think you’ve mastered the top rope leg drop, because holy HELL.

Fandango-Leg DropFandango-Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s see more of that in-ring skill Fandango. Leg drop more dudes, then dance on their graves and tell them how to say your name again. I know you’re talented at wrestling, so let’s see you show everyone how to Fandango.

How many times and in how many different ways can I say The Shield are the most effective and superior team in the WWE right now? They consistently game plan, work as a team, use strategy to their benefit and pick up wins. They’ve cracked the code of how to beat nearly any team, and unsurprisingly that’s to work together. On top of that, it seems that Roman Reign’s Spear finisher is effectively the strongest finishing move of them all, because it’s taken down every single one of the typically invincible characters in the WWE, and that includes the Undertaker! Pinning John Cena clean is also nearly impossible, so it goes without saying that Roman Reign’s spear must be like getting hit by a goddamned car. Which is unfortunate, because it looks like he’s just hugging you aggressively. But I digress, because watching The Shield win again, and seeing Raw end with new eeeeeevil The Ryback standing there, was a good enough ending to a good enough Raw.

C'mon The Ryback, you're standing there dressed like you're in Aces & Eights and you've got a Team Rocket beanie on. Go home.
C’mon The Ryback, you’re standing there dressed like you’re in Aces & Eights and you’ve got a Team Rocket beanie on. Go home.

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 04/15/13

Tonight’s Monday Night Raw opens with the currently most boring storyline/feud they have developing currently, which is the whole debacle with Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show. Granted I will always prefer it every time Raw opens up with actual wrestling, but with the exception of Big Show these guys are this weird whirling dervish of boring that feeds itself on an infinite loop. They’re pretty much just doing the same match over and over with these guys and they’ll keep hoping we don’t notice, but people definitely are. Make Randy Orton interesting, or have Sheamus become a good guy who’s actually good, and maybe I’d like them. Between the three of them, Sheamus and Big Show still can pull out some interesting spots, particularly like Sheamus putting Big Show in the electric chair drop, which is always damned impressive. I guess really my problems are all Randy Orton related, when they could be fixed so easily by just making him a brooding psychopath. Creepy stalker-always-behind-you Randy Orton is better than whatever-he-is-right-now Randy Orton. Plus he still needs to learn how to do his finisher properly.

So here’s two things I hate, a hilarious group of semi-talented wrestlers (Jinder Mahal is still weak sauce), coming out to just be beaten down by a higher profile “celebrity” wrestler, (which is all Brock Lesnar is now), and of course, Brock Lesnar himself. Who as I’ve said time and time again, is the worst possible thing to happen to any Raw. Just as soon as I think he’s going to go away again forever, he shows up and makes yet another month-long series of threats and stupid challenges to Triple H, that’ll result in the two of them taking months to respond to each other in boring promos that end in a mediocre, predictable match with no real stakes. It is the worst thing you guys. I’m so sick of it that not even Paul Heyman, who I love, can get me excited for a damned steel cage match. Not even by referring indirectly to ECW with his carefully stressed use of the word “Extreme”. It’s a shame because Heyman is so great, and Lesnar is so boring and dumb. I understand Lesnar can’t cut a promo for shit so they do this but holy hell. Let’s get it together please.

Ugh. Ok, so personal biases aside, at the very least this match ended in an exciting way. I liked the idea of seeing Cesaro as really difficult to beat, and someone overcoming the great odds to beat him. The only problem is Cesaro loses all the time because of the weird class system they have in the WWE. I also have a weird problem with Kofi KINGSTON from Ghana or Jamaica as his character or music would have us believe, telling us he brought the US Title back home. By his logic, Cesaro is just as American as he is and the title wasn’t really brought back to anywhere. What’s even more infuriating is they mention how he’s un-american as the reason he would be able to allegedly beat Cesaro, but still credit him as American when he does win? IS HE AMERICAN OR IS HE NOT? IF HE’S NOT, CAN WE HAVE JACK SWAGGER JUST- oh wait that’d be really REALLY racist never mind. Nevermind what I was just about to say.

Kofi sucks okay? Butts.

This is one of those things I always thought was a long time coming, because back when Swagger and Ziggler were both managed by Vickie, I always thought they were due for a proper tag team breakup/feud. A staple in the wrestling story collection, but a good one. Then Swagger disappeared for a year and came back racist, and meanwhile Ziggler really firmly established himself as a dominant singles competitor. Enough so that he continually gets cheered despite being a bad guy, and they must have him come out like tonight and make a big typical anti-audience, “you people” style promo to keep him “hated”. Granted I’d love to see Ziggler as a good guy, but I can’t imagine his current character working that well as a face, and a character change for him would be a big gamble. I like where he’s at right now though, so I wouldn’t be able to think of anything for him to do other than make a generic heel promo as well. I’m just interested to see if they’ll build on the fertile groundwork that’s clearly been laid between Swagger/Ziggler and Vickie. It could result in a really good storyline between two former friends, their estranged weird “double” girlfriend, (or whatever they were for Vickie other than clients she managed), and their respective new places in their WWE careers. Alberto Del Rio just needs to take some time to cool off and fight some other racists or just spend some time with Ricardo relaxing. How great would it be if they cut to a segment of Ricardo and ADR just chilling, watching tv together for a minute or so? Maybe making some fajitas or something? I don’t know. Those two have been through so much I just want to see them be ok for a minute alright?

This is the entire tag team division now. This is pathetic. At this rate we’re going to see the PTP wrestle Team Hell No at least half as many times as Kofi Kingston has wrestled Dolph Ziggler, and that’s approaching an infinite amount. There’s nothing new to say about this match because it’s literally exactly the same as all their other matches. So.

Daniel Bryan should trim his beard. THERE I SAID IT.

There’s a lot of things I like about this promo. I like the stifled, ostentatious breathing The Ryback keeps making. I like how it was edited, as if The Ryback really took the time to sit down, address every point that could have been brought up against him, went through some back catalog tapes and edited in the right clips to help illustrate his point. Furthermore, like nearly every heel in the WWE, his point is a good one: John Cena only really has the back of John Cena. That’s Cena’s character in a nutshell really. He’s always been a hypocritical schmuck of a good guy, and with The Ryback pointing this out he’s of course suddenly a heel now, instead of just being an observant human being who believes in calling people out on their faults. I suppose you could argue it was pretty lousy of him to attack his friend first, before talking about it, but this is wrestling where emotions are communicated physically first. The Ryback’s heartbreak is palpable in this, because it’s obvious he really was looking for Cena to back him up, and it’s just another case of Cena not living up to his credo of hustle, loyalty and respect. If they’re building Cena up as the unstoppable-Terminator Cena, who’ll sacrifice everything in his way in the endless pursuit of victory, and The Ryback as his antithesis, then I’m all for it. Let them be fire and ice, scylla and charybdis, and just clash as the two top WWE strongmen.

Not a fan of “Ryback Rules” as a catchphrase though. It’s pretty uncreative, but that does sound like something The Ryback would come up with.

WHAT THE HELL WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING? SO SUDDENLY EVEN R-TRUTH IS ABOVE THE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE WHY? WHY DO THEY WANT THE DEVALUE THIS TITLE SO BADLY THAT HAVING IT MEANS NOTHING AT ALL I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT!? WADE BARRETT HAD SUCH A DEFINITIVE, AMAZING MATCH AGAINST THE MIZ LAST WEEK WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU ARE USING HIM WRONG WHAT THE F***ING F***! THIS IS BULLS***.

Oh just f*** this match. Of course Team Rhodes Scholars win. This is terrible.

whobookedthiscrap

I’m as glad as anybody that Fandango is super popular right now, but unfortunately the shelf life of his character isn’t very long. Not in the way they’re going. I’m afraid he’s going to become another Funkasaurus, and eventually the WWE will become burnt out on him and have no idea what to do with him and in a few weeks he’ll become the Intercontinental Champion and just keep losing forever until he has to defend his title and then he’ll win in a roll up again. Then eventually he’ll lose the title to goddamned Santino or some crap. I don’t know. Please don’t wait Johnny Curtis WWE, he’s really talented. Jesus.

Thankfully it seems like they are using some of the bedrock of the Swagger/Ziggler past relationship to build up some of the context for this match. Surprisingly they had Ziggler lose, but in this particular case it’s not because of some weird class system like it is with the mid-card championships, it’s because they’ve built up Swagger and want to portray him as a legitimate threat to all non-mexican peoples. For the majority of the match it was pretty balanced, and it ending with ADR interference post match was easily predicted. I’m just hoping they’ll focus more on Swagger and Ziggler, because that’s by far the more interesting storyline. Any time you can incorporate story lines about friendships, betrayal, communication and the dissolution of friendships in wrestling, I’m a fan. I eat that kind of shit up. It’s why I like stupid drama for girls and whenever it’s in my wrestling it gets right to my heart-strings. It’s typical soap opera stuff, but dammit that’s what wrestling IS.

I know in real life this is an explanation for Punk to go away for a while and let his knees heal, which in the past few months have really taken a beating. That’s fine, but I’m more interested in where this promo paints Punk’s character. Particularly how it falls right about where I predicted his character would eventually end up, a few months ago:

The dichotomy for Punk is that he truly does believe he’s the best in the world, but won’t directly admit to himself that he couldn’t beat The Ryback. Him coming out to say he’s the best gets derision from the audience, who see him as your typical cowardly heel, and on face value they’re right. That is the first layer of the card he was/is playing, but the deeper part is a man who has backed himself into a corner, burned all the bridges he has except Heyman’s, and is too proud to admit his wrongs and finds his only vindication is keeping the WWE Title. Unlike any other wrestlers motivation for being the champion, (Because I want it!), Punk’s is based around the necessity to keep his worldview consistent, to prove to himself every choice he’s made is the correct one, and to hold onto that notion of pride he’s so keen on keeping. He’s doing it in the most jerk face way possible sure, but that’s what gives his character relatable. Who of you hasn’t made the wrong decision, been too proud to admit it could be wrong, and then denied it and held onto one concrete thing to convince yourself it was true?

It’s essentially setting up Punk as a tragic figure, and if he was to ever go face again, they’d be very dumb to miss out on the opportunity to seize it. In my mind CM Punk has one more promo in him that will singlehandedly change the landscape of the WWE, and that’s the “I was wrong, but so were you” promo. I have dreams he’ll make that promo, and if that day ever comes you can bet I’ll be linking back to this specific article and pointing out just how right I was to every single wrestling fan I know. All 5. (Not many people I know like wrestling).

First and foremost, it feels REALLY good to be right. Punk’s promo tonight was basically echoing what I said in its subtext. He’s the kind of person always looking to move forward, and now that he’s unable to aspire to anything greater, he’s lost himself. He’s burned every bridge there was, and it looks like potentially he could have even burned his bridge with Heyman, but we’ll only see how that turns out in due time. This is the first part of the big set up for him to come back face, because 2 things are a given:

1.) Punk will come back to BOOMING cheers.

2.) Whatever he says when he does will be THE MOST IMPORTANT to developing his character’s arc. I would love to see him evolve and grow, but I would also enjoy seeing him sink into the depths and pits of despair, and become completely, absolutely corrupt and reprehensible. Either way, when he comes back it’s going to be exciting.

Hey! Women’s wrestling! I like it when women wrestle. Who wouldn’t? Women’s wrestling is great and there should be more of it, and not only for lecherous reasons, but because there are tons of talented, strong women athletes out there who deserve the chance to show off their skills.

That being said, HOLY SHIT YOU CAN’T JUST PRETEND LIKE THE BELLAS ARE IDENTICAL ANYMORE THEY’RE VERY OBVIOUSLY DIFFERENT LOOKING, BECAUSE ONE HAS GIANT FAKE TITS NOW WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!

Normally I hate any kind of commentary Jerry Lawler makes on women, but the banter between him, Cole and JBL about one twin being “Larger” was actually pretty funny, if wholly offensive and weird. It really only drew attention to how stupid the entire idea behind the Bella’s using “Twin Magic” to win is as a game strategy, and continues to weaken and degrade the women’s division in the WWE somehow even more than it already is. It’s a damned shame.

Then John Cena starts his John Cena thing by calling out The Ryback (and actually calls him The Ryback!), and they do their little huffy puffy stare down thing. It was a fairly typical strongman stare down that was thankfully interrupted by The Shield, who I’m still convinced are just three greased up bros who hang out together and watch the show, then decide to attack whoever annoys them at the moment. This time it happened to be John Cena. Then The Ryback stares on as The Shield murder John Cena and do a TRIPLE FIST BUMP in the ring, standing triumphantly. There’s not much to really speculate about this ending because it’s pretty clear. The Shield are a force to be reckoned with who have no clear agenda, John Cena will keep betraying anything and everyone in his path to achieve his impossible dreams of success, (and in turn represent the opposite side of the coin that Punk is, I still think hey have another really good feud against each other in the works), and The Ryback will eventually become champion one day or another, and potentially be unstoppable? That is until Mark Henry shows up and eats him. Literally eats him alive. An ironic death for The Ryback, no?

Roman Reigns - WWE Universe
Roman Reigns – WWE Universe

WWE Raw and Wrestlemania 29 Recap & Review 4/8/13

Tonight’s Raw follows Wrestlemania 29, the veritable Super Bowl of wrestling, so to speak. The thing about the WWE is that the Raw’s after WM are always more interesting because of their very nature of being directly after WM. It’s the “season premiere” in a way, and like any other serialized show, is generally when they introduce new story lines, characters, or themes to the show. It wasn’t surprising to me at all then that this Raw was one of the best ones in a very long time, partly due to the fact that it was booked really well, everyone was on their A-Game, and the crowd was hotter than hell. A lot of folks online were complaining about the quality of WM 29, and while I can see where they’re coming from I still enjoyed it immensely. Sometimes I wonder if Wrestlemania no longer holding the same “prestige” it once did for me is because I’m just older, or if it is directly because their product isn’t as good any more. It’s hard for me to objectively gauge, but I do know I can still enjoy sitting in a room of wrestling fans, cheering when the guys I want to win, win, and being shocked together by the surprises that came.

Some wanted Wrestlemania to be a heel turn-fest, and provide shocks and twists abound, along with whatever other incredibly specific thing they each wanted. What we got instead were a bunch of great stories told inside the ring, with a specific set of characters telling them well. So Cena didn’t turn heel, so what? His match with The Rock was still exciting, and even though I knew he was going to win it was still fun to watch. I know I’m a total smark and talk all the time about how certain payoffs should or shouldn’t happen, but that’s only when what’s being given is lackluster, or comes at the sacrifice of good wrestling. Last night at Wrestlemania, neither of those things were sacrificed. If you watched that whole 4 hour show and didn’t find yourself standing on your feet at least once, you’re just dead inside. That all being said, Raw tonight was damned amazing.

Wrestlemania
Not pictured: The most garish and tacky shirt of all time.

Raw opening with Cena was inevitable, and what I’m about to say may shock and worry you but rest assured it couldn’t any more than it did me. Frankly, I was glad to see it open with Cena. I KNOW I KNOW, IT’S NOT BIZARRO WORLD BUT HEAR ME OUT! Firstly, his character in the last 2 weeks has received a considerable and noteworthy change. That main change is the earnestness of his character. He’s confident now in a way that isn’t unearned, or at the very least, isn’t grating. He’s able to communicate that his weakness is his UNRELENTING URGE TO ALWAYS WIN FOREVER AT EVERYTHING. Unstoppable Terminator Death Machine Cena is a much more interesting character than Fake Underdog Cena. He doesn’t have to sell us any line of BS about overcoming the odds or any of that crap, he’s goddamned JOHN CENA and everyone knows he’s nigh impossible to beat. A guy who comes out and says “HEY I’M THE BEST, BECAUSE I AM” is someone who I can respect more than a guy who comes out and says “HEY AREN’T I GREAT, HERE I’LL SHOW YOU OVER AND OVER, TELL ME HOW GREAT I AM!” Him coming out tonight in the ugliest shirt possible, standing there amongst the very loud, very obvious boos (that Cole and Lawler were trying so desperately to pass off as a “mixed” reaction) was something to behold. Fittingly it’s not a heel turn for him, because he’s not really done anything bad, but it’s a spark of a new direction for his character to take, and that alone is a breath of fresh air for Cena. It looks like he’s slowly going in the direction towards being a heel, but I’d put money on him never actually turning. It doesn’t matter though at this point, because I’d still rather have Cena be the champion. Why? Because one is an annoying, arrogant, sexist, baby talking self-centered douche bag, and the other is an annoying, invincible, up until now mostly bland and boring self-centered douche bag. If I have to pick between douche bags, I’m gonna pick the one that doesn’t hate women. Period.

Firstly, HOLY CRAP BIG E LANGSTON IS FINALLY DOING SINGLES MATCHES ON RAW YAAAAYYY! Secondly, he’s not getting to use his own totally awesome music from NXT. BOOOOO!!!!! But it’s okay, because hopefully this means he’ll turn face and we’ll get to bring the maniac murdering machine who’s obsessed with the number 5 to Raw now! Lastly, he got to wrestle against Daniel Bryan! And they both looked great the whole time! I’m used to Raw opening with a lengthy promo, but when the promo is interesting and captivating, and is then followed up by great wrestling, well I’ll be darned, YOU JUST GONE DUN MADE YOU THERE A GOOD RASSLIN’ SHOW! Which is funny because all of the dirt sheet info is saying that The Rock was supposed to show up tonight, and start a feud with Brock Lesnar for reasons. Then he decided to just head home and all of it was scrapped at the last minute. If you ask me it sounds legit because the whole excuse for Rock not being there due to “injury” just smelled something rotten. Regardless of the reason, this Raw is the result of The Rock not showing up and everyone scrambling to tell a new story? Well done. Do this every week please?

If you’re one of the millions of people who ordered Wrestlemania yesterday you’re no doubt confused like me as to why you didn’t see the Intercontinental Championship defended. The reason was because it was, but it was on the Pre-show that they stream on YouTube online. I don’t know about you, but if you’re over at a friend’s house waiting for a 4 hours wrestling show to come on, drinking beers and grilling hotdogs, you’re not gonna bust out a laptop and have everyone huddle around for one pre-show match. I understand it’s purpose is to get people who were otherwise unconvinced to watch it on YouTube for free a bit, then decide to watch the rest on PPV. But if you’ve already ordered the PPV, why the hell can’t we watch it in HD on our tv’s, before the actual PPV starts? Why not just include it? I’ll never understand why it’s not included, but it isn’t, so that’s that.

All that being said however, I’m glad they repeated it tonight on Raw because Wade Barrett and The Miz have found their perfect complements to each other’s skill sets. The two of them know how to build up a great match and keep everyone guessing. I full expected The Miz to win this match and keep another long IC title reign, and when Barrett finally smashed Miz’s face in with his Bullhammer finisher (that he finally got to look amazing instead of utter s**t!), I was sold on tonight being a great Raw. I’m only going to say that about 3 or 4 more times in this review, but believe me each time when I say it was great.

This was a match that had me on my toes for 2 reasons. The first was I love seeing Alberto Del Rio demolish either Swagger or Zeb Colter, because it’s just great. Zeb Colter using the rampant jingoism in every wrestling fan against them, to get them to inadvertently cheer for him was a brilliant heel move.  This feud is one I could see going on for a while, and escalating into something great, or, I could see it ending quickly in the limelight of what happened after the match ended. Which leads me to my second reason:

DOLPH ZIGGLER CASHING IN THAT MONEY IN THE BANK AND THE WHOLE DAMN CROWD MARKING OUT FOR IT LIKE IT WAS BIGGER THAN JESUS’ SECOND COMING HOLY F***!!!

I cannot stress enough just how awesome this crowd was at tonight’s Raw, and how special they made it by just being so into it that by proxy it made you even more into it. I can only imagine how magical it must have felt to have been there. Jerry Lawler “mishearing” the audience as saying “We want Colter” was particularly stupid though. Everybody friggin’ loves Dolph Ziggler already. He’s the top of the talent you’ve got and the future of the biz. Let him be loved by the people. It’s amazing. These matches were amazing. This whole night was amazing so far. You can tell when Raw is good because I don’t have much to say other than really liking it. It’s when it’s bad that all of a sudden I can’t shut up.

And then somehow, impossibly, as if things couldn’t get even MORE exciting, The Undertaker comes out! Just the presence of Undertaker is enough to get one excited, but after his top-notch match against CM Punk last night, it was more than enough to get me going. He looked so good that it convinced me he could easily go another 4 years and make the streak go all the way to 25 at the very least, if not 30. At this point I really don’t see anyone being able to ever beat him, and that’s a good thing. HIs streak means a lot to the WWE, and whoever comes to finish it off better bring a hell of a lot of gravitas and meaning to it. Whether next year it’s going to be Punk again, or Kane or Cena or whoever, it’s something I’m looking forward to. There’s only two people I can see being the ones to end The Streak, and the most obvious is Cena. He’s the Unstoppable Force to Taker’s Immovable Object. But concerning story and character arcs, it has to be Kane. He’s the only one who should end it, and the day they announce him has the one to go against Undertaker is the one day I actually put money against Undertaker at Wrestlemania. From now on, it’s clear sailing on Taker from here until then.

But that’s not it, we’ve now got The Shield showing up, challenging Undertaker, and my heart nearly skipped a beat! What are these guy’s agenda? Why Undertaker? Furthermore, if Kane and Daniel Bryan didn’t show up to back Taker up, would they have been able to do their triple power bomb of destruction on him? With the way The Shield have been going so far, it almost wouldn’t surprise me. Seeing Kane and Daniel Bryan come out was so great too. Any time characters support each other mutually for reasons that make sense, especially emotional ones like the support over the loss of a loved one, gets to me. Kane is THERE for Undertaker, and Daniel Bryan is THERE for Kane! Amazing!

Of course though, it couldn’t all be perfect. There had to be at least once match that slowed everything down so we could all catch our breath. As much as I love 3MB any and all of their coolness was utterly negated by the inherent lameness of Zack Ryder, Santino and R-Truth. Which is a shame because with the exception of Santino those guys used to be really funny and interesting. Then they just got lamer, and lamer until you didn’t care about them anymore. Then they both just became annoying and made you wonder why you ever even cared about them to begin with.  Santino is the worst, so I can’t really hate on him too much because that’d be like kicking a deaf, dumb, blind weasel in the throat that was wearing a green sock on its paws and pretending to be threatening. The dude is such a non-wrestler that I could not see him for months and not even think a single thing about him, or even notice his absence. Oh wait, that happened. It just did. This is the first time I’ve seen Santino in months. And he won using his stupid Cobra finisher that obviously does nothing. There goes my theory about 3MB slowly amassing strength from all their combined defeats. If Heath Slater can’t kick out of a finger poke, he can’t kick out of goddamned anything.

This match is a great example of a perfectly serviceable match between Sheamus and Orton, with Sheamus Sheamusing around and Orton Ortoning right back. The both of them doing their boring invincible white guy thing back and forth. It’s also a great example of this crowd turning a relatively boring match into an exciting one, as they brought it to life with different chants and reactions that made Sheamus and Orton actually put some effort into their stuff, rather than just going through the repeated old motions that they’re used to. By the time Big Show stormed out and demolished them both I found myself surprised rather than cynical, simply because the crowd got me into it. Guys, the crowd got me into a Sheamus and Randy Orton match. That’s. In. Credible.

It was a really good Raw. I’m telling you.

God I love Fandango. The guy actually can totally wrestle, so everybody who chants that he can’t can just shut it. Plus watching him beat down Kofi Kingston using the ART OF DANCE, AND WRESTLING was goddamned amazing. Sure Jericho had to come and ruin it all because he’s upset that Fandango beat him last night at WM. Listen Jericho, Fandango beat you fair and square. A roll up pin is still a pin, and just means you fell for the most obvious and old hat trick in the book. You have nobody to blame but yourself for losing, so why are you acting like something was stolen from you? I like Jericho but he’s not above me calling him out when he starts acting like every other hypocritical jerk that’s supposed to be a face wrestler in the WWE. If you don’t like Fandango, why not try besting him in a dancing competition, or just prove to him you’re the better wrestler by issuing a rematch? Running out and interrupting his beat down of Kofi Kingston is not the way to my heart Jericho. IT IS NOT.

This was a match that got bumped from the Wrestlemania card on Sunday, and it’s a shame. My lecherous cousins, friends and I all were looking forward to seeing the return of the Bella twins to the WWE in a wrestling capacity, if only for their looks. Like I said, we’re not the greatest, most classy bunch of men. Anyhow, it’s a shame because I’m sure the match would have been better then than it was tonight. It was by no means bad, but I’m so not into “Tons Of Funk” as Tensai and Funkasaurus have been rebranded, that it really makes me sick. Like I said before, there’s really no logical reason at all to dislike Team Rhodes Scholars, and if you do there’s something wrong with you. But it was really nice to see Naomi and Cameron actually get to wrestle for a few moments. Made me remember when the WWE had an actual women’s divisio… A woman’s do-what? A what’s division? What was I saying? I can’t remember anymore, because the WWE CLEARLY DOESN’T WANT ME TO.

Mark Hentry vs Cena means of course I’d like to see Mark Henry win, but I know I won’t. It’s Cena. He’s in this new attitude where he’ll still let you take that same challenge against him, but now he’s so confident he’ll win that actually fulfill his duty to enact that challenge and actually have it happen that night. The best thing about it was the fake out they’re trying to do, by having Cena win in the “cowardly” way by count out. It would seem they’re trying very hard to create some traction with his character and give some new life to him, and having him win in this “gray” way, (for Cena at least) is a surefire step up from Mr. Five Moves Of Doom. Seeing Mark Henry angrily World’s Strongestly Slam him into the ground and hold up the belt triumphantly was great as well. What was greater was how into it the crowd was! They wanted Cena’s BLOOD! When The Ryback finally showed up and took out Henry, everyone was going insane and it made it all that much better.

Then the predictable thing happened, where The Ryback went to offer a hand to help Cena up. A wrestler acting honorably is something you don’t often get seen raucously booed into oblivion, but the people at the show there tonight hated Cena and wanted to see him suffer. So it was pretty jarring to see what I’m guessing is ostensibly a heel turn, with The Ryback viciously attacking Cena, be cheered as if it was some glorious, honorable display! I’ve never seen a potential heel turn so widely and resoundingly cheered, that it might have totally ruined his heel turn! If they want The Ryback to be hated or booed, they’re gonna have to try again, because tonight at least, the people certainly didn’t hate him for taking on Cena. It was amazing you guys.

It was a really good Raw.

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 3/25/13

Tonight’s Raw opens up with CM Punk making his way out to the ring.

Punk’s now fully in his ultimate-disrespectful-douchebag mode, and it’s something I just love to death. Granted he doesn’t sound as believable as he did when he was feuding with The Rock a few months ago. That’s really my only problem is that when Punk was making promos against Rock, it was for an ideology. He was saying what he believed because he believed it, and it echoed throughout his promos and made them mean more on every level. While I prefer earnest-I-Mean-Everything-I-Say CM Punk to Ultimate-Disrespectful-Douchebag CM Punk, they’re both fascinating, interesting, amazing characters. I like how he’s gained his confidence back, because him being cowardly and afraid of The Ryback rang so false it made my ears bleed. I like that he’s not afraid of The Undertaker and sees him as just yet another challenge to take on forcefully to cement himself as The Best In The World. In my heart of hearts I want Punk to win, because 20-1 is a good number, and as much as I love Undertaker all things have to come to an end eventually. When push comes to shove though, I’ll be putting money on ‘Taker though, because I’m a smart better, not a hopeful one.

OH MY F***ING GOD I LOVE FANDANGO. HOLY CRAP! THAT ENTRANCE! MAN THAT’S AN ENTRANCE! I KNOW HE DID IT LAST WEEK BUT I WASN’T ABLE TO WRITE ABOUT IT LAST WEEK BECAUSE OF TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, SO I’LL PRETEND LIKE IT’S NEW THIS WEEK AND OH MY F***ING GOD!!!

WWE Monday Night Raw-Fandango-1

WWE Monday Night Raw-Fandango-2

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a sucker for a good gimmick. I was at a wrestling show this last weekend and there was a guy there who was clearly green, but had a bunch of galaxies and wizard art airbrushed onto his singlet, and I cheered him on obnoxiously loudly because why wouldn’t you? That’s who Fandango is to me right now. He’s that guy who’s unafraid to commit to being really super ostentatious and annoying, solely to get heat. The fact that he’s getting “YOU CAN’T WRESTLE!” chants only confirms this to me, because if any of you saw him wrestle as Johnny Curtis you’d know he can wrestle just fine. For now he’s just coming out and being a weird little jerk and I’m loving it to death really. Of course, this is what I said about Funkasaurus when he first came out, so I’m wary. However, until that happens (and knowing WWE, it probably will), I’m going to let myself enjoy it without letting my pessimism ruin everything for me.

So a long time ago on this column I wrote about how Dolph Ziggler should be the Bane to Jericho’s Batman, and break him and yadda yadda, it was a tired joke then too. Well that’s all horses*** now. Fandango is clearly the one who must end Jericho, because while the match between Jericho and Ziggler was top-notch, it was SO CLEARLY OVERSHADOWED IN EVERY WAY, by Fandango showing up just to dance on Jericho’s corpse, beat him up, and then yell over and over “SAY MY NAME! SAY MY NAME!” which is one of the most psychotically amazing things I’ve seen in wrestling for a long while. There’s something inherently emasculating and psychotic about a flamenco dancer in bright sequins and skin-tight gold bands beating the crap out of you demanding you say his ridiculous name to him. It’s some straight up gangster s**t. You know how there’s always that one flamboyant guy in the bright pink suit and tie in the club, who everybody says you should never mess with? And then you do and you find out he has a collection of human ears and eyeballs from everyone who’s crossed him? That’s Fandango. He’ll rip your goddamned eyes out and demand you say his name correctly.

Is it obvious enough I love Fandango guys? BECAUSE I REALLY REALLY LOVE HIM YOU GUYS.

This whole “enemy of my enemy” thing is a bit of weak sauce storyline, because it’s more or less the same dynamic they’ve been doing, but now they’ve replaced The Ryback with Big Show. It’s definitely an upgrade, and if TLC was any indication they’ll have an amazing match at Wrestlemania, but the whole thing seems a bit by the numbers for me. Although I do got to say I approve of The Shield showing up to beat up Sheamus for no real reason, because f*** Sheamus. Seriously. The fact it devolved into a typical backstage fight is secondary to my joy of seeing Sheamus begin to talk, and being brutally interrupted. It’s like The Shield are my own personal buddies who beat the crap out of the dumb people I hate, and it rules.

When this match was announced I just laughed because pffffftttt really? The Uso’s versus Mark Henry? Really? Of course the match went predictably enough with The Uso’s getting murdered in the ring. I love seeing a good handicap match and I really don’t’ get tired of Mark Henry doing that murdering. While the match itself was fairly rote, I did get into a brilliant conversation while watching it with a friend, who keeps misremembering Mark Henry’s new catchphrase, which is the incredibly apt “THAT’S WHAT I DO!”, which is one of the best catchphrases because it’s terrifying, blunt, and effective.  However he keeps thinking it’s “THAT’S ALL I KNOW!” which is probably one of the funniest damned things I’ve ever heard in my entire life. The idea of a tortured, utterly broken Mark Henry who can only communicate his emotions through physical pain is a great one. He would just show up randomly, World’s Strongest Slam them, then start weeping and yell out “THAT’S ALL I KNOW!!!”, while all Lawler and Cole speak in Owen Voices about how Mark Henry is just a product of societies ills, and we can’t truly judge him for his actions because this really IS all he knows. Jerry would disagree and call him a monster. He’d be a layered, complex character who could only exist in the world of wrestling, because it’s the only job you could randomly assault all of your co-workers and it’s considered good for business. Eventually his character arc would wrap up with Mark Henry somehow, being reached by Mae Young once again.

He’d want to love her, and show them he cares, but he can’t, because all he knows how to do is to create pain. He then decides to make the ultimate expression of self-sacrifice and love, and World’s Strongest Slams himself off of a cliff, the entire time yelling “THAT’S ALL I KNOOOOWWW”. We’d cut back and see AJ or Kaitlyn looking mortified while holding Mae Young, and we’d all question if all along it was actually WE who were the monster, not him.

This match is a little inconsequential because it only lasted for a few minutes before Jack Swagger came out and attacked poor, injured Ricardo Rodriguez, and sure enough like a good-good guy Alberto Del Rio immediately dropped any pretenses that this match mattered to help his friend in need. It’s a simple thing really, but it’s the sort of thing I love to see, and I love the idea of friendship, loyalty and fighting against bigotry with honor and respect being communicated through this storyline. I recently got into a debate with a friend online about the whole Jack Swagger thing, and he brought up a very valid, but still debunk able concern. His issue was with Jack Swagger being on tv, portrayed as a racist was in poor taste, and unneeded. He understood that he’s meant to be a bad guy, but didn’t want to expose his son to any hate speech, or messages of racism and bigotry. Which is totally noble, admirable, and proof he’s just trying to be a good father. My counterpoint to his argument was that Jack Swagger/Zeb Colter are NOT good guys, and obviously so. They’re meant to do more than get cheap heat by being racist and inflammatory, they’re symbols. They’re ugly symbols of an ugly thing that exists in our society, because people like Swagger and Colter really do exist, and are monsters that should be vilified and hated. They’re parallels to these kinds of people who children watching WWE will eventually grow up and have to deal with, and unfortunately that’s something they’re going to have to learn about at some point in time.

Now I’m not saying every kid should have their innocence spoiled as soon as possible, so they realize how unfair and unjust the world can be, but the WWE is doing a ballsy, daring, bold move by portraying these kinds of characters, and by having them be combatted by a latino good guy who’s meant to be our representation of everything that’s against those bigoted, hate filled beliefs. If there’s any one appropriate way to teach your kid about who NOT to be, and who to idolize and look up to, it’s this Jack Swagger/Alberto Del Rio feud. It’s a very clear-cut case of right and wrong, reflected by the WWE with these characters, who are in turn reflecting different viewpoints of society. It’s a story that has parables to real life, and in that way it’s one of the more legitimately important ones the WWE has. It’s nice that John Cena REALLY REALLY wants to beat The Rock and everything, but if just one kid grows up seeing the good example set by Alberto Del Rio, learns to shun and ignore people like Swagger/Colter, then that’s infinitely more important and interesting to me. Wrestling is an art form like no other that has the capability to tell real life moralistic stories of justice, that reflect the way our society is, and for them to take that opportunity and use it is something special. It’s certainly better than having all your bad guys be “bad” just because they’re arrogant or have facial hair. What better, safer place than the WWE for a kid to get his first lessons on hating racism and bigotry? It’s certainly more age appropriate than most movies or tv shows about racism, and it’s a hell of a lot more fun. I applaud Swagger, Colter and the WWE for having the guts to take on this kind of character, because it MEANS something in the final analysis of things.

Hey look the Prime Time Players got beat by Team Hell No again. This is what, the 40th time now? I don’t think I can write about this exact same match anymore. There’s nothing left to say other than I’d like to see Kane and Daniel Bryan in singles competition, so have them lose the titles to Ziggler and Big E or whatever until the same thing happens with Ziggler and Big E, until somebody else wins it from them and the same thing happens with them and OH GOD IT’S AN INFINITE LOOP HELP MAKE IT STOP SOMEBODY GET THE WWE A REAL TAG TEAM DIVISION AGAIN PLEEEAAASSEEE!

I’m gonna ignore the fact that Triple H/Brock Lesnar is the stupidest thing ever because these idiots take a whole month to have a conversation that could literally be done in 5 minutes flat, and they’re both big dumb meat heads who’ve weaseled their way to the top and are more or less just jerks I don’t care about. The thing that pisses me off is that Triple H is such a stupid, vain, lousy character that he has to go and assault Wade Barrett for no damned reason near the end of that video. Triple H wraps up his speech, Wade Barrett walks out because HE WAS SCHEDULED TO, AND THERE’S A CARD, YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS TRIPLE H YOU RUN THE DAMN COMPANY DON’T YOU? And for no reason Triple H just kicks him in the balls, because oh yeah he’s the biggest, baddest, toughest guy in the room. He’s like the real life equivalent of those Internet Tough Guys who’ll comment on your blog and threaten to beat you up, and oh my god just make him shut up. He’s seriously the worst boss ever, because Wade Barrett can’t even go and file a complaint with HR or anything because Triple H will  just veto it or whatever. I bet he even suspended Wade’s pay afterward he’s that much of a prick. God Triple H is the worst.

Raw
Yeah that anti-bullying campaign must mean a whole lot to you Hunter.

HOLY CRAP! A TOTALLY DECENT, LEGIT MID CARD MATCH! I mean sure it still has the problem of the championship being devalued by its champion being beaten, but at least it’s by somebody within the mid-card, and not just him being jobbed out to one of the Invincible White Guys of the WWE like Sheamus or Randy Orton for the millionth time. It was a really invigorating, well balanced match with both Miz and Barrett totally working well off of each other, and creating real suspense and drama throughout the match. I loved it, so of course the audience started chanting “Boring” during the middle of it, because those leptons don’t go there to actually watch wrestling, they just want to watch Triple H cut promos about how HE’S THE GAME and oh my god I’m gonna barf everywhere. It’s a wrestling show people. Don’t be BORED when there’s actual WRESTLING happening! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?

This match wasn’t even fair. Who seriously expected anything other than them being utterly crushed by The Shield? If you did, congratulations you’re officially retarded.

RIP Zack Ryder. May your stupid, annoying bones rest in Kane’s Hell.

So lets take a moment and be glad the Bella Twins are back, and that if you couldn’t tell them apart before, you definitely can now.

Raw
In case it’s not obvious, one got a massive tit-job and the other didn’t.

 So now they’re just parading around as the girlfriends of Team Rhodes Scholars, which to me just spells them out more and more as being totally awesome, super cool dudes. I don’t understand how they’re bad guys at all. They’re smart, funny, have awesome facial hair, and hang out with hot chicks. TWIN hot chicks! They’re more or less exactly the dudes you wanted to be in High School but weren’t, and they accomplished it all by being their own clever, thoughtful, snarky selves. But somehow we’re supposed to hate them and instead cheer this weird team up of Tensai and Funkasaurus because they like to dance. I like dancing as much as the next guy, but I like being smart and hanging out with hot chicks a lot more. But that’s just me.

I have a theory that The Ryback must be getting weaker, or 3MB must be accumulating strength from all of their combined losses. The fact of the matter is that a few months ago, this would have been a 2 minute squash, and The Ryback would have killed all of them in the first 3 seconds and spent the next 90 seconds marching around their dead bodies while leading his own chants or whatever. Now it’s an actual match where they manage to weaken and stun him for a moment, only to be beaten down inevitably. Sure they’re gonna lose, but the fact is they held their ground, and died fighting. They’re like heroic Spartans to The Ryback’s Xerxes. The Ryback may be a golden god king, but 3MB showed him he’s mortal tonight by throwing their spear of offense at him, barely grazing him. They showed him he’s not a God-King, but a man.

Tonight, The Ryback had his fill.

HEY A DIVAS MATCH OH MY GOD! GUYS DO A SHOT! Oh did I not tell you? Yeah we do shots when there’s a Diva’s match now. They’re not very often, so your shot will get pretty nasty sitting there week after week, but it’s nowhere near the shot I take every time I see Tyson Kidd on Raw. That shot’s been sitting there for months now, and it’s attracted a sizable amount of dead gnats and flies and dust. I’m kinda dreading Tyson Kidd’s return to be honest, because I really don’t wanna take that shot.

Anyhow, back to the match itself, WOO GOD I LOVE THESE WOMEN! This feud has been a long time coming and it’s about time they got to it. They’re probably the only two characters whose friendship has had real ups and downs, and meaning behind it that could be used to enhance this into a full on, actual Diva’s storyline other than just “You’re a bitch, I don’t like you!” I want to see Kaitlyn beat AJ sure, but I want to see Kaitlyn REACH AJ too, make her see how she had been acting, and for AJ to reach Kaitlyn see her errors too, and how badly Kaitlyn treated AJ in kind. Basically I’m saying they should turn this into a story arc from HBO’s Girls, but with less clothes, hotter girls, and literal fighting to resolve their issues. That’s about all you could ask for I think.

Hey I guess The Rock and John Cena are gonna fight again at Wrestlemania or something I’m not sure. What’s that? Oh they’ve only been talking about it stupidly, endlessly, boringly, and infuriatingly for weeks now? And they’ve both made no new points or established any stakes other than they both REALLY REALLY wanna win? Sounds great bro, let me know how it goes. I’m gonna sit here and hope CM Punk ends The Undertaker’s streak, because as far as I’m concerned that’s the real main event of Wrestlemania 29. Now excuse me while I ogle some pictures of AJ and Kaitlyn.

Raw Raw Raw

Oh AJ and Kaitlyn. You’re the best.