Tag Archives: Shawn Michaels

An Overview of the CM Punk Panel at Wizard World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 7/23/12 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

WWE Monday Night Raw Review: June 27th, 2011!

In the same spirit as the last couple of weeks, tonight’s episode of Raw is yet another special event as the WWE brings back ‘Raw Roulette’. Not only this, but we already knew prior to tonight’s event that the “Heart Break Kid” – Shawn Michaels is going to be in Sin City for the show.

At the start of the show Shawn Michaels makes his way to the ring, and says that he’s had a hard time leaving the WWE. He’s getting all sappy, and kissing the crowds ass, telling them they made him who he was.  He is quickly interrupted by CM Punk, and a couple of his sideshow clowns, McGillicutty and Otunga. Punk begins to give HBK crap for coming back after he said he was going to retire. After some smack talk about how HBK left the WWE a loser because he lost to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, Shawn Michaels gave David Otunga a “sweet chin music.” The general manager then sends an email saying that CM Punk will be in the first match of the night and they will spin the roulette wheel to see what kind of match it will be. Booker T (who is apparently the roulette host) comes on the titan tron and spins the wheel, which lands on a mystery opponent. Booker informs Punk that his opponent will be Kane. Michaels who is still in the ring, then hits McGillicutty with a sweet chin music and tells CM Punk good luck with the match.

Commercial Break…  

CM Punk vs. Kane

The match begins with Kane man handling Punk. He quickly throws Punk to the outside of the ring, and throwing him into the barricade. Once back in the ring, Kane still continues to dominate Punk. CM Punk retaliates with a desperate kick to the head of Kane, and begins picking apart the big red machine. This seems to be the match of head kicks, as Kane gains control back from Punk by doing just that. CM Punk rolls out of the ring, and begins walking to the back. While walking to the back, CM Punk (Who has already promised that after his match in three weeks for the WWE championship, he is going to leave the company) begins yelling at the crowd saying, “What are they going to do, fire me?” Michael Cole then makes one of the most valid points he has ever made, by saying that this was the smartest thing Punk could have done. He already has his title shot, and there would be no point in risking an injury in this match.

Commercial Break… Continue reading WWE Monday Night Raw Review: June 27th, 2011!