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.
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.
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.
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.
Tonight’s Raw was a blast from the past with a theme that I can certainly get behind, that theme being “Old School” night. Sure it’s a cheap way to get people excited and induce nostalgia, but seeing that old logo and introduction brings back great memories from when I was a kid watching WWF with my gramps, and well that’s what nostalgia is for isn’t it? It also helps that last week’s Raw was particularly bad, so riding on the heels of that this was a breath of fresh air. Furthermore any episode of Raw that opens up with The Undertaker returning to ominously raise his arms and summon fire and lightning is fine by me.
As if that wasn’t enough, then CM Punk strolls on out, more or less to complain. He’s in this great place right now where you can tell he just loves annoying the fans, and isn’t above getting cheap heat by acting like an indignant bastard. The thing about Punk for me is despite trying his hardest to be super annoying, I still find him innately likable. For me, if there’s no Punk at Wrestlemania, it’s not purposeless, but it sure does seem like it. Whenever Punk comes out and talks about something, you believe him, even if what he’s saying is complete BS. He’s that damn good on the mic that he makes me even tolerate and accept the entire concept of “straight edge”, which if you knew anything about how often I drink you’d know that’s a damn good feat.
He was interrupted by Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show however. Since it’s the beginning of Raw, and despite being Old School night, that doesn’t mean that typical Raw clichés won’t apply, which is that any group of people talking at the beginning of Raw, will inevitably end up fighting at the end in some kind of fatal 4 way/tag team match. The tag team clause triples if there is a Teddy Long presence anywhere within 1000 feet of the ring.
Here’s a good chance to explain to those who don’t know, what the words “shoot” and “kayfabe” mean, in terms of literal character strength. In the WWE, The Ryback has been trumped up and promoted as being “The Strongest” in the company. He can lift two guys over his head (as long as they’re both really skinny), and certainly looks like a living human action figure. He has the look of strength, but still has trouble lifting any guy over 200 pounds over his head. Then you have a guy like Antonio Cesaro, who has consistently been able to dead lift 400+ pound dudes, and occasionally picks people up by their legs and smashes them into walls. Also there was that one time where he picked a guy up by the legs, and spun him around 100 GODDAMNED TIMES .
Antonio Cesaro is shoot stronger than The Ryback, because he’s clearly and obviously really picking up dudes using his actual strength. The Ryback while strong sure, is just a weightlifter who counts on getting the assistance from his opponent to help along his feats of strength. Here’s a good way to tell if someone is strong for real or not: If they’re lifting people up by the legs and swinging them into walls, they’re DAMN STRONG.
That match was immediately followed up with a match between Zack Ryder and Mark Henry, which is a laughable pair up at best. I don’t think Zack Ryder even made it longer than 1 minute before he got World’s Strongestly Slammed into the ring and died a horrible death. I know a lot of people feel like Zack Ryder is this under appreciated godsend, but he had a big push last year, and his character was AWFUL. He was a stupid, pussy whipped, weak willed moron who couldn’t even get the girl (Eve)who was right in front of him, and ended up losing her interest to JOHN CENA of all people. Then he went and started acting like she was a total “hoeski” for not sitting around and waiting for him to grow some balls, and both and he and Cena went on slut shaming her for the next year because she kissed Cena once. After he rescued her from notorious fire rapist Kane. How DARE she get emotional and weird and kiss a guy after being saved from fire rape! WHAT A SLUT RIGHT? BETTER MAKE A SHI**Y OVERPRODUCED SONG ABOUT IT.
That’s who Zack Ryder is now folks. He’s that annoying friend of yours who talks up how much of a ladies man he is, but never ever gets laid, and wears lots of bronzer and spikes his hair and can’t wrestle. Why do you like him again internet? Why?
This match is yet another testament to how good Dolph Ziggler is at losing. He can make guys like even The Miz look like total powerhouses, and if it weren’t for all of The Miz’s other mediocre matches, you’d think he was this great all the time. I do want Ziggler to cash in his contract and become champion and attain greatness and all that, but to be honest I’m perfectly fine watching him lose all the time and getting everybody over. He’s like the anti-John Cena that way. Plus I really love Ric Flair and any time I get to see him strut around like a rooster, elbow drop the mat for no reason and yell out WOO indiscriminately, I’m pretty happy.
Oh boy. This whole promo was just one big exercise in both of these egomaniacs trying to get the last word on one another. It was one big circle jerk of “No I’ll beat YOU!” “No!” “No I’ll beat YOU!”, over and over again that communicated every main talking point they made last year, with the added subtext of Cena’s “Oh I’ve failed now, I need redemption” rhetoric that’s so trite it makes The Rock’s talking points of “DON’T BE A WOMAN, WOMAN, YOU’RE A WOMAN I HATE WOMEN AAARRGGGGHHH” seem almost reasonable. Well, as reasonable as a pair of dickheads can be. This is a match I honestly couldn’t care less about, if it weren’t for the fact that Cena is going to clearly win, meaning I fully plan to bet money on it and reap in the rewards. You reading this Marcos? YOUR $5 IS MINE. (Ryan, if you’re reading this, show it to Marcos.)
Not that I didn’t enjoy it, but is there a storyline reason why Swagger is attacking all of these American icon wrestlers? Is it because they don’t actively support his racist agenda? I know in reality it’s to get heat because ZOMG SO DISRESPECTFUL, but maybe I fast-forwarded through a Zeb Colter promo where he rallied against those from the past who’ve encouraged illegals through omission of condemnation? Knowing the WWE, that’s almost definitely not the case, and instead we just have a match of Swagger beating up some old timers, because he’s eeeevil now. Which is fine! I actually loved it, he’s being a really bad, bad guy! Which is good! I love it when my bad guys are actually bad, and the good guys are actually good. I’ve typed variations of that sentence probably a thousand times on this column but it just stands to reason that that’s the way things should be. Right? Right. Although I gotta say, downgrade on changing Swagger’s finisher to “The Patriot Lock” from “The Patriot Act”, which I’m guessing is from real life political pressure, because stupid racist tea party members found his character insulting, rather than recognizing he’s a cartoon because all of this is a cartoon, you’re watching a wrestling show what is wrong with you?
So what, is this like the third week in a row where the entire tag team division has been Team Hell No vs The Primetime Players? And the last two weeks it was in gimmick blindfold matches? They’ve entirely given up on any pretense of an actual, legit tag team division haven’t they? It’s just gonna be Team Hell No vs The Primetime Players forever, and nothing will change but match stipulations. Eventually it’ll be Team Hell No fighting The Primetime Players in a bikini match or something, and we’ll all wonder what prestige the Tag Titles have, or if they ever even used to mean anything at all?
Please don’t let Brodus Clay and Tensai become a real team. Please don’t let this happen. Please don’t… Oh god.
NO. THIS IS NOT WHAT SHOULD BE HAPPENING! WHY? WHAT FOUL GOD HAVE I ANGERED TO DESERVE THIS? If Funkasaurus and Tensai end up being the team that beats Team Hell No for the titles, I will eat my damn hat. Awful.
This is one of my favorite matches from the whole night for 2 main reasons. 1.) We didn’t have to see Kofi Kingston wrestling, and 2.) we finally got to see FANDANGO. Here’s a tip, if you want me to immediately love your new wrestler, all you have to do is one, give him a wonderfully obnoxious gimmick like “Flamenco dancer narcissist”, and then have him insist everyone is mispronouncing his ridiculous name. Not only will you get him to draw heat from the crowd, (because homophobia) but it’s hilarious. Nearly 3 minutes of a dude insisting you’re not pronouncing his name right because you’re not “letting the A’s breath” as you say his name, is great. I now have been walking around the house lately, grabbing random objects, dipping them like a dancer, then I rub myself a little bit and say in my most sultry voice, FAAAWWWWNNN DAAAAWWWNNNN GOOOOOOOooooo, and it’s never not fun you guys.
I may also be partially a psychopath, so there’s that.
Hey look, Triple H took 10 minutes to announce a match between him and Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania! Do you care? No? Do I? Certainly not. The biggest tip off that Triple H is a waste of time for everyone whenever he speaks is that he takes at least 10 minutes to say anything, and the good folks over at WWEYoutube edit his stuff down to less than 5 minutes. Imagine how much you’d hate The Undertaker if every year he came out and made a 20 minute long speech about HIS STREAK, and how much IT MEANT TO HIM, and droned on and on, when instead he could just point and say “YOU’RE NEXT”? You’d f***ing HATE Undertaker if he did that. So why do people cheer when Triple H does that same thing? Undertaker doesn’t even talk anymore, he just stands there and you know that it’s about to go down. Why can’t you just take a hint from Undertaker, Triple H? Why?
I love Alberto Del Rio, but Wade Barrett can’t get any respect. They’re doing a great job at devaluing what it means to be a mid-card champion by having them be beaten all the time these days, and I don’t understand it. I did enjoy that Swagger coming out didn’t distract either Barrett or Del Rio however, and instead they just ignored his presence and wrestled anyway. That’s what should happen every time, and the whole “distracted, leading to roll up pin” thing is the worst staple match finish that the WWE has, and they should stop doing it. Now that i’ve said that, it’s going to be used at least 3000 more times in my lifetime. But hey, Alberto Del Rio! Yayyy!
Seeing this match made me have a bunch of mixed emotions. On one hand, I used to love the New Age Outlaws. I used to know their whole opening spiel by heart, and couldn’t wait to say it every time they showed up. Now I watch Road Dogg do that shuffle titty shake dance knee drop thing he does, and I can’t help but think what the hell was wrong with me? I must have been a retarded little boy, because dear GOD these guys are annoying as hell, and their weird, watered down PG version of their gimmick, which was more or less “Suck My Dick”, is just terrible. The one thing I did enjoy was Rosa Mendes clearly shaking her ass over and over in front of Jerry Lawler, apparently to get him to turn back into horrible-lecherous-creep Lawler from 1999. He even mentioned (but didn’t explain) puppies! Which was his old catchphrase, that more or less communicated his desire to see the tits of any woman who was in front of him. I do the same thing sometimes, but I’m not on live television performing in front of millions of children, okay? So there’s a difference there. Also my catchphrase is “Show me your tits”, which isn’t as catchy as “Puppies!”, but it’s a hell of a lot more direct. My other catchphrase is “I Am A Great Man”, so you know…
I’m a super cool dude.
This was a pretty great match that consisted of 4 dudes just trading finishing moves back and forth. If you’re gonna do big dumb hoss wrestling, this is the way I like it. Have some dudes get in there, have ’em trade chops and kicks for a while, then just go insane with finishers. It makes for a good end to the show, and it creates realistic suspense between who could actually pull off the win. They did a good job keeping everyone who had easily predicted Punk as being the obvious winner, by seemingly putting him out of the picture early on, and having him pick up a “cheap” (but still clean), win at the end via GTS. Out of all the people in this match, Punk is the most interesting to feud with Undertaker because you’ve got two legends facing each other, only one is being made and the other nearly ending. It’s a great dynamic, of the beginning and the end, of respect versus the streak, and personal achievements measured as success. 434 days vs 20-0. It’ll be a great match, even if I do expect Undertaker to win. But, it’ll be fun to hope Punk beats him.
If there was anyone who I think Undertaker SHOULD be beaten by, it’d be either Punk, for the reasons I stated above, or Kane. Kane makes the most sense to me, because in storyline terms, he was the one who has always had an equal standing with Undertaker in terms of kayfabe strength and heart, as well as fire powers to match Undertaker’s lightning powers. On top of that, it’d be great to see that character arc finally resolve with Kane burying Undertaker, once and for all. But perhaps that’s a bit too “gimmicky” for the WWE now, and if it’s gonna be Punk, then let’s let it be Punk. I’m all for it. Wrestlemania, get here already. Let’s go.
Tonight’s Raw opens with a brief recap from last week, showing CM Punk issuing a challenge to John Cena, on the condition that Cena admit Punk is the best in the world. Cena refuses, because he thinks he’s the best, and made some lame ass pseudo inspirational rant about “always believing in yourself” and all that hokum he always spouts. After Cena abruptly left, Punk turned his attention towards Jerry Lawler, and demanded he apologize for his remark at Raw 1000, where he claimed that Punk had “turned his back” on the WWE universe, for attacking The Rock. Lawler apologized, but then “couldn’t say” that Punk was the best in the world, when asked to, despite having said and agreed with that notion dozens of times pre-Raw 1000. It’s ridiculously transparent how Lawler is insanely pro-face, in spite of any and all reason. Michael Cole may be his heel opposite, but he’ll occasionally provide logical reasoning behind why he likes the heels of the company. Anyhow, after refusing to admit CM Punk was the best in the world, he rudely bumped into Punk while exiting the ring, and Punk, in a fit of anger for the sign of enormous disrespect, kicked Lawler in the head. Let it be understood, that Jerry Lawler, (kayfabe) deserves this. He’s a terrible commentator. He says idiotic things all the time, makes no insightful remarks, and constantly promotes the faces, regardless of what their terrible, terrible actions may or may not be. Punk feuding with Lawler is supposed to make us think he’s turned heel, but all it’s done is endear him to me more.
I plan to use a couple more of these throughout this article, because goddamn. It’s true.
Following that recap, Jerry Lawler enters the ring, leaving his commentary table, and begins to speak about the events of the last few weeks, tell his side of the story, and then asks for an apology from Punk. Punk shows up, (sporting a new buzz cut, indicating a change of character. Seriously, his hair is almost always indicative of his character. It’s weird), and refuses to apologize to Lawler, defending his justifiable beat down of The Rock, and points out he never “turned his back” on anyone, and that the only person who did, was Lawler, who turned his back on Punk. He continues to explain this to Lawler, and gives the most backhanded apology in the world, slamming Lawler’s entire wrestling career, mentioning his feud with Andy Kaufman, the fact that Lawler has never been champion, and his loss to Michael Cole at Wrestlemania. It was pretty damn entertaining to see Punk rail into Lawler, and watching him stand there, stone faced, trying not to cry and/or attack Punk was pretty awesome.
Punk continues destroying Lawler, and ends up in a roundabout way challenging him to a fight, after seeing Lawler’s sad/angry face. Lawler regurgitates what he said earlier, about looking for an apology, and not a fight. Punk continues to call him a pussy, in so many words. He then says Lawler will leave embarrassed tonight one way to the other, either embarrassed from the beating he’d receive in the match between him and Punk, or embarrassed that he wouldn’t compete at all. Punk leaves, and Lawler says that “He’ll think about it.”
After that, we return right to a wrestling match between Jack Swagger and The Ryback. Swagger has been jobbing pretty consistently for a while now, and Michael Cole even mentions this fact, in a kayfabe manner by referring to his “losing streak”. They’ve been working on making The Ryback a bit more touchable lately, by having whoever he fights gain momentum in the middle of the match, which Swagger achieves, almost getting the Ankle Lock on him for a moment. The Ryback then gets the upper hand quickly, and amidst the cheers of his fans, who alternatively chant “GOLDBERG”, and The Ryback’s catchphrase, “FEED ME MORE”, he lands his falling suplex finisher. Which I don’t think has an actual name yet. It’s just a move he does that Michael Cole or whoever is watching him just comment on how “impressive” it is. So perhaps his finisher is called “The Impressive Finisher”, which is what I shall refer to it from now on. Seriously, I watch Raw and Smackdown every week, and unless I missed something, I have no idea what it’s called. So, The Ryback pins Swagger, and leaves the ring pumping his arms. Swagger sits outside the ring, grimacing in pain, probably thinking about quitting and joining TNA where he’ll have a chance to actually get utilized properly, and Jerry Lawler continues to say how he’s thinking about having the match with Punk or not.
Back from another break we go right into a Divas match. Natalya and Layla are actually two of the more talented female wrestlers from their small collection, and seeing them wrestle is something I actually would like to see more. Vickie Guerrero interrupts, and says she has an announcement to make, and that the match better end quickly so she could say it. The match starts, and we’re treated to a really decent match between the two. It’s actually pretty refreshing to see Natalya wrestle for a change, instead of relegated to being The Farting Girl on backstage skits on Smackdown. She’s the damned daughter of Jim Neidhart, the founder of the Hart foundation, and niece to Bret GODDAMNED Hart, so along with Punk, she deserves some respect. Seeing her attempt the Sharpshooter was a great moment, and if Layla wasn’t as talented and as likable as she is, I would have been really bummed to see her counter out of it. Thankfully, Layla picks up the win without using a roll up or small package pin, because that’s what they ALWAYS use to end Divas matches. She hits Natalya with a roundhouse kick, and pins her, and Vickie enters the ring.
Vickie says that AJ Lee has been abusing her power, by citing the example of last week’s Raw, where Jericho and Ziggler had a match, with the stipulation being that if Jericho won, he’d get Ziggler’s MITB contract, and if Ziggler won, Jericho would lose his CAREER contract. Vickie argues this is an unfair stipulation to the match for her to make, which it totally is. Only Vickie says that the MITB contract part is the unfair bit. If you ask me, a career contract, and a championship contract are not equal at all, and regardless of the side you take, Vickie has a solid point, that it is an abuse of power. She then publicly begs the WWE Board of Directors to put her back in the GM seat, and sack AJ, which prompts AJ to arrive.
AJ skips out, doing her usual cutesy-crazy affectations, hops into the ring, then slaps, and beats Vickie down to the floor. Pretty much solidifying Vickie’s argument about AJ being out of control and power-hungry. Vickie then runs out of the arena crying while… god… AJ bites her finger all sexily and…
Ahem. She then composes herself and walks out. Basically, as much as I want to love and support AJ, she’s been a very middle of the road, typical GM that has done nothing interesting or new, and I’d rather see her wrestle, because she’s pretty damn good, and that suit she wears doesn’t flatter her at all.
Then we get subjected to a DX/Triple H video package. I’ve got nothing against DX per se, I’m just sick of video packages, and Triple H. The thought of having to see him address the events of Summerslam are so boring to me, I couldn’t care less. For those who didn’t see Summerslam, in a nutshell, Brock Lesnar beat the shit out of Triple H, and made him tap out. The crowd then shouted “YOU TAPPED OUT”, and “NA NA NA NA HEY HEY HEY GOODBYE”‘d him out of the arena, rather than the whole appreciative last stand thing, that he was clearly going for, or expecting. People are sick of him, and his stupidity. At least, the Summerslam audience was. Then of course, Brock Lesnar quit the WWE AGAIN, because that’s what he does, he’s a goddamn quitter.
After that, we see that AJ has ordered Daniel Bryan to take Anger Management classes, and we see a brief skit where Daniel Bryan attends Anger Management. What transpires, is one of the strangest, but funniest skit’s I’ve seen in a while. Daniel Bryan sits in the Anger Management circle, and states that he has no anger issues, and couldn’t be calmer. In walks a young boy, wearing a goat mask. Bryan walks up to the child, and begins NO NO NOing him, upon seeing the goat mask. He then asks who set the whole thing up, and demands the boy take off the goat mask, by screaming at him. The Anger Management counselor says that the boy is his son, and plays a goat in his school play. The boy takes off the mask, and we see he’s crying. Daniel Bryan then looks genuinely sad and confused, and takes a seat. At the very least, he’s working through his issues right? I love the idea that Daniel Bryan now has this pavlovian reaction to all goats now, and that all you’d need to do to distract him is hold up a picture of a goat. I keep thinking about him trying to watch TV and accidentally turning on Animal Planet, and catching a show about goats, and then raging out and destroying his whole living room, and slapping the YES-Lock on his dog.
Back to the ring, we see Jerry Lawler step back in, and speak. He defends his wrestling past, by pointing out the legends of wrestling he’s fought, and while he agrees with the other assertions Punk made, that Lawler is immature, never been champion, and feuded with a comedian, he tries to use those things inexplicably, to defend himself. After that, he accepts CM Punk’s challenge, and says he’ll fight Punk tonight. The crowd cheers, ostensibly in support of Lawler, but I’d like to think they want to see Punk destroy him.
After another commercial break, John Cena appears. Which was kinda shocking, because John Cena showing up, without being called out, or having something to get off his chest, simply to wrestle in a non-main event match, is pretty uncommon now. The biggest bummer was simply that the match up between him and Miz is so disparate, it might as well not even happen. The Miz has only just started to become a great mid card, IC champion, but having him up against Robo-Cena seems like a foregone conclusion. However, Miz does give Cena a serious run for his money. If anything, the whole match built up Miz to get him over, since he dominated the whole thing, only with Cena doing his usual infinite Robo-Cena kick out, to the same as usual, goddamned shift into the 5 Moves of Doom, and his usual last-minute wrap up win. This match, despite Miz’s efforts to make it interesting, is a perfect example of what is wrong with John Cena. Every single match of his is like this. He gets his ass kicked, never sells anything, miraculously kicks out over and over, does 5 moves at the end, and wins. He’s boring. I can’t stand seeing him on my tv any more. It’s sickening that he’s the face of this company. Sickening.
Back to Daniel Bryan, we see him sitting through the Anger Management session. He sits there listening to some guy gripe about his boss, and his asked his opinion. He then expresses his, pretty solid feelings on how he’s been unfairly treated by his boss, who is his former girlfriend/ex-fiancee, who left his at the alter on live tv, puts him in a match with her demonic, pyrokinetic, psychopath pseudo-boyfriend, which he still won, and she forced him into Anger Management regardless. If anything, I’d say he has a right to be mad. The Counselor says he just got a text from the last patient who had yet to show up at the session, and of course, in walks Kane, in full wrestling gear, fire mask and all. Considering that the rest of the people there were normal, everyday folks, in plain clothes, Daniel Bryan included, it was especially surreal to see Kane walk in, in his full garb. Then again, the idea of Kane showing up in civilian clothes would be even stranger. Does this mean that Kane has a cell phone? That he texts people? What’s his data plan? Can you think of him dealing with AT&T customer service? Like if he gets put on hold too many times he just makes fire shoot out of the speaker on their side of the phone? Or worse, does he drunkenly sext AJ? I bet they’d have really weird booty calls.
I’m liking Heath Slater more and more each week. I’m hating Santino more and more every time I see him. Their match was pretty incidental. The crowd even chanted BORING at one point. The only highlight, if you could call it that, was seeing The Cobra react to Aksana showing up, with random “sexy” saxophone music to accompany her. The Cobra then attacks Heath Slater, and Santino pins Slater for the win, with the Cobra keeping its “eyes” on Aksana.
The entire concept of the Cobra being “horny” for Aksana, is just TOO over the top weird for me, because it just makes me think that Santino is either A.) possessed ala Idle Hands by cobra demons, and his limbs really are independent of his own free will, or B.) he’s got the strangest form of Dr. Strangelove Hand Syndrome, or C.) He’s just an insane person, and really needs help. No matter what way you put it, the Cobra is stupid. It always is stupid. It always has been. It always will be. It’s the Bret Hart of stupid gimmicks. Take it away Punk!
After Funkasaurus and Sin Cara’s lengthy intros, Damien Sandow comes out, and announces that he has finally found a colleague of his that he can have an intelligent conversation with, and of course it’s Cody Rhodes. The two of them make their way down the ramp, making an excellent job of showcasing their chemistry together as a team, and their insults towards Funkasaurus and Sin Cara all worked really well, and for the first time in a long time, I was excited to see the dynamic between two former single competitors, as a tag team.
Unfortunately, the match wasn’t really long enough to see them do anything together, or give them a chance to show us if their obvious and immediate character chemistry, worked in ring, but they’re definitely a team I’d look forward to seeing work together again, which is more than I can say for most of the singles-to-tag team teams. Basically, Funkasaurus managed to stomp down Cody Rhodes, while Sin Cara isolated Damien Sandow from hitting Funkasaurus’ magical weak spot (aka the knee), and Funkasaurus picked up the win after a huge splash. Funkasaurus and Sin Cara are an interesting duo together, in that they’re the exact opposite end of the spectrum, from Sandow and Rhodes, in terms of my interest in them working together. While I love Sandow and always appreciate more and more Cody Rhodes, I find myself increasingly disliking Funkasaurus and Sin Cara each time I see them. They’re the bizarro world opposites of each other in that way for me.
Back again to the third and final Anger Management video package, we see Kane being asked to share his feelings with the group. He is asked to take off his mask, and complies. When asked to share, he goes on to give the most hilarious, and frigging epic recall of his entire characters history, which when compiled altogether that way, is so absurd, it’s comedy genius. He even at one point gets meta and references how his motives for inexplicably torturing Pete Rose are entirely unexplained. The whole thing had me dying with laughter, simply that everything he said actually happened, and seeing the WWE reference continuity in this way, was so brilliant and funny. If the WWE wants to become more continuity conscious, I have no problem with them doing it this way. Refer to it, admit it’s kinda silly, but hold onto it, rather than ignore it. Plus, seeing Kane talk about his past relationships will never not be a laugh riot.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth come out, and Kofi heads over to take commentary for the duration of the match. Why? Because I guess R-Truth and him are super-duper best friends now, and can never have matches without the other being present. I know they’re trying hard to get them over as an actual tag team, but when they’re STILL both referred to by their full names, and you know they had relatively long singles careers, it’s hard to accept them, because man, they STILL don’t have any chemistry. What was great though, was seeing Daniel Bryan enter the ring, making his entrance, trying to control himself, and only silently saying “no, no, no”, to himself, rather than his angry, defiant NO’s to the crowd. Not only that, he fist bumped R-Truth to begin the match! After a few minutes in, he even attempted to fist bump Little Jimmy, signifying either his true descent into madness, or his ability to overcome hardship and control himself. Or both.
After a minute or so of wrestling, their match spills to the outside of the ring, where R-Truth picks up a mic, and starts speaking to Little Jimmy. He answers Little Jimmy’s questions by saying YES over and over, which awakens the (American) dragon inside Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan starts losing it, and scream NO at the audience until he is counted out. He then realizes to his horror, he’s lost the match, when he sees Kofi congratulate Truth on his win. Bryan then violently starts kicking the steps to the ring, and parades around screaming NO. Try as he might, he just can’t escape his catchphr- I mean anger. Hey, if this whole Anger Management angle gets us the calm, cool, collected Daniel Bryan back, or god willing, the amazing WWE version of Heel Bryan Danielson, like he was for a few months post MITB 2011 and Pre-YES YES YES, I’m all for it.
Triple H finally comes out to talk about his Summerslam match and whether or not he’ll be quitting/retiring/whatever. I’m so sick of talking about Triple H, so I’ll keep this as brief as possible. Triple H comes, fake cast on and everything, to a pretty big cheer from the crowd (ugh), and says, in a nutshell, that he’ll be retiring. He says it in the most longwinded fashion possible.
Dude, you let your own hubris ruin yourself by challenging a stupid human wrecking ball with a flat top. You’re the one who demanded the referee ignore the rules, and you’re the one who goaded him into even having the match in the first place, when Brock and Paul Heyman both warned you repeatedly for your stupid actions, saying that you”d get destroyed, and you did. You have nobody to blame but yourself. Just retire forever. Work behind the scenes. Hire more sucky mediocre talent like Sin Cara. Whatever. Just get your stupid wrinkled brow and ponytail off my television, and stay off. Please. Accept this dumb crowds applause and goodbye pop, which you were hoping for, but didn’t get, at Summerslam. Goodbye forever Triple H.
After that horribly long pill to swallow, we’re treated to Dolph Ziggler tricking the audience by coming out to Jericho’s music. He then says Jericho is gone forever, and walks to the ring. ADR makes his usual entrance. Between these two guys, I always love to them see in the ring, and whichever of them become the new WHC champion, I’m fine with. ADR is the #1 Contender, but Ziggler still has his MITB contract, so this is potentially setting up a future feud between them. Of course, Randy Orton still exists, so blaeaaeeegghhh. Also, Sheamus.
This is another example of the singles competitors being forced into tag teams, that just doesn’t work again. Tag Team matches can BE amazing, when your teams actually have chemistry, a move set that complements each other, and maybe even a good gimmick or team name. But watching these guys, all struggle to make their spots work, comes off as rushed, forced, and worst of all, boring. Actually, the worst thing was Sheamus and Orton, who both supposed to be faces, cheating to win. Blatantly, openly, cheating. The way HEELS are supposed to. Why they’re considered faces boggles my mind, and I hate it. I hate them both.
Hey, any time I can see Zack Ryder on Raw, I’m happy. Same with David Otunga, and frankly, they’re two talents who could use more time in ring, period. Also, seeing Kane come out, simply to sit down at the announcer’s table, only to stay silent, despite Michael Cole badgering him with questions the entire time. After Zack Ryder lands his finisher, he wins the match. Kane then stands up, immediately goes to attack Ryder, and even clasps his hand around his neck, but relents, and instead chokeslams Otunga. Ryder leaves holding his throat, and Michael Cole starts saying that perhaps this is progress for Kane, since he’d normally attack both of them. I think he’s just trying to get at AJ again, and this is his way of showing commitment? Maybe that makes sense to crazy people. *shudder*
The match between Lawler and Punk is announced as a Steel Cage match, which made me happy, since that’s what I voted for on twitter. Shortly after, AJ comes out to announce that Punk will be defending his title at Night Of Champions against John Cena. Seriously? Goddammit AJ, Y U DO THIS TO ME?
So this whole match was one big exercise in making Jerry Lawler look like he’s still a viable wrestler. From the opening “first shot” that Punk let Lawler have, to Punk getting bloodied by Lawler mid match. After letting us all pretend that Lawler can still wrestle for a few minutes, Punk busts out the Anaconda Vice, and wins. After the match, he grabs a chain from under the ring, and chains himself in the cage with Lawler, puts him in a headlock, and demands he admit that Punk is the best in the world. Lawler refuses, and Punk starts beating on him relentlessly. That being his cue, Cena runs out to save Lawler. He’s unable to open the chained door, and demands they raise the cage. He stands outside, demanding Punk stop, utterly helpless to defend Lawler, all the while Punk batters Lawler with multiple knees to the head, while screaming he is the best wrestler over and over. The cage raises, and Cena jumps in the ring, and runs to Lawler’s aid. Punk walks out, championship belt on his shoulders, triumphant in his victory, while Cena and referee officials stand by Lawler’s side, who is now apparently mortally wounded. Or dead. I hope.
In all, this is a finish to the show that indicates two things. #1, this really IS the final heel turn for Punk, because all the signs are there. Haircut? Check. Constantly shouting he’s the best, regardless of whether he is or not. (Bryan Danielson is, but in WWE, Punk is, so sure.) Check. And of course, attacking a “defenseless” announcer is always a bad thing, unless you’re John Cena and the announcer is Michael Cole. So because of weird double standards, and the general idiocy of the WWE Universe, you’ve got a crowd of people jeering CM Punk for attacking a guy in a match he asked for, for disrespecting him repeatedly, unfairly, and with no provocation. I don’t see how Punk isn’t deserving of respect, or isn’t the WWE Best In The World, because if we’re to presume for a moment, that the WWE Championship is supposed to mean anything, it’s that you’re the BEST WRESTLER in the company. And if WWE is the LEADING Wrestling promotion IN THE WORLD, then logically, this has to mean that you are the BEST IN THE WORLD. You could debate if Punk really is, in shoot terms and ability, but kayfabe, of COURSE he is. He has to be, by definition. John Cena showing up and saying that Punk’s actions are way over the line, are at the best, stupid, and at worst, hypocritical AND stupid.
But, also, this is probably the last time I can realistically, and logically say that Punk is no longer a tweener, when he’s so clearly being portrayed as the villain now. I’m not saying his actions are indefensible, far from it. He’s not on the level of, oh let’s say, Sheamus, because everything Punk does is consistent with what a tweener or heel would do, and that’s fine, because he’s supposed to be. Heel Punk is good Punk. Anything Sheamus is bad Sheamus, same thing with Cena. If there’s one big thing that WWE needs to fix, it’s having their heels and faces act consistently, with what heels and faces are supposed to do, instead of this weird reverse bullshit where faces act like heels and are cheered for it, and heels act realistically and are booed for it forever. It makes me want to rip my eyeballs out and dunk them in sulfuric acid.
Anyhow, hopefully Jerry Lawler is dead, because he’s a bad announcer. I’m sick of his dumb propagandistic mark ass bullshit.
Tonight’s Raw opened up pretty uniquely, in that it was a wrestling match, immediately. Not 20 minutes of talking, or backstage skits, or video packages, and for that, I was thankful.
So while I was looking forward to seeing a straight up match between Show and Punk, it obviously was interrupted, At first, Daniel Bryan comes out, demanding a title match at Summerslam, allowing Punk to gain momentum against Show, until Bryan interferes and slaps Punk in the Yes (No?) Lock, resulting in a DQ. The moment Show stands up however, John Cena arrives, to ostensibly take down Show. Why there’s this weird power play between who is or isn’t better at knocking down Big Show between Cena and Punk, I don’t quite understand. It’s like they’re ignoring the fact that Show is a person too, and not just an obstacle in between them and the title, although I suppose that’s the point. To that end, as much as I like Punk, it really makes Big Show out to be the underdog in a way here, despite being the proverbial “mountain” that has to be climbed for either Punk or Cena to be champion. Maybe I’m thinking too much into it, but despite my lack of enthusiasm for Summer-Slam, I will be very pleasantly surprised if Big Show ends up victorious. But he won’t. Anyhow, after the match AJ comes skipping out, and announces that all 4 of them will be in a tag team match later in the show, with Big Show and Daniel Bryan being paired up, and Cena and Punk on the opposing team. I can’t decide If I like AJ as a GM or not, but she is following the Teddy Long school of GM-ing, which is tag team match ad infinitum. Somehow though, she’s not as grating. It must be because she’s so beautiful. Perhaps if I was attracted to elderly, bespectacled, balding black men I’d be missing Teddy something fierce.
On second thought, no I wouldn’t.
Cutting backstage, JTG and uh… Krystal? I think her name is? I’m not sure because she’s one of the Divas who we never ever, EEEEEEVER see. Well they’re both there, complaining about not getting matches, because frankly they never do, until AJ shows up. She listens to their plight, cocks her head the way she does, and gives JTG a match. He walks away happy, ignorant of his dire fate to come later. AJ then asks Kailtlyn? God I don’t know her name. She asks Kristen if she thinks that she’s unstable, to which Kristina answers no. AJ seems pleased with this answer, despite Katalinn’s answer being a blatant lie. Seriously, I have no idea what her name is.
Google said her name is… Kaitlyn. So I got it right the second time. Too bad I’m literally already forgetting about her as I type this sent- wha? What was I talking about? Why I am I typing this? Who is this woman whose picture I’m writing under? Why am I wearing an evil lizard mask?
The Ryback is unleashed on JTG, and unsurprisingly, he Ryback’s him pretty hard. JTG becomes yet another in a long line of delicious man meat to be fed to The Ryback, who continually begs us to feed him more. I know I’ve given him crap before about his catchphrase, but it’s almost like they’re daring me to not make jokes about how subtly homo-erotic a giant super muscley man with a very phallic bald head, constantly demands to be fed more men to sate an unstated appetite that is insatiable, and can only be staved off by multiple men “taking him on”. If that doesn’t sound a like a cock-thirsty young upstart ready and willing to prove himself in The Biz, well I guess you just don’t think about gay stuff as much as I do. Ahem.
Backstage, we see Rowdy Roddy Piper and Shaun Michaels talk to each other for a moment about Brock Lesnar, to set up the chekov’s gun for when Brock, “gets” Shaun Michaels, as he alluded he would on last week’s Raw. Shaun then gets on the phone with Triple H, although that’s who I inferred it was, because they were trying to keep it ostensibly a secret. They did this a lot back in the Attitude Era, where the audience was guessing who it was that was “on the phone”, and it was always Vince McMahon or whoever “The Commissioner” was. Whatever happened to the Commissioner? Is that still a fake/real job? Or was it superseded by the General Manager? I don’t know, I should probably just do what all the WWE writers do and ignore it.
I’ve grown to love Heath Slater. There was a time when I saw him on my screen and tuned out, but his incredibly delivery of “ONE MAAAAAANNNN BAAAAANNNNDDD BABAAAAYYYY”, as well as his pretty great ability to sell, has warmed him up to me. Even though he lost to R-Truth, seeing the both of them trade spots was entertaining, and despite Truth’s gimmick getting a bit stale, and Slater’s only just coming into blossom, the match itself worked well. After the match ended, The Primetime Players showed up to ruin Truth’s celebratory victory dance with Lil’ Jimmy, and demolish him pretty swiftly. I should note, they showed up without AW, because AW was fired. While I personally didn’t even notice the “offensive” joke he made in last week’s Raw, I’m not really missing him that much, because his God-Voice was irritating, and he didn’t bring much to the Primetime Players that they didn’t already have on their own. I’m worried this will mean their presence will be buried, since they’re good heels, but I’m optimistic that it won’t.
So long AW, your voice was impossibly loud.
I didn’t write this article as I watch the show live like I usually do, so when it came back to reviewing the show again, I had entirely and completely forgotten about this match, because it was so boring and pointless. I’ve repeated enough times why I don’t like Tensai, and his match here is another carbon copy of all his other matches, up until the end. While I want to like Sin Cara, I actually watch other wrestling promotions, as well as, you know, actual Luchador wrestling, like the CMLL, and Sin Cara would be fired in one night from any half-decent Luchador promotion because the dude is sloppy. There’s a meme online that calls him “Botch-Cara”, which while exaggerated, isn’t wrong. Mostly, he’s a mediocre at best wrestler of his style, and the fact that the WWE seems so poised to push him as such a “revolutionary and innovative” Luchador style wrestler really irks me, when there are actual, truly revolutionary, truly innovative Luchadors out there, that they could be recruiting RIGHT NOW. Luchador style wrestling is AWESOME, and very hard to screw up, but somehow, Sin Cara manages to make it boring every time I see him. Botched moves or not, that is his main problem. Period.
Oh yeah. Sin Cara wins, and Tensai beats his asian manservant while we pretend that’s not really racist. Boring. Next.
Backstage Shawn Michaels keeps asking people if they’ve seen Triple H, and we’re supposed to keep pretending to not know it’s Triple H.
So it’s the Piper’s Pit! And the WWE Universe voted who’d be in it! And thankfully, they picked a good choice of Jericho, who is now in full Y2J mode. While I like Y2J Jericho, I prefer his heel, “f*** all this” Jericho that he had been up until recently. The main problem with this promo, is that despite ostensibly being a comedic bit, that would build momentum and re-establish roles in the Ziggler/Jericho feud, it mostly made me sad at how much Roddy Piper has lost his knack for cutting a good promo. The guy seemed really confused, and openly admitted to not remembering things, and it didn’t seem kayfabe at all. At one point he just starts to ramble like your weird old drunk uncle, and even starts to say random things to Jericho, like “I know how you feel, I KNOW YOUR DAD.” Read that through a drunken sad Uncle filter and you’ll know where I’m coming from. Eventually Vickie Guerrero thankfully interrupts Roddy from flailing about like an old drunk fish out of water, and EXCUSE ME’s her way to the ring, with Dolph Ziggler in tow.
Ziggler comes out and berates Roddy Piper for being an old, out of touch weirdo, and rightfully points out how sad it is. Roddy tries to insult him about his pink shirt, but Jericho hilariously comes to Ziggler’s defense by saying “They’re summer colors”. All of them continue arguing about this and that, until The Miz enters. He points out how Ziggler and He both can actually win matches, and backs up Ziggler’s point that Jericho has lost his touch. He then attempts to take over Piper’s Pit, telling Roddy and Jericho to get out of “his” ring, and Roddy starts NO NO NO-ing, which I thought was gonna cue up Daniel Bryan, which confused the hell out of me. But they both attack Miz and Ziggler instead, and throw them both out of the ring, thus winning?… Piper’s Pit? Can that happen? What is Piper’s Pit for again? Save us Ziggler, save us from weird sad segments like this where we’re forced to watch legends slowly crumble away before our eyes.
AJ then makes a pretty smart decision, and schedules a match between Ziggler, Miz and Jericho, that was by far the highlight of the actual wrestling on tonight’s show. All three of them worked amazingly together, and i’d have loved to seen the actual match go on another 15-20 minutes. If this is part 1 of a potential PPV feud, where we get an awesome part 2, I’m all in. The highlight by far was this AMAZING Superplex-Powerbomb that involved all three of them. As much as I tried, I just couldn’t find a GIF of this move to show you either, but rest assured, it was goddamn awesome.
Well despite all three of them being excellent, and putting on an incredible match, there had to be one winner, and after a trio of finishers, near falls, and chain counters into other finishers, Ziggler got the Zig Zag on Jericho and pinned him successfully. I’m really hoping they’ll build this 3-way feud up more, because it’s one of the few 3 way feuds I’ve seen in a long time that totally works.
Backstage, CM Punk is stretching, and Eve comes over to talk to him, looking all sexy and shit. She thanks him for his “new” attitude, basically trying to confirm his Heel status. He rebuffs her, reiterates that he deserves respect, and that’s all he’s fighting for. She says he better go tell that to Cena. I say “F*** JOHN CENA’S OPINION PUNK, YOU GOTTA BEAT HIM, NOT MAKE HIM LOVE YOU!”. Then I go back to looking at Eve’s cleavage.
We then cut to Shaun Michaels dicking around backstage more, asking about Triple-H. Why he doesn’t, I don’t know, wait for Triple H in the green room, is beyond me, but whatever. Punk then approaches Cena and gives him the usual, ” We’re working together, and we don’t like each other” speech, and then makes some solid points explaining himself and his actions to Cena/The Audience, despite his actions being self-evident and justified. I’m guessing the writers feel it necessary to have Punk try to ride his whole “Tweener” thing right now right down the line, despite him being clearly in the right if you just put any thought into the status quo at all. But asking the WWE Universe to think is like asking for Wade Barret to not be british. Oh snap! Segue!
I know they showed this promo last week, and you may be wondering why I’d be talking about it again, but goddamnit if I’m not totally stoked for Guy Ritchie’s™ Wade Barrett to debut, and make his BEAR-AGE known to all who stand in his way. I’m hoping he shows up, speaking in that weird Pikey language from Snatch, asks John Cena if he likes dags, and then just one hit KO’s him. When Big Show comes out complaining about Barrett stealing his finisher, Barrett caves his face in while screaming OI GUVNA as loud as possible. Either that or have him come back and literally beat down Randy Orton with face punches until Orton is blind, deaf and dumb.
Hey! Another Divas match! And Krissy or whatever is even in it! Good for them! Despite the amount of botched pins, (I seriously don’t understand why these women cannot handle any kind of roll up pin whatsoever), the match was a pretty average Divas match. Layla hit her moves, stopped to dance for a little bit, everyone looked adorable, and Karoline actually even got a roll up pin on Beth Phoenix for the win! Good for her! Whoever she is!
So this match was functionally the main event of the show. 2 hours and some change in, and the match began, and while the match ended in 15 or so minutes, it was pretty standard tag team fare between the four of these guys, who we’ve all seen interact with each other one way or another for the last month at least. The highlight by far though, was when Punk, after seeing Cena wanting to be tagged in, copies Cena’s trademark 5 Moves of Doom sequence, and is interrupted right after pulling off the “YOU CAN’T SEE ME” taunt part right before the 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Cena interrupts it, by tagging himself in, and copies Punk’s corner turnbuckle flying knee/running bulldog combo. Punk then obstinately walks out of the ring, leaving Cena to finish the match alone. While some would say it’s a tit for tat sign of mutual disrespect, I’m on Punk’s side because… well because he’s just cooler dammit. F***. Sometimes that’s all the reason you need.
Look how cool he is!
Anyhow, Cena wins because he’s Cena, and fails to notice Big Show about to brutally sneak attack him. Punk then runs up and conks Show in the head with his belt, thus saving Cena. Punk then becomes the bigger man, and offers his hand in respectful reconciliation, and Cena refuses to shake it, officially being the biggest weeaboo paranoid crybaby pussy ever. Punk rightfully walks away angry, and I and everyone else with a brain who isn’t under 10 years old, finds yet another reason to hate Cena.
After the match, Josh Matthews catches up with Punk to ask him “what happened” at the end of that match, and Punk sums it up perfectly. Cena is out here to make Cena look good. He doesn’t care about winning as a team, or anyone other than himself. He then rightfully points out Cena’s incredibly rude sign of disrespect by not shaking Punk’s hand, and vows to “teach him, and everybody, respect.” You know, just watch the end of the video above, because he says it a lot better than I can paraphrase it here. My point is, that CM Punk is and has been unfairly treated, despite being the goddamned champion for nearly a year now, which in WWE is quite a feat, that legitimately and truly does deserve respect. Why would anybody boo him for this? Why?
Now, while the Daniel Bryan/Cena/Big Show/CM Punk match was supposed to the main event of the night, common knowledge dictates that the last match in a wrestling show is traditionally the main event. So with much glee, I can now say that DAMIEN SANDOW, THE INTELLECTUAL SAVIOR OF THE UNWASHED MASSES, IS NOW THE MAIN EVENT OF MONDAY NIGHT RAW!
Thank you Damien. Thank you for annihilating Funkasaurus. Thank you for crushing Christian in the ring. Thank you for ignoring Funkasaurus’ attempted interruption-causing-you-to-get-distracted-and-lose-to-a-roll-up thing. Thank you for doing a cartwheel to celebrate your victories. Most of all, thank you for wearing pink wrestling briefs, the most sophisticated color of wrestling briefs you could wear.
Thank you Damien. Thank you.
So the last half hour of tonight’s Raw was all dedicated to this impossibly stupid Triple H/Brock Lesnar feud, where we get the EXCITING PLEASURE of watching them SIGN A CONTRACT. The tension had me on the edge of my seat! Either the tension, or the shit I needed to take, that I took while this segment dragged on and on. We get it. Brock bad. Triple H good. Things personal. Paul Heyman talky because Brock is a effing moron who can’t string 2 sentences together. Shaun Michaels stand there confused for reasons! Important reasons! And the beat goes on. Then a few minutes of some more Touts, (which I’ve started doing, because I’m weak and IT’S STILL REAL TO ME DAMMIT) and then cut to a parking lot. Any knowledgeable longtime WWE fan knows that NOTHING good ever happens in a parking lot in the WWE.
So Shaun Michaels is trying to leave, and gets boxed in by Paul Heyman, who sits there screaming ‘I’LL MOVE IT I SWEAR REAL SOON MAN SORRY I’M SORRY”, until Brock Lesnar shows up, and kidnaps Shaun Michaels by dragging him out of the car. He also knocks down the camera guy, making the camera cut to black, while we hear loud thuds, and HBK screaming or something. In my mind’s eye, Brock Lesnar was just ripping his skin off in large chunks and eating it like huge strips of man-jerky, but that’s almost definitely not what was happening.
Coming back from a commercial break, we see Triple H overlooking the damage done to HBK’s car. Apparently Brock Lesnar smashed HBK through the window shield, and broke all his windows for good measure, as well as denting the sides of the doors. Basically, Brock Lesnar pulled an old-fashioned Street Fighter Car Smash Bonus Level on HBK’s car. Triple H runs in horror, desperate to find HBK, and we cut back to the main arena. Lesnar shows up with HBK on his shoulders, being carried like a freshly killed deer. I actually can picture Brock Lesnar doing this exact same thing to a deer, only he snatches it from the woods, suplexes it into a random car nearby 8 or 9 times, and then just punches it to death to end its suffering.
So Lesnar takes the now ragged HBK into the ring, and F5’s him, because an F5 in the ring is WAY more brutal than, I don’t know, smashing a dude into a car or something. Triple H then shows up to defend his gay frenemy, and Brock Lesnar puts HBK into a fake Kimura. Now, while this is an indirect nod to this UFC career, in which he NEVER put dudes in Kimura’s, the hold itself is actually dangerous, if only anybody like Triple H or HBK knew how what bone the damn hold actually broke. When Lesnar “broke” Triple H’s arm 3 months ago, he clutched his elbow like an asshole, because the move looks like it breaks your elbow, when in fact it snaps you upper arm/shoulder bone area.
Well Paul Heyman tries to warn Triple H to not save HBK, or else Lesnar will break his arm. Triple H stalls, because they need to pad out their airtime. 8 minutes of show left with 2 minutes of material does that. Lesnar then kayfabe snaps HBK’s arm, and Triple H chases Brock out of the ring, while Paul Heyman screams OH MY GOD YOU BROKE HIS ARM. YOU BROKE HIS ARMMM. YOUUU BRRROOOKE HIS AAAAAARRRRRMMMM!!! I’m guessing Heyman was fearing the legal repercussions, or is super squeamish. Either way, the show ended with HBK writhing around in pain, actually selling the Kimura arm break better than Triple H, despite rolling multiple times onto his “broken” upper arm. Lesnar and Triple H point at each other, and Triple H takes his shirt off for some reason while pointing. End.
Then Lesnar continued his transformation into a living Cabbage Patch Doll.
In conclusion, tonight’s Raw had a good amount of wrestling in it. I can’t stand the Triple H/Lesnar feud and will be so happy when Brock Lesnar shoot quits to go… well I presume suplex and punch deer to death or whatever the hell he does in his free time. I’ll be glad to see it all come to an end at Summer-Slam. As far as Raw goes, the 3 hour time expansion so far seems to be beneficial, and not too much time is wasted. Or maybe it is, and the mind controlling waves are starting to sink in, and soon I’ll be a member of the Cenation. A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tonight’s Raw opens up with a quick bit on how the set quickly caught fire, in some kind of pyrotechnics test before the show actually started, or the audience was let in. It had no actual effect on the televised show, other than delaying the crowd into the arena for half an hour. I’m uncertain why they even bothered to tell us, other than to address the possible potential issue of viewers at home wondering why a small part of the Titan-Tron was a little black and smokey. This was followed up with a quick video package re-capping last weeks show, playing up all the important parts and excluding any and all mention of Charlie Sheen. They would then go on to repeat this news about the fire, 5 more times over the course of the show. Seriously.
After the end of last weeks show, people have been wondering what CM Punk’s exact motivations were for his attack on The Rock, even if they’re obvious and awesome. A recently shorn CM punk walks into the ring, grabs a mic, and lays down the law. He says that he takes issue with how Jerry Lawler said “CM Punk has turned his back on the WWE Universe”, at the end of Raw last week, and exits the ring, approaching Lawler directly, who sits there silently shitting his pants. Punk slams his championship on the Announcer’s Table, and just really starts giving Lawler shit for what a terrible commentator he is, continues to make great points about The Rock’s arrogance and generally explains all of his actions last week perfectly. The Rock is a washed up blowhard who shows up, says he’s the greatest when he isn’t, disrespects everyone without backing up his words like he used to, and makes the WWE play second fiddle to his Hollywood career, until he decides to randomly take back the championship as if it’s a foregone conclusion. Not to mention all of the inane baby talk he spouts and everyone pretends like it’s even 1/4 of the quality of promos or insults he used to throw out 12 years ago. Frankly, he’s been phoning it in the last year, and If I didn’t hate Cena so much, I would have been rooting against him at Wrestlemania 28. So seeing Punk once again, FINALLY actually speak up and become the Voice of The Voiceless, was excellent, and a return to form from the wise cracking, Jim-Halpert shrugmeister he had become for the past few months. Of course, all the Bandwagoners quickly jump ship and start boo-ing Punk for making his opinions well-known, despite cheering him for claiming to always do this in previous months.
“YEAH CM PUNK BEST IN THE WORLD WOOO HE ALWAYS SPEAKS HIS MIND I RESPECT HIM SO MUCH FOR THAT until he doesn’t say things I agree with! What the hell Punk I trusted you.”- All Ship Jumping Former CM Punk fans.
After leaving Jerry Lawler sitting there, with shit in his pants slowly collecting, Big Show’s music starts up, and he enters the ring. At first I thought he was gonna come out, and reiterate his point he made a few weeks ago about how it’d take just one thing to make the WWE Universe turn against CM Punk, and how they didn’t really respect him, but he goes on his usual heel schtick where he promotes himself as the true focal point of the end of Raw 1000. He then takes credit for being the reason Punk is still champion, and vows that he’ll be the next WWE Champion. Then John Cena runs in because his name was mentioned, and chases Big Show out of the ring, while Punk stands aside annoyed as hell. At this point, AJ walks out, clad in a suit as the new Raw GM. She quickly announces tonight’s main event, between Big Show and Cena, with the stipulation that the winner will face Punk at Summerslam for the championship. Punk stands aside not giving a crap, while Cena looks on in his dumb starbucks shirt.
Back from the break and we see a quick scene of Daniel Bryan walking past the office of the new GM, looking distraught.
After that quick Daniel Bryan bit, we get this match between Santino and Alberto Del Rio. Why? If this is an example of AJ’s booking, then she’s picking poor match ups, because really, how else can this go? They try to make some sort of sense of tension between commercial breaks, by having ADR take a bump from Santino that throws him outside the ring, but when back from the break it’s the normal case of ADR destroying his opponent in the ring. I’m guessing they’re trying to build up Santino as an actual contender or something, because for a bunch of brief shining moments he’d gain some momentum before ADR quickly shut him down again. Santino even tries to pull out the Cobra, which ADR just sidekicks before trapping his arm in the cross armbreaker, because holy crap is the Cobra stupid, and how great would it be if ADR kayfabe broke Santino’s arm? He’d basically be stripping Santino of all his power forever.
Then Del Rio makes a great promo, saying how he just destroyed Santino, that Santino is beneath him, Sheamus is beneath him, and so is everyone else, so he will not compete any further until Summerslam, to get his WHC shot, which is the only thing that he finds worth his time. I really can’t disagree with him either. Why should he be wrestling idiots like Santino? Why isn’t he being put up against anyone who is actually of his caliber of talent? His whole “Eff this noise” attitude is something that makes sense to me, even if I will be missing him destroying all of the even remotely ethnic wrestlers on WWE’s roster. Summerslam better be the fulfillment of his destiny to become a champion, because holy hell, the dude deserves it. Also, I’ll save my obligatory weekly insult of Sheamus for later on in this article, if he shows up.
Returning from a break, Funkasaurus is already in the middle of his dance intro, which is a good thing, because that damn intro is so long. It’s then interrupted by Vickie Guerrero’s banshee shriek of EXCUSE ME, and she mocks the Funkadactyls for their dance moves, and starts dancing herself. She then busts out the patented Elaine-From-Seinfeld-Little-Kicks dance, thumbs up and all, until she herself is interrupted by Damien Sandow.
Our Intellectual Savior then shows the clip from last week, of DX attacking him, proclaiming himself once again as a martyr, and starts beating down Funkasaurus, and leaves triumphantly, in the name of non-irritating wrestling gimmicks all around.
I really love Damien Sandow. 1.) He’s a good wrestler, and 2.) his gimmick is hilarious, and necessary.
We need a wrestler like him, a guy who can come out, point out how stupid everything is, beat the crap out of them/it, and cartwheel his way out of there, all the while in pink and purple briefs and knee pads. Not to mention his totally luscious ascot/bathrobe combo he enters the ring in, because if anything, I am a man of comfort who appreciates the finer things in life. I think Sandow and I would get along well. We’d both lounge in our armchairs together, drinking different blends of exotic herbal tea, while watching Criterion blu-rays. Plus he’d probably be a really awesome Dungeon Master.
My fantasies of being best friends with Damien Sandow aside, we cut to a recap of the Jericho/Ziggler storyline. It’s storyline that could have a great build up, as I said last week, where Ziggler should destroy Jericho, and be the man to finally BREAK THE WALLS DOOOOWWWWN and break Jericho. If Jericho is gonna be leaving WWE, have him go out with a warriors death. Make him go down fighting, and leave it all out in the ring, defeated once and for all. But tonight anyway, we’re getting a tag team match, because GM’s just LOVE tag team matches and oh no… AJ. Don’t do this to me baby. We had something special. Don’t be this way. Don’t be Teddy 2.0. I’m begging you. SAVE ME JOHN LAURINAITIS!
After spending the last 48 minutes mustering his courage outside her office door, Daniel Bryan finally confronts AJ about last week. She immediately asserts herself by telling him to shut up. She then brings up the quick plot point from last week, where we saw what looked like a bunch of mental asylum orderlies being spoken to by Daniel Bryan, that I assumed was a red herring. He says they were his groomsmen pretty defensively, and she says he’ll have to deal with a match later tonight, that’ll pit him against Sheamus (ugh). He asks her if it’s for the title, and she NO NO NO’s him out of the room.
A video package starts to play, showcasing the retarded Triple H/Brock Lesnar storyline from last week. Seriously? How many recaps from Raw 1000 are we going to have? Is the “extra” hour in all of these new episodes of Raw just going to be an entire hour recapping the previous Raw? I guess they have to, to keep Brock Lesnar in the story without him actually being there, because his stupid quitter-contract doesn’t require him to actually wrestle any more than a set amount of dates this year, and they’re being saved for PPV’s almost exclusively. They also must think we’re amnesic Alzheimer goldfish, because they played this promo at least 5 more times after this.
There was a time when I would have really liked to have seen this match. That was about 6 months ago at Wrestlemania, because the “Quick-Strong” wrestler against the “Methodical-Technical” wrestler pairing of Sheamus/Bryan was in theory, a great idea. We all know how horribly they screwed that up, but it led to Daniel Bryan really getting over, so in hindsight it was a necessary evil. Daniel Bryan comes out YES-ing as usual, but then flips out in ring, saying that the fans have “No right” to chant YES anymore, and that is his thing alone. The crowd then taunts him by chanting it, and he responds by losing his mind and shouting NO over and over, like a broken man after being left at the alter by his bride. Oh wait…
Well, Sheamus enters, with a clearly healing black eye, because presumably, people can’t not punch him in the face upon seeing him. They then announce that the match will be a “Street fight”, which in WWE terms just means “You guys can wrestle outside of the ring if you want.” Bryan and Sheamus open up the match by keeping things in the ring. After a few minutes of trading moves, they slowly battle up the ramp, with Sheamus throwing Daniel Bryan around, until they reach the top of the entrance ramp. Bryan gets the upper hand by kicking Sheamus off of the ramp, all 4 feet onto the concrete below. Sheamus then writhes around in pain like his knee is hurt, and Bryan lays a flying knee into Sheamus’ face, and the fight cuts to commercial. After returning from the break, they’re both back in the ring, and Daniel Bryan has Sheamus in an arm lock.
They go back to trading blows, and the momentum between the two of them continues to shift back and forth, now with Sheamus gaining the advantage. He brings out a chair and a kendo stick, which Daniel Bryan wisely removes from the ring before they can be used on him. Sheamus kicks Bryan out of the ring, while the crowd chants audibly for tables. Daniel Bryan then uses the kendo stick on Sheamus, wacking him multiple times, letting out all of rage on Sheamus with each swing. Eventually Sheamus gets kicked by Bryan into a steel chair he set up in a turnbuckle. Sheamus grabs a hold of the steel steps, and sets them up, trying to slam Bryan into it, until Bryan counters Sheamus’ grab and throws him into the ring post.
At this point, even though I hate Sheamus, i’m just glad to see a match last a considerable amount of time on Raw. My joy was quickly shattered however, when Sheamus brogue kicked Daniel Bryan into the steel steps that had been set up in the ring. However, I gotta say, the match itself was quite refreshing, mostly because it was good, and long by modern WWE standards. Let’s get this kind of thing happening more often, cut out all the recapping, and Raw can really become something truly great once again.
After a recap of the CM Punk promo from an hour ago, ostensibly in case you’ve got some kind of Leonard Shelby Memento disease, and can’t make new memories longer than an hour or so. They cut back to Daniel Bryan being helped up by referees, claiming he’s hurt his neck and needs a doctor. So while a popular, important, talented wrestler writhes around in pain in the middle of the ring, complaining of a neck injury and needing a doctor, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler ignore him in place of showing ANOTHER recap of the events from an hour ago, showcasing the Punk/Cena/Big Show thing, and the impromptu main event made by AJ. After a while, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth come out, claiming that Daniel Bryan is faking, and tell him to leave, saying there’s no place for him here.
Truth then mentions how Little Jimmy is in the ring with them, and Daniel Bryan asks where Little Jimmy is, and begins speaking to him directly. In what was the highlight of tonight’s show by far, he then violently kicks Little Jimmy CLEAR OUT OF THE RING, and R-Truth rushes out to console him, while Daniel Bryan goes on about how dumb the entire concept of Little Jimmy has become. He then goes on a huge tirade about how Little Jimmy doesn’t exist, and points out how stupid Kofi Kingston and R-Truth are, and the orderlies that Daniel Bryan had last week come out to take R-Truth, until AJ interrupts. She starts to say that Daniel Bryan is “mentally unstable”, and has the orderlies escort him out. He then comes face to face with AJ, makes a mean face at her, and leaves. This entire segment was hilarious, and I’m liking the concept of the mentally unstable Daniel Bryan, who is the foil to AJ. Or AJ is his foil. Either way, his character is evolving beyond “Just say YES or NO” all the time, so I’m digging it.
After some Tout nonsense, AW introduces The Primetime Players. They walk out and do their weird little Barking-Dog-Butt-Buddy, while AW’s voice continues to BOOM throughout the arena. I still don’t understand entirely why he, different from any other ringside manager, gets the loudest mic in the world to make ringside comments. Kofi gets dominated by Titus O’Neil for a while, until Kofi manages to get in his stupid BOOM jump thing, but AW provides a distraction by throwing his shoe into the ring at Kofi, which lets Titus land his powerbomb finisher, and win the match.
This whole match is a classic exercise in one half of a respective tag team, both being less than the half their whole as tag team competitors, and generally both being boring to watch the entire time. Kofi Kingston is boring period, and Titus O’Neil only really works with his partner as a lousy/funny heel team. I kept getting distracted during this match because I just didn’t care about it at all. In the immortal words of Jay-Z, on the next one.
We then cut to CM Punk and John Cena bro-ing it out together backstage, where Punk seems to express some terms of respect and agreement between the two of them to have each other’s backs, and the whole thing was just a weird step backward for Punk in my opinion, because John Cena sure as hell doesn’t give a shit about Punk, and his silence and condescending look as Punk walks away says about the same.
Back from the break, Heath Slater is once again in the ring, and we get another recap from last week, (oh god please make it stop, it hurts us, IT HURTS USSSS), where I assumed the whole “WWE Legends feud” thing came to an end, but here we are. Well it seems that now we’re gonna see Heath Slater used to bring back anybody who has been missing for a while, and Randy Orton shows up, having been thankfully missing for a few months now. I can’t stand Randy Orton. He’s boring. His gimmick is non-existent, and he has no imminent charisma to speak of. He’s like somebody took the default create-a-wrestler from a WWE video game, gave him tattoos that they thought were “totally sick bro”, and transported him into real life. The dude’s whole thing is being a “viper”, which I guess is supposed to reflect the “rattlesnake” thing Stone Cold Steve Austin had? I really don’t know actually, all I know is that he bores me to death, and his RKO is an insanely shittier version of the Diamond Cutter.
Oh yeah, he beats Heath Slater. Shocking, I know. Ugh.
Backstage, we see Daniel Bryan speaking to a doctor about his mental health. He goes through a series of questions, that are all yes or no answers. He of course continues to berate the doctor by LOSING HIS MIND at him, and screaming YES over and over. Crazy Daniel Bryan is already pretty goddamned awesome.
Now, tag team stupidness aside, this is a match that has real potential to work really well. Everybody involved is really talented, and Christian has always worked better in a tag team environment to start with. After all four of these guys come out, taking a really long time to make their entrances, the match finally starts.
The thing about all 4 of these guys is, with the exception of Christian, they tend to work better individually. Their strengths are better accustomed to the one on one back and forth flow of a singles match. A good example was Jericho’s Wrestlemania match with CM Punk, where it was one big chain wrestling fest, or Dolph ‘s matches with Sheamus, where he actually managed to make Sheamus look really good, while still losing the match himself each time. Then you’ve got The Miz, who is in full Post-Crisis mode, and with his newly found Non-Stupid Haircut powers, has re-established himself as an actual contender to be reckoned with. The problem is now with Christian, who I’ve seen referred to constantly by the IWC as the “Little Brother” of wrestling, and i’d be hard pressed to disagree.
Let me explain. Everything Christian does, is basically just an homage or a borrowed move from other, better wrestlers he’s purposely or not comparing himself to. A main example is his spear, which is an obvious nod to Edge, the only problem being that Edge’s spear wasn’t even that good to begin with, and Christian’s spear is even lamer. He’s like the “Little Brother” of wrestling, who is constantly imitating his bigger brothers as inspiration, but never shakes off the trappings of being someone who is, well, imitating. Add to that, that his Killswitch finisher, when he does rarely manage to pull off, looks like crap, and you’ve got a guy who I WANT to like, but just can’t. He should have stopped way back when, because he’s basically stuck in sidekick hell, and should go quietly into that good night already.
All that being said, the match was pretty good, in spite of Christian, because Ziggler and Miz kept controlling him, keeping Jericho out of the match pretty effectively.That is until Christian gets the hot tag to Jericho, who quickly jumps in and makes a huge comeback, gaining momentum, until Christian jumps up and lands an unseen-by-the-Ref eye poke on The Miz, letting Jericho land the Codebreaker on Miz, winning the match. For Christian, who is supposed to be a face, that move wasn’t very… Christian. Eh? Eh? Get it? Right? What’s that? Oh This gun? Yeah I bought it. Oh I’m just holding it here. Don’t worry about it. I’ll… use it later. Oh dear sweet lord how I’ll use it later…
Anyhow, all suicidal threats aside, the match was fine. I just would rather see these guys compete in singles matches. Excuse me while I read about how to aim a gun directly into my brain stem for instant death.
Cutting back to Daniel Bryan again, he’s still answering questions from the doctor. Now he’s taking a series of rorschach tests. On the second test, the inkblot is obviously a goat face, and Bryan starts to freak out, and accuse the doctor of being put up to this by Charlie Sheen of all people. Then he starts speaking openly and aloud to Charlie Sheen, as if he is watching him at all times. I’m not looking forward to the inevitable Charlie Sheen/Daniel Bryan feud, but if we get totally insane Daniel Bryan being awesome because of it, I’m all for it forever.
Back from another commercial break (jesus), we get more Touts about something, I’m not sure because my eyes roll back in my head in boredom every time they do that.
Tyson Kidd is on Raw! Take a shot!
I remember hearing about how Tensai was going to leave the WWE soon, because he’s been extremely shoot unpopular WWE crowds, and frankly, i can’t wait. I’ve never liked him, even back when he was Albert, or A-Train, or whatever the hell you want to call him, he’s shitty no matter what gimmick he has. Plus his constant hissing is by far the most annoying affectation a wrestler could possibly have. His whole gimmick is offensive, (I don’t care if they stated he’s not asian, it’s still confusing and dumb), he’s awful to even look at, and his move set is boring. He doesn’t look good winning, nor does he make anyone else look good losing. Not to mention his constant abuse of his asian sidekick, the whole thing comes off as really offensive towards asians, and wrestling fans in general.
But yeah, he takes down Tyson Kidd and wins. Then after continually attacking him, the Ref reverses the decision, because reasons. Why? I don’t know. Let’s see Tyson Kidd wrestle someone who isn’t literally horrible to watch in the ring.
Back to Daniel Bryan and the doctor, the doc proclaims Daniel Bryan is officially sane. Then the lighting goes red, and Bryan is attacked by Kane, who claims he is Daniel Bryan’s anger managment counselor, in the most un-subtle reference to Charlie Sheen’s show, called Anger Management.
After the 5th (?) Summerslam promo, which I’ve been neglecting to mention each time they show it in this article, as a kindness to you, because I’m not joking when I say an entire hour of this 3 hour show has been recaps and promos for Summerslam. Anyhow, after all of that yet again, we finally get to the main event.
CM Punk came out to join Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole at the announcer’s table for the match, and hearing him give Jerry a constant stream of shit for being a really limp dick announcer with lame opinions that always fall into a predictably boring point of view that idolizes faces like Cena and Rock in spite of all logic and reason pointing to them be lackluster in many ways. It’s the same kind of person who promotes a needlessly Mark-ey kind of view regardless of character motivation, or continuity, or story development. Lawler is supposed to be what the worst WWE writers want all of us to be, a mindless, blind Cena lover who is entertained endlessly by Santino dicking around with a sock, or literally anything involving Hornswoggle, who thinks that parlor tricks and stupid skits are the focal point of a wrestling show.
Throughout the match Punk was making excellent commentary, and making solid, legitimate criticisms of Lawler the entire time. I’d really love to see Punk become a full-time announcer, who also wrestles, because he’s miles better than nearly every current commentator they have on any of WWE’s shows.
But anyway, the match itself was ‘old hat’. Lots of motifs we’ve seen from all of Cena and Big Show’s matches in the past. Big Show gets a sleeper put on him. Cena starts his 5 moves of doom, and is countered. Big Show taunts Punk at ringside, Cena gains the upper hand after kicking out miraculously like a robot. Big Show takes a big bump. Cena takes a big bump. The only thing that broke it up was the end, where Show threw Cena into Punk at the announcer’s table. After nearly being counted out, Cena managed to barely jump back into the ring, and pulls out the attitude adjustment, but it’s interrupted by Punk. Then Punk knocks out Big Show with a kick to the head, resulting in the match becoming a DQ, but for whom it’s unclear. Punk then grabs the mic, and says the winner is: Nobody. And that they’re both losers, to loud boo’s from the crowd.
Then AJ comes out says they’re actually both winners, and makes them both #1 Contenders, and makes the title match a triple threat at Summerslam. Punk comes back, and says AJ is a bad GM, calls her crazy, and demands she show him respect. The show ends on him screaming at her for respect, while AJ smiles away gleefully.
So there’s the end of the 1001th Raw. Frankly, I’m glad Punk is going back to being a Tweener, because arrogant asshole CM Punk is far superior to any other version of his character. For every awesome Crazy-Daniel-Bryan promo we’ll get, we’re still gonna get terrible things like that Tyson Kidd/Tensai match that I can’t stand watching, or the entire hours of worth of repeated promos for a match between two guys who don’t wrestle full time, or god forbid more inane “Touts” from insipid, mouth breathing fans. This Raw wasn’t the worst in the world, but it wasn’t really that good either. I had a hard time trying to focus on it the entire time, and mostly found it boring, which is a bad sign for the future of Raw. I can only hope that next week’s show will pick up in entertainment value. That’s really all I ask from WWE any more, and man, they should at least deliver that. I want to be entertained, not reminded about how IMPORTANT this match between TRIPLE H AND BROCK LESNAR is on SUMMERSLAM over and over and over again. If you’re gonna do stupid shit, have more guys kicking invisible children in the face, and less promo/recap filler of things we’ve already seen, especially if they’re from the same show we’re still currently watching.
Man. Here’s some pictures of AJ to cheer you up, because I’m just really bummed now.