Tag Archives: Vince McMahon

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 10/15/12

Tonight’s Raw opens up with Big Show walking down into the ring, and giving a promo. He basically just comes out and says how shitty and mean Sheamus has been to him for the last few weeks or so, but shows a video from Smackdown. In the video, Sheamus goes to Brogue Kick Big Show, but because Sheamus is dumb, and Big Show is the f–king BIG SHOW, he just catches Sheamus’ stupid bicycle kick and flips him out of the ring violently. Then we cut back and Big Show goes on to let us all know how stupid it is of Sheamus to try to bully a 7′ tall, 500lb man who can knock you out with a single punch. Because that’s really all that’s happening here. Sheamus is a bully, through and through. The dude just does whatever he wants,to whoever he wants, with no sense of what’s right or wrong, and because he’s “cool” the average WWE fan just laughs off his actions, no matter how despicable, racist, or objectively terrible they are. So when It comes down to it, am I looking forward to Big Show knocking his stupid ginger head off his albino shoulders? Yes. Absolutely. I have no idea why Big Show is even supposed to be the bad guy in this, other than he hit John Cena once. I guess unless you’re a retired wrestler turned shitty movie star, hitting John Cena is an unforgivable, terrible offense that makes you worse than Hitler.

Eventually somehow Big Show’s whole spiel turned into him talking about his original WHC title run, which lasted only seconds until Daniel Bryan cashed in his MITB case to take the title from him. This in turn got spun around into a “redeeming” rematch between the two, and led to Daniel Bryan facing Big Show in a match.

I love both of these guys, but this is in my opinion, the one kind of match Daniel Bryan doesn’t excel at. Daniel Bryan does best in matches that have him going one on one with another person who can sell his more technical moves, or can match his technical prowess on the mat. His entire thing is about beating guys by wearing them down and slapping a submission on them, which generally works really well, but with bigger guys it’s not always the best. That’s not to say the match was bad, but compare it to say, CM Punk, and it’s a different story. CM Punk is always at his best when he’s up against a big, unstoppable force sort of wrestler. Your John Cenas, your Mark Henrys, or your Samoa Joes, if you were to go back into ROH territory. Daniel Bryan on the other hand, always seemed overwhelmed when taking on bigger guys, but perhaps that’s to his credit. All I’m saying is when Big Show slammed Daniel Bryan to the ground and pinned him for the win, I wasn’t shocked.

It was pretty nice to see Kane come out to defend his Tag Team partner, in a twisted show of affection between team mates. Of course, Big Show just held up his fist and screamed at Kane, which made him back off until Show left. I don’t blame him, because the dude could probably just hold up his hand and scream at a f–king grizzly bear and it would run away shitting itself in fear.

After the break we’re in the ring with Paul Heyman, who is there with the WWE title, and a poster board with a drape over it. He takes his time to announce CM Punk, and remind us he has held the title for 330 consecutive days, (a feat that merits respect, I still don’t understand how you cannot respect this, it’s ridiculous) and that he’s making his decision for his opponent at Hell In A Cell. CM Punk comes out and teases us for minutes, until finally revealing that he needs more time to make his decision. He’s really trying to milk for heel heat here, and as Vince McMahon promised last week, if Punk didn’t make up his mind, he would for him. So Vince shows up, and tells Punk that TONIGHT, that he will pick his opponent. Just, you know, not right now. It’ll be at the end of the show. For reasons.

The main and fatal flaw with this entire match, is that somehow this one is the match deemed necessary for Punk to FINALLY gain respect and be considered “one of the best”. Despite almost singlehandedly making the WWE relevant again with a single promo last year, or his laundry list of achievements in all of professional wrestling, including multiple championships and a current record holding reign. For some reason, everything he’s done to earn our respect and admiration of all last year, is wiped away because he clotheslined The Rock. It’s funny, because as much as I love The Rock, everything he does now for the WWE just hurts it. What value does he add by defeating John Cena? What value does he add by showing up randomly, promising a bunch of shit, and then disappearing again? And most importantly, what value does he add by making another attempt at becoming the WWE champion again? Sometimes you gotta know when to hang it up dude. You WERE The Great One,now let it go.

First and foremost, CM Punk is by definition of being the WWE Champion, the best in the world, so there’s that. Secondly, there’s this quote from JR tonight, that really tells it all.

“I think CM Punk has done an amazing job of being a WWE Champion. My point has always been, if wants to be considered in the same breath as the Undertakers, The Triple Hs, The Austins, The Rocks, The Shawn Michaels, then… You… you gotta do… you gotta do a Hell In A Cell in some point of your career.”

I put emphasis on the stutter in that quote, because JR is basically saying that to be considered a WWE legend, in line with some of their all time greats, unless you’ve done a Hell In A Cell match, that EVERYTHING ELSE you’ve done doesn’t count. Somehow the allure of a HIAC match brings with it magical greatness that takes you to a new echelon of superiority. How this logic works in JR’s mind baffles me, and I’m convinced it was a line he was fed through his earpiece to say, because it sounds exactly like the inane bullshit the writers come up with to justify a match, or more likely, to justify why a character who’s really never done anything that was actually wrong, as a bad guy. If you want us to hate CM Punk, I dunno, have him do mean, awful things that don’t make sense, and bully people needlessly. Oh wait, that’s Sheamus, and we’re supposed to love him. Goddammit.

They did us a favor this week, and skipped Funkasaurus’ 10 minute dance intro and got right to the match. Lately I’ve noticed Alberto Del Rio hasn’t been arriving in his cars anymore either, which could only mean one of two things. 1.) He’s been pretty drastically affected by his current pseudo rivalry with Randy Orton, and has filtered thousands and thousands of dollars into researching some kind of apparatus to predict when an RKO is coming. Because they always arrive OUT OF NOWHERE.

2.) WWE is tired of renting luxury cars.

So you know, it’s probably 2. Regardless, defeating Funkasaurus isn’t that big of a deal. You just gotta hit him in any of his major joints and the dude goes down like a gimped horse. Slap his arm into the Cross-Armbreaker, and he’ll tap almost instantly. For such a big guy he has a very small tolerance for pain. Alberto Del Rio winning is NOT surprising, to say the least.

Backstage we see CM Punk and Paul Heyman having lovers quarrels. Or arguing about Vince McMahon. I say should point out that it’s not technically a lover’s quarrel, because Punk doesn’t seem to reciprocate the unabashed, adoring love that Heyman has for Punk. Heyman is friend-zoned. Hardcore. Poor Heyman.

As much as I’m loving the newly reinvigorated tag team division, I’m still not a fan of these teams that consist of 2 previously mostly singles only wrestlers becoming a team. You can’t often hit gold like they have with Team Hell No, and Team CoBro (ugh) just doesn’t cut it. Apparently someone in creative agrees with me, because The Primetime Players pretty much put the smack down on them hard, and won within minutes. I like The Primetime Players, and I think they could use some more segments, or time to make more promos. I don’t think they get enough character exposure, as opposed to their wrestling time. I think we see the right amount of time for them in the ring, to keep them relevant. Let’s just give them a skit, or a promo here and there, and it’ll all be good.

This new 3-Man Band of Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew Mcintyre coming out to stomp on Zack Ryder’s corpse and play air guitar to their theme music was pretty hilarious. They’ve managed to take 3 guys (well 2) who deserve more air time, and successfully make them a stable that seem to exist solely to beat up dumb guys, and play air guitar. How you can not love that, I don’t understand.

Awesome.

Suddenly we’re privy to the ear-splitting screech of Vickie Guerrero, who introduces Dolph Ziggler in her typically shrewish way. A fun note, I just recently attended a taping of Smackdown, and can dutifully confirm that people HATE Vickie Guerrero more than every other heel combined. The outpour of boos for her were utterly deafening, and during her entire time speaking you could not hear a single word spoken. If they were ever gonna try to turn her face, I have no idea why, but if they were, it’d be impossible. She could go up there and promise free WWE merchandise for life for everyone in attendance if they just stayed quiet, and it’d never, ever happen.

Anyhow, Ziggler says some stuff about how hard he’s worked for his MITB contract. How he’s jealous that The Ryback gets all the talk these days when comparatively, Ziggler has worked far harder than The Ryback to get contendership recognition. David Otunga then comes out, and spouts about his mental attenuation along with physical fitness. He says he’s worthy of a title shot, and this is what leads to their fatal flaw. Their fatal flaw here is saying The Ryback’s name enough times to awaken him from his hibernation, thus unleashing his insatiable hunger. Along with The Ryback, they’ve gotten notice of AJ, who brings The Ryback in tow with her, and schedules a triple threat match between the three of them right then and there.

While watching this match, my friend Vera pointed out something I had never noticed before about The Ryback. Namely, his teeth are totally busted. For a dude who talks a lot about being fed, the guy needs dental work. Maybe that’s why he’s always hungry? Perhaps it’s hard for him to really get anything down when he’s nursing such a terrible dental issue? Maybe Tressa is right about him really just being a big baby, and he’s just teething. Like he’s literally just a giant baby transplanted into a huge man-body. It makes sense when you think about it. The marching, the tantrums, the heavy breathing, the teething, the constant crying for food… I’m just saying, there’s been weirder storylines in WWE history.

Anyhow, The Ryback Ryback’s both Ziggler and Otunga. After Ziggler ditches Otunga and runs away, The Ryback devours Otunga’s corpse messily, and we all rejoice.

Backstage, Paul Heyman is trying to butter up Vince McMahon in CM Punk’s favor, and puts for a challenge in Punk’s name. He pitches a rematch between Vince and Punk, with the stipulation being if Punk wins, he gets to choose his opponent. Vince then makes the match with Heyman, to Heyman’s disarray, and then proudly claims to love himself. No really. He does.

Afterward, we see AJ walking by, and is interviewed by Matt Stryker about something or other. Stryker makes the foolish mistake of even saying the word “crazy” around AJ, and she suddenly schedules him to be in a match as punishment. Punishment for ostensibly being a person who was alive around her at that time, I suppose. AJ, why is your character so fragmented? Why are you sometimes good, sometimes bad? It doesn’t come off as unpredictable, unstable, or edgy like your writers want us to think, it just comes off as inconsistent and shitty. For somebody who used to have the deepest, most intricate and multifaceted character in WWE, you sure have gone a long way down from those heights.

…God I still love you though.

I really can’t say enough good things about Antonio Cesaro. The dude is shoot strong enough to lift a guy as heavy as the Funkasaurus, and makes is look easy. On top of that, he’s incredibly dominant in ring, and has an excellent signature move where he just throws a guy almost 10 feet up into the air, and then just uppercuts their goddamned head off.

Just imagine Justin Gabriel in the place of Tyson Kidd there. It’s just as amazing.

 

So when Antonio Cesaro comes out, pumps his fists, and then talks about how much ass he can kick in five languages, he tends to get my respect. His win over Justin Gabriel was pretty definitive, and just adds more luster to his current prestige.

Apparently Matt Stryker found it necessary to get into his full wrestling gear, just to grab a mic and beg Kane for mercy. He emphasizes how unnecessary it is for Kane to even face him, and more or less says he’s a non-threat. He pleads with Kane, who then spreads his arms in embrace. Stryker then accepts Kane ostensible proposal to hug it out, and they proceed to hug. It lasts for a minute, then Kane ends up choke slamming him to death any way. The brilliant part was his little post-match promo, where he lays down with the dying Matt Stryker, and mocks him by putting the mic in front of his mouth, before declaring himself to be the Tag Team Champions.

Somewhere, Daniel Bryan is shouting angrily and stomping. Dr. Shelby needs to come back and help these guys one last time.

Okay, I love The Miz. Honest, I do. I think he’s a perfectly competent wrestler, and great on the mic. I love his douchebag smarminess, and his sense of self entitlement that he brings with him. I think he makes a great heel character, and an even better commentator. However, I cannot STAND Miz TV. Even more so now, because he’s feuding with Kofi Kingston, who might as well be poison for my attention span. The two of these together, honestly I had no interest in watching, and still have none. I can’t tell you what actually happened, but I’ll guess they shit talked each other, and then promoted their stupid match on Main Event for the Intercontinental title. I swear if Kofi Kingston wins that title, I’ll just… I’ll just die inside. I will.

I like Wade Barrett. I hate Sheamus. I wanted Wade Barrett to crush Sheamus in this match, but of course that didn’t happen. I have difficulty watching any matches with Sheamus in them now, because I just want to see him get beaten until all of his skin is a deep dark black and blue. When Big Show showed up with a chair, I nearly jumped for joy at the prospect of a Sheamus beat down at the hands of Big Show and Barrett. But then Big Show just sat there on the chair, watching them both from a distance. Wade Barrett batted around Sheamus for a few minutes, briefly giving me hope that we’d see Sheamus lose a shameful defeat. Those hopes were dashed when Big Show interfered in the most lame way possible, and just held down the top rope, making Sheamus fall out of the ring when he was whipped into the ropes. That resulted in a DQ win for Sheamus, and Big Show walking out of the place like he was somehow proud of that decision. Lame.

Backstage Vince McMahon is on the phone, and hangs up to have a meeting with John Cena. Cena then says some more bullshit about never giving up, and ignoring doctors orders. I’m not sure, because I really just tune him out now. It’s the only way to stay sane.

I’m not gonna lie, I spent the most of this match trying to look at Layla’s boobs. I kept imagining how big they really were, because of the nature of the wrestling bras/tank-tops they wear. I then snapped back to reality when I realized that the match itself wasn’t half bad. I mean, not half bad for WWE standards anyway. The women’s division is one place that Impact Wrestling has them beat, hands down. Why the WWE doesn’t just blatantly copy them I don’t understand. Regardless, they seem to be re-using the old Foot-On-The-Ropes, Bad-Referee-Call thing they did for CM Punk and John Cena a few weeks ago. There’s not much a difference there, except that instead of get all righteously angry like CM Punk did, Layla just sat there and cried about it. I like your boobs Layla, give me a reason to respect them. Stand up for yourself. If Eve cheated, call her on it. Until then, you’re not above ogling.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan and Kane are talking about their respective relationship woes. After some remarks are traded about what they both did or didn’t find funny, Daniel Bryan says that next week Kane should fight Big Show. He then declares himself the Tag Team Champions.

He then cut off his ear and declared himself the new Vincent Van Gogh.

Cut to Vince McMahon talking to The Ryback, talking him up as the toughest SOB in the biz. The Ryback just stands there breathing heavily, until Vince asks him what his response is to everything said about. The Ryback replies with 3 obvious words: “Feed. Me. Punk.”

I don’t have anything against Primo and Epico really. Their gimmick doesn’t particularly grab my attention, but they’re definitely not immediately aggravating unlike certain other WWE Superstars. When compared to the greatness that is Rhodes Scholars however, they pale in comparison. Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes pretty much annihilate them, using more tags throughout this match than almost all the other tag team matches in recent memory put together. I’d dare to say they use this aspect of the tag team rules the most effectively I’ve ever seen. They work together really cohesively, and end up defeating Primo and Epico resoundly, ending with the perfect finishing taunt of the assisted cartwheel.

Perfect.

So this is a grudge match thing now? Between Miz and Kofi? And we’re supposed to believe that somehow Kofi is supposed to better than Miz? All I saw was a big pile of boring, with The Miz struggling to work with that pile he was given. I have two different kinds of hate for wrestlers in the WWE, and I’ll clarify it for you.

There’s Sheamus hate: Where a wrestler’s actual in-ring ability is overlooked or otherwise rendered obsolete or negated by how terrible a character he has. See: Tensai.

And then there’s Kofi Kingston hate: Where a wrestlers in ring ability is non-existent, yet somehow still gets face heat, and is inexplicably popular despite being unwatchably boring in the ring and on the mic. See: Randy Orton.

Which do I hate more? I honestly can’t decide. All I know is I hate them both. So when Kofi Kingston won the match, all I can say is that I’m not looking forward to ignoring the Intercontinental Champion entirely. Hopefully Miz will retain, or somebody worth half  a damn will take it from Kingston.

After that shitfest, we come back from the break to Vince McMahon preparing the contract signing to decide Punk’s opponent at HIAC. The Ryback enters, along with John Cena. They all hurf durf around for 5 or so minutes. John Cena gets especially hurfy and extra durfy, and makes sure to say something about never giving up. Punk continues his streak of saying perfectly reasonable things, and getting booed for them. Calling Vince McMahon and John Cena egomaniacs, is by NO MEANS uncalled for, and is probably the most accurate and telling thing you could call them. Cena for some reason acts like this is THE MOST OFFENSIVE THING, and even tries to talk down Punk’s achievement of the record making championship reign. Then he goes on to say how tough The Ryback is, and steps down from the ring, saying The Ryback is the man to “whip CM Punk’s ass”. The Ryback signs the contract, and then Rybacks CM Punk. Everyone chants about how hungry they are on The Ryback’s behalf, and the show ends on a close up of The Ryback’s oddly shaped head.

MORE TACOS!

 Incidentally, as of this writing, I am pretty hungry. Perhaps I should FEED ME MORE. FEED ME MORE. GRAMMAR BE DAMNED, FEED ME MORE.

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 10/8/12

*Pictures and accompanying text by Cheesebadger!
Cheesebadger here! Sometimes I like to get different viewpoints on Raw from different people, just to make sure I’m not insane. I think it’s beneficial every once in a while to let somebody else give their opinion, so this column isn’t just “F–K SHEAMUS” every damn week. That being said, my friend Tressa is an avid Raw/WWE fan, and has plenty of great opinions about the show, so I’m happy to have her share them here. Now enough of me, you’ll get more of my inane commentary next week! Take it Tressa!

Continue reading WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 10/8/12

CM Punk Hits Fan Live On Raw!

Sometimes things happen in live events, and at the end of October 8th’s Monday Night Raw, one of those things happened. Visible even on the live broadcast, a fan can be seen to be assaulted by CM Punk, right as Vince McMahon was speaking to him in the audience. For those unaware, the scene took place at the end of a match between McMahon and Punk. Punk had run into the crowd, as many wrestlers often do to escape for one reason or another, and was apparently being shoved by fans. Punk than lashed out and struck a fan twice in the face, on live television, as seen here:

The fan in question who was hit, unfortunately does NOT seem to be the one who provoked, and looks to be an unfortunate victim who took the blame for the guilty party behind him. If you look closely, this video shows a fan in white behind the guy who got hit, clearly giving Punk the middle finger before slapping him on the back of the head.

With what was already a literally touchy crowd, Punk seemed already riled up by the teenaged fan in the black Brock Lesnar shirt to his left, who can be seen shoving Punk very hard just before punk lashes out on the guy behind him. The actual fan who was attacked has released a few comments and pictures on twitter, saying he did NOT hit Punk. After watching the videos I have to agree, he’s just a victim of his unfortunately proximity to Punk at the time.

2 things I gotta say first off. #1.) That guy has every right to be upset. Punk should NOT have lost his temper in this fashion, and if there was anything that would actually make me lose respect for him, it’s this. Knowing Punk though, I’m sure he’ll make a statement of some sort, or an apology to make things right. My faith in him doing this is a big factor in me keeping my respect for him on a personal level, rather than a professional one, which he’ll always have.

 

#2.) I don’t believe this is a work. Something like this seems too spontaneous and real to be faked for publicity. Incidentally, if it WAS a plant, it does the WWE no favors. Sacrificing the integrity of the safety that’s supposed to be upheld by security at live events is never good, no matter how badly you want your main heel to get hated by fans.

One last thing, as a security guard myself, I do have to point out that the security who is seen walking into the video’s frame towards the end, is responding relatively quickly. I’ve been in the middle of a lots of fights, and having someone respond to your situation can take many long seconds, that can lead to many different kinds of injuries. The guy who got there in my estimation, seems to be the only one who made it within what I would call an acceptable amount of time. Which is unfortunate because the situation Punk was in shouldn’t have happened. The kid in the black Brock Lesnar shirt clearly agitated Punk in the video, along with the rest of the audience being a bit too close in general. That’s not to excuse Punk’s behavior, but it’s something to be expected realistically. There’s a reason they make an announcement to NOT TOUCH the talent in any live sporting event, and it’s probably this one. In my opinion, they should have had security much closer, tailing Punk from the beginning. However the response time is about as good as could be realistically expected from security. I’ve personally seen response times go on seconds longer, and that’s in a room with a few thousand fewer people in it.

So will the guy be pursuing legal action? Probably, I wouldn’t blame him. He did seem to get accidentally shoved into Punk, but that’s not worth getting punched in the face. It’s the fault of the asshole Guy In The White Shirt behind him, and black Brock Lesnar Shirt Guy for forgetting that Punk is a real dude, who can get hot-headed, and will probably knock you out if you f–k with him. How Vince McMahon and the WWE will respond, is another thing entirely.

:EDIT:  WWE and CM Punk have officially issued a statement:

via [Bleacher]

“WWE security was unfortunately not in the appropriate place at the time. Given CM Punk’s persona as a ‘bad guy’ fans were naturally heckling him, but unfortunately a few fans began shoving him and one struck him in the kidney and on the back.”

The rep adds, “WWE regrets that proper security measures were not in place, and CM Punk apologizes for reacting in the heat of the moment.”

After reflecting on this further, I’ve changed my stance a little bit on how I felt. Personally I feel it’s incredibly rude and disrespectful of any fan to ever lay their hands on these performers who give their all 300+ days a year for our entertainment. The fan(s) who incited this reaction from Punk are jerks who can’t separate fiction from reality, and need to realize that it’s all just a show. I can’t say I blame Punk for reacting the way he did, and it’s a shame he hit the wrong guy. Sure Punk shouldn’t have done it, but I cannot say he overreacted.

Top Ten Most Memorable WWE Moments – Part 2

 

Article by Cheesebadger and Godzark

Welcome to part 2 of Grizzly Bomb’s Top Ten Most Personally Memorable WWE Moments. Where Godzark and I have compiled our own memorable WWE moments. We thought that rather than try to make another in a long series of “Top X OMG Moments”, much like the WWE themselves have done, we’d prefer to share the moments that stuck with us on a personal level. The moments that made our eyes pop open in disbelief, laughter, surprise, or sheer excitement. Sure, some of these may not be universally recognized as the biggest, baddest, most memorable moments in WWE history, but to us, they were.

5.) Big Bossman Kidnaps, Kills & Cooks Al Snow’s Dog

Cheesebadger: Holy shit. Sometimes a storyline, even a sub-plot minor storyline like this one, can leave an impression on you you’ll never forget. Right around this time there was probably some big feud between Stone Cold Steve Austin & The Rock. Sure I remember that feud, but the everyday skits about it didn’t stick with me the way THIS storyline did. In 1999, when the WWE(F) was at the height of its Attitude Era popularity, they seemed determined to make Big Bossman the most despicable heel alive. After weeks of mentally and physically torturing Al Snow with random beatings and whatnot, it seemed like things had finally gotten to a head. You see, Al Snow had made himself a little friend. A chihuahua named Pepper, whom he loved. He carried Pepper around everywhere and took care of him, so it was only a matter of time until Big Bossman dognapped Pepper. Al Snow became dedicated to rescuing his furry friend, and just as we all though Big Bossman was about to do the unthinkable, something happened.

Suddenly, Big Bossman reached out to Al Snow, asked for forgiveness, and begged Al to trust him. He insisted that Pepper was fine, and would return him to Snow. He even invited Snow over to his place for dinner, all the while assuring Snow that he had to make things right between them. Snow complied, still suspicious but desperate to get his friend back. When Snow arrived at Big Bossman’s place, Bossman insisted Snow try some of the meal he cooked for him, before he returned Pepper. A wary Al Snow took a few bites of the chinese food that had been seemingly prepared by Big Bossman, before Pepper’s ultimate fate was revealed with one shocking sentence I’ll never forget:

“Would you do me a favor, and try not to get them paws stuck in your teeth.”

The pause after that sentence seemed like minutes, as Big Bossman went on to proclaim what Al Snow was eating was in fact, 100% Grade A Pepper. That’s right, Big Bossman fed Al Snow his own damn dog. If that seems extreme, Big Bossman went on a tear continuing his reign as the worst human being alive by feuding with Big Show. How did he top himself there? Oh simple, he just interrupted Big Show at his fathers funeral, assaulted him, then stole his dead father’s casket with body inside, and literally towed it out of the graveyard behind his cop car. Yeah. That moment was almost on this list too.

4.) Unholy Matrimony of Undertaker & Stephanie McMahon

Godzark: The WWE has done some unforgettable mock weddings on their shows, but nothing will ever compare in my book to the “unholy matrimony,” between The Undertaker and Stephanie McMahon. This just so happened to play right in the middle of Stone Cold Steve Austin (who was and always will be my favorite wrestler)’s feud with Stephanie’s father, and owner of the WWE, Vince McMahon. The premise was that The Undertaker would kidnap Stephanie and tie her to his symbol, while Paul Bearer in all his wonderful pastiness and his sweet comb-over would marry Taker and Steph. This all went according to plan until the most unlikely beer drankin, finger flippin, Texas redneck anti-hero came out to save the day. The reason this moment meant so much to me was because I feel like it was the moment that pushed the “hero,” into Steve Austin’s anti-hero label. With the daughter of Austin’s arch nemesis in trouble, Steve came out and did the right thing, just because it was the right thing to do. When I was a kid, it really made me look up to Steve Austin, in a similar way that today’s youth looks up to John Cena. The impact that this moment had on me is why I believed it earned the right to be on this list.

3.) Kane Finally Unmasks Himself

Godzark: For years the WWE built Kane’s character to be The Undertaker’s brother who was burned in a fire at the families funeral home as a child. Kane spent six years behind the infamous red and black mask, supposedly in attempt to cover the hideous scars he received as a result of being burned in the fire, which was caused by his dysfunctional brother. In 2002, Kane was set up to compete in a match, where should he lose, which he inevitably did, he was required to take his mask off. I remember a friend of mine stayed over that night and I had my VCR recording this moment, only to re-watch it about 20 times throughout the night. This was the moment that changed the landscape of Kane’s career forever, and a moment that I’ll never forget.

To me the reason this moment stuck out so much, goes far beyond the storyline that was behind Kane’s character, there was also a degree of mystery to him as a person. Even though some longtime fans new that Glen Jacobs had played the unmasked character of Dr. yankem much earlier in his career, to fans that began watching during the attitude era, Jacobs was completely new. What I remember most about this moment was the fact that, as soon as it happened, as a fan I wasn’t really sure what to think, since there were no visible scars on his previously masked face. Did this mean that the whole story was a sham, or was this man so delusional that he really believed that he was burned in a fire and in fact did have these scars? It was a perfect way to keep fans sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting to see where the storyline would progress next. Either way, this moment was in my opinion, one of the greatest non PPV moments in WWE history.

2.) Stone Cold VS The Rock At Wrestlemania 15

Cheesebadger: One thing about this match that bring it some necessary context, is that in 1999, SCSA and The Rock were the two biggest names in all of pro wrestling, and arguably of all time. They were larger than life in every single way, right down to their finishing moves being sold as unstoppable, world shattering blows that no mortal man could possibly withstand. The Rock was played up as an arrogant, cocksure young jerk who could walk the walk as well as talk the talk, and Austin was the the toughest SOB in the entire WWE(F). Their feud is probably one of the best pure examples of how successful a properly done Heel Vs Face feud could be. The heights of fame and popularity their characters reached has since been unparalleled, and for months the two of them combatted each other in the ring or on the mic. When it all came down to it though, they settled things (for the first time anyway), in the ring at Wrestlemania.

To the both of them, the WWF Championship meant everything, and it was worth everything but short of your last dying breath to strive for. As a young WWF fan, seeing the both of them give each other every single thing they had, was like watching titans battle before your eyes. So many times we had seen people utterly destroyed by the one-two combo of the Rock Bottom & People’s Corporate Elbow. Additionally, The Stone Cold Stunner was a move so devastating and rapidly given, that SCSA often could take on multiple opponents at once or end matches nearly instantly, so great was its power. After 20 plus minutes of battle, seeing these two greats kick out multiple times from each other’s finishing moves, was unheard of. I remember being absolutely awestruck at the fact that Austin had such tenacity, surviving everything the Rock threw at him, and countered a third Rock Bottom into a Stunner that won him the match and championship. Austin winning that title was a victory for all the fans of the Texas Ratttlesnake that night, and a victory for all wrestling fans who got to see an unforgettable match.

1.) Mankind VS The Rock at the 1999 Royale Rumble

Talk about an unforgettable match. Even in 1999 people knew Mick Foley was going to be a legend, but this match sealed it for me. I remember being so excited for all of the build up Mankind had, with his recent face turn, brief acceptance into DX, and subsequent title reign. Mankind being world champion was the feel good story at the time, and their rivalry was a classic case of the underdog winning. At the time Mankind was known for his tenacious ability, incredible resilience and massive tolerance for pain. He was the last man you’d ever expect to quit a match, and would literally rather die than give up. So an I Quit Match at the 1999 Royal Rumble seemed like a no brainer. How could he possibly lose?

Sure enough, for the first few minutes things seemed like they were in Mankind’s favor, as The Rock seemed puzzled at what to do to put Mankind into a state where he’d give up. You could pin the man down for 3 seconds sure, but break his spirit? Impossible. What transpired over the last 10 or so minutes, left my jaw agape during the entirety of the match. After being pushed off a guardrail 20 feet up, onto electrical wires and nearly being electrocuted to death, The Rock somehow found handcuffs, and handcuffed Mankind with his hands behind his back. Ever resistant, Mankind still fought back, until The Rock grabbed a chair.

The Rock then proceeded to wail on Mankind with chair shots directly to the head. After 10 unprotected chair shots to the head, including one to back of the head, The Rock placed the microphone next tot he mouth of an apparently unconcious (or dead) Mankind. What happened next is in my mind, still up for debate. The fact of the matter is that the phrase “I Quit! I Quit! I Quit!” was played over the loudspeakers, and the match ended with a victory for The Rock. The next night we’d discover that in storyline terms, this was The Rock’s way of ensuring his victory, by “cheating” and using a clip from a promo Mankind had made earlier. In real life, I think what happened was that people backstage were scrambling to try to end the match, which had quickly grown out of control. I assume that a certain number of chair shots were agreed upon, but as usual, Mankind and The Rock took it to the next level. After the 10th chair shot to the back of the head, Mankind is clearly unconcious, and whoever controls the soundboards at the WWF took that as an opportunity to end the match by playing that clip. I’m positive the real story behind this match is out there, but that’s how I’ll personally remember it, and that memory of watching these two men was incredible. They embodied the Unstoppable Force and The Immovable Object so perfectly, and as we all know, that contest only ends when they finally give up.

Honorable Mention*:

Godzark: Although we here at Grizzlybomb, like to focus on things that put people in a good mood, Cheese and I both believe it would be absolutely ridiculous not to mention somewhere on this list the scary moment that occurred a couple weeks ago on Raw. On September 1oth, Jerry “The King” Lawler had a near fatal heart attack on Raw, and as a viewer, few moments have made my stomach sink like this one did. When you watch wrestling every week for fifteen years, the show becomes defined by not just the wrestlers, but those calling the action as well. For years, Jerry Lawler has been synonymous with not only the WWE, but pro wrestling commentating in general, and any circumstance where such a person is almost lost far too soon is a scary moment for fans everywhere. In that moment I couldn’t help but think of what Raw would be like without Jerry calling the action, and to be quite honest I can’t imagine it. For fifteen years he has been that familiar voice that I hear every Monday night when I watch Raw, and the show would never be the same without him doing commentary. Thankfully, due to a stellar medical staff on hand, and Michael Cole’s quick reaction, the King is doing just fine and will be back doing commentary in no time. From all of us here at Grizzlybomb, get well soon King!

Cheesebadger: I made my feelings pretty clear here the night Lawler had his heart attack. That feeling of dread in between matches, with no commentary was resolutely ominous. I kept waiting for it to cut back to Michael Cole, and for him to give us the terrible news. Thankfully, the reports got better, but nothing was nearly as harrowing as rewinding my DVR and literally seeing Lawler in the background struggling to stay conscious, preceded by his abrupt drop off of commentary. Watching officials rush around in the backround, and the entire crowd’s attention diverted from the match onscreen, will stay with me forever. I’m incredibly glad to hear how Lawler made a full recovery, and wish him nothing but the best. Hopefully, he’ll be able to return to his home life, and take things easy for however long he has left. Long live The King!

*A few of you may notice a notable exception. That being the infamous Undertaker/Mankind Hell In A Cell Match, where Taker threw Mankind off the cage, through the cage, and into thumbtacks. Of course that’s a memorable moment but it’s at the top of EVERY best moments list on the internet, and as personally memorable as it may be to both Godzark and I, we decided to exclude it for that reason.

Our Top Ten Most Memorable WWE Moments: Part 1.

Article by Cheesebadger and Godzark

The WWE has been around entertaining people for a long time, and since its foundation in the 50’s as a promotional territory, there have been countless moments that have amazed, shocked, and entertained millions. There are lots of lists that compile these moments, and the majority of them deserve listing, but to try to objectively determine what makes one famous moment more worthy than another, is nearly impossible. Everyone who is a fan of the WWE have moments that they personally believe are the most awe-inspiring, shocking, or touching. Looking back on our collection of memories, some of the smaller moments in the WWE have been the ones that have stuck with us the most, along with the bigger, death-defying, shock and awe moments the WWE does so well.

With that thought in mind, Godzark and I thought that rather than try to make another in a long series of “Top X OMG Moments”, much like the WWE themselves have done, we’d prefer to share the moments that stuck with us on a personal level. The moments that made our eyes pop open in disbelief, laughter, surprise, or sheer excitement. Sure, some of these may not be universally recognized as the biggest, baddest, most memorable moments in WWE history, but to us, they were.

10.) CM Punk’s Infamous “Pipebomb” Promo

Godzark: When you’re a kid and you watch wrestling, the lines between fiction and reality are blurred every time you tune in. It seems as though as you get older, the moments that really make you question what’s real and what’s fake are few and far in between, which is why I valued our tenth ranked most memorable moment so much. On June 25, 2011, CM Punk, just three weeks away from contract expiration, gave what will forever be remembered as one of the greatest promos in WWE history, and one that really made me and the entire WWE Universe go, “wait, was that scripted?” In the span of five to seven minutes, Punk managed to call out Dwayne Johnson for being an ass kisser, referenced Colt Cabana, said he has no hope of the company being better after Vince McMahon’s dead because his stupid family will take over it, claimed that the USA network has crappy shows, and called the current vice president of talent relations a, “glad handing, non-sensical, douchebag Yes-man.” I remember watching this moment and wondering just how many wrestlers in the back were happily nodding their heads, because Punk was describing their feelings exactly. I for one will never forget this promo and would gladly put this amongst a list of the best promos in wrestling history.

9.) Shane McMahon Jumps Off The Titan-Tron

Godzark: Every once in a great while there is a wrestling moment where I honestly can say I have no idea how they did it, Shane McMahon’s 50 foot jump from the top of the Titantron on top of the Big Show is one of those moments. Fans make a big deal about wrestlers falling off of a ladder, or falling from the top of a cage, but Shane-O-Mac makes all of that look like mere child’s play when he took this leap of faith. I remember watching this as a kid and as Shane was climbing the tron I kept waiting for him to come back down because I knew that there was no way in Hell he could pull off a jump like that. When he did the sign of the cross before the jump I knew this was for real, and remember holding my breath until I heard the crash landing. This moment still gives me goose-bumps even years later, which is why it belongs on this list.

8.) Owen Hart’s Death

Cheesebadger: I remember watching this very pay-per-view, more pumped at the time for whatever the main event match was at the time. I remember seeing the promos and content from the first video above, and wondering if what had happened was real or not, because everything in the (then) WWF was so larger than life, that the thought of one of them dying in such a tragic fashion was hard to believe. The grim details became unfortunately clear as time passed, and what at first was thought to be an accident that would have ended Owen Hart’s career, ended his life in turn. It was a surreal moment to say the least. I remember thinking that his new gimmick as the Blue Blazer was silly, but I liked that he was doing something new and different. When it came around time to viewing that second video, I remember hearing JR’s words, but not really processing them. It was almost like it couldn’t be real, that there was no way the WWF could let something like that happen. As it is in real life though, accidents happen, and life is unpredictable and sometimes very cruel. That night I finished watching the PPV, wondering and waiting for them to announce that everything would be okay, or that Owen had been revived or something. Only the next day on Raw did It finally sink in. The memorial episode they held for him I can barely remember, but confronting the topic of death so bluntly on a show that was meant to be escapism, affected me pretty deeply. I can only imagine how the people who attended that PPV felt, having had to witness it live, and the hundreds of children like me who were undoubtedly saddened by his unfortunate passing.

7.) Scott Hall’s WCW “Invasion” Promo

Cheesebadger: Way back when, Scott Hall was one of my favorite wrestlers. To this day, he still is, as is evident by my review of a mini-documentary on him here at GB. I loved the guy’s gimmick, look, and his skills in the ring all with equal aplomb. I remember watching WCW with my grandpa, and being SHOCKED to see him show up there, not as Razor Ramon, but as Scott Hall. While  couldn’t find a video of the actual event as I originally remembered it, Scott Hall showed up by walking in through the crowd, interrupting a match currently in progress. He grabbed a mic and began speaking in his slurred pseudo Cuban Razor Ramon voice, about a “war”, and how things were going to change. It was so shocking to see a guy showing up in plain clothes, interrupting a match to talk, that it all seemed entirely real. I remember speculating about what it meant, and formulating ideas about how Vince McMahon had “fired” Razor Ramon, so he could legally show up and interfere with the WCW. The whole thing carried a lot of gravitas, because at the time, those two worlds of wrestling did not mix, ever. Or so I thought.

Seeing Scott Hall show up again with Diesel, who I now learned was named Kevin Nash, lended even more credence to my theory that it was all real, and the whole thing planned. To my credit, it was, just not by Vince McMahon. The entire concept of the invasion, the formation of The Outsiders, of course led to The NWO, which is arguably the most famous wrestling stable of all time. None of it would have happened without this promo, or this moment, and it’s one I’ll never forget.

6.) Steve Austin buries Undertaker Alive

Godzark: As a kid, my biggest fear was being buried alive, and I literally cringed at the thought of that ever happening to me. With this in mind, it should be no surprise that one of the most memorable moments to me in wrestling was when Stone Cold Steve Austin took on the Undertaker in a buried alive match. As a kid I watched my hero, come out fearlessly to compete in a match against a monster as scary as the Undertaker, knowing full well that should he lose this battle, my biggest fear would become his reality. Steve Austin not only buried the Undertaker six feet under, but like a Badass, proceeded to drink beer over the Undertakers grave. There was really no doubt in my mind after this that the Texas Rattlesnake was truly the baddest S.O.B on the planet.

Preview and Predictions for WWE Summerslam’s Co-Main events

From a purely wrestling standpoint, I am very much looking forward to the 25th anniversary of what is arguably the WWE’s second biggest PPV of the year, “Summerslam.” I believe that the WWE has truly matched some of their best wrestlers stylistically and at the end of the night those who paid for the event should be happy.

Sharing the main event slot in this Sundays event, but selfishly not the poster for the event itself, is Brock Lesnar. This is his second match since returning in April and he will face Triple H in a singles match. In April, we saw Lesnar take on John Cena in what could have been considered more of a bar brawl then a wrestling match. He ended up losing the bout but while this outcome seemed to serve Cena a lot of good in terms of his fan base, it did this match at Summerslam no favors because naturally the WWE universe is now expecting, and rightfully so, a Lesnar victory.

I understand that Lesnar is under a contract with very limited appearances per month, but I still feel like this storyline and match buildup could have been written better by an enthusiastic 9-year-old. At the end of April, we start with Triple H having his arm broken by Lesnar. This was followed by a couple of months of Heyman buildup, a lame brawl at Raw’s 1,000 episode and another broken arm by Lesnar on Shawn Michaels. After all of that, this is supposed to have me all fired up for this match to see Hunter get “retribution?” Sorry all mighty creative WWE writers but this just didn’t get the job done for me as far as the storyline goes.

However, lucky for the WWE, their lackluster buildup for the match won’t affect most fans excitement for the match itself due to how aggressive of a fight it will be despite the lack of buildup. If Triple H’s last match with the Undertaker was any indication of how he will fight at Summerslam, and Lesnar’s match at backlash was any indication of how he will fight, the fans who are looking forward to a brawl will be thrilled with the match.

Although I don’t see the Lesnar/Hunter storyline continuing after Sunday, it won’t be necessary after watching all the events unravel. Overall, I see the 25th anniversary of Summerslam being well worth every penny that fans will pay for it and I am very much looking forward to seeing how the results of the event will impact the storyline going into the Night of Champions PPV in September.

Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 8/13/12

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

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

On second thought, no I wouldn’t.

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

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

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

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

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

So long AW, your voice was impossibly loud.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Look how cool he is! 

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

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

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

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

Thank you Damien. Thank you.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take it away, Rodney!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll never get tired of this .GIF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They just can’t quit each other.

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

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

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

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

That’s right, CM Punk has turned heel.

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

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

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

*still only 20 minutes of actual wrestling

Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 7/9/12

Raw starts right off the bat with a recap of the Punk/AJ/Bryan storyline, because that is so clearly the best storyline they have going right now between the main 3 right now. Triple H vs Brock Lesnar is a big pile of who gives a shit, and Cena VS Big Show has been milquetoast at best. AJ enters the ring, skipping as usual, and starts to talk about her behavior, and how it will affect the match she’ll be refereeing at Money In The Bank. She introduces CM Punk, and they talk about the events that transpired on Smackdown. To briefly summarize it, she kissed both Daniel Bryan and CM Punk,  after Punk told her she needed professional help. She addresses his sentiments, by saying that she is in full control of her faculties, and doesn’t need any kind of professional help. I’m inclined to believe her, because I’ve been thinking that secretly, all along, she’s been playing all the men around her for her own end game, but like any long con, when fake feelings and real feelings get mixed, it can nix the whole operation, and jeopardize the con entirely. AJ knows what she’s doing, but it’s gone wrong, and now she’s trying to find an exit plan. Despite being a little too soap opera-ey, this promo was at least a good example of AJ actually being a pretty good actor. For a wrestler, I mean.

Eventually, after AJ continues her explanation of her feelings, how CM Punk made her feel cared about, and generally just breaks my heart with her plight and need to be loved, she full on admits CM Punk gets her hot. She then kneels down on one knee, and goddamn PROPOSES to CM Punk.  He shakes his head, just as flabbergasted as we all are, and Daniel Bryan comes in shouting NO emphatically. He begs her to not make the biggest mistake in her life. He goes on to try to convince her that he has never truly lost his feelings for her, and decries CM Punk as a liar and manipulator. CM Punk rebuffs Bryan, and Bryan counters by daring Punk to say “I do”. Punk hesitates, and Bryan continues his deft/cruel/funny manipulation of AJ’s feelings. Then HE gets on one knee, and proposes to her. Then CM Punk interrupts and calls him on his BS, and they start arguing about who will be whose fiancee and whatnot, until the text noise for the Anonymous General Manager of Raw sounds. Remember him/her/it? I guess they weren’t dead after all. Michael Cole then reveals the official laptop that the Anon-GM uses to communicate. I should have called this, but the days of the Anonymous Raw General Manager seem so long ago, that I’d all but forgotten about it. I guess all the past GM’s really do get to return to duty. Michael Cole communicates that the Anon-GM believes that CM Punk and AJ makes a great couple and then announces an inter-gender Tag Team Match, (god is it Teddy? Ugh.), between AJ and Punk, and Daniel Bryan and Eve. Which is a weird pairing, but whatever. It’d seem that the winner of this match will determine who AJ will end up with/married to, along with who she’ll favor in MITB this Sunday. She then says she’ll be walking out tonight with her “Future Husband”, and CM Punk drops his mic in shock.  For a very soap opera-ey promo, it wasn’t too bad, although I can see some people being absolutely bored by the first 20 minutes of their wrestling show being 3 people talking about their romantic feelings for each other, and then proposing marriage. I found it entertaining, simply because it was so absurd, if a bit stupidly melodramatic. Also, throughout this segment several fan’s signs were just KILLING ME. I had to take pictures of them to share, because they’re pure comedy gold.

CM Punk. You know, Second City Saint? Voice of the Voiceless? Best in the Wold? 

 

There are no words for this.

He’s not wrong. 

Seriously? This could be a good match, but with how much they’ve been obviously burying Jack Swagger, and how hard they’ve been pushing Sheamus on us, why even have this match? Sheamus gets his two finishers in, in 58 goddamn seconds. Big surprise. Alberto Del Rio then shows up on the Titan-Tron to taunt Sheamus, and drives away in his awesome car like a boss. Then Sheamus brogue kicks Jack Swagger again, who was just trying to stand up, and somehow we’re supposed to cheer him for doing this. I don’t get how Sheamus is a face, when all he does is act like a complete bastard heel all the time. What did Jack Swagger do to piss off Vince McMahon so badly? He’s clearly being punished because Diva’s matches are longer than this.

Then we cut to Zack Ryder and Santino backstage, discussing how Zack Ryder won the privilege to be the GM of Smackdown, and the identity of the Anon-GM. Santino then pulls out a Sherlock Holmes hat, and a magnifying glass, and starts literally searching for the Anon-GM in plastic buckets of cable wiring. Because he’s freaking retarded. Maybe that’s been his character gimmick all along? He’s literally retarded, and some WWE writer forgot to tell everyone else, and he’s just been laying it on extra thick to communicate that to us, because he contractually can’t break kayfabe and just tell us.

Returning from the break, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler announce that The Rock will elaborate on his intention to reclaim the WWE Championship, at the 1000th show in 2 weeks. They’ve been doing this for a lot of goddamn things, and it seems like this 1000th show will be nothing but guest stars, announcements made by wrestlers about future matches and their feuds, and generally everything but actual wrestling.

Shot time! Tyson Kidd is on Raw! Take a shot!  I’m not exactly sure why these 4 guys are fighting in a tag team match, other than to build up to their MITB ladder match,  because there’s no organic character build up for them at all. I know not every match has to be based around a feud, but having these guys in a tag team together for no reason other than “It’s for the PPV”, seems really disingenuous to me in its intention to build hype for the PPV match. Just have them make promos insulting each other or something, rather than this uselessly short tag team match.  The match ends with Tensai pinning Christian and winning for himself and Dolph, then he throws his typical after match tantrum where he beats on somebody, this time it’s Tyson Kidd. We cut to Michael Cole and Jerry, and they start discussing who should be GM for Raw and Smackdown, and Jerry’s admittedly stupid opinion makes Cole throws a cup of water on Lawler, and immediately he apologizes in fear. Like Lawler could even do anything to him anyway, but whatever. Cole runs away to attend to the Anon-GM’s messages, and then refuses to announce the Anon-GM’s new messages. Lawler stands up, and reads that Cole and Lawler will have a match tonight. Cole is furious and demands that the Anon-GM change the match. The GM then lets the WWE Universe vote online to determine if the match will take place or not. I then barf.

45 minutes into Raw, and all we’re getting are squashes and Tag Team matches again? I swear to god, the Anonymous Raw GM MUST be Teddy Long, because this is exactly his MO.  Does anyone watch this and really think Drew McIntyre is going to beat The Funkasaurus? Really? REALLY? Aw hell, take it away Miz.

I miss you Miz. 

Guess what? Funkasaurus wins! I don’t even think Drew Mcintyre even got to do anything during this match. Then Funkasaurus starts dancing with a bunch of kids. Even I’m starting to get tired of The Funkasaurus’ shtick now. Please make him do something interesting. Have him fight big people who present a challenge. Stop handicapping him with a “hurt knee” so he can lose and still come off as a powerhouse later. Give him purpose. Please. I’m begging you WWE.  For me?

Backstage, Santino has gotten into the dressing room of Jericho, and accuses him of being the Anon-GM. Jericho then accuses him back, and Santino walks away after having some kind of idiot thought in his head. Then Big Show appears, and Jericho tries to reunite Jerishow, but Big Show tells him by no means is this a reunion, and that he wants him to stay out-of-the-way. Man, who hurt you Big Show? Jericho is ALL ABOUT kicking ass and taking names, he’d be the perfect complement to your budding war machine. I hope Show has some kind of endgame in mind, because even if he wants to be a self-sufficient Unstoppable GIANT, he could stand to network with his fellow heels. I dunno, make a stable of heels even? Man, remember stables? What happened to that? God I miss the NWO and DX.

Jericho, Big Show, and Alberto Del Rio would make the best heel stable they could have right now. I even got a name planned, the WMD’s, because they’d be the worlds most dangerous group of heels in the WWE today. Show would even be the leader with that name! They could go around and systematically destroy stupid inferior people like Santino, or just break Sheamus’ arms and legs and take the WHC back from his waste.  I know if you read this column with any consistency, you’ll realize I flip-flop a lot on my opinion of Sheamus, but goddamn does he need to figure out what his deal is. I can’t keep kinda liking, then mostly hating him forever.

Stephanie McMahon’s favorite Raw memory is Triple H calling her a lying bitch on live television for faking a pregnancy? The McMahon family is screwed up.

Then John Cena enters, grabs a mic, and starts to give a promo. It’s exactly the same promo he always gives. I’m not going to summarize it, because there are only so many ways to type “John Cena says he’ll never give up, and he’ll win”, and blah blah blah oh my god kill me. Or more accurately, kill Cena. Well don’t kill him, but lordy give him something to say that he already hasn’t! His whole thing this time is just one big commercial for MITB, himself, and his merchandise in effect. Every time he speaks, all I hear is “BUY WWE JOHN CENA SHIRTS. BUY JOHN CENA CUPS. BUY JOHN CENA TOYS.” and it’s so goddamn awful. It’s blatant, and belittles what little credibility the WWE actually has every time he does it.

An hour into Raw, and we get our first actual wrestling match of significant length and importance. These guys, for better or for worse, have actual reasons to dislike each other, and have actual history and meaning for why they’re wrestling each other, even if the main reason is Money In The Bank. The match started off slow, with Cena and Jericho trading blows until each tagged in their partners, and then Kane starts to actually give Show some competition. Show gets a some big stomps in, and Jerishow gets the upper hand early on. After a series of tags,  and a commercial break, Big Show faces Cena and locks him into a big bear hug. Cena counters and gets the hot tag to Kane,  and gains some momentum against Big Show. They actually start to get some good moves against each other, and make some good spots on each other. Jericho gets tagged in, and we cut to another commercial break.

That’s two commercial breaks during one match. What must happen in between the moments they don’t show on tv? I’d like to think they just stop wrestling and stand around,  making snack a little bit, and the live audience just loses their minds in frustration until the show goes back on air. Anyhow, after the break, during which Jericho has been beating on Kane, Kane regains his composure and lands a big sidewalk slam on Jericho. Cena then starts the process for the 5 Moves Of Doom, but his pin on Jericho is interrupted by Big Show, and causes a DQ. Which makes no sense, because I’m pretty sure tag teams matches are based around the partner interrupting pins, ALL THE TIME.  Show then pulls out two ladders, and uses them on Jericho and Kane. By “uses” I mean, he baby taps them very lightly on the chest with them, and slams them very gingerly on the chest with them on the ground. Then John Cena baby taps Show with a ladder, and his music starts playing, thus indicating the “end” of the match. Learn how to use a ladder guys. Jesus. That MITB match is gonna be terrible.

Backstage we see CM Punk warming up for his match, and Eve wishes him luck, and takes time to insult AJ and warn Punk of her unreliability. She also tries to get into his head by comparing him to prior champions and reminding him of the length of his title reign. Punk seems stressed, and we cut again to Santino. This time he thinks he’s found the cell phone of the Anon-GM, but it’s actually The Great Khali’s phone. Santino tries to question Khali if he is the Anon-GM, but the both of them are goddamned retarded and watching them communicate was horrifically boring and led to no new information.

I guess they’re still having qualifying matches for MITB, and while this match is a given, it was still fun to watch Sin Cara and Heath Slater actually do things in the ring. After Sin Cara gets his squash win on Slater, Slater then angrily demands any former champion to come out, claiming he’ll win no matter who. Then Bob Backlund shows up. You read that right, Bob Frikkin’ Backlund shows up, and apparently NOBODY in the crowd recognizes who he is, which was sad. He parades around in the ring, to the utter indifference of everyone in the arena. Heath Slater then kicks him around for a minute, and Bob Backlund puts him into a Cross Chicken Wing submission and wins. Weird.

We get the results of the WWE Universe’s decision to have Michael Cole wrestle Jerry Lawler, which of course was 75% in favor of them wrestling tonight.  Michael Cole starts to complain, and is interrupted mid sentence by a commercial break. When we return Booker T and Josh Matthews are doing commentary. Cole tries to coward his way out of the ring, but is thrown back in by Booker T. Lawler feigns a handshake between the two of them, and then hoists him into a fireman’s carry, and spins him around. Being dizzy is apparently enough for him to pin Cole, and the match ends. Then the Anon-GM sends a message, claiming that due to Booker T’s “interference” he’s reversing the decision, and Michael Cole’s undefeated reign continues.

Then Santino enters the ring, claiming he’s searched every inch of the WWE Stadium, looking for the Anon-GM. He deduces that the GM must be under the ring, and the GM sends messages saying there is nobody under the ring, in a ploy to dissuade Santino from searching under the ring. He does, of course, and begins to be pulled under, but is helped out by Lawler, and clinging to Santino’s legs is Hornswoggle. This whole time, the Anonymous Raw General Manager was Hornswoggle. Seriously. Hornswoggle. He then kicks Lawler, and bites Santino’s butt. I’m… I have no words for how stupid this segment was. Moments like this make me ashamed to be a WWE fan, and I’m going to have to take like 10 more Tyson Kidd shots to forget this crap.

I totally forgot about this match. The previous example of extreme stupidity wiped it from my mind, which is quite a feat. Stupidity induced amnesia is quite rare you know. Well the match begins,  and we get the good-as-usual-but-not-AMAZING Punk/Bryan interplay that they have on Raw. AJ gets tagged in, and her and Eve trade a decent set of blows against each other, and then start doing the usual Diva style roll around fighting. AJ gets the upperhand, and Eve attempts to tag in Daniel Bryan, who then refuses to be tagged. AJ quickly rolls up Eve for the win.

Bryan then claims this is him proving his true love for AJ, and says they should leave and get married right then and there. AJ ponders, and CM Punk makes the same argument he did earlier, pointing out that Bryan is using her, and doesn’t have any real feelings for her. He then truthfully admits he will not marry AJ, but admits he cares enough about her to be honest. AJ cries, and then smiles, and then slaps CM Punk. and then tearfully slaps Daniel Bryan. The show ends as she starts laughing, and “Yes-ing” her way up the ramp. Lending credence to my theory that she is the mastermind player, using these two men to her own end. She knows exactly what she’s doing.

Yeah, she knows what she’s doing.

Sometimes, WWE will try an episode out like this, which is comedy-promo heavy, and very light on wrestling. Sometimes, it works out, and you get hilarious and memorable promos and segments, like nearly the entire McMahon/Austin feud. Some nights, like tonight, it’s nearly unwatchable and cartoonishly bad. The whole Punk/AJ/Bryan thing only works when the stakes are directly tied and centered around a match, and as much as I like that storyline, 20+ minutes of wrestlers standing around and talking about their feelings, is tiring. I love me some ridiculous WWE action but take overwrought melodrama, and add it to pure retard fuel like Santino Ace Detective, and Hornswoggle the Secret Mastermind Anonymous General Manager, and you’ve got a recipe for bad television, and atrocious wrestling. I understand they call it sports entertainment, but holy hell guys, don’t forget the SPORT your show is based on. Meanwhile, i’ll be sitting over here, rocking in my chair, trying to remind myself I’m not really stupid for enjoying WWE.

It’s a funny thing that the signs in the crowd tonight were so on point. They pretty much sum up my feelings for tonight’s show.

I feel for you CM Punk. I do. You, AJ and Daniel Bryan all deserve better than this. Well, when an episode of Raw is this bad, I can really only think one thought at the end. And that’s really? Really? REALLY?

WWE Announces New Show to Weekly Lineup!


In an age where keeping business plans secret is nearly impossible, and where released dirt sheets spoil myriad wrestling story lines on a weekly basis, this week WWE actually managed to surprise most of the Internet Wrestling community by announcing a brand new, Prime Time original series to complement its current programming schedule. The show will be called WWE Main Event, and will be broadcast on ION Television, starting October 3, 2012.

Speaking on the decision to add a new show to the current weekly lineup, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has said:

WWE looks forward to this new partnership with ION Television,..We are excited about producing this new television show, WWE Main Event, and bringing our fans to ION Television every Wednesday.”

Vince also announced that all WWE Live events will now have free candy! Yay!

It appears the current plan is for this to become another show to continue and expand upon the main story lines in WWE, ala their previous shows such as Sunday Night Heat, or Shotgun Saturday Night. With their flagship show Raw heading towards its 1000th episode milestone, and their secondary division roster Smackdown on Fridays, it looks like this show will be a bridge to the gap between the two shows, and will hopefully provide further cohesion between the two rosters, and improve both shows overall.

Personally, as a WWE fan I’m always excited to get more wrestling, however I am carefully optimistic about the whole plan. It does sound very suspiciously similar to their early ideas for WWE Superstars or NXT, which quickly became online only shows, that only showcased mid to lower card performers, and lost their appeal with the core WWE audience. The Internet Wrestling Community is buzzing about this show quite a bit, although mostly with negative anticipation, mixed with hopeful regret. I suppose you can only have so many shows put out and then taken away from you, before your hardcore fan base starts to get tired. I think the whole thing is a great opportunity for WWE to expand story lines, give us more per minute wrestling each week, and a great chance to provide a new venue for under appreciated talent, rather than another venue to bury unwanted talent. *cough* Zack Ryder *cough*

Woo Woo Woo. You Know it.

Anyhow, the show will at the very least give the average wrestling fan nearly a full week of wrestling to watch between trips to the bar and time spent on Poker Blog. Monday Night Raw, Wednesday’s Main Event, Thursdays TNA Impact Wrestling, and Friday Night Smackdown, and then on weeks where there’s a Sunday Pay Per View, it could end up being a lot to watch, but for fans like me who can’t get enough of the sports entertainment they love, it’s a good thing.