Kids are going back to school, the weather is getting cooler (this is a lie), and pumpkin spice everything is back on the shelves. This means only one thing, fall TV is just around the corner. It’s time to check in with our favorite DCTV shows – first up, Constantine and Arrow!
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.
Laura Cole (@Colereporting) October 09, 2012
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:
“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.
A lot of WWE fans have been wary of the attempt on a third show to complement the 1-2 punch of Raw/Smackdown. Previous attempts like NXT, Superstars, and even nu-ECW have led to them mostly being relegated to an online audience, rather than being canceled right out. When they announced a new show called Main Event was going to debut, a lot of fans were a bit apprehensive about its real potential, necessity, or for that matter longevity. Frankly, most expect it to end up with that same online only fate as all the other shows. Now while I’m not hedging my bets on this show having the staying power of Smackdown, I do think it’s here for a while, for a few main reasons.
The first is that it was promoted and executed in much the same way Smackdown was. That is to say, almost like a little mini-PPV. I remember when Smackdown debuted on the UPN network 12 years ago, and it felt like we were getting a free 2 hour PPV with how important and different it was from Raw at the time. Main Event gave me that same feeling, by the promotion of the big fight in it between CM Punk and Sheamus. The whole thing has a good hook, being a champion vs champion match and all, and with CM Punk and Sheamus’ in ring skill, it was hard to accurately call who’d win. As much as I hate Sheamus, I can’t deny he’s a great wrestler who should just never say anything ever.
The second main reason, is that it has a pretty self-sustaining, built-in purpose. At first I thought that “Main Event” was just a place holding, whatever-lets-just-name-it title, but the show does seem to be literally a Main Event worthy spectacle. With how crappy the main events from Raw are these days, a whole show dedicated to making sure there’s one solid, well done match in its runtime is refreshing. At an hour-long, it’s also a refreshing change of pace from the long 3 hours of Raw, and the sometimes just right, sometimes too long length of Smackdown. The actual show itself opened up with both Michael Cole and The Miz announcing themselves as commentators for the show, and introducing the show itself, which is fine and dandy for the debut episode. They followed it up with some actually pretty decent video packages for both CM Punk & Sheamus. Punk’s in particular was AMAZING, and told a good story in 3 minutes.
The actual match between Punk and Sheamus was a good 20 minutes long, and did a good job of making Sheamus look strong, while making Punk appear to be more of a Heel, without actually sacrificing any of his internal logic of character framework. Whoever is responsible for the direction that CM Punk’s character is going, is a genius and I have a strong feeling it’s Punk himself. The show ended with a brief tag team match between Santino & Zack Ryder, and Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd. Making that match the connection between it and Raw was smart as well, since this whole Tag Team Tournament is probably the best thing that’s happened to the Tag Team Division since I’ve been watching WWE.
I’m loving this whole tournament concept.
The strength of this show is that it doesn’t NEED to follow on the heels of any of the Raw/Smackdown story lines, they can just announce a Main Event (see? That’s brilliant), and then just go with it. Next week’s show is between Big Show and Randy Orton for the #1 contender spot for the World Heavyweight Championship. Something like that immediately gives us great purpose for the show, as it could have great longevity as the Go-To show for settling feuds, contender spots, angled matches, special gimmick matches, and the list goes on. If they just cut out the promos and give us two 20 minute matches, I could see it doing the WWE a lot of good. Fans who have an issue with the WWE not having enough actual wrestling could tune into this, and enjoy seeing 2 solid and fairly long matches a week. Currently it seems like its gonna be one big longer match and another shorter one, but it could change.
Again, the most surprising thing by far was the quality of the video packages. Each was actually captivating and informative, rather than an unnecessary recap of previous events. It sets it apart from Raw & Smackdown pretty definitively. I’m looking forward to the show’s future, and hope it lasts. Hopefully the average fan will get past the fact that there’s “just one or two matches”, and dig it for what it is. It’s not a perfect show yet, but I could see it getting there. All in all, it was a well done hour-long show, that I’ll definitely be looking forward to in the future.
Tonight’s Raw opens with a brief recap from last week, showing CM Punk issuing a challenge to John Cena, on the condition that Cena admit Punk is the best in the world. Cena refuses, because he thinks he’s the best, and made some lame ass pseudo inspirational rant about “always believing in yourself” and all that hokum he always spouts. After Cena abruptly left, Punk turned his attention towards Jerry Lawler, and demanded he apologize for his remark at Raw 1000, where he claimed that Punk had “turned his back” on the WWE universe, for attacking The Rock. Lawler apologized, but then “couldn’t say” that Punk was the best in the world, when asked to, despite having said and agreed with that notion dozens of times pre-Raw 1000. It’s ridiculously transparent how Lawler is insanely pro-face, in spite of any and all reason. Michael Cole may be his heel opposite, but he’ll occasionally provide logical reasoning behind why he likes the heels of the company. Anyhow, after refusing to admit CM Punk was the best in the world, he rudely bumped into Punk while exiting the ring, and Punk, in a fit of anger for the sign of enormous disrespect, kicked Lawler in the head. Let it be understood, that Jerry Lawler, (kayfabe) deserves this. He’s a terrible commentator. He says idiotic things all the time, makes no insightful remarks, and constantly promotes the faces, regardless of what their terrible, terrible actions may or may not be. Punk feuding with Lawler is supposed to make us think he’s turned heel, but all it’s done is endear him to me more.
I plan to use a couple more of these throughout this article, because goddamn. It’s true.
Following that recap, Jerry Lawler enters the ring, leaving his commentary table, and begins to speak about the events of the last few weeks, tell his side of the story, and then asks for an apology from Punk. Punk shows up, (sporting a new buzz cut, indicating a change of character. Seriously, his hair is almost always indicative of his character. It’s weird), and refuses to apologize to Lawler, defending his justifiable beat down of The Rock, and points out he never “turned his back” on anyone, and that the only person who did, was Lawler, who turned his back on Punk. He continues to explain this to Lawler, and gives the most backhanded apology in the world, slamming Lawler’s entire wrestling career, mentioning his feud with Andy Kaufman, the fact that Lawler has never been champion, and his loss to Michael Cole at Wrestlemania. It was pretty damn entertaining to see Punk rail into Lawler, and watching him stand there, stone faced, trying not to cry and/or attack Punk was pretty awesome.
Punk continues destroying Lawler, and ends up in a roundabout way challenging him to a fight, after seeing Lawler’s sad/angry face. Lawler regurgitates what he said earlier, about looking for an apology, and not a fight. Punk continues to call him a pussy, in so many words. He then says Lawler will leave embarrassed tonight one way to the other, either embarrassed from the beating he’d receive in the match between him and Punk, or embarrassed that he wouldn’t compete at all. Punk leaves, and Lawler says that “He’ll think about it.”
After that, we return right to a wrestling match between Jack Swagger and The Ryback. Swagger has been jobbing pretty consistently for a while now, and Michael Cole even mentions this fact, in a kayfabe manner by referring to his “losing streak”. They’ve been working on making The Ryback a bit more touchable lately, by having whoever he fights gain momentum in the middle of the match, which Swagger achieves, almost getting the Ankle Lock on him for a moment. The Ryback then gets the upper hand quickly, and amidst the cheers of his fans, who alternatively chant “GOLDBERG”, and The Ryback’s catchphrase, “FEED ME MORE”, he lands his falling suplex finisher. Which I don’t think has an actual name yet. It’s just a move he does that Michael Cole or whoever is watching him just comment on how “impressive” it is. So perhaps his finisher is called “The Impressive Finisher”, which is what I shall refer to it from now on. Seriously, I watch Raw and Smackdown every week, and unless I missed something, I have no idea what it’s called. So, The Ryback pins Swagger, and leaves the ring pumping his arms. Swagger sits outside the ring, grimacing in pain, probably thinking about quitting and joining TNA where he’ll have a chance to actually get utilized properly, and Jerry Lawler continues to say how he’s thinking about having the match with Punk or not.
Back from another break we go right into a Divas match. Natalya and Layla are actually two of the more talented female wrestlers from their small collection, and seeing them wrestle is something I actually would like to see more. Vickie Guerrero interrupts, and says she has an announcement to make, and that the match better end quickly so she could say it. The match starts, and we’re treated to a really decent match between the two. It’s actually pretty refreshing to see Natalya wrestle for a change, instead of relegated to being The Farting Girl on backstage skits on Smackdown. She’s the damned daughter of Jim Neidhart, the founder of the Hart foundation, and niece to Bret GODDAMNED Hart, so along with Punk, she deserves some respect. Seeing her attempt the Sharpshooter was a great moment, and if Layla wasn’t as talented and as likable as she is, I would have been really bummed to see her counter out of it. Thankfully, Layla picks up the win without using a roll up or small package pin, because that’s what they ALWAYS use to end Divas matches. She hits Natalya with a roundhouse kick, and pins her, and Vickie enters the ring.
Vickie says that AJ Lee has been abusing her power, by citing the example of last week’s Raw, where Jericho and Ziggler had a match, with the stipulation being that if Jericho won, he’d get Ziggler’s MITB contract, and if Ziggler won, Jericho would lose his CAREER contract. Vickie argues this is an unfair stipulation to the match for her to make, which it totally is. Only Vickie says that the MITB contract part is the unfair bit. If you ask me, a career contract, and a championship contract are not equal at all, and regardless of the side you take, Vickie has a solid point, that it is an abuse of power. She then publicly begs the WWE Board of Directors to put her back in the GM seat, and sack AJ, which prompts AJ to arrive.
AJ skips out, doing her usual cutesy-crazy affectations, hops into the ring, then slaps, and beats Vickie down to the floor. Pretty much solidifying Vickie’s argument about AJ being out of control and power-hungry. Vickie then runs out of the arena crying while… god… AJ bites her finger all sexily and…
Ahem. She then composes herself and walks out. Basically, as much as I want to love and support AJ, she’s been a very middle of the road, typical GM that has done nothing interesting or new, and I’d rather see her wrestle, because she’s pretty damn good, and that suit she wears doesn’t flatter her at all.
Then we get subjected to a DX/Triple H video package. I’ve got nothing against DX per se, I’m just sick of video packages, and Triple H. The thought of having to see him address the events of Summerslam are so boring to me, I couldn’t care less. For those who didn’t see Summerslam, in a nutshell, Brock Lesnar beat the shit out of Triple H, and made him tap out. The crowd then shouted “YOU TAPPED OUT”, and “NA NA NA NA HEY HEY HEY GOODBYE”‘d him out of the arena, rather than the whole appreciative last stand thing, that he was clearly going for, or expecting. People are sick of him, and his stupidity. At least, the Summerslam audience was. Then of course, Brock Lesnar quit the WWE AGAIN, because that’s what he does, he’s a goddamn quitter.
After that, we see that AJ has ordered Daniel Bryan to take Anger Management classes, and we see a brief skit where Daniel Bryan attends Anger Management. What transpires, is one of the strangest, but funniest skit’s I’ve seen in a while. Daniel Bryan sits in the Anger Management circle, and states that he has no anger issues, and couldn’t be calmer. In walks a young boy, wearing a goat mask. Bryan walks up to the child, and begins NO NO NOing him, upon seeing the goat mask. He then asks who set the whole thing up, and demands the boy take off the goat mask, by screaming at him. The Anger Management counselor says that the boy is his son, and plays a goat in his school play. The boy takes off the mask, and we see he’s crying. Daniel Bryan then looks genuinely sad and confused, and takes a seat. At the very least, he’s working through his issues right? I love the idea that Daniel Bryan now has this pavlovian reaction to all goats now, and that all you’d need to do to distract him is hold up a picture of a goat. I keep thinking about him trying to watch TV and accidentally turning on Animal Planet, and catching a show about goats, and then raging out and destroying his whole living room, and slapping the YES-Lock on his dog.
Back to the ring, we see Jerry Lawler step back in, and speak. He defends his wrestling past, by pointing out the legends of wrestling he’s fought, and while he agrees with the other assertions Punk made, that Lawler is immature, never been champion, and feuded with a comedian, he tries to use those things inexplicably, to defend himself. After that, he accepts CM Punk’s challenge, and says he’ll fight Punk tonight. The crowd cheers, ostensibly in support of Lawler, but I’d like to think they want to see Punk destroy him.
After another commercial break, John Cena appears. Which was kinda shocking, because John Cena showing up, without being called out, or having something to get off his chest, simply to wrestle in a non-main event match, is pretty uncommon now. The biggest bummer was simply that the match up between him and Miz is so disparate, it might as well not even happen. The Miz has only just started to become a great mid card, IC champion, but having him up against Robo-Cena seems like a foregone conclusion. However, Miz does give Cena a serious run for his money. If anything, the whole match built up Miz to get him over, since he dominated the whole thing, only with Cena doing his usual infinite Robo-Cena kick out, to the same as usual, goddamned shift into the 5 Moves of Doom, and his usual last-minute wrap up win. This match, despite Miz’s efforts to make it interesting, is a perfect example of what is wrong with John Cena. Every single match of his is like this. He gets his ass kicked, never sells anything, miraculously kicks out over and over, does 5 moves at the end, and wins. He’s boring. I can’t stand seeing him on my tv any more. It’s sickening that he’s the face of this company. Sickening.
Back to Daniel Bryan, we see him sitting through the Anger Management session. He sits there listening to some guy gripe about his boss, and his asked his opinion. He then expresses his, pretty solid feelings on how he’s been unfairly treated by his boss, who is his former girlfriend/ex-fiancee, who left his at the alter on live tv, puts him in a match with her demonic, pyrokinetic, psychopath pseudo-boyfriend, which he still won, and she forced him into Anger Management regardless. If anything, I’d say he has a right to be mad. The Counselor says he just got a text from the last patient who had yet to show up at the session, and of course, in walks Kane, in full wrestling gear, fire mask and all. Considering that the rest of the people there were normal, everyday folks, in plain clothes, Daniel Bryan included, it was especially surreal to see Kane walk in, in his full garb. Then again, the idea of Kane showing up in civilian clothes would be even stranger. Does this mean that Kane has a cell phone? That he texts people? What’s his data plan? Can you think of him dealing with AT&T customer service? Like if he gets put on hold too many times he just makes fire shoot out of the speaker on their side of the phone? Or worse, does he drunkenly sext AJ? I bet they’d have really weird booty calls.
I’m liking Heath Slater more and more each week. I’m hating Santino more and more every time I see him. Their match was pretty incidental. The crowd even chanted BORING at one point. The only highlight, if you could call it that, was seeing The Cobra react to Aksana showing up, with random “sexy” saxophone music to accompany her. The Cobra then attacks Heath Slater, and Santino pins Slater for the win, with the Cobra keeping its “eyes” on Aksana.
The entire concept of the Cobra being “horny” for Aksana, is just TOO over the top weird for me, because it just makes me think that Santino is either A.) possessed ala Idle Hands by cobra demons, and his limbs really are independent of his own free will, or B.) he’s got the strangest form of Dr. Strangelove Hand Syndrome, or C.) He’s just an insane person, and really needs help. No matter what way you put it, the Cobra is stupid. It always is stupid. It always has been. It always will be. It’s the Bret Hart of stupid gimmicks. Take it away Punk!
After Funkasaurus and Sin Cara’s lengthy intros, Damien Sandow comes out, and announces that he has finally found a colleague of his that he can have an intelligent conversation with, and of course it’s Cody Rhodes. The two of them make their way down the ramp, making an excellent job of showcasing their chemistry together as a team, and their insults towards Funkasaurus and Sin Cara all worked really well, and for the first time in a long time, I was excited to see the dynamic between two former single competitors, as a tag team.
Unfortunately, the match wasn’t really long enough to see them do anything together, or give them a chance to show us if their obvious and immediate character chemistry, worked in ring, but they’re definitely a team I’d look forward to seeing work together again, which is more than I can say for most of the singles-to-tag team teams. Basically, Funkasaurus managed to stomp down Cody Rhodes, while Sin Cara isolated Damien Sandow from hitting Funkasaurus’ magical weak spot (aka the knee), and Funkasaurus picked up the win after a huge splash. Funkasaurus and Sin Cara are an interesting duo together, in that they’re the exact opposite end of the spectrum, from Sandow and Rhodes, in terms of my interest in them working together. While I love Sandow and always appreciate more and more Cody Rhodes, I find myself increasingly disliking Funkasaurus and Sin Cara each time I see them. They’re the bizarro world opposites of each other in that way for me.
Back again to the third and final Anger Management video package, we see Kane being asked to share his feelings with the group. He is asked to take off his mask, and complies. When asked to share, he goes on to give the most hilarious, and frigging epic recall of his entire characters history, which when compiled altogether that way, is so absurd, it’s comedy genius. He even at one point gets meta and references how his motives for inexplicably torturing Pete Rose are entirely unexplained. The whole thing had me dying with laughter, simply that everything he said actually happened, and seeing the WWE reference continuity in this way, was so brilliant and funny. If the WWE wants to become more continuity conscious, I have no problem with them doing it this way. Refer to it, admit it’s kinda silly, but hold onto it, rather than ignore it. Plus, seeing Kane talk about his past relationships will never not be a laugh riot.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth come out, and Kofi heads over to take commentary for the duration of the match. Why? Because I guess R-Truth and him are super-duper best friends now, and can never have matches without the other being present. I know they’re trying hard to get them over as an actual tag team, but when they’re STILL both referred to by their full names, and you know they had relatively long singles careers, it’s hard to accept them, because man, they STILL don’t have any chemistry. What was great though, was seeing Daniel Bryan enter the ring, making his entrance, trying to control himself, and only silently saying “no, no, no”, to himself, rather than his angry, defiant NO’s to the crowd. Not only that, he fist bumped R-Truth to begin the match! After a few minutes in, he even attempted to fist bump Little Jimmy, signifying either his true descent into madness, or his ability to overcome hardship and control himself. Or both.
After a minute or so of wrestling, their match spills to the outside of the ring, where R-Truth picks up a mic, and starts speaking to Little Jimmy. He answers Little Jimmy’s questions by saying YES over and over, which awakens the (American) dragon inside Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan starts losing it, and scream NO at the audience until he is counted out. He then realizes to his horror, he’s lost the match, when he sees Kofi congratulate Truth on his win. Bryan then violently starts kicking the steps to the ring, and parades around screaming NO. Try as he might, he just can’t escape his catchphr- I mean anger. Hey, if this whole Anger Management angle gets us the calm, cool, collected Daniel Bryan back, or god willing, the amazing WWE version of Heel Bryan Danielson, like he was for a few months post MITB 2011 and Pre-YES YES YES, I’m all for it.
Triple H finally comes out to talk about his Summerslam match and whether or not he’ll be quitting/retiring/whatever. I’m so sick of talking about Triple H, so I’ll keep this as brief as possible. Triple H comes, fake cast on and everything, to a pretty big cheer from the crowd (ugh), and says, in a nutshell, that he’ll be retiring. He says it in the most longwinded fashion possible.
Dude, you let your own hubris ruin yourself by challenging a stupid human wrecking ball with a flat top. You’re the one who demanded the referee ignore the rules, and you’re the one who goaded him into even having the match in the first place, when Brock and Paul Heyman both warned you repeatedly for your stupid actions, saying that you”d get destroyed, and you did. You have nobody to blame but yourself. Just retire forever. Work behind the scenes. Hire more sucky mediocre talent like Sin Cara. Whatever. Just get your stupid wrinkled brow and ponytail off my television, and stay off. Please. Accept this dumb crowds applause and goodbye pop, which you were hoping for, but didn’t get, at Summerslam. Goodbye forever Triple H.
After that horribly long pill to swallow, we’re treated to Dolph Ziggler tricking the audience by coming out to Jericho’s music. He then says Jericho is gone forever, and walks to the ring. ADR makes his usual entrance. Between these two guys, I always love to them see in the ring, and whichever of them become the new WHC champion, I’m fine with. ADR is the #1 Contender, but Ziggler still has his MITB contract, so this is potentially setting up a future feud between them. Of course, Randy Orton still exists, so blaeaaeeegghhh. Also, Sheamus.
This is another example of the singles competitors being forced into tag teams, that just doesn’t work again. Tag Team matches can BE amazing, when your teams actually have chemistry, a move set that complements each other, and maybe even a good gimmick or team name. But watching these guys, all struggle to make their spots work, comes off as rushed, forced, and worst of all, boring. Actually, the worst thing was Sheamus and Orton, who both supposed to be faces, cheating to win. Blatantly, openly, cheating. The way HEELS are supposed to. Why they’re considered faces boggles my mind, and I hate it. I hate them both.
Hey, any time I can see Zack Ryder on Raw, I’m happy. Same with David Otunga, and frankly, they’re two talents who could use more time in ring, period. Also, seeing Kane come out, simply to sit down at the announcer’s table, only to stay silent, despite Michael Cole badgering him with questions the entire time. After Zack Ryder lands his finisher, he wins the match. Kane then stands up, immediately goes to attack Ryder, and even clasps his hand around his neck, but relents, and instead chokeslams Otunga. Ryder leaves holding his throat, and Michael Cole starts saying that perhaps this is progress for Kane, since he’d normally attack both of them. I think he’s just trying to get at AJ again, and this is his way of showing commitment? Maybe that makes sense to crazy people. *shudder*
The match between Lawler and Punk is announced as a Steel Cage match, which made me happy, since that’s what I voted for on twitter. Shortly after, AJ comes out to announce that Punk will be defending his title at Night Of Champions against John Cena. Seriously? Goddammit AJ, Y U DO THIS TO ME?
So this whole match was one big exercise in making Jerry Lawler look like he’s still a viable wrestler. From the opening “first shot” that Punk let Lawler have, to Punk getting bloodied by Lawler mid match. After letting us all pretend that Lawler can still wrestle for a few minutes, Punk busts out the Anaconda Vice, and wins. After the match, he grabs a chain from under the ring, and chains himself in the cage with Lawler, puts him in a headlock, and demands he admit that Punk is the best in the world. Lawler refuses, and Punk starts beating on him relentlessly. That being his cue, Cena runs out to save Lawler. He’s unable to open the chained door, and demands they raise the cage. He stands outside, demanding Punk stop, utterly helpless to defend Lawler, all the while Punk batters Lawler with multiple knees to the head, while screaming he is the best wrestler over and over. The cage raises, and Cena jumps in the ring, and runs to Lawler’s aid. Punk walks out, championship belt on his shoulders, triumphant in his victory, while Cena and referee officials stand by Lawler’s side, who is now apparently mortally wounded. Or dead. I hope.
In all, this is a finish to the show that indicates two things. #1, this really IS the final heel turn for Punk, because all the signs are there. Haircut? Check. Constantly shouting he’s the best, regardless of whether he is or not. (Bryan Danielson is, but in WWE, Punk is, so sure.) Check. And of course, attacking a “defenseless” announcer is always a bad thing, unless you’re John Cena and the announcer is Michael Cole. So because of weird double standards, and the general idiocy of the WWE Universe, you’ve got a crowd of people jeering CM Punk for attacking a guy in a match he asked for, for disrespecting him repeatedly, unfairly, and with no provocation. I don’t see how Punk isn’t deserving of respect, or isn’t the WWE Best In The World, because if we’re to presume for a moment, that the WWE Championship is supposed to mean anything, it’s that you’re the BEST WRESTLER in the company. And if WWE is the LEADING Wrestling promotion IN THE WORLD, then logically, this has to mean that you are the BEST IN THE WORLD. You could debate if Punk really is, in shoot terms and ability, but kayfabe, of COURSE he is. He has to be, by definition. John Cena showing up and saying that Punk’s actions are way over the line, are at the best, stupid, and at worst, hypocritical AND stupid.
But, also, this is probably the last time I can realistically, and logically say that Punk is no longer a tweener, when he’s so clearly being portrayed as the villain now. I’m not saying his actions are indefensible, far from it. He’s not on the level of, oh let’s say, Sheamus, because everything Punk does is consistent with what a tweener or heel would do, and that’s fine, because he’s supposed to be. Heel Punk is good Punk. Anything Sheamus is bad Sheamus, same thing with Cena. If there’s one big thing that WWE needs to fix, it’s having their heels and faces act consistently, with what heels and faces are supposed to do, instead of this weird reverse bullshit where faces act like heels and are cheered for it, and heels act realistically and are booed for it forever. It makes me want to rip my eyeballs out and dunk them in sulfuric acid.
Anyhow, hopefully Jerry Lawler is dead, because he’s a bad announcer. I’m sick of his dumb propagandistic mark ass bullshit.
Tonight’s Raw opens up with a quick bit on how the set quickly caught fire, in some kind of pyrotechnics test before the show actually started, or the audience was let in. It had no actual effect on the televised show, other than delaying the crowd into the arena for half an hour. I’m uncertain why they even bothered to tell us, other than to address the possible potential issue of viewers at home wondering why a small part of the Titan-Tron was a little black and smokey. This was followed up with a quick video package re-capping last weeks show, playing up all the important parts and excluding any and all mention of Charlie Sheen. They would then go on to repeat this news about the fire, 5 more times over the course of the show. Seriously.
After the end of last weeks show, people have been wondering what CM Punk’s exact motivations were for his attack on The Rock, even if they’re obvious and awesome. A recently shorn CM punk walks into the ring, grabs a mic, and lays down the law. He says that he takes issue with how Jerry Lawler said “CM Punk has turned his back on the WWE Universe”, at the end of Raw last week, and exits the ring, approaching Lawler directly, who sits there silently shitting his pants. Punk slams his championship on the Announcer’s Table, and just really starts giving Lawler shit for what a terrible commentator he is, continues to make great points about The Rock’s arrogance and generally explains all of his actions last week perfectly. The Rock is a washed up blowhard who shows up, says he’s the greatest when he isn’t, disrespects everyone without backing up his words like he used to, and makes the WWE play second fiddle to his Hollywood career, until he decides to randomly take back the championship as if it’s a foregone conclusion. Not to mention all of the inane baby talk he spouts and everyone pretends like it’s even 1/4 of the quality of promos or insults he used to throw out 12 years ago. Frankly, he’s been phoning it in the last year, and If I didn’t hate Cena so much, I would have been rooting against him at Wrestlemania 28. So seeing Punk once again, FINALLY actually speak up and become the Voice of The Voiceless, was excellent, and a return to form from the wise cracking, Jim-Halpert shrugmeister he had become for the past few months. Of course, all the Bandwagoners quickly jump ship and start boo-ing Punk for making his opinions well-known, despite cheering him for claiming to always do this in previous months.
“YEAH CM PUNK BEST IN THE WORLD WOOO HE ALWAYS SPEAKS HIS MIND I RESPECT HIM SO MUCH FOR THAT until he doesn’t say things I agree with! What the hell Punk I trusted you.”- All Ship Jumping Former CM Punk fans.
After leaving Jerry Lawler sitting there, with shit in his pants slowly collecting, Big Show’s music starts up, and he enters the ring. At first I thought he was gonna come out, and reiterate his point he made a few weeks ago about how it’d take just one thing to make the WWE Universe turn against CM Punk, and how they didn’t really respect him, but he goes on his usual heel schtick where he promotes himself as the true focal point of the end of Raw 1000. He then takes credit for being the reason Punk is still champion, and vows that he’ll be the next WWE Champion. Then John Cena runs in because his name was mentioned, and chases Big Show out of the ring, while Punk stands aside annoyed as hell. At this point, AJ walks out, clad in a suit as the new Raw GM. She quickly announces tonight’s main event, between Big Show and Cena, with the stipulation that the winner will face Punk at Summerslam for the championship. Punk stands aside not giving a crap, while Cena looks on in his dumb starbucks shirt.
Back from the break and we see a quick scene of Daniel Bryan walking past the office of the new GM, looking distraught.
After that quick Daniel Bryan bit, we get this match between Santino and Alberto Del Rio. Why? If this is an example of AJ’s booking, then she’s picking poor match ups, because really, how else can this go? They try to make some sort of sense of tension between commercial breaks, by having ADR take a bump from Santino that throws him outside the ring, but when back from the break it’s the normal case of ADR destroying his opponent in the ring. I’m guessing they’re trying to build up Santino as an actual contender or something, because for a bunch of brief shining moments he’d gain some momentum before ADR quickly shut him down again. Santino even tries to pull out the Cobra, which ADR just sidekicks before trapping his arm in the cross armbreaker, because holy crap is the Cobra stupid, and how great would it be if ADR kayfabe broke Santino’s arm? He’d basically be stripping Santino of all his power forever.
Then Del Rio makes a great promo, saying how he just destroyed Santino, that Santino is beneath him, Sheamus is beneath him, and so is everyone else, so he will not compete any further until Summerslam, to get his WHC shot, which is the only thing that he finds worth his time. I really can’t disagree with him either. Why should he be wrestling idiots like Santino? Why isn’t he being put up against anyone who is actually of his caliber of talent? His whole “Eff this noise” attitude is something that makes sense to me, even if I will be missing him destroying all of the even remotely ethnic wrestlers on WWE’s roster. Summerslam better be the fulfillment of his destiny to become a champion, because holy hell, the dude deserves it. Also, I’ll save my obligatory weekly insult of Sheamus for later on in this article, if he shows up.
Returning from a break, Funkasaurus is already in the middle of his dance intro, which is a good thing, because that damn intro is so long. It’s then interrupted by Vickie Guerrero’s banshee shriek of EXCUSE ME, and she mocks the Funkadactyls for their dance moves, and starts dancing herself. She then busts out the patented Elaine-From-Seinfeld-Little-Kicks dance, thumbs up and all, until she herself is interrupted by Damien Sandow.
Our Intellectual Savior then shows the clip from last week, of DX attacking him, proclaiming himself once again as a martyr, and starts beating down Funkasaurus, and leaves triumphantly, in the name of non-irritating wrestling gimmicks all around.
I really love Damien Sandow. 1.) He’s a good wrestler, and 2.) his gimmick is hilarious, and necessary.
We need a wrestler like him, a guy who can come out, point out how stupid everything is, beat the crap out of them/it, and cartwheel his way out of there, all the while in pink and purple briefs and knee pads. Not to mention his totally luscious ascot/bathrobe combo he enters the ring in, because if anything, I am a man of comfort who appreciates the finer things in life. I think Sandow and I would get along well. We’d both lounge in our armchairs together, drinking different blends of exotic herbal tea, while watching Criterion blu-rays. Plus he’d probably be a really awesome Dungeon Master.
My fantasies of being best friends with Damien Sandow aside, we cut to a recap of the Jericho/Ziggler storyline. It’s storyline that could have a great build up, as I said last week, where Ziggler should destroy Jericho, and be the man to finally BREAK THE WALLS DOOOOWWWWN and break Jericho. If Jericho is gonna be leaving WWE, have him go out with a warriors death. Make him go down fighting, and leave it all out in the ring, defeated once and for all. But tonight anyway, we’re getting a tag team match, because GM’s just LOVE tag team matches and oh no… AJ. Don’t do this to me baby. We had something special. Don’t be this way. Don’t be Teddy 2.0. I’m begging you. SAVE ME JOHN LAURINAITIS!
After spending the last 48 minutes mustering his courage outside her office door, Daniel Bryan finally confronts AJ about last week. She immediately asserts herself by telling him to shut up. She then brings up the quick plot point from last week, where we saw what looked like a bunch of mental asylum orderlies being spoken to by Daniel Bryan, that I assumed was a red herring. He says they were his groomsmen pretty defensively, and she says he’ll have to deal with a match later tonight, that’ll pit him against Sheamus (ugh). He asks her if it’s for the title, and she NO NO NO’s him out of the room.
A video package starts to play, showcasing the retarded Triple H/Brock Lesnar storyline from last week. Seriously? How many recaps from Raw 1000 are we going to have? Is the “extra” hour in all of these new episodes of Raw just going to be an entire hour recapping the previous Raw? I guess they have to, to keep Brock Lesnar in the story without him actually being there, because his stupid quitter-contract doesn’t require him to actually wrestle any more than a set amount of dates this year, and they’re being saved for PPV’s almost exclusively. They also must think we’re amnesic Alzheimer goldfish, because they played this promo at least 5 more times after this.
There was a time when I would have really liked to have seen this match. That was about 6 months ago at Wrestlemania, because the “Quick-Strong” wrestler against the “Methodical-Technical” wrestler pairing of Sheamus/Bryan was in theory, a great idea. We all know how horribly they screwed that up, but it led to Daniel Bryan really getting over, so in hindsight it was a necessary evil. Daniel Bryan comes out YES-ing as usual, but then flips out in ring, saying that the fans have “No right” to chant YES anymore, and that is his thing alone. The crowd then taunts him by chanting it, and he responds by losing his mind and shouting NO over and over, like a broken man after being left at the alter by his bride. Oh wait…
Well, Sheamus enters, with a clearly healing black eye, because presumably, people can’t not punch him in the face upon seeing him. They then announce that the match will be a “Street fight”, which in WWE terms just means “You guys can wrestle outside of the ring if you want.” Bryan and Sheamus open up the match by keeping things in the ring. After a few minutes of trading moves, they slowly battle up the ramp, with Sheamus throwing Daniel Bryan around, until they reach the top of the entrance ramp. Bryan gets the upper hand by kicking Sheamus off of the ramp, all 4 feet onto the concrete below. Sheamus then writhes around in pain like his knee is hurt, and Bryan lays a flying knee into Sheamus’ face, and the fight cuts to commercial. After returning from the break, they’re both back in the ring, and Daniel Bryan has Sheamus in an arm lock.
They go back to trading blows, and the momentum between the two of them continues to shift back and forth, now with Sheamus gaining the advantage. He brings out a chair and a kendo stick, which Daniel Bryan wisely removes from the ring before they can be used on him. Sheamus kicks Bryan out of the ring, while the crowd chants audibly for tables. Daniel Bryan then uses the kendo stick on Sheamus, wacking him multiple times, letting out all of rage on Sheamus with each swing. Eventually Sheamus gets kicked by Bryan into a steel chair he set up in a turnbuckle. Sheamus grabs a hold of the steel steps, and sets them up, trying to slam Bryan into it, until Bryan counters Sheamus’ grab and throws him into the ring post.
At this point, even though I hate Sheamus, i’m just glad to see a match last a considerable amount of time on Raw. My joy was quickly shattered however, when Sheamus brogue kicked Daniel Bryan into the steel steps that had been set up in the ring. However, I gotta say, the match itself was quite refreshing, mostly because it was good, and long by modern WWE standards. Let’s get this kind of thing happening more often, cut out all the recapping, and Raw can really become something truly great once again.
After a recap of the CM Punk promo from an hour ago, ostensibly in case you’ve got some kind of Leonard Shelby Memento disease, and can’t make new memories longer than an hour or so. They cut back to Daniel Bryan being helped up by referees, claiming he’s hurt his neck and needs a doctor. So while a popular, important, talented wrestler writhes around in pain in the middle of the ring, complaining of a neck injury and needing a doctor, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler ignore him in place of showing ANOTHER recap of the events from an hour ago, showcasing the Punk/Cena/Big Show thing, and the impromptu main event made by AJ. After a while, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth come out, claiming that Daniel Bryan is faking, and tell him to leave, saying there’s no place for him here.
Truth then mentions how Little Jimmy is in the ring with them, and Daniel Bryan asks where Little Jimmy is, and begins speaking to him directly. In what was the highlight of tonight’s show by far, he then violently kicks Little Jimmy CLEAR OUT OF THE RING, and R-Truth rushes out to console him, while Daniel Bryan goes on about how dumb the entire concept of Little Jimmy has become. He then goes on a huge tirade about how Little Jimmy doesn’t exist, and points out how stupid Kofi Kingston and R-Truth are, and the orderlies that Daniel Bryan had last week come out to take R-Truth, until AJ interrupts. She starts to say that Daniel Bryan is “mentally unstable”, and has the orderlies escort him out. He then comes face to face with AJ, makes a mean face at her, and leaves. This entire segment was hilarious, and I’m liking the concept of the mentally unstable Daniel Bryan, who is the foil to AJ. Or AJ is his foil. Either way, his character is evolving beyond “Just say YES or NO” all the time, so I’m digging it.
After some Tout nonsense, AW introduces The Primetime Players. They walk out and do their weird little Barking-Dog-Butt-Buddy, while AW’s voice continues to BOOM throughout the arena. I still don’t understand entirely why he, different from any other ringside manager, gets the loudest mic in the world to make ringside comments. Kofi gets dominated by Titus O’Neil for a while, until Kofi manages to get in his stupid BOOM jump thing, but AW provides a distraction by throwing his shoe into the ring at Kofi, which lets Titus land his powerbomb finisher, and win the match.
This whole match is a classic exercise in one half of a respective tag team, both being less than the half their whole as tag team competitors, and generally both being boring to watch the entire time. Kofi Kingston is boring period, and Titus O’Neil only really works with his partner as a lousy/funny heel team. I kept getting distracted during this match because I just didn’t care about it at all. In the immortal words of Jay-Z, on the next one.
We then cut to CM Punk and John Cena bro-ing it out together backstage, where Punk seems to express some terms of respect and agreement between the two of them to have each other’s backs, and the whole thing was just a weird step backward for Punk in my opinion, because John Cena sure as hell doesn’t give a shit about Punk, and his silence and condescending look as Punk walks away says about the same.
Back from the break, Heath Slater is once again in the ring, and we get another recap from last week, (oh god please make it stop, it hurts us, IT HURTS USSSS), where I assumed the whole “WWE Legends feud” thing came to an end, but here we are. Well it seems that now we’re gonna see Heath Slater used to bring back anybody who has been missing for a while, and Randy Orton shows up, having been thankfully missing for a few months now. I can’t stand Randy Orton. He’s boring. His gimmick is non-existent, and he has no imminent charisma to speak of. He’s like somebody took the default create-a-wrestler from a WWE video game, gave him tattoos that they thought were “totally sick bro”, and transported him into real life. The dude’s whole thing is being a “viper”, which I guess is supposed to reflect the “rattlesnake” thing Stone Cold Steve Austin had? I really don’t know actually, all I know is that he bores me to death, and his RKO is an insanely shittier version of the Diamond Cutter.
Oh yeah, he beats Heath Slater. Shocking, I know. Ugh.
Backstage, we see Daniel Bryan speaking to a doctor about his mental health. He goes through a series of questions, that are all yes or no answers. He of course continues to berate the doctor by LOSING HIS MIND at him, and screaming YES over and over. Crazy Daniel Bryan is already pretty goddamned awesome.
Now, tag team stupidness aside, this is a match that has real potential to work really well. Everybody involved is really talented, and Christian has always worked better in a tag team environment to start with. After all four of these guys come out, taking a really long time to make their entrances, the match finally starts.
The thing about all 4 of these guys is, with the exception of Christian, they tend to work better individually. Their strengths are better accustomed to the one on one back and forth flow of a singles match. A good example was Jericho’s Wrestlemania match with CM Punk, where it was one big chain wrestling fest, or Dolph ‘s matches with Sheamus, where he actually managed to make Sheamus look really good, while still losing the match himself each time. Then you’ve got The Miz, who is in full Post-Crisis mode, and with his newly found Non-Stupid Haircut powers, has re-established himself as an actual contender to be reckoned with. The problem is now with Christian, who I’ve seen referred to constantly by the IWC as the “Little Brother” of wrestling, and i’d be hard pressed to disagree.
Let me explain. Everything Christian does, is basically just an homage or a borrowed move from other, better wrestlers he’s purposely or not comparing himself to. A main example is his spear, which is an obvious nod to Edge, the only problem being that Edge’s spear wasn’t even that good to begin with, and Christian’s spear is even lamer. He’s like the “Little Brother” of wrestling, who is constantly imitating his bigger brothers as inspiration, but never shakes off the trappings of being someone who is, well, imitating. Add to that, that his Killswitch finisher, when he does rarely manage to pull off, looks like crap, and you’ve got a guy who I WANT to like, but just can’t. He should have stopped way back when, because he’s basically stuck in sidekick hell, and should go quietly into that good night already.
All that being said, the match was pretty good, in spite of Christian, because Ziggler and Miz kept controlling him, keeping Jericho out of the match pretty effectively.That is until Christian gets the hot tag to Jericho, who quickly jumps in and makes a huge comeback, gaining momentum, until Christian jumps up and lands an unseen-by-the-Ref eye poke on The Miz, letting Jericho land the Codebreaker on Miz, winning the match. For Christian, who is supposed to be a face, that move wasn’t very… Christian. Eh? Eh? Get it? Right? What’s that? Oh This gun? Yeah I bought it. Oh I’m just holding it here. Don’t worry about it. I’ll… use it later. Oh dear sweet lord how I’ll use it later…
Anyhow, all suicidal threats aside, the match was fine. I just would rather see these guys compete in singles matches. Excuse me while I read about how to aim a gun directly into my brain stem for instant death.
Cutting back to Daniel Bryan again, he’s still answering questions from the doctor. Now he’s taking a series of rorschach tests. On the second test, the inkblot is obviously a goat face, and Bryan starts to freak out, and accuse the doctor of being put up to this by Charlie Sheen of all people. Then he starts speaking openly and aloud to Charlie Sheen, as if he is watching him at all times. I’m not looking forward to the inevitable Charlie Sheen/Daniel Bryan feud, but if we get totally insane Daniel Bryan being awesome because of it, I’m all for it forever.
Back from another commercial break (jesus), we get more Touts about something, I’m not sure because my eyes roll back in my head in boredom every time they do that.
Tyson Kidd is on Raw! Take a shot!
I remember hearing about how Tensai was going to leave the WWE soon, because he’s been extremely shoot unpopular WWE crowds, and frankly, i can’t wait. I’ve never liked him, even back when he was Albert, or A-Train, or whatever the hell you want to call him, he’s shitty no matter what gimmick he has. Plus his constant hissing is by far the most annoying affectation a wrestler could possibly have. His whole gimmick is offensive, (I don’t care if they stated he’s not asian, it’s still confusing and dumb), he’s awful to even look at, and his move set is boring. He doesn’t look good winning, nor does he make anyone else look good losing. Not to mention his constant abuse of his asian sidekick, the whole thing comes off as really offensive towards asians, and wrestling fans in general.
But yeah, he takes down Tyson Kidd and wins. Then after continually attacking him, the Ref reverses the decision, because reasons. Why? I don’t know. Let’s see Tyson Kidd wrestle someone who isn’t literally horrible to watch in the ring.
Back to Daniel Bryan and the doctor, the doc proclaims Daniel Bryan is officially sane. Then the lighting goes red, and Bryan is attacked by Kane, who claims he is Daniel Bryan’s anger managment counselor, in the most un-subtle reference to Charlie Sheen’s show, called Anger Management.
After the 5th (?) Summerslam promo, which I’ve been neglecting to mention each time they show it in this article, as a kindness to you, because I’m not joking when I say an entire hour of this 3 hour show has been recaps and promos for Summerslam. Anyhow, after all of that yet again, we finally get to the main event.
CM Punk came out to join Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole at the announcer’s table for the match, and hearing him give Jerry a constant stream of shit for being a really limp dick announcer with lame opinions that always fall into a predictably boring point of view that idolizes faces like Cena and Rock in spite of all logic and reason pointing to them be lackluster in many ways. It’s the same kind of person who promotes a needlessly Mark-ey kind of view regardless of character motivation, or continuity, or story development. Lawler is supposed to be what the worst WWE writers want all of us to be, a mindless, blind Cena lover who is entertained endlessly by Santino dicking around with a sock, or literally anything involving Hornswoggle, who thinks that parlor tricks and stupid skits are the focal point of a wrestling show.
Throughout the match Punk was making excellent commentary, and making solid, legitimate criticisms of Lawler the entire time. I’d really love to see Punk become a full-time announcer, who also wrestles, because he’s miles better than nearly every current commentator they have on any of WWE’s shows.
But anyway, the match itself was ‘old hat’. Lots of motifs we’ve seen from all of Cena and Big Show’s matches in the past. Big Show gets a sleeper put on him. Cena starts his 5 moves of doom, and is countered. Big Show taunts Punk at ringside, Cena gains the upper hand after kicking out miraculously like a robot. Big Show takes a big bump. Cena takes a big bump. The only thing that broke it up was the end, where Show threw Cena into Punk at the announcer’s table. After nearly being counted out, Cena managed to barely jump back into the ring, and pulls out the attitude adjustment, but it’s interrupted by Punk. Then Punk knocks out Big Show with a kick to the head, resulting in the match becoming a DQ, but for whom it’s unclear. Punk then grabs the mic, and says the winner is: Nobody. And that they’re both losers, to loud boo’s from the crowd.
Then AJ comes out says they’re actually both winners, and makes them both #1 Contenders, and makes the title match a triple threat at Summerslam. Punk comes back, and says AJ is a bad GM, calls her crazy, and demands she show him respect. The show ends on him screaming at her for respect, while AJ smiles away gleefully.
So there’s the end of the 1001th Raw. Frankly, I’m glad Punk is going back to being a Tweener, because arrogant asshole CM Punk is far superior to any other version of his character. For every awesome Crazy-Daniel-Bryan promo we’ll get, we’re still gonna get terrible things like that Tyson Kidd/Tensai match that I can’t stand watching, or the entire hours of worth of repeated promos for a match between two guys who don’t wrestle full time, or god forbid more inane “Touts” from insipid, mouth breathing fans. This Raw wasn’t the worst in the world, but it wasn’t really that good either. I had a hard time trying to focus on it the entire time, and mostly found it boring, which is a bad sign for the future of Raw. I can only hope that next week’s show will pick up in entertainment value. That’s really all I ask from WWE any more, and man, they should at least deliver that. I want to be entertained, not reminded about how IMPORTANT this match between TRIPLE H AND BROCK LESNAR is on SUMMERSLAM over and over and over again. If you’re gonna do stupid shit, have more guys kicking invisible children in the face, and less promo/recap filler of things we’ve already seen, especially if they’re from the same show we’re still currently watching.
Man. Here’s some pictures of AJ to cheer you up, because I’m just really bummed now.
There. Now I feel better.
Hot off the heels of Money In The Bank is tonight’s Raw, opening with a quick recap of the events from the PPV. Obviously, John Cena won the main event at MITB, and managed to grab the suitcase and guarantee himself a title match against CM Punk in the foreseeable future. Hopefully this doesn’t mean we’ll get a weird repeat of last years “Summer of Punk-WWE Style”, with the roles reversed and now somehow John Cena is the underdog again. CM Punk enters at the top of the show and starts a promo declaring himself once again, as the Best In The World, and echoes his famous pipe bomb promo nearly a year ago. Not in the way where he was sick of the hypocrisy and the inability of the WWE to utilize its talent effectively, but in the general “I’m the best” sense, which is a bummer, because last year the people were really clamoring for the heart of Punk’s message. Some said that it was even the dawn of a new age of wrestling, called the “reality era”, but that’s pretty much gone down the drain in the last year. As much as I like Punk, he’s really over promised and under delivered when it comes to being an “Agent of Change”, as he claimed to be. Granted the focus has shifted for the better from the All-Cena-All-The-Time-Fest it used to be,but the fact remains that things haven’t changed dramatically as he claimed they would or should. I can’t blame him though, because he’s not the one in charge of the company, nor is he the biggest WWE monetary draw (Cena still is, unfortunately), who could have enough clout to order some legitimate creative changes. But I digress, after going on a bit about how he’s overcome all the odds he’s faced in his title reign,(echoes of Cena? A smart booker would play up this thematically if they were going to re-ignite the Punk/Cena feud.) Big Show enters the stage, and steps into the ring, mic in hand.
He’s pretty mad about losing MITB, and very politely, and eloquently says that if he had won, he’d cash in the contract, and take the belt immediately from Punk right then and there. Punk counters by pointing out that no matter how much destruction Show leaves in his wake, he loses, and lost again last night. They then argue about the fans, Punk claiming the fans respect him for winning, and Show mentions how fickle and forgetful the WWE fandom can be, and says that they don’t really respect Punk at all. While he does make an excellent point, Punk then tells Show off, and reminds us that Show, despite being very logical and consistent with his character motivation, is also ultimately a bitter man, who chokes when it comes to the literal main event. Show tells Punk that in their forthcoming match tonight, he will knock him out, and Punk could lose the title tonight to John Cena, who could cash in his contract.
I’m pretty sure I’ve made it known I’m not a fan of Kofi Kingston and R-Truth as champions, and I’m dying to see somebody with actual tag team presence and chemistry get the titles and give them actual meaning again. The Primetime Players have a simple gimmick, and their in ring ability is competent, and with time I’m sure they could build up to become a great team. My main problem with them, is that they totally don’t need AW. They made a point recently to tell us that he wears a mic at ringside, although I must have missed the reason why. I don’t know why we need to hear AW shout his Odin-Voice over the sound of everything else, because his comments are useless and inane. He’s loud, obnoxious, and not in an entertaining, good heel heat sort of way. Tag Team matches can be goddamned amazing, and while the presence of the titles being back and cared about is refreshing, they need to follow through and make us care about the division as a whole.
The match itself was a pretty by-the-numbers Kofi Kingston/R-Truth match, that was pretty boring to watch and mostly was there to only establish the Primetime Players as a force, and to develop AW’s douchey character further.
Backstage, we see AJ and Daniel Bryan talking about last nights MITB championship match. AJ says she called it down the middle, (which is more or less true), but then surprisingly, Daniel Bryan expressed seemingly genuine regret for how he’s treated AJ in the past, and admits he used AJ as a scapegoat, because he was so wrapped up in beating CM Punk. He comes close to confessing something to AJ, until Eve interrupts them, says that there will be a tag match between her, a partner of her choice, and Daniel Bryan & AJ. She then insults AJ, and leaves. AJ asks Bryan what he was going to confess, and he says it can wait until after their match.
A part of me wants him to admit he truly does love her, and wants her back, and then they’ll get married and live happily together forever, but then I remind myself this is goddamned wrestling, and hope he’ll just apologize, agree to be friends, and he encourages AJ to go take the Diva’s championship, re-christen it the WOMAN’S Championship, and retire the whole stupid “Diva” division forever. Let’s get some actually talented women in the ring, and have them wrestle for longer than 2 minutes at a time. Let’s keep the skimpy Diva outfits though, let’s not go crazy.
Alberto Del Rio lost his championship match last night, because Sheamus is riding hard on his current push, which still seems divisive between fans, and I’m sure I’ve hated on Sheamus enough in this column so I’ll just stop now and say BOO. Anyhow, ADR makes quick work of Zack Ryder, and submits him with the rolling cross armbreaker. He starts to go into his usual post match attack, until Rey Mysterio’s music comes on, and he runs into the ring. ADR starts stomping on him wildly, which made me giggle gleefully, because the thought of Mysterio returning to that big of a pop from the audience, only to get his ass kicked would have made my week. But my dreams often never come true, and Mysterio lands the 619 on ADR. ADR then quickly gets up from it, because the 619 is stupid, and he and Ricardo leave, walking together backwards up the ramp, shouting rebuttals to Mysterio. In a perfect world, ADR would be the World Heavyweight Champion, and we’d see him and Mysterio feud, with Sin Cara stuck somewhere in the middle. Luchador wrestling is awesome, and there needs to be more of it in the WWE.
Why they didn’t combine these into one, slightly longer youtube video, I’ll never understand.
Heath Slater’s favorite Raw moments are the last few weeks, which is appropriate, because those are pretty much his ONLY notable Raw moments. His fights with all the past WWE legends have been great moments of nostalgia, and have consistently been a bright spot. When we return to the actual ring, Slater talks about how he knows someone is going to come out, and sure enough, Rikishi walks out. Which surprised the hell out of me, since, I genuinely thought he was dead. Seriously. I was shocked to see him walk out. Rikishi then superkicks Heath Slater, stink faces him, and then pins him with his ass. After a quick celebration, the lights go out, and when they come back up, the Uso’s, who are Rikishi’s kids, are standing in the ring with Rikishi. They then begin dancing, just like Too Cool and Rikishi did years ago. It was a fun moment, but I’m not sure you’d call Rikishi a WWE Legend just yet, nor was Too Cool such a long time ago that I would wax nostalgia about it, but regardless it was entertaining.
Eve’s partner turns out to be the The Miz! I was surprised by this because I expected her to choose some typical “strong guy” like Kane or something. I’m so happy to have The Miz back it’s ridiculous you guys. Of course, as much as I love The Miz, he’s small fry compared to the True Best In The World Daniel Bryan. Miz gets the upper hand though, and tags in Eve. Eve puts AJ through a couple strong moves, wearing her down, until she turns things around on Eve, and goes for a pin, that Miz distracts the Ref from. After that, AJ kicks The Miz off the apron, and Eve attempts a roll up on AJ, but once again, the Ref is distracted by Miz, who tries to run into the ring illegally. While the Ref is distracted, Daniel Bryan rolls Eve and AJ over, reversing the roll up pin, and the Ref counts the pin before Miz can interrupt.
I actually really liked this match, despite it’s length, because seeing Daniel Bryan and AJ work together, in a smart, resourceful way, was awesome. After the match, Daniel Bryan grabs a mic, and begins to make his confession to AJ. He builds it up big, and confesses his love for her. AJ looks surprised, and troubled, but Daniel Bryan goes the full nine, and even presents her with a ring, and proposes again. AJ stands there, looking perplexed and worried, and Daniel Bryan slips the ring on her finger. AJ looks tearful, begins to nod, and accepts, saying yes, and they then kiss. The crowd seemed to hate this, which I don’t understand. I guess seeing a couple overcome their obstacles and problems to unite in the name of love is unappealing to them, but I found the whole thing really adorable. I’m kind of big softie when it comes to relationships and happy couples, so seeing both Bryan and AJ YES-ing together, joyfully, was refreshing and cute. Plus it was relatively short, unlike last week’s 20 minute plus Soap-Opera-Fest, so it was a good example of a romantic storyline getting wrapped up in a satisfying way. The part of me that wanted to see this, got exactly what it wanted.
Now, I’m hoping this isn’t the WWE’s way of putting the Bryan/Punk feud to bed, but if it is, let’s please see Bryan/AJ doing lots more together, but in the ring. They made a great intergender tag team, and them working together, to, I don’t know, let’s say: Win the Tag Titles and give women wrestlers something else to aspire to gain other than a purple and pink bedazzled belt with a butterfly on it, would be awesome. All in all, seeing AJ and Daniel Bryan overcome their past differences and working together, and potentially getting (kayfabe) married, was great. Let’s seem them satisfy that other part of me, that wants a legitimate Women’s division. I could make a gross joke about AJ satisfying any other parts of me, but she’s an engaged woman now, and I AM A MAN OF HONOR. I respect their fake love.
Ryback is now finally done working through nameless, faceless jobbers and is taking on more in-house jobbers. So of course why not have him take on the WWE’s resident in-house jobber, Jack Swagger? Swagger at first gets a good lead on Ryback, and nearly puts him in the ankle lock, but Ryback counters and then triple powerbombs him. The entire time however, the bell never rang, so the match never officially happened, so after Jack Swagger got Ryback’d, Ryback just started saying his catchphrase, demanding more succulent man flesh via the cry of “FEED ME MORE.”
In my mind, Ryback says everything this way. He’s like The Hulk:
“RYBACK WANT MORE MATCHES. RYBACK’S BICEPS NOT VASCULAR ENOUGH. RYBACK MUST PUMP FOR MORE TONE. RYBACK NEEDS PROTEIN SHAKE. RYBACK WATCH GLEE NOW.”
Yeah, In my mind, Ryback is a proud and out Gleek. He agrees that the first season was the best though, and it’s not nearly as good as it used to be. My mind-Ryback is weird. And a little gay.
Vickie Guerrero then announces Dolph Ziggler’s entrance, and he walks in, MITB suitcase in hand. He gets in the ring, and says that he’ll be the next World Heavyweight Champion, and starts saying how he’s better than Bret Hart, Stone Cold, and The Rock. The entire time, Vickie parrots key words from his promo, until he is interrupted by Jericho. Which makes sense, because Jericho HATES it when you start saying you’re better than anyone, because that’s HIS THING DAMMIT. Before Jericho can speak, Ziggler starts breaking down Jericho, saying he hasn’t won anything in a long time. He lays the insults on thick, and challenges Jericho’s assertion that he is the Best In The World At What He Does, saying all Jericho does is lose. All salient points by Ziggler, that really seem to get under Jericho’s skin. He continues taunting Jericho, until Jericho busts out a brutal Codebreaker on the Zig Zag Man. He then leaves without saying a word. He’s probably not returning to the silent, Troll-ey Jericho that he was when he first debuted, but it’s nice to see Jericho as a face again.
I forgot JTG was still employed by the WWE. Not to sound like a total smarky jerk, but how the hell is JTG getting Raw airtime, and Dean Ambrose is still in developmental territory? But whatever, this match is another in the line of Funkasaurus matches where we see a smaller wrestler hit Funkasaurus’ weak spot, which we all know is his knees. JTG spends a minute or two working on the knee, and Funkasaurus’ knee hurts him SO BAD until it suddenly doesn’t. Then he slams him, and lands a cross body splash, wins the match and starts dancing with a bunch of children they invited up into the ring, his knee having miraculously healed in mere seconds.
Earlier, Big Show said that after he defeats CM Punk in this match, John Cena could cash in his MITB contract and take the title from him, and then implied the fans would turn on Punk at this point. Now while I wouldn’t put it past Cena to cash in the contract this way, and try to play it off as him overcoming adversity and Never Giving Up™ somehow, I just think if that happened, people would be pretty pissed. I know I would be.
This was the only match of any significant length, and thusly the only one deserving of an actual description beyond “This guys wins”, because reading about it would take as long as watching it. So the match begins, and Punk approaches the match carefully, clearly picking his moves out thoughtfully, trying to find a way to gain the edge on Big Show. Show uses his size though, and tackles Punk repeatedly, stands on him, and generally makes Punk miserable. Punk fights back valiantly, and gets a breather after shoving Show into the ring post. He throws a series of hard kicks, but they’re ineffective against Show, who once again slams CM Punk to the ground, whips Punk around the ring, and slams him into the mat again and again. Punk, ever resilient, jumps on Show’s back, and slaps on a sleeper hold. Show counters it into a huge sidewalk slam, and attempts a huge splash, that Punk dodges. Punk starts to gain momentum by using the ropes, but Show counters again with another huge slam. He cocks up the WMD, but Punk ducks and throws 3 huge kicks at the back Show’s neck, and then follows it up with 3 more high knees to the head. A huge irish whip is countered by Punk, and Show goes down, Punk then climbs to the top rope, and lands his Macho Man elbow drop. Show kicks out, and then chokeslams him violently. Punk manages to get a foot on the ropes, and Show starts beating Punk in the corner. Show then assaults the Referee, resulting in a disqualification. Punk wins, but Show continues beating Punk. John Cena then runs in, with his MITB suitcase in tow. Show leaves the ring, and Cena grabs a mic.
Cena starts to mention that he’s got an announcement to make regarding his MITB contract. Show interrupts him, and taunts him. He starts talking about how the belt is Cena’s, encouraging him to cash it in now. Cena, being ever-predictable, says he’ll cash in the contract at the 1000th Raw. He goes on to say that his “huge announcement” was actually him hitting Big Show in the face with the suitcase. I mean, he doesn’t say that, he just does it. I don’t know how an announcement can be an impromptu attack, but whatever. It makes no sense, but seeing Cena and Punk hold up their respective trophies (belt and suitcase), was neat. The show ends on them agreeing to have their match next week, and fades into a promo for the 1000th episode of Raw.
So all achievements aside, this 1000th episode of Raw thing is going to be terrible. So far they’ve announced that it will have everything in it BUT wrestling.The only two confirmed matches are some vague IC title defense by Christian, and the WWE title match between Punk and Cena. Amongst that though, will be the return of DX, The Rock, Brock Lesnar’s stupid announcement, The Daniel Bryan/AJ wedding (that was fast), Charlie Sheen for some reason, and probably loads of other stupid, boring video packages and special guests. I predict 10 minutes of wrestling for that show. The rest will be 2 hours and 50 minutes of filler and uselessness. But hey, I could be wrong. At the very least, I’m looking forward to the Daniel Bryan/AJ wedding, because I’m a big baby. Other than that though… Well. I’ll try to remain positive.
Tonight’s Raw opens with the announcement that Teddy Long will be the GM. Which doesn’t bode well for tonight’s show, but I accepted that it was inevitable. John Cena enters the ring while promos for Money In The Bank are mentioned. Cena then starts talking about the ending of last weeks show, where he got beaten by Jericho and then attacked by Big Show. He goes on to talk again about how that loss has only motivated him to Try Harder™ and to Never Give Up™ and all the usual boring Cena rhetoric that he spouts. Thankfully, he is interrupted by Daniel Bryan, who comes out and reminds us of his MITB match with CM Punk. CM Punk comes out, and they all make points about the potential outcomes of MITB, with John Cena essentially being the winner as a given, because he’s John Cena. This really hurts the value of that PPV since they’re already talking about Cena as the winner, and undermines the whole point of that match. Why have a match if everyone involved basically admits that John Cena is going to win? What’s the point other than showing us yet again that the scales are tipped in his favor at all times?
Thankfully, the promo got better with CM Punk and Bryan playing off of each other and involving the crowd. If this storyline develops to include Cena, it could potentially make every single fan in the audience go hoarse between “Yes”, “No” and “Let’s go Cena/Cena Sucks” chants. Not one to be out of the spotlight, Jericho then enters, and puts in his 2 cents. He comes out, and reminds us all that between the four of them, Jericho is one of the best catchphrase makers of all time. He then runs through all of his catchphrases that he’s had over the years, and says that he plans to win the match, and not let Cena cruise his way to a title shot. Then Kane and Big Show enter one after another, both to re-enforce the idea that they plan to win the match. They then get into a big brawl, and Show comes out on top, ostensibly as the victor. It’s an attempt to rectify the foregone conclusion that Cena will win, but really, the damage is done. They’re clearly trying to set up the many possible storylines that could develop between Punk/Bryan/Show/Cena/Jericho/Kane, but WWE is anything if predictable, and it’ll probably end up being a Punk/Cena match we’ll get in the future.
This is a strange match up. I don’t quite get the pairings other than the Tag Team champions against the #1 contenders The Primetime Players. They’ve developed all of the feuds in previous shows, specifically Smackdown, but as for the actual reasons they’re booked against each other, I’m drawing a blank. Why are Otunga and Cody Rhodes a team? No clue. Why are Santino and Christian buddies? Does holding a championship title make you instant best friends? It’s not clear, but it’s building for their respective matches at MITB. 8 man tag-team matches are never something I’ve been too big a fan of. Most of the time it’s unbalanced, and everyone involved is just used sparingly until the lot of them find some way to get hurt and then the good/bad guys win.
I had a hard time paying attention to the match because A, It was kinda boring, and B, AW’s voice was incredibly, ridiculously loud. I don’t know if he had a direct mic hooked up, but the dude was louder than Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and the audience combined. The guys voice boomed like he was Odin, and was announcing Ragnarok to all the peoples of Earth. Or maybe he temporarily siphoned the powers of Blackbolt, and his whispers don’t move mountains but his words can be heard clearly no matter where you are in the world. Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating, but the dude was crazy loud. Eventually, AW leads the Primetime Players away, because them leaving matches seems to be their thing now. Then Cody Rhodes exits too, leaving David Otunga alone with the rest of the other team. Brodus Clay then enters, and throws Otunga back into the ring to be Cobra’d by Santino. After Santino wins the match, they all take turns needlessly beating on Otunga. After ruthlessly destroying him, they all start dancing to Funkasaurus’ music, as little kids enter the ring. Meanwhile, Otunga writhes in agony. Funk is on a roll!
We then cut to Teddy Long dancing alone inside his dressing room, watching the match, which is exactly what I always thought he did, and it was hilarious to see my suspicions confirmed. Alberto Del Rio walks in, and begs for a title match, destiny, et all. Teddy informs him that the Board of Directors have made him the #1 contender, and given him a match at MITB, but that Teddy has given Del Rio a match tonight, and it’ll be a Teddy Long surprise, which I hope to god isn’t a sexual euphemism. Knowing Teddy Long, the Teddy Surprise is the same damn thing he always does, and is just a tag team match. Man, I really want Vickie back as GM, at least she was creative.
I remember watching this training montage between Vince McMahon and Shane. It was a fairly funny parody of Rocky and all the boxing movie/training montages you’ve ever seen. I loved seeing Vince becoming motivated to bulk up by his pure hatred of Stone Cold alone. I know a thing or two about hating things, and it’s inspiring to think that if you just hate someone or something enough, you can accomplish your goals, no matter how ridiculous, improbable, and pointless. Vince McMahon was a probably the best villainous character in the history of WWE, and boy, I sure do miss him. On a side note, Stephanie McMahon has aged REALLY well. She looks 10x hotter than I remember her being in the Attitude era. Lordy.
Teddy’s surprise turns out to not be a tag team match, but actually Del Rio matched up against Sin Cara. I’m actually surprised these guys haven’t wrestled before, because they’re both of luchador backgrounds. Del Rio actually makes quick work of Sin Cara, interrupting his ostentatious and stupid intro sequence, and then puts him in a cross armbreaker, ending the match before it starts. I like Alberto Del Rio crushing people. I like him winning cleanly, and I like him straight up being BETTER than other wrestlers who are forced on us. His talent is relatively underutilized, and dammit, he needs to have more promos, and we need to see more Ricardo Rodriguez actually wrestling. #Rudo forever.
After that match, we cut backstage to AJ and Daniel Bryan, who shows up with a rose in hand, trying to apologize to her for how he treated her in the past, saying he always cared about her. She calls him on his BS, says she sees through his transparent attempt to curry her favor for his match at MITB, and then bites off the head of the rose he gave her. No really, she bites off the head of the rose. Every week I keep wondering how they’re going to build on AJ’s “crazy chick” character angle, and every week she keeps doing something to up the ante, or at the very least, continue it in a believable fashion. What’s next? Does she start tearing up turnbuckles and eating chunks of the foam inside? Whatever they do, i’m enjoying it. Her character is fascinating right now, and she’s bringing a sliver of hope and legitimacy to the Diva’s division. Hopefully her becoming popular will continue this, and make it a trend. I know I want to see more scantily clad, attractive women actually wrestling competently, don’t you?
Then we return to the old recap of the HHH/Paul Heyman/Brock Lesnar storyline, where we see HHH fail over and over at mind games or understanding basic assault charges. Tonight we were told we’d get a response to HHH’s proposition of a match to settle things at Summerslam. Paul Heyman shows up VIA satellite, and tells us that the decision will actually be made, face to face, at the 1000th episode of Raw. He continues to sum up his impressions of HHH’s intentions for the match between Lesnar and HHH. He basically says that this match will provide a reason for HHH to throw in the towel and become a CEO/COO/Whatever full-time, and cap off his career as being the “last of his kind”, or the “end of an era”, as he’s put it before. I think Heyman is mostly right, but I also think HHH is just kind of dumb, and doesn’t think things through in terms other than “I’m gonna beat you up and then that’ll be that”. Which I guess makes sense, since as a wrestler turned corporate executive, that’s about the only logic he’d apply to any transgression or disagreement he’d ever have, professional or otherwise. I’m guessing if a plumber overcharges HHH for 3 hours work, HHH pedigrees him into his bathroom tile and demands a price reduction, or sliding scale payment plan. If his cook makes him undercooked pasta, he scalds him with the boiling pasta water and demands perfectly al dente ravioli. HHH is that guy who went to the club and thought it was cool to give the bouncers shit, tried to fight them, and was confused when he wasn’t let back in next week.
I can’t think of the last time I saw an inter-gender Tag Team match, but holy crap how much does Raw reek of Teddy Long as GM so far? One hour in, and the only two real matches (ADR vs Sin Cara doesn’t count) are both Tag Team matches. Dude, seriously? We get it. You love tag teams. Please bring back John Laurinaitis, WWE Board of Directors, I’m begging you. We’ve seen Dolph Ziggler vs Sheamus a few times now, and these guys are definitely learning to make each others moves look pretty good. They work together well, Sheamus’ moves look good on Ziggler, and Ziggler is pretty great at getting tweener heat from audiences. Eventually Dolph dodges a brogue kick and tags in Vickie. AJ quickly pins her, then grabs a mic and YES YES YES’s her way out of the ring. She’s then seen backstage looking for CM Punk, and catches him on the phone. After Punk doesn’t answer her immediately about who he’s talking to, she starts to go Overly-Possesive Girlfriend on him again, asking if he saw her match. He rebuffs her saying he was on the phone the whole time with his sister, and she starts to LOSE IT, and somehow manages to be crazy, creepy, and pitiful at the same time. Punk just shrugs and stands there, I laugh well through the entire commercial break, and the beat goes on.
Back from the break, Heath Slater is back, about to be jobbed to some former WWE Legend. They show a quick recap of all his previous losses, with bonus Three Stooges noises for every injury he took. He protests it, and starts saying how he’s not a clown. Yeah you guessed it, Doink The Clown then enters the ring, looking just as terrifying as I remember. Actually, he’s sort of dressed like a creepy clown version of Benjamin Franklin, and that thought alone will make my dreams really scary for a week at least. So they trade moves back and forth for a while, until shocker of shockers, Slater beats Doink! Then we’re treated to a really great surprise, and Diamond Dallas Frickin’ Page shows up, to the cheers of the crowd and me at home. He then drops a Diamond Cutter on Slater, and everyone loses their damn minds. I miss DDP, he should come back and put the Diamond Cutter on some chump every week, until he gets to Randy Orton. Then we’d get 10 minutes of them just countering each others identical finishers until one of them decides to give up. They’d be the unstoppable force and immovable object of wrestlers whose finishers come “out of NOWHERE”.
So let’s forget that these two were tag team champions and best friends as recently as a year ago, and focus on the particulars of this match. It’s a No-DQ match between them, essentially to build up the tension for their match at MITB. The both of them are considered “Monsters” now, and the both of them are relatively big men, whose main thing is being strong and feared. So their match is just an exercise in big slow dudes moving slowly and attempting moves that seem a bit too much for both of them. Big Show does a good job of making short work of Kane, further establishing him as a dominant force in the WWE. The match itself wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. Aside from the use of a chair though, I don’t get why it was No-DQ. I guess they needed to sell the idea that Kane was only barely beaten by Big Show, but to be honest, it didn’t do Kane any kind of favor with his portrayal as an effective wrestler. Unless he has someone quick to complement his move set, he seems really slow and relatively weak.
Then we cut to Teddy Long and Eve, who I had forgotten about entirely, but good lord does she look great in red, white and blue. Even though Eve is pretty, she’s still better as a backstage character than wrestler. Her character is one of the WWE female staples, that being: The Bitch. I’m not sure what her absence in the WWE was for, kayfabe or otherwise, but her return post-Laurinaitis is a bit superfluous. Is she still in a position of power? It’s something I’ll just have to guess at in continuing weeks. I’m guessing right now, her purpose is for us to just remember her, which seems apt, as that’s all Teddy seems to think, as he slaps a name tag on her. That’s his idea of a revenge for being made to wear a name tag and maids dress by the way.
Like dude, if you’re the GM, and somebody ridiculed you for weeks on end, FIRE THEM. But I digress, as we see Eve approach AJ. Eve makes fun of AJ, calling her a little girl and all those typical insults an older, jealous woman makes of a younger, hotter, more talented woman than themselves. AJ then goes 2-0 tonight, and calls Eve on all of her BS, and rightly accuses Eve of being a brown noser with nobody to brown nose, and no attention to gain from anyone. AJ then says she’ll show her and everyone else, just how to get attention. I’m presuming she means she’ll win another match, or challenge Eve to a fight, but maybe it’ll mean she’ll actually wrestle women of equal wrestling ability and create a viable women’s division? Either that or she’ll look directly into the camera and profess her love for me. Both would blow my mind equally at this point.
So every time I see Tyson Kidd on Raw, I make a game with myself, where I take a shot. Of course, this has never happened until last week, and usually my shot of alcohol gets all full of lint, excess cat hair and dead bugs from sitting so damn long. But this last month I’ve taken that shot, and tonight will be the second time. I also have a secondary rule, where if I see Tyson Kidd win a match, I finish the bottle of booze right then and there. The third rule I have, is if Tyson Kidd wins that match in under a minute, I drink all of the booze in the house. So tonight, after seeing Kidd defeat Tensai in under a minute, I drank every last drop of Jameson, Jager and Vodka I had. Strangely, it hasn’t kicked in yet ohwaitthereitgoes ohsfsnj dk lorfd tenzai ish fat urnd gonba habe wressle AJ I LOVE YOIIII ohhbbbb
Backstage, we see Jericho preparing for his match, and Daniel Bryan walks in wearing his jacket. They then argue about whose jacket is better (no really), and then decide that they must embarrass John Cena tonight. Daniel Bryan agrees with his catchphrase, which Jericho detests. Bryan continues Yes-ing, while Jericho continues his catchphrase, “Never EEEEEVER a-gain”, in a catchphrase-off that I can only describe as being as funny as it is weird. I know in reality they both stop the camera cuts away, but man how great would it be if they only communicated to each other in catch phrases? Just have the both of them come out and represent the apotheosis of wrestling heels, who say their catchphrase, destroy people, and then leave. Jericho already did the opposite of this when he returned, and didn’t say a damn word for 3 weeks straight, gaining heat off of everybody who wanted him to come back face. Daniel Bryan has pretty much built up his whole heel turn around his catchphrase, and already pretty much communicates solely in catchphrases, so why not try it out for a month? Make them a tag team called The Catchphrase Kings, and I’ll love you forever WWE. Returning from the break, Tyson Kidd gets attacked by Tensai in the locker room, because Tensai is a big fat whiny loser baby man. Then, we finally get to the main event of the night.
So yeah, our main event is, surprise, a tag team match. Teddy Long, you are the worst. Seriously.
Along with nearly every single match tonight being a tag team match, this Raw suffers from pre-PPV syndrome hard. Sometimes a PPV is the culmination of storylines and matches that occur naturally, and provide either an endpoint or a bullet point in a feud between wrestlers, but sometimes the case is like tonight, where the story and its booking are all there to serve the PPV, rather than the PPV serve the story and the booking. I had a hard time thinking why everyone was wrestling tonight, other than “Well, they will be at the PPV”. Not that I mind seeing Jericho, Bryan and Punk in a match together, but the reason for them being in a match with Cena is tenuous at best, and it only serves to undermine the previous feud that Punk and Cena had last year, as we saw them earlier just throw away all their history literally in a handshake. You could argue that it’s a noble thing to do between two faces, but it’s boring for me, and doesn’t adhere to Punk’s devil-may-care attitude, and comes off as fake to me, in a really wrong way.
All that being said, when you have so much good talent in the ring, it’s hard to have a boring match. Jericho and Daniel Bryan actually make a surprisingly good team, and do a great job of isolating Cena from his partner. But tonight, Robo-Cena is in full effect, and despite Jericho and Bryan really hitting him hard, he continues to kick out, and slowly build momentum, until he gets the tag to Punk. Punk jumps in and turns the momentum of the match, and Jericho and Cena battle outside the ring, disappearing up stage. Bryan gets a huge kick on Punk, and it looks like he was about to win cleanly for the second week in a row against Punk, until Punk counters and gets a huge superplex off the top rope. AJ then shows up, (duh), and Bryan starts to get a lead on Punk. AJ then paces around the ring, looking for something under the ring, until she pulls out a table. She carefully sets it up, and spends a long amount of time considering the table, slowly climbing the to the top of the turn buckle. It looks like she’s about to jump onto the table, although I’m clueless as to why, when suddenly Daniel Bryan jumps out of the ring, and pleads with her to not jump. CM Punk then comes up, to also convince her to not jump, and she kisses Punk. He stands there confused for a moment, and she shoves him into Daniel Bryan, and they both crash through the table. AJ starts Yes-ing, and we end on a shot of Bryan and Punk writhing in mutual confusion and agony.
It seems AJ has picked CM Punk as her object of affection, but is quick to jump to anger if ignored. Pushing Punk through that table is her way of putting you in the dog house, so to speak. The real thing to ponder is, why they both acted as if her jumping 4 feet onto a folding table was tantamount to a suicide attempt. Guys, she’s a trained wrestler remember? If she wants to jump through a table, let her jump. I’m sure she knows how to take a bump. The better ending would have been she jumps through the table, goes all Mick Foley and starts rolling around in the smashed bits of table, smiling in pleasure/pain, and we end as both Punk and Bryan stare in horror.
Also, what the hell happened to Cena and Jericho? Are they still fighting backstage? Do they just get out of camera shot and then go hit the showers and play grab ass? Maybe they’re secretly working together and the second they get backstage they high-five and go bro it out in the green room, eating chips and making fun of Kane. Or just maybe, they’re still back there, fighting each other during every moment they’re not on camera, and they’re waiting for AW to summon Odin with his God-Voice, and they shall be the Valkyries that bring about Ragnarok. That’d be better than the non-ending we got on Raw tonight. Even my Mom was asking if that was it, and she usually doesn’t even pay even half-attention to Raw at all.
So let me point some things out to you. If the WWE Universe ever gets to pick who the new GM of Raw and Smackdown is, for the love of god, please don’t pick Teddy. On a 2 hour show that had 7 matches, four of them were singles matches that ended in quick squashes in under 2 minutes, and everything else was long, boring tag team matches, with a main event that didn’t even have a real ending. The dude is TERRIBLE at his job, and literally anyone else is better than him. So please, don’t support Teddy. He is a bad GM. Vote for Vickie, she may be annoying, but she can at least book an entertaining show.
Stick to what you know Teddy. RIP People Power.
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.”
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*
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.
Here’s the truth – I was content just sitting back until Wrestlemania and seeing what happens in the much anticipated main event clash between John Cena and the Rock. However, I can only read so many articles where a writer shoves his biased, bullshit, illogical opinion down my throat until I finally have to speak up. Here’s the deal Bleacher Report, I get it, you all like the Rock, and furthermore, you all seem to be convinced that John Cena is going to turn heel after or during his match at Wrestlemania, but you never seem to offer a valid explanation as to why. So right now, I’m going to take time out of my day to tell you all exactly why it’s not going to happen!
Over the past six years, the WWE has pushed John Cena as the face of the company. From make-a-wish trips, to anti-bullying campaigns, to representing the WWE at major sporting events, John Cena has done it all for the company. Let me ask you something, after years of investing all of this effort into John Cena being the man to respectfully represent the company, why in the Hell would they turn him heel? Who would the WWE send to anti-bullying campaigns?? The bad guy in the company?? I don’t think so! There is more to John Cena’s character than just his contribution to a storyline. I’ve been hearing about this John Cena heel turn for years, and low and behold it has not happened!
Not only would a John Cena heel turn be about the phoniest heel turn since good ole’ JR, but it would be extremely bad for business. Look into any crowd, on any given Monday Night Raw and you’ll see thousands of children pack the arena decked out in John Cena gear. John Cena has become an idol to the younger viewers with his superman like physique and his “never say die,” mentallity. Should John Cena turn heel, whose merchandise are these young fans buying?? That’s right, nobody’s, because nobody’s character appeals to younger fans the way Cena’s does. A Cena heel turn would not only kill merchandise sales, but also lose viewers. The move would be all around bad for business, and I think the WWE knows this!
Although I heavily knock this prediction, I will say that I wouldn’t ever rule the possibility out completely. It would not be the first time that the WWE has made a bad character decision, I just find it to be nearly impossible at this point.
I know this is going to break hearts aplenty, but the WWE has released some of your favorite wrestlers! Just kidding! But seriously they released a few wrestlers, but if you had these jokes up on your list of favorites then you have some major problems. WWE didn’t have a very good 2nd quarter so that must mean they made 20 billion instead of 30 billion. Those poor executives. So let’s get started.
This guy was good for about two matches per year and then flexing his oiled up man tits repeatedly but other than that Chris Masters was under utilized like crazy. It had honestly been so long since he’d been relegated to being a member of the joke squad that I can’t remember him being a legit competitor ever. That’s a shame because the guy is clearly no slouch in the fitness area and when he did wrestle he showed a little promise. Apparently people like Daniel Bryan are just better than him… right.
David Hart Smith
I was never much impressed with David Smith. Other than him being the son of the British Bulldog he wasn’t very impressive except in the height area, but we all know that height doesn’t get you very far in the WWE unless you act like an undead guy or have hands the size of basketballs. (Big Show) I enjoyed him in Tag Team competition with Tyson Kid, but it seemed like the Raw writers didn’t want to have their reign continue very long. Either way, that picture with Pee Wee was probably his death knell, so good luck in your future endeavors Mr. Smith.
Things went bad for Vlad when he started participating in Dance Offs and teaming up with Santino Morella, who is of course the biggest joke of all. Kozlov worked better as the crazy heel who wasn’t afraid of anyone and tore through the competition. I suppose a schtick like that can’t last forever though and I can’t say it’s surprising to see him slip into obscurity.
I guess it’s not a huge loss when a Diva goes, because lord knows the writers on both shows constantly let them fall by the wayside. But I guess if one had to go it might as well be Melina. Honestly I can’t say much about her. Her entrance music is atrocious, her demeanor is cheesy and her wrestling ability isn’t much to talk of. I know Kelly Kelly is just a pretty face, but that is one pretty face worth keeping around. So goodbye to Melina and her enormously fake boobs.
So that’s a wrap for the excess fat that was liposuction-ed out of the WWE for now. I know there are plenty of others that should have been canned, including scum like Daniel Bryan, Santino and the Miz. But I guess we’ll have to bear with them until the next culling of superstars.