Best and Worst of WWE Raw 7/11: The Defining Moment of Our Generation

Pro Wrestling Editor
07.12.11 42 Comments

And believe it or not, it’s not just a joke about Kelly Kelly.

Best: When CM Punk Talks, and When Someone Dies

I want to make a better point than “this is how to make money” to start this week’s Best and Worst. I want one of those rambling Bill Simmons things about how I was five years old watching George “The Animal” Steele bite Macho Man on the leg through his boot with a bunch of footnotes about my wife and kids. I don’t have a wife or kids, and when I was five I was watching Magnum TA beat the head-blood and facial piss out of Tully Blanchard with a microphone.

I’m also not a “part of the wrestling industry”, and more importantly I’m not trying too hard to be. That’s something a lot of people blogging in the Internet Wrestling Community forget, just like sportswriters — no matter how much you write about this, you aren’t a part of it. Roger Ebert always mentions things like “Robert Altman told me this on the set of Gosford Park” but outside of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls he’s never been a “part” of Robert Altman’s work. I can mention that Sugar Dunkerton took a picture with me for his scrapbook at the King of Trios fan conclave, but that doesn’t put me in the ring with F.I.S.T. At best I’m a writer, at worst I’m a blogger, and I have no right to tell you what does and doesn’t draw money.

That being said, every nerve in my body tells me this is how you make wrestling fans pay for wrestling shows. You hire people who are good at things, then let them be their own kind of good. It took them five years, but letting CM Punk speak from that little pro wrestler living inside of his heart is the best idea they’ve had. I’m not unique in this opinion. All over the Internet today you’ll read about how people are buying Money in the Bank. You’ll read about how they’ve been on-again/off-again fans since the Attitude Era, but now they’re tuning in to see what everyone’s talking about. And guess what? You aren’t doing it with invasions and big stars from other companies and collapsible cage walls and falls from the Titantron — you’re doing it with a guy talking. Because this guy is f**king great at talking.

Wrestling is easy, I don’t know why you’ve been screwing it up so much.

Best: John Cena Has a Good Point if He’d Ever Make It

WWE character John Cena usually makes the same ten or so points when he’s faced with a challenge:

1. He will never give up.
2. He has been busting his ass for this company for years.
3. He has earned his spot.
4. He represents the people, even the ones who don’t support him.
5. He will not ever give up.
6. He will not back down from a challenge.
7. If you think he is going to give up, you are mistaken.
8. The Troops
9. Giving up is a theoretical impossibility.
10. He has beaten a lot of people

And he only really needs that last one.

1. John Cena has beaten a lot of people.

That’s my major gripe with Cena. He dances out and does his Three Voices of Doom and his Five Moves of Fear and just sorta delivers jokes and declarations without making the easiest, most effective one of all. People chant “Cena sucks”, but for the last eight years he has beaten literally EVERY PERSON IN OUR UNIVERSE, most of the time without breaking a sweat. Orton, Triple H, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Eddie Guerrero, Batista, Punk, Miz, Skip Sheffield and everybody on down until you’re scraping the barrel at Firestorm Pro, trying to find Dick Trimmins’ phone number because nobody else is a fresh match. That’s Cena. He has shoulder-jumped and toe-held every single one of those motherf**kers, and the most effective John Cena is the one who says “I don’t care what you’re saying, I’m going to show up and whip your ass”.

That’s it. That’s all he’s got to do. He is intense like a drug addict and his body is made out of those metal meat tubes from the Tool video. He will f**king kill you and make you tap out and he won’t even have to close the window. That’s the John Cena we got in the opening, and that’s the John Cena I keep homering for every week.

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Worst: That GM Noise is Not Getting the Heat You Want

Our fantastic opening to Raw was neutered in a split second by some flickering lights and an iPhone message noise. The reaction of the crowd isn’t “boo”, it’s “ah sh:t”. That’s not good. Listen to how molten hot they are for Cena and Punk, then pay attention to how molten freezing f**king cold they are for the GM’s commercial break, announcement and handicap match. These people had to go buy foam You Can’t See Me hands because they’d spent seven minutes ass-pressing the blood out of their real ones.

It’s time to do away with the general manager concept or give it a face and a name that can benefit, and I’m not just saying that because my girlfriend goes WHO IS THE ANONYMOUS GENERAL MANAGER every time it chimes. I DON’T KNOW DESTINY, GOD.

Best: Mark Henry Ensures a Total Lack of Peace

I’ve mentioned it before, but Mark Henry is doing some of the best and most effective work of his 380 year career and it is being completely overshadowed by CM Punk and will be forgotten in a month. I will talk more about Mark Henry racing across the stage like that rhino you can ride in Donkey Kong Country later, I just wanted to say how awesome this video package is. The only way it could’ve been better is if they’d distorted his IT BURN WHEN YOU CRY death poem for Owen Hart into the background somewhere. Or crying babies.

Worst: Tag Teams Are Music Videos on MTV

I can only think of two things off the top of my head that are less funny than a Dead Baby Joke, and they are as follows:

1. That joke where you replace “ESP” with “ESPN” because you’re supposed to be psychic, but are also dumb. This is the laziest joke ever and unless you are Kimmie Gibbler you should not be making it.

2. Any reference to MTV playing music videos, followed by a “heh, but MTV doesn’t PLAY music videos anymore!”

That one sucks a lot, because yeah, f**khead, MTV doesn’t play music videos anymore and they haven’t for like 10 years. It’s like complaining that SpikeTV doesn’t play enough episodes of “Hee-Haw”. The state of tag team wrestling in WWE has become the MTV Doesn’t Play Music Videos Anymore of online wrestling discussion, and I think last night’s handicap match is the official marking of moratorium on the talking point.

This isn’t the first time WWE has had one guy beat up two guys without breaking a sweat, and it’s not the first time those two guys have been tag team champions. Hell, this isn’t the first time Cena’s done it. It’s always bad, and it’s always a sad look at the easiest kind of exciting wrestling to build and execute, but it’s time for us to get over it. The Bulldogs and the Hart Foundation and the Smackdown Six were great, but Michael McGillicutty rocking his Exodus of the Beginning of the Start of the Chinlock while wearing a hieroglyphics collector’s plate on his stomach is a white flag. We give up, and we should be gracious in our defeat.

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