– Comments, shares, likes, and especially Reddit submissions/up votes are appreciated. If you aren’t sending me a Christmas present, at least make my column slightly more popular with strangers!
– Next Tuesday is Christmas, so the Best And Worst Of WWE Raw will take a one-week vacation. I’ll still get up an open discussion thread for Christmas Eve, and we’ll pick back up formally on January 1.
– Smackdown is live tonight on the USA Network, so be sure to come back to With Leather and hang out with us in the Super Smackdown Live open discussion thread. I am probably not going to do a Best and Worst report for it, because I’ve already done two this week. If that makes you sad, go read the Best and Worst of TLC again!
– Thanks for a great year of reports, everybody. I couldn’t do this without the generous comments and feedback you guys give me. I love you all dearly.
Please click through to enjoy the last Best And Worst Of WWE Raw column of the year, for December 17, 2012.
Worst: Tell Me I Did Not Just Watch A 3-Hour Commercial For The WWE App
If you read the Best And Worst Of WWE TLC ’12, you’ll remember that it’s what’s being called a, “Happy Brandon” report. Apparently when I’m having a bad day (or, I don’t know, the show is terrible), my reports take a very snarky, negative point of view. When I’m happy, or the show is great, it gets me happy and optimistic and the report reflects that. Less HERE IS EVERYTHING RACIST AND SEXIST and more WHOA CODY RHODES’ PUNCHES ARE AWESOME.
I should warn you up from that The Best And Worst Of Raw 12/18/12 is not a Happy Brandon report.
The Slammy Awards are the worst show of the year. It’s right here at Christmas time, when WWE has an usually long build for Royal Rumble. Most of the time they know people will buy the Rumble for the Rumble, which is why they still wait until 2 weeks before it happens to formally book it, and we end up with, like, Bob Holly world title shots. This year The Rock is wrestling on the show, so if they wait until the PPV pre-show to announce anything other than “The Rock” and “Royal Rumble match,” I’ll be shocked. So if you add all that to The Holidays, when WWE has a pre-taped thing of Hornswoggle dancing for The Troops and CM Punk passive-aggressively hosting a movie as “WWE week” and knows nobody’s going to give a shit about their programming until January, it’s not the best time for a wrestling show.
This year the Slammys aren’t (totally) worked to set up feuds or whateveer, they were voted on with the WWE App. If you didn’t know this, perhaps you saw Booker T’s FRIENDS, LET US ALL TAKE OUT OUR SMART PHONES AND DOWNLOAD THE APP NOW, IT’S OKAY, I’LL WAIT announcement. Anyway, it takes what was already zero f**king fun away from voting on Twitter with hashtags and puts the fate of THREE HOURS OF TELEVISED PROGRAMMING in the hands of whatever kid loves John Cena enough to want to watch him stall between commercial breaks.
I might just review TLC again. First up: Rhodes Scholar insults hipsters!
Best: The Boogeyman Appears And Disappears Having Done Nothing
Here’s what I wrote about The Boogeyman in the Best And Worst Of No Way Out 2007, in a Worst entitled, “The Boogeyman Is Basically The Worst Wrestler Of All Time”:
Boogeyman’s gimmick was dumb but effective, and if he’d had the wrestling ability of a Dolph Ziggler he probably could’ve taken it to God knows where. Unfortunately he had the wrestling ability of Raja f**king Lion and couldn’t make anything look natural, so his matches are full of random choke holds, shimmy dancing and Stinger Splashes where he gets a running start, jumps straight up about a foot away from the guy and then “splashes” down on them with the impact of an Eve Torres moonsault.
For whatever reason I have a lot of oddly positive memories of The Boogeyman, but damn, watching him move around is like an endless loop of Kelly Kelly running the ropes.
Boogey showing up on Raw got me interested, I’ll admit, but then they came back from commercial and he was just … gone. Booker mugged to the camera and asked us to please tell him he didn’t just see that. Why would we do that? The Boogeyman was a wrestler. You worked with him. If Boogeyman showed up and started vomiting Wendy’s on Booker’s lectern or whatever, that would’ve been a Tell Me I Didn’t Just See That moment. What, we have to deny the existence of shitty weird people now?
Funny enough, Boogeyman wrestling anybody would’ve been a top shelf wrestling match on this show.
Worst: Hurry Up And Finish These Matches, We’ve Got To Do More Polls!
I can only get so upset about Damien Sandow losing clean to Rey Mysterio in two minutes on a Slammy Awards show. On a normal show, this would be terrible. Sandow has become a “tag team wrestler,” which means he can’t beat anybody in a singles match, not even other tag team wrestlers wrestling singles. On a Slammy show, it joins every other match as an exercise in going through the motions until the production team is ready to go with their next awards thing.
It felt a lot like somebody set their WWE ’13 game to “quick,” and Mysterio just hit his finish and had to win. While I’m thinking about it, what happened to Car Stereo’s combo gear? That was great, and took the focus off of Rey Mysterio’s Virgil At Conventions shirt.
Best: Kofi Kingston Continues To Do What It Is He Does, Which Is Make You Say “Wow”
… as in, “Wow, this guy has no idea how to wrestle.”
Seriously though, I’ll give him credit. Of the nominees announced, Kofi deserved this Slammy, and his acceptance speech was harmless and nice so good for him. The Maddox low blow and Punk jumping the Rock didn’t make me say TELL ME I DIDN’T JUST SEE THAT, they just made me wonder where characters and stories were going. The Sheamus/Daniel Bryan match (which, again, was shown IN ITS F**KING ENTIRETY) just made me sad again. Kofi’s Rumble save wasn’t as good as John Morrison’s Spider-Man act on the barricade from the previous year, but it was the best thing he’s ever done without Randy Orton having to have a NASCAR.
Worst: Hey Now, You Can’t Steal Eve’s Thing, She Just Started Doing It
The Naomi experiment from TLC is over. She’s back to being a Funkadactyl, and the Divas division is back to being the same three ladies as always. I like Kaitlyn, though, so I’ll continue accepting it for what it is, and secretly hoping that somebody from WWE Creative was at ACW’s Delusions Of Our Childish Days and signed up every woman on it.
The only thing I really didn’t like was Kaitlyn aping Eve’s post-match pose. Not that her DOING it is bad, necessarily, but it’s just that Eve’s only been doing it for two weeks. That’s not long enough for it to become her signature thing, or for babyfaces to start using it to rub losses in her face. Kinda like when DX suddenly has a cherished tour bus, and a week or two later Stone Cold’s destroying it with a girder. Don’t rush to the punchline, guys.