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Please to enjoy the Best and Worst Of WWE Raw 4/30, with special guest star … oh, let’s say “Moe”.
Best: Raw SuperShow Starring Brock Lesnar
I loved the simple continuity of having RAW SUPERSHOW’s ridiculous quasi-name made even worse with STARRING BROCK LESNAR added to the bottom in the appropriate fonts. They should keep adding sh*t to it every week until it’s DORITO’S LOCOS TACOS AND DIET MOUNTAIN DEW PRESENT THE PAPPY O’DANIEL FLOUR HOUR MONDAY NIGHT RAWSTLING OLD TIMEY VARIETY WORLDWIDE ENTERTAININ’ SUPERSHOW STARRING BROCK LESNAR, ALSO STARRING NICHOLAS COLASANTO AS ‘COACH’.
I was hoping we’d get “Shout At The Devil” as our entrance theme instead of Nickelback’s balls-out anthem to sh*tfaces, but whatever. At this point it’s feeling like Nickelback, the spinner title and Shawn Michaels’ hair are gonna be with us forever, no matter how much we hate them.
Best: Brock Lesnar Handles Triple H The Old Fashioned Way
WWE.com made the announcement that H was showing up, and I feared the worst.
At Extreme Rules, Raw and SmackDown GM John Laurinaitis had a mysterious phone conversation with Triple H. The GM promised to reveal the nature of their conversation when The Game comes to Raw SuperShow tonight. What will the two have to say?
I thought for sure we were in for 20 minutes of Y’KNOW SOMETHIN’ SHAWN and lots of sunken-necked general hand-pointing, so Brock Lesnar just kinda headmauling him to the ground and breaking his arm was a happy gift to me. I continue to enjoy the moments when Lesnar skips the formalities and just Brocks people to death, especially when WWE authority figures are trying to enforce the authority Brock’s spent weeks saying he doesn’t care for or respect.
I would’ve enjoyed it more without the temporary Triple H comeback and was ready with a whole paragraph of OH GREAT TRIPLE H WAY TO NEVER LOOK VULNERABLE YOU SHOULD FILM YOURSELF IN CHILDBIRTH SCOOPING A CHILD FROM YOUR WOMB EFFORTLESSLY AND HANDING IT TO THE DOCTOR AND SMIRKING AND CHOPPING YOUR CROTCH AT HIM stuff, but he ended up selling the kimura lock like a champ. I don’t know how much it has to do with Lesnar’s reported backstage temper tantrum stuff that’s all over the dirt sheets today, but if H is the kinda guy who’ll step in and say, “okay so we can’t make Cena sell or stop telling jokes, why don’t you break my arm and I’ll roll away screaming and we’ll do a thing where Sheamus stands near me and looks sad” he’s earning points.
Triple H versus Lesnar at SummerSlam is gonna play out a lot like Lesnar’s feud with Undertaker, though, I’m calling that right now. People remember the great Hell in a Cell where Lesnar destroyed him and threw him around, but they often forget the terrible pay-per-view BEFORE that where it ended in a double disqualification and Taker Muhammad Hassan’d him through the set.
Worst: Regular Updates On Triple H Throughout The Night
Jerry Lawler saying he could hear Triple H’s arm snap from where he was sitting (wearing headphones) was pretty amazing, but I could’ve done without the “whenever Poochie isn’t on screen the other characters should be asking hey where’s Poochie” aspects of the story.
They should’ve pulled a Zack Ryder and solemnly announce that H had died in the attack, only to downgrade it to “a broken half of body” later and “partially torn ligaments” in hour two. By the overrun H would be healthy enough to jog out with a bandage on his head and sledgehammer everybody.
Best: Kofi Kingston Is Fed Up With This World
Best/Worst: The Concept Of Beating The Clock
The Best for the Beat The Clock Challenge is for the sense of urgency it creates … far too often, matches on Raw happen and are forgotten and the wrestlers sorta sleepwalk their way through it with no direction or purpose. They’re just wrestlers wrestling on the wrestling show. With Beat The Clock, even something like Kane versus The Great Khali becomes purposeful, and every match on the show gets tethered to every other match on the show and we’ve got a narrative. That’s easy, effective booking.
The Worst is that you’re straight up encouraging the guys to have 2-minute matches. When the longest match on your show hits 4:30 and you aren’t GLOW, that’s a negative. Beat The Clock would work well as an ancillary thing built around two or three important, non-clock matches (especially when you have extra time on, say, one of the three hour shows), but as a booking device you end up getting a great match at the end of the show and knowing it’s gonna last three minutes or less. That’s hard to get excited for, especially when the matches just end when the timer runs out. They should probably still have to finish the matches, shouldn’t they? Is that how combat sports work?
Best: Eve Is An Executive Now So She Wears Glasses
I still don’t like Eve and I miss David Otunga like the desert misses the f**king rain, but I appreciate the ridiculous lengths WWE is going to to make Eve a deplorable character. Eve’s heel turn (which I’ll remind you was her saying three sentences to the Bella Twins, being called out by John Cena and called a bitch for 5 minutes) was super weak, so they’re overcompensating by making her every thing they think the WWE Universe would hate most, namely:
1. A woman
2. A person of color
3. Someone who is pretty and mentions that they’re pretty
4. Someone who is mean to babyfaces
5. “Manipulative” or “opportunistic”
6. Someone who stands near John Laurinaitis in the curtains and posters room
7. A person wearing glasses, which means they’re smart, which means they think they’re better than you
Add to that the fact that she’s been revealed as the person “censoring” Zack Ryder’s videos to make them less funny and you might as well film her smothering Faust’s village.
Worst: Hard Camera Finishes
Miz finally defeating the juggernaut that is Santino Marella and his aggressive Manger Baby was the right call, but I continue to hate how Miz can’t just full nelson a guy and Skullcrushingly Finale him, he has to hook in the full nelson, turn around so he’s facing the hard camera, THEN do it. He never locks his hands, either, so he just kinda hooks his arms around a guy and gingerly moves them around, and literally anyone with cognizance could take a step to the left and escape it without incident. I don’t know, it bugs me that you have a full nelson as the linchpin of your move and you can’t wrestle snugly enough to do a f**king full nelson.
I notice that John Cena does this too, where he picks up a guy in the Attitude Adjustment and uses ALL OF HIS STREEEENGTH except for the additional strength he uses to walk to the middle of the ring, turn around, grimace at the camera and do his move. I’m sure everyone does it (I can’t remember Daniel Bryan ever kicking someone in the head without their back to the camera) and if I could have Steve Keirn or whoever’s job the first thing I’d do is make everyone at FCW play Fire Pro and teach them that the wrestling ring has four sides and should be a dynamic f**king place of action.
The second thing I’d do is ask out Raquel Diaz, because sh*t, it’s worth a shot.
Best: Layla Is The New Ryback
This should be Layla’s entire Divas Championship run … she should be smart enough to do the things nobody else has thought to do.
At Extreme Rules, she foiled Team Magic by just beating up the fresh Bella, because God, they’re the Bella Twins, it’s not like Nikki Bella rolled out and Kenta Kobashi rolled in. You can just neckbreaker her and she dies like the first one. So yeah, she gets put into a triple threat match with two Bellas on Monday, so instead of being all John Cena about it and looking concerned as she squats in the corner she does what anybody who watches wrestling would try: she dropkicks one Bella into the other, then goes straight for that roll-up nobody can escape. She wins in 10 seconds. Divas don’t kick out and she is a SUPER GENIUS.
This proves scientifically that two is not greater than you.
Worst: Goodbye Forever, Sweet Bellas Twin
Shortly after this match, the Bella Twins got into a verbal catfight of sorts with Important Sexy Librarian Eve Torres and were fired. Hilariously, WWE.com broke the story and said they’d have “more details as the story developed”, because WWE has no connection to WWE.com and those dot com jerks just have to watch Raw and guess like everyone else.
Anyway, this ends the Bella Twins in WWE, which ends any hope of Kharma coming back and longterm booking the sh*t out of them as revenge for them calling her and her baby a bunch of bad names. Not to be insensitive about it, but how great would that storyline be now that Kharma’s baby didn’t survive? This saddened, wronged woman comes back to her job and sees the two people who directly addressed the baby in a hateful way during its lifetime … that is reason for f**king violence isn’t it? She should’ve shown up and jabbed them in the eyes with spikes until they crawled away bleeding like Joey Mercury’s ladder arseface and were never seen again. Instead, they lose a 10 second match and Eve fires them for being mouthy.
I always enjoyed the Bella Twins, at least moreso than I enjoyed the mayo on whitebread ladies who were lined up to face them. Who will wrestle tag matches against Kelly Kelly and Kelly Kelly’s friend? Who will walk up and be all OOH YOU’RE THE THIRD GUY FROM HOT TUB TIME MACHINE when the third guy from Hot Tub Time Machine hosts and needs to look like a desirable movie star? Who will wear Reynolds Wrap bathing suits that make their crotches look like baked potatoes? This is sadder than you’re realizing.
I wish Nikki Bella the best in her career, and if that fails, I wish Brie the best in finishing Nikki’s career.
Best: Chris Jericho Selling A Mid-Air Chop
If Chris Jericho wants to make a legitimate point about how he’s being disrespected by WWE’s important people, he should bring up the fact that he had to wrestle The Big Show and Daniel Bryan got to beat a 78-year old in a homemade playing-card-themed Affliction shirt. Randy Orton got to face Jack Swagger, who hasn’t had a match longer than 4 minutes since 2006, and Jericho has to face a 7-foot tall 500-pound guy who just lost his title by accident and responded by throwing a Jericho-sized guy to his death. That’s a much more cromulent argument than “we have similar nicknames and I’m mad about it”.
Worst: Cody Rhodes Not Continuing The Big Show Thing
Before WrestleMania, Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes repeatedly harassed The Big Show by interrupting his matches with embarrassing video packages. When Show won at Mania, he started interrupting Cody’s matches the same way. Cody got the IC title back at Extreme Rules, and he totally should’ve started interrupting Show’s matches with footage of Show being fat and dumb and accidentally stepping on things. This should continue on an infinite loop until it drives them mad and they do a Gandalf/Balrog thing three ages from now at WWE Nameless Terror.
Best: Orton And Swagger’s Four Minute Broadway
Randy Orton versus Jack Swagger was about as good as a four-minute match with a five-minute time limit and a foregone conclusion could be. Well, it might’ve been better with Dolph Ziggler instead of Swagger, but Dolph was busy stuffing Mason Ryan into a suitcase and carrying him to f**king Siberia on Superstars.
Of all the people in WWE, Randy Orton and Jack Swagger are the two who need a slightly new direction. Orton would be easy … you’ve established him as a natural do-gooder who is occasionally a psychotic asshole, so if you can pair him up with someone who isn’t that and get a good story out of it. His stuff with Christian and Mark Henry last year was good because they aren’t the same Triple H/Kane “I’m gonna be relentless~!” types. He could really excel against someone like Daniel Bryan or Del Rio, guys who have an agenda but aren’t nutso about it until they’re pushed to the point of punting. Also, they’re great wrestlers. Orton can improve on a dime, and he can plateau harder and faster than anybody when he isn’t being challenged.
Swagger has super secret charisma, he’s got the size you desperately want in a young WWE guy and he’s got Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler as monster heat machines by his side. Give him a new look to match his Ken Cosgrove hair and give him a purpose. Don’t just have him say he’s an American or that he wants a title, give him an impetus … have him feel something is important and attempt to make it happen. I guess that’s the most verbose way ever to say “have him do stuff”, but whatever. He needs to be a character and react to other characters, not a wrestler who reacts to other wrestlers.
Worst: Eve As A Sexual Foil
From last week’s column:
I really, really hate this idea. Not only because you’re trading a brilliant backstage character for a woman with the acting prowess of a house plant and getting TWO terrible wrestlers in return, but because John Laurinaitis absolutely does not need a female foil/sex interest. John Laurinaitis needs to be the most asexual guy of all time. He works well with Otunga because they’re more or less neutered and all about their paychecks. Those are the spineless authority figures we need, not a f**king Beetle Bailey with Eve as Miss Buxley.
And this week, a frustrated John Laurinaitis gets a “my eyes are up here!” comment from Eve. No matter how badly you want him to be Mr. McMahon, you don’t need to have him yelling I’M GONNA SCREEEW YOU DAMMIT and sticking his tongue in things. He’s a different guy. He’s honestly more Teddy Long than Vince McMahon, that’s why they work as enemies.
Maybe Otunga will be back in a couple of weeks, say “you should really stop being a pervert with Eve, she’s your employee and she’s like the 18th hottest person here”, sip his coffee and slowly shake his head. (Please come back quickly.)
Best: JTG And I Feel The Same Way About Brodus Clay Right Now
Best: Funkasaurus Not Knowing How Momentum Works
I’m not enjoying The Funk much lately (other than the ongoing splits one-upsmanship between the Funkadactyls and the entrance theme, which I’ll never get tired of), but I got a kick out of him bouncing off the ropes about a foot to the right of JTG’s body (twice!), then stepping over and doing a splash as if he’d gotten any goddamn momentum whatsoever from the ropes. It was the Boogeyman’s jumping clothesline in the corner for fat, falling dinosaurs. He could just stand still and fall on dudes and it would hurt the same.
There are still some worsts, though, like the fact that Clay squashed Dolph Ziggler at Extreme Rules on Sunday and went right back to beating up guys like JTG on Raw. If Brodus is good enough to beat a techincal former World Champion in three minutes and not break (into more of) a sweat, why shouldn’t he get thrown into the Beat The Clock thing with guys like Miz, who haven’t won anything in months? He could beat Miz without moving.
Oh, and for the official record, Naomi > Cameron. Calling my Funkadactyl loyalties now, before WWE breaks them up and feuds them against each other.
Worst: Here Are Some Children!
It is never a good idea to bring children into a wrestling ring. This includes post-match dancing, Dominic custody battles and WWE Fan Axxess (see those kids in the ring with me while I’m destroying the impression contest? One of them did an impression of John Cena which was just walking and making jazz hands. F**king pathetic.)
To further illustrate my point, consider the time WCW let a bunch of kids dance around the ring with a rapist. The closest kids should get to the ring is ringside. If you’re in deeper than those braindead Cena kid twins who are at every other Raw, you’re doing it wrong.
And Up Next:
One day I want the Alex Riley silhouette mystery opponent to be Bob Holly, just to bring it full circle.
Best: R-Boom, Or Whatever You Want To Call Them
Things are happening with the tag team titles! Just kidding.
Evan Bourne is apparently never coming back, so it’s nice to see Kofi Kingston replace him and move on with his life. I don’t know if they can use the Freebird rule and defend the titles alongside the invisible white child who follows them around, but hopefully having the belts on a slightly higher profile team will get them on the shows more often. And as sad as it is, Primo and Epico have no reason to lose non-title matches to everybody (first Show/Khali, then Ryder/Santino) and win when the belts are on the line. That’s what Otunga and McGillicutty did for months and it was the worst.
And speaking of Bourne, how easy would it be to bring him back expecting to get his themed spot back only to find he’s been replaced by the really mean guy who hates children and spiders?
Worst: Abraham Washington Would Like To Whoops Okay Nevermind
Can I tell you how much I wish Primo and Epico and Rosa Mendes had a team name, so I didn’t have to call them “Primo and Epico and Rosa Mendes” every time I write about them?
Anyway, Primo and Epico and Rosa Mendes agreed to be Abraham Washington’s clients, but we didn’t get to hear a lot about it because it was more important to jump back to the ring and watch Great Khali dance to his own music for two minutes. This is unfortunate for two big reasons:
1. It would’ve provided much needed forward momentum for people who never get it, and
2. It prevented us from hearing Rosa Mendes recite lines from ‘Destinos’.
Best: The Great Khali’s Infinite Dancing
DANCE, DALIP, DANCE
keep dancing, kane’s not ready yet
Best: Additional Great Khali Bests
1. Khali traded in his Juicy red pants for the blue, Love Pink model.
2. Khali’s kicks are AMAZING. He can’t really get his leg above his waist unless he builds up to it, so he spends the early part of the match throwing up these little sad Charlie Chaplin potato kicks … and if he’s fighting Rey Mysterio that sh*t’s a superkick, but against Kane it looks like a handicapped guy trying to stand up.
3. HE’S STILL DANCING, FOLKS
Worst: The Beat The Clock To Death Challenge
Khali worsts include FOUR MINUTES OF WRESTLING KANE.
And honestly it wasn’t as bad as four minutes of Kane versus The Great Khali could be, but it wasn’t great. When he’s chopping a smaller guy you can think that his chop is coming from way up, like a dude falling off a building, so when it hits you it can collapse your skull. Again, against someone like Kane it looks like he’s f**king up a high-five.
CM Punk versus The Great Khali would’ve been a pretty rad Over The Limit main-event, though, gotta say. Awkward Macho Man elbow drops from the top of a Pier 1 Imports cage for everyone!