I wrote this week’s Best and Worst of Raw immediately following last week’s, so by the end of it you’re going to be tired and not cheering for anything and wishing you could just go home. Or, somebody copy-pasted this week’s Best and Worst to Rajah.com last Wednesday morning and you’ve read it already.
Either way, enjoy. Your comments, thoughts, shares and donations of out-of-print UltraMantis Black memorabilia are appreciated. The only way to affect change in the way wrestling is reported online is to get people to support those trying to change it. Visit Fair to Flair, Dirty Dirty Sheets, the Art of Wrestling Podcast and anywhere else talking about wrestling without a fat head and a lisp.
But, you know, mostly me.
Worst: I Still Think This CM Punk Promo Might’ve Been A “Worked Shoot”
I don’t know for sure, guys, but I think the use of CM Punk’s shoot promo from last week in a stylized video package means, probably, that it was a worked shoot. Can anyone verify this? While we’re on the subject, I think Kelly Kelly shot on Nikki Bella last week with that Boston Crab, Sergeant Slaughter is a legitimate member of our Armed Forces and that The Sandman and Hardcore Hak were two completely different people.
In a loosely related anecdote, I’m originally from Southern Virginia and “hack” there can be a synonym for poop or pooping (as in “I have to hack” or “to take a hack”), so “Hardcore Hak” is the funniest wrestling name of all time to me.
Best: Super Cena is Super Cereal
During previous installments of Best and Worst of Raw and my appearance on TH’s The Wrestling Podcast, I’ve discussed the Voices of John Cena. To recap, they are as follows:
1. The “Heh, I’m just an average guy recapping the events!” narrator voice, where he speaks frankly about wrestling characters (“R-Truth is crazy!” et al.). This is his worst voice, because it’s the one he uses to introduce humorous TitanTron photoshops and call Heath Slater a f*ggot without TMZ noticing.
2. The Super Excited Preacher Voice. This usually follows the Average Guy Narrator and is used to hype up an event or happenstance by including everyone around him. “I want to see this match, YOU want to see this match THEY want to see this match COUNT CHOCULA WANTS TO SEE THIS MATCH EVRAH-BODDAH WANTS TO SEE THIS MATCH!”
3. The Leftover Rapper voice, which doubles as his “serious business” voice. He can’t really sound like a serious human being without affecting the Doctor of Thuganomics tone, which leads to him using phrases like “punk card” or “that’s real talk”.
I like the third voice best, because it allows me to settle into that comfort zone where Cena is making things MATTER~ and I can enjoy his cornball sincerity and white-bread to the point of a Food Lion warehouse delivery. Cena flipped the switch (hip hop phrase) on me last night by amalgamating his first and third voices to recap Things That Are Old Or Had Happened In the Past in a joshing, expressive way to the WWE crowd without losing his stone-faced seriousness. I consider that character evolution. Not only is Cena THE MAN upset about this, Cena THE CHARACTER is upset, and I’ve never seen Cena The Character get upset about anything, really. The closest we got was when Nexus fired him and that lady in the crowd screamed DON’T GIVE UP and he was all “OKAY I NEVER WILL”.
If roles were reversed and Cena had been the one sitting Indian-style on the stage last week waving to Colt Cabana and namedropping New Japan Pro Wrestling nobody would’ve thought it was a “shoot”, because (controversial opinion ahead) John Cena is better than CM Punk at conveying a child-driven Pro Wrestling Reality. With Cena, he’s always a part of the show. Punk sort of drifts in and out of it. I like CM Punk way, way, way more because the parts you drift to when you drift out of WWE are f**king outstanding, but I’m not five years old anymore, and nobody is buying me six sets of sweatbands when WWE comes to the Frank Erwin Center. If I was five and the Internet didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have any idea what CM Punk was talking about and would want the extremely nice super hero to beat the sh:t out of him for being such an aloof, facetious jerk.
The hack. Beat the hack out of him.