The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 8/15

By: 08.16.11

Worst: Triple Swaggerbomb!

They edited it out of the video this morning. I’m guessing Maffew is picking out the perfect Bubble Bobble track to accompany it already.

Anyway, Alex Riley sandbagging Jack Swagger on a gutwrench powerbomb should lead directly to Alex Riley getting destiny’d by Alberto Del Rio and sent to the fictitious broken-limb waiting room for six-to-eight months. The dude went from promising to flat-out awful pretty quickly and we should retcon it before he’s irredeemable and we have to bring in Matt Borne to play him. Unfortunately I feel like this is going to come down on Swagger, from that “eh, well, uh” and “yeah, that was nasty” commentary that should’ve said “Jack Swagger still managed to gutwrench powerbomb a guy who had gone deadweight on him and that is awesome”, because best case scenario would’ve been Swagger treating his green ass like so much Bob Holly and dropping him on his dome.

Worst: Vince McMahon’s Number One Goal Is To Make Sure Jim Ross Is Always Miserable

Beating up Jim Ross in Oklahoma is some kind of perverse ritual at this point, but taking off his hat and stomping it in front of him just seemed meaner than usual. People usually go to the “Vince McMahon is in the back telling them what to say and do” comment, and yeah, if Vince wasn’t back there yelling STOMP HIS HAT DAMMIT in Dolph’s ear he was doing it from inside Dolph’s heart. I watched the NWA for years and never saw somebody think taking Bob Caudle’s glasses and stomping on them was some great way to get children to hate him. We want to see wrestlers getting into sh*t with other wrestlers, nobody has ever invested themselves emotionally into what happens to Jim Ross, or Lillian Garcia, or Justin Roberts or Mark the Timekeeper. When Hugo gets knocked down on a Spanish announce table bump we don’t go “man, I hope when Christian gets up from that RKO through the table he KICKS RANDY ORTON’S ASS for knocking that fat guy out of his chair”.

The most succinct way to put this is “stop trying to hurt Jim Ross, he’s old and faces physical hardships and frankly nobody cares”. It gets you to stop doing things to Jim Ross AND it hurts his feelings. Win win.

Best: Vickie And Swagger

Pairing up a guy who can’t talk and couldn’t get heat robbing a bank in Acapulco with a woman who can and does by existing is a great, great idea. This is why managers worked so well in the past. You use them to cover up somebody’s weaknesses. Bobby Eaton has the mic skills of Corky from “Life Goes On”, but he always seemed like a challenging bad ass because Jim Cornette would talk him up. Swagger could be the same way. If he’s a 6-foot-forty college athlete who can Doctor Bomb you to death and break your leg, let him be that, don’t make him lisp his way into obscurity for half a decade before you decide he’s worth it. CM Punk seems so revolutionary on the microphone because he’s the first guy in ten years who can talk and not have it sound like he’s remembering his lines. Swagger can’t say the words “Jack” and “Swagger” back-to-back without looking offscreen and smirking to buy himself time.

Vickie should get put in charge of an entire stable of bland looking, hairless athletes and give them a chance to get comfortable in the ring and develop organic personalities. Dolph Ziggler suffered through a Green Ant phase and a cheerleader gimmick before they allowed him to speak like a human being. Guess what? He’s better at that. Swagger probably has a good personality, too, we’ve seen it shine through from time to time (talking to Trish Stratus, showing off his trophies). Mine that and make something of it, even if you have to shoehorn in an “excuse me” before every expedition.

My suggestion for Vickie’s next associates: David Otunga and his black tag team partner.

Worst: Hip-Hop McGillicutty

I have no idea who told Michael McGillicutty to dress up like Rodney Mack before he walked out in public last night, but he should never talk to them again. What’s he trying to protect with that, his male pattern baldness? Otunga is stylish as f**k (I still want that glittery Nexus zip-up hoodie), couldn’t he have pulled McGoobersnatch aside and said “look man, you look like Bubba Sparxxx, take off the hat”.

Best: A Refocus On Tag Team Wrestling

The announcers dug Michael and David (who need to add Michael Tarver to the team and wrestle as “Stella”) into a pretty deep hole with their “I would like to see these guys try to wrestle more” and “the tag team champions should probably defend the tag team titles” talking points, but the biggest and happiest Best of the week goes to those very statements for being the first verification that those Triple H Wants To Refurbish The Tag Team Division rumors might be true. Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne as the domestic babyface tag team of choice for the John Cena Generation is a great start, and they’re the perfect team to go up against the Kings of Wrestling, should that whole thing be true. Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli know their way around an Evan Bourne, and Claudio becomes the greatest wrestler of all time when he’s allowed to work as a base for a high-flying guy. How much do I want to see Hero duck a Trouble in Paradise and spin up right into a knock-out elbow?

And it gets better. Rumor has it that WWE is interested in the Briscoe Brothers from Ring of Honor and Beer Money from TNA, and THAT is exceptional because (1) James Storm is too talented to be in Impact Wrestling and needs to be Sorry About Your Damn Luck on a bigger stage and (2) I really, really want to hear the TV-PG version of a Briscoe Brothers “we’re going to point guns and tell you you’re gonna f**king die” promos. The Young Bucks (formerly Generation Me) and Joey Ryan and Scorpio Sky from Pro Wrestling Guerrilla got tryouts last night. It gets better and better. Soon (sooner than later) WWE could have the most exciting and promising tag division they’ve had since the Smackdown Six, and that is the ring in the Big Top Circus I want to sit near.

Oh, and while you’re at it, sign the Bravado Brothers, and if you’ve got room, their grandmother.

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