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The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 8/22

By 08.23.11

Worst, But Eventually Best: This Really Might Be A Re-Reun

Over dinner, I asked Destiny to name the worst thing that could happen on Raw. Her response: “Triple H becomes the number one contender for the WWE Championship”. She asks me the same question. I say, “Triple H makes himself the number one contender and wrestles Alberto Del Rio in the main event, with Stephanie McMahon as the special guest referee and CM Punk as the special ringside enforcer. Somehow it ends with Stephanie pinning CM Punk and winning the championship”. Guess which one of us watched a hell of a lot of WCW growing up?

CM Punk mentioned it in the opening segment, and it’s true … large portions of last night felt like a re-run, and for the life of me I thought the “everybody comes out one at a time and says why they should be WWE Champion” act was going to lead where it always does — to a tag team match featuring whoever was out there. Instead we got the announcement of a free version of a match they’ve used to sell the last two pay-per-views and an extended moment of Punk and John Cena doing their best to make Alberto Del Rio seem like a worthless afterthought. Triple H marched out for the first of two special, verbose appearances and my first draft of this paragraph was just WORST copied and pasted 400 times in a row. Funny enough, it all ended up okay … they went somewhere with it and ended up turning their tropes upside down by avoiding the prerequisite tag team match, avoiding any pedigreeing of the new champion and giving observant viewers a reason for the mostly chill, occasionally violent Alberto Del Rio to flip out and go crazy at the end of the show.

If a bad segment builds to a good one, does it make the bad segment good? Remember the final episode of the Cell battle that is literally 22 minutes of two kamehamehas struggling against each other, but when it finally ends Gohan powers through and destroys every single cell in Cell’s body, and the blast is so powerful it goes like halfway to the moon? No? Uh, probably should’ve kept that one to myself.

Worst: John Cena Is Shooting The Wrong Way

John Cena’s jokey narrator voice is the worst, especially when stops using it to recap motivations and starts “shooting” on folks. I feel like Cena is great at a lot of things, but winking and nudging are not on the list. A shoot comment (as in “a comment you might feed to a panda”) only seems to work (get it) when you reference something everyone knows or assumes but is not socially acceptable to say. Everybody knows Triple H is married to Stephanie McMahon, and everyone knows Stephanie is Vince’s daughter, so when you say “Triple H is only successful because he’s married to the boss’s daughter!” people are gonna go “ooooh”. If you say “Alberto Del Rio isn’t rich and WWE rents those cars, come on, he doesn’t even know what the car is, this is all fake” people aren’t going to say oooh, they’re going to say “oh, yeah, he’s right, this sucks”. It’s the difference in saying “The Big Bossman is fat” and “The Big Bossman isn’t really a cop”. That’s a dangerous line, a line I trust Punk to walk and Cena to plummet over with one of his shoulderblock attempts.

I’m giving a tiny supplementary best to Alberto (giving Bests to Alberto Del Rio is what I do) for reacting by squinting his eyes at them and not having any idea what they’re talking about, because he exists in the WWE Universe and not in the weird Earth-B thing they’re doing where everybody is self-aware and nobody gets over.

Best: Jack Tunney Is In On The Conspiracy

Things to reference for maximum nostalgic Lulz

1. Macho Man Randy Savage’s pink underwear
2. WWF Ice Cream Bars
3. WWF President Jack Tunney
4. Wrestling Buddies
5. The “Who do you think you are?/THAAT’S HUUULK HOOOOGANNN” dialogue from the Wrestling Buddies commercial
6. “Grab Them Cakes” from The Wrestling Album

If Triple H has a birthday party and Punk interrupts with, “I see you grabbing them cakes, KEVIN NASH. Is that all you do?” we know we’ve officially run out of funny old things.

Worst: John Cena’s Man-Crush On CM Punk

Study question: Why is John Cena so obsessed with CM Punk?

It’s weird. Punk wanted to beat Cena and take his WWE Championship, so he cost Cena a match against R-Truth and squatted on the stage to run his mouth. That led to him being suspended, so what did Cena do? Go to the boss and demand CM Punk get a shot at the WWE Champion because he EARNED IT. That’s fine. Then the match at Money in the Bank happens and Cena is about to win … but stops, rolling out of the ring and eventually costing himself the match because of how CM Punk EARNED THAT SHOT and DESERVED IT. Summerslam happens and Cena loses with his foot on the ropes, but doesn’t seem to care because CM Punk is real champion who earned the right to face him. Del Rio cashes in on Punk, so does Punk get mad? No, Punk barely cares. But Cena, Oh God, John Cena says Alberto Del Rio is a PAPER CHAMPION WID A BRIEFCASE who cashed in after Gladiator Champion Who Earned It CM Punk beat him in a HELLUVA MATCH. And then last night Cena immediately dismisses Del Rio (who not only won Money in the Bank, but a number one contenders match a few weeks before) because he “doesn’t look like” the “one man in this company who can go toe-to-toe with ME”, CM Punk. He even called Alberto “Captain Third Wheel”, as though he was tagging along too closely to their relationship.

Seriously John, what the hell is your deal? You’re like a boyfriend who got cheated on and blames the other man.


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