The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 8/22

By: 08.23.11  •  134 Comments

Best: Throw It Back

John Cena having his shirt thrown back into the ring after tossing it into the crowd was great, if only for Destiny’s “aw, I feel bad for John” response. Alberto Del Rio laughing and clapping about it was great, and the best part of that is how you can’t tell if he’s in or out of character. Cena might know the “name-a that auto-mo-bile”, but he doesn’t know how to get adult men to stop hating him. Suggestion: Throw your shirt at one of those people with the “throw your shirt here” signs. Just once.

Best, With A Notable Worst: Cena Verse Punk

I’m not gonna say Cena and Punk have the “best in-ring chemistry since The Rock and Stone Cold”, because that’s not true, but I do feel like they might bring out the best in one another. Samoa Joe proved a long time ago that CM Punk works best from the bottom fighting up, being the underdog he pretty obviously sees in himself. Cena is weird, because as the big muscular Hogan guy of the 2000s you’d think they’d keep pairing him big monsters. Hogan did that. He was 6-foot-7 (or whatever) and 300 pounds, but he was always fighting guys bigger or taller or fatter than him. Cena proved that he’s GREAT at Hogan wrestling, getting a good match out of The Great Khali and an outstanding one out of Umaga, but he’s always trying to underdog it against people like The Miz and Scud The Disposable Assassin-looking guys like Edge. Punk might be his Macho Man, the one guy smaller than Cena who looks like he’s pissed enough at the indignities of the world and his job to beat him. Maybe that’s why Punk’s Macho Man elbow works so well, even when he jumps off the wrong way.

Regardless of the fact that this probably shouldn’t have been “given away” on television if you’ve been building months of paid shows around it, I enjoyed the match, as I always do. They’ve got a nice organic flow going, to the point that when Punk goes for a signature move like the springboard clothesline you aren’t automatically sure if he’s going to connect with it or not. That’s good. Also good is how they gave it a LITTLE bit of time, even if WWE is really into these ten minute things where the guys are at the five minute mark pretending like it’s minute 20. No matter what happens, you should not be pulling your hair and saying C’MON REF THAT WAS THREE six minutes into a match.

But no, I liked it a lot. I did not, however, like two of two in a set of bullsh*t finishes.

Worst: Hey Wait A Minute, YOU’RE Not Supposed To Be Here!!11

I’m a huge honking CM Punk mark, but I’m not upset that he lost. He’s beaten Cena pretty thoroughly and regularly throughout the year, and Cena’s a guy who doesn’t lose a lot, so if Punk had messed up and walked into an Attitude Adjustment or something I might say “well sh*t”, but I wouldn’t get bent out of shape. I just really hate that they had to mirror Money in the Bank and have someone waltz out and stand on the ramp, an act that hypnotizes a wrestler and causes him to be unable to block or withstand the next attack. It’s the f**king Spike Dudley headbutt of modern WWE. If someone you dislike makes eye contact you can’t use your arms or your legs and you’re dead. Cena could’ve beaten Punk, and Punk could’ve still had a thing with Nash. Or, I don’t know, Nash could’ve done something other than go HEY PUNK, HEY CM PUNK YOU WRESTLER like he’s Roderick Strong and never learned to properly speak in public.

I’m counting on the Punk/Nash match at Night of Champions to be the one I see on the back of the box seven years from now and go “LOL CM Punk versus Kevin Nash, why the hell did THAT happen”.

Best: Deranged Berto

The last Best in my ongoing love affair with Alberto Del Rio, but I love how he’s the only wrestler in WWE who can “go crazy” and still look mad. When Miz goes nutso and beats up somebody he tucks in his upper lip and sticks out his teeth and looks like a p-o’d little boy. Alberto Del Rio looks like a guy who is legitimately mad at something you’ve done and wants to hurt you. That needs to happen more often. Wrestlers need to be less concerned with zazz and “showing personality” and more concerned with wanting to hurt you as much as possible before, during and after the match. The personality happens if you have personality. The apparent desire to be a physically competent, purposeful professional wrestler should be step one in the development of every single person in the company. Step two should be a counseling program to help people deal with life when they don’t have to be that anymore.

The second best part of the final segment was Alberto’s hilarious jumping belt shot, which actually made me laugh out loud. I haven’t seen a jumping belt attack that great since Shane McMahon used to torpedo his entire body to the side. This did a lot to give the average fan a reason for Cena to want to eat up Del Rio, and I’m hoping to an ever-loving God that John can make it through the next four weeks without mentioning “Mexico” and “the United States of America” in the same paragraph. R-Truth did the “go back where you came from” thing, but at least he turned out to be crazy.

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