The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 9/13

By: 09.13.11  •  124 Comments

Worst: Mark Henry Straddling In A Chair Is Symbolic, King

I’m going to give Michael Cole a subdued Best this week for turning it down about 14 notches to six or seven from f**king broken last week. Cole actually tried to agree with people and get some stories over, mentioning how Mark Henry hasn’t been looked over for 15 years but believes he has (that’s the important part) and not really Nerding out on anybody. He got close to obnoxious a few times with JR, like when he tried to make “folded up like an accordion” into an arguable thing, but Ross just went on with his day and Cole cooled it. That’s good. He wasn’t perfect, but he was better, and that is something.

At the same time, he had the worst announcing moment of the night when he said Mark Henry straddling a chair at ringside was “rather symbolic” because the way he was sitting was the same way he was sitting last Friday night on Smackdown. Lawler (LAWLER!) was talking about how none of Orton’s wacky offense would work on Mark Henry (and he’s right… except for the Garvin Stomp, I guess, and the goddamn RKO, which we’ve seen him not only do to Mark Henry but JUMPING TOE-TOUCH after doing to Mark Henry) and Cole’s all “yeah, but do you notice how the green light across the arena is symbolic and Mark Henry thinks it means he should GO and become Heavyweight Champion, King?”

Best: No, Not The Plastic Mask!

I cannot believe Cody Rhodes won this match. It makes me so happy, especially since the “Supershow” part of Raw that is supposed to feature “the stars of Smackdown” has basically just been Raw plus Randy Orton. Rhodes pinning Orton felt like the first time somebody’s pinned Orton in months. He’s always losing by cage escape or loogie or something dumb, and he NEVER LOSES really, so Rhodes pinning him became A Thing and would be a great motivator to keep Cody moving forward and doing cool, constructive stuff that hopefully involves more situations where he can simultaneously stomp Ted DiBiase and deride The Marine 2.

The use of a face protector as a violent weapon is pretty funny, too. I got into an argument on the Progressive Boink forums about Jim Cornette a few weeks ago, when somebody brought up how funny it is that the Rock n’ Roll Express had to sell a tennis racket as some dangerous death blow. The rub isn’t that Cornette was hitting you with a tennis racket, it’s that he had the tennis racket’s cover still on, and presumably “loaded” it with a hard, painful foreign object. So he’s not hitting you with bouncy mesh, he’s hitting you with like, I don’t know, a brick. I don’t know if Cornette could SWING a brick like that, but the mystery was part of the pain. Boots were like that, too. You take off your boot and hit somebody with it, it hurts way more than just kicking them with the same boot, because the idea is that you’ve “loaded” it. Cody Rhodes’ face mask of (doctor) doom doesn’t have that luxury, and if you can stand in the corner 10-punching it without your hand hurting, there’s really no reason to be knocked out by it when he holds it in his hands and touches it to your face. It should hurt less than the 10-punches, honestly, because when you’re punching him in the face the mask is “loaded” with his head.

But no, Cody won, and that is great. Orton continues his streak of good-to-great matches on nearly every show since the Spring. It is dumb to call a snake an apex predator as it does not even have arms or legs, but don’t sleep on Orton.

Worst: Bodybuilders, Being Held Back And Things We Don’t Care About

Normally I’d click “next page” here, but I don’t think you need to read an entire page of me bitching about the fourth … is it fifth? Consecutive arguing segment between Triple H and CM Punk. Having them talk to each other again is probably the worst thing you could do at this point. Do they only talk to each other once a week? The only real saving grace of the show’s closing segment is that it really felt like a boss having a conversation with a disgruntled employee — the employee lashes out about really abstract things that no one person is responsible for but doesn’t really have a point, but they’re super mad and this is their chance to speak their minds so they kinda reiterate the same points over and over, and the boss doesn’t give a sh*t, he’s only having this conversation because he’s the boss and he has to, and he doesn’t really have anything against the employee, he’d just rather them shut up and move on with their lives.

That was Punk/Mister Ayches last night. God, it felt abysmal. No WWE segment should involve two guys arguing to the point that the sentence “I think we’re saying the same thing, but in different ways” should be a thing. How many times did Triple H explain that you “gotta get over with these people” to make it in the WWE? The entire exchange felt like a way for WWE to get out their side of an argument, but they wouldn’t (and you couldn’t) let Punk bring up any of the actual talking points used to back up those arguments … for example, they mention “bodybuilder types” having better opportunities in WWE than average guys, so HHH namedrops Rey Mysterio as one of the biggest superstars ever who didn’t fit the mold. That’s all well and good, but Punk can’t (and shouldn’t) say “Rey Mysterio had to gain 60 pounds of muscle to get to the top, and he only got the nod because his friend died and you all felt bad about it”.

He can’t say Rey Mysterio spent about two years moving like a turtle and looking like he was going to capsize from being full of f**king water. You can’t say “steroids”. You can’t point at Triple H and say “remember when you made fun of Chris Masters for doing steroids, he got fired, and when he came back skinny you made fun of him for looking bad, so he had to get back on steroids?” You can’t point at Triple H and say “you spent your career on steroids, you rode Shawn Michaels’ coattails and pussied out when the Kliq left the WWF, you married the boss’s daughter to get this suit-and-tie position instead of spending your forties in TNA and your fifties and sixties wrestling Abdullah the Butcher in No DQ matches at my local armory, a guy like me chooses not to take those shortcuts.”

You can’t say any of that. You have to say “I was held back because I’m not a bodybuilder”, and no matter how you cut that, that sounds like an excuse for not trying hard enough. So Triple H says “you’re not trying hard enough, you gotta try hard and get over with these people”, but Punk is already over with these people, so H says “yeah they cheer you NOW” even though TRIPLE H IS THE GUY THAT F**KED A MANNEQUIN IN A COFFIN IN A MANSLAUGHTER ANGLE WITH KANE. It was two guys with no point making no point FOR F**KING EVER.

Worst: CM Punk

Punk seemed like a hero when he was bringing up guys like Luke Gallows and Colt Cabana who hadn’t gotten a fair shake, and he seemed almost super human yelling in Vince McMahon’s face about how disconnected he was to the public, because nobody had ever done those things. Kevin Nash shows up, and somehow through a month-long marathon of whimpering reiteration, Punk’s only talking about himself, and the Cult of Personality Punk only works when he’s got someone to pretend to fight for. The Voiceless. He’s the guy who has to become a monster to defeat the monsters of the world, and yeah, he’s an egotistical jerk who is really only in it for himself, but that is the BACKGROUND. Right now all were seeing is that background, and the references to ice cream bars and the evoking of real names sound desperate and cheesy and hacky-as-TNA-f**k coming from a guy with nobody to fight for. I know your name is Phil Brooks, Punk, and I don’t really care. I don’t want to hear about it. I want to hear about CM Punk. That’s why I’m watching Raw and not trolling your Livejournal.

I can’t even analyze this anymore. I just hate it, and I hope that when Night Of Champions comes and goes with whatever swerves and turning points they’re gonna do that we can get back on some sort of forward-moving track, and the guys I love, guys like CM Punk, guys I would pay to see and spend hours defending, seem like what they’re doing has a point. “I want to effect change” is meaningless when you aren’t working to effect change. “I’m tough” doesn’t work when you aren’t doing anything tough. If you bring a skateboard to the ring and don’t ride it, people are gonna know you don’t know how to ride a skateboard. It all comes down to that damn Johnny Ace talking point, doesn’t it?

I think we’d all just rather see the guy riding a skateboard.

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