The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 10/31: Muppets, The Rock and Mortal Kombat

By: 11.01.11

Best: Kermit Is Better At This Than You

I can’t figure out whether “sad” or “awesome” is the correct adjective, but Kermit the Frog is literally a green felt sock on a squatting guy’s hand and he’s a better actor with better facial expressions than most of the WWE roster. I mean, look at it directly — compare Kermit’s face when Jack Swagger threatens to slaughter and eat him with any post-match “upset” Jack Swagger face. It’s not just Kermit … compare Miss Piggy’s line reads with Vickie Guerrero’s. I love you, pro wrestling, but Jim Henson puppeteering is on a different level. At some point I stopped wishing for a Muppet Raw and started wishing for wrestlers on The Muppet Show. It’s like going to the museum to look at René Magritte, then turning the corner and walking into one of those rooms where some chump put 400 alarm clocks in the ground.

I only had two Muppet-related disappointments on the night — one, that Jim Henson isn’t still alive, but that’s a disappointment I have every day, and two, that the show didn’t begin with Scooter knocking on a door and saying “five minutes to promo, Mr. Cena!” Okay, three: Sam the Eagle didn’t show up to talk about politics with Kane. And nobody totally 1970s (like Bernadette Peters) showed up to wear Mary Poppins clothes and tap dance or sing Vaudeville or whatever.

Best: The Biggest Heat Of Jack Swagger’s Career

I’m not ashamed to say that I laughed my ass off at Kermit all night. “Concerned Kermit face” is one of my favorite things in the world, and if you didn’t laugh at his little arms flailing around while Jack Swagger held his mouth shut, I don’t know what to tell you. Look at him go … just that gif gives me more fight drama than the last five years of John Morrison. Swagger’s got a weird way of having charisma when you wouldn’t expect it, like when he kinda-sorta chatted up Trish Stratus, and I think I figured it out. Swagger is a guy who has been good at everything his entire life. He was good at wrestling, he married a porn star, he won a variety of trophies … but PRO wrestling is different, and even when you’re a tall, muscular, great athlete you still have to publicly speak and act and express emotions. I feel like that stuff stresses Swagger out, and you can see the hamster running in the wheel in his head sometimes, like he’s going “okay now I’m supposed to pose to the crowd, now I’m supposed to Vader Bomb Evan Bourne, now it’s time for the roll-up”. When he’s chatting up Trish or threatening Kermit, those are things he ENJOYS, as any red-blooded American American American man would, and he goes natural with it and excels.

Swagger has too much of an upside to go the way of Snitsky, and is the number one example I could name of a guy who needs a gimmick shift to “being himself turned up to 11”. Push-up ankle-locking-ad-nauseum Jack Swagger isn’t Jake Hager, and if we ever find out exactly what Jake Hager is, it’s going to be f**king awesome. Worst case scenario, freak him out with hoverboards and drive him into manure trucks until he figures it out.

Worst: Santino

I remember being so excited for Santino segments. Now his music hits and I just go “oh great, here comes racist-ass stupid Santino”. If I’m a wrestling hipster for anyone, as I’ve been called for liking Zack Ryder better when he was underground, I’m a hipster for Santino. Once Santino started being the “funny guy” to people without a sense of humor, he stopped being the funny guy to the rest of us. I miss the Glamarella days when he’d make John Cena laugh in the middle of a segment. Kermit had to start going “uh huh, oh yeah, is that so” between Santino’s sentence because the guy playing him probably could not f**king believe that this is what constitutes the funny part of their live show. And this isn’t even REAL KERMIT, it’s Weird Sounding Muppets Kermit.

By the way, if you clicked that link, please notice John Cena Rising Above Hate. The best thing about wrestling in 2011 is that Cena has mostly stopped using “YOUR A FAGGOT” as his response for everything. Jesus Christ, that was the worst.

Best: Miss Piggy, Selling Kelly Kelly

I like how they couldn’t go 30 seconds into Muppets without having Miss Piggy and Vickie Guerrero interact. Calling Vickie Jack Swagger’s mother was one of the most legitimately funny things on Raw in forever, but my favorite moment of the segment post-Kermit-getting-Swaggermouth’d was Kelly Kelly appearing to kiss Kermit on the mouth, and Miss Piggy’s reaction. It doesn’t do much for Kelly’s reputation when she decides to waltz up in her Digital Playground Pirates costume and french the guest livestock without context or provocation. Piggy should’ve kicked her ass. All we needed was a backstage segment where the Bella Twins grab Gonzo’s arms and seductively tell him how they’re HUGE FANS of his circus act only for him to turn them down because he prefers chicken vag. And then he hooks up with Kelly instead.

I’m sorry, Kelly, I know you don’t have a chicken’s vagina, but these jokes are too easy.

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