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

By: 11.01.11  •  121 Comments

Worst: Take It Home

The Alberto Del Rio vs. The Big Show match ended up being a pretty well-structured big man vs. little man match and better than it had any right to be, but Jesus, it felt like it was 45 minutes of front facelocks and somewhere near the rising-action-to-commercial-break I started zoning out. Remember, I’m the guy who thinks that 19-minute Flair/Steamboat wristlock sequence is the greatest thing that ever happened in wrestling. I don’t know, I just didn’t dig it like I should. I liked that WRESTLING in all capital letters was happening, and on a show with seven matches I don’t for a second want to be that guy who chants “boring”. I’d rather have the most boring wrestling in history than the most exciting backstage walking, but when I’m multitasking hard enough to start figuring out Riddler trophy puzzles in my mind you need to take it the hell home and move on to the “losing to the punch” part.

Wait, hold on

Worst: Wait, Don’t Take It Home Like That

Alberto Del Rio’s corner skip into Weapon Of Mass Destruction made Destiny do one of those subversive “I can’t believe we’re watching this dumb thing” laughs, and I couldn’t blame her. On a night when the United States Champion and Tag Team Champions got pinned clean without losing their championships and the unstoppable monster World Heavyweight Champion was in danger of losing to the spindly, mouthy guy in the Big Trouble In Little China shirt, watching the WWE Champion get punched in the face and pinned by a guy they’ve spent 20 minutes building as “not even 50%” means something is terribly, terribly wrong.

“Pinning the champion in a non-title match to earn a title shot” is right behind “Divas battle royal” on WWE Creative’s list of story ideas, but that wasn’t even what was happening … Zack Ryder has been trouncing Dolph Ziggler for a month, only to lose his one actual title shot. The tag champions lost to set up a multi-man tag that might not even happen thanks to Bourne’s suspension, CM Punk was trying to beat the Heavyweight Champion to get a shot at a different Heavyweight Champion and Big Show just F**KING PUNCHED THE WWE CHAMPION IN THE FACE AND PINNED HIM AND DOESN’T SEEM TO CARE ABOUT IT. None of that is building to something. Imagine if the Divas had a battle royal and the winner got to face Beth in a non-title match, beat her easily, then never mentioned it again. What is going on? This isn’t an issue with storytelling, this is an issue with you knowing what a goddamn story is.

Last night’s show should’ve had at least three title changes. That’s not a good thing, but at least I could’ve rationalized it if you’d pulled the f**king trigger.

Worst: CM Punk Refusing To Be A Star

I actually stated writing this as a “Best”, because just like last week, Punk is getting closer to what he was during that month or so when wrestling was cool again, but I rewatched the clip and had to change it to Worst. There’s just something unsettling about the way Punk’s been going about things lately. I want it to be a continuation of his Cult of Personality theme, the theme that he’s being a self-involved prick but he’s so charismatic that we follow along with him and accept his warped interpretation of what’s good and bad about the WWE Universe, but it isn’t. He’s beating up a vulnerable guy to get what he wants because he’s got some personal vendetta against him two months after openly saying Del Rio was right for cashing in Money in the Bank on him. Del Rio just doesn’t want a match with him. That’s ADR’s entire angle. Not only does Punk, the good guy, bully Del Rio, the bad guy, into getting what he wants, he makes sure to deride his ethnicity the entire time.

Listen to him, goading Del Rio on in condescending Spanish, as if Del Rio doesn’t speak English. “Comprende?” Throwing water in his face. Calling him “amigo” with a verbal wank every chance he gets. It sucks. It’s the “evil foreigner” trope taken to this weird 2011 place where you aren’t evil for what you do as a foreigner, but for being a foreigner at all. It’s weird, and it’s beneath any version of Punk we’re supposed to be cheering, but what makes it terrible is how much the crowd loves it. Del Rio was a coward to have Ricardo cost Punk his match against Mark Henry, but Punk’s “revenge”, especially when played up by Jerry Lawler, scoffing and boasting about how Del Rio is getting what he deserves, is a terrible message for a terrible generation. Claim “shades of gray” all you want, but when you deal with the most base, simple stories of good versus evil and never provide a deeper meaning I didn’t have to pull out of my ass for this column, the colors are black and white. Gray just makes people forget what black and white used to look like.

Best: Fozzie Bear As Jim Halpert

My biggest want for Muppet Raw was Mark Henry scooping Fozzie Bear off his Muppeteer’s hand and World’s Strongestly Slamming him in the middle of the ring. My second biggest want was Rowlf, possibly operating on Triple H and making jokes about it.

I got neither of those things, but I did get Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger trying to mutilate Gonzo while Fozzie stood back like a wimp and watched. I also got Jack Swagger’s amazing “HAM SANDWICH, WOCKA WOCKA” line earlier in the night, which puts me one thrown tomato away from hitting for the Fozzie cycle. I hope these segments are special features on the The Muppets DVD, so I’ll have something to watch if “fart shoes” is as funny as that movie gets.

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