Best: Okay, I’ll Kiss It A Little
This week’s main event was outstanding, as you might expect it to be, especially in the closing moments. Just great stuff, with what I see as both good and bad news. Like I hoped would happen, CM Punk retained the WWE Championship in a great match (which, to reiterate, is all you need to do to make the WWE Championship interesting) and defeated Alberto Del Rio in decisive fashion, freeing himself up to do new things with new people in new stories. Punk claimed he was going to make the WWE Championship fun and interesting again, and with Del Rio out of the way and Cena trapped in his Jackson’s “Torture” video of personal anguish, he’s got his best shot at doing that ever.
The downside of the match is that Vince or WWE or the Board of Directors or whoever seems to have lost faith in Alberto Del Rio, and it shows. As a champion of Del Rio’s character and wrestling I hope they’re wise enough to utilize him in some sort of compelling mid-card role and don’t let him go the way of John Morrison or Jack Swagger, limply going down to the Rough Rider after a few minutes of back and forth in the post-Divas breathing room segments on Raw. There are a lot of undercard faces who need someone to get pissed with, and worst case scenario you can have him train Ricardo for a run at the tag straps or buy the Uso Twins as Samoan slave labor or whatever and do a thing there. If he’s not wearing a shirt that says I AM THE 1% within a month, you’re missing an opportunity.
You can feud him with Sheamus. Not only would he have a “fighting for the working folks” angle built right in, you could get a great JOO ARE THE 2%, LIKE MEELK! joke out of it.
Worst: Jerry Lawler Using “Ricardo Montalban” As An Inult For Someone Named Ricardo
This isn’t funny OR an insult, you’re just naming someone else.
Best: Eddie Guerrero
I don’t talk about it much, but I miss Eddie Guerrero. A lot. I wrote this piece about him for Progressive Boink when he died, and while it’s been sorta marred by Chris Benoit killing his family and all, going back and reading it puts me in the same f**ked up place I was when I heard.
I love Vickie Guerrero and I like Raquel Diaz in FCW, but I don’t like them being Eddie’s only real lasting legacy. The only other Guerrero we’ve got wrestling in the States is Chavo, and he’s descended into Matt Hardy Internet Madness and you can’t like or respect anything he does. I don’t like the “Hurt” video. I don’t like Eddie’s legacy being Rey Mysterio in an Eddie shirt and Eddie armband doing the Eddie dance before doing Three Amigos. I miss HIM.
But honestly, I loved last night’s Eddie Guerrero tribute spot with the steel chair going back and forth, mostly because of how happy I am that Eddie’s true legacy is that he’s forever entwined with pro wrestling, and that every now and then something’s gonna pop up like this, be it a lying-about-disqualification spot or somebody coming out of their shoe to escape a submission, to make me remember that that was Eddie’s thing, and smile.
Best: Charles Robinson
And speaking of smiling, Charles Robinson is an awesome referee. It’s not shocking to think that everyone in and around the ring should be doing a good job and enhancing the show, but the announcers never seem to try hard and the referees are interchangable. But Lil’ Naitch has been great for years, from his endless sprint to the ring at Wrestlemania to his head shaking arguments with Ricardo Rodriguez last night. I often say that Bryce Remsburg of CHIKARA fame is better at his job than anyone else in wrestling is at theirs, but man, Charles Robinson got to hold hands with Molly Holly for an unspecified amount of time AND gets to be the North American Prototypical Great Referee. That’s really something.
Dream podcast idea: Bryce and Lil’ Naitch talking to me and each other about refereeing for an hour and a half.
Worst: Again With The Ricardo Rodriguez
The only way I’m going to accept ANOTHER mostly-unprovoked attack on Ricardo Rodriguez is that this is the LAST F**KING ONE EVER, and was intended as a closing of the chapter and a thematic bookend. Is there a kid in the world watching Raw going “man, I sure wish somebody would do a finishing move to Ricardo Rodriguez”. Anywhere? The guy gets hit with Gos To Sleep and Attitudes Adjustment on the reg. He gets hit with them more than Alberto does, more than ANYBODY does. He’s the guy that takes those moves. There’s no comeuppance happening anymore, he’s just helplessly getting hurt, and ALL THE TIME.
Ricardo is a great aid to the Del Rio character both as his favorite employee and personal ring announcer, but there’s nothing happening with these finishers that couldn’t be equally accomplished by Ricardo getting popped with a punch on the apron and falling off Bobby Heenan style. Ricardo needs to pop up as a wrestler in a few months and start no-selling AAs and GTSes because he’s been hit with so many and has developed immunity. That would rule.
Best: The Magical Formula
So that’s what, two weeks in a row of good-to-very-good episodes of Raw?
Let me put it to you in black and white. Remember how good Raw was in June and July, where it got you “interested in wrestling” again? Then Triple H showed up, and you justified it because of how much you like him and how cool and tough he is and how they were gonna GO SOMEWHERE, but then they didn’t and Raw sucked a dog’s sh*t for three months? Triple H gets hurt on one of the worst Raws of the year, and guess what? Ever since he left again, it’s been pretty good. What does that tell you? NO DON’T IGNORE THIS PARAGRAPH WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU. Kevin Nash didn’t even show up tonight to MAEK POOPIES. The bad just washes away.
The next time Triple H shows up, don’t be a stupid Attitude Era fan. Boo him. Boo him until he leaves again. If you don’t, this is never going to stay good.