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The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 12/12: Slammy Award Losing Edition

By 12.13.11

Worst: Tony Atlas Without Abraham Washington

One of the great misunderstood opportunities of all time was the Abraham Washington Show on ECW. It’s not an opinion I share with a lot of people, but the Abraham Washington Show was f**king hilarious on almost every level and worked to get the people featured on it over but sometimes WWE fans, even the ones who are able to watch closely and think constructively about what they’re watching, aren’t real quick on the draw. They’re the types who you’ll see on Twitter going “wow, dolph ziggler has really improved in the ring” like it’s a thing they just figured out. Washington had a weird, awkward delivery people who watch wrestling aren’t used to, and he’d tell a bad joke and just go HUH?? after it and people would boo. The Internet explained it as him not having “mic skills”, or not being “over” or whatever.

The thing about Washington is that his segments sometimes included moments where the person he’s insulting insults him back, and Abraham would temporarily flip a switch and be a very realistic offended black guy, and then he’d gather himself and go right back to his talk show voice. They were doing it on purpose and nobody seemed to notice. Watch Washington’s stuff in FCW and you’ll see more and more examples of what I’m talking about. Almost everyone missed it and the Abraham Washington show vanished. If I was in charge of WWE, the eighth or ninth thing I’d do is bring Abe Washington back up.

What I’m saying here is that Tony Atlas standing in the background laughing nonstop isn’t funny unless he’s supporting a thing that works. Just going DUH HUH HUH HUH at David Otunga for 40 minutes for some kind of weird face pop from an audience that isn’t old enough or hasn’t paid enough attention to give it (“I’m laughing at YOU, uh huh huh huh!”) is a motherf**k and you’re never allowed to do it again.

Best: David Otunga Drinks Coffee Because He’s A Lawyer

He does!

Best: This Fatal Fourway Should’ve Been The Entire First Hour

The “which person can trend faster” match between Cody Rhodes, Zack Ryder, Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler was rad as hell and felt like I’d stumbled upon a Dragon Gate six man in the middle of my Best of GLOW DVDs. It was the karmic answer to the 22 seconds of punching and nothing in hour one, and I seriously could’ve watched it for the rest of the show. You’d think when your two hour show gets a third hour window to work with you could be brave enough to work a 30 or 40 minute match in from time to time. Instead, we work in…

Worst: Two Commercial Breaks, Are You Serious Bro

Two commercial breaks. The first real wrestling match eighty minutes into your show featuring four guys worth keeping the camera on gets interrupted by TWO COMMERCIAL BREAKS. One commercial break is bad enough, but two is absolutely inexcusable, especially on a show where Santino As Billy Crystal is your spotlight. I don’t want to be a whimpering Internet guy about it, but I’m pretty sick of having a carrot dangled in front of me with shit like this. Did you notice how they gave out three different Something Moment Of The Year awards, but no “Match of the Year”? Yeah, I did.

Best: Ziggler Vs. American Dragon Part 100, Please

The finishing sequence to this match was swank as f**k, staring with two champions trading bad ass pro wrestling closed fists at each other to set up an assisted Rough Rider, leading to a finisher exchange sequence capped off by Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler trading holds. This. Is. So. Easy. It’s so easy. Doggone easy. You hire guys who are great at wrestling and have them wrestle each other. The rest of the mess just falls into place.

Bryan and Ziggler wrestling at a brisk pace almost made poor Jerry Lawler lose his breath, and that’s depressing… wrestling like that shouldn’t be a special moment, it should be what these guys do. The world of pro wrestling has reached a crazy athleticism around the world, and that’s one of the big reasons people who get into Japan or independent wrestling get so hard about WWE. WWE can be excused sometimes for not evolving their taste in music or their graphics or production style, but they can’t be excused for not at least executing the very popular, very palatable aspects of their medium. You don’t have to do 40 minute head-dropping kick-out fests, but having guys actually look like they’re fighting (or wrestling) and bringing an extremely basic sense of physics and logic to your show would fix 85% of your on-screen problems. Continuity would fix the remaining 15%. Ring of Honor sucks because they’re doing good wrestling without gravity. WWE sucks because they’re doing gravity without good wrestling. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, idiots.

Worst: And The Award For Most Internet Goes To

I love that they gave Zack Ryder an award for “trending star of the year”, as if anyone else was even up for that. They should’ve nominated other, worse attempts by WWE guys to get over on the Internet, like Melina starting random crazy-eyed feuds with people over Twitter or Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins filming an animated comedy with a f**king toaster and uploading it to YouTube. At least then we could compare and contrast and say “yeah, Ryder did a way better job than these other assholes”.

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