Worst: LOL Shane Douglas
For those of you who might not’ve heard, former MLW World Heavyweight Champion and current Target assistant manager “The Franchise” Shane Douglas made a surprise appearance at Raw, “unmasking” in the crowd and trying to get an “E-C-Dub” chant going before he was escorted out, where he assumedly sat down criss-cross-applesauce and ate the pimento cheese sandwich he’d packed away in his cargo pants.
A few hard truths for Shane Douglas:
1. In 2012, nobody in a WWE crowd is going to recognize Shane Douglas. I’ve been watching wrestling my entire life, 15 years or so of it involving Shane Douglas, and if Shane Douglas helped me get a copy of Kirby’s Epic Yarn out of the case at Target I wouldn’t notice him or give a sh*t. I guess that’s why he was wearing a The Franchise t-shirt, but even then you’ve got to stop and read the bright yellow letters and process whether or not that’s Shane Douglas or just some sad guy in Philadelphia who can’t let go.
2. ECW has been dead longer than it was alive. Additionally, WWE owns ECW. Additionally, if you can’t get an E-C-Dub chant going in Philadelphia, it may be time for you to give up.
3. Those ECW reunion shows are a nice way for the Randies The Ram of the independent scene to get a paycheck (and there’s still value in seeing a guy like Sabu, which is why he gets NON-ECW reunion show work), but by running them constantly, especially in Philadelphia, you’re going against what the original ECW said so proudly — that great wrestling existed under the foam of the mainstream, and to find it sometimes you had to sacrifice your darlings by wrapping barbed wire around a thing and smashing those darlings to death.
When ECW came around, independent wrestling was awful. For a huge chunk of the 90s, North American independent wrestling had exactly three guys of note: Christopher Daniels, Reckless Youth and Mike Quackenbush. Four if you count Super Mario, but I don’t know if he actually existed, he was just always in my PWI. Anyway, thanks to the success of ECW and the onset of the Internet, independently run wrestling promotions have become a real, viable thing, and you can see good-to-great wrestling all across the country … and if you’re paying attention, Philadelphia is still where most of it calls home. The ECW Arena Shane Douglas treats like Jerusalem has been reset and redefined by promotions like CHIKARA. Hell, Combat Zone wrestles there 18 times a week and they named themselves “CZW” because “CZ” sounds like “EC”.
Shane Douglas, you are that guy who goes to war to fight for our freedoms, then comes home, gets older and gets upset that the people you fought for are using their freedom. Instead of trying to promote your dumb bullsh*t, use your knowledge and resources and Target discount to help a Sami Callihan or a Fire Ant or any number of guys who are doing a way better job at the job you used to do.
4. Literally the only good thing that could come out of Shane Douglas On Raw is a Dynamic Dudes reunion.
Best: Santino Marella As Cyber Kong
Drawn on abs? I’m not buying it unless you’re half cyborg man, half colossal ape.
Best: David Otunga’s Jacket
I like that David Otunga added an oversized jacket to his entrance gear, not only because he joins that weird group of wrestlers who wear clothes out and somehow leave them on the ramp, but because it continues his subtle psychological warfare with Wade Barrett.
Yes, I’m pretending the Nexus/New Nexus/Corre storyline is still happening. You just have to look for the clues. I want Skip Sheffield to show back up with the cowboy hat on Friday and be all, “yip yip yip, where’d everybody go?”
Best: John Laurinaitis Celebrates
The only way it could’ve been better is if he’d done it when Shane Douglas got ejected.
No, I’ll talk about this more as the report goes on, but despite Executive Vice President Of Talent Relations And Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis being more obviously “heel” than before, I’m still on his side in this debate, from both a professional and fan point of view. As a fan, he’s funny and I like when he’s on TV, and he’s usually there with Otunga so bonus points. Professionally, he never smacked Teddy Long in the face and ran away. Teddy Long sucks, is a coward and unless you want upcoming PPV opponents tagging up every goddamn week on Raw you’ll support Team Johnny.
Giant Lord Bernard
At first I saw Japanese characters and a sword with some “oriental” music, so I thought great, WWE’s bringing in another ching chong Asian gimmick and Tajiri’s coming back as JAPAN-SAN or something. Best case scenario, someone who “hails from the land of the rising sun”, because Japan doesn’t have f**king cities.
Thankfully this is instead the return of GIANT BERNARD to a WWE ring, the man you may know best from his WWE run as an extremely hair gentleman named after dick piercing. Prince Albert, Albert, A-Train, whatever you wanna call him. He’s back and ready to kick some ass and appropriate Ultimo Dragon’s Godzilla music! Hopefully this’ll lead to a T-n-A reunion with Chris Jericho on stilts filling in for Test.
Best, I Guess: The Rock Hits His Usual Points And Gets Out
Here’s a link to the sh*t Rock says this week. I’m going to give him a best for delivering one of the most straightforward promos he’s managed since returning, with a dozen or so supplementary worsts for nitpicky reasons (quoting Rocky II instead of Rocky, for example, which shows EXACTLY THE KIND OF PERSON HE IS), personal grudges and the fact that if I transcribed things it’d read like this:
The Rock: “FINALLY the Rock HAS COME BACK to PHILADELPHIA! PHILADELPHIA! THE ROCK! ROCKY! JOHN CENA! ROCKY! PHILADELPHIA AGAIN! THINGS FROM PHILADELPHIA! A LIST OF INGREDIENTS! ROLL PHILADELPHIA SIDEWAYS STICK IT STRAIGHT UP YOUR CANDY ASS IF YA SMELL LALALALALOWWW WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKIN!”
I just gave you all the major talking points. He could’ve just listed off his catchphrases while wearing a Phillies t-shirt and accomplished the same thing. And yeah, pictures of him as a kid are cute, but the idea that he has to beat John Cena to be the best ever is dumb. If “I beat all the other wrestlers” is criteria for being the best ever, EVERY WRESTLER FROM THE ATTITUDE ERA IS THE BEST WRESTLER EVER. Seriously, the Hurricane has a pin on Rock. Does the Hurricane have to pin John Cena now? Are you better than Stone Cold Steve Austin because you beat him at Wrestlemania, even if he beat you two other times? If you beat John Cena, don’t you have to also beat Randy Orton, because they’re basically the same modern Championship Guy. Don’t you have to beat Brock Lesnar? Didn’t he F5 you to death and put you out of wrestling nigh-forever?
Also, how many times do I have to type “stop shouting at me” before this guy stops shouting at me? Did the Rock always anxiously shout like he does now?