The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 7/30/12: The Abyss Gazes Also

By: 07.31.12  •  184 Comments

Worst: If You Haven’t Seen It, Here’s The Triple H/Brock Lesnar Video Package Three Times In A Row

Recaps of what happened “moments ago” in an era without Nitro on the other channel are stupid enough on their own, but there is never, ever a reason to show a previous episode’s segment recap video in its entirety more than once. Ever. Showing it during a pay-per-view pre-show and again before the match on the pay-per-view is pushing it. Showing it for NO RAISIN twice on a show where nobody featured in the video appears is creative atrophy and a shitty excuse to waste three minutes of your 180-minute show.

The Triple H/Brock Lesnar segment was bad enough when I had to watch it live last week. If you missed it (and you didn’t read most of that AJ As Stephanie McMahon section from the previous page), Triple H prodded Brock Lesnar until Lesnar snapped on him and broke his arm. H’s arm healed in about 20 minutes, so he challenged Brock to a match at SummerSlam, which Brock didn’t accept because he’d quit, and when you quit a job or get fired you don’t keep working there (John Cena, I’m looking in your direction). Brock sent a representative to Raw to explain the situation, so Triple H punched the representative. That led to a lawsuit, which Triple H dismissed by saying “lawsuits are GAY” and punching the representative again. Triple H says Brock Lesnar is nothing but a bully, then calls him names until he agrees to fight. Having been beaten up on multiple occasions, the representative says “stop hurting me and being a violent weirdo, your kids are gonna grow up to be crazy violent weirdos”, so Triple H goes full Taken and threatens to find and kill him if he mentions children again. This brings out Triple H’s wife, who insults the representatives children and beats him up again. This leads to Brock Lesnar showing up to make the babyface (?) save, only to be beaten up by Triple H.

Do you need to read that paragraph two more times in this report, or did you get it? I’m gonna reproduce it on page 5, for anyone who starts reading later.

Best: Daniel Bryan Is Anchoring Raw

I doesn’t really need to be pointed out again, but vanilla, no-personality-havin’ indy-darling Daniel Bryan is carrying the f**k out of Raw with not only a great 15-minute match, but with a series of segments relying on his personality and super over catchphrase to work. This is happening, and you shouldn’t ever take it for granted.

Worst: #ThoseAreAllTheSame

The “illusion of choice” thing WWE pulls when they do TABOO TUESDAY or CYBER SUNDAY or WIRELESS INTERNET WEDNESDAY has always bothered me. The idea is that we’re supposed to be making a creative decision about what happens on the show, but they only let us do it in one of two ways:

1. By giving us one really obvious, good answer and two terrible ones. This is what Taboo Tuesday was all about, and was some straight-up ‘Legends Of The Hidden Temple’ shit. During the question-and-answer round, Olmec would be like, “GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. WHO WAS THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES? GEORGE WASHINGTON OR A CUCUMBER” and sometimes the Silver Snakes trog would stand there thinking to himself and mumble cucumber, but most of the time they had a basic goddamn brain and answered it correctly. WWE does that with their options, too. TONIGHT VINCE MCMAHON IS IN A STEEL CAGE MATCH AGAINST ONE OF THREE SUPERSTARS. WILL IT BE

A) glacier

B) buff bagwell’s mom


And my dumb ass goes and votes for Glacier, and the final tally is 0.1% to 0% to f**king 99.9% because most people are normal.

2. They do what they did last night and give you three options, but they’re all basically the same thing. DO YOU WANT TO SEE THE DIVAS IN A




The three options for Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan were a “No Holds Barred Match”, a “Falls Count Anwyhere Match” and a “Street Fight”. Option B lets you pin somebody on the floor, sure, but otherwise it’s just options A and C, which are f**king synonymous. What, No Holds Barred means Sheamus is gonna start throwing jumping piledrivers and a Street Fight means they’re wrestling in jeans? At least give us “cage”, “table match” and “falls count anywhere” so they can more or less work the same match and still let us pretend we’re voting on something.

Best: Sheamus And Daniel Bryan Beating The Shit Out Of Each Other

For the record, I voted for “No Holds Barred Match” in the hopes that Z-Gangsta would show up for random DVD cross-promotion.

The match itself was phenomenal, and one of the best matches on Raw this year. There wasn’t a lot to it other than Sheamus going from white to pink and Bryan going from clean-bearded to having spit in his beard, but it was two guys who are comfortable with each other in the ring hitting each other with feet and objects until one of them died. That’s great, and the only downside is that every single Sheamus/Daniel Bryan match between four months ago and infinity reminds me of how f**king robbed we were at WrestleMania. Again, it doesn’t ever matter if Daniel Bryan takes a pin if a bunch of great stuff happens in the match he loses.

But yeah, a fifteen-minute back-and-forth streetfight on Raw. If you’re going to have your top guys wrestle each other on free TV, Raw’s third hour gives you some breathing room to make it count. More of this, and less impromptu tag matches and #1 contenders things, please. Explore the story of a guy having to win more than one or zero matches to get a title shot!

Worst: “Uhhhhh I Think, THE ROCK!” – Tout

As expected, the way to get your Tout on Raw is to answer their question in the most basic way possible and say some catchphrases. If WWE asks, “Who is the greatest of all time, The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin?”, don’t say, “considering career longevity, success in a variety of styles and wrestling organizations, importance to WWE’s business history and ticket sales, not to mention their win/loss record against one another at WrestlesMania, Stone Cold Steve Austin is clearly better than The Rock”, say “THE ROCK CAUSE HE THE MOST ELECTERFYING MAN IN SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT IF YA SMALLALALALAOW WHAT ROCK IS COOKIN!” and stare at your screen until the Tout ends.

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