The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 8/20/12: Tonight's The Night (To Retire Via Tout)

By: 08.22.12  •  184 Comments

Best: William Regal and Damien Sandow hunt in the deserts of Africa

I waited for a solid 45-50 minutes in line at Axxess for a chance to meet Regal and Sandow and get a couple signatures. This tandem was amazing, but Sandow really sent it flying over the top. Every 10 minutes or so, the wrestlers would head off stage to take pictures with and sign autographs for folks who were handicapped. Class all around. Sandow however took leaving the stage as a good opportunity to remind those waiting in line that we should be hydrating ourselves regularly as the sun was bearing down on us. Damien also paused from one autograph to stand up and take a look at the Rise Above Hate rock climbing wall (…supplemental worst?) to ask one of the climbers, “Young man! Where are your parents? Get down from there! You’re going to hurt yourself!”

Far and away the greatest moment of Axxess for me though was finally meeting the two and before I could approach the table, Regal held up one finger and says, “Ah this, is quite a momentous occasion. Look at this.” He was holding a bit of a feather that broke away from Sandow’s quill pen, as Damien steps in… “These feathers are plucked from the extremely rare albino ostrich, which can only be found on the most remote parts of certain African deserts.” Quite literally dumbstruck I asked if the pen would still work if it was missing a part of the feather, and all I got back was a scowl and a “Yes, it’s a pen, not a Harry Potter wand.”

Best/Worst: Don’t follow friends who say they “know someone” at live shows

SummerSlam ended and a friend I went with told me he “knew a guy” who could get us backstage. Sounded like a fun idea, but I don’t know if this guy is credible. We end up on an elevator leaving Staples Center and I go to get off on the main floor only to be told we’re not there yet. Doors close, re-open and all I see is a concrete wall ahead of me and all sorts of staff walking around. Three steps into this area and I knew we were not supposed to be there. A quintuple take to realize Eve was about 3 feet to my left. Tensai walking down the tunnel. Vickie. Kofi. Rosa. Yeah, I’m not supposed to be here. And who sticks out more than a guy wearing the bright pink Dolph Ziggler shirt? No one, that’s who. Best for being a weird fun experience. Worst because we came off like the worst fanboys in that moment.

Best: Dolph/Vickie are awesome in real life

Got to help out in interviewing Dolph and Vickie for New Rock 104.1 in Fresno. Nothing to add here. They couldn’t have been nicer, and Ziggler/Guerrero discussed boobs, mood lighting and Archer with us. Wins all around.

Worst: Save Mart Center in Fresno

I was 12 years old all day Monday starting with the interview. Met the guy who won the other ticket to sit with me and we made our signs during the day. Picked up a few more friends to go to RAW. Get to RAW. The signs (including one for @MrBrandonStroud #RTSMF) were allowed through. “Tonight is the night” indeed. Then security tells us we can’t have the signs. We’re sitting on the camera side and we can’t put them up so they don’t block the camera view. You know what? That’s fine. I understand the necessity for that. Then as we sit, we find out “No cell phones.” I’m sorry, what? This isn’t Russia. Is this Russia? This isn’t Russia. We live in a day and age where our phones have cameras on them and allow us to interact with others via social media and get our multimedia done on one device. But we can’t have those. Section 6 got discriminated against. Hard.

Worst: Fresno Has Absolutely Zero Moral Compass

– A young child yelled at Alberto Del Rio “Where’s your papers?”

– During the SummerSlam video package, a fan behind me saw Terry Crews and asked, “Is that the one guy from the Primetime Players?” because black people.

– Primetime Players did their entrance ramp dance and another fan said, “Ha, they’re swinging their arms. Like monkeys would do.” because … well, you know.

Best: Sheamus – Disproportionately Powerful High Fives

Seriously, he walked past, high fived me, and my hand stung for about 4 minutes. That’s all I have here.

Best: Daniel Bryan

The 4:10 mark of the video is our front row ticket winner Justin (SCSA shirt) having the YES NO shouting match on RAW and me (Dolph shirt) desperately trying to get involved with it. Voice status: gone.

Worst: Stop Feeding Us Inappropriate Ponytail Theater

The last time Fresno got Monday Night RAW, Taker made his “return” and was promptly challenged by HHH to their first (second) Wrestlemania fight. The crowd went absolutely nutso for him. Last night was nearly a polar opposite, mostly because about 45 minutes in people started to realize that there would be no Trips but that we would hear infinitely about him. There was a poorly executed “YOU TAPPED OUT” chant that got going, and I can’t be too sure that the applause for the end of Shawn’s answer to Cole’s question was actually appreciative of Triple H or if they were just glad Shawn was done. I’m not really sure the WWE understands the concept of interviewing. Something always seems to be off. Either people get punched after one question, or people aren’t wearing pants, or neither of those is happening and only one question is asked for a 10 minute response.

Worst: Somehow, the front row can’t hear you

I did not realize this while watching at home every week, but those speakers they prop up in the ring, they’re not very good at projecting backwards. I was in the front row right behind the speakers and if ANYONE was talking in ring (Heyman, Punk, Cena) I had to hope that no one around me was talking in order to really make it out.

Best: Wait what?

I told the guy sitting next to me that I really wanted Kaitlyn to win the Divas’ “Fall Out Of The Ring In Any Awful Fashion” Invitational and found myself pleasantly surprised to see her win. I don’t remember ever leaping out of my seat over the ending of a Divas match. But yes for Kaitlyn.

Worst: John Cena has NO idea how Fresno feels about our sports teams

Oh Cena. I’m not going to sit here and preach about Fresno and all our sports teams, but just know that pretty much everything Cena said about Fresno is wrong. The people in this city are the hands-down worst frontrunners you can possibly find. I saw a photo of Pat Hill in the comments last night. Pat Hill is gone as of the end of last season, but people had been asking for him to be gone for the last 7 years. Fresno State football games are an absolute joke from a fan standpoint. “If they don’t win the National Championship, these fans aren’t going to turn their back on their team.” Uh, yeah John, we will. Fresno State routinely does not sell out games — in fact, once there’s even a single loss in the books, attendance drops by about 10-15% for the next game. Then again, why would you stay when Boise State is up 35-0 in the second quarter? I worked for a sports talk station for 5 years and here’s a small number of reasons we got from fans as to why they weren’t going to games.

– The schedule is always too hard and we can’t win them all

– Parking costs too much

– The schedule is too weak and I’m not putting down money to see Louisiana Tech

– I don’t like our offense

– The drive to the stadium is too long

– Our defense is no good

So, we won’t turn on them if there’s no national championship? Erroneous. We turn on them LONG before that. My only wish at that moment was for Punk to cut him off and say “You’re talking about these people? They care about their entertainment?” and then make some crack about the visibly empty spots in the arena.

Best: This kid had no idea that was an insult

Our dark match was Big Show v Cena and a kid seated directly next to me was covered head to toe in Cena gear. Shirt, hat, headbands, spinner necklace, the works. This same kid also started a “FRUITY PEBBLES” chant, phrasing it as a compliment.

Best: I know what the WithLeather ladies like. “You’re Welcome.”

Tip of the hat to BookSavvy for the header, but here you are: Dolph Ziggler, in all his glory.

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