Best: My big dumb head being on TV for most of the first segment
I’m not against attention whoring if it’s done with the sole purpose of looking like a dumbass, so (with the help of a Game Informer community member that works at a sign shop) I brought the stupidest sign I could think of: A giant cut-out of my big fat stupid face. Considering it was done several days before Raw, I spent some quality time with my new friend as I napped, got some work done, and fell into an existential crisis while watching my girlfriend dance around with it.
When it came time to go to the show, I assumed that the head ran the risk of being confiscated. To avoid this, I stapled it between two normal (but still kinda dicky) signs. I wasn’t about to fall for Justin Roberts’ “HEY EVERYONE HOLD UP YOUR SIGNS FOR OUR USA NETWORK CUT-IN AND WE TOTALLY WON’T TAKE THE ONES WE DON’T LIKE” announcement, and I knew there was no use in risking it during Superstars. Once the Raw opening package started, I unstapled the signs and took out my favorite creation. As you might have noticed, the head made it on the air plenty during the first segment.
They kept cutting to this one angle of Punk talking to Lawler, which was the perfect opportunity to stick my stupid face right in between their faces. I thoroughly amused myself by thrusting it into camera view every chance I got, and I was surprised to find my section more amused by it than annoyed. This first segment led directly to…
Worst: Sign Confiscapalooza 2012
I knew my sign(s) were in trouble during Superstars, as a guy in front of me got his “I’d rather be watchin’ the Divas” sign taken away (“You’re going to give that to me, or you’re leaving this arena. It’s that simple” – WWE Guy). Immediately after the Punk/Lawler segment, the same dude came up and took my face away without any explanation.
My noggin wasn’t the only thing to go, as they weren’t fond of a weird pink “Lesnar’s Lesbians” sign behind me. During Triple H’s entrance, there was a nice lingering shot of my “HBK was better than you” sign as Hunter climbed the stairs. I held it up for the first minute or two of his little speech, and WWE Guy came by again and took it away. Neither incident bothered me at all, as I expected it from the beginning. I’m not sure when WWE went through such a drastic change in sign policy, as Attitude Era crowds could pretty much get away with anything (including homophobic slurs but stopping short of F-bombs, basically).
Best: Heel Punk
If there was ever any doubt Punk is being booked as a full-blown heel, it’s extinguished after Raw. His biting remarks on Lawler and relentless beating during the main event was awesome, although the crowd still found it hard to do anything but cheer his heel persona.
Worst: Birthday girl
Sitting next to me was a short, fat girl with a Bluetooth headset on her ear, a tiara on her head, and a “ITZ MY BIRTHDAY GIVE ME A KISS” sign. For some damn reason, the security guys had no issue with her butting up to the barricade whenever someone was entering or exiting the ring (everyone else was quickly herded back). Her conversations with her friend were mind-numbing, mostly consisting of statements like “Oh my God, do you see those girls’ signs? They say ‘I (heart) Undertaker’ and ‘Marry Me Cena.’ They’re just like us!!!”. As could be expected, she freaked out and soiled her panties when Cena looked at her and blew a kiss during the bonus dark match at the end of the show.
Best: Cena totally making this kid’s entire life
Cena may have reinforced the birthday girl’s unjustified and inflated sense of self-worth in the bonus dark match, but he also did an amazing job of playing the superhero for a mentally disabled kid in the front row. This kid had several Cena shirts that he cycled through during the show, and was obviously a massive fan. Near the end of the bonus dark match, Cena was down on the mat as Big Show was preparing the WMD punch. As the kid in the front row desperately tried to warn Cena about the incoming attack, Cena looked directly at the kid and said something to the effect of “What? Behind me?”. He turned around, ducked Show’s punch, hit the AA, and won the match. Immediately after the three-count, he walked up to the kid, thanked him for the heads-up, gave him his wristband, and posed for a picture with him. I’ve never seen a wrestling fan look so elated. I don’t care how smarky or jaded you are, that’s just f**king heartwarming.
Worst: “Call Me” Guy
I knew I was in for a recurring treat as early as the Usos vs. Epico/Primo Superstars match, as a guy in the fourth row debuted his favorite line. Rosa Mendes was doing her whole “shriek in Spanish, gyrate, repeat” routine at ringside, and this dude kept screaming “ROSA CALL ME!” over and over. Despite no one laughing or acknowledging his routine, he continued to scream it and look remarkably pleased with himself each time. To my delight, he did the exact same thing for A.J. and Layla.