Best: Heath Slater Should Wrestle The Ryback Every Week Until He Wins
I hated almost the entire first hour of Raw, and obviously everything post-Lawler collapsing was hard to get into, but there was a sweet spot right in the middle where I started enjoying myself. As predictable as it is, that centered around Heath Slater, The Ryback and the Daniel Bryan and Kane anger management stuff with the Prime Time Players. In this interest of this not being the most drab column of all time, I’ve decided to just put all of those moments right here.
So yeah, Heath Slater wrestling Ryback. I’m trying my best to get Destiny on the Heath Slater bandwagon. It’s not working, because she hates his hair. I tried explaining how the hair is actually beneficial to him, because when he gets punched he can just snap his head around and the hair goes flying like his head’s exploding. I pointed out how awesome it is to see him get shoved into the ropes, go through them, flop to the outside and keep moving forward. She laughed at his sell of Ryback’s clothesline, and how he sold a powerbomb by gasping around like a fish and rolling over onto his stomach. She’s not there yet, but it’ll happen. Also I think he might have to stop shouting BAYBAYYYYYY.
The only Worst for this is the Goldberg chant, which, like I mentioned when it very first started, people will continue to chant now because they’re “supposed to”. It’s what all the other crowds do at the beginning of Ryback matches, so the 10-year olds will chant “Goldberg” with no idea who he is or why they’re doing it. You don’t remember Goldberg or Albert you little nerds. People seem really into “feed me more”, though, so maybe it’ll even out over time, and we can start up with the more appropriate chant: “RVD”.
By the way, I’m officially naming September “Convince Someone You Know To Like Heath Slater Month”. I’ll expect a full report about your progress in our comments section on the 30th.
Best: The Hug It Out Video Package
I didn’t think they could make the Hug It Out moment between Daniel Bryan and Kane any better, but they added slow, dramatic piano music to the build-up and ‘Brady Bunch’ style happy 60s music to the hug. Outstanding. This video package is more or less the exact opposite of the rest of Raw.
My love of Kane continues to grow.
I’m not normally a fan of tag teams being thrown together and put into #1 contenders matches you know they’re gonna win, because you KNOW they’re only together to win the tag titles, but this is working for a variety of reasons. One, their characters have a lengthy, interesting history together. Two, their actual partnership and interaction is the result of weeks of story, which is so competent I’m almost surprised I typed it. Three, they’re clearly having a lot of fun, and get to sarcastically tag each other and accidentally chokeslam their way to victories. Four, the tag team division is getting better, but the belts are 100% garbage pail worthless on Kofi Kingston and R-Truth. Putting them on two guys who need something important to do and can add prestige to what you’re going for is a great call. Five, it will hopefully lead to them staying a tag team, or at least friends, for the remainder of Kane’s run.
I’m not sure I can express how important it is for me to keep Kane in this role. I know we’ve argued in the comments section before about Daniel Bryan being a wrestling ace who should be willing five-star classics out of Sheamus and shit on the reg, but he’s always, always an enjoyable part of the show, and if my girlfriend** and I can enjoy the same wrestling segment on Raw, I consider it a victory.
*This is their official team name. If I can’t get Rhodes Scholar to stick, I’m forcing this one to.
**Sorry for talking about my girlfriend so much this week, Raw was f**king depressing. I spent most of the last hour helping her study for a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist test, with flash cards and binders and everything. This was legitimately more entertaining to me than Raw.
Best: The Prime Time Players Rule
I thought they’d be afterthoughts when A.W. left, but the two worst in-ring dudes outside of Eli Cottonwood in NXT history, Titus O’Neil and Darren Young, have somehow gotten where they need to be in the ring and brought their hilarious NXT personae to a Raw audience. I’m so proud of them. In fact, I’m proud of that entire class of NXT people I love so much (AJ, Kaitlyn, Darren and Titus, Hawkins and Reks for a while, hell, even Matt Striker) for stepping up and proving they can be entertaining parts of a show the average WWE fan actually watches. My only three problems:
1. Maxine is gone and probably never coming back.
2. Johnny Curtis deserves a better reoccurring role than “extra wrestler who appears as filler when something dramatic happens backstage”.
3. NXT protagonist Derrick Bateman carried that show for a season and a half (with the “half” being 10 times longer than a full season) and does not have a regular on-screen role.
Maybe when USA Guy becomes a huge deal he’ll put in a word for his good friend D-Bates.
Anyway, Titus adopting a whistle prop and making football calls to express his feelings on general manager decisions is pretty choice. Also, the afro pick. Also, tucking your custom-made t-shirts into only the front of your custom-made sparkly underpants. Also,