Best: Raw Is Starting With A Match!
The first thing on Raw (after the business exposing SO HERE’S WHAT YOU MISSED ON GLEE opening video package) was a guy walking to the ring for a match, and that’s usually a good sign. Every Raw should start with a match, because 1) Nitro isn’t around anymore, so instantly establishing a hook at the top of the show isn’t an important thing to do, and 2) it’s a wrestling show, and wrestling shows should begin, be filled and end with wrestling matches.
I didn’t even mind that it involved Randy Orton using fending off distractions two minutes in and pinning the Money In The Bank winner with a roll-up. It was still a wrestling match, and not a bad one — I particularly like how Orton’s been working to make the powerslam he does happen more naturally as a counter for things instead of just doing the Cena “here’s where you pop up quickly and take a wild swing at me so I can Protobomb you” thing. I got excited for a night of wrestling action, full of STUFF HAPPENING because Survivor Series is right around the corner, and so far WWE’s build to it has been like one of those cupcake competition shows where they go in with a bunch of big ideas about fondant sculptures and spend 60 minutes going WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME WE’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME WE’LL NEVER FINISH.
And then THIS GUY HAD TO SHOW UP.
Worst: OH GOD NO
I can’t believe Teddy Long showed up to make it a tag team match. Can Teddy even do that? I know he was operating under the orders of Booker T or whatever, but if Booker isn’t the Raw GM or higher and isn’t even at the show, how can he decree card changes? And why is Teddy Long even there? If he’s the assistant to the Smackdown General Manager, shouldn’t he be, I don’t know, off somewhere assisting the Smackdown General Manager?
Just once I’d love for four guys to be brawling in the ring and get interrupted by an authority figure, and for said authority figure to NOT make it a tag TEAM match and just say, “HEY, YOU GUYS AREN’T WRESTLING NOW, GET OUT OF THE RING, WE HAVE MATCHES TO PUT ON”. Or like, “hey Kofi Kingston, I understand you want to protect your friend here, but running down to the ring and punching people when you aren’t a part of the sanctioned match is skirting some assault laws and you should probably cut it out”. Kofi’s response, of course, should be, “but I’m not really hitting them!”
Just kidding. Kofi’s response is I’M A WILDCAT! BOOM BOOM!
Worst: NO STOP IT, STOP DOING THIS
So now we go from a quick, effective thing between Survivor Series team captains* to a longer, less-effective tag team thing with Kofi Kingston in it. I’ve become increasingly aware of the negativity in these columns and I don’t want to just give into it and be a joyless NetCop, but the first hour of Raw from the Teddy Long appearance on was absolutely RANK.
What kind of Dorian Gray situation is going on where Teddy Long stays employed in the wrestling business for 27 f**king years? The Rock’s entire WWE career, counting the stuff he’s done lately, was about 8 years. Brock Lesnar’s WWE run was 2, 4 if you count OVW. Teddy Long, a guy who was a bad referee, became a bad manager, became a bad referee again, BECAME A BAD MANAGER AGAIN and ended up the most regressive and terrible authority figure character in modern WWE lore gets kept around for 30 YEARS. 30. Teddy Long has been paid to be a part of wrestling shows for longer than most of the people reading this have been alive. Write “TAG TEAM MATCH” on a chalkboard and wheel it out when people start fighting. THERE, I SAVED YOU THIRTY YEARS OF TIME AND MONEY.
* They keep saying Mick Foley is the captain, but that team’s as much “Team Foley” as it is “Team Mr. Touchdown”. If Bret Hart can tag in to a SummerSlam main-event and awkwardly boot somebody on the ground in their stomach, can’t we put Foley in that last spot and have him ATTAHH people in the corner and eat a CrossRhodes?
Worst: This Is Something People Are Watching On Television And None Of It Makes Any Goddamn Sense
How funny is it that they devoted 15 minutes to slut-shaming AJ and it wasn’t even the worst part of the show? Almost as funny as that fat joke.
Again, as I feel like I’ve typed more than I’ve typed my name, the problem with the Not-Championship-Related John Cena Storyline is that it doesn’t make sense. That’s it. I’m not even talking about the ridiculousness of Vickie Guerrero (or whoever) being able to “hack” into John Cena’s phone and digitally manipulate voicemail messages to make them say what she wants like she’s Alvin and the f**king Chipmunks trying to convince Ms. Miller that Dave wants them to join him in Europe so they can go on a hot air balloon race.
It’s been pointed out, even by Cena, that Vickie being able to usurp power by revealing that someone had had an illicit relationship with a superstar while in a position of authority is ridiculous. She was married to Edge when she was Smackdown GM, she made out with the Big Show that one time on SUPER SECRET SECURITY CAM and she had a pretty openly-happening relationship with Dolph Ziggler that affected not only her decision making skills, but her ability to properly raise a rookie on NXT. That’s all been said.
What hasn’t really been addressed is why AJ having an “affair” with a wrestler would cause her to resign from her position as GM. If she didn’t have the affair and was just friends with John and really lurved her job she could’ve stuck around and fought for it, but Lance Armstrong happened and I get it. What I don’t get is that, hey, remember when AJ got her job? Vince McMahon appointed her as the General Manager Of Raw in the middle of her wedding to a WWE Superstar. What gave him the idea to PUT her in that position? HER RELATIONSHIPS WITH THREE DIFFERENT SUPERSTARS AT ONCE.
So here’s the rundown: If you are married to Edge, commit adultery by making out with Big Show or be a “cougar” for a much younger guy and do some kind of weird sexual blackmail thing to give people opportunities, that’s fine. If you marry your abusive ex-boyfriend because he told you he loved you, dress up like a superstar because you want him to sleep with you or make out with the fire-murdering monster who has storyline killed one of his exes, that’s also fine. Have dinner with John Cena once? YOU ARE FIRED.
That says less about how WWE treats women, and more about how much of a man-boner Vince McMahon has for John Cena.