The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 11/26/12: Happy To Live In A Blue State

By: 11.27.12

Best: Dolph Ziggler’s Shorts Counter, And Pretty Much Everything Else In Cena/Ziggler

Stupid wrestling. It always finds a way to get me.

If you asked me before this match happened (three weeks earlier than it should’ve), I would’ve told you Ziggler had a 0% chance of winning, and that it would be Cena As Usual. I probably would’ve guessed that Cena would’ve won despite being distracted by something “more important,” like a more popular wrestler or EVEN MORE EXTRA EVIDENCE. If you asked me after the match, I’d tell you that Cena’s in Triple H territory with these matches, where he loses to one or two select guys to make you think he’s “not afraid to do the job” (or however you want to phrase it), then beats EVERYBODY ELSE EVER ALWAYS. I’d say that Ziggler is pressing his face into that same shitty glass ceiling that kept guys like Jericho and Benoit down in 2002. Then I’d tell myself to stop being an asshole and using phrases like “do the job” and “glass ceiling”. Ugh, I suck.

But there’s one moment near the end of the match when Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment and Ziggler counters it by grabbing Cena’s shorts — meaning that he could have something to hold onto on the way down and keep himself from landing hard — then pops up and drops Cena with the Zig Zag where I said, out-loud, “Is Ziggler gonna win?” NO DUMMY, HE ISN’T GOING TO WIN, STOP BEING ENTICED BY THE MAGIC OF WRESTLING. You’re too old for that!

I think Cena/Ziggler was the best match on the show. I liked the body of Sheamus/Cesaro more, but it had the two worst kinds of WWE match finishes crammed into one. Cena/Ziggler didn’t have the result I wanted, but at least it had a result, and beggars can’t be choosers, or whatever. To further compare Cena to Lord H, Cena’s settled into that thing where his matches almost always end in a certain way (shoulderblock, shoulderblock, fist drop, my fingers going down my throat) and he almost always wins, so when you see it subverted or start to go wrong, it tricks your brain into thinking something special’s going down. Triple H does that a lot. He’ll act like something’s wrong and that he’s juuuuuust about to lose before it corrects itself and is pedigree-wham-win. It’s a psychological trick magicians use. If they do the trick right every time, you don’t believe it, but if they act like they’ve made a small mistake, you’re invested more, and looking more closely to see how they’re going to do it.

Note: this is the only time I will ever compare John Cena to a magician.



Best: Antonio Cesaro Versus Sheamus Should’ve Gone 40 Minutes

Maybe I’m weird, but the announcement of this match made me go “oh SHIT” out-loud. It’s the guy doing WWE in-ring style better than anyone in the company right now (Sheamus) against the guy most likely to change it for the better (Cesaro). It’s two large, agile guys who are not afraid to obliterate their opponent with something to make the match feel more dangerous. Also, chances of ignorant U-S-A chants are at 100%.

I didn’t like the finish of this at ALL. The two worst ways to end a WWE match are (in order): 1) one of the wrestlers’ rivals’ music hits near the end of the match, causing him to be distracted, leading to the finish, and 2) count-outs or disqualifications to “protect” a champion, when that champion should either be winning or not booked to goddamn lose. Sheamus didn’t get rolled up by the Big Show’s distraction, but it still happened (as an excuse for Sheamus to not follow Cesaro to the outside, I guess?). That aside, this match was hoss boss and the kind of thing I’d like to see in expanded, Extreme Rules-style 2-out-of-3 falls fashion. Cesaro makes everything seem spectacularly fresh right now, and I officially love and value him more now than I ever did on the independent scene.

And yes, that one asshole was chanting U-S-A.

Best: Antonio Cesaro Is God’s Gift To Wrestling GIFs

I had a similar IS HE GONNA WIN moment when Sheamus dove off the ropes into the Swiss Death. Or “THAT UPPERCUT,” whatever you want to call it. I don’t like Michael Cole’s tendency to name moves like Shane Storm. Anyway, Cesaro is THE BEST THING TO GIF EVER, because:


Cesaro uppercut Sheamus

Hey WWE, if you ever do a big Sheamus/Cesaro rematch on pay-per-view, can I request the Swiss Death off that dumb slingshot shoulderblock Sheamus does? I thought for sure that was when we were gonna get it.

Worst: Jerry Lawler

I don’t need to spend another eight paragraphs complaining about Zack Ryder (Ghostbuster kneepads are not going to make up for you being the least cool person in the history of wrestling, Ryder, right now you are less cool than the velour-pants Bashams or either one of The Dicks), so I’ll instead devote 20-30 paragraphs to Jerry Lawler hearing Latin for the first time in his 62-year life and responding to it like Homer Simpson hearing Krusty the Klown speaking Hebrew at the dinner table.

If I hear another “COOBITOE? COOBITOE?” before I am permanently dead in the ground, it’ll be too soon. The worst part isn’t that Lawler is an ignorance-enabling old xenophobe who encourages everyone around him to be a stupid, racist moron, it’s that he has apparently never paid attention to a Damien Sandow match before. He was all, “heh, he’s got another name for everything!” Yes, Jerry, another name that Michael Cole EXPLAINS IN EVERY SINGLE MATCH. How many times at this point has Cole said “he calls that TERMINUS!” or goddamn “Cubito Aequet, that means The Elbow Of Disdain”? 50? What’s Lawler been doing during all these explanations? He couldn’t have missed all of them. His job is to WATCH THE WRESTLING SHOW and LISTEN TO WHAT THE OTHER GUY AT THE TABLE WITH HIM SAYS ABOUT THE WRESTLING.

I spoke with Casey about this earlier today, and I think we need to realize that if we detach Lawler from all the stuff we usually hate about him — the old-timey views on race and gender, the bad jokes, and so on — he’s still a f**king terrible wrestling announcer. I wish he’d just pleasantly accept a Legends contract, go make wavy appearances at Memphis-related sporting events and stop professionally talking about people who were born after 1949. Or f**k, at least pay attention once in a while.

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