The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 12/11/12: One In The Stink, Two More In The Stink

By: 12.11.12

Best: Zack Ryder Missing His Moves And Getting Shut Down Is Always A Best

Sorry to fill this week’s report with numbered lists, but this clip of the Alberto Del Rio/Zack Ryder match has two really awful things in it:

1. Ryder doing a sunset flip, then just keeping his legs spread eagle instead of putting them on Del Rio’s arms. That’s the whole thing keeping Del Rio “pinned,” nerd, otherwise he should just be able to nonchalantly raise either shoulder. You aren’t sunset flipping a turtle, he’s not just gonna lie there on his back confused. LEARN HOW TO WRESTLE ARGH

2. That moment just before Ryder goes for the Broski Boot and gets armbreakered (armbroken? armbrokered?) where the camera cuts over to Del Rio just as he’s holding up a big sign that says “OKAY ZACK, NOW IS WHEN WE WILL FINISH THE MATCH, RUN AT ME AND I’LL MOVE, OKAAAY GO.” Forget a Botchamania subtitle, they held on Del Rio calling the spot long enough for him to read a Chuck Lorre vanity card.

That said, I cannot give a Worst to anything that ends with Zack Ryder in pain, desperately clinging to life. And hey, the crowd seemed into him for the first time in forever, so maybe it’s time to move him beyond the “jilted, bunghole ex-boyfriend who can’t get over it” and back into the more comfortable role of “jobber who isn’t very good and doesn’t win, but people like him.” One of those things benefits your wrestling show, and the other just makes me mad as f**k on YouTube.

Worst: “The Muppets” As Social Media Ambassadors

I love The Muppets. When they guest hosted Raw last November, I gave them nothing but Bests. Sheamus is related to Beaker! Jack Swagger is emasculating Fozzie Bear! The actual Muppets are fun and important to the education and creativity I’ve been able to cobble together in life, so I would never speak ill of them.

I would, however, speak ill of the random dude working at Disney who gets stuck updating the Muppets Twitter account in character during Raw. There is something really wrong about Kermit the Frog hashtagging “sheesh.” There’s something even worse about the people who taught me to count and share shilling John Cena matches. Here are a few choice Tweets from their Social Media Ambassadorial run:

It got pretty weird.

Worst: How I Want AJ/Vickie To End Vs. How WWE Wants AJ/Vickie To End

I wrote a lot about wrestling fans and the dichotomy of them wanting great matches for free all the time, but wanting all the good great matches to be saved for pay-per-views and built up properly, because delayed, earned gratification is way more rewarding than disposable main-eventer tag main-events and rushed-through conclusions for nobody.

At the risk of being a terrible wrestling fan, AJ getting her hands on Vickie should’ve been the very end of a long, division-defining story. Vickie should be the boss at the end of the game, and AJ should have to do more than roll up Tamina once and bed John Cena to get her way. Ideally, AJ would work her way through Tamina, maybe Askana, maybe even Eve Torres and the Divas Championship (and if you want to get Greek about it, her former best friend Kaitlyn and herself) before getting the match with Vickie. And the match with Vickie shouldn’t be a MATCH, it should just be Vickie trying to flee, AJ beating the dog shit out of her for a few minutes, pinning her decisively and ending her happy story. Here, it’s just a stupid cog for a Brad Maddox story that nobody wants or understands, and the impact of AJ finally turning that corner and getting her heart’s desires is lessened by the fact that we more or less saw it for free (with a swerve tacked onto the end) on Raw. And also all those other times she’s beaten up Vickie. But you get what I’m saying.

Worst: Brad Maddox

Here’s where the disconnect between what the audience feels and what WWE commands the audience to feel whether they do or not comes back into play … Brad Maddox has a pretty interesting story going on where he’s a fame-monger trying to become a big WWE star by any means necessary, so he uppercuts Ryback in the gonads and walks around backstage filming himself for YouTube. The problem is that WWE already paid off that angle by having Ryback Ryback Maddox and send him off in an ambulance. That was his “comeuppance,” or whatever. So when you have him steeeep through the curtain acting all strange, expecting the audience to be all BOO BOO NO BOO IT’S BRAD MADDOX HE’S A DIRTY CHEATER, it’s not going to happen. He got beaten up by Ryback and got beaten up again when he randomly came back to fight Orton. He’s seen as a non-factor by pretty much everyone watching.

So the idea of having Maddox pop in as the ref and earn his spot with Vickie or whatever is good, but the way he took so much time to do everything (like he was milking some imaginary heat) was insufferable. Not in the way where I want to see him get beaten up, but in the way where I don’t understand. Vince hates Vickie, but he gave her AJ’s job, then puts her in a match with AJ to punish her and benefit AJ. He also hates Brad Maddox and thinks he ruined a PPV and doesn’t deserve to be a WWE Superstar, but he controls all the hirings and firings still, so he brings Maddox back as a referee, and Vickie uses him to win a match she was put into by Vince as punishment to get one over on AJ.

This is all extremely entertaining and easy for me to follow.

Worst: John Cena Seems Like He’s Great At Relationships

Remember earlier this year when AJ was flipping out because of how she’d been treated, and CM Punk thought she was kinda crazy but cautiously comforted her anyway, because she needed some help and it seemed like the right thing to do? Remember how they had chemistry together, and Punk seemed genuinely interested in having sex with a lady, and AJ threw herself into him all gung-ho? Remember how that led to a really interesting Punk/Daniel Bryan/Kane love quadrangle that evolved Kane as a character, allowed Daniel Bryan to thrive in the stupidest of possible situations and set up AJ as a complex female character who could psychologically manipulate and control the people around her?

Here’s AJ flipping out because of how she’d been treated, and John Cena feeling annoyed and pushed into some obligation to comfort her, and he can’t do it without rolling his eyes at the camera, and there is no impression that John Cena could ever find a woman interesting or worth his time. The only thing they’ve done to build to it is “John Cena,” and the only thing it will result in is “John Cena.” AJ will move forward as “crying girlfriend of John Cena, who is put off by her at all times.”

Yeah John, the best way to get a person to stop crying is to just go STOP CRYING, SERIOUSLY, STOP CRYING, STOP IT, STOP IT RIGHT NOW, NO FOR REAL STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW. I don’t know, ass, maybe she has a reason to cry. She was just manipulated into a shitty situation by your bosses. You, the guy who once got sold into Nexus slavery by your promotion, the guy who was almost literally murdered with fire because of a misunderstanding between your friend and the woman he had a crush on, the guy who has pretty much had to deal with evil General Manager characters 24/7 for the last 10 years, you can’t understand why she’s upset? You just roll your eyes and be all UGH CRAZY CHIX, AM I RIGHT at the camera?

Next time Cena’s in the ring talking about how he WILL NEVER BACK DOWN FROM A CHALLENGE and will STAND AND FIGHT LIKE A MAN or whatever, they should have a Diva come out and just say “calm down, just calm down, just calm down” at him until he bursts into tears and hugs them.

Best: A Similar Moment That Is The Opposite Of This Segment In Every Way, Also From A Show For Kids

Avatar The Last Airbender, The Desert

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