Best: CM Punk Skunks Brodus Clay
This, if you needed another example, is why CM Punk is better than John Cena.
Compare and contrast the Punk and Cena matches on this show. Last week, Punk said some condescending words about Brodus Clay. This week, Brodus takes offense, and they have a match. Brodus gets in some strong offense and gives Punk a run for his money, but Punk is the goddamn Champion Of The World, overcomes it with some well-timed moves, locks on a size-appropriate finish and takes a quick and decisive yet realistic and even-enough victory.
John Cena has been systematically shitting in Dolph Ziggler’s cereal for what, six months? If it hasn’t been that long, it feels like it. He’s beaten Ziggler in every way imaginable. Ziggler’s only real win of note against Cena was at TLC, in a match that Cena clearly had won until a Diva from a tangentially-related storyline showed up to shove him off a ladder. Since then, John has pretty much made Ziggler look like garbage on every show, pinning him in tag matches or handicap matches or handicap cage matches or gauntlet matches where he has to pin Dolph 10 times before Dolph pins him once or whatever. Cena completely no-sells everything that happens to him and just poses over him forever.
This is why Punk should sit on top of the company, and not Cena. Maybe it’s the writers’ fault and has nothing to do with John himself, but John Cena The Character has become a brutally unbearable caricature of complaints he used to not totally deserve, and Punk’s lording a title reign over mid-carders and making them all seem like importantish cogs in the machine.
Also, there are few things I find more joy in than sad Funkadactyls. You ladies need to throw on some red and white and start dancing for Cesaro.
Best: Vickie Guerrero, Voice Of The Voiceless
I don’t care how much you like Foley and the Rock, or how much you dislike Vickie Guerrero, she had a point here. She’s trying to run a show, and these two guys are just standing outside of her hallway screaming their asses off for no reason. She didn’t put them into a match or anything, she just told them to shut up and stop loitering. They each responded in the most obnoxious way they know how: Foley with a mumbly pop culture reference, and The Rock by going back into his dressing room and spending an hour writing a Weird Al song about how she’s a bitch.
I’m on your side, Vickie.
Worst: Hilarious Recaps In Place Of Steve Austin And Undertaker Or Whoever
Maybe it’s for the best that the 20th anniversary Raw wasn’t full of old wrestlers. They did Raw 1000 a few months ago and blew their legends wad, and there’s only so much enjoyment in watching Rowdy Roddy Piper poke Heath Slater in the eyes at this point.
It IS almost time for WrestleMania, though, so now might’ve been a good time to cart out Taker to make his seasonal “this is the only thing I’m doing this year” staredown challenge, or to let Austin ride out on his beer-hurdling Phillie Phanatic scooter to stunner CM Punk or whatever and make that a thing. I seriously expected at least D-X to show up, because WWE rarely misses an opportunity to make kids point at their dicks “for one night only.”
Best: The Topes Win A Game!
A colossal +1 to whichever WWE Creative type who decided to book a clean Wade Barrett victory over Randy Orton AND a 3MB victory over Sheamus on the same show. Sure, Heath didn’t like, hit the Overdrive on Sheamus and pin him or anything, but the match started with Shameful Thing Lobster Head and ended with Not That. The only real thing is that now 3MB has to eliminate somebody important from the Rumble to substantiate this match, even if they all get dumped immediately after.
I’m also giving a supplementary Best for the recent trend of pro wrestlers pulling a Mecha Shiva. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries pulled it off at TNA Genesis*, and Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre knocked it out on Raw. The first ones to wiggle their arms around like that and make the noise earn my fandom for life. Even you, Austin Aries.
*It was the best pay-per-view they’ve done in a while. TNA Exodus had too many injuries, and there were way fewer slurs and swerves than TNA Leviticus. Can’t wait for Destination Acts.
Worst: Sheamus, Sore Loser
WWE needs to relax with this. If Sheamus loses a 3-on-1 over-the-top-rope challenge, he’s not going to be seen as “weak” by anybody. He’s going to be fine. Kids won’t tear up their terribly drawn Sheamus posters because he got pulled off the apron by two dudes. He does not have to IMMEDIATELY GET HIS HEAT BACK ALWAYS.
Cena does the same thing. If he gets outsmarted or cheated or whatever, not a f**king moment goes by without him either attacking the guy, reassuring us that it’ll never happen again or just popping up like nothing happened to come back and win. This is one of the reasons why these guys are so hard to watch for me. Sheamus isn’t as bad as Cena, but he’s still not gonna just act like a normal human being and say “okay, 3MB f**ked me over right there, but I’ll get them next time.” They could’ve had him single-handedly eliminate all three of them from the Rumble or something. Let the moment settle for a second before showing up to erase it all.
He wasn’t “screwed” or anything, that’s how Rumbles work. If Drew and Jinder are at ringside when he goes over onto the apron, they can legally pull him down. It’s the Hulk Hogan precedent, or the William ‘Refrigerator’ Perry precedent, if you want to go back a little farther. Sheamus continues to be the worst character, and the only thing keeping him from being the worst ever is his inability to play the guitar.