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The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 1/7/13: Passion Versus Apathy

By 01.08.13

Best: CM By God Punk

I apologize in advance for this clip being as edited as it is.

I mentioned this briefly a few weeks ago when Flair showed up and Punk stopped being a RESPECT ME cartoon character and started to once again sound like he meant what he was saying. That’s always been Punk’s strongest card — believing what he says, right or wrong. That’s really all I’ve ever wanted from him as a performer, and last night he gave it to me. Last night was the most brilliant moment in Punk’s WWE career for me, because he brought the “do I have everybody’s attention now” character from the criss-cross applesauce wall-breaking full circle and got to the point I’ve been BEGGING him to make — that his stupid good guy character was a measured act of spite against the WWE Universe. Not a “I did it because I hate you” platitude, a clear, personal statement that he was acting like an incompetent asshole because that’s the only thing we cheer for.

When Punk “spoke the truth” on the stage, he wasn’t really speaking the truth. He was telling us what we wanted to hear. That’s what ‘Cult Of Personality’ was brought back for. He’s always been in it for himself. So now when he says that you should push “a workhorse like Tyson Kidd,” people kinda cheer because he’s “shooting,” but then he goes right back into explaining that he’s doing it to play us. He doesn’t give a shit about Tyson Kidd. It’s meta as f**k, and the best part is that THIS sincerity, the sincerity of the lie, is what makes my heart swell.

This guy can reach such heights with his character, and I love it. He can say what’s true to me and not mean it, and the fact that he doesn’t mean it makes me feel a thousand times better than if he was on Raw truly berating management for not giving Kidd a spot. The cruelty of the knife-turn, you know? That’s pro wrestling. A big, theatrical, orchestral insult to everybody watching. A f**k you for your dollar. In the same vein as a Walter White or a Don Draper, he’s a reprehensible guy who is so compelling that I can subconsciously root for his successes, mostly because they’ll make his downfall that much more special. A beautiful creep, the devil of the human brain.

This is all important, because here comes this asshole:

The Rock Twenty

Worst: The Rock, Or “How To Make Brandon Actually Hate A Pro Wrestler”

There was so much wrong with this, I don’t even know where to begin. Actually, I do know where to begin. That’s two, not 20, stupid.

The Rock has become such an icon to the casual fan that he brings them back into your pro graps conversation in waves … just a bunch of people who don’t care enough to watch the show or think constructively about anything that has happened in wrestling or society or culture in the x-amount of time since they last watched but feel it necessary to explain that THEIR opinion matters just as much as YOURS, and that you’re smug and think you’re better than them if you disagree. People who desire only moment-to-moment stimulation, and have no interested in putting in the time or effort to earn something deeper. The depressing thing is that they’re totally right — if you’re the person who only watches wrestling on a whim, guess what? How you think and feel and react to the show is just important as how anyone else does it. You’re who they’re writing the show for, after all.

The issue is that The Rock is stupid. He’s the WWE Universe. He’s a guy who barely watches wrestling, then shows up to the wrestling show thinking he knows everything, and if you disagree with him, it’s because you think you’re better than him, and you’re wrong! He doesn’t listen. He doesn’t pay attention. He’s the guy who thought up a joke about CM Punk wanting ice cream bars, but didn’t process what Punk said 5 minutes earlier about how he never wanted them, and that people were too fat for them anyway. He’s just gonna run with that joke anyway. He’s the guy who says CM Punk didn’t turn his back on the people, the people turned their back on CM Punk … the same people who cheered Punk for MONTHS after his heel turn, to the point that he had to explicitly hit them with YOU PEOPLE speeches on the regular until they stopped. He’s the guy who hears a contextual quote from ‘The Prodigal Son’ and thinks it’s about boxing and God, because he was up at 4 AM to do box jumps, not read books.

The babytalk adds to the stupidity. CM Punk isn’t calling him “THE LATE ONE” because he doesn’t show up enough, or calling him “THE CROCK” because he sucks, he’s hitting him with facts and information. Emotions. Thoughts. Accusations. Rock’s response, instead of acting like a human being, is to call him names. And guess what? They aren’t even names. They’re just words. He called him COOKIEPUSS because he mentioned ice cream three times a year and a half ago. He says he doesn’t have nuts. Then he just attacks him, because of course he does. The guy who has been backstage all night covering himself with oil gets verbally run down by the guy who BEAT RYBACK IN A TLC MATCH like 20 minutes earlier because … well, he’s stupid. He lashes out. He’s the WWE Universe. He doesn’t know how to handle himself like a f**king grown-up. It’s just a 40-year old man making ice cream truck jokes.

And that doesn’t even begin to get into the bubble Rock lives in. He’s tall and handsome and he was popular when wrestling was popular, so it’s okay that he’s talking baby talk and not paying attention, because it entertained you. He can take 20 minutes to say 5 minutes of material because he’s got to stall for time to remember it (LET THE ROCK TELL YOU THIS, THE ROCK WILL TELL YOU THIS, LET HIM TELL YOU THIS, not to mention all the times he just repeats what he said for emphasis to fill in the silence) and it’s a “great promo,” not because it was, but because it was The Rock. It’s sad the way he’s never challenged to try harder at a job he barely wants, made even worse by the fact that he’s not across the ring from cornball John Cena, failed husband and football star, he’s in there with a guy who was curtain jerking with BJ Whitmer and busting his ass to be somebody the last time Rock was a regular. A guy who is, for all intents and purposes, our generation’s definition of what wrestling is. The indy guy who made it, but is so sick of our shit he’ll disown every stepping stone he used to get here. Effort versus laziness. Part-time versus all the time. Passion versus total apathy. Rock’s passion for wrestling is just as real as Punk’s concern for Tyson Kidd, and just as much a part of a character.

So laugh when he says Cookiepuss, if that’s what makes you laugh. You and me are very different people. And it’s all equal, because of course it is.

Best: How I Felt After Raw, And How I’m Still Feeling

Right or wrong, feeling enraged and indignant like this feels a hell of a lot better than turning off the show because somebody’s dropping turds on his opponents, that’s for sure.

Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Night


Dear WWE,

You should always listen to your talent’s doctor.


Robert Griffin III

Tobogganing Bear

Ouch, they made Drew into the Murderface of 3MB.

Alex *

“At the Royal Rumble, it will truly be: Every pants for themselves.”

-Randy Orton

Lobster Mobster and Big_Heat_34

What’s the countdown for Cody Rhodes becoming a cop?

Car Ram- Rhodes?


I wish the Manger Babies would accompany Santino to ringside

Podolski’s Left Rocket

Does this look like a man who had ALL he could eat?

fsu55, regarding Gruden in the Raw crowd:

“Son, this guy right here, now he’s disrespected. Let me tell ya, when you’ve been the champ for FOUR HUNDRED DAYS, and you’re still on the middle of the card, let me tell ya, it’s not easy to be champion in WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT. But let me tell ya, this guy, THIS GUY, this hungry fella, I mean LOOK AT this guy. This guy, let me tell ya, he’s hungry. Shoot, I’M hungry.! Haha! Boy, let me tell ya…”


“Whoops my bad”- The Undertaker.


That was a beautiful tragedy. One of those few, precious, glorious times when wrestling goes from guilty pleasure to genuine art. Punk just wrote us a fitting eulogy for his time as champion.

One man, alone, shining brightly as hell descends all around him.

I fear the many dark days to come.

See you guys next week.

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