Best: Aggressive Jack Swagger, Ignoring The Weed And The Whole Conservative Baiting Thing
One of my favorite things about wrestling right now is Jack Swagger’s REARGHHH knee strike. He does it 15 times per match. He’ll catch you running with a knee to the gut, then shove you into the corner and just REARGHHH the crap out of you. I love it. It’s very easy to give wrestlers signature moves that aren’t Trouble In Paradise. Swagger’s now the guy who throws knees. Daniel Bryan does the kicks to the chest. CM Punk gently slaps you and lifts his leg until it touches your head and you die. Those things work, require zero dangerous falling and can be worked into the match from anywhere at any time.
And yeah, I’ve given up on The Miz as a character, but I still think his in-ring work is improved by him being a good guy, assuming they let him actually act like a good guy. When he’s cheating to win and booting Antonio Cesaro in the balls because he’s a poor sport, that sucks, but when he’s valiantly fighting back against the odds (like when Jack Swagger is throwing him around and ripping his legs in half), that works. The crowd wants to cheer him. The crowd of kids too old to cheer for Cena and Sheamus but too young to cheer for Dean Ambrose are all COME AWN MIZ YEAH COME AWN. Eventually he’s going to figure that out, and I think he’ll be fine.
But until then, REAARGHHH, Miz. REAARGHHHH.
Worst: Jerry Lawler’s Next Heart Attack, The Prequel
Here’s a picture of Jerry “The King” Lawler hilariously eating both his and Michael Cole’s complimentary meals from Sonic, which include a Biggie-sized FROOT AID and a cafeteria tray of congealed brown greaseballs. I can’t stand Jerry Lawler, but I don’t want him to die. Can we get Whole Foods to sponsor Raw for a while? I just want to see the gray in Lawler’s eyes when he’s forced to do his Leave It To Beaver smile at the camera and say WOW COLE, THIS BEET AND QUINOA WRAP IS DELICIOUS. AND I’M WASHING IT DOWN WITH THIS SYNERGY-BRAND GREEN CHIA KOMBUCHA! WOO HOO!
Raw food is gross. I miss Jim Ross’s Skittles call.
Anyway, because I don’t get to write about Sonic a lot in these reports, I’m going to share with you a joke I heard while I was in New Orleans (courtesy of @polksalad, who you should follow) that I hope you’ll share with everyone you’ve ever met: I went out late after a show and stopped by my favorite fast food restaurant to have a cherry Lime-Aid. As I started to place my order, the guy says “sorry, we’re not serving food anymore. It’s closing time.” And I was like, “what is this, a semi-Sonic?”
Worst: Roman Reigns And Seth Rollins, Again, Or
Worst: ORTON AND SHEAMUS ARE TOTALLY NOT TURNING ON EACH OTHER DURING THIS, EVERYBODY
Nope. And by “nope” I mean both “Dean Ambrose should only bring one microphone and tell his Friends In Similar Vests to can it” and “Randy Orton and Sheamus should team up, turn on each other, then keep turning on each other in a vacuum until it gets smaller and smaller and disappears, like when you put a penny into those big yellow funnels at the mall and watch it go round and round and drop out through the bottom.”
Worst: Triple H, Threatening Via Tout
See? Triple H couldn’t even wait until he left the building. I like to think that he ran out, bloodied Brock Lesnar, left to cheers and found himself backstage without having said anything. So he rushed to find the nearest guy with a camera and was all LET ME TELL THE WWE UNIVERSE WHAT JUST HAPPENED AND HOW THEY SHOULD FEEL, THEY NEED TO KNOW HOW TOUGH I AM and the camera guy was all “uhhhhhh I can Tout it for you” and Triple H was all TOUT, YES, LET’S DO THIS, I AM THE GAME and recorded 15 seconds about how he’s an ass-kicker. I also like to think he recorded 600 consecutive 15-second Touts, and this was just the first of the bunch.
Nothing could be worse than a major star having his return speech on Tout, right?
Worst: The Undertaker, Redebuting Via Tout
Oh, okay, I guess the major star could actually RETURN via Tout. “Hey, fans who just sat through an R-Truth match, bet you wish you were at THIS show!”
Worst: EVERYBODY TOUTING VIA TOUT
WWE opened the show with an exciting Brock Lesnar/Triple H fight, then spent three hours asking fans to go on Tout and Tout about how it made them feel. Hashtag #WWEFight! What they got, after three hours, was three of the predictably worst Touts you could imagine. Want to know how to get your Tout on TV?
1. say something Michael Cole might say if he was lobotomized and 13
2. use a WWE catchphrase
3. say Triple H is great
So all you have to do is say “AW MAN, CAIN’T BELIEVE TRIPLE H AND BROCK LESNAR JUST HAD HASHTAG WWE FIGHT ON WWE RAW. CAIN’T WAIT FOR TRIPLE H TO WIN, BECAUSE HE IS THE GAME.” Boom, your Tout is on TV. Say ANYTHING ELSE and it fails the test. Just once I want them to televise a Tout from somebody who calmly says “I’d like to see more Derrick Bateman matches on Raw, please. He doesn’t even have to win. Just let him wrestle and keep his job. He’s pretty good.” I would also accept a Tout of me screaming BRING BACK JOHN LAURINAITIS and cutting my own face until my 15 seconds were up.
WORST: SOCIAL MEDIA SMACKDOWN, COME ON
“Like Raw? Wish that Twitter news ticker that tells you what Natalya thinks about Raw was the entire show? WISH WE COULD MAKE THAT THE ENTIRE SHOW AND STILL SHOW YOU RAW RECAPS WHILE IT’S HAPPENING? TUNE INTO SMACKDOWN THIS WEEK FOR SOCIAL MEDIA SMACKDOWN, AND BY SOCIAL MEDIA WE MEAN TOUT, BUT WE’LL ACCEPT TWITTER, BECAUSE THAT’S SOMETHING PEOPLE ACTUALLY USE.”
So Friday is “Social Media Smackdown” and Monday is “Old School Raw.” If that works out, I hope their next themed promotions are “live Smackdown” and “good Raw.”