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The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 4/1/13: WrestleMania 29 Is In Six Days, April Fools! Wait, What

By / 04.02.13

Worst: It May Be Time To Put John Cena In A Home

If you missed Raw, the WWE Fan Nation video of the opening segment is 5:20 of a 700 minute John Cena promo about how he’s going to beat the Rock, crammed to its mustard yellow brim with that stale, cheesy popcorn you get in enormous cylindrical tins at Christmas. This may have been the low point of John Cena’s career of speaking out-loud, which is really saying something when you remember how many times he compared Heath Slater to Wendy from Wendy’s.

I can’t even do it justice. If you saw Rock’s promo about buying a car from a crackhead, imagine that again, but delivered by Fin Fang Foom. I mean, I guess I get what he was going for. It was a heel promo delivered by a babyface as a “preemptive measure” to a “hostile crowd” or whatever, but the meat of it was just blathering, and the ultimate point of “The Rock designed a belt for himself just like I did, but I hate that he did it, and when I win his special belt I’m gonna keep it to remind him that he lost a match to me” is pretty specious.

This is the problem: The first Cena/Rock feud was built around Rock being justifiably entitled, and Cena saying true things (Rock is never there, Rock only shows up to promote movies, Cena’s here every week busting his ass for fans who barely appreciate him). If you liked The Rock, you could say that Rock’s loved WWE whether he was around or not, because he does that goofy “pointing at his heart” stuff every time he shows up. If you disliked The Rock, you could say that while Cena wasn’t the most appropriate or desirable vessel to deliver these disses he was right, and that Rock lives in a bubble that deserves to be burst. It was built on truth, and the interpretation of those truths.

This year, the feud is built on shit nobody believes. The Rock shows up, changes the belt, claims that Memphis is the most important thing in history and that he wants the be the President. He says he beat Cena once, which has given him the knowledge that he CAN beat Cena, which makes losing to Cena an impossibility, somehow. Cena’s response is to say that JOHN CENA is the ultimate underdog who nobody has ever believed in, who had his marriage ruined by a loss to The Rock and NOT by that time he f**ked a porn star or whatever and who has never gotten the opportunity to SHINE like he will at WrestleMania. The 10 time WWE Champion who has won literally everything and probably magically has the Jim Crockett Memorial Cup and the AJPW Triple Crown belts over his mantle somehow cannot be taken seriously until he defeats a retired guy in the second match in a series of ONE MATCH PER LIFETIME. So now if you like The Rock, you can say that Rock loves WWE and is a great, cool champion. If you don’t like the Rock … you’re kinda forced to like The Rock, because who the f**k could possibly like THIS guy?

Best/Worst: Boring Chants, And When They Are Appropriate

I do not approve of “boring” chants — right behind “what” and just ahead of “you f**ked up” on the list of the most asinine things you can say at a wrestling show — but sometimes it’s important to tell the guy in the ring how he’s doing, and … yeah, Cena deserved the “boring” chants last night.

One of the hardest problems with being a wrestling fan (and being a wrestler, I guess) is knowing when you’ve caused a reaction, but also knowing that the reaction is not helping you. A lot of fans assume they’re “in” on the show and can yell or chant things that the wrestlers will know are not you playing along, but your actual thoughts and critiques on things. The truth is that it’s not really your/our/my job to say these things, or to think the wrestlers give a shit about what we actually think. At the same time, a lot of wrestlers think any reaction is a good one, even a reaction that makes us want to leave the building and not see you again. Wrestling shows are made up of lots and lots of wrestlers, so if you pay to see 20 wrestlers and there are like, 2 who are abysmal and terrible and counter-productive to the show, there is NO WAY to effectively communicate that to them, because you “paid to see them,” even if you clearly did not. It’s a horrible group-think, where every wrestler thinks they’re Freddie Blassie riling up the fans, and every fan thinks they’re important cogs in how the show goes. Both sides are wrong at the same time. This is probably a solid reason why wrestling is such a stubborn beast to evolve, and why most of the country thinks it’s a stupid waste of time for stupid stupids.

Cena, you were super boring last night. This does not make you an underdog or a controversial reaction-getter. It means you were boring as balls.

Best: The Shield Watches Wrestling, And They Ain’t Care

First of all, I got a lot of requests to come up with a name for the Randy Orton/Sheamus/Big Show trios team, so I’m just gonna start calling them The Magus Sisters. See?

Magus Sisters Final Fantasy IV

Randy Orton is Sandy (the tall, lanky one), Big Show is Cindy (the fat one) and Sheamus is Mindy (the five-year old). I guess that finishing sequence with the RKO, Brogue Kick and K.O. Punch was their Delta Attack.

Anyway, I’m still not sold on Seth Rollins’ ability to speak into a microphone like a human being, but I enjoyed The Shield’s response to the Magus Sisters trouncing 3MB. “Oh, good job guys, you beat the worst people in the company. We’ve watched wrestling before. You’re all complicated weirdos who don’t get along with anybody. You’re probably going to turn on each other at Mania, right? Which one of you is turning heel? Anyway, believe in The Shield. See you never.”

Best: Daniel Bryan And Dolph Ziggler Are Switching It Up

Congratulations to Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler for having another great wrestling match. One of these days, WWE is going to figure out that putting the same two people in a match 600 times per year (Ziggler/Kofi, Ziggler/Bryan, Sheamus/Del Rio, Cena/Punk, Cesaro/Orton, Barrett/Orton, whatever) is not the ideal business model when you aren’t a touring, non-televised territorial wrestling promotion, and that sometimes you could put guys like Bryan in with guys like Big E Langston and get fun, memorable wrestling matches without having to re-run Raw 15 different times per episode. How great would Bryan/Big E be? Just let THEM go for 12 minutes.

Anyway, the match was still very good, and I loved 1) how heated it was at the very end, with the flash pin actually seeming like a flash, because there was so much match to go, and 2) Bryan and Ziggler working in some stuff we don’t see all the time. Sure, Ziggler did that weird thing he does when he wrestles Bryan where he reverts back to his old moveset (Fame-asser instead of the jumping DDT, for example), but Ziggler broke out an EXTRA LONG headstand chinlock, Bryan did his best Tajiri impression with the Tarantula, and they even did a sleeper reversal sequence that took me by surprise, because I’m so used to wrestlers only being able to use their own signature moves. Just basic stuff, but it works, because they never seem confident in the basic stuff.

Furthermore,

Best: I Love Big E Langston And Only Want Good Things For Him

I mean it. I want to see him trainwreck everybody. I love that one of his special moves is “I’m going to run at you, and if you happen to fall down and die, that’s your fault.” I also love that he’s strong enough to hurl Kane up onto his shoulder like a baby and drop him with authority because he’s actually strong, and not Mason Ryan strong.

Suggested Raw segment: Big E Langston and Brad Maddox become friends and spend several minutes talking to each other about anything.


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