The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 4/29/13: Tug Of War, Dancing Contests And Mystery Gifts

By: 04.30.13  •  158 Comments

Worst: Sheamus Ruins A Perfectly Good Mark Henry Strength Exhibition By Being An Infantile Prick

I don’t know how to write about this without being all “Brandon” about it, but here goes.

Mark Henry wanted to prove to the audience that he is the strongest man in the world, so he goes to Vickie Guerrero and requests two opponents for a tug of war challenge. She gives him two of the biggest guys on the roster — Brodus Clay and Tensai — and Henry defeats them easily at tug of war, because he is strong.

When that’s over, Sheamus interrupts. He offers himself up as a THIRD opponent for Mark, which Mark turns down, because he’s just beaten two gigantic guys and proven his point. What does Sheamus do to get what he wants? He tells Henry he’s afraid. Henry doesn’t want to be called names, so he accepts. They have another fair tug of war challenge, and while Sheamus does better than either of the other guys, he still gets dominated. Just before he’s about to be pulled over the line for a loss, Sheamus lets go of the rope on purpose, causing Mark to fall down. The crowd laughs. Mark stands up to complain, so Sheamus kicks him in the face and poses over him.

Mark Henry is the bad guy. Sheamus is the good guy. The guy who straight-up interrupts a child’s game to call a guy names, be a sore loser AT the child’s game, set his opponent up for embarrassment and then attack him without provocation. The opponent who was tired after already beating two other guys. I know “Be A Star” is the punchline here, but Jesus.

Best: Antonio Cesaro Loses!

This match was GREAT. I encourage you to find the full-length version, if you can. Antonio Cesaro losing continues to be a bummer, but at least he lost to an important guy (instead of R-Truth, for God’s sake) and got to look like a star doing it. I especially loved the finish, with the armbreaker countered into a schoolboy, right into an armbreaker.

Worst: I’m Having ‘Best In The World’ Flashbacks Because Of These Ole Chants

That said, Ricardo starting the “Olé, Olé, Olé” football chant for Del Rio didn’t work for me. With good ol’ Sami Zayn in developmental it’s just another reminder that El Generico’s NXT appearance was a one-time thing, and that we’re just gonna have to live with it.

After I typed this out as a Worst, I started considering the lineage of the chant in pro wrestling, and it got me thinking. I think the first time it showed up was when Punk was using ‘¡Olé!’ by Bouncing Souls as his entrance theme, which somehow found its way to being associated with Samoa Joe and his outside-the-ring bootscrape in Ring of Honor. Generico got the chants (because “Mexico”) and used the Bouncing Souls song too, and now that he’s done with it, I guess Del Rio’s gonna pick it up. At least all of those people were cool when they were using it. Maybe it’s the chant version of the “Tiger Mask” name. It goes where it goes, and good stuff usually happens. Occasionally you get Tiger Mask IV, but what’re you gonna do.

I am kinda mad at Del Rio for always yanking other peoples’ chants, though. First the “yes” chant, and now this? Come on, ADR, get your own stuff.

Worst: You Should Try Harder When You Get The Chance To Pick A Stipulation

After the Cesaro match, Del Rio announced that his Ricardo-won stipulation for the World Heavyweight Title match at Extreme Rules would be a ladder match. From a wrestling fan point of view, you’re all, WOO, LADDER MATCH. Del Rio and Ziggler take crazy falls all the time, and with a stronger guy like Swagger in the ring with them, they should be able to do something special.

From the point of view of a guy who has to dissect and rationalize this stuff, damn, why would you do that? Ladder matches are supposed to be these brutal career-enders, right? They build Money in the Bank around the idea that wrestlers are putting their lives on the line for a shot at the title. Del Rio gets to pick ANY STIPULATION HE WANTS IN THE WORLD and he picks a LADDER MATCH against TWO MONEY IN THE BANK WINNERS? Why? I can see not wanting to pick a submission match because Dolph’s got the sleeper and Swagger’s got the ankle lock, and you can’t pick Last Man Standing (which Del Rio is great at) because there are three people in the match, but … couldn’t you have taken a little more time and picked something safer? Like a “Zeb Colter and Ziggler’s posse are banned from ringside” thing? Put them in a shark cage and hang them over the ring? Anything?

Worst: Fandango Clearly Won That Dance Competition

I have never believed wrestling was fake until right now.

Watch Natalya try to lead Khali through that dance number. Dogs leading blind people across the street have more grace than that.

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