Best: Curtis Axel, Ineffectual Super Prick
The Curtis Axel/CM Punk (suggested team name from the open discussion thread: “Perfectly Straight”) vs. The Prime Time Players was a cromulent little wrestling match and an even better exercise in simple in-ring storytelling, but its biggest victory was in making me laugh out loud at the impossible futility that is Curt Axel. Oh my God. Punk’s reaction when Axel tags in to steal his pinfall is AMAZING. It’s the same face everyone else made watching it, I think. Axel is just so shitty and stupid, and his idea of “personality” is the most awful, forced WWE thing in years. He’s every Natural Born Thriller inhabiting one dude.
I don’t see how this character’s gonna benefit Axel in the long run, but if I can enjoy him ironically (in the same way I enjoy Aces & Eights), that’s something. I wish they’d bring back his backwards baseball cap that was too small and looked like a brimmed beanie, though. That’s the only thing that’d make him lamer than his character and intro drums.
(Don’t be afraid to bring up that whole “New Nexus” thing, though, WWE. It is right there. McGoobersnatch used to be a FOLLOWER of CM Punk. Why can’t Punk trust him?)
Worst: Photoshop Jokes
Congratulations, horrible “whores and fat-shaming” Divas photoshop-on-the-Titantron segment, you’re on the same show as The Miz vs. Ryback so you aren’t the worst thing that happened!
But yeah, good God this Raw’s lows are epic. In case you missed it, Kaitlyn and Alicia Fox had a short (but foxy!) match. AJ and Big E Langston wandered out after it was over and decided the only way to escalate a feud between two former best friends with almost four years of history who’ve been dressing up as each other for the past week is A PHOTOSHOP OF KAITLYN THAT MAKES HER LOOK FAT. Even Kaitlyn was like “seriously? This is stupid.” When Kaitlyn, the woman who voluntarily hangs out with NATALYA thinks something’s irrationally stupid, you know you’ve crossed the line. Photoshop jokes are the asshole of wrestling creativity.
I’ll be honest, part of what made the photoshop reveal so bad is that AJ referenced Kaitlyn’s real life pre-WWE “racy photo-shoots,” and I thought they were gonna break out one of those shots of her in the neon fishnets with star pasties, or even one of her cheesecake faux-lesbian shots and get deep on us. Ah well.
WORST: Hold Up, We Get TWO Non-Consecutive “Muscular Divas Are Fat” Jokes Tonight
Hey, you know what would make the Bella Twins rigidly advertising their E! show while calling everyone else fat whores even better? 33 DIFFERENT CAMERA ANGLES.
What is it with WWE thinking any woman with musculature is fat? Kaitlyn gets a fat joke lobbed at her, and then a few minutes later the Bellas are backstage making fat cracks about Natalya. Is the message supposed to be “ATTN little girls, if you want to be an athlete be sure to never work out or try hard, just get somebody in the front office to masturbate to you and see what happens”? Sara Del Rey’s wearing sweatpants and hanging out in a training facility while “Jo-Jo” and a Diva I am 100% calling “KC” ham it the hell up on Raw.
Congratulations, Total Divas segment, you’re on a show with that Miz/Ryback match AND a TitanTron photoshop joke. You’re only the third worst thing on the show!
Best: Double Dutch Vs. Rhodes Scholars Is A Thing I’m Down For
WWE Fan Nation didn’t upload the Antonio Cesaro vs. Cody Rhodes match, but they have all three “authority figure puts their finger in Vickie Guerrero’s ass” skits in their entirety. COOL THANKS.
Cesaro and Rhodes had a nice little match to help set up that all-heel Smackdown Money In The Bank match, and they should probably find a way to get crowds to cheer Rhodes Scholars and put these guys in a program ASAP. Rhodes and Cesaro are EXACTLY the kind of people who should be wrestling each other and defining what young wrestling fans think of as “good matches.” Also, I sorta selfishly want WWE crowds to start cheering the only two people on Raw who are 1) smart 2) friendly.
Zeb Colter was on his game last night, too, launching into the most wonderfully-edited PG “abortions and minorities” promo before reintroducing Jack Swagger from his latest interplanetary vacation. The crowd tried to ruin it by changing WE THE PEOPLE along with the hateful racists, but whatever, I like the thick middle of WWE’s heel hierarchy so I’ll Best them doing pretty much anything.
BEST: The Wyatt Family Debuts Next Week