Worst: Wade Barrett, Reverse Goldberg
Congratulations to Wade Barrett on being the new Usos … a guy who’ll never be as cool as his entrance. Although at this point, Wade’s entrance could be him scooting across the stage on his asshole like a dog on a carpet and he wouldn’t be as cool as it.
Best: Rhodes Scholars Are Exploding In The Stupidest Possible Way And I Love It
I’m still in mourning over the loss of my beloved Rhodes Scholars, but my favorite non-YESSING thing on the show has got to be the ridiculous animosity between Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow.
The basic “oomph” of the feud is easy enough to understand: they were a team of dickhead best friends who got at each others’ throats when one friend turned out to be a bigger dickhead than the other. The FUN of the feud is that they are being spectacularly weird, going from “I’m gonna punch you because you were underhanded to me!” to “I’M GOING TO THROW YOUR POSSESSIONS INTO THE OCEAN” in like a week. Now Sandow’s interrupting Cody’s victories to yell DAMN YOU at him and accuse him of growing inferior facial hair, which is basically how every Damien Sandow feud should work.
Best: “Carny Folk”
Sandow declaring that he comes from a family of scholars and Cody comes from a family of carnival clowns is WONDERFUL. Finally, after decades of watching second and third generation wrestlers get a ride into stardom because of their names (or their NXT name generator names), somebody’s brave enough to say “hey, it’s probably horrible that you came from a family of wrestlers, because wrestlers are f**ked up. You’re probably f**ked up. Let’s hire somebody whose dad WASN’T horrible to them for the first 25 years of their life.”
At the same time, there is no family of carnies I want to see integrated into a wrestling beef in 2013 more than the Rhodes family. If you add Dusty Rhodes and Goldust to ANY wrestling show it’s gonna be literally a billion times better, so adding them to Raw would be the greatest. Imagine a six-man tag at SummerSlam where Cody teams up with his dad and brother. Pretty great, right? Now imagine Dustin and Dusty bionically elbowing the shit out of a couple of crusty old aristocrats, breaking their monocles and sending their leather-bound copies of Finnegan’s Wake a-flyin’. Not only would that be awesome, it’d be WWE’s perfect dream of intelligence vs. reality.
Even better idea: bring in The Genius and Johnny Polo as his snotty relatives. Tell me you don’t want to see Cody/Dustin/Dusty vs. Sandow/Lanny Poffo/Raven. If you don’t, you are THE WRONGEST.
Worst: Way To Be A Friend, Daniel Bryan
Best: Have The Wyatts Destroy Cena And Take His Place, Or
Best: HAVE THE WYATTS DESTROY MCMAHON(S) FOR REASONS OR ALSO NO REASONS
In another example of a thing that probably should’ve been saved for when it’d be important, Daniel Bryan and Kane had a match on Raw. It ended in a cool way (Bryan reversing the chokeslam into a small package), but … Kane is pretty bad in singles matches, especially the Mankind Ravioli Commercial version of Kane happening now.
But who cares, because THEY’RE HERE
If you haven’t fallen in love with the Wyatt Family yet, perhaps you’d be interested to hear that Bray Wyatt hates Kane because he TAKES OFFENSE TO THE FACT THAT KANE SAYS THE DEVIL LIKES KANE MORE THAN HE LIKES BRAY WYATT. The demon living inside the husk of Harris does not want to lose netherworld popularity contests. Again, this guy is special, sparking gold on a microphone. “AND THE DEVIL!!!!! … nawww mannn.” I guess the only real upside to Raw being pre-taped is that they can axe the Previous Character Chants, and there’s just one lonely, ignorant asshole yelling HUS-KY HAR-RIS in the background.
Bonus Best goes to Luke Harper for finally bringing YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH to Raw. Bonus Worst goes to Bryan for being all, “eeeennhhh I’d help you fight off this attack, Kane, but I REALLY need to take a shower.”
Worst: Welp, I Hope You Watched Total Divas
☑ 6. lengthy “previews” or recaps of movies or TV shows barely related to wrestling
☑ 7. corporate synergy
Worst: Help, I’m Totally Helpless, Look At Me, I’m Natalya, Whehhh
☑ 4. wrestlers losing matches because they’re momentarily distracted by music/someone not in their match
“What the duck! I can’t believe it!”
“After that, Natalya may have to go see a quack!”
F**k you both, WWE announcers.
Worst: Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth Is Like A Sleep Disorder vs. Hitting Yourself In The Face With A Hammer
☑ 8. R-Truth
☑ 9. rushing through matches to get to the post-match stuff
Best: GET TO THE CM PUNK AND PAUL HEYMAN PART
After a Divas duck distraction and a Curtis Axel/R-Truth match, Raw FINALLY got my attention again by sending out Punk (in his beautiful Jill Thompson-drawn hoodie) to go all ‘Ironsides’ on Paul Heyman. It’s pretty funny that “when he’s at ringside surrounded by wrestlers and production guys and announcers and 10,000 strangers” is what Punk thinks is the best time to get the jump on somebody.
I kinda wish they were doing Punk vs. Axel at the pay-per-view, because Axel desperately needs some kind of validation as a performer and Brock should probably be the Final Boss before Heyman, unless Heyman’s bringing 911 back or whatever. And speaking of Axel, my new favorite thing is that interview with him where he says people “on the Internet” say he’s bad on the microphone because they’re listening to “dirt sheet rumors.” Hahaha yes, McGoobersnatch, we think you’re bad on the mic because Rajah reported it, not because we’re hearing you with our ears.