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The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 7/8/13: They’re Here

By / 07.09.13

Christian Michael McGillicutty

Best: Michael “Christian” McGillicutty

This is easily the most entertaining Michael McGillicutty has ever been. Is this like when they had a fake Diesel?

Shit, wait, he’s wrestling the fake Diesel.

Worst: Kane Singles Matches Are Not That Great

I probably complained too much about Team Hell No, but it simultaneously created a huge positive and huge negative. The huge negative is that it made Daniel Bryan, The Actual Best In The World, into a comedy tag team guy. Up until the last few months, Bryan was being used to beat the Prime Time Players in four minute matches en route to nothing. It was brutal. The huge positive is that Kane singles matches suck the hardest, and Team Hell No allowed Kane to be around interesting people and get in his shit without having to plod around the ring for five minutes by his lonesome.

Now that Team Hell No is disbanded, Daniel Bryan is getting to wrestle lengthy, entertaining singles matches again. He opened this show with one. But now Kane has to have singles matches, and … yeah, there’s a reason I thought Kane was garbage for about 16 1/2 of his 18 years in WWE. The matches especially don’t have a chance to be entertaining when their guts are removed to make room for the 77th Popeyes commercial of the night. I guess you couldn’t go to commercial during even one of the performance evaluation’s 20 minutes? Ah well, it’s hard to get a good match out of Michael McGillicutty.

Anyway, those two paragraphs are written assuming Kane is not dead and gone forever, which he might be, because THEY’RE HERE.

Best: RUN

This, ladies and gentlemen who do not watch NXT, is Bray motherf**king Wyatt.

2crt3xx.jpgIf you’ve never seen him, he should’ve started being your favorite wrestler right around the time he started talking about how he’s seen it all in his dreams and in his thoughts. The lantern reveal of his brothers, followed by that wonderful, wonderful entrance theme and lantern/rocking chair entrance should’ve cemented it. This is the best, most fully-formed, fully realized character WWE has given its audience in years. He is the personification of what a professional wrestler should be — spectacularly f**king creative and entertaining and good enough in the ring to make it valid. He is the eater of worlds, and if you or someone you know has typed “I don’t see what the big deal is about the Wyatt Family!” in the last month I urge you or someone you know to get a grip.

The attack on Kane was blissful. It was a new guy going straight after the “monster” of WWE and wiping him out. Taking his place. It was what the Shield tried to do to the Undertaker and John Cena accomplished in four minutes. They took his head off with the steel steps while Bray watched from a f**king rocking chair.

And this is part of what I need you to understand about Bray Wyatt … he’s a character of consequence. When he does things, they matter. Here, he’s taken out Kane. What does that mean? Well, he’s got a ready-made feud with Daniel Bryan, which would light the world on fire. He’s got an issue with the Undertaker, if they want to go the Taker/Bray route at the Louisiana WrestleMania. He’s also cleared up a spot in the WWE Championship Money In The Bank match. Who’s gonna take that? Wyatt himself, flanked by the Family? Somebody else? In four minutes Bray Wyatt appeared, made things happened and changed the direction of multiple stories. This is how characters should be created, and this is what characters should be doing with TV time. Making the show move. Making people talk.

The fist comes down. And the fist is change. And the fist comes down.

Worst: A Quick Worst For Whoever In Baltimore Thinks Its Hilarious To Ignore Kayfabe And Remember Information

The only Worst for the Wyatt debut, as predicted by everybody ever, was the crowd chanting HUS-KY HAR-RIS.

Now, the story from the live event itself is that that was a small group of jerks, and that a THAT WAS AWESOME chant quickly drowned it out. I won’t put the blame on Baltimore (especially not after last week, when I briefly shit-talked Iowa and heard about the geography and social make-up of Iowa from every Iowa wrestling fan ever). I’ll put the blame on the dumber members of the WWE Universe … the ones who have no understanding of or respect for kayfabe, who think having basic information about who wrestlers are and what they do makes them the funniest and coolest fan.

Here’s the thing. In the simplest terms, kayfabe is asking you to accept what’s in front of you as “real.” Not blindly believing that every punch has connected or whatever, but saying “I’m here to see this show … the actors I see aren’t actors, they’re the characters they play. I’m not in a theater, I’m in Saigon” or whatever. A basic tenet of show-watching decency that allows you to disconnect from reality and live in fantasy. The entire point of entertainment, more or less. In wrestling, this asks you to accept that Kane’s name is Kane, he’s the Undertaker’s brother, and when he Irish whips a guy, they’re gonna bounce off the ropes and run back at him. Without kayfabe, it doesn’t work. Every aspect of wrestling is ridiculous and superfluous. Everything. To enjoy it, you must accept that what you’re watching is, on some level, happening. I’ve always found a greater joy in waiting for Santa than in telling your friends he doesn’t exist, so they’ll share in your inactive misery.

Bray Wyatt is played by the same guy who played Husky Harris. It’s true, and I’m happy you pay enough attention to wrestling to know that. But when you chant “Husky Harris” during Bray Wyatt’s debut, what you’re doing is invalidating Bray Wyatt’s existence. You’re saying “this isn’t a real guy, this is a guy I remember from before.” You’re forcing Husky Harris’s narrative onto Bray Wyatt. What THAT does is cheat YOU out of the experience of a new, dynamic and much, much, MUCH better character and wrestler. A joke nobody laughs at expressing a basic knowledge of wrestling ruins an experience for you, everyone around you, and possibly, because WWE audiences take cues from other WWE audiences, everyone everywhere else.

I think the safest route to preserving Bray’s character would be to move him to Smackdown, where chants and promos can be regulated. If a WWE television audience watches 6 months or a year of Bray Wyatt matches and never hears a “Husky Harris” chant, they aren’t going to be compelled to chant Husky Harris when WWE comes to their area. It’s why Damien Sandow doesn’t get “Idol Stevens” chants. Also, Bray Wyatt’s success or failure sorta relies on people hearing the words that’re coming out of his mouth, so if you pre-tape his promos, whether he’s great at delivering them live or not, crowds do not become conditioned to believe they should chant WHAT between his sentences. Bray Wyatt speaks in grown-up words. He’s going to get WHAT’d by plebes now matter how smart and engaging the words are.

This is a precious thing we’ve been given, people. Let’s work hard to educate others and not f**k it up.

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