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The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 12/30/13: From Yes Yes Yes To Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

By / 12.31.13

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Worst: Booker T, Host At T.G.I. McScratchy’s Goodtime Fooddrinkery

So, about all that stuff I talked about Dolph Ziggler being in mid-card purgatory … I forgot that it could be a lot worse. Dolph could be a person of color or a woman (or Alex Riley) and stuck in these “we love to have fun” segments where you have to pretend like you’re at a New Year’s party even though it’s December f*cking 30th so the people can clap their hands and laugh while you breakdance. OH WAIT HE TOTALLY IS.

Think I’m being too preachy? Think about last week’s Christmas carol competition. How many people in the ring were white men? One. Drew McIntyre. Two if you count Santino, but they’re both from another country, so I guess it’s people of color, women or non-Americans. How many domestic white males were involved in this week’s Stage Goofs? Two. Dolph Ziggler and Alex Riley. I don’t think you ever want your name to start a sentence that ends with “and Alex Riley.”

Furthermore, I think –

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wait, what

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Best: Bad News Barrett Has A Giant Motorized Lectern

I’M AFRAID I HAVE SOME BAD NEWS is the new hotness. This Raw could’ve been two hours and 55 minutes of condescending “how to download the app” videos and Smackdown recaps and I’d call it the best Raw of the year based solely on Wade Barrett suddenly being so into delivering “bad news” that he affixed his hashtaggable lectern to a scissor-lift, draped a big black tarp over it and assumedly DROVE IT TO RAW AND DROVE AROUND BACKSTAGE WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO MENTION NEW YEAR’S EVE SO HE COULD INTERRUPT.

I don’t even know, you guys. I love this so much. His method of delivering bad news should get more and more complex until he’s piloting a giant mech with BAD NEWS BARRETT across the chest. He can interrupt jokey segments from an orbiting Bad News Barrett space station or something. Make him a thousand feet tall. Give him a Galactus helmet. GO ALL THE WAY.

Worst, Though: WWE Heels Are Always Right

In the latest NXT season 1 Best and Worst I mentioned how interesting it would’ve been for WWE to acknowledge Darren Young’s sexuality during his debut and leverage it for babyface heat against a homophobic pro. Sorta portray the idea that Young’s sexuality has nothing to do with his performance in the ring, and script the established, popular heel to be totally incorrect in his attitudes and motivations and be booed for it. Like you already might’ve started saying out-loud while reading this paragraph, yes, WWE Audiences are probably not ready for that, which is why the good guys are the only ones who are ever homophobic.

The flip side of that is that WWE heels are far too often decent, level-headed folks who want to affect change. CM Punk got booed for thinking drugs and alcohol ruined the lives of people like Jeff Hardy, which was (and is) totally correct. Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes got booed and called gay for being best friends. On last night’s Raw, Barrett’s bad news wasn’t “I TOOK YOUR MONEY” or “YOU’RE HILLBILLIES” like before, it was suddenly “we’re destroying ourselves and our planet and we worship these weird milestone holidays to give ourselves excuses to continue being mediocre.” He was right, which … I mean, I don’t know, heels should never BE, you know? They should THINK they’re right, but why should be hate and boo someone for actually BEING right?

The hook is usually that they’re being a jerk about it and we’re booing them for how they deliver the message instead of the message itself, but damn, I’d feel a lot more comfortable if Wade’s message was still I’M GONNA RUN OVER ALL YOUR CHAMPAGNE AND CD COPIES OF AULD LANG SYNE IN MY DOOMSDAY BAD-NEWS-MOBILE AND RUIN YOUR NEW YEAR instead of “be decent to yourselves and others.”

Best: This Is How Much We Like You, Miz And Kofi

This is what is known as a “wake-up call.”

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Well, for one of them, at least.

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Best: The Acknowledgment Of Failure

When Damien Sandow pinned The Great Khali, Khali’s shoulder was up by like a foot. This is not really Sandow’s fault, because Khali’s body is not made to roll and bend and every roll-up is a “wrestling a hunchback” situation.

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What I appreciated, though, is that later in the show they had Brad Maddox say a quick line about how he’d talked to the referee about the shoulder being up and the situation was being handled. Boom. That’s it. That’s all you need to do. Acknowledge that something went wrong and don’t pretend like everything was fine and dandy in your perfect bubble world. Refs blow calls all the time. It doesn’t (and shouldn’t) only happen in big important pay-per-view ending screwjobs. Sometime dude just wants to end this f*cking Great Khali match.

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