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The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 6/30/14: I’m The Marine, Dammit

By 07.01.14
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Best/Worst: An Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal At Battleground

As you may know, I love battles royal. They’re one of my favorite things about wrestling. I don’t know why. I just like a bunch of wrestlers being in one place at one time, and all of them aggressively trying to lift the other people by hooking the outside leg and shoving them against a turnbuckle.

So I’m not complaining about there being a battle royal at Battleground (BATTLEROYALGROUND) to crown a new Intercontinental Champion. The problem I have is that we just HAD a battle royal to crown a secondary champion. That’s how Sheamus got the United States Championship he might still have. We can’t do a tournament either, though, because we just did THAT, too. That’s how Barrett got the IC strap. Ladder match is out. This kind of situation is where clearly-defined divisions and rankings would come in handy. Don’t you guys have a “Power Poll?”

Anyway, my fantasy booking eye has been pretty good lately, so let me give my ultimate fantasy booking a shot: Barrett isn’t actually hurt. He wants to go after the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and feels like the IC title is holding him back. Cementing his role as a secondary hand. He knew that going into a ladder match for the Money in the Bank briefcase would be too dangerous, so he took a dive the week before and sat it out. Now the IC title is up for grabs in a battle royal, and he’s free of it. Which wrestlers aren’t doing a lot and could be contenders in the battle royal, you might ask?

How about Ryback? He needs to get out of this rut of only wrestling the Rhodes brothers. Same with Curtis Axel. Heath Slater just lost two members of his three man band. Justin Gabriel just had a match with Adrian Neville on NXT, so he’s back and visible. David Otunga hasn’t wrestled in a while, and his last appearance was in the battle royal at WrestleMania. Darren Young hasn’t been seen for ages, but has been doing a lot of interviews and appearances following the Pat Patterson thing.

The payoff for the Battleground battle royal is all of those guys showing up, banding together and reforming the Nexus to collectively win the match. When it’s over, Bad News Barrett rises up from a podium by the stage, awards the Intercontinental Championship to Ryback as a thank you for putting this all together. He then leads an army of new, dynamic-character versions of his old teammates into battle against Cena, that guy who made him look like a total piece of shit four years ago.

Then monkeys fly out of my butt.

Worst: One More Complaint

The Authority strips Daniel Bryan of a championship due to injury and they’re evil, unforgivable people. The Authority strips Barrett of a championship due to injury and nobody cares. Just saying. Rules shouldn’t be obeyed or disobeyed based on popularity.

Worst: You Can’t End A Match During Commercial To Sell The App And Then Show It On TV

To clarify, I actually really loved the Cesaro vs. Kofi match we got. This is coming from a dude that hates Kofi. I think they’re fantastic against one another, because Kofi is admittedly spectacular at jumping and landing, and Cesaro is the best in the world at catching jumping people and doing crazy things to them. It’s a brilliant pairing. Crowds like Kofi enough to believe him and get behind him a little, and crowds are sorta desperate to love Cesaro and increasingly mad that he won’t play ball. It’s similar to the situation Helios was in years ago in Chikara. He was a great natural athlete without a hell of a lot of wrestling ability, so he got stuck doing moonsault armdrags to people who could barely take them and just kinda looking like a helpless gymnast. Every time he worked with Cesaro, though, he looked GREAT, because Cesaro knows how to pace high flyers, bump for them reasonably and spin them around enough to make sure they finish the convoluted bullshit they started. Now Helios is Ricochet and one of the best wrestlers around. It’s not an A-to-B thing there, but working with Cesaro certainly helped, and Kofi could benefit from the same specificity of greatness.

I also really dug the post-commercial break stuff with Cesaro just MURDERING Kofi against anything he could find, including Michael Cole. That was perfect. And hey, now Kofi’s got an explanation for why his pecs are so weird.

What I didn’t like is the finish. Not because it happened during a commercial break, mind you; I think MORE matches should end during commercial. It doesn’t make sense that a fight would wait until you’re done telling the nice people about Popeye’s to end. What I didn’t like is how they initially used it as a selling point for the WWE App — a sort of, “if you don’t have the app, you missed out!” — and then IMMEDIATELY betrayed the exclusivity of that moment and selling point by replaying the finish in its entirety.

What’s the point of that? If you’re gonna replay it, replay it and stop bragging about how it’s “exclusively” on the WWE App. If it’s in a place other than the WWE App, it ain’t exclusive. If you’re going to push that exclusivity, don’t show it. Make me go on the App and find it. Anybody interested in seeing the finish will do that.

Worst: The Twisted Tea Cookout

Welp, there goes any chance of us liking Adam Rose again!

Backstage on the “DX and Candice Michelle get blowjobs” cookout set, Santino is sad and talking to an inanimate, animal-themed shooting sleeve about how nobody came to his 4th of July party. Possibly because it’s Monday, June 30. It’s a party so bad people are getting arrested so they won’t have to attend. In wanders Adam Rose wearing those Willy Wonka googles so you can’t see how dead he is behind the eyes, and INCREDIBLE SADNESS ENSUES.

Jump to the end of the commercial and watch Rose sitting on the table. That dude does NOT want to be there. He should’ve transformed into Leo Kruger in the middle of it and murdered everyone in frame with a machete. Emma dances in half an hour later and finds these huge, cylindrical pieces of a dead hot dog man.

I also would’ve accepted Swagger showing up and breaking bottles of Twisted Tea over their heads until that cooler was empty.

Best: Damien Sandow’s Vince McMahon Impersonation, Or
Worst: Stephanie’s Totally Illogical Reaction To It

Damien Sandow’s punishment for doing a great Vince McMahon impersonation is one chop to the head from The Great Khali (now with Michael Jackson’s haircut) and a pinfall loss. I wish he’d found a way to work “he’s gonna HE’S GONNA he’s gonna HE’S GONNA PUKE” onto Raw.

My major concern is how upset Stephanie got about it. Let’s remember the last two people who impersonated Vince McMahon. She married this one …

… and made out with this one.

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