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Anyway, please click through to enjoy the Best and Worst of WWE Raw Normal School for January 13, 2014.
Worst: Damien Sandow Wrestling John Cena While On A ‘Downward Spiral’ Is Like Telling A Suicidal Man To Cheer Up And Get Over It
First Worst: the guy with the intelligence gimmick does a move called “the Edge-uactor” and calls it “the Royal Arch” instead of anything related to education.
Second Worst: I know that a guy can lose a match (or a series of matches) and come out looking better for it, but Damien Sandow’s Herculean trials of mediocrity aren’t really doing anything for me. His successful and enjoyable tag team breaks up so he can win Money in the Bank, look like a helpless victim for the entirety of his feud with his former partner, cashes in Money in the Bank against a guy who’s arm was literally detached and rotting under the ring and somehow still lost, got a shirt featuring online abbreviations that looks like it’s covered in cum stains, wrestles a series of gimmick matches against the only guy on the show with less momentum (Dolph Ziggler), wrestles a … what was that, a Best of Two against The Great Khali, and now he’s back to being outsmarted and overpowered by John Cena. They’ve turned Sandow from a guy with an entertaining gimmick into a guy with NO gimmick, because there’s nothing WWE likes more than losing streak angles and guys in black t-shirts.
It probably sounds like I’m complaining more than I am, but as a fan of Sandow’s work I’m really frustrated watching him devolve and lose. Some people are just born into these enhancement talent roles where they go out and make the other guy look good and that’s that, but the way WWE’s set up now you can never really tell who’s supposed to be enhancement and who’s supposed to be a thing, so you end up spending a decade wishing they’d JUST GIVE BILL AND RANDY MULKEY A CHANCE TO SHOW YOU HOW GOOD THEY ARE. It’s like WWE took the worst part of the “smart” opinion they hate and applied it to everything.
Best: The Match Was Pretty Good, Though
It was. It wasn’t as good as the announcers were trying to make it seem — they did something similar with their WHAT A MATCHes during Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton — but Cena’s oddly-expanding move repertoire is enjoyable and Sandow can really go when the other guy stops farting around and really lays into him. That’s why I liked the Sandow/Sheamus matches so much. They mostly had the same result (Sandow dying), but they beat the mess out of each other before it was done.
I want Cena to become the “moves” guy just to piss everybody off. Like, pin Sandow on Raw after an Omega Driver. Just Awful Waffle the shit out of him and get all up in the camera like, “BET YOU DIDN’T THINK YA BOY COULD DO THAT” or whatever. John Cena busting out a Canadian Destroyer would Canadian destroy the Internet. All you gotta do is put your dick on the back of a guy’s head and do a front flip. It’s not rocket science.
Best: JOHN CENA’S DAD SENIOR
John Cena’s Dad is in the front row at this show in Rhode Island, for some reason! I hope this doesn’t become important in act 3!
Note: One of my favorite things about Cena’s Dad showing up to Raws (besides the fact that he’s awesome and should be given a live mic whenever possible) is how hard they try not to say his name. He’s never “John Cena Sr.,” he’s Mr. Cena or Cena’s Dad. WWE does not believe its audience can understand two people with the same name. Like they’re gonna say “there’s John Cena’s dad, John Cena Sr.” and some kid watching at home’s gonna assume nothing but time travel paradoxes and have his head explode.
Worst: Foreshadowing Via Boxers
oh God, Hogan’s going to be at WrestleMania, isn’t he
Worst: The Real(ly Easy To Beat) Americans
“Stay down, Jack, you won’t have so far to fall!”
Jack Swagger’s offense in this match: 2 punches. This match was what, 40 seconds long? What does it accomplish, telling us that Big Show is big and strong? That they’re interested in making him look like a threat this month, so he has to beat everybody up easily even though he was dressed like a New Year’s baby two weeks ago? More importantly (most importantly), why is Antonio Cesaro running away and hiding in the crowd when Big Show confronts him? Wasn’t Cesaro giant swinging Brodus Clay not that long ago?
There is nothing more confusing and disappointing than Big Show in the aftermath of a big angle, when he’s built up enough to lose to somebody important, but still too important himself to make anybody look good.
Worst: Okay, Here’s Where You Use Your ‘Be A Star’ Jokes
Big Show has a match against Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. He easily wins a match with Jack Swagger, then tries to attack Swagger’s partner. When that doesn’t work, he decides to goose and knock out their 64-year old manager, a guy who for all intents and purposes is a jerk who deserves comeuppance but hadn’t really done anything bad to Show besides making and showing him a condescending sign. He didn’t just knock him out, either. He held him in place and made him beg for a long time. The begging felt longer than the match.
I know wrestling can be kinda morally iffy and that in fans’ eyes bad guys deserve punching for the bad they’ve done a lot longer than what seems reasonable, but man, if you’re making a person half your size and 25 years older than you beg you to not hurt them for almost a full minute before hurting them, you’re inching into Devil’s Rejects territory and have BECOME the bad guy.