– Please excuse my lateness this week. I spent Monday night performing at The ND in Austin, breaking in our brand new Monday Night Watch Party, informally known as the Best and Worst of Raw Live. Highlights included me doing the ACH ring entrance and the wonderful comedians we had helping us out with improv commercials. Lowlights included watching this wrestling show. Our next show is on May 21, so come check it out. It’s free, and we’re gonna have a better idea of what works and an hour less to fill.
– If you haven’t listened to it yet, be sure to check out episode 2 of my pro wrestling podcast With Spandex. I talk to Deadspin and Grantland’s David “The Masked Man” Shoemaker about everything from WrestleMania to “Don’t Step To Ron”. It’s a good time. With Spandex will be taking a one week hiatus this week so I can cover the Moontower Comedy and Oddity festival for UPROXX, but it’ll be right back.
– Don’t be afraid to leave a comment on this report. We’ve build a great community of intelligent, funny wrestling fans and you should be a part of it, because seriously, you aren’t gonna find it anywhere else. Not even on that Fark page where they linked us but nobody clicked it and just talked about Raw on the Fark page.
– Biggest thanks again to Casey/THESTINGER for helping me out with gifs and pictures. Be sure to visit his gifs Tumblr for the stuff I didn’t use.
Best: Edge Needs The OOOOOOOOLD STONE COLD
The hidden Worst here is that John Cena loses two matches (including one in the main-event of a WrestleMania against The Rock in The Rock’s hometown) and suddenly everyone thinks he’s 63-year old TNA Ric Flair. It’s John Cena, everybody. The only reason he lost to Tensai (a surprise opponent, mind you, so he didn’t have time to scout the Spit Hand) was the interference of two different dudes.
Anyway, with the table set up and Teddy Long Generally Managing we expected to get that 30 minutes of awkward Brock Lesnar legalese at the beginning of the show, so Edge was a pleasant surprise. With the short hair he looks less like the guy from Puddle Of Mudd and more like one of the guys from DC Talk.
I’m not the biggest Edge fan in the world, as his body still looks like Scud The Disposable Assassin and his offense (“running hug”, “clotheslines that make you quickly stand up” and “hold your head and direct you as you fall backwards” among his greatest moves) is (probably) still faker than Shawn Michaels’ chops. What I DO love about him is his unstoppable sense of urgency — when Edge talks, even when it comes out stupid, he sounds like he means what he’s saying. So when he tells John Cena that Brock doesn’t care about the business and losing to him would be a slap in the face of great WWE Champions of Yore like Stan Stasiak, Rob Van Dam and Sheamus (I’m paraphrasing here), I go “oh sh*t he’s right”. This doesn’t usually happen when Cena talks, so I’m enjoying his new role as Guy Who Listens Sadly.
And honestly the most disappointing thing about him showing up during the live show is that we let the local improv groups voice over the promos and I didn’t get to break out my awesome Edge impression.
Best: Don’t Worry, The Contract Signing Didn’t Happen Here But I’m Sure They’ll Get To It Soon
Best: The Non-Alcoholic Kofi Kingston Drinking Game
I promise this entire column won’t be “haha oh brother you shoulda been at our thing”, but one of my proudest inventions from the evening is the Non-Alcoholic Kofi Kingston Drinking Game, a fun mid-match game for all ages that I hope catches on.
Here’s how you play: Watch a Kofi Kingston match. Whenever Kofi jumps during the match, you yell “JUMP!” out-loud. By the end of the match you’ll either need a beer or your brain will have begun to simulate drunkenness.
At first it seemed pretty dumb, but by the end we were all paying super close attention to the match, judging whether or not certain movements constituted jumps, doing “juuuump” in slow motion during replays and a bigger, grander JUMP~ for top rope jumps. There was so much jumping. It was easily the most I’ve ever enjoyed a Kofi Kingston match, and I encourage you to try this out with your friends. If we can get it into arenas we’ll make him that huge star* he was supposed to be when he was vandalizing Randy Orton’s special property.
*we may also compromise the integrity of his jumps
Best: A Long Match That Will Set The Tone For The Rest Of The Evening
Worst: I Know David Otunga, And You Ma’am Are No David Otunga
I’m sad that my proposed Eve Torres/David Otunga/John Laurinaitis Ken Park-style storyline from last week ended up with Eve taking up the role of Executive Administrator, a role Otunga was clearly filling well (“here’s your fax twenty minutes late!” etc.). The bright side is that it removes Eve from situations involving wrestling and her sh*tty moonsault. The horrible dark side is that it removes Otunga from these backstage segments and lets him “focus on his wrestling career”, which means he will literally be Michael McGillicutty’s music away from turning into Titus O’Neil at all times.
I really, really hate this idea. Not only because you’re trading a brilliant backstage character for a woman with the acting prowess of a house plant and getting TWO terrible wrestlers in return, but because John Laurinaitis absolutely does not need a female foil/sex interest. John Laurinaitis needs to be the most asexual guy of all time. He works well with Otunga because they’re more or less neutered and all about their paychecks. Those are the spineless authority figures we need, not a f**king Beetle Bailey with Eve as Miss Buxley.
Worst: This Courtroom Sketch Of David Otunga
David Otunga wasn’t at the show for a very good reason — he’s participating in the trial of William Balfour, the guy charged with murdering his fiance’s mother, brother and nephew. So it’s with a h/t to reader Robert Olker that while I would never want to make light of that situation, I have to show you this terrible-ass courtroom sketch of David Otunga.
What the hell is that? He looks like f**king Doctor Strange. Are … are you courtroom sketching with magic markers? How do you have this job?