– 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?
Worst: Michael Cole’s Explanation Of Tensai’s Green Mist
Michael Cole (the man WWE chose to be the one guy who talks about them for a living, not counting Scott Stanford) says that according to “Japanese lore”, the green mist certain wrestlers spew is “meant to cause problems in vision”. This is awesome analysis for anyone who doesn’t know what happens when somebody spits something into your eyes and might’ve missed the last few weeks of Tensai spitting liquid in peoples’ faces and having those people clutch their eyes and complain of blindness.
Best: Chris Trew’s Explanation Of Tensai’s Green Mist
My live Monday Night Raw Watch Party co-host explained that the green mist is actually Mountain Dew, the perfect beverage to compliment a Doritos Locos Taco.
Suddenly this winning streak is falling into place. He needs to start calling the Baldo Bomb the “Baja Blast”. Note: I would rather drink the moisture from Lord Tensai’s Spit Hand than Baja Blast Mountain Dew. I am not sh*tting you.
Best: This Comment, From Our Open Discussion Thread
This is the funniest and best idea ever. Until somebody makes another contextual Watchmen reference, I dub thee Brandon’s Favorite With Leather Wrestling Comment Ever.
Worst: Welp, They’ve Ruined The Cool Brock Lesnar Interview Video Forever
This is a piece of what I wrote in last week’s column about Brock Lesnar’s “Cena’s gonna piss his pants and also sh*t them” tough guy pre-tape
The Brock Lesnar video package above is glorious, because it shows you all the ways Brock can kill a man (other than “giving him diverticulitis”), shows Brock BEING legitimate instead of telling you how legitimate he is and allowing Brock a taped, MMA-style interview segment where he can say his farmboy Satan sh*t without having to stumble over a live microphone. Just a huge win all the way around. I want to see Brock kill everyone, and at least one more instance of him F-5ing a shark.
… and while a part of me still believes that, no part of me can watch a previous week’s video package two and a half times on the same show and maintain creative wood. I just can’t do it. Here’s a list of things we saw the most during Monday’s show:
1. The contract signing graphic (more on that in a second)
2. That Doritos Jacked commercial where they drive a monster truck through a building
3. That horrifying Just For Men commercial with the CGI beard child and his blonde adult date who is absolutely gonna f**k that baby
4. That USA Characters Welcome commercial with two guys in suits and sunglasses walking side-by-side that they acted like was for three different shows but I’m pretty sure ‘White Collar’ and ‘Suits’ are the same thing, and don’t even get me started on ‘Royal Pains’, that’s just a Vagisil commercial with a helicopter
5. The Brock Lesnar Pissing And Sh*tting Video Package
6. That same USA Characters Welcome commercial except Elena McNulty is there and the white guys are black.
The worst thing is that this report is gonna be exactly as long as the two hour version would’ve been, because at least an hour of Raw was video packages and a looped commercial break. I don’t know why it was three hours long. There were what, four matches? It was less content than usual. If you’re gonna do another three hour Raw, give me a theme to follow along with, or at least some sort of wheel to spin.
(Also Callie Thorne should be there.)
Worst: The Contract Signing Graphic
But no, seriously, by the end of a three hour Raw I was Walter White in his f**king crawl space about this graphic. Without hyperbole they showed it at least 65 times, and the first time I could go “lol look at Brock Lesnar’s neck, it looks like a pack of hot dogs” but by time 35 I was reading The Lord’s judgment of my life on the clipboard.
I don’t ever want to see it again. I’m afraid if I look at that screen grab long enough I’ll start seeing colors and end up in an alien bedroom.
Best: Brock Lesnar Hates Impact
Here’s a list of everyone we got to see Brock Lesnar beat up in video package form last night:
1. Jeff Hardy
2. Rob Van Dam
3. Hulk Hogan
4. Kurt Angle
What do all of these people have in common? Besides drugs. Notice that we didn’t see any footage of The Rock getting F-5’d. I wish they’d worked in that time he motivationally berated Matt Morgan backstage. The same people who put together tonight’s show should hype Daniel Bryan and Sheamus with nothing but footage of Bryan tapping out the Briscoes.