The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 1000: The One Where One Clothesline Fixes Everything

CM Punk The Rock WWE Raw

If you want to see the exact moment my heart begins to swell, this is it.

Pre-show notes:

– Another huge thanks to Dennis Haskins, Action Bronson, Derrick Bateman and the over 6,000 comments that made our Raw 1000 Open Discussion Thread the most populated and commented-upon UPROXX thread ever. If you want to spend the next two hours laughing, go skim through that. I could’ve included 200 top comments.

– Before you read the Raw 1000 report, be sure you’ve read The Best And Worst Of WWF Monday Night Raw, Episode 1. The Executioners show up in it, and they’re pretty great.

– Thanks as always to Casey of Hammerlock Dialectic for gifs.

– Follow us on Twitter @withleather, follow me personally @MrBrandonStroud and like us on Facebook.

And now, the Best and Worst Of Raw 1000 (July 23, 2012), lovingly presented by Tout.com.

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Worst: I Do Not Like Any Incarnation Of Your Dumb Group, Triple H

Okay, I admit it, I lied. I watched the first 22 minutes of Raw when I said in last week’s column that I wouldn’t. I gave into the hype, and Mr. Belding was here getting all excited for the show and I couldn’t help myself.

At the risk of starting off the big Raw 1000 column with eight paragraphs of negativity, here is a quick list of things I liked from last night’s D-X reuniting segment:

1. It was sincere. They looked and sounded like they were having fun in the ring, and whether you like a guy or not, someone sincerely having fun is infectious. I’m especially happy for X-Pac, whose previous decade highlights included getting brainbustered onto a turnbuckle pad by El Generico and beating the shit out of his girlfriends.

2. Shawn Michaels’ “didn’t there used to be MORE of us?” suggested a complete D-X reunion, but we were gracefully spared Porno Chyna. Oh, and Hornswoggle. I would’ve liked to have seen them drag out Rick Rude’s casket and do a bunch of crotch chops on it, though. That was be the most Attitudinal thing ever.

3. It was a brief reprieve from Super Serious Triple H, who is the coolest and toughest and strongest person alive and also the boss of you, and also his hair smells nice.

What I didn’t like about the segment could fill the rest of the report. I get it, you guys. A lot of you spent your wrestling childhoods watching WWF’s Attitude Era and love nostalgia, but I have two big hang-ups: I didn’t grow up watching the Attitude Era, and I’ve got a strong memory so you’ve got to get SUPER OBSCURE for me to feel any kind of real nostalgia twang. If you ask me if I remember Ninja Turtles, OF COURSE I REMEMBER THE F**KING NINJA TURTLES, I loved the Ninja Turtles for like four years. Why would I forget them? I don’t care if there’s a Ninja Turtles movie. But if you’re like, I don’t know, “Hey, remember Grimm’s Fairy Tale Classics on Nickelodeon? It was like an anime show, and they did a gritty-ass Snow White episode” I go GASPPPPP and spend the rest of the week trying to find it online.

And frankly, f**k D-X. They were never “cool”. I don’t like watching wrestling and being constantly reminded that I’m watching wrestling. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler get I’M ALL ABOUT THAT Finn The Human eyes and reminisce about the time D-X invaded WCW or the time they spraypainted WWE Headquarters with a big stick-on decal, but they never mention Little Peoples’ Court or the time they put a rooster on a t-shirt because rooster meant “cock” and sold it to children, or the times they ate bananas on Raw because bananas look like cocks, or the time Triple H accidentally shot Chyna with a fire bazooka or when Shawn and H made out or how for like six years D-Generation X’s entire schtick, they’re ENTIRE PURPOSE AS A PRO WRESTLING STABLE was to point at their own dicks. Can you imagine someone approaching Vince with an idea like that today? What happens if Michael McGillicutty walks into Vince’s office and says “hey boss, I’ve got a great idea for a character, I’m gonna point at my dick all day and little kids will love it”?

Shawn Michaels was a great pro wrestler, and that carried early D-X to whatever relevancy they deserved. After he left, they replaced him with 3 guys whose combined moveset was “dance hit people with my balls or asshole” and they were terrible no matter how happily you remember them. I loved Erik Watts when I was 12, but eventually I grew the f**k up and admitted that Benoit was better and should really be kicking Erik Watt’s ass in.

Best: A Martyr For Sophistication

I was doing dishes when Sandow’s music hit, and I went “F**K YES!” and ran into the living room. This is one of two moments on the show when I yelled “f**k” and “yes” out-loud. Guess the other one!

I didn’t even mind him getting dispatched like a jobber by a gaggle of balding 40-somethings in camo pants and novelty helmets, at least he got to say “what are you, a bunch of dumb idiot babies” to their faces. The best thing the WWE Universe can do now is form a “you know what, Sandow’s right, we should probably have higher standards and read more” and REALLY turn him into a martyr. Additionally, monkeys should fly out of my butt.

It was pretty disappointing that Lesnar didn’t magically show up, handcuff everybody to the ring ropes and Murder Death Kill D-X in front of a sobbing Triple H like most people were predicting. What is Shawn Michaels’ purpose on Raw if it isn’t to get super concerned and die? D-Generation X reunites, and the only reason why is because we like them. Shaking my head so hard right now.

Best/Worst: Darkest Timeline Jim Ross

Good, old Jim Ross gets a Best for being Jim Ross and showing up at the announce table, then immediately gets a worst for bailing after the first match. I guess he knew he wasn’t gonna get to talk about wrestling for another hour and 15 minutes and said some Okie variation of “nuts to this”.

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Thanks, Dot Biz!

Worst: You Have Three Hours And You’re Still Doing 5 Minute Six-Man Tags? Really?

If you’re like me, you heard Sin Cara’s music start up with Rey Mysterio in the ring and thought, “wow, really? Okay, cool!” and paid attention with excitement for the 2-to-40 seconds it took your brain to realize they were probably tagging against somebody, and the additional 2-to-40 seconds it took to realize this was one of those multi-man tag things where two guys stay in the ring for four minutes, everybody hits a signature move on someone and then Sheamus wins. Sheamus doesn’t even have to be in the match.

The match itself was fine, aside from a little sloppiness and the absolute terror of social media during Sin Cara matches. Are you aware that Sin Cara botches wrestling moves from time to time?

The highlight for me was Dolph Ziggler’s glorious Raw 1000 ass roll attempt to spear Rey Mysterio off the apron to keep him from Jump Sitting to the outside, then having them run at each other like Ninja Gaiden before Rey flies off in one direction and Ziggler keeps spearing down the ropes. It was a great little moment to make wrestling seem real, even if the reality is a guy in a mask jumping off a short platform to assail a man with his crotch.

Special note: This match was 5 minutes long and was the only 5 minutes of wrestling in the first hour and a half of Raw. A wedding, the interruption of that wedding and the post-wedding bitching about the wedding were all longer than this match.

Worst: Charlie Sheen Is The Perfect Ambassador For Pro Wrestling

Charlie Sheen was an actor who made some popular films in the 80s, established a gimmick, tried to wash away his successes with booze and drugs and hookers until stumbling into a weird, mailed-in parody of himself and eventually turning into an amped-up exaggeration of Original 80s Charlie Sheen because he’s too mentally disabled and desperate for a pop to say no. Sound familiar? Do I need to get Mickey Rourke to act it out for you?

How funny is it that Charlie went from their official CELEBRITY TWITTER AMBASSADOR or whatever to “guy reading wrestling press releases on Skype”? They don’t even tell you a wrestler’s Skype name in their hype graphics! They should’ve just told him to type “wrestling” into Wikipedia and read what he sees.

Jerry: “CHARLIE! WHAT’D YOU THINK OF THAT LAST MATCH”

Charlie: /browses

Jerry: “I LOVE IT!”

Charlie: “me too, uhhh my favorite moment definitely was when … Hulk Hogan did … armbar”

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Thanks, M4G3RK!

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Best: The “Everyone Here Is Crazy” Sketch

I’ve always enjoyed the underlying idea that everyone involved in wrestling (as character, I mean) are bonkers, and Vince is just some grand asylum operator who brings in patients, lets them act out these elaborate fantasies and disputes, and charges the perverse or the too-stupid-to-know-better to watch it.

Think about it. Classic NWA was a hotbed of insanity. You had Magnum T.A. pretending he was a Tom Selleck character, Dusty Rhodes believing he could touch people through a television screen, a guy from Minnesota running around with a chain pretending he was Russian … hell, it even makes sense when you imagine Ric Flair as a Johnny Knoxville in The Ringer type who’s just taking advantage of the disable because it’s an easy racket. That’d explain why he held the title for so long, and why the referees always seemed to be on his side.

AJ explaining WWE’s relative insanity to Layla (who once was involved indirectly in a romance storyline with a guy named “Balls” and should know better) was funny, even if I would’ve liked to have seen less of the people who are always there (Duggan, Piper) and maybe have her open the door to find WARRIOR standing there yelling about Hoe Kogan and crashing airplanes. Open up the door to find Silent Rage sitting criss-cross applesauce in the hallway snorting meth. Something different.

Oh, well, we DID get this:

mae_young_hand_son

Worst: I Am Not Accepting Your Mae Young Hand Payoff

You’d think I would’ve went nuts for this, but nope, not having it. Sometimes what you say would be “hilarious if they did it” is only hilarious because they would never do it. Three big reasons why I’m not happy with this:

1. “Hi, I’m Mae Young’s son, all grown up!” As weird as it is that he’d identify himself to his mom’s work acquaintances as “Mae Young’s son” when she’s standing right there, how the hell is he “all grown up”? She gave birth to the bloody rubber hand in 2000. Couldn’t they have put a 12 year old in that costume? Not only would it have been funnier, it wouldn’t have made me think about the weird Cable-esque time traveling shit going on with Mae Young’s Hand Son.

I’m also sad that he identified himself as “Mae Young’s son”, and now we’ll never know the hand’s name. I always hoped it’d be D’Lo.

2. There is no way that that whitebread motherf**ker in the glasses is Mark Henry’s son. Unless Mae was stepping out on the World’s Strongest Man, Mark Henry is f**king black as night and could not have helped biologically create one of the goddamn Barenaked Ladies. I would buy him impregnating her with a severed hand before I’d buy his sperm being responsible for half of THAT guy.

3. Correct me if I’m wrong, but hands don’t “grow up” to monster size, do they? Yes, I am more worried about the hand being too big than I am about it having a face at the base of its middle finger. Shut up.

Worst: It Takes Brodus Clay Longer To Intro Naomi And Cameron Than It Does For Him To Pin Jack Swagger

I’m seriously tired of Brodus huffing his way through the Funkadactyls introduction. First of all, they don’t need introductions, they’re dancing fat guy accessories. Second of all, “PUT! YOUR! HANDS! TOGETHER FOR! NAY, OMI! AND! CAMERON! THE! FUNK! UH! DACK, TULLLLLS!” just narrowly beats the rushed/studious “in captivity” as the worst part of that intro. Funk being on a roll is enough to pop the crowd, they don’t need a three-stage preparation.

Also, I don’t really give a dog’s ass about Jack Swagger losing anymore, but man, how sad was I when Brodus asked me to PUT MY HANDS TOGETHER FOR and it was Dude Love instead of Ernest Miller? We live in a WWE Universe where the disembodied hand gestating inside Mae Young’s womb gets eyeglasses and has Jack disease, we can connect the dots and bring in The Cat for a one-shot where he claims the rights to the music, watches Lemont get dumped and gets splashed for a 10-second loss. At least Ernest Miller wouldn’t have to BE here next week.

Sorry, Jack.

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Thanks, Kevin. That was probably my favorite moment, too.

Best: Slick Is Awesome

MARRIAGE!

MARRIAGE!

MARRIAGE!!!

Slick is a great nostalgia pop, especially because him being the reverend at Daniel Bryan’s wedding means he gets to do more than walk to the ring and awkwardly dance a little while Iron Sheik tries to find an opening to shout PUSSY or SON OF A BITCH FAG into the microphone on live television. D-Bry should’ve beaten him up, only for Kamala to show up out of nowhere and destroy him. Or hell, if Vince is in the business of ruining everything good he stumbles into, why not pair them up and have Bryan find out he’s actually a black guy.

The best part of Slick’s cameo is ABSOLUTELY this moment, when AJ gets announced as the new Raw GM and it cuts to her, and in the background you can see Slick checking the f**k out.

Slick WWE Raw

Worst: The Missed Opportunity Of A Daniel Bryan/AJ Wedding

So the Bryan/AJ wedding could’ve went in a hundred different ways, with Kane showing up to set Slick on fire or Dean Ambrose showing up to be the Joker to AJ’s Harley Quinn, or Bryan having AJ committed for being crazy (which is what I thought those Disorderlies looking dudes before the commercial break were doing … maybe that’ll be important next week). The reveal that Vince had offered to make AJ the General Manager of Raw and her not being able to do it if she was married (or whatever) was super, super weak and seemed like Vince just wandered out during the segment and started doing improv.

Seriously, AJ’s “I said yes to another man” thing was the jump off, and maybe Vince and Doink the Clown and Genichiro Tenryu or whoever were backstage doing paper rock scissors to see who’d go out and continue the sketch. The whole thing was very “yes and”. If Vince wants Raw to be “exciting”, why doesn’t he just put a f**king housecat in charge of it? The cat would roll around and shit everywhere, but at least it wouldn’t end up in intergender tag team matches. Remember when Vince got stripped of his day-to-day duties? Remember when Vince put John Laurinaitis in charge for being an obedient, boss pleasing stooge, then came back a few months later and got pissed because Laurinaitis was an obedient, boss pleasing stooge? Did Vince have the frontal lobe of his brain removed? Is this a Regarding Henry situation? Are Raw’s new transitional graphics going to be spinning Ritz crackers?

I really hated all of this, and it didn’t get any better.

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Thanks, Alex*. The worst part was trying to flush.

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