Pre-show live notes:
– Before you read this week’s Best and Worst of WWE Raw, be sure to read the Best And Worst Of WWE Vengeance 2011, the pay-per-view event from Sunday night. Yes, they had another one. No, I’m not sure why. It was pretty good, though.
– If you read the report, we’d appreciate your comments, likes, Facebook shares, Twitter retweet, Googles plus, re-Tumbls and AOL 3.0 Buddy Profile links. We’ve got a cool new commenting system, so try it out. This one’s long as Hell, and could use your voice at the bottom.
– As mentioned in the Vengeance report, nobody won our Vengeance predictions contest (you didn’t have to say “Mark Henry will break the ring”, no contest or a draw or whatever would’ve been fine) so I think we’re going to push it to Survivor Series. Either that or I’m going to give it and award it to Upstate Underdog, because he always leaves us comments.
– If you checked the report earlier and the pages weren’t all here, things should be up in total now. So get in there and refresh, and click on all of our ads, should you be the one weird person who does that. AJ (pictured right) was not on this show, but I’ve included her picture here as a gesture of good faith.
Anyway, enjoy the Best and Worst of me, live at Raw.
Worst: The Frank Erwin Center Is Not Suitable For DiBiase Posse Parties
I’ve only lived in Austin for about a year, and up until now my only experience with the Frank Erwin Center (besides driving past it to do anything downtown) has been sitting at the Mohawk on Red River for Anarchy Championship Wrestling shows and having them mention in an extremely indy wrestling sort of way that the “other guys” being “down the street” there. Now that I’ve been to/inside it, I can confirm: the Frank Erwin Center is the ugliest building the entire world. It was named after University of Texas Board of Regents member Frank Erwin, whose dying wish was to have an enormous f**king tan toothpaste cap on the side of the Interstate named in his honor.
I don’t like Katy Perry and I have only a passing interest in the Harlem Globetrotters so I’ve never had to park here, which is great, because apparently you can’t park here. You have to go two blocks over, park in one of the random city garages and walk to and from your car through these little ominous pitch black parks or drive down and park at “Mike Myers Stadium”, which does not even for a moment conjure up the image of somebody stabbing me to death with a butcher knife.
I wanted to attend my first ever DiBiase Posse Party, the tailgating brainchild of tender tattoo enthusiast and former Actual Wrestler Ted DiBiase, but I couldn’t find one. I guess I don’t know where Longhorn fans line up trucks and get piss drunk before games, I just assumed they used the entire city.
Best/Worst: The Indignity Of The Will Call Window
I was supposed to pick up some will call tickets when I arrived, but the Q-T window (easily the cutest window) told me they weren’t there, but not to worry, because they just didn’t have them all yet. Keep in mind that this is going down at about 7:10 and I am in danger of missing a Michael McGillicutty vs. Sin Cara dark match. They eventually showed up, but not before I got a show unto itself, featuring (but not limited to):
– A guy who bought tickets for his entire family on StubHub, only to be told by the box office lady that he’d been sold a phony duplicate ticket and would have to “bring it up with the person he bought them from” if he wanted to get in.
– A guy who said Santino Marella had put aside a bunch of tickets for him, and when they weren’t there he tried to show them text messages and a picture of him with Santino to “prove [he] won’t bull-sh*ttin'”. He went on to explain that his cousin wrestles (present tense) for OVW, so either he meant to say “FCW” and hasn’t updated his contacts lately or his cousin is Television Champion Rocco Bellagio and he thinks that earns him preferential treatment.
– An Army lady in full uniform standing around sheepishly for several minutes by herself before timidly asking the box office lady if Army people can get in for free. When told they can, she turns around and shouts “FORM A LINE, BOYS” and starts waving her arm in a circle, and like 40 Army guys show up out of nowhere to form a huge single-file line like we’re in a goddamn cartoon.
– A lady trying to buy Taylor Swift tickets and thinking “during Raw” was the best time to do so.
Best: Sign Of The Night
We parked in a garage near the Capitol and walked over through one of those back-alleyway parklets that made me feel like I was a second away from becoming a Political Prisoner in need of saving by the Batman. The closer we got, the more surrounded by kids in Y U NO C ME Cena shirts we became. We also ran into one of the best homemade signs I’ve ever seen.
In case U NO read that, it says “John Morrison #1
Of“. I don’t know what John Morrison was originally going to be the number one of, but it should be noted that the kid holding this sign was at LEAST ten years old. How much time did you spend making this sign, kid? When I was little I put work into that sh*t. You’re gonna block somebody’s view for something you yourself scribbled out? I guess at least your lack of effort and inability to understand basic artistic concepts explains why you think John Morrison #1.
Worst: Priority Tarp Seating
During my stay at the will call window I heard it explained that 1) they didn’t have enough free seats for the army people to sit together, and 2) there was a service charge required to reserve your seat in the building. Of course when we went in, we saw that 3/4 of the upper deck (where they were sitting everybody anyway) was tarped off and that almost an entire row on the floor, about ten feet from the security barrier, was empty. I hope that OVW guy’s two extra dollars helped your sh*tty vendors who made me walk all the way around the building because the eight feet between my seat and where I came in was “closed” feel more rewarded for their work.
I was pretty pissed that NXT was being filmed before Smackdown in Houston tonight, rendering my Bate-Max signage useless (and yes, I missed the entirety of Sin Cara vs. Michael McGillicutty Negro), but at least I got to see a couple of tag team matches filmed for Superstars. The first pitted Air Boom against JTG and Primo (or, as I like to call them, Black Colon) and the second highlighting Brie and Nikki Bella as 2011’s answer to Doug Furnas and Danny Kroffat against Kelly Kelly as Kenta Kobashi and Eve Torres as Tsuyoshi Kikuchi. They were fine, and random people who have no idea ACW runs a great show on the same street every month love Kelly Kelly about as much as you’d imagine.
In retrospect I should’ve enjoyed these matches more, as they were the last time I’d get to see wrestling for about an hour.
Worst: I Love You, Grand-Pop
You’d better watch your ass, Bryan Cranston, because Triple H is acting and he’s going to mount your Emmy awards on his mantle alongside the European title and Katie Vick’s brain virginity. Very, very long story short, Triple H says that for his entire career he’s believed the advice (given to him by a guy named “Killer”) that in This Business you can either make friends or you can make money, then gets emotional about how his heart has been broken by his friend. I’ve sat here for forty minutes trying to think of something to say about it. What do you say? The crowd was enraptured by Triple H no matter what he said, because they weren’t listening to him, they were just waiting for him to stop talking so they could cheer. They do that. They wait until the guy they’ve decided to like stops talking to cheer and for the guy they’ve decided not to like to stop talking so they can yell “what” or “you suck”. That’s it. That’s what this was. It could’ve been Charlie Brown’s teacher talking, and if she was in a pair of jeans and a skull t-shirt with approximated Latin across the front they would’ve cheered the sh*t out of her.
I know some of you are into leaving comments or sending me halfhearted tweets about how you’re “digging Triple H” or whatever, but if one person reading this who actually sat through this segment and isn’t five years old came out the other side of it thinking Triple H, Kevin Nash, John Laurinaitis or WWE itself looked better for it, you’re completely full of the most rancid kind of stupid sh*t and you should stop watching television. Not just wrestling, television. Go to the library and sit still until you asphyxiate. I’ve optimistically reported enough pro wrestling to you by now that you should be open to accepting some negative truths, and this is a big one — Triple H is not helping this show be better.
H pretending he’s in the middle of The Godfather Part II when he’s actually in the middle of Inside Out Part II is sad. Remember when he tried to use that line from Gran Torino, except he couldn’t say f**k so it sounded corny? Now he’s trying to get Kevin Nash over as Fredo, except Fredo had a movie and a half of impeccably written, amazingly directly, perfectly acted Best Picture-quality film with a consistency of character necessary to create drama, not 50 years of mailing it in and some trash bag pants. Although this does start to explain Nash’s weird mustache.
I like to think Triple H was watching Vengeance on the monitors backstage last night, saw Mark Henry getting up despite being hurt to yell I’M THE CHAMPION I DON’T NEED HELP and though “oh man, I’m gonna do that exact same thing tomorrow night“. The cherry on H’s acting performance, the clip they’ll show when he’s affably nodding his head while Jon Hamm claps for him at the awards ceremony, is when he’s backstage refusing help, takes a few steps, then FAINTS like he’s in the goddamn Pickwick Papers. This is when the show goes from being melodrama to an exercise in the absurd, and when I start feeling like Bruce Springsteen trying to explain “The Rising”.
Best: Kevin Nash’s Guttural Queefing
Kevin Nash didn’t want the ambulance to take Triple H to a Local Medical Facility™ because he wasn’t done hitting him with a sledgehammer. He scares the trainers, EMTs, referees down but they don’t have H all the way in yet, and he just kinda slides into the floor. What does Kevin Nash do? He puts down his sledgehammer and works extremely hard to deadlift Triple H up, drag him across the room and prop him up against some cardboard boxes so he can hit him in the face with a sledgehammer. Here’s my biggest question: why go through all that trouble to prop him up? If you want to hit him in the face with a hammer, he’s tied up on the ground and you’re right there, just grab the thing by the handle and whip it down like you’re trying to win a Pikachu at the Texas State Fair. You can crush his head, nobody’s around.
I guess when you have to give him the “back of your hand to the face” sledgehammer shot it’d be hard to do that downward, but still. You could’ve saved us having to listen to you go ENGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH, HEEEEENGGGGHHHHHHH, ENGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH for a minute and a half.
Best: Somebody Grab A Mirror!
The only thing better than Triple H’s Margaret Dumont faint was the EMT’s amazing line “Does he have a pulse??” No, he’s dead. Kevin Nash hit him with the back of his hand while he was holding a hammer and he DIED. You’re rolling a man’s corpse onto the gurney. The ambulance should’ve randomly exploded as they were driving it out.
LOL Worst: Get Him To The Hospital After This Twix Commercial
Triple H was so badly injured that the paramedic put his hand over Triple H’s nose to make sure he was still breathing, but they waited through a four minute commercial break before driving him to the hospital. Good job, everybody. You couldn’t have put a “during the break” graphic on this?
Worst: Honestly I’m Starting To Miss The Twix Guys
Fun fact: People who pay for tickets to go see Raw in 2011 have never been to a Raw before. You know how I can tell? They get confused and restless when the arena goes pitch-black for five minutes at a time for commercial breaks and nothing happens. By the time Triple H’s ambulance was pulling away we’d been shown the “Moments Ago” footage of Nash’s attack FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES. You’d think they’d bring out, I don’t know, Kaitlyn and AJ with a t-shirt gun or had Maxine or whoever orchestrate an impromptu Kiss Cam to keep us busy, but nothing. We sat on our hands in dead silence, save for the kid who’d yell JOHN CENA matter of factly every two or three minutes no matter what was happening.
I’m well trained in this kind of boredom. The last Raw I’d attended before this one was the one where Shane McMahon beat up Legacy by himself through sheer power of will and little brother punches. That show had about fourteen seconds of wrestling and 45 minutes of Randy Orton slowly explaining psychological disease.
Worst: So Apparently I Missed Something About Twitter
When I hopped online this morning to read what people thought of the TV version of the show, I ran into a landslide of JESUS CHRIST HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOU GUYS GONNA MENTION TWITTER. Skimming through the torrent I see that the terrible TRENDING NOW graphic is back, and they’ve added in a tweet from most of the wrestlers during their entrance. I know this is sorta how the world works now and you’re living and dying by your social media presence (and not your ratings, thankfully), so allow me to reiterate what I mentioned in the Best And Worst Of WWE Vengeance 2011 report.
“Kevin Nash” is trending now. Okay, good. First of all, ask TNA how helpful trending topics have been. Second of all, do you really understand WHY Kevin Nash is trending? A lot of people use Twitter, and a lot of people are disinterested enough in your show to want to watch it, but have to multitask with something else to KEEP watching it. Getting something to trend is cool, I guess, I’ve never done it, but it doesn’t DO anything. You know what else is trending? “Happy birthday to the third most popular Jonas Brother, at least two years after their last adolescent pelvis thrust of relevancy”. Movie titles with the word “bacon” in them where other words should go. Jurassic Bacon! Jurassic Park with “bacon” instead of “park” is trending. Things that don’t exist. #puertoricanproblems. This is what you’re trending alongside.
Worry less about how many more Facebook likes you have than Apple, and worry more about how and why they’ve got so much more loyalty and money.
Worst: Yeah We’re Like An Hour In At This Point
Nothing is happening. In the middle of the third silent commercial break I decide to wander around to try to find some food and a bathroom, in no particular order. I’m a sucker for souvenir cups (I’ve got one from Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Kauffman Stadium and like fifteen faded ones from Progressive Field in my cabinet) but the ones at the Frank Erwin Center are just flimsy plastic Big Gulp cups with the Longhorns logo on the side and aren’t worth the extra 50 cents. Thank goodness the Super Pretzel is vegan, and that it can still be sold for six dollars when ice cold.
Worst: At Least The Guy In Front Of Me Is Enjoying The Show
He filmed the entire show on one device while recording segments to (I’m guessing) send to people with the other. It reminded me of when I was in the second row for Regina Spektor in Cleveland, and the only thing between me and her was the digital camera of the lady in front of me, taping the song, looking up at the screen. I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.
Best: Wrestling! YAY!
Wait, is there supposed to be wrestling on this show?
One of Destiny’s first observations on the night was how hot the crowd was for every single hot tag. It’s true, they were — it didn’t matter what was happening in the ring, when a tag team partner (it doesn’t matter if it was Sheamus or Eve Torres) started crawling over with their hand outstretched, people would flip the hell out. A few years of going to independent wrestling shows has trained her well at noticing the sport’s tropes, especially considering that the last Raw SHE attended she got in trouble with her Mom for buying a YOUR ASS IS GRASS AND I’M GONNA SMOKE IT X-Pac shirt because she was like twelve.
But yeah, once the actual wrestling started, the commercial breaks became an aid. They added three or four minutes to every match and made Raw seem like it was suddenly filled to the brim with what I’ve been begging them for. Of course, when you realize the commercial break is happening because Christian is applying one too many armbars in a row, it takes a little of the fun out of it, but still, the opening tag match helped soothe the burn of the Michael Haneke-directed episode of f**king American Gladiators that started us off.
Worst: The Great White
They put it in his TitanTron video now, so I guess there’s no escaping it.
I feel like WWE could just add “shark” to the end of it and do a “viper” thing and avoid me feeling like every wrestling fan in the Bible Belt is simultaneously misunderstanding its intent. I also feel like they should feud him with the fake Sin Cara just so we can have Negro lose to a Great White, and Gatsby can stand on one side of the arena staring at a flashing green light on the other.
Best: Accidental Ring Psychology
Push play on the following video but pause it and let it load. Turn the volume all the way down.
Now load this in another tab and press play. Easier to reproduce than one of Bebe’s Kid’s, it’s Botchamania 190!
But yeah, the announcer’s played this up properly: obviously Sheamus was supposed to catch him in the chin for the finish, but he ended up countering a Beautiful Disaster kick with a Brogue Kick to the KNEE, and that is accidentally awesome. The only way it would’ve been better is if he’d grabbed a single-leg crab on the limb he kicked and got the submission win.
Worst: What’s The Matter, Sid, Forget Your Skateboard
You know, if somebody approached COO Triple H and was all “what do you need, Hunter, need me to put on a surplus helmet and ride in here on a USMC jeep and pretend like I did something cool”, at least there’d be modern WWE precedent. It’d be up to us to remember that, because we’re cool if we watched the last 15 years of WWE Universality. John Cena bringing up John Laurinaitis’ skateboard all the time is stupid, because f**k, the kids watching this show don’t remember Bret Hart, much less the worse half of a tag team from a competing company from 25 f**king years ago. At first, sure, I thought it was funny, because I was a kid who grew up watching the stupid Dynamic Dudes and cheered when Jim Cornette lit them up with a tennis racket, but eventually even I came around to the reality that unless we Jeritron 5000 the sh*t out of some Halloween Havoc ’89 it’s just pointless.
Besides, the Dynamic Dudes is a Wrestlecrap-level reference. Punk should be namedropping Motoko Baba on the reg, or at least trying to hit him with a Coconut Crush.
Worst: We’re Like Four Hours From Mexico And Still No Alberto Del Rio Shirts
I got a Daniel Bryan “Submission Wrestling” shirt for a Christmas a while back, but the last WWE shirt I physically paid for was a bad one — I bought the “Age Of Orton” gas mask shirt at the Shane-O-Mac-O-Rama Cleveland Raw because he’d kicked Vince in the skull the week before and it was awesome and we thought it was going to go somewhere. I haven’t really been able to outlive that shame, but I came to this merch stand flush and prepared to buy the Alberto Del Rio shirt, or at least one of those leftover Vengeance ones with Mark Henry screaming on the front. My weekend of ADR disappointment continued. Look at this stand.
From left to right we’ve got the out-of-date Zack Ryder shirt, Big Show’s sexy Halloween costume, Kofi Kingston’s racist caricature, a Randy Orton shirt I’m pretty sure is supposed to be packaged with his DVD, two progressively worse John Cena options, an “I paid money to go to a WWE show, remember” K-mart special, a CM Punk shirt that makes me super sad now and the ice cream one that never should’ve been made, a Miz shirt without contractions that makes me wonder if they spelled out “you are” because they weren’t sure how to do it, Rocky, Triple H and a guy who isn’t there. Above them, a row of John Cena “okay” foam hands that I’m pretty sure I get punched in the balls if I look at. No Del Rio shirt, no Ziggler shirt, not even Sin Cara. Not even John Morrison’s “TOOK OUT YA TRASH, BYOTCH” tee for maximum irony. Nothing.
I saved my money and am gonna donate it to the Send ACH To The East Coast fund, because that guy should already be a millionaire.
Worst: Heel Interference In Squash Matches
I missed the entirety of this match milling around at the merch table, so can somebody please explain to me why Dolph Ziggler needs Jack Swagger interference to beat Santino Marella and why he didn’t just f**king murder him? Ziggler should’ve showed up, kicked the hell out of him, sold like a champ for that dumb Ernest The Cat Miller hiptoss thing, ducked the Fingerpoke Of Ethnic Doom and Zig Zagged him into god-for-f**king-saken dust.
Imagine if Ring of Honor had run Samoa Joe vs. Ebessan, but had Ebessan kick Joe’s ass for a while and Jay Lethal had to run out and distract him so Joe could win. How weird would that’ve been? You don’t need to 50-50 book the best wrestler in your company with the guy who gets cheered because he talks funny.
Best: The Bella Twins Are Being A Star
Oddly enough I enjoyed the Bella Twins pulling a 180 and being happy that Zack Ryder gets to team with John Cena in the main event. I don’t know why this happened, or if the Bellas got the Ted DiBiase “you’re in the room, be in this segment okay GO” moment of the night, but I guess if you have to set them up as likable girls so people will woo instead of boo next week when they make Miss Piggy jealous of Kermit this is the way to do it. I want this Raw on DVD with a deleted scene depicting the Bellas continuing to talk about how excited Zack Ryder must be for his match for the remaining sixty minutes.
Speaking of Zack Ryder,
Worst: What The Hell Are You Nodding At
Somewhere in the Vengeance report I mentioned how I wasn’t enjoying the major label version of Zack Ryder and was called a hipster, but I’m going to stand by it. What is he looking at? Why is he nodding? Is he daydreaming about Rosa Mendes again, except this time we can’t see it? He’s doing the wrestler version of the “stare off pensively into the distance until we cut” thing from the end of Josh Mathews interviews. I screamed YEAHHH KILL HIM when Miz and Truth attacked, and even that got ruined when Miz missed his kick and easily destroyed the set piece Alberto Del Rio spent two minutes getting over as super heavy and devastating at Vengeance. Oh well.
And speaking of Miss Piggy,
Best: Next Week’s Muppet Raw
Kermit the Frog as John Cena is better than actual John Cena. And honestly Miss Piggy DOES look like Kelly Kelly. That’s not a fat joke or anything, she actually physically looks like Kelly Kelly. I think it’s the hair, or the angle of her eyeballs. Miss Piggy has more believable offense, though, and I want to see a puppeteer with half his body under the ring do a better job of running the ropes.
Best: Texas Hates Spanish Words
I’m not sure if Alberto Del Rio’s act works really well in person or if it’s just that some people in Texas know Spanish, but the crowd was HOT for Alberto in this segment, loudly reacting and booing whenever he’d say “perro”. I’ve seen guys at independent shows get right up in people’s faces and yell the nastiest sh*t of all time and have it not matter, but Del Rio goes “heh, JOOR A LOOSE-HER” and people are climbing out of their seats to knife him like he’s Freddie Blassie. Maybe that’s why they didn’t have any Del Rio shirts, somebody would’ve launched a molotov cocktail at the merch stand.
It’s weird going to one of these shows live and realize how little of that upper deck crowd response comes across on TV. There was a girl who did that high pitched girl shriek the entire time John Cena was around, no matter what he was doing, on offense or defense. She just screamed non-stop. A kid a few seats down from me nearly fell into the lower row because he was trying to get his face close enough to Del Rio so he could hear him say he sucked. Little Jimmy be damned, I guess, but this product is working for somebody. It’s just the somebodies who aren’t going to be around anymore when they hit high school, and dorky losers like me are left with the meandering sh*t they abandoned.
Worst: Put On Some Pants And Be Nice To Your Boss, Jerk
If you notice, every time I mention something negative about CM Punk, someone leaves a comment about how I’ve “turned on him” and how he’s great and I’m dumb for daring to think he could be flawed. Wrestling blogs almost seem scared to say something bad about the guy. I had to explain it to Destiny. I don’t hate CM Punk now, I LOVE CM Punk, I just don’t like what he’s doing right now or how he’s doing it. That continued last night, and despite this next Best…
Best: Punk Sounding Less Scripted
… and the fact that he was allowed to be a little more like himself in his interactions with Laurinaitis and a little less like Triple H’s skinny little buddy, I couldn’t buy into it. I didn’t bite. I’m doomed to remember the last three months of CM Punk talking, and you know what? I don’t feel like Laurinaitis deserves what he got. He didn’t strut out like Vince (or like Triple H) and try to induct Punk into the Kiss My Ace Club, he (rightfully) told him that as his boss he deserves a little bit of respect and he wants and expects that. It’s the speech I’ve gotten from every boss I’ve ever had, and they’re right. I’m an employee of this guy, and Stone Cold Steve Austin be damned, there’s no upside to taking a sh*t in your boss’s mouth unless you’re trying to get fired and want to do it gloriously.
The crowd cheered when Punk ran Laurinaitis down for not having talent and getting so far with so little, but damn, honestly, what provoked this? Laurinaitis’ interference is the only reason CM Punk beat John Cena at Money in the Bank. Punk fought for months to get Triple H out of power, and Laurinaitis is the representation of that. The only people I can think of with a legitimate beef against Laurinaitis right now are John Morrison and Jim Ross, but JL keeps putting Morrison in fair matches despite the fact that he keeps losing, and even after the ridiculously unnecessary firing of Jim Ross, Laurinaitis came out and apologized and gave Ross a big main event tag team match against Michael Cole. Triple H hates him, sure, but Laurinaitis got put into power by those “WWE Board of Directors” guys, the same ones who made Triple H DO THE EXACT SAME THING TO VINCE.
So what’s the big deal? The boss isn’t cool? He makes mistakes? Is that any reason to call him a worthless piece of sh*t? He isn’t wearing a gothic cloak and having his own daughter raped and crucified yet. He isn’t running up and punching guys in handcuffs. CM Punk needs to get a grip, or at the very least consider the lilies of the goddamn field.
Worst: I Said What’s The Matter, Sid, Forget Your SKATEBOARD
And here’s Punk again with the “insider” Johnny Ace references. At least he made an attempt to explain it this time with the “you used to compete in this ring!” thing. I would kill for Laurinaitis to respond with, “Hey Punk, remember when you were a yard-tard in the Lunatic Wrestling Federation? Yeah, you were pretty cool back then too. At least I was on f**king television. Hey, how’s constantly mentioning Colt Cabana working out for you? He back on Smackdown yet, or what?”
Worst: CM Punk Should Look To The Bella Twins As His Paradigm Of Hope
Enough is enough, Punk. You’re making fun of a guy’s voice and the way he holds a microphone. After you’ve been rude to him for 10 minutes and he doesn’t give you what you want, you attack a guy unprovoked, and when he runs away you attack his friend. Don’t be a bully. Be a star.
Best: Beth’s Dress
I can’t say much for last night’s Divas effort, but Beth Phoenix looked awfully nice in that sparkly pink dress. The only things sparklier on the night were John Morrison’s pants.
Worst: We Really Don’t Care About Alicia Fox
I mentioned the crowd reactions not really coming through on television, but did you hear the reaction Alicia Fox had during her entrance? That was accurate. The crowd had been loud all night, but as Alicia did her ridiculously fake forward walk to the ring it was like we were in f**king church. All I could do was think back to the conversation I had the previous night with Rachel Summerlyn at ACW about what the WWE wants on television and where the Beth and Nattie thing was going, and how hard it must be to be a woman in the WWE and get relegated to stuff like this. About thirty seconds into the match my brain fired and I went “oh, right, Alicia Fox is supposed to be a good guy now”. I think I remember that because of which group she entered with during the walk-out a few weeks ago. I write obsessively and at length about this every week and I had to rely on backhanded details to tell me what was happening. The rest of the crowd wasn’t so lucky.
Alicia’s not that bad, I guess. Her scissor kick looks good even when it hits the back of somebody’s legs when she’s aiming at their head. She’s obviously got some gymnastic athleticism and don’t forget, she was one-half of the greatest match of all time. She’s just… not a character. She’s not a person you remember when you’re doing a WWE roster Sporcle. You’re like, “oh, right Alicia Fox is still employed” and then your brain goes “Alicia Fox, ROSA MENDES” and you type Rosa Mendes and go “oh, okay, Rosa Mendes is still employed”. Then you stare at the screen for 20 seconds trying to remember whether or not Tyler Reks is a thing.
Worst: WHY IS ALICIA FOX WINNING THIS, COME ON
And she won.
I don’t know about you, but if tasked to convince a worldwide audience that Beth Phoenix and Natalya are the toughest girls in the company and Hell-bent on destroying the perky little non-athlete Divas, my first step would not be to have them lose 9 out of 10 matches to the perky little non-athlete Divas and only win that 10th one because of outside interference. Alicia Fox has a combined 1 victory in her 18 years in the company and should not be pinning Natalya under any circumstances. End of story.
Best: Kelly Kelly, Anti-Exhibitionist
Not sure why someone was filming Kelly Kelly and Eve watching Raw (or why when the camera cut to them, the screen they were watching didn’t show them being filmed, because that was on Raw) (or why they didn’t run out to help Alicia Fox when she was getting beaten up in front of them), but that is easily the most clothing I’ve ever seen Kelly Kelly wear. Her days as Mike Knox’s concubine are long gone, aren’t they? She should wrestle in a g-string bikini, but when she’s backstage be bundled up like an Inuit at all times.
Worst: F**k You And Your F**king What Chants
The Miz and R-Truth came to the ring and talked, and the “What” chants started up. “What” chants are the worst thing to happen to wrestling crowds since “you f**ked up”, and here’s why: It’s 2011 and even Stone Cold Steve Austin has moved on. The only people who bring “What” signs to Raw look like this:
If you attend a WWE live event and think it might be funny to chant “What”, remember that 1) it is not funny ever, 2) you are probably not old enough to remember where the chant even came from, which is why you yell WOO after chops and do that dumb double-armed Wayne’s World “we’re not worthy” bowing thing to Triple H, and 3) you look like this guy. Remember #3 the most.
Best: lol morrison
I don’t have another video game soundtrack lined up, but watch the ending to this match.
I don’t want to turn into that “I wore my Randy Orton Sucks shirt to Raw and booed Randy Orton and got my whole section to boo Randy Orton and then Randy Orton walked over and stared at me and I stared back at Randy Orton and now I have newfound respect for Randy Orton and think he’s awesome” guy who sends in reports to Rajah or whatever, but the most fun I had last night was booing John Morrison. Kids go nuts cheering for John Cena. They chant CM Punk nonstop. They ACT like they like John Morrison, who is clearly #1 Of, but they just kinda sit and watch him and occasionally go “come on JOHN!” They don’t really care when he loses. That’s probably not a great sign.
I got into it with some of them, starting when I yelled THAT’S IT PIN HIM after the first move of the match. That pisses kids off something FIERCE. Eventually I just kinda booed him and yelled about how he was gonna lose, which got tons of anonymous kids from around me yelling things like SHUT UP YOU SUCK, because if WWE has taught kids anything it’s that “you suck” is a catch-all insult for any problem you have with someone. I want a gimmick where a WWE fan yells YOU SUCK at a wrestler and the wrestler invites them into the ring to explain why. If the response ever once involved something other than “you’re gay”, “[different wrestler] is better”, “[wrestling catchphrase]” or another “you suck” I’d eat my f**king shoe.
Eventually John Morrison lost, and those kids went home knowing I’m right.
Best: Also, Wade Barrett Is Here!
Oh hey, a decent use of the “Super Show” thing besides “Cody Rhodes and Christian are here” for once! Wade Barrett still rules, and his running kick in the ropes followed by a kissing taunt is wonderful. Barrett is the choice of true wrestling intellectuals, a fact shared with us via Twitter, then via picture-in-picture info graphic relating to Twitter on screen, and I agree. If I got put in charge of WWE, the first story I’d write is Barrett realizing he lost control of everything and rebuilding the Nexus, because a lot of those guys are good and dying (Justin Gabriel, Wellness Violated Heath Slater, Skip Sheffield under whatever name they’re giving him when he returns) and one of them is Daniel Bryan.
The second story I’d write is Mickie James coming back and being my best friend. I’ve already gotten that one written out, you can find it if you search my fic archives.
Worst: Shouldn’t That Botch Have Hurt Exactly As Much As Wasteland
John Morrison jumped high into the air and landed on Wade Barrett’s shoulders for a moment before falling off and landing on the mat. That wasn’t the planned finish, so Barrett picked Morrison up, hoisted him high on the air, held him on his shoulders for a moment, then made him fall off and land on the mat. Whatever, you should’ve just sat out with that sh*t, Wade, call it Wasteland ’11. Kawada wouldn’t pick a dude up and try to powerbomb him again, he’d just paralyze him and roll with it.
Worst: Michael Cole, Graduate Of The Chris Jericho School Of Comedy
Here’s a list of the 5 things I hate most about wrestling.
1. Photoshop jokes
2. Birthday parties
3. Owen voices
4. Rob Van Dam
5. El Generico’s blue mask not matching his blue pants
Numbers one and two have exceptions (Maxine photoshopping Hornswoggle’s head onto a picture of somebody rawdogging the Bella Twins, Aaliyah’s birthday and possibly Silkk the Shocker’s), but number one is almost always the worst, especially when WWE does it. It wasn’t funny when John Cena put Heath Slater’s face on “the Wendy’s chick” (you mean WENDY?), it wasn’t funny when Jericho played Classic Concentration and it really wasn’t funny when Michael Cole decided to “embarrass” Jim Ross by photoshopping him into a Coppertone ad.
A note to present and future WWE writers: If you write the phrase “photoshop joke” on the dry erase board, pick up the dry erase board, throw it through a window, then jump to your death from that window.
Best: John Cena’s Mouth Just Came
The longer you watch that GIF, the more it starts looking like Cena is ejaculating from the mouth.
In a plot point I guess I glossed over, John Cena feels like he can’t trust anybody on the WWE roster (including his best friend CM Punk, harmless Air Boom, smilin’ good fella Sheamus who he JUST teamed with with great results, nobody) so because he can choose anyone, he decides he’s going to choose THE ROCK as his tag team partner at Survivor Series. If you can choose anyone, why not choose Brock Lensar? Choose Mark Henry. Choose Mark Henry and just stand at ringside making sure he doesn’t turn on you the entire time. Regardless, Cena picks the Rock and everybody KNOWS he’s going to pick the Rock the second he goes “oh derp I can choose anybody?”, but he takes four minutes to spit it out. Pun intended. He’s like I NEED A PERSON WHO WILL BE THE CHAMPION OF THE PEOPLE. I NEED A MAN WHO MIGHT WANT TO EAT A SLICE OF PIE, SHOULD PIE MEAN GIRL PARTS. I NEED A MAN WHO IS NOT AFRAID TO GO LALALALALALALALAOWWW BEFORE HE SAYS WORDS. I NEED A MAN WHO IS HALF SAMOAN AND HALF BLACK AND A FORMER WWE CHAMPION WITH A MINERAL NAME and we’re like F**K DUDE JUST SAY IT COME ON WE NEED TO GO HOME
and then he builds and builds and builds and when he FINALLY gets to the part where he gets to say THE ROCK … he splooges all over the microphone. Sorry, John.
Worst: Do You Really Need The Rock For This
Remember when Shawn Michaels decided Muhammad Hassan and Daivari were so much of a threat he had to call in f**king Hulk Hogan to help him, and it played out a lot like when Lesnar took automatic weapons onto the prairie and nuked a bunch of groundhogs? John Cena spent Sunday night getting thrown through the set and hit in the face with metal and on MONDAY he’s able to hold his own against two guys until they start cheating, and he needs the ROCK to beat them? I’m pretty sure if you said “John Cena and Jim Ross vs. Miz and Truth” we’d pick Cena. If anything, he should pick a bunch of new referees who can stand at a slight distance or use video technology to go “okay, these guys are cheating, so let’s throw out the match and give it to John”. That’s it. That’s the end. You don’t need to break out the Zeus Cannon when goddamn Bolt1 will kill them.
Worst: The Saddest Little Cage Match
The people who are only there to see wrestlers (and not wrestling) and have never been to a wrestling show started filing out when Cena left. The dark match main event for those of us who stuck around was a steel cage match for the WWE Championship pitting Alberto Del Rio against John Cena (who just got finished winning a handicap match, keep in mind, so he’s good enough to beat THREE PEOPLE in one night after a Last Man Standing match but needs The Rock to beat the “I’m afraid a SPIDAHS” guy) and I gotta admit, I thought Cena was gonna take the strap.
But no, look at that cage. That is the saddest cage of all time. It’s like six feet tall and they put it together in 20 seconds before the match. Mitch Franklin wouldn’t have had trouble putting that cage together, it looks like it’s made by Mattel. Can’t climb over or escape through the door? Go through one of those gigantic spaces between the wall segments.
If you need a report on who won, let me type this and allow you to tell me if it’s what you guessed: Cena was going to win, but Miz and R-Truth ran out and beat him up, allowing Del Rio to retain.
Best: John Cena’s World Series Update
After this third opponent and second beatdown of the match, Cena was able to pal around at ringside and sign some autographs. He made sure to update us on what was happening in the World Series, mentioning that the game was almost over and that the Rangers were up 4-2, and I swear to God I thought he was going to announce that the TEXAS RANGERS HAVE COMPROMISED TO A PERMANENT END THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS.
Philosophical Worst: Post-Show Shilling
As we left the arena, we ran into guys selling nearly everything. Bootleg t-shirts, glow sticks, PIZZA. My parents would’ve NEVER bought me a glowstick lightsaber AFTER the wrestling show. That thing would just be out of light and end up failing to bio-degrade in my toy box. The pizza was only five dollars, and if I’m gonna buy pizza from a guy in the street he’d better have an apparatus from which to sell it.
Anyway, I bring this up because there was also a guy in the street selling wrestling masks. A little kid in a John Cena shirt who’d been screaming “YOU SUCK” at Alberto Del Rio all night begged his mom for one, and she caved in. He put it on and walked happily back to his car. The mask he bought was Dos Caras, and he has no idea.