The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 10/29/12: Redefining Business Casual

10.30.12 4 years ago 80 Comments
wwe raw cm punk mick foley

Pre-show notes:

– Make sure you read the Best And Worst Of WWE Hell In A Cell 2012 before reading about Raw, or you won’t know who everyone is or what’s happened so far! (I wish wrestling worked like actual stories.)

Comments, shares, likes, what-have-you are greatly appreciated. Be a wrestling bro!

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

– Halloween costumes are at the very end, make sure you don’t miss them.

And now, please click through and enjoy the Best And Worst Of WWE Raw for October 29, 2012.

Page 2
Subscribe to UPROXX

Worst: Ryback’s Caste Jumping

For a while, I didn’t buy the comparisons between Ryback and Goldberg. “One condescending crowd chanted Goldberg at the strong guy who wins a lot,” I thought. “Other crowds saw it on television and thought it was a new wrestler cue. Kinda like how people chanted LET’S GO ZIGGLER for a few weeks. They didn’t want Ziggler to go, they just heard it on Raw and thought it was what they were supposed to say.” Being in a Raw crowd is a lot like being in a flash mob. You just show up and do what everyone else is doing.

But yeah, no, I get it now. He’s a big, muscular guy who shows up and beats people in 2 minutes. He hits them with a running strike, then picks them up over his head in a spectacular-ish feat of strength to finish them off. It’s exactly like Goldberg. Also like Goldberg is WWE’s booking of Ryback, where they start him off wrestling guys like Stan Stansky and have him trouncing the champion in Atlanta by the end of the year. They even gave him the “Raven tries to escape, gets thrown back into the ring” thing last week.

I don’t mind Ryback being Goldberg. The only problem I have with it is that he’s truncated Goldberg, forced to jump from jobbers to JTG to the WWE Championship picture without the luxury of Goldberg’s slow, epic ramp-up. One of the best parts about watching Goldberg in his initial run was whenever he’d get bumped up to the next class of wrestlers. He’d wrestle Jerry Flynn or Hardbody Harrison or whoever, then after a while he’d get in the ring with Mongo. Then, Perry Saturn. Then guys like Raven or Curt Hennig, guys with a legitimate shot to beat him who just DON’T and die like everyone else. THAT’s when he gets Hogan, and when he f**ks up Hogan’s Christmas and becomes the biggest thing in wrestling, he gets to have great matches with former champs like Diamond Dallas Page. Eventually he ends up wrestling Kronik or whoever again, but he never goes back to Hardbody Harrison.

JTG is, hilariously, 2012’s Hardbody Harrison. Ryback starts off wrestling him, then gets put into a WWE Championship match against Punk. They try to build Ryback quickly for a cycle by having him beat Dolph Ziggler, but it doesn’t work because they haven’t DONE the work. They just said it and expected it to be so. They give Ryback his Raven moment against Hogan, which is a terrible idea, then don’t even let him f**k up Punk’s Christmas (as it were) at Hell In A Cell. They go straight for the wind-out-of-your-sails Starrcade 98 ending with Scott Hall and a taser. Now Ryback is instantly back to wrestling the Hardbodies Harrison, without so much as a Kronik between the top and bottom of the rosters.

It’s not the worst thing ever and it’s certainly not irreversible, but it’s a sad waste of a great, great storytelling opportunity. If you’re gonna do Goldberg, guys, do Goldberg.

Best: Maybe Now Wade Barrett Will Stop Using The Souvenir

I’m a big fan of Wade Barrett, but man, until he starts using the Overdrive and the Reverse STO in his one and two slots he’s got the worst finishing moves in the world. Wasteland was bad enough. You pick a guy up on your shoulders and then put them down (we normally call that a body slam), but you grab their wrist and yell first so at least there’s the illusion of intensity. With The Souvenir, he’s combined the two worst things you can do with a WWE finish: give it a convoluted setup and make it look like it doesn’t hurt.

Some moves have a convoluted setup but look like they hurt, like the Razors Edge or the Doomsday Device. Some moves have a simple set up so you can do them from anywhere, but don’t really look like they’d hurt, like the Stone Cold Stunner. Wade is getting into serious 6-1-9 territory with the souvenir, having to set up the spin, then actually DOING the spin and connecting with a shitty Lex Luger-style elbow grazing to the top of the head instead of a straight shot to the jaw. He needs to either just run at people and Luger them in the side of the head and demand dramatic, life-ending selling or he needs to Barrage Up and lay in that twisty-ass nonsense for real.

Supplementary best for Randy Orton’s continued attempts to recreate last summer’s “shut up and wrestle better” initiative.

Best: Team Hell No Getting Straight-Up Tag Team Victories

After the disappointing, totally unnecessary DQ finish at Hell In A Cell, it was nice to see Daniel Bryan and Kane win a tag team match on Raw. I don’t know why it still seems so weird to me when a match ends cleanly. Why can’t I watch Daniel Bryan and Kane, two former World Heavyweight Champions and the current Tag Team Champions, wrestle two guys who were on NXT at the beginning of the year and just assume they’ll win? Why do I have to cycle through a bunch of scenarios where Sandow and Rhodes show up to cost them the titles, or Kane chokeslams Bryan and lets Darren Young pin him, or Triple H shows up and pedigrees everybody, takes the tag titles and melts them down so he can have a copper hammer? The last 15 years of watching wrestling have really turned me into a dumb jerk.

Anyway, it was good to see Daniel Bryan get a clean submission win on Raw. It always feels good. The sorta-badness of them continuing the “Bryan and Kane stealing pins from each other” thing nearly 3 months from the formation of their team is balanced out by the awesomeness of Michael Cole and Jim Ross openly stating that you are stupid if you think Daniel Bryan is the weak link of the team. One of these days, a Punk/Bryan feud will be less about girlfriends and more about being The Best In The World. Bryan could even demand vegan ice cream bars.

Oh, and before I forget, my favorite part of this video is where it starts. You know they wanted to show more of the match in the clip, but J.R. called Darren Young “Darren O’Neil” (like they the Prime Time Players had gotten married) and “Mr. Nose Day Off”.

John Cena be cheating

Worst: Are They Seriously Spending More Time Discussing John Cena’s Business Dinner Than Brad Maddox Low-Blowing A WWE Championship Challenger To End A Hell In A Cell Pay-Per-View Main-Event?

I don’t want to devote too much time to this because I don’t write the shows and promised you in the Best And Worst Of Hell In A Cell that I’d Wait And See Where It Goes™, but here’s a recap of pay-per-view storylines and how they were follow-up upon on the post-PPV Raw:

The John Cena/AJ Affair That Was The Most Boring Part Of The Pre-Show And Made You Desperate To Watch Video Packages

Top of the show announcements, followed by several backstage segments with Vickie Guerrero trying to get AJ to admit her wrong-doings and beg for her job, followed by an in-ring segment with Vickie and John Cena where she shows him top secret video surveillance footage from multiple locations, followed by a John Cena/Dolph Ziggler confrontation to build to a Survivor Series match, followed by TWO AJ Lee matches including General Manager interference, followed by an additional backstage segment where Vickie fires the lady who beat AJ.

A WWE Official Low-Blowing A WWE Championship Challenger In Hell In A Cell In Main-Event Of A Hell In A Cell Pay-Per-View

CM Punk says “I DIDN’T DO IT, BYEEE” and bails, and the only person who cares is one retired guy.

Page 3

John Cena Business Dinner

Best: John Cena Doesn’t Dress For The Job He Has, He Dresses For The Job He Wants

Nothing I can type here tops the gentle hilarity of John Cena wearing his “Rise Above Cancer” shirt on a date. It’s great continuity. As we’ve seen, John Cena only has three sets of clothing: a suit for formal events, a t-shirt and jorts for everything else and a basketball jersey with backwards hat in case somebody challenges him to a rap battle. That’s it. Every week we see him come to the ring in a shirt, take it off and throw it into the crowd, so it’s easy to believe he owns one John Cena t-shirt at a time and goes through them like paper towels. At least he took off his 8 wristbands.

I don’t know exactly what went on at that dinner, but I hope I started with John tipping the host and asking for a “nice table, preferably something near the fuse box”.

Worst: John Cena Can Wrestle Guys Without 1) The WWE Championship, 2) Backstage Romance Stories

All right, all right.

Look. You’re John Cena, right? You’re a 10-time WWE Champion or whatever. You’ve held every belt and done everything. You’re the only guy WWE employs who shows up to every show and puts butts in seats. You can do anything you want with your time as long as you show up, lead the fight against The Nexus and/or Breast Cancer and smile for photos near Kelly Ripa. You are a world-traveled millionaire, your body hasn’t completely fallen apart and you told Howard Stern that you once hooked up with six girls at once. You are living at least a portion of every person on Earth’s dream.

You are free to experiment artistically, you know that? Your dad’s a wrestling promoter and you’ve been doing this for a long time. You know how Triple H does those 30 minute epic cage matches where he bleeds everywhere and dresses like Conan the Barbarian and fights zombie gods with hammers? You know how The Rock only shows up to be the coolest and most popular person in the room and makes everybody else look like shit, because he’s the only one handsome and lucky and well-connected enough to get out of your business alive? Those guys got to the top and realized they had pull, so they pulled and pulled until they got what they want.

John, your only two stories are “I must win/keep the WWE Championship” or “STUPID AS F**KING BALLS NON-CHAMPIONSHIP STORY”. When you have the belt, YOU WILL DEFEND IT AT ANY COST. When you don’t, YOU MUST WIN IT AT ANY COST AND YOU WILL FIGHT RIGHT HERE TONIGHT. Neither of those is great, but they beat the hell out of any story you get into unrelated to the belt. It usually involves you being “fired” (which nobody believes ever) (ever), being the only one who can face a returning legend (Rock, Lesnar, Bull Buchanan) or getting into weird romances. Who told you that these are your only options? You could be emulating and redefining the moments that made you a wrestling fan. Did Ric Flair claiming he slept with Elizabeth and providing archaic ’90s photoshops make you want to be a wrestler? What about that story TNA just did about the lady who claimed she slept with AJ Styles? Is that what you want to see whenever belts aren’t on the line?

The last time you kissed somebody you weren’t supposed to we got six weeks of Zack Ryder having his back broken, Kane waiting patiently for cues by an ambulance and Eve Torres being brought to the ring and forced to bark like a dog. There are easier ways to get into pay-per-view matches with Dolph Ziggler. Here’s an easy one: Everyone says that beating John Cena is how you prove you’re the best, and people think Ziggler’s a coward for not cashing in Money In The Bank already and wants to prove he’s the best. Here’s another one: “We are having a wrestling match and the popular guy is in it.”

Best: Antonio Cesaro Hates Fat Power Rangers

He’s right. Halloween is gross and America is terrible. Is is terrible of me to recognize someone as my intellectual and physical superior and think, “hey, I should probably listen to this guy” instead of, “I HATE HIM FOR THINKING HE’S BETTER THAN ME”? I don’t like heels more because I’m a contrarian wrestling fan, I like them because they seem like dynamic, interesting people. I’d rather be Ric Flair than Ron Garvin, that’s all I’m saying.

Regardless, I hope WWE’s upcoming Scooby-Doo WrestleMania movie (which is real, I didn’t just make that up) is a huge success and lets WWE Superstars show up in other kids’ shows, because holy crap, how great would it be if Antonio Cesaro showed up in Angel Grove? He would give Bulk and Skull such a f**king browbeating. Also, I want to see if he can deadlift and Neutralizer the Dragonzord.

Worst: Middling 2-1/2 Minute Champion Vs. Champion Non-Title Things

I’m not going to hate on Kofi again, because Kofi had nothing to do with WWE’s tendency to put champions against champions in two-minute Raw things with terrible non-finishes that go nowhere, accomplish nothing and make everybody look worse, but I’ll say this: Antonio Cesaro had a great match with Brodus Clay, Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel, and this is the first time he’s looked assy on Raw. Just saying.

I’m very proud of Vickie Guerrero for not wandering out to a Vickie Guerrero rap song* and making it a TAG TEAM MATCH, though. Maybe she was the right choice for GM after all.

* ♪ “My name’s Vickie G and I’m here to say/Ex-cuse me in a major way!” ♪ etc.

Real Talk Worst: Jerry Lawler Returns In 2 Weeks

Truth: It is awesome that Jerry Lawler is okay, and I’m happy that he’s made such a quick recovery. I hope six months from now he’s totally fine, and it’s like he never had a heart attack.

Additional truth: The worst complaint I’ve had about the Raw announce team since Lawler left was Jim Ross getting Darren Young’s last name wrong and Cole saying “kiliman-jair-o”. Neither of them have made dirty Mexican jokes about Alberto Del Rio, condescended on the female wrestlers for being sex objects (aside from JBL’s weirdness at Hell In A Cell) or gotten into the ring to punch out champions despite being 60. The commentary team is better without him. A lot better.

I apologize in advance for two weeks from now, should I lose perspective.

Around The Web