Pre-taped pre-show notes:
– Comments, shares, likes, what-have-you are greatly appreciated. Let your friends and wrestling pals in on the jokes, or at least the big long-winded paragraphs about women’s rights!
– I had a big weekend, so if you’re the type who only checks With Leather for the wrestling reports, please take an active interest in my non-wrestling life: You can check out the teaser trailer and posters for my feature film debut in ‘Summer League,’ then visit my gallery of sports from Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012, featuring me as an Air Sex Championships judge and as the YES-chant-starting host of a Veggie Hot Dog Eating Contest. Fun times.
– I may (may) need someone to fill in for me on the Survivor Series report, so if you’re an Internet or real life person of note and are interested, shoot me an e-mail at MrBrandonStroud@gmail.com.
Anyway, please click through to enjoy the Best And Worst Of WWE Raw for November 5, 2012.
Best: Let’s Go Ahead And Get This Out Of The Way – Fandangoo Is Awesome
Some ideas are terrible. Some ideas are just terrible until you accept them as reality. When that happens, the terrible idea transforms itself into a beautiful little flower on your gray-ass sidewalk, and in no other pop-cultural medium does that happen more reliably than pro wrestling.
Chikara’s Mr. Touchdown is a great example of this. I remember seeing his first “hype” video, where it’s just vague football stuff with a boring font saying MR. TOUCHDOWN was coming. Every part of my brain registered it as a terrible idea, even in Chikara. A football guy? Sure, there’s already a basketball guy and a baseball guy, but calling him “Mr. Touchdown” seemed like the laziest thing to me ever. Then he shows up, and he’s just a guy wearing a football helmet and pads to the ring. After a while, my brain stopped reacting to Mr. Touchdown existing and accepted it as fact, and that allowed me to open my eyes and see how fantastic of a goofy f**king local wrestling dynamo Mark Angelosetti can be when you ask him to strike Heisman poses during leapfrogs. Now he’s just a thing that exists in my happy pro wrestling life.
I’m hoping Johnny Curtis in a weird Dancing With The Stars/Don Flamenco hybrid gimmick will be my brain’s next Mr. Touchdown. If you told me “Johnny Curtis is gonna be on TV, but he’s pretending to be a TV-PG Magic Mike” my brain would’ve turned to slurpee and drained out of my nose. But now he’s got a hype video with sparkles and his name is FANDANGOO (F**KING FANDANGOO) and he describes himself as both NOBLE and NAUGHTY and I love it SO MUCH. I want to fill a money bin with this gimmick and swim around in it. I hope he feuds with 3MB over their fundamental differences in musical taste.
Worst: Hey WWE, Don’t Change Your Booking Plans Because Of Guys On The Internet, Unless It’s Specific Guys On The Internet Who Could Help You, I Mean, I’m Not Naming Names Or Anything But … No, Seriously, Don’t Do This
Via the Observer, by way of 411, by way of joshswrestlezone.edu/index.shmtl:
– Word is that WWE changed the WWE Survivor Series main event to a triple threat match for the WWE title, mainly due to the negative reaction that came from last week’s announcement of the Team Punk vs. Team Foley match.
Of all the things WWE has ever done, all of the horrible moments where people went TERRIBLE IDEA ABORT ABORT, all of the 2-month Kevin Nash return stories and Kung Pao Bitches and women barking like dogs, it’s the “ehhh, this is just like Hell In A Cell” reaction to WWE’s 10 biggest stars being in a Survivor Series main with 3 weeks to build it is when they go “hey, maybe they’re right, let’s change everything”. This?
The Survivor Series match wasn’t a bad idea, it was just lazy. Easy. They took the Hell In A Cell matches and crammed them into one big thing so they wouldn’t have to write anything new, and they could coast on CM Punk making angry faces at Mick Foley for two weeks until they could finish up John Cena’s ILLICIT AFFAIR and move on to their WrestleMania stuff. It was an extension of their lazy “pair up two main-eventers, tag them against their rivals” main-events, exactly like the one that closed this show. Now they’ve got even LESS time to make these stories compelling, and they’ve got to do more writing to justify it. What’s happening here is like when your girlfriend breaks up with you for not proposing to her, so you try to win her back by proposing. If you aren’t gonna be a good boyfriend, at least continue forth with your complacency and don’t piss us off with your back-against-the-wall audibles.
Best: Babyface Miz?
The Miz bailing on Team Punk was the first really interesting thing he’s done since showing up from Hollywood’s D-League with a haircut and some stubble
I honestly think (and have thought for a long time) that the Miz’s true strength would be as “one of us,” a true wrestling fan from the WWE Universe who made it, and went from being a guy holding a toy belt and doing a Rock impression to holding the REAL belt and getting beaten up by The Rock. He’s their real, honest Universe-to-roster success story. The only problem is that his natural charisma is really really negative, so when he shows up all affable asking us HOW Y’ALL DOIN’ TONIGHT in a fedora we want to see somebody kick him in the face. See also: him being accidentally racist in front of the black ladies on his reality show. He’s a good guy down in there somewhere, but it’s buried under miles of dickface.
I think a babyface Miz run could work now because we’re used to him. He’s been around for a long time now, and we get it. If he shows up on Raw explaining how he’s been a butthole for his entire run and wants to try listening to the fans and accepting them instead of pretending he’s better than them (because that’s all he’s ever been doing … pretending) and immediately gets into a thing with, I don’t know, Heath Slater, it could be something. Start him off easy. Don’t throw him in there with Big Show and expect us to care. Let him make up with R-Truth and Alex Riley and all the people he wronged and maybe say he’s proud of Daniel Bryan. How much would you like that guy?
Best: Sin Cara Should Only Wrestle Antonio Cesaro
I’ve written about this a lot (and don’t want to get into Chikara twice on one page), but Antonio Cesaro’s greatest strength as a pro wrestler is as a base for the ridiculous nonsense of the tiny high-flyers in his life. He’s the one guy in the world that could make Helios look competent and pass off a Mike Quackenbush chest-stand as a legit transitional move, and when one of your company’s biggest problems is rehabilitating Sin Cara’s image, you should be putting him in the ring with Cesaro EVERY F**KING SECOND. Daniel Bryan is great, but he’s not gonna be able to stand there and throw Sin Cara around his body for five minutes and end it with both of them looking great. That’s a Claudio special.
In a related note, Rey Mysterio is a great guy to throw in there with people like Titus O’Neil, really big guys who are supposed to be super strong but aren’t really (Mason Ryan, I’m looking in your direction). Sure, even I could backbreaker Rey Mysterio a few times without stopping, but the “man-handling” illusion is there, and that’s really all that matters.
Best: WWE Trios
In French! Joueurs de Prime Time.
In German! Prime-Time-Spieler.
In Italian! Primo tempo i giocatori.
In Spanish! Jugadores de Prime Time.
In Michael Cole! Darren O’Neil and Mr. Flonase Off
I think I’m going to call the Sin Cara/Rey Mysterio/R-Truth trio “Invisible Car Stereo”. Fun fact, that’s also the name of my 90s band. We were buzzworthy!
I don’t have a lot to say here (as the match had a fun finish, but wasn’t anything special and was somehow gutted by a 5 minute commercial break even though it was taped earlier in the day), but WWE should consider doing more 6-man tags, because they let everybody get in their stuff without forcing an ADD crowd to sit through heat.