– As a prerequisite for this column, make sure you’ve read The Best And Worst Of WWE Survivor Series ’11. It’ll explain a lot of the obvious stuff from last night (CM Punk is champion? Big Show came off the top rope?) without me having to cobble together a video editor and post a bunch of JVC Kaboom Box Kabooms Of The Night.
– Don’t forget, we’re trying to get a regular Smackdown live-blog going, too, so smark that on your calendar for Friday and go back and read the first one.
– Also, be sure to check out my appearance on The Masked Man’s first wrestling podcast for Grantland. I’m pretty honored to show up on the first ever episode, even if I spent most of it talking about D’Lo Brown buying feminine hygiene products.
– If you like pro wrestling, you’ll LOVE Twitter: Follow us on Twitter @withleather, follow me personally @MrBrandonStroud and like us on Facebook. It’s the best and easiest way to know when these columns go up, and it helps me sell you on the rest of the site (hopefully).
– If you read the column or watched the show and have some thoughts to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I’m especially interested in hearing what you thought of every segment of the show in the order they occured, relating in no way to anything I’ve typed. But no, if you’re a regular reader I want you to be a part of this every week. Don’t make me start a mailbag.
– Neither A.J. nor Kaitlyn appeared on this week’s show (Kelly Kelly barely even showed up), so I’m including the picture to the right to guarantee my first 18 comments are “oh my god that picture of a.j. are you serious”.
The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw for November 11 is after the jump. There are some pretty good wrestling matches in here, so pay attention.
Worst: Okay, Stop Talking About How Fun This Is Going To Be And Do Something
CM Punk’s Survivor Series title victory over Alberto Del Rio was good enough for me to forgive Punk’s post-Kevin Nash trespasses, but last night’s opening monologue, from its insider references (Domino’s real name, really?) to its sweeping declarations of Things Being Different, seemed dangerously close to being more of the same. Of course this isn’t a really bad “Worst”, because sure, if the guy who wants change wins the title he should be allowed a segment to say “okay, now here’s where the change starts”. Next week (and I guess more importantly the weeks after, because next week is just a rematch with Del Rio to get that out of the way) will be a better indicator of where this is going. Or whether or not it will go at all, I guess.
I want to give Punk the benefit of the doubt here because his title victory was the right call and all, but if he keeps criss-crossing applesauce in the ring in that same shirt with his one day of glory stamped on the back, I don’t know. Punk (and WWE, I guess) need to remember that CM Punk’s greatest contribution to pro wrestling is that he can change a thousand times and still be himself. I’ve loved dyed-blonde basketball shorts IWA-MS CM Punk, I’ve loved stuff-shirt ROH Champion CM Punk, I’ve loved purple-haired ECW blue chipper Punk, I’ve loved Straight Edge Society Punk so goddamn hard and I’ve loved Best In The World For Realsies Punk. They all worked, you know? Just because this one worked doesn’t mean you have to stay here forever.
And oh man, how hilarious was John Laurinaitis here, displaying his creativity by setting up basic title defenses? It’s like he was sitting in the back with Teddy Long with a yellow notepad writing “alberto del rio gets rematch” over and over, and Teddy goes “hole on a minnent playa, tonight it’s gonna be Alberto Del Rio, teaming with Dolph Ziggler … against Zack Ryder and … CM Punk” and John just goes “engh no I think this is fine” and walks out. Triple H should’ve ran out in a neck brace and been all “YEAH DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. CM PUNK IS A GREAT MATCH THAT’S WHY I MADE IT FIVE MINUTES AGO”.
Best: We Like The Rock, But We Also Like Other Things
I’ve been rethinking my position on The Rock and his performance at Survivor Series, and I think I’ve come up with a great way to rationalize it. You know that feeling you get when John Cena has a match against anybody, and you just kind ago “okay so John Cena’s going to win”, and it doesn’t matter if it’s 2-on-1 or 8-on-1 or in a flaming Punjabi Prison? Well, if The Rock vs. John Cena is going to be the marquee match for Wrestlemania, wouldn’t his most realistic and believable opponent be another super unstoppable Troops-loving homophobic dude? The Rock and Cena hate each other because they’re exactly the same. They say they “hate” Miz and R-Truth, but they’re like Dr. Manhattan, they’ve long ago given up concepts like hate. Hate requires effort and the idea that you might not overcome it. Everything is preordained. Even their responses. It’s why John Cena spent the last 30 seconds of Survivor Series saying “I’m gonna turn around and you’re gonna give me the f**ken Rock Bottom” and then he turned around, and Rock hit him with the f**ken Rock Bottom. I wish you could see time like them.
So what I’m trying to say is that it’s cool to see Madison Square Garden still chanting WE WANT RYDER with the all powerful nude blue superman standing in the ring. They should film a follow-up scene where Ryder comes to the ring and rips off his toy sunglasses and Broski wig and just screams DO IT until he gets Rock Bottom’d.
Best: Alberto Del Rio, Back On Track (At Least For This Week)
It sucks to say it, but Alberto Del Rio should never be champion again. He works so much better as the guy who feels entitled to be the WWE Champion and is willing to break arms and push people away with his little Yoshi kicks to get it. Observe how weak and pointless he’s seemed for the last month in comparison to last night, where he got to have a good (and short) match with Zack Ryder. He seemed passionate again, purposeful. That’s the ADR I love. The one who has to be consoled by Ricardo. The one who would rather break a Bellas arm than take them to the one Mexican restaurant in New York City.
Next week he should lose to Punk. It should take 25 minutes, and he should spend the next six-to-eight months messing with Daniel Bryan and the rest of the boss wrestling undercard.
Worst: The Jamster Love Calculator
Two huge, huge things about this stupid commercial:
1. What’s going on, Jamster, is your Crazy Frog money drying up? Did you run out of rap titles for your announcer to whitely say? FOR “DOIN’ IT”, TEXT 5544.
2. I get your joke about the girl being named Miley (I read What Would Tyler Durden Do) (no I don’t), but here’s the thing: nobody is named Miley. Miley Cyrus is the only person named Miley, and even SHE isn’t named Miley. Her name is “Destiny Hope Cyrus” because her parents were goddamn hillbillies and that’s the most Oklahoma-ass name you can give someone. She smiled a lot as a baby so Billy Ray called her “smiley”, and, again, because they are hillbillies, that turned into “miley”. The only people ACTUALLY named Miley are three years old and were named after Hannah Montana by their 16 And Pregnant mothers.