The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 11/21

11.22.11 5 years ago 106 Comments

Pre-show notes:

WWE's AJ is a NERD, KING, a NERD~!– 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.

– For further Raw reading, be sure to check out UGO’s WWE Raw: The Good The Bad And The Ugly and John Canton’s Raw Deal (when it goes up).

– 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.

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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.

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Best: Sheamal Agility

Man, I hate it when WWE decides to give a wrestler a talking point. Did You Know?: Sheamus will often take two or three punches just to deliver one! Because he’s stupid, I guess!

But yeah, watching Sheamus come off the top rope for his diving shoulderblock and go into a full forward roll and coming up with the Brogue Kick was a very easy-to-explain kind of Best. Like most of his matches lately this was fine, even with the “Sheamus is smiling now, but he’s got a HOT TEMPER!” pre-commercial hype and there never being a point when you could imagine Jack Swagger winning, but it got really Kurt Angle Solid in its last minute. Also, I think Jack Swagger is pretty great and white.

Best: Jerry Lawler Has No Voice

One of the saving graces of this show was Jerry Lawler not being able to speak. When they’d cut to the announce table he’d be there with his eyes wide open looking all normal, but Cole would be all COME ON JERRY YOU KNOW FOR A FACT THAT VICKIE GUERRERO IS A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN, SHE’S WEARING A BEAUTIFUL ZEBRA DRESS AND I WOULD SAY SHE’S THE SKINNIEST AND BEST CONSTANTLY-HUMILIATED WIDOW I KNOW and Lawler would just kinda cough under his breath and mutter “good match”. I like to think Vickie purposefully dressed as wildlife this week just because she knew she physically couldn’t be called a cow whore.

Lawler should lose his voice every week. Better yet, let’s get a cardboard cut out of him, bend it in the middle and prop it up in a chair next to Booker.

Worst: Heh, Let’s Check In With Good Ol’ TWIT R

Remember back when Michael Cole would make fun of Jim Ross for using Twitter, and in the next breath would tell you to go to @heelziggler or whatever, and it seemed hypocritically pointless and weird? Yeah, that’s gotten even worse now that they see J.R.’s tweets on the social media hub WWE created to get everyone to look at how great they can trend that Cole and the announce team are supposed to be advertising. We’re two weeks away from Cole just saying “I hate Twitter, go to Twitter to find out more” and sucking himself into a black hole.

By the way, if you paid attention to the constant Twitter graphics interfacing themselves into Jack Swagger’s entrance, you may have followed the links and stumbled upon this video:

and this one


The very best part of any mysterious wrestling video is how people figure it out in five seconds, second guess themselves, then spend however much time they’ve got between the video airing and the thing it’s hyping debuting coming up with every other explanation possible. Explanations for this one (so far) include:

1. The Undertaker, because it’s obviously the Undertaker. Also Sting, meaning “The Undertaker”.

2. Chris Jericho, because you have to “break the code” and figure out that (Y)outube + (2)/1/11 + (J)anuary = Y2J

3. Kane, even though Kane got his own cryptic hype video later in the show

4. Vince McMahon, because of how the kid is dressed (no, seriously)

5. Batista

6. Goldberg

7. the nWo (none of those make sense, but oh man how bad do I want it to be Batista)

8. Someone debuting, because it says “arriving”, not “returning”

9. The Chickbusters working a new goth gimmick (this one was mine)

10. Brodus Clay, because I guess he’s not debuting tonight

Worst: Hey, Wait A Minute, Where IS Brodus Clay?

Wasn’t he supposed to debut tonight?

Worst: Whoa, Where’s Jonah Hill?

Wasn’t Jonah Hill supposed to guest host Raw? They even had a commercial for him between Donald P. Bellasario and Nickelback announcing him as “the star of the new movie The Sitter“, which I swore had already been out. Does this have anything to do with Brodus Clay, and do Jonah Hill and Brodus Clay vanishing have anything to do with the MYSTERIOUS VIDEOS?

And while we’re on the topic of cryptic (and not so cryptic) return videos:


The best part of Raw for me socially was my girlfriend’s reaction to Kane’s mask showing up in a hype video. Destiny has three pro wrestling storylines she always suggests: 1) Destiny shows up on Raw for some reason and becomes the champ, 2) we find out who the Anonymous Raw General Manager is, and it usually ends up being Stone Cold Steve Austin and 3) Kane comes back and he’s wearing his mask. She watched Kane’s mask drop to the ground on fire with a face like she was opening Christmas presents.

I will welcome the return of masked Kane for three reasons: 1) because Destiny will watch the shows more closely, 2) because maskless Kane has pretty much run its course, and if we’re gonna have Kane around he might as well be stupid old Kane who shoots fire and 3) the return of masked Kane means the “May 19th” storyline is a Spider-Man Clone Saga for WWE and they can reveal that masked Kane was the real one and politico blogger Glenn Jacobs was an imposter all along.


Kevin Nash WWE


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