– Comments, shares, likes, and especially Reddit submissions/up votes are appreciated. I need to make dollars to keep this job, and links to my stuff showing up on places not run by me create DOLLARS. Create MILLIONS OF THEM.
– The RSPW Awards are going on right now, and for the first time ever, I’m going to be voting/writing about my votes for it. Go participate/look at it/whatever! It’s one of those longtime things I’ve wanted to do, alongside “bring back DDT Digest” and “have CRZ not be a dickhole to me once.”
– As I mentioned last week, I’m going to be in the house for National Pro Wrestling Day in Philadelphia on February 2. Many of the core Wrestling Bros will be there, including Impact columnist Danielle Matheson, The Wrestling Blog’s Tom Holzerman, site favorite THESTINGER, Jojo motherf**king Bravo and more, so if you’re anywhere near Philadelphia (or if you live in Texas like me and like wrestling more than other stuff) get there and hang out with us. It’s going to be the BEST.
Until then, please click through for the Best And Worst Of WWE Raw for January 21, 2013. The Rock is on this episode!
Worst: The Rock Stands Outside Listing Every Pop Culture Thing He Can Remember As Fast As Possible, Then Convinces Police Officers Who They Should And Should Not Protect Using Buzzwords And Hand Gestures
For f**k’s sakes.
Okay, here are 10 things wrong with last night’s “Rock wants to get into the building” segments:
1. Vickie Guerrero, the lady in charge of a billion-dollar, publicly-traded company’s live performance of their LIVE-ON-TELEVISOIN flagship show, announced (reasonably, in fact) that The Rock wasn’t allowed in the building this week because he spent his time LAST week calling her an ugly bitch. If you went in to work and called your boss an ugly bitch, you probably wouldn’t get to work the next shift, right? How does Rock handle this news? In a lot of ways, but the first thing he tried was STANDING OUTSIDE OF THE BUILDING TELLING EVERYONE THAT VICKIE GUERRERO IS A BITCH. What is wrong with you.
I get that Vickie is “in the wrong” from a viewer’s perspective because they want to see the Rock ELECTRIFY~ or whatever, but “I want to see the Rock” shouldn’t equate to THE ROCK IS ABOVE THE LAW. I am not comfortable with The Rock being pro wrestling’s Roman Polanski.
2. F**king policemen, how do they work? Rock’s explanation about how the police officers don’t work for Vickie, they work for THE PEOPLE is the biggest pile of spat horseshit ever. Last time I checked, police officers work for the government, they are paid to enforce laws based on what a democratically-elected governing body decides is lawful, they cannot (and God, should not) make POLICE DECISIONS based on who the Rock likes and who he thinks is a bitch.
3. On top of that, what kind of police officers would stand backstage for an hour listening to some crazy, jacked-up guy in sunglasses (at night) yell threats about how he’s gonna get into the building against their orders and beat people up and shove stuff up peoples’ asses? Just use the taser on him already. Dude should’ve been handcuffed and dragged away before the hour check-in.
4. Speaking of that, how funny was Rock’s WE’VE ALL BEEN BACK HERE AND HOUR, IT’S BEEN AN HOUR, AN HOUR SINCE THE LAST TIME WE SPOKE exposition? I guess they taped these backstage gags all at once, so three policemen and The Rock didn’t have to stand sideways with their shoulders vaguely pointed at each other by a metal detector for shoot 60 minutes.
5. I wish the “my family had tickets!” conversation with the police officer had gone like this:
“THE PEOPLE WANT TO SEE THE ROCK ELECTRIFY BLEARGHHH”
“I know! I had tickets!”
“Yeah. We bought tickets to see the Rock. It’s our first WWE show in like 10 years. We stopped watching because all the people on now are terrible! It’s all boring and fake. But the Rock is cool! Hey, I have 50 dollars in my wallet, do you want that”
“YES YES I DO”
And then Rock takes the cop’s money, Rock Bottoms him into the freestanding metal detector and just walks into the building.
6. The “buying a ticket” payoff doesn’t work if you’re emerging from the stage with your entrance theme and Titantron music. The idea is that you can’t get a wrestler entrance like normal, so you have to buy a ticket, go in the front door, go to your seat and like, jump the rail. The reason you succeed where a fan who tried this would fail is because you’re a wrestler and you work for the company, and/or security agrees with you, like that time John Cena got shitted on by the Nexus and kept showing up anyway. You can’t get your full entrance, hold up a ticket for a second, then throw it on the ground as you’re walking to the ring.
It would’ve been so great if an usher had stopped Rock at the bottom of the ramp and been all, “I need to see your ticket,” and Rock had to walk back up the ramp and try to figure out where he dropped it.
7. At no point did the police officers say, “lower your voice, sir,” which would’ve been the best meta follow-up to the Rock/Vickie story, which, if you’ll remember, started last week when the Rock stood outside of her office screaming affirmations at Mick Foley and wrote an Eric Clapton parody song about how she’s a bitch when she told him to stop yelling.
8. The Rock’s references and jokes are getting worse, somehow. Did you see that person in the crowd with a COOKIE PUSS sign with the Cookie Monster drawn on it? THOSE ARE NOT THE SAME THINGS. That’s the kind of person who think The Rock is funny.
Rock can’t get over Paul Heyman having “tits,” which is the most wank-dismissible thing to worry about ever (especially when you are a gyno surgery veteran) and wasted WWE’s one shot at a Manti Te’o/Little Jimmy joke on a chance to say “nut sack.”
9. Again, here are the three things Rock made clear that he hates: bitches, people with tits, people without nut sacks. What do those three things have in common?
10. And worst of all, to establish that the Rock was stuck outside at all, we had to watch THE ENTIRE ROCK CONCERT again. Both songs in their entirety. Following the previous show-opening recap of Dolph Ziggler and AJ getting pooped dumped on them, you’ve got to wonder how unbelievably proud WWE is of their own asshole-picking.
Keep in mind: The payoff to all of this was The Rock getting into the building and comparing himself to Martin Luther King, Jr. This is a thing that happened.
Best: Antonio Cesaro’s Flag Keeps Getting Bigger
At WrestleMania, Cesaro’s entrance should be the film Patton in its entirety, with Cesaro replacing George C. Scott.
Worst: Going To Commercial Break During Beat The Clock Matches On A Live Show
Predictably, I’m not a fan of (a) Antonio Cesaro losing matches, (b) the United States Champion losing a non-title match to a guy fans see as “better than him,” i.e. “above” the secondary titles, and (c) show-long gimmicks like Beat The Clock, where every match gets the same story and kills the heat until the like, 40 seconds when the WILL HE BEAT THE CLOCK OR WON’T HE thing kicks in. Even great gimmick matches like War Games and the Royal Rumble can fall victim to this, with fans sorta sitting on their hands until it’s time for them to count something down again.
The worst thing about this, though, was the fact that WWE felt the need to go to commercial during almost every Beat The Clock match without so much as a “cameras are rolling, if the match ends during the commercial break we’ll show it to you when we return” thing to make it okay. I know wrestling is fake and you’ve got everything scheduled out to the minute, but come on, when you’ve got one show a year based around the drama of HOW LONG WILL THIS MATCH LAST, save the f**king Dominos commercials for later.
And while we’re talking about this match specifically, I’ll add a (d) to things I didn’t like: Randy Orton not flattening out on the Very European Uppercut. Boo, Randy Orton. Boo.
Best: Best Zack Ryder Match Ever
AAAAAAAAA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
It wasn’t quite as good as the Show/Kofi Kingston match, but it was glorious. Show is my favorite. And hey, Zack Ryder, go home and write a YouTube song about how “Showskis,” you lame asshole.
Best: Brad Maddox Magically Showing Up For Commentary, Then Wandering Away Like The Incredible Hulk
I guess they gave precedent to The Rock being able to out-fox police officers and do what he wants by having Brad Maddox, Not A WWE Employee, repeatedly get into the building, wandering around backstage with everybody and pop up at the commentary table and just have everybody roll with it. The match being too short for Maddox to say anything was a nice touch, as was him standing up and kinda walking away toward the crowd like he was the f**king Sasquatch.
Worst: Nexus On Nexus Violence
The worst thing about Tensai’s latest WWE run (besides that YouTube video where he was riding in a car with Sakamoto and was all CHINKS CAIN’T DRIVE NO CAR) is that he exposed Ryback’s gimmick of Strong Guy. Without the spectacle of him throwing couches and giving the Shellshocking Finale to two guys at once, Ryback is basically just another muscular dude. His Meathook clothesline used to hilariously murder people, and now it just looks like … I don’t know, Chuck Palumbo’s clothesline? If Chuck Palumbo was trying to stop a fire-up from Carlito or whatever, you could see him throwing a clothesline like that, right? Even Heath Slater’s Eve Torres spear sell of it didn’t make it look good, it just looked like Slater jumped backwards and posed on his head.
I don’t know. I’m just sad whenever I see Nexus guys going at it like this. I don’t even like when Daniel Bryan and Darren Young wrestle, and they were both barely Nexus.
And I know I’ve made the “Ryback looks like those guys Ren & Stimpy wrestled” joke before, but seriously, listen to Ryback’s promo, then listen to this:
Yo Lout Brothers, Rock stole your “tear your face off” line.
Worst: Raw Roulette
Remember on the last page, when I mentioned how I don’t like show-long gimmicks? Next week is RAW ROULETTE, which (with the exception of 2011) is right behind The Slammy Awards on my list of least favorite shows of the year. I except 2011, because THAT Raw Roulette was the one that ended with CM Punk going criss-cross applesauce on the stage and briefly changing the direction of pro wrestling FOREVER~.
I never thought I’d type this sentence, but the fulfill your fantasy Pillow Fight is pro wrestling’s Chekhov’s gun. You don’t introduce it on the wheel and talk about how much you want to see it if you aren’t going to land on it later. Raw Roulette always does this — there are few things that would get me more excited than a night of matches with legitimately random stipulations decided by chance, but with the exception of the tornado rules in the tag team match, the stips all seemed like unnecessary tack-ons to normal matches or excuses for wrestlers to be beaten without losing their heat. If Del Rio beat Big Show in a cage match it might be a big deal, but not so much when the cage is just there for some low impact/high give No Mercy strong grapple cage smashes and a prop finish. If R-Truth pinned John Cena it would matter, but if he just pushed him through a table unfairly, nobody really cares.
You’re not only sacrificing my perverse need to see Kelly Kelly vs. Nikki Bella in a barbed wire match and Sin Cara vs. Evan Bourne in a lucha libre pillow fight, you’re making your bad guys look like Miz-level wieners who can’t get it done without a bunch of “buts”. And if there’s one thing wrestling should never put together, it’s wieners and buts.
Also, as a reminder, that “wieners and buts” sentence was just there to set up a Jeff Jarrett buttf**king joke in the next Best.
Best: The Miz Has No Idea How To Do A Figure-Four
The Miz wrestled Dolph Ziggler in a Beat The Clock Challenge, and
what are you doing
no seriously, WHAT ARE YOU DOING
OH MY GOD ARE YOU F**KING UP THE FIGURE FOUR AS SOON AS RIC FLAIR GAVE IT TO YOU
NO, STOP SELLING IT, HE’S NOT DOING ANYTHING TO YOUR LEGS
The Miz is in the business of making me look like an idiot, I guess. First I say that turning him face would be a great idea, and he turns into the worst face of all time. Then I’m like, “oh cool, Ric Flair passed down the figure four to him, that’ll be great” and he breaks out what I am not afraid to call THE WORST GODDAMN FIGURE-FOUR IN HISTORY. I have seen Jack Evans do a better figure-four than this. I have seen guys in Ric Flair Halloween costumes, drunk off their asses, put people in better figure-four leglocks than this.
Here’s my new plan for Miz: He should be a heel, and his finish should be the Overdrive. Also, he should never be allowed to wrestle again.
Best: Daniel Bryan’s Hair
So yeah, Daniel Bryan is probably the best wrestler in history at turning lead into gold. I’ve seen him turn just the worst shit into enjoyable wrestling … therapy sketches, abusive relationship angles, 18-second losses at WrestleMania, Sonjay Dutt matches … and last night, in addition to turning a hug-themed graduation skit into memorable TV, he made the worst hair-styling in history look amazing. Seriously, if I can make a reference only for Jon Bois for a second, dude looked like Bonnie Prince Billy.
Best: The Hugging Was Great! Now Let’s Let Them Do Something Else
This was cute. Dr. Shelby’s name being revealed as “Marion” was pretty funny, Daniel’s “…EVERYone?” response to the “how would you feel if everyone hugged” question was top-shelf adorable, and the specificity of people they pointed out and made hug was great.
That said, this needs to be the end of the hugging. I love Team Hell No and I don’t love to fantasy book in this column, but they need to drop the tag straps to Rhodes Scholars at Royal Rumble, have them snap on each other, run a feud through WrestleMania, let Kane retire and let Daniel Bryan go back to being a submission wrestling master who taps out jerks like Sheamus on the reg. That NEEDS to happen. Kane’s career isn’t long for the world, and as funny as Daniel Bryan is, he is too good at Actual Wrestling to permanently steal Santino’s spot.
If you want to have Bryan tap out Kane to end a blood feud at Mania and have them hug on the way out, that would be pretty nice.