– Be sure you’ve read The Best And Worst Of Royal Rumble 2013 before you read the Raw report.
– Comments, shares, likes, and especially Reddit submissions/up votes are appreciated. Those SquaredCircle Reddit types are nice people, and they need YOU, the valiant Reddit/With Leather overlapped demographic, to submit and support the column.
– Don’t forget, I’m going to be live at National Pro Wrestling Day this Saturday, so if you’ve ever heard of wrestling and Pennsylvania, get there and say hi.
Sorry, I couldn’t find a HQ episode of Nitro to review. Click through for the Best and Worst of WWE Raw for January 28, 2013.
Worst: I’m Kinda Disappointed That CM Punk Has So Many Reasons To Be Mad, And The One He Chooses Is ‘Remember Bret Hart’
The worst thing I do as a wrestling fan is develop unrealistic expectations for wrestling characters. I’m sure you’ve picked up on this. I’m the asshole who wants an arena full of kids and their parents to say, “no, you know what, John Laurinaitis is RIGHT, he’s just trying to do a good job, John Cena is being childish! Kids, you should grow up to be a businessman, not a dude who lifts weights and punches people for money.”
But man, it’s the night after CM Punk’s 400-and-whatever day title reign ended and they’re in Las Vegas, the same place where he sat on the stage, namedropped Ring Of Honor, made Jim Rome believe wrestling was real and, at least until Kevin Nash showed up, changed the way WWE main events worked. I wanted him to come out with guns blazing, you know? Tear down the Rock for the right reasons, not because he likes “these people.” Cut into him like he cut into the business two summers ago. This drug-addled hate-shouter showed up out of Hollywood and got a title reign based on nothing but star power. Three matches in 10 years. END HIM. CHARGE YOUR LASER AND GET ON THE MICROPHONE AND END HIMMMM.
And here’s Punk, hood up, throwing shit around. When he starts talking, what does he say? That he’s just like Bret Hart, because remember that time Bret Hart got screwed by Shawn Michaels? It’s such a predictable talking point that a guy in the crowd has a PHOENIX SCREWJOB sign and makes “yep, called it” gestures when he’s on TV. It was the most From The Desk Of Mr. McMahon thing Punk’s said in a long time. It’s fine, but it’s disappointing, and that’s totally my fault.
Worst: Antonio Cesaro Is Five More Losses To Randy Orton Away From Being Wade Barrett
This was a nightmare for me. The actual match wasn’t bad — I’m popping for Cesaro’s gutwrench suplex no matter what — but … well, let’s number it:
1. It’s a paragraph I write all the time, but the United States Champion should not be losing matches to “better” Superstars. There’s no point to it. If you want a guy to lose all the time, even if his job is to look great while doing it, don’t give him a championship. If you give a guy a championship, let him win championship matches. If you want your champion to lose, he should lose the championship, with “non-title loss leads to unexpected title shot” being the only exception. Do not create a hierarchy where there is a group of wrestlers who are “better” than the champions and just win all the time. Make those guys the champions, or find a more creative way to write their characters and matches. It’s lazy and pointless from every direction, and should not happen because you remember Cesaro’s on the roster and need somebody who doesn’t suck to wrestle Orton.
2. The Raw Roulette wheel is the worst. Now it’s so bad they had to create three different wheels, because they ran out of explanations for why these things are happening. The reason WCW had to stop doing Battle Bowl was because they killed what was special about it, and started booking every match as ROAD WARRIOR HAWK AND JOHNNY GRUNGE VS. FLYBOY ROCKO ROCK AND ROAD WARRIOR ANIMAL. You know, where it’s just super, super obviously rigged to tell a story. The plus of the Raw Roulette wheel should be true unpredictability. I know you gotta go with what works, but it would not kill you to have your “THIS IS DIFFERENT” show actually be different.
3. Why does The Miz get to be the special guest referee? Why are we stacking the deck against the heel? I know Vickie doesn’t like Ziggler, but is she a face GM all of a sudden? Why not have somebody who hates Orton get the guest referee spot? Why not spin that superstar wheel you have to find the referee? Is the issue between Cesaro and the Miz compromised by having Cesaro/Orton ref’d by Epico? Why not just do a Cesaro/Miz rematch on Raw with a special referee, if you want to do a non-title loss that ends with Miz hitting the Skull-crushing Finale on Cesaro? Seriously, just take 20 minutes and try hard to write any of this.
4. As a jerk on the Internet, I am getting really, really tired of watching Randy Orton RKO Antonio Cesaro.
5. Tuck in your shirt, Miz. THIS IS YOUR JOB.
Worst: The Prime Time Players Won That Challenge
Who died and made Matt Striker the King Of Jokes?
There is no world in which the Prime Time Players should lose a “being funny” contest to Ryback. WWE shouldn’t organize these weird popularity contest things (“make me laugh” challenges, dance offs, karaoke contests) if they aren’t gonna be honest about it. Ryback beating up a couple of guys who didn’t do anything to him because he’s too shitty at jokes to win fairly? AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT.
Best: DIE MATT STRIKER YEAHHHH
Any points Ryback lost for being a poor sport were recovered when his path of rage met Chucklemonster Matt Striker, and Striker ate probably the best-looking Shellshock ever. I don’t know if Striker f**king up the lift-off made Ryback mad and he just shoot Shellshocked him or what, but I wish it always looked like that.
In case I haven’t typed it enough lately, Matt Striker is the Goatse’s asshole of pro wrestling and Scott Stanford should have his job. Scott Stanford should also have Josh Matthews’ job, and Michael Cole’s. (Note: if Stanford gets Cole’s job, Big E Langston is next in line to be the Josh.)
Worst: That Is How They Do It
Watch this commercial. To recreate the live Raw experience, watch it, wait two minutes, then watch it again. Repeat every ten minutes for three hours. I am doing my own taxes this year, because f**k Jackson Hewitt.
We miss you, gay Twix cops.