– Comments, shares, likes, and especially Reddit submissions/up votes are appreciated. The only way this column works is by you helping me out and showing it to people. If you don’t, I go back to writing about soccer. DON’T MAKE ME DO THAT, YOU GUYS.
– GIFS via Jerusalem at the Punchsport Pagoda.
– Big thank you once again to Chris Trew for filling in on last week’s report. Go read that. I don’t care if you’ve already read it, go read it again!
– If you missed out on National Pro Wrestling Day, don’t worry, we had all the fun in the world without you. If you’d still like to hang out with me at a wrestling show sometime, your next chance is at Elimination Chamber in New Orleans on Sunday. I’ll be there live, somewhere up in the nosebleeds, and would appreciate your hugs when Rock wins and I have to Charlie Brown walk out of the New Orleans Arena.
For now, please click through to enjoy the Best and Worst of WWE Raw for February 11, 2013.
Best: Paul Heyman And CM Punk Are Wrestling Bros
We know Paul Heyman The Character is a liar. He said so himself. We’ve seen video of him talking to Brad Maddox with ‘Law & Order’-style exposition like, “HEY BRAD MAD-OX, PERSON I, PAUL HEYMAN, MANIPULATED INTO A SPOT AS REFEREE SO CM PUNK COULD KEEP HIS WWE CHAMPIONSHIP. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE SHIELD, THE SINISTER GROUP OF TOUGHS I’VE PAID TO ATTACK PARTICULAR WWE SUPERSTARS?” Heyman’s only excuse is, “you CGI’d me.”
At the same time, Paul Heyman The Man is so good at pro wrestling TV acting that when he’s in the ring explaining to CM Punk about how Vince McMahon’s perception is reality, claiming that he had no part in Brad Maddox or The Shield or Brock Lesnar showing up, I almost believe him. That’s outstanding. It’s the kind of thing a normal heel would do to troll the WWE crowd … do something, then say he didn’t. That’d be the end of it. With Heyman, you get the feeling that the only way he can survive as that perennial liar, always on the cusp of being murdered or whatever, is by convincing HIMSELF that his lies are real. In Paul Heyman’s mind, maybe he DIDN’T set Brad Maddox up, and maybe he WASN’T in command of The Shield. That’s what a liar does, right? He believes himself.
It also makes him make sense as the only person CM Punk has ever seemed to truly like in WWE. Punk’s the same way. When Punk was teaming with guys like Kofi Kingston in ECW, you never got the impression that they were friends, they were just in a tag team. When Punk started going on and on about how we were bad people for doing drugs and drinking alcohol he was right, in his own way, but he was also generalizing and being an asshole about it. He was a guy struggling to make it in the steroid-heavy, snorting-cocaine-off-hookers-Ric-Flair-style world of WWE turning around and saying that only people like HIM were gonna make it. It wasn’t true then, and even now that he’s made it, it’s STILL not true. But Punk convinced himself that his words were truth, and that was enough to keep him moving forward. When he changes his mind, he still seems like he believes what he’s saying, because he’s lying, good or bad.
A couple of liars who are great at professional wrestling managed to find each other and believe the other’s lies. I believe Punk when he says he’s a Paul Heyman guy. I believe Heyman believes Punk is the Best In The World. It doesn’t seem like a script when they’re in there. It seems like bad human beings who made their flaws into the only possible definition of success. They’ve never been caught, at least not long enough to be pushed out the door for good.
I hope they stay friends forever.
Best: WHAT MARK HENRY DOES
I didn’t get to write about Mark Henry’s return to Raw last week, so if you’d like to hear my extended thoughts, they are YEAHHHH MARK HENRY YEAH F**K EM UP MARK, F**K EM UP AND SLAM THEM AND START SCREAMING AT NOBODY BECAUSE YOU ARE MARK HENRY AND F**K EVERYONE WHO IS NOT MARK HENRY
I throw around the phrase “my favorite wrestler” a lot. Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson has been my favorite wrestler for over a decade, and every time he leaves and comes back as something different (tighty whities hero -> bearded hobo -> ROH Bob Backlund -> Best In The World all the way up through “NXT Rookie” and “arrogant World Heavyweight Champion” and “kinda gay tag team guy”) I have to sorta reset it and fall in love with him again. He’s like the 50 First Dates of pro wrestlers. I say Portia Perez is my favorite wrestler a lot. She’s definitely my favorite wrestler without a permanent Big Leagues spot, and she’s someone I’m going to bat for no matter what. But honestly, right now, neither of those wrestlers makes me as happy while I’m watching wrestling as Mark Henry.
I am so, so happy that Mark Henry is back. He makes a Great Khali match (complete with comical Great Khali “dodges” that even the announcers can’t call with a straight face) into must-see moments of pro graps glee. He’s starting to get a pop, too. When his music hit last night, people were like “REARGHHH YEAH MAKR HE-oh, woo Mark Henry, okay.” The Average Wrestling Fan is almost ready to see Mark like nerds like me see him, and accept that the best wrestler in the world doesn’t have to be the one with the flashiest moves or longest matches — he can be the fat guy who kills you swiftly and just SCREAMS ARBITRARY SHIT AT YOU BECAUSE HE IS MAD
If you’re still not sure why people like Mark Henry, please consult the following GIFs.
Best: DIE FOREVER, YOU SASSY LEPRECHAUN CHILD-MAN
Sometimes I really do think my brain is strong enough to manifest my wishes on television. Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, The Great Khali and Hornswoggle should now never be seen again, a la Husky Harris after Randy Orton’s punt, and if they come back they have to do so as a different character. That’s how the World’s Strongest Slam should be sold.
Also, the Great Khali/Natalya team should be called “Khali Ma.”
Worst: What The F**k Is Teddy Long Talking About
Teddy Long thinks Jack Swagger deserves a spot in the Elimination Chamber because he’s beaten a couple of chumps, and Booker agrees. Teddy thinks Chris Jericho deserves a spot in the Chamber based on his 20+ years of experience and championships, but Booker says NAY, TEDDY, and makes Jericho compete in a qualifying match. Teddy has an idea, but Booker doesn’t want to hear it. Teddy “doesn’t even like country music,” but he likes that idea!
1. Who died and made Booker T the Managing Manager of Raw? and
2. TEDDY LONG WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT
Hey WWE, if you want to pay two fewer people, just show a Daniel Bryan/Chris Jericho match graphic and have Michael Cole say “Chris Jericho wants to be in the Elimination Chamber. If he beats Daniel Bryan tonight, he’s in!” Then give all that extra money to Mark Henry and Antonio Cesaro and Cody Rhodes and the people that AREN’T always ruining your wrestling shows.