Pre-show notes (hey, you should actually read this part):
– As I mentioned if you follow me on Twitter, this week I’m doing my second ever old show Best And Worst report for No Way Out 2007. It should be fun. Check back for that on Friday, or Saturday, or one of the weekdays after that when I’m making excuses about how I write too much.
– Comments are appreciated! You guys are pretty solid on that at this point, but by now you should be sharing the column on Facebook, “liking” it, Tweeting it, tweeting ABOUT it, whatever. Pinterest it, if that’s a thing people do.
– Images and gifs this week are courtesy of column regular THESTINGER, who did THEAWESOMEJOB. Please visit him at The Hammer Dialectic. When you’re done reading his stuff, head over to UGO and read Aubrey Sitterson’s Good Slash Bad Slash Ugly of Raw.
– This weekend is Anarchy Championship Wrestling’s first show in San Antonio in a few months, so if you’re a Best And Worst reader in the area, make it a point to stop by, hang out with me and watch a sh*t-ton of great wrestling. I’ll introduce you to Rachel and everything.
Anyway, please enjoy the Best And Worst Of WWE Raw for February 13, 2012.
Worst: John Laurinaitis Has Pictures Of Kurt Angle Having Sex With Sharmell?
I write ten wordy-ass paragraphs about him every week, so I’ll present two options:
1. What made CM Punk great when he wasn’t great to everybody was that he always sounded like he meant what he was saying. When he ran down Raven for doing drugs and wasting opportunities, it felt real. Same thing when he made fun of Jeff Hardy for blowing his dream job. When he says “clownshoes” and says that Laurinaitis has leverage over the board of directors because of “naked pictures of bestiality” it sounds like something they came up with in creative and wrote between “bad breath” and “farts” on the dry erase board.
2. I bought into the CM Punk character and am a total rube mark. Phil Brooks came up with a cool thing that was convincing and got people like me on board, and now he’s tweaked it to get all the people who aren’t like me to cheer him and buy his t-shirts. There are a lot more people like them.
Long story short, I hate how stupid Punk makes me feel now. I don’t like him as the “guy who is funny at talking!” I don’t know. The more I write about it, the dumber I feel, and sh*t, I’m the guy about to write about who great it was when a guy said “dolph” sounded like “dolphins”. I wish I could throw that dry erase board into the sun.
Best: R-Truth Is Better Than Everyone Else Out Here Because He’s The Only One Not Taking It Seriously
…and I’m paraphrasing here:
Punk: “I am the best wrestler in the world!”
Dolph: “I’m better than you!”
Miz: “I’m better than both of you!”
Jericho: “I’m better than all of you!”
Truth: “SPIDAHS LIL JIMMY KEKEKEKEKEKEEKE”
Even Kofi Kingston, whose personality is normally “smile and wave to the nice fans”, pulled a “I’m a hungry young lion and my shirt has a lion on it now and I will defeat you all!” But here’s Truth, playing with the “what” chants, calling Jerry Lawler “your honor”, announcing that he’d trade people to Smackdown for Hornswoggle and a box of spiders “if elected” and winning a bright, shiny best for being the first person in like four years to say, “Dolph Ziggler? That’s a stupid name!” Because, seriously.
I’ve been wary of Truth’s transition from deranged psychopath to lovable, Cuckoo’s Nest-esque man of mental disease who just needs someone to take him fishing, but if he keeps lightening these forced moods with f**king dolphin noises, I’m sold.
Super Best: Dolph Ziggler’s Reaction To Being Told He’s Named After Flipper
Easily the intentionally funniest moment of the show. Secondary best for HOW DO YOU WORK HERE?
Worst: Time To Pull The Plug On The Miz
I think I speak for everyone when I say Miz needs a year or two teaming with Chavo Guerrero and the Lunch Ladies or whoever in Ring Ka King to tighten up the part of his brain that remembers how words sound and get his sh*t together. As an adoptive Clevelander I’ve got a deep, everlasting love for the Oh-Bros who’ve made it (Derrick Bateman, Dolph Ziggler, Miz, hell, even me, Michael Tarver), but yeah, Miz has either plateaued or is in desperate need of a break.
Jericho tossed him under the bus last week, and putting him in the ring with a bunch of guys who are better than him at everything (and Kofi Kingston) isn’t helping. Fantasy booking idea: have Miz get all sentimental and try to reform Extreme Expose, only to find out that Brooke eloped with Kahoneys or whatever and lives next to Shark Boy at the Impact Zone.
Worst: Chris Jericho’s New Character
In the span of two weeks, Jericho has gone from one of the most compelling reinventions of a character in wrestling history to a f**king reissue of Malibu Stacy: exactly like the old one, but with a new jacket. I don’t know how excited to get now that I know he’s the same guy he was when he left, wearing 2007 Jericho’s clothes. You’re legitimately one of the best ever, Jericho, let’s see what you were bragging about creating.
Oh, and before I forget:
Best: And So Begins The Funniest Raw Of All Time
I want to be that guy you go see on the Internet who gets hypercritical about these things, and yeah, most of the time I’m good for at least a page of WHO IS SIGNING KANE’S PAYCHECKS FOR THIS and IT WAS AN UNSAFE ENVIRONMENT WHEN MIZ BEAT UP JOHN CENA BY SURPRISE BY THESE KIDNAPPINGS AND FIRE RAPES ARE OKAY, but man, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at a TV show. It’s like … golden age ‘Simpsons’, ‘Look Around You’, and then this.
John Cena has got to be the worst f**king friend of all time. Zack Ryder is stupid enough to
1. Keep traveling around the country and showing up at the only place in the goddamn world the guy who keeps trying to shoot murder him is announced to be
2. Put on a headband when he’s got a severe neck injury
and I guess he doesn’t know his camera is also a telephone (although nobody in WWE knows how to properly use a phone… Otunga gets his sensitive messages via text and Shawn Michaels had to go through John Laurinaitis to schedule an appointment in the middle of a wrestling ring to talk to his best friend, who you’d assume he could’ve just called).
If you were Cena, how would you react? I’m guessing you’d contact security or the authorities and use those guys who keep people from jumping the rails to redirect their energies into keeping your friend from being MURDERED WITH FIRE, or, worst case scenario, you’d wheel his ass out the back door and put him in a cab. And sure, Kane would probably be driving that cab, but that would be out of your hands.
Cena reacts to the situation by going “yeah okay I know you want to see Eve”, then telling Ryder to stay put, because the John Cena locker room with the big JOHN CENA logo on the door is probably the last place the supernatural rapist who wants to hurt John Cena will look. And then he just f**king leaves to “get Eve” and spends an HOUR doing it, including several minutes of fraternization with Josh Mathews. Dude, can’t you talk to Josh when your friend ISN’T GOING TO BE PUT IN TRACTION BY THE TELEPORTING DEMON MAN.
And then other stuff happens, but we’ll get to that. An absolute f**king riot.
Best: What The Iron Sheik Thinks About Zack Ryder
So uh, Minnie Mouse I guess?
Worst: Way To Disprove That Whole “Afterthought” Thing, Kofi
This isn’t a harsh best, as I liked the actual Kingston vs. Jericho match enough and appreciated Kofi showing some fire for the first time in … God, like two years? I didn’t enjoy Kofi being addressed as an afterthought in the Raw debate and shoved out of the way, only for him to 1) sneak attack Jericho and 2) lose to Jericho when they were face to face. Jericho’s right about being up here (/gesture) while Kofi is down here (/gesture), but you don’t have to tell us AND illustrate it.
I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I almost would’ve preferred the WAIT A MINUTE THAT’S CM PUNK’S MUSIC LOOK KOFI’S ROLLED UP JERICHO things. It wouldn’t have made Kingston look any better, but it could’ve provided a nice “maybe he’ll win by accident” talking point.
Worst: Daniel Bryan Is Missing The Little Things
Heel Daniel Bryan is the greatest, don’t get me wrong, but if he’s going to play the Ethical Vegan card, he needs to pay attention to the details. Driving a Prius, going on nature walks instead of watching the Super Bowl and having a girlfriend of indeterminate ethnic origin are great starts, but what about the announce chairs? John Laurinaitis mentioned a few weeks ago that they were top quality, so you have to assume they’re leather. Why’s he sitting in them like it’s nothing? Are his boots vegan?
Furthermore, what about the championship belt itself? That strap is made out of leather. Maybe he should get his own custom belt made out of pleather (or even better, hemp) and spend half of Smackdown pointing it out so people will have to notice it.
Best: Two-Faced Michael Cole
A lot of people seemed to be missing this point on Twitter during the show, but Michael Cole is doing an awesome job of putting Daniel Bryan over and hating his guts at the same time. When Bryan is within arm-breaking distance, Cole sings his praises. Says he has a great smile and has proven himself time-in and time-out. When Bryan is in the ring or about to leave, Cole switches right back into HE’S A COWARD AND A NERD mode, sometimes mid-sentence. Watch him try to strong-arm A.J. on Smackdown and leave in a HEARTBEAT when Bryan shows up. It’s great, purposeful work.
I don’t know how to explain it more succinctly, but it’s a deeper kind of shallow dipsh*t than they usually go for, and I appreciate it.
Best: Extra Vintage Randy Orton
Come on, Cole saying “EXTRA vintage” when Orton broke out that amazing rope-assisted DDT on The Big Show is the SUPER NO VACANCY of North American wrestling. It’s dumb, but if you’re gonna make this all look and feel like a video game anyway you might as well add sound effects and echoing announcer voices going GREAT JOB or whatever when you hit your finisher.
Worst: Sorry You Made A Mistake, Randy
One of the greatest things about Randy Orton is that his “intermediate explosive disorder” isn’t part of his character, it’s an actual thing he has. Watch any time he (or someone he’s wrestling) messes up a move. He either starts flipping out and yelling STUPID, YOU’RE STUPID like a baby or he collapses into world-crushing disappointment like he did last night.
So, Big Show went down too early. So what? The announcers could’ve sold it as Show being too woozy to stand up or “trying to avoid” it instead of yelling RKO! RKO! like it was awesome. Now we’re guaranteed a Botchamania 201 moment where Orton’s covering his face while the Chubby Cherub music plays.