– Comments, shares, likes, and what-have-you are appreciated. Do me a solid. I’m writing a lot of words for your enjoyment.
– If you’re going to WrestleMania this year … hey, so are we! Me, Best and Worst of Impact’s Danielle, GIFmaster General THESTINGER and pretty much everyone else from the online wrestling world will be there, so if you will be too, let one of us know. We’ll do a thing. Even if that thing is “make sure we all sit together at Chikara.”
Please click through to enjoy the Best and Worst of WWE Raw for February 25, 2013.
Best: Raw Opening Segments That End In Blood
Here’s what I wrote in last week’s Best and Worst of Raw report regarding the prospect of a Paul Heyman/Vince McMahon street fight:
Of course, this is all a pretty clear lead-in for Brock Lesnar to re-arrive and attack Vince, only to get bailed out by the I LOVE YOU POP EXPRESS. And as cool as Brock is, Inappropriate Buzzcut Theater is not something I’m emotionally prepared to deal with yet.
Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. Paul Heyman came out for the fight overconfident because he knew he had Brock Lesnar waiting in the Vanilla Gorilla position. Vince, bad hip or not, got his shots in on Heyman to lure out Brock, because the entire “fight” challenge had been a plot to lure Lesnar out into the open and run him over with the storyline mack truck that is Triple H. It made sense, it was exciting, it ended in a little bloodshed because Brock Lesnar never figured out how to pretend to wrestle, and guess what? It worked. The WWE Fan Nation video even switches to black and white like it’s Kill Bill.
My biggest problem with Triple H angles is Triple H having to explain every aspect of them to us via 20-minute in-ring conversations with himself. I’m assuming we’ll get that next week. This week, we get the WWE’s most celebrated “legendary ass-kicker” showing up to kick the ass of its most legitimate physical threat to set up a big showdown at the biggest show of the year. Next week, we’ll have Triple H holding the microphone in his mouth, pointing vaguely at the ground and explaining how THIS WAS ALL A SET-UP and how he’s OUT FOR REVENGE for what Lesnar did to him and his family, and THIS BUSINESS and THIS BUSINESS AGAIN and all the shit we figured out from the blood and the punching. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last physicality the feud sees before Mania, because there are THREATENING WORDS to be had, or whatever.
But hey, we’ll Wait And See Where It Goes™. This is a lay-up, guys. Just have them fight and make each other bleed until one of those fights (spoiler: the WrestleMania one) has to end in a pin.
Worst: This Segment Being Replayed In Full Six More Times On The Same Episode Of Raw
Not a good sign.
Best: Triple H Peed His Pants
It looks like he filled up his pants with This Business.
Best: Dolph Ziggler Deserves An Emmy For This Match
It wasn’t the best match on the show — that was the main-event, obviously — but my FAVORITE match on the show was Dolph Ziggler versus Ryback. “Dolph Ziggler is good at bumping” isn’t a new thing to say, but this might’ve been his master class. He made Ryback look like the most unstoppable, powerful, monstrous dude in the WWE, something I didn’t think was possible after Failing To Lift Tensai-Gate. Watch him go Full Batista when he tries to kick Ryback through the ropes and gets shoved backwards across the ring. Watch how his jumping DDT stalls, not in the bad, PWG way where the physics are wrong, but in that cool way where you know the impact is inevitable, and you’re forced to wait for it. Watch how he manages to get spinebustered like three different times during one spinebuster. His Stinger Splash into a brick wall. Holy shit, Dolph.
I really hope WWE finds a way to formally turn Dolph face, because I so badly want to cheer for him and his hapless gang of racially-diverse friends. AJ and Langston are basically the least-effective familiars in wrestling. At the same time, Langston looks (and sounds) great whenever he’s asked to do something, and AJ is still gorgeous and healing from her yearlong stint as WWE’s Whore Joke. If Ziggler can do a few noble things, keep bumping like he bumps and keep his friends through the transition, WWE’s got at least 5-10 additional $35 t-shirts out of me.
Worst: CM Punk Skips The Rap References And Goes Straight To Letting Jerry Lawler Be Upset About God
Remember back when CM Punk was running down the Rock and whipped out “your arms too short to box with God?” Remember how great that was? Remember how Jerry Lawler whiffed that quote’s context in its rap, James Weldon Johnson or Broadway usages and kept murmuring under his breath at the ends of sentences about how he thought CM Punk had just called himself God? Remember how stupid we thought he was for just hearing a word in the sentence and assuming its inference?
Yeah, CM Punk just straight-up ended his promo with I’M GOD YOU GUYS, and now Lawler gets to close his eyes and shake his head derisively because there’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that. Does Jerry get to be WWE’s authority on God because he’s the only guy on the payroll who died and got to keep his job?
Worst: Whoever Let Donald Trump Into The Hall Of Fame, You’re Fired, Get It
A few truths:
1. The honorary celebrity wing of the WWE Hall Of Fame is a courtesy thing, and we should never get offended if, say, they want to put Jeremy Piven in it for his outstanding service in the field of Getting SummerSlam’s Name Wrong. They just want Jeremy Piven to show up at WrestleMania and wave to folks. Relax.
2. If Donald Trump is going to be in the WWE Hall Of Fame, he should also be in the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling Hall Of Fame for that one time when Big Bad Mama tried to trick Daisy into thinking Trump wanted to hook up with her. If you don’t get that reference, you should really watch more G.L.O.W.
3. Never forget the best no-selling of a gimmick in WWE history:
Worst: Fandango’s Finally Debuting, And It’s on SMACKDOWN?
You’re kidding me. I sat through 50 Fandango commercials on Raw, sometimes two at a time, and now you’re gonna debut him on SMACKDOWN? Great, now I’m going to have to start reviewing Smackdown. For everyone who asks me to do a Best and Worst of Smackdown, here’s every imaginable report:
Best: Fandango, probably
Worst: The canned crowd noise, where they go AOOHHHHHHHH for Tamina Snuka headbutts like they’re watching El Generico top rope brainbuster somebody at the end of a 30 minute match. That noise is the worst. You could add canned crowd noise to the best matches of all time and I wouldn’t be able to sit through them. That’s the peril of attending so many live shows, I think … you get attached to the ebb and flow of how an actual wrestling crowd reacts.
Worst: 120 minutes of Smackdown being 40 minutes of commercials, 70 minutes of Raw recaps and 10 minutes of Great Khali dancing with Hornswoggle. That is seriously how I see Smackdown in my head.
… and that’s it. It’d be even worse if I tried to do Best and Worsts of Impact. One week I’m going to switch columns with Danielle Matheson. Here’s a preview:
Best: Joseph Park
Worst: every second Joseph Park isn’t on screen my brain is doing that thing that happens when you hold the gas for too long in Excitebike until you crash end-over-end and slide off the track.
Best: Mark Henry, Effortlessly Splitting This Guy’s Wig Again
Mark Henry is f**king awesome.
Worst: Okay, Sorry, Here’s The Longer Version Of That
As good as Mark Henry is, I don’t know what they’re doing with him. Do THEY know what they’re doing with him? He came back strong, got booked into the Elimination Chamber and destroyed EVERYBODY. Three top WWE Superstars had to team up to keep him down for a three count, and everyone else had to team up to beg him to leave without claiming their lives. It was awesome. Then, on Raw, he rolled out of the ring to avoid a confrontation with The Great Khali. Now he’s just trouncing Khali in a minute, as expected.
So what’s going on? I know the WrestleMania card is filling up quickly and the average WWE fan’s idea of how the main-event should go does not necessarily sparkle with my idea of having Henry squash Rock and Cena with a double World’s Strongest Slam, but there’s got to be something more for him to do than lift a guy whose lifting is technically impressive, but happens all the time.
Are we doing the “freak of nature” match at Mania? Khali, Mark Henry and Big Show, with Ryback thrown in to pick them up and throw them all around? Because if we’re doing that, we need to do something besides have Khali pretend he can dodge quick attacks for 60 seconds every Monday. He doesn’t even have his farting lady/man-child posse anymore. Poor guy.
Best: MizTV Works If Miz Doesn’t Talk Or Do Anything
I’m not sure whether or not I liked this MizTV segment yet, but I did like that The Miz made a small attempt to let people talk and say what they came on the show to say instead of immediately berating them with his Miz thing and devolving it into a “gay jokes and couch-throws” affair like usual.
Zeb Colter is an interesting character, but as good as he is at what he does, it still doesn’t seem to connect to Swagger like it should. Like, Swagger stands in the background of the Don’t Tread On Me videos and occasionally relates what they’re talking about to his personal life or whatever, but unless I’ve missed it, there’s never been a reason explained as to why a guy dedicated to educating the masses about illegal immigrants would choose “standing outside the ring during this one guy’s wrestling matches” as his platform. His biggest beef so far seems to be against Alberto Del Rio, a Mexican guy from Mexico, and even THAT features Zeb insulting people who aren’t Alberto Del Rio. So how does this work, exactly?
It feels weird that the super heels are only acting like heels when they’re directly disrespected (like when Zeb came out to confront Miz for being a bad journalist … and he was totally in the right, because Miz is a terrible, biased a-hole), and that the good guy is only involved because of contractual obligation. Oh, and
Worst: Alberto Del Rio, America’s Biggest Fan
did it seem weird to anybody else that Alberto Del Rio, a man born into a wealthy Mexican family, grew up in the world of lucha libre, came to the United States with an overblown sense of entitlement and a MAN-SERVANT is now proclaiming the USA as the “greatest country in the world,” and is representative of the American dream?
I love babyface Alberto Del Rio and am not about to turn against him in favor of the most overtly yokel dudes on the show, but damn, that’s the most false thing they’ve done with a babyface since [anything the Miz has said or done as a babyface]. Del Rio The Character has a plantation in Mexico, right? I feel like there’s probably a way for him to say YOU’RE WRONG, RACIST GUYS without having to more or less sell out his own country. Mexico can also be the greatest country in the world if you love it and are from there and you lived there until like, three years ago.
WORST: F**k Randy Orton And His Ongoing War Against The Secondary Champions
STOP DOING THIS