To avoid any continuity snafus, please read The Best and Worst of WWE Over the Limit 2011. It will get you caught up on absolutely nothing, because you don’t need to pay fifty dollars or watch the pay-per-views to understand anything happening on Raw.
The following is a largely positive review of a largely negative episode of Raw. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and it will drive a car into you and make you lie on the ground screaming for ten minutes.
Best: The Sad Ken Burns Version of Pomp and Circumstance
The death of the Macho Man didn’t effect me as much as some. I grew up following the NWA (and later, WCW) and only had a passing interest in the Rock and Wrestling of the mid-80s WWF. I remember getting the Wrestling Album on vinyl (because I’m old) and the Hulk Hogan workout set with instructional cassette tape (because I am INCREDIBLY old), but that was about it. I liked Hart Foundation-era Bret Hart and the Killer Bees a lot, but mostly I was a little Stinger, a little Steiner, and whatever the little version of the Great Muta is called.
Savage was a part of that 90s influx of WWF guys to WCW, where Hogan and Macho and the Nasty Boys and Jim Duggan showed up and replaced all of my favorite guys (Cactus Jack, Ricky Steamboat, Vader, Stunning Steve). I knew he was a good wrestler, but when he’d do those ten minute punchfests against guys like Roddy Piper on Nitro I was BEGGING for some Ultimo Dragon or Chris Jericho (or even Blitzkreig, I’m not going to be picky here). As he aged, he became a guy who was a corny part of Spider-Man and slapped around women on TV. He came out with a rap album, and he was one illogical run-on sentence from just being the Ultimate Warrior.
I’ve learned to appreciate Savage’s work as I’ve gotten older, and I think his WWE DVD release is one of the best they’ve ever done (right behind the Saturday Night’s Main Event DVD, which is also mostly Savage). I like his matches. I like his drug-addled, hyper-intese interviews. I like that he had fans throwing sodas and popcorn at him two minutes into his WWF debut. I like him, but he was never my favorite. I didn’t cry when I found out he’d died.
But yeah, when the Ken Burns’ Civil War version of “Pomp and Circumstance” started up in the tribute video last night, I sorta lost it.
Best: Punk, Obviously
As a Guy on the Internet™ I am contractually obligated to love everything CM Punk does, including Maria Kanellis. Sometimes I go a little far with it (“look at his smarmy haircut!” “this match with BJ Whitmer isn’t terrible!” etc.), but I don’t think I’m out of line saying Punk’s Macho Man trunks were the best part of Monday night’s Raw. I wish Serena was still around to have been his Miss Elizabeth. Luke Gallows as Hulk Hogan would also be funny, especially if he’d spent the whole match tending to Miss Elizabeth. Imagine Colt Cabana in a graduation gown, reading poetry and throwing frisbees to people. It would be the most Colt Cabana has ever done in the WWE!
Hopefully Punk’s tights don’t become the Black Rider of the WWE. I don’t want to read TMZ’s report of Greg Maddux dying with a big horrible on purpose picture of Greg Maddux at the top any time soon.