All day long I’ve had people asking me, “When is the Best and Worst of Raw going up today?” They can’t wait to hear what I have to say about last night’s show, because it featured one of the most unexpected, revolutionary moments in recent memory. If you like wrestling, it’s all you’ve been able to talk about since 11:15 last night. It took me from then until now to put it into words.
But I’m going to try.
So without further adieu, I present to you the coolest thing I’ve seen on Raw in years.
Kelly Kelly won a submission match!
Best: Kelly Kelly Edited Her Submissions Before This Match
Kelly gets a double best (one for each Kelly) for making the ugliest acceptance face ever when she found out she was having a submission match against Nikki Bella. This seemed like the only legitimate Raw Roulette wheel spin of the night, with “Pillow Fight” or some sort of old people food in a children’s swimming pool affair as the obvious Diva choices. I was hoping we’d get “first blood” or like a Coal Miner’s Glove match (that could end with Nikki Bella being bitten by a snake), but submission was good. That’s a good match stipulation, because it adds a layer of storytelling without seeming stupid (something on a pole match) or unnecessary (Evan Bourne and Sin Cara having no count-outs, because those guys are always getting counted out).
Kelly has been stepping up her game recently, even replacing her “anybody female can seemingly do it” cartwheel back elbow with a “very few people can do it” Pleasing Stink Face, so I had visions of Joshi sugarplums dancing in my head. I worked through it in my brain, watching Nikki trying to apply a Spider Twist near the 15 minute mark, only to have Kelly valiantly fight to the ropes and come back to win at just over 22 minutes with a Sol Naciente Kai. We’d usher in a new status quo for mainstream women’s wrestling, Portia Perez would sign a WWE contract and we’d have arm-trap kneelifts and guillotine chokes on every episode of Raw.
Instead, we got a Bella working a Fujiwara armbar for 76 seconds of a 78 second match before tapping out wildly to the first Boston Crab in the history of Kelly Kelly. That graphic is the only way to explain it. Nikki, if you can’t take more punishment than that, you may have epidermolysis bullosa.
Worst: Whatever, I Do What I Want!
Women on WWE television are only allowed to speak as though they are on stage at the Jerry Springer Show, responding to insults from the holier-than-thou studio audience. Watching the Bellas walk up the ramp making “loser” gestures on their foreheads and screaming “IT AIN’T OVER! IT AIN’T OVER!” was sad, and the only things sadder than Kelly holding the belt over her head and responding with five or six “WHAT’RE YOU GONNA DO HUHs” were Eve Torres’ elbow strikes. All it needed was somebody to yell “you don’t know me”.
And while we’re on the subject of Eve and her elbows, holy sh**, here, let me teach you how to throw a Diva elbow strike over the Internet. Punch forward. That would hurt somebody, right? Now punch downward. If somebody was below you, sure, that would hurt them. Now try punching downward, but move your upper arm like you’re trying to punch forward. Congratulations, you are Eve Torres, and you didn’t need OVW and four years of experience to learn her one f**king move.
Fall off of something backwards and you’ve learned the other one.
Best: It’s Sin Cara! And He’s Doin’ Stuff!
Michael Cole tried to explain that the WWE Universe had crashed their servers (with text messages) during Power to the People and that Sin Cara vs. Evan Bourne was the match we’d all wanted to see, but if any of this were true Raw would’ve featured Mason Ryan in black trunks wrestling Mason Ryan in yellow trunks (his 2P alternate). Regardless, we got the closest thing to a WCW Cruiserweights match we’re going to get on a 2011 Raw, and I enjoyed it. I read a lot of things like “underwhelming” and “didn’t live up to the hype”, to which I ask “how much do you expect to be whelmed, honestly” and “what hype” respectively.
Sin Cara got to look good on the live show, and he seems to be shaking off a lot of the early criticism that even I gave into. Bourne got to wrestle someone who doesn’t just kick him in the face for a minute and a half. The crowd dug it, the mood lighting made everyone in the arena want to have sex with Diane Keaton, and we got a better wrestling match than usual. Enjoy it, friends! If they get online and read a bunch of “meh, workrate workrate workrate fart” about it they aren’t going to ever do it again. Praise it, and eventually maybe Evan Bourne will be curtain jerking a Survivor Series against f**king Super Calo.
Worst: So Is It Just Impossible To Take La Mistica
It could’ve had something to do with Bourne being legitimately two and a half feet tall, but it’s concerning that we live in a world where Ted DiBiase goddamned Junior can take a lucha finisher better than Matt Sydal. I think they should try to get over La Mistica as like a time vortex, where Cara starts spinning around you so fast and so thoroughly that you lose all sense of equilibrium and just collapse into mush on your face. This might explain why Cara ends up in a different place every time he finishes the move, because different people can last longer in it. It’s like an existential submission. Have people sell it by developing permanent brain damage. Like, have Chavo Guerrero prepping to pass a bar exam, but then Sin Cara spins around him a bunch and Chavo fails it because he just draws doggies in the margins and drools on himself.
They should bring in Dragon Kid and have him fall on his head every time he tries to do the Christo. So, have it be like the first five or six years Dragon Kid wrestled.
or, more specifically,
Best: The Way Maryse Says “Capitol Punishment”
“Capitolpun-ISHment”. Whoops, just did the anime exasperation collapse.
I don’t mind Maryse having this role on the show. They should utilize her as the beautiful French lady who stands around backstage and interacts with the wrestlers. That’s better than nothing. Her segment was full of little bests, including Maryse considering her love of “purses, SHOES” to be a love of “everything”, Del Rio checking out her ass as she spun the wheel, and Booker’s overly-animated “I don’t make the matches, man. JESS WHO MAKE DA SPINS, AIGHT”. Del Rio and Maryse would be the perfect match as a couple of rich people who get super pissed at mostly-insignificant setbacks, aka “the cast of every show on the CW”.
Worst case scenario we eventually do an multinational Pretty in Pink love triangle and turn Ricardo Rodriguez into the most verbose Ducky in history. But then again that’s my solution to everything. “Make them Ducky!”