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– Thanks to Casey of the WWE Magazine awareness-winning Hammerlock Dialectic for pics and gifs. Two is greater than one, as they say.
– If you’re the type who listens to podcasts, don’t miss my two latest appearances: as the host of the With Spandex podcast with special guest the lovely Veda Scott or as the special, extremely uncool guest on the Wear The Cheese “Crash Down” podcast about Pokémon. No, seriously. They’re both pretty dorky, so pick your poison. Or pick them both!
Anyway, please enjoy the Best And Worst Of WWE Raw for June 5, 2012. Less about The Troops this week.
Worst: Big Show Is Awesome And Makes Great Points About Cena, So Let’s Have Michael Cole Yell At Him About Nothing For 20 Minutes, Then Wrestle
Last week I wrote extensively about how The Big Show had transformed pretty seamlessly from an aimless, stupid, fat dope who’d step through a table in his own tables match to an unstoppable, bad-ass personification of everything I wish for in wrestling. They continued that with Show this week, airing a pair of video packages that made him look great and could’ve only been better had he spent a portion of them going on about how Cena was gonna piss and sh*t his pants. Show rules, and our big fear from last week was that Cena would show up as a Pet Detective and make wacky faces and thrust obnoxious gay jokes at him until he collapsed back into the sack of crap he used to be.
Oddly enough, what we got was worse.
Sure enough, Cena showed up without a care in the world, but instead of loo-hoo-sir-her’ing in Big Show’s face we got a 14-minute conversation with Michael Cole about how each thinks the other is pedantic and overrated. That somehow led to Cena getting to choose his opponent for the night and once again proving why he’s the worst f**king Magnum T.A. ever by refusing to be the bigger man and beat up an announcer. Michael Cole does deserve to get beaten up, preferably on a regular basis, but throughout the segment I couldn’t ignore a few truths:
1. Michael Cole has been WAY BETTER lately. He hasn’t screamed over matches in a while, and aside from a few moments where you could tell he had to say a certain thing to get a plot-point over he’s been relatively laid back and harmless. Now is certainly not the time I would’ve chosen for someone to call him out and assault him.
2. John Cena shouldn’t really have a beef with Cole. If you think of people who’d want to beat up Cole, who do you think of? Daniel Bryan. Jerry Lawler. Eve, maybe. Teddy Long, if he was suspended above the ring in a shark tank and could drop a foreign object down to somebody. Certainly not Cena, but in the same way WWE wrote themselves out of a corner by having Average Everywoman Eve Torres go full-on SCANDALOUS BITCH~ in a heartbeat, they gave us 14 minutes of Cole being a dick to Cena so Cena would want to beat him up. Nothing really sustainable, so it was a short-term payoff, and nothing we’d really been asking for.
3. And why does Cena want to beat up Cole? Because Cole said he didn’t like him. Cole because WWE’s “voice of the detractors”, and if he’d said the same things at the end of the show when the crowd wasn’t hot and desperate for wrestling, they probably would’ve cheered him.
4. The only reason to beat up Cole is for all the horrible things he said and did in 2010-2011, but that was paid in full when Bret Hart Sharpshot him, Jim Ross slathered him in barbecue sauce (more on that later) and Jerry Lawler stuck his foot in Cole’s mouth. How many times do we punish him for the same crimes? What’s the worst he’s done since then, kiss up to John Laurinaitis?
5. “Be A Star” joke aside, what kind of guy is Cena when he’s given an open contract against anybody in the world and his first two options are “46-year old executive in a wheelchair” and “43-year old non-wrestler”? Cena could’ve given himself a match against WWE Champion CM Punk, a match against World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus … hell, The Rock is still on the Raw roster technically, he could’ve called out Rocky and tried that whole thing again. If Cole had gotten out of it, would Cena have challenged Eve?
6. Remember when Big Show got to choose his own opponent? He threatened Santino about it, but he ended up accepting a challenge from Brodus Clay, then wiped the f**king floor with him. Don’t know why anybody would be on Cena’s side in this.
So yeah, we could’ve followed up the hot ending to a pretty-good Raw by building effectively to the cage match main-event at the pay-per-view that is TWO WEEKS AWAY, but instead we spend a quarter-hour setting up a dated announcer vs. wrestler match with no real build for no real reason.
Best: Johnny In A Hoveround Is Going To Be Funny Forever
It is. When open segments are bad, I can at least count on The Executive Vice President Of Talent Relations And General Manager Of Both Raw And Smackdown Mr. John Laurinaitis to roll out with a rubber chicken or one of those headbands that make it look like somebody shot an arrow through your head or whatever and entertain me out of thin air.
One of the things I like about Laurinaitis and “People Power” is that he thinks he’s actually doing something to help people. He’s underhanded, sure, and he’s out for his own interests, but so is everyone else … and I can buy that Laurinaitis is trying to do that in secret and thinks he’s doing a great job of hiding it. So occasionally he gets the itch to play fair and give Cena a chance to pick his opponent, because hey, HE’S not gonna have to wrestle Cena, and it’s the only chummy thing to do. That’s a perfect dickhead boss. He doesn’t hate you, he just doesn’t give a sh*t about you.
Best: The Brogue Kick Taunt Actually Ending Matches
One of my biggest complaints about Kofi Kingston (if Kofi Kingston gripes were members of X-Factor from when I was reading X-Factor, this one would be Strong Guy) is that he always tries to set up Trouble In Paradise by doing a Shawn Michaels thing where he backs up into the corner, starts clapping his hands together and gets everyone to chant “boom” … but he has never once hit Trouble In Paradise after doing it. He always misses it, and by now I guess hearing the crowd chant “boom” is code for “duck my dumb kick”.
So as much as I don’t want to see Sheamus beating Dolph Ziggler, I appreciate that his thing where he stands in the corner beating his chest and yelling BROGUE~! actually leads to him Brogue Kicking dudes and pinning them. It makes his taunt feel special, like when he starts doing it you can think to yourself, “okay, the match is over, here comes the Brogue Kick” and actually buy it when people interrupt or reverse it, rather than Kofi’s sh*tty thing where you just sit on your hands and wait for f**king Lucky Cannon or whoever to suddenly have the dexterity to dodge signature moves.
And in case you were wondering, “he jumps too much” is the Jamie Madrox of my Kofi Kingston complaints.
Best: Well Hello, Vickie Guerrero
All I can really remember from the Sheamus/Dolph Ziggler Smackdown rematch (besides the fact that there were so many Smackdown rematches … seriously, when did Raw become the follow-up B-show?) are the commercial break that eviscerated it about three minutes in and how the camera guy kept jumping back to Vickie Guerrero every ten seconds. And I’m not usually the blatant “her boobs looked great” guy, but her boobs looked great, you guys. Jerry Lawler may have seen “better heads on a pimple”, but one time he had sex with a 13-year old and his last wife left him to marry Kizarny. So.
You’re pretty great, Vickie. If you won’t let me marry you, at least let me wear your shaul.
Worst: Sorry For Talking About Her Boobs
Please accept my apology.
Best: ADR And Ricardo Are Doing God’s Work
And speaking of people of Hispanic heritage I’d like to marry, Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez interrupted Sheamus and his celebratory on-stage hammerfisting by jumping him, tripping him up into the Mike Mizanin Memorial WWE Statue and armbreakering him while he was hanging off the stage. This is easily the best Best of the show, and if they built an entire pay-per-view cycle around Alberto mangling Sheamus’ arms only to forget that Sheamus can also kick people I’d buy it.
Again, to clarify to readers who can’t seem to understand it, yes, I’m giving Alberto a best for jumping Sheamus with his friend and trying to break his arm out of spite, and yes, if CM Punk did the same thing I’d give him a Worst. The reason why: Alberto Del Rio is a bad guy. Bad guys are supposed to do reprehensible sh*t to make you want to see them get their asses kicked, they shouldn’t be running around in circles whimpering and holding tights and fleeing at the first sign of trouble like modern WWE heels do. On the same tip, WWE babyfaces — or hell, at least ONE f**king WWE babyface — should attempt to be the better man and not stoop to this level. All WWE babyfaces DO is stoop to the heels’ level, which is why I like the heels more. At least I can understand where they’re coming from.