Like Max Payne, it’s bullet time.
– Before you read this week’s column, please make sure you’ve read The Best and Worst of Summerslam 2011. It contains important, mostly-positive information necessary to understanding last night’s Raw. I’m just kidding, a mentally handicapped child could tune in to Raw and know what was going on in the first five minutes, I just want you to read and enjoy my stuff. Also, you have to know Kevin Nash is there.
– As always, comments are appreciated. My self-deprecating approach to asking for comments has gone around to being worthy of deprecation, so I’ll try not to beg. I’m trying to form the column around what’s most palatable for everyone, so if it ends up as just pictures of Maryse and a bunch of nerd references you’ll know who won. I’m going to toss a picture of Maryse on the side here, because she never shows up on Raw. Likes, Facebook shares, Plus-ones and Twitter re-Twitters are also appreciated.
– Don’t forget to watch NXT. Maryse shows up there, and I have insider information that Maxine will return as a surprise contestant. MAXINE, people. The show is in week 77 of its 280 week run, so now’s the time to jump on board. Vote Bateman. I can’t write “the big guy barks like a dog” as a worst every week.
Worst: Time To Play The Game
But I’m just kidding. I’m actually going to give Mistah Ayches a “Best” for being largely incidental last night and at Summerslam. The first two weeks of the Helmsley-Helmsley Regime were about how he’s one outrageous dude and totally in my face, but if we keep him as a low key veteran trying to do a good job and occasionally screwing up we might actually get to the fireworks factory. That is, of course, pending little to no more involvement from the Original Dog From Hell (Stephanie).
Worst: Where The Hell Is My Elaborate Ricardo Rodriguez Introduction?
Raw knocked me out quickly with three mild disappointments.
1. Triple H’s music starting the show
2. The complete absence of Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer during his championship declaration
3. Alberto still having the “spinner” WWE Championship belt and neither the giant gold and black undisputed title circa Brock Lesnar nor a beautiful new one
Number one got itself out of the way quickly and number two was made passable by Ricardo showing up later (although he still did his normal ring introduction and nothing special), and the best rationale I can muster for number three is such: Del Rio is so rich that he doesn’t care about having a nice looking belt, he’s more interested in status, so he’d rather lug around the one John Cena and CM Punk were fighting over for months. But man, that thing is still hideous. It will forever remind me of the crimes committed to urban culture by Bumpy Knuckles and Da Trademarc. In fact, almost all of the belts look terrible right now. The United States Championship looks like something you could buy for your truck at a Texas gas station and the tag belts look like somebody put a quarter and a penny into a machine and made souvenirs at the zoo. The Diva’s title has been available since 2008 in the dangling rock necklace section at New York & Company. All we’ve got left is Big Gold and the Intercontinental title, and God knows they’ve probably been trying to turn them both silver for years.
Best: My Name! My Name Ess Albertooooooooooooooooo, et al.
Casual fans hate Alberto Del Rio. You’ll see it in our comments section sometimes. Even smarkier types will say “John Cena sucks, CM Punk is awesome and I like Dolph Ziggler. But I HATE Alberto Del Rio! He’s so arrogant!” or “I don’t know why he’s getting pushed to the moon!” Let me explain to you why Del Rio has become a big deal, fairly quick. He is literally everything WWE could want in a champion right now. I used numbers up top, so I’m gonna break this down in letters.
a) He’s big (6-foot-5, 260 pounds).
b) He’s handsome. But you, you already knew that.
c) He’s a second-generation wrestler, and if WWE has employed Michael McGillicutty for four years Del Rio’s probably already got a guaranteed contract through 2048.
d) He’s from a foreign country WWE visits, so he’s cash money on tours. See also, Sheamus.
e) He’s good at wrestling (at least this kind of wrestling, he was cold boogers on a paper plate in Mexico).
f) He doesn’t randomly hurt everybody he wrestles.
g) He has a convincing finisher he can do to anybody.
h) He has an MMA background (please remember how long Steve Blackman stuck around because of that sh*t)
i) He is HILARIOUS.
I could go on, but i is the important point. i “am” the important point. Whatever. I think he’s been funny since day one, but it’s taken a lot of people to come around and last night was a big jump forward. Del Rio telling San Diego that they were “his people” and that he was going to be a great champion who signed autographs and posed for pictures with their children was great, made even better that he transitioned straight into making fun of Rey Mysterio without changing gears. He’s one-part f**king with people and one-part detached aristocrat who just assumes everyone thinks he’s charismatic and hilarious.
No matter what you think, it’s a better character than most people get. Titus O’Neil played professional football and his character is “black Festus”.
Best: Second Best Sign Of The Night
If this was just words on posterboard I’d say “ha, awesome” and move on, but there’s something unbelievably charming about the effort put into drawing not only a photo-realistic van, but grass and trees and a river. It reminds me of how much effort I’d put into signs to take to shows at the Greensboro Coliseum when they weren’t even taping. I’d draw a hill with Ivan and Nikita Koloff standing at the bottom with a street going up and Hawk and Animal at the top that read “END OF THE ROAD FOR THE RUSSIANS”. I was six, I don’t know why I thought that needed to be illustrated.