The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw 9/13

Welcome to the Best and Worst of WWE Raw for September 13, 2011. Before we begin:

– Be sure to leave a comment if you read the report. If Vince McMahon is ever on his word processor and accidentally stumbles upon the site, it’ll make me look cooler to have 200 comments than it would to have 8. Also, these things take about three and a half hours to build from start to finish, not counting the two hours of wrestling I have to sit through, so your feedback and thoughts are my payment. Money is my payment, too, but I get these four times a month.

– That being said, allow me to pull a Zack Ryder and invite you to like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, buy the t-shirt and the headband and the sunglasses (I don’t have those things).

– As previously mentioned, I’m headed to Los Angeles on Thursday, so both The Best And Worst Of Night Of Champions and the next night’s Best and Worst Of Raw will feature guest writers. Handling the Night of Champions report will be Andrew Johnson of the popular The John Report, which I think is a blog about bathrooms. Covering next week’s Raw will be writer Diego McCafferty, a man shockingly important to my pro wrestling fandom. Be kind to them and give them the same kind of response you’d give me, only with more curse words. Burnsy will be in charge of With Leather while I’m off taking mark photos with Maleficent (or Andre Ethier, or whoever), so if they do a terrible job, blame him.

– A.J. image unrelated, but important.

Enjoy the report. See you in two weeks.

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Best: Bret Hart Is No Style, All Stubstance

Bret Hart, to me, is the Washington Nationals.

I love the Cleveland Indians. I lived in Cleveland for four years and they were my first “hometown” team, so weird racist human being mascot or not, they’re my team. The Washington Nationals are my National League team, or “the team I support in the National League but don’t really care about”. I spent most of a year in Bethesda, Maryland, so I learned to love the Nats and their whistling eagle mascot and their racing Presidents. In wrestling terms, Sting was my Cleveland Indians. I grew up in “Horseman Country” (southern Virginia, right on the border of North Carolina) so pre-Crisis days of the NWA, and later, WCW, were my hometown team. I knew of and enjoyed the WWF, but it wasn’t my thing. It seemed cartoonish and fake to me, but I liked Bret Hart. He was the guy in the Wrestlemania 2 celebrity battle royal who wasn’t a big fat guy and he wore sunglasses, so I thought he was cool. I liked the Killer Bees, too, but that’s like cheering for the Astros and destroys my analogy.

Anyway, I followed Bret Hart throughout his career, but I was never one of those little African kids from the video packages about him being a hero who’d run up to him with tears in their eyes. I liked him, but I didn’t really care. He’d put on good matches against the Rockers or whoever, sure, but I had the Steiner Brothers, so basically everything he did looked like sh*t. That’s what the American League tends to do to the National League (pitchers batting is the “Doink” of baseball, a thing that seems stupid and IS stupid, but started off as a great idea). Unexpectedly complex story short, it makes me happy to see Bret on television and he’s fully welcome to wander out and shrug his shoulders at us through varying stages of stroke madness for the rest of his life. Alberto Del Rio is right about him — he looks like a bum, he looks like a homeless person, his jacket is dumb, his hair is stupid — but I wouldn’t be watching the National League if I wasn’t expecting to be a little bit bored. Also, Jesus Christ, what happened to the Indians?

But no, seriously, if a guy has a stroke, is it still okay to make fun of him for saying “stubstance?” What if you put this music behind it?

Best: Alberto Del Rio Gets Illegal Immigrant Canadians To Clean His House

While running down Bret Hart’s Smodcast get-up, Alberto Del Rio, the guy responsible for about 80% of Raw’s bests between now and whenever CM Punk gets his sh*t together, said Bret looked like one of the illegal Canadians he hires to clean his house. The logistics of that are amazing, and explain why he got an independent wrestler from California to be his Spanish ring announcer. Maybe I don’t understand how NAFTA works, but would down-on-their-luck Canadians make the trek across the entire body of the United States to get a housekeeper or landscaping job at the Del Rio Estate? If I attend a gala at Alberto’s, will I be served berry sangria by a spindly-looking white dude in a Kyle Broflovski hat?

This whole thing is amazing, and another reason why John Cena’s one-two punch of “your richness is a gimmick” and “go back to Mexico” are so disappointing. I hate to keep comparing Del Rio to the Big Bossman, but while nobody ever thought Bossman was an actual Cobb County police officer, we were fully prepared to believe that The Mountie disagreed with his interpretation of justice or that Nailz was a legitimate escaped convict who never had time to change his clothes once between May and December of 1992. This is why we’re watching the show, John. We don’t want “this guy is rich” to be the whole story. That’s Ted DiBiase Jr. We want “this guy is rich, and here are a bunch of ridiculous f**king things he does with his richness”. The Million Dollar Man wasn’t awesome because he had money, he was awesome because he used that money to lure children into street games under false pretenses and make folks kiss his feet. Alberto isn’t rich enough to own a nice car, he’s rich enough to own EVERY nice car, and to bring in non-union labor from countries that make absolutely no sense.

Also, holy sh*t, wrestlers are still telling foreigners to go back where they came from in 2011.

Worst: Johnny Ace’s Only Idea Is Tag Matches

The closest Cena came to being on The Truman Show this week is mimicking what John Laurinaitis was going to say and how he was going to say it on a two second delay from Laurinaitis saying the exact same thing in the exact same way, but the “worst” comes from John Ace’s second-ever executive call being the same as his first — he decided we should have a tag team match pairing up John Cena and Bret Hart to take on the team of Alberto Del Rio and a guy who is not technically employed by WWE.

Either of the other suggested matches would’ve been better (Del Rio vs. Hart in a WWE Championship match would’ve been shoot exciting, and Cena squashing Ricardo would’ve accomplished everything the tag did, sans slow-motion Sharpshooter) and I’m sorta deeply disappointed that Triple H didn’t run out and pull away the mic mid-declaration to make his own tag match announcement. Or Teddy Long. Jeez, counting the Anonymous Raw General Manager (who is still showing up, I’m not losing faith) we have FOUR GUYS roaming around backstage with match-making powers. The last thing I want to do with my column is compare every bad thing that happens to TNA, but this is a hell of a lot like that period where Jeff Jarrett, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Ric Flair, Mick Foley and like Traci Brooks all could make matches and hire and fire people, but Dixie Carter could overrule them all, but SHE could be overruled by the executive board of directors or whatever and nobody knew what the f**k was happening ever. Next week on Smackdown, ECW General Manager Tiffany needs to show up out of nowhere and put Randy Orton in a tag match without explanation.

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Worst: Alex Riley Has Gone From CAW To E-Fed

Every week I’ve got a joke ready to go about Alex Riley being the wrestler you create when you first get the video game and you don’t want to make anyone too outlandish, so you make a buffed up version of yourself with knee and elbow pads and maybe a big cross tattoo on your back, and you play a few matches as him in season mode but you’re not good at the game yet, so you keep accidentally jumping out of the ring or messing up your finisher and having to set it up all over again. That’s been accurate since his face turn (he even has the tough guy music you’d choose), but if you watch the above clip, Riley has evolved past that notion and moved straight into Terrible E-Fedding.

If you’ve never been in an “e-fed” before, it’s a lot like a pro wrestling version of “Dungeon and Dragons” only the monsters are all slight variations on the Undertaker and the Dungeon Master has to win all the time. More importantly, the generic e-fed wrestler has to be sorta big and ripped, be able to reverse anything anybody else tries and have nothing but finishers in his moveset. Riley comes into the ring and does or tries to do the following moves:

1. A running attack you can’t block
2. Spinebuster
3. STO
4. Implant DDT
5. TKO

And when he’s not doing moves, he’s effortlessly stopping double-team attacks and reversing everybody’s finisher. Not a headlock or an International in the bunch. All he needed to do was a goddamn Fisherman Buster and he’d be the first draft of every e-fed character I’ve ever seen. And the TKO? Seriously? “I want to do a move that’s just like the Stunner or the RKO, except I have to struggle and hold the guy up on my shoulders and spin in place first. Also, the only person who has ever been cheered for doing this ever is Sable, and that was just the once.” Everybody who sucks thinks the TKO is awesome, and if right now you’re sorta mumbling “wull I like the TKO”, get your head out of 1998’s asshole. Teddy Hart called, he wants his taste in wrestling back.

Best/Worst: This Is The Best Episode Of “The West Wing” Ever

Part of what makes Miz and R-Truth such a successful duo is the understanding that everything they do is pre-planned. I’ve mentioned before that The Miz seems less like a wrestler and more like a guy pretending to be a wrestler (an observation that got me quoted by Grantland.com’s The Masked Man in a Fair to Flair podcast), and the Miz/Truth partnership takes that one step further — Miz has roped Truth into his “must see” segments, and now we get situations where they come to the ring doing Vaudeville wordplay or a backstage segment where they take the microphone away from Josh and walk to the ring, communicating and passing off the microphone without even having to look at each other. Truth wears a big jacket (for some reason, which is hilarious to me) and tries to work in a new catchphrase, “ninja please!”, complete with Miz doing a Blazing Saddles-quality “WHAT did you just say?” like any of us though he said nigga.

They go to the ring and do each others’ catchphrases, and there’s just something wonderful about two guys who can’t find someone to listen finding best friends. Miz and Morrison never had that. Watch any old episode of the Dirt Sheet, Miz does his thing, Morrison say something weird about the Palace of Wisdom and Miz just rolls his eyes like Morrison is an idiot (he is) and moves on. Miz couldn’t break up with Morrison fast enough, he got crammed together with Daniel Bryan and Alex Riley, two guys he eventually drove away with hateful demands, but he seems comfortable with Truth, and the demands all seem like a group effort, and Truth could really be his Cowboy Bob Orton. Just a guy with a similar outlook on life who hangs out with him, and even when they screw up they never really come to blows, because who else are they gonna hang out with?

Neither: Miz Vs. Kofi Kingston

This isn’t really meant as an insult to Kofi Kingston, whose offense is limited to donkey punching and jumping, but Miz and Kingston had an exciting enough and perfectly acceptable mid-card match that I’d forgotten happened about twenty seconds after it was over. This sort of proves how bad of an idea pairing Kofi against the same guy every week for months at a time is — there was a streak a while back where Miz wrestled Kofi every Monday, so now, months removed, their match still seems like a tired repeat. If Miz and Kingston don’t wrestle one-on-one again until Wrestlemania 35 it won’t matter, because as soon as they start going through the motions it’s going to feel exactly like this. “Exciting enough” and “perfectly acceptable” weren’t in that sentence to make the juxtaposition with indifference funny, it was actually a completely fine match, and it gets two major bests for me:

Best: Miz’s Appeal Actually Works

I don’t know if they’re prepping for WWE 12 and its Wake Up animations or not, but for the first time I can remember, Miz did the claw-X above his head and did his “Batman running and holding his cape” pose before the Skull-crushing Finale, and it actually led to a Skull-crushing finale. Maybe next week Kofi will stand in the corner clapping his hands and yelling “boom” and actually connect with the Trouble In Paradise.

Best: “I Wish You Would”

Miz and Kofi exchanged some heated hip-toss attempts that sent them both tumbling to the outside, so the production guy stopped eating a sandwich mid-bite to yell GO TO COMMERCIAL BREAK with ham and sh*t falling out of his mouth. Before they could fade to Twix, we got an awesome moment where Evan Bourne and R-Truth came around opposite sides of the ring to check on their partners, and Bourne acted like he was going to start something … so Truth just stares him down and says “I wish you would.” It was the greatest.

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Michael Cole says “Mill-guillicutty” and “Jerry Lauer” in the first nine seconds of this video. He is paid by wrestling to talk for a living.

Best: Sheamus Is All Personality

WWE has a terrible tendency to equate smiling with fair play. The best example is Brock Lesnar, a seething beast built out of monster tattoos and log-jogging who showed up out of nowhere and coldly dispatched every fan favorite in his way; the Hardy Boyz, Rob Van Dam, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, The Undertaker and even Hardcore Holly stepped up and were destroyed. Then, sometime in November, when the leaves are dead and the bad decisions really start to flow, Paul Heyman turned on Brock, transforming Brock into the fan favorite. Literally within seconds Brock changed from the unstoppable monster to this weird dick frat guy who smiled a lot and thought kissing Kurt Angle on the mouth was a funny idea. He never recovered, and now in UFC he’s an amalgamation of the two, this big super strong super tough guy who laughs like a bad guy from Final Fight and calls people Mexican as an insult.

Anyway, that’s what’s happening to Sheamus. Sheamus has been smiling a lot, so much that he’s a Kelly away from pointing with one hand and holding a belt over his head with the other, but I won’t pretend like I didn’t go OH SH*T IT’S SHEAMUS HAHAHA OH SH*T YOU’RE GONNA DIE MCGILLICUTTY YOU’RE GONNA DIEEEEE when Jerry Lawler intro’d his tag partner and Theme From Sheamus hit. I still don’t agree with Otunga and McGillicutty being paid to be wrestlers on TV who are only there because you want to tell us how much they suck, but I am 100% on board with Sheamus showing up and Brogue Kicking these worthless dudes into oblivion with minimal effort. Lawler stayed in the ring for about four seconds and somehow got busted open (I’m going to say “being 60” was the reason for that), but he could’ve sat back down next to JR and let the Great Caucasian Sheamus dispatch do it by himself. Sheamus should be getting his ass handed to him by Mark Henry, but he should let literally no one else hand him a goddamn thing.

I want Lawler and Sheamus to be a permanent tag team, and I want their catchphrase to be “it is great to be white”. That’s why you hate Otunga, isn’t it, Jerry.

Worst: Where Exactly Are You Going With This

I thought Lawler saying MCGILLICUTTY AND OTUNGA, YOUR GAY leading to McGillicutty and Otunga losing the tag titles to a couple of gays like a couple of gays was the end of this story. Then, I thought Lawler teaming up with The Internet’s Zack Ryder, lifetime record 1-99, to beat McGillicutty and Otunga in a few minutes was the end of the story. Now we’re stuck in a weird thing where McGillicutty and Otunga keep losing, and their only response is to say C’MON JERRY ARE YOU STILL SAYING WE DON’T HAVE PERSONALITY, ARE YOU SERIOUS before Jerry summons a tag partner and squashes them, and I don’t know where they’re going or how long they’re going to take to get there.

What is this accomplishing? You don’t need a month to say “these wrestlers are bad, you shouldn’t like them”, you can just not have them as wrestlers on your show. Worst case scenario, you have them lose to people you want the crowd to cheer for (Space Jam) and disappear. But this, what is this? Is it leading to Jerry getting turned on by one of his tag partners and siding with Mike and Dave to form the New New Nexus? Are we going to have Otunga bring back Skip Sheffield and Darren Young and whoever to beat up Jerry and dismantle the ring again? Is Triple H going to make Michael McGillicutty strip to his bra and panties and bark like a dog? What is happening, and why is it taking so long? Nobody likes this. Do you like this? NOBODY LIKES THIS.

Worst: Never Forget 9/11 WWE

They should’ve just played Green Day over a “DID YOU KNOW?” graphic that read “WWE IS THE REASON AMERICA IS STILL A COUNTRY”.

Or, they could’ve just played this.

You’re right, Stephanie, the 3,000 people who died in those attacks are just like when the government told your dad to stop giving Hulk Hogan steroids.

Best/Worst: The Most John Cena Match Of All Time

The less said about the Hart/Cena vs. Del Rio/Rodriguez tag match, the better. Like Kingston/Miz, it was fine for what it was trying to be … Cena wanted to fight Del Rio, but he is suddenly a coward (despite beating CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, and John Morrison all right in a row) and tosses helpless little Ricardo to the wolves. Cena beats up Ricardo, Del Rio flees, Bret Hart comes in and gets a sympathy Sharpshooter to make everybody happy. There’s nothing wrong with that, I guess, but Jesus, it was the most John Cena thing of all time.

Think about it. Ever since Punk hit and Triple H returned to be COO, they haven’t known what to do with Cena, and he’s been falling deeper and deeper into realizations that his world is fake. Remember how in The Truman Show the actors don’t come up with any real excuses for the strange things Truman is seeing, they’re just going about their day and pretending none of it is happening? That’s what’s going on here. The people around Cena are acting in the most John Cena’s Antagonists way possible … Del Rio, a guy who won Money in the Bank AND the Royal Rumble and who retired Edge and Rey Mysterio with straight-up attacking, is doing the thing Cena hates the most: GIVING UP. John Cena does not Give Up. He does not Back Down. Notice how Cena keeps bringing up the rental cars and the fakeness of Alberto, but Alberto never addresses it, he’s just like “I DON’T KNOW WHAT CHU TALKING ABOUT CENA, BUT” and changes the subject. By giving up and backing down, Del Rio is sorta trying to rope Cena back into this world of Good vs. Evil and away from the shades of grey and “real names” of CM Punk.

Do you know what John Cena’s real name is? It’s John Cena.

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Best: Bulldogs In The Style Of Jackie Gayda

In case you’ve never seen it, the worst WWE match in history is still Trish Stratus and Bradshaw against Jackie Gayda and Christopher Nowinski, a match so bad it gave Chris Harvard an irreparable concussion that is highlighted by a bulldog off the second rope so bad that scientists have theorized it may be the first step in unlocking the mysteries of time travel. Watch with gritted teeth as Jackie Gayda, female bodybuilder and Mrs. Charlie Haas, hears “bulldog” and decides to sell it by shaking her hair, falling to her hip and rolling over like she landed on her keys.

The entire thing is a marvel, and if you believe the revisionist history that says Trish Stratus was a great pro wrestler, jump to the three-ish minute mark and watch her execute the world’s most convoluted and physically impossible drop toe-hold. The WWE video at the top of the page picks up shortly after Vickie has sold a Kelly Kelly hair-dog in almost the same way, and Kelly needs to do the facial ass-rub next, so she just kinda kicks Vickie into position in the corner.

You don’t put Vickie into a match expecting her to be Eddie, and this is no worse than what I’ve seen Rosa Mendes pull on the reg, so I’m giving it a best. Also, f**king LOL.

Worst, But A Little Best: Oh Hi Jack Swagger

Wait, are we … are we doing something with Swagger and Ziggler finally?

In a running theme for Night Of Champions, Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler have been having issues for a month, and it took them nearly six weeks to throw a punch about it. They’ve both been entered into a fatal fourway match for the United States Championship, where “fatal fourway” is code for “we can’t put two heels in a match against each other, but I guess we can spend a month having them argue over personal issues, that’s fine”. I’m happy that we’re finally over that hump, though, and maybe Alex Riley and John Morrison will get eliminated expeditiously and give us an excuse to have the wrestlers who should be wrestling wrestling. Wrestling procedure when it comes to good guys and bad guys is so weird now. The Cleveland Browns play the Pittsburgh Steelers and those teams are rivals, sure, but they don’t ONLY play the Steelers, and sometimes they play the f**king Arizona Cardinals, a team they have nothing to do with.

I don’t know, bitching about wrestling not being enough like real sports is a hopeless battle, but I feel like wrestling fans could get a lot out of the thing they love if they’d stop having to say “boo” or “woo” for somebody or another during EVERYTHING.

Worst: Beth Phoenix Is Terrible At Strategy

or

Best: Kelly Kelly Has This All Figured Out

Beth Phoenix’s run-in after the Kelly Kelly/Vickie Guerrero is one of the worst executed things I’ve ever seen. Kelly beats Vickie in about thirty seconds, and I guess maybe Beth was expecting it to go longer and was planning to walk out wringing her hands, maybe she was going to sit backwards in a chair to psyche Kelly out, and then she was going to attack. But whoops, Vickie bit the dust at the negative four minute mark and Beth had to throw on her Shatterstar helmet and hoof it out there. She just sorta ran to the ring and tried to make it through the ropes, got kicked, and just sulked there in the ring while Kelly nonchalantly walked away with the belt. Why don’t you TRY AGAIN, Beth? Why not go back out of the ring and run up and punch Kelly in the back of the head? Kelly just doesn’t give a f**k, wandering away like it’s completely over, because she knows it is. Do something Beth, for the love of God, educate us on how a rough-and-tumble Diva does not instantly give up and become harmless when Kelly Kelly kicks them once.

Seriously, Kelly had a tougher time keeping hair from sticking to her face than she had with Beth.

Best: Mark Henry = Denzel Washington

Josh’s “Hall of Fame sounds just like Hall of Pain!” segue aside, how awesome is it to watch Mark Henry calmly talk trash and go HAM on the WWE roster? Okay, I don’t see him as Denzel, but I see him as Denzel’s buddy, and I hope that’s enough for him to give Randy Orton a Worldly Strong Slam at Night of Champions and usher in the Self-Proclaimed Age Of Gorilla. I don’t know if I see it happening right now, especially when the announcers are so hell bent on telling us Orton has no chance, but it’d be nice. CM Punk makes claims about being held back despite winning the world championship a handful of times, and here’s Mark Henry, an Olympic athlete who has been brought up and sent down and brought up and told to lose weight and sent down and put in a dashiki and a cock vice and his sister’s vagina for the last 15 years, waiting for a shot. Henry is sick of it, and he’s going to split wigs until he gets what he wants. That’s a wrestling character I can get behind.

Although it does sort of devalue his run as ECW Champion. But hey, the other day my friend Mike Ondrick mentioned how being ECW Champion was meaningless because Ezekiel Jackson was ECW Champion, and I typed “that was Bobby Lashley, n00b” before googling it and f**king remembering that Ezekiel Jackson was the ECW Champion. Yeah, that belt wasn’t worth the foam they glued silver plating to.

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Worst: Mark Henry Straddling In A Chair Is Symbolic, King

I’m going to give Michael Cole a subdued Best this week for turning it down about 14 notches to six or seven from f**king broken last week. Cole actually tried to agree with people and get some stories over, mentioning how Mark Henry hasn’t been looked over for 15 years but believes he has (that’s the important part) and not really Nerding out on anybody. He got close to obnoxious a few times with JR, like when he tried to make “folded up like an accordion” into an arguable thing, but Ross just went on with his day and Cole cooled it. That’s good. He wasn’t perfect, but he was better, and that is something.

At the same time, he had the worst announcing moment of the night when he said Mark Henry straddling a chair at ringside was “rather symbolic” because the way he was sitting was the same way he was sitting last Friday night on Smackdown. Lawler (LAWLER!) was talking about how none of Orton’s wacky offense would work on Mark Henry (and he’s right… except for the Garvin Stomp, I guess, and the goddamn RKO, which we’ve seen him not only do to Mark Henry but JUMPING TOE-TOUCH after doing to Mark Henry) and Cole’s all “yeah, but do you notice how the green light across the arena is symbolic and Mark Henry thinks it means he should GO and become Heavyweight Champion, King?”

Best: No, Not The Plastic Mask!

I cannot believe Cody Rhodes won this match. It makes me so happy, especially since the “Supershow” part of Raw that is supposed to feature “the stars of Smackdown” has basically just been Raw plus Randy Orton. Rhodes pinning Orton felt like the first time somebody’s pinned Orton in months. He’s always losing by cage escape or loogie or something dumb, and he NEVER LOSES really, so Rhodes pinning him became A Thing and would be a great motivator to keep Cody moving forward and doing cool, constructive stuff that hopefully involves more situations where he can simultaneously stomp Ted DiBiase and deride The Marine 2.

The use of a face protector as a violent weapon is pretty funny, too. I got into an argument on the Progressive Boink forums about Jim Cornette a few weeks ago, when somebody brought up how funny it is that the Rock n’ Roll Express had to sell a tennis racket as some dangerous death blow. The rub isn’t that Cornette was hitting you with a tennis racket, it’s that he had the tennis racket’s cover still on, and presumably “loaded” it with a hard, painful foreign object. So he’s not hitting you with bouncy mesh, he’s hitting you with like, I don’t know, a brick. I don’t know if Cornette could SWING a brick like that, but the mystery was part of the pain. Boots were like that, too. You take off your boot and hit somebody with it, it hurts way more than just kicking them with the same boot, because the idea is that you’ve “loaded” it. Cody Rhodes’ face mask of (doctor) doom doesn’t have that luxury, and if you can stand in the corner 10-punching it without your hand hurting, there’s really no reason to be knocked out by it when he holds it in his hands and touches it to your face. It should hurt less than the 10-punches, honestly, because when you’re punching him in the face the mask is “loaded” with his head.

But no, Cody won, and that is great. Orton continues his streak of good-to-great matches on nearly every show since the Spring. It is dumb to call a snake an apex predator as it does not even have arms or legs, but don’t sleep on Orton.

Worst: Bodybuilders, Being Held Back And Things We Don’t Care About

Normally I’d click “next page” here, but I don’t think you need to read an entire page of me bitching about the fourth … is it fifth? Consecutive arguing segment between Triple H and CM Punk. Having them talk to each other again is probably the worst thing you could do at this point. Do they only talk to each other once a week? The only real saving grace of the show’s closing segment is that it really felt like a boss having a conversation with a disgruntled employee — the employee lashes out about really abstract things that no one person is responsible for but doesn’t really have a point, but they’re super mad and this is their chance to speak their minds so they kinda reiterate the same points over and over, and the boss doesn’t give a sh*t, he’s only having this conversation because he’s the boss and he has to, and he doesn’t really have anything against the employee, he’d just rather them shut up and move on with their lives.

That was Punk/Mister Ayches last night. God, it felt abysmal. No WWE segment should involve two guys arguing to the point that the sentence “I think we’re saying the same thing, but in different ways” should be a thing. How many times did Triple H explain that you “gotta get over with these people” to make it in the WWE? The entire exchange felt like a way for WWE to get out their side of an argument, but they wouldn’t (and you couldn’t) let Punk bring up any of the actual talking points used to back up those arguments … for example, they mention “bodybuilder types” having better opportunities in WWE than average guys, so HHH namedrops Rey Mysterio as one of the biggest superstars ever who didn’t fit the mold. That’s all well and good, but Punk can’t (and shouldn’t) say “Rey Mysterio had to gain 60 pounds of muscle to get to the top, and he only got the nod because his friend died and you all felt bad about it”.

He can’t say Rey Mysterio spent about two years moving like a turtle and looking like he was going to capsize from being full of f**king water. You can’t say “steroids”. You can’t point at Triple H and say “remember when you made fun of Chris Masters for doing steroids, he got fired, and when he came back skinny you made fun of him for looking bad, so he had to get back on steroids?” You can’t point at Triple H and say “you spent your career on steroids, you rode Shawn Michaels’ coattails and pussied out when the Kliq left the WWF, you married the boss’s daughter to get this suit-and-tie position instead of spending your forties in TNA and your fifties and sixties wrestling Abdullah the Butcher in No DQ matches at my local armory, a guy like me chooses not to take those shortcuts.”

You can’t say any of that. You have to say “I was held back because I’m not a bodybuilder”, and no matter how you cut that, that sounds like an excuse for not trying hard enough. So Triple H says “you’re not trying hard enough, you gotta try hard and get over with these people”, but Punk is already over with these people, so H says “yeah they cheer you NOW” even though TRIPLE H IS THE GUY THAT F**KED A MANNEQUIN IN A COFFIN IN A MANSLAUGHTER ANGLE WITH KANE. It was two guys with no point making no point FOR F**KING EVER.

Worst: CM Punk

Punk seemed like a hero when he was bringing up guys like Luke Gallows and Colt Cabana who hadn’t gotten a fair shake, and he seemed almost super human yelling in Vince McMahon’s face about how disconnected he was to the public, because nobody had ever done those things. Kevin Nash shows up, and somehow through a month-long marathon of whimpering reiteration, Punk’s only talking about himself, and the Cult of Personality Punk only works when he’s got someone to pretend to fight for. The Voiceless. He’s the guy who has to become a monster to defeat the monsters of the world, and yeah, he’s an egotistical jerk who is really only in it for himself, but that is the BACKGROUND. Right now all were seeing is that background, and the references to ice cream bars and the evoking of real names sound desperate and cheesy and hacky-as-TNA-f**k coming from a guy with nobody to fight for. I know your name is Phil Brooks, Punk, and I don’t really care. I don’t want to hear about it. I want to hear about CM Punk. That’s why I’m watching Raw and not trolling your Livejournal.

I can’t even analyze this anymore. I just hate it, and I hope that when Night Of Champions comes and goes with whatever swerves and turning points they’re gonna do that we can get back on some sort of forward-moving track, and the guys I love, guys like CM Punk, guys I would pay to see and spend hours defending, seem like what they’re doing has a point. “I want to effect change” is meaningless when you aren’t working to effect change. “I’m tough” doesn’t work when you aren’t doing anything tough. If you bring a skateboard to the ring and don’t ride it, people are gonna know you don’t know how to ride a skateboard. It all comes down to that damn Johnny Ace talking point, doesn’t it?

I think we’d all just rather see the guy riding a skateboard.

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