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– Brandon is on full bed rest after reviewing Battleground, so I’ll be filling in. Hi, I’m Joe Starr. I tell jokes about robots and how Kevin Costner killed God and stuff, and my new album Heroic Effort is available on Bandcamp!
Please click through for the Best and Worst of WWE Raw. I really love you guys already.
Best: Principal Owners!
Previously on WWE: Punching.
The chain of command just got a little deeper at Titan Towers (do they still call it that outside of my heart?), because Stephanie McMahon is now a PRINCIPAL OWNER of the WWE. That sounds like something a snobby rich bully would say in an 80’s ski movie: “Do you know who my father is, Reynolds?! He’s a Principal Owner of this mountain! Now you and your little Chinese friend can beat it!” Why can’t there just be one dude in charge, and they just call him New Jack Tunney? Hell, just let it be New Jack dressed as Jack Tunney.
That said, Stephanie is a great bad guy, and she is not thrilled that last night, Battleground was compromised (to a permanent end), and she wants Big Show out here NOW. Do I love the angle? No, but I don’t hate it, and Stephanie is a terrible enough human being to keep it entertaining. I’ve worked for this woman- the kind of soulless suit that shrieks “CRYYYYYYY” at you like Scut Farkus from A Christmas Story while they fork kale off of their plate like a raptor that just learned to use a fork. And I hate her.
And as much as we want Big Show to just pull the place apart when he’s fired, we don’t get what we want. Not yet. Someone backstage has been watching a lot of hour long dramas, and they’re finally realizing that there needs to be some build between points A and B. It’s not Game of Thrones yet, but Stephanie “My First Firing” McMahon is a hell of a Cersei Lannister.
So, say goodbye to your job, Show. Because it worked great with the Rhodes Family.
Best: The Pushbusters
I didn’t see Battleground, so while I’m assuming this was a repeat of their preshow match, I dug Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow, holder of the Money in the Bank w/Almonds briefcase.
Poor Damien. It’s not his fault we don’t care about that briefcase. The World Heavyweight Championship is worthless. It’s like being hired for your dream job, but then being told that you won’t be paid and that you have to stay in the parking lot. It’s time to do some WWE/WHC unifying and let these guys tear it down for the midcard titles. /message board rant
The announce booth is starting to hit late 90’s WCW levels of ‘ignore the match and talk about the NWO’ arguing about Stephanie and Big Show. Guys, our intellectual savior is beating our favorite wrestler to death in the ring. Talk about it please. Though, line of the night credit has to go to JBL for this gem: “Michael, there are levels of boss in every organization.”
Please explain these levels of boss, John.
Love Dolph’s win here- he was outclassed by Sandow’s aggression (does that make him outagressed?) so he had to wrestle smart and pick his spots for the win.
Worst: Are we being spoiled?
We’re getting fed main event and PPV level matches on TV so often by WWE that the PPVs now seem like glorified Raws. Matches have to hit impossible standards to get any love, and it makes me miss the old days, when Raw was a few Steiner squash matches, a promo or three, and then Doink and Jannetty would have a 2/3 falls classic. That Ziggler/Sandow could have been a great main event, and WHO KNOWS what hilarious stuff Rob Bartlett could have said about them. Maybe it’s time to start scaling back?
Best: A Lannister Always Pays Their Debts
Cersei Lannister is pissed. Not only did good guys win- the PPV feed cut out and even that is Brad’s fault.
Brad Maddox is totally Lancel Lannister. He’s Cersei McMahon’s gimpy little booty call/bullet shield while Triple H is off fixing everything. How exactly is Hunter out fixing kayfabe wrestling things? Is he having a round table discussion on the Observer forums? “Well Hunter, in my e-fed we tried it like this…”
Worst: Respect. There’s an app for that.
Bruno Sammartino is on Raw and you wheel him out for a commercial break? And you can’t even have Rosa walk him out? Classy.
Worst: Some Divas and Nattie Neidhart
The divas are now the Luchadores on WCW Thunder. “Guys, we have time to kill. Send them out.” I’m not sure who a lot of these ladies are, and that’s ok. Some masked men are going to be La Parka, and some of them are going to be a guy that tagged with Super Calo that one time. I don’t need to know their names until I need to know their names.
Anyway, I’m honestly not sure who any of these girls are. I’ll give credit to She-Anvil, though- between the kip up, the Texas Tornado clothesline, and a properly applied Sharpshooter, she’s clearly stepping her game up. I can’t wait for Paige and Emma to murder her.
Worst: Can you dig that?
Did anyone guess that the main event rematch at Hell in a Cell would be held in a Hell in a Cell match? WHAT?
Oh hey it’s Booker T. Guys, Booker needs your vote to be guest referee of said main event, because otherwise he has to move into Stevie Ray’s living room. Is Ahmed Johnson somewhere out there watching his TV, shaking his fist and shouting “THAT ‘T’ WAS MINE! MIIIIIIIINE!”
The WWE app. Kill me. Or WAIT DON’T LOS MATADORES ARE NEXT.
Best: NEW GENERATION
I love the vibe of WWE these days. My favorite era is the New Generation, and the ‘Universe’ era is very similar: Really great workers working side by side with race car drivers turned wrestlers, cruiserweights, and Kwang.
Los Matadores are dear to my heart, and I’m going to get Brandon Stroud on board if it kills me. Understand that we potentially have the chance to bring in Tito Santana as the team’s aging mentor, like Anthony Hopkins in Zorro. Between Diego yelling ‘uno mas, Toritos!’ and Heath Slater’s expression when the Matadores entrance was finished, I can’t love this enough.
That said, when you have Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater in a three man group, and the third guy is Jinder Mahal, why does Jinder ever wrestle? Can’t he be the band’s road manager, or the Bosstone that just danced? And did Lawler seriously just say ‘El Dorito?’ Please give Renee Young his job. This man is making me hate the field of cardiology.
The match pacing got a little weird near the finish, but I can’t be bothered to care, because that bull flies better than Sin Cara, Uno mas, El Torito. Uno mas.
Worst: IT! And by it I mean this!
On their way to the ring, it’s Paul Heyman, and the guys he chose over Big E Langston for some reason. Poor Curtis Axel. He’s ok in the ring, but yeesh. Someone please put him in a full bodied masked Lucha suit and call him Axe so we don’t have to hear or see him anymore.
I’d rail about how it makes no sense that a Paul Heyman/CM Punk feud is the drizzles, but Brandon has already summed this feud up- its locked in stasis and collecting dust on a shelf next to CM Punk’s weights and a Skip Sheffield hat.
Worst: How do we make this worse?
Oh, R-Truth. Thanks for being here.
There’s nothing outright terrible about this sudden tagmatch…but wouldn’t it be better if Curtis were a cowardly masked rudo named Axe that hit guys with an axehandle? WOULDN’T IT?
BUT DON’T LOSE HOPE: Later tonight there is a main event that my brain and heart and genitals all got together to make. So stay tuned.
Best: Tonight, he feels like God!
Bob Backlund is the guest referee we deserve, but not the one we need right now. At least not the one anyone will vote for, because nominee number three is either Edge, Shawn Michaels, or Owen Hart is going to reveal he’s been alive and living with Aaliyah in South America all this time.
Best?: Goodnight, Bane pants
When Randy Orton cares, I’m a big fan. When Randy cares, we get jumping splits Christian feuds and Miz burials. So I dig the guy lately. Especially because he’s about to kill Kofi Kingston. Do you think Randy is still mad about that car Kofi ruined? Should I keep writing, or did I lose everyone for liking Orton?
Best: Looking Regal!
Daniel ‘burgundy trunks’ Bryan wakes the crowd up with a run in and kills Orton with a hot tag sequence. I don’t mind the good guy attacking a guy who just had a match here. Bryan is a crazy goat man that clearly hasn’t been visiting Dr. Shelby in ages. A lot of people hate the goat association, but where I grew up in Kentucky there is an urban legend called the Pope Lick Monster, and he’s a terrifying goat demon that lives by some train tracks. We respect and fear murdergoats in these parts, ya’ll.
Worst: wait wut
Why is Vickie here? Who keeps letting ADR talk? I appreciate what you did to RVD man, but geez. You’re the World Heavyweight Champion. Back to the parking lot.
Worst: I was really hoping it would be my option C
HBK is our third option for special guest referee. Shawn, are you hunting right now? Do you need the camo? Eh, at least it has a collar. Also, HB ‘shizzle’ makes no sense. And explaining why would just depress me. Go home, Shawn. You’re stealing Backlund and Aaliyah’s thunder.
Worst: wait wut
I didn’t want to show up and hate stuff left and right, but Ricardo wins a match against ADR and Vickie Guerrero announces that John Cena is returning to fight him? Weirder than that, my cats are getting along really well right now. They usually hate each other but right now they look like a calendar. I have no idea what’s happening right now.
At least Del Rio got to break an arm. It’s his Macgruber throat rip, and he’s going for a turkey.
Best: Breathe the A’s
Fandango and Summer are back on the nice list after their match of the year comedy bout against Santino and Emma on NXT. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading this and find it. Did you guys know that Zack Ryder has a ton of Twitter followers and it hasn’t made a difference in his life? Take note, kids. Stay in school.
A squash match from Fandango! It’s like they’re reading my mind!
BEST?: 2 Swing 2 Furious
WWE crowds aren’t getting behind the racism of the Real Americans act. I think that people just like the Real Americans. They like chanting things, and they like Cesaro and Swagger. They like Zeb because he’s a great talker. Most of all, they know that if they chant hard enough, the Americans will turn face and start using Hogan’s music and I’m not going to lie to you- I want that. I want it very much.
BEST: Miz TV
I never thought I’d type it either, but the Wyatt Family. Can Bray have a hawk? Please?
EH: Best for Business?
Is Triple H Jaime Lannister or King Robert in this Game of Thrones thing I refuse to let go of? I don’t see this ending well for him. Stephanie is going to feed Hunter to the Shield before this is all over.
And I bet Triple H is pretty angry that he had to fly on a plane and not the Shield helicopter.
BEST: King of Trios
I can’t ask for anything more than this. Goldust is my favorite wrestler, and you’re pairing him with Cody and Murdergoat? And they’re wrestling Roman and the boys? And the Rhodes in matching tag team colors? I don’t know if I earned this.
I’ll even ‘best’ Hunter here. His only job right now is to be sent out by Stephanie to piss off Internet fans, and he’s doing a great job.
This wasn’t a PPV quality match, but it shouldn’t be. Roman getting cocky after tossing Goldy and eating a Beautiful Disaster kick was fantastic, as was his stagger sell. The Shield resorting to chair beatings makes sense- they’re wrestling three guys that have their number, and for the first time, they’re vulnerable.
We saw the Orton interference from a mile away, but that’s the point of a heel mega stable, right? I can’t overlook that Show gets music and an entrance. Dude got fired. Have him burst through a wall or buy a front row ticket.
WORST: NO, DANIEL
DON’T TOUCH THAT MAN’S TIE ARE YOU INSANE DON’T YOU REMEMBER
BEST: Heroic Effort
Thanks for reading, folks, and thank you Brandon for letting me jump in. And if you’ve got an extra five bones, consider buying my album Heroic Effort on Bandcamp.com. There’s like five minutes about Tatanka. You won’t be disappointed.
Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Night
Dolph Ziggler World Champion
‘Undecisive’ talking must be fustrating for Triple H.
You know, upside down, Bray Wyatt looks a lot like Don King!
Spanish guy on announce table = Spanish announce table.
You should’ve known Ricardo.
HBK brought to you by Trevor Phillips Enterprises.
I’M STILL VOTING BACKLUND
Kofi couldn’t capitalize even if he held down shift during the match.
R-Truth’s entire moveset can be done with the “Strike” button on WWE 2K14.
WWE canon: They weren’t there, so obviously they couldn’t have told Big Show to knock Bryan out. As you recall, the only use for cell phones in WWE is to send texts to yourself.
A 7-foot-tall Sin Cara will run down the ramp and attack The Shield to close out the show.
I hope Cesaro tries to cheer Big Show up by swinging him around a few times