My one Monday off and I chose to watch Raw live? Why? Am I glutton for punishment? Do I like to complain? Do I need Daniel Bryan/Kane-style therapy? Why do I do this to myself? Well...this week, it's partly to get the ball rolling for the thread. So here you go!
Define "announcing nightmare": Michael Cole and The Miz for 3 FREAKIN' HOURS! Every time I think they can't find a worse announcing team, they just keep scraping the bottom of the barrel.
I had a really bad feeling that the booking surrounding CM Punk tonight would be bad, but this was absolutely dreadful. I could have rolled with another Champion vs. Champion match on free TV, because that's just commonplace by now. But to pull the bait and switch in that kind of manner and leave Sheamus to die a slow and painful death was just awful. Jack Swagger might have worked as a half-decent replacement if he wasn't a losing loser who loses all the time (Just ask the announcers!), but because he is, the match was DOA from the start. That's how you kill a hot Chicago crowd! Well-played, The E!
But holy hell, did they come VERY CLOSE to redeeming that whole thing at the end with the PAUL HEYMAN reveal! I can almost forgive the other 2 hours and 45 minutes of junk that I had to sit through! Almost. (But just to keep the air of cynicism about, this is a desperation move to cement the Punk heel turn, right? They're practically BEGGING people to side with Cena at this point.)
So speaking of losing losers who lose all the time, let's count how many we had tonight! Jack Swagger (1), Cody Rhodes (2), Jinder Mahal (3), The Miz (4), Tensai (5), David Otunga (6), Santino (7), Heath Slater (8), and Zack Ryder (9), who beat Heath Slater and was IMMEDIATELY shuffled to the side for Vickie's sit-in. The only one missing tonight was Christian! If there's one thing this writing team can do, it's book losing streak angles! They've got that part of the job down pat!
When someone is in danger of actually breaking out as a potential star, there's one sure-fire way to stop their momentum in its tracks: Make them the GM. Seriously, when's the last time someone (not named Zack Ryder) has seen their stock drop as drastically as AJ? By the way, if there's an edict where the boss isn't allowed to touch the talent, I'm pretty sure that doesn't give the talent license to slap you around. If I were to slap my boss the way Vickie did and cackle about it, I'm pretty sure I'd be fired. Of course, it's not like The E ever operates within any rules of logic, so what do I know?
Well...lightning wasn't going to strike twice with anger management. Hey, remember wasn't Scorpio Sky was actually getting showcased in MATCHES at the Destination X PPV and not just a bit player in some hackneyed comedy production? But like I said last week, Bryan and Kane are determined to make this stupidity work in spite of itself. That "hug it out" segment was all kinds of awesome...and then it kept going...and going...and GOING! Sigh...gotta fill 3 hours, right?
So...they're completely out of ideas for Big Show, aren't they?
Yeah, so Monday Night Football starts next week! And The E couldn't have done a better job in ensuring I keep my TV on ESPN! I nominate Chumpstain to start this thread next Monday, because I'd much rather bang my head against the table over Norv Turner than over this show.
Aaaaaaaand we're off!
Take us home, Cranky Vince!
GOING OVER SOME CREATIVE WITH HAYES AND @randyorton. WAIT THAT'S @cmpunk? WHAT? GODDAMN MAN. EVERYONE LOOKS THE SAME. REALLY? @cmpunk? HMPF.
It was about the best move they had to get Chicago to at least care less about Punk, having him walk out on his match to ride over to Superdawg* during the show. But having heel announcer Cole and special guest heel announcer The Miz trying to put over how Punk "turned his back on the WWE Universe"? Maybe not the best messengers for what they were trying to put over tonight.
Last week it was different guest commentators each match, tonight it was Miz all night - in both cases, it appears that these people were not prepped at all for the job they were being asked to do. That shouting match between Layla and Miz was brutal to try and watch. My suggestion would be to bring Okerlund back in just to work behind the scenes with every announcer/interviewer, just so he can help them with the concept of guiding a performer through an interview, and help them get their points over. No one ever did that better.
They really blew it with Kane and Bryan tonight. Obviously the crowd (and the WWE Twitterverse) wanted them to work together, but the pre-destined storyline says THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE, so the hugfest had to turn into a fight. There was plenty of time to have them form a wacky tag team that promptly goes bad in time for Night of Champions.
Maybe Sheamus can call that lousy hold the "Limerick 4-Leaf Clover Submission". And now I'm wondering if they are going to take Ricardo away from Del Rio. Or is Alberto now the face, looking to avenge his injured lackey/friend??
Just another crap show with some good moments sprinkled in like we've had lately. But nothing that makes me put down the keyboard and sit down for the night. Punk was justified in walking out on a WWE Champion vs WHChampion match that the GM wants to put on to kick off hour two. No respect.
* Actually "The Weiner Circle", per @CMPunk - but that seems a hard trick to drive all the way there for a snack for his buddy Paul - and get back in 90 minutes.
All of Otunga's touts should just be 15-second long sips of coffee from that GIGANTIC THERMOS.
Antonio Cesaro has a great act, great look, can wrestle and is actually being showcased like a big deal. I'm look forward to his "let's see if he really loves the business" six months of jobbing sometime next year.
Miz was a thoroughly poor announcer, only seeming to come alive with some clever lines during the hugging segment. Though, Miz does apparently like U2, so aces in my book.
AJ two weeks ago: "Hey Jericho, I'm going to put your WWE contract on the line in this match for no reason."
AJ this week: "Crap, Chris Jericho left!"
Having a storyline where the GM can't physically touch the talent is pretty gd stupid given that literally every GM (except Adamle, I guess) has gotten physical with the wrestlers at one time or another.
(edited by Big Bad on 4.9.12 0236) "It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
MVP of the night: Ricardo's hair after he "literally took a bullet" from Sheamus' shoe gun.
I continue to be awed by Daniel Bryan's position as Best Guy In Wrestling. It's amazing. He's, like, simultaneously channeling the acts of Angle, Orton and Jericho at their peaks and pretty much carries the company now from an overall watchability standard.
He also helps shine a light on how hard this company is working to convince audiences to stop cheering people. They exert absurd amounts of energy to counteract genuine, natural crowd affinity for guys like Punk, Bryan, Ziggler and Ryder (note the shocked reaction from not only Cole but also the crowd when Ryder actually won) instead of riding it. I guess, to their credit, they've put Bryan in some weird twilight zone to let him do what he does since they can't do anything about the crowd popping for him, but man do they put a lot of effort in trying to get people to boo or not care about the other guys while ignoring what this does to a guy like Sheamus, who they want people to cheer. Consider the counter of that, with how much time and energy they put into getting people to cheer Cena/boo him less or love/not chant "You Tapped Out!" to HHH.
Miz on commentary was a mixed bag, in that Miz/Layla was one of the worst commentary experiences I've ever had, but Miz cautiously mapping out the rules of a Hug It Out segment was kinda great. Weird that he mostly did commentary as a face, complete with Cole ripping on Miz until Miz gave an incredulous "Who ARE you?!" to Cole. I could sense a ton of the two of them working around earpiece cues.
The finish to Orton/Ziggler was pretty cool - I don't think I've ever seen Orton move as fast as he did on that corner roll-up. Also, almost every Ziggler match features Dolph doing something that makes me have phantom pains, this time that headlock/handstand/floatover chinlock thing where it looked like he was going to break his neck trying to get back to where he started.
Cena/Del Rio was also a good match. I continue to really like Del Rio in the ring while not really caring about any of his feuds. Not sure how to fix that, but what makes him enjoyable is that he's pretty mean/relentless as a wrestler, and they need to find a way to work that into his interviews. Hope they're not writing Ricardo out, at least not until we get a Ricardo and/or Del Rio under masks angle.
Agreed with those who think they jumped the gun on sending Bryan and Kane back into feuding instead of taking a month of the two of them as each other's anger sponsors.
Originally posted by Dr Unlikelythat Miz/Layla was one of the worst commentary experiences I've ever had
That was the most Layla's ever spoken and good cause for it never happening again. Right now, Eve is so far above the rest of the Divas besides AJ in having physical presence and the ability to speak and have a character.
Miz is single handedly bringing some missing prestige back to the Intercontinental Championship simply by repeatedly boasting he's the Intercontinental Champion.
Cole: [A Hug It Out Match] is the most awkward and weird thing I've ever seen.
The Kiss My Ass Club forever has it beat. But I loved Hug It Out.
“@ZackRyder: @CMPunk She played me bro” I got your back.
Originally posted by Dr UnlikelyHe also helps shine a light on how hard this company is working to convince audiences to stop cheering people. They exert absurd amounts of energy to counteract genuine, natural crowd affinity for guys like Punk, Bryan, Ziggler and Ryder (note the shocked reaction from not only Cole but also the crowd when Ryder actually won) instead of riding it. I guess, to their credit, they've put Bryan in some weird twilight zone to let him do what he does since they can't do anything about the crowd popping for him, but man do they put a lot of effort in trying to get people to boo or not care about the other guys while ignoring what this does to a guy like Sheamus, who they want people to cheer. Consider the counter of that, with how much time and energy they put into getting people to cheer Cena/boo him less or love/not chant "You Tapped Out!" to HHH.
Absolutely. I noticed right at the top of the show, when Shaemus came out, the crowd popped hard on the words "WWE World," and then just died when they said "Heavyweight" and they realized it wasn't Punk coming out. The crowd was cheering the possiblity of CM Punk. I'm sure they'd probably cheer Shaemus otherwise, but putting him up against Punk killed any chance for him to get a decent face reaction.
The thing I like best about the Daniel Bryan/Kane interactions? Well, besides Bryan's persona of course. But I like that they're making Bryan pretty fearless, having him stand up to Kane, and then in the matches they have he gives as good as he gets. Ten years ago, even five years ago, a guy of Bryan's stature (Taka Michinoku? Jamie Noble?) would never get to stand toe to toe with Kane like that. The matches would have been Rey Mysterio-esque matches, with the plucky high-flying underdog trying to topple the monster. But Bryan just goes in at Kane like a pitbull and Kane sells it like he's someone fifty pounds heavier. I'm all for that, and that's the kind of more subtle in-ring storytelling that helps to establish someone. I remember the same thing happening with CM Punk and the Undertaker during Punk's title reign on Smackdown, where he got to trade strikes with Taker and not look out of place. Punk didn't win that feud, but I think it helped to legitimize his position.
If they don't have any plans to put Bryan back into the World/WWE Title hunt for a while, they definitely need to pull the trigger on a Wacky Tag Team Partners That Can't Get Along program with Kane.
Very interested to see what comes of Punk and Heyman together. And very happy to see that Heyman's involvement with WWE isn't going to be limited to just being Brock Lesnar's mouthpiece and showing up each few months for the token Brock match.
And, um, that's all I've got this week.
Originally posted by It's FalseI nominate Chumpstain to start this thread next Monday, because I'd much rather bang my head against the table over Norv Turner than over this show.
I should not be the threadstarter! Raw's an hour late in Canada, plus whatever time it takes me to write things, we won't have a thread up until around 1 AM Eastern.
If we're not going to have a devoted Raw recapper, then anyone should feel free to start the thread. We just need something posted to get people talking, that was all I was thinking last week.
Originally posted by Parts UnknownHow come no one is talking about the Heyman reveal? I wonder where in the hell this is going.
It's funny when the only intriguing thing on the show happens in the final 5 seconds after 186 minutes. Definitely intriguing though. Ideally it means Triple H can have his revenge match with Brock in a tag, instead of wasting it on Wrestlemania or beating him before then. Say maybe...
Originally posted by MayhemLemme guess ... Survivor Series ... Lesnar/Punk vs. Cena/Triple H
Yep. HHH & Cena vs. The Paul Heyman Guys -- Never Before Never Again 2 at -- since it seems a safe bet that Rock won't wrestle before Rumble.
Originally posted by AlbyTheOldMan is right — there's no way this should end other than Kane and Daniel Bryan as a wacky face duo.
I was, quite frankly, sad both times they stopped getting along. They finally understand each other. It's a shame that it's right when they just shot an angle for five tag teams, including my bros Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel, but Bryan and Kane need to be tag champs who hate each other more than every "tag champs who hate each other" of the last 10 years combined.
Originally posted by ChumpstainThe thing I like best about the Daniel Bryan/Kane interactions? Well, besides Bryan's persona of course. But I like that they're making Bryan pretty fearless, having him stand up to Kane, and then in the matches they have he gives as good as he gets.
A great point. I also love how in anger management, Bryan treats Kane as just some guy he hates instead of a scary monster. Like, "oh great, Kane is here. this guy is the worst."
Originally posted by John ORight now, Eve is so far above the rest of the Divas besides AJ in having physical presence and the ability to speak and have a character.
Eve is really good. I think I remember that she and some of the other wrestlers who are L.A.-based had been taking acting classes, and at least by the standards of wrestling, it really shows.
OTOH, Miz and Layla on commentary was the nadir of the 3-hour Raws, and maybe of the measurement of time in general. Miz wasn't good, but I cut him some slack since it was his first try and it was a no-win dynamic with the two of them. Plus him getting headset-forced into correcting Cole's "wrestler" to "superstar" was a delight.
I really have no problem with Kane & DB continuing their feud ... I look at it as the slow burn before they're eventual team-up.
As far as Heyman goes, I hope this is a precursor to him bringing more of what are deemed as "his guys" (i.e. Ambrose, Ohno) ... and I'm not a mark for either of those guys. In fact, I've barely seen them in action. I've just read about them until I'm blue in the face & want to see what they actually can do in a WWE ring.
Originally posted by JustinShapiroMiz wasn't good, but I cut him some slack since it was his first try and it was a no-win dynamic with the two of them. Plus him getting headset-forced into correcting Cole's "wrestler" to "superstar" was a delight.
Other Miz/headset commentary highlights: Miz, happily sliding into the face color guy role to balance out evil play-by-play man Cole, goes off on Punk's decision to take the night off, until Cole is prompted to ask whether Miz, a fellow heel champion, doesn't in fact agree with Punk's heelish decision. A mild pause later and Miz gives a simple, cheerful "Yes!"
Later on, Miz stopped just short of dropping a "Jesus Christ!" exclamation (he got a "Jeeeezzzzzus!" out). And as I mentioned before, that sequence where Cole just started going off on Miz during a match, most likely at Vince's urging, until Miz remembered that Cole was supposed to be a Miz Fan and almost laughed out a "Who are you?!", which prompted Cole to shoot back a "I'm just havin' fun!" kind of response. If nothing else, the NXT Legacy has been more moments where Cole and others nearly crack up on commentary (with at least one moment in the last year or so where Cole legit broke up at one of Lawler's shots at Vickie), and those always catch me off guard and entertain me.
I'll drink to that...being part of indy wrestling is one of the greatest things you can do in "our great sport," seeing as how few of us will ever work for the WW-f'n-E. (Ugh.) In a related indy note...Minnesota's MPW (Midwest Pro Wrestling)