So, Raw happened last night. I'm not going to lie to you guys- it was bad. The best I can do is skim over how bad it was and hope for better next week. I'm just going to rewatch Ring Ka King. Yes, there will be a Ring Ka King write up this week. Yes, you're welcome. THESTINGER loves you.
Before I go on, I want to thank Tobogganing Bear and everyone else who has been very supportive of these write ups. Thanks, guys, it really means a lot to me that you are out there reading my ramblings.
OpeningWell, this show starts with Triple H. He talks about "This Business" and how he can't be too bothered by Laurinaitis, the best character in the WWE today, because of the Undertaker and how he won't fight the Undertaker. He then talks crap about Taker because Triple H is cooler than Taker and cooler than everyone so shut up.
Apparently, Trips no longer gets butterflies in his stomach over Undertaker. Is he afraid of CM Punk coming out and calling him names or something?
He feels bad for the Undertaker and want to remember him as he was. We get the first of many video packages at this point. He then starts to bury Taker. It's pretty bad. He then talks about how beaten down and old Taker is now and we get video package #2 of Taker being carried out of last year's Wrestlemania match.
I'm going to try to analyze this without just saying, "TRIPLE H SUCKS OH G-D PLEASE GO AWAY WHY ARE THERE NO MORE EPISODES OF RING KA KING FUCK ME I AM GOING TO GO SEE SOME MARLYAND CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING SHUT UP!" It's hard to look at this objectively.
First, I don't think too many people want to see this match again. There are lots of Triple H fans, and last week I talked about how luck and grace saved me from being one of them, but I'm not even sure if they want to see Triple H v Undertaker part 3.
Second, even fans of Triple H have to admit that he's full of himself. As someone that is full of himself, he would think the reason that the Undertaker had to be helped out of the ring last year was because Triple H is so fucking badass that he just clobbered Taker to death. Triple H is instead going with the route that Taker was so hurt because he's old and that Triple H isn't somehow awesome enough to cripple the legendary Undertaker. It makes sense to me for Triple H to come out and puff his chest and say, "Yeah, I lost but he's the legendary Undertaker and look at the ass beating I gave him because I'm the best." It makes zero sense for him to come out and say, "Ehhh, he was only so hurt because he's old and I'm embarrassed for him."
We then get video package #3 of Undertaker in his creepy house with his creepy throne, talking about vengeance or something? I don't even know. Look, I get excited whenever Undertaker's bells start. I remember being an 8 year old kid and being legitimately scared of him in 1991. He's that rare piece of childhood nostalgia that is better than I remember him being as a child. I just don't care about this feud and don't follow what's going on.
As much as I had hoped it would be Sting (finally), I always knew it would just be Triple H. I never thought we would get a month of Undertaker groveling and scheming his way for another match with Trips. Undertaker's attitude should be his attitude from last year to Triple H: cold indifference. He's beaten him twice at Wrestlemania and literally has nothing to prove. Undertaker should feel that Triple H is beneath him and not care.
Nothing about this makes sense.
Daniel Bryan v Big ShowBig Show does this weird prance out to the ring. I can't explain it. Daniel Bryan's jacket still looks really rad. AJ still looks cute, good job.
I really hope that after the Elimination Chamber we can forever move on from this feud and Big Show can go back to feuding with the Big Boss Man.
John Cena & Nascar v THESTINGERI've got nothing against Nascar (NASCAR? I forget) because I watch rasslin' and refuse to be aggro against most things popular amongst any segment of working class people. I think racing and wrestling might be kind of similar, though. Both are looked down upon, but most people would have a great time going to a local independent race or wrestling event. My folks moved to a small town in Kentucky and the last time I visited, we all went to the local racetrack for a night of racing and it was pretty awesome. I'm not a car guy or a racing fan, but I could totally see the appeal once I got there.
With that being said, isn't John Cena from Boston? Didn't he do a whole schtick where he was really into rap music and urban life? How likely is it that he sincerely cares about NASCAR?
I had an epiphany last night about John Cena that I'm sure the rest of you had a long time ago: he's either the fakest person ever, who just wants to play to whatever audience he stands in front of, or he's just a genuinely exceptional guy who is also really nice and appreciative of people's enthusiasm. We all knew that kid growing up who was popular, smart, good at sports, and also a really good and kind person. I think John Cena might be that guy. We don't think about those people existing, since they don't fit into our box of what people can be in society, but it's something I've definitely seen.
I think Vince Mancini hit the nail on the head in his Chronicle Review:
And when shut-in Andrew and class president Steve are brought together by circumstance, Steve doesn’t pull the usual GO AWAY, POORBRO, YOU’RE NOT ONE OF US. He’s nice. They become friends. He genuinely wants to help. That shouldn’t be revolutionary, but it’s incredible how many films assume popularity is based on assholishness. For the past 20 years, it seems like every high school movie has been written by some socially awkward loner whose self-inflicted feelings of rejection color his entire reality. People exactly like the Andrew character, actually.We don't really have a concept of someone like John Cena existing, but we should.
Or John Cena could just be a cynical guy who is willing to pander to whatever crowd he's in front of. I seriously don't know.
Elimination Chamber Video PackageVideo package #4, guys. I actually really dig this match. It has a goofy concept that is hard to explain without it sounding stupid, but it's an effective match. I'd like to see it be a more permanent fixture, even. Not a bad video package, either.
David "A List" Otunga v Sheamus "The Great White" SheamusCarlton has something to say, you guys: John Laurinaitis is insightful, creative, and intelligent. One of the things I love about the community Brandon has forged in the fires of Mordor at With Leather is that we all agree on how great #bigjohnny is. The rest of the internet seems to hate him because he's boring or something, I don't know, but I'm willing to die on this hill. Laurinaitis is the best character in a long time and I think I genuinely like him.
Otunga leading everyone in prayer as he sincerely goes for the Tebow prayer made me chuckle.
Commercials!Sorry Danny Devito and RumHam, but I have signed a pledge to not watch The Lorax. Lorax looks bad.
Jericho PromoYou know, it's been over ten years but I still get excited over Jericho's entrance. It's not at the level of Undertaker, but it still affects me.
Jericho comes out and just coldly accuses everyone of stealing from him. He then starts talking about how everyone is a Jericho "wannabe". It starts out as a pretty good segment until he actually uses the word "Troll". Yeah, we know you were trolling us but don't talk about it.
There definitely is something to be said about Jericho influencing the WWE. He did a lot of really interesting things that people have clearly been influenced by. The major problem to this whole thing is that Jericho was so much more interesting when he wasn't talking. Now that he is talking and has a clear point, it isn't nearly as interesting or as engaging. Sure, Jericho and Punk will have a good-to-great feud but it will never live up to what people expect or imagined it could be. The days of woe are ahead of us, my friends.
I do like how Punk came out and said nothing. No mention of Jericho's testicles. No mention of Jericho tanning or wearing make up. No mention of Jericho somehow not being a man. Punk comes out and does what Jericho accused Punk of doing: he straight up steals Jericho's recent gimmick and just walks off. It was well done. Good job, Punk.
Not a bad heel promo but still has a long way to go before it reaches Dudley Boyz level of awesome.
Wade Barrett & Cody Rhodes v Randy Orton & KhaliI gotta be honest, guys. MrsTHESTINGER and I were buying a car and got home late so we were trying to catch up to the live broadcast so I could better enjoy the With Leather Open Discussion. After seeing Khali was going to be in this match I said, "Khali will probably pin Cody and I'll get pissed." I fast forwarded through this match and I don't think I missed anything.
The little of this match I saw looked pretty bad. Orton looked slow and like he was just going through the motions.
Twitter Tweets (?) Being ReadMan, whatever. Twitter is a thing and now that I'm using it (@HammerDialectic) I better understand what its purpose is. I don't mind them mentioning it as many of the WWE Wrestlers have fun Twitter accounts to follow. I just don't want feuds propelled by Twitter.
Can you imagine if instead of this:
Divas MatchYep, still don't care. The gif below expresses my interest.
Look, if Tamina is going to be an actual wrestler she needs to actually wrestler and do something more besides a Superfly Splash.
The only redeeming part of this was Beth's assertion that she's going to be champion "forever". That's great.
Backstage SegmentSo, Triple H is back there and out comes Mr. Excitement. I love how John Laurinaitis is talking to Triple H like he's a real human being. He explains his mistakes and is just a reasonable guy. He gets excited about Shawn Michaels coming back next week, and he's proud of himself for coming up with a new gimmick match. I just love everything about Laurinaitis.
Triple H getting cheered for being a bully makes me sad. I wrote a lot about it last week, but it's only getting worse.
I also like how later we get Laurinaitis talking crap about Triple H after Triple H totally bullies him.
Grade: B+ for Laurinaitis / F- for Triple H
Video PackageVideo Package #6 (I skilled Cena's package earlier, wokka wokka) and it's still not great. I like Undertaker's house, I guess.
R Truth v Miz v Jericho v Dolph Ziggler v CM Punk v Kofi KingstonHOLY CRAP THERE IS GOING TO BE WRESTLING ON THIS WRESTLING SHOW.
I don't have a lot to add. It's a match. It was okay. R Truth legit hurt himself and I really hope he's okay.
This match just reminds me of how sad I am about things. Air Boom and Awesome Truth should be having a great feud right about now. Dolph Ziggler should be wrecking faces and looking awesome. Jericho is interesting, I guess. CM Punk is still doing all the things I disliked before.
I'm not sure if I'm emotionally unstable or if the WWE can make me very excited one week and besiege me with ennui the next. I hate it.
Oh, I guess this happened:
They also keep bringing up how Vickie is Dolph's business manager. Does she also manage his 401k? Does she do his taxes? Is she a CPA? We need to know.
Still, I can't hate on this segment too much since we got actual wrestling.
And We End With Kane
I can't be bothered to do more than CTRL-V my notes from last night:
"Kane doing scary stuff isn't as bad as he usually is. Eve is selling it well, I guess. Kane is afraid of himself? What's that even mean? That was really stupid."
OverviewThis was a bad episode, guys. I can complain about the lack of Funkasaurus, the amount of video packages, the bad matches, the combinations of wrestlers that just don't work, how awful Triple H is, and so much more but why bother? It was just a stinker.
I kept dreading last week because of Triple H and it ended up being a really good episode. I fully understand that not every match is going to be as good as Punk v Bryan last week but everyone looked slow and lazy tonight. None of it worked for me.
This is seriously the worst episode in long while.
I'm guessing Smackdown will be better, but that TNA can pull off a win this week as long as I don't get a new episode of RING KA KING.
Also, gifs are again stolen from Jerusalem on the Something Awful forums.