Tag Archives: Mick Foley

WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 9/25/12

Tonight’s Raw opens with as cold an opening as it could have, with Paul Heyman and CM Punk doing a classic style sit in, about the end of last weeks Raw. Heyman goes over the ridiculous call the Ref made, clearly ignoring Punk’s foot on the ropes last week, thusly giving the win to Cena. He goes on into detail about it for a while longer, and has the Ref in question appear before him, to admit his mistake, and give his resignation. After some stalling, the Ref comes into the ring, clearly nervous. He gives his explanation, saying he was nervous, and made a bad call. He apologizes, but refuses to resign. Punk and Heyman berate him, and insult AJ at the same time. AJ hears her name, and appears, skipping her way down. She says she’s not there to reverse any decisions, or fire the Ref, but is instead there to get them to leave, saying they’re holding “her” show hostage.

Punk starts to accuse AJ of having a grudge against him, citing her proposal to him months ago. She looks shaken, and he continues, citing a litany of incriminating evidence towards her bias against him, including but not limited to dressing like him, sending him hundreds of illicit texts (allegedly), and even implies that they had some sort of sexual relations, “behind closed doors”, and that his entire “best in the world” gimmick, comes from her praise of his sexual prowess. (allegedly).

He really lays into her. You could say. 

  AJ is noticeably bothered by all of this, and Paul Heyman takes the mic from Punk, and then gets down on one knee, asking her for her hand in marriage, saying they’ll be a new power couple to lead a new wave in the WWE. If that wasn’t insulting and creepy enough, he even says that he likes ’em young, which was funny, because Heyman really does seem like that kind of guy. AJ slaps him, of course, and leaves the ring.

A proposal by Paul Heyman is a fate worse than death. Apparently. 

Backstage The Ref is seen regretting his bad call, and thanks AJ for standing up for him. She threatens to fire him if a bad call like that is ever made again. She continues to lay into him, all the while staring off into the distance, doing her whole crazy girl affectation thing again, which brings her to tears, strangely enough. I’m guessing the job is getting to her, and she’s finally starting to crack.

Holy crap, gayest screen cap ever. Good job Youtube.

Vickie Guerrerro then EXCUSE ME’s her way on stage, introducing Dolph Ziggler. Michael Cole briefly mentions that Kofi Kingston and Dolph had beef on Twitter, and this is why they’re wrestling tonight, rather than the hundreds of other times they’ve wrestled each other without provocation. These guys have wrestled so many times, that seeing them wrestle turns my brain off. Not even R-Truth/Little Jimmy throwing a cup of soda on Vickie could really grab my attention. I’ll tell you what did grab my attention though, was Kofi Kingston botching a drop kick in the worst way possible, missing Ziggler by a good solid foot. Kofi is one of those workers who just pulls down everything and everyone he works with. The dude is a black hole that just sucks up talent, and everyone in his vicinity becomes less talented when around him. After a bunch of back and forth moves between the two, Ziggler finally lands the Zig Zag, and wins. It was a good enough match, and in retrospect, was one of the better ones of the night, but I just can’t stand Kingston. He’d have to set himself on fire and do the SOS on a bucket full of rattlesnakes to get me interested in anything he does. The match seemed designed to push Kingston as a singles competitor again, but I’m sorry, the man isn’t worth it, and it just made Ziggler look weak.

I’ve been vocal with my love of Ziggler on this column, but man, the dude needs to hurry up. He’s spent FAR too long dicking around with his MITB contract, and wrestling schmoes who are beneath him. What happened to the Ziggler who was all I’M BETTER THAN THIS a few months go? That was a good Ziggler I want to see more of, not this ho-hum, bide-my-time loser. If I’m sound extra critical of him this week, it’s because I hate to see what I love, not live up to its potential, and in this case, it doesn’t seem to be the fault of WWE creative, but Ziggler himself. In Kayfabe terms, anyway. I’m sure in real life, he has to wait until the writers are satisfied with letting Sheamus lose the belt, but that won’t happen anytime soon because they just LOOOOVE big white racist strong guys.

After a recap of the whole Daniel Bryan/Kane Tag Team Championship reign/argument, they present the first in a series of segments, featuring Kane and Daniel Bryan still receiving help from Dr. Shelby.

Dr. Shelby and Daniel Bryan are in a restaurant, and Dr. Shelby is explaining they need to work on interacting in non-ewe environments. Bryan asks how, and Kane appears, dressed in a chef’s apron, ready to take their orders. He gets upset, but Dr. Shelby calms him, and asks Bryan to order. Bryan uses the order to insult Kane, but Dr. Shelby insists that Kane role-play the role of “Gerald”, the water. Kane/Gerald then describes an imaginary cook, who Kane found annoying, who took credit for Kane/Gerald’s work, and describes how he took the cook’s face, dunked it in the deep fryer, ripped out his beard, and put it inside of everyone’s food. The local diners look disgusted, and Dr. Shelby asks Kane/Gerald if he’s kidding, to which Kane/Gerald replies ambiguously

It was a funny segment, but I found myself distracted, because there’s a rumor going around that Being Human‘s Sam Huntington, is playing Dr. Shelby. Despite looking vaguely similar, and our own fellow WWE fan here at GB, Godzark, insists it’s him. I don’t believe it. Not only because Sam Huntington has said he isn’t him, multiple times on his own Twitter, but because even if it was him, I just don’t believe the WWE has that talented a make up team to make Dr. Shelby look so convincingly bald, not to mention his other differing facial features, and overall head size and shape. Judge for yourself:

Here’s Sam Huntington:

And here’s Dr. Shelby:

Nope. Not the same guy.

Coming back from the break, we see The Primetime Players awaiting their match against Santino and Zack Ryder. Why Santino and Zack Ryder? I’m not sure. Zack Ryder getting airtime is good, because I like him, and I wish he’d improve his skill set. I can’t think of why he’s teamed up with Santino other than both are silly? Proud of their ignorance? I’m not sure. As for the actual match, I did enjoy Titus O’Neill just grabbing Santino’s dumb Cobra arm, slamming him in the ground to death, and beating him right then and there. The Cobra is stupid guys. Santino is stupid. I have no idea why people like him anymore. I don’t have much more to say about this one, because it was so short.

Hopefully this means The Primetime Players are getting pushed again, but if there’s anything watching TNA wrestling has taught me, is that WWE has forgotten how to make tag matches exciting. They’re doing an admirable job or rebuilding the division, and giving the belts to someone meaningful like Kane & Daniel Bryan is a step in the right direction, they just need to follow through and actually have these mid card tag matches be exciting, rather than route, and by the numbers. I hate having to say how much better Impact Wrestling’s Wrestling is each week than WWE”s, because I love the WWE, and want the best for it. Impact/TNA is entertaining as all get out, but my emotional connection, the company/brand I love, is with WWE. Call me a shill, or a loyalist, but it’s the truth. You can do better WWE, I know you can! Keep at it!

After a quick announcement that there will be a special guest arriving tonight, they cut to a commercial. After the break, we’re treated to the return of the one and only, Hardcore Legend himself, Mick Foley.

Foley comes out and shares some of his memories of CM Punk. He starts to criticize Punk and Heyman, speaking of the CM Punk that he knew, until he’s very quickly interrupted by Punk himself. Foley recants a story that actually sounds like a shoot memory, detailing how when Punk originally won his title, Foley sent him a text congratulating him, and how Punk thanked him in return, saying it meant a lot coming from Foley.  Foley continues saying how since he was one who Punk respected enough to respond to, that Punk’s behavior, and alignment with Paul Heyman, disturbed him. He accuses Heyman of only positioning himself to benefit him, rather than the people he claims to represent, and that Foley himself was a Paul Heyman guy, until he learned to make his own decisions. Foley even makes a pretty solid point, asking why Punk needs Heyman, given his massive prowess on the mic, and his lack of need for Paul Heyman to speak on his behalf. It’s something I’d actually been thinking of as well. Why does Punk need Heyman to speak for him, when he’s such a great talker himself? My guess is it’s all part of building up more heat for him, because Heyman is a heat magnet from nearly any damn audience he confronts. The difference is, with Brock Lesnar, who can’t cut a promo for shit, it made sense for Heyman to do all the talking. For Punk, we just lose a great Punk promo, but I digress.

Punk really rolls around in the new Heel heat he’s getting, and insults the audience directly, and says Foley is wrong and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Foley then reveals his intention, both Kayfabe and shoot, for being here tonight. Kayfabe, he’s here to encourage Punk to shake off the influence of Heyman, and make a name for himself at Hell In A Cell, citing his own famous HIAC experiences as career defining moments. In shoot terms, he’s there just to promote HIAC indirectly, and to really pull last grubby remnants of Face Punk down, and secure him as the #1 Heel in the company. Insulting Mick Foley is pretty much like committing Face suicide, and a surefire ticket to being hated by general audiences.

Punk then further insults the audience, and Foley’s hardcore legacy, implying that pandering to the audience, or doing any of the death-defying stunts Foley has done, are beneath him. The whole thing seems to really piss everyone off, leaving only me and a bunch of IWC smark ass Punk fans still loving him.Foley continues to goad Punk into going into the HIAC match with Cena, leaving on a pretty compelling promo, asking Punk if he’d rather be a legend, or a statistic. It was a pretty good promo, and still managed to highlight that Punk’s actions all have an internally consistent logic to them, while still showing Foley as the one goddamned person who can actually make a solid, consistent point about Punk, and not have it degenerate into  “You’re a jerk, I don’t like you anymore!. Well not too much, anyway.

A few weeks ago The Miz said he’d go the distance with The Ryback, who is still undefeated. As far as overcoming his Goldbergian stigma, he’s not doing a good job. The Miz does a good job at trying to hang in there, but for every counter, or distraction Miz utilizes, The Ryback simply out muscles him at every turn. It’s good to see The Ryback managing to still looks strong, because Miz isn’t made to look weak by this match, just absolutely dominated, which is what they should have done with The Ryback from the beginning. Seeing The Ryback Ryback jobbers for months on end just made him look like he wasn’t getting any sort of challenge, but guys like Miz, who are stable, confident mid card talent, are exactly the kind of guy The Ryback should be destroying. They’re finally starting to get The Ryback right. Hopefully, he’ll learn a few more moves, because his repertoire is getting extremely repetitive.

We see Daniel Bryan and Kane reminiscing about Smackdown last week. They recall their mutual joy of destroying 4 entire tag teams at once, each with a steel chair in hand. They continue describing, until they start yelling out loud in nearly orgasmic pleasure at the memory of causing pain to others. Eventually, the camera pans over and we see Mae Young, taking an order, and even though it’s clichéd and predictable, I still chuckled when she said “I’ll have what they’re having”. Because the thought of an old woman wanting to share in their orgasmic, sadistic ecstasy, is hilarious. Not that stupid joke from that Billy Crystal movie. Who knew Mae Young had such an angry, dark side to her, just waiting to be unleashed?

 GAH. She does look evil! 

Backstage, we see AJ talking to a bunch of Referees. She says some bullshit about the WWE not having instant replay, even though they totally do, and says it’s okay, because everyone makes mistakes. She’s approached by Alberto Del Rio, Otunga and Ricardo Rodriguez, who ask her why she’s asked them there. She tells them she wants them in a 6 man tag team match against Sheamus, Rey Mysterio, and Sin Cara. Which isn’t fair, because that’s more like a 5 man tag team match, but Ricardo is ever the positive one, proclaims them the Tres Amigos, and runs away joyfully.

Good lord. Tyson Kidd. Between Tyson Kidd being on Raw lately, and the Grizzly Bomb Drunk Review I did last week, I’ve been drinking a lot. For those confused, I take a shot every time I see Tyson Kidd on my television, and for the longest time, that shot just sat there, gathering dust and grime. Lately, I’ve had to take it one every other week, which is about 400% more than it was just a year ago.

As much as I like seeing Tyson Kidd jump around and do stuff, (Kofi, take note, this is what you want to be, and aren’t, in every way.), seeing Wade Barrett destroy people is fun too. I’m really digging his gimmick, and I get a real kick out of saying OY MOY NAYMS WAYEDD BEARETT IND MY BEAR-AGE ‘AS JUSS BEGONE, every time I see him. I just think that his finisher move, which I could have sworn was just a punch last week, was an elbow tonight. I suppose they’re trying to sell that he can hit hard from any angle, with his fists or elbows, which makes sense, but I’d prefer an affectation to sell it. Have him come out with gloves on, and remove one to ready the punch. Sort of like how The Rock took off his elbow pad for The People’s Elbow, but you know, less meaningless and superfluous.

Back from the break, Michael Cole is in the ring, describing the condition of Jerry Lawler, and some of the good news from Lawler’s Doctor. He then introduces Lawler, who gives this message, thanking his fans for all their support:

I thought it was great to see Jerry looking so good, and I love that he has a badass throne room with cardboard Elvis cutouts and knickknacks everywhere. His place totally looks like somewhere i’d totally dig hanging out. I’m very genuinely glad to see he’s doing well, and as much as I like him, I think it’s time he step down from wrestling and commentating alike, to ensure his future well being for his, and all of our sakes. Get well Jerry. Long live The King.

This match is an exercise in a bunch of wrestlers who just seem less than the sum of their parts. I’ve had my problems with Sin Cara and Mysterio in the past, and Otunga is a great backstage character, but a mediocre wrestler at best. Ricardo is obviously trained in the lucha style, but isn’t allowed to wrestle for real. Alberto Del Rio I think is great, but I’m really sick of seeing him lose to Sheamus. Aaaaand I’ve said plenty about Sheamus in this column, and I don’t think i’ll ever be able to top what I wrote about him last week, in regards to why I don’t like him, and why he’s bad for the company as a whole. It was particularly infuriating to hear JR refer to Sheamus as one of the best World Heavyweight Champions in history too. I enjoyed the minutes in this match where Alberto Del Rio got work pretty well with Rey Mysterio, as their style complement each other, but overall the match was forgettable. All the hoopla about Sheamus’ Brogue Kick is a bunch of bullshit too, because a bicycle kick to the head isn’t nearly as big a deal as they are trying to make it out to be. Add to that Sheamus viciously beating on Ricardo, and you’ve got a solid 10 minute segment that consists of me rolling my  eyes out of my head.

Oh yeah, Sheamus sucks.

This has no connection with anything, I just really wanted to share it with all of you.

After that shitgasm, we come back to a refreshing palette cleanser, where we see Dr. Shelby with Kane and Daniel Bryan, urging them to try a step in each other’s shoes. He orders them both two meals, for Kane, a salad, and for Bryan, a plate of meatballs.

It was interesting, because #1, I didn’t know Kane loved meatballs, or that it was somehow representative of him, in a culinary sense. I understand the salad for Daniel Bryan, since that falls right into his whole vegan thing, but meatballs? Kane? Are meatballs from Hell? Is this some weird commentary on meatballs, and how they’re inherently bad for you? I’m not sure.  After that, they both try the food in front of them. Kane burps uproariously, because apparently ingesting leafy greens puts his digestive system into overdrive. Bryan just says the meatballs weren’t as bad as he thought they were going to be, and promptly vomits into Dr. Shelby’s lap. I’m guessing his digestive system is just like Kane’s, but on the inverse spectrum. Watching Kane struggle with eating a tiny piece of lettuce was pretty awesome though.

As the age-old saying goes: You don’t win friends with salad.

Back to the ring, we see the Raw Active for tonight:

So yeah, I didn’t vote, because I didn’t like any of those. On twitter, I was in support of #Dragonfire, since that alludes to Bryan’s history as The American Dragon, and fire is Kane’s whole thing. Plus Dragonfire is way cooler than any of those three. After their introduction, the winner is chosen to be Team Hell No, which is ehhh.. It’s okay I guess. They’re then swiftly attacked by Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes. Sandow appears to be wearing a new shirt, meaning he finally has some merch available, which I want. Unfortunately I can’t find any pictures of it, but it appeared to be a diagram of the evolution of man, from primate to man, to Sandow himself, which is just awesome.

I’m totally gonna buy that shirt one day.

After the attack, Sandow and Rhodes reveal they’re a team themselves now, and proclaim themselves RHODES SCHOLARS, which shocked the hell out of me, because any avid Withleather.com reader, will know that their head writer, Brandon Stroud, came up with that name and promoted it heavily on twitter. Hell, I thought it was brilliant and retweeted it myself a few times. Seeing them actually take that name, was pretty awesome, and that moment felt more like the connection the WWE wants us all to have with Raw Active, more than all other Raw Active’s put together.

Ugh. Another tag team match. Man I know these used to be good, but holy hell is WWE doing a good job at making me hate them all forever. Soon I’ll forget they ever used to be good. I’d hate modern, younger WWE fans to grow up thinking any and all tag team matches are inherently boring. Man that’s a saddening thought… I need something to cheer me up.

Jesus christ girl, DRESS LIKE THIS AGAIN. Take that business suit shit off!

Ahem. Well, this was a pretty typical Divas match. It had them trading moves sloppily, until Eve lands a simple neck breaker, and the win. In fact, in the time it took me to write this entire paragraph, the match ended.

The only interesting thing was when Kaitlyn came out, after having been “attacked” at Night Of Champions, which we all assumed was Eve. Kaitlyn says she reviewed the footage, and couldn’t identify her attacker, but could see her hair was blond. Eve looks totes shocked for realsies, and her and Beth Phoenix start arguing. Eventually, Eve just attacks her without any real provocation, which must mean she really has turned face again, because that’s WWE logic for ya! Now we’re just left with this pseudo-murder/leg-attack mystery thing, where some blond person is responsible for Kaitlyn’s injury. Was it Kaitlyn? Somehow? Maybe it’s just the way they’ll explain Beth Phoenix leaving WWE, which I hear she is doing soon. Whatever. That’s the Divas division in a nutshell isn’t it?

WWE DIVAS: “Whatever.”

Holy shit. I didn’t think it could get worse than Tensai vs Randy Orton last week. What can I say? Two big fat guys running into each other, whose moves are the inverse of each other, does not for a good match make. I want to like Funkasaurus as much as I did when he debuted, but the dude doesn’t do anything other than dance for 20 minutes, squash people with his fatness, and then dance for another 15 minutes. Tensai is Tensai, and isn’t worth writing about anymore. Period. Do you even care who won? Really?

The only saving grace of this match was Big Show appearing, and knocking out Tensai’s stupid hissing ugly face, and following it with a knockout punch to Funkasaurus as well. He looked a bit reluctant to knock out Funkasaurus, and his status as a face or heel is as of yet indeterminate, but regardless, seeing him come out and kill both of them was a merciful sparing of a match I, and nobody else either, should care about. Let’s go Show, continue using that IRONCLAD CONTRACT to make the show better by just punching stupid people in the face to death. Next stop: Kofi Kingston. Then, Sheamus. Go for the WHC gold. Why not? Eff Sheamus.

Not even this would make him interesting.

Listen. I hate John Cena, the wrestler. Hate him. He’s boring, his promos suck, his wrestling ability is limited to say the least, and his character is grating beyond belief. In every way he’s only popular for political reasons within the WWE, because for some reason, kids like him. I don’t understand it, but I guess I can’t, because I’m not a kid anymore. All I know is that segments like this, where John starts off by reminding me by what a good person in real life he is, fills me with mixed emotions. I have enormous respect for John Cena The Man, because his charity work, and dedication towards causes supporting breast cancer research, are objectively a good thing for him to be doing, and that fills me with some actual, genuine happiness, because screw cancer. Eff cancer up it’s stupid ass.

But then he goes on his usual, I’M GONNA WIN AND NEVER GIVE UP, I’LL MAKE IT, IT’S ALL FOR YOU, THE FANS, WITHOUT YOU WE WOULDN’T blah blah blah shit he always does. The dude has made a career out of cutting the same promo endlessly. It was awful. It feels like every other month something happens, and he comes out and says how he may be going away for a while, and with his recent shoot elbow surgery, we’re once again meant to believe he will. But we all know he’ll just be back again next goddamned week. It’s what he does. Nobody has ever gotten fired, quit, taken leave, and then just showed up again next week as many times as he has. I don’t think there’s any other job in the world you could do that at. If I got fired from the bar I work at, I couldn’t just show up next weekend and expect to work there, but this isn’t the real world, it’s the WWE Universe, where up is down, good is bad, and heels are faces and faces are heels.

Punk takes some time to insult John Cena in his own special way, while Paul Heyman molests his WWE Championship belt. At one point a CM PUNK chant starts up, but Punk pretends it’s them booing him, and insults them directly. He’s really trying to get himself over as a heel hardcore. He then threatens Cena, and dares him to run away, by saying that he’ll turn his back on Cena, and if he turns around and sees Cena still there, he’ll beat him to death. So to speak.

So Punk foolishly turns his back on Cena, who then pulls out a lead pipe from his back pocket, and hits Punk in the gut with it. Because you know, yeah, that’s what a role model does. Punk then crawls away, while Cena makes terrible “pipe bomb” puns, and says something about real men wearing Pink,(even though Punk wore pink first), officially co-opting pink as the go to heel color, and making it mean less in that particular context.

Backstage, Punk walks by a group of people, one of whom is Mick Foley. He returns to speak to Foley, and attacks him, then walks away in pain, but turns to see something, and looks terrified at what’s before him. Which is….

A heavy breathing The Ryback. Why The Ryback was there? Who knows. Why he was breathing so heavy? Maybe he’s got asthma? I’m not sure. Why Punk acted like he saw goddamned Cthulhu when it was just The Ryback? Who knows! All I know, is that this must be the beginning of The Ryback as a giant, moving force to be reckoned with in the WWE, or the beginning of a main card push for him, with a potential feud involving CM Punk. It’s all up in the air at this point.

So this episode of Raw is exactly what I’d use to describe a mediocre, middle of the road Raw. Nothing too bad, nothing that great either. The highlights were the Daniel Bryan/Kane segments, as usual, but really, it was full of boring tag team matches, because the ghost of Teddy Long is obviously possessing AJ, and really only seemed to be there to convince people that yes, Punk is a heel. He’s really a heel now guys. For realsies. Stop cheering him? Please?


WWE Monday Night Raw Recap & Review 6/18/12

Tonights Raw opens up on the heels of yesterdays PPV, No Way Out, showing the results of the main event. The results, surprisingly being the “firing” of John Laurinaitis. This was a shock to me, because I thought for sure the conditions of him being fired indicated that Show was to take the win, but of course, I forgot the golden rule of WWE, if it has Cena in it, he is going to win. (unless The Rock is there.) They also, strangely open by showing that Cyndi Lauper, of all people, is going to be “returning” to Raw tonight,  which is confusing to me for a whole bunch of reasons, but mostly because she’s goddamned Cyndi Lauper. What the hell? Have I been transported to 1983?

Anyhow, after that, Mick Foley enters the stage, wearing a suit, which was unsettling to see, since plaid and stretch pants have always been his thing, and as much as I’d like to say the guy cleans up well… Not so much.  He at first comes out, speaking about his appearance being initially related to the 1000th episode of Raw milestone, but then says that he will be taking an interim position as General Manager, since the Board of Directors are looking for new General Managers, and are temporarily having former ones in place as scabs, so to speak.

I guess that finally resolves the question of the difference between Commissioner and General Manager in the WWE’s history, since Foley used to be The Commissioner of Raw, which I guess was the same job as General Manager all along, even though it didn’t used to be, and but now is. Regardless, they do the same job, so I’ll give them a hand for trying to adhere to continuity, as thin as it may be. Foley then announces a tag team between Kane and Daniel Bryan, and Sheamus and CM Punk. He then ushers in John Laurinaitis, who is here to give his farewell address. Laurinaitis comes out, again in an arm sling and neck brace from yet another Attitude Adjustment from Cena. Laurinaitis hobbles his way into the ring, and has a few words. I am a huge fan of John Laurinaitis, and by now I have his entire self introduction/catchphrase memorized by heart.

“My name is Mr. John Laurinaitis, and I am the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations, and General Manager of Monday Night Raw, and Smackdown.”

I’m gonna miss hearing those words, but I expect soon, in the coming weeks, he’ll return in some fashion. A character that good you don’t get rid of entirely, but I can respect them taking him off the shelf while still in his prime. After some crowd play between Laurinaitis and Foley, Laurinaitis ends up insulting and belittling the crowd themselves, and then goes on to say how last night, his final action as GM was to create the main event of tonights Raw. Of course, it’s a handicap match, with John Cena VS Big Show, David Otunga, and Laurinaitis himself.

Sheamus shows up just as Laurinaitis starts to leave, and is quickly followed by CM Punk. They both snicker as Laurinaitis leaves, and get ready for their tag team match. Kane and Daniel Bryan enter, and the match begins.

The match itself was good. Sheamus is slowly growing on me, and he and CM Punk’s wrestling styles complement eachother well in the ring. The same cannot be said for Daniel Bryan and Kane, because Kane’s slow, lumbering strong man act looks especially bad compared to Sheamus’ comparable strength, along with his relative speed for a man his size. I guess it’s just taking me a long time to recover from the 18 second squash he put on Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 28. In the long run though, Daniel Bryan has absolutely prospered the most from it, and has come out the best since that whole debacle. If this match is setting up the seeds of a future feud between Daniel Bryan and Sheamus, I’m all for it, as long as it comes after the Punk/Bryan feud, because that one needs to continue.

At one point, Michael Cole mentions that CM Punks current championship reign, after last night’s defense, is rounding up to 211 days, making it the 4th longest reign in 15 years. The other three being split between John Cena and JBL. All in all this speaks a lot of how often titles switch hands, and how much being a champion actually means in the WWE, if less than 2/3 of a year is considered 4th longest. At least in relative WWE terms it’s quite a boost to Punk’s prestige as champion, and creates more tension with every title defense he now has. It’ll  definitely be an entertaining match whenever he does eventually lose the title. The whole crowd was clearly a big fan of Daniel Bryan, with very audible “Yes!” chants the whole match, and shocker of shockers AJ shows up. But she shows up dressed as Kane, and skips around the ring only. Which, was weird to say the least. Kane then follows her, because he’s Kane, and is easily distracted, even if that is a legitimately distracting thing to follow. Punk then puts the GTS on Bryan, and Sheamus Brogue Kicks him, and they obviously, get the win.

Backstage, we see Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger arguing about who is the best between them, (Ziggler is). They’re interrupted by Vickie Guerrero, who says it’s time for her to make a decision, and pick one of them for her to manage solely. She decides the best way is for them to have a match, to settle it once and for all. This is a bummer, because I liked Swagger and Ziggler as a team, (I called them Dack Swaggler), but if it’s what will get us to Ziggler finally getting some major singles recognition, I’m all for it. I can’t say enough good things about Ziggler, the man is seriously one of the best talents the WWE has, and hopefully this is the beginning of a push for him.

We cut to Laurinaitis and Otunga in the dressing room, chumming it up, and generally seeming like two really nice, cool guys you’d want to hang out with, until Big Show enters the room. Show walks in, seeming grumpy, and asks them what’s funny. Laurinaitis explains that what’s funny, is how Cena will be defeated by their powers combined tonight, and that the people will never forget John Laurinaitis’ name. Big Show replies by saying he doesn’t think anything is funny. Ever. At all. Which is coincidentally, kind of funny.

I keep imagining Big Show attending stand up comedy shows, and sitting stone faced during the entire set. Or watching old reruns of I Love Lucy, and getting angry about Lucy’s ineptitude, or maybe even snapping his copy of Young Frankenstein in half, because it wasn’t scary enough. If they were gonna take Show’s character a direction other than “Giant Unstoppable Monster”, then “Awkwardly Humorless Big Guy” is totally suitable.

And thus, Dack Swaggler comes to an end. The two put on a bunch of different moves, all followed with their own in ring taunts and ways to show off. The match actually managed to create a good sense of rivalry between the two of them, and created some early tension by having Ziggler hurt his knee, giving Swagger something to focus on for the match, so we don’t all assume Ziggler has this one wrapped up already. Swagger actually spends a lot of time really tearing into Zigglers leg, even to the point where the crowd began cheering for Ziggler. It’d seem this is a fairly Heel-centric crowd, and things were looking grim until Ziggler turned things around by finally landing a Zig Zag on Swagger, and picks up the three count. Vickie Guerrerro thanks Ziggler with a congratulatory hug, and a very suspiciously long, on the lips kiss, which made the crowd audibly groan, either in surprise or disgust, or both. I found it interesting, because it backs up my theory that she’d been “working” with the both of them “in private”, because she’s a “cougar”. Get it? Working? Privates? Sex. She’s been having sex with them.

Hopefully not at the same time. Though she probably did.

After that, we get a video package from No Way Out, showing Triple H’s speech, about the status of Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman and himself. He effectively removes Heyman from the table, and proposes a match between Lesnar and himself at Summerslam. We cut back to Raw, and see a limousine pulling up, potentially carrying Lesnar or Heyman, who will respond to Triple H’s proposition.

After the break, there’s another video package commemorating the 1000 Episodes of Raw thing, and we get a clip from 1998. In it, Vince McMahon is currently in the hospital after suffering injures from Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Mankind shows up with Mr. Socko to make Vince feel better. He’s unsuccessful at doing so, and leaves. Vince calls for the doctor, who is nobody else but Stone Cold himself, who goes on to pummel Mr. McMahon over and over in his hospital bed, finally bashing a steel bedpan on his skull. I actually remember watching this episode of Raw way back when, and even then I wondered how the hell Stone Cold managed to sneak into a hospital, steal a pair of scrubs, and then sneak into Mr. McMahon’s hospital room, all without being detected as the worlds biggest wrestling star at the time. Regardless, it’s certainly a better Raw moment than f*cking Seth Green showing up for some horrible reason.

Back to the actual show, Paul Heyman enters to big crowd applause, which is refreshing and good to hear. Long Island, NY must be a smark town, because ECW chants were rampant, and so far they’ve all been chanting the internet wrestling communities’ favorites, instead of the usual faces that most crowds cheer. It makes me wish I was there in person. Anyhow, Heyman comes out to speak on behalf of BRROOOOCCKKK LEEESSSNAR, (I love how he says his name), and denies Triple H’s match, and denies dropping the lawsuits that Heyman and Lesnar both have against the WWE. Triple H then walks back in, says some words about Brock being the “face” of Summerslam, lawsuits, and egos. They both trade words about eachother, with Heyman getting the better of Triple H’s own ego, by comparing him to Vince McMahon derisively, daring Triple H to punch him, and finally mentioning Triple H’s wife, Stephanie McMahon. At that point, Triple H grabs Heyman by the collar, choking him, and then punches Paul Heyman in the face, because he does not understand what lawsuits are or what assault and battery is, or how mind games are supposed to work. Paul Heyman-1, Triple H-0

So on No Way Out, Santino wrestled Ricardo Rodriguez, and this and Santino’s previous antagonism towards Ricardo,  has created a feud with Santino and Alberto Del Rio, now on Ricardo’s behalf. Expectedly, Del Rio very quickly demolishes Santino, and makes him tap out to the cross arm breaker. Ricardo Rodriguez then exacts a small amount of revenge on Santino, and DDT’s him into the mat. The whole match itself wasn’t longer than 3-4 minutes, but I suppose it’s a step to seeing Del Rio slowly amassing victories again, until he’s back on the top of the roster.

I watch Raw to see weird male soap opera and occasionally some wrestling. Not Cyndi Lauper. So I have nothing to say about her at all. Ever. I’m the Big Show of Cyndi Lauper’s music. Thankfully, Heath Slater comes out and interrupts the bit, points out how dumb it is for her to be there, and starts singing, horribly off tune. He then is interrupted by Rowdy Roddy Piper, who comes in and gives praise for Cyndi Lauper, and presents her with a gold She Bop record. Heath Slater is not amused, and lets out a glorious “OOOHHH MY GAWWWWD, WHO CARES?”, and is promptly eye poked by Piper, and has the golden album smashed over his head by Lauper. Then they all dance. Sometimes I wonder why the hell a segment like this is even on a wrestling show, but then I just take a shot and remind myself to not think about it or else the Mind Gnomes come.

At No Way Out, Titus O’Neil and Darren Young became the #1 contenders for the Tag Team Titles, by defeating Primo and Epico, albeit with Abraham Washington’s help. Titus O’Neil and Darren Young also are finally given a tag team name, The Primetime Players, or Playas, I’m not sure yet. Either way, they’re a good team that has a funny catchphrase(millionsofdollarsmillionsofdollars) and work well together.  Even though I don’t much care for Primo and Epico, they’re at least a legit tag team, and is certainly seems that WWE is fixed on revitalizing their pretty stagnant tag team division, one baby step at a time. All in all it was a pretty good tag team match, with a good balance of double team moves and tags, until AW decides to let Epico and Primo win by count out, claiming that they don’t need to win this match, since they’re already #1 contenders. For a heel, this isn’t cowardly, it’s being smart, and as a heel team, it makes sense for them. Why risk a needless match when you’re already guaranteed a title shot? So I’m officially siding with the Primetime Players as my tag team of choice in the future.


On a side note, how funny is it that Jericho’s band is called Fozzy? You named your band after a Muppet dude. C’mon.

We come back after the break, to John Laurinaitis, giving his farewell speech. He tells us what happened at No Way Out, and calls the fans and the WWE universe losers. It was a pretty great meltdown, and he then introduces the match itself, and Otunga and Big Show enter.

Can we talk for a minute about Big Show’s WMD Bear shirt?

I never really stopped to take a moment and think about it, but if you actually look at it and think about it, outside of the vague context it’s given in the WWE, it makes absolutely no sense. It’s a skull and crossbones, but nobody knows what a bear skull looks like, so they put a roaring grizzly’s head instead. Then in the spaces between the bones you’ve got the WMD letters, which stand for the name of Show’s finisher. It’s hard enough to buy that a single punch to the head should even be a finisher, but he manages to make it work, and if you give a stupid move a big enough lead up and sell, anything will work. The Rock does this with his elbow drop, and Hogan did it with his leg drop, and you’d be silly to think those moves did any more damage than a normal leg or elbow drop, as you would with Show’s head punch. But I digress, since the move is called WMD because it’s as powerful as one, and the bear is there because…. he’s as big as a bear? As ferocious? They may have mentioned why at some point in the past, but now it just stands out as a strange, apocryphal comparison to make, since he really has no bear like traits at all. Add to that the crossbones, and you’ve got the makings of a shirt that is at best, really really weird, and not at all intimidating.

Anyhow, after Show enters, Teddy Long appears ringside, and tears up his My Name Is Teddy Name Tag (nooooo!). Show then mentions his IRONCLAD contract again, and goes on to abandon Otunga and Laurinaitis in the ring, saying how he’s already proven himself to be able to beat Cena on his own. Cena enters, and the match finally starts. Cena then puts pretty big hurt on Otunga, all the while Otunga tries to tag in Laurinaitis, but Laurinaitis keeps refusing to tag. Slowly things start to even out, and Otunga gets the upper hand. Only after Cena is down, does Laurinaitis strip himself of his arm sling and neck brace, and begin stomping on Cena, yelling “People Power” in between stomps.

Laurinaitis tries to tag Otunga back in, but Otunga refuses, and walks away, ditching John to  a huge cheer from the crowd, leaving Laurinaitis alone with Cena in the ring. I really hope this is the beginning of a face turn for Otunga, because goddammit I really like him. Cena then gets up, lays the Five Moves Of Doom on Laurinaitis, and then adjusts his attitude three times in a row, at the behest of Teddy Long and the crowd. A quick STF makes Laurinaitis tap out, and Cena wins the match. So as usual, Cena ends up beating someone who is 100% unequipped to fairly face him, and acts like it’s a glorious win for himself and all of The People, and the show ends as we all try to forget those thousands of anti-bullying PSAs that John Cena so heartily endorses, in between bullying tons of people on his show every week. Good Job Cena, go hog wild!

I’ll miss you John Laurinaitis, Former Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and General Manager of Smackdown and Raw. You truly brought power to the people.