Monday, August 29, 2011

Raw Is Joined By a Special Guest 8-29-2011

I'm probably going to have no idea of what is going on tonight on Raw. My daughter has been up unseasonably late because our air is not working upstairs. I'm fine, but all the women in my house are freaking out. Somebody is fixing our air right now (or trying to). Earlier, she bashed a stuffed rabbit in the head with a frying pan. Later she took the same pan, put her stuffed rabbit in the pan and then put salt on it. I blamed my dad, Yosemite Sam and the two French chefs who tried to cook Bugs Bunny.
My daughter has been sitting next to me watching Dora. She won't be happy when we turn on Raw and no more Dora. Hold on. We have to do the "We Did It" dance...
Well, sorry for my Nick Jr. tangent. Such has been my life tonight.
Raw begins with HHH in a suit. Dora usually begins with her greeting us. He begins by pretty much ending the brand split. I'm in the minority that I never minded the brand split. But all the potential, the WWE never lived up to. HHH calls out Kevin Nash. Instead, we get Punk. I prefer that. How are they making all these movie references and nobody has mocked Blade: Trinity yet? Then Nash comes out to the ring wearing the shirt he did as The Russian in The Punisher. Punk and Nash go back and forth. (Nash needs to be off tv. He should be used in a legends capacity, not as an active wrestler.) I love how Punk, whenever he went off on Triple H, smiled and said "Pipe Bomb." That needs to be on a t-shirt. I don't want Nash vs. Punk. It's like a pitching contest between Steve Carlton and Roy Halladay. Steve Carlton is one of the greatest pitchers of all time, if not the greatest of his era. But this isn't his era anymore. Celebrate the man's career, but keep him off the mound today.
Randy Orton comes to the ring. We got Orton vs. Ziggler. I really liked the match. It was very-well constructed. I don't like Randy Orton as a face. It's kind of like Larry David as a romantic lead opposite Jennifer Aniston. Just not believable. The crowd was really into this match. And they should have been; this was a really good match. Dare I call it one of Raw's best matches all year?
Josh Matthews asks John Cena for his reaction. Cena says nothing and walks to the ring. I think this is his best promo of the year so far. Cena takes the admiration of the crowd very well. He acts like he wants to be there in front of the crowd. He doesn't sound like scripted Cena. He sounds like John you would sit next to in the bar. He tells Alberto del Rio to come get some. Instead he gets Mark Henry. I really think Mark Henry needs a mouthpiece, like a Paul Heyman or the next Paul Heyman somewhere in FCW or the indies (if he exists). Then Christian comes out. I wonder what it would be like if they unscripted Christian. Christian and Mark Henry challenged Cena. And then Sheamus comes to his rescue.
Now, in the back, Super Dave Osborn is talking to Little Naitch about making this match. Triple H made it earlier.
Miz and Punk had their match. Miz got on the mic and cut a nice promo before their match. Wife comment of the night: CM Punk hasn't been flipping enough in the tanning bed. Miz now does this Shane McMahon-like bouncing. The two fed off of each other and had a really nice match. R-Truth ran in and interfered. The match ended by DQ, and I'm totally ok with that. Then in the post-match beat-down, Nash attacked Punk. It was 1996 on my tv all over again. HIDE, REY MISTERIO, JR., HIDE!
After the commercial break, we got Sin Cara vs. Jack Swagger. My wife is now trying to find all the comparisons between Mistico/Sin Cara and Hunico/Sin Cara. Vickie walks out to scout Swagger. Apparently, she thought he was somebody from Vampire Diaries. I have no idea who won.
Bourne and Kofi, who are tag team champs who come out separately. They faced Otunga and McGillicutty. I died a little inside. Air Boom beat the former Nexus like they were Lazer Tron 2000. Then Otunga started messing with Jerry Lawler. God help us all. He heard me and gave me the image of Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres.
We got to see Kelly fight one of the Bellas. The Bellas did the ol' switcheroo. The Bella won. Wonder if we'll get to see the same match again next week.
We got a video package on Alex Riley. I wonder if, as a kid, he dreamed of telling Vickie Guerrero that he breath smelled like death took a dump in her mouth. Seriously, good video package. They need more of these for the newer guys.
The main event was pretty good. Sheamus and Mark Henry work really well together. HHH then told Punk that the Nash match was cancelled. It was going to be Punk-HHH. (Already?)
Well, I thought it was a pretty good Raw. The wrestling is probably the best I've seen in some time. I liked this Super Raw thing. It had a special feel to it, and I liked the anticipation. It still has its glaring weaknesses: Divas division, David Otunga and Kevin Nash. But there are a lot of really great things going on. Keep on building on what you've created.
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Raw Is Making Me Miss Hell's Kitchen 8-22-11

So tonight I'm not really sure what I'm looking forward to on Raw. I'd like to see some of the same work put into the other storylines that are put into the Punk storyline. Tonight's questions: How long will my wife stay awake? Will I regret that last slice of pizza? Who will Del Rio's first program as a champion be? What annoying spokesperson would Miz like to feud with next? How about the T-Mobile chick? She's really hot. Maybe Flash Mob Guy? ("We are...") Who will Vickie be with now?
And thus begins Raw.
We open it up with Ricardo Rodriguez announcing Alberto del Rio. Alberto del Rio's car is worth $225k. This is 5 thousand more than the value of my sister-in-law (who is currently living with us) on the black market. Cena's music hit way too quickly. ADR's shtick is just an act. He can't stand toe-to-toe with Cena; he's not CM Punk. Then CM Punk's music hit. Cena wants ADR. Tonight. Punk and Cena both want to fight ADR. ADR doesn't want either. Then HHH comes out to the ring. ADR will be fighting next. Punk and Cena will be the main event. ('Cause y' know, that's not a special match or anything.)
ADR's opponent was John Morrison, which drew my wife's weekly hate over his beard. During the commercial, there are creepy invisible cops that come out of nowhere. I don't like this. ADR-Morrison was a good, long match. Apparently, my wife thinks that during this match is the perfect time to trim my dog Pillman's toenails. This match was very effective. It got over the arm breaker. A really strong first match.
We get Nikki Bella versus Eve. Nattie and Beth Phoenix cut a promo where they channeled Nurse Chapel from Star Trek. There was another match (good if you have zero expectations). Eve won and then Beth and Nattie cheered for them at the top of the ramp.
Vickie Guerrero is now with Jack Swagger (look-alike for Austin on The Vampire Diaries) and he gets to face Alex Riley, who had no entrance. Dolph knocked over Vickie accidentally and then Riley sneak-attacked Swagger and got a pin. HHH walked through a time portal back to 1995 so he could talk to Kevin Nash on Raw.
Now Triple H and Kevin Nash are in the middle of the ring. HHH didn't send the text. (Nash needs theme music.) They vocally bought time until it was time for Punk to walk out. Punk did the usual. And then Nash hit him and Punk became the biggest babyface ever.
Then we we have Boom-Bourne trying for the titles against Effy White's husband and Mr. Half-Perfect. Evan and Kofi won. If you thought they were going to lose, you also thought Mark Wahlberg was going to lose in The Fighter. Kofi & Evan on BOTH shows? I am a happy man.
Kevin Nash was in an accident. He and Scott Hall must have been chasing the Steiners again.
Santino Marella is coming to the ring and gets attacked by Miz & R-Truth. I'm hoping that this happens to Jared from Subway next. I know what this is. We are going to have a tag match. Miz & Truth against the two cops from the Twix commercial. I really like this. Miz thinks Truth is crazy, but still makes sense out of what he says. The only problem I had is that Miz is the worst rapper since Fresh Beat Band's "Twist." (I love you, Marina!)
The main event was really great for what it was. I had no doubt that Cena was going to win. The crowd was really into this whole night. I liked the Alberto del Rio beatdown afterwards on Cena.
This was a pretty decent Raw. I really didn't dig Kevin Nash being involved in this, just because I can't see where they're headed on this. I will give them the benefit of the doubt. Not every promo can be the greatest ever. The first match was really good and there wasn't anything that made me angry. I'll give them a head-nod and an ok.
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Monday, August 15, 2011

Raw Is From the River 8-15-11

Due to personal work-related stuff, I have been knee-deep in everything "Not-wrestling." I missed what was a really huge show at MPX and Summerslam, of all things. It will be nice to get down to some Monday Night Raw. I'm 33% done with what will be a KILLER work week. I'm beginning to feel sick. My 2-year-old daughter is teething. I had my first ever full physical and the doctor did NOT buy me dinner. Bad things are not happening in 3's. They're happening in exponents of 3's. WWE, what I need tonight is something fun and entertaining. If you make me happy, I might even buy a t-shirt or something.
Due to my boy Zero sending me updates throughout the night, I know a little about Summerslam. I heard something about Kevin Nash. Of course, we all know the key to defeating Kevin Nash... running. It shouldn't be a problem for Punk. God, if you can hear me, NO SEAN WALTMAN! I would rather see Brett Favre return to the NFL. (Though, and this hurts to say this, sober Sean Waltman and CM Punk could have an awesome match.)
Alberto del Rio is now champion, but you already knew that. We don't have to hear about this being his destiny any more, because it's his time now. Plus, tonight, we have Rey in his hometown vs. Alberto del Rio. I'm really thinking this could be a great Raw.
We begin Raw back in 2003 with HHH (but in a suit) walking to the ring. Trips is sorry for his mistakes and he will apologize to John Cena firsthand. HHH is not responsible for Kevin Nash interfering. Trips promised us one undisputed champ. Here is "Sr. Destino" Alberto del Rio. When I was in school, I swear a Spanish textbook was called "Destinos." Now that del Rio is champ, can we get a belt that doesn't make a local indy's belt look better? Del Rio did a really good job of playing up the crowd as a heel. The Del Rio Era has begun. Tonight's first sacrificial lamb will be Rey Misterio Jr.
John Cena has Hustle, Loyalty, Respect on his dressing room door. On my cube at work I have "With great power comes great responsibility. -Uncle Ben"
R-Truth fought John Morrison. Why is a "Falls Count Anywhere Match" being given away for free on live tv? It's not even in the first 30 minutes of the show. I think my favorite wrestler in this match is Scott Armstrong. My second choice was the guy dressed as Ultimate Warrior. I think he was replaced during the course of the night by ANOTHER Ultimate Warrior. It's inconclusive. This was the same match I saw one week ago, just outside the ring. Morrison won or something. What reason will we give these two for fighting each other next week?
Miz came out to the ring after raiding Vince McMahon's 80's wardrobe. He is forcing us to say hi to Jared from "Subway." This is mind-numbingly bad. Apparently, they are building up a match between The Miz and Zachary Levi over who can shill Subway better during their show. There was no match. There was just a shill for Subway.
Then we had Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres come to the ring against the Bellas. My IQ plummeted. I was still smarter than Jared and the guy in the Ultimate Warrior garb combined. I'm going to say this and will probably have it blamed on sleep deprivation and a slow descent to insanity. This was an okay match. The Bellas wrestle a nice heel style. Don't give them a mic, but they are not horrible in the ring. Kelly and Eve won. Beth and Nattie came out to the ramp dressed in beautiful evening gowns and applauded them. When do we get to see Eve turn heel?
So Kevin Nash walks to the ring. And that was it for Raw. Thanks for reading tonight. (Sorry, I had to.) Seriously, Kevin Nash on the mic is never a bad thing. He says Trips asked him to attack the winner. Then Punk's music hit. Two of the greatest talkers of all time were one on one. They compare text messages. They had an awesome back-and-forth on the mics. Now I'm convinced that Punk is awesome and turns all his segments to gold. Can everybody else's segments NOT suck?
Ah, now Super Dave Osborne is talking to Kevin Nash. Let me guess. He texted Nash with HHH's phone. They replayed the "Death took a dump in your mouth line." I was embarrassed for them.
Dolph & Vickie are both doing commentary and arguing. Alex Maivia is fighting Jack Swagger. I'm hoping we get a Riley-Ziggler feud. Can we just unleash Riley? Vickie stole JR's trademark black hat. Then Jack Swagger did what was the worst finisher of all time. He won. Ziggler destroyed JR's hat. The only thing more sacred is "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan's 2x4.
After the commercial break, Swagger and Vickie started flirting. I'm pretty surprised Jack Swagger has time to wrestle, what with being Matt on Vampire Diaries and all. Jordin Sparks was on my tv. If I wanted to watch a show with predetermined results, I would watch wrestling, not American Idol.
We have Kofi & Bourne vs. Otunga & Hijo de Perfección. I think this is probably the lowest I have seen the Tag Team Division since Bodydonnas and Godwinns era. Bourne pinned them. Ok.
Now it's Rey vs. ADR. I would like Ricardo Rodriguez to announce my arrival at work. And I also want Kane's pyro. Alberto del Rio won. Big surprise.
Tonight's Raw reminded me of an old HBO show called John From Cincinnati. Making it through most episodes was a chore. But I believe it was the 6th episode (out of 8) where I had one of the greatest moments I'd ever seen in television history. There is a surreal scene outside a barbecue where the show transcended normal television and became a work of art. I watched that show again, which is unheard-of for me.
I feel like we're in John From Cincinnati territory. It's a very blah show, but every once in a while, we have moments of brilliance (mostly Punk's segments).
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Monday, August 8, 2011

Raw is Build-up 8-8-11

There is a lot of buzz swirling around. Fedor has been released. Matt Hamill has retired. Rory MacDonald was compared to Georges St. Pierre. Too bad the buzz is in the world of MMA. Wrestling's buzz has been gently calmed like a vuvuzela at a funeral. I'm still anticipating the direction of the Summerslam main event. We're not seeing enough of Punk off tv, as we should be. The WWE doesn't have enough faith in their "off-tv" buzz.
We have some questions to answer. As I'm sure most of you have been waiting with breathless anticipation, I decided on the Sheamus t-shirt. What matches are we going to see at Summerslam? Will Beth Phoenix and Nattie Neidhart become the new power BFF couple? Will it get so bad, I look for books to download on my Kindle? If it gets really bad, I might start posting excerpts from Josh Hamilton's autobiography.
Oh, look. Raw is beginning with Triple H. It's 2005 all over again. He cuts a promo putting over the huge match at Summerslam. Triple H is going to be the referee at Summerslam. Both Cena and Punk get to be in action tonight. And Cena's match is now. Cena kinda got in Trips' face. My only hope is that HHH will be a tweener and be kept out of the title picture.
After the commercial we find out Cena's opponent is new dad Jack Swagger. This wasn't a pure squash match. Swagger got in some good offense. I liked the flow of the match. Cena didn't squash him. Nobody in the universe thought Swagger was winning, but sometimes the story is in the dance. I think it was a nice positive first match.
The highlight of the night was the Shake Weight commercial. "It's going to kick. Your. Butt." Then they recalled Mr. Perfect-Bret Hart from Summerslam '91. We get a guy with a mic telling us he had Punk's opponent, which brought the best hair in the WWE, Ricardo Rodriguez to introduce Alberto del Rio. He calls Punk the Voice of the Cowards. Then Josh Matthews is back with R-Truth, who looks like he needs to click here. He is pondering why God created spiders. Somehow this relates to John Morrison.
Cee-Lo Green will be performing at Summerslam. Please tell me he gets to sing Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" for R-Truth's entrance. Rey and Miz are having a match. Rey comes out and then Miz attacks him. I really like the beatdown he put on Rey. The stage made lots of noise and made it sound a lot worse than it actually was. And then Cole went in to interview Miz. Miz cut a very, very good promo about how there is so much emphasis on the main event, they haven't given any attention to Miz. I like angry Miz. Miz gets a new opponent-Kofi Kingston. The match started really well. Kofi is such an incredible athlete.
They are announcing Rey getting a title shot when they are in San Diego next. What is this? Planning for future shows and building them up? It's like somebody is finally listening to us. Again, no question in who was going to win, but a great match nonetheless.
During the Orton-Christian promo, I shop for more books. This looks good. Then I ponder how gray hair in his beard are the least of Randy Johnson's problems with women. He's rich, famous, and at 6'10", he probably has his share of "big feet syndrome."
Ricardo Rodriguez introduces Alberto del Rio and goes after the San Jose Sharks in Spanish. I popped for that. Short, quick. Punk must be careful that in the pursuit of monsters (politics games backstage) that he does not become one himself. Again, no doubt who would win this one.
The commercial break gave me a nice chance to check out some more books like this. Eve Torres faced Beth Phoenix, or, as my wife would say, The Battle of the She-Ras. Did Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler discuss the X-Men? And then, at one point, they told him to just "call the match." I agree. The commentary was pretty crappy tonight. Phoenix won and then told Eve no more booty-popping. I agree. Sara del Rey is a very popular wrestler and doesn't have to booty-pop.
Then there was a Teen Choice Awards recap. And we got to see Justin Bieber do "You Can't See Me." Ah, the jokes could last all night. Then we got Dolph Ziggler versus Alex Riley. He insults Vicky by saying that Death itself took a dump in her mouth. Please tell me Alex Riley had that scripted for him. No human being alive could say something that stupid. At least they're not calling her fat. I was a little uncomfortable with that because Vicky's husband is dead. Hopefully I'm just being over-sensitive.
I'm pleased we get to see R-Truth & Morrison in a main event. There was some good stuff to the match. In the back, Super Dave Osborne is asking HHH for an autograph. Cole mocks JR & King for being boring, which I believe is like Sheamus making fun of me for being redheaded. Now they go to Christian. He has an announcement. As a favor to Super Dave, Triple H lets him be on tv.
Punk and Cena sit at the table. Punk says that all contract signings ending the same way so why don't we just flip the tables over. Punk and HHH trade barbs about movies. (Y u no mention Blade: Trinity?) Punk has a video from The Rock which wakes up my wife. Cena went after the internet fans. Cena cut a pretty good promo. I really liked the three trading barbs at each other. All three of them are right and make you believe that each person is right.
The first hour of Raw was really good. The ending segment made the price of admission alone worth it. All three played off of each other so well. I even found myself liking John Cena. Looks like they're building to the Summerslam '97 finish. Sigh, but a really compelling great Raw tonight.
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Monday, August 1, 2011

Raw is Needing a Build-Up 8-1-11

The good string of Raws will hopefully continue tonight. We have so many questions to answer. Triple H is supposed to "get to the bottom" of this whole Punk-Cena thing. Double ladder match? How will they find a way to plug Keith Stone on their broadcast? Maybe the Skittles guys? Will the Bellas tell us not to bully and then bully their fellow divas? How long will the Divas Battle Royal last? Will my wife's chocolate lab stop panting? Who will Chef Ramsay yell at for being cooking raw meat? Wait, that's Hell's Kitchen, not Monday Night Raw.
Time to make my Jim Ross setting is on, because Raw did kind of suck without him on there. Maybe he can announce Maury. "Oh, yes, he is the father. I couldn't believe it! I really thought it wasn't his."
We began Raw with a long video package showing us why John Cena should not be employed. Then CM Punk comes out to "Cult of Personality" which I've heard was his ROH music. Why did Punk come back? He's the man who gives voice to the voiceless. Wrestling needs him. He was gone a week and everything reverted back to the status quo. Then Triple H's music plays and I have time to watch "The Deer Hunter" as he's walking out. HHH did what was right and brought back Punk. Punk mentions main event talents they let go: Batista, Mick Foley, Chris Jericho, Brock Lesnar. Then Punk mocked Triple H for hogging the spotlight. " 'I just don't think he has what it takes' while he's lying in bed with his wife." HHH admits his ego and took the job of COO for "the people."
John Morrison wants to jump on Rey or something. They both shake hands. Yes, we get it. Morrison is auditioning for another surgery.
I am liking the "Slim Jim Manbulance."
Kelly Kelly is doing commentary. There were 26 reasons to watch this match. The highlight was seeing AJ and doing my periodic AJ swoon.
New drinking game. Every time you see the Twix commercial with the cops.
And then I changed the clothing from the washer to the dryer. My wife tried to keep me updated. "The One Who Looks Like She-Ra" is surprisingly not Beth Phoenix, but Eve Torres. Then Beth Phoenix picked up both Bella twins and threw them out. After that, she beat up Kelly Kelly and took the mic and told her that Kelly's cute blond perky days were over. Good, can I have more AJ?
Then R-Truth comes to Miz in the locker room and convinces the Miz there is a conspiracy going on.
Another Manbulance commercial. John Cena says he wants to hear Triple H's decision. Thanks. R-Truth and Miz get to come to the ring together.
After the commercial, JoMo and Rey get to walk out. They wrestle. I just waited for the commercial break I knew was coming. Hollywood is trying to make a pathetic remake of Fright Night. Make it stop. I saw a commercial for Colombiana. Zoe Saldana looks hot in that (and in every other movie she's ever done).
The four had a nice match. Miz/Rey and Morrison/Truth work really well together.
Triple H tells John Cena not to take anything personal.
Another commercial. I hate Cheetos. I take another drink as I see the Twix commercial. Jerry Lawler's cousin jobbed to Ultimate Warrior. Dolph Ziggler is wearing what can best be described as the worst looking skinny tie ever. Alex Riley walked out and he talked about something.
We had Santino & Ryder against Otunga & McGillicutty. They won. I don't know why. At least Ryder took the pin. He's not going to do anything to lose his heat.
Back from a brief Punk interview, we see Ricardo Rodriguez introduce Alberto del Rio... but you already knew that. Seems like there were a lot of commercials tonight. After the commercial break, we get "Jobber to the Stars" Evan Bourne. He makes me happy like a puppy or a kitten or episode of Super Hero Squad. Evan Bourne is now the designated "tapper." Kofi came to his rescue. Evan + Kofi? My happy void was filled.
Triple H's theme song is getting played three times? Did Katy Perry sing it? Thankfully Trips takes a long pause after every line so I can recap it. And then Johnny Ace (or Super Dave Osborne or Marty Funkhouser from Curb Your Enthusiasm) comes into the ring, tells us who he is. Now we have a new character. God help us all. Then John Cena walks out and tells us he enjoyed hitting Johnny Ace. Every person wants something different. Then CM Punk comes out. Punk knows how to work a crowd. Hunter makes a match at Summerslam (one match, one title). I really like how Cena and Punk both tried to get the crowds going. Good end to a Raw.
I had a hard time keeping my focus tonight, but I don't think that was necessarily Raw's fault. In many ways, this was like a season premiere, where we had a reset on several story lines. I'm still interested to see where we go from here.
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