Monday Night Raw – December 2nd, 2013

Well last week’s Raw was a shit show, so I assumed they could only go up from there, and to be honest, they actually did do a much better job this week. Keep in mind, I hate John Cena with every fiber of my being, so if you enjoy him, you probably won’t like what I have to say about him. Anyways, let’s break down this weeks Raw!

– The show opened with CM Punk talking about the Shield kicking his ass last week and Punk’s theory was that HHH had the Shield beat him up due to the disparaging remarks Punk made about HHH’s lack of creativity last week. Stephanie came out and told Punk that they would never do that. She then had Kane come out in his new role as Director of Operations, and Kane patiently explained that The Authority was not behind it, so the case was closed. Kane appears to be growing his hair out which is kind of gross, and kind of just makes him look like a doughy old man, which I guess fits his role now. Is Kane out of wrestling for good now? I wonder. They get real sneaky sometimes by suddenly dropping out of being an every day roster guy.

– This led the Shield to come out of the crowd (remember when Edge and Christian came out of the crowd? And the blood baths?? Remember the blood baths?? God I loved the Attitude Era) but Stephanie stopped the Shield, rambled a bit, then left. Kane then told CM Punk he would be facing the Shield in a handicap match at the TLC PPV.

I was thankful HHH wasn’t involved, (I don’t enjoy the Raw Triple H sandwich, starting and ending with him) and the promo did it’s job by painting the Authority as someone you can’t trust, and it actually allowed Kane to do something in his role. Up until this point Kane had only yelled at Randy Orton a bit, so it was good to see him do something useful as a heel guy.

– Sandow vs Ziggler continued, and I enjoy these matches because Ziggler is really really good at selling offense, which helps Sandow a lot, as Sandow has attempted to be far “meaner” in the ring as of late, to help make up for the 27123 losses he had in a row while being the Money in the Bank holder.

– Big E Langston was at ring side watching, as whomever wont his match would be the number one contender for the IC belt, which means you know it wasn’t going to be Ziggler. Sandow won the match and he and Langston had some words.

It was a decent match that helped push an actual storyline for the IC belt, so I am happy with it. Will they actually give the feud the attention it deserves to make it feel like an impactful IC title feud? Doubtful, but we shall see.

– The Divas had their random match of the week. As usual the Total Divas got their TV time (Bella Twins and Nattie) and AJ, Female Diesel Tamina, and Summer Rae (who odd the company is apparently huge on. Nothing against her, but she has been nothing but another average Diva as far as I can tell. Though better than Jojo. Though to be fair, everyone is better than Jojo.).

A couple of things to note:

1) For all of her family lineage, Nattie is extremely sloppy in the ring

2) Nattie’s discus punch is god awful. You can tell she forces it into her matches instead of making it look like a natural flowing move

3) Nattie got the win over AJ, which leads me to wonder if one of the Total Divas will eventually get the title, if for no other reason because it would be a fun story line for the Total Divas show. Again, Total Divas has been a ratings hit for the E! Network, and since the WWE is a complete whore for any market they think likes them, I could see them pushing the title into a storyline for that show.

And to be fair, the Divas title isn’t that grand right now, so why not do it? I am a firm believer that AJ is the only good thing about the division right now and I can’t see that changing anytime soon. I literally (and I am using this correctly here) cringe any time I have to watch a Bella twin react to one of their boyfriends getting hurt in a story line.

“Oh….noooo. ….. Daniel Bryan is dead? Is he ok? Oh no…..Daniel is ….what should I do? Let’s go sign some football.”

– Wade Barrett is back and re-packaged as Bad News Barrett. This is apparently a gimmick he would do on JBL and Michael Cole’s podcast, and I guess they decided to run with it, because why the hell not. Barrett’s “bare knuckle fighting” gimmick died about 2 seconds into its run, so why not try it?

He didn’t fight on the night, he simply came out twice and delivered some bad news. Here is the second time he came out:

Not going to lie, I kind of like it. It’s stupid and cheesy but at least he’s being a heel, and at least he’s making me laugh. Let’s see if the writers can give him good enough material to make this last. My fear is they turn him into a Khali side show embarrassment (the WWE has some of the worst comedy writers on TV. They make Disney TV humor look like Shakespeare) but at least for now it makes Barrett stand out, if for no other reason he is acting like an actual heel, instead of this blurred line garbage they keep doing.

– Backstage segment with Orton and Brad Maddox is up next. Orton demands Maddox tell the Authority that they tell Orton that he is a bigger name than John Cena. I don’t…..I ….. sure? Why not? This seems kind of forced but I guess it got Brad Maddox on screen?

– Daniel Bryan vs Eric (sheeps mask) Rowan, with Harper watching from ring side is the next match.

Now for those who missed last week, Daniel Bryan was kidnapped at the end of the match and taken away by the Wyatt family. Everyone was wondering if this was the start of a brain washing sort of deal, a situation where Bryan was turned into a member of the Wyatt family. Well apparently they kidnapped him and then…. left him in an abandoned parking lot outside the arena.

I laughed heartily at this.

Big bad Wyatt family kidnaps Bryan, only to go “you know what, he’s pretty heavy, let’s just dump him outside.”

I know they needed Bryan to be back on TV again next week, but man, I feel they could have come up with several other ways to explain why he was no longer in the Wyatt family custody other than “Ah shit, it was kind of cold out so we just dropped him off in lot B.”

Anyways, the match was your typical big man vs smaller man match, with Bryan eventually getting the roll up win.

After the match, Bray Wyatt appeared on the Titantron and gave a little speech to Bryan about how he overlooked Bryan at first, and thought he was just a puppet. But he then realized what a monster Bryan was, and if Bryan joined him, they could take the WWE machine to its knees.

Now, this story line? It intrigues the shit out of me. Bryan, who has been beaten down for months, getting help from the Wyatt family, should be an interesting concept to him. It will be very interesting to see where this storyline heads because if Bryan DOES join up with the Wyatt family, I can’t see how they keep him a face (which is sad, because he is the most over face in the company). Though on the flip side, maybe the Wyatt family could go against the Authority and turn face? But then that would ruin the creepy vibe they have going? I don’t know. Maybe they don’t do anything with the Authority and Bryan just has a short story line with the Wyatt family? When I don’t know what’s going to happen next, it usually makes me happy, so color me a fan of this story line.

– After this match Bryan ran into fat retired Kane in the hallways, which is neat of course, since they used to be tag partners not so long ago. Kane informed Daniel Bryan that since he seems to be friends with CM Punk, he should get a handicap match against the Wyatt family at the TLC PPV. Then Kane did a mock “Yes!” chant which is getting old, really fast (people mocking it I mean. If everyone does it, it just comes across bland). They had to set it up, and this allowed Kane to look useful, so it did its job.

– Oh christ, I can’t believe I have to write about the Tons of Funk tag team. Sigh. This was a match between R-Truth and Xavier Woods vs Tons of Funk.

Now the storyline for this one is that for god knows what reason, last week Clay said Xavier could use his entrance music and borrow the Funkadactyls, to which Xavier did. That alone makes zero fucking sense, but let’s put our heads down and try and get through this.

So on Smackdown last week, Clay finds Xavier and tells him that while he gave permission to borrow his music and dancers he didn’t mean he “could steal them!”.

I don’t know how Xavier stole them. Did he sleep with them? Did he dance better than Clay? OK he must have slept with them. Good god this story line is god awful. TO THEIR CREDIT, though, at least they tried more with this storyline then they have with, say, Los Matadores and 3MB. How many weeks in a row can we see them face off for no reason?

Anyways, in this match Xavier got the roll up on Clay, causing Clay to lose his shit and act very heelish. Clay at one point pushed Tensai (Alberts) and Alberts looked like he wanted to fight, but they settled their differences. It looked like a tease of splitting up Tons of Funk, but god knows how terrible their story lines would be as single wrestlers (“Clay is a stay at home Dad who struggles to make mashed potatoes! Alberts feels like he isn’t appreciated at work, so he turns to painting!”) so let’s hope it’s just the start of a heel turn for the tag team.

Oh, wait, they could make Clay a heel, as long as:

A) He loses the dinosaur gimmick (his god damn trunks have dinosaur spines on the back)

B) Keeps his boobs from popping out on TV. Much like Big E Langston, Clay is using the wrong cup size. At least tape them down, man.

– Alberto Del zzzzzzzzzzzzzz….. Rio against Sin Cara. All you need to know about this match is three things:

1) Sin Cara wrestled with his weird ring lights on

2) Sin Cara magically didn’t get injured

3) Sin Cara magically won.

I assume this is setting up some sort of feud for Del Rio to have now that he’s out of the title picture, and he is now going to pay back some of those wins he got as the World Champ. I also assume this feud will last until Sin Cara breaks a shoulder and is replaced by Rey Mysterio.

– In case you were wondering who the WWE picked to sell their merch this week in an embarrassing “please buy our shit so our stock doesn’t drop” fashion, it was Los Matadores and their god damn stupid El Torito bull mascot.

bull

Sigh.

– John Cena gave a promo backstage to the lovely Renee Young about how the title means everything to him. Shocking. Every time Cena goes into “serious mode” he always explains how the title means everything to him. I WANT TO KICK HIM IN THE FACE.

– The Rhodes and Big show vs The Shield was up next, and all I wanted out of this match was a spear. I am becoming a HUGE fan of Roman Reigns and I love his spear, it’s the best in the business right now, and I could watch him spear people all day long. So the entire match I am waiting and waiting and waiting and…..

WHAT THE FUCK. Where is my god damn pay off? I invested time in this show in the hopes of seeing the spear and the camera man misses it?? Come on man, you had ONE job! ONE! Boo! BOOOOOOO!

That missed spear aside, Goldust continues to be, well, fucking awesome, as he turns back the clock once again and pulls this move out of nowhere:

goldustObviously it helps having one of the best sellers in the company in Seth Rollins helping him out on the move, but it’s still nice to see Goldust pull out the Hurricanrana at the age of 44.

The Shield ended up winning the match after Show was taken out by the spear, which is just good booking. The Shield should always win.

– Renee Young was back (yay!) as she interview Punk this time, which led to this odd exchange

It made me laugh, I’ll give him that. He then went into serious mode and said the only question he has is when the Shield takes him down, how many is he taking down with him?

– Remember the Miz and Kofi feud nobody gives a shit about? Well it continues. Is Kofi a feel? Is Miz a heel? The rumor is the WWE writers forgot Miz had his made for TV Christmas movie coming out last week, so they wanted to keep him good (anytime a WWE wrestler has a movie coming out they tend to be a good guy at the time). That is the supposed reason for the flip flopping between Miz and Kofi, since they panicked and tried to make Miz not a bad guy until after the movie was out.

My question is who the fuck is going to be watching The Bounty (Miz’s TV movie), notice it’s Miz from WWE fame, realize he’s currently a bad guy, and go “you know what? Not for me. That guy is kind of a jerk, so I won’t be supporting him.

This is a big sign of what’s wrong with WWE, when they put shitty TV movie ratings ahead of a good wrestling product.

Anyways, Miz and Kofi lost to Ryback and Curtis Axel (otherwise known as the “We have fuck all else to do” team). Who is the heel this week?

miztakeIf you guessed Miz, you are correct! The best part of this was Kofi continuously going “come on man….come on….come on man…..come on man…..” while Miz was walking up the ramp.

– Fandango got squashed by Mark Henry. I was shocked Fandango didn’t run away from the match causing a DQ as is his usual MO. I happen to think they can do more with Fandago, so I am saddened he isn’t being used much, but c’est la vie.

Here is the best part of the match:

fand2

– Primetime Players vs The Real Americans. The back story between these two groups is apparently last week Titus O’Neil partook in a Thankgsiving eating contest, then went out and wrestled. He got stuck in the Cesaro Swing and afterwards threw up in JBL’s hat and then on Zeb Coulter.

So this week, of course, Cesaro got the swing on Titus, which prompted Zeb to scream at him to stop, because he didn’t want Titus puking again. Titus feigned throwing up several times before tagging in Darren Young, who got caught with one of the best moves in wrestling:

Two things I love:

1) Titus O’Neil barking. I don’t know why, but I wait for it every show.

2) That uppercut from Cesaro. I was so stoked he used it as a finisher. I hope he continues to use that as his main finisher.

Anyways, much like the random Brodus “YOU STOLE MY MUSIC” storyline, at least they tried to give these guys a reason to fight. Puking on someone is a good enough reason for now.

– The night ended with HHH showing up (you knew we wouldn’t get through a whole show without him) with Stephanie to do the official contract signing. Randy came out, then John Cena, both men were booed, leaving many to wonder why these guys are the main storyline right now. The best part about these two is all night they showed highlights of past feuds between the two men, just in case you forgot that we don’t need to see them fight again.

Orton did a good job on the mic, he came across as a heel who wants recognition as the best. John Cena actually did an ok job in one aspect. He accused Orton of being lazy and not using his talents to make himself the best of all time. He then referenced Orton’s bad attitude, which if you’ve read the rumor mills over the years, you’ll remember always reading about Orton being in hot water, which is a nice blend of reality in the promo.

The good from John Cena of course outweighed by the bad. If you’re a Cena fan, turn away now, and have a good night.

– IT’S NOT 19 FUCKING 80. Holy shit do I hate Cena’s character. If it was 1980 I bet he would have been right up there with Hulk Hogan. He has that muscled look the WWE loves, he can talk on the mic well enough, and he knows five moves. He would have been over HUGE. But in today’s world? With fans being more connected than ever and knowing more about the business than ever? He comes across like a boring, contrived, pile of garbage. The only reason he is pushed so heavily is because he sells in a PG way, which makes him the most marketable thing the WWE has going for them in regards to advertising. Alas the rest of us have to suffer as a result.

– Cena continues to try that stupid useless “Hi my name is John Cena, World Champion” shtick. You’re not The Rock. “IT DOESN’T MATTER” was a fun thing for the Rock, it is not a fun thing for you.

– Cena likes to do this thing where he bounces between SUPER SERIOUS mode and cracking jokes mode. He does them in the matter of seconds in promos, which makes it annoying as fuck because he doesn’t take his opponent seriously, but then he goes into super serious mode and acts like they should take him serious? It makes zero sense. John Cena has no idea how to sell his opponents moves nor does he have any idea how to elevate someone else on the mic.

– I know full well this is petty at this point but I hate Cena’s facial reactions in the ring. I feel like he went to acting school for annoying clowns, still managed to fail it, yet uses what he learned in class every time he is in the ring. Nobody is better at breaking the thin wall of imagination most grown ups use when watching wrestling than John. We all know it’s fake, but the best wrestlers make us forget it, if even for a few seconds. John makes sure you know nothing bad is happening, whether it be due to him not selling any injury or move ever, or if it’s him orgasming on someones back as he has the worlds loosest submission locked in with this STF. Sometimes he locks that in with his hands clasped on top of the guys head. I hate it.

Anyways, the show ended with the usual contract signing beat down, which if my WWE math is correct, with the TLC PPV being in two weeks, this means next week Orton gets to beat up Cena badly, which means it will be Cena’s turn to win, which is conveniently the PPV, which means Cena will either win the Unified title, or in some god awful scenario, he will win the Heavyweight title and Orton will win the World Championship, thus switching belts and putting the belt the WWE always pushes as the main one, back on John.

Seriously, they’ve done this matchup before, though. @BryanisWWE points it out with this handy dandy graphic:

wrasslin

Overall the show was WAY better than last week, and as random and petty as some of these tag team feuds seem based on right now, like I said, at least it’s better than nothing. The TLC PPV is one of the more promising PPV’s we have had in a while (not that the bar was set high on the last 4-5) as the Shield vs Punk and Wyatt vs Bryan has me very intrigued to see where they are going. Plus Seth Rollins + Punk + Ladders = awesome. Also I am hoping Roman Reigns spears someone off a ladder, through a table.

John Cena vs Orton will hopefully clear itself up so that I can rest easy knowing John won’t win the Rumble. I still hold out hope Bryan wins it.

Next week is the show in Seattle, the slammy award night, which I will be at live, so I won’t have a review up that night, but I will have one up the next night! Yay!

A shout out to the late great Owen Hart, the greatest Slammy winner ever, and the only WWE wrestlers to ever make those relevant in any way shape or form. Bret Hart had a great idea for the WWE to make the Slammys a real award show (Award for best bump, award for best Finisher) for the guys, which I agree, would be amazing, but will never happen. Still, a good idea.

Anyways, enough writing, see you next week!

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