I’m not 100% this week. Something entered my stomach and decided to have a Chicago Street Fight in there. I think me and the Mrs. may have gotten our teeth into some bad prosciutto this weekend, and there’s a valuable lesson to be learned here about what to and what not to buy at Sam’s Club. Stick to the dry goods my friends. Please, stick to the dry goods. Maybe the frozen food. Otherwise you will find yourself having to watch Raw whilst in the throes of food poisoning. Or something just as awful. Could be Marburg Virus. Can’t say for sure.

Before jumping into the usual tomfoolery, a quick personal appeal. I wasn’t always a large strapping slab of manliness like I am now. When I was born I was seven weeks premature. I was tiny and fragile. I came out of it mostly okay, with the only sign of physical or mental illness being that I watch professional wrestling every week. So this cause is of import to me. A dear friend of mine is walking for the March of Dimes in honor of a close relative of hers who wasn’t as lucky as me. If you feel at all charitable any donation you can make would be most appreciated. Kudos, plugs, discussion of topics near and dear to you can be arranged for anyone who donates.

Newhart Update: The slow decline of characters into parody is seen in sharp relief in what has become of George Utley as we move into the beginning of season seven. When the show began he was a somewhat naive, good-hearted local who loved small town life. He lived a normal life and served as a counterpoint to the urbane Loudons who were still adjusting slowly to small town life.

As seasons went by George’s positive qualities became less obvious. He went from small town resident to childish bumpkin who reacts to everything with the emotional range of a six year old. Any suggestion that involved change to even the most minute aspect of the town was met with a tantrum. He became a not particularly kind person, relying on guilt trips and pouting to get his way, and only being kind to people when he had a childlike crush on them. Yet at all times feeling he was completely in the right, never questioning his actions and the impact that they had on others. All that mattered was that things were the same as they were for his father and his father before him. If he could he would be sending people to the cornfield for any offense against his ossified life. He was a man stuck in his mind and in time. To see change or progress became impossible for him, and his vision of the world was the only one that he could accept.

Thankfully George Utley had no power beyond a few people who could be swayed by his frown. Imagine if a man so stuck in his ways, so confused by a modern world, were to find himself in charge of something much bigger.

Before we get into the show, there are of course some questions that need answering tonight:

  1. What’s going to be said about Tough Enough? Will they announce the host? Will this be an all-stars season with the likes of Taylor Matheny, Daniel Rodimer, and Rima Fakih? Is this why Taz left TNA?!
  2. Is Naomi a face or heel? She beat up Paige, but she did that because she was angry about Paige getting a shot at Nikki Bella’s title. Is Naomi an anti-hero? Is she a face because she’s the lesser of two evils? Did the writers forget who the champ is and will now have to retcon Naomi back into a butt-butting face? I’d ask the same of Kane, but who cares?
  3. What weapons will be involved in the final segment? Russian chain? Ladder? Table? Killer rabbit? Jeff Jarrett’s guitar? Nidia Guerard? The options are endless!

Never Mind the Bollocks, It’s Monday Night Raw!

Damn, London Raw was last week. I hate when I have joke lag.

April 20, 2015

Opening Talky Talky Joy Joy! Aw crap! The cage is here. This means no ladder, no table, no killer rabbit. There’s still a chance that Nidia may be used as a weapon though. Anytime Jamie Noble is around the hope remains alive.

Randy Orton’s greatest weapon is his ability to inflict unspeakable pain upon any audience that is within earshot of him when he starts talking.

It’s kind of odd that JBL is not sticking up for Seth Rollins. A situation where his usual over the top lunacy would be appropriate, going full Heenan and acting like Rollins has never needed help to win, and he agrees with Michael Cole and Booker T. What the hell is the point of having these idiots talking? Ever?

Seth Rollins does a good job of summarizing things. Excellent at the executive summary. He should have the job of recapping every promo in 10 seconds or less.

Not a bad opening segment at least. Randy Orton is a sociopath who enjoys the suffering of others, it just so happens his target is someone people really don’t like. Seth Rollins is a cunning coward who is also really good at wrestling. And now the night can be spent imagining who it would be fun to watch Orton RKO. I’m hoping he just goes nuts on the Rosebuds. It’s nice to have something to look forward to.

Winner: Adam Rose. He’s going to have less weirdos to buy drugs for.

Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper: Tonight’s match is sadly not for the Bumfights World Championship.

There was some seriously intense walking around and beard pulling in that match.

I honestly have no idea how this match ended. I saw Dean Ambrose fly off the stage, land on his feet, I looked down to type something, and then Ambrose’s music was playing. I also don’t really care enough to rewind this. I feel like at the rate they’re going with this feud in six months it’s going to be Moxley vs. Lee at the local AAW show from the World Famous Berwyn Eagles Club. Winner: The shorter bumfighter

The Prime Time Players cameo with Seth Rollins and J&J was pretty wonderful (as opposed to Pretty Wonderful). I could see them being the annoying thorn in the side of the Authority just because they don’t give even the tiniest of damns about anything.

Interesting that in talking about Tough Enough Steve Austin was mentioned. Unsurprisingly no mention of Bill DeMott.

Lucha Dragons vs. New Day: For the first time in memory, I’m interested in watching a New Day match. This is 90% due to Lucha Dragons.

The Big E and Kofi pairing is the best combination possible for New Day. Big E is a quality power wrestler, and Kofi has the speed to work with the smaller teams in the division. And Xavier Woods is a fine shit-stirrer outside the ring.

The worst part about the New Day heel turn is that someone’s going to claim that this was the plan all along. That by introducing them as a terrible racial caricature and playing to silence for months and months this would leads to a great heel turn! Everything’s coming up Milhouse!

I hope someone in the back was paying attention to the pop when Kalisto was tagged in. That was a legit cheer by a crowd that was excited to see him get in the ring. His hot tags are slowly becoming one of the best parts of the show. He is something unique in the show right now. He has an offense unlike anyone else in the company. Kalisto is what Sin Cara was intended to become. Only without the really awful blue light. And hopefully without the 2,000 day stint on the DL.

So far Extreme Rules is going to have some significant heel vs. heel matches. Naomi vs. Nikki Bella. New Day vs. Swing Cats. Roman Reigns vs. Big Show. Speaking of Extreme Rules, if anyone wants to bring me along with them, I will gladly give them their own personal live review of the show. Newhart review is entirely up to them if they want it.

The lack of a “stupid, stupid, stupid” from Randy after the RKO botch by Kofi was a missed opportunity for some nostalgia about those heady days when it seemed Kofi might not be a midcarder for life.

Big E. is almost as smart as Dean Ambrose was before Dean became really damn stupid. Hell no he isn’t going to come in and get RKOed by Orton. What’s in it for him? His partners are already dead. Winners: New Evil Day

Fandango vs. Curtis Axel: I thought we agreed to leave this crap back in England! Though Curtis Axel’s dancing almost makes up for me having to explain Fandango to the Mrs.

Lots of new music being heard this episode. Seth Rollins had a remixed theme. Fandango has what sounds like a slightly different tune. I guess the spring is the time when the experimentation happens. I wish they would experiment with good 15 minute matches on the show.

They’re really going through with some crazy idea that we need a Fandango push in our lives. A credible case could be made that they hate us. Oh who am I kidding. We all know they hate us. Yet we keep on loving them. Fifty Shades of Bray? Winner: Fahn. Dahn. Gooooo. Shoot me.

Check This Out: Seems like a good time to bring up something musical. Sometimes the YouTube rabbit hole leads to wonderful and confusing things. Things that make no sense when you read the description, and sometimes less sense after watching the video. On the wrong night you end up in weird subcultures on Youtube, finding videos with hundreds of thousands, even millions of views, and it seems insane that many people would ever even find such a thing. Perhaps one week I’ll make a list of the most bizarre Youtube holes I’ve been sucked down. But for now, something odd but benign, even kind of pleasant. A recent romp through the music of my teenage years led me to Radiohead. Which led me to “Creep”. Which led me to this version of the song. Let It Go indeed.

The Mrs. was not happy to see that Miz and Mizdow are still no longer pals. She’s hoping that once they get the fighting out of their systems they’ll become friends. Honestly, I think we all kind of are. That way we can pretend that everything since early March never happened between them. Then do the entire angle over again, only this time with an ending that’s more creative than “writer makes poop noises, considers angle concluded.”

HHH Won’t Shut Up: I loved the last season of Tough Enough, but the idea that they’re going to do the show without Steve Austin, and that somehow someone from here could jump onto the main roster, renders the exercise pointless.

I love the idea of Kane sending text messages, getting more frustrated because his giant hands keeps hitting the wrong keys, finally setting the phone down and using his magic fire powers to make the phone go up in flames. Then he goes back into the prepaid phone store with his head down and mumbling about needing a phone with a bigger screen.

I like this dynamic. Seth Rollins as a pissy goth teenager who doesn’t know why he’s not allowed to have his bedroom walls and ceiling painted black. Kane is the weird uncle who is tired of the little jerk with his Iphone and his Snapchat and his Tinder and wants to know when Seth is going to give up this art school thing and get a real job at the plant like he did, but he can’t do too much to the kid since his brother Paul did co-sign his mortgage. HHH is the father who is looking forward to going on that business trip to Tulsa to get away from the family and maybe call that waitress whose number he got last year at the dental convention in Binghamton. And Stephanie McMahon is of course the mom who doesn’t get too upset with Seth bring a girl home or if she finds some weed when she’s making Seth’s bed in the morning, because she knows one day he’s going to grow out of this phase and make her proud of her son like Mrs. Orton next door is of her little Randall. Also she totally makes sure to wear tight yoga pants while walking Lucy and making sure Mr. Angle sees her walk by each time. Winner: Wrestlingville, coming soon to WWE Network

Dad is giving out some tough love backstage. Uncle Glen is so angry, but damn it if his truck loan isn’t in Paul’s name ever since he lost all that money running for mayor.

Naomi vs. Brie Bella: If you’re going to keep referring to Naomi as “athletic” then I’m going to need a white opponent who can be called “scrappy” and “hard-working. Bonus points for grit.

Nikki Bella has been talking on TV for over seven years. Why is she so damn bad at it? You would think the sheer repetition of it all would cause her to be somewhat competent at it. Sadly she’s still only as bad as the rest of the people at the table.

Be careful what you ask for internet. You might get your divas being given a chance, but that may also lead to longer matches between Naomi and Brie Bella. Perhaps we should wait to give Divas a chance until the NXT crop is called up. Otherwise next week could be 12 minutes of Alicia Fox vs. Rosa Mendes. #GiveSOMEDivasaChance #BringBackBisch

I feel a little bad saying this. I know both of them were trying hard. I want to give them appropriate due for that. But Brie Bella and Naomi are just not suited for that spot. The two of them, Nikki Bella, even Alicia Fox are all able to put on decent to good matches when led through it by someone who understands how to pace a match. But the only person on the main roster who can do that is currently hanging out with her cat-obsessed husband and his Swiss third wheel. Winner: Booker T’s choice for best female wrestler of all time, Naomi

All Heath Slater wanted to do was eat his salad and get some wine tips from Erick Rowan. But here comes Orton to ruin what would surely have been Slater’s successful challenge for the US Belt. Damn you Randy!

Roman Reigns is here and he’s really mad. Roman Reigns is here and he’s really really angry: BO DALLAS! Calling Episode 1 the best Star Wars ever. If Bo says so, I bolieve him!

They’re really going to do Reigns vs. Big Show, in a Last Man Standing match, in Chicago. I’m beginning to think that someone up high does not much like Roman Reigns. That match is going to get shit on so badly it’ll be like 12,000 people ate Sam’s Club prosciutto. The only thing that would the crowd angrier is if CM Punk appeared and said he quit wrestling because of Big Show and Roman Reigns. And then Reigns gave Patrick Kane a Superman Punch. There is a wonderful sadistic sense of humor at work in Stamford.

Sheamus vs. wait, Zack Ryder’s still employed? The best thing about this is Sheamus’s complete disregard for Ryder being from New Jersey. To him all these states look alike. Sheamus ain’t got time to give any fucks about the Jersey Shore. And he certainly does not have any interest in GTL. Well, at least not T. He obviously uses the gym. And I assume he does laundry, since there aren’t stories of him being overly stinky. Plus when you’re that white, any dirt would show up instantly.

One of the B-shows should have a weekly segment where Sheamus keeps talking while murdering a jobber. Let him talk about whatever comes to his mind. As he does a Brogue Kick he can talk about the upcoming UK elections. Winner: Sheamus

The show needs more random RKOs. We’re two hours in and only one backstage RKO has occurred. I demand better. This count should be in double digits by now. Why hasn’t Byron Saxton been RKOed? What about a random indie guy dressed as security? WHY THE HELL ARE THE ROSEBUDS STILL STANDING?!

John Cena vs. Uncle Glen: John Cena reminds me a lot of Bret Hart. He really thinks that him showing a brightly colored towel to the camera says something deep and inspirational to the world. I hope at some point he says he cannot ever lose a match again while children have cancer, as his losing would cause them all to spontaneously die. And that people tell him things with tears in their eyes. All the time.

I kid, but seriously, if you’ve never read Bret Hart’s book Hitman you really should. Go online and buy it from Amazon using the Voices of Wrestling Amazon Link.

Oh hell no. This is just a goddamn travesty. I need another Kane vs. Cena match like I need to make another 16 trips to the bathroom. Actually I need this match much less than that.

I’m trying to figure out where John Cena fits into Wrestlingville. My first thought was that he was totally the gym teacher and football coach who totally could have reached the NFL as a kid but blew out his knee during his senior year. So now he’s the really intense coach who never talks in anything less than a yell.

The most disappointing part of this match, and there are so many disappointing parts, is that the Cena matches have been some of the best things on the show the last few weeks. Cena had to work some different styles, bust out some different moves, and generally stray from the script. Cena vs. Kane is pretty much the Cena in a Box match. They can have it in their sleep, it’s always going to be competently delivered but devoid of any intrigue or innovation. It is the definition of filler and familiarity. Winner: Really? You need me to fill this in? It’s Cena vs. Kane. Who always wins that match?

Miz vs. Mizdow: Mizdow seems to be going full James Woods. I hope Miz is smart enough to leave a trail of candy out otherwise he’ll never get Mizdow into the box. Then Mizdow can go home to Maryse and claim Miz’s life. And Miz will apparently just be Mike Anin, homeless dude who hangs out at WWE shows. I’m not quite sure how Mizdow will balance Maryse and Summer Rae, but he’s a smart guy, I’m sure he’ll figure it out.

Oh sure, now JBL is willing to be ludicrous about Miz being an A-list star. But when talking about the champion, he’s Mr. Logical Guy With a Cowboy Hat. I did appreciate his line about Furious 7 and Marine 4 drawing over a billion dollars combined at the box office. Reminded me of Bill Wennington bragging about how he and Michael Jordan combined for 57 points in one game. The fact Jordan had 55 was incidental to the point.

Booker T seems to have forgotten that he did get in a feud over his name. Or do we not speak of G.I. Bro? And Big T? And J. Biggs? Is Midnight now just a show on Comedy Central?

Of course Summer Rae was really with Miz. After all, who can ever trust a woman? They’re all crazy and/or evil, right?

I hope this feud bleeds into Jennifer Jason Leigh deciding that she is now the real Summer Rae.

And then Orton comes down and ends the whole angle by dropping Miz. Everything seems to have ended with both of these goofs in the same spots they were when it all started. Great use of half a year. Winner: THE REAL MIZ

I’m pretty sure WWE has no idea what the actual plan for Bray Wyatt is. They just know that if he talks about someone building muscles in the gym that he can pretty much go after anyone in the company. I hope he’s going to feud with a returning Great Khali.

Ryback vs. Adam Rose: Or he could go after Ryback. He’s got muscles.

I appreciate Ryback returning to his usual brisk ways.

The Rosebuds survived without being RKOed. It’s like I don’t even know this company anymore.

“It’s funny cause it’s food!” The line was yelled off-mic, and it was just wonderful. Ryback has a very underrated sense of humor.

I feel like 40 different things happened in that 5 minute segment. But they were all wonderful, so I’m good with that. However, the Shellshock to the food people does NOT make up for the lack of RKOs. Winner: Ryback

As opposed to that backstage segment, where 40 things happened, and the only wonderful thing was Jamie Noble looking guilty. Also I might be imagining things due to the dehydration, but I would swear that there was a hissing sound added when Orton appeared on screen.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins: Here in the Tough Love match we have a cage hanging over the ring and certain to come down shortly. Also possible is that Dad will come down and tell Seth that if he keeps this crap up he’s never going to be allowed to go on the backpacking trip in Europe.

I find it hard to pay attention to this match, even though it is by any measurement the best match of the night. Maybe it’s because after the Lesnar reign where the champion being on the show was a rare and important thing, and wrestling on the show was never a thing, now Rollins wrestles all the time. I really don’t know what is gained by Rollins wrestling on Raw. If the special events/PPVs are a major selling point of the WWE Network, why is the champion fighting now something that is treated as an important thing worthy of buying the Network to see? Put him in tag matches. Let him do promos. But having him wrestle kind of competitive matches that everyone knows he won’t lose does nothing for him or the company. Make me want to pay cash money to see Seth Rollins get beaten up.

For a guy with anger management issues Randy Orton seems pretty content to just give Rollins a single RKO and then just pose. Just one week, one damn week, I want to see someone at least attempting to take a thing to its logical conclusion, or at least not act completely against the nature of the character that was established during this same show. Winner: Gothy Teen Seth

That’s all we’ve got. This show wasn’t terrible. It was okay. It moved quickly enough, and other than the moment I realized Kane vs. Cena was about to happen I didn’t feel at all vindictive towards my tv for letting me see such things.

How did WWE do answering our questions for this week?

  1. What’s going to be said about Tough Enough? Not much. Lots of blathering from HHH about how everyone dreams of being in WWE. A couple quick shots of Miz and Ryback from their time on the show. And that’s it. They’re building a mystery.
  2. Is Naomi a face or heel? I have no idea. She’s very much against the Bellas. But she’s also an Angry Black Woman now, and that’s always a heel in WWE’s eyes. The crowd seemed to support Brie Bella in tonight’s match So, like I said, I have no idea.
  3. What weapons will be involved in the final segment? It was Randy Orton, in the cage, with the RKO. Also, Uncle Glen came back out because Seth just couldn’t stop needling the old guy. Sure Glen has fallen on some hard times but dammit he’s lived. He deserves more respect than this coddled punk gives him.

Awards for the night go to:

Ugh: Kane vs. John Cena, again. It isn’t that the match is awful. It’s just a match I never need to see again. Ever.

Honorable Mention: Prime Time Players for the best 30 seconds of the show. Ryback for being so hilariously Rybacky by cracky. Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler for the best wrestling of the night. Bo Dallas for making a triumphant return.

MVP: Sheamus. His beating of Zack Ryder while chatting with the crowd the whole time was fun to watch. I would watch more of it. I want to watch more of it. Give me this WWE.

Have a good week everyone. If you like this, please pass it on, share it, yell it from the rooftops. If you want to talk to me I’m on Twitter @spiffie6123. Drive home safely. And don’t eat warehouse club ham.