Hey, guess who just watched the flaming shit pile that was the Blackhawks trying to play hockey like grown up big boys instead of the pants-pissing prissy artistes they seemingly envision themselves to be? I believe the dream for the Hawks is to one go an entire game without touching any member of the opposition, and then having a gentlemanly shootout to decide the winner. I would drop dead of a fucking coronary if a Hawks player ever laid a good hard hit on an opponent after the puck is moved out. Instead when the Hawks take things seriously they refuse to offer the other guy any finger sandwiches to go with their tea service.
Did I mention that the weekend involved a red-eye flight and a 7 hour drive? Did I neglect to mention that? My deepest apologies. Now that we know where we all stand, I’m dispensing with all the usual claptrap and jumping into the sewer. I hate pretty much everything right now, and I’m exhausted to the point of near incoherence. This may be ill-structured and rambling. If you want to come along for the ride, hop the hell on in.
WWE Monday Night Raw
June 8, 2015
Smoothie King Center – New Orleans, LA
Goddammit, Cena Already?
Fucking wonderful, I get to start off by watching JohnBoy. I usually write this live as I’m watching the show on the DVR, but I caught this earlier. So I’ve had time to digest it. And I’ve decided I fucking hate this angle.
I know it sounds crazy or ungrateful to be unhappy about an angle that involves Kevin Owensteen repeatedly murdering John Cena, and then pinning him clean in a match. If this was a show where the storytelling wasn’t designed for Alzheimer’s patients, goldfish, and babies I would be much more excited about it.
Cena himself sums up the reason I can’t feign excitement. Cena doesn’t give a shit. He’s still John Cena. Still the face who runs the place. Still selling t-shirts and telling the crowd how rowdy they are and that they’re where the party is. John Cena as a character is even worse than Superman. John Cena as a character is essentially God. Literally nothing anyone can ever do stops him from being John Cena, nothing chips at him, dents him, fazes him, saddens him, and any anger he feels is conveniently placed between merch hustling and Universe mentions. Why should I, or anyone else give a fuck about anything John Cena is involved in? Raging at God is utterly pointless. Even the most beloved of angels could only cause God to get annoyed and send Satan away from his sight. All Cena stories end with him arbitrarily deciding to move his antagonist from his sight.
Kevin Owens will not be saved, for salvation in the eyes of God demands supplication. To supplicate is to kill everything about Kevin Owens. He becomes just a fat dude with a beard the minute he drops to his knees and begs Cena to forgive his heresy. Kevin Owens dared to confront God. He claimed himself the better of the Almighty, a thing which is impossible in WWE, for John Cena is the ontological proof of God. Nothing can be conceived which is greater than John Cena in the WWE cosmology. Just by comparing himself to John Cena does Kevin Owens already accept the idea that Cena is the Alpha and Omega of their universe. Neither he nor any of us can create a concept of a Kevin Owens that is greater than Cena. It cannot exist. Kevin Owens can win at Money in the Bank. He can win at SummerSlam. He can win at Royal Rumble and WrestleMania and Bound for Glory and Final Battle and WrestleKingdom and Southern Slam Reunion and Slamboree and Starrcade the Night of the Skywalkers and it doesn’t fucking matter. The man, Kevin Steen, can have a successful career and make money and rise higher than he ever could have imagined. Kevin Owens cannot become God for God already is all things.
Plus, Cena’s promo was far better than Kevin’s. Owens sounded bored and disinterested. Sure, Cena sounded rehearsed and phony, but at least there was some energy and volume and vocal dynamics. This crowd sounded quite bored by Owens, and they had reason to be. If you’re going to try to claim the Throne of Heaven at the very least don’t use your fucking Word of the Day dictionary to decide that “delusional” would be invoked in every shitty laconic sentence you drawl out. This is the biggest angle of your life, doing your promos like you’re bummed out that Nikki Bella took the last slice of cheesecake at catering and you’re going to passive-aggressively take it out on her boyfriend is not the path to greatness. The Kevin Owens on TV tonight was a schlubby looking dude mumbling through a promo and appearing like someone who should be back in the fieldhouse/VFW circuit. I know he can do better. He’s done better, many times. Do Better.
Oh yeah, then Neville came out and garbled all over the mic and fought Owens and lost or won by DQ and who cares? This is WWE.
Matches are merely contrivances used to fill time and sometimes allow plot points to be moved along. This show has long ago quit giving a damn about the idea that any wins or losses matter unless they’re building momentum or setting up another match. And yes, I know it’s been like that for a long time and I should probably just watch old NWA Worldwide episodes instead of this show. Normally I can mostly ignore the waste of time that the wrestling on this show. But tonight is just not the damn night.
Why the fuck would they use Neville here anyhow? You’re trying to convince an audience that has never seen Cena lose back-to-back matches that this dude wrestling in a shirt and fat guy shorts is a legitimate threat so you have him work a back and forth match against someone who is one hard push on the top of his head away from being legally considered a dwarf? I love Neville but I’m pretty certain that if they need a stunt double for Tyrion Lannister that Neville could fall drunkenly into things. Considering that everything WWE does is based on hammering home the point that us asshole nerds on the internet are meaningless why let little Timmy say “John Cena’s awesome and that fat guy is fat and he could barely beat a tiny rat guy and I’m going to play Minecraft so screw you mom!” and Snapchat dirty pictures to his fourth grade girlfriend. This makes no fucking sense and I hate that this company is so committed to ruining anything good that happens. Fucking Halloween parties giving John Cena a chance to save his job. Winner: God.
HHH is so cool! I bet he has a really big penis! The only reason WWF never went out of business was because of him! He suggested Austin win King of the Ring, the Rock turn heel, Mankind use a sock, Vince screw Bret, bringing in Mike Tyson, giving Undertaker a brother, creating a developmental program, Apple getting into the portable music market, and every other cool thing ever.
There’s no point getting pissed off at how impotent Seth Rollins is in comparison to HHH/Steph. To do so would be to misunderstand everything about how WWE views the story it is telling. Seth Rollins is just another guy. He holds a shiny that according to everyone involved is important. But the only reason is matters is because it is important to HHH and Steph that the right person have the shiny. The belt. the championship, none of it is rooted in anything tangible anymore. It might as well be called WWE Prom King or WWE Vice President of Titlery or WWE King Turd of Shit Mountain. The only thing that matters is being the face of WWE, and that at no point does anyone forget that the story can only truly ever move from chapter to chapter when something happens that impacts HHH/Steph on a deep level. Even that doesn’t guarantee any actual plot movement, but such events do serve as useful markers for what things WWE wants us to pay attention to. A title change is merely a way to find out how HHH/Steph will react, an opportunity for them to fume and rage until things return to normal. Seth Rollins is just a mook. He can win the title or lose the title or just plain not have the title because some other guy has the belt and apparently no one can make a second one or buy one from the concession stand. It won’t matter in the big story. HHH/Steph are the prime movers, and only when they move do we move.
Here’s 10 people who don’t stand a goddamned chance of ever being anything ever. But some of them sure are jacked. Glad to see Vince is still hands on about some areas. If there’s stiff looking muscleheads and swimsuit models to hire and watch be unable to find their asshole with their elbow for a few weeks then by fucking god Vince is there. Most likely naked, covered in baby oil and furiously masturbating to the jacked up guys he hand selected.
Nikki Bella vs. Summer Rae
Do you ever wonder what the women’s division would be like if Nikki and Brie Bella had fallen for Chris Masters and Santino Marella? Or if the E network didn’t put literally any piece of shit involving people who have boobs and/or money on their network? Neither do I. Why spend all that energy on the Bellas? After all, I’ve got a pimple on my forehead that needs my full attention. Winner: A Bella
Nothing says unhinged like playing a pink saxophone. Credit to Ambrose for rolling with the changes to his character to turn him into an 8-year-old’s idea of what a crazy person is. WWE’s definition of a loose cannon is like Taylor Swift’s definition of a crazy night out where breakfast is consumed at midnight and a boy is winked at. Being a grown man watching this show feels so pointless. Even more than pointless it sometimes feels disturbingly voyeuristic, like I should be in a windowless van while doing so. I watched my nieces playing Minecraft this weekend. I recognize all of the elements of the “game” much like all of the pieces of this show are familiar to me. But they’re in service of a whole that makes no sense at all to me. They are happy with it and spent hours fully engaged. But I don’t understand it. I’m not supposed to understand it.
Why the fuck does everyone speak with the same damn cadence? It’s like they’re all reading a press release or a courtroom transcription record.
Lest it seem like I’m just shitting on everything without consideration, I did laugh at R-Truth’s appearance. And I can’t help but smile at New Day.
This segment is now growing interminably long. And I know there are still other people to be introduced.
The Authority hates Randy Orton and Roman Reigns. Best to give both of them chances to win the most important deus ex briefcaseica there is. And Kane is excited to introduce him.
You want to tell stories WWE? Fine, you’re storytellers now. Once you’ve made that claim you now have to be critiqued by the rules of drama and plot development. You can’t just say “it’s just wrestling, don’t get so worked up you cheeto-stained nerds” and have that be the end of it. WWE has made it very clear that the wrestling isn’t a thing people do because wrestling is an important thing. It’s a thing they do to become famous or make a name for themselves or become the company’s face. Okay, I accept your new ground rules.
Now fucking abide by them you meth-addicted chimps. It is only the blurst of times when trying to explain why anything people do in your stories make any goddamned sense. So far this year the main event of every PPV/network special but one has featured one or more avowed enemies of the Authority in matches where they could win the title that the Authority places all of their emphasis on. Why does that make any sense at all? This level of basic storytelling wouldn’t be acceptable on Arthur or Henry Danger. How can anyone who isn’t still using a sippy cup be okay with this endless parade of shitty storytelling?
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
I’m no more inclined to watch this bullshit tonight than I was last week. Thankfully, some wise folks on Twitter weighed in with their thoughts:
— RealHero? (@RealHero12089) June 9, 2015
*P.S. His DailyMotion Channel is utterly indispensible if you care at all about wrestling from Japan.
— Bryan Rose (@br26) June 9, 2015
— Tanner (@Tanner1495) June 9, 2015
— Case (@_InYourCase) June 9, 2015
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane
Speaking of storytelling here’s Lana with Dolph Ziggler because reasons! And then Lana fell off the ramp, possibly as much as two feet! Women are too evil to be trusted, too weak to be alone, too stupid to look where they’re going, and too fragile to survive the smallest of accidents. I can’t understand why any woman would watch this show except for purely prurient reasons. Winner: Kane
This may be the only redeeming segment of this show. Miz has learned enough acting skills to make some of this shit work. Ryback is so Ryback that he has transcended all acting. I have little doubt that airbrushed singlets is all he owns at this point.
Fuck anyone who doesn’t enjoy this. Three characters all acting exactly like their characters would act. I have to guess no one in the back had anything to do with writing this segment. I don’t care that the match will suck or that Miz was in a terrible WM main event. He was perfect, Ryback was perfect, Show was perfect. This segment just makes all the other awful segments more frustrating in comparison.
Luke Harper & Erick Rowan vs. Los Matadores
Michael Cole is trying to cram all the exposition that WWE just got around to writing a month after reuniting these two characters into about 15 seconds. Being an old man I remember the Attitude Era as it was, not just the WWE approved history where HHH drove a tank into WCW and everyone loved them forevermore. Yes, the main event guys were amazing. Yes people liked boobs and blood and swearing. But one thing that doesn’t get enough attention is that the storytelling was deep and intertwined. The writers could handle angles that overlapped and people could have multiple motivations. Nowadays teams break up, then six months later they reunite and one day they finally give Michael Cole a reason to tell the viewers.
None of that excused Beaver Cleavage, but nothing was ever perfect. Winners: Beards
Titus O’Neal vs. Big E & Roman Reigns vs. Kofi Kingston
Let’s just move along to Dean Ambrose arriving with a comically large bag of popcorn and Roman Reigns being so cool he knows what time it is even without a watch. That’s all anyone is really here for now. Winner: Roman Reigns. Loser: The popcorn seller who will lose their job because Ambrose takes all the damn popcorn.
My anger is flagging into exhaustion as we near the end. I just want the pain to end. And I still think Machine Gun Kelly doesn’t exist outside of WWE.
The Tough Enough finalists all look like what someone would cast if they were doing a comedy and needed someone to portray pro wrestlers. That or Johnny Ace has more power in the organization these days than anyone knew.
Seth Rollins vs. Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble
They probably shouldn’t portray Mercury as a midget or a hobbit when he’s only a hair shorter than the WWE Champion. But then given what we’ve seen coming into Tough Enough maybe there is a new sea change coming in the company. I wonder how long HHH can avoid giving in to that part of his brain that says anyone who doesn’t belong on Muscle & Fitness doesn’t really look like a star.
The simple shit always works. A hot tag. An underdog firing up. Why do these things draw reactions? Because the art form has been evolving for a century. The best ideas last. WWE knows how to make wrestling draw a reaction. It just seems like they are ashamed of this knowledge. Yet two ridiculous comedy characters drew chants and a huge pop for winning a match. Wrestling will always be able to make people cheer and boo and pay money to see the next chapter. Every week though WWE moves a little farther from it. They come back to it when all the modern and much cooler things fail them. Will there come a day when they’re too far gone? When wrestling is so removed from what it once was that none who remain can understand the tropes that are fallen back upon? I don’t know. I really don’t know. Winners: Jamie ‘By God’ Noble and Joey ‘F’n’ Mercury
Until next time, thank you for reading. I’m on Twitter @spiffie6123.