No Sheety nomination. The most inspirational wrestler in the world could be a wife abusing piece of shit. It’s the Monday after a long holiday weekend, so going back to work sucked. And WWE is not looking promising tonight. My mood is set somewhere between “awful” and “fuck it” so let’s see if RAW can cheer me up. Last week was surprisingly fun to watch, so there’s always a grain of hope.
But before the show starts, something for everyone to enjoy. A few months ago Twitter follower and better of Canadian money @IAmMedellin submitted a choice for favorite album when I put out the call. Sadly his choice came in after I had submitted the report for the week. I promised then I would let his choice be heard. Then I had to take some time off and I spent some time weeping in the corner at being the only person out of the 3,294 staff members of Voices of Wrestling not to get a nomination, and that led us to now. And now is a great time for a great album. His choice, and actually one of my favorites as well. The best tag team since the Midnight Express, the collaboration between MF DOOM and Madlib, Madvillainy.
The New Day is here and they’re here to say, if you wanna stay positive don’t be boo-tay
Big E damn near broke his voice doing the intro for this week. Not sure where the stick unicorns have gone. Also not sure why Pepe the stick horse hasn’t yet been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Epsilon got deep into the stank there. That towel might walk off on its own.
I want to hate Sheamus here, but his joyous demeanor and his corporate shilling is wonderful. It’s like he absorbed a little of the New Day magic in this promo. Don’t get me wrong, as a wrestling promo it is hot garbage. But as post-ironic humor for the jaded Twitter fan it is a fucking goldmine. Not sure I care for the short necktie. I was raised to believe that necktie point should be close to the top of the belt buckle.
The camera work for the surprise Superman Punch by Roman Reigns was good. The announcing was bad. Yet another stealing the belt angle is a tire fire.
Everything that ever needs to be said about what has happened to the WWE title in recent years was said in the interview segment with Reigns and the Authority. “Give us back what is ours.” The WWE title is a gaudy decoration that mostly exists so tiny replica versions can be sold to children and full-sized versions to adults making questionable life choices.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Tyler Breeze
A year ago at this time Dolph Ziggler was the hero of WWE, Sting was a force to be reckoned with, and the Authority was out of power forever. Since then Sting had his last great match, Dolph has spent the year in the worst angles imaginable, and the Authority is still the true WWE champion. I sure have spent a year of my life so very well.
These two are putting effort in, with Ziggler continuing to take insane bumps. But once again the constant rematches just kills any interest that can be built. These two had a grudge match at Survivor Series. So they have another one this week. They’ll likely have one at TLC. Sometime between now and that night they will likely have some sort of match, either singles or tag. Why?
What purpose does this have except to kill time?
I feel like this show has become a nihilistic exercise in bleeding life away. This match was a decent match. The ending had good pace and the final superkick by Ziggler was as perfect looking as it can be. But what does any of it matter?
- October 22 – SmackDown – Breeze debuts, attacks Ziggler
- October 29 – SmackDown- Ziggler/Breeze brawl
- November 2 – RAW – Ziggler/Breeze brawl
- November 19 – SmackDown – Ziggler distraction of Breeze
- November 22 – Survivor Series – Ziggler vs. Breeze
- November 23 – RAW – Breeze/Owens vs. Ambrose/Ziggler
- November 26 – SmackDown – Ziggler vs. Breeze vs. Ambrose
- November 30 – RAW – Ziggler vs. Breeze
So far in a little over a month I’ve watched them interact at least eight times. After all of this, nothing has changed. Nothing has happened. They’re Itchy and Scratchy. They fight, and fight, and fight fight fight fight. Then next show they do it again. And again. And again. At some point they will grow bored with each other and move on to fight other people. It will be months later, and no one will have any distinct memories of this “feud”, both men will be a little older and have taken a few more punches on their bump cards. Summer Rae will meander off to being someone else’s valet or girlfriend or what have you. No one on this show exists unless in opposition to someone else. Except for John Cena. That’s why he stands out. John Cena is in opposition to no one, because no one can truly oppose him. Everyone else is just someone else’s opponent or tag partner or sidekick.
This might explain why the recent injuries/absences in WWE have seemingly thrown the entire show into chaos. Since nobody really exists as a person everyone ends up just being a feud, a broadly defined character trait, and a custom branded shirt. If something happens to throw those feuds out of whack, then WWE has to scramble to find a new feud and a new reason why this person dislikes this other person. Of course, if the show about a fake sport were to actually use any of the lessons learned from real sports, and didn’t have their most prestigious honor relegated to being the wrestling Christian (not Edge’s buddy) to Cyrano de Levesque, they could build around that. Give people some motivation. But that would get in the way of the oh so compelling stories they are telling. Stories like… I don’t even have a sarcastic answer here.
I don’t know what I’m watching most of the time. Things happen that are funny, or matches are well worked, and very sporadically someone does things that remind of the good parts of professional wrestling. But really, this show is nothing but a lesson in mortality. Every week they start a clock, and over three hours later they remind us that we, the viewers, have given them ⅛ of a day. Over a year WWE claims nearly a week just in the watching of RAW. Just watching all of the run of RAW alone takes over three months of life.
In a northern city, like the place where I live, summer lasts three months. One day the snow and cold rains are gone, and the city emerges from not so much a hibernation as a slip in time. A watch from Rod Serling’s mind is started and the city emerges whole and alive, patios and softball fields alive as though summer had never ended. People waiting in place, like the moment in The Truman Show when everyone goes to first positions of the day while hunting for Jim Carrey. These summer days are parceled out as if rations on a lifeboat. They are currency, giving someone an entire warm afternoon of your time is as much of a gift to that person as gold or diamonds.
I have given RAW a season. When I count the SmackDowns and PPVs and Superstars and Shotgun Saturday Nights and NXTs and WWECWs, I have surely offered them another summer, perhaps part of a third. I do not blame WWE for this. I handed them my time, the one currency we have that can never be replenished. In return they gave me what they are, for better or for dirt worst. Maybe it is because I am aging. I am a pirate looking at 40. I am more demanding of the things I receive in return for my time. The days of going to movies I am okay with, seeing bands I don’t mind, and being around people who have nothing more to offer than not being aggressively terrible, these days have passed me by, as my temporal credit line gets a little closer to being maxed out.
I don’t want a RAW that is exactly how I would envision it. I’ve already imagined that in my head, and they wouldn’t give me a Madison Eagles vs. Kazuchika Okada match no matter how much I tried to will it into fruition anyhow. I want a RAW that I don’t envision and I don’t expect, but one that satisfies the desire to see stories I care about being told, matches I enjoy being wrestled, and characters I can invest in doing and saying things worth that investment. Right now I feel like I am being swindled by this show, but I have only myself to blame for continuing. Winner: Dolph Ziggler
So Rusev and Lana are canon on WWE TV now? Is this new or did I miss this during my time away?
Rusev should know by now that Miz never controls Miz TV.
What the fuck is wrong with you people? The man just wanted some goddamned chocolate covered strawberries. We could have turned Rusev into a proud American who loves the USA and their get well gift giving ways.
This angle is making my kayfabe hurt. Bill Watts would have fired everyone in this ring. Miz included.
Remember that part a few paragraphs back where I tried to express how I felt about time and WWE? The last YEAR OF THIS ANGLE IS TIME I WANT BACK! I sat through this horrific, offensive, disturbing, incomprehensible angle just to get right back to this? To get Boris and Natasha back together?
You all know how I feel about Ryback, but between the slut shaming, the bizarre references, and the unnecessary snow cap I am not feeling The Big Guy here.
Rusev vs. Ryback
There is way too much discussion about being a fan of Smash Mouth. I never forgave them for being part of the most underwhelming movie ending ever, when they appeared at the end of Rat Race.
Rusev is a heel for worrying about his injured fiancee. Ryback is the face for comparing Lana and Rusev to Teen Wolf. All of the face/heel alignments in this company are seemingly decided by a focus group of Gamergate members. Winner: Ryback
Triple H is going to take away the title opportunity from Dean Ambrose that Dean only has because Triple H allowed him to have a chance to have a title opportunity. I feel like Triple H may have been great at the old game Mouse Trap.
Dudley Boyz Table Jamboree
If Bubba Ray would have said “GREAT JOOOORRRRRBBBB!” to the Wyatt family he would have instantly become my new hero.
Been a hell of a long time since I have heard the Dudley Commandments.
Bray Wyatt continues to slide down the long path to irrelevance. Feuding with the Dudleys as 2015 draws to a close is not exactly Wrestlemania against Cena or Taker.
The thought running through the mind of any young fan watching this is “who is the hobo with the sticks?”
ECW references will pop crowds until the very bitter end of time.
Dudley Boyz/Tommy Dreamer vs. Harper/Rowan/Strowman
This whole thing could be salvaged by one thing. Bring me a 20 minute segment of Bray Wyatt and Raven doing dueling rambling promos. I would listen to this forever. It would be better for long drives than the News From Lake Wobegon.
Right now I am pausing the show just before any ECW guys might go through tables. This is because I am going to give my list of the top ten people I would love to see come out to make the save for the old dudes
- Spike Dudley
- New Jack
- Angry Amish Roadkill
- The Musketeer
- Mikey Whipwreck
- Steve Austin dressed as Eric Bischoff
- Ballz Mahoney
- Hack Myers
- D.C. Drake
Meh. Would have been much cooler if Roadkill had emerged. Winner: TNA. They can demand everyone who laughed at them for an ECW reunion angle do the same to WWE
Alberto Del Rio vs. Goldust
Zeb needs a sidecar for his Rascal. That way he and Alberto can escape from Jack Swagger at 3 MPH.
So, I have a thought. WWE signed Alberto Del Rio kind of out of nowhere. It was a huge shock given that he left under such fractious circumstances.The MexAmerica angle makes so little sense it is like someone created it in 30 seconds just before del Rio went out to the ring upon his return. Shortly after this WWE signed La Sombra. WWE is a company known for racial quotas and poor organization. I think it is quite obvious that, much like when they signed the wrong one-legged wrestler, WWE got confused and signed the wrong Mexican guy.
Jack Swagger couldn’t get a pop if he came out to the ring in Pittsburgh with Sidney Crosby, Antonio Brown, Bill Cowher, and Andrew McCutcheon. Winner: Alberto Del Rio
The Usos vs. Lucha Dragons
Big E’s hat. Let us revel in the hat.
The match had a couple of botches and a really nice dive by Uso. Mostly it had the New Day. They’re pretty much the only damn thing worth watching anymore. And that’s because they’re deconstructing every wrestling trope and laying bare how creatively bankrupt the rest of the show is. Winners: None. Double DQ, as Xavier Woods made sure the ref saw.
Sasha Banks vs. Brie Bella
This weekend, I rewatched NXT Brooklyn. I watched Sasha Banks come out in front of 12,000 people in an Escalade with a bunch of beefy security guys acting at her beck and call. She was a star, a main eventer, and a true boss.
Tonight I’m watching a match with multiple hair pulls, outside interference, and Sasha Banks needing a 3-on-1 advantage to win against the lesser Bella.
And we’re doing all of this with Brie Bella as the face. This show is making me feel like Andy Dufresne. Winner: Sasha Banks
Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns
This is where the title being such a devalued prop is a problem. If there was any indication that the title was something worth fighting for, that it carried some sort of symbolism of being the best in the world, then you could imagine Sheamus caring about trying to fight for the belt. But since the only purpose of the belt is to show who is favored by the Authority, and something Sheamus can hold without caring at all how he keeps it, and the concept of winning matches being something important in any way is a long time passed, why the hell isn’t Sheamus having his cronies come out in the first second?
The match was kind of like watching a video game. Roman as the Player 1 character, trying desperately to deplete the HP from Sheamus, and seeing Sheamus get progressively weaker as the match went on, was a solid internal story. I’ll give that credit in the middle of this pointlessness.
The League of Nations is hopefully a better organization for Sheamus than it was for Woodrow Wilson. Plus now we can all name midcarders from non-American countries and speculate on their eventual admission into the League. Winner: Roman Reigns
Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch
This was referred to as a “friendly match” which means something awful is going to happen by someone.
“Ric Flair is like a rash, he just won’t go away.” I am so sad that I kind of agree with this. Ric Flair is, was, and will always be my favorite wrestler ever. There’s not even a close second. But I really wish he would just go away, and live on a farm with the other retired wrestlers where he can run around all day with his friends.
And now grown adults are talking about pinky swears. I hope that this kind of behavior will eventually lead to guys admitting their Brony status and the on-camera debut of Pon E. Langston.
Paige is making a lot of salient points on commentary. And they are all proven correct by the ending.
So Charlotte is a heel. Sasha, Naomi, and Tamina are heels. Paige is a heel. WWE just can’t help themselves. Every woman in the company has to be evil and manipulative and awful to everyone around them because bitches be crazy and the head of the company is a giant roided up manbaby who never progressed beyond the earliest stirrings of puberty and continues acting that way even as he enters his seventies.
After the match we get to see both Charlotte and Paige playing with Becky’s mind, because if you’re not an evil woman you’re a barely coherent simpering moron. Winner: Charlotte
I wish there was another form of entertainment that would allow me to have moments like Titus O’Neil demanding people get in the Christmas spirit.
League of Nations vs. Roman Empire
The show wants me to tire of New Day. But no such thing could ever happen in my world.
Fine JBL, I did laugh at the image of Tenzing Norgay kicking Edmund Hillary off of Everest.
I didn’t even notice that Kevin Owens was not on the show tonight until the announcers mentioned his match at TLC.
Watching New Day you realize that not only are they comedy experts, but they are an excellent old school heel tag team. They are so damn good at pissing off the crowd and riling them up to boo them, even though everyone loves them at the same time.
No one gives a damn about Roman Reigns at this point in the night. Maybe because the odds are ludicrous. Maybe because there are never any stakes to these things. Or maybe people just do not care if Roman Reigns wins or loses.
The crowd is now reacting to Roman’s interminable heat segment by chanting “We Want Ambrose.” I know it is the “smarky” thing to say, but this crowd is far more interested in Ambrose fighting Sheamus than in Roman fighting Sheamus. This seems a good time to remind every one of Brandon Howard’s awesome series trying to find Roman’s supposed huge house show support that justifies his spot.
At some point Owens has to join the League so all of the titles are together. Plus, he is Canadian, and that’s a nation. Winners: League of Nations
Final Thoughts: The show was so bad even four segments of New Day couldn’t save it. Though they gave it their yeoman’s best. I’d apologize for being negative about tonight’s show but I don’t think anything I said was inaccurate.
The Road to WrestleMania annot commence soon enough at this point. Show gets two thumbs down.