How I am going to be hated for this list, but here’s the list, and the whys.
4. Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy
The heels vs. the faces. This match-up actually gives a very good idea of what the future of the company is coming to. Comedic acts, and Kofi, or heels that are strong together but cowardly apart. While there is probably not one man on either team I do not like in some aspect, I was heavily for Team Johnny because I love more of them, and prefer John Laurinaitis and lack of facial expressions. Oh, and that suit. I expected this match to last, oh, five minutes. Instead it lasted at least twice that (okay, more, I’m joking) and did a great job of showcasing everyone. The ending, at least to me, though, was terribly predictable. While perfectly executed (showing off how great of athletes both Ziggler and Ryder are) I knew from the beginning Eve would screw things up for Ryder and that Miz was going to win it, making him 3-0 at Wrestlemania. This puts The Miz in 3rd place for most wins without a loss at a Wrestlemania, if you can believe that. Undertaker first, RVD second, and then The Miz? You got it.
3. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *deep breath* AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Okay, all kidding aside, there is a reason this happened. First, it was supposed to be the new shortest match in Wrestlemania history but, oops, botch. Second, this is better for Bryan’s storyline. If he won this match there was no place else for him to go. Of course his losing in about ten seconds was awful because did not get to see these two wrestle. I hate Bryan and I still don’t mind seeing him wrestle because he can put on a good show, but it makes an interesting twist to the storyline where Bryan can blame AJ and hopefully she can escape this storyline and Bryan can focus on something other than AJ.
2.5 Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins
TYLER REKS AND CURT HAWKINS MADE IT ON MANIA! (okay, so it was a small segment, but they were there, so nyah)
2. Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk
I was rooting for Jericho, but I knew Punk would win this. It allows the feud to continue. (Hmm, how many feuds actually ended at this Wrestlemania?) However, having said that, the two put on a pretty sound match that showcased their moves. Was it botch-free on either end, no? But are these guys great to watch because their personalities shine through even in the ring? Absolutely.
1. Triple H vs. The Undertaker with Special Guest Ref Shawn Michaels
When asking on twitter what everyone’s favorite match was I had no one tell me anything but this match. I was against it, I did not want to see Triple H and The Undertaker again, but to be honest I was proud of Triple H in this match. Besides being the one who needed to be helped out of the ring by Michaels and Undertaker, he did not make this match about him. This was a match between two men who respect one another with a ref who is equally respected, and they left carrying one another through. Michaels helped make this match because he’s the best actor of the three. He looked torn, downtrodden, and as if he wanted to break down any time either man looked broken. Why can WWE not put on matches like this more often? Why is it simply about one man making fun of another? Should they all be about mutual respect? No. But matches like this show that a broadened horizon does work to create storylines. This was the most satisfying match of the night and one I will truly never forget.
Sidenote: What was with Rock throwing around the F-bomb?
By now everyone knows that Raw had the largest drop off from the first to second hour in ratings in over four years. That’s huge. And it happened for a good reason. Raw was too carried away with its own momentum and storylines. After last week’s episode I had to wonder if the storyline was good, or bad. I ultimately went with good because I was not sure where it was going.
This week I still, even over twenty-four hours later, can not seem to conclude that what they did with it on Monday night was actually good. None of it really surprised me, besides JR’s firing.
But it’s Raw. There had to be some good to it, right?
And here’s the list I compiled of the good things, in order of appearance.
- CM Punk
I think most of CM Punk‘s lines speak for themselves:
“You want me to do commentary?” “I want you to do commentary.” “Can I wear your blazer?” “You can even wear my blazer.” “I’m in!”
“Don’t screw it up they say, how nice of the fans. Don’t screw it up.”
“I’m like Bob Uecker.”
“Who’s gonna win?”
Now we knew it could not last long. Punk alone on commentary is entertaining, but he needs someone to play up to. Of course everyone who follows me on twitter knows my dream team would be reuniting CM Punk and Scott Stanford. However, this really is just going to focus on what was good about Raw.
- Teaming up the four heels of Swagger, Rhodes, Christian, and Ziggler.
These four work well off of one another. If I could have my way, Vickie would be taking Cody Rhodes and Christian under her wing as well just so I can see more of all of them together. It also showed something very important: bullying still exists at ringside. The exact thing some of the wrestlers were protesting happened in the very first match back. The men behaved but it still was striking a point that was actually subtle.
- Cody Rhodes bagging Randy Orton.
Cody Rhodes interrupted the match between Mark Henry and Randy Orton, mostly because there was no way Henry was getting a third win over Randy Orton, cleanly. At least not at this point. When Cody Rhodes had one of his lackeys run and grab a bag I honestly had turned to my boyfriend and said, “There’s no way Rhodes bags him.” And was giddy when I was wrong. I’m a huge mark for Randy Orton and I was still cheering for Cody Rhodes and his Guccis! Cody decided to have a maniacal moment as he lost control of his laughter and the moment was exquisite.
- Rosa Mendes
She may not be the best wrestler of the diva division, but screw it, she’s the best looking. Also when Kelly Kelly had her in the corner and seemed to be trying to put her butt in Rosa’s face Rosa said no to that and pushed her away.
- The return of The Miz and R-Truth
Oh, we all knew they were coming back sooner or later. It was not even that shocking. However I love watching R-Truth and The Miz telling the audience, “You suck,” as they enter. R-Truth enunciates better as a rapper as a heel and with The Miz accompanying him the crowd can not help but boo. Especially as Michael Cole nearly jumps for joy as he sees his favorite tag team together again.
Now for what I might consider the bad part of Raw. Am I reading too much into the Morrison angle, or is this something the WWE is doing to toy with the fans because they know there is a lot of internet speculation? They’ve done it before. But Triple H did “re-sign” John Morrison. In turn John Morrison was one of the superstars to walk out on Triple H. Will Laurinaitis take that as a reason to fire Morrison? Rumors are that his contract are nearly up and they have lost interest in him. Since he returned he no longer seems to be the same Morrison that made ladies’ hearts throb.
I used to love John Morrison. The bedazzled pants, the fur jackets, the wavy salon style hair. Now he’s become Job Morrison and it’s a bit heartbreaking, if I could bring myself to be that invested. Internet rumors do not help my level of interest, but it will be interesting to see where it goes.
What was your favorite moment of Raw? What was your least?
Cole: “Way to go JR, I actually had some respect for ya.” JR: “Well that’s unnecessary.”
The biggest topics of conversation through the WWE of late have been CM Punk and Triple H. To be honest, I have a short term memory when it comes to wrestling. I do this for a reason. People’s styles change and their stories change. I want to like, or hate, a wrestler for what they are at this moment and not what they did years ago. Or else I might question my love for Dolph Ziggler more if I focus heavily on the Spirit Squad days. While at the same time Zack Ryder has only improved upon his character since he was having daydreams of Rose Mendes on ECW.
CM Punk was the villain, because we know that living your life against alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs could not be something we want to teach our children. CM Punk was the villain until he decided he deserved better than how he was being treated. He wanted to be not just A guy but THE guy.
CM Punk found his voice in July and became “The Voice of the Voiceless,” but then quickly just became “A voice”. Once CM Punk became a main eventer he began to lose focus on the change because he had what he wanted. Now instead of being the voice for those that the WWE was not listening to his real focus came into play; himself. It was always about CM Punk.
Now, I’ve said time and again I’m not an expert on wrestling. So when my friends turn and say he’s “sloppy” in the ring I will shrug and say, “If you say so,” because I don’t tend to notice. If I do notice an error in wrestling it’s probably a really bad sign (I’m looking at you Alex Riley). I can only say if I enjoy someone in the ring and if I enjoy the character I’m seeing on the screen.
I do not enjoy CM Punk any longer. In the ring or on the microphone. I’ve heard this speech before. Please move on.
In mentioning CM Punk I would be remiss if I left out Triple H. Triple H is the man the fans want to see. I do not care how many people complain about Triple H, I’ve been one of them. As I stated in an earlier blog he is the one with the most cheers. He’s the one still in the top 10 merchandise sales even without a new shirt. He never fully left the minds of the fans.
I have less thoughts on Triple H than I would like to. When he walks in I don’t feel excitement, but I don’t feel ire. I don’t scream his name but there is no desire to boo him. He does not bore me but he does not make me want to tune in for him. It’s complete apathy when it comes to Triple H. I wish I had stronger feelings about it because I would love to discuss it with a reasonable head, but I can’t. When people bring him up in anger I want to defend him, but when they bring up in some celebratory manner I want to tell them where to stick it. Never have I felt so conflicted on an entertainer within the WWE and it makes me feel I’m a horrible judge to talk about him in depth.
Which is why I turned to my favorite lot of wrestling fans and asked them their opinions on CM Punk and Triple H.
@yawsrko on CM Punk
Face turns always make me scrunch my nose, roll my eyes, and make me unable to give any fucks. After Luke Gallows was released and the Straight Edge Society seemed to disband w/o any real closure to the storyline, I sort of really didn’t care about Punk anymore.
Then what happened in July didn’t really change your mind about him?
I already didn’t care. Sure, I got a few chuckles when he’d sit in the middle of the ring cross-legged, but he wasn’t my reason for watching. Basically.. he entertained me, and it’s no fault of his own that Serena and Luke got released, but I felt Creative treated us like idiots. Not giving any closure/explanation to a storyline that was watchworthy.
On Triple H
Ever since Hunter fired off that line of “I’m not Hunter, I’m your boss,” I’ve had a hope that he chokes on a bowl of *censored*. There’s so much (awesome) truth to Miz calling HHH a hhhypocrite. I am so over Hunter it’s not funny. Why does he get new merch when he barely wrestles? Why can’t another guy who works his ass off get opportunities? I see HHH as the next Hogan. Where he doesn’t know when to knock it the hell off.
@TheSupremeForce thoughts on CM Punk
I’ve been a fan of CM Punk for years, with my favorite “era” being during the Straight Edge Society days. Sure, Punk jobbed constantly, but his character was fantastic. Also, I kind of miss Gallows and Serena.
The “New” Nexus was crap.
Punk’s “shoot” promo was highly entertaining, and I was firmly behind him during his “I’m leaving” match against Cena, but I loathe Cena, so take that for what it’s worth. Since Punk’s return, all he’s really done is spend a lot of time repeating himself on EVERY show. He’s become increasingly hypocritical, and generally started to turn into John Cena. At this point, it appears that the “change” Punk wanted was to be CM Cena. Congrats.
I keep hearing people blame everyone else for Punk’s perceived failure at becoming the #1 guy, but the reality is that he was never taking the spot, nor does he deserve it.
Thoughts on Triple H
Triple H receives a lot of hate from “internet fans.” That’s nothing new. I’ll admit that I’m a long time fan of the guy, but I’ll admit that he does tend to eat up too much television time, especially since he’s not an active competitor. If Triple H wanted to return to a (nearly) full time schedule, I’d say go for it. But I don’t like hypocritical, pander obnoxiously to the fans Triple H. Make it stop. Please.
A lot of people have accused Triple H of “burying” CM Punk during their brief feud that brought zero closure. Maybe he did. That being said, I don’t care. Once Punk started spouting off his lame ass “shoots” every week, it opened the door for people to respond in kind. If CM Punk can’t out talk Triple H in that sort of environment, screw Punk.
The fact remains that Triple H is vastly more popular than CM Punk right now. Punk was unable to do anything about it, leaving me to conclude that Punk is really a lot of bark with little actual substance behind his words. Triple H tends to sound like a knob lately, as well, so it’s not like he’d even set the bar all that high.
I certainly haven’t been watching Raw in order to see either guy. The WWE has been doing a lot of things well recently, but that wasn’t one of them.
@MarkBilly on CM Punk
If you look on the internet, the internet will gladly impart the wisdom that FacePunk is much like the man behind CM Punk, he is Straight-Edge but isn’t militant like HeelPunk. However FacePunk and HeelPunk are as close to the man behind Punk as Viscera is compared to ‘CM Punk’ of now.
The fact is CM Punk hasn’t been seen in WWE for the past few months, the man masquerading as CM Punk has been Phil Brooks. The smarter ones will know Phil Brooks IS CM Punk but until now the reverse hasn’t been true.
Starting with THAT promo CM Punk has gone and Phil Brooks stands in his place. Everything PhilPunk has said in the past few months has been from the heart of Phil Brooks (with a little added WWE glitter). PhilPunk shook wrestling and the aftershocks are still working their way through WWE, but to think that this is new for CM Punk is wrong. The highlights of his promo are nothing different to past work by CM Punk. He used the ‘in my hands this microphone is a pipebomb’ line in Ring of Honor. In his closing days of his ROH stint he threatened to walk out with the ROH belt to WWE, in fact he did leave the building with the belt when faced with a challenger (though he did return to defend, and relinquish, the belt, he didn’t (kayfabe) leave the company).
The idea of trying to change things isn’t new either, when TNA stopped its talent from wrestling with ROH Punk tried to persuade then champion and fellow ROH buddy AJ Styles to speak up and resist, he hypothesised that if the ‘ROH guys’ stuck together they would be allowed to continue wrestling for ROH.
So history tells us that nothing overly new is occurring, so why is it only now that it has any effect? Simple – scale. I don’t know the viewing figures for WWE but a live WWE mic puts you in more auditory canals than a ROH mic does or no mic at all and that is a big factor. To paraphrase Biffy Clyro, PhilPunk wants to affect a change, with voice and electrical noises. The self appointed (and universally approved) Voice Of The Voiceless now has the electrical noises and is sending billions of volts surging around WWE. He’s popular because he’s saying what a lot of people think and is doing what Styles failed to do, using his position to speak up. Ten million hands on keyboards have nothing on one live mic.
To summarise, I think Punk’s character and current angle is great, it’s been waiting to happen in WWE for a long time. Long may it continue, but just to be sure, shovels at the ready because a microphone doesn’t work if it’s buried, the faster the dig, the faster we get our Voice back.
Now I really should put my immortality potion in the fridge before it goes off…
On Triple H
Triple H needs to decide whether he wants to be a wrestler or an authority figure, and when he does he better start doing a good job at it. There’s no place for an authority figure that sucks up to the crowd and there’s no place for a face Triple H.
Triple H is still doing the things he has done throughout his career that stops him from getting the respect he would like. Triple H would sell his own children to get what he wants (before you start stalking his house Angelina Jolie, I’m joking… I think).
Triple H started from the bottom as Hunter Hearst Helmsley, few would argue that he did well and was destined to shine once he ditched the terrible gimmick he was stuck with. This was not good enough for him though and he destroyed anyone who might stop him getting to the top.
Now he’s COO he doesn’t need to be liked, Vince McMahon never needed to be, his sole job should be to put over his talent. His past glories and WWE Universe’s belief that he can bring back the hallowed Attitude era mean he’ll be honoured and respected. Unless he is going to be hypocritical he needs to use this for the company’s benefit, not his own. The sarcastic comments he makes after one of ‘his talent’ speaks makes people forget what that talent said and a lot of the time they have a very good point.
For example, Wade Barrett spoke on Raw this week, one of the best up and coming mic men in the business according to just about everybody… Who remembers what he said? I only have a vague recollection of subject and remember that he delivered a fabulous speech but Triple H took all the heat and momentum out of Barrett with the smarmy remark about the Nexus, all of which occurred whilst Triple H was injured, not on WWE TV and before the position of COO was ever imagined. It left people wondering why he brought it up, rather than basking in the wonderful words of Wade Barrett.
Many men have tried to go on too long and tarnished their legacy, Michael Schumacher (google him), Ronaldo (google him), Bret Favre (you probably won’t need to google him).
Triple H is in danger of doing this, I have never been a fan of his but that doesn’t mean I want him to ruin his legacy.
It will be interesting to see what this vote of no confidence brings about in WWE and how Triple H reacts to it.
Which group will Triple H join – Armstrong, Lauda, Favre (2nd comeback) or Leonard, Borg, Favre (1st comeback)?
I’m not doing a Monday Recap because, well, WWE does that every show. As do many blogs that talk about Raw. I want to focus more on a storyline and discuss where it’s going and why it’s a good, or bad, angle. As well as my take on commentating every show because, let’s face it, that might be my favorite part some nights.
Going in to last night’s Raw I was thinking, “I’m going to talk about this conspiracy theory thing,” and then Triple H and the vote of No Confidence happened.
My first reaction was, “This is pretty boring.” Beth Phoenix announcing, “we are girls,” felt like quite the stretch. She does not want to be one of the princesses and yet she wants special treatment for being a girl. Wade’s speech, while being the most thought-out and holding truth to it, was still filled with hypocrisy. Christian’s actually fit his character, I can not really complain.
As the show was going off the air with cheers in the crowd for Triple H and boos for John Laurinaitis. None of the top faces had made it onto television during that segment though I wonder if the crowds would really have been behind them walking out. In the few live shows I went to in the last month Triple H was the man everyone cheered. No matter who they were behind when it came to wrestlers the crowd went crazy for Triple H every time his music played. As last night’s Raw showed the only time the crowd ever really made enough noise to make a difference last night was when Triple H was being cheered, all alone in the ring.
I hated this spot. I was bored and filled with disgust at what the superstars were telling Triple H.
It was over. Everyone on twitter was wondering what could happen on Smackdown now. Did everyone just quit? Even this morning everyone was still talking about what this could mean for the show.
While others wondered who was behind it all, John Laurinaitis seems like too obvious of a choice, my question was, “Where do they go from here?” Suddenly a segment I loathed turned into something I felt might have actually been brilliant. While Hell in a Cell proved how predictable the WWE writers could be the following Raw ended up giving us something else. We knew that night that Triple H would be voted “No confidence” when they brought up the idea of the vote. Yet it was surprising to watch everyone walk out on him. When JR sat there for the longest time I was actually cheering for JR not to leave like the crowd. I booed when he walked out on Triple H along with them.
Where can this angle go? I have guesses, but there are many guesses instead of just one confident, “I know what they are doing next.” Vince returns, because we knew he could not stay off of television. Stephanie is behind it all because she thought she should be COO not her husband. John Laurinaitis is the most obvious choice and so they might go with it for a swerve because we would think they wouldn’t. Then there is the wondering: are they going to go with something that will really surprise us?
I thought I hated the segment. Now I find myself glad it happened, because at least I’m not sure where my soap opera is going. That’s the way I prefer things. What do you think is going to happen with this angle?
Best commentator lines of the night:
JR: “Randy Orton seems possessed. Bottom Line: Possessed.”
“How do you control the strongest man in the world?” “You don’t?” “How do you control the Viper?” “You can’t!”
JR: “They’re gonna get it on!”
JR: “Guccis! He was wrestling in Guccis!”
And some love for the Jinder/Santino segment:
“Halitosis” “Bippity Boppity Boo” “Yahtzee”
Jinder: “Let’s go.” Santino: “Okay!”