There are good Raws, there are bad Raws and then there’s last night’s Raw. It is possible for a show to be so bizarre, ridiculous and quirky that you totally love it and the guy next to you thinks it’s the dumbest thing that’s ever been put on television. Hell, even a flat-out great episode of Raw can elicit that kind of reaction, so just imagine how polarizing last night’s acid trip will be perceived.
And that’s really the best way I can describe it. I woke up this morning at 5:18am wondering if I had dreamed the entire thing after a Cheetos bender gone wrong. Surely they didn’t bring back Brodus Clay as Amish Flash Funk, the dancing dinosaur from an undiscovered planet outside of our solar system, right? Right?! Well…
Only in wrestling, my friend.
And while that’s the most obvious example to illustrate Raw’s oddness, it was really just the beginning.
The major storyline throughout the show was a mini horror movie… literally. Kane made his intentions clear(ish) to start the show: he wants Cena to embrace his hate because he always gets what he wants, the fans suck or the camp counselors let him burn while they were off having sex, one of those. John Cena tried to confront Kane early in the show, because every good horror movie needs the first encounter with the monster, but managed to stun him well enough to send him running.
Inspiration: Sydney fighting off Ghostface in her house early on in Scream
But like any good villain that gets embarrassed by the protagonist, Kane decided to murder John Cena’s friends instead. All throughout the night, Kane was lurking in the shadows while Zack Ryder performed various tasks like hitting on the hot chick, brushing his teeth and babysitting the Doyle kid.
Inspiration: Michael Myers in Halloween
Late in the evening, Eve was supposed to battle Beth Phoenix for a shot at the Divas Championship, but instead Kane’s music played, in a clever ruse to draw out Zack Ryder. Ryder “rescued” Eve and took her to his Kia Soul, except the tire was flat! Oh no, whatever will they do?! They have a flat tire in the middle of
nowhere this 15,000-seat arena with cabs lined up around the block to pick up drunk wrestling fans, they’ll never get out of this one! Luckily, Zack Ryder (sorta) knows how to change a tire, but Eve’s just a girl and can’t figure these things out, she just hopes Zack knows what he’s doing!
Inspiration: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, any movie with crazed hillbillies in a small town.
And while Ryder struggled with changing a tire (righty-tighty, lefty-loosey, c’mon!) and Eve cried from the passenger seat, their best buddy John Cena just went about his business in a main event match with Dolph Ziggler. Hey, he can’t worry about something as silly as a serial chokeslammer on the loose, he’s got a football game to win! Eventually Cena did the right thing and tried to save his friends, but of course it was just a clever trap; Kane finished him off with “The Nasty Hold on Cena’s Face Again™” and Raw ended exactly the same way as it has for the last month.
Inspiration: Any horror film with more than three entries in the franchise.
Now the big question this week was WWJD: What Would Jericho Do? After being “overwhelmed with emotion” last week, as Jerry Lawler put it, surely Jericho would talk tonight, right? Sorry, he just couldn’t, the tears were welling up in his eyes and he became even more overwhelmed! “MY EMOTIONS! MY EMOTIOOOONS!”
Remember that episode of The Office, back when it was still funny, when Jim couldn’t talk and he makes up a story about a family member affected by substance abuse and he conveys it entirely through fake crying? It was kinda like that, so my only guess is someone has placed a jinx on Jericho and he can’t speak until he buys them a Coke.
My other theory is that Chris Jericho is playing Hulk Hogan circa 2002 where he just basks in the adoration of the fans every week for five to ten minutes. Maybe next week he’ll team up with Edge and beat two gay guys for the tag titles. Don’t worry, it’s just a publicity stunt, so it’s totally not homophobic.
Elsewhere on Raw, CM Punk battled Jack Swagger in the 10pm main event and it looked like things were finally going to settle down. Hey it’s Punk and the very capable Swagger in the longest match of the night, surely this would be our moment of zen? WRONG! Right in the middle of a great match, CM Punk landed the Flying Elbow Smash, only for the ref to screw up a near fall and count the three too early. CM Punk look pissed, but commentary did an awesome job covering things up and it felt like one of those moments where an NFL ref blows an obvious call. As well as it worked, it continued the bizarre thread that weaved its way through the evening.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston was a one-minute squash with the World Champion easily dispatching one half of the tag champs. Apparently there was a backstory to this match on WWE.com, but they put up the link while the match was going on. Like I said, weird show. Bryan’s excessive celebrating escalated further, which I love, but apparently Big Show does not. Show came to the ring after the match to tell Bryan he has to defend the World Championship again this Friday, and this time it’s no count-out and no DQ. If that match happened on this show, Bryan would’ve made Big Show tap out in 45 seconds.
Oh yeah, did I mention Curt Hawkins was Brodus Clay’s opponent? Like I said, weird show.
Another ongoing story throughout this show was The Miz trying to lure R-Truth out of hiding to give him a beat down. This culminated with Miz forcing Ricardo Rodriguez to go out to the ring and say “really offensive things,” which made me really nervous. Also, why the hell does Ricardo have to work while Del Rio is injured? Did Virgil have to work when Ted DiBiase was vacationing at his seasonal residence? That ain’t right!
Anyway, Truth finally came out of hiding, but fought off a Miz blindside (that’s what happens when you broadcast your evil plan on a TV show watched by 5 million Lil Jimmies) and this story ended exactly the same way as it has for the last three weeks. Sound familiar?
And finally, Sheamus & Santino Marella (what?) took on Wade Barrett & Jinder Mahal (what what?!) in the most pointless tag match ever. This was a match that made you question if WWE knows what the word “super” means when they call it a “SuperShow.”
There were two really awesome bits of news though, they announced the first two inductees into the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame: Edge and The Four Horsemen! That’s really sweet of them to give the nod to Edge so soon. I bet he nerded out when they told him. And I’ve wanted them to induct The Horsemen as a group for years now and it’s especially great because Ric Flair will be the first-ever double inductee in the HOF. I know there were a lot of people wondering if he’d be at the ceremony due to his contract with TNA, but somehow I think WWE can work around a legal document written in crayon. And yay, Arn Anderson’s finally going in!
Oh and I need to put the kibosh on this now: Chris Benoit is NOT a Hall of Famer due to this. No, not even “technically,” unless you also want to say Heidenreich is a Hall of Famer since the Road Warriors went in last year. Just knock that shit off right now.
So yeah, that was Raw. There were ass loads (that’s slightly less than a shit ton) of problems, problems that have plagued Raw for the last two months, but somehow they didn’t really matter. It was so absurd and stupid that it would’ve just pissed me off more if they tried to fix it on this show and it probably would have made things worse. My guess is they figured no one would watch due to the BCS game and just dove in head first. Sure, it’s the middle of January, so the pool was empty, but sometimes wrestling is more entertaining when you’ve suffered massive head trauma.
Razor is a regular contributor to Fair to Flair and the founder of Kick-Out!! Wrestling. It’s pretty difficult to miss him on Twitter, trying to be clever in 140 characters or less. You can also check out Kick-Out’s Facebook and Tumblr pages, because there just aren’t enough social networking sites out there.
Edited by Jason Mann.