This Raw review comes to you in our trademark WOO! vs. BOO! format. Everything “WOO!” was awesome, while everything “BOO!” was… hold on. Hey, it’s Jason Mann, co-founder of Fair To Flair, IMing me! Say hi to the nice people, Jason!
Jason: Um, Mitch, actually…
Mitch: What is it, Jason?
Jason: I have something to tell you.
Mitch: Please, go ahead!
Jason: I’d prefer to do it backstage. I mean, at least not in this text form that’s visible to all of our readers.
Mitch: What? Your words are already burned into the Internet forever, just say it.
Jason: I just came from a meeting.
Mitch: We have meetings? I—
Jason: I can’t believe I’m going to say this.
Mitch: Say… what.
Jason: I’m here—
Jason: —to inform you that—
Jason: —you are—
Jason: —taking too long to start this review.
Mitch: I love you, pop.
FEEL THAT?! IT’S ACTUAL, LEGITIMATE BUZZ
Or I’m still riding a caffeine high from my Pepsi bender last night. WOOOOOO!O!I!O!O!O!!OO!O!OYEAH, I LOVE (YOU) POP.
For the record, and to partially paraphrase Rocky Balboa, Sunday night was one of my favourite moments as a wrestling fan in the history of my life.
I’ve constantly talked about how I don’t like talking about it. I don’t like to break down and analyze and pick apart something that I’m fully enjoying just by watching it, and then ruin it for myself. I’ve been enjoying watching this entirely as a fan and taking it in as best I can just like that. I think there are people out there who can convey what this means and how significant it is much better than I ever could. I’m excited that I have something to be genuinely excited about in wrestling, and that hasn’t come along in mainstream pro wrestling in a long time for me.
And by the way everyone is reacting, I don’t think I’m alone.
It’s not that often I get to feel like I’m eleven years old, lying on the floor, playing with my action figures (is that too old to play? DON’T JUDGE ME) while watching Raw, wondering what’s going to happen to my favourite wrestlers. Don’t worry, I’ll get to the poop jokes soon (see end of post), the sappy stuff is about to stop.
But I will say this: the buzz for the past few weeks has been incredible, and not “buzz” in a TMZ kind of way (although it literally WAS in a TMZ kind of way!), but just a buzz amongst wrestling fans. Fans are excited to be fans again and to talk about it with other fans, and I think it’s going to continue, because…
VINCE MCMAHON, YOUUUUUUU’REEEEEEE quietly relieved of your duties
While I did really love the suspense and tension and shock and awe and Power and Glory of the final segment of Raw, I think we were all expecting Triple H to handle that firing a little differently. Y’know, by turning Vince’s catchphrase against him and saying YOUUUU’REEE FIREEEDEDUHGIUGHUH. But then again, maybe it’s like the Sharpshooter where Bret Hart is somehow the only man who knows how to reverse it (just grab that leg, Diesel. GODDAMMIT), and Vince McMahon would take Triple H’s words right out of the air and force them back on him, and suddenly Triple H is fired and begging for change outside the liquor store on my corner by playing a recorder on a milk crate. I bet Motorhead would sound funny out of a recorder.
But this is kind of like that time when John Cena announced Osama Bin Laden’s death to a live pro wrestling crowd. You’d think that’d be the perfect demographic for: “excuse me everyone but, I’ve just been informed that WE GOT ‘IM - OSAMA BIN ****FACE HAS BEEN KILLED TO DEATH! USA USA *Attitude Adjustment to guy dressed up as Osama*”
Instead, we got: “I’ve just been informed that Osama Bin Laden has been… compromised to a permanent end. He passed away. He’s in a better place now. Thanks, goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”
I should probably say something good about this before I shove it down to the BOO section.
In actuality, I really did like this ending. It was definitely unexpected. How many people were bracing for Vince to hand John Cena the belt and he’d turn heel and end up as the interim WWE Champion in spite of what Rey Mysterio and The Miz did that night? I know I did. Did you? No? Well you’re a better person.
This feels like a real change. It may have taken place in front of our faces on television and it’s part of the show and it’s fake and everyone can please keep saying that, because no it never gets irritating, hearing someone point out that the thing that LOOKED REALLY REAL on the FAKE PRO WRESTLING SHOW is IN FACT NOT REAL (announcement to those people: you ruin the best things in wrestling for yourself by screaming to no one who’s listening: “HEY IT’S FAKE! YOU KNOW, THAT AWESOME THING THAT JUST HAPPENED? FAAAAKE”).
Ho man, getting on a rant here. Okay.
The ending was great.
It kept that “people are talking about WWE” streak going. It allowed for John Cena to be rehired in an unpredictable way that won’t have (too many) people whining about it, because he obviously had to remain hired on this show and no one wants to endure another few weeks of him trying to MacGyver his way back into the WWE by spray-tanning himself a Darren Young shade and working his way up from NXT Season 9: Jakked.
It also had Triple H and Vince McMahon crying in a ring and saying things like “I love you, pop.” How could anyone not like this?!
It was 100% soap opera and I love it. I love my soap opera.
I LOVE YOU POP.
And I’ll miss you, and your gurgle voice. Leave the memories alone, Vince. Leave the memories alone.
HEY A FRIGGING WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
And I love wrestling tournaments, pop!
Dear anyone who complained about the wrestling on this show: **** you! Okay that’s harsh. I do understand if you were less than impressed with the quality of wrestling on this show. I however, was thoroughly entertained. And here is why:
I certainly do not expect Flair v. Steamboat or Misawa v. Kawada or even Benjamin v. Local Jobber calibre matches every week on Raw, but the wrestling was fun and at times exciting on this show. And it took place in the form of a tournament, which automatically gives it an extra four points of overness.
So, here are some things that happened in the ring tonight that I liked:
- Alex Riley trying a submission move that he seems completely unconfident in
- Alberto Del Rio’s flop through the ropes, followed INSTANTLY by a Kofi Kingston dive that didn’t cut to commercial
- Dolph Ziggler and Rey Mysterio wrestling each other (never not fun)
- Ziggler taking a hilarious hurricanrana — SORRY, FRANKENSTEINER — into the ropes
- A banged up Miz looking like Chris Jericho from No Mercy ‘08 with his bloodied mouth, ****ed up chest, injured leg, hair out of place (actually, Miz’s hair is a complete solid so it did not move).
- R-Truth falling to the outside like someone who is not at all ready to fall to the outside
Not everything was crisp and perfect and fluid, but neither was the Money In The Bank PPV and people are heralding that show as the greatest show EVER. Sometimes things need to be clunky and rough instead of flow-y and rhythmic like a Lucha Ballet or something.
Honourable Mention: Ricardo Rodriguez makes the biggest return of the night!
Until the end of the night. But still! I love Ricardo. Pop.
But I think I love Alberto Del Rio saying “John Cena, I hope you get fire” just a little bit more.
14 DIVAS, 1 MINUTE - HOW MANY ****-UPS COULD THERE BE?!
The answer: I don’t even KNOW.
First, I love when they have 14-Diva tag team matches, and there’s girls bumping into each other and knocking heads trying to find room to do their twelve-step sexy taunt in the ring.
And now, to Rosa Mendes, who I can only assume is face down in the streets of a small village in a underdeveloped country somewhere, wondering what the hell happened (in this joke, Beth Phoenix is a secret agent who has beat up Rosa Mendes and used her government connections to have her shipped far, far away from here, because she hilariously ruined a one-move match).
Look at this from Beth’s point of view. On a weekly basis, the WWE gives us a ninety-second Divas match that Eve and co. have been ****ing up within those ninety seconds. Beth Phoenix has been missing from the main Divas spotlight lately, so she’s probably thinking “okay, I’m gonna show them that they shouldn’t rely on those crappy botching bitches anymore, because I’m a WRESTLER. I’m the GLAMAZON. I’M BETH MOTHER****ING PHOE— whoa Rosa wtf are you doing?!”
This is how bad Rosa Mendes ****ed up: Beth Phoenix got SO MAD she Glam Slammed her too hard and her own face bounced off Rosa’s apparently IMPERMEABLE ASS and busted her face open. Yes. Rosa’s ass busted Beth Phoenix’s nose open.
Maybe Kelly Kelly’s Super Butthole Buster is legit.
Also, there might not be anything better than the “wtf” look Kelly gives Beth right after they win. It’s like she’s never seen blood before.
ANDY LEVINE DEF. JOHN MORRISON IN VIDEO PACKAGES
Listening to Michael Cole and Josh Mathews list off John Morrison’s endless ho-train of terrible nicknames while I watch John Morrison twirl in the air and climb shit, will not make me like John Morrison any more than I already do not. Watching BIG ANDY talk about Silent Rage being born on a dirty mattress where he grew up, as he turns away REAL METH HEADS at his childhood meth lab will somehow make me like Andy Levine. For a guy whose defining trait before tonight was “big”, I think that’s an accomplishment.
So, to summarize:
John Morrison is: The Shaman of Sexy, The Guru of Greatness, The Honcho of Hotness, The Prince of Parkour, Spider-Man
Andy is: Big.
WAIT, HAVE I BEEN TRICKED?
If you spell it out matter-of-factly, this is how Raw went:
- Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis told everyone we’ll never see CM Punk again, and he’s no longer WWE Champion
- Vince McMahon canceled the main event to talk about John Cena
- John Cena begged for his job by referencing the Montreal Screwjob and TNA
- Triple H returned to rehire John Cena
- Triple H fired Vince McMahon so his backstage powers are now just regular powerz
- Triple H and Vince McMahon cried for ten minutes
- I love you, pop
- The end!
Obviously, it didn’t go exactly like that. There was also a tournament for a title that only exists in CM Punk’s fridge.
Honourable Mention: Jack Swagger still
I don’t understand Jack Swagger.
How can he have great matches with Cena, be FOR REAL funny (trophy promo on Smackdown, last year), and be FOR REAL serious (the entire Smackdown where he cashed in his MITB), and somehow just continuously be this perfectly capable wrestler who has somehow swapped gimmicks with Santino?
Jack Swagger’s become a punchline, and I think that’s poop.
I love you, poop.
It’s almost 2 a.m. and I’ve been trying to force that line into the end of this review against it’s will, and apparently that’s the best way I could.
I think someone should relieve me of my duties.
[ed. note: lol, doodies]
Mitch is a regular contributor to Fair to Flair and the founder of PIZZABODYSLAM. He is on Tumblr and Twitter, where he talks about how he watches and writes about and thinks about wrestling all-day everyday. He is also a grown-up.
Edited by Razor