Worst: 22 Seconds Of Wrestling In The First Hour
I did the math.
The first match gets underway 24 minutes into the show, and as Wade Barrett is walking to the ring they go to commercial. They come back to a match already in progress with Barrett outside the ring, and it’s 96 seconds from when we return until the bell. It takes Show 8 seconds to walk over and touch Barrett. Barrett chokes Show on the ropes and gets hit with a shoulderblock that causes him to roll to the outside. It takes 18 seconds for Big Show to exit the ring and touch Barrett again. That leads to Barrett escaping a bodyslam attempt, shoving Big Show into the ringpost and kicking him into position on a table. Barrett climbs the ropes, Show recovers and shatters the table himself with a punch, walks over and smacks Barrett in the chest. That takes 32 seconds. Barrett rolls out again, grabs a chair, brings it into the ring and has it punched. The time between the smack to the chest and any further physical activity is 12 seconds. That’s the end of the match.
So, subtracting all the time it takes for Big Show to walk from one point to another, complete and total inactivity takes up 70 seconds of a 92 second match, giving us a grand total of 22 seconds of wrestling in the first hour of Raw. 22 f**king seconds. I’ve seen Divas matches last longer than that.
Also, how the hell is that the end of the match? Barrett didn’t swing the chair at Show and have it punched, Show just punched it out of his hands. Two weeks ago we established that holding a chair is not in itself a disqualifiable offense. If intent to use a weapon caused a DQ, why didn’t the referee DQ Show for trying to use a table, or Barrett for trying to use the same table seconds later?
Worst: And Here’s The Road Dogg, Because They’re Trying To Kill Me
- I don’t think Big Jimmy was trying to be insulting when he asked Truth “what’s up,” I just think he’s a member of the WWE Universe, and those guys can only respond to wrestlers with their catchphrases. That’s why nobody cares about Dolph Ziggler, and why 20,000 people found the Road Dogg so goddamned interesting for half a decade.
And yeah, it could lead to awesome Nash/Punk interaction and a lot of fun stuff, and I don’t know where it’s gonna go. But damn, I want my plane ride to go from point A to point B sometimes without dipping its nose and making me wait to see where it goes.
What I’m saying is that if X-Pac or some form of Billy Gunn shows up on Raw tomorrow night, I’m out.
I don’t know who said the third Beetlejuice, but The Road Dogg showing up, harmless and happy to be there as he was, sets off big flashing loud WOOP WOOP WOOP sirens in my brain and makes me start flipping the channels, breathlessly looking for Billy Kidman on another channel doing anything anywhere. Road Dogg has somewhat unfairly been branded my image of what was wrong with the Attitude Era … a white guy with braids who is in worse shape than me pinning the Road Warriors in like three minutes with cookie sheet headshots and fire extinguishers before launching into his five minute Time Life “catchphrases of the 90s” collection. He’s terrible, and I’m not nostalgic for this. If Terry Funk was here getting dumpster dove, yeah, maybe, but not this. Not in the D-X t-shirt.
Also, how funny is it that when the New Age Outlaws first started out they wore airbrushed South Park shirts because South Park was the new cool flash in the pan, and now 15 years later the guys who created South Park have adapted and become award winning cultural satirists while the guys who wore their t-shirts are eating catfood out of their Terry Funk dumpster like they’re Tony f**king Atlas?
Best: Making Great Moments Out Of Terrible Ones
Those video packages are something else. The “Pipe Bomb of the Year” starts with Punk’s nasally “PIPE BYOMMM” that spelled the beginning of the end for me accepting his coolness, but eventually finds its way into being more or less an R-Truth tribute video. Truth needs to return in a few weeks wearing … I don’t know, a snow leopard pelt or something and go off the deep end in a semi-non-serious way on the reg.
The production team gets another best for making a lot of WWE’s worst moments look entertaining. The two best ways to do that: canned laughter, and boiling down a 4 1/2 minute thing where Santino says MEATS-A BALLS-A to a condescending Barack Obama impersonator to its 8 second humorous core, namely “secret service guys thinking The Cobra is an attack on the President”. Seeing J.R. get squirted in the eye with barbecue sauce is pretty funny if you forget why it happened … and oh man, it sounds like the live crowd loved it and couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
Best: Johnny Ace
And the very best part of it all, once again, was John Laurinaitis. WWE-Champ-with-nothing-better-to-do-I-guess CM Punk accepted his “CM Punk Of The Year” award (“spiders” was robbed) by carrying out a Johnny Ace mannequin in a Dynamic Dudes t-shirt, and as bad as that and the Road Dogg were, it became a bunch of WCW and misrepresented John Laurinaitis Rushing Around clips set to Stan Bush’s “The Touch”, and f**k me if Stan Bush doesn’t make everything better. Skip to the 6:45 mark to watch it.
The video does all sorts of great things, such as:
1. FINALLY attempting to explain the Cena and Punk “hey John Laurinaitis DIDJA FERGET YER SKATEBOARD” jokes to an audience who didn’t grow up watching late-80s NWA
2. Reminding me how awesome late-80s NWA was
3. Reminding me how awesome it was when Jim Cornette turned on the Dynamic Dudes
4. Making me want to watch Transformers: The Movie
5. Making me want to watch Boogie Nights
6. Making me want to watch this year’s CHIKARA King Of Trios, which had a Stan Bush concert as part of its fan conclave (even if he didn’t sing “Fight To Survive” from Bloodsport)
It also does two sorta bad things:
1. Only one of the six great things it accomplished end with me watching the rest of Raw
2. I don’t know, to me it doesn’t make John Laurinaitis look bad, it makes him look way better. Think about it. To the average WWE event-goer, John Laurinaitis is this annoying sounding guy who keeps introducing himself and finds himself at odds with wrestlers they want to cheer for. He’s a faceless, soulless corporate shill. But now suddenly he’s a former wrestler who traveled the world and loves to work out and rides a skateboard and hangs out with kids, and he used to have a mustache and has The Touch. That doesn’t make him lame, that makes him bad ass. If you think a guy wearing 80s clothes in the 80s makes him a loser, you need to get your priorities together. He had a fun wrestling career that lasted (we can only guess) for 30 years.
It also explains why he’s got like a foot on CM Punk.
Best Or Worst?: Tribute To The Troops
Column question, to goad you into leaving comments: Tonight is WWE’s annual Tribute to the Troops show. The downside is that it’s never really good unless you like The Troops, and you probably don’t need a wrestling show about it if you already like them. The upside is that Nickelback will be there. Should I do a Best and Worst of Tribute to the Troops?
Talking point: here is AJ with some troops