Best: Code Of Honor
It speaks to the effectiveness of Ring Of Honor’s rep that a handshake on Raw could make me feel okay about stuff, but here we are.
Best: This Isn’t For The IWC, This Is For People Who Watch Wrestling
A lot of recaps have sorta off-handedly mentioned that CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan in a champion versus champion match on Raw was 1) a bad decision, because they’re giving it away for free, and 2) something to make the “IWC” (the “Internet Wrestling Community”) salivate. I don’t think either of those things is true.
Firstly, while the decision to have champions wrestling each other in the middle of a free show might not seem like a great call, it was a largely consequence-free affair … if Punk beats Bryan clean with the GTS, who cares? Punk gets a fun win, and that’s it. If Bryan makes Punk tap out to the LeBell Lock, what happens? WWE fans don’t start thinking Bryan is “good”, because their only definition of “good” is “I Like Him”, and if he beats a thousand guys with a thousand LeBell Locks and still says “vegan” they’re gonna boo him. It’s important to note that NEITHER of those things happened — they teased us with an incredible match, then mad us resentful that we didn’t get a clean ending. That means we 1) hate the guy who kept that ending from us, and 2) want to see the match again, because it was so good the first time. (and yeah, I know we don’t hate Jericho, but stay with me here)
Secondly, the “IWC” is a myth. Like every group of fans of anything, it is divided amongst people who want one thing and those who want another. A 15-year old pimply-faced guy doing star rating recaps on his 0.05 megapixel webcam 20 seconds after the show ends does not have the same wants and desires as me. Similarly, a smart, observant wrestling fan online who I’d consider a peer also wants something different, because we are not the same. I can condescend on you for thinking the Road Dogg is cool. You can condescend on me for thinking womens wrestling should just be called “wrestling”. Japan is lame to you, I think you’re stupid for thinking that, and while I am totally and completely right our opinions are exactly the f**king same amount of valid. It sucks, especially for me, but it’s the truth.
So what you got last night wasn’t an “IWC Dream Match”. If we’re really the “IWC” we’ve seen Punk and Dragon wrestle a hundred times. I can go pull out four different DVDs with a Punk/Dragon match on them if I want to watch it. What we got was a GOOD match, good f**king professional wrestling on a show we tune into to see professional wrestling. Don’t condescend on the product by classifying it as for the less cool of us … none of us are cool, and ALL of us should enjoy this.
Worst: Jerry Lawler
Okay, so without getting too far into it, most of you know that I’m vegan. The truth of the matter is that most vegans are buttholes. I go hang out with a vegan group here in Austin sometimes, and of the circa 60 people I’ve met, at least 56 of them are up their own ass. All they can talk about is being vegan. I don’t want to be that guy. I avoided veganism for nine years of vegetarianism because I thought vegans were crazy. It wasn’t until I met a sane one (hi, Destiny) that I gave in. I love it. My stomach stopped hurting, I lost 70 pounds and I love what I eat.
So, in the spirit of not wanting to bring up how vegan I am all the time, this is contextually important: here is a list of really stupid sh*t people say to me when they find out I’m vegan. Notice that “oh, okay” is not on the list.
1. So you don’t eat meat? (no)
2. You don’t eat like, cheese or milk or anything (no)
3. What about your belt, is your belt leather, huh, what about your shoes (no)
4. What about fish? (because fish is a vegetable)
5. I COULD NEVER DO THAT BECAUSE I LOVE MEAT/CHEESE TOO MUCH! (I would not be comfortable stating that I could “never do” anything. You can do anything you want. If you can’t, your brain needs to try harder. The reasonable explanation for this sentence is that you don’t want to/choose not to, and that’s fine for you, but has zero bearing on what I do or don’t put into my body. #5 is the “people have to tell you what they think of a movie trailer in the theater as soon as it ends whether you care or not” of food conversation)
6. Something about God putting animals on the Earth for Noah to eat (I am not talking to you about religion)
and the worst one, which is
7. What about KILLING VEGETABLES, huh? You’re killing poor defenseless LETTUCE by eating and murdering lettuce, etc.
Actually bacon-as-a-meme is the worst thing that comes up, but the “heh what about murdering grass, are you okay having murdered grass” or whatever argument is the worst. Jerry Lawler did this last night, wondering aloud if Daniel Bryan had considered how much it hurts a banana to have its skin peeled off. He might as well have said “I could never live without cheese doodles” and moved on.
There’s a speech that can be made about compassion, the avoidance of guilt, the footprint we leave on the world we leave behind and the disconnect between cruelty and domestication, but it is less to-the-point than just saying “what are you, some kind of f**king idiot, if bananas had brain or the capacity to feel pain or a f**king endocrine system or whatever I probably wouldn’t eat them either”. It’s ignorant to pretend like pigs and f**king bananas are the same thing, and the least you can do as someone who enjoys bacon as a meme is be confident enough in your absence of guilt to leave me the f**k alone with my bananas.
The major point here is that veganism ITSELF is not something that deserves to be insulted. Neither is being Straight Edge. Neither is being fat or black or a widow. What deserves to be insulted is how you handle these things, and when CM Punk dresses up like Jeff Hardy to tease children and makes people shave their heads to prove their worthiness it is Punk’s hubris and sh*tty attitude that make him the heel. Daniel Bryan not eating meat is fine — it is his insincere, holier-than-thou attitude regarding it that deserves your boos. A long time ago morality and a thought process were important things to have. Now the best we can hope for is Jim Ross spending most of a match trying to get it over.
Basically what I’m saying is f**k you, Jerry Lawler. Much like your approaches to women and people of color, you have the stupidest point of view. What you say influences a million people who can’t think for themselves. I hope Doug Gilbert shows up on next week’s episode of Memphis Power-Pro Wrestling and says “YOU KNOW I’M DOUG GILBERT, AND JERRY LAWLER YOU ATE A MOCK CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICH, HAHA”
Best: It Begins, Finally
oh, hey, back to the wrestling
When Sheamus won the Royal Rumble, a lot of people thought it was the end of that Chris Jericho/CM Punk “who is the best in the world” storyline we all wanted, and with Jericho’s run-in and Codebreaker on Punk to ruin the best match on Raw in a year, we were saved. Two months of Jericho vs. Punk is a happy, happy thought, and hopefully it isn’t limited to Punk finding out what Jericho’s dance partner’s name on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ was and telling him to take his balls out of her LED purse.