Best: Paul Heyman/Phone – Keepin’ It Canon
And now, a special Guest Best from Best And Worst Of TNA Impact Wrestling columnist Danielle Matheson:
THAT’S RIGHT. BRANDON IS RUNNING AN INVASION ANGLE IN 2013. LET THAT SINK INTO YOUR BRAIN BITS, RASSLESFANS.
For those who don’t read the Best and Worst of TNA Impact, first let me say that you should. Second, I should tell you that there are a few things that I really, truly love about Hulk Hogan: 1) The Real American music video, because it is amazing, 2) his disapproving angry face, which I hope one day will be etched into my tombstone under the words “That Burrito Was Totally Worth It”, and 3) how absolutely impossible it is for him to use a phone like anyone who has ever used a phone before in their lives. This week, one of these great loves crosses over the big leagues, because WWE is always stealin’ TNA’s great ideas. Note: Dixie Carter paid me to write that sentence.
Were I the shipping sort, I would be writing wrestling fanfiction about a few OTPs: CM Punk/DOC (Luke Gallows) and their cross-brand competition to see who can look more like Grumpy Cat each week, Paul Heyman/Vickie Guerrero (seriously, does no one see this still? THEY ARE SPINNING THE BALL OF ROMANCE ON THEIR FINGERTIPS JUST TAKE IT FROM THEM), and, at long last, the return of Paul E/Phone.
One of the most iconic things about Paul E. Dangerously, besides the fact that the most dangerous thing about him was his skill at financial planning, was his phone. Taking calls, barking orders – an Owner/Executive Producer was near impotent without the most awkward/bulky means of communication this side of Zack Morris’s Klingon War Bird cloaking-equipped cell phone. There is clear precedent for Paul using a phone on television, and given the fact that it is 2013, one would assume he has used one in real life.
When the dauntless Brad Mad-Ox (obviously in his functional resting state outside of BEEF MODE), approaches, dear old Paul is on his phone, presumably calling the WCW hotline for some hot scoops before the big pay-per-view. He tells Mean Gene he’ll have to call him back, which is super weird because those were all pre-recorded, and hangs up. OR DOES HE? Spoiler alert: he does not. I have an iPhone. I know how one works. I know how most phones work. Saying “I’ll call you back” and moving the phone away from your face does not end a call. Sure, you could argue that he’s just waiting for the person on the other end to hang up as well, but we know WCW is gonna bilk you for all you’re worth, and Gene is gonna hint at something tangentially related to Sting until your phone bill is $200 and you’re grounded from watching wrestling for the rest of the month.
A bunch of stuff happens with Brad that I’m sure will lead to other stuff down the road, but that is not the stuff I care about right now – even the part where I’m pretty sure Maddox offered to have sex with Paul Heyman, possibly hinting at the true meaning of BEEF MODE. No no. What I care about is what happens afterwards, which is Paul Heyman calling Gene back.
You know how I just said I have an iPhone, and know how to use one? I am 100% sure that Paul does not. There’s a lock screen to swipe. You have to tap the Phone icon, or at least make sure you are on the keypad screen. You have to press the button with at least some amount of precision. Instead, he wildly taps on the screen eight times, then mumble-mouths some words into it. Seriously, it is the child (or possibly drunk Adult Danielle) equivalent of grabbing a banana, mashing your fingers into it a bunch of times shouting BLEEP BLOOP BEEP BLORP then pretending to have a conversation and it is AMAZING. It is a careless moment of forgetful acting and it was the best part of Raw that didn’t include hugs or Paul eye-banging Eddie’s widow.
Please never stop having a phone on my television again, Paul E, because now that it’s back, I will go down with this ship.
Worst: I Miss You Already, Eve Torres
Fun fact: Alicia Fox still exists.
I’m not in panic mode about the “new” Divas division yet, but Kaitlyn going back to Diva basics with Alicia Fox while Tamina sets up a feud by LOOKING ON~ was … not a step forward. If Tamina wins a #1 contenders battle royal for a shot at Kaitlyn at the Royal Rumble, we know we’re in for six more weeks of Diva winter.
I’m so mad at Eve. I mentioned her “pulling a Batista” last week (sucking forever, then leaving as soon as she got good), but it’s more than that. It wasn’t that she was getting good, it’s that she was getting SO good that she was starting to elevate the division itself. She was making the matches interesting, even when the wrestling was bad. Now that she’s gone, the other girls are just kinda doing jumping clotheslines at each other, and they lost the one lady who had a legitimate character going for her as their hook. Paige, Sara Del Rey and anybody else in FCW/NXT who is better than Aksana need to show up ASAP and get something going. Here’s an idea: put them all in one bad girl stable and call them the SEXUS. Slogan: YOU EITHER WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH US, OR YOU’RE AGAINST US. It’s shitty to women, sure, but at least you’d have a bunch of good wrestlers up, and also THE NEXUS.
Worst: The Rock Is Exactly Like Martin Luther King, Jr.
First thing: Notice how quickly The Rock showed up to interrupt when Paul Heyman mentioned that he’s stupid. That was pretty much the “Alberto Del Rio rents the cars he drives” statement of The Rock’s character arc. A MAGICIAN NEVER REVEALS HIS SECRETS, PAUL.
Second thing: The Rock is a pretty terrible guy if he cost that police officer his job AND his ticket to Raw. God, there’s so much about that backstage stuff I didn’t even mention, like why the police officer who bought tickets to Raw would be the one brought in to police Raw, instead of, I don’t know, being off to go to Raw with his family. Does the San Jose Police Department only have three cops? In the WWE Universe is every police officer in America an independent wrestler hoping to make it in WWE, which is why they’re always so quick to show up and do whatever anybody says? And while I’m thinking about it, how bad was it that Vickie Guerrero had to build tension with the cops by saying she’d “talked to their supervisor” and that they’d be in big trouble if they didn’t listen to her? How horrible are WWE’s writers if they think being the managing supervisor of Raw also gives you POWER OVER POLICEMEN WHO HAPPEN TO BE AT RAW.
Third thing: Rock seriously, seriously compared himself to Martin Luther King, Jr. I can’t. I just can’t with this guy. All I can think of now is yesterday’s Daily Show segment where Larry Wilmore explained why people should stop using MLK to further their dumb agendas, be it gun control or SHOWING UP FROM YOUR MOVIE SHOOT TO DEMAND A TITLE SHOT.
Rock name-checking Dr. King is so ridiculously f**king stupid that I’m not even going to complain about it. You are the worst, and if I was writing Raw, Punk’s response would’ve been, “I’m just like Mahatma Gandhi, I’m gonna KICK YOUR ASS!”
Best: The Shield Rights The Injustice Of Rocky Being A Delusional Butthole
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but The Shield works for me. Have they mentioned that on TV yet? Yeah, I’ve got this weird anger meter, and when it fills all the way up, The Shield shows up and beats up whatever was making me mad. I can choose between that, or firing a laser.
Anyway, yes, my favorite moment on Raw was The Rock going I’M JUST LIKE THAT BITCH ROSA PARKS, SHE WAS A TITS-HAVING BITCH BUT SHE DID A GOOD THING, AND I’M GONNA DO A GOOD THING AT ROYAL RUMBLE AND WHIP THAT CANDY ASS or whatever and just getting taken to the woodshed by The Shield. A supplementary Best goes to Rock for bringing The Attitude Era back with a little Ken Shamrock-style “internal bleeding.” I just wish Jerry Lawler had started crying, and said “If Martin Luther King Jr. was alive today, he would NOT cheer for The Shield!”
Worst: If Vince Can Personally Strip CM Punk At The Royal Rumble Via Un-agreed-upon Stipulations, Why Can’t He Just Strip Him Now (Or At Money In The Bank 2 Years Ago) And Do Whatever He Wants?
I mean, honestly. When Vince was feuding with Austin, the idea was that Austin was this huge moneymaking, popular guy, and that even though Vince hated his guts and wanted him gone, he couldn’t afford to just fire him or making him quit, so he f**ked with him and made him miserable. What’s the hook if Vince is doing that to a heel? If Punk isn’t popular, is bogarting the company’s top prize with cheap tactics and attacks and is jeopardizing the success of your show by indirectly keeping guys like The Rock away from your show, why not just strip him and fire him? If you think he’s a 200 pound fry cook, fire him and replace him with Chuck Palumbo. That guy’s tall, has muscles AND throws a great clothesline.
If you’re going to play fair, play fair and don’t add stipulations to everything to passive-aggressively get what you want. If you believe that RAW SHOULD BE UNPREDICTABLE, LET’S SHAKE THINGS UP shit you say every few years (and said when you made AJ general manager), what’s your problem with this ONE GUY doing it? Are you a good guy, or a bad guy, or a write-yourself-out-of-a-corner/create-phony-tension-at-the-last-minute Deus Ex Machina or what?