And we’re back. Thanks for tuning in for another ‘Them’s Fightin’ Words!’, recapping everything WWE Monday Night Raw and other assorted news from the world of pro wrestling.
Whose bright idea was it to pick up this week’s Raw right where last week’s left off, with CM Punk still picking on Jerry the King Lawler? A lot of times for me the opener for each week’s show tends to set the tone for the rest of it. This dull opener just completely killed my enthusiasm for this week’s Raw.
I like Jerry the King Lawler, don’t get me wrong. I think he does an awesome job each week at the announce desk. I’m sure that, at one point or another he must’ve been an absolutely amazing in-ring competitor. I’ll even admit to cracking a smile every now and again when he decides to go toe-to-toe with the younger stars. That said, I have absolutely no interest in seeing him wrestle again.
WWE Monday Night Raw airs in Monroe, La. every Monday at 9/8c on USA.
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Wait, that sounds kinda harsh, doesn’t it? I have no interest in watching him compete in such a high profile (non)contest as this. Against Punk, the WWE champion, and as the night’s main event. Really? There was literally no one else back there in the locker room who could’ve benefitted from some steel cage main event exposure. Lawer’s done these sorts of matches enough at this point that even the nostalgia factor in them has worn thin. And when that happens all you really have to fall back on is the performance itself. Let’s be honest, Lawler’s many years past his prime so there’s no way that could be anything other than a letdown.
And why was the crowd popping so huge for this fight? Didn’t they realize what a massive crap sandwich it was all going to be? I mean really, is this the best use for the current WWE champion, feuding with the announce team? Amazing, Punk’s whole tirade is based on how he isn’t getting any respect and he reasons that his best way of earning some is picking a fight with King?
It sorta feels like they’re gunshy about Punk turning full-on heel, so we keep getting these half-hearted heel-like gestures without a full commitment from him. The fans like Punk, a lot, so unless you’re going to send us a completely unambiguous shot right across the bow, showing us he’s gone beyond the pale into full-on heel mode, these tantrums of his are only going to alienate fans while not attracting sufficient enough heat to replace them, leaving him in a middling gray area where he runs the risk of being written off completely as a whiny little… *ahem*… Punk.
One cool thing to come from their opening segment is getting to see Punk’s new haircut. I like it. It gives him a crazed biker gang member/ex-convict who was arrested for selling meth sort of look, which will go a long way towards helping him get over as a heel.
If all this is just a way for Punk to build some heat towards this weird quasi-heel turn of his, there are plenty of much better ways of going about it. Like, oh I don’t know, maybe if Punk had ambushed broken arm Triple-H right after his big retirement speech. That would’ve sent a clear enough sign to people.
It’s not like this is the *real* Triple-H retirement anyway.
What? Oh, c’mon, don’t tell me you bought that big farewell speech of his. There is no way the Game is going out after any other show besides WrestleMania, after one big final doorbuster of a contest to close it all. His best bud Shawn left after a big tombstone from ‘Taker at WrestleMania 26; do you really think Trips is gonna call it quits after a match with Brock at SummerSlam? (Admittedly impressive though it was.) If so, I have some oceanfront property in Kansas i’d like to sell you.
Oh and also, is it just me or was Triple-H moving his arm a whole helluva lot for someone who recently broke it? Between this and going out to boxing matches just a day or so after his first “break”, Game is very bad at this selling injuries thing.
Mmmm…. tastes Swaggerific.
Jack Swagger takes on the Silverback behemoth, Ryback this week. And while he puts up an admirable fight I don’t think anyone was surprised at the outcome. He ends up as more food for the seemingly bottomless pit that is Ryback’s competitive stomach. Close-up on Swagger after the match though, where he shouts frustratedly, “That’s it!” Not sure what this means, but could Jack be finally getting around to that major overhaul of his character that was overdue months ago. That would be very #swag.
Special shoutout to the person who brought the “MAYBE MAYBE MAYBE” sign this week. (Heh, y’know, as a counterpoint to all the “YES! YES! YES!” and “NO! NO! NO!” ones.)
Poor divas, they barely get enough time on Raw as it is and this week Vickie Guerrero comes out at the start of Layla and Natalya’s match to let them know that they’d better cut things short because she has some really important news. Doubly sucks because Natalya and Layla actually put on a pretty good diva’s matchup. I mean, nothing revolutionary but there were a few spots in there that really stood out.
So what was this urgent news of hers that Vickie felt compelled to pre-empt the ladies’ match to share? Well, that she’s plenty upset with A.J. for putting Dolph Ziggler’s ‘Money in the Bank’ briefcase on the line in his match with Jericho. I see a Vickie/A.J. power struggle in the near future.
Pretty intense bout between the Miz and John Cena. Though I do question the wisdom of having your IC champion take a fall to a non-title holder like that, even if it is Cena, Miz did come away looking really good in the match.
Furiosity killed the… umm… goatface.
Which brings me to the standout feature of this week’s Raw. That’s right, the Daniel Bryan/Kane ‘Anger Management’ segments. These were easily the highlight of this week’s show. It even caused the crowd to start up a ‘goatface’ chant like the WWE’s been baiting them to do for weeks now. (In other news, Milhouse is still not a meme is not a meme is not a meme…) They even managed to let Kane work in a Katie Vick reference. (Google it if you’re unfamiliar. That’ll be a fun little walk down wrestling memory lane.)
Obviously someone with a lot of love for the business, as well as a thorough knowledge of its history did those, and everything about them was all #winning. I’ve no doubt it was the same guy responsible for the A.J. segment where she pointed out how she’s probably one of the sanest people in the WWE.
Y’know, this one. Thank the internet deities for YouTube.
Speaking of showing appreciation to deities, if the Internet doesn’t take that pic of Triple-H crying and make an homage to the Based God out of it then well, son, i’d be very disappoint.
And since we’re on the subject of winning…
In case you don’t already see it coming a mile away, these segments are the perfect excuse for Daniel Bryan’s latent feud with Charlie Sheen to bubble back to the surface. If Bryan and Kane continues their anger management treatment next week (and I think I speak for us all when I say I sure hope so) it’d be the perfect excuse to have Sheen pop in and cross promote his show of the same name, while also giving the two plenty of time to work through their bad blood.
Heath Slater takes on Santino Marella. A ‘Boring!’ chant starts up during this match. Show some respect, people. That’s the One Mannn Baaaannnnnd, bay bay you’re talking to.
Just curious, where’s the guy who won Santino’s U.S. title, Antonio Cesaro in all this? Shouldn’t he be getting some of this exposure now, considering Raw rankwise he should be right after CM Punk.
I was really looking forward to the R-Truth/Daniel Bryan match. Those two haven’t tangled too many times in the past. (At least, to my knowledge.) Unfortunately a combination of Daniel Bryan’s trying to hold his temper in (see, the anger management therapy is paying off) and how woefully short it was really kept it from being all it could’ve been. Bryan only really cut loose towards the end, but a quick count out later and this one was over.
Speaking of over, looks like that brings another TFW to a close. Not a very good Raw this week, unfortunately. The matches all felt short, rushed or otherwise incomplete. The only real saving grace was the Bryan/Kane therapy segments. Those were great.
Thanks for reading. See you guys next week.
“I came here to Houston tonight to beat the livin’ crap outta you. Yeah you, Beetlejuice! But because I hurt my ankle gettin’ out of my 1975 Cadillac, tonight is your night.”
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Them’s Fightin’ Words! 8/13/12 – Brock Lesnar assaults HBK
Them’s Fightin’ Words! 7/30/12 – CM Punk flips out on John Cena, Big Show
Them’s Fightin’ Words! 7/16/12- Daniel Bryan and AJ get engaged