MONDAY NIGHT RAW 02/07/11
Photo - WWE.com
It's the real things that make wrestling exciting. Do you think that opening segment would've been anywhere near as exciting had Punk not been busted open? When something happens that isn't supposed to, my ears perk up like a startled deer. Even when R-Truth forgot where he was (pretty mawnin' time?) and everyone made fun of him for the rest of the show, it made the entire night more entertaining. If these two things didn't happen, I feel like I would've been bored out of my skoll (that's me saying "skull" the way Randy Orton says it).
ALBERTO DEL RIO VS. SANTINO MARELLA
Two of my favourite guys wrestling over a really simple conflict from the Royal Rumble. There was nothing not to like about this. Also, Santino has somehow made it impossible for himself to not be over. He can be a total punchline and lose every match, but since that's his character, the crowd doesn't seem to care. Also, after a night of three Nexus matches, I accidentally cheered out loud when Del Rio came out, because he is, y'know, not completely boring.
BRYAN/LAWLER VS. MIZ/DIBIASE
I also liked how they set this match up with The King and The Miz going back and forth, but not as much as I liked the actual match. I also liked not having to see the Bellas (who are heel now so they do their sexy hip sway taunt with a MEAN FACE) when I see Daniel Bryan. Turns out that he can be exciting without the distraction of two skanks going "c'moon Dan-yullll... c'mon Dan-yull.." in weird unison.
Honourable Mention: Continuity. Mentioning Orton and Punk's past was a nice touch. But I also feel like rewarding WWE for remembering something they did and followed up on is dumb. It's like when people applaud when your plane lands.
MONDAY NIGHT RAW 02/07/11
Photo - WWE.com
MASON RYAN VS. R-TRUTH VS. MILWAUKEE
To be totally honest, when I started watching last night, I was wasn't planning on writing about the show. I just felt like watching it. Then this happened, and I swear to God, it played out like one of those old Wrestling Observer recaps of WCW Nitro 2000. Allow me to take a stab at it:
"Mason Ryan is in the ring and Michael Cole throws to a video of himself explaining why all the New Nexus members are in singles matches against the participants of the Elimination Chamber match. R-Truth is Ryan's opponent and he comes out and says "GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - WHAT'S UP?!" and they're in Milwaukee. The crowd boos. Michael Cole starts burying R-Truth for getting the name wrong. R-Truth goes for the leapfrog off the corner to hop over Ryan, but he doesn't get all the way up and they just kind of collide. The crowd starts chanting "Milwaukee." After they die down, Michael Cole tries to get it started again by standing up and turning around and chanting it to no avail. Mason Ryan body slams R-Truth into the ropes three times. Ryan awkwardly applies the Brock Lock and wins. He then goes to get a chair, but the referee stops him and takes the chair away and throws it away twice with literally no struggle. Mason Ryan is like two Batista's stuffed into one body, and he had that chair snatched away from him twice by a scrawny ref. He goes in the ring and puts on that awkward Brock Lock again, and makes it more awkward by standing up with R-Truth dangling off of him, and doing almost a pelvic thrust type maneuver. The referee disqualifies Ryan after he already won and now R-Truth wins."
VINCE MCMAHON'S ANNOUNCEMENT
This was underwhelming in like ten ways. This was Vince's return to non-dream-sequence television for the first time in forever. And his announcement was an announcement... for an announcement! But, he gave us a hint. Since that guest host concept was so successful (read: not successful at all), we're getting one for WrestleMania. The live crowd was not too psyched about this, but who would be if a guy came out, essentially put down the Super Bowl (which your team just won), and announced that we'll get some sweet news next week. I couldn't believe that Vince looked surprised when people didn't go crazy for this. You'd think he'd have experience with making announcements since HE'S VINCE MCMAHON. I'm pretty sure he invented announcements (he didn't but I love hyperbole so much I want to marry it and tattoo it on my face forever infinity!!!!).
I can't even fully come up with a reason why. Maybe I was in a crabby mood. I just kind of felt my eyes glaze over when he did his "city of Milwaukee" promo. I don't think it's unreasonable to be a wrestling fan who writes about wrestling on the internet and not like it when John Cena leads an audience in a football cheer, punches CM Punk in the penis and beats everybody up with a steel chair.
Honourable Mention: The commentary. This has been said so many times it's barely worth mentioning. But sometimes I have one of those moments when I'm watching six women throwing themselves around the ring while Michael Cole is shouting about nothing and I wonder why the WWE think this is the best way to do it. Side note: if you watch Superstars after watching months of RAW and Michael Cole's infuriating, irrelevant commentary, your ears get this unmistakeable good feeling in them. It's because on Superstars, it's two jobbers (I mean this in the nicest way, as you'll see) wrestling each other, and because John Cena and The Miz aren't on this show, the announcers have no choice but to talk about the match. And because the two jobbers have no real storyline, they have no choice but to talk about the match. It's amazing to see WWE wrestling matches called as if they're just wrestling matches and nothing else. Watch this show and see what I mean.