Tuesday, November 29, 2011


This Raw review is (or will be very soon) posted over at Fair To Flair (in our trademark WOO! vs. BOO! format. Everything “WOO!” was awesome, while everything “BOO!” was hit in the knee with a lead pipe, carted out of the arena, and continuously carted through big, swinging double-doors that say “TNA”. I also picture the EMTs that carted him through the doors to come back through dusting their hands off enthusiastically).

Now let's all start reading the first Raw review I've done that actually went up the day after. Someone give me a gold star.




I love that once a year, Roddy Piper has to come and literally slap some sense into John Cena.

Last year, right around this time, Piper showed up and essentially shook John Cena until he finally displayed an emotion other than “lofl”. This year (er, yesterday), he conducted a pro wrestler litmus test on Cena and managed to draw both a white hot reaction from the crowd and an emotional, real promo out of Cena, which almost… almost blew the John Cena character wide open.

Roddy Piper seems to be the only person who can tap into John Cena and bring out the best in him. He offers wisdom on the psyche of a pro wrestler (“when you cheered me I did good things, when you booed me I did bad things”). When he talks, people shut up, take a knee and listen. He sees the good in bad people and the flaws in good people. He likes pizza (I assume). He can make a funny. He’s John Cena’s Splinter.

John Cena wants to impress Piper. He wants to prove to him that he can figure shit out on his own and go all Raphael through the Foot on a rooftop without the help of a super-powered Hall Of Fame ring (I wonder if because Hogan’s ring gave Abyss “Hogan-powers” and he had the red and yellow and Abyssamania [actual word said by Hulk Hogan], then if Cena used Piper’s ring, he’d get “Piper-powers” and start being funny for real and not win any more World Titles and wear a kilt so The Rock could show up and go “HAHA GAY” and pass out laughing because John Cena is in a dress and that is like catnip for Rocky).

Just like Splinter teaching the Turtles how the real world won’t understand or accept them, Piper is trying to teach Cena to deal with the fans that boo him so when he shows up at WrestleMania, expecting to win, but he loses and everyone cheers, he doesn’t have a nervous breakdown. Piper is trying to turn Cena.

And WWE.com is trying to turn Cena. The Rock is trying to turn Cena. It seems that everyone is trying to get John Cena to freak the fuck out and start chucking people through barber shop windows and legdrop Randy Savage and blow smoke over John Morrison’s sparkly abs, but, as David Shoemaker and Brandon Stroud have been saying all along, he’s already heel. Turning him heel would only turn him face.

The John Cena character can’t change. Everything around him can, because there will always be a million ways to orchestrate both a scenario where he’s booed out of the building (i.e. Punk, Rock, ECW, etc.), and a scenario where he assembles a team of SuperFriends to take out the Nexus and get cheers that bring the building down. Y’know?

That said, I’d still like to see John Cena tell The Rock he hates his fucking guts and then kick him in the dick.


I think the best example of Ziggler’s new “show off” gimmick would be a weekly series called “What Can Dolph Ziggler Get A Good Match Out Of” where he wrestles different people and objects that you expect him to not be able to even wrestle, let alone get a passable match out of, but he blows everyone away when he DDTs himself and takes a nearfall from a porcelain birdbath.

This match was great. Maybe not quite as good as their last one on Raw, but still great. It was also aided by Vickie Guerrero yelling “FINISH HIM C’MON FINISH HIIIIM” from the VERY BEGINNING of the match. I love the idea that Vickie has no understanding of what goes into a wrestling match and right from the bell she’s just all “FUCKING KILL HIM ALREADY, GOD-UHHHHH”.

I can’t remember the last bad Dolph Ziggler match I saw. All the way back to his first match as Ziggler vs. Batista was awesome. Now he’s to the point where he’s wrestling two matches every Pay-Per-View and doing headstands after beating Randy Orton. I can’t wait for the day where he spins The Undertaker on his finger and 360 dunks off a step ladder.

Side note: Wade Barrett on commentary looked and sounded as sharp as Mason Ryan’s nipples.


Michael Cole brings out the best in Daniel Bryan. He’s like his Splinter.

Aside from the weak “we want Big Show” chant that made me want to heel hook my TV, this was a star-making promo from Bryan. Cole was an insufferable douche, which turned Bryan into a man of bearded conviction, which brought out Mark Henry (who is, to remind you, “half-way injured”) to get kicked in the leg.

I don’t expect Danielson to win the belt tonight. And if Mark Henry isn’t going to take the belt all the way to WrestleMania to defend it against Bryan, I could get behind him cashing in on Big Show at TLC, and turning “I’ve got ‘til 5” heel as champion.

Honourable Mention: Punk vs. Del Rio (a.k.a. wrestling, a.k.a. this is the kind of Raw people beg for after a Raw that is 97% shenanigans, a.k.a. even with Punk being wacky and saying “ass” and referencing Google searches [which incidentally brought me to a video titled “Del Rio Is A Boring Cunt”], the match itself was still great).




There really wasn’t too much to not like about John Morrison’s send off.

He got his leg lead piped out of his leg. He was staying gangster and stunting with Alex Riley before the match. He did that thing where he wrestles like his Pajama Jeans are too tight. He was killed off and I’m pretty sure John Laurinaitis came out for a “Future Endeavoured” Ron Simmons “DAMN” type punchline while he was on the stretcher (it’d be pretty great if he kept doing that anytime someone was about to get fired - he comes out, gives a derpy look of disapproval, and buries himself in his Blackberry until JTG gets wheeled away).

But for some reason, I’m still not sold on angry, solemnly Awesome Miz. He’s been reestablishing himself for the better part of this year with IMPACTS and STATEMENTS and IMPACTFUL STATEMENTS and STATED IMPACTS and I just miss the The Miz that had more charisma than that.


Every Divas match starts with a sign language mini-game that someone needs to subtitle. I get the Bellas calling their opponents “losers” by making an L out of their fingers and putting it on their head (that’s Divas Signing 101), but can someone decode Alicia Fox’s hand jive from last night? Even Natalya’s convoluted three-step YOU’RE GONNA CRY KELLY hand signals make some semblance of sense, but I think Alicia Fox was going off script there. Then again, pro wrestling signing typically doesn’t get more complicated than “YOU. ME. TEAM? BIG NOD” so I’m not exactly fluent.


It is crazy to me that a guy like Kane, who has TONS of built-in story and imagery and fire and death and brother murder and hell and brimstone and biblical fucking shit can’t even get a GOOD comeback video. Instead of using anything even remotely cool or creative, they decided to give Kane an HPV awareness commercial return video.

While I’m talking about video packages, I want someone to a/b that Sheamus video from last night where he was all “I’m a good lad! I like having a bit of fun I’m a nice guy!” with anything from two years ago where Michael Cole couldn’t stop yelling about how much Sheamus just loved to hurt people and how he’s a crazy Mark-Cuban-murdering asshole.

Honourable Mention: I think Jack Swagger tripped over his gigantic tongue.

Or something. I don’t know what the hayell happened right there. I think it’s karma for him abandoning his eye twitch.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


This Raw review is also posted at Fair To Flair, a new pro wrestling website that believes "personal and witty > informational and clinical". Or, at least that's what K. Sawyer Paul prefers (and so do I) for submissions for the third Fair To Flair Quarterly (which you can read about here). I'm a regular contributor for FTF, along with co-founders Jason Mann of WrestleSpective, K. Sawyer Paul of International Object, and Razor of Kick-Out!! Wrestling. Also at Fair To Flair is my blogging Bruiser BROdy TH of The Wrestling Blog, and Garcian Smith. Be sure to check out all of their respective blogs and Twitters and what have yous.

Before I get started, I'd like to point out that the last Raw I reviewed was the one that followed Money In The Bank (you know, the PPV where CM Punk made the WWE Title interesting again). It was a happier time. Proceed with caution.




I love when wrestlers wrestle something other than another wrestler. You might be familiar with Shawn Michaels vs. A Ladder from WrestleMania X. Or maybe Kota Ibushi vs. YOSHIHIKO (a blow-up doll) from DDT. Even Triple H vs. A Broomstick from that time Triple H said that and everyone loled. Now you can add Dolph Ziggler vs. Dolph Ziggler to that list.

Or at least I can. Mainly because I've managed to selectively un-see John Morrison. You know that optical illusion where you focus on a cross in the centre of an image and the rest of the image fades away? That's like me with Dolph Ziggler (the cross) and John Morrison (the rest of the image). I just watch Dolph Ziggler ragdoll bump like a goddamned psychopath, and I manage to un-see John Morrison toppling lifelessly through the second rope. I also don't have to see him hold his neck and grimace ever again. Come join me in this JoMo-less world.

Also, at this point I sincerely feel like Ziggler vs. YOSHIHIKO would be better than Triple H vs. anyone (aside from maybe a broomstick).


Aside from Kelly's hilarious "eeeehhhhhh" face--

--and how little confidence even Kelly had in her "National Geographic" line, Natalya stole that entire segment with the scariest, boomiest out-of-nowhere delivery of "YOU'RE GONNA CRY KELLY YOU'RE GONNA CRY YOU MUTT". Holy fuck that scared me. And then Eve's Virgin Radio bumper music hit.

That music is the least run-in-able-to music of all-time. It's too danceable. I will only support this theme if Usher starts managing Eve (which you know would be awesome).


Brandon Stroud of With Leather's Best And Worst of WWE Raw has already tackled this subtle moment of hilarity:

"Alberto Del Rio attacked CM Punk (from behind) (because he deserved it), and somehow the best part of it all was Mr. John Laurinaitis, Executive Vice President of Talent Relations, chastising him from the background. "Stop this right now!" "I'm not going to tell you again!" And the cherry on top, "AIGHT DON'T MAKE ME TAKE OFF MY JACKET". Amazing. I love the idea that Laurinaitis is this backstabbing twerp, but when he takes of his blazer the mullet comes down and he starts dropkicking."

And I feel like there's no way I (nor anyone) can add to that. Bottom line is that so far my favourite parts of this show were the way two people said really inconsequential things, and Dolph Ziggler wrestling himself. Fuck me.

Honourable Mention: Alberto Del Rio is the WWE Champion, and everyone else? DEY DON MATTIR

Things you miss if you fast-forward Alberto Del Rio's promos

- hilarious reaction faces

- the way he says pretty much any word (one of my favourites: "John Cena, I hope you get fire.")

- Ricardo Rodriguez

- children throwing popcorn at him

- winking

- Ricardo Rodriguez

- you wouldn't miss this but it's a hilarious picture

- Ricardo Rodriguez




Man, couldn't have been a worse time to make a "taking advantage of you like a helpless child" metaphor, eh Kev?

There is a buttload of hilarious subtext to this feud. Well, basically each guy has said one funny thing that points to them having sex with each other, but still. I like to pretend that Nash is just making all of these insider shoot references to distract us from the true insider references he's slipping in there: Kevin Nash broke Triple H's heart by taking advantage of him like a helpless child.

What's more offensive than Kevin Nash molesting (or terra-ryzing? lol) Triple H is how many times I've had to watch Kevin Nash RETURN and EXPLAIN HIS ACTIONS. Mattel needs to release a new Kevin Nash action figure with a ripcord that triggers a "FIRST OF ALL" sound-byte. God DAMNIT KEVIN. Just stay here or leave forever and never explain why you did something. I don't care if you DDT Scott Stanford and throw up a new hand sign (perhaps a fluttering bird) for an imaginary stable. Never explain yourself. Just keep going on about your Big Sexy business, doing whatever it is that you do and never explaining it, and it'll be ONE BILLION times better than your sentence fragment old-person-shouting promo from Monday.


I'll let the commentary speak for itself. Here's a small excerpt from Santino vs. Swagger:

King: If you wanna beat someone you should go challenge a fourth grader. JR's gonna…. stomp you.

Cole: JR can't move. He waddles around the ring. You don't even know what the challenge is.

King: Oh is it gonna be wrestling? Is that what you're gonna do? You're gonna fight the guy?

Cole: Hey maybe you know it could be an intellectual challenge, I'd kill him on that. I'm a Mensa. He's, what uh, I don't know... he's from Oklahoma.

King: … … Mensa?

Cole: You know although if we had a pig calling contest he'd beat me in that. SOOEY SOOEY.

King: Okay Cole. Quit doing that with Vickie here.

Cole: [uncontrollable snorting laughter]

King: Now I hear pigs grunting.

Cole: [continued snorting] uh now look at Swagger

Cole: This is some city here, you know what Liverpool's known for? As uh--

King: Nothing.

Cole: --well nothing, but actually where the company that built the Titanic was located. [laughter] Too bad JR wasn't on the Titanic on it's way over here OH THAT'S RIGHT HE DIDN'T MAKE IT

King: If JR was on the Titanic the iceberg would've sunk.

Cole: He'd be a one man life raft for the entire ship.

King: You're gonna be hoping for a life raft next week.

Cole: Look at Swagger

Match ends.


This doesn't have as much to do with this episode of Raw as much as it does with R-Truth in general: I can't get into it.

He's funny, he does ridiculous shit that makes me slap my knees until they're raw (lol pun), he's got The Miz by his side making the most irritating trollfaces a person can muster, but I still don't see him as a guy that wins matches. He's like Whiffle Ball Tony.

Mike Birbiglia does a bit about George Bush and how he's like Wiffle Ball Tony, but I think it applies to R-Truth too:

"I feel like whether you like him or not, Bush seems like a fun guy. He's the kind of guy you invite to the barbecue because you know he's gonna start the whiffle ball game. He's like Whiffle Ball Tony. Like 'Yeah! Whiffle Ball Tony's here! All right! It is SO ON!' And then one day someone's like, 'We're gonna put Tony in charge of everything.' And I'm like 'We are? The burgers and the potato salad? I don't know if that's such a good idea…'"

Y'know? He's hilarious, but should he also be winning things and being portrayed as a threat (because he did a sneak attack that somehow warranted being handcuffed [and a handcuff beatdown from big boss H] and fired) and getting to be a part of the biggest match on PPV since anything ever forever Never Before Never Again Never Give Up Never Going Away Again?!

I don't know. Sometimes I wish he just stayed dead.

Honourable Mention: John Cena's Raw Rebound Gimmick

It's been happening forever, but sometimes I can't hold back the urge to yell about it on the Internet. I can't stand John Cena's gimmick of going out to the ring to record audio for the next video package. Can't you just do it in a soundbooth somewhere? How badly do you need to save time where you're cutting a promo AND obviously just filling in the audio blanks for the Survivor Series intro video. It's infuriating.

Just one time I want him to come out and say "THIS SEASON, ON WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW" and then throw to a video of all the John Cena feuds to come this year.


I have no idea how I feel about Jack Swagger trying to get an eye twitch over. I'll let you know how I feel after Raw gets Dwayne'd next week.

Monday, November 7, 2011



Holy fucking goddamn shit. He's right. The word "intensity" doesn't even begin to describe the epic life-changing event that I experienced when I heard him say his passion in life was "FUCKING PASSION!!!!!"

This video is jam-packed with gibberish, where Warrior tells you to start building your "wall of bodies" (start killing people?!) but also to politely disagree with someone if you don't agree with them (harsh, but fair). The Ghost of Warriors Past also makes several unexplained appearances. Sometimes he's writhing around silently, other times he appears over his own shoulder just looking around at stuff. It's weird. You have to watch this.

Matt Hardy, the ball of utter lunacy is in your court.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


The years 1995-2009 haven't been very kind to Mark Henry. To summarize, here are his highlights:

1995: Wins gold silver in the Olympic Pan American Games.

1999: Wins is awarded the Intercontinental European Championship by someone cool Jeff Jarrett.

1999-2008: Ten years of nothing goes by.

2008: Wins the ECW Championship. 70 days later he lost it to Matt Hardy.

2009: Befriended MVP.

WOW what a glowing resume.

Now, if you haven't been paying attention lately, you might assume that things are just the same with Mark Henry. Still treading water, still friends with MVP, still showing up whenever Teddy Long says "you'll be facing... THIS MAN" (he was doing that mystery opponent gimmick for a while).

That, however, isn't the case.

I'll let you down slowly. Mark Henry is (wait for it) no longer friends with MVP. Breathe.

Also, Mark Henry is the champion of the fucking WORLD and is suddenly untouchable. Yes. This Mark Henry.

And this Mark Henry.

And this Mark Henry.

The fact that I could keep linking videos until I run out of Internet is a testament to how crazy it is to see Mark Henry as World Champion right now. Somehow, the World's Strongest 40 year old has gone from a professional wrestling sex addict to World Heavyweight Champion in twelve short years. I don't know how he did it. But, you can see the signs of the turnaround as early as January of this year.

Let's take a look at Mark Henry 2010 vs. Mark Henry 2011, month by month, and see what's changed and how he's improved:

ROYAL RUMBLE 2010: Eliminated by R-Truth in the Royal Rumble in 2:24.

ROYAL RUMBLE 2011: Eliminated by New Nexus in 7:04.

How he improved: It took three more guys and four minutes and forty seconds longer for him to get eliminated. Baby steps, Mark. Baby steps.

ELIMINATION CHAMBER 2010: Lost to Ted DiBiase in an Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match on Raw; accompanied MVP to the ring just to watch him lose on PPV.

ELIMINATION CHAMBER 2011: Did nothing.

How he improved: Doing nothing is obviously better.

WRESTLEMANIA XXVI: Lost a dark match 26-Man Battle Royal to Yoshi Tatsu.

WRESTLEMANIA XXVII: Lost a dark match 23-Man Battle Royal to Great Khali.

How he improved: Khali is taller and wider than Yoshi Tatsu.

EXTREME RULES 2010: Lost a Tag Team Gauntlet Non-Title Match with MVP; he also hit Buzz Aldrin with a steel chair around then.

EXTREME RULES 2011: Did nothing.

How he improved: Doing nothing is still obviously better, although heinously attacking an 81 year old American hero sounds like something 2011 Mark Henry would do.

OVER THE LIMIT 2010: Did nothing.

OVER THE LIMIT 2011: STILL did nothing.

How he improved: It looks like he broke even. However, seeing as this year's Over The Limit featured a Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler "Kiss My Foot" match, Daniel Bryan wrestling the dark match, and CM Punk teaming with Mason Ryan in a losing effort against Kane and the Big Show, being on this show can only be a detriment to Mark Henry as a wrestler. So, it turns out, still better than last year.

FATAL 4-WAY 2010: Did nothing. Also this month, he forgot how chasing works.

CAPITOL PUNISHMENT 2011: Obliterated the Big Show (twice); entered BEAST MODE; Hall of Pain est. June 19th, 2011.

How he improved: By committing gianticide.

MONEY IN THE BANK 2010: Lost the Money In The Bank Ladder Match to The Miz.

MONEY IN THE BANK 2011: Cleanly defeated the Big Show; Henry-lized the Big Show; made Big Show say "AWWGHWHGUUHFFHG FUCK"; didn't talk about having sex with his sister or make-out with a tranny or be given anything by Jeff Jarrett or anything gross and weird like that.

How he improved: I feel like I don't need this part anymore.

SUMMERSLAM 2010: Did nothing.

SUMMERSLAM 2011: Murdered the Great White Sheamus through a barricade to prove that he is the Great Black Mark; impressed Joey Ryan (I think his hilarious reaction was actually just planting the seeds for a Mark Henry/Joey Blalock rematch).

How he improved: Last year he wasn't on the show at all. Not even the dark match. He was barely even on Raw that month. This year he broke a steel barricade by using a person.

NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS 2010: Lost a Tag Team Turmoil Match with Evan Bourne.

NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS 2011: Defeated Acclaimed Wrestling Match Winner Randy Orton to become World Heavyweight Champion.

How he improved: Just to make sure you understand - Becoming World Heavyweight Champion by cleanly beating Randy Orton (with no match restarting tomfoolery, no "if I kick your nuts I win your title" stipulations, Kevin Nash didn't even show up, nothing); Losing a tag team match with Evan Bourne.

HELL IN A CELL 2010: Did nothing.

HELL IN A CELL 2011: Defeated Acclaimed Hell In A Celler Feller Randy Orton to retain his World Heavyweight Championship.

How he improved: Beat Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Title cleanly on Pay-Per-View once, shame on him. Beat Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Title cleanly on Pay-Per-View twice... you... can't get fooled again can't shoot the shooter you... ... uh... NO ONE DOES THAT

BRAGGING RIGHTS 2010: Did nothing, but he was on the poster, tucked behind John Cena, Randy Orton, The Miz and Evan Bourne.

VENGEANCE 2011: Literally exploded the ring with a wrestling move to end his match (this, I'm certain, was the first time this has ever happened); WAS THE POSTER.

Now we're entering uncharted Mark Henry 2011 territory, so I will predict the end of his Pay-Per-View year.

SURVIVOR SERIES 2010: Did nothing.

SURVIVOR SERIES 2011: Will retain his World Heavyweight Championship cleanly; will go back in time and trade bodies with the Undertaker and Tombstone Hulk Hogan on a steel chair, but actually hit his fucking head on it this time; shout "IF I GOTTA TIME MACHINE Y'ALL GONNA FEAR CLOCKS AT NIGHT" or something.

TLC 2010: Did nothing.

TLC 2011: Will retain his World Heavyweight Championship in a TLC Match cleanly; will resurrect Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes to reunite TLC to perform his exit music; conceives child with at least one member of TLC (a callback to his sex addict days); splits the wig of at least one member of TLC; shouts "DON'T GO CHASIN' WATERFALLS BECAUSE I'M THE RIVERBOAT CAPTAIN AND I'M CHARGIN' DOUBLE FOR AQUA ASS WHOOPINS EAT A REEF" to no one.

What does 2012 hold for Mark Henry? I say he treads water no longer. He should either keep escalating his reign of terror and starts wrestling shirtless with mysterious scars all over his body all of a sudden, and he grows his hair and beard out until he's barely recognizable any longer. Or, he has to go back to being a complete sexual deviant and start telling Evan Bourne he's got a pretty laugh.