Hello and welcome to another new format for Raw reviews that I'll be trying out and abandoning in a matter of weeks. I've gone from Like/Dislike to WOO/BOO to Thursday RAW Thursday to closing my eyes and covering my ears for two years and now to RAW IS DVR'D.
I'll be honest. I rarely watch Raw live. Whether I'm busy or I don't want to watch 34 Bowflex commercials, I prefer to record it and watch it later. This can easily lead to fast forwarding the hot garbage and watching only the good stuff, which certainly preserves my sanity, but also coddles me in a bubble where only my favourite wrestlers exist in the WWE and the show is an hour long. Actually that's amazing.
But, when you fast-forward Raw, you can easily miss something unexpectedly great, or at the very least, something accidentally hilarious.
So, I've taken it upon myself to watch the whole thing, all 3 hours plus overrun worth (only as long as two feature length films, a real breeze!), to give you a weekly segment-by-segment guide of what to fast-forward, what to watch, and why.
RAW IS DVR'D
DECEMBER 2ND, 2013
PUNK RESPONDS TO THE SHIELD'S ATTACK: FF
This is a weird one to kick off with. I like The Shield. I like CM Punk. I even have a demented soft spot for Real Hair, Not Wrestling Kane. And I especially have a soft spot for Stephanie McMahon mentioning her Thanksgiving so my brain can picture what that was like (I imagine Vince carves the turkey shirtless while Triple H is too drunk to spit out his "stuffing" jokes. Shane McMahon is holding his head in his hands).
But I am on the fence for this 3-on-1 match. Basically what happened, if you missed it (or are fast-forwarding it like a good reader), Punk comes out and accuses Triple H of sending the Shield out to wrestling-move him to death because he made one snarky comment towards The Authority. This brings Stephanie McMahon out to be all "whaaaaat…. noo waaay u guys" and Punk isn't buying it. Kane then DOOs his way out and plunks Punk in a 3-on-1 handicap match against The Shield at TLC, because somebody decided to put the guy who has at least three kayfabe murders to his credit in charge of making decisions.
Somewhere during all this, Punk challenges Kane, saying something along the lines of "why don't I knock you OUT and if you don't like that I'll knock you OUT and if you're not down with that you can get knocked OUT by me". The Shield were also there for a second but don't attack anybody. See why you should fast-forward this?
At least it's only one 3-on-1 match. It's not like this PPV is "WWE 3-ON-1 MATCH" haha right? It's TLC. So there's that. Good. Good.
WWE UNIFIED TITLE APP VOTE: FF
Jerry Lawler, talking about the WWE and World Title match at TLC: "We've never seen anything like this before!"
I guess there's never been anything like naming an Undisputed World Championship via mobile app before, okay I'll give you that Jerry. And good job saying your words this time.
#1 CONTENDER'S MATCH FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP - DAMIEN SANDOW V. DOLPH ZIGGLER: WATCH
This match isn't anything special, but it does include:
- Damien Sandow's screams in the ring that sound just like the bad guy from Commando (sorry for the artistic liberties that YouTuber took).
- Big E. Langston's $500 The Rock shirt on commentary (and if you haven't seen his Instagram… SEE HIS INSTAGRAM)
- Sandow doing a second rope moonsault onto his own forehead
- An ad for The Slammy's, which always inserts an image of Owen Hart winning/stealing Slammys in my head (WOO I DID IT AGAIN) with Jerry Lawler quietly backing every hilarious thing he does up on commentary. Then I remember The Slammys aren't these Slammys anymore and instead they suck and sometimes involve Dennis Miller forgetting wrestler's names.
Sandow wins with a soft-ass full nelson slam, and I shed a butt-shaking tear for Dolph Ziggler.
ORTON V. CENA STATS: FF
Did You Know that Randy Orton and John Cena have won titles??
BELLAS/NATALYA V. AJ, TAMINA, SUMMER RAE: FF
AJ spends the majority of the match skipping around the ring, gets tagged in and loses, then continues skipping because even she doesn't care about this match.
It's not that I don't like the Divas. In fact, there's been some awesome shit happening since I've been gone. But everything I've seen since I've been back has been the kind of stuff that makes me want to scoop my eyeballs out with a spork.
Only watch this if you want to hear Natalya's brown note victory cry.
The good news is there is some GOLDEN Summer Rae shit coming up.
The bad news is...
BAD NEWS BARRETT PT. 1: FF? WATCH? I… UH...
I genuinely don't know what to tell you. You kind of need to watch it to see for yourself. This, to me, is on par with the time the Hurricane popped up in a bubble during someone's entrance and said his HILARIOUS (read: not hilarious) catchphrase.
You can tell they're hoping this catches on with people tweeting things and hashtagging #BadNewsBarrett and that is (wait for it) BAD NEWS, BARRETT HAHAAaaaa because it's you're career and life we're talking about.
They really are just throwing anything at Bad News Barrett, aren't they? Part-time barber? Bare knuckle brawler? "Open For Business"? How about we just try and trick people into thinking he's Michael Cole for a second and they'll boo?
I'm surprised they didn't just put him in a big Bear costume, call him Bad News Bear, the Bear Knuckle Brawler who also disapproves of your life choices. They would've been better off getting an actual bear to do this because (ladies and gentlemen I have some obvious #news) Wade Barrett fucking sucks.
ORTON & MADDOX BACKSTAGE: FF
Randy Orton says he's more popular than John Cena, which offends Jerry Lawler to his core.
WWE UNIFIED TITLE APP VOTE: FF
I voted for Lumberjack Match.
DANIEL BRYAN V. ERICK ROWAN + BRAY WYATT PROMO: WATCH
Okay, I'm still figuring out the format for this review, but if I could indicate in any way that you should watch this, this is me doing it. Maybe instead of just "watch" it should be "record to VHS and keep under your pillow", because this was SWEET.
It should come as no surprise that the internet blogger likes the Daniel Bryan match but yes (yes yes) I certainly did. It was everything I want out of my WWE wrestling. A match with a clean finish that makes both guys look like big bearded studs, and then all the wacky (awesome) storyline stuff happens after. This is the kind of thing that happens in the FF Bubble. You lose all the Michael Strahan hip tosses and gain all the American Dragon running corner dropkicks! JOIN ME.
Bray Wyatt appearing on the tron to give orders and monologue the fuck out of Bryan reminded me of the kind of stuff they would do in 1998/99. In a good way. Like it wasn't Ministry Undertaker but it almost was. Scratch that, it was way better.
This has the potential to be awesome though. Even though my dream Daniel Bryan moment involves him kneeing John Cena's brain out of his skull at WrestleMania, if he were to become some kind of sleeper agent at the hands of Bray Wyatt's backwoods voodoo Lion's Den where his fragile anger management mind is deprogrammed and reprogrammed, creating some kind of insane bearded monster that tears people limb from limb, I'm cool with that too.
And I'm glad we have a new group of guys who can do the Undertaker "now ya see me oops where'd i go" lights out trick.
KANE & DANIEL BRYAN BACKSTAGE: WATCH
This could've been so much better, but Kane does tiny YES fingers and gloats about his weird new job to someone who does not care. He also makes a second 3-on-1 match for TLC, and I begin to think Kane is trying to make the 3-on-1 match to him what the Tag TEAM Match, playa is to Teddy Long.
TRUTH & CONSEQUENCES V. TONS OF FUNK: FF
The only Xavier Woods thing you need to see happened on WWE.com, so fast-forward this and watch that. Maybe watch this for Brodus Clay using dismissive "whatever" dinosaur hands as a taunt.
WWE UNIFIED TITLE APP VOTE: FF
The Randy Orton Title and The John Cena Title were not options, surprisingly.
So, can we just get to the point where anyone can be Sin Cara? Like, next week Rob Van Dam can just come out to point and fall down in Sin Caras gear, with the announcers not batting an eye. Maybe Undertaker can make his return under the Sin Cara mask to get back up to ring speed.
Hunico is a good Sin Cara, especially when the job of Sin Cara is to flawlessly run up the ropes with an eye mask on and the lights turned off. And I liked how they were forced to combine Del Rio's and Sin Cara's ring decoration requests. They need more guys like that. Give a guy a gardener gimmick where he demands the ring be covered in sod. Give Wade Barrett the Bear suit gimmick and have a river he can eat fish out of at ringside.
Oh, Del Rio loses clean to Hunico in the role of Sin Cara here. So… yeah.
CENA/ORTON 2007 FLASHBACK - ORTON PUNT'S CENA'S FATHER: WATCH
This is 100% worthwhile if you want to see John Cena's dad develop CTE.
CENA/RENEE BACKSTAGE PROMO: WATCH
Worth watching for Renee Young and the John Cena Impression Hour.
If you missed it (or are fast-forwarding like a bad reader), Cena talks about the significance of his unification match at TLC, and what it means to carry on the history of the two titles.
Cena then launches into Hogan and Flair impressions, referencing the lineage of the two championships (which technically were combined into the Undisputed WWE Title that Randy Orton holds, but you already knew that). It's hilarious, though, to talk about this in the context of unifying the WWF and WCW World Titles… but pretend that that never happened before. I'd much prefer if his promo went like:
Renee: John, if you become the Undisputed Unified Champion, what's that going to mean to you?
Cena: Undisputed Unified Champion, think about that. Think of the tradition along with the World Heavyweight Championship. Think of the meaning and importance of the WWE Championship. Which one stands taller? That debates been going on f
or over half a century since 2002 when Triple H was given the World Heavyweight Championship.
Y'know, years ago, if you lived in the
South world, you would walk that aisle walk alone in a pit of danger and realize the World Heavyweight Championship meant everything slightly more than the Intercontinental Title and less than the WWE Title.
And if you lived in the
North world, you knew exactly what you were gonna do, brother (does John Cena impression) and the WWE Championship meant the most, like it does right now.
still argue to this day which championship stands taller have come to a universal consensus that the WWE Title stands taller (everyone also decided that standing tall is the most important thing a thing can do).
I say it is time for change. I have been a WWE Champion, I
am proud feel indifferent to be a World Heavyweight Champion. But now there is only one WWE global wrestling company that people pay attention to. Only one one big, loud, exciting, crazy WWE Universe group of people that we've hypnotized into liking wrestling and trapped for life that goes north, south, east, west, around the world and back again.
And I think they deserve
one champion me to be the only guy with a title. And to be that champion the only guy that matters, you ask what it would mean to me? Everything.
SHIELD SELFIE PROMO: WATCH
Worth it for Seth Rollins' goofy deliver of "muay thai nonsense, get outta here!".
BIG BRHODES V. THE SHIELD: WATCH
Man, you do not need to read six paragraphs on how The Shield and the Brothers Rhodes are great but here they come. Fuck me. There is not even anything particularly life-changing about this match. The Shield have had countless matches like these this past year that are just fun-ass six-man tags. Remember how I said Rowan/Bryan was exactly what I wanted out of my wrestling? SAMESIES OVER HERE.
Big Show is always at his best in matches where there's 6-15 other guys involved that he can chuck around before napping on the apron. He is always at his worst when emoting or pretending to have a concussion or ruining the ends of shows or basically any other time besides the time I just mentioned.
This match gets plenty of time, Goldust working at LIGHT SPEED at 40-whatever years old and a beauty finish. Prior to that, Cody Rhodes makes a case for being the best maskless/brightly lit arena Sin Cara he can be by scaling the ropes and hurling his body onto the Shield on the outside.
CM Punk was also watching backstage, trying to devise a strategy for his 3-on-1 match at TLC. "Hmm… oh I know I just need two other people to help me aw fuck damn it".
The match ends with the announce team yelling NUMBERS NUMBERS NUMBERS, somehow pretending that the numbers weren't 3 and then another 3.
Watching long six-man tags always reminds me of the Camp Cornette vs. HBK/Ahmed/Sid(? - going off the top of my head here) match where a fan storms the ring, trying to break Shawn Michaels out of a Vader bearhug. I don't know why.
CENA/ORTON 2009 FLASHBACK - I QUIT MATCH: WATCH
Worth it for Cena's weird pursed-lipped "…nooo" when asked to quit, and to remind you of super-nude super-bald shaved-cat-era Randy Orton.
PUNK/RENEE BACKSTAGE PROMO: FF
Someone needs to stop reaching into the John Cena bingo-ball tumbler of promo jokes for CM Punk. "Sing I Feel Pretty For No Reason".
BAD NEWS BARRETT PT. 2: FF
I have some good news and I have some bad news the good news is fuck you and the bad news is suck it.
MIZ/KOFI BACKSTAGE HANDSHAKE: FF
I feel like I've been sucked into a black hole where time doesn't exist and The Miz and Kofi Kingston have been either shaking hands, rejecting each others' handshakes, or deciding whether or not to shake one another's hands for a real eternity.
WWE UNIFIED TITLE APP VOTE: FF
There's not even a joke option for the internet to spam vote.
KOFI & MIZ V. RYBACK & AXEL: FF
LOS MATADORES WWE SHOP SEGMENT: WATCH
If only to remind you of Zack Ryder's depressed sell job of everybody's merch but his a few weeks ago.
CENA/ORTON FLASHBACK: LAST WEEK: FF
No need to watch the reverse of what will happen at the end of tonight's show!
FANDANGO V. MARK HENRY: WATCH
I love me some Rick Ross Mark Henry screaming at Fandango. That should, without question, be some kind of stun move in WWE 2K15.
But EVEN MORESO do I like Henry suggestively dancing towards Summer Rae and earning his first LEGITIMATE Sexual Chocolate chant since Old School RAW. Holy FUCK. Potentially botched finish or not, with those Sexual Chocolate dance moves and Summer Rae's faces of utter terror make this match 100% worth watching.
Forcing the word TWERK into my earholes against my will should be punishable by Mark Henry aggressively hitting on you. I'm looking at you, JBL.
SMACKDOWN REBOUND: FF
Unless if you didn't watch Smackdown, like me. The recap reveals that there was an eating contest and Antonio Cesaro giantly swung Titus O'Neil to the point of barfing on three different people. It also revealed that Zack Ryder's role in the company has plummeted from Guy Trying To Get Noticed to Sad WWE Shop Goatee Guy to Guy Who Cheers On Lower Midcarders In A Holiday Themed Eating Contest. Hoo boy.
REAL AMERICANS V. PRIME TIME PLAYERS: WATCH
I was oddly entertained by a match that revolved around trying to make his opponent throw up. The psychology of Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter calling off the giant swing, but Cesaro looking to the crowd for suggestions was beyond what I thought WWE was capable when it comes to basic wrestling comedy.
Also, the We The People ring jackets are fly as fuck and need to be sold to me by suicidal Zack Ryder on WWEShop.com.
WWE UNIFIED TITLE APP VOTE: FF
can we please just
TRIPLE H & STEPHANIE WALK BACKSTAGE: FF
get to the
JERRY LAWLER REVEALS VOTE RESULTS: FF
oh okay here we go
TLC CONTRACT SIGNING: WATCH
Quick aside: on the way to the ring you can see Triple H admire the ladders set up in the aisle and mouth "big ladders" to himself. This made me laugh and I don't know why.
John Cena and Randy Orton is something nobody wants to see, so I've read. These guys have been the collective Face Of The WWE for the length of Stone Cold Steve Austin's WWE run, basically, and everyone is pretty sick of shitty Superman and boring Batman winning everything and fighting each other. I get that.
But they did a surprisingly decent job of making this feel important. Even with all of John Cena's "hey I ain't the face of nothing JACK I'm just John Cena JACK and I show up first, leave last and JACK JACK JACK" they still did a good job of doing the contract signing thing. Whether you think that contract signings are devoid of logic/played out/whatever, then that's up to you (and I probably agree).
This ends with the tried, tested and expected "preview" of the PPV they're promoting, with Cena putting Orton through tables and standing tall (the most important thing a thing can do) at the end of the show.
It'd be pretty funny to freeze someone in time at the very moment Daniel Bryan beat John Cena at SummerSlam for the WWE Title, and then unfreeze them for the end of this show, with Cena cheering and posing over Randy Orton with both World Titles over his head. That person would probably go into some kind of sick (sick bro!) Zack Ryder tailspin of depression and Just For Men Spray On Goatee addiction.
WELP, that does it for my first (and probably last, given my god awful track record!) RAW IS DVR'D. Tell me what you thought, follow my once-again active Twitter, and see you (probably not) (don't count on me) next week.