That's the only Dave "The Pitbull" Batista joke I'll make, promise.
Welcome to RAW IS DVR'D, a review designed to help point out the parts of the show that are worth watching, and the parts of the show that you can fast-forward because nothing awesome or unintentionally hilarious happened. RAW IS DVR'D wasn't around during Batista's last main event run, but my blog was, and holy mother of fuck would I FF the shit out of his stupid face.
I started PIZZABODYSLAM in late 2009, right around when Batista was what can only be described as the worst.
PBS began as a place to air my Batista related grievances. I hated him. And, even as a babyface, he hated us too. But when he turned heel and started dressing like an AWA Road Warrior Super Soldier time travelling from the past and/or future, who called John Cena out on kissing babies and hugging fat girls, it was like someone told him wrestling isn't fake anymore, it's all real, just go out there and be your own douchey self… it was beautiful.
AND THEN HE QUIT. He just dropped his BADASS HILARIOUS heel gimmick and left. And that made me hate him more. How dare he be SO SHITTY for SO LONG and then suddenly become the best thing he's ever been, just to instantly peace out.
So going into Monday's Raw, I had hopes that we might get that Batista. The one that truly lives in the skin of the shitty one. The one that secretly gives the double middle fingers to the front row even when he's babyface.
RAW IS DVR'D
JANUARY 20TH, 2014
MAE YOUNG TRIBUTE: WATCH
I'm not really good at being serious on this blog. But this tribute was touching, and you should check it out, even if you only knew Mae Young as the old lady who took her clothes off and rubbed her vagina on people damnit see? I can't do it.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. VIDEO: FF
THE AUTHORITY, RANDY ORTON & BATISTA PROMO: WATCH
Ugh, finally we get past all the dead people stuff and onto the things that matter - Triple H!
Ho man, there's so much to watch here and almost none of it is good and almost all of it is accidentally funny (a.k.a. my second favourite type of pro wrestling TV, just behind ACTUALLY GOOD pro wrestling TV).
The show starts with The Authority in the ring, and Stephanie McMahon is doing her very underrated Vince McMahon impression of a guy who doesn't realize he's hated by everybody in the room, but is so pumped to be in the ring in front of those same people.
Then, Triple H starts to introduce someone by rhyming off qualities that could either describe Batista or Randy Orton, and Randy Orton comes out, and everybody goes "RANDY LET HIM FINISH I DON'T THINK HE MEANT YOU".
I'm not sure how many times any combination of Triple H, Randy Orton and Stephanie McMahon have asked "who the hell do you think you are," but they see each other every day and should straighten this out. Orton is pissed about Brock Lesnar and Batista and John Cena and Charlie Haas and anybody who came out of OVW in 2002, and Stephanie counters by trying to sell him the WWE Network. Randy is all "Hm, sounds good - only 9.99 huh? That's quite afforda-- HEY WAIT A MINUTE I'M MAD".
I love trying to dissect the kayfabe logic of that segment though. I want to think that Stephanie went to the production truck and went: "So we're gonna start the show by describing Batista as a guy from Evolution who sometimes does and sometimes doesn't like Triple H. I'm pretty sure Randy Orton will think we're talking about him or at the very least get mad that we're not talking about him, and storm out here, so have the footage of him beating up John Cena's dad handy, k? Thanks."
Suddenly, Kofi Kingston is brought up and I fear the worst. Yep. A Kofi and Orton rematch is made, Batista comes out to confront Orton and hug Triple H and 2009 rests its wiener firmly on my face.
But in the middle of all of this, there's some amazing Triple H promo magic. For some reason, him getting all mad about Orton not being able to beat Kofi Kingston and trying to say the word DO but instead saying the word DOH busted my gut. He also said losing to Kofi Kingston was unrational, and as I waited for him to fit "unpossible" into a sentence, Big Dave comes out.
We need more heel McMahon characters cheering on top faces. So. Funny.
(imagine here a gif of Shawn Michaels dancing on the announce table and Vince McMahon loving it - I spent way too long trying to YouTube that and couldn't find it. Starting to think I dreamt it.)
Now, onto Batista. I don't mind saying, I was pleasantly surprised when he came out in his Heel Batista uniform (dressed like a dingus), but that feeling quickly faded when he began his VINTAGE BORING BABYFACE PROMO. That didn't make his clothes any less funny or blood-stoppingly tight. I feel like Michael Cole should've lead off with "here's what you missed on the WWE App moments ago - Santino did Batista's laundry and it all shrunk! (insufferable giggling) Join the conversation with #WWETideColdwater"
That's about what I would've expected though, seeing as he is returning as his "cool guy babyface" persona, and not "the only interesting persona I've ever had, duct tape are you serious" persona.
RAW TONIGHT - BIG SHOW & BROCK LESNAR GO FACE TO FACE: FF
It is 100% weird that there's a Big Show/Lesnar feud and an Orton/Batista feud on the rise and it's 2014.
THE JOHN CENA CAM: WATCH
Oh RIGHT. Triple H also mentioned there's a John Cena camera now, that's dedicated to filming the place where the wrestlers show up, so when John Cena gets here, no longer will everybody have to ask "where's John Cena".
I would absolutely watch a WWE Network show that followed John Cena around wherever he went, just to confirm that he only has two outfits - John Cena t-shirt and jorts attire, and comically oversized suit.
UP NEXT - BIG E. & BRHODES V. THE SHIELD: FF
Awwww yeah. This match will be like a forget-me-now for that Batista promo fuck me I can't believe I have to go back to forgetting Batista promos.
THE JOHN CENA CAM: FF
Still nothing. You think he might show up earlier than 8:30 for Raw. I mean, you never know if they might need a derpy half-serious, half-unfunny 20 minute promo about underwear to start the show, John!
BIG E. LANGSTON & BRHODES V. THE SHIELD: WATCH
MAN I am gassed after writing 25,000 words on Batista's hilarious wardrobe. Thankfully, not much has to be said about a THE SHIELD match kicking off the wrestling portion of any Raw.
It definitely wasn't the absolute best 6-man they've had, but it featured all wicked wrestlers and all the midcard titles. Not to mention Big E continuing to wrestle Ultimate Warrior tribute matches ever since he was announced for the Hall Of Fame. Maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention before, but he's used the running splash and the gorilla press slam the last couple of weeks, and is one shouty promo that's vaguely about "sacrifice" away from painting his face the colours of his singlet.
Cody Rhodes did that sweet dive to the outside where he looks like he's auditioning for the role of Good Sin Cara, and even Goldust's somersault plancha from the apron was great. Roman Reigns' Superman Punch is becoming the best new flash KO move since his Better Than Edge's Spear Spear. Big E was moving like a small vehicle in the ring, and Seth Rollins nailed the Blackout for the win, which is also sweet, because The Shield continue to win 6-man tag matches, instead of just doing that thing when streaks end, where suddenly one loss means they could lose to anybody all the time.
So, with The Shield's win, they're the first among many to be potential Rumble winners, based off my last post about how the eventual Rumble winners look strong on the go-home show.
RAW LAST MONDAY - BRYAN SHEDS THE WYATT SKIN: WATCH
Sometimes, I think this was a concussion-induced fever dream too. Daniel Bryan as over as Steve Austin. Holy damnit.
WWE NETWORK COUNTDOWN CLOCK: FF
Being from Canada, I need this clock converted to Canadian, which is just a full year added to it and a bunch of questions marks.
DANIEL BRYAN BREAKS HIS SILENCE: WATCH
I've sat here for I don't know how long, wanting to write a huge paragraph on Bryan's concussion, his Rumble involvement or non-involvement, his popularity, and just about everything else. I've decided that this is one of those things that is better to watch than write about. The speculation is fun and I could talk about it for hours (I feel like I'm the kind of person who could be convinced ANYTHING is a work in wrestling), but this is something I want to get wrapped up in and not ruin by over-thinking or over-reading or over-anythinging. I could be enormously let down by Sunday, but that's all part of it too.
The one thing I'll point out, which I haven't read anywhere (maybe from lack of searching), is that I found it strange how Bryan challenged Bray. He went out of his way to inform everyone how you can't be both in the Rumble and in another match at the Rumble, and then challenged Bray to a match. This is also not even true, unless if it was a secret rule passed behind the scenes that we're supposed to suddenly believe, or say, a plot point. It used to be that you wouldn't even see the guys competing for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble in the Royal Rumble, but 2011 saw both Orton and Ziggler showing up as entrants, despite fighting for the WWE and World Heavyweight belts, respectively.
I'm not saying this means anything one way or another, or at least I'm not picking a side. I am saying, however, that I hate that I said I wouldn't talk about it and here I am talking about it shit goddamnit. MOVING ON.
After I spent the duration of Bryan's promo wondering if he was gonna HBKollapse, concussed in the corner, Bray Wyatt shows up on the titantron and monologues his balls off. I want to say something insane like he's this generation's Mick Foley or Harley Race or Jake Roberts or whoever is the benchmark for "guy whose promos are the fucking realest", but I'm also still scared of that time I said "Alex Riley has good fire" and don't want to over-extend my hyperbole.
But godDAMN. Bray Wyatt went to the Ultimate Warrior Quiet-Whisper-to-Hoarse-Screaming Promo Academy and burned that sucker to the ground.
FANDANGO V. XAVIER WOODS: FF
This match, unfortunately, was like the polar opposite of everything I just said. For some reason it made me think of the movie Unbreakable and how Samuel L. Jackson's character knew there must be a man with the opposite condition as his (Bruce Willis) for whatever reason. This shitty match exists on the same curve as Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt's wicked promo, just on opposite ends.
The match was also about as long as Emma's screen-time in the crowd. R-Truth sat down beside JBL and was like: "Hey y'all so excited to do commentary for this match aw what the hell".
It's kind of a bummer too, since both guys are actually pretty funny in the Backstage Fallout videos or Main Event segments or just straight-up on Instagram:
KANE, MADDOX & STEPHANIE BACKSTAGE: WATCH
Okay, you could probably fast-forward this one, but I am very weirdly on board with the Kane that's trying to make a better life for himself and become integrated into society. The Authority give him a lot of flack for being a loose cannon, and Stephanie admitting that putting him -- KANE -- in a managerial position was a risk.
"Guys, we knew that the guy that can materialize fire with his thoughts could fly off the handle. YES, I know he once killed a woman -- oh no, he's trying to make his pryo go off again, someone get him a blanket and some cocoa."
"Basketballs don't hold grudges" - Dave Batista
KANE APOLOGIZES TO CM PUNK: FF
Fast-forward, but know that I still love Director of Operations Kane, or DOOK ("Dookie" if you're close with him) coming out to basically say "I overstepped my bounds when I hit my Chokeslam From Hell finishing move on you".
CM PUNK V. DOLPH ZIGGLER: FF
Man, Dolph Ziggler looks awful, that concussion really did a number on-- OH WAIT it's Billy Gunn.
CM PUNK V. BILLY GUNN: FF
I like to believe that CM Punk's timeline fractured during the Ascension Ceremony and he's now been Last Action Hero'd into No Mercy for N64 and is fighting in unfair handicap matches and feuding with Kane and the New Age Outlaws and Triple H and there's weird saxophone DJ-scratching music everywhere okay maybe not that last part.
The highlight of this match for me was without a doubt Punk attacking Road Dogg at the very moment the word "hashtag" left his mouth.
Also, I like that Triple H has THE FUCKING SHIELD at his disposal, but still think that enlisting his 50 year old buds would be an upgrade in henchmen.
The segment ends with Brad Maddox coming out to say something to Punk, but Kane interrupts and has a "bake 'em away, toys" moment almost fumbling over his words to tell Punk he's #1 in the Rumble, which will make his last three Rumble entry numbers 1, 1 and 3. Ouch.
THE JOHN CENA CAM: FF
Lesnar and Heyman make a cameo on the John Cena cam, which is turning into an episode of Mystery Diners, where it's being revealed that John Cena is not actually the model employee we think he is!!
On the other hand, Brock Lesnar showing up late I can believe.
ROYAL RUMBLE BY THE NUMBERS VIDEO: WATCH
Even though this video is the EXACT SAME every year, right down to the wording (but with a new voice over person to try and trick me), I still get wet in the pants for Royal Rumble stats. Who's logged the most Rumble time? How many winners has the #27 spot generated? How many murderers has the #1 spot generated? And so on.
Mentioning that two people have gone all the way from #1 to winning the Rumble but only showing or mentioning Shawn Michaels is weirdly more eerie and unsettling than just being like "the other was Chris Benoit, he killed his family -- and now let's move right on to that time Hogan eliminated The Warlord…"
REY MYSTERIO V. ALBERTO DEL RIO, FT. BATISTA: WATCH
I'm not gonna say a whole lot about Del Rio v. Mysterio XXXVII, because the real thing to take home from this whole segment was Batista's hilarious stupid face:
LIKE THAT. LIKE THAT. LIKE THAT.
Had he gone full sit-out Batista Bomb, we would've finally had the answer to this age-old question.
So that does it for Batista's big return. How do you think it went? If your answer isn't "AWESOMMMME #StillHungry!!!!" then Batista has a few words for you:
Love the guy's response at the bottom. Present them.
BIG SHOW BACKSTAGE: FF
Getting ready for his face to face with Brock Lesnar by talking to the smallest man he can find.
"When I look at you, I don't see fans. I don't even see people. I see money, money, money, money, dollar signs, dollar signs, dollar signs dollar signs. With some of you I see a lot of dollar signs, because I see a lot of fat people in the audience and I know you paid for two seats." - Dave Batista
BIG SHOW AND BROCK LESNAR - FACE TO FACE: WATCH
(wait, I should include a quick FF for Unfunny Big Show (my third least favourite Big Show, behind FIRED UP Big Show and Crying, Method Acting Big Show, and just ahead of Wrestling Big Show)'s Paul Heyman impression. Woof.)
This was hands down the best thing to happen on this show:
Brock Lesnar CAN NOT STOP CARTWHEELING. He has two primary functions - unstoppable mutant freak beast of human destruction… or giant cartwheel enthusiast.
Seriously though, how much of this was planned? Part of me feels like the plan was for Lesnar to get flipped over the top by Big Show, but for him to land somewhat gracefully (instead of ass-over-tea-kettlefully) and then throw a kayfabe tantrum (instead of a REAL LIFE tantrum)… or Lesnar is just good at pretending to be mad and smashing things.
But the next part that happened was definitely not planned as Lesnar tripped over a monitor that he threw in his previous tantrum and then proceeded to TANTRUM HARDER by shotputting a TV at Big Show. And I'm sure he immediately regretted screaming I WILL SEE YOUR ASS ON SUNDAY when his voice squeaked at the end.
I wish I could see the shit fit that Lesnar threw backstage. I picture him throwing a real life tantrum where he chucks another TV monitor and later trips on it again, and it becomes a never-ending cycle until the Royal Rumble where he comes out for his match by tripping over a TV monitor.
Also, to reference my last blog, you'll notice in this segment that Big Show was displaying what is known as Wrestling Momentum by Standing Tall on the show before the PPV, which means he will almost certainly get obliterated by Lesnar on Sunday, in a finish that I hope includes a TV monitor pratfall gag.
RAW TONIGHT - ORTON V. KINGSTON: FF
THE JOHN CENA CAM: FF
This is starting to become the climactic scene of Homeward Bound.
AJ LEE & TAMINA V. THE FUNKADACTYLS: FF
This match starts with Michael Cole going: "There is cake all over Tamina we're gonna tell ya why".
I'm convinced that Cameron has never been trained and instead, somewhere in another dimension, the whole world is watching her wrestle this match and every match on The Running Man.
These were my only two thoughts during this match.
EARLIER TONIGHT - BATISTA RETURNS: FF
HOO BOY didn't even want to see this the first time.
UP NEXT - THE USOS V. HARPER & ROWAN: FF
DID YOU KNOW? - THE WWE NETWORK: FF
When you subscribe to the WWE Network, you will get every WWE Pay Per View, starting with WrestleMania XXX - for just $9.99 per month! with 6 month commitment
I've already committed my life, what's another six months.
ROYAL RUMBLE BY THE NUMBERS VIDEO: FF
Okay, doing the same "numbers" video every year for the Rumble, I can allow. But splitting it into two videos to fill more time is where I draw the line. And the narrator is getting worse. When talking about Kane, he uses the phrase "now that's good for business!" which isn't even the catchphrase.
ROYAL RUMBLE CARD PREVIEW: FF
You know what the matches are. But for fun, here are my (and I assume everybody else's) predictions (which instantly means that they're all wrong):
Lesnar def. Show
Bryan def. Wyatt via DQ
Cena def. Orton
Bryan wins the Rumble that he's currently not announced as participating in.
MARTIN LUTHER KING VIDEO: FF
Sorry, but, I seent it already. AND FOR THE LAST TIME IT'S BATISTA DAY #insensitive
THE USOS V. ROWAN & HARPER: WATCH
Candidate for the best use of the Wyatts sheepface screaming jump cut thing that starts their entrance:
The crowd was kinda blargh throughout this match, which is a huge bummer considering how sweet the ending of Raw was last week (even if it had way more to do with Bryan than these four guys). Still, there were some good highlights - mainly Bray Wyatt standing up with a mic during the match, going: "do you guys not like this match orrrr", and also this:
Daniel Bryan YESSES the Usos into a win and we all continue to wonder what the fuck is going to happen with him.
MAIN EVENT - THE JOHN CENA CAM?: FF
I love that wrestlers are either always backstage in wrestling gear, whether they're booked for anything or not, just waiting for someone to be like "BAM you're in the next match" or "BAM that guy called me out i'm gonna go punch his dad" or whatever, OR, they don't arrive to the arena until the overrun like John Cena is about to.
UP NEXT - ORTON V. KINGSTON: FF
oh right this is the main event
RUMBLE KICKOFF PREVIEW: FF
I kinda love the Royal Rumble Drinkin' and Druggin' panel of Flair, HBK and Hacksaw.
MAIN EVENT - RANDY ORTON V. KOFI KINGSTON: FF
So Dayton gets a babyface Batista return, a Billy Gunn match, no Daniel Bryan match, no Antonio Cesaro match, a Randy Orton v. Kofi Kingston main event and a camera dedicated to John Cena showing up late for work. Bummer.
As you may have guessed, this match goes nowhere and is just a thing that is happening until John Cena shows up running down the street in his wrestling attire wait what? What the hell happened? Was Zack Ryder changing his tires or something? Why is John Cena arriving to the arena on foot running at full speed?
I picture Cena at the John Cena T-Shirt and Armband factory watching his new gear getting printed, constantly checking his watch (beneath his old and busted John Cena armband).
The ending of Raw was equal parts hilarious and heartwarming. From Randy Orton using a getaway car to escape a regular John Cena beatdown to Cena re-entering the arena to his music, celebrating, like "I CHASED THE EVIL-DOER INTO A FAMILY SEDAN. HE'S GONE NOW. WE CAN ALL GO HOME." to finally, John Cena making his way through the crowd and padding his Make A Wish stats.
Seriously though, there's nothing that makes me happier than seeing kids' LIVES made when acknowledged by a wrestler. Check out this kid furiously smacking at Cena until he notices him and shakes his hand. You can pinpoint the moment when his mind EXPLODES:
And there's probably no better way to make Cena cheered going into a PPV than closing the show with him personally meeting every handicapped person in the arena. But the irony is not lost on me that on the show that Batista returned on, Cena closed it by hugging kissing babies and hugging fat girls.