Years ago on an earlier incarnation of this site, I ran a weekly column called RAW Is Madness. It was a very simple premise, and hardly a unique one: I would watch episodes of WWE RAW as they aired and when it was over, voila! A few thousand words had somehow appeared on my screen, plodding on about DX crotch chops or crappy Nickelback theme songs or insufferable celebrity guest “general managers”.
That’s not going to happen this time. I may be crazy, but I’d prefer to imagine that I’m crazy for better reasons than dudes and ladies in tights pretending to kill each other. Wrestling may have come a long way since the halcyon days of those old Madness articles, but not nearly far enough to justify writing myself into an institution.
Also, every episode of RAW is three hours long now. All of time and space cannot contain such lunacy!
So here’s what’s going to happen: I’m going to watch WWE RAW every week with this here writin’ window open, and if some words should just happen to randomly fall onto the page, then so be it. This won’t be a series of blow-by-blow recaps like you’ll find on 411 (they’re still operating in 2012? Now that’s madness!) nor will it be in the same league as Brandon Stroud’s fantastic Best & Worst of RAW column. It’ll just be whatever thoughts, erudite or mundane, that fall into my head during those three hours. Take it or leave it, kids.
So, here we go!
LAST TIME ON
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA WWE RAW: Or rather, Sunday’s Hell in the Cell pay-per-view, which felt oddly named considering how only one match was in the cell and it ended in about the same time as the diva’s match preceding it, and without a clean finish. Also, John Cena was inserted into the AJ Lee storyline for some reason. Follow the t-shirt sales, I guess. AND NOW THE CONCLUSION!
• Always nice to see Mick Foley, but is it still a surprise to see him when he shows up every month? He and CM Punk set up Team Foley vs. Team Punk for Survivor Series, which is three weeks away, just in case you didn’t think there’s enough PPVs on the schedule.
• A JTG sighting! (Still employed, 5 years and 169 days!) Wild JTGs can be found in tall grass. He’s fed to Ryback who I guess already caught a JTG at some point and doesn’t need another one. A few years ago it was Sho Funaki in this spot, right? Afterwards, Ryback gets on the mic (!) and shouts something about being hungry. So… we’re going to keep getting that until the Goldberg chants stop, aren’t we.
• Orton/Barret is what it is. I thought Orton was supposed to be off shooting a movie somewhere?
• WWE short-term memory loss #1: last week AJ “resigned” as GM, this week it was a “firing”.
• Team Hell No/Primetime Players? May as well. Anything to keep the tag division’s recovery going full tilt, and Daniel Bryan/Kane still soaking up the spotlight. The champions stealing pinfalls from each other is lots of fun, though it must suck for anyone keeping track of win-loss statistics. Mr. Layfield?
• No one gets heat quite like Vickie Guerrero. Vickie Heat is the new X-Pac Heat. Still a notch down from “John Cena Theme Song Heat” for me personally, of course. All praise to the holy mute button: conquerer of endless Garageband loops.
• Vickie’s presentation of evidence regarding the Cena/AJ connection started to remind me of the trial scene in Chrono Trigger almost immediately. Cue the music!
Now keep it going on a loop for the next ten minutes because this whole segment is terrible. If what we’re getting here, ostensibly a 1:1 rehash of Chris Jericho’s footage of CM Punk walking into an English pub circa-Wrestlemania, is the net result of Vince McMahon’s warpath through the writer’s room, then maybe he should’ve kept his mouth shut.
• I appreciate the continuity with Kofi Kingston and R-Truth. Keeping them aligned post-tag titles helps perpetuate the illusion that continuity even exists in this company, and there are worse people than those two to help build-up Antonio Cesaro.
• I am so onboard with the 3 Man Band if it means getting more Spinal Tap skits. “We’re transcendent.”
• Jerry Lawler returns in two weeks. Look, I don’t want to be that guy, but the commentary has been generally improved by his absence. I would rather have JR and especially JBL stick around – or Scott Stanford elevated to the big time, or William Regal brought up from NXT, or the surprising return of Uno and Dos – than see Lawler back on RAW.
• Having AJ back as an in-ring performer feels like a true return to form. Pitting her against Beth Phoenix is just sauce for the goose, Mr. Saavik, especially considering how I thought she was already gone. I want to see AJ vs. Phoenix every week for as long as possible, which unfortunately for me and fans of decent women’s wrestling everywhere, would appear to be tonight and tonight only.
• I’m setting my watch to the inevitable Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara split. That will be a fun angle, assuming that a mouthpiece is found for Sin Cara if necessary. But man, why couldn’t they have done this years ago with Mysterio and Ultimo Dragon? It was all right there.
• Someone buy Michael Cole a Latin dictionary.
• “In WWE ’13, you can do all the things you’ve been doing in every WWE game Yukes has ever done, and with a graphics engine that hasn’t been updated since the beginning of this console cycle! All with last year’s roster and miscellaneous trappings from before the RAW 1000 refresh, so the game will look immediately dated! In stores today!”
• Don’t read too much into Susan G. Komen unless you want to become cynical. See also: learning too much about dairy production, can’t enjoy milk any more.
• Paul Heyman’s picks for Team Punk include The Miz (a funny choice if you saw Punk’s opinion of Miz in the Best in the World documentary), Team Rhodes Scholars, Alberto Del Rio. Which means the makeup of Team Foley, as always with Survivor Series matches, will be the dudes currently feuding with the aforementioned names: Kofi Kingston, Team Hell No, Randy Orton. Ryback is of course Foley’s proxy, which I suppose implies that Cena’s injuries are worse than reported. I’ll take it!
That’s all for RAW Rambling this week. It shall return, minus the lengthy preamble, and continuing to pass over entire segments which did nothing and went nowhere AKA the entirety of Smackdown. So until next time, when I shall expect a gargoyle-esque statue of Beth Phoenix perching somewhere in every arena.