raw(lite): fury, ageing and the case for john cena

So, Raw. Where do I start? Certainly not at the beginning. The beginning was truly terrible.  Truth be told, I picked through the rotting carcass that was that episode and there wasn’t much meat left worth saving. There were three things worth commentary though. Here goes nothing:

FURY

Randy Orton captured the anger of a global audience of millions when we went off on Piven and Jeong. Go Randy Go! KNOCK. HIS. BLOCK. OFF.

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No free movie promotion on this site.

AGEING

Triple H, following a loss to Cody Rhodes, fake huffed and puffed while hanging off the ropes. It was a sorry sight as he alluded to the fact that he may be getting a little too old for all this. NOOOOOOOOOO! Of course it was all a ruse to lead us in to that long awaited DX reunion. YEEEEEAH.

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Later on, everyone’s favourite hunter made that all important phone call to his partner in degenerative crime via the locker room phone. But hold the phone, what’s this? Mr. Michaels doesn’t want to play?

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So, does this mean no DX before Summerslam? Ohhhhhhh. How disappointing. I really…..oh…..hang on… I forgot…….

DIONSSPP

PHEW!

THE CASE FOR JOHN CENA

John Cena has been getting all kinds of heat this week . I’ve even seen calls for his resignation or firing. Ok, it’s well documented on this site that I’ve had a monster crush on JC for some time. But this has nothing very little to do with the fires he starts in my pants.

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BURN

Piven made a lumberjack match to end the show where The Miz had to beat John Cena to keep his job. He lost.

It wasn’t real, people! He didn’t REALLY lose his job. Has Miz’s character been wasted? Probably. Will he be ok? Yes. Was all this John Cena’s fault? Of course not.

I’m not going to sit here and try to convince anyone that Cena is the best technical wrestler in the company. Far from it. Even he knows that’s not true. But in WWE everyone has a role. John’s role is to be a poster boy for the prdouct. He’s a great role model for kids, he never gets up to any illegal shenanigans, he stars in movies with worldwide distribution and through his general mainstream presence he raises the profile of wrestling.

Whether you like him or loathe him, he’s actually very good in that role. Dwayne Johnson played a similar part in WWE. You don’t get to the position John Cena has reached without having something that sets you apart. For him, that may be personality. The best wrestlers aren’t necessarily the best known faces. That may be grossly unfair, but if you don’t want ‘sports entertainment’, why are you watching?

Of course a big part of the problem at the moment is that rather than hype the Summerslam matches and grow the storylines to the point where we’re bursting to see how they end at the PPV, they’re faffing about with promoting movies for people who have no connection to the industry whatsoever. John and Randy should be verbally and physically battling each other at every single opportunity at the moment. What did they have John do this week? They put him in a Mickey Mouse match with The Miz and left him in the ring to play out a cartoon ending involving Piven and Jeong. It’s not all his fault. Drop the witch hunt, guys. And keep breathing.

raw(lite): bespoke suits and amateur tanning

The jury’s still out on the whole guest host thing. It’s a shrewd business move and I’m not necessarily against it, but it would have been nice to see a few more former wrestlers getting a night with the mic. Jobs for the boys and all that. For me, ZZ Top hosting was hideous. But I’m really not a fan of theirs so it felt kind of pointless.

Everyone loves Shaq. Even people like me who get turned off by the whole bad boy thuggery of the NBA and get sick of hearing about King James. So I was certainly looking forward to this one. He didn’t disappoint. In fact, Vince should keep him on the books and snap him up the minute he hangs his high-tops up for good.

Shaq was eager to get to work straight away and set up a 5-man Beat-the-Clock challenge up. Whichever fella beats their opponent the quickest becomes number one contender against Randy Orton at Summerslam. But, oh dear, looks like the be-suited genius that is Chris Jericho has a little beef with Shaq. If someone gets a poster made of Shaq kissing Jericho’s forehead, make me a copy at the same time? I’ll put it up in my office and look at it in moments of general malaise and aggravation. How they both kept from cracking thoughout that segment is beyond me. And the crowd’s spontaneous chanting of CHRIS-TI-NA (Shaq’s new moniker for Jericho) made my heart smile.

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Shaq flicked Jericho away with one finger, so Chris decided to introduce him to his new tag-partner. It would appear that just 24 hours in the company of Chris Jericho has rubbed off on Show. Ooooh, look at him in his stylish bespoke suit.

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Ok, so pretty much every piece of clothing Big Show owns is going to be bespoke. I doubt even High n Hefty or Lofty n Mighty or whatever those shops are called stock Big Show Size as standard. The verbal slanging match between Show and Shaq ping-ponged back and forth beautifully as Shaq challenged Show to a match. Show wriggled his way out of it with a wordy theory on why he would not accept the invitation. Oh and…………

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Shaq was determined to make the tag champs fight SOMEONE that night, so he put Cryme Tyme in front of them, leaving the champs to scuttle away up the ramp.

With that hilarity done and dusted it was time for some fisticuffs and the first man jostling for that number one contender spot was Mark Henry, up against Carlito. Bad luck, Carlito. You drew the short straw on that one. Carlito decided to implement the tactic of flying kicks and piggybacks in the hope that he could topple Henry and keep him down long enough for the pin. But just like a really huge Weeble, Mark Henry rolled back to his feet again and smooshed Carlito in to the canvas. You remember Weebles, right? Those freaky, egg shaped people that always swung back up no matter how much you knocked them down?

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Looks more like a chubby CM Punk weeble than Mark Henry, but you get the idea.

Mark Henry wrapped his hands around Carlito and finished him off in 6 minutes, 49 seconds.

Moving on and the brand new Diva’s Champion, Mickie James, brought Kelly-Kelly and Gail Kim along to take on Beth Phoenix, Rosa Mendes and Alicia Fox. This is exciting. No. REALLY! First off, Beth is back and without even a whiff of Santina. Second….err….off (?) a storyline involving Mickie and Beth is a female feud I think people will actually get behind.  Mickie has always held a special place in my heart. Her feud with Trish Stratus was brilliant. I’d love to see something that big again. Do it!

From one blast from the past to another, part two of the Beat the Clock Challenge involved M.V.P vs Chris Masters. Yep! Chris Masters! Back in the ring and clean as a whistle. I’m guessing.  Proof positive that the there is always a road back to WWE.  One thing though, if you’re gonna go down the spray tan route, you need to make sure you get it everywhere. That means lifting your arms when you stand in the tanning booth, Chris. Ask Randy to go with you next time.

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Both were out of the ring too long and were counted out. No M.V.P vs Randy Orton at Summerslam. Shocker!!!

Another break from Beat the Clock – The Brian Kendrick vs Kofi Kingston. Kendrick was giving Jerry Lawler some verbal heat when Kofi Kingston took him out with a kick in the face and ended the match.  A few days later Vince McMahon metaphorically punched Kendrick in the stomach and ended his contract.

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Back to business and it was time for Triple H to take Cody Rhodes on for his ten millionth shot at Randy. But wait, what’s this? Ted DiBiase ran out with some form of truncheon and gave Hunter a big whack on the back of the knee.

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Cody Rhodes did the most camp little run out to the ramp ever (watch it again, you’ll see what I mean) and Triple H limped out to the ring. In the words of my brother, “Triple H has got the best fake limp in the business.” But that’s probably because he’s had a lot of practice with real limps. I believe that’s called method acting.

The match trundled along nicely and I was super impressed when Triple H pulled off a dainty pilates move when he reversed Cody’s figure-4. The countdown was getting close and Triple H really needed to stop messing with his prey and finish the job. But Ted DiBiase reappeared and began doing a strange little leg dance which, with a bit more effort and a few additional spins and head flicks, he could totally have turned in to Jennifer Beals’ Maniac dance in Flashdance. If you’ve never seen it, watch. It is a thing of fitness beauty.

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Same leg movements as Jennifer. Trust me.

At first it seemed odd that DiBiase even got involved in the end of the match. There appeared to be no point to it. But all became clear when Triple H gave his Josh Matthews interview later on. More on that in a bit. Cody was pinned but after the time had expired. No dice for Hunter.

Time for some light relief, so we go to Shaq’s office where he is playing an epic game of scrabble with Santino.  I try not to smile at Santino, but I can’t help it. The Cryme Tyme boys rolled in, bumped fists with Shaq and generally loved all over each other, slipping in to Money, Money, Yeah, Yeah! But Santino felt left out so he threw a Cavs hat on at a jaunty angle, did some rapper-fingers and added his own lyrics. Careful, Tony. You don’t want that Canadian accent to slip through. The Italian’s not so easy to keep up while you’re hippin’ and hoppin’, eh?

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I won’t crush your enthusiasm by speaking about Hornswoggle and Chavo, so I’ll scoot over to the Jack Swagger/Evan Bourne Beat the Clock match. I’ve mentioned my brother a couple of times since being back from the USA, but that’s because he’s been watching wrestling with me again and it’s interesting to hear the views of someone who stopped watching wrestling because they couldn’t handle the silliness of it any more. He REALLY likes Jack Swagger and was impressed by Evan Bourne. Anyone who questions the pushing of all the new collegiate guys has got it wrong. If their hard work and new style can prick the interest of someone who abandoned wrestling can only be a good thing.

The match only lasted about three and a half minutes. Evan Bourne took the pin, so there’ll be no Swagger/Orton at Summerslam. That just leaves John Cena to beat Mark Henry’s time. Hmm. Wonder how that one will turn out?

Triple H was still fuming backstage about Ted sabotaging his match with Cody and vowed to take both of them out by himself next week.  By himself? Really? Seems like an awfully big task to set yourself. He could probably do with some help. From someone who’s refreshed by a long break, maybe? Someone to act as a tag partner? Has Hunter ever been in a tag team?

DIONSSPP

By the way, Triple H mentioned ‘the tail that wags the dog’ in his JM interview. For a perfect explanation of this phrase, watch the Wag the Dog movie.  It’s brilliant. And it’s De Niro and Hoffman (pre-Meet the Fockers). How could you possibly lose?

The final Beat the Clock match was John Cena vs The Miz, with Randy Orton watching from the annouce table.  Not that I would ever dream of complaining, but why was Randy without trousers when he had no involvement in any matches that night?

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The Miz had already dissed various D.C. sporting teams and tried to run Cena’s clock down to force his exclusion from the BTC contest without getting hurt himself.  Didn’t work. John forced Miz to tap out with well over two minutes to spare. Randy joined John in the ring and I went all…..

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Remember several months ago when John and Randy (being BFFs and all) asked the writers if they could work together?  I wrote a post about it. John was even willing to go heel. Looks like they got their wish. And I, for one, am joyous beyond belief.

Final match of the night was Shaq’s special tag match between little and large and Cryme Tyme, with Shaq himself at ringside to keep an eye on proceedings.  All was moving along swimmingly until Show interfered with the pin on Jericho and the match had to be called off.  Shaq was furious. He whipped his shirt off and faced up to Show himself. Show had him in a chokehold, Cryme Tyme came to the rescue and Shaq rolled Show out of the ring. Jericho dashed around and started screeching at Shaq like a Jack Russell defending a Great Dane.

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Best. Raw. In. AGEEEEES. Congratulations, Shackwheel….. as Santino would say.

extreme makeover: wrestlegasm edition

So, I’m just about over the jet-lag now and, as you can see, the site’s had a bit of a makeover. I thought it was time I spruced things up a bit, do a little editing on the About page, start giving an identity to my regular features etc. Hope you like it.

My latest trip to the US was amazing. I got to see parts of the country I’ve never seen before, I proved I could survive in the Northern Michigan woods without WiFi and a TV, I met new people, made fantastic new friends and built up a bank of lovely memories. I also got to spend some time in my beloved Tennessee, which I’m convinced gets prettier every summer. My departure from Nashville airport was as tearful as ever, but hey, I’ll be back in a few months for my young man’s graduation, so not too long before I’m back on Southern soil again. Miss me, America.

My boyfriend's house.....nah..... not really.... just the Kentucky welcome centre.

My boyfriend's house.....nah..... not really.... just the Kentucky welcome centre.

But don’t think that just because I was discovering the New World (for about the eleventh time) I was ignoring the Wrestle World. I was keeping a shifty eye on what was going on.  This week, while unpacking my suitcase back home, I even thought I’d spotted CM Punk on Homes Under the Hammer.……………..

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…but then I realised it was the timezone fog confusing my brain. Punk is way hotter than some random, bearded  property developer. What was I thinking?

So much has happened since I last recapped anything.

We’ve had some obscure guest hosts on Raw:

ZZTOPWRONG

CM Punk finally went full-on Straight Edge on our asses:

Uh-oh! Looks like Punk found out about the beer and cigar event I went to at Woody's Smokes and Brews in Franklin.  Sorry, chicken. Still love me?

Uh-oh! Looks like Punk found out about the beer and cigar event I went to at Woody's Smokes and Brews in Franklin. Sorry, chicken. Still love me?

Edge kept Dr. Jim Andrews busy and put an end to Team Canada:

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Triple H rediscovered his sense of humour:

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The Women’s Division was reduce further to fluffy nonsense:

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Way to make me feel fat, Seth Green Bikini Match.

So, now on to Night of Champions. Which reminds me, I need to order it before I go to bed. Time to pull on my new Green Bay Packers pyjamas and settle down. See you in a day or so, people. It’s great to be back at wrestlegasm.  Mwah!