D.B. and The Bear: Raw Regurgitated, 10/21

Sitting through a Big Show talk segment is an exercise in discipline. You really want to hit fast forward on the remote, but since it’s live you can’t. And since you are undoubtedly also recording How I Met Your Mother at the exact same time, it’s impossible to switch to a third show (thanks, Verizon) until after the first 8 minutes. Wait… what? I’m the only person on earth with that problem? Weird.

So, it’s probably blasphemy to say this given the quality of the work, but maybe Daniel Bryan/Dean Ambrose matches aren’t the best things to be on the go-home show for a PPV that Bryan is main-eventing. While all three have compelling matches with Bryan, unlike the other two members of The Shield — who were unavailable, of course — Ambrose’s style doesn’t make Bryan look good in and of itself. Reigns and Rollins both give Bryan a specific story to tell. Ambrose just looks cool, mostly.

Saving the running knee as a match finisher for PPVs is one of the more subtle type of things that the WWE has done to make PPVs seem more special. Maybe they should try having clean finishes? (I kid, mostly.)

***

I love Elvis, a lot. But why dress as the King of Rock n’ Roll when The King of Memphis is right there the entire time? As much as I dislike him and his casual misogyny, Jerry Lawler is a wrestling god (especially there), and having him pretend to be Elvis seems to be a waste of how over he is.

As Dolph Ziggler tried desperately to Show the World (how to job), Randy Orton continued his unbelievable hot streak of good matches. Talking about how Randy Orton has “actually been better” than Daniel Bryan during this run has become such a trope for internet wrestling writers that it ignores how good a heel Orton has ALWAYS been. We have short memories in the WWE Universe, but Heel Orton has always been this  — whether that’s “better” than Bryan is an individual taste thing, to be sure — I promise.

How does Dolph feel about Big E. getting a bigger push than him? Can they reform a tag team just to break it up dramatically so they can both benefit from this?

***

Brie Bella continues to be the Most Improved Performer through the past quarter of this year. I sure hope that Nikki has some sort of contingency plan that doesn’t involve “being John Cena’s common law wife”.

Kofi Kingston has never made me feel anything other than “Wow, this is pretty meh”, but The Miz deserves a fate better than cannon fodder for Bray Wyatt. He should be immediately turned heel so that he can be cannon fodder for Langston.

“What”-ing is to wrestling what cheering a hurt player is to football. It’s symptomatic of a larger problem: most people are idiots.

***

Man, those reports about only taking “essential” personnel to TV tapings might have been underselling how tight money is at the E right now. There’s just no other explanation for not bringing Teddy Long out just to book this match.

When Big E. Langston is headlining WrestleMania someday, I just hope he remembers how hard I pushed for people to follow his twitter.

There are a lot of things to love about the Los Matadores/Real Americans feud, but No.1 on my list is how much Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro genuinely seem to enjoy one another’s company. That and Zeb Colter’s “Do they give Torito half a paycheck?” joke, because things that ignore tall privilege is always hilarious.

***

***WARNING: YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE***PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE*** The Usos, The Shield and Cody Rhodes/Goldust could just wrestle for 3 hours straight every week and most of us would still watch. For those able to afford it, that 3-way tag match while almost definitely be worth the price of the PPV. And out of the bunch, we should probably be most excited for the Usos and their meteoric rise. They are not where they are because of their father, but because they have stepped up and hit at least a double every time they’ve ever been up to bat. I wrote in this very column a few months ago, that if their entrance ever got over, they’d be one of the biggest tag teams in the company. It did, and they have. They — and their entrance — weren’t force fed to the fans, and that has made all the difference. They were “put in a position to succeed on their own” and they did. While they may never get higher than WWE Tag Team champions, their rise to the top has been nearly as impressive as Daniel Bryan’s and it’s really wonderful see to them be rewarded accordingly. That it also means that WWE might just be able to make “organic” stars in the tag team ranks is gravy. ***WARNING: YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE*** PLEASE ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY SONIC MILKSHAKE ON THE WAY OUT***

Nothing good can come from contract signings. Not even the people on the show think they are a good idea, so why do they keep happening? Why not, instead of having convoluted and contrived reasons for the two principals at your next PPV to be in the same room at the same time, don’t you, I don’t know, just interview them at the same time? That seems like a good way to save paper, at least.

When the book of this storyline is written, they call this chapter “D.B. and the Bear”.

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