A 3-Hour Casual Male XL Commercial: Raw Regurgitated, 11/4

***WARNING YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE*** PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE*** When we look back at the career of CM Punk, this Wyatt Family feud will likely be seen as a stopgap unless the “The Devil Made Me Do It” payoff propels either he or Daniel Bryan back to the very top of the main event. But, even with that, this is precisely the type of adventure these two should be going on now that The Dragon has joined the upper middle class of the WWE: tangentially tied to the major storyline in the company without forcing either to get on the Treadmill of Disappointment that is going to be the life of any face trying to take the belt off of “The Authority” until WrestleMania. If they insist on making us wait for the payoff, this is the “trials and tribulations of being a hero” that they should be focusing on instead of giving the Yes Lock to Unabomber look-a-likes with itchy Superkickin’ feet. That Brodie Lee and the rest of the Family might get even more over because it is just icing on delicious cake. ***WARNING YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE*** PLEASE ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY SONIC MILKSHAKE ON THE WAY OUT***

Given Cena’s key demographics: an inherently transient audience — children — and people who like the role of the valiant hero/prince charming trope it seems that a lengthy absence by the very handsome (according to my girlfriend/the entirety of wrestling Tumblr) and engaging Punk would hurt the company a lot more than The Franchise’s. Which is weird to think about.

Is the ponytail Daniel Bryan’s version of the “serious” haircut so that we know he means business?

***

Santino Marella might be a future Hall of Famer, and when people look back to wonder how/why, bits like this with Ryback will go a long way to explaining it: he manages to stick up for a friend, comes off as real — for his character anyways — by reacting to the situation the way someone like him (at heart, a goofball) would by using a bit of humor to try to diffuse the situation, before handing the problem off to a guy who makes more sense in the ring against The Big Guy. This is storytelling, not rocket science, and Santino does everything one could ask of a character — entertains, moves the narrative along in an efficient way, and helps make other people more profitable — and he’s been doing it for the better part of the last decade. We will see a dozen Rybacks and Randy Ortons before we see another Santino.

How is it possible that Kofi Kingston is the only person in wrestling history to get his “big boy pants” moment, but manage to come out of it worse? … oh, right. Because he’s Kofi Kingston.

Alberto del Rio losing the WHC title may end up being a godsend for him. Like Serial Killer Randy Orton before him, the obsession over getting the belt is more compelling than the obsession over keeping the belt. When you are chasing, cheating or being dastardly is a manifestation of “how bad you want it”, and the crowd reaction comes from how badly they “don’t want you to get it”. When you have the title, cheating or being dastardly to keep the belt is a means to an end, and the crowd ends up just being pissed you get to keep it.

***

Speaking of contradicting myself in ensuing paragraphs, if Face of the WWE Randy Orton turns into a mix between the Rock and “Ravishing” Rick Rude, he can keep that belt as long as he wants.

Maybe it’s the ESPN watcher in me, but the result of that poll begs a serious question: is Big E. Langston really THAT over or are The Miz and Dolph Ziggler that lame? If he is, they need to make him the new Daniel Bryan yesterday.

Watch out, Big E., Jerry Lawler’s pretty serious about nailing people. With gimmick infringement lawsuits for pre-finisher strap removal, I mean. Also, NEVER TURN AROUND after Randy Orton has reversed your finisher. You will get RKO’d.

Did The Great Khali have to take some Alice in Wonderland potion to turn into Tyson Kidd or is that how good the WWE marketing machine is?

***

The “breast cancer is terrible” promo before this match was both oddly real and impossibly contrived. As mentioned last week, the level to which John Cena exists outside of the basic goings-on of the WWE Universe is remarkable, but you have to wonder if someone else couldn’t have done that and made it seem less like they were trying to shoehorn a t-shirt commercial into Raw.

Having both del Rio and Zeb Colter on commentary seems like an idea surely to go wrong, but with both having a “legit” beef with Cena/each other and JBL pushing the numbers in their favor ideologically, this managed to be a relatively enjoyable match from the booth that actually served a narrative purpose. And to think, they said it couldn’t be done.

Of all the things to love about Goldust, Cody, and even John Cena in the match, the jump hug after they won might be my favorite. All three, along with at least Antonio Cesaro, and possibly Damien Sandow, have managed to reach the level of in-ring work that not only do fans love their matches because of they are involved, but the very matches themselves as stand-alone stories. When you have that, that’s all you need.

***

If Big E. gets a non-title match against WWE champion Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler gets a non-title match against IC champion Curtis Axel, does this mean The Miz gets a non-title shot against Internet champion Zach Ryder?

Were the Los Matadores busy sewing new costumes to face 3MB? Leaving guys hanging like that. Just not right.

Eva Marie wins. Oof. Ba-boof.

***

The Big Show is so happy he found a suit that fits. You have to hope that it makes it through this next segment. Otherwise that’s like three fields worth of cotton wasted.

People are going to make jokes about Corporate Kane. To those people I say: please send your photoshops to juicemakesugar at gmail dot com. Thanks.

Sometimes entire segments are set ups for one single picture. This is that picture:

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