Tag Archives: smarks

Hometown Hero: Raw Regurgitated … LIVE!, 12/09

 

I bought my tickets back on October 9th.  Daniel Bryan had just failed to capture the WWE title at Battleground, but I knew he’d have another shot at the upcoming Hell in a Cell PPV.  By the time Raw rolled up to Seattle on December 9th, I was confident we’d get a championship celebration for our home state wrestling god.  After all the screwjobs and false starts, surely we’d get to greet Aberdeen’s favorite son with championship gold around his waist?  Right?  Riiiiight?

Oh.

Well, since that happened, last night didn’t go down exactly like I envisioned.  What happened might have been even better.

I’m not going to sit here and claim that Seattle just willed Daniel Bryan back into the title picture.  WWE can go ahead and ignore all of this, pass it off as hometown cooking, and keep Bryan fighting the Wyatts until they need him somewhere else on the card.  They’ve done it before, they can do it again.

But if anything, just for one raucous evening, I got to be a part of something truly organic and special.  My ears are still ringing.  I’ve been to Seahawks home games, seen Metallica live in San Francisco at the Fillmore.  This absolutely destroyed any other live event I’ve ever been to.  It was another classic moment in the journey of Daniel Bryan, and I got to be a tiny part of it.

And that’s really the point right?  We can talk about bad booking, and burying and pushes and all that jazz.  We want it all to make sense and look great in a promo package and tie up nice and neatly.  Rarely does that happen  But if we get moments like this, where Daniel Bryan is the best in the world and we let him know as loud as we can go, it sure makes up for it.  If after months and months of wheel spinning, a 90 second all out brawl thrusts Bryan and CM Punk right back into an angle they never should’ve been left out of in the first place, and suddenly creative look like geniuses.  And when John Cena cuts a killer promo, destroying Randy Orton and making everyone else look great, well that completes a trifecta and everybody wins.  I don’t know how it played on television, but it was bliss in the arena.  I’m still a bit woozy.

Woozy, but not delusional.  I’m not confident that WWE can pull this off, or even that they want to.  We’ve been teased and kicked in the dick so many times.  But part of me wants to believe that this is all a wonderful grand plan, that they knew the Seattle crowd would give Bryan the ovation he needed to restart his Authority angle and planned it accordingly.  Daniel Bryan’s hero’s journey to the WWE Championship relaunches, and everyone is happy.

And the entire point of doing the hero’s journey is, well, the journey itself.  Making the man a legend.  I argued that it was the right call to keep Bryan away from the belt because it didn’t add up who he’d feud with.  He still needs a bit more seasoning before he can sell a title feud all by himself yet.  The journey wasn’t over.  The training, the stumbles, the discovery, all the bits and pieces that add up before the victory and resolution.  More to go.

I haven’t been super happy with how things have gone, despite agreeing that Bryan shouldn’t be champ.  The feud with the Wyatts has been great, but it doesn’t make any sense that after chasing the WWE title for months, suddenly Bryan wouldn’t mention a thing about it and just move on.  Cena acknowledging that he should be fighting Bryan instead, and Shawn Michaels getting a running knee both went a long way in erasing months of storyline frustration.  Maybe we’ll make to WrestleMania XXX and finish the journey after all.

And maybe we had a bit more road to travel because once it ends, it ends for good.  Once he’s the man, we don’t get to cheer him like we did tonight anymore.  Sure, he’ll get cheered, but it won’t be, “Daniel Bryan is a guy we love because wrestling is awesome and he’s awesome and why don’t you get it?!?”

Cheers like that come from a special place, a potent mixture of love, anger, spite, and, well, hope.  I have no idea if they’ll ever pull the trigger and acknowledge Bryan is the best wrestler in the WWE.  But while we wait, maybe forever in vain, there’s no harm in telling them what we already know – as loud as we can.  In this world of the scripted spectacle, that’s the realest thing we got.

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The Sheriff is in Town: Raw Regurgitated, 7/22

Brad Maddox’s delivery on the microphone makes it seem like he’s constantly trying to NOT step on a punchline. Like he knows he has an absolutely hilarious thing to say, and is just trying to time it perfectly. It’s not in-and-of-itself a good thing, but since it seems like his natural speaking cadence, it’s worked out really well as an WWE animatronic character. Which is good, because I get the feeling he can’t wrestle a lick.

Exposition, what a show! Exposition, woah woah woah! Hey, you know, WWE, at least “Why did you pick Daniel Bryan, John Cena? Isn’t he tiny/weird? I’m asking for myself, not to spoonfeed the babybirds in the audience. Spoonfeeding is absolutely not what I, Brad Maddox, am doing,” is better than TNA’s three full graphic screens of notes before main event matches. We watch wrestling because reading is hard unless it’s about new ways to watch tv, this is America.

Daniel Bryan is working at this level, because he’s going out of his way to look like he’s comfortable, which brings a very specific vibe to the proceedings. But, he should watch out, if Cena puts him over and over and harder, the smarks are going to turn on him.

And thank you Brad, for being the best.

***

That bruise is super gross. If anyone ever tells you wrestling is fake, you show them a picture of that and say, “Yes it is, and that is why they also have fake tans.”

***SERIOUS WRESTLING DISCUSSION AHEAD***PLEASE KEEP EYES AND MIND INSIDE KAYFABE*** This better not be the new feud for either of these guys. They’re both great in their respective ways, but Del Rio and Sheamus’s styles do not work all that well together. It probably has something to do with the fact that Del Rio is Sheamus’s size, can do step-up enziguiris and slam Sheamus. And because Sheamus isn’t Cesaro, Ryback or even Swagger smooth with the power moves, it makes him look less impressive in comparison, despite being made to look considerably “stronger”. Del Rio is pound-for-pound a better all-around wrestler by far, a Paul George, and Sheamus is like David West, but with less tattoos.***SERIOUS WRESTLING DISCUSSION OVER***PLEASE ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY SONIC MILKSHAKE ON THE WAY OUT***

On a scale from one to a plumber, the amount of Sheamus’s ass that I saw in that match was about TL Hopper.

***

This better mean that Booker T is coming back to wrestle and that Teddy Long is going back to managing and Vickie Guerrero gets to be GM of Smackdown! for as long as David Stern has been commissioner of the NBA. Only with less shady dealings and controversy.

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Considering how many times they mention that if “he could put it all together” that Titus O’Neill would be champion, it makes me wonder if he’s going to be pushed as the Jay Cutler of the WWE. The amount of money I would pay to see Jay Cutler hang out with the Prime Time Players is something I’m not willing to look directly in the eye.

One very specific question about that Ryback promo: Can we skip to the convoluted 619 spot right now?

***

It’s weird, but Mark Henry’s main problem as a face is that during promos his cadence takes into account “what?” chants. Once he realizes they won’t interrupt in between every single sentence, his whole “I’m a bad bad man (who also has feelings)” will get over bigger than people think. Or, he’ll break my heart and start dating Linda McMahon.

I’m a face now just like you, John!

***

If they are using these matches to split up the Prime Time Players, I’m going to start DVRing the Bachelorette instead.

With context being everything, Dolph’s 2 World Heavyweight Championship reigns have the largest disparity between “meaningfulness to a guy’s career” and “relative quality of the individual achievement”. They are the WWE’s version of Derek Jeter’s Gold Glove awards.

What Big E Langston just did with that spill-to-the-outside/land-on-his-feet/pop-immediately-back-in-the-ring thing is as impressive as anything Ziggler’s ever done, and it’s why he’s the best follow on Twitter:

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TAKE THE BLUE PILL, BRAD!

My girlfriend won’t watch those Wyatt family vignettes because she thinks they’re creepy and give her uncomfortably vivid dreams. So, they have that going for them, which is nice.

Fandango is turning into a face, isn’t he? Otherwise, these compliments from Michael Cole mean he has some sort of terminal disease.

***

Cody and Damien is a way sadder breakup than Dolph and AJ, because at least these kids were in love.

JBL’s Ravens-49ers line may have been the single best accidentally perfect analogy he’s ever done.

The odds of Damien Sandow successfully cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase are somewhere below me buying Dead Man Down on Blu-ray.

***

I’M A HERO, CHEER ME! may be the worst version of CM Punk, but it’s still the best version of I’M A HERO, CHEER ME! I can think of.

I really doubt that’s Brock’s theory on heroes. Mostly because I don’t know if he can spell “theory” heroes” or “on”.

The single largest disconnect created by reading the dirt sheets and then watching the shows isn’t that you know who is going to win, but that you forget that the people in the WWE universe have to pretend like they don’t already know what’s going to happen. So, when CM Punk says “I want a match against Brock Lesnar at Summerslam” happens, your reaction isn’t “Oh man, I saw that coming, but that’s cool” it’s “didn’t they already announce that?”. It’s hard to say which is better/worse.

***

Because of his twisted legacy in the ECW — of the guys who “made” that place what it was, he’s way behind guys like Tommy Dreamer, Raven, the Dudleys, Sandman, Mick Foley (who was there for like a month relatively speaking), Terry Funk and Tazz — is on the short list of most overblown wrestlers of all-time. The “Five Frog Splash is one of the best finishers of all time” part of his legacy? Not so much.

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I’m not sure if Zeb Colter not being able to complain about illegal immigrants in Texas — because even in Austin, they’d most likely cheer for him it — and cutting a really good promo specifically about Daniel Bryan is a depressing or good thing.

If, after my first ROH show in the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center, you would have told me that Daniel Bryan was going to fight Antonio Cesaro on Monday Night Raw as part of a build up to the former’s main event match at Summerslam against John Cena, I would have asked you who the fuck you were talking about.

The love that the announcers have for Cesaro is weird. It’s as though he’s so obviously impressive that they can’t help but make it very clear that he’s insanely talented. This is also a little bit that heels are allowed to be talented wrestlers again. There was a while where in order to be a bad guy, you had to cheat in order to do anything in the ring. And then they realized that having your good guys fight guys who can’t tie their own shoes without grabbing a handful of tights or taking advantage of a distraction weren’t going to get people to watch PPVs. Especially when the main hero on the show poops rainbow t-shirts.

Brad Maddox just SUPERVILLAINED THE SHIT OUT OF THAT.

Consecutive Raws I’ve wanted to punch the WWE Universe in the face for chanting Goldberg during Ryback matches: 25.

Vince has stepped up his Phantom Limb game up something fierce. And Brad Maddox is so good he’s going to turn Vickie Guerrero into a face. Even without The Beast vs. The Best, Sandow-Cody, Ziggler vs. Langston and with the Miz hosting,  SummerFest is going to be a show with so much potential it’s almost guaranteed to disappoint.