I actually had a lot of problems with this segment, but the promo work was so good between Punk and Ross I ended up barely caring what they were saying. Nobody showed up (besides Punk, which didn’t warrant a WHO COULD APPEAR teaser), Punk continued to regurgitate the same couple of facts he’d like us to consider (he’s the WWE Champion, he deserves respect) and JR continued that weird story of Punk needed to beat John Cena in 500 different ways in 501 different towns to prove he’s the Best In The World. The two biggest problems of course being
1. They are pretty directly saying JOHN CENA IS THE BEST WRESTLER IN THE WORLD, but if they said it out-loud they know people would boo, and
2. FOLKS LIKE STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN AND TRIPLE H AND MICK FOLEY EARNED RESPECT! Austin earned it by shoving a celebrity guest, being sacrilegious in a wrestling promo and selling t-shirts with a bunch of slogans on them about how tough he is. He didn’t have to tell you how tough he was, even though he did and had a vest with SOB on it in sparkles, because he EARNED IT! Triple H earned it by being Shawn Michaels’ friend, not bailing when the rest of the Kliq bailed and eventually marrying the daughter of the guy who owns the company so he could get his ex-girlfriend fired and spend the next 10 years being the toughest and coolest and smartest guy in the room. He didn’t TELL you he was the King Of Kings or That Damn Good, he earned it! Mick Foley became WWE Champion when Stone Cold Steve Austin ran in and beat Foley’s opponent with a chair. Then he won it again using a forklift with a camera on it. He earned it!
Think about it, Punk. All you’ve done is win the ECW Championship, the tag team championships, the Intercontinental Championship, two Money In The Bank ladder matches, three World Heavyweight Championships, last year’s Slammy Award for Superstar Of The Year and two WWE Championships, including one that changed the direction of WWE and another that you’ve held for almost an entire year. You’ve got to EARN the title of Best In The World, like John Cena did when he lost to a retired actor at WrestleMania and wore a pink shirt because “cancer”."
Maybe you all figured this out two WrestlesMania ago, but it was a total ‘Secrets Of Magic Revealed’ moment for me. I assumed WWE used TECHNOLOGY~ to make Miz’s AWESOME balloon word split in half and come back together during his entrance, but nope, they used the Greendale Human Being: a team of guys in white morphsuits and headsets sneak out when you aren’t looking, blow up the balloons, hide behind them and manipulate them as necessary. When Miz is in the ring drawing your attention, the lights dim and they deflate and bail.
How great is that? I felt like I was discovering the secret of the Grail. Like maybe all this time Alex Riley has been an elaborate balloon moved around by guys in Team Rocket Invisible Suits. I’ve still got the suit from my Human Being Halloween costume last October, maybe I’ll break it out again this year and be a Miz Balloon Guy.
It’s a great idea to respect and honor the most important people who’ve helped your company, but damn, isn’t the Hall of Fame ceremony just a really congratulatory episode of Raw without any matches? If I wanted to see old people talk about what they used to do I’d watch Impact.
Seriously, Brandon Stroud’s articles are great.
Be reverent all you want, that’s your prerogative, but I literally do not give a dancing f**k about Triple H and The Undertaker’s third WrestleMania match, especially after having to write five pages of column about them over the last month and a half. They were chairshotting each other to preserve the integrity of an era of THIS BUSINESS about to go by, and I felt it would be in my best interest to go to the bathroom and buy a Super Pretzel and peruse the Zack Ryder medallions or whatever while they did it. It was a good call.
I remember trying to buy a shirt at WrestleMania 24 and getting a panic attack because of how many people were crammed up against me. This was the opposite of that so I’m Besting it, and now I have a souvenir soda cup with Daniel Bryan on the side.
Promo of the Day:
The Undertaker vs Triple H WrestleMania XXVII Recap Promo
WWE Monday Night Raw
February 27th, 2012
One of the best ways to know the emotional story a wrestler is trying to tell in the ring is to have the people commentating it steer you in the same direction. That’s why wrestling announcers are so important, and why Michael Cole’s infuriating insult-train and independent wrestling’s penchant for guys who scream and make Fun Jokez are so equally awful: if Jim Ross says Mick Foley is dead and he sounds like he means it enough, I’m gonna go “oh god, is he dead?”
That’s what I liked about last night’s revisiting of the Triple H vs. Undertaker match from WrestleMania XXVII. I’m not a huge fan of the match itself — I’ve never been a fan of Triple H’s interpretation of a Big Match Story being “we hit each other with stuff and lie around, and then at the end we make so many faces” — but showing the major moments and having popular wrestlers tell the story again made it seem like the most important thing that has ever happened, and that’s great.
Exposition works really well when you’re looking back on things … VH1 got like five years or programming out of Donal Logue or whoever saying “Glow Worm is a worm that lights up when you hug it”. Exposition while something is happening is the WORST, but if Edge says “Undertaker was starting to show weakness and humanity and Triple H knew he had to kill him to finish him off”, that’s an important thing for us to know, and a great way to tell us without spittle-screaming it like Stimpy for 20 minutes on Raw.
During “The Road To Wrestlemania”, you assumedly start at point A, work your way through some rising action and reach point B, which is, uh, Wrestlemania. So if you start a thing where John Cena has been forced into an accidental love triangle with Eve Torres and Zack Ryder brought on by the demented actions of Kane, who I guess hates the Rock a lot and wants Cena to go Super Saiyan and destroy him with Hate Powers at Mania you either need to
- End the Kane/Cena story at Mania, or
- End the Kane/Cena story at Elimination Chamber with something meaningful and important that plays into the next month of build against The Rock
And the way Kane was talking, you assumed Cena would come out of this feud changed somehow, more in touch with the violent side that makes him toss people off cars and choke them with ring ropes until they die or whatever, but … well, lol, nope. The John Cena vs. Kane hate embracement feud ends with Cena winning another match against Kane and being the exact same semi-serious Southern Preacher by way of Army Boston schmuck motherf**ker he was in December.
Why did this happen? I know you can’t journey Rock back in from the Mysterious Island in January to build your story, but why give Cena a three act play where all three acts are just the first f**king act? If you’re gonna give him filler, can’t you give him filler with wrestling matches, and not melodramatic hell-pit rape and scandal story?