Yeah, I know. It’s been a while. Those of you who know me will understand, those of you who (used to) read this blog casually have probably moved on to something else, and those of you who got here by doing a Google search on “CM Venom” (after viewing someone’s Wiki page) are in for a bit of a surprise.
I’m not going to get into what’s transpired in the past two years and change in any detail, suffice to say that I have refused to fall headlong into the 3D craze, there are many more rabbits in my household since last we spoke, and Cedar Point was the shit (despite that I believe my one and only ride on Mean Streak gave me the cancer).
Monday nights always had something for me. It was NFL football for many years, until Vincent K. McMahon decided to start running a little WWF weekly show called Monday Night Raw. Good or bad, Raw always managed to deliver some form of entertainment, be it Vince’s feverish (and futile) attempts to make Lex Luger a star or Psycho Sid bellowing that he didn’t know shit, crybaby. After I removed myself from the business in the early 2000s, I watched with less frequency, catching the show here and there, and sometimes watching the Spanish language rebroadcast if in the mood for something more surreal.
By the time 2010 rolled around, I was catching a Raw maybe once every 3-4 months. And after Shawn Michaels put himself out to pasture, I just pretty much stopped watching. Oh sure, I still keep abreast of news, but that’s mostly to be in the loop when someone keels over and dies (Umaga, I’m looking in your direction…southwest and down). Last week I had it on as a background noise/ colorful moving artwork, and was delighted to see Randy Savage featured in a Make-A-Wish video and the fact that our friend Goldust is still employed.
So I got to wondering…what would my impressions of an entire Raw be now? Would I embrace their latest push for a PG product? Or would the absence of such past superstars as La Parka and Aldo Montoya make it nearly unwatchable? I guess there’s only one way to find out. I charge myself with “liveblogging” tonight’s Raw. (This is similar to “Livejournaling” something, but in this case, people are paying attention.)
Note: The following commentary is for mature audiences only, and may contain profanity, questionable statements, and out-of-nowhere references to Dutch roller coaster companies. You have been warned.
Preparation: According to the Comcast guide, tonight’s Raw is summed up thustly: “John Cena joins the Nexus.” Didn’t he do that last week? Maybe nobody knows what’s going to happen on Raw tonight.
166, up 9. Fuck yeah.
8:00pm: Sheamus is now in the entrance video, and we are live in Seattle.
Cena is out (random sign: “C’MON MAN”), and thanks the crowd for standing behind him. He repeats “Never give up”, which so happens to be the slogan on Cena’s shirt. The camera lingers on this, and his Nexus armband. It’s fashion porn.
He recaps the Nexus angle for anyone not paying attention/liveblogging for the first time. He also warns the crowd of how he may have to do some things they may not like. He also may-
Here comes the Miz, along with his Money In The Bank briefcase and someone named Alex Riley. Riley is Alex Wright 2010, and probably wears Ed Hardy on the weekends. Miz touts his position as captain of Team Raw at the upcoming Bragging Rights pay per view, when-
And then here comes Wade Barrett, and it’s good to see that the E still loves interruptions. Barrett says nothing will get in the way of Cena in his corner at Bragging Rights. Wade..no one was talking about that. Your fears are unfounded. Riley now has the stick, and his nebulous statement falls flat.
An e-mail from the General Manager? What is this? How long has this invisible boss been in place? And since when is Michael Cole such a heat machine?
He announces Miz vs. John Cena…tonight! Barrett looks like a 50s greaser. Barrett takes offense to Miz, and pegs him with a sharp headbutt. Shmozz up, and Riley and Miz put boots to Barrett until he motions for Cena. Cena cleans house, and we head to a commercial like someone’s life defends on it.
I think I will have to purchase Dead Rising 2. And these marching folks commercials from Burger King have their hearts in the right place, even if the execution is sometimes slightly off.
Ted DiBiase and Maryse (?) are in the ring, and Goldust stealing the MDC last week is shown. R-Truth informs me it’s time to “get crunk”, and he has a poor man’s Fergie with him. (Later note: Eve, I guess?) Truth’s theme music is more Puddle of Mud than Public Enemy…are the crunching guitars there so the white folk can enjoy themselves without guilt?
I’m not into calling the moves of the match (I had more than enough of that during LWF commentary), my recaps are more retrospective. Some would call me lazy. I’d be fine with that.
DiBiase preps for the Million Dollar Dream Street…or whatever, but distracted by the music of Goooooldust. Ted loses concentration just long enough to get beat by R-Truth. Goldust looks great. What a superb gig that guy has; he has to stay healthy, but not worry about his abs. Plus, he gets to paint his face and say creepy things in front of thousands of people.
Commercial: Helen Mirren looks so saucy with a firearm.
Justin Roberts, huh? Last time I saw him, his knuckles were white. That’s a story for another time.
John Morrison looks better with facial hair. And his Hitman-like glasses giveaway is nice. Tyson Kidd is the opponent. Kidd comes out to a modified Hitman theme, and has a ridiculous spork of hair. Morrison looks like he’s improved since last I saw him, his movements seem more fluid. Kidd is an unknown quantity for me. Suddenly-
Too bad for Kidd, though, as he falls prey to-…well, it’s something I’ve never seen two human beings do before.
Black Nexus, Red Nexus, and Anime Nexus are talking to two gentlemen who the crowd knows, but I don’t. Here’s Barrett, advancing his own angle. Black Nexus feints interest in fighting Randy Orton, but Anime Nexus gets the honor. They use their real names in reference to each other. Wait for it…there. I’ve already forgotten. Ortunga? Tortuga?
Forty minutes in, and doing this is a lot harder than I though. I haven’t had to “pay attention” to wrestling for a while. One passable match, one good to very good one. That seems like a pretty good average so far. I have no idea if this is rare for Raw.
Santino Marella is still one of the funniest-…holy shit, what is up with Zack Ryder? No stick time for Santino, I hope they haven’t turned him into a utility wrestler. Ryder has a license plate logo on the back of his trunks. For this reason alone, I wish harm upon him. Santino hits the Cobra (?) for the win, and a spot on Team Raw. A jacked up version of the Fresh Prince’s Karyn Parsons hits the ring, and advances some storyline with Santino.
Holy shit, that Snickers commercial with the plastic face woman is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. If I have the energy when this is done, maybe I’ll look for a photo to post. Or maybe not, but I guess you already know if I did or not.
Anime Nexus is accompanied by Black Nexus and Red Nexus for his match against Randy Orton. I hope Randy still looks like our cat Tennant, with his massive head and tiny eyes. Whooo, Orton is over, and WWE Champion apparently. I get the feeling that three Nexus folks will be of little problem to Randy Orton. We’re still calling him the Viper, right? Has he stopped crapping in people’s shoes? Can we joke about that now?
Orton is much leaner and browner than I remember. Black Nexus and Red Nexus get sent to the back, like Kevin Nash did at Wrestlemania X. That’s Ten, folks…not the mysterious “Wrestlemania X” videotape we saw on the shelf while watching Wrestlemania IX.
Thank Gawd, commercials. Rest for my fingers, and a few squares of British Cadbury Dairy Milk. The American version pales in comparison.
We’re back, and Orton crushes Anime Nexus with stomps. Lawler really sounds like he’s being a little cunty tonight. I like how the Nexus guys all wear the armband. As much fun as I make, I really kinda like the Nexus thing. Barrett’s a strong leader, and they’ve got a nice variety of guys. I guess there like, what…7 originally? Good call in paring it down a bit.
They’re giving this one some time, we’re past the 9 o’clock hour. If Orton is being Orton, the RKO will come out of-
Holy shit, did he stiff that kid with that forearm. Aw, does he still hear “voices in his head”? Did they ever get him “help” for that anger management problem he freely admitted years ago? THERE’S your RKO out of nowhere after a not/quite/full 450 splash. Barrett and Orton should be a good match, not enough to get the PPV, but good nonetheless.
Remember, still to come…Cena vs. Miz for the captainship of Team Raw, which Cena will win, but be forced to give up his spot at 10:04 pm by Wade Barrett. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan Danielson. Do I even know what this guy looks like? I don’t think so. I am a terrible professional wrestling fan.
According to the graphic on the Bragging Nights PPV commercial, I’m going to see Kane face off against Mark Henry. Hoo boy, that’s weak. (Note: Don’t get on my shit. I know we’re not going to see that, matchups are subject to change.) When a film (like say…the Big Show’s Knuckleheads) is touted as having a “limited release”, it’s not a good sign. Show seems like a real affable guy, I kinda feel sorry for him taking part in this. Maybe the script made it look better. In other news, someone got paid to write the script for this.
Oh, that’s Daniel Bryan. Okay. Oh shit, is Michael Cole doing some sort of anti-Bryan heel schitck? Is this something ongoing? Because if it is, it sucks. Sheamus’ skin is brilliant, it’s beyond white. I kinda wanna get up and pee, but I don’t want to miss Daniel Bryan do something that’s going to save wrestling and send me off to buy Ring Of Honor DVDs with Carter’s PayPal account. Did Sheamus put Triple H “out”? I wondered why we hadn’t seen the King Of All Nepotism yet.
Bryan’s pretty good. Michael Cole is inconsistent; he talked shit before the bell, but calls the match like it’s all business. Cole doesn’t have a strong grasp on his character. Sheamus wins with some kind of big kick, and now Cole gets shitty again. What happened to Jim Ross? He was just fine. So Sheamus is on Team Raw, and I realized we haven’t seen any crappy Divas bits yet. I…don’t like that. That means they’re yet to come. Must they?
R-Truth is in the back with Cena, and sends him mixed messages before teasing that there is another way out…”Just quit.” Quit what, exactly? Nexus? The WWE? Wrestling? How about quitting talking to R-Truth?
Great, a promo for the Tribute To The Troops. Show for troops in the sand: awesome. Sending Mark Henry: nice, I guess. A probable upcoming shot of some asshole I used to know in a Kevlar helmet: not so hot.
Alright! The fifth member of Team Raw will either be Evan Bourne or…oh, wonderful. Look who got drafted to Raw. Tonight, apparently. About a minute nine later, and your Team Raw consists of R-Truth, Morrison, Santino, Sheamus, and CM Phil. CM Phil destroys Bourne outside, and some drunk clearly yells “ECW days!“. And that’s funny, because he spent quite a few ECW days sitting across from us.
I watched that Undertaker-Kane main event from the Hell In A Deli PPV, and it…it was such shit.
Goddmanit! That Snickers commercial again! Did this terrify no one during any phase of conception? The director, writer, designer…all of em, should put their names on that little shred of horror. They need to be held accountable.
Whoa, Mark Henry isn’t here…personal matters? Natalya is in ring, name drops “Uncle Bret” 24 seconds in, and taunts “Laycool”, who I guess is Layla and Michelle McCool. She’s the one fucking the Undertaker, right? She’s pretty awful on the stick, and now she’s lecturing everyone on HD. Layla (who sounded like Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny the first time she spoke, now apparently has British in her) is just as bad. Laycool goes to leave, and the rest of the Divas I don’t know are blocking the ramp. Cole helpfully starts listing them off…Bella Twins, Gail Kim, Eve…thanks, Cole. Why couldn’t Bret Hart’s music signal the arrival (via wormhole) of 1997 anti-American Bret Hart? That’s wrestling I want to see. This Divas stuff (shockingly) seems to have gotten worse during my hiatus.
Chris Pike and Denzel Washingston in Unstoppable, about a runaway train? Is GMB already on Fandango?
One hour 50 in, and I’ve got the main event to go. I wouldn’t want to do this every week, but it was certainly different. It’s like writing live commentary, and it’s completely different from anything I’m used to doing lately. I can’t stand the Smackdown vs. Raw video game series, if it ain’t No Mercy, I don’t give a shit.
Here’s our Main: Cena-Miz with the leadership of Team Raw on the line. Is Smackdown doing something similar? Crowd seems oddly divided, and I don’t really see why. Cena’s predicament of being under Barrett’s thumb is about as sympathetic as can be, and he hasn’t done anything classified as “evil”. Why would you react to him negatively? I’d be yelling “Hey, you can find a way out of this predicament! Think it over on the drive to that house show in Spokane!”
I don’t know, Red. I don’t think I like the “energy shot” version of you.
Miz has gotten “serious” while I’ve been away. I guess it works. They fight outside, and it’s 10pm. Let’s see how the 2010 Raw works the overrun time. Eeeewww…the Key Arena. It probably still smells like Supersonic failure. You Are Unable To View John Cena, and here’s the part of the match where guys trade finishers. Miz’s little buddy (looks back earlier in draft)…Alex Riley is holding the Money In The Bank briefcase in a what would be a horrible future vision.
The two guys I didn’t know from before (Somebody Harris? Somebody McGillicutty?) interfere, and Miz gets the win and the largely ceremonial position of Team Raw Captain. Post match, Cena goes at em, until stopped by Barrett. Face to Face, until the Invisible GM decrees that Those Guys vs. Cena-Orton next week. Now (bear with me, this is all going fast) Barrett says if Cena loses next week, he’ll (uh, Barrett) induct Those Guys into Nexus (Creating, I guess Pudgy Nexus and Weasely Nexus.) I guess that’s bad. Barrett calls Cena spineless, yellow-bellied, and so on. Cena grrrrrits his teeth.
Barrett turns his back on Cena, continuing to taunt his “employee” for no reason. There’s four sides to a ring, why doesn’t Cena just leave? Why would you stand there until well after 10:10pm getting carved up like that?
Cena leaves at 1o:11pm…no, Barrett! Don’t stop him, just let him go.
Oh, never mind. Barrett: “Until next week…you can’t see me!” He then does that thing with the hand waving. That’s fucking golden. The crowd seems more annoyed than angry, and Barrett smiles as the 2010 WWE copyright logo comes up.
Let’s see if I can call the movie before the title comes up. Okay, that’s the most recent Disney opening…Bruckheimer graphic…I’m gonna say Pirates 2…dead on. These movies are so good on Blu-ray.
So what’s my assessment of America’s Favorite Sports Entertainment Show On Monday Nights? The Barrett-Cena thing is pretty good, and my only hope is that they make Cena do more and more malicious things before the eventual blowoff of this feud. The selections for Team Raw are kinda eclectic, and Heel Michael Cole sucks. That’s what I’ve got.
Jets are up 12-0 on the Vikes in a rainy Meadowlands. Looks like I made the right choice tonight. Poor NFL announcers…it must be hard to kiss Favre ass for three hours plus when he’s just not winning football games.
Until I feel like doing this again…