Welcome to “Raw is Funkhouser.”
Each week, I’ll sit through (and usually enjoy) three straight hours of Sports Entertainment on Monday night for your benefit. I’ll recap some of the action, while highlighting the pros and the cons of the episode.
Also, I want this to be as interactive as possible, so during the upcoming weeks, feel free to live tweet with me (@rbramblet
) using the hashtag #KSRWrassleTalk
. I’ll take the best and funniest comments and put them into the “Raw is Funkhouser” recap for the week.
So let’s get this recap on the road (be warned, there are a lot of pros, I liked this episode for the most part):
PRO: He’s Baaaaack
Was anyone else excited that Tony Chimel was doing the introductions. Does he still do the introductions on Smackdown? I don’t really know, because I don’t watch Smackdown (It’s on Friday nights, and they’re just going to run the same matches on Raw the next week). But anyway, The Rated R Superstar, Edge finally returns to the WWE, promoting Haven on the SyFy (I know spellcheck, I don’t get it either) Network. He comes out to a huge pop from the Canadian crowd (I'll get there in a moment), and sets up for his "The Cutting Edge" segment.
CON: The Cutting Edge Segment in General
The opening of the show did a good job to get the crowd hyped up with Daniel Bryan chants and get them ready for this three hour show, but I think that's about all it did. It seemed that WWE felt like, "Well, it's the first week of NFL, we're going to need something big. Oh we're in Toronto, Canada? Let's bring Edge out for a 12 minute segment. Where does he live in Canada again? Oh, Asheville, North Carolina? Perfect!" Then of course, we get the Edge/Christian reunion everyone was looking forward to, after The Shield brings out a beaten up Christian to the ramp. How did Hunter know that Edge was going to get all disrespectful? How did he know that The Shield would be just behind the curtain with a beaten up Christian. What if he had been able to fight them off? Sorry, using logic again, my bad.
PRO: Canadian Crowds
There are truly four great wrestling crowds in the WWE:
- Post-Wrestlemania Raw — Full of die hard, internet wrestling fans
- Japan — It’s an odd silence, but the fans clap instead of yelling or cheering
- England — Rowdy soccer (futbol) loving hooligans
- Canada — “Bizarro Land” as WWE calls it, loud, very outspoken.
I'm all for crowds that enjoy the product, realize that they don't get the WWE live in their country very often and make the most of the episode. This is what this crowd does. They're outstanding, they (for the most part) cheer the goodies and boo the baddies. Only one time did they try to get themselves over and that's when they started chanting for the announce table crew. But, loud Daniel Bryan chants, huge pops for Santino, Edge and Goldust, and general awesomeness earn Canadian crowds a Pro.
CON: Curtis Axel vs. Kofi Kingston.
I used to like Kofi Kingston, but now he's almost reached R-Truth level of "lets give someone an easy opponent tonight that will just bounce around and make it look like they have a chance." I also didn't like the segment because I feel like I was reeling from last week's CM Punk segment that I didn't like very much. Axel gets himself DQ'd to show that Heyman is vulnerable at Night of Champions to go one-on-one with CM Punk. Paul Heyman spends the next 15 minutes tweaking his knee falling off the apron and slipping in water in the hallway. What happened to the Paul Heyman we've come to know, love and hate? It's like being paired with Axel that Heyman has lost all ability to use his creative mind that he's so well known for. Maybe in times of desperation, Heyman just doesn't have time to think, and his instincts are what get him in trouble. That's what you call, "searching for justification," folks!
PRO: They're Here...
It's good to know that the WWE is reading "Raw is Funkhouser." Last week I asked for the WWE to put Bray Wyatt on television. He's creepy, he's becoming a better wrestler, but most of all, he's a great story teller. It's even better when they put him with someone like Dolph Ziggler, who could make a match against a broomstick look good
. One shortfall in the match was that they shot to commercial in a part where it didn't seem like there was a break, nor did they tell us that they were going to commercial. Beggars can't be choosers, I guess.
A VERY AWKWARD PRO: Paul Heyman's Medical Examination
It seemed pretty out of place at the time to have Paul Heyman come back out after just one match, to say that he's too injured to wrestle. He even brought out his own doctor, who might just happen to be the most jacked doctor I've ever seen. However, Brad Maddox, who continues the WWE tradition that everyone hates Paul Heyman, whether you're a face or a heel, and brings out the WWE doctor. This proceeds to begin the most awkward 5-7 minutes of Paul Heyman being examined by a doctor in the middle of the ring, while no one really talks.
Thank goodness for CM Punk who comes sprinting to the ring with a kendo stick, and takes out both the Doctor and Axel, while Heyman SPRINTS to the back. I've never seen a man in his physical condition sprint as fast as he did. The most impressive thing he'd did was duck under a low portion of the Raw set, mid-sprint, without hesitation. CM Punk might have his hands full on Sunday.
PRO: Jay Bilas Isn't the Only Person With a Few Jokes
Jerry "The King" Lawler: How many tattoos do you have AJ?
AJ Lee: Jerry, I'm too old for you, I'm 26. I know you like them younger.
PRO: I Love Everything About This
We come back from break, and Antonio Cesaro is standing in the ring with Zeb Coulter. Then, the second returning wrestler of the night, Santino comes out to a huge pop from the crowd. I already know what’s going to happen, I already know Santino’s going to beat Cesaro, and you know what? I’m OK with that. Cesaro is never going to be what I want him to in the WWE, the wrestler he was when he was in Chikara, Ring of Honor and other indy companies. But put him in a ring with someone like Santino and you’re going to get gold.
AND. WE. DID.
Any time you can get a crowd to stand on their feet and just applaud what you’re doing, is amazing. So when Cesaro puts Santino in the Big Swing for 36, glorious seconds, and the crowd stops chanting and stands up to applaud, that’s amazing. Again… The Big Swing, getting a standing ovation, in 2013… think about that. Cesaro loses, but I got what I came here to see, Cesaro doing what Cesaro does best.
PRO: THE BIZARRE ONE, GOLDUST
It was great to see Goldust on TV again. I know when I was growing up, I enjoyed the character because it was something different, and I knew it was pretty risquÃ© for me to be watching at my age, but whatever. It there was a turn in the early 2000s, when his storyline was that he was electrocuted in a match and it gave him Tourette Syndrome (FACT), that I didn't care for him anymore. Then I saw him, right when ECW(WE) was going on that he was in a feud with Sheamus, and it was AMAZING. He's a really good wrestler, from an amazing wrestling family, that should have gotten to show his talent for 15 years on TV. On Monday, we got to see why he's an outstanding wrestler.
The crowd was extremely behind Goldust. This is how you do one-off appearances from WWE legends, put them in a 15-20 minute match against the WWE Champion. There was so much for Goldust to gain with the win over Randy Orton, to be able to get his brother's job back. Goldie hit a Cross Rhodes on Orton, which brought the crowd to its feet. There was a moment where you thought Goldust was actually going to pull this off, and that makes good TV.
I'll take anything where there's a chance that we'll get Cody, Dustin and Dusty Rhodes all in the ring at the same time, and this looks like this is where it's heading. Also, Stephanie McMahon would be the worst guidance counselor.
PRO: Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose
This will get a pro from me every time. Finally getting to see Bryan and Ambrose, two top guys to rise from the indys to the main event of Raw is quite an outstanding accomplishment. I will say that I wish the McMahon storyline didn't surround this match, because I'd like to see Dean Ambrose be the Dean Ambrose he was in NXT. He was a loose cannon, being able to speak his mind and take on people like William Regal with a fleshed out storyline. Either way, I'm excited to see Ambrose vs. Bryan on my TV screen.
Quick CON: They only show three seconds of Bryan and Ambrose actually wrestling in the YouTube clip.
CON: So is the Big Show's Contract Ironclad or Not?
Earlier this year when the Big Show came back to the WWE, he stated that he had an "ironclad" contract and could pretty much do whatever he wanted. So he's been pushed around for the last three weeks by the McMahons, on the outset that they're going to fire him if he doesn't do to Daniel Bryan what they say. Ok, time has elapsed and WWE has a very long record of a revisionist history, but the WWE has mentioned on TV his ironclad contract, numerous times in the last couple of weeks. So when Daniel Bryan defeats Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton comes down and HHH tells Show that he has to knock out Bryan for the second week in a row or he's fired. Big Show trudges down to the ring, battles his demons, but doesn't do it. Randy gets in his face to tell him to do it (the most Orton has spoken since he won the WWE Title). When Randy turns around, Bryan hits him with a flying knee, grabs the belt and celebrates and the show closes. HHH was on the ramp watching all of this, with a mic in hand, couldn't he have just fired Show then?
I feel like I'm complaining a lot about the HHH storyline this week, but it's starting to wear on me. I like it, but it's just not progressing enough. Maybe we'll see something at Night of Champions on Sunday.
Speaking of Night of Champions, I'm trying to gauge an interest in who would be interested if a live blog was done during the PPV? Not saying that we're necessarily going to do it, but would like to see how many people would participate if we did. Just let me know in the comments below.