The Ghosts of Concussions Past: Raw Regurgitated 5/27

Am I the only one that finds it weird that a company as objectively patriotic as the WWE would have their Memorial Day episode shot in Canada? Does no one in Stamford have a calendar?

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I will never understand why they allow Cena to give this much exposition for every feud he’s involved in. It’s like they haven’t seen The Marine. Or 12 Rounds. Or that episode of Psych where he played Juliet’s mysterious marine brother. Who I am almost positive is the special ops version of The Marine.

Usually 3 Stages of Hell matches are just disappointing in execution. At least this match has the decency to sound shitty beforehand. And anyone who doesn’t think Lumberjack matches are the WWE’s version of strippers with C-section scars — there’s far too many of them, even though absolutely no one wants to that — is the WWE’s version of the guy who goes to the strip club for the buffet.

Why would they change Curtis Axel’s theme song after one week? That’s as important as a guy’s name. You can’t just shorten it, or slightly tweak it on a whim because you’re pretty sure it sounds better. That’s not how you get somebody over.

Paul Heyman’s “accentuate the positive and hide the negative” ethos really translates to this managerial run: Can’t put coherent sentences together? I got ya, Brock! Can’t get the crowd to boo you no matter how hard you try? I’m here to shit on their dreams for you, Phil! Have a weird Minnesotan accent and a receding hairline? I’m like New York’s version of Buddha, Joe!

Why would Curtis Axel not want to align himself with Paul Heyman, John? He’s not signing the guy’s checks, so I’m sure there’s only so much he could do to screw him over.

I’m actually oddly looking forward to this match, because Joe didn’t look terrible against Sin Cara on Smackdown! and if you can make it through a match with him without a serious botch, you’re going straight to the top.

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Your weekly reminder to follow Big E on Twitter:

I’m not sure if Big E.’s success against ADR says more about how much they like Langston or how little they understand about properly building anything other than really obvious tag team breakups and John Cena matches.

Why can’t AJ or Big E just say “Hey, I’m really sorry, I understand you tried your best and I appreciate you as a person and a friend”? This feels like the Meet the Parents of wrestling faction breakdowns.

After using that exposed turnbuckle, it’s very clear to me that Alberto Del Rio is not Batman. Not Batman in the least.

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Congrats to Bryan Danielson on getting that Bret Hart rub! Pro tip: Stay away from Montreal and Bill Goldberg’s foot and you’ll be just fine!

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The fact that they’ve made this US championship match a free TV match tells you all you need to about the E’s feelings regarding Kofi Kingston.

These guys have one of the more interesting dynamics in the WWE: Kofi’s “controlled frenzy” vs. Ambrose’s “guy they let do what he wants because they think he has an actual future in this business”.

WHY AREN’T WE AS OVER AS THE SHIELD? HAVE THEY NOT SEEN MY TATTOOS? – Randy Orton, during an in-match commercial for the WWE app (I’m assuming, I was focused on the really good wrestling match)

This year’s Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actor: Kofi as a Deadweight Piece of Wood in “Kofi’s Last Match in the Upper Midcard”.

The fact that they had the US champion win on free TV tells you all you need about the E’s feelings regarding Dean Ambrose.

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WARNING, SERIOUS WRESTLING DISCUSSION AHEAD, PLEASE KEEP HANDS INSIDE THE VEHICLE AT ALL TIMES: Now that the internet has somewhat democratized professional wrestling — inasmuch as guys on the indys have an actual chance of getting noticed before they reach an age where they become their acceptance by fans is more about what they were than what they are now — the cache that guys like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk bring to the E makes it so that they are over enough in the major cities that the E can allow them to build an audience in places like Tulsa or Kansas City (wrestling towns that don’t have much time for things like “workrate” but appreciate a good [albeit familiar] show). Whether or not this is a function of those specific guys or the modern landscape of professional wrestling remains to be seen, but it’s something that we should be looking out for in the next 10 years. But given the success that both Daniel Bryan and CM Punk have had, it’s clear there’s been a sea change in the type of guys the E is “looking for”. SERIOUS WRESTLING DISCUSSION HAS NOW CONCLUDED, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO RETURN TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED KOFI KINGSTON AND DICK (AND KOFI KINGSTON’S DICK) JOKES

Daniel Bryan and Kane are clearly in a competition to see who plays a better Ricky Morton. Kane’s ahead on 2 cards, but the judge from Amarillo is drunk and has Daniel Bryan up through 3 rounds.

Good to see that Titus O’Neil can get through a segment without screaming “FUCK” on live television. Progress!

I love Seth Rollins for using that Daniel Bryan seemingly botched that German suplex as an excuse to STIFF THE SHIT out of Daniel Bryan, not as an excuse to get him fired. Yes, I’m talking to YOU, Randy. Mr. Kennedy had to change his name and he’s in a biker gang now. I hope you’re happy.

I love a little less Seth Rollins incorporating talking points from this feud into the middle of the match. “You’re the Weakest… Shit.. can’t say … YOU’RE THE WEAK LINK!”

How does a team with a smaller big man and a less talented small man beat the best big/small tag team of the last ten years? Manufactured obscure-rules-based dissension, of course!

I don’t know if I want them to give names to the finishers of the Shield, because while they clearly all have them, I have a feeling the WWE would come up with some weird military-based ones like “The Ballistic Missile” for Reign’s Spear or “The Drone Strike” for that weird flying knee/shin thing that Rollins does. And if that happens, nobody wins.

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Speaking of nobody winning, does anyone really believe that anything other than “guest referee” is taking this WWE Active poll?

And again, speaking of nobody winning, this leading to a triple threat match at Payback for the Intercontinental championship between Fandango, Wade Barrett and The Miz is this generation’s  Carlito vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Johnny Nitro from Vengeance 2006. I don’t mean that as a compliment.

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Why is the guy who almost destroyed the business because of his crippling pill addiction the “Voice of Reason” for the WWE?

The less said about that wrestling match/dance/birthday party the better. At least that cake didn’t bring back Natalya’s GI problems.

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Chris Jericho’s entrance continues to be one of the great things in wrestling. Literally everything else that comes after it, not so much.

Also, who let Chris Jericho raid the part of my closet from when I worked at Urban Outfitters in college?

That “Blah Blah Blah” segment was the most articulate and interesting piece of mic work for Chris Jericho since he came back. See:

How many WrestleManias does CM Punk have to beat Chris Jericho at before we can’t stop this “you stole my catchphrase” feud? Would a 3 Stages of Hell match help?

I almost got the feeling that Chris Jericho was going to finish that segment by holding Paul Heyman down and making him love him. I think it’s best for everybody that didn’t happen.

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If the Bellas could even nominally wrestle, their characters would carry them through a lot. But they can’t, so it’s like watching a team of Cindy Sanders try to beat up Lindsay Weir and Kim Kelly

If everyday was Natalya’s birthday, she might eventually get a Diva’s titles match. But it’s not, so she’ll probably just be featured in the next “AutoTune God of Farts”.

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I agree with @MrBrandonStroud assessment of the Wyatt family vignette: this is the best thing not involving The Shield that happened last night by a WIDE margin. It’s really starting to feel like wrestling is entering a weird golden age where everyone gets what they want, but nobody’s happy. So like real life, but with less clothes and more baby oil.

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We should all be happy that the Rhodes Scholars are back together, if only for BEST FRIEND TIME with Cody and Damien.

This also better be the start of respective feuds for these guys, even if it means that Sheamus now becomes the WWE’s resident Games Master through a series of Scrabble and Cranium challenges from Sandow.

Nothing like a couple of “last we were here I died, LOL” jokes to keep the attention on the action in the ring, Jerry!

Randy Orton’s reluctance to engaged in the storyline of 12 Rounds: Reloaded is eerily reminiscent of his performance as a face over the past 2 years: a lot of wooden acting, poorly done action set pieces and nobody worth anything really giving a shit. Hopefully he does better during award season than he has in title matches, though.

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There’s clearly a fight going on in the crowd during the John Cena-Curtis Axel match and no one is paying attention to what’s going on in the ring. Given this information, we should assume that it’s Triple H stumbling through the crowd screaming “JOEEEEEEEE!!!!!!” while attacking members of the WWE Universe.

JUST SAY PERFECTPLEX, JERRY! JUST SAY IT! STOP TRYING TO BE CLEVER! YOU’RE BARELY LITERATE! – Vince McMahon into Lawler’s earpiece, presumably

And the Joe Hennig Holding Pattern World Tour continues.