Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Raw Regurgitated, 1/20

Usually don’t mind talkie-segs — the amount of people who watch wrestling for those segments is crazy — but jeez: Randy Orton either needs to be more or less petulant, and Stephanie needs to pick a path. If it’s as the reluctant wife of the villain (HHH), that’s fine. If it’s as a co-conspirator, that’s fine too. But wishy-washy “we’re really doing what’s Best for Business!” isn’t going to work as a compelling narrative when HHH is screwing — or has already  screwed —  over the two most popular performers on the show in Daniel Bryan and CM Punk.  And for Randy, having him complain about facing the guy he’s beaten — as fairly and squarely in the middle of the ring as a TLC allows — to show he’s a crybaby probably isn’t the best idea either.

We choose this week for Batista Week for rather obvious reasons — residual hits from Google because of his return — but we chose Batista as the Wrestler of the Week for moments like when his music hit. He’s never going to be the best wrestler, or the best talker, but the reactions he generates just being a physical presence is worth spending a week on. Also, that entrance is still pretty much the best thing ever.

The good news: Batista came in, established a clear objective and left. The bad news: that means he’s a face.

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For the better part of a year, there’s been an assumption that these six-man tags would eventually get lame and/or boring. But if they continue to involve things like this:

Superman-Punch

we should be fine. 

If Daniel Bryan cuts this level of promo every time, he can be a star at a level that matches his overness.  Being mildly sarcastic about things you should be really sarcastic about like “Some people say I shouldn’t be the Face of the WWE” is way better than shouting sarcasm about everything, obviously, but it also allows the crowd to get angry for you. This is an interactive medium, and while bringing some enthusiasm to the equation is obviously important, but getting them to match or exceed yours is what’s most important.

There’s something to be said about a match where nobody cheats, the bad guy beats the good guy handily and nothing bad happens afterwards. That something is: “That was pointless.”

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We refuse to see how message boards and comment sections react to these things —  because it makes our head hurt — but anyone who has a problem with Billy Gunn working, or that Road Dogg and he are getting a title shot, is missing the whole point. Punk looked FANTASTIC beating up TWO of HHH’s buddies, winning handily in a match where Billy worked his butt off to make Punk look like 10 million dollars. I could watch Billy sell the GTS like he was shot in the face with a cannonball eight million times in  a row.

Things I care about: the Red Sox, my girlfriend, humanity. Things I could be paid to care about: data entry, ad rates, copy writing. Things I couldn’t be paid to care about: Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show.

The only thing — the ONLY thing — that makes me having to watch another Rey Mysterio/Alberto del Rio match is that Batista is friends with Rey, so him coming down and beating up del Rio following their match makes slightly more sense than if he came down after a match between del Rio and some  total rando. That’s it though. Otherwise, please, No Mas.

This tag team match between AJ/Tamina and the Funkadactyls was absolutely not TheBomb[dot]com.

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The Usos and the Wyatts are the type of rivalry that the WWE needs significantly more of, especially their tag team division. These two teams “just don’t like each other”, but not because the Wyatts are jerks and the Usos aren’t. They don’t like each other because of the Uso’s relationship with Bryan and because they are standing in each other’s way as it relates to advancing up the card.

Speaking of which, it’s really hard to say if any of this is going to help Kofi — especially when he’s just serving as the guy holding John Cena’s bag while he fights Randy Orton —  which is kind of a bummer. It’s not that this isn’t going to be good for him, as much as “how much” it’s going to be good for him is HIGHLY debatable.

*** WARNING: YOU ARE NOW ABOUT TO ENTER A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE *** PLEASE KEEP EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE AT ALL TIMES! *** It’s difficult to complain about a match between two competitors I genuinely enjoy, especially when it’s not the actual main event of the show — which will presumably be the Royal Rumble match — but, seriously, please let this be the last of this current “feud”. Every time they need to goose the “personal”-ness of this rivalry, or any Randy Orton rivalry for that matter, someone’s family member gets destroyed, which while fun and hilarious, doesn’t get me excited for the match as much as it gets me excited to see what’s going to happen in the lead up to the match. By making the story of the feud “this is about more than the title”, you inadvertently make me care less both about the title and the match, especially when it’s a “regular” match. These type of feuds were much more effective when the perpetrator of the crime could receive penance through bloodletting.

Now, the worst that John Cena could do to Randy Orton is pretend to break his arm, or, like, do a worked shoot on him about shitting in people’s bags. It’s not better or worse, it’s just the way feuds need to be built/blown off now that extreme violence is no longer there to give us the type of catharsis that the Attitude era (or even the Jericho/Shawn Michaels feud) trained us to expect. And hopefully they realize that sooner rather than later.  ***WARNING YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE*** PLEASE ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY SONIC MILKSHAKE ON THE WAY OUT***