Guys, this week’s Monday Night Raw was bad. Like really bad, bottom of the barrel bad. We can all agree on that. Now there are a few things that I’m almost willing to defend (see below) But by and large this was a truly terrible episode of Raw. It’s the kind of show that makes me dread the idea of getting this for three hours every Monday (they have two weeks to shape up) The thing is, we all new that is was going to be a bad episode though. Maybe not this bad, but most defiantly not good, because there is a PPV on Sunday, and the go home show are never good. But why is that? The last show before a PPV is the last chance to get me to spend 50 bucks on your show. So why does it seem that every month, they don’t even try. Think back, what was the last PPV that you were really excited to see because of the card? I mean I’m excited for the Royal Rumble every year because I love the rumble, but there’s never any story in January that really makes me want to spend the money (though Shawn Michaels in 2010 came close) just the match itself.
Thinking back, the last time I was really excited for a PPV based on the story that was created on the weekly show over the past month was one year ago with Punk. Earlier this week I went back and watched the MiTB from last year. Even now a year later, knowing exactly everything that has happened since that point, each and every match seemed to be firing on all cylinders. There were faults here and there, but I may always be willing to look at that PPV through rose-tented glasses because of the circumstances surrounding it. And now we have the same PPV one year later, and the exact opposite is true. I should feel the same way about MiTB that I do about the Rumble in that the match should be enough to make me willing to spend the dough. But the move from eight contestant to four for the Raw match, plus the addition of Tensai and Santino to the SmackDown one has more or less killed that enthusiasm for me. A year ago after MiTB there was talk along the lines that the “Big Four” PPVs may someday be the “Big Five.” That could still be the case, and MiTB could still possibly fill that slot. But I don’t really expect that the highlight reel from that possible future to include any footage from this year’s event.
What I’m Willing To Defend: Of all the bad things that happened on Raw, this week, there are two specific things that seem to be commonly cited as why the episode was so bad. While I agree with almost every other thing mentioned in many an internet rant Monday evening the two following things are things that I’m actually going to defend. Well, maybe defend is too strong a word, but at the very least with all the problems with Raw, these two aren’t really the problem.
Thing 1: AJ and the Marriage Proposal.
Complaints have surfaced about AJ’s segment (along with Punk and Bryan) saying that jumping to marriage proposals have derailed the whole storyline and really messed up the only good story that the WWE currently had. While I agree maybe the proposal idea starts to reveal that WWE has no idea what to do with this goldmine now that they’ve got it, I’m remembering an interview I read with an author from DC comics back in late 2007. Back when we were all worried that Heath Ledger was going to be a terrible Joker, he said something along the lines of “You can’t really mess up The Joker. No matter what he does, it can always be written off as just it’s because he’s crazy. Sure there are incarnations of the Joker that are better than others, but the worst you can really get is ‘kinda ok’” That’s the way I’m feeling about AJ right now. Because she’s a character who’s defined as crazy, nothing that she does can really be out of character if her character is always supposed to be coming out of left field. No, this might not be the best way possible to handle this storyline but even at its very worst it still ranks as “kinda ok” which is miles beyond other storylines.
Thing 2: Hornswoggle is the Anonymous GM.
Was this really the moment that you felt the Anonymous GM storyline went off the rails? The Anon GM is the biggest go to punching bag when talking about how WWE drops storylines all the time, so I’ll admit I’m actually kind of pleased that they were willing to tack on any ending whatsoever. Yes this does mean that technically Hornswoggle was the one who hired Nexus and did a whole bunch of “shocking” things a few years back, but at this point who did you want it to be? Who could have been revealed that wouldn’t have felt dumb. And if nothing else, at the end of the day, I still have the memory of Edge arguing with a computer and they can’t take that away.
Unrelated Thought: When WWE first began their Youtube shows, I tried out each and every one, and dropped most of them on the first episode (I got to episode 3 of WWE Inbox before dropping that one ) So it was with some surprise. When I was told to watch the latest Dolph.0, actually called Download. You can check it out here, and you can forget about the useless youtube clips and just listen to Ziggler talk. Again, I bemoan the fact that this guy is not a constant main event star.
Don’t forget to check out Classy Ring Attire with Inside Pulse writer Chris of The Rager every week.