About a year ago, I was digging through the clearance section in a used bookstore when I came across â€œMaking the Game,â€ a workout and body building book that Triple H had â€œwrittenâ€ so that you could get the body of a WWE wrestler. I spent the quarter that the bookstore was demanding for the book to read the â€œbehind the scenesâ€ bits that were sprinkled in between workout routines and pictures of Triple H demonstrating his favorite exorcises. Now, Iâ€™ve never actually used the book as a fitness book, nor have I actually used Triple Hâ€™s tips, so for all I know there could be a fantastic workout somewhere in those pages, but the book has become a bit of a running joke in the group of people that I watch wrestling with. Â A joke that implied that Triple Hâ€™s ego was such that he would spend an entire raw reading his workout book if given the chance. (I know, weâ€™re not exactly cutting edge comedians)
Well we actually got surprisingly close to that happening this past Monday. Triple H wasnâ€™t exactly reading about his favorite methods of working out, but he did burry the entire mid-card by saying that a broomstick was a more challenging competitor. And if John Cena hadnâ€™t interrupted when he did, I wouldnâ€™t have been surprised if the workout book had shown up by ten oâ€™clock on Monday, it could have happened.
In a nutshell, thatâ€™s why the first half hour of Raw was some of the best television that WWE had produced in quite a while. Because even the most outrageous ideas of what could have come out of the show now fell into the category of â€œit could have happened.â€ In a day and age where WWEâ€™s product has grown increasingly stale and repetitive, the idea that these four wresters were going to try and fill a whole show meant that for the first time, I had no idea where the WWE was going with this. And for a while unexpected, and entertaining things kept happing, Punk back on commentary? Who wasnâ€™t excited at the idea of a whole show commentated solely by Punk? And then Vince McMahon came back. I donâ€™t know if the title of the column gives it away but the Mr. McMahon character is one of my favorite parts of the whole product and seeing him do the â€œVince Walkâ€ down that ramp again was great. Of course, once he started talking the whole idea of â€œit could happenâ€ came crashing down. Johnny Ace was instated as a new GM for Raw, and just like that all the wrestlers came back, and we once again were seeing the same matches that we see week after week. Mason Ryan against Vickieâ€™s Crew, Randy Orton has another match against Mark Henry. Once again, the announcerâ€™s table neither provides adequate commentary on matches, or entertains me with witty banter. And by the end of the show, just to make sure that everything has absolutely and completely returned to status quo, the R-Some team of Miz and R-truth was rehired.
With only four wrestlers on the roster, Raw would have gotten boring within weeks, or quite possibly would have been unbearably repetitive by the end of this first show, but when I didnâ€™t know what was about to happen next Raw was more entertaining. Now, with everything back to the way it was, Raw quickly fell back into a state where I spend half of the show complaining about continuity and logic flaws in the show. Things like â€œSo John Morrison is protesting the WWE while wearing a T-shirt that is exclusively available in the WWE store?â€ And, Was Triple H fired? He was COO, not the GM of Raw, so just because Johnny Ace is now the Raw GM, isnâ€™t Triple H still the COO? So the person who really got shafted out of a job was the anonymous email sender who hasnâ€™t been heard from since MiTB. I guess weâ€™re just going to pretend that we were never meant to know who was behind the emails.
And the fact that wresters are protesting unsafe work conditions? Really? Now I may be particularly unsympathetic to this complaint because I just got around to watching the OMG DVD on Netflix the other day? Since Triple H has taken over, how many people have kidnapped for satanic rituals by the undertaker? How many have been attacked by coworkers in the grocery store? How many Limos have exploded? How many people have been drugged and tricked into a drive through marriage while engaged to someone else.Â Ok maybe that last one was Trips fault, but any complaint about the way the company has been run in the last few months pales in comparison to the past fifteen years.
The thing is that in the first few minutes of Raw, these gaps in logic still existed. The cameramen had apparently changed their mind about the walkout with no explanation. Sheamus talked about a major â€œarse kickingâ€ that Triple H had given him, when it was just a single pedigree delivered. But these were so much easier to overlook when the show wasnâ€™t the stale product we see far to frequently.
Iâ€™m not saying that I expected the walkout group of wresters to never return. I knew that they would come back; I had a guess that Triple H would be kicked out of the top spot, and knowing the WWE, knowing that Johnny Ace would be up next was a pretty safe bet. Just like the Nexus invasion, or CM Punk leaving, had no real lasting impact, I knew that sooner rather than later we would have the same show we were used to. But itâ€™s a bit depressing to see a few moments of great entertaining potential followed by ninety minutes of what I see week in and week out.
I wanted to use this slot this week, to take a look at what else this sight offers you the reader. After all there are a slew of great articles on this sight week after week well worth checking out.
CB’s got a particularly great column this week about the walk out.
Chris Sander’s The Rager seems to have moved to Mondays but is still the same old Rager you love and can be found right here.
Read ’em. Check ’em out. Get your wrestling fill.