WWE Worst of the Week: Cena, Barrett and More!
Monday's Raw was worse than the stomachache I got from eating all the leftover candy from Halloween.
In fact, it was the worst episode of the show since the jump to three hours.
There, it just needed to be said. Now I feel better! Time for another Butterfinger or two... or 10.
There was a lot of filler, some squash matches, and who could forget that main-event dream match of Alberto Del Rio vs. Justin Gabriel!
Meanwhile, Main Event is quickly turning into Superstars 2.0.
And SmackDown once again gave us the old "four people argue at the beginning of the show, so they'll face off later" main event.
However, WWE did give us a bright future to look forward to (or at least some future Worst of the Week entries), with an apparent Great Khali and Natalya relationship blooming.
To quote the great Tony Schiavone, "That'll put some butts in the seats!"
Well, with America going to the polls this week, maybe Vince can stop focusing on Linda's Senate campaign and realize that there is something seriously wrong with his product.
But for now, I elect to discuss WWE's Worst of the Week!
No. 5: Barrett Jobs
Sometimes it seems that WWE is intent on destroying the future of the company.
Monday Night Raw gave us Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton.
Barrett took the clean loss, and that was that. It wasn't mentioned again, and they went right on into the next segment.
The problem is there's now no money in Orton vs. Barrett, or Barrett against Sheamus, Cena or Ryback.
Barrett vs. Santino just doesn't get me excited.
We no longer get to wonder how this new and improved Barrett would compete against a top name.
They've shown us that Sheamus and Orton are superior to him, so he'll be stuck right back where he was before.
The only thing that Orton vs. Barrett accomplished was taking up some TV time on a three-hour wrestling show.
So why was the match booked?
If WWE wasn't going to make a big deal out of Orton winning, why didn't he just face a jobber?
WWE tried to give Barrett some of his heat back on SmackDown when he pinned Orton. It doesn't work that way though.
He won by a fluke, and Orton won cleanly.
That doesn't make anyone want to see another match, because we know that Orton is better.
For a moment, imagine that Wade Barrett defeated Randy Orton cleanly on Raw (if the match had to be booked). Then, later in the night, he's drafted to be on Punk's Survivor Series team. That would have meant something.
Instead, he's off the show, and Del Rio took his place. The problem is we've also seen multiple times that Orton is better than Del Rio.
Never mind, we'll get to that match eventually...
No. 4: The Crowds
It’s hard to blame the crowds for their apathetic reactions, but it still made the week's shows even worse.
At Hell in a Cell and on Raw, the crowd seemed like they were threatened with physical force (or possibly a Rikishi Stinkface) to be there.
Raw especially had a few awkward moments when the crowd just didn't seem interested.
When Foley accepted Punk's challenge, it was more of a polite applause than the big pop that it was meant to be. They could have got Heidenreich to take Foley's place instead, and it would have gotten the same reaction.
The end of Raw should have been the hot announcement of the upcoming teams. But nobody was over with the crowd.
Even Ryback's "surprise" addition to the team fell flat. A Goldberg chant started up, which was just kind of embarrassing for everyone not named Goldberg.
Not to harp on this too much, but having to sit through three hours of wrestling (and probably closer to four with dark matches for the live crowd) can be a chore for even the most ardent fans.
Every time CM Punk or Ryback or anyone comes out, their reaction just won't be as good the second, third or fourth time the crowd sees them.
One bad crowd can be a fluke, but two in a row is a scary sign. If only there were some way to make these shows shorter!
No. 3: Goodbye Beth
A four-time women’s champion leaves WWE, and her sendoff is a backstage firing from Vickie.
A few months ago, I wrote an article on wrestlers that I thought the WWE would induct into their Hall of Fame someday. I listed Beth Phoenix among them.
I'd like to think that I can admit when I'm wrong, and wow was I off on that one!
I assumed that at some point, the WWE would get its act together and start pushing her as a threat again.
It was wishful thinking.
While Beth Phoenix had Hall of Fame talent in the ring (in comparison to other divas of her generation), WWE used her in roles that required too much of her acting-wise.
Instead of making her a monster, they decided she'd be better suited as a jobber.
WWE just wasted Beth these past couple of years, which is a shame.
On a related note, it’s always bothered me when wrestlers are released or retire in wrestling and WWE doesn’t make a big deal out of it.
What other TV show has actors leave the show for good without actually giving them a sendoff of some sort?
Over the years, we’ve literally seen Beth Phoenix on TV hundreds of times. Couldn’t they take two minutes out of a three-hour show to address that she is actually leaving?
Fans who don’t follow along online probably don’t think she’s really gone for good. Most wrestlers who are fired as part of a story (John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, The Big Show) just come right back.
Sure, she may change her mind someday and want to return, but if we won’t see her for sometime, it would have been nice had her departure meant something.
Well, best of luck to Beth, and hey, at least she can be thankful she never had uncontrollable flatulence like her friend Natalya.
No. 2: Survivor Series Teams
CM Punk’s Survivor Series team is so completely inferior in every possible way that they might as well just call the match now.
First off, yes, Punk is the WWE Champion.
But he doesn’t win cleanly these days. Ryback has never lost, and would have won at Hell in a Cell had it not been for the low blow. (Team Ryback 1 - Team Punk 0)
The tag champs are also pushed much stronger than The Rhodes Scholars (Team Ryback 3 - Team Punk 0).
Orton had just beaten Del Rio the night before (4-0), and Kofi just beat Miz too (5-0).
It's a clean sweep.
So where is the intrigue to this match? Why was this inept team even formed?
Seriously, why would Heyman choose The Miz? He never wins a meaningful match. He just lost to Kofi three times in a row!
Isn't there anyone else that Heyman could have searched for? Who said he had to have his team assembled by the end of the night?
I demand answers!
Anyway, if Heyman's BFF Brock didn’t want to come back for one of his limited fights, couldn't he at least have taken out his old ECW phone book?
Does he still have Sabu’s number? The Sandman? The Zombie?
Even Heidenreich won more often than Miz does.
Also annoying was how the announcers said it was a "huge coup" for Punk's team to land Del Rio. How is that a coup? Del Rio only beats jobbers these days. He loses every pay-per-view match he's in.
And just so WWE made sure that we knew how much Punk’s team sucks, it had Ryback’s team beat them up their first night together.
If the goal was to get people to not want to buy Survivor Series, WWE did a really good job of it.
No. 1: Three's Company: Cena/AJ/Vickie
There are so many aspects of this story that are so completely stupid, and counterproductive in every possible way to making money, that it's hard to know where to begin.
After ending AJ’s run as a GM (which damaged her character), it was time to get her back on track.
It was time to be crazier than a Heidenrich, but instead she has a new love interest.
What fan wants to see AJ and John Cena together? Where is this coming from? Why does Cena suddenly protect her like he's her big brother?
Sure, she could always turn heel on Cena, except where is the money in that? She's not going to wrestle him in a match.
Vickie vs. AJ doesn't sound too appealing either.
Every one of these segments on the show was just lousy and hard to sit through. And every one of the characters is at fault:
-AJ Lee doesn't want to be a wrestler or a fighter. No, she wants to be a performer. You see, she doesn't want us to think what she's doing is real; she just wants to entertain us!
-While she's great at being a psycho, crazy chick, she is lousy at showing other emotions. WWE shouldn't put her in the position to fake cry every week if she can't pull it off.
-Apparently everybody was supposed to know that Cena asking out AJ was a joke.
So a single guy asking out an attractive woman to dinner is supposed to be funny? I don't get it. What's the punch line?
-Cena also keeps insisting that their dinner was a business meeting.
Since the role of what the General Manager actually does is a bit of a mystery, we're left to guess at what kind of business she could help Cena with.
What would they have even talked about? New John Cena arm bands? A Fruity Pebbles commercial? A jort shortage?
-Why is Vickie still obsessed with exposing AJ?
Their positions in power have reversed, and Vickie had the chance to fire her. Instead, she backed out on her demands and kept her anyway for some reason.
So the story should theoretically have been over, but it's continuing.
What does it matter now if Cena and AJ hooked up? Can someone in WWE creative please explain that?
And why doesn't any babyface bring up Vickie's hypocrisy? What about her relationships with Dolph Ziggler, Edge and Eric Escobar? Why has nobody mentioned that?
Right now, it's just too much to think about.
Guess we'll have to wait until Raw for the wacky adventures of AJ/Cena/Vickie to continue, and maybe find some answers.
Or more likely, we'll just have a bunch more questions that are never explained to satisfaction, while this bad soap opera story continues to turn off more fans until it mercifully ends.
Whew. That's all for this week. That was the longest rant yet in this series. Time to go lay down.
Thanks for reading! Agree? Disagree? Did anything worse happen? Sound off below!