Luke Winkie
Tuesday September 23rd, 2014

John Cena Continues To Be a Selfish Prick Who Doesn’t Make Any Sense

We begin the show with Dean Ambrose, in all his spindled, rage-blackout glory, stomping around the ring. His cause? Simple, he wants to beat up Seth Rollins some more. That’s what he does. That’s what he’s here for. That’s how he recovered from the kayfabe skull fractures. He tells us that there’s nothing he loves more than beating up that hair-streaked, Evanescence-loving worm, and we believe him, because he certainly hasn’t given us any reason not to.  Dean chucks a chair into the ring, unfolds it, and patiently sits down. “I’M NOT GONNA LEAVE THIS RING UNTIL I GET MY HANDS ON ROLLINS!”

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Extra Mustard's WWE Pay-Per-View Recap: Night of Champions

And then out rolls a swagged-out John Cena, who’s understandably also a little miffed at Rollins for interfering with his title match last night with a botched cash-in attempt. Like Ambrose, John Cena wants NOTHING MORE than to throw running shoulder-blocks at that guy who isn’t Brock Lesnar. This is all perfectly understandable, maybe these two will strike some sort of alliance! I’m okay with a joint beatdown between the wily old veteran and the best up-and-comer on the roster! This is good!

But, no. Instead John Cena straight-up THREATENS Dean Ambrose, despite the fact that John Cena is literally INTERRUPTING Ambrose’s promo! That’s straight-up heel shit! Is John Cena so consumed with megalomaniac jealousy that he’s willing to beat up a good guy just so he’s the ONLY ONE who gets to beat up the bad guy! That’s crazy! That’s genuinely crazy!

Oh well, the story here is super convoluted, but hey, at least we’re gonna get a bizarre Ambrose/Cena rivalry! That’s something new. I wonder if they’ll both be wrestling as babyfaces. Maybe this could be a Bryan/Cena thi- oh what’s that? The Authority just walked out. Oh, and they’re putting Ambrose in a match against Kane and Cena in a match against Randy Orton… so a Cena vs. Ambrose feud isn’t happening at all then? Like not at all?

Yeah, it was that kind of Raw.

Kane’s Losing Streak Reaches Unprecedented Heights

Dean Ambrose beat up Kane until Seth Rollins interfered, (this would become a theme.) Is Seth Rollins trying to get heat by intentionally making the product less enjoyable? It’s working. Kane is seriously the most neutered character on TV, I said last week that I don’t think the guy has won a single match this year. Our next Career Arc might have to focus on the Big Red Machine, if only to prove to the younger kids, (and remind myself,) that this guy once did amazing things like how he LITERALLY BURIED The Undertaker. Now he’s an assistant manager who has to lose matches because Triple H can’t wrestle every week anymore. That sucks. Give us back our liberty, give us back our Kane.

There Was a Title Change during This Raw and it Doesn’t Even Matter

I’m not going to write a lot about last night’s Miz/Ziggler match. Because we’ve been watching Miz/Ziggler matches for… two months now? The Miz. vs. Ziggler feud is like the Rock vs. Stone Cold of meaningless anti-creative mid-card storylines that seem specifically designed to make sure both men don’t garner even the slightest positive momentum. Vince McMahon wants Dolph Ziggler right where he is, because you’re always going to need a guy who can lose to Batista effectively.

The best part of this segment was Damien Mizdow, who strutted side by side with Miz, carrying a shoddy, cardboard IC-title over his shoulder. That’s pretty funny, although it might’ve been better if he was carrying an exact replica of Miz’s belt, because it’s not like anyone in the country actually cares about mid-card trophies.

The rest was exactly the same. If you’ve watched these two wrestle at the last two PPVs, and the languid Raws in between, you know what’s being served. The only difference? Now Ziggler is winning the belt off Miz on free TV.

The Only Time Rusev Actually Made Me Angry

I’ll admit it, I was kind of mad.

First things first, Lana absolutely killed it tonight. That fake, chiding southern drawl she put on during her “Memphus Tennessay” thing was beautiful. We’ve watched Lana grow from tentative, line-choking noob into someone who’s absurdly confident on the stick. She’s the female Paul Heyman, just you wait.

But let’s make this clear. I love Mark Henry, and I’m mostly okay with America. But seeing those swilling, soulful tears streak down Mark Henry’s cheeks during the national anthem at Night of Champions made me love America. When he stumbled out to the ring last night to apologize for losing to Rusev on that “I let you all down” tip? Legit feels. Henry is such an incredibly underrated promo guy. He sold both his physical ache and steely resolve to accept Rusev’s rematch request. Watching him refuse to tap out to the Accolade until his body laid limp on the floor? Legit, uncomfortable chills.

Yes, Mark Henry jobbed out so realistically that it actually made me hate Russia. Congratulations WWE, you’ve made a mark out of me.

Goldust, Stardust, Cesaro, The Usos, and Sheamus All Wrestled for a Really Long Time and That’s Not Enough Anymore

Yes, it was a six-man tag. Yes it was totally a retread of last night and the Raw before it. Yes all of these guys can perform and it was probably the best match of the night. Yes the Disaster Kick is still the coolest looking thing in the world.

But here’s the thing man.

Look at this tweet that Stardust made.

That is Stardust claiming that he painted “The Starry Night” as an anniversary gift. You know, the Vincent Van Gough painting. That thing that Stardust most certainly did not paint.

He follows up his fraudulent artistic claims with a rocketship emoji.

You see, this, this is how Stardust and Goldust should be getting booked. Clearly they’ve got it figured out. Maybe you think that beguiling claims of plagiarized brilliance has no place in a wrestling ring, but if you honestly think another match with the Usos would be more interesting than, say, Stardust showing off his newest Picasso, then you are hopelessly, irrevocably wrong.

Heath Slater and a Bunny are Somehow the Most Compelling Feud on Raw

Heath Slater is a sympathetic man. He’s gotten his ass kicked by a bunny for like three weeks now. That would piss me off! I totally get where Slater is coming from! If I was eating superkicks from a bunny I’d probably be dealing with the same existential crisis! Now, the bunny is actually tagging with Adam Rose, forming easily the most powerful stable in world history. When that bunny gets the hot tag, only discarded, bone-chewed limbs are left in the ring.

So a couple things with this.

One, I really wish we were still in the attitude era, because a Bunny wiping Hulk Hogan’s blood all over its belly would be fantastic.

Two, whoever is in that bunny suit is a legitimately great wrestler. Those second-rope splashes were awesome. Wouldn’t it be funny if it was, like, Kenta, and therefore making his WWE debut without any of us noticing?

Three, after the bunny sufficiently destroys Slater, I think we’re owed a Bray Wyatt/Bunny feud.


Does Brie Bella Know That She Sucks At This?

There was a match here, between Nikki and A.J. while Paige made hilariously snippy side-eye on commentary (since when could Paige talk like this?) But I’m not going to write about it because it’s basically an abbreviated, less-good version of the very, very good match that happened on Night of Champions, (kind of like this whole show really!) So go watch that. But I will link to this promo Brie cut, because I’m earnestly curious if you guys think Brie has any idea how terrible this was. She’s responding to the heinous evil of her own flesh and blood the same way my girlfriend does when I try to talk to her about Hearthstone. I get this faint feeling that we’re forcing this poor girl to relive her worst memories on a weekly basis.


At a certain point I’m not even sure what the WWE is supposed to do. This is John Cena vs. Randy Orton! A rivalry for the ages! Two guys with a whole decade’s worth of history, engaged in mortal combat! At the top of a post-PPV Raw! This should be a big deal!

But no, it’s not. A moderately engaging slog with the only curveball being how Randy Orton drops Cena from the top-rope for his DDT. I don’t know how it’s possible that these two could manage to have a fight with absolutely no stakes at all, but here we are! The match ends with a disqualification, because of course it ends with a disqualification. That’s two nights in a row of flavorless non-finishes. Our justification this time was an ambush by Kane and Seth Rollins, in an attempt to drag John Cena over to the black box ostensibly stocked with cinder blocks, so Rollins can do the same curb-stomp to Cena that put Dean Ambrose out for a month.

Except, of course, when our mischievous heels trudged over to bust open the cardboard, and reveal their nefarious intentions, they found a crouching Dean Ambrose who proceeded to unleash lunatic hell on everyone in sight. There wasn’t a soul on earth that didn’t see this swerve coming, but it was still pretty good. We’re happy to have the best guy on the show back in action, even if it means a ramshackle partnership with significantly less cool babyfaces.

I honestly feel bad for the WWE. They’ve lost Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Bad News Barrett, and now Roman Reigns. Brock Lesnar, the most compelling figure on the show, is only going to show up to half the dates. Vince has done his best to mine for resources, breaking up The Shield into three separate storylines, and inviting back Chris Jericho, but Raw has found itself in a rut that can only really be fixed until the stars get healthy and the road to WrestleMania heats up. Until then we’ve got John Cena and Randy Orton, struggling to find a thread in a company that’s run out of answers. 

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