bill bodkin fills in …
In full disclosure I missed the first two hours of RAW as my wife was engrossed in a block of Real Housewives of Orange County.
Thankfully, I tuned into what turned out to be one of the best hours of WWE television, strictly from a storyline perspective, in I can’t remember how long. It was absolutely awesome and I really, really dig where they’re going with the company … for the moment.
Mark Henry — He Worked Us All
The WWE has been beating us over the head with the fact they’re all over social media. Yes, we get it — you have an App and you own Twitter and Tout. But finally, they used it to get over an angle. Mark Henry (who’ll always be Mizzark Henry from the famed DX parody in my mind) sent out a number of cryptic tweets hinting that he would retire tonight. During a pretty standard John Cena promo tonight Henry came out, boots in hand (a sign of retirement in the wrestling world or at least I’m going to say so for argument’s sake) and then cut a tear-filled, emotional promo. Now for the first couple of minutes I thought, “He’s going to level Cena and challenge him for the belt.” Then more tears came, he thanked a receptive and respectful audience and then told his kids “he was coming home.” I thought to myself that this was the way you send a guy out. John Cena, also in tears, raised Henry’s hand to showering adulation. This was a really nice moment.
Then Mark Henry swerved us all.
He picked up Cena for the World’s Strongest Slam and the arena went banana! (In wrestling it’s not plural). I popped huge for this. They totally drew me in, a guy who’s 25 years in as a wrestling fan, with an angle I’ve seen done in person before (at Jersey All-Pro with Dan Maff circa 2002/2003) and had me completely fooled. These are the moments when I love being a wrestling fan — when I can still be surprised. I love the build for a Cena/Henry Summerslam match. It’ll 1,000 times better than Ryback and Cena for sure.
Daniel Bryan is a Fired Up Son of a Bitch
I’ve been a big Daniel Bryan fan since I first stood next to him at The Murphy Rec Center in South Philadelphia in 2002. Two things I noticed — he was short and really pale. Despite his non-traditional looks he was an absolute killer in the ring, the definition of blunt force trauma yet he had such a sense of grace and agility about him.
Fast forward to 2013 — he’s over like gangbusters. People are going banana for him everywhere he goes. So what are they having him do? Be the biggest firey, amped up, no retreat, no surrender son of a bitch this side of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. By letting us know in the final hour of RAW that D-Bry got in Triple-H’s face for stopping his match earlier in the night with Randall Orton and that despite his beating will challenge Dean Ambrose for the US Title, it makes him the ultimate sympathetic babyface but also a babyface people are going to rally behind because people HE…WILL…NOT…QUIT.
I love that. Daniel Bryan is going to be one of the top good guys in the WWE post-Summerslam. And the WWE needs it. They have developed ZERO fan favorites in NXT (the most pushed good guy Bo Dallas who gets boo-ed consistently) and have so many established heels that they need someone, anyone, for the fans to get behind. So let’s get the beardy, pale ass vegan to win the hearts and minds of the people.
All I can say is … YES! YES! YES!
A Triple Turn?
When CM Punk silently encountered Paul Heyman in the locker room prior to his match with ADR, I knew something was brewing. When Paul E. looks at Punk and says, “I know this isn’t a cool thing, but…I love you.” It was the proverbial Michael/Fredo kiss of death from Godfather II. I knew then and there that Heyman was going to unleash hell (Brock Lesnar) on his “best friend.”
So I knew that The Punkster was going to turn to the face side of the force. Besides, he’s rocking the Angry Amish Roadkill mutton chops, how could he NOT be a good guy.
Then there’s Albertoooooooooooo Dellllllll Riiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooooooooooo! Who made the most unlikely face turn in the world and got over with the fans. Seriously, I thought it was so stupid when they turned ADR and Miz face, since both are natural heels. ADR got over … The Miz, still not buying it. Anyways, when they showed him kicking the brains out of Dolph Ziggler and the crowd turning on him (all planned of course), I knew there was no way ADR was staying a face. And the Mexican Million Dollar Man did every little thing to piss off the crowd and solidfy his turn … particularly when he kept rolling out of the ring to stall and then Ric Flair’d it but taking the count-out loss and retaining the title.
Then Dolph Ziggler SUPERMANS it and does a running leap onto ADR and Ricardo. He proceeds to deliver one of the fiercest run-in beat downs in recent WWE memory. The fire he showed in this segment made him a fan favorite, no doubt. Even if it’s for a hot minute, Dolph is going to be over with the crowd. This could really be his moment to break-out into superstardom. The place went, you guessed it, BANANA, for Ziggs and I can’t wait to see him cut a crowd-pleasing promo
Well, here comes the pain.
Oh Tazz, I miss you. I’m in the minority, I know.
I knew Brock Lesnar was going to come out to face CM Punk. I just knew it. It was obvious he was coming out. But when his music hit, chills. Then he came to the ring, did the Brock Bounce and took the mic. Again, I knew exactly what he was going to do. He was going to put the mic to his mouth, drop it and F5 CM Punk into tomorrow. He did exactly that and I still loved it.
I cannot wait for the verbal salvo Punk is going to launch on Brock Lesnar. He is going to rip him to shreds and bring all of Brock’s legit heat with the WWE and wrestling world to the forefront. It’s going to be must-see TV.
And honestly, This is the feud Brock needs to solidify his next few years in the company. Yes, he’s a natural born badass, but his feud with Cena and Triple-H sucked. I mean they really sucked.
Having Punk and Heyman do all the talking then having Lesnar and Punk lock up for some killer matches, is going to be big money for WWE.