Monday Night Raw
1. CM Punk nearly hit the mark. After looking forward to the "Why I Did It" speech all week, I was a little underwhelmed when the time actually came. To his credit, he did make mention of "how Monday Night Raw should always end... with the focus on the WWE Champion." However, the line felt incredibly thrown away, especially when he was almost immediately interrupted by Big Show. Also granted, there are still two more weeks till SummerSlam, so there is still opportunity for him to build more anger and finally let loose on Big Show, Cena, and even The Rock, but I was expecting more of a big Whammy from him this week, and I didn't feel like he really delivered it.
2. AJ's first night of work. I'm getting the feeling that people didn't like AJ as General Manager this week, and I can understand why. Her backstage segment with Daniel Bryan was great, but other than that, all we saw of her was her coming out, making "proclamations" and consistently delivering her lines very awkwardly. The emphasis on the wrong words, the pauses in all the wrong places... she still has the potential to be a really amazing GM, but she definitely needs a little bit of polishing. These weeks leading up to SummerSlam are going to be a real test for her, as I imagine it's not easy to take over the job just before one of the Big Four. Just like CM Punk above, I'm holding out hope for her, and just waiting to see how the next couple of weeks go.
3. Daniel Bryan's Anger Management. Here's something I actually did kind of enjoy. Bryan kicking the shit out of Little Jimmy was hilarious (and R-Truth's selling of that was brilliant), and the backstage segment with the psychiatric evaluater was pretty well on the mark (The best little touch here was when he stopped "YES"ing long enough to gesture to the doctor and let him open his mouth before starting in again). The icing on the cake, however, was Kane introducing himself as Daniel Bryan's Anger Management Therapist. First of all, I didn't know they gave courses in that in Hell/Parts Unknown/Dental School. And secondly, this only solidifies my idea that Kane's gonna end up being AJ's one-man wrecking crew.
1. Aces & Eights send a message, then don't show up. Half the roster vowed to be ringside for James Storm's match with Kurt Angle at the end of the night, because everyone is sick of this shit. Sting checked in on Brooke Hogan, who made a quick exit after receiving the cursed playing cards glued to a piece of cardboard. And when everything was said and done, the main event played through as scheduled, everyone checked their backs, and the Aces & Eights weren't there. You know who else didn't make an appearance at Impact this week? That's right, Jeff Hardy. So there.
2. Earl Hebner, same as he ever was. By far the biggest laugh of the night in our household came when Madison Rayne adamantly assured Gail Kim that Earl would never screw someone in a match just before wishing her luck. Everyone at home I think was distracted by the noises Ms. Tessmacher was making all the way through the fatal four-way, but what I found really amusing is that at points she was actually reacting exactly the same way I do when watching a really good match, which up until the ending, this was. She also made a point of playing up the Knockouts Division as well as all of her potential opponents, which was actually pretty nice to hear. She has a point, though. You're not going to see a superplex in a Diva's match. Not often, anyway. Right now, we're lucky if we see a Diva's match. Oh yeah, and if you already didn't know, Earl totally screwed Tara out of the title shot and gave it to Madison. Brook Hogan is clearly too distracted to realize a replacement referee needs to be assigned.
3. Claire's Baby Shower. Christopher Daniels, wearing a scarf, drinking an appletini that he pulled out of his locker. I'm growing to love his character, and am finding that he is the only entertaining thing about this whole angle. Claire at this point has gone beyond random junkie who needs help, to obsessed stalker fan, and I think she may have had the fastest face-heel turn in history. It's just not sitting well with me for some reason. I want it to be over already. I AJ to expose that she's not really pregnant after all and for Daniels to shrug and go, "Huh. Didn't see that coming." and then continue to be the glorious bastard that he is.
1. Booker T's first night at the job. So, in case you didn't already know it (because you don't follow WWE's facebook, or theirs or Booker's twitters), Booker T was announced as the new GM to Smackdown. I was okay with this to begin with. Sure, it means no more Booker T Bingo, no more witty banter between him and Cole, but he started off the night on a rather strong note, placing Sheamus in a match against Tensai (which was surprisingly interesting). On the other side of the coin, Del Rio had to have a match against Randy Orton, who I guess is going to be Booker's go-to demo guy. Then he ignored the shit out of Eve and gave Teddy Long a job in his office, because we really needed Teddy Long involved in the GM office. This leads to the second bullet-point:
2. Office politics at its worst. So Eve showed up to offer her resume, and before she could even tell Booker how many words per minute she can type, Teddy Long showed up to be all buddy-buddy with the new boss. Eve was of course, offended, and even if this was the other way around, she had every right to be. One time I was working a shift I loved at a store I loved, and the owner hired a friend of his who had no experience with the field to be a manager. This guy was terrible, and before I knew it, he had completely taken over my beloved shift despite the previous insistence that the fact I had to work a different shift a couple days a week was because no manager should be working one shift all the time. All because he was the boss's friend. But at least I didn't have the experience Eve did. Booker blatantly hired his male friend over an ambitions female candidate, right in front of her face. So I'm already in the "Fuck Booker" camp. The worst part is, this probably only means more tag team matches.
Wow, I had no idea I was such a militant feminist. I never thought I'd see the day I was defending Eve's character.
3. Antonio Cesaro will be the next US Champion. He's bested Santino twice in a row now. Hopefully he'll actually do something with the damned thing.