1- Shawn Michael’s music: There’s been worse music in the WWE (see all the Nickelback themes). There’s been better music in the WWE. But never before has the WWE seen such good-bad music as Shawn Michaels’ Sexy Boy theme. What was once awesome in the 80s has now proven to be absurd in the present day by most other music and more listeners being on less drugs. The song has its pros and cons. The major con being that Shawn Michaels is one of the best wrestlers to ever step foot in a wwe ring, and he is canonized by a somewhat laughable song. The major pro, which outweighs all the cons in the world combined, is that when Sexy Boy starts playing, SHAWN *&^&*%$ MICHAELS is about to appear. Plus, I like to think that Shawn Michaels repeats each lyric into the mirror every morning as a daily affirmation. “I think I’m cute. I KNOW I’m sexy.”
2- CM Punk genuinely hates to lose: Hey, everyone who says the WWE is fake, here’s proof that it’s not. Every week I find a new reason to mark out over CM Punk. (For those of you who are new to wrestling, to mark out means to swoon over, or develop a mega-crush on). Punk and Sheamus tagged against Jericho and Daniel Bryan for a killer tag team match. Jericho won with a somewhat cheap, but fair, roll up. And Punk HATED it. Genuinely. With all the realest parts of him. Not loudly. Not obnoxiously. Just HATED it. His belt wasn’t on the line. There was no winner-chooses-a-wrestlemania-stipulation incentive pending. He was simply in the ring with another wrestler and lost the match. Meaning he didn’t win. And he couldn’t stand that–scripted or not. Predetermined as it may be, Punk’s reactions are genuine because he leaves absolutely everything he has in the ring, which is my favorite intersection of his realpersonness and his character.
3) The end of the civil rights movement: While the past few months have seen flashbacks to the Attitude Era, we’ve been catching glimpses of the WWE’s old homophobic and sexist ways. I’m not one go on a soapbox about civil rights by any means. I’ll make a man a sandwich under the right circumstances. But present day WWE seems to have only connected to the Attitude Era’s offensive tendencies, and not its fresh writing.
The divas division was seeing some life when Beth Phoenix and Natalya had the reigns, and is still somewhat in the hands of female wrestlers over eye candy with Tamina in the mix, and Kharma’s pending return. I don’t hate the Kelly Kellys of the world, but their stamina and athleticism simply isn’t there. While the WWE divas seemed to be on a promising track, The Divas of Doom stronghold frayed to give Natalya new character development: she farts. Not only is this a disgusting and absurd waste of talent, but it was compounded by the fact that Aksana, who is wrestling’s most damaged remnants of a trainwreck (did you SEE her botched elbow drop?!) debuted in victory against Natalya. But at least Aksana earned it. Oh wait, it was implied that her career was born out of a sexual relationship with Teddy Long. Yes boys and girls, if you wish hard enough, you can overcome the fact that you’re a complete hack by sleeping with your boss, and take rank over the truly talented. The WWE has turned being a skilled female wrestler into hubris. Or at least flatulence. The only cool thing that came out of this was while bitching about it on Twitter, Mick Foley messaged me about this WWE misstep.
This horrific storyline was promptly followed by slut shaming Eve. They publicly paraded Eve out to the ring after she and John Cena shared a kiss in front of a hopelessly romantic and disabled Zack Ryder. While we’d never seen anything actually transpire between her and Ryder, and with John Cena equally as guilty AND married, the WWE proudly boasted “Broski before Hoeski” chants and tweets, calling her a skank, and implying she had STDs. Because she and Cena KISSED. But Aksana bones her boss and we’re supposed to applaud her debut? Are you serious, bro?
Furthermore, The Rock and John Cena have been exchanging many mic spots, which have gone from mediocre to slightly above mediocre of recent. Shades of old, dare I say remotely bad ass Cena have been surfacing, and Dwayne has been selling his non-sensical catch phrases. These exchanges have seen a homophobic edge, and quite frankly, it’s not edgy. People have attacked Eminem for the same thing in his raps, and trying to explain it rather than excuse it, Mathers said that the offensive language he uses was common place in Detroit rap battles, and translated to his mainstream work. The major difference is Mathers wasn’t parading around with the Make A Wish foundation or an advocate for Be A Star. Hard to Rise Above Hate when you’re teetering on it.
4) The Rock’s history lessons: Speaking of sociopolitical movements, Dwayne had not one, not two, but three taped appearances today that were born out of Boston history. He compared his match against Cena to The Boston Tea Party, which is a pretty bold statement since the Boston Tea Party was at the heart of the American Revolution, and this is everyone’s third favorite match on the Wrestlemania card. He also tossed John Cena merchandise into the river, picking apart each WWE shop item with a snarky comment, including a John Cena garden gnome. It’d be an easier sell if there wasn’t a Team Bring It gnome in the WWE catalogue as well. Speaking of selling, wouldn’t we all rather be watching Dolph Ziggler fight someone instead of three promos that had me somewhere between yawning and smirking? Nice try, Dwayne.
5) The Rock is in Top Gun: Goose! Maverick! Dwayne! The Rock taped in front three historic ships at the sight of the Boston Tea Party, sporting aviators and a leather jacket (spoiler alert: it did not light up). It was hard to focus on what he was saying when I was making incessant Top Gun references in my head. When he came out to the ring, I really wanted his entrance music to be “Danger Zone.” While Punk and Jericho are caught up on their Best In The World match, Dwayne and Cena can duke it out for who is best in class at fighter pilot school.
6) John Cena Remembers the Titans: While Dwayne was running around Boston giving mock history lessons that were as boring as real history lessons at times, John Cena got his own pre-taped video package. He did something that Dwayne did not do, which was talk about the actual match that’s coming up. We saw pensive Cena, who apparently sits alone in arenas thinking about all the Boston sports teams and their victories in recent history. He discussed how nobody remembers who comes in second, and that anything less than victory is disappointing, which is a nice character stretch from his usual “never give up, failure is not an option” persona. Then he led a high school, interracial football team to victory through an undefeated season. Not really, but the language was the same as Denzel Washington in Remember The Titans.
It was actually not the worst to see a sincere promo that talked about the fight at Wrestlemania, even though it was filled with typical Cena jargon. It was a refreshing break from the clowning around, bombastic mic spots we’ve seen. In some, Cena is fired up, and I buy into it a bit. In others, he sounds like an obnoxious comedy show host who complains about you’re applause level being at a seven when he really needs a 10.
7- The GM switch: It’s like that terrible Ryan Reynolds/Jason Bateman movie where they switched bodies by accident, only this time it was on purpose. John Laryngitis showed up to Raw tonight even though the “Board of Directors,” who I’m convinced is a computer at this point, said Johnny had to share Raw with Teddy. Laurinitis showed anyway, causing all sorts of meaningless shenanigans, and trying to take the U.S. championship out of Santino Morella’s cobrahand, which simply cannot happen. The cobra is amazing, and I’d give it its own spot in the power rankings if I thought I could ever stop writing about it. I might give it all 10 spots on a slow week. I can’t stand Teddy Long. His delivery sucks, and his personality is inappropriate and downright creepy. But this episode of raw was pretty great, so when he threw Johnny Ace out, life was pretty all right. People seem to be polarized on Laurinitis and I’m somewhere inbetween. In Laurinitis’ defense, when Teddy Long said he was managing this episode of “Dulbyah Dulbyah E Raw,” Laurinitis probably thought Long was talking about an entirely different show, not mispronouncing WWE Raw. Or maybe Laurinitis couldn’t hear Long over his bright red suit. Not that Laurinitis is the easiest to hear.
8-Jack Swagger goes to picture day: So Jack Swagger generally walks towards the ring with his arms extended like a very hyper Jesus, or an oversized toddler trying to do jumping jacks. He stopped doing push ups because he realized they’ll never be as awesome as Ziggler doing sit ups. But this time, when he was jumping around to his faux Rage Against the Machine music, his hair was parted differently. I understand wanting to change his hair from looking like a frat boy douche to something more “All-American, American,” but he looked like his mom combed over his hair for picture day in the 4th grade. No wonder he lost to Santino. He has that rad air trumpet and a damn COBRA, and Swagger probably got made fun of for his haircut. If he comes out with a bowl cut, let’s just assume he’s moving to the divas division.
9-Cody Rhodes sucks at Being A Star: Everyone needs to stop picking on The Big Show. First of all he’s big. Huge, in fact. I know there’s a whole context that the WWE creates that I’m supposed to buy into, but sometimes when I look at The Big Show and then at Cody Rhodes, I just think Rhodes is an idiot. He keeps pointing out Show’s lack of success at Wrestlemania, but it’s not like Cody has ever had hugely memorable Wrestlemania success. Yes, he will point to the days of Dashing Cody Rhodes, his pre-mask days, and laugh maniacally. But whatever. Snoozefest. I’d rather watch Show and Henry collapse the ring again, or Show climb into Daniel Bryan’s elimination chamber pod, than rewatch that Wrestlemania match again. Not that it’s bad, but it’s not WRESTLEMANIA good. Plus, making fun of Show’s eating habits? RUDE. Oh how the dashing have fallen.
10- Zack gets jobbed- again: Broski. You KNOW this feeling. Getting your hopes up, getting them shattered, having everybody rally behind you while you’re powerless. And then you buy into it again? First it was Survivor Series, and you were jobbed. Now, just months later, Eve is doing the same thing. Zack, I’m worried about you. We all are. I’m very serious about this, bro. I don’t want you singing to yourself “It started out with a kiss, how did it end up like this, it was only a kiss…” on repeat. I know you’re head is twisted from all this love, but I only have your best interest in mind when I tell you she is up no good, and could really use acting lessons. I only have your best interests in mind. (Woo Woo Woo) You Know I do.