It’s not supposed to be good, damn it!

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In 2011, I gave the WWE a clean slate. I had complained and whined for years that they needed to give CM Punk a real chance. And they finally did. In a five star match, CM Punk defeated John Cena to become the WWE champion. He was the hottest property in all of professional wrestling.They had done right by me for once. So I decided to trust them and see where this journey was leading. I accepted that they knew what they were doing with CM Punk and the direction of the company.

It took them only two months to completely destroy my trust in them.

Hardcore wrestling fans(IWC) pride themselves on being wise to the wrestling business. They read wrestling newsletters and follow wrestling journalists to get the inside scoop on the backstage happenings. They watch shoots where wrestlers break character and come clean on how storylines develop. They want great matches with the best wrestlers in the world. They want killer promos from the best talkers in the world. They wanted to be pleasantly surprised. They want to be excited about wrestling.

So then I must ask this question.

Why do they still watch Monday Night Raw?

I was in that spot where I was stuck watching Monday Night RAW. I held out hope for years. They had the talent to consistently put on good shows. Every week I would watch with that glimmer of hope. This week will be the week that they stop being idiots and let me enjoy their show. They could push CM Punk and Daniel Bryan as their top guys. It wouldn’t sink the company. They’d thrive with the best performers at the top of the company.

They had settled for John Cena, a man with hokey selling and terrible punches. He had a strong work ethic but he was not my guy. He was rejected by the fans and still shoved down their throats. His time had to come to an end so there could be change. I saw him as the biggest reason why wrestling wasn’t good anymore. He dragged the show with his nonsensical rambling and overt pandering to the crowd. The show revolved around keeping him strong. So he had to go. Then good programming would come. A new boom era would begin once Cena was outsed.

In 2013, I finally got my wish. John Cena went down with an arm injury for a few months. Daniel Bryan became the top face in the company. CM Punk was number two. But the show still sucked. It was worse. Then I realized nothing can make this show good because it’s not in the plans. The people at the top are not concerned with putting on good programming. That’s why they went to three hours. They know that show is worse for it, but they can make more money. They’ve grown an audience that accepts the show will be trash. Their entire business model depends on this audience not caring about the quality of the shows and just tuning in like they always do.

Week in and week out, Monday Night Raw was bad. And I was right there to get angry about it. They weren’t idiots. They knew what they were doing. Every hardcore fan saw it wrong. They know what good wrestling is. They know what great promos are. They just don’t want to give it to us because trash will do just as well. Why put in effort when you’ll get the same result either way. It took me a while but I finally tuned out.

Of all the wrestling promotions, The WWE is at the bottom when it comes to quality. If you’re a big wrestling fan and all you watch is WWE, you’re missing out. New Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrila, Ring of Honor, Total Nonstop Action, and Dragon Gate put on better shows with better wrestlers and matches. They don’t openly insult their audience and blame them for not adopting their new subscription service.

If you’re a know-it-all fan who is angry with WWE, stop. They don’t care so why should you? It’s time to be smart enough to pick up that remote and change the channel. You don’t have to watch it. You can enjoy yourself. You deserve good wrestling so turn some on. There’s plenty out there.

Match of the Year 2012

(If you don’t like professional wrestling then please proceed to reading this news article about a man who got $7.2 million for being an idiot.)

The storylines this year on RAW and Smackdown were not just bad. The stories broke the spirit of the viewer and made them wonder how or why they continued to watch. Each week was more illogical than the last. The episodes stomped on the heart of the wrestling enthusiast. It kicked them in the groin and spat in their face. There was one thing that made me keep crawling back this year, the actual wrestling was good.

Mesmerizing bouts kept me tuned to my screen despite how much each story pained me to watch unfold. Lots of great matches happened this year. Still, there can only be one match of the year.

Before I can talk about the best match, I have to talk about the worst matches of the year. These aren’t the worst technical matches but the matches that made me question my position as a wrestling fan.

The Ugly.

Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Wrestlemania XXVII

18 Seconds.
18 Seconds.

This image still makes me mad and the match was 8 months ago. I’ve spoken about this before. It’s not so much the result. Everyone knew Sheamus was going to win. I wanted a good match. I didn’t get anything. It’s just plain old ugly. Better left unmentioned.

The Never-Ending Story.

Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
Every single damn match these two had.

Del Rio Sheamus

This feud taught me that the WWE does hold hate for its fanbase. That can be the only reason Sheamus beat Del Rio in 3 PPvs in a row. The matches were bad. The crowd never got into them. It can only be hate and disdain for people that allowed these two to face each other over and over again. There were no stipulations added. Just Sheamus vs. Del Rio.

Awful.

The Miz vs. Nearly Anyone

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This dude is awful and he should not be wrestling. I think he is kept employed for the same reason Del Rio and Sheamus tangled for so long. He has dragged down every match he has ever been in and should be shot out of a cannon into the sun for his crimes against professional wrestling.

Dishonorable Mentions

Next up are matches that everyone else loved but I didn’t.

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena
Extreme Rules

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Brock Lesnar, former UFC champion, returned after eight years to take on John Cena. He proceeded to eviscerate Cena for over twenty minutes. And then John Cena wins out of nowhere like he usually does. I don’t get the buzz behind this match. I rewatched it to give it a fair chance. It’s okay if you don’t like John Cena because he gets his ass beat, but overall I don’t see how this is better than the rest of the matches of the year.

Undertaker vs. Triple H
Wrestlemania 28

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So this year for the third time Triple H challenged the streak. The Undertaker beat him last year but only barely. So the Undertaker has come back for retribution. He wants to beat him super bad this year. But wait there’s more! Shawn Michaels, the guy the Undertaker retired, is the special guest ref! And it’s Hell in a Cell!  I didn’t hate this match. It’s a great match. It also took an hour out of the show. Everybody loves the Undertaker streak matches. I can never get into them as much.   . Maybe I’m missing something but this is also a match I don’t get the buzz behind it. I’m tired of these matches where we see how much the Undertaker can kick out of. I had my full of these after the rematch with HBK.

MATCH OF THE YEAR!

And now it’s time for the match of the year. It’s going to WWE which is what I usually watch. TNA/NJPW did have some fantastic matches this year but I don’t keep up with them enough to be able to say what the match of the year was. But before I can say what the Match of the Year is, I have to talk about what other matches I really loved.

CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan
Over the Limit

Punk/D-Bry

I didn’t want this match to end. It was back and forth action. Everyone was having fun. I prefer matches where two guys just cut loose and beat the crap out of each other. The finish was perfect. Punk won but it left room for Bryan to demand a rematch.

Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Extreme Rules

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I was nervous about this match. I didn’t know if Bryan was going to be shown as an equal to Sheamus or made out to be a joke. I was pleasantly surprised. A scrappy technical wrestler tries his best to battle against a powerful brawler. A nice story to watch and the crowd helped to make the match. It was all about Bryan. Could he wipe away his Wrestlemania nightmare? He didn’t but this was still one hell of a match. This would have been match of the year but one thing holds it back, the last fall.

And now without any further delay, the match I pick to be Match of the Year for 2012

Ryback, Kane, Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose
TLC

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I thought for sure that Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus at Extreme Rules was going to be my favorite match for 2012. I had written up this post and it was ready to be published. Then I saw TLC and I was amazed. This match was astounding. It’s a nice story about teamwork. The Shield work as a unit. The good guys didn’t and that’s why they lost. There was great use of each person in this match. It was announced quickly as a replacement match after CM Punk went out with an injury. I;m convinced this was for the better. CM Punk vs. Ryback could not have been as entertaining as this match.

That’s all for my opinions on wrestling for this year.

One Year Ago (Wrassling Related)

“Vince, John… sunday night, say goodbye to the WWE title. Say goodbye to John Cena. And say goodbye to CM Punk!”

On the last RAW before Money in the Bank 2011, CM Punk uttered these words to close the show. He was going to take the WWE title and leave the WWE in total chaos. He was ruthless and the biggest thing in professional wrestling. He was going to defeat John Cena and show everyone that he’s the best in the world. Now CM Punk is involved with a love triangle between himself, Daniel Bryan, and A.J. The last thing seen on the RAW before Money in the Bank 2012 was AJ slapping Punk and Bryan before yipping out some Yeses.

Huh? What happened in the past year? I like Bryan. I like Punk, but I don’t like this absurd storyline. It looks even shittier when I look back at what was happening a year ago. I hate to call it a shit storyline. These two are my favorite wrestlers. Years ago I would begged and pleaded to see them wrestle for the WWE title. Now I have it and I don’t like it. Their matches are fantastic, but this storyline is just so disappointing. CM Punk is so lame now.

He used to be the guy who sent the WWE into chaos because they didn’t appreciate him. His character is a shell of what it used to be now.  He doesn’t have that fire in his eyes anymore. Tonight for the first time ever, I groaned when CM Punk picked up the mic. He used to be the absolute best, but now he’s just saying the same thing over and over. “AJ, you need real help. I’m not going to take advantage of you.” What happened? Is it just because he’s face now?

Bryan is still entertaining. He’s fleshing out his character. I want more for him than this storyline. He needs something more serious.

The worst thing about this storyline is how the WWE title is in the background. CM Punk’s last storyline rose the title up. It put the title at the center of everything. AJ is at the center of this feud. She’s not bad. She’s done quite well in her role, but I want more. The PPV isn’t here yet, but I’ve watched the build to it. It doesn’t even come close to last year’s Punk storyline. I know the WWE can do better than this. They did it last year.  Is it that hard to recapture just a part of the magic that was last year’s Money in the Bank event?

“You know it’s fake, right?”

People hate professional wrestling for all the wrong reasons. Men beating each other to a pulp every week may not appeal to everyone. That’s understandable I just don’t get the dismissal of it by pointing out it is fake or predetermined.

Movies are predetermined, but you will never hear someone criticize a movie for being fake. Let’s say a friend recommended me to watch The Lord of the Rings,  and I responded “You know it’s fake, right? There’s no such thing as hobbits. It’s all set up.” I would sound completely insane. I’d be missing the point of why people watch movies.

You will never hear someone criticize a play in that way either. Just like movies and plays, professional wrestling requires the audience to suspend their disbelief. Wrestling is the exact same thing as a play except there’s no rehearsals. Wrestlers just do everything in one go. There’s no do overs (except for Sin Cara). It’s an improv. If there’s a miscommunication, the wrestlers just have to run with it like in the video below.

This question is a condescending one. The person who asks it is implying that people who watch professional wrestling are idiots who think it’s real and must be reminded that it is fake. I can’t get this question out of my head. It’s been drilled in there by the countless people over the years who felt the need to remind me.

Where does this reaction come from and why is it directed at professional wrestling by the general public? Every time a wrestler goes to a mainstream news association, the reporters must remind everyone that it is fake before starting the story. Take a peek at this ESPN Scott Hall story. One of the reporters makes sure to let everyone knows it’s fake before getting into the very depressing story of Scott Hall’s fall into addiction.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7124904

Why? They would never do the same for any other form of entertainment. If everyone knows, why does everyone also feel the need to remind others of  public knowledge? Why can’t it just be another TV show?  Why do people dismiss it for being”fake”? Get better reasons to hate it. Hate it the lack of continuity and the inconsistency of the quality of the show. Not because it’s asking to suspend your disbelief like any other fictitious work of entertainment.

RAW 5/14

It’s very rare that I watch an episode of RAW and think that it was good. I keep watching because it’s always on and it’s a habit. I think most of all, that I continue to watch because the show has the potential to be very good, even if it always falls short. In those rare moments when everything falls into line, it’s the best thing on television. Tonight was not one of those rare moments. Tonight’s RAW was forgettable and aggravating.

And it was because of this man. There were other factors, but this man is at the top of the list. If not for his theme song, he would be devoid of any entertaining qualities. For months, the WWE has built this man up far better than any of its young rising stars. He’s gotten plenty of promo time and segments designed to make the audience hate him. If the WWE built up their young stars with half the effort that they put into building up John Laurinaitis, their show would be so much better.

This man is not good on the microphone. He’s not a great actor. He’s not a great wrestler. He’s not a great entertainer. Why is he pushed so hard? He had two long talking segments on tonight’s RAW.  The WWE champion had one short one. Why does the WWE give him so much time? How is he making them money? I don’t understand their love for this man.

The most frustrating thing about tonight’s RAW is that it was the last RAW before the PPV. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan have a WWE title match and yet they didn’t an in ring promo together. They had a good tag match together but that was it. This is the WWE title. This is the most prestigious title in the entire organization. Shouldn’t it matter more than just one tag match? This was their last chance to build up this match. Why doesn’t the company care enough to build this feud up properly? Why put more focus on a nonwrestler than two of your most talented wrestlers?

Bryan and Punk get good reactions and do the best with that they are given. Why not give them the ball and let them run with it? It can’t hurt. The company won’t shut down if two very talented individuals have a good feud for the biggest prize in professional wrestling.

The WWE has a large number of talented wrestlers. If these certain people are given a chance, they can make professional wrestling a fun thing to watch. The WWE is strange and chooses instead to be not entertaining when they easily can be entertaining. It’s like moments such as last summer are impossible for them to create.

Remember this? Why is it so hard for wrestling to be at least half as good as this?

Another complain, Johnny Ace fired the Big Show on RAW in a long segment. The Big Show acted fairly well but why did this go on so long and why have Ace do it? Isn’t Show in a feud with Cody? Couldn’t you try to get Cody involved somehow to try and make the audience care more about Cody? He’s the intercontinental champion. It would certainly help to get him some more boos.

For some reason, the belts don’t matter. The audience isn’t given a reason to care about them. They aren’t given a reason to care about anyone or anything other than John Cena. I understand that Cena is the biggest draw but the focus of this show should have went somewhere else. He will be in the main event on Sunday against a non-wrestler. Why give that so much attention? I understand that you need to sell the match but so much time and boring segments have gone to a feud that isn’t even close to being captivating.

Tonight’s RAW was bad, but it didn’t have to be. As stated earlier the problem isn’t with the talent, it’s with the creative team. The bright spots in the WWE continue to shine brightly, but they aren’t given a chance by the WWE’s creative team. Why? Is it that the creative team just doesn’t give a damn and they phone it in?

By next week, people won’t remember this show. They insured that nothing memorable happened on this RAW. Maybe that’s their game plan. Make RAW as shitty as possible so when good stuff happens, people only remember that.

It could be a good show if they tried.

RAW needs consistency in its quality. Ratings are going down. Pay Per View buyrates are going down. Can the WWE afford to have bad RAWs like tonight? They need to entice the audience to watch their product? Do people want to see Johnny Ace talk for 14 minutes? Do people want CM Punk and Daniel Bryan to barely matter? Do people want to see  a drunken John Cena come to the ring and give his best Jim Carey impressions?

The numbers don’t lie and they spell disaster for the WWE if they continue down this path.

CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan at Over the Limit

CM Punk has cooled down a little since last summer when he captured the WWE championship and left the company. He’s still one of the most popular superstars on the roster and regularly gets one of the loudest receptions. He’s been WWE champion for over 170 days. He’s defeated the likes of The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, and Chris Jericho. His title reign could be better, but nothing is perfect. Now at Over the Limit, CM Punk takes on Daniel Bryan, former World Heavyweight champion and the master of the Yes-lock.

As a big fan of both men, I was ecstatic when Daniel Bryan won the Beat the Clock challenge and earned the right to face CM Punk. They’ve had matches in Ring of Honor and Full Impact Pro Wrestling that were both great. Those matches are worth tracking down and watching if you can.

Ring of Honor was nice enough to upload CM Punk and Danielson’s first meeting in ROH on to Youtube.

I do have some gripes with this feud. CM Punk has only main evented one PPV since becoming the WWE champion. That was TLC 2011, the only PPV that John Cena missed that year. Since then, John Cena has main evented over Punk even in his own hometown. I would love for the show to build up to this WWE title match, but I’m really afraid the WWE will have Johnny Ace vs. John Cena go on last. I know that Cena is the main draw but he’s not the WWE champion. Unless his match is particularly important, he shouldn’t be going on last.

My only other gripe is that they haven’t built it up much. Punk came out on RAW and bad mouthed Johnny Ace for his attacks on John Cena. He mentioned Bryan for one second before continuing to launch a tirade on Johnny Ace. Bryan wasn’t mentioned on the show until hastily being shoved into a handicap tag match where Lord Tensai pinned Punk. Many segments went into building up Cena vs. Ace, but only the end of the show went to Punk vs. Bryan. It was good for what it was, but I would have liked to see a promo between them. On Smackdown Bryan mentioned that he would beat Punk, but again it wasn’t a big focus.

This is a WWE title match. I know the PPV is Over the Limit and it’s usually one of the less important PPVs but the build could be a bit stronger. I know the match is going to kick ass, but they need to convince other members of the audience that there’s a reason to pay attention to this match.

WWE posted a great article on their website building up the match. There’s no reason that they can’t bring this onto the actual show. http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2012-05-07/cm-punk-daniel-bryan-history/page-1

I’m looking forward to what should be a great match even if the WWE puts it on the backburner during the show and has Cena vs. Johnny Ace main event. Who knows? Maybe CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan could one day headline Wrestlemania. That’d be worth the price of admission.

Why John Cena will never turn heel.

There was once a man. He had ruthless aggression. He was something new. He soon began to rap. He disrespected top stars in the WWE. The people loved him. They cheered for him.  He became their champion. He became the most popular star of the modern era. Children loved him. Women oogled him. Men thought he was pretty cool. He became a marine. He told the fans that he would never give up.

Today it’s pretty common for half of the crowd to boo John Cena. Sometimes even more than half. John Cena has moved from one of the most liked superstars to possibly the most polarizing wrestler of all time. WWE shows are filled with dueling chants. “Let’s go, Cena. Cena sucks!”

This is not the response that a face is supposed to get. Faces are the heroes of the wrestling world. John Cena gets more boos than the majority of the heels (villains) in the company.

The usual response would be to turn John Cena into a villain. The WWE likes to control their audience. They want to elicit the right response from the crowd. However that will never happen. John Cena will never turn heel for a number of reasons. (In the event that you’re reading this after John Cena has turned heel, prepare yourself as the end of the world must be near.)

If Cena turned heel who would he fight? How would he turn heel? If he attacks the Rock, it won’t make him look heel. The Rock has attacked Cena many times. It would just be seen as a response. If he attacks Punk, it would work better. I guess then you have him do a segment where he tells the fans why he did it and that he hates how they boo him when he busts his ass. That would be good, but where does he go from there? He faces CM Punk in a feud that just wouldn’t be as great this time around.

In their previous feud, Cena was already the villain without changing his character. He was the face of the WWE. Fans could get behind CM Punk or John Cena. I don’t think any of their matches would have benefited from Cena being heel. He already got the crowd reaction that a heel would get. After Punk, a heel John Cena has no one to fight on RAW. There’s no second big face after Punk. Would he fight Kofi Kingston or Zack Ryder? Those feud options don’t seem that interesting to me.

Like I stated earlier, Cena already gets boos so why turn him heel? If you turn him heel, he’ll only be hated by his fans now. The fans who boo him now would be indifferent because Cena gets a lot of his hate from being around all the time and winning a lot. His wins would go down as a heel, but I really feel like that portion of the audience just won’t ever be able to get over Cena’s overexposure and get behind him.

Alienating Cena’s fans is very dangerous. His merch sales are very high. People pay to see John Cena. CM Punk is getting up there, but he’s not at Cena’s level yet. He gets more cheers and he moves merchandise, but he’s not a Cena’s level of overexposure and I doubt he will ever reach it. CM Punk’s character is one that appeals to older wrestling fans. John Cena appeals to kids and parents which I think the WWE is really trying to target now.

John Cena also does the most Make a Wish foundation visits. I don’t think that it would be a good idea to turn him heel and end that stuff. I think what John Cena needs is a slight character change and to be less exposed. I think the WWE needs to be less afraid about having John Cena go to the mid card. I would love to see him and Zack Ryder be a tag team together to get that division started up again.

Punk Wins! Punk Wins! Punk Wins!

(Please go fuck yourself if you don’t like professional wrestling)

This moment really got to me. I complain every week while watching RAW. I know there are many people who are the same way.

The WWE has potential but they squander it. They rely on the same old stories week in and week out.

For once I shut up. I got behind a match.  I didn’t care that it was scripted.  I didn’t have anything to say.

I sat back and just took it in. And I was taken away by the pay per view. When CM Punk won, I jumped up in my room and started to dance.

I never dance. Ever.

That was real emotion. It was more emotion than I felt over any boring baseball game or Superbowl I’ve been forced to sit through.

Professional wrestling is very much real. I’m a fan today because of  pay per views like this

The WWE took chances for the first time in a long time. An internet favorite, Daniel Bryan won the Smackdown Money in the Bank briefcase. He was a dark horse. I didn’t expect it. He’s a great wrestler who’s never had a bad match. I stood up when he won in disbelief and begin shouting.

I haven’t done anything like that since I was a kid watching John Cena matches back in 2004.

My father walked in and immediately knew that began yelling at me about how professional wrestling isn’t allowed in our house and that it’s changed who I am. He ordered me to shut off the wrestling.

His comments didn’t phase me. I turned down the volume and continued to watch.

Del Rio won another favorite of mine. Christian somehow walked away with the World Title which shocked me as well.

Then the main event came on. I had been looking forward to this match ever since it was announced.

The crowd exploded for CM Punk. I’m surprised he didn’t go deaf from the reaction. Cena received a deafening reaction as well except they were boos.

I can’t describe the match. You need to see it. You need to hear it. You need to feel the atmosphere.

When Punk won, my beliefs were shattered. The WWE had done the unthinkable. I never fathomed that one day they could reach the potential that they had been ignoring for some many years.

When the pin finished, I did my dance and then for the first time in a long time, I sat back and smiled. There was nothing better I could have asked for.

It was everything I desired. It fed straight into my soul and and satisfied the hunger for entertainment that been itching at me for so long.

WWE can fuck this up now for all I care. I had that moment and it’s all I wanted and needed to have.

I LOVE ME SOME WRASSLING 2!

(If you don’t like professional wrestling please proceed to another blog post.)

There is plenty wrong with professional wrestling today. Ratings are down, old superstars are retiring, and John Cena is champion. But why? Why is professional wrestling stuck in a slump? Why is John Cena champion?

I’m a simple consumer who sees the problems in today’s program. And I’m going to point them out because analyzing is what I do best!

ILMSW: Entry 2 (State of Monday Night RAW)

What’s Wrong With It?

  • RAW has a very distinct lack of faces. The show is disjointed because of this. Last night’s RAW showed this. In the opening segment we had Rey Mysterio, Del Rio, Miz, and R-Truth come down. 1 face (Rey) and three heels. There’s only two major faces for the many heels on RAW. So many people are left without direction on the show.
  • Dolph Ziggler is one of these victims. He is wrestling matches against people but there is no storyline purpose to his actions. The audience has no reason to connect with him other than the fact he is announced by Vickie Guerrero. He’s lost all his identity. I can’t tell if it is part of a story or not.
  • Michael Cole’s storyline has gone on far longer than it should have. Bad guys get their comeuppance. He’s going to get his but there was no reason for it to have taken so long. He’s been a major part of RAW for about four months now. There’s nothing fresh. It’s the same old thing. WWE should have ended it earlier
  • The Miz is boring.
  • Alex Riley wrestled.
  • CM Punk didn’t do anything.
  • The New Nexus is still around. They have no purpose other than to get beat up and sell Nexus shirts.
  • John Morrison was recently injured and that hurt his program against R-truth. Truth has to focus on Rey for the next month while Morrison heals up. This leaves Del Rio with nothing to do.

What’s Right With It?

  • The triple threat match was good. Everyone looked good coming out of it.

What Should They Do?

  • Between Miz, Del Rio, and Truth, somebody has got to go to Smackdown.
  • Either move a face to RAW or build up Kofi Kingston more. There’s a big gap between Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio in terms of importance now. Fixing that gap could help RAW be a better show.

I know the WWE won’t read this, but I like writing about wrestling. It’s fun.