WWE Monday Night Raw Recap – Mexican Heat. It’s Like American Heat, But Mexican
Last night saw Monday Night Raw take place in Laredo, Texas, which sits on the border with Mexico. The crowd had some fun chanting some things in Spanish, like Daniel Bryan’s “Yes!” chants, to the joy of pretty much everyone. Myself included.
If Daniel Bryan ever needs to change it up, and I think he’s going to get to that point by SummerSlam, switching to “Si” might buy him some time before he comes up with something else. But more importantly, there was also an interesting language incident that occurred when Alberto Del Rio came to the ring.
For those of you who don’t know, Del Rio is essentially Lucha Libre royalty. His father was the great Dos Caras, and Del Rio used to wrestle under the name of Dos Caras Jr. when he was coming up in the different Mexican wrestling leagues. Del Rio is also the nephew of WWE Hall Of Fame, and Lucha Libre great, Mil Máscaras. So, although I can’t say for sure, I don’t think it’s a huge cognitive leap to suggest that the crowd was already familiar with Del Rio, and they made sure to let him know it when they showered him with boos on his way to the ring. As far as anyone can tell by only watching on television, Del Rio was the most hated man on Raw last night, and that’s a beautiful thing because that’s how it should be.
But then WWE decided that Del Rio was going to face off against Sin Cara, who was better known as lucha great Mistico during his days in Mexico. Instead of an awesome showdown, which would have gone a long way to showing the television crowd that Del Rio is more than “El JBL,” an annoying and slightly racist moniker some fans have labeled him with since his WWE arrival, Del Rio assaulted Sin Cara before the match and put him in his cross arm breaker maneuver. Eventually, it was broken up, and the crowd took out their frustration in not seeing this awesome match on Del Rio, shouting something in Spanish that was only briefly acknowledged by Michael Cole. Lawler asked what they were shouting, and Cole said something like, “I can’t translate it on air.”
That was the most “heat” (that’s internet wrestling cool guy speak for the crowd hating on someone) I’ve ever seen for Del Rio, and because I don’t speak Spanish, I have no idea what they were shouting. And that’s the shame here because even though it might be something derogatory (have you seen Camacho and Jinder Mahal’s characters for Christ’s sake? We're not winning any points for political correctness here), this could be something other crowds could jump on with Del Rio. And that’d go a long way to making him relevant again because right now? He’s not. Alberto Del Rio is awesome, and he’s a great bad guy, but there’s just something about the character now where it doesn't seem to connect with the audience.
It’s a shame that in a company called WORLD Wrestling Entertainment that they wouldn’t jump on whatever it is the crowd was shouting, maybe twist it into something a bit more family friendly for Smackdown (because you know they manipulate the crowd sound on Smackdown!) and just run with it. Give people something they can chant at Del Rio the same way Daniel Bryan has the YES chant to get people excited about him coming out.
Who cares that it's in Spanish? Come up with something family friendly, and I'll shout it too.
5 Thoughts On Tonight’s Edition Of Monday Night Raw
1. It’s hard to remember a time when John Cena was good on the microphone. There was a long stretch of time where I just wasn’t watching WWE anymore, which began not too long after he showed up on the scene as the angriest white rapper in the world, and maybe in that gap I’ve missed some stuff, but God damn he’s terrible now. He’s almost on Triple H’s level in putting viewers through an endurance contest of “how long can I listen to this before I start questioning how much time I spend watching professional wrestling?”
He tries to be funny. He’s not. He tries to be serious. He’s not convincing. He tries to be cute (see: last week’s 'Star Wars' promo). He’s not. Even during his feud with The Rock, everything The Rock said came down to “Cena, I think you’re gay,” and Cena’s come back was, “You’re not around anymore, so how would you know?” And they took an entire year to say that to each other!
This is a guy who cut a promo at the start of a Wrestlemania (I want to say 19? It was the one at Safeco Field in Seattle) where he was talking about how he was going to main event next year’s Wrestlemania, and he was convincing. But man, we’ve come a long way from that, haven’t we?
Cena is now in Hulk Hogan territory although he doesn’t provide anywhere near the unintentional hilarity Hogan did.
2. Chris Jericho looks like David Bowie around the time David Bowie did 'Labyrinth.'
(The promo Jericho and Daniel Bryan did at the end of the show where Bryan would yell “Yes!” and Jericho would shout “Again!” was by far the greatest thing I have ever seen on television, and it should be made into an animated GIF and preserved in our collective memory until the day humanity ends.)
3. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler were way better tonight. Cole didn’t do his “I’m a bad guy, so let me say stupid stuff to make my own company and characters look bad because if I don’t, Vince McMahon is going to challenge me to an arm wrestling contest and call me a wenis for the next seven months” thing, and even Jerry Lawler wasn’t totally useless. I used to be such a fan of Lawler back when he was playing the part of Bobby the Brain Heenan and playing off McMahon and, to a lesser extent as time went on, Jim Ross, but he just seems like he just graduated from the Chris Jericho School of Phoning It In, and that’s just bad for everyone. I’d love to see them go with Booker T and Michael Cole on Raw, mostly because Booker T mangles the English language so badly that it’s hilarious every time Cole laughs at him, and that’s the kind of thing that'd make three hours of Monday Night Raw watchable every week.
4. Naomi was only on screen for like, thirty seconds, and during that time she had to share the screen with a bunch of wild, ugly children that nobody likes but somehow got into the ring anyway to dance for the Funkasauruas. And I know I mentioned it last week, but if you imagine the Funkasaurs as a pedophile, it makes those kids dancing in front of him way creepier, and thus, more entertaining.
Don’t worry Naomi, you’re going to be dancing both in my heart and mind tonight, but mostly my mind because my heart isn’t into some of the freaky stuff my mind is.
5. I’m not going to talk much about the CM Punk / AJ / Daniel Bryan thing. I’m enjoying it, and I’ve let you know that over the past few Monday Night Raw write-ups, so instead I’m going to talk about the fact that there’s a new WWE commercial promoting Monday Night Raw starting at a new time in the end of July (8pm), and the WWE TV spots are some of my favorite things that the company does. Remember the original Super Bowl spot that they did during the Attitude Era? The commercials just have a “This is Sports Center” feel to them, and it’s kind of a fun thing seeing the different wrestlers doing goofy stuff. Even if the joke in the new commercial is kind of lame (John Cena mishears Vince McMahon saying eight, which leads to a bunch of play on word gags), it’s still fun and I really enjoyed it.
WWE: Please do more of these. It even makes Triple H seem likable, and do you have any idea how hard that's been to do since 2002?