Twas the Raw before Christmas, with the arena was stirring and loud.
The stage was littered with presents, and a legend was out to entertain the crowd.
Cena and Seth Rollins had both come out to ask for different things,
but is this what Austin meant when he talked about three hour shows and brass rings?
Ho Ho Hogan was asked for many gifts, deciding that a match would fix this.
Cena won though, causing Rollins fans and myself to let out a low hiss.
Shock and awe from a few, as Golddust was pinned by a costumed bull;
I am getting the feeling that The New Day has no bakcstage pull.
Dolph stole the show, all while grinning, like only bad boys do,
against the vicious and creepy Luke Harper, it’s been a great month for those two.
Piper’s Pit played host to a couple of communist Scrooges for a chat;
causing Ryback to come down in a bow, looking stupid, unintimidating, and fat.
King wore a hideous sweater to the ring, causing my to facepalm,
But thankfully the divas came out, and with that black hat, Paige looked awesome.
Roman Reigns and Big Show were counted out and stunk up the place,
But Wyatt came out to save the day by singing and getting hit in the face.
Michael Cole couldn’t say Miracle on 34th Street fight;
Ambrose does not like to lose around Christmas, so he made it right.
It was not a bad special episode, of a show that has been hurting in a strong way,
But I am thankful this season that NXT exists as real wrestling, to save the day.
I am in no way a great poet, but tis the season, and I wanted to put this English degree to use for something other than writing angry letters. I had considered writing my usual wrap-up about the Raw holiday special, but I am not much of a Christmas cheer person, so the episode was already in the tank for me. I think the poem sums it up adequately though, and I have a better discussion for my readers to argue over once they are done with family time.
This week I listened to Chris Jericho interview Ryback on his radio show. I have been pretty vocal about wanting to like The Big Guy, but it is hard to do. I do not blame Ryan Reeves entirely, because much of what sticks out as bad about him can be blamed on booking and misguided attempts at character development. The cowboy gimmick that he began with on NXT did Ryback no favors with the fans, saved only by his time with the Nexus. Coming back from a career threatening injury gave him another chance at his current gimmick, which brought on Goldberg comparisons and a lot of ‘boring’ chants. It did not help that his wrestling skills seemed lacking as well, making news multiple times for botching and hurting top stars. I think we have all heard the recent claims from CM Punk and I laughed so hard when Paul Heyman recently said, “Ryback hurts people.” The man is also just a mess on Twitter. If I am being honest, I am a little surprised he is still with the company, but since his last absence it seems things are looking a bit brighter for him.
I was thumbing through Twitter disappointedly the other day when I saw a discussion about Ryback that was spawned from something the WNS account said. This in turn started a dialogue between Krysti and me, who argued that she was actually a Ryback fan, so I wanted to put her to task and see if she could change my opinion of the big lug and this line stuck out to me.
“I like him because he is big, dumb, a goof, and like he eats all day and does shit like, “O’Doyle Rules” after doing something he thinks is awesome.”
Kudos for not having to think too long on the Billy Madison reference, but there is something more important in this statement. WWE has been attempting to build Ryback as an intimidating, hungry, unstoppable force since his return, and that does very little for me, because it is boring and I am just waiting for him to mess something else up. Perhaps I am looking at him all wrong though. The idea that Ryback is just a big dumb jock, who secretly likes to goof around and is always stuffing his face backstage actually gives him some better character. Before I am crucified over this (wrong holiday, I know that is Easter, but still) I do not mean that should be his primary character, but rather additions to show multiple layers and make me as a fan care more about him. Therefore, whether he wins and stuffs someone in a locker to celebrate, or loses and goes home to eat a gallon of ice cream and wallow in self-pity, it adds a little something. Okay, so that may be a stretch, but the point I am getting to is that with a few dropped character traits Krysti almost had me caring about a wrestler I had pretty much written off.
Looking back over some of his matches, Ryback’s in-ring work has certainly improved, and though I do not wish to call Punk a liar, I am inclined to agree that it does not appear the man is as bad as previously described. However, I would not completely count on WWE to realize when someone is a risk to their other performers. In my haste to dismiss him I think I overlooked some of Ryback’s potential. He fits the mold WWE likes; I mean, he is The Big Guy, and his character does not require him to be a maestro on the mic, just to sound fierce and passionate. Something still is not letting me completely change my tune about the old silverback though, a concern that I should stick with my initial impressions. Like in many cases with wrestling though, I would kind of like to be wrong.
I am interested to know what everyone else thinks though. Objectively, does Ryback have a bright future, or is this just one of many tries destined to fail? Bonus points for whoever starts a pool on which superstar he hurts next. The only other thing I wanted to mention this week is that I would love to see recent events maneuver Natalya in for a few title matches and a potential reign. That would be a good Christmas present for me.
Until next time, happy whatever you celebrate or do in December!
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