WWE Raw Supershow last night (Sept. 5) predominantly featured the ongoing feud between CM Punk, Triple H and Kevin Nash. We got a ton of storyline advancement, however anticlimactic it may have been. In fact, last night we got the big reveal of exactly who sent out the text message.
And oh how bad it was.
This feud had legs when it first started, even if there was a large contingent of smart marks and Internet pushers that hated the participation of Nash. Sure, they had good reason to be skeptical, but once you just sat back and gave it a chance, you could see they were building something worthwhile.
Then they blew it last night.
Not just blew it as in they had one bad night. But blew it as in they ruined the entire angle with some of the worst booking I've ever seen in my life. It was TNA, Vince Russo style booking, and it killed everything.
Let's break it down:
We'll start with the video package they aired at the beginning of Raw last night to bring everyone up to speed on how much has happened over the past few weeks to set everything up.
Super well produced and sufficient in its goal of both reminding the fan base of everything that's happened in the program and getting them pumped for what's to come. Which is the exact reaction I had after seeing it. And then CM Punk's music hit and I was ready for greatness.
What I got was garbage.
CM Punk spends a brief time reminding us that he's got no filter between his mouth and his brain and that he's still prone to saying things he's not supposed to. Except he's not really that guy anymore. He has yet to recapture the same feel he did during his infamous shoot-style promo on Raw this past July.
Nonetheless, he tells us he's still that guy before calling out Kevin Nash, who joins us looking as old and red as ever. He barely gets into his promo about how Triple H saved Punk from an ass whooping when he gets cut off and Punk goes into another big tirade bringing up every old gimmick Nash ever had. Mind you, these are gimmicks most of the fans today have no freaking clue about. Hell, some of them were so forgettable, even fans like myself barely remember them.
Punk keeps going, undeterred, and brings up the fact that Nash is using the same music he had back in 1996. Then he calls attention to the fact that the last time Nash was WWE champion was in 1994, the same year teen heartthrob Justin Bieber was born.
And then it hit me. Nash has been nothing more than a whipping boy since day one of his arrival back in WWE at SummerSlam. He's literally been buried at every turn. It's odd when one considers how brilliant of a backstage political player he's been throughout his career but every time he's been on TV, he's been embarrassed by Punk.
Normally, fine, I won't bleed for "Big Sexy." But what purpose does it serve? Seriously, how am I supposed to buy Nash as a legitimate threat to Punk if Punk keeps telling me not to. He's not putting Nash over as someone that might take him out and "leave him lying where he stands." He's absolutely killing the big man with his pipe bomb, destroying Nash's already fragile image.
When he's done doing so, Triple H hits the ring and quickly tells us he was alerted to some security footage from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Not the normal footage, mind you, just some back up stuff that no one remembered.
He tells us that after seeing this, he knows exactly who it is that snuck into his dressing room during SummerSlam and sent the text to Nash to "stick the winner" of the main event match between Punk and John Cena.
It was Nash, fans. It was Nash, all along.
Uh ... what!?!?!?!?
So you want me to believe that Nash snuck into Triple H's room in the back during a major show where "Trips" had conveniently left his phone and sent a text to himself to take out whoever won the main event? To what point and purpose?
Nash makes this worse by climbing into the ring like an 80-year-old cancer patient and confirms that he did exactly that. How does he explain doing such a thing?
"I made WWE cool again."
So his argument, I presume, is that his decision to send himself a text to take out the winner of the Summerslam main event was because he was going to make WWE cool again, and he accomplished that feat.
My question is: why would he need to send himself a text to do that? To set up this big angle where they play it out over the next few weeks and WWE gets the rub? So now we're doing full blown Russo storylines in which we're supposed to understand both what's happening on-screen AND what's happening off-screen in order to completely comprehend what we're watching every week.
This is a big enough problem and what I like to think of as the effective death of the entire angle. The text message was the big money reveal that had the most wiggle room for plot advancement. They could have had Stephanie McMahon be the one who sent the text and create an entirely new story off that. They could have had it be Johnny Laurinaitis who did it because he's trying to sabotage Triple H because he feels he should have been given the COO job. Hell, they could have had Laurinaitis do it because he's getting his strings pulled by Vince McMahon, who's trying to work his way back into power.
All of these options are a million times better than the alternative of Nash being the one who sent the text in order to "make WWE cool again." It made absolutely no sense and killed all the heat and intrigue they spent so much time building.
Shockingly enough, it gets worse.
On top of that (not so) big reveal, Nash tells Triple H he needs to decide between himself and Punk because the universe isn't big enough for the two of them. When "The Game" says fine, he'll do just that and hints at deciding to keep Punk, Nash acts enraged. He's extremely upset that Triple H would choose Punk over him because they're actually friends.
This would have been fine if they hadn't set it up just one week ago, that Nash would have no problem getting fired and sent home to collect all the money on his brand new guaranteed contract. Remember that? When he told Triple H that Laurinaitis had signed him to a deal, he told him he didn't care if he got fired because he would just sit home and get paid.
But suddenly this week he's upset at the idea.
Triple H ends up punching him and laying him out before telling him he's fired. Nash sits there distraught while the crowd chants the "hey, hey, hey, goodbye" song and Punk points and laughs at him.
What the fug was the point of all of this if you're just going to shit-can the guy the week after you hire him after he already said he didn't care about getting fired but now does?
They show Nash getting into a limo with Laurinaitis and driving off, which I suppose is designed to make us wonder what's going to happen next. Except they gave us every reason not to just minutes before.
At this point the entire angle is shot and they've killed every bit of intrigue involved in the whole thing. But it's not over just yet.
Directly after Punk wins his match with R-Truth later in the night, Triple H hits the ring with a full head of steam. The timing was weird as all hell, but whatever. Punk makes sure to remind us that he's STILL not buying it that Nash and "Trips" aren't in cahoots. If it turns out they are, it won't have much weight since Punk has been telling us as much all along but maybe that's me splitting hairs at this point.
Anyway, Triple H tells Punk, and remember, this is out of nowhere, that his issues with him are so personal that he doesn't just want a regular match. He wants a no disqualification match so he can "really hurt" him. He also makes veiled threats that he'll fire Punk after he stomps him. Punk responds by saying that's fine but he wants a stipulation of his own -- that if Triple H loses, he resigns as COO of the WWE.
<--- That's the space where I would put a head shaking emoticon.
Tell me, Cagesiders: What's the point of the gimmick match? What's the point of added stipulations? To enhance a match or feud that needed an extra push because it couldn't get over on its own merits. This is done mostly to continue longer running programs between the same guys in order to keep the matches fresh and add a bit of flavor to keep giving fans a reason to buy the pay-per-views.
Why is it a problem here? Because Punk and Triple H haven't had a match yet. Hell, Triple H hasn't even had a match since losing to Undertaker at WrestleMania. Is that not enough? Why water it down with a bunch of silly stipulations? And why already threaten Triple H's spot as the COO after he's only been on the job for what, a month now?
Making it a no disqualification served to completely give away the fact that Nash will be there at Night of Champions and he's going to interfere in the match in some capacity.
I can't stress enough how much of an utter and complete failure this was on all levels. I'm not sure they can save the angle in any way at this point. The disappointment is impossible to ignore because they were really on to something when they kicked this thing off.
Fade to black.