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AV Club Reviews RAW 1000

http://www.avclub.com/articles/wwe-monday-night-raw,82832/

I always enjoy the AV Club's rare forays into reviewing RAW, just to get the outsider perspective on it.  Although in all fairness, Lita's miscarriage wasn't forced, it was an accident that WASN'T SNITSKY'S FAULT.  

Comments

  1. SkulduggeryPotato60July 24, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    http://goo.gl/q4yQi

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  2. From the review I read it sounded like it would be utterly embarrassing to watch this show with  a non-fan. That was the point right? To try to get more eyes watching?

    So we give them...no wrestling to speak of? Terrible call backs to the worst stories in history (themselves an extension of said awful storyling?) Nostalgia acts that offer nothing in the long-term and are just sad to look at now?

    It sounds like, in an effort to get cheap lulz, they've elected to embrace all of their horrible history.

    Between ancient shitty Disqus and the poor state of the show I'm taking a break for the foreseeable future. Last time I said this it took a decade to come back.

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  3. Yeah but they are telling stories.

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  4. The reviewer lost me when he called Daniel Bryan a 'thoroughly dull nonentity'. Admittedly the angle's been poor, and last night was not a good place to jump in, but D-Bry has been consistently entertaining and hands-down been the most reliably excellent wrestler they have.  

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  5. That show wasn't about getting new people to watch. That was about giving older viewers who may have returned something to cling to. DX, Rock, JR, LIta and everything else (Sean Mooney? Seriously?) were callbacks to generations that have moved on to other things. 

    I honestly laughed for a full minute after Hand Young-Henry made his appearance. My girlfriend was so confused and I couldn't bring myself to explain it to her. 

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  6. Exactly. You couldn't bring yourself to explain it.

    Thus: Embarrassing.

    I guess that makes sense, I had thought they were promoting it for the last 3 months in an effort to pop a rating.

    If they just wanted old fans to tune in and be reminded of exactly why they don't watch, well, top notch work!

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  7. Christ wept, it's was RAW 1,000, what's all this in-depth discussion about? This read like the inner-most thoughts of Green Lantern Fan.

    ''Maybe they could hire Grant Morrison...'' FOR FUCK'S SAKE
    WWE 2012 is about enjoying the good bits and not letting the bad bits get to you. If you can't focus on the good bits of D-X reuniting or Mae Young and Mark Henry's kid returning whilst ignoring the short-matches then WWE is not for you.

    /rant

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  8. If they hired Grant Morrison, you'd get well written shows containing a bunch of characters he made up in his head and then forced the already established wrestlers to play with no explanation of why everything that happened before no longer matters, and it would take three viewings watching every episode straight through to understand what the hell the storyline even is.

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  9.  I imagine for a new viewer you could point out the fact that they set up Brock VS HHH at Summerslam, a potential Rock/Punk match in the future (and a definite Rock VS Champion match at the Rumble), a Punk heel turn, established a new GM, advanced the Jericho/Ziggler storyline, furthered an issue between Show and Cena, set up a possible Punk/Cena rematch due to the DQ ending, set up something involving Sheen and Bryan, introduced the character of Damien Sandow to a larger audience...but no, I guess they just catered to the past and didn't do anything for the future.

    Come on.

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  10.  Don't take this the wrong way because I like your comments and I don't disagree with the general "poor state of the show" idea...I too am frustrated in a lot of ways and might stop watching in the near future. But it sounds like you didn't even watch the show, which is fine, but you can't read random reviews and then say you know what the show was all about. There were a lot of nods to the past, yes, absolutely. There were also multiple future storylines set up, much more than you usually get on a regular Raw, with a HHH/Brock match officially booked, a Ziggler/Jericho feud advanced, a Rock VS Champion match confirmed for the Rumble, a Rock/Punk issue started, an advancement of the general Cena/Show/Punk thing that was starting last week, a big heel turn (which I don't like and is one of the things concerning me, but you can't say it's not a big deal), something set up between Sheen and Bryan (which I personally don't care about but it's still something set up for the future), a new GM announced, Miz winning the IC title likely setting up a Miz/Christian feud, etc.

    The May Young hand thing took all of 10 seconds. For those who saw the stupid storyline originally it was a funny little payoff thing. For the new fans they'll be confused for about 10 seconds and then it went on to a much longer segment that advanced things for the future. They talked about GTV for 10 seconds as a way to get Gene Okerlund on the show, and then the Rock interrupted and they set up a potential future match between Rock and Cena as well as establishing why he might run out at the end of the show. I think you're making way too much of the call backs, and I'm guessing it's because you didn't see the show and the review you read absolutely exaggerated how long those callbacks lasted and how much of the show was devoted to them. Not blaming you or jumping on you, just saying I'm not sure I'd take that review as gospel and the definitive explanation of everything that happened on the show. The DX "call back" was probably the longest one of the whole show, and even that introduced Damien Sandow's character to anyone who was just tuning in.

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  11. I love Morrison as much as anyone, but even I had to laugh at how true this is.

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  12. I watched the first hour and bailed.

    It was embarrassing.

    Trying to avoid explaining to my friends why Billy Gunn is called Mr. Ass and wears his shirts tied in the front like a prison faggot was embarassing.

    Charlie Sheen pretending to be a fan of wrestling because he was paid to do was embarrassing.

    Aj trying to act is embarrassing always. The Hand, and trying to avoid explaining it was the height of embarrassing.

    Sonic delivering to the announce table was embarrassing.

    The entire AJ/Bryan angle was fucking horrific and embarrassing. Slick was horrible and made me ashamed to be a fan, particularly when he started jiving to the What? chants.

    After that, I left to go watch baseball.

    You're right though, the rest of the horrible show I read via review. I wasn't going to sit through another two hours when the first hour did everything possible to shame me away from trying to get some of my friends to watch.

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  13. Your opinion is wrong, the Attitude/Hogan era was better, and the current stupid shit in wrestling is dumber than the previous stupid shit in wrestling.

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  14. I'm going to be dead honest, after the reveal of the Anonymous Raw GM and the showing of the Hand, I'm so hoping WWE just randomly starts revealing answers to mysteries we've long forgotten about/stopped caring. 

    For instance, who raised the briefcase? Any others?

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  15. Prison faggot?

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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  16. new disqus sucks.

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  17. I'm sorry you don't appreciate a spot-on comparison.

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  18. Real-time updating and messaging is terrible! We should go back to the telegraph.

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  19. That's...what I was trying to say. This period of WWE is generally bad, so either learn to love the good bits or stop watching it. Never mind critiquing the fucking thing like it's Being There or The Prisoner! Maybe that type of critique would have worked during the wonderful 2000 period where it really felt like a TV show with wrestlers playing good characters, but now? Pffffft.

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  20. I wish once, just ONCE, Vince would bring the legends back on Raw and actually treat them with reverence. Instead of Roddy Piper playing jump rope with Little Jimmy, or Duggan randomly walking through the hall with a 2x4, have a 2- or 3-minute feature on these guys with a couple old clips to show WHY they're so beloved by the older fans. Jim Ross is another one, but I also realize that's never gonna happen because Vince thinks it funnier to demean JR at every turn.

    You could argue that the Heath Slater bits (and other random matches where guys like Duggan, Slaughter, etc. appear) did that. But they gave the young crowd no context as to who these legends were, so some of them came out to no pop at all.

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  21. Big Boss Man raised the briefcase. 

    We still don't know who drove the Hummer, despite Sid Vicious debuting around the time to feud with Nash... to then reveal he wasn't the driver. I never understand that.

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  22. I honestly loved the Mae Young hand-child payoff. 

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  23. Christopher HirschJuly 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Didn't it end up being Eric Bischoff? Thought when he and Russo took over they referenced it.

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  24.  That stuck out like a sore thumb, but you do have to consider that the guy's not a regular viewer and hasn't seen any of D-Bry's better work.

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  25. The Love-Matic Grandpa!July 24, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    I watched the first part of the DX reunion (but only to see if they would actually put Chyna on live TV again) and I saw the Punk turn, which was actually well-done. Oh, and Steph beating up Paul Heyman, which made no sense and perfect sense at the same time. But they still haven't wooed me back as a regular viewer, and at this point I'm not sure there is anything they can do that would. WWE is very good at what it does, but what they do just doesn't interest me anymore.

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  26. The Love-Matic Grandpa!July 24, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Well, least there's the HOF. Legends are typically treated with reverence and respect during the induction ceremony, and are given a chance to carry themselves with dignity. Of course, the trade-off is being used as comedy fodder the other 364 days of the year...

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  27. To everyone who defends WWE, and says they're smart for not playing to the smart fans, or babble about money or whatever; that right there is how non-fans see modern day WWE wrestling...a big fat C-

    I'm sure no non-fans were converted, or that any old fans will decide to come back next week.

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  28. Were there 2 Doinks at Wrestlemania 9, or was it all an illusion?

    Who was that photographer whose exploding camera cost Hulk Hogan the title to Yokozuna?

    if they answer either I will never question anything ever again

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  29.  Ha, my cousin use to play bass in a punk band called Prison Faggot.  But then they went Christian and changed their name to Hell Faggot.  They weren't very good, either way.

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  30. its too modern for my computer. Im not able to post.

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  31. Boo.

    Hopefully they figure it out or something because if everyone could use the new version it would rule, live threads are like...epic with that shit

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  32. Hacksaw Duggan was never treated with reverence in his prime.  His entire WWF run, he has always behaved like a mildly retarted man-child.

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  33. I definitely got a chuckle out of that.

    And I explained the whole thing, how bad it was, to my wife without embarassment.

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  34. Bryan is an acquired taste though.  I though that he was dull in every way for the longest time personality wise, but he grows on you.

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  35. I like how they're like "Well...but we have to keep the Faggot part! That's  money!"

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  36. Forgot limeys can't read sarcasm.

    My comment was a parody of 90% of the comments on this blog dude.  I actually like modern wrestling, it's called DVR.

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  37. I like Morrison but man, getting through Final Crisis is HARD.

    I wonder if they would ever try comic book writers. The top-level guys work on multiple books and many have made the leap to TV and film as well. 

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  38. I really enjoyed Dark Knight Rises.

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  39. Dude, we all know you're not going anywhere until you hit 2000 posts.

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  40. Q: What do you get when you cross a retired ladies wrestler with a cow?
    A: Moo Young.

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  41. While I was never a big fan of Hacksaw Duggan he was someone taken seriously during his WWF run. He was one of the top mid-card babyfaces whose role was to play the patriotic hero. He often either faced the big heels either before their big runs against the top faces or just after they faced the top faces. Not a bad place to be all things considered. Heck it's not a bad idea to have someone who holds Hacksaw's place on the card today.

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  42. Oh, of course not! My post count here defines me! I didn't say I was going anywhere, I just won't be watching Raw anymore. Heavens no, I can't leave this place, I'd have no feeling of self-worth anymore.

    3 weeks in a row my kids have gotten bored enough with it to walk away from the TV.

    They'll watch static.

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  43. You will not leave here.

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  44. I didn't say I would so...yes...you are very perceptive.

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  45. Glad to see someone stand up for Duggan

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  46. I wish I knew what just happened.

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  47. You have been Night'd.

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  48. Why does this keep happening to me?!? Wtf??!

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  49. Also: Dude seriously 2,000? I'll have 10k by Wrestlemania easy. Stand back! There's a bored stay-at-home dad/part-time graphic designer coming through!

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  50. I like the way the article calls Jack Swagger "an obvious jobber." Heh.

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  51. Sure, I wouldn't dispute his position on the card, but he's always acted just the same.  Tongue out, thumbs up, carrying lumber, toughguy, hooo!

    And that's exactly what he did last night.

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  52. Limeys can't read sarcasm? We invented sarcasm as a sport, good sir. We're shite at Netiquette though, but we're not alone so it's OK.

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  53. my favorite hacksaw moment was when he was summoned to janitorial duties in wcw.... classic

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  54.  For reals. Even though I work full time out of the house, my wife works nights so I'm home with the kid most nights of the week, and it is SO easy to just waste time on here while the kid is running around watching TV or whatever. The Smark Dad demographic is a woefully under-appreciated one.

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  55. I always hate when Myles McNutt on AV Club or John Cheese on Cracked or Masked Man on Grantland try to review wrestling in that weird floating tone where they act like they're transcribing it for people who've never seen a wrestling show in their life while at the same time peppering in hyper-specific references and insidery terms like "jobber". That just makes it a slog for anyone who does know wrestling and kind of confusing for anyone who doesn't and serves no one. Plus ten internets for the Snow Crash and Party Down references (although one serves the other, really).

    PS: I comment on AV Club as BoyHowdy, and anyone who gets that reference is a million times cooler than anyone who doesn't.

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  56.  I'm drawing a line between the Party Down reference and Adam Scott saying something similar to that on Parks & Rec, but I gotta be overthinking it.

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  57. My favorite posts are these: Wow you post a lot you must be a horrible parent, your kids are doomed, yadda yadda yadda.

    It's tough explaining to non-parents the old Louis CK joke, "If you didn't learn to ignore them you'd go INSAAAAAANE."

    I guess those other people put A LOT of thought into their posts, I don't, it's a wrestling blog lol

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  58. Snitsky's Condoms: Because if she gets pregnant, it's not your fault.

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  59.  Dude, hell yeah. Unless I have her outside or something, it's easier to do this and then be able to jump up & take care of some random calamity she's causing or at least to let her watch the TV than if I'm playing a video game that I can't pause, or have my bass out and have to put it back in the case, or whatever.

    We need a separate Smark Dad blog, lol.

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  60. No, Bischoff drove the Hummer.

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  61. The WWF had hologram technology 20 years before
    Coachella.

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  62. I could care less what you think!

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  63. Does static still exist?  I thought that that was an artifact of analog television.

    I'd actually watch some static, for old time's sake.

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  64. I had always believed that static itself was the various radio/other waves coming off the sun. That's why it was always there and got stronger the further you got from what was transmitting the signal.

    (I.e. the signal from the tower was stronger than the signal from the sun...until you got too far away from the tower...)

    I'm also half-retarded.

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  65. But the digital signal cancels it out, so now you would never actually see it...

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  66. Oh...right. I bet if you plugged in a regular old antenna though you'd still get all static no?

    I mean, it's still there it's just that we cannot perceive it with our feeble human senses.

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  67. Well, it's probably all the beans on toast that's killing your eyesight, couldn't read what I wrote clearly.

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  68. I had no idea the Hummer driver was revealed! This is a weird feeling.

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  69. Dammit Mike, you're supposed to be making more Coin Man sketches for my amusement.

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  70.  On the topic of wrestling mysteries:

    Was Owen Hart supposed to win the I-C title on the night that he died?

    Was Eddie Guerrero supposed to win the WHC on the night that he died?

    Was Chris Benoit supposed to win the ECW Championship during the weekend that he died?

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  71. While acknowledging up front that I didn't write this particular review, and have only written about wrestling once on the site and therefore somewhat push back against the notion of "always," I do think the reviews get trapped between the two discourses. However, what's the alternative? If I defined terms like "jobber" the smarks would have my head, and if I didn't use them at all I'd be labeled a rube by the same people. In the age of google, anyone interested enough to be confused by a particular term can pop it in the search bar, get lost in a web of wikipedia links, and immerse themselves in the culture as they see fit.

    I think it ultimately comes down to, as Scott notes in starting this post, the idea that we only check in occasionally—if we did this every week I'd welcome any and all ridicule, but it happens seldom enough that the liminal discourse is the only way to speak to both potential audiences (the smarks and the curious) and give both a room to engage in the comments. The potential pitfalls of this are a big part in why none of us take it on week-to-week, but I think it's the perspective that works best for these occasional drop-ins.

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  72. To be fair, anyone would look like a non-entity if the biggest star on the show just mocked you as an Oompa Loompa.

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  73. Pardon me for butting in, but trying to AVOID explaining the Hand?  If you don't get that the Hand can a fun thing TO explain (if you know how to retell the story the right way), then maybe you'd be better off watching Hawaii Five-O next Monday.

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  74. I've never read this guy before, but I don't think he counts as a "non-fan". He's more of a lapsed smark, as opposed to a legitimate casual observer.

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  75. I think it's been confirmed that Owen and Benoit were going to win their respective titles. Eddie wasn't going to win his match, it was just a comment by Steph on his tribute show that everyone took literally.

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  76. Holy Crap, an AV Club reviewer posting on the Blog of Doom!

    will you be recapping the what looks to be a particularly horrible 9th season of The Office?

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  77. Yeah, I get that impression too, but my point remains the same. WWE seems to be under the impression that actual wrestling only appeals to wrestling nerds (us), and have tons of Sortz Entertainment schmaltz to appeal to non-fans/lapsed fans.

    And then in this article (however much knowledge of wrestling the writer has doesn't matter it's written in the voice of someone who doesn't watch pretty much for people who don't watch) the writer wonders where the actual wrestling is, and seems put-off by the talking and other nonsense.

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  78. Oh man that was great

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  79. Fall assignments are still up in the air, so I don't know how I'll be spending my Thursday evenings quite yet.

    And while I don't follow wrestling regularly, there's probably trace evidence of my time at Scott's old haunts kicking around the internet somewhere, so this isn't so out of character. Thanks for reading!

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  80. I'd be interested in how you explain the history of the hand without feeling utterly embarrassed to be a viewer of this shit.

    You know what's funny? People around these parts would call Kardashian viewers mindless dolts...

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  81.  It had been hard rumored before that, I think, because people took Steph's comment to make it official.

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  82. Holy shit I'm gonna be honest, I never thought you'd actually read that. I apologize, because I thought you were pretty much "the" wrestling guy over there, maybe some of the other articles that have covered it on there were by other people & I erroneously attributed them to you. Still my criticism is mainly of the writing style, which has been around before you and probably will be afterward. It's not so much a knock on your talent as a knock on the idea that it needs to be tailored toward people who don't already know what the frame of reference for the article is. It's not something that is usually done on AV Club when talking about, say, Community, although I do grasp that the wrestling fan demo on AV Club is probably much smaller. I take the same offense when people bitch that certain wrestlers don't have "crossover appeal" or whatever to appeal to non-fans, because that's not generally something that other forms of entertainment concern themselves with and it just serves to make us look like "lesser" entertainment fans. For what it's worth, I'd imagine, almost everyone who'd bother to click on an AV Club article about WWE is probably already a wrestling fan to begin with, and most people who aren't probably won't bother reading about it, so fuck 'em anyway.

    Still I do want to say I very much enjoy your work and don't want you to take that criticism as an indictment of your writing style, just a loaded argument from a wrestling fan. And, yknow, if you ever hear anything about them needing more music writers....

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  83. Nope you got the gist of it.

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  84. Seriously what is wrong with you two. Who the fuck posts that much on a wrestling blog?
    :D

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  85. Heh, no need for an apology—I wasn't posting to trap you, just to start a conversation. I think you're right that there's a certain double standard around wrestling compared to other forms of comparatively niche entertainment (although I disagree with Dennis that the WWE is necessarily outside of the mainstream, and would actually challenge his definition of mainstream given that it doesn't include NASCAR), and I do sort of think—with all respect to Dennis—that this particular piece struggled a bit in walking that fine line I describe above. Frankly, for me the story for Raw 1000 was less about the storylines—which outside of the main event were basically elided—and more about the show's longevity, the show's increasing importance to USA with the move to three hours (despite the company's inability to fill three hours effectively that often), and the role of nostalgia and "serialized entertainment" for a show that's been running so long (see: Mae Young's hand son). But that's basically stripping away the "smark" perspective ihe goal is always n favor of swallowing the WWE into a more general analysis of the television industry (treating it as a standalone event), which is itself an act of assimilation.

    My approach when I wrote about Raw, though, was to largely "float" above the smark perspective until the bullet points at the bottom, and then open the conversation about Punk/Rock, or Cena/Big Show, or AJ/Bryan. Knowing the smark audience existed, that became a way to say "This is a safe space for you to start these conversations and link to YouTube clips" without necessarily removing the review itself from a more general form of television criticism. I don't think it's a perfect approach, but it's a compromise I found fairly effective.

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