It's the old joke about the bowl of chili with the turd at the bottom. You eat it and you eat it and it's good and you keep eating until you get to the bottom and there's that petrified turd sitting there.
That was Raw on Monday night - an enjoyable night for the most part with quality matches (Bryan/Ziggler, Nikki/Paige), Sting cutting a pretty good promo, and some pretty well done celebrity spots with Bill Simmons and Snoop Dogg. Didn't actually find myself particularly bored. Granted, it still gets killed by a 2000-01 era Raw, but in these less-creative times, the show stood out like a 50,000-watt bulb
Until the ending.
Heyman goes into overdrive trying to sell this main event, venturing into uncharted talking waters by declaring that Reigns must assume Lesnar's life in every single respect in order to beat him (drawing some stone-faced confusion from Lesnar himself, which I'll guarantee was legit).
Then Reigns comes out and stares down the fellow beast. For the past month, they've cut the malarkey and let Reigns be straight-forward with his talk. No Looney Tunes catchphrases, no awkward 'make it rain in this bitch!' threats, nothing that would sound unnatural coming from a ''Samoan bad-ass" that has yet to find his amped-up voice at a comfortable level. He's been basic, but admittedly basic is lost on a crowd that isn't accepting him. Still, the best approach at this point for him is basic. Be humble, be honest, make good on your threats. Fans don't like poseurs. They can turn around on real eventually. And Reigns had gradually become real. Not real enough to swing the crowd behind him immediately, but it was a step in the right direction.
Reigns is mute here, perhaps for the best. Lesnar dangles the belt like a set of car keys as a taunt. Reigns snatches it. So far so good, you've portrayed Reigns as daring and bold, fearless even.
Then he and Lesnar have the worst tug-of-war this side of.....well, I don't know if I've ever seen a tug-of-war so shitty. At least the WWF vs. WBF Tug of War in 1992 didn't look like a silly pull-apart. It was more awkward than a baritone-sounding fart at a christening.
It like was like a three hour production of Beethoven's greatest compositions, and on the last note of the Ninth Symphony to close things out, the conductor projectile vomits all over his sheet music and collapses. Doesn't quite matter how good Fur Elise sounded an hour ago, does it?
After rebuilding Reigns to some degree, WWE just had to try too hard once more with Reigns, which tells me they have no reservations about making him champion on Sunday, and felt they needed that little push-over-da-cliff to get fans on his side. Just like 'Sufferin' Succotash', it was an utter dud.
No matter what happens on Sunday, I'll bet we don't forget the ending, good or bad. Just like tonight.