Best: Duane And Katarin Are 16 And In Love!
Reminder: the most evil characters on this show are two extremely successful people who love each other.
Worst: Not A Single Goddamn Second Of This Makes Sense
1. Stephanie McMahon brings out Nikki Bella dressed like a baked potato and offers her a shot at the Divas Championship. This is the only thing in the entire segment that works, because Steph’s rewarding heel Nikki for having her back against Brie, and Nikki’s an opportunistic jerk who doesn’t deserve it. So that should make us mad, and does.
2. Enter Brie Bella, who is showing up to do … well, the exact same thing she did last week. She basically just says “HOW COULD YOU NIKKI” a few times and makes this face:
Also, they both keep saying literally as “linnerly” and neither of them knows what it means.
3. Enter AJ LEE. At this point your brain is probably going YEAH AJ, PIPE BOMB THEM, BOMB THEM WITH PIPES. All she needed to do was show up, launch into another one of those “Total Divas ladies are models who don’t like wrestling and have the combined brain power of a wagon” and the crowd would go YEAH SHE’S RIGHT, because yeah, she’s right. The two best (and worst) examples of that are Nikki and Brie Bella, slowly remembering their lines about FORGIVENESS and BETRAYAL and setting up storylines for a reality show that caused the one women’s match on the program to end via PILE OF FUSSY WOMEN. Instead of doing that, she gets in Stephanie’s face about what constitutes a #1 Contender. That brings out Paige, who wanders out because she’s the only lady left on the show.
4. Paige says “I’m the Divas Champion,” then moves into a position behind one of the Bella Twins. For “no reason.”
5. Nikki Bella starts going full Harry and the Hendersons, swatting at her and being all, GO, GET OUT OF HERE, WE DON’T WANT YOU. Nikki wants Brie to quit and never come back because Brie always hogs the spotlight, which I guess is why when Brie quit the first time Nikki kept inviting her to the show, getting her front row tickets and letting her hang out backstage. Brie shoves Nikki into Paige, who has to fall down and act unconscious because a Bella grazed her. Note: she’s too hurt to get up, but not too hurt to visibly reach up and keep the Divas Championship from falling out of the ring, because AJ will need that later.
6. AJ grabs the belt and parades around until Stephanie orders her to give it up. Because Stephanie is Stephanie, and as much as I love her lately, letting her around a group of Divas is a terrible idea. Not only does she tower over them, she cannot exist within proximity of them without pointing out how much stronger and better and more important she is. It goes from “fun heel doing her job well” to “person who frustrates me in a way that makes me disappointed with broader issues,” aka the reason Stephanie was my least favorite wrestling character for a decade.
7. Every single person in the crowd goes fffffffuuuuuuuuuuu end the segmenttttt
Best: This Guy Gets It
Let’s all just stay at home and watch Nitro.
Worst: Mark Henry Doesn’t Remember The Particulars Of His Own Hall Of Pain
Rusev squashes Zack Ryder and that’s all well and good, but I’ll care about Men’s Rights before I’ll care about a Zack Ryder match in 2014.
After the match, Mark Henry shows up and threatens to induct Rusev into the Hall of Pain. He says he’s “opening an international wing” especially for Rusev. If I can put my PERSON WHO REMEMBERS THINGS hat on for a second, the Hall of Pain’s already full of international guys. In fact, you can go to WWE.com and take a virtual tour of it and see Sheamus (from Ireland) and Vladimir Kozlov (from RUSSIA) as inductees. KOZLOV. You inducted the ONLY OTHER GUY TO EVER BE EXACTLY LIKE RUSEV, Mark. THE GUY’S NAME WAS “VLADIMIR.” How could you forget that? Pay attention to your own extracurricular endeavors, dude.
Best: KILL EVERYONE, STARDUST
YEAH, DO IT.
The only highlight between Heath Slater getting double-legged by a rabbit and the end of the show is the continued heel turn of the Rhodes Brothers, who are excellent as unhinged maniacs who are also internally just sick to shit of WWE happenstance and politics. Stardust being affable and saying “it’s okay!” a bunch of times before turning into a velociraptor and mauling Jey Uso’s leg with a chair is wonderful, as is Goldust finally just telling people to shut up and get out of his face. I want these guys to stay gold and hurt people forever. That’s probably the final evolution of Dustin Rhodes … make him that country fried brawler who hates everyone they tried and failed to get over periodically for years, only inside the body of Goldust. Stardust can just be Slender Man.
In a perfect world, we use the Rhodeses as an updated Steve Williams and Terry Gordy, where they really don’t care what bullshit story you’re in the middle of, they are here to punch and stomp you to death and win wrestling matches. If we don’t give Cody Rhodes a real, sustainable edge before he turns 30, what’s the damn point?