– Welcome to my second ever Best And Worst Of WWE [Insert Older Pay-per-view Show Title Here] report. The first effort, in case you missed it, was last month’s Best And Worst Of Royal Rumble 2000. That went over pretty well, even if it burned me out so much I couldn’t do a report for the 2012 edition, and Elimination Chamber is only a few years old so let’s consider “February PPV” time sensitive.
– Comments are appreciated. Clicking “like” is appreciated, tweets and retweets are appreciated, showing and sharing this to and with the people you know are appreciated. Older show reports are sketchy because nobody’s googling for them, so our traffic goes way down and they take like 80 hours to write, so why bother? But I WANT to write them, so if you support them and make them a success, I’ll keep cranking them out. At least make me popular enough to do a Best And Worst of that Glory Days Of Wrestling tin I bought at Half Price Books for like negative 2.99.
– Don’t forget to come back on Sunday and participate in our open discussion thread for Elimination Chamber 2012, happening live. I won’t be around for it, as I’ll be at ACW’s show in San Antonio, but I’ll be back in time to skim through and steal your jokes.
– A.J. was only three years old when this pay-per-view happened so she is not featured, but don’t worry, this is when the Divas were nearly naked 24/7, so if you’re That Guy you’ll enjoy it anyway.
But for now, please enjoy the Best And Worst Of WWE No Way Out 2007.
Best: I Think You Can See Her Kidneys
A lot of wrestling fans who hung on to WWF when the Attitude Era ended and the dreaded E arrived cite 2007 as the year when things started to go bad. As someone who has been watching wrestling for three decades I can assure you that wrestling has ALWAYS been bad, but 2007 is when a lot of people gave up. My theory: Divas started getting forced into pants around here, and by 2008 we’d lost the two greatest physical contributions to WWE television:
1. Trying to look under Mickie James’ skirt when she went for pinfalls
2. Melina’s proper split ring entrance
Anyway, the idea I’m trying to get across is that there’s no point in denying women athleticism and legitimacy in favor of cheesecake taint shots unless you’re willing to allow them the cheesecake taint shots. Being all “look how sexy this is!” while making everyone look stupid and unsexy is a waste of time. The second idea I’m trying to get across is “holy sh*t look at Melina’s vagina”.
Best: Team Future Endeavors Vs. Team F**king Up Our Legacies
The opening match of the show is MNM (Joey Mercury dressed as Mankind because he’s a month removed from having his face shredded with a ladder, and John Morrison back when he was Johnny Nitro) teaming with Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) to face Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy during that weird period where they started teaming again and felt too much like adults to be “Boyz” so they were just “The Hardyz” and
Worst: Chris Benoit Is Fine, But His Selling Makes Me Uncomfortable
There’s no point in turning the No Way Out 2007 report into “here’s what I think happened with Chris Benoit”, so the short version is that Benoit was my favorite wrestler in the world from like 1995 until 7 PM or so on June 24, 2007. I can think objectively enough to not pretend like what he did made him a terrible wrestler, but I’m also not dispassionate enough to watch a match he’s in without feeling creeped-the-hell-out throughout.
So yeah, this is a completely and totally all right six-man tag team match to start a pro wrestling pay-per-view. I think MNM is one of the great lost gimmicks of WWE, especially when they could’ve pulled a Federline and been the kayfabe catalyst for hooking up assumedly heel General Managers with A-list celebrities for Raw hosting gigs. It protected Morrison’s eventual pointless flashiness, gave Joey Mercury something to do besides shave his head and vanish from the Earth and shielded us from the knowledge that Melina would go drug-eyes and burst into tears as a stimulus response to f**king anything. The Hardyz are the Hardyz, like them or not, and one of my favorite things to do for a 10-spot of wrestling years was watch Benoit reverse sh*t into the Crossface for a finish.
He does that here, and man, I bet I really would’ve liked it.
Worst: JBL’s Stunted Commentary
WWE Champion JBL was great. I liked his act, I liked his car (I always end up supporting guys with car entrances, for whatever reason), I liked his faux-Dallas entrance theme. In fact, if you ignore his career between 1992 and 2003 I like everything he did, including (and sometimes especially) his color commentary with Michael Cole. Maybe it’s just the way he says “Michael”. MYcull!
Rewatching these shows years later allow me to take myself out of the moment more easily, and I noticed something really, really grating about JBL’s commentary — how he never sounds like he’s saying something off the top of his head. He’s got these little speeches prepared and sometimes he’ll be silent for a minute or so and then just burst into these longwinded YOU KNOW SOMETHING MYCULL NOBODY HERE RESPECTS CHAVO GUERRERO HE’S A LATIN WARRIOR HIS NAME MEANS WARRIOR THESE PEOPLE BLAGH BLAGH BLAGH and it comes out of NOWHERE and then he just stops, and Cole continues this thing and we wait for the next one.
To put it another way, he’s babyface announcer Matt Striker in the body of a shouty heel. That’s … not a fantastic combination.
Worst: WWE Cruiserweight Wrestling
You’ll hear a lot of people complain about how WWE handles cruiserweights, and how they should renew their focus on smaller, more athletic wrestling to appease the huge sect of wrestling fans who love high flyers like Rey Mysterio. They should, yes, on paper. But no, they really shouldn’t.
Why? Because THIS is what it looks like when WWE runs a cruiserweight division. Similarly to what happens when they tell you they’re gonna focus on the women or tag teams and don’t because they don’t have the attention span to do two things at once, WWE’s interpretation of the style WCW made popular in the United States (truefax) is “smaller guys wrestling like the bigger guys plus dropkicks”. How else can you explain a “Cruiserweight Open” with Scotty 2 Hotty, Jamie Noble and Shannon Christ On A God Damned Cracker Moore as the participants?
They were just as sad in the 90s. When WCW was bringing in guys like Mysterio and Jushin Thunder Liger, WWE was bringing in Great Sasuke and immediately ditching him for a TAKA Michinoku push with good intentions that ended with culturephobic lip-synching and Val Venis almost getting his pee-pee choppy-choppy. Essa Rios was fine and all but I can’t fap it to Los Super Astros if I know it’s gonna culminate with a leprechaun retiring as champ.
This blows, is what I’m saying.
Best: OH SH*T MUHAMMAD HASSAN IS HERE
Worst: Wait, It’s Just F**king Daivari
I love Muhammad Hassan’s entrance music for its lasting connotation of UH OH SOMEBODY’S INTERRUPTING US WE GOTTA BOO THE SH*T OUT OF WHOEVER THIS IS and do not appreciate it getting handed-me-down to the guy whose only contribution to wrestling was a splash with a carpet who stopped splashing people with his carpet.Subscribe to UPROXX
That was my ringtone for almost two years. I’d hit “play” on it when I snuck up on people, or in the middle of conversations I didn’t want to be a part of. “Voices” is currently the only theme that comes close to being as good for this.
Worst: Post-Hurricane Shane Helms
I can only think of one wrestler I’d like to see less in 2007 than the post-Hurricane, pre-drunk driving into somebody’s YouTube channel “Shining Wizard means jumping and kicking a guy” sunglasses TitanTron and do-rag-ass shorts Gregory Helms.
Unfortunately that person is also in this match.
Worst: Post-Birth Shannon Moore
The first chapter of the Book Of DILLIGAF is just pictures of the crowd when Shannon Moore is wrestling. I don’t think there’s a wrestler who doesn’t wear a puff-painted tank top with NASTY across the front who’s gotten more mileage out of being friends with popular wrestlers than Shannon Moore. Think about the best Shannon Moore match you’ve ever seen. Now imagine Moore being replaced by anyone in that match. Would that’ve made it worse?
The only moment I can think of where Moore was indispensable was when CM Punk called him a poser and smacked him in the face for whimpering through a Justin Timberlake lyric on ECW. Shannon Moore The Wrestler is asshole on a plate.
Worst: The Most Compelling Person In This Match Is A Joke About Asians
Maybe I should’ve picked a show that didn’t happen in 2007.
Anyway, can you think of a decent, high-flying wrestler of Asian heritage? The only two in this match are
1. Funaki, doing his gimmick where he’s a backstage interviewer who can barely speak English
2. Jimmy Yang neé Wang, who is Smackdown’s “resident redneck”
If you don’t remember the career trajectory of Jimmy Yang, it went roughly like this: Asian stereotype –> Elvis –> Asian stereotype –> redneck stereotype –> teaming with a white guy doing a black stereotype –> release –> Japan, for like a minute –> TNA nostalgia matches. He’s okay, in the way that a lot of these guys are “okay”, but he never learned how stupid that kick he does where he kicks you in the back of the leg to drop you to a kneel and then jumps over you and slaps the sh*t out of his thighs as he flips looks.
He almost wins the match, but loses when Chavo Guerrero does a frog splash that Michael Cole calls “disrespectful” because Eddie Guerrero “invented it”. Somewhere in Hell, Art Barr stops putting powder in his hair for a second, squints his eyes and asks “wait, what”.