Best: I Am Okay With Orton Wrestling Christian Six More Times
Cage matches with escape rules always have a few dumb aspects (guys having to no-sell moves to properly time escape attempts and the whole “why are you standing around, you’re four feet from the door, just walk through the door, COME ON” thing), but I loved Christian and Randy Orton in the steel cage, just as I’ve expected to be tired of but ended up loving their other five championship matches. They keep wrestling and it should be getting on my nerves, but Christian is so solid at putting together a story in the ring and Orton has just been so damn odd and loveable lately that I can’t give them a worst. I go through the same ebb and flow with Orton I went through with The Rock, where he keeps getting better until he becomes one of my favorites, then slowly becomes unbearable, then slowly starts getting better again. He was bad as a blue chipper rookie, then great with the Randy News Network. He was bad as the “diamond in the rough” of Evolution, then great as the Legend Killer. He was awful post-Rated RKO, the tide came in when he started punting people, then back out with Legacy. I thought he was going to be unwatchable as Smackdown’s John Cena, but sure enough here he comes again with his random Bushwhacker mannerisms and inexplicably puroresu moveset and wins me over. It doesn’t hurt that he keeps having great matches, or that Smackdown is full of guys who can get him there.
I’m not looking forward to Mark Henry and Orton at Night of Champions because I don’t have a lot of faith in WWE letting Henry crush Orton in moments and keep the title for years (like he probably should), but if Henry gets knocked down a peg and we get stuck in another cycle of Orton/Christian, I might complain a little (or a lot), but it’ll end up being great. I sincerely believe that Christian can’t beat Orton in a square fight, and that’s not a bad thing. Orton never makes Christian look worthless, and never beats him nonchalantly to open the show with a fit of shoulderblocks and a hand jive.
Best: RKO Fake-Out
The RKO is about a thousand times more over than Orton himself, and I always look forward to seeing where and when he’s going to pull it off — an aspect of the match made even better by Christian’s ability to remember where Orton loves to hit it and (usually) avoid it. I loved it when Christian pump-faked off the turnbuckles and sent Orton into an RKO fit, and just little things like having a wrestler remember that he’s f**king wrestled this guy before help make wrestling seem more organic and real. That’s incredibly important and something a lot of talented wrestlers gloss over. “Realism” isn’t just about hitting each other hard and selling moves, it’s about creating the illusion that these are real people in competition. People make mistakes, but people also don’t usually make the exact same mistakes over and over. If I’m CM Punk and I’m wrestling Orton, I shouldn’t go for the springboard clothesline if he’s RKO’d me and others out of a springboard before, right? Or I should switch it up, or change up my timing or something. That’s something Christian does with extreme understatement, and it’s one of the reasons we all got so pissed when he won the title and got bitched out of it two days later. It’s what started this whole thing. It’s not that we are marks for him, like we might be for Punk, he’s just really, really good at his job.
Worst: Three Commercial Breaks
The main-event started with about twenty minutes left in the show. I wanted to think this was going to be a Benoit and Jericho vs. the Two Man Power Trip thing (my favorite match of all time until… well, you know) where we actually get twenty minutes of awesome wrestling, but no, you’ve got to subtract about twelve for Ghost Hunters commercials and the gay police officers eating Twix and singing the wrong lyrics to the Mannequin soundtrack. I know this is how commercials and television work, as sad as it makes me, but how hard would it be for them to tape the entire match and reproduce it uninterrupted on those DVDs they put out every month? I would buy the sh*t out of a DVD if I knew the six minutes of match I missed where included and I didn’t have to go “f**k, commercial break” when people fall out of the ring.
In a related note, that Starship song has always made me mad. “If this world runs out of lovers, we’ll still have each other!” So, are you not lovers? Because if you’re lovers, the world hasn’t run out of lovers. There are still two or more lovers. What should I expect from the theme to a movie about a guy jacking off in a department store.
Best, But Also Worst: Stop Agreeing To Cage Matches If Mark Henry Hates You
Oh, and before this turns into the Best and Worst of Brandon Remembering The 80s (all worst), getting into a cage match with someone while you’re having issues with Mark Henry has turned into a Ric Flair heading to the top rope situation. Every time somebody raises Mark’s ire they get into a cage match, and Mark has to soldier out and rip off the cage door and cause physical drama. You’re running upstairs in a horror movie. Don’t get me wrong, Mark Henry throwing people through cage walls or posing triumphantly over them with the World Heavyweight Championship are awesome images, but they would be even more awesome had they happened once, and had not been prefaced by that Botchamania clip of Mark struggling with a door for five minutes.
Here’s a novel idea: Instead of trying to take the fight to Mark, organize a contract signing and sarcastically bring up every bad gimmick he’s ever had. Hey MIZARK! Yeah, I remember that! Hey Mizark, remember when you took CHYNA out on a DATE! You’re FAT! And then the crowd goes OOOOHHH. And it is awesome!