Best: Tag Team Matches Are Happening
Say what you will about Air Boom (and I will), but God bless them for being WWE’s excuse for a refocused tag team division. They still have separate entrances, but at least Evan is lingering long enough to participate in the fireworks. They still don’t have “Air Boom” anywhere on their gear, in their entrance video or their nameplate graphics, but at least they’re being formally announced as “Evan Bourne and Kofi King-stannn, Air! Boom!” They still don’t have tag teams to wrestle, but at least they’re wrestling tag team matches.
Worst: Non-Title Matches
This is a big one for me with two examples on this show: World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton faced Heath Slater and WWE Tag Champions Space Jam took on Jinder Mahal and The Great Khali. Both matches were easily won by the champions, but both matches were non-title.
In the long long ago, I can see the point in having Hulk Hogan wrestle Iron Mike Sharpe and having it be non-title, because Sharpe didn’t beat anybody to earn any kind of opportunity and a title defense against a jobber makes Hogan look like he’s padding his reign with tomato cans. In modern WWE, where “jobbers” only exist in local challenges and every person on TV is a Young Superstar With Great Potential and WWE title belts are props you misplaced and forgot about, there is no reason to have Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne beat Jinder Mahal and The Great Khali in a non-title match. If Mahal and Khali aren’t good enough to compete for the championships, they shouldn’t be wrestling the champions. They could be wrestling Miz and Truth for a CHANCE to wrestle the champions, or we could just say “Khali used to be world champ and is big, so” and add a +1 to Air Boom’s title defenses. Either of those things would be better than that terrible, terrible booking choice that gave us three months of McGillicutty and Otunga losing to everybody but still being champion. This is why those Swagger, Sheamus and Mysterio reigns all seemed so sh*tty — there is no place in our fictional world for a champion who is not at least AS good as his challengers. Bottom line.
Right now your major goal needs to be legitimizing the WWE Tag Team Championships and the men who hold them. Legitimize challengers by having them compete for a chance to FACE those champions, an act that indirectly makes your champs look better because people are giving it their all to have what they have. This is the easiest thing, and the reason a billion-dollar industry was born out of something farmhands and carnival jerks used to plot out to steal nickels from city folk. If Gotch could beat Hackenschmidt 10 times in a row in three minutes or less, why do I give a sh*t about Hackenschmidt’s 11th match? I’m going to ride the ferris wheel.
Best: Khali’s Monster Hand
Great Khali has two great finishing holds
1. Brain Squeeze
2. Touching your head with his big hand
I love Khali’s “brain chop”, even if it’s technically a big festering Worst. At some point somebody who can communicate with Khali needs to pull him aside and say “the only thing we expect you to do is chop, so at least stiffen your hand when you move it”. This isn’t 1950s science fiction, I’m not going to fall down and die because the monster brushed his hands against me. They should at least explain that Jinder makes Khali soak his hands in chloroform before his matches. It would work into that whole “Khali must do whatever Jinder says because Jinder is married to his sister and will leave and shame her if he doesn’t” thing that apparently can’t be solved by somebody in Khali’s family watching Smackdown.
Worst: Alberto Del Rio’s Inconspicuous Absence
As the Internet’s leading supporter of Alberto Del Rio (gonna go ahead and christen myself that so he’ll know who I am when I try to meet him at a San Antonio mall next month) I cheered out loud when I saw him pull up in his car with specialty Alberto Del Rio license plates (license plate number: Alberto Del Rio). It took Michael Cole about four seconds to ruin the experience by saying Del Rio was “inconspicuous by his absence last week”.
Michael Cole is one of maybe seven people who gets paid by WWE to speak for a living. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, as the rest of his job description is “make the wrestlers seem good and important”.