Best: The Logistics of Battling Your Doppelganger
I know this column has already been rife with nerdy/obscure LitCrit references, but I would be completely remiss if I said I wasn’t really hoping that when the 2 Sin Caras…s touched we would be treated to some sorta Time Cop/Blinovitch Time Effect and they’d both shriek out of existence in a ball of blinding light.
What we got instead was a teeny bit of good lucha, because it felt like they finally paired Mistico with someone who actually SPOKE HIS F*CKING LANGUAGE! I don’t just mean Spanish, I meant someone who’s actually spent time down in Mexico learning the trade. Indie style isn’t Lucha just like Llave isn’t PuroRes and the quicker people in WWE management learn this, the quicker they’ll find a solution to keeping a popular Mexican star on their roster without having all his matches look like a pile of garbled shit. Instead they seem content with sticking him in matches against Daniel Bryan or Evan Bourne and throwing their hands up in contempt when it doesn’t go smooth as virgin cream.
This isn’t a complaint. I’m looking forward to this storyline and match slightly more than I did Taker vs. Taker and just slightly less than Doug vs. Rigby.
Worst: Cody Rhodes
Literally, the people in charge of handing out custom fabricated paper bags, the people who fabricate the bags and the people in charge of moving and removing Sin Cara’s trampoline had more to do this week than Cody Rhodes. Rhodes is a talent with an an interesting gimmick and this isn’t how he should be used. I will however say that if the eventual loser of the Battle-to-Not-Have-a-Face ends with Sin Cara Dos having to wear a paper bag on his head like Spidey that one time when he split from 4 Freedom Plaza, I would cry in delight.
Disappointed, wistful delight.
Super Very Double Best: the Awesome Truth
Miz and R-Truth are on an absolute tear, and it feels like people aren’t noticing.
I write this aware that when CM Punk delivered his fourth-wall shredding promo 3 months ago, it genuinely changed perception about wrestling. I’ve tried to explain this to non-fans, and the best thing I could come up with was a rough analogy to comic books in the 80’s. I would tell people that when Alan Moore did Watchmen (of course) and Swamp Thing (more importantly), along with half a dozen other important guys thinking outside of the box, they were able to actually raise the public perception of the medium. Comics were seen as strictly kids stuff for decades, and now colleges teach courses with ‘Human Anatomy’ and ‘the Coyote Gospel’ as required reading. There exists, within the purview of Pro Wrestling, a means to elevate out of the muck and mire of being just for kids and idiots.
This is what that moment of cultural relevance that CM Punk received was about. And it’s a real shame that I see it rescinding just as quickly. Critics were quick to praise fourth-wall-breaking, but are missing the Miz and R-Truth elevating their performances within the context of just being WWE Superstars. Tonight, they delivered heartfelt, believable moments of remorse over their actions and fear about the consequences. It was good and engaging, and if I was a 10-year-old kid watching it, it’s the kind of stuff that would get me locked in for life. If the WWE isn’t capable of delivering reality the way that, say, the UFC can, they can deliver interesting and believable fiction the way that UFC can’t, specifically when they’re trying to convince me that Rashad Evans and Jon Jones really hate each other. This is the beauty of American pro wrestling, and sometimes I worry that it’s a dying art.