Best: Mark Henry Be Henry’ing
For me, Henry and Orton’s match at Night of Champions might’ve been the understated Match of the Night. If you really want to pass a torch or give a guy “the ball,” you’ve got to let him get over clean to semi-clean (it’s exactly how they built up Sheamus). And after the World’s Strongest Man beat the World’s Manliest Snake with nary a shenanigan, I felt like the WWE was serious about treating Mark Henry like the beast he’s been portraying himself as.
The mark of a good villain, it’s been said, is that they don’t believe what they’re doing is wrong; that it’s truly justified due to the circumstances they’ve been forced to endure. When Mark Henry started his interview talking about “dealin’ with haters” and then followed that up by assaulting JR after forcing him to apologize because he “hate(s) ass kissers,” I high five’d my cat out of both hilarity and respect. Dude’s crushing right now. CRUSHING! You could stick him in an episode of Scared Straight and not miss a beat. Just a whole bunch of killers, thugs, and drug dealers, and a ‘92 Olympian scaring white kids into respecting their teachers again.
Best: Jerry Lawler
Lawler went through a table about an hour before “my perception of how free wrestling shows go” would allow me to believe anyone could actually go through an announce table.
Like, maybe I just thought they were made out of Solid Oak for the first hour 45 minutes, and just compressed fiberboard the last 15, but I was genuinely surprised when the set got demolished at that point in the broadcast.
And Lawler and JR put a champ over solidly and belivably. It was the greatest performance I’d seen from a commentator since Michael Cole lost his voice at Night of Champions and was forced to just shut the f*ck up for the last hour.
Best: Beth Phoenix’s ShoeGaze Entrance Music
Aside from Beth and Natalya co-ordinating their apron glares like synchronized swimmers, the only thing I was able to take away from this match was that if you took an .mp3 of Beth Pheonix’s music, stripped the tags and released it on the internet as a leaked M83 single, Pitchfork would be writing a review about it tomorrow morning.