Worst: Yo Dawg, I Heard You Like YouTube
Pay no attention to the only visible comment being “kayfabe lives!”
Does WWE not understand how videos work? They could’ve just said “here’s a video posted on YouTube earlier today” and shown the video, they didn’t have to put a YouTube around it. Additionally, who told Michael Cole that a video posted on YouTube was an “exclusive”? Was it private? Oh here, I’ve got this exclusive Ray William Johnson video where he talks about who would win in a fight between ninjas and unicorns and he never pauses between sentences, it is a With Leather exclusive.
I’ve read a lot of people online this morning talking about how this was another example of conflicting realities, like when Phil was talking to Paul, and I disagree. Miz and Truth identifying themselves “not as The Miz and R-Truth, but as Mike and Ronnie” didn’t seem like a big deal to me, because not even the tiniest mark baby thinks R-Truth’s real name is “R-Truth” or “The” is Miz’s first name. It’s not so much Hunter Hearst Helmsley suddenly being “Paul”. In fact, I think establishing that R-Truth is Ron Killings and reminding folks that The Miz is Mike Mizanin are both great ideas, because in a world of FCW renames it’s not a terrible idea to give a guy an option. Just don’t overdo it, and the next time you try, try a little harder with the presentation. Too bad they couldn’t have given related video nods to Maffew and The Suicidal Dragon, as they are literally the only Internet wrestling people I know.
Best: Tag Everybody Against Everybody, This Is Awesome
When the main event was announced online a few hours before the show, I posted something derisive on Twitter to the tune of “oh great, a 6-on-6 tag team match a month before Survivor Series, good job BRAINIACS lol” (it was better than that), and I am humbled to report that the 12-man tag main was off the f**king chain. I loved it. It was like a glorious wad of House Show stuck to the slippery facade of Raw main events that have to involve a run-in or go somewhere — ten of WWE’s best guys and David Otunga and Mason Ryan got to go head to head to head to head to head to head and just be kick-ass pro wrestlers.
It was beautifully staged. The Smilin’ Raw Do-Gooders team got to take turns being the “face in peril”, even Cena, who came into the ring with five specials saved and ended up shoulderblocking himself into the corner to get stomped on by everybody. Evan Bourne got an outstanding little run with Jack Swagger that made me forget they’d fought twice a week from January of 2009 until like two months ago, and even the Dolph Ziggler/Kofi Kingston interaction didn’t space me out too much. Cena wasn’t super, Mason Ryan contributed to the match by lifting, and David Otunga made me laugh out loud by interrupting a finisher blitz with a goddamn neckbreaker. What happened to your bad spinebuster with the legal name? “The Verdict”? Shouldn’t you be using that NOW THAT YOU ARE A LAWYER.
Regardless, the “everybody hits their finishers” part of a multi-man tag is right ahead of “everybody takes turns diving” on my list of overused wrestling tropes I mark the hell out for, and for modern WWE crowds who are only interested in 1) seeing you and 2) seeing you do a finishing move, it must be Heaven on Earth. If you could give me an exciting half-hour match with a hot crowd every week I would never complain about your show again, even if the remaining 90 minutes were Wrestlicious.
Worst: This Is Not The Time For Your Mark Photos, Lady
I don’t know if she was trying to time it with the commercial breaks or what, but this is right after Mason Ryan welshed Dolph Ziggler out of the ring. Oh who am I to make fun of this lady, I once took the exact same picture in front of JBL’s car.
Best: Sheamus Tearing Sh*t Up
Holy sh*t was the Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger interaction in the six-man a beautiful thing. Swagger punched Sheamus into the corner, so Sheamus responded by forearming Swagger all the way across the ring diagonally to the other corner. Booker T mentioned Sheamus having TRUE GRIT. It was the best part of the show, unless you count the gold lamé thing Kaitlyn was wearing that I’m gonna point out in a minute. No, Sheamus continues to get over by being a guy who just beats the sh*t out of people, and that is the easiest to do and least common thing in modern big leagues pro wrestling. We didn’t like Goldberg because he drove monster trucks and had cool shirts, we liked him because he showed up, destroyed people and left without doing any dumb sh*t to ruin it. When he started doing dumb sh*t to ruin it, we stopped liking him and he had to wrestle Kronik in front of nobody for the enjoyment of no-one.
Worst: Michael Cole’s Understanding Of Labor Relations
Michael Cole (and I’m paraphrasing): “A vote of confidence is not legally binding, but here’s how it goes down: Triple H has to ask the WWE Superstars for a vote of confidence, and if they vote NO Confidence, he has to either appoint somebody else to take his job or resign! Those are the only two options!”
Nicely summarized, Mike. I also would’ve accepted a loud farting noise.