Best: Dolph Ziggler Belongs Here 20 Years Ago
I mentioned it a little before, but there’s nobody in WWE right now better suited for pay-per-view double duty than Dolph Ziggler. I’m in the minority of people who look back fondly on the pre-Degeneration X feud Spirit Squad, but the guy has been unarguably on-point in the ring since that unexpectedly awesome match against Batista on, even though that Sheamus-style lull wrestlers get for some reason when they’re too good or too popular too quick and have to be sh*tty and fail for a year and a half. He’s only gotten better. He deserves a better class of wrestler, to the point that I almost want to see him get MVP’d and demoted to Japan where he could trade ridiculous Shining Wizards with Tanahashi in 35 minute New Japan main events. The “almost” is there for a reason. I only watch Raw because I want it to be good, and Ziggler is important to making that a thing.
I honestly believe you could’ve put Ziggler in every match on this show, all in a row, and he would’ve given you as good a performance as anyone who went into their match fresh. Just give him a minute to get his crazy sweaty insta-fro in order. My only problem with Dolph: talk more (and more naturally, because you’re great at it) and if you’re gonna wear a singlet, pull up the straps. And don’t ever cut your hair again.
Worst: Take Care, Explain To Me What You Did To Your Hair
Speaking of bad hair choices, holy sh*t what was going on with Zack Ryder’s hair? I’ve watched enough episodes of Z! True Long Island story to know his hair isn’t thick enough to support spikes without making him look a little bald (I’m in that boat with you, buddy, I was born with hair like Ralph Wiggum), but after multiple “haircut” related shirts I expected them to stick with the look. I did not expect Ziggler to come out looking like a Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth create-a-wrestler who was supposed to have blonde hair but the one hairstyle that worked made the colors come out weird. He doesn’t even look like the same guy.
I like Ryder, but I really didn’t enjoy him last night. This morning, whatever. I think he’s starting to reach the uncanny valley of my ability to enjoy him. As a wrestling fan on the Internet I naturally gravitate toward what’s underground, so like when Punk first shows up in ECW I can cheer him because he’s my guy, but when he starts palling around backstage with Triple H and gets happy to wear daddy’s jacket I stop. It’s an involuntary thing. Ryder’s doing that now. I didn’t like him (and couldn’t recognize him) as an Edge Head, but when he first started fist pumping and woo woo wooing and having great matches on Superstars with nobody watching, I got on board. I was the guy typing “why isn’t Zack Ryder on television” every week in these reports. Now Zack Ryder shows up in a United States title match on pay-per-view with a new haircut and new tights with ARE YOU SERIOUS BRO on the butt and… I don’t know, it feels like they took the cool thing I liked and usurped it. Took the fun idea of a guy and made it into THEIR fun idea, and I don’t like their fun ideas, I like the GUY’s. Does that make any sense? I love wrestlers and don’t trust wrestling promotions. Maybe that’s what I’m trying to say.
ARE YOU SERIOUS BRO trunks just make me think, “are you serious, bro?” Or possibly #areyouseriassbro
Worst: Triple H Interrupts A DiBiase Posse Party
I’m giving this a worst, but I think my favorite moment on the show was the completely ridiculous set-up to the Triple H/CM Punk backstage Main Eventer Banter with Ted DiBiase just kinda standing there making small talk with CM Punk about, as far as I could tell, f**king nothing. I transcribed it for you.
Ted: “So, uhhhh, you like tattoos?”
Ted: /softly touches Punk’s arm
Punk: “I got this tattoo.” /points to entire arm
Ted: “that new”
[eight minutes of dead silence]
[Triple H appears]
Ted: “talk t’ya later” /pats butt
Punk: “Ok thanks!”
looooool what the f**k is that? The only explanation I could come up with is that they set up the cameras to film Punk, then realized he already had his boots tied and his wrist tape on, and they were like 10 seconds from going live and needed somebody for Punk to interact with for a second and DiBiase was the only other person in the room. So the director’s all TED TED GET IN THE SHOT and he’s all WHAT DO I DO and the director’s all MAKE SMALL TALK, but he’s Ted DiBiase and clearly has no idea what constitutes small talk and he can’t talk to Chicago metro native Minor Threat loving video game playing GI Joe tattoo having CM Punk about the sh*t he likes (hunting, football, Posses) but the director’s already going FIVE, FOUR, THREE (silent two, silent one) so he just touches Punk’s arm and mutters “you have tattoos”. He could’ve said “we are both wrestlers” and it would’ve made more sense. Is that the angle, is Ted DiBiase considering a tattoo?
And then Triple H shows up, and Ted can’t be like “hey Triple H, what’s up” because he’s a second generation guy who is like 6’5 and 280 and f**king PERFECT for Triple H but H conversation is for closers, so he just kinda swats his arm at Punk and exits stage left. It’s bizarre and wonderful, and an example of how I only tend to love exceptionally well done or exceptionally badly done things. DiBiase should’ve ad libbed “I’m just gonna be over here eating yer lunch” or “see you never” on his way out.
Best: J.R.’s New Job On The Fabulous Riverwalk
WWE being an hour from my apartment is great, because I’ve been to all the San Antonio landmarks they show and mention. I rode the Riverwalk boat ride thing at Christmas and it was great. You’re on a boat and you’re looking at things, you know? You can’t really mess that up. I also shoot laughed at Michael Cole saying the boat captain was Jim Ross, because the idea of good, old J.R. having to take menial task jobs in whatever city WWE performs in case the GM changes and wants to bring him back on the fly is hilarious.