Back to me, because for some reason I haven’t started trying to kill myself yet.
Best: Cody Rhodes Version 1
The wrestling pessimist in me assumed the emasculation of Cody Rhodes by the coward Randy Orton two weeks ago on Smackdown was the end of a great character — after all, the classic Intercontinental Championship hasn’t moved or been used since it was reintroduced and the dipping points of Legacy’s career are always punctuated by Orton beatdowns — but I was pleasantly surprised to hear he’s been emancipated and won’t be completely dropping my favorite speaking-style in pro wrestling. You can see the remnants of it in the ring, too. Watch when he wins the match … he does the WWE standard “arrogant guy glare into Herman Cain smile”, but when he gets up he sorta cocks his head and opens his mouth like a velociraptor. I feel like a guy’s personality should be based (at least loosely) on the things that’ve happened to him before. John Cena shouldn’t be afraid of anyone because he has congenital insensitivity to pain can beat everyone easily. Randy Orton shouldn’t stop intermittently exploding on folks because the fans are cheering, and Cody can move forward from facial trauma without forgetting how internally nutso it made him. Well done, everybody.
Also, how great is it to see him winning matches cleanly? I don’t know if Kofi messed it up or if his body only spins clockwise, but Cross Rhodes looked devastating. It needs to be more “I’m twisting your body around and destroying your face on the ground” and less “what Carlito used to do”.
Best/Worst: Hunico And The Island Of Magic
I like the MS Paint drawings of Sin Cara that show up in Botchamania as much as the next guy, but the Sin Cara/Blackface parts of this match were tight. It was weird to see them going at it full-speed and leaving Cody and Kofi to mess stuff up. I like where the Hunico character is going, especially when he gets teamed up with the Latin Freebirds and nobody ends up waving to me from a riding lawnmower, but there are two minor worsts happening:
1. I can’t recognize him. When they posted the Survivor Series team graphics I thought it was Chavo Guerrero for five full minutes. It helps that they put his name in Wolverine font all over the stage for a few seconds before he enters, but still, he should’ve at least kept the sparkly jacket.
2. Nothing seems more like TNA than a Hispanic guy in a wifebeater and bandana walking to the ring grabbing the front part of his baggy jeans while Mexican restaurant music plays. Nothing. He also gave me a Konnan vibe (made worse when Kofi started doing front somersaults before his clotheslines), which makes me remember WCW’s penchant for putting Mexican guys in one-button flannel shirts and assuming all Hispanic people are friends, and bad-era Thunder-WCW just brings me back to TNA.
But no, I like him. But what do I know? I think they should make FCW the WWE television roster and let John Cena banter with the Rock in front of a few hundred people in central Florida.
Worst: Kofi’s In A Weird Place, Isn’t He
Evan Bourne’s suspension is hurting Kofi Kingston worse than it’s hurting Evan Bourne. Kofi doesn’t look like he knows what to do, lugging that big Batcave penny down to the ring on his shoulder, pumping his fist and telling people to “come on” while they glance over his shoulder to see if the little metro guy who’s way better than him is peace-signing anywhere in the background. He’s entered that post-Orton-MSG-push, pre-Dolph-Ziggler-constancy period again, and they should keep him teamed with Sin Cara or someone else of a flipping nature until Bourne “overcomes injury”. Call them “Fall Down Go Boom”.
Or, better yet, put Daniel Bryan in these matches and let Kofi spend the next six months losing dark matches to Drew McIntyre.
Worst: Santino Playing WWE ’12 Like It’s Tecmo World Wrestling
I’m sure there’s a TV trope for it somewhere, but there’s nothing worse than watching somebody on TV “play a video game”. They hold a Dreamcast controller and jam the buttons as hard as they can, sometimes putting it on their thigh and rapping it at full speed (never touching the d-pad), or they hold it face-high and swing it back and forth until somebody walks in and is all “what’re you doing” and they say something asinine and inaccurate like “I’M PLAYING SUPER MARE-IO BROTHERS I JUST GOT TO LEVEL 10 AND BEAT THE WIZARD”. And you’re like “no part of this is right, Patrick Duffy”. It’s amazing to me that video games are a billion dollar industry and nobody in movies or TV has ever f**king played one.
That was Santino last night. Just hammering the buttons as fast as he can as The Rock does complexly-mapped moves. It reminded me of those kids at the arcade who’d wander up to Street Fighter II without any money and wait for it to get to the demo, then move the joystick back and forth and slap their little fat hands into the buttons like they were playing. Then you walk up to them and they just kinda stare at you for a second before turning around and leaving. Basically watching the highest rated show on cable last night made me feel like I was 12 years old at a goddamn Hills department store, so thanks for that.
Worst: Zack Ryder, Do You Get It
If you watched Zack Ryder do his Zack Ryder thing for three hours last night and aren’t tired of him, I don’t know what to tell you. Back when he wasn’t on TV and I was always saying “use him in this segment instead of x”, I didn’t mean use him in EVERY segment instead of x. They’re using him instead of x and y at this point, and six months from now it’s just gonna be a split-screen where a left-facing Zack Ryder in a “take care, spike your hair” poncho and “are you serious bro” cowboy hat holding a “woo woo woo” koozie says “bro” repeatedly to a right-facing Zack Ryder wearing QR code pasties and plastic sunglasses with “internet” along the side.