Worst: Seriously, Cena. Cut This Shit Out
There’s nothing worse than passive-aggression. If you really don’t care whether the people like you or not, just let it go. Don’t start every promo by doing that irritating “heh, you guys suuuuure do hate me but it’s all good. no big d-ski,” thing. It’s like when teenagers walk around in shorts during winter and SWEAR they’re not cold despite visibly shivering. Either shut up and stick to whatever point it is you’re trying to prove or get over yourself and buy a pair of pants. You can’t have it both ways, guy.
Best: I’ll Walk Through Hell, Fire And Brimstone (But No Cotton Plz)
When Cena came out with that tear in his collar the first thing I thought was “did he buy that at a flea market? And if so, why didn’t he go for big air and rock a swank unlicensed African-American Bart Simpson t-shirt?” Then I figured there must have been an issue at whichever third-world textile factory WWE uses to screen its shirts. Like, maybe the foreman in charge of whipping the child labor came down with a case of tendonitis and had to call out sick that day.
In any event, we’re never going to get an answer to this one, so it’s best to just pontificate and reach our own conclusions. Maybe Kane secretly reviles shoddy craftsmanship and John simply didn’t recognize the inherent danger in wearing a shirt with compromised tensile strength around a closeted fashionista? Maybe Kane ordered a RISE ABOVE HATE shirt off the WWE website, only to receive a postal slip informing him his package wouldn’t arrive in time for Christmas? I don’t know! Say what you will. Literally just say what you will and it’ll end up being far more plausible than the logic behind every other Kane storyline, ever.
Or, shit, maybe Kane really wanted Cena to smell his finger.
Worst: Uh, Okay. I Guess We’re Going With Attempted Murder!
You know what never works in wrestling? Sequences where the viewer is left to challenge their own mortality. I can accept deplorable actions in almost every other medium of entertainment, but for some reason “literal attempted murder” is my personal Wrestling Uncanny Valley. I can watch a show like Breaking Bad and rationalize liking Walter White despite his having poisoned a child because I’ve had four years of logical, compelling narrative to come to terms with the fact that he’s an animal with redemptive qualities. I want him to succeed despite objectively recognizing he’s a terrible human being.
Oh. Whups. Spoiler alert. You know, about the whole “poisoning a child” thing. That’s a Breaking Bad spoiler. My Bad.
Anyway, with Kane it’s always been “I’m here. You are too. F**k it. Gonna hit’cha with a chokeslam and then lecture you about why poor people don’t deserve our charity.” That’s fine in a vacuum, but when they make the transition from “hurt you with a wrestling move” to “hold your mouth under a glove and pinch your nose until the noises stop” it creates this weird, uncomfortable atmosphere where real-life logic trumps established canon and eventually we all start wondering why every wrestler ever just doesn’t carry a gun on their person all the time. Which I guess wouldn’t be the least entertaining thing they could do. And hey, if the ratings continue to drop, Vince could always just strong-arm Trent Barreta into staging a Budd Dwyer at the top of the 10 o’clock hour.