Worst: Zack Ryder, You Are The Greatest Man I’ve Ever Known
This segment makes me feel weird. Like, I think a good indicator that a segment has veered into the uncanny valley of human interaction is when I stop paying attention and start saying KICK HIS ASS, CENA, COME ON out loud to no one in particular despite there being a 0% chance of it happening. It happened sometime around “what about KANE BRO”, which (if I’m remembering correctly) happened about 14 minutes into the 90 minute segment. I feel like maybe WWE should experiment with letting characters approach each other and speak to each other like humans and avoid any situation where Zack Ryder purses his lips and nods his head as John Cena walks away. Because, uh, that doesn’t scream “friendship built on respect” to me and plays closer to a predatory sexual situation than anything involving Ryder and Eve.
Also I feel like fewer people should be telling Zack Ryder how wonderful he is. I mean, not that his accomplishments don’t have merit, he’s just a skateboard dunk away from being the Original Dog From Hell.
Best: Oh, Hey, The Hart Dynasty
If you look at the preview pic without clicking play, it looks like Eve has been possessed by Zuul.
But hey, how much did I temporarily mark for Tyson Kidd showing up as Natalya’s mixed tag team partner last night? A little! Kidd has been working his ass off in the Earth-2 that is NXT (an Earth-2 you should really be watching … more on that later), and it’d be nice from time to time to see him or Yoshi Tatsu or Derrick Bateman
or Titus O’Neil or Darren Young or… Eli Cottonwood? Who the hell else is on that show show up to take a loss to Punk or Cena instead of Jack Swagger. The Hart Dynasty were a dangerously untapped thing that never got to grow outside of “we’re holding Bret Hart’s arms so he doesn’t stroke on the ramp and roll down to the ring”, and outside of Harry Smith refusing to stop pumping himself up with Nickelodeon Gak or whatever they had a bright future.
Sadly the tertiary Worst here is that Natalya’s present is “lose to whoever as quickly as possible” and the Rough Rider might as well be the goddamn Steiner Screwdriver so this was over pretty quickly. Still, though, good to see a fresh face on Raw.
Worst: Watching Eve Torres With My Parents
My parents flew into Austin to spend the week of Christmas with me. They’re both wrestling fans from childhood and gave up watching regularly sometime around the death of WCW, but getting them to watch wrestling with me is an easy sell. Thankfully this wasn’t one of those weeks where Mark Henry gets into the Hot Tub Time Machine or Big Dick Johnson lubes up and tries to Surprise Buttsex somebody, but Eve’s Coochie-Popping Moonsault was an interesting thing to explain.
As Eve entered I said outloud, “oh great, Eve” (I do this when I’m by myself, mind you) and went into a lengthy explanation on how she moonsaults onto her hands with her body at a 45-degree angle and so on and so forth, but I left out the thing about how she basically stinkfaces you by wafting her butt around before the standing moonsault and the room got really quiet when she busted it out. I wanted to connect the move to what does or doesn’t constitute “13” on a TV-PG program and explain how contextually it’s a step up from Kelly Kelly’s puckered-asshole bootscrapes, but all I could muster was “that’s a stupid thing she does”.
Best: Watching Zack Ryder With My Parents
They also watched Smackdown with me, which was their introduction to Zack Ryder.
My dad has cheered for Dusty Rhodes for something close to 40 years, so I got to explain how great Cody had gotten and how he looked like his mom but lisped like his dad. That led to a fun “whatever happened to Dustin, is he still wrestling” conversation, and we spent most of the Rhodes/Ryder match talking about Dusty calling Big Bossman “bubber” and the Benoit/Sullivan Falls Count Anywhere match where Big Dust is so great on commentary and “he got a bicycle!”. Somewhere near the end, my Dad looks at the screen and asks, “so he’s just wrestling a chump, right” and looks back at me with a smile.
I love my dad.
Best: Those Wonderful Days Before We Said Jobber
Here’s a question for the comments section: before you knew a bunch of wrestling jargon, what’d you call jobbers? This tends to vary by region. We always called them chumps.
Worst: I Have Seen The Dudebusters And You Sir Are No Dudebuster
(I feel like I’m on Tumblr.)