Best: Daniel Bryan Championship Squash Matches
When Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston was announced for Raw, the general consensus seemed to be “oh, that should be good, hopefully they give them some time”. So it was weird to see Kofi clapping his hands and yelling boom and going for Trouble In Paradise like a quarter-second into the match, but it was WONDER to see Bryan drag him to the ground out of a cross-body attempt and make him tap out like a chump to the LeBell Lock in MAYBE a minute.
This is how you make Daniel Bryan a legitimate threat against guys like Big Show and Mark Henry — by having every WWE Superstar who ISN’T an A-list heavyweight losing to him by submission out of nowhere whenever he wants. If Mason Ryan screams for his life long enough, people will buy it.
BESTER STILL: The Code Of Honor
Yes, I am the biggest wrestling nerd in the world for making out over a handshake to start a WWE match, but that’s Ring of Honor Heavyweight Champion American Dragon Bryan Danielson sneaking out from within the body of WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan, and he’s starting a match under the Code Of Honor against the closest thing WWE has to a Sonjay Dutt. I love it. We’ve put the Smackdown live-blogs on hiatus temporarily, so I haven’t had a lot of chances to gush over the Daniel Bryan emotional heel turn, but holy sh*t you guys, if you didn’t live through that year of Dragon as ROH Champ you have no idea how awesome this is gonna be. Think “Summer Of Punk”, but a year longer and with airplane spins.
Bryan gets a secondary best for his awesome, disingenuous post-match promo, where he interrupted the Big Show to assure him that he HATED the way the world title match ended, he HATED IT, and that he’d give Show another shot anytime, anyplace. Show called him on his bluff, and instead of pulling a WAIT WAIT WAIT A MINUTE I CAN’T DO IT NEXT WEEK thing like a Miz might, Bryan just kinda bit his lip for a minute and went “yeah all right” and accepted, because he’s just gonna wrap a chain around his arm and MMA elbow Show to death. Wait, that might happen later, I forget the order of things.
Also, if we’re going by how his ROH run ended, Hunico is going to pin him for the title. That’ll be weird, won’t it?
Worst: Miz Tries To Pick Up Some Mexicans For Day Labor
And speaking of Hispanic wrestlers with borderline offensive gimmicks, all this segment needed was Lawler narrating it with “why would the Miz want THESE guys to protect his body? Their bodies aren’t great at all!” to make it worse. I like the idea that The Miz is still that racially inept guy from The Real World who doesn’t know how black people work (“go out and insult R-Truth until he reveals himself”) and thinks the brown guys in the hallway are day laborers.
The segment gets two tiny bests: one for CM Punk eying Rosa’s ass on his way in, and another for, well
Best: Jesus Christ, Rosa Mendes
As friend of the column Tom Holzerman put it on Twitter, “Rosa Mendes has a balcony you can do opera off”. It’s amazing how quickly wrestling fans will take to wrestlers if they aren’t being horrible. At the risk of sounding like a guy who DOESN’T geek out over women’s wrestling on the reg, Rosa should stay out of the ring and stick to speaking Grade 11 Spanish and wearing coral dresses.
Wait, coral dresses, is that why the Miz talked to her?
Best: Kane Haunting Zack Ryder A La The Roommate
Things I like about this segment:
1. The payoff is unbelievably terrible (which we’ll get to), but the tiny horror segments of Kane stalking Ryder are hilarious. I can’t compare this one to Star Trek (thank God), but I can compare it to The Roommate, wherein Leighton Meester jumps Keely from ‘Phil Of The Future’ in the shower and rips out her belly button ring. You know something’s going to happen because they do an extreme close-up on the ring beforehand that might as well have had the direction standing in front of it pointing and whispering “remember this”. The segment should’ve ended with Kane knocking Ryder’s teeth out, or something excessively brutal so Cena has to go “oh sh*t, this is for real” instead of watching his New Best Friend suddenly getting Wrestling Moved on a set piece.
2. See, Kane’s lights follow him wherever he goes, even in the shower. Or maybe WWE showers just have those LED showerheads you can get in Skymall.
3. Zack Ryder either brushes his teeth with water or uses less toothpaste than any other man. I especially like him spitting 20 times at the end to make sure we had enough time to see Kane.