Best: CM Punk, Slowly Wrestling Away My Anger
CM Punk is pulling a Randy Orton, making me forget about the problems I have with his character and execution by being in the ring and having solid-to-good-to-great wrestling matches week in and week out. That’s the secret. You don’t have to turn your personality up to 11, you don’t have to “convince these people” of anything. If you have good matches, we shut up about most of the other stuff.
Punk’s match against Jack Swagger, interrupted almost immediately by John Laurinaitis with some unnecessary stipulations that would normally make a crowd pop but are just so ridiculously shoehorned in that “VICKIE WILL BE BANNED FROM RINGSIDE, OKAY” seems heelish, was a perfectly cromulent TV wrestling match highlighted by Dolph Ziggler serving as male cheerleader at ringside in the only Jack Swagger t-shirt ever sold and Punk’s supreme overness making even his most basic stuff cheerworthy. He hits the knee and stalls, people cheer. He stands up for the Macho Man elbow drop, people cheer. He HITS a flying elbow drop that sincerely looks worse than Ashley Massaro’s Starstruck and people cheer. They just want to see him doing stuff, and so do I. I will take 10 of those piss-poor elbow drops over another “I’M GONNA BEAT YOU LIKE A BITCH, AND HERE’S WHY, PLEASE FOLLOW ALONG” pipe bomb wankfest.
I would also like to see him do the Anaconda Vice, but,
Worst: Referee Botches
Jack Doan “doan” messed up by counting Swagger down when his shoulder was up, and nobody seemed happy. At first you were like, “okay, maybe this is to set up John Laurinaitis as referee, and to say that ANYBODY can mess up a count, so when Big Johnny messes up and gives Ziggler the belt on a fast count it’ll seem legitimate”, but unless Punk has been studying Shawn Michaels temper tantrum workrate tapes, I think Doan just Maffew’d it.
And I’d like to take a moment to say that a referee f**king up a three count near the end of a match is the very, very worst thing that can happen in a wrestling match. It’s the worst. It murders almost everything you’ve built up in the match, and the audience gets taken out and has to make a conscious effort to say “oh, okay, wooo” and move past it. It’s hard. It’s like when you’re playing Skyrim and you’ve got on headphones and the volume turned up so you can hear footsteps and breathing and you’re Nord-deep in a mine or something and it’s SO EXCITING and you’re ALMOST TO THE DRAGON MASK or whatever and the Draugr you’re trying to kill with arrows just kinda stops on a rock and starts vibrating up and down, and your brain goes “ah sh*t this is a video game, way to go” and you kill him and suddenly nothing matters.
That’s a ref botch in the most verbose way I can put it. It stabs the reality of wrestling in the heart and makes it bleed “oh man what was SUPPOSED to happen?” instead of YEAH WOO or BOO.
Best: Ricardo Rodriguez Flying Up From Mexico For A Booty Call
Another great moment for someone to address the cameraman would’ve been Ricardo Rodriguez approaching the Bella Twins (who were being filmed arguing for no apparent reason, because “bitches” is a WWE Character) about the proposed hook-up he drove up from Mexico for. I can’t really blame him, I guess, because seriously, why the hell haven’t the Bella Twins heard of a telephone or a text message or goddamn e-mail, but I feel like the segment would’ve been even better if they’d been in Minnesota or something, and Ricardo had to sneak out and steal the Del Rio estates private jet and fly it cross country all nervous for dual tail.
Basically Ricardo is great at his job, both fictional and in real life, and I feel badly that he had to do the rest of it.
Worst: So I Hear You’re A Mexican, Is That Correct
It started off badly enough, with Miz saying “ándale” to get Ricardo to go to the ring and call out R-Truth, but I know a lot of wrestling fans (and even readers of these reports) get upset when I point out how not every Mexican dude is Slow Poke Rodriguez or you shouldn’t treat black people like replaceable garbage when you’re a white millionaire (or anyone), so I was going to let it slide. But then I thought about Miz trying to hire the Mexican tag team as his cronies, which added a weird slant (not a slur) to THIS, and then R-Truth made Ricardo sing “La Cucaracha” for his life and I said f**k it, hate me if you want, but JESUS F**KING CHRIST WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU CRAZY RACISTS.
The shorter, less confrontational sounding explanation is that Ricardo Rodriguez had to say “the most offensive thing he could think of” to R-Truth to get him to come to the ring, because I guess saying “hey R-Truth, come out here” wouldn’t work, and as casually racist as you are you can’t ACTUALLY say the most offensive stuff you can think of to R-Truth, so you have to say WWE things like “your breath is real bad”. Truth came to the ring and engaged Ricardo in a bloody duel of who could be the most condescending to their race, with Ricardo shaking his hips to mariachi music and Truth screaming things like ONE MO’ GEEYIN!
And hey, I’m sorry I have to point this sh*t out. After Hornswoggle in an afro wig this is honestly pretty tame, and in a company that once made its Mexican wrestlers ride to the ring on lawnmowers and had Vince McMahon call somebody his nigga it is the 40 Degree Day of racism, but still. Don’t do this stuff, jerks.
Best: Okay, The La Cucaracha Remix Is Pretty Awesome
Ricardo got cheers and deserved them for rocking his way through an impromptu remix of La Cucaracha. When life gives you racist lemons, make racist lemonade.