Worst: Y’Know Something Undertaker Dot Dot Dot
Here is Triple H’s entire 14-minute opening speech in a nutshell:
“I respect the Undertaker a lot and he’s one of the greatest wrestlers ever, but after last year’s match he couldn’t leave without somebody driving him away on a little truck. I don’t want to remember Taker like that, and I don’t want to wrestle him again because I might end his career. So, sorry about that.”
That’s it. That’s a really logical, reasonable point that sets up a third Triple H vs. Undertaker Wrestlemania match as something more complex than “I WANNA END YER STREAK”. Reading that paragraph in a calm speaking voice took me 13 seconds.
The problem with this and almost any 20 minute Raw opening monologue is how little they have to say, and how long it takes them to say it. 14 minutes. It took him FOURTEEN F**KING MINUTES to say it, with H.P. Lovecraft quotes, 14,000 uses of the word “Undertaker” and both pro- and con- video packages.
The only upside to the video packages is how funny it is to picture Triple H sitting in front of a Mac all week, finding the perfect clips of him clotheslining Kamala or whatever to splice in, googling “lord of the rings music” to put behind it and running it over to production before the show in a two-pack with the sad version. The upside to the Lovecraft quoting is me picturing John Laurinaitis responding to H telling him the board of directors is about to fire him with “…but more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean”, giving him a thumbs up and riding away on a surfboard.
Notice how last week’s show was great until Triple H’s music started? Notice how this week was terrible, because it started with Triple H’s music? Not a coincidence, guys. That song is like the Black Racer.
Best: Undertaker’s Throne Room Command Center
While I didn’t enjoy Triple H’s soliloquy being interrupted by the second video package of the segment (much less one they aired twice … not sure if the writers came up with 45 minutes of material and expected random challenges and impromptu tag matches to fill out the show or what), I do enjoy the otherworldly ridiculousness of the Undertaker.
That’s hard for me to say, because I really hate casual ridiculousness. I don’t like Natalya farting in the middle of hindu squats and Santino wandering into the room and flailing around holding his nose like someone tear gassed him. It has to be not ridiculous at all or EXTREMELY ridiculous for me to enjoy it.
I don’t like Kane horror movie hunting Zack Ryder, but I do sorta like him chokeslamming people onto the coffins of their dead parents. I don’t like Undertaker possessing people, but I do like him trying to embalm Steve Austin, walking through walls of fire with declarations of Peace Resting and orchestrating “black weddings”. So I don’t like him showing up and making challenges, but I like the reveal that he lives in some sort of Undertaker bat cave and has an Undercomputer that plays stylized WWE footage on loop to piss him off or make a point.
Yes, I’m aware that this point of view is inconsistent, but f**k you, it’s my brain, I barely keep it working and you don’t have to live in it.
Worst: The Internet Knows You’re Doing Taker Vs. HHH
3 2 At Mania, Quick, Change Your Plans
That’s not going to work, is it?
I’m going to be at Wrestlemania this year (bought my plane ticket yesterday! If you read With Leather and are gonna be there too, make sure to let me know on Twitter or something and find me at the show), so in addition to being the only dude in the building rooting for Cena to Embrace Hate and slaughter Rocky, I’m gonna be the one guy peeing a bored pee for 20 minutes (whether I’m in the bathroom or not) while these jerks trade finishers.
I’ve only been to one other Wrestlemania (24) and was stupid enough to try to find food and pee while Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero was on. I got five steps down the aisle and was all SH*T WHAT IT’S OVER, COME ON and had to run back. Hopefully that happens this year, too. Kick, wham, stunner, it’s over. Or pedigree, whatever.
(note: how awesome would it be if next year they booked Undertaker versus, I don’t know, Mason Ryan or somebody at Mania and Ryan just ran at him and speared him and pinned him like it was nothing? It’d be worth it just to see HBK and HHH make simultaneous exasperated-Sokka faces.)