BEST: The Match We Should’ve Gotten At WrestleMania
Yes. Yes. Yes.
The reason I was so heartbroken at WrestleMania wasn’t because of how I feel about how World Wrestling Entertainment runs or what they like or dislike, or what they do or don’t want to do with the crowd, and it’s certainly not because my favorite wrestler in the world used to wrestle on the independent circuit so no matter how much he does in WWE he’s “an indy guy” and I have the baggage of being THAT guy’s fan whenever I talk about him … it’s because those two guys could have THIS MATCH, and they could’ve had it on the biggest stage their industry provides. And also because I could’ve f**king watched it live. Or at least looked at a palm tree while it was happening near me.
Daniel Bryan versus Sheamus, 2-out-of-3 falls, was f**king fantastic. When I say “this is the match we should’ve gotten at WrestleMania”, I mean it … Sheamus should’ve won, but only after Daniel Bryan got to be the Best In The World for 20 minutes for anybody paying attention. I’m so happy that he’s found this success in WWE. I’m happy that we’ve got a new Chris Benoit — a guy who has worked so hard for so long against all sorts of physical and business-related odds to become an unreasonably dependable and popular guy who has great matches with everyone, and who will always be the underdog (and OUR underdog at that!) because we followed him up from the beginning. Only he’s better than Benoit because he didn’t grow up idolizing a dude who’d hold a gun in his wife’s face to f**k with her and if he flips out and kills his wife and child, at least he’ll be taking out one of the Bella Twins.
I’m kidding. I don’t want to imagine any scenario wherein Asparagus dies.
But yeah, this is our WWE match of the year to date. I don’t care how emotionally involved we all got in Inappropriate Ponytail Theater, this one involved everything that was good about wrestling and almost none of the bad stuff. Let Daniel Bryan wrestle for you forever, please, and keep his brain healthy.
Best: And Now A Kind Word About Sheamus
It takes two to have a great match, right?
I’ve gotten a lot of grief for what’s being called “the Sheamus Hate” (sample comment, “I don’t get all the Sheamus hate!”). The wrestling fan in me hated him for giving me the closest thing to a “Jim Cornette screwing the Rock n’ Roll Express out of the tag team titles and making six year old Brandon cry” since I was seven. I will and have in the past acknowledged that he is a talented, hoss-brand pro wrestler and that I bare no sincere animosity toward him as a guy. I don’t like his fat guy hats, but that’s probably a cultural thing.
So I’m officially retiring the “f**k Sheamus” initiative, at least for now, in the hopes that he’s just gonna meander into a Ricardo Rodriguez distraction in a month or two and get his arm broken by Alberto Del Rio anyway. You’re an okay guy, Sheamus, and until I pick up WrestleMania 28 and blu-ray and have to watch it again, we’re okay forever.
Best: ‘Sup, CM Punk’s Sister
you know where i could score some crank
Or, “so hey, do you know ace steel? that’s cool”
WWE has conditioned me to expect the worst from suddenly appearing family. Through some combination of Stephanie McMahon getting rape-married, Torrie Wilson’s dad getting sexed to death, Mr. Cena getting kicked in the head and Randy Orton’s harem of wives being harassed and threatened in their home I’ve come to see a sudden family member appearance as a horrible red flag for pro graps bullsh*t and spent most of the match going “okay, here’s where she hops the rail and slaps Punk in the face and Jericho gets the win”. That’s a horrible way to watch a show, isn’t it?
Also, I’m glad I’m not the only person who thought it was weird that CM Punk’s sister would call him “Punk”. I get kayfabe and all, but “CM Punk” is clearly not the dude’s name and he outed himself as a Phil like eight months ago.
Worst: When I Fight In The Streets Of Chicago I Wear Skinny Jeans And Brandish A Fire Extinguisher
This was the best ever opportunity for Punk to go back to the basketball shorts as “street fighting clothes”, but I guess “jeans with some pads over them and a belt to keep them up BUT NO SHIRT the shirt would be too constricting” is a better choice.
Not to go off on a tangent or anything, but one of the things I miss most from Several Years Ago Ring Of Honor is the emphasis the company put on what their wrestlers were wearing and when. This is a really underrated storytelling technique … for example, BJ Whitmer showed up to a barbed wire match in his normal ring gear, and the story was that he was so tough and hardcore he didn’t care if the barbs tore his skin and wasn’t about to put a pussy layer of protection between him and shredded stab wounds. Christopher Daniels showed up to a street fight wearing dress clothes once, I can’t remember if that was ROH or back when TNA wasn’t Hogan’d to sh*t.
Anyway, it was weird to see Punk dress like he was going to a gay bar and Jericho dressing like he had to duck out in the middle and hit a Fozzy show across the street. It is also weird that nearly 20 years after the onset of “hardcore wrestling” popularity we’re still using the spray from a f**king fire extinguisher as a move. It is dumb. Stop doing it. If a wrestler sprays you with a fire extinguisher, continue being fine, yank the thing out of his hands and bash him in the face with it.
Best: But Seriously, This Pay-Per-View Is Really, Really Good
I didn’t think Punk and Jericho at Extreme Rules was as good as it was at WrestleMania, but it was really good. It also confirmed my belief that Daniel Bryan and Sheamus got 18 seconds at WrestleMania because they wanted Punk/Jericho to be the Savage/Steamboat to Rock/Cena’s Hogan/Andre, because Sheamus and Daniel Bryan blew them out of the f**king water last night. If that’d happened at Mania, Punk wouldn’t have gotten his Bret Hart and Ultimate Warrior pleasing moment and Jericho would’ve continued to be overshadowed by literally everyone else.
Maybe that’s why they gave him a light-up jacket.