Best: The Griefasaurus
I loved (loved loved) how Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole put on their most disgusted faces and their most Owen voices to shake their heads mournfully about what’d just happened to The Big Show, and then all of a sudden HERE’S A DISCO BALL and LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THE ONLY LIVE-INGGG and a bunch of enthusiastic introductions. It was like watching Sophie’s Choice on cable and flipping over to ‘The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody’ right at the end. Sophie and Nathan are committing suicide and boom, suddenly Mr. Moesby is doing CRAZY LEGGGGS, CRAZY LEGGGGS
My good will toward the show started running out around here. I don’t remember a lot about the match, other than Dolph Ziggler’s 200th consecutive running jumping headbutt into nothing and the feeling that large chunks of the match were missing. To put it another way, the WWE Fan Nation highlight version is 4 minutes long but still features the cutaway to A.W. and PERM and Mason Ryan (MR. AW PERM?) and the full post-match thing where they bring a bunch of kid plants (or “Littles Jimmy”) into the ring and have them be precociousauruses.
It’s basically time for Mark Henry to show up, World’s Strongestly Slam Brodus and scream at these kids about air bills until they disperse. Yeah, I know Mark Henry just had surgery, but in my brain the hospital version of Henry could still kill Brodus.
Worst: CM Punk And Alex Riley Are Friends
Want proof that CM Punk isn’t cool anymore? He’s hanging out backstage with Alex Riley. And he lent Riley 50 dollars? For what? So he could go to the salon and get the sides of his head shaved like Butthead?
Now at least we have an explanation as to why Alex Riley was trying to narc him out to Chris Jericho last month. Maybe Riley was trying to get Punk stripped and fired so he wouldn’t have to pay up? I’m desperately trying to come up with character motivations and reasons for Alex Riley to exist, WWE, help me out here.
Worst: I Get What Punk Was Going For, But Wow
I’ve narrowed down my opinion on CM Punk to this: I like him as a wrestler, but I hate how he interacts with people.
That’s the opposite of what it was for years. I didn’t like his crummy top rope pedigrees or his weak KENTA rush, but I liked how he screamed at Raven and how much of a dickhole he was to Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio’s kids. So I guess the even narrower version is “I like babyface anti-hero CM Punk as a wrestler, but I hate how he interacts with other characters I like”. He spoke derisive Spanish to Alberto Del Rio, he calls John Laurinaitis “stupid” and “ugly” with nearly no provocation and here he is responding to AJ telling him “good luck in your match” by more or less saying “uh you’re a bitch soooo”
And I get what he was doing. AJ is closely tied in to PPV opponent Daniel Bryan and I’m assuming she’ll be involved in their match now, but in the context of the segment (the only context we’re actually provided) she said hi to Punk and he called her unstable to her face. Is that how you’re supposed to interact with people? To skip the pleasantries and go right to pointing out their flaws? AJ’s been treated like shit for months, Mr. Female Empowerment Message CM Punk probably could’ve went to the “hey, are you okay because seriously” well before he went to “f**k off and leave me alone”.
He didn’t call her a hoeski or anything, it just rubbed me the wrong way.
Best: Orton And Sheamus Arguing Over A “W”
Confession: I didn’t watch this match.
What I did see was this match’s ending, with Sheamus pulling Jericho out of the ring, causing Randy Orton to BRO THE HELL UP and get awesome, yelling THAT WAS MY DOUBLE-YOU and other ridiculous LAX Bro nonsense. That’s a Randy Orton I can get behind, a naturally talented guy with a brain disorder who never developed beyond the frat house and is too emotionally immature to handle anything more emotionally complex than jumping and grabbing somebody’s face on the way down. It’s why he makes animal faces and why his merch is three seconds of graffiti away from saying SEX PREDATOR — he’s not tough, he’s sick. Look at his skin!
If I was a heel, I would always feud with Sheamus. He’s Bart and Lisa, swinging their arms around like THIS and kicking the air like THIS and if you happen to get in the way of it it’s not their fault. He’s just throwing Putski hammers and Brogue Kicks, and if you’re a WWE heel you can eliminate 80% of your damage by putting him in situations where he has to spend more than five minutes with someone else you hate.
Worst: Is Anybody Interested In Anything Chris Jericho Is Doing?
Best: Kane And Zack Ryder Take It To The Pre-Show
This gets a “worst” for ensuring that I won’t be watching the Over The Limit pre-show, but it gets a couple of smaller “bests” for continuing the YouTube pre-show concept and for making it a match that needs to happen. I’ve never understood why Ryder took out his wheelchair aggressions on Cena for accidentally save-kissing Eve Torres but didn’t say a goddamn word to the guy who broke his back and sent him wheeling helplessly off a stage. The biggest payback Ryder’s gotten is some ineffective child abuse forearm shots backstage. Counter a chokeslam with a Rough Ryder like we’ve seen you do before and give this goon some forward momentum. Right now the only difference between him and Robbie E. is an electrocuted fish sell.
Here’s an idea for the WWE: either use the remainder of your pre-show to show video hype packages you aren’t going to show on the pay-per-view itself, or save those packages for the PPV and fill up the half-hour with additional matches.