Worst: Hey Cody, At Least Get Beaten Up A Little Before You Bail
Last year, WWE was milking the “rival’s music plays during a guy’s match and causes him to lose” thing for all it was worth, and as bad as pro wrestling tropes can be they’re worse when you use the same one over and over. They don’t do it as much now because they’re in love with the Purposeful Count-Out Loss, where a heel rolls out of the ring 20 seconds into the match and is all UH UH GIVE ME MY TITLE and bails. The matches are a maximum of 4 minutes long so you’ve got to do it quickly, I guess.
I can’t fit everything wrong with this into a paragraph. Firstly, it happens too often. You just did it on Smackdown, for Christ’s sakes. Secondly, basically the only thing that happened to Cody in the match was Big Show stopping his progress and shoving him away dramatically. And yeah, you did a backflip when he shoved your leg, but you’re the Intercontinental Champion, can’t you just get up? The “bail on a match” trope only works when it’s later in a match and the guy with the belt has realized he can’t finish off the challenger or his goose is cooked. Thirdly, you’re depriving me of an Intercontinental Championship match on Raw, and IC title matches are the f**king T206 Honus Wagner of wrestling. Fourthly, you’re depriving me of the Cody Rhodes portion of an otherwise extremely boring Raw. Fifthly, going to this well too often neuters the sh*t out of your bad guys and makes them look like helpless cowards, which is why you need to group 8 of them together every time John Cena needs a beatdown. If you created talented challengers for us to dislike, we’d invest more time and money into seeing the people we like beat them and be interested enough in your show to talk about whether or not we think that’ll happen. Sixthly, this is one of what seemed like half a dozen matches on the show that went less than 2 minutes. Seventhly, f**k.
Watching wrestling these days is like trying to hold a mound of sand in your hand. Give us a f**king bucket, guys.
Best: Big Show Versus Eve Is A Feud
Through some wild combination of Big Show needing a “WrestleMania moment” (and nothing more) and David Otunga being stuck in court, a 7-foot tall 500-pound guy is feuding with LensCrafters Presents Eve Torres over an impression with a sh*tty tone and whether or not he meant an apology. This is actually happening.
This is the kind of dumb crap that would inevitably happen if I was put in charge of WWE. Sure, I’d work hard to craft a 3-year, dynamic Daniel Bryan versus CM Punk rivalry that calls upon the entire history of professional wrestling, validates the existence of independent promotions and leads each man to redefine an aspect of the sport’s humanity, but hell, the other six stories on the show would revolve around Kane’s problems with the production team and The Great Khali feuding with Scott Stanford over God knows what. And hey, as awesome as that sounds, it does not sound awesome.
Next week Show should throw Eve’s glasses on the ground and stomp them, and she should spend the next six weeks acting like she’s blind.
Best: A.W. Is About To Go Heenan Family On You
I almost gave “A.W. stands for All World instead of Abraham Washintgon” a worst, but I reconsidered. While “All World” sounds like the first thing the writing team shouted out when the head of Creative asked “what should A.W. stand for”, but if it becomes a purposeful motivation for A.W.’s stable creation, I’m all for it.
Think about it. He tried to sign Mark Henry, who is the World’s Strongest Man. He succeeded in signing PERM, who are more or less the most (forgive me here) ethnic tag team in the company. They might as well wear potato sacks with PUERTO RICO written across the front. On Raw, he was joined by Mason Ryan, who, in addition to looking like Peter Gallagher as The Incredible Hulk, is Welsh. If Washington uses the world as his outline, he could stock his crew with a TON of WWE castaways from various parts of the globe (Drew McIntyre, Natalya, Aksana, Ezeikiel Jackson, Khali, Jinder Mahal, Yoshi Tatsu, whoever) and create this huge conglomerate of guys who need a chance and can’t get one because the main event scene is Alberto Del Rio, the whitest guy in the history of Europe and the top six white Americans in WWE.
Worst case scenario, Justin Gabriel gets something to do.
Worst: Dolph Ziggler Versus Kofi Kingston
I started writing this column at With Leather during the Summer Of Punk and was fortunate enough to launch it for a new audience during some of the best Raws in years. That also happened to be during the six-to-eighty year stretch when they had Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston wrestle each other (sometimes in 2-out-of-3 Falls matches, sometimes best 5-out-of-9) on every single show. It was a rivalry so tired I once literally put my television in the toilet over it.
They wrestled again last night, and while it’s been a few months since they wrestled 1-on-1 and I want Dolph Ziggler to win matches on every show and be rich and popular forever, I can’t completely clean the sh*t-stains from the underside of my TV. I don’t want to see them wrestle each other. It’s fine, but I don’t want to see it. About 20 seconds into the match my brain went to a PLEASE STAND BY graphic and switched back on for the Zig Zag. It’s sorta like going to that place where you hear voices, except all I hear is screaming.
Worst: Jerry Lawler Can’t Follow Basic Wordplay
Vickie: “Excuse me! Excuse me! Allow me to introduce you to a man for whom the show does not go on, he shows off! Dolph Ziggler!”
Lawler: “For who the show does not go on? What?”
Best: THE ZIG ZAG MAN RIGHT HERE
That being said, it was nice to see Ziggler get a clean (enough) win over someone of note on Raw, especially after the last month or two of him eating Funkasaurus headbutts. The finish looked phenomenal, due in part to the camera angle and in another part to Kofi having been Zigged-Zag more than he’s brushed his teeth.
This seems like a great place to move Swaggler into tag team title contention, ease Ziggler back into that Punk/Bryan corner of the WWE main event scene or into my fantasy universe where 2005 Ring Of Honor became the new ECW, Adam Pearce never existed and nobody at WWE HQ could find Irish Whip Wrestling’s contact info. Also in this fantasy universe I am Callie Thorne’s love interest on ‘Necessary Roughness’, ‘Necessary Roughness’ is non-fiction and the only character welcome on USA is Rhonda Shear.