Best: Swaggler Explodes
Watching Raw with my girlfriend always puts things into perspective. Her two biggest observations from last night (before she got bored and wandered away):
1. Kane should pay attention to his matches and stop wandering away and falling in love every time anything happens
2. On Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger arguing: “This is terrible.”
And it is (and Kane should), so while the argument segment gets a Best for Jack Swagger calling Vickie Guerrero a saint, it’s important to remember that the whole thing was pretty terrible. Why are they arguing in the hallway? Why are they standing shoulder to shoulder? Why is a camera man filming this?
The match itself gets a big Best, though, as it was my favorite of the night. Dolph Ziggler wrestling as a good guy is weird and kind of a revelation, because he’s able to do his exaggerated bumping and Evan Bourne Family Guy death sells and look like he’s really being killed, so it’s easy for an audience of 10,000 people to all pick up on the same story and cheer for the same thing. Telling a story to an audience that big is a really under-appreciated aspect of big leagues wrestling, one I started picking up on watching Bushwhacker Luke wrestle in Ring Of Honor years ago. Guys like Kenny King are wrestling for the 20 people in the front row, but Luke is overdoing everything so the people in the very back (of a much bigger venue) can follow along.
Ultimate Babyface Dolph Ziggler could be something special if they
1. Don’t change his hair, ever
2. Give him back I Am Perfection, because f**k you for changing it in the first place
3. Don’t ever let him insult another wrestler on behalf of the WWE Universe
4. Ass roll
What the hell happened to the ass roll?
Best: Paul Heyman Verbally Rybacking Triple H
Oh man, Paul Heyman responding to Triple H by laughing in his face and more or less saying “derp derp” was the most glorious thing ever. Inappropriate Ponytail Theater is a hard thing for me to find joy in (especially with a ponytail as inappropriate as Paul Heyman’s), but he avoided Kitten Pictures and Hayley Williams Gifs territory by saying what needed to be said: No, Brock Lesnar isn’t going to be goaded into dropping a lawsuit because Triple H challenged him to a fight, no, he’s not going to drop HIS lawsuit against Triple H because one of his clients got challenged to a fight, and Triple H is a stupid bully who just starts strangling and punching people every time he doesn’t get his way.
Which led directly to:
Worst: Triple H Has No Point, Should Have No Job
Honestly, when did Triple H convince himself that he was Stone Cold Steve Austin? His point about never wanting the C.O.O. position and having it thrust upon him is Big Bullshit when you remember the last, I don’t know, 13 years of Triple H’s character being THE CEREBRAL ASSASSIN, the guy who would pretend to rape and drunk-marry the boss’s daughter to help her weed him out of power. The guy who had the line “yo the years went by with your lies/the marks, the suits, McMahon” in his entrance theme. The guy who has “it’s all about The Game and how you play it” NOW. That guy. The one who can’t finish a sentence without shoehorning THIS BUSINESS into it. “I’d like a #4 please, because I have always ordered a #4 FROM THIS BUSINESS” etc.
It was weird listening to Cole and Lawler guffaw under their breath about how Triple H had outsmarted the dastardly Paul Heyman, when for all intents and purposes he should be f**ked. That punch to Heyman should be the end of Triple H’s job. Heyman isn’t a WWE employee, and as weird as it was for John Cena to assault John Laurinaitis after he was fired, it was weirder seeing Triple H’s grand chess move be “this guy’s suing you and your company for putting your hands on him? PUNCH HIM”. The Board Of Directors has already fired two other guys for making things personal, and here’s Triple H having never done a single thing impersonally since becoming C.O.O. If Zack Ryder asked him for a raise he’d get thrown through a window and challenged to a Three Stages Of Hell match at Night Of Champions.
Heyman showing up and sticking around in the ring when he should just bail makes sense, because he’s an Ambulance Chaser who knows if he pushes H’s buttons he’ll get punched out on national television in front of millions of witnesses. H is just coming across as the dumbest, most aggressive jock ever and there’s no imaginable reason to cheer for him besides “Triple H is cool I like him”.
Best: Alberto Del Rio Actually Rybacking Santino
“Alberto Del Rio is not medically cleared to compete for the WWE Championship at No Way Out, but he’s TOTALLY FINE to have a non-title match the next night!” – the same doctors who haven’t wellness’d Mason Ryan 75 times by now
Anyway, watching Del Rio “young boy” Santino around the ring for a minute and a half is usually my favorite part of Raw. I’m happy to have him back, especially when he’s calmly avoiding diving headbutts that would make him look stupid and locking on an armbreaker for a victory he could’ve gotten by staring hard enough. There are a lot of little Worsts here — WWE getting into shifty TNA concussion storytelling, the United States Champion being squashed by a guy with no interest in his worthless belt — but ADR should always be considered top shelf and shouldn’t be going back and forth with guys like this like he’s the f**king Miz. He should grab them by the arm, murder them, and move on.
Best: Ricardo’s Cowardly Revenge
Just to recap, Santino Marella spent the last month beating up a ring announcer, culminating in a match at the pay-per-view where he stripped him to his underwear. Alberto Del Rio shows up to defend the honor of his friend and cleanly, decisively beats Santino in a one-on-one match. Why should I be cheering for Santino and not Del Rio again?
Ricardo waiting until Santino was thoroughly beaten up to pounce, attack his arm and make threatening Bro Gestures was great, because Ricardo is a goofy little coward who should be getting booed. I guess the only problem is that he can’t get his comeuppance, because all he’s ever GOTTEN is comeuppance. So this is like… reverse comeuppance? Inverted comeuppance. I don’t know the terminology. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is this is the first time in a while Ricardo’s actually given us a reason to want to see him beaten up, assuming “he’s Mexican” and “he’s got on gay clothes” don’t do it for you.