Worst: Wait, Is This Pole Match Actually Happening
I got really excited when Vickie Guerrero said “IT’LL BE DOLPH ZIGGALLER GOING ONE ON ONE WITH ALBERTO DEL RIO”, then really NOT excited when she continued with, “IN A whatever she said ON A POLE MATCH”. Wrestling fans have been taught that Something On A Pole matches are The Devil’s work, a classic concept ruined by Vince Russo ejaculate that cannot occur without images of Judy Bagwell dancing in our heads. They could’ve put blindfolds and tuxedos on the guys and I wouldn’t have felt worse.
Best: I Actually Liked It When The Pole Match Got Worse
It was still Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio, as short as it was, and there were two major upsides:
1. The “Let’s Go Ziggler” chants are still here, which means they’re following him around and can become the thing we chant when he’s wrestling.
2. The post-grab stuff with the number-one contender’s contract was fun.
Number two is contentious, and I’ve read a lot of show reports about how the match fell apart when they got the contract down and started fighting over it. Maybe I was just in a good mood, but that made the match for me. By pulling down the contract and having to fight for control, they incorporated ladder match tropes into a pole match. When it got knocked to the outside, they introduced some cage match drama, trying to keep each other from crawling out of the ring first. Ricardo got involved, and I got very interested in seeing how they were gonna finish what they’d started.
The supplemental worst here is that they didn’t … Sheamus lobster-headed his way out to announce that Vickie Guerrero had made a triple trett match for Smackdown and they should stop wrestling. I wanted Ziggler to run around the ring and grab the contract anyway, so he could get another match if he lost that one. Lawler rightfully asked why Sheamus seemed so happy about suddenly having to face two opponents instead of one for the World Heavyweight Championship, and I said “because he’s stupid, Jerry” to my television.
Best: The Underpants Rumble
I’m not sure how to justify it, but I liked the Summer Whatever Excuse To Put Girls In Bikinis battle royal. In a TV-PG environment it seems a little more sane. In the Attitude Era, these things were excuses for people to get stripped naked and blasted with super soakers and stuffed into potato sacks or whatever. Here, it seemed like a fun novelty. You wouldn’t think I’d say that, but I love battles royal, and will usually find a way to justify them as great.
Highlights (which you’re free to note have zero to do with wrestling) include:
– Kaitlyn in a swimsuit, because Kaitlyn is my fitness and improperly-dyed hair role model.
– Vickie Guerrero looking so good in her swimsuit that Lawler lost track of the 65,000 of the 70,000 jokes he had ready about her being a fat old worthless Mexican cow.
– Rosa Mendes making “gross” face at Vickie in a swimsuit, like she won’t be lucky to still look that good in her mid-40s after two kids.
– Layla making “gross” face as well because she’s secretly still LayCool Layla, which is why she acted so weird about having to introduce Wendi Richter and Cyndi Lauper last week. Tossing her into the “secret heel” group with Punk. Bonus highlight for Layla making the gross face, and Kaitlyn standing next to her with a huge smile on her face.
– Maxine in a bright yellow bikini. True fact: Maxine was the best looking woman out there.
– I am not going to post a picture of AJ’s butt.
– No, I’m not. Stop asking.
– all right all right
Worst: This Would Probably Work Better If Everyone Wasn’t Actively Trying To Eliminate Themselves
I spent 3 hours watching GLOW on Friday night (yes, this is my life, shut up) and man, even the GLOW battles royal required the women to go over the top rope and hit the floor. The Ain’t No Cure For The Summertime Boobs battle royal or whatever was two minutes long, and 115 seconds of it was just girls stopping, dropping and rolling out of the ring. There is no reason why you should get eliminated from a battle royal for going out under the bottom rope, I don’t care HOW afraid of nip-slips you are. Put on some Wrestleicious Leyla Milani star pasties and throw your ass over the top rope. You’re a televised professional.
By the way, if you ever find any Best Of GLOW DVDs, buy them and watch them. They’re the funniest thing you’ve ever seen on Raw reproduced non-stop, with 100% more “people getting thrown headfirst into cardboard columns”.
Best: Oh Okay, Yes
And now the reason you clicked this column, gifs of AJ doing YES! chants in her underwear. It was good, I’m not gonna front.
Remember all those times I typed about how great it’d be if they took AJ’s newly-developed character and put her back into the Divas division, so she could sorta develop them by proxy and be a huge, marketable star? Listen to the amazing reaction she got during the battle royal last night. AJ chants, a pop for her victory and the entire crowd chanting YES along with her. People want to see wrestling and people want to see women. If you let them be interesting beyond “they are a woman”, maintain their characters and present them as an important part of your show, people will pay to see it. Let them take piss breaks during those long-ass silent commercial breaks you have between segments. Let AJ be the next evolutionary step.
Also, let Kaitlyn be there.