Best: Zack Ryder Tries To Survive
Destiny was texting when Zack Ryder entered, and without looking up she started singing along with his entrance theme. Then she looked up and said, “I don’t like him. I like his song, but he sucks.”
My reaction to Zack Ryder was a brief explanation about how he was cool for maybe six months last year, then me going OHHHH SHIT YOU BOUT TO GET RYBACKED MOTHERF**KER when Alberto Del Rio showed up WITHOUT A CAR and WITHOUT RICARDO GETTING HIS OWN RING INTRODUCTION because serious business. I wanted it to play out like the ADR/Sin Cara matches (kick wham armbar), but was pleasantly surprised when Ryder got to fight back without having to get in a bunch of spots. It played out like a guy trying to survive, and less like people taking turns hitting moves. That’s great, and one of the reasons I fell in love with Ryder circa his matches with Santino on Superstars back in the long long ago.
Best: Rey Mysterio Is Back, And His Legs Work
Guess what? When you let one of the best wrestlers of all time heal up so he isn’t trying to do lucha transitions on grandpa legs, he is AWESOME. AWESOME TO THE MAX.
I’m really, really excited to have Rey Mysterio back, and not just because I’m going to SummerSlam. How bad did that ONE rad headscissors takedown make Sin Cara look, seriously? Mysterio was moving fluently and naturally, and I’m totally down for him to finally get a quick, month-long feud with Del Rio where he can stay healthy and come out on top. Then we can move him into a main event thing with WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION DOLPH ZIGGLER and SHOULD PROBABLY PAY ATTENTION Sin Cara for that mask record they want, and by WrestleMania Sheamus can be back to losing to Great Khali in pre-show battles royal.
Rikishi “looks great” but Vickie Guerrero’s a cow? Okay, Jerry.
Best: Heath Slater vs. Gran Uso
I want to formally applaud WWE for their choice of randomly occurring legends over the last two months. If I was making a list of guys I’d want to see on an all-time roster, Vader, Piper, Sid, Diamond Dallas Page, Bob Backlund and Rikishi would all make the cut. When this started I was so sure Slater would be getting Cobra Clutch’d by Sgt. Slaughter and Fist Dropped by Jerry Lawler every week, and I’m happy to say I was wrong. Next week’s Raw 1000 group should be more of what we’re used to — Bret Hart, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley — but this One Man Band World Tour was really cool.
I still hope Slater gets jumped by a bunch of legends on Raw 1000 only for Wade Barrett to show up with the Nexus (including Daniel Bryan) in tow to literally beat the piss out of them. I also hope Ricky Steamboat is involved.
Best: RIP Umaga
I never thought I’d say the words “Aww, Samoan Spike. Awww” and make a frowny face, but when Rikishi busted out his Samoan Spike in tribute of Umaga my heart grew three sizes. I didn’t get to write this column when he was around, but I loved Umaga (and Armando Alejandro Estrada) and still list his Last Man Standing match with Cena from the Royal Rumble as one of my favorite matches. Hell, I even loved 3 Minute Warning.
I also never thought I’d say “Jesus, Rikishi is looking FAT”, but here we are.
Best: Raw Just Got Heartwarming, You Guys
Heath Slater video package to in-ring Heath Slater promo to brief Rikishi match with Umaga tribute to RIKISHI DANCING WITH HIS SONS TO THE TOO COOL MUSIC was one of my favorite five minutes of Raw this year. I get mad at lot watching wrestling. I get bored, or I get excited, or I run upstairs to jump on the computer to tell people what I thought about whatever, but I very rarely watch wrestling and smile. This moment made me smile, because sometimes wrestling should be about love, and “wedding proposals” are “people making out” are not the only kinds of love.
In a better world, this moment would lead to the Usos incorporating Samoan Spikes and Sitting On People into their moveset en route to a WWE Tag Team Championship win to honor their family and heritage, and not just be another example of the Usos never being as cool as their dancing. They’re talented young guys, and talented young tag teams (that make sense) should be nurtured. That being said, I’m not gonna front — when the lights went down, I said “oh man, when they come back on I hope Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty are in the ring with him”. I said that.