Best: People Are Finally Doing Ryback Right
I was worried that Ryback would mire forever in those two-is-greater-than-one jobber squashes, or worse, he’d mire forever in that “beat up Reks and Hawkins but get attacked way too much during it” things that’d push him too far away from the Goldberg mystique he’s seemed to naturally cultivate. I’m pleased to announce that I’m wrong, at least for the moment, and that both Raw and Smackdown made great strides in The Ryback as an Actual WWE Guy.
On Smackdown, he’s got a thing going with Jinder Mahal where Mahal thinks he can beat up two nobodies too, and he CAN, because those nobodies are the worst, and statistically worse at wrestling than Alberto Del Rio’s Hot Cops. I saw you back there as a phony police officer, Cowboy James Claxton, you can’t fool me. On Raw, Ryback became AJ’s other Teddy Long tribute, the “tough guy who beats up people who were rude to me”. Where Teddy would bring out DA CELTIC WARRIAH, SHAMUS~! or RANDEH, ORTEN~!, AJ is using The Ryback. Kane used to be this guy, too. It’s not a terrible place to be, because all those guys are former champions. If we see The Ryback winning the United States Championship in a hot Raw match where the crowd surfs Antonio Cesaro (or whoever) back to the ring to take his beating, we’ll know we’re on the right track.
Also, my heart gets warm whenever I hear the WWE Universe finally doing the FEED ME MORE chant. They still don’t know how to handle his DONE or FINISH IT taunts (maybe they’ve never seen The Fountain), but at least they aren’t leaving him hanging on the important part like they did with Edge and his spear.
Best: Heath Slater Is Back On Raw
HE’S THE ONE MAN BAAAAAAND, BAYBAYYYYYYY~!
Man, there’s nothing greater than that honeymoon period when you get into a wrestler and get super excited whenever he shows up on TV. I’m in that with Damien Sandow, but no wrestler makes me happier just by showing up on Raw than Heath Slater. I love just typing his catchphrase, and I love that he’s added a ridiculous air guitar pantomime to make it a thousand times worse. Cole helpfully explaining that he’s the One Man Band because he “plays all the instruments” (and no other reason, not even attempting to apply a one man band concept to pro wrestling) was off the charts.
Worst: Probably The Most Nonchalant Victory Ever
You know it’s sad when Michael Cole starts in with his “here’s the cover, hook of the leg, shoulders down” thing and it actually ends the match.
You know that honeymoon period I was just talking about? R-Truth was the best character of Spring 2011, but the Summer of Punk came along and Truth went from exciting, nuanced sociopath to Miz’s black friend who can’t even win 2-on-1 handicap matches, and then into crowd pleasing sociopath who pats an invisible child on the head and it’s kinda funny I guess, but it’s not what it used to be. Truth used to be the guy who’d attack John Morrison backstage, then get LEGITIMATELY SURPRISED when he circled back around to find John Morrison injured. That’s the Truth I want. This Truth just hits a couple of clotheslines and Rock Bottoms himself and picks up the win, and the crowd sits on their hands.
The beginning of that paragraph was originally “nobody has ended their honeymoon quite as quickly as R-Truth”, but then I remembered that Brodus Clay exists.
Worst: Shawn Michaels And Roddy Piper, The Backstage Elderly
I’m not sure what was going on when we jumped backstage to Roddy Piper doing a weird Death Of A Salesman thing about not understanding Twitter, and it wasn’t made any better when we panned to the right to find Shawn Michaels lost in a dream (somewhere between his brain and his right eyeball), wondering where Triple H was. It was that joke about Triple H being Poochie from ‘The Itchy & Scratchy Show’ brought to life — when Triple H wasn’t on screen, the other characters were asking, “where’s Triple H?”
I’ve been trying to figure out what’s been bugging me since Raw 1000, and I think I’ve finally figured it out. You know how in real life, wrestlers get brain damage and their bodies fall apart and the people they love die, so they end up like Iron Sheik, just kinda cussing at open spaces in front of him so people will laugh at him, because being laughed at is better than being ignored and forgotten? That’s what WWE is doing with their legends now. Instead of being these larger than life figures from the past who were tougher than tough, they’re comedy guys who show up to yell HEY REMEMBER ME I’M TATANKA before somebody pies them in the face. I … don’t really love it. Piper’s still got a great mind for wrestling, so let’s not waste him on Mae Young-level old folks jokes.
Best: Mark Henry With Olympians
Most adorable Raw moment goes to Mark Henry (not a sentence you type a lot) for his Tout-package about visiting London and taking mark photos with U.S. Olympians. Mark is the greatest, even hurt, and watching him grin while people pretend to karate kick him in the head is the best. Get well soon, Mizark, I’ve got like 50 Bests archived and ready to give you for doing basically anything.
Worst: Stay Off The Internet During Tensai Vs. Sin Cara
The match itself wasn’t terrible (it was only a minute long … unless Jackie Gayda’s under that Sin Cara hood, you can only be so bad in a minute), but there’s no Internet I want to be a part of less than the one reacting to a
Lord Tensai versus Sin Cara match on Raw.
One side can’t stop making jokes about Sin Cara botching everything. The other can’t stop talking about how stupid and boring Albert’s been for more or less this entire WWE run. It’s a guy who had his trampoline taken away versus a guy who had his spit hand taken away. It’s a guy who takes his time and makes sure to hit his video game moves against a guy whose only remaining role on the show is to lose to little guys and go WHAT ARGHHH WHAT. Somewhere along the line Sin Cara became a Diva, and Tensai became a fat, racist Jack Swagger. The reason I don’t want to hear about it is because everyone saying this is COMPLETELY RIGHT, and because both “Diva Sin Cara” and “fat, racist Jack Swagger” would be amazing wrestling characters.