Best: ONE MAN BAND vs. SENTIENT SNAKE ARM For Feud Of The Year
I don’t mind wrestlers pointing out how stupid wrestling is when they’re doing it positively. If John Cena points out that Alberto Del Rio’s cars are rented, he’s pointing out how stupid wrestling is in a way you shouldn’t, sorta calling attention to the man behind the curtain and saying “hey look at how fake this is, everybody”. Comedy wrestling, especially between a man with a snake puppet hand and a guy who advertises himself as a one man band but appears to make no music, can point out some of the stupider tropes of wrestling — people just lying there while you jump on them, taunts, the logistics of a karate strike taking on the life of a snake when summoned by shouting — and make them work. We’re not laughing AT them, we’re laughing WITH them. That’s key.
I loved almost everything about this match. I loved Santino nonchalantly rolling away from the corners (to no crowd response, because they were too busy texting THEY FUKKED UP to the Botchamania guy), I loved the Cobra (I’m assuming not the ASS cobra) being attracted to Aksana at the expense of Santino but learning from its mistakes and putting its opponent away angrily before charging after her, and I especially, especially loved Heath Slater getting upset that Santino’s band taunts weren’t musically accurate. Heath Slater as Pitchfork: The Wrestler would be pretty outstanding. He’s already a ginger nobody likes, that’s like 80% of getting your record onto Pitchfork.
Slater’s in such a wonderful place right now. He gets to be an entertaining part of the show because he’s too good at his job to keep hidden, but he’s not selling a bunch of t-shirts so he doesn’t have to get thrust into romance angles and shit. He’s just a guy who is good at wrestling acting like an idiot with little-to-no toll taken on his body and making lots of money to do it. THE ONE MAN BAAAAAAND, BAY BAYYYYYY
My “joy collage” would just be a picture of Heath Slater playing air guitar.
Worst: LOL @ Aksana Doing Literally Anything
I love Aksana (dancing in a net backstage once gets you a lot of mileage) and think she’s a great second for Antonio Cesaro, but she should never under any circumstances be allowed to stand, speak, wrestle or do things by herself. All she had to do here was walk out to her porno sax and stand still. Somehow she couldn’t do THAT convincingly, and she reminded me a lot of a child at a school play who is ABOUT to remember his lines, but just can’t. There are a lot of pretty women in the world, guys, you could probably find one to remember “hold my arm up like a snake” before she’s been out there for 40 seconds.
Best: Rhodes Scholar
The most hopeful moment of the show came right in the middle, when Brodus Clay and Sin Cara teamed up, meaning two of MY favorite wrestlers, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes, would be obligated to team up against them. I’d been trying to come up with a funny name for the Clay/Sin Cara team (“Fun Kara” is the best one I could come up with, although “Luchadaurus” has its charm), but as soon as I thought “Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes” my brain went RHODES SCHOLAR and put flashing lights on my fingers so I could type excitedly about it on Twitter. I hope they keep teaming up, because I love them, and I hope they end up finding the nickname and liking it, because I secretly want to be a part of this show so bad you guys.
One of the reasons I like them as a team is because there’s no dramatic reason to be together, which presents even less dramatic reasons for them to split. I loved The Miz and R-Truth together, but their team formed when both guys felt overlooked by WWE management and formed a Suicide Squad to throw themselves at Cena and Rocky. When that didn’t work, they imploded, and Miz Skull-crushingly finale’d Truth on the ramp so hard it made him think an invisible white kid who dominates his life was a good thing. In contrast, Sandow and Rhodes are fast friends because they can carry a conversation. I can’t imagine Sandow can find many pro wrestlers who think moves with Latin names are a cool idea (assuming Triple H won’t do a Daniel Desario ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ thing with him), so I don’t think he’d be quick to sever that relationship. Maybe they’d develop a mutual jealousy or something, but nothing so grand they have to turn on each other. Neither of these guys is up for a Hot New Babyface run any time soon.
I think I just gave myself a happiness seizure imagining babyface Damien Sandow yelling about Wittgenstein’s Mistress to a wrestling crowd and getting cheered for it.
Best: Sin Cara’s Epic Dancing
Oh, the other big highlight of this match was Sin Cara going Full 1960s Spider-Man with his post-match dance party with the Children Of Funkasaurus. Seriously, watch him:
And you wonder why the guy can’t trampoline over the ropes without hurting himself. Maybe the problem is that he’s trying to mimic the dance steps of the little Make-A-Wish motherf**ker to his left instead of keeping his eyes on the hot black girl with rhythm to spare and a Dr. Wagner ass to his right.
Best: Rhodes Scholar Backstage Fallout
I don’t link to these backstage things a lot, but this one features the best guys on the show, so please watch it as much as possible:
– Cody Rhodes namedropping Stephen A. Smith, who also probably thinks wrestling is real.
– Cody misidentifying the Funkadactyls derisively, which is amazing.
– Enough to make me think they’ll continue tagging Rhodes Scholar, and I won’t have to write three paragraphs in every Best and Worst from now until whenever about how they should’ve.
– Damien Sandow winning the NXT promo contest using the word “Perrier”.
– Sandow being so wonderfully lost in his own character I can’t imagine him ever breaking it. Not even when he turns face three years from now and uses Manuel de Sumaya to run down Alberto Del Rio and EVERYONE LOVES IT.
/starts the video over