Best: The Use Of Little Jimmy As A Psychological Weapon
I don’t know if you made it through Miz’s hacky portion of that Backstage Fallout video to get to Truth, but Little Jimmy: Toy Salesman turning into Little Jimmy: Secret Way To Win Matches is pretty great.
I wanted the Truth/Bryan match to go on for a long time because it seems fresh, but it makes sense that it didn’t. Truth very clearly pulled an AJ by getting into a “YES” chant with Little Jimmy, sending Daniel Bryan over the edge and making him scream at a guy in the crowd for no reason so Truth could just roll back in and get the win. It continues Bryan’s story … obviously one week of anger management won’t be enough, and if they follow through with it and stop being wrestling long enough to get therapy actually help someone on their show, it could be phenomenal. A character with a documented mean streak who snaps can be an explained character thing now, and not just Ken Shamrock being a weird psycho asshole in real life.
I also really love the idea of Truth going out for ice cream with Little Jimmy and just jamming ice cream cones into his scalp with a smile on his face while Kofi stands in the background shrugging, saying asinine shit like, “Ice cream? Come on, Truth!”
Worst: I Love You, Crowd Pop
Dear Triple H,
You did not earn this.
You never allow yourself to look vulnerable. Even in your “retirement” speech, you made sure to preface the vulnerable parts with I WENT IN AND KICKED BROCK LESNAR’S ASS I’M THE GAME I’M ALWAYS GREAT, backdoor bragging enough to render any of that teary-eyed stuff people like Edge get when they’re actually giving up something they love for real.
You didn’t want to be the guy standing in the ring just to get a nostalgia pop, so you’re out here getting a nostalgia pop.
You didn’t get the “oh god thank you and goodbye forever, The Game” thing you wanted from the SummerSlam crowd, a crowd I’m proud to say I was a part of, so you waited a couple of weeks and sandwiched a teary Shawn Michaels promo about how you’re great between it and your big moment, where you spoke to a crowd who was happy to see you and got the reaction you needed. Thank you Hunter. Tears.
You did not earn this.
Nobody believes you’re “retiring”. Every single person chanting Thank You Hunter is doing so with the thought in their head that Paul Heyman will show up next week and say something shitty, and you’ll get into a Survivor Series match with Brock. Or a Royal Rumble match with Brock. Or a WrestleMania match with Brock and probably the Undertaker, because you’re the kind of guy who’d stick your nose into money like that.
I’m not going to make the nose joke.
You are taking 20 minutes to perform Who’s More Grizzled in front of a bunch of people who’d give you the same pop and chant for showing up during commercial break to pedigree Heath Slater.
You are not leaving to try to pick up the pieces and find something else to do with your life. If you “retire from wrestling”, you’re still IN CHARGE OF WRESTLING. There’s no sacrifice being made. You don’t feel sorry for guys who win the lottery when they forget their Q’Doba card at lunch. You go back to Vince McMahon’s daughter FOR REAL and your extremely advantageous WWE job FOR REAL, both of which you made parts of your character, so even your character can’t pretend he should feel bad.
You did not earn this, and you are wasting our time. You are the pro wrestling segment version of those message board posts where somebody says “just wanted to say goodbye to everyone” and refreshes their browser to see who asks them to stay. You’re the girl who posts “ready to give up” on her Facebook wall without explanation so people will say “what’s the matter, hon?”, only we’re stuck reading about your f**king explanation every day.
You are bad and you should feel bad.
Best: Ah What The Hell, I’ve Been Saving This One
Best: I Missed This Crummy Main-Eventer Tag Team Match To Buy Plane Tickets For King Of Trios
I didn’t watch the Sheamus/Orton vs. Del Rio/Ziggler tag team match, because thrown-together main eventer tag team matches happen every week and if I catch 15 of the next 16 I’ll be able to piece it together. Here’s a quick recap of what I’m assuming happened: Dolph Ziggler sold a Brogue Kick like a champ, Randy Orton did that weird thing he does where he SEEMS like he’s putting together a match but he’s mostly standing around waiting for you to jump into his moves, Sheamus did something 99% of people don’t care about but I find infuriating and Del Rio had the happiest 8 minutes of his life watching the tape later because Jerry Lawler wasn’t around to call him names. Stuff happened, but nothing REALLY happened.
Close enough, right?
Best/Worst: Superstars (The Show, Not The People) On Raw
These kinds of matches should be happening ALL THE TIME on a 3-hour Raw. All the time. Instead of TOP MAIN EVENTER TEAMS WITH SIMILARLY ALIGNED GUY AGAINST TWO COWARDS, we should have the other 58 guys on the roster you pay to be pro wrestlers out there filling the time on Raw. Sometimes they could even wrestle each other! That’s part of what made popular wrestlers so special back in the day … getting to see Hogan wrestle seemed like a treat because you were so used to seeing f**king Don Kernodle or whoever, so much so that you barely noticed how much of a dodgy a-hole Hogan was.
While David Otunga vs. Zack Ryder in itself was pretty terrible, it’s the on-screen learning experience they need. These are “main roster” guys who barely ever do anything in the ring on television, and if you’ve got a backup roster of guys like Kassius Ohno and Dean Ambrose waiting to show up, these guys should be busting ass and earning their keep. If Zack Ryder’s really that bad, let Tyson Kidd wrestle his match and put him in charge of marketing your lesser-knowns on the Internet, the one thing he’s proven he’s great at. If David Otunga never gets any better in the ring, notice how much better he’s gotten OUTSIDE of it and utilize that. Put him in a managerial role for a guy like McGillicutty who can’t say five sentences without aborting the mental mission and repeating them in fragments but can go. If that doesn’t work, do something else. Do not just do the same thing all the time.
Best: Wait, Is … Is KANE Carrying This Show?
Speaking of not doing the same thing all the time, I cannot believe I’m typing about how KANE WAS ONE OF THE BEST PARTS OF THIS SHOW. It wasn’t even his epic retelling of his WWE history, either, which was one of the best pieces of writing I’d say they’ve ever done. Even watching him sit at the announcers table (because that’s where he’s supposed to be, because wrestling) with Michael Cole cowering over in the corner trying not to get chokeslammed to Hell was great. He gets into the ring and you expect him to just emasculate Ryder again, but he doesn’t AND CHOKESLAMS THE BAD GUY INSTEAD, because anger management is WORKING and they’re ACTUALLY HAVING THINGS THE WRESTLERS DO AFFECT HOW THEY THINK AND FEEL ABOUT WRESTLING.
Holy SHIT that’s fantastic.
Kane has super secretly been one of this year’s MsVP, in the ring and outside of it. He absolutely gets it, and he’s gone from one of my least favorite wrestlers of all time to one of the best reasons to watch the show. Maybe it’s Destiny’s unrepentant love of him getting through to me, but whatever.
Best: The Official, In-Name Return Of Mr. Small Package
If anything can make me chant YES! YES! YES! again without feeling bad about it, it’s this. God bless you, Stuff From ROH That Worked.