Best: Feeding Him More
Two big highlights from The Ryback live match experience:
1. I told my Section Buddy to cover her ears for Ryback, but when he started doing his arm pumps she didn’t see any fireworks and thought she was in the clear. She uncorks her ears, Ryback’s atomic snapper goes off and she practically ends up three rows back.
2. A little kid in my section tried to start a lonely “Goldberg” chant, but nobody bought it because Ryback’s been on Smackdown long enough to dilute a lot of that and f**k you kid you weren’t even alive for Goldberg.
I’m trying to keep my fandom strong for The Ryback, because I saw how my love of the Funkasaurus went from immeasurable to VANISHED in like three weeks, so here are my best suggestions: get him out of the “NXT guys who can bump, but not really” handicap match rut he’s wandered into, remember that Goldberg was popular because he ANNIHILATED guys (not because he pinned them), and get him into a feud with Heath Slater’s Gumby ass sooner rather than later, because oh man, people want to see Slater destroyed by steroid monsters and OMB can make it look like gold.
Best: AW Is Just Like Jack Kevorkian … He Kills In Person
The four minutes of Prime Time Players/PE
RM tag team match might’ve been my favorite of the night, because it wasn’t overcast with some horrible, self-destructive thing I think about something I can’t change. It was fun, purposeful, made both teams looked better and inverted the “we’re gonna leave and take the count-out loss” trope properly. They even put the match shortly after the Orton/Big Show double count-out thing to make the prospect of a count-out even less appealing. AW’s headset gimmick works WONDERS in a live environment, too. Every time he said LADIES AND GENTLEMEN TITUS O’NEIL or whatever people gave him THE BUSINESS.
Another fun part of this match is learning that kids have no idea who R-Truth is. When the tag champs came out to stop the Prime Time Players from leaving, the people in my section were ALL ABOUT Kofi Kingston. After a few seconds of them standing there, a kid behind me goes “who’s that with him??” Another kid down the row goes, “I DUNNO!!!” Maybe they were thrown off because he didn’t have R-TRUTH airbrushed down the side of his suit.
Worst: Where The Hell Is Rosa, Or “I Didn’t Know About The Jackson Andrews Thing Until This Morning”
I had no idea that Rosa Mendes was in an abusive relationship with Tyson Kidd’s old forgotten bodyguard Jackson Andrews and that’s why she couldn’t make the show, so I spent most of the match kinda callously assuming she’d been written off because in modern WWE Land you can’t cheer a lady in a corset.
I don’t know a lot about the situation, but I’d like to formally say f**k Jackson Andrews, and if I ever see him in person I’m gonna tap him in his f**king steroid leg and cause his entire body to collapse in on itself. People who physically abuse the person they’re supposed to love, male or female, are scumbags who deserve zero sympathy.
Yes, I’m coming out with the brave Anti-Beating Your Girlfriend stance.
Best: Damien Sandow Is Doing God’s Work (Or At Least Brandon’s)
I was almost as happy as you’d imagine me being when Brodus Clay’s entrance was immediately interrupted by Damien Sandow. I like to think Brodus, Naomi and Cameron were huddled together in the back with a microphone getting ready to do their into speech and they spotted Sandow just kinda lurking in the background stroking his beard, and Brodus was all YOU AREN’T GONNA ATTACK ME IN A MINUTE ARE YOU and Sandow just kinda shook his head no, then made whatever the sophisticated man’s equivalent gesture to “wank and toss” is. Biting your thumb, maybe.
Anyway, Sandow’s only negative is that he puts me in that impossible position of explaining to people why I’m cheering for the heel. He just makes a ton of sense. People (not just wrestling fans) are irrationally interested in watching Santino have a snake arm or Hornswoggle being revealed as an authority figure or fat guys dancing and he has to stop it because he is moved to. He’s a guy who doesn’t understand why all this stupid shit is happening around him and nobody has a good explanation for it (“we’re havin’ fun” is not an explanation), so he has to end it. He’s a smart guy in a business that celebrates stupidity. He’s awesome and he wears pink trunks because he’s a boss.
Maybe if Brodus got a second song or switched up his dance moves from time to time I could say “hey, leave Brodus alone, he’s just havin’ fun!” But nope, R-Truth proved your second single can never be a hit, and Brodus deserves every bit of bad luck and injury he gets for coasting on John Laurinaitis’ ace idea and then turning on him for no reason. You’re my hero, Damien Sandow. Thank you for being a thing.
Worst: Thanks For Saving This Eve/Kelly Kelly Match For Me, Guys
Oh, hey, Kelly Kelly was supposed to be gone forever or whatever and Eve Torres was a scheming librarian, but OF COURSE Brandon’s in the crowd tonight so let’s have them Diva the shit out of each other for a minute. I complain a lot in these columns about Divas matches being way too short, but man, in person those things are abysmal and go on forever.
I also don’t like to throw shade at these things too often because they are what they are, and it doesn’t matter that a month and a half ago I watched Jazz and Rachel Summerlyn go 20 epic minutes in a joshi tournament down the road, Kelly and Eve serve their purpose and do their tumbles like they’re told. Maybe Kelly’s reemergence is the next step beyond “no Divas matches” to make us be as OH GOD THEY’RE GONNA RUIN HER about Sara Del Rey showing up as possible. It worked with Daniel Bryan, right?
In my brain, this match ended with a Hailey Hatred run-in and was off the charts.