Best: Good Luck On Mars, Jack
Or, “So Long, And Thanks For All The Lisp”.
In case you’re wondering what all this Jack Swagger Astronaut talk is about, it stems from something I wrote about Brock Lesnar quitting WWE via Tout in the August 20 edition of The Best And Worst Of WWE Raw:
Why is “I AM QUITTING AND LEAVING FOR NO RAISIN” Brock Lensar’s only buffer between storylines? Can’t he just not show up again until he needs to show up again? We don’t see Jack Swagger on every show, we don’t need him in an astronaut suit saying WELL I’M OFF ON MY EXPEDITION TO MARS to explain it.
With Jack Swagger formally announcing to the audience that he’ll be “taking some extended time off” to figure out what happened to him (he’s better than this), now’s the PERFECT time to begin our Jack Swagger Of Mars sub-story. Look for an installment every week he’s gone, assuming he’s actually gone and not just showing up next week dressed as the Mad Hatter, or whatever the hell they’d do with him.
Honestly, there are so many ways you can go with a “former champion gets down on his luck, takes time off to refocus” angle. You can have him come back with a new, more serious persona and f**k people up. You can have him go to Japan, learn to “dominate” the Japanese, shave his head and write some shit on his face. You can have him return with the Swagger Soaring Eagle and make Brandon happy. Anything, really. Just don’t have him go away and never come back, because he’s good at his job whether you want him to be or not.
Also, I feel like I shouldn’t have to keep addressing AJ directly, but damn, you are the worst general manager ever. Brock Lesnar left because “leaving” is what Brock Lesnar does. Chris Jericho left because you SUDDENLY PUT HIM IN A MATCH WITH A STIPULATION THAT HE’D HAVE TO LEAVE IF HE LOST. He didn’t really make that decision. And Punk didn’t “leave”, he took the night off because 1) it’s Labor Day, and 2) you’re always jerking him around with crappy non-title matches. Losing Jack Swagger is not a big deal. Do you cry if Jinder Mahal leaves early? I can’t believe I’m telling you this now and not when you were putting wrestlings through tables, but Jesus, get a grip, lady.
Worst: Layla Vs. The Miz, An Argument I Never Want To Hear Again
The Miz filled in for Jerry Lawler on commentary last night, and I haven’t mentioned it up until now because I’m still not sure what to make of the experience. It was a rollercoaster for me. When he walked out to join the booth, I thought, “oh god, Miz can’t improvise, this is going to be terrible”. Then he proved me right, doing a weird Ed Grimley thing where he said I MUST SAY after too many things in a row, and that gave way to him talking loudly and not getting Michael Cole’s sarcasm. It was unbearable. At some point he settled in and I was able to ignore him. I stopped thinking of him as The Miz On Commentary, and some of the stuff he said was funny.
That being said, his argument with Layla about the Divas division and physical beauty is one of the most f**king unbearable things I’ve ever had to hear in my f**king life. You only get a little of it in the video. Between Miz’s insistence that obviously gorgeous model/dancer Layla El is a “2” and Layla’s shirt with a big glittery LOL on it, it felt like I was listening to somebody read a 4Chan thread out-loud. If you find the entire segment online, I recommend watching it with the sound down, and something more pleasant playing in another window. It works really well with DeBarge’s ‘Rhythm Of The Night’. Layla even kinda looks like the sexy lady version of El DeBarge. Layla El DeBarge. Holy shit.
And come to think of it, the ‘Rhythm Of The Night’ video is also way better than this match. New plan: Stop watching wrestling and watch a bunch of DeBarge videos. This should be Johnny Curtis’ new entrance theme.
Best? Worst?: The Whole Kaitlyn/Eve Thing
The bad: Kaitlyn is still very green, and Eve Torres is a sort of living black hole of wrestling whose pom-pom girl kicks and 45° moonsault opens us up to a new world of terrible Divas possibility. A lot of people like to say she’s “good at wrestling” because she’s mildly athletic, and while she seems like a pleasant, well-meaning person, I would be happiest if she went into reality television on a permanent basis and stopped ruining up to three minutes of my wrestling show per week. There is nothing she can do that David Otunga can’t do better, including wrestling, smarmy backstage segments and having gigantic boobs.
The good: Despite all the horrible commentary, I like that the Divas are getting multifaceted storylines. Instead of simply going with “Kaitlyn wins a battle royal, wrestles the champion”, they’re running concurrent stories … Kaitlyn DID unexpectedly win a championship opportunity (eliminating the more experienced Eve), one she’s enthusiastic about but clearly not ready for. Eve’s been forced to restructure her career from the ground up following the fallout from the Cena/Ryder and John Laurinaitis things, so she’s wedging herself into the Smackdown management hierarchy and pretending to be the old, good sportsman Eve Torres people allegedly cheered. Layla’s fallen into a comfort zone with her Divas Title, but she’s not catching fire the way she expected, and she’s suddenly facing challenges from all around. She’s never been the “experienced, legendary Diva” before, and she’s never been badgered about management issues. To date, her biggest profile thing was against Snooki.
So that’s something, right? An attempt at a story, whether there’s really one or not. I like Layla and I love (for real, answer my letters) Kaitlyn, so if Eve can provide a compelling wedge and maybe give Kaitlyn a fluke win she didn’t deserve, it could be a thing. An actual thing. And maybe Kaitlyn can show up in the latter half of Raw one of these days and forearm AJ in the mouth.
Best: Good Luck On Mars, Jinder Mahal
Just kidding, Jinder Mahal is the worst. Hopefully this is the end of him existing on WWE television, and we can give his spot to somebody who knows how to close the window. Also, Jesus, listen to Miz try his best to call a Ryback match effectively only to be shat on my Cole at every turn.
Fun fact: I almost RAN TO MY COMPUTER and ordered the Ryback shirt, because I am the biggest sheep on the planet. My wrestling t-shirt budget is +$30 this month because Daniel Bryan just put a bunch of NO stickers over his YES shirt. Unfortunately it (like the rest of Ryback) looks a little too “Rob Van Dam” for my taste, so I’m going to hold out and hope they mass produce those Heath Slater “One Man Band” shirts. Or I’ll give up, grow my beard out and buy an Egyptian cotton robe.
Worst: I’M THE HOST OF NXT, THAT’S WHO
And the award for Worst Segment On Raw goes to General Manager Pantsuit for her “who are you?” to Matt Striker when he tried to ask her a question. There are a lot of possibilities here, like maybe pressure is causing AJ to lose her memory and that’s why she thinks Falls Count Anywhere matches are brutal punishment or whatever, or maybe she’s just power hungry and knows who Matt Striker is, she’s just pulling a DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM on him and being awful. That said, taking the segment at face value, AJ just asked the host of NXT, a show she was honored to participate in, who he was.
He’s the guy who presided on your greatest moment ever, you little butthole.
I swear, if cute, affable AJ Lee is gone forever it’ll be the worst loss of character since Mickie James stopped being a psycho, be-skirted lesbian and I’ll never forgive them. Give her back to me, WWE.
In a related note, I miss the hell out of Maxine. #yellowropesforever