Best: People Are Doing Moves And The Fans Are Excited!
One of the problems I write about a lot is how WWE audiences want to see wrestlers, but they don’t necessarily want to see wrestling. That’s why they cheer loudly for entrances and returns but sit on their hands for almost every match. On that same train of thought, one of the reasons I preferred WCW to WWF growing up is that WWF never figured out how to do matches like this. They booked the Survivor Series, and sure, that was fun, but the key to a really great multi-man tag match is that the natural heat ebb and flow of a 2-on-2 tag team match isn’t necessary, and you can just have everybody throw a bunch of shit at the wall and audiences will love it. All you have to do is get 8 guys out there and have them do a bunch of moves to each other. Why do you think those Dragon Gate six-man tags get so much love? They’re barely matches, they’re just Ryo Saito standing there with his hands at his hips, waiting for Dragon Kid to run into them. Come up with some fun stuff and hit your marks. Boom, everyone’s happy.
Last night, the crowd was very much like “oh, Oh! OHH! OHHH!” to some really simple WWE moveset stuff because they weren’t getting the same helping of the same food they’re always fed. There are so many types of wrestling matches, and you can do SO MANY OF THEM without even resorting to props. Guys like Kidd, Gabriel and Sin Cara got to do some cool looking stuff without the hindrance of having to make audiences care about them in a chinlock for two minutes before it. Guys like Mr. Hoecakes Off Titus Young got to be around and do their thing without being left out there to work a heat sequence and get exposed. Eight-man tags are like grass attacking ground. Super effective.
My only complaint here is how hard it was to come up with good team names. The best I came up with for the heels was TitPERM, and as funny as that sounds it leaves out Darren Young, and also a tit perm isn’t a thing you can get. For the faces I chose “Undervalued Car Stereo”.
Okay, second complaint: Rey Mysterio’s Bananas In Pajamas gear. It was like Curious George and The Man With The Yellow Hat had a baby.
Best: Ricardo Rodriguez, Sexy Messenger
The “Rosa Mendes gets something better to do” storyline continues, as Ricardo Rodriguez wandered out during the tag match to hand Rosa Mendes a note, because I guess they don’t have smart phones or computers in Mexico and nobody knew where Rosa was until she walked out with Prepico. I like Del Rio, Ricardo and Rosa, so I hope they just team up so they can be a happy family unit, at least until Ricardo goes Full Virgil.
I still think it would’ve been funny if the letter to Rosa just said TOP RONDY. Or maybe “it is my destiny to be wwe champion” written in pencil in all lowercase. Or just a huge cumstain.
Best: The Pre-Fight Atmosphere For Brad Maddox Vs. Ryback
Before I write this up, I want to say that the best part of watching Raw with Destiny last night was when they showed DLC Ryback wrestling a Create-A-Superstar Brad Maddox on WWE ’13, and she complained that they “didn’t even make his pants right”. You’ve been watching me make too many people in that game, sweetheart.
Anyway, I loved the beginning of Ryback/Maddox. I thought we were going to see something special. I’ve read in various places that Maddox is one of Triple He’s projects, so when he came to the ring with PUNCH written on his arm like the guy from Memento and BEEF MODE written on his ass like Hot Wendy from the Wendy’s commercials (I’m assuming) and a f**king AMBULANCE BACKED UP INTO THE ARENA I was thrilled. There are so many places they could’ve gone with the match. From the fantastic (Lesnar showing up, snapping Ryback’s arm, giving Maddox the pin and making Ryback chase Maddox/Lesnar until Mania) to the sorta-expected but still fine (a count-out or DQ win for Maddox or something) to the totally not happening (Maddox showing he’s a great wrestler and earning Ryback’s respect before getting eaten), almost anything would’ve been a Best.
Anything except “Ryback beats up the tiny guy, assaults him on the stretcher after the match and that’s the end”. That would be a really shitty place to take things.
Worst: The Post-Fight Atmosphere For Brad Maddox Vs. Ryback
And here we are, having been taken there.
I get that Ryback needs to get his revenge against the Little Handsome Ref, but man, they could’ve at least let Maddox get in a bulldog or something before stuffing him in the crate and shipping him back to OVW. That pre-match segment with Paul Heyman gives me hope that if I Wait And See What Happens™ I’ll be rewarded, but the whole thing left me feeling underwhelmed and stupid for being excited. Why bring up the super-specific MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT if you aren’t gonna give him a million dollar contract? Why stretch this out over three weeks or whatever when the guy Maddox cheated got his revenge five seconds later by military pressing Maddox and throwing him into a cage wall? What’s with the Extra Revenge? How many times do you have to hurt somebody before it’s Even Stevens? You’re 10 times bigger than him, Ryback, and you’re beating him up while he’s being stretchered away.
I don’t know. It sucked pretty hard. We didn’t even get a Stan Stansky run-in. Score update: So far Triple H is 1 (Damien Sandow) and 3 (Kharma, Sin Cara, Brad Maddox) in project greatness.
Jack Swagger Of Mars
This is normally where I’d provide a chapter of our ongoing, hard sci-fi saga ‘Jack Swagger Of Mars’, but I am so excited about this existing I had to share it by itself. Get ready for the FILM ADAPTATION of JSOM. I’m like the Bryan Lee O’Malley of wrestling columnists!