Costume upgrades. Let’s all take a minute and enjoy the brazen and fantastic move changing Daniel Bryan’s logo to a drawing of Daniel Bryan screaming no. As we know from such esteemed champions of sport as the Pin Pals and Kobe Bryant, true questionably evil winners always advertise. Also, Kofi Kingston’s gear sucks significantly less. There were a few weeks where I thought the Lesnar’s Jimmy John’s thing was catching on because Kingston looked like a walking Buffalo Wild Wings ad and as much as I love garlic parm wings, it definitely didn’t make him look like a guy you should be afraid to wrestle.
Also, Miz’s vampire cloak. This is a man who knows where a Hot Topic or two are.
So, we’re just recycling names now? The Wildcat Kofi Kingston? That’s what the fans are calling him, eh, Cole? But, there’s something nagging me about it. I just can’t put my finger on it… Oh wait! There already was a character named something pretty f**king similar to The Wildcat. Does creative have a thing against Mark Mero or have they just given up on new ideas? “We’re gonna call him Stone Cold Jack Swagger. It’s gonna be huge.”
Kickouts. The whole point is to tell a story in the ring, right? So, when you hit the mat the very first time, the kickout shouldn’t look exactly the same as when you just took a huge bump after going for fifteen minutes. At the beginning, you should be kicking out before one, but if you’re going to do the whole dramatic two-and-a-half thing every single time, at least make it look like you half-way give a shit. David Otunga’s kick out legit bummed me out. I actually like Otunga. I think he’s got a pretty solid gimmick. I mean, he’s actually a lawyer and he can talk like one. He has poise on the mic and I’m generally engaged with his backstage segments, despite his distracting mug. Plus, he’s a seriously hot guy. I mean, the dude looks good. So when he consistently underperforms in the ring it upsets me. Put in the effort, man. Make it look like it matters even if you’re just in the match because Cody Rhodes maybe kind of died. Also, bonus worst for it not being Ricardo in the match.
Trouble in Paradise is a bad finisher. I’m not totally on Brandon’s anti-Kofi wagon and I don’t mind the kick itself if it connects right. I just hate the set up. Generally, I feel that the thing that makes quick easy finishers work, is the element of surprise, So, standing in the corner clapping your hands and trying to get the crowd to yell boom (I think? He’s yelling boom, right?) with you is totally blowing it.
I know Kingston looks up to HBK a lot and that Shawn always “warmed up the band,” but there’s a difference. Shawn always seemed to be doing one of two things. 1) Almost striking fear into his opponent by letting them know he’s about to kick their head off (which is also why I think Orton pounding the mat actually works) or 2) trying to build up enough adrenaline and strength to finish the match. I just said this in a piece I did for Alternative Press but there was nothing better than watching Shawn pull his broken body up, lean on the ropes for support and start stomping the mat to convince himself he’s got enough left to end it. Shawn made you believe it. No matter what case, he stomped the mat with passion and conviction and the crowd could see it. The boom thing just seems forced; like he read somewhere you’re supposed to do something before your signature kick but never really looked into why.
While we’re on the topic of finishers, Miz and Barrett need a change. Miz can never seem to get the full nelson locked in before he hits the Skull Crushing Finale. It ALWAYS looks sloppy. Miz does a lot of things really well but when you have a thing you NEED to do every match, you should probably make it look good. Same goes for you, Wade. Changing the name of your shitty elbow doesn’t make it a worthwhile move. Why an elbow anyway? Weren’t you a boxer? Just punch the guy in the f**king face if that’s where your story dictates you should go. Barrett is a big guy. He can pull off a lot of moves on a lot of people. Pick one that looks halfway decent.