Best: Unbelievably, The Best Part Of Raw
If you missed the Divas match, you missed one of the best parts of the show. The match itself wasn’t groundbreaking, but it was competent — especially Alicia being the first of three people on the night to use a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and Eve countering Alicia’s dumb corner roll-up by just standing up, grabbing her leg and yanking her off the top — and it featured the NEW HOTNESS in pro wrestling: Eve Torres’ post-match insult routine.
Credit where credit is due … Eve topping her disingenuous pageant smiling after victories by bringing the photographer into the ring to photograph her posing on their dead bodies is maybe the best thing somebody’s ever done after a win, and that includes haircuts, snake-lying and $100 bill mouth-stuffing. Look at this:
The With Leather interview helped a lot, but I’m officially on the Eve Torres train. Quick, hire somebody with a competent idea of how to write likable female characters so Eve can work this gimmick in situations that matter.
Best: TLC Is Looking Pretty Fun, All Of A Sudden
After a Hell In A Cell that felt like the previous six months of pay-per-view in cages and a Survivor Series card that was just Hell In A Cell mashed up into a ball, TLC is looking fun. The CM Punk/Ryback rehash has been changed to a much more dynamic, unpredictable thing — Team Hell No and Ryback against The Shield in a TLC match where pinfalls and submissions count — and the undercard, John Cena-laden though it may be, has me intrigued.
Big Show and Sheamus are good-to-great in the ring together, and I have no reason to believe that Sheamus’ big “I look like I was beaten to death after every match” thing won’t work when he’s spent 20 minutes being punched and chaired. I hope he doesn’t win, but the matches are good, so as long as he keeps his mouth shut, I can’t complain. Wade Barrett should win a title and R-Truth shouldn’t, Rhodes Scholars are taking on Car Stereo in a tables match (which will be glorious no matter how it goes, because “Sin Cara”) and even the Cena/Ziggler match has enough intangibles that Waiting And Seeing Where It Goes™ can happen.
I’m looking forward to it. I might even write the report, unless somebody ridiculously famous decides to step in and fill in for me. What’s Jose Canseco up to lately? Does he watch wrestling?
Best/Worst: Sheamus Versus Dolph Ziggler
Speaking of Sheamus looking like an abused dog in every match, the Sheamus/Ziggler match was predictably boss, at least until the ending. My favorite wrestling matches are the ones that feel organic, like two people actually fighting each other (in a magical world where pro wrestling is real and things like Irish whips still make sense, I mean), but there’s something to be said for well-executed video game wrestling.
Video game wrestling can go wrong really easily. When I say “video game wrestling,” what I mean is that thing where guys just kinda run and jump around into each other doing moves, and it escalates and escalates until somebody pulls off THE MOST MOVE and wins. Dragon Gate six-man tags are the king of this. Nobody really sells anything, and there’s no reason for them to be running and flipping upside down and falling off the top rope into Burning Hammers or whatever, but they do it, and it’s fun. I sat through the entirety of TNA FINAL RESOLUTION on Sunday, and Mike Tenay kept mentioning how wrestlers are only successful if they can hit “a string of moves,” and that’s kinda where it goes wrong. AJ Styles selling wristlocks for 20 minutes, then backflipping into DDTs and backflipping into kicks and backflipping into backflips doesn’t work because he’s not going all the way in either direction, and is trying to be organic and video game at the same time. You’ve either got to sell the wristlock at the 20 minute mark, or you’ve got to start backflipping 5 seconds in.
Sheamus and Ziggler found a more comfortable middle ground, doing a lot of those purposeful WWE “sells” where you hold your head or leg or arm and kinda roll into position for the next thing. Like, if you’re wrestling Sheamus, you should probably never “try to escape” by rolling onto the apron and just sitting there. But it works, because they just ran at each other and jumped around and did flying Ace Crushers II to the outside during the commercial break and I was fine with it. Sheamus hits hard and Dolph likes to exhibit being hit hard. I could’ve lived without the assy DQ finish that should come with a post-it note reading “PAINTED OURSELVES INTO CORNER SORRY,” but whatever.
Worst: Yep, These ‘Walk In On Something That Looks Like Sex’ Jokes Are Still Hilarious
Vickie Guerrero was backstage getting ready for her match, and Hornswoggle entered with The Great Khali to ask her if they could NOTHING. So she mentions that she’s “tight,” and allows the two least athletic people on the show to help her stretch out. You know, because having someone hyperextend your leg while someone else pulls your arms back as far as they’ll go is how leprechauns and Indian giants get swole. Vince McMahon walks in and IT LOOKS LIKE SEX, YOU GUYS, because I guess Vince followed his “WHEN AM I GONNA DERIDE VICKIE” conversation with “WHEN CAN I FURTHER DERIDE VICKIE, WHAT IT IF LOOKS LIKE SHE’S GETTING CORNHOLED BY THE GREAT KHALI.”
The only moderately funny thing is imagining that Vince thinks they were actually all f**king and that WWE cameras were filming it, which is why he got mad about Raw being a family show. If you weren’t sure whether or not Vince actually watches WWE shows, there’s your answer — he thinks extreme sideshow MMFs are a part of his flagship show.
It’d explain the Bashams, at least.
Worst: The Gooniest Shield Promo Ever
Okay, so the Most E-Fed award goes to The Shield for the worst non-Miz part of the show.
Three guys in an “undisclosed location” which is clearly backstage at Smackdown and/or in that restaurant wrestlers eat “find a camera,” introduce themselves, explain their stable name and tell us why they did what they did. I love that the video was “found footage” or whatever and was all spliced up with alternate shots of them making Zoolander faces, but was edited enough to include nameplate graphics. I also like that it made it look like they’d taped the promo five or six times before getting it right.
Seriously, the f**k is this?
Seth Rollins won’t stop yelling, Roman Reigns won’t stop licking his lips like he’s LL Cool J in the ‘Doin’ It’ video and Dean Ambrose makes me feel like Mark Brendanawicz left his job at Pawnee Parks And Recreation to become a pro wrestler. Maybe they should’ve filmed it a sixth time.