Worst: Predictably, I Did Not Enjoy Kofi Retaining, Or
Best: Now Maybe Wade Will Stop Doing The Dumb Elbow
The Worst is for Kofi winning. The match itself was fine, and certainly nothing that necessitates me nitpicking it to death here … the only problem I had with it (besides Kofi, because Kofi) is that it smelled too much like a Raw match, stuck in the middle of a pay-per-view with Cody Rhodes murdering Sin Cara, Alberto Del Rio being valiant, The Shield killing themselves and others and a variety of interesting characters finally moving forward from their post-SummerSlam stall.
One thing I hope is that this will be the end of The Souvenir/The Bullhammer Elbow/HE’S GOING FOR WASTELAND/whatever they’re calling it this week. I’ve complained about it a lot before, but it’s one of the worst looking finishes in WWE, and no wrestler should fall victim to it. The crux of it is the elbow, right? So sure, if you’re showing off or your win is secured and you want to make the guy choke himself before dancing out, spinning around and eating elbow, go for it. I’ve seen Bray Wyatt dance with unconscious bodies before, that can be fun. But if you’re going back and forth and you’re trying to win a championship and your finish is HIT GUY IN FACE, just hit the f**king guy in the face. This isn’t a Wade exclusive problem, but that elbow is assy-looking enough for me to MAKE it about him.
It was pretty disheartening to see Kofi beat him clean after Wade methodically decimated him on Raw a few weeks back, and after multiple matches where SHEAMUS couldn’t put him down. But hey, looking on the bright side, this is the only match on the show with a result I didn’t enjoy.
Best: Pretty Much The Entirety Of The Shield Vs. Ryback And Team Hell No
This was pretty much off the hook, largely thanks to the awesome Brooklyn crowd, who would not stop enjoying themselves. If this had happened in front of a dead crowd, it might not’ve been as special. I mean, the match DID have its Worst moments, including Dean Ambrose deciding to make Mike Quackenbush’s faces in his WWE TV debut (GIF’d, right).
What I loved about it so much was that it made The Shield not only look like tough wrestlers, it made them look SMART. The toughness is important … Dean Ambrose chopping Ryback, Ryback no-selling it and staring him down, only for Ambrose to stick his tongue out and try another chop was especially choice, as were Cole and Lawler begrudgingly admitting that The Shield was on their opponents’ level. But the thing I’ll remember is how they came into the match with a gameplan and stuck with it, even when things started to fall apart. Big things like isolating one member of the team at a time and taking out the big guys so they can finish the more reasonably-sized Daniel Bryan. The little things, like going for a two man superplex and making sure their third guy was there to make the pin, because they knew they’d hurt themselves. They wrestled a smart match and didn’t just rely on what they always do (like their opponents) and it paid off. It reminded me a lot of the MVP/Chris Benoit 2-out-of-3 falls match, where MVP did his homework and took two straight falls.
Speaking of falls:
Best: Sin Cara Is Fine, Seth Rollins IS DEAD. CAPITAL LETTERS.
I think the top right table not breaking and just flipping off the pile onto its top makes the fall look even worse. It was like the old Spike Dudley/La Resistance botch on a grand scale, and is great enough to steal Thing We’ll Remember Most away from Roman Reigns saving up a special and getting his OMG moment. See how this all comes together? Dean Ambrose communicates emotions (even when he’s looking goofy doing it, because he’s playing to everyone in the arena, not just the people with camera close-ups), Roman Reigns hulks up and powers people through shit and Seth Rollins kills himself as an exclamation point.
More of this, and less team vlogging about justice.
Best: Naomi/Eve Was Fine, But The Post-Match Is Still So Great
WWE needed to give the crowd a breather after that match, so we got a 2-minute-ish Eve/Naomi match. It was fine, I guess. Naomi got to do her leapfrog toe-touch and show Sin Cara how to do a hurricanrana (close your legs, jerk!), but Eve put her away quickly and that was that.
Frankly, I don’t mind if Eve continues having short, meaningless matches as long as they end with her bringing the photographer into the ring to snap photos of her posing over a dead body. It’s only a week old, but it’s still the f**king greatest, and if I ever meet her I’m going to take a mark photo lying facedown.