Worst: The Bullhammer Is Still The Worst
If this match is just a set-up to Wade Barrett defending the Intercontinental Championship against Ricky Steamboat at the Royal Rumble — or even Wade entering the Rumble match and having a showdown with a cat-skinning surprise legend — I’ll be happy to go back and give it a Best. As it stands, it was a minute or so of Santino being Santino, and Wade finishing him off with the worst finish in pro wrestling.
I know nothing makes a WWE-based readership madder quicker than mentioning Japan, but Wade should spend the next six months watching Kazuchika Okada throw the f**king Rainmaker until he learns how to plow through people with a short-arm strike or gives up and starts using the Overdrive.
Best: The Superman Exists, And He’s Swiss
Standard “Antonio Cesaro is WWE TV’s MVP right now and if you aren’t on the bandwagon yet, what’re you, stupid” paragraph here.
That was the best Great Khali match ever, right? I’m not making that up, am I? Khali looked motivated and mobile (probably because his wife and their weird child were clapping at ringside), and Cesaro looked like Legolas taking down a goddamn oliphaunt. Miz whimpering over the match about how he had the “experience” edge on the “rookie” Cesaro was pretty unbearable, but the sight of a clearly superior human being taking apart a much larger foe is the spectacular, worked-storyline shit I expect from a company built on freaks and fake fighting.
Cesaro’s springboard M. Bison European uppercut has got to be the greatest thing going right now. That move is so gorgeous it should be narrated by David Attenborough.
Worst: Nobody Watches Main Event
The only problem I had with the match is that they did the exact same one with the exact same moves and finish on Main Event last week. I get that Raw has a bigger audience and you want to save your big moments for your flagship show, but come on, guys, Main Event isn’t a house show. It’s on national television. People can watch it. You can ape from it for the casual fans, but you shouldn’t pretend like it never happened, especially if you are Michael Cole and Jerry The King Lawler. You guys are paid to watch the f**king wrestling. WATCH IT.
I guess I’m talking to the guy who’d never seen a Big Show superplex collapse the ring on its second go-round and cried out WE’VE NEVER SEEN THAT BEFORE the first 15 times Sheamus tried a cloverleaf, but whatever. I feel like “if you missed this on Main Event, get ready to see something spectacular” would work just as well as “WE ARE ALL EXPERIENCING THIS FOR THE FIRST TIME.”
Again, the continuity doesn’t have to be dense, but it shouldn’t loop back and lie about itself as soon as it happens. Even for seemingly-inconsequential building block stuff like this.
Remember that thing I said about Sheamus being a 5-year old? In his match with Jinder Mahal, it set it up so Jinder would touch his butt, then made fun of him for touching butts. This is the crowd that chanted “CM Gay” at a hug, so I guess he was just hitting as many lay-ups as possible.
The match wasn’t bad, but when Sheamus The Speaker starts to replace Sheamus The Wrestler, bad things are bound to happen. This is really a worst case scenario for me. For over a year now I’ve been able to excuse most of his shitting-in-the-Mexican’s-car stuff because his in-ring work is so solid. But if he’s going to have fewer matches that end with him groggy and beaten until he looks like a piece of raw chicken and more where he laughs at you for touching his ass, I don’t know, I might have to officially give up on him.
Jack Swagger Of Mars
The ride back up the descent shaft was a long and cold one for Jack Swagger. For the longest time he sat in silence, staring down at his boots, holding his left arm, trying not to … he wasn’t sure what he wasn’t trying to do. Get kicked off the planet? Get murdered by this alien woman who’d briefly taken him in and shown him the magnificent city in the red planet’s core, only to deride him with her eyes on this elevator’s endless return to the surface?
Jack Swagger wasn’t sure what would happen next. In a soft voice, Kaa’orri spoke first.
“I told you to stay put and not cause any trouble.”
“AHM THORRY,” Swagger responded, lashing out more loudly than he’d intended. More silence. Finally,
“You’re lucky they bought the story about you being a delivery. There are some really screwed up people on Mars. Humans are a commodity here. Most of us have never seen one. There was one who teleported here in the 80s, and Carl Sagan, but …” she began to trail off. “You’re a handsome human. You’re lucky, like I said. If you were ugly, they wouldn’t have believed somebody paid for you.”
“Rully?” Jack asked, a smile creeping across his face.
“Don’t let it go to your head, human,” Kaa’orri responded. “When we get back to the surface, I’m giving you a piece of MarsBread and sending you on your way. If you die in a nest this time, it’s on you.”
“Thath fair.” A thousand images raced through Jack’s head … he wondered what it would be like to fend for himself on the surface, or how he’d find the fuels to repower his ship and continue his voyage around the planet … or hell, how he’d find his way back to the Rhadamanthus at all. But mostly the images were about Kaa’orri, who’d just told him he was handsome. Because seriously.
“I’m thorry I methed up your delivery, Kaa’orri,” Jack whispered.
“Well,” she responded, “it’s what it is. They took the money for the damages out of my credits, which means I’ve only got enough gas to get about halfway home … I’ll have to walk the rest of the way, so thanks for that. If I die in a nest too, I guess there’d be a poetry to it.”
Jack barely understood anything she said, both because of her Martian accent, and because I can’t imagine Jack Swagger being very good at conversation. He nodded, to let her know he was listening, because he was.
“Of course, you’re never allowed in the core again. Per order of the magistrate. But, you know, they don’t really have identification or anything, so I expect any six-six caucasoid who stumbles his way down the shaft will spend his vacation at the door.”
Kaa’orri laughed. It was beautiful to Jack. And she said he was handsome once!
“I gueth I won’t do that again.”
“No, no you won’t.”
Neither said another word until the elevator reached the top of the shaft, and the great gate once again opened up to reveal the endless starfield, and the dusty earth of the lonely planet swirling up to meet it. Kaa’orri reached into her satchel and removed a folded, red leaf. Inside was a small loaf of pink bread.
“This should last you until you get back to your ship … or at least back to where I found you.”
“Good luck on your drive home,” Jack said, sheepishly. “How far away ith it?”
“Really far,” Kaa’orri said with a sigh. “Really, really far.”
“Wull … wull …” Jack was getting an idea, so he grapevined it to keep it from getting away. “MY ship ith probably closer than your home … why don’t we ride your bike back there, and then I’ll use MY bike to get you home.” Jack smiled. It was a pretty good idea.
“You have a bike?” Kaa’orri asked.
“No, even better. I’ve got a THORING EAGLE.”
Kaa’orri didn’t know what a “thoring eagle” was, but he owed her for saving his hide, and she knew the walk with a speeder bike in tow would leave her dead in hours. Reluctantly, she took back the MarsBread and stuffed it into her satchel.
“All right,” she confirmed. “But that’s it. When I get home, we go our separate ways.”
“Fine by me,” Jack affirmed, climbing onto the back of Kaa’orri’s speeder before she was even done packing up.