Worst: Triple H Invented Lying!
I really enjoyed this show, so the less I say about its opening segment — Triple H Catfishing Paul Heyman so he could get a non-wrestler alone in a foreign land and publicly beat him up for the 100th time without having to worry about the guy he’s actually WRESTLING being around and being cheered for it, because he’s super smart and tough — the better. Dude waiting a week to scheme his opponent’s manager and attack him to “send a message” to a guy he pedigreed onto some steel steps and pinned at WrestleMania a few weeks ago. And yes, I’m probably using “Catfish” incorrectly.
Next week’s Raw should have an advertised BROCK LESNAR RESPONDS TO TRIPLE H’S RESPONSE segment where Brock puts Stephanie in the Kimura and everybody acts like he’s this soulless monster. Lesnar and Triple H are the same dude from different timelines. Triple H is from the one where he accidentally read A Catcher In The Rye in high school and decided he was a bad-ass.
Worst: Antonio Cesaro Is Suddenly The Most Embarrassing Guy In Wrestling
Last Fall, Antonio Cesaro was the best thing about Raw. He was winning matches with authority, catching people off springboards with European uppercuts, deadlifting enormous guys and flapjack piledrivering them to death. He had funny backstage segments where he’d harass local yahoos at the arena concession stands and deride them for not being healthy like him. Not that long ago he was giant swinging Miz into the security barrier. This was as good as pro wrestling could be.
Now, for whatever reason, it’s hard to watch him. He spent the last few months illogically losing non-title matches while holding the United States Championship, so often that I shoot forgot that he’d lost the US Title last week on Raw. That’s not a Kofi Kingston joke, I just heard Cesaro’s music and my brain went “welp, time to lose a non-title match to R-Truth.” Now EVERY Cesaro match is a non-title match, and he doesn’t stand a chance.
What happened? As a guy who watches the show I can make up some stuff about how Cesaro was “too good” and got too over and WWE put him on a pathetic losing streak like they do anybody who dares get over on their watch (see also: NXT Daniel Bryan, proud-of-his-trophies Jack Swagger, hell, even Zack Ryder). I don’t really know how backstage politics work. I can read about it on the Internet, but I’m not gonna pretend like I’ve got the answer. What I do have is a very obvious truth: this is a stupid thing to be doing to one of the most legitimately talented people on your show, and if you’re gonna use him to elevate talent or whatever, at least let him look like a good wrestler in the process. Let his talent make theirs look better. It doesn’t help anybody to have him yodel badly, then lose a two minute match to the worst guy on your show.
Best: OH YOU GUYS COULDN’T HAVE DONE THAT AT WRESTLEMANIA I GUESS
Worst: The Shield Didn’t Come Down In A Helicopter Like I Was Hoping
How great would that have been? Just SIERRA HOTEL INDIA etc. and then a helicopter descends upon the stadium, and then BOOM THE SHIELD ARE REPELLING FROM THE HELICOPTER. I guess you can’t do that in a post-Owen Hart world, especially when one of your repellers is Seth Rollins, a guy who can’t jump from the ring to the floor without trying to decapitate himself. My alternate suggestion was that they climb a rope ladder INTO a helicopter and fly away at the end. Basically I just want somebody in a flying device at my WrestleMania. Santino Marella in a hot air balloon!
And here are these glorious motherf**kers show up to the London Raw in a helicopter. I didn’t think I could love you guys more.
A supplementary best goes to Dean Ambrose for casually mentioning how hard it was for The Shield to get to the arena. I guess the story is that they’re still just NXT guys who don’t get their travel paid outside of central Florida, so they have to get from town to town on their own? If they’ve got to get from like, Pittsburgh to Philadelphia they can just jump in their mobile assault vehicle and cruise down the turnpike, but getting to England? I love the idea that they own the WrestleMania helicopter and it was their only mode of transatlantic travel, so they had to find islands or oil rigs every 700 miles to fuel up. And now they’ve gotta get all the way back!
Maybe that’s why it’s impossible to beat The Shield in a match … they need that sweet, sweet “beating Undertaker” money. Otherwise they’re stuck eating Top Ramen with Corey Graves’ spindly ass outside of Full Sail.
Best: Damien Sandow Invented The Handful Of Tights!
The match wasn’t anything special, but a Damien Sandow win is an automatic Best. I love that he’s had more success recently because he figured out you can hold a guy’s trunks when you roll him up for Super Leverage. How great would it be if Sandow’s gimmick was that he was really tough and book smart, but had just never considered how easy it’d be to cheat at wrestling. Sorta like me when I was a kid. I was reading at a 9th grade level when I was four, but I didn’t know how to tie my shoes.
Next week on Raw he’s gonna accidentally remove a turnbuckle pad, turn to Cody all bug-eyed and be like, “did you know these CAME OFF??”