Best: Fandango Is The New Daniel Bryan, Or
Worst: F**k You, Cool Dad
A few numbered points, so I can keep them all in order:
1. Okay, so of course Fandango isn’t actually the new Daniel Bryan. Last year, the WrestleMania crowd loved Daniel Bryan and were upset that he lost in 18 seconds, so they continued the YES! YES! YES! chants all night. That carried into the next night’s Raw, and the feeling was so infectious that WWE was forced to at least keep Bryan around and do something with him to sell his merch. This year, the post-Mania crowd started humming Fandango’s music because … well, I’m not 100% sure why, but they gave him a heroes welcome, possibly because Fandango is awesome and you f**kers have finally noticed. If it’s ironic, let it be ironic. I almost bought an Aces & Eights shirt this weekend to wear ironically. Nobody’s doing ironic love in wrestling these days, so hey, it could work.
If it isn’t irony and the people actually came around to Fandango (because they should, because he is great), that’s also good. Sometimes WWE runs with something terrible for a guy and it turns out to be magic. I think Dirty Curty might be exactly the right amount of talented and weird to make Fandango a real thing, and if that bothers you, I’d like to direct you to the fact that the “greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time” is a wrestling Elvis impersonator.
2. Daaa DA! DA da da daaaa dadadaaaaDA!
3. Boy do I hate babyface Chris Jericho. The guy loses a match at Fandango at WrestleMania, and how does he respond? By interrupting a match, beating the guy up, putting him in a submission hold and refusing to release it, then mocking him. And he’s the good guy? Fandango was just trying to dance and beat Kofi Kingston, because he’s got better things to do than loiter around Bobby and Janey’s soccer practice with Cool Dad.
Best: Kofi Kingston’s Streak Of Great Matches Continues
4. Kofi Kingston’s 2013 continues to make me love him. He’s so hilariously worthless right now. The guy only appears when somebody needs to quickly knock him out or get interrupted, and the only time he’s gotten to talk on television was as ersatz Shannon Sharpe on a PPV pre-show. It’s wonderful. I hope he never changes. Be this generation’s Tito Santana for real, Kofi!
Worst: Yep, Couldn’t Find A Spot On WrestleMania For That 2 Minute Match
I enjoyed all two minutes of this, but man, you couldn’t have wedged this in between a Rock hype video and an “I LOVE NEW YORK and also new jersey but not as much” thing to get these eight a WrestleMania payday?
There were a lot of highlights here, even if it went by too quickly. JBL calling Cody Rhodes “Mike Schmidt,” Rhodes Scholars and the Bella Twins doing that ultimate Disaster Kick -> butt sandwich -> Cubito Aequet combo, Brodus executing the worst non-Titus O’Neil pin in Raw history after a suplex and Tensai eating Damien Sandow’s knees on a mistimed splash:
So let’s do this again, but give everybody a little more time. Also, let’s build a time machine and do it on Sunday instead of Puff Daddy.
Worst: A Count-Out? In 3 Minutes? Really?
And so, the main event of the most excited Raw in a year is a limp, 3-minute count-out victory for John Cena, because John Cena ain’t care.
Best: Ryback Figures Out How To Get A Title Shot
The only Best for the main-event (besides Mark Henry’s amazing yelling of TELL ME A JOKE while stomping and piefacing Cena) is the reemergence of Ryback as a dynamic thing to care about. I might be typing that too often. Ryback ALMOST works, but there’s something weirdly false about him, like he’s trying too hard to play a character, or he doesn’t get that wrestling isn’t real, or … something. It’s hard to pinpoint. But he works as a very strong, very angry guy who just shows up and obliterates people, as he did with Cena on Monday, and I hope that continues. I need less of him explaining his motivations in the ring and more of him being an unstoppable juggernaut in Ninja Turtle undies who will KILL AND EAT YOU.
Hopefully this will lead to a Cena/Ryback/Henry thing at Extreme Rules, which should play to everyone’s strengths … Cena always excels in matches where he gets to use weapons, assuming he’s not doing a Passion thing with Randy Orton, Mark Henry isn’t physically 100% and could use a spot where he can pause and not hurt himself but is so awesome he needs to be in the main-event, and Ryback can be strong and crazy and lead his own chants without having to actually work a match. It’s perfect. It also makes me hope Ryback figured out a way to Shellshock Henry and Cena at the same time.
Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler gets to exist as the World Heavyweight Champion while all the guys who could conceivably crush and end his reign Friday are busy fighting each other. Hooray!