Best: Believe In The Shield, Or
Best: Holy Shit, This Match
Put this entire match on the Internet, you goons.
The new WWE televised match of the year goes to this 25-minute six-man tag pitting Team Hell No and, yes, Kofi Kingston against The Shield. I can’t express how great this was. Make a point to find the full version and watch it if you missed it, because it is worth it. You can skip … basically the entire rest of the show, but this is how you should spend a half-hour.
I honestly think The Shield might be the best thing to happen to Raw since the Summer of Punk, and possibly ever, because the Summer of Punk was actually “the month and a half of Punk before Kevin Nash showed up and the Kliq ruined it.” I didn’t get a chance to see The Shield win gold/copper at Extreme Rules (thanks again for filling in on the excellent Best and Worst of Extreme Rules report, Soupy) but I had a little extra spring in my step all of a sudden, so I knew they won.
Nothing makes me happier than these guys. I was never the “you suck Jon Moxley’s dick!!!” type of indy fan I get accused of being all the time, but man, if Dean Ambrose dropped trou I would embarrass everyone around me.
Best: Dean Ambrose’s Open-hand Strikes
My favorite thing about Dean Ambrose is those open-hand strikes he does. Watch when he’s got guys reeling, he’ll throw slaps instead of punches, or when he’s trying to punish a guy in a chinlock he’ll just palm-strike the side of the head. It’s WONDERFUL. In pro wrestling, you aren’t supposed to be able to throw closed-fist punches. It was one of those rules somebody came up with in 19-aught-whatever to explain why guys could hit each other “for real” and not leave a bunch of bruises. Because … uh, they used to care about the product looking legit. But yeah, one of the reasons guys in Japan uses knees and elbows is because punches should end fights, and if you ever see a dude like Kenta Kobashi throw a punch, it’s for-real hurting somebody. None of this Rocky “spit on the hand and wiggle my feet” shit where he could punch a piñata for 15 minutes and not even make it swing.
Ambrose makes me happy when he starts palming guys. He does it a lot to Bryan in this match, because of course he does. I’m going to claim this as one of the reasons I like him more than I like guys like Orton, because it seems more observant and cool than “Orton is boring as f**k and The Shield rules it.”
Best: Let’s Keep Daniel Bryan In The Ring With Guys He Can Hit With Force
One of the things that made the match work so well for me was Daniel Bryan, because he seemed like he was getting to move at full speed and hit with full strength for the first time in AGES, and he was in the ring with guys he knew well, so they could sell it like death. That bump Seth Rollins took ONTO HIS GODDAMN HEAD off the comeback clothesline was EPIC. Ambrose sold a kick to the head by almost doing the splits and just kinda holding his face and slooowly leaning backwards, which is how you’d actually react if somebody kicked you out of nowhere. You wouldn’t jump in the air and flail around and land flat on your back. Wrestling is fake, you guys, but there is a bunch of cool stuff that makes fake wrestling seem less SUPER INSULTING, and The Shield is doing it. They do it best when My Boy D-Bry Right There is lighting them up.
Let’s keep this feud going, please. If we aren’t gonna break up Daniel Bryan and Kane, at least keep Bryan wrestling guys who can hang with him outside of a WWE ring, because that’s important. I want the crowd to do that awesome thing they’ve been doing lately where they cut it out with the YES and NO shit and just start changing DAn-IEL BRY-AN. Because he DESERVES THAT. BEST IN THE WORLD.
Best: Jerry Lawler Figures Out Randy Orton’s Fighting Style
I have to give Orton and Swagger credit … they made the best of a Cyber Sunday and had a nice little match of their own. The problem is twofold:
1. It was a long, good match that followed a longer, better match, late in a show that had been previously packed with 2-minute garbage
2. Randy Orton
The best part of the match for me was Lawler pointing out how many times Orton was going for his convoluted rope-hang DDT, complete with a “he finally worked it in there somewhere” at the end. Yes, Jerry, yes he did. “Guys rolling out onto the apron for no reason in Randy Orton matches” is the new “guys lying across the middle rope when they never would otherwise in Rey Mysterio matches.” Maybe it should be “in Randy Orton/Sheamus matches.” What is less believable, guys setting themselves up for Orton’s DDT, or guys not being able to bend their arms slightly and escape the Sheamus chest-punches?