Best: Wait, Is Antonio Cesaro Supposed To Be Good Again? Or,
Best: Called It
From Monday’s WWE Raw open discussion thread’s five-point preview:
Antonio Cesaro had a hard-fought loss to Alberto Del Rio last week and a hard-fought loss to Kofi Kingston on Main Event. The WWE preview is building this up as “newfound anger” and is doing the “what will Cesaro do on Raw?” thing, so I hope it’s something that doesn’t end in “loss.” Let him part Zack Ryder’s hair a little more!
Hey look, they took my suggestion!
I am absolutely down for any time WWE wants to put Antonio Cesaro in the ring with Zack Ryder and mangle him. When Cesaro first showed up, he was portrayed as this physically and mentally superior Superman who could deadlift you out of nowhere, throw you into the air and incapacitate you in a heartbeat. Somewhere between winning the United States Championship and losing it, Cesaro turned into a yodeling joke, showing up to lose to Randy Orton and/or Randy Orton every week or two, because, you know, Randy Orton has to look good going into his match against Randy Orton or whatever.
Thankfully that “maybe this’ll be different after WrestleMania, when they don’t have to build guys up for WrestleMania anymore” optimism finally seems to be paying off, and we’re getting the return of Actual Antonio Cesaro, uppercut deathbringer. My only issue is with Cesaro’s “is this the only competition you have for me” speech after the match, which seemingly ignores the last, I don’t know, six months of WWE history. No, Antonio, Ryder is NOT the only competition they have for you, he is literally the first person you’ve beaten in months. I feel like I haven’t seen the Neutralizer since last summer. You’ve lost to Kofi Kingston like three times in the last month.
Worst: AND KNITTING, AND KNITTING, AND KNITTING, AND KNITTING
I don’t like giving Worsts to Paul Heyman, but this whole thing was … pretty bad. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman have invaded WWE Headquarters, where … uh, where they work! They didn’t have an appointment! Those bastards showed up where they worked WHEN THEY WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE THERE. It’s like watching the Road Warriors stab out Dusty Rhodes’ eyeball with a spike, but updated for modern times!
You see, as much shit as I give them, the Triple H feud payoff matches aren’t that bad. They’re pretty standard Vince McMahon-style hardcore matches, and WWE fans seem to care enough about Triple H that they enjoy them whether they’re good or bad. Okay matches with the Undertaker become LEGENDARY matches, or whatever. I’m fine with that. Different strokes, or whatever. The problem I have is that the BUILDS to these matches are f**king INTERMINABLE, and involve a bunch of respect/manhood issues that appear out of the blue. Challenges get made and responded to and responded to again and it takes them six weeks to do it. It keeps the wrestlers apart, but not in any kind of compelling way. H beats up Heyman repeatedly, Heyman keeps trying to make Triple H feel bad about it, Triple H doesn’t care. Then Triple H either wins or loses. It’s just … there. If you love Triple H and don’t care WHAT he’s doing and only care about whether or not you’re seeing and hearing Triple H, it’s probably awesome.
And seriously, tell me you listened to Heyman ending his speech with “AND FURTHER, AND FUTHER, AND FURTHER, AND FURTHER” and didn’t think about this:
(Yes, Triple H is Dottie here.)
Worst: Triple H Doesn’t Care About His Office, So Why Should We
This is the worst part of all. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman go to WWE headquarters, physically assault/harass Triple H’s co-workers, force their way into his private office and destroy it and everything in it. Memorabilia, old title belts, everything. Wreck it beyond recognition. The employees seem to care about it, because they won’t stop tweeting about how afraid they are. The announcers seem to care about it, because they’re hyping it as this horrible thing that has happened for the entire show. WWE seems to care about it, because they gave Heyman a satellite hook-up and a spot in primetime to explain himself. It all seems very invasive, confrontational and important.
Then, Triple H just kinda wanders to the ring in a leather button-up, announces that he doesn’t give a shit about anything, says the wrestling ring is his office and poses a bunch. The end!
Dislike of Triple H aside, how does this help your program? If you want Lesnar to seem dangerous and Triple H to seem like he’s been charged to stop this dominant storm of hatred, why build an entire show around an incident only to have the guy it effects most blow it off completely? He straight up says he doesn’t care that his office got destroyed. He doesn’t care that his World Heavyweight Championship is on Paul Heyman’s shoulder and looks like that thing you use to make tortilla bowls in the oven. He doesn’t even care that his secretary got roughed up. Why should we care, then? What possible reason do I have to care that a man’s livelihood is being threatened if he doesn’t? Are we supposed to White Knight him anyway? It goes so far beyond the whole “if Triple H loses/retires, he still gets to be in charge of WWE, so who cares” thing. Imagine if the Three Little Pigs had started off with the wolf blowing down the house of straw, and the pig going “I don’t care, you’re a coward” and the wolf running away? Who wants to hear THAT f**king story?
Worst: The Bellas Just Purposefully Lost A Match And Called Their Partner A Loser
Remember when I had all those questions about the Bellas appearing from the shadows to high-five each other upon hearing the Funkadactyls talking to Kaitlyn about her mysterious admirer? Yeah, when it was time for the match to happen, the Bellas walked out on A.J., their tag team partner, for the benefit of Kaitlyn and the Funkadactyls.
So … are the Bella Twins Kaitlyn’s admirer? Like, for real? Not in the “we’re catfishing you to embarrass you” way, in the “we have the same brain and we love you and want to help you” way? Is Kaitlyn gonna be hardcore and take them both?
Best: Cockblock Dad Is The Best Dad
Worst: WWE Loves Partnering With Things From 1997
WWE announced partnerships with Yahoo and Puff Daddy. In a related story, WWE would like to congratulate the Green Bay Packers on their big Super Bowl win and announce Smash Mouth’s “Walkin’ on the Sun” as the official theme for Extreme Rules.
Princess Diana is scheduled to be at SummerSlam, unless something comes up.