Best: Mark Henry, Puppetmaster
WWE Fan Nation chose to skip over Mark Henry’s challenge for a match with Sheamus at Extreme Rules. My first thought is that they left it out because it makes Mark Henry look like a tough, noble guy and makes Sheamus look like an out-of-control, violent child, but if they left it out because of THAT, they’d have to leave out everything Sheamus has done since SummerSlam 2011.
Mark Henry started a beef with Sheamus by randomly running into him during a backstage interview several weeks ago. Sheamus got his revenge on the next show, doing the same thing to Henry. He then got further revenge on Henry by interrupting Mark’s tug-of-war challenge, trying to win, failing, then Brogue Kicking him to keep from actually losing. A “surprise attack,” whatever. He got FURTHER revenge on Henry by participating in an arm wrestling challenge, losing almost instantly, calling Henry a coward if he doesn’t arm wrestle him AGAIN, then just punching and Brogue Kicking him to keep from losing a second time. Third time, whatever. Mark Henry is the bad guy.
On Raw, Henry came to the ring and calmly announced that he was tired of this shit and wanted to wrestle Sheamus in a match at Extreme Rules. Like a normal person. The crowd chants WHAT, so Henry makes them do it a bunch of times in a row and calls them puppets, because they are stupid puppets. Henry’s challenge is made, so Sheamus shows up, has a match with Wade Barrett, then randomly decides to “sneak attack” Henry again by Brogue Kicking him. AGAIN.
That, dear friends, led to this.
Best: But No, Seriously, Mark Henry
Mark Henry forcibly removed the belt from an EMT, ran into the ring after the match and WHOOPED SHEAMUS LIKE HE STOLE SOMETHING. Mark Henry yelling TELL ME A JOKE and GET YOUR ASS UP while beating the ever-loving dogshit out of this jerk with a leather belt is so wonderful I am absolutely ATE UP with joy. Sheamus has deserved this for so long, and in any other storyline this would be the moment when the babyface finally gets one up on the heel and sends him a message that he’s not to be f**ked with.
I am so into a strap match at Extreme Rules. Extra points if you mic Mark Henry for the entire match, and also only give Mark Henry a strap.
Worst: Thanks For Losing Another Non-Title Match, Wade Barrett
Wade Barrett gets a wanking motion and a throw for losing his 85th non-title match of the year. You can’t possibly want to read me write about this again, but I’m supposed to give “Bests” to the things I liked and “Worsts” to the things I didn’t, and I never, ever like this. Orton and Sheamus should have won both secondary titles and unified them ten times over by now, and Barrett keeping a meaningless belt that can only be held by people who lose makes so little sense I can’t even get mad about it anymore. Who cares if Miz had to go off and be in a movie? Let him take the belt with him and have it sitting in a bag while he shoots. It means less on Wade Barrett than his tuxedo garbage.
Suggestion: vacate the title, have a 64-man tournament for the belt that only happens on NXT, Saturday Morning Slam, and Main-Event. Let a guy like Justin Gabriel win it and defend it all the time. Build stories around it and stuff to give us a reason to watch those lower-level shows. Keep your Wades Barrett and your Antonios Cesaro around to be jobbers to the stars on the flagship shows. You get something out of the belt you made up, and nothing on Raw or Smackdown changes.
Best: Ryback Is The Best Title Challenger In Years
The main-event wasn’t great, but it was further evidence that Ryback is my favorite WWE Championship challenger since Money In The Bank-era CM Punk.
When he said he was the biggest-ever threat to John Cena’s title, I, like John Cena, thought that was a joke. But now I see what Ryback is up to, and I think I agree with him. Remember what happened the last time Ryback got WWE Championship opportunities? He lost a Hell in a Cell match via referee nutshot/interference, and when he got his rematch, he got saddled with John Cena for a triple threat. THAT ended with The Shield attacking him. What’s a guy supposed to do?
You get a one-on-one match with John Cena. You stand back and remain passive as John Cena throws himself into these ridiculous matches and situations and gets hurt. He does. You exploit that injury whenever you can, making sure to stay fresh and healthy between the announcement of your title match and the match itself. When Chael Sonnen gets announced for a title fight in UFC, do you think he’s a “coward” if he doesn’t fight 15 times between the announcement and the title match? No, that’s what fighters do. In WWE you don’t HAVE to wrestle all the time. The main-event guys just do because they won’t stop wandering out and interrupting each other and coming up with bullshit matches.
Ryback beats his challenger clean, then finds himself about to be on the ass-end of another Shield beatdown. Daniel Bryan runs out to even up the odds, so what does Ryback do? Stay and fight? Hell no. He leaves. Because it takes The Shield five minutes to get to the ring anyway, right? You can just leave when you hear SIERRA. Cena, stupid, stupid Cena, runs down to the ring injured to even the now unevened-evened odds and starts fighting strangers, leaving him open to another attack. Ryback waits to see if Cena’s gonna triumph, and when he realizes he WILL, he jumps him with a chair and beats the f**k out of him. Because he’s got a title match in two weeks, and this guy won’t stop calling him a coward.
I get you, The Ryback.