Best: The Easiest Side-Picking In Wrestling History
Ask me who my favorite wrestler is, and I’ll say, without hesitation, “Daniel Bryan.” Ask me who my least favorite wrestler is, and I’ll say, without hesitation … well, Rob Van Dam’s my least favorite wrestler, but if you wanted to know who my least favorite person in ANY aspect of wrestling is, the answer is “Stephanie McMahon.” How great (and easy) is it when your favorite goes up against your least favorite? It’s how 5-year olds watch wrestling, and it’s the best way to watch wrestling.
I’ll get into the specifics of it more a little later when the shit goes down, but I really enjoyed the opening segment of Raw for a few reasons. The first is that I wasn’t expecting it. I was expecting one of those “Y’WANNA KNOW WHY I DID THIS SHAWN, Y’WANNA KNOW WHY I DID THIS” filibusters from Triple H. I certainly wasn’t expecting a recreation of basically every manager meeting I’ve ever had in my life. Stephanie’s “you’re not an A, but you’re a B+” is straight out of the “new Olive Garden manager who has to teach the servers to respect her” playbook. I think I’ve heard that “you’re talented and people like you, but you’ve got to calm down and stop being such a weirdo” speech from everyone I’ve ever worked for. I once had a Blockbuster Video manager tell me to my face that I was never going to accomplish anything. When I was 17. A BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO MANAGER was telling me this.
So yeah, I love how easy it is to pick sides. I desperately want D-Bry to start running-dropkicking people in the mush right the hell now, and I’m anxious to see how much agony they put me through before that happens. As has been stated several times by a lot of smart people on the Internet, WWF put 21 months between the Austin 3:16 speech and WrestleMania XIV. That’s a lot of time, and if the best wrestler in the world is getting a fat paycheck for a bunch of great matches and ugly t-shirts between now and Spring of 2015, I’m okay with that.
Worst: A Thing I Don’t Want To Type
You guys have read a lot of soapboxy stuff from me, right? I’ll keep it short. “Try not to go straight for ‘bitch’ when a lady does something that makes you mad.” He didn’t CALL her a bitch, like how Batman didn’t KILL Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins, he just “didn’t save him” and left him to explode in a bunch of crashing trains. And when he called her “trash,” he could be speaking ill of her character in a gender-free way, which she deserved. The problem there is that Chris Jericho called her a “trashbag ho” or whatever for like 25 straight years of Smackdown, so somebody could say “howdy” to Stephanie at this point and I’d be like WHOA DID HE JUST CALL HER A BITCH
So … let’s not call ladies bitches. Okay!
Best: I Guess Cody Vs. Damien Isn’t Going Anywhere, But I Like Watching Them Wrestle
The announcers seemed hellbent on getting over the “CODY RHODES HAS BEATEN MR. MONEY IN THE BANK TWICE, THAT MEANS HE SHOULD GET A TITLE SHOT” thing, so I guess they’re putting any future Sandow/Cody issues on hold to run the still-fairly-hottish Cody Rhodes against Alberto Del Rio for the WHC when Van Dam craps out and takes two seasons off to sell back issues of Jay and Silent Bob comics or crash jet-skis or whatever he does in his personal time.
Sounds good to me. For the second night in a row, Cody and Sandow had a fun, too-short match with a clean finish and entertained me. Cody challenging a motivated Alberto Del Rio could be extra great, especially if the scourge of an opportunistic former tag team partner was waiting to pounce with his novelty contract. Let’s just make sure we don’t irreversibly turn Sandow into Top Loser Wade Barrett while we’re waiting for him to cash in.
Best: Paul Heyman, Friend ‘Til The End
Speaking of disingenuous dirtbags, imagine my glee when Paul Heyman’s talking point was, “CM Punk, you lost to my strongest summon so I’m gonna assume you learned your lesson, I would like to make money off of you again/not have you try to choke me to death and punch me every time you see me, so let’s be friends, okay? Love you lots, BFF forever, Paul Heyman.” LOTS OF GLEE. Like, prepping for a Sports On TV column levels of glee.
It got even better later. What’s with this Raw setting up payoffs for later in the show? It’s like they want me to keep watching for three hours or something.
Worst: Oh No, Total Divas Are Interacting With Actual WWE Divas
So far, the “Divas Division” has been AJ Lee and Kaitlyn over in one section having wrestling matches and trying hard, and “Total Divas” has been the Bellas, the Funkadactyls, Tyson Kidd’s neckless farting girlfriend and some models in another. Last night probably wasn’t the first time the two sides have come together since Total Divas got big, but it’s the first time I paid attention to it, and pretty much anything related to Total Divas that isn’t Damien Sandow no-selling boob jiggles is off my radar.
It was … not good. I got some shit in the comments section of The Best And Worst Of WWE SummerSlam 2013 for skipping any in-depth commentary on the Natalya/Brie Bella match in favor of moving on with my life in peace, so I’ll try to be a little more giving here.
Worst: Can We Get A Semi-Competent Referee For These Divas Matches Please
The match was extremely short and featured three performers I regularly enjoy and Cameron (who should stop shit-talking Sid on the Internet and visit TheBomb.edu), but as I write this the only thing I can remember at all is the botched finish. Layla jogs in and knocks a Funkadactyl off the ring apron. The other one rolls her up and “gets the pin,” and I put that in quotations because the referee counted AS SLOWLY AS POSSIBLE, and Layla kinda rolled out of the pin attempt before his hand actually came down for three. If you’re one of those folks who doesn’t blame Natalya for everything, that’s two weeks in a row that a referee has ruined the finish of a Divas match. Are they writing Black Ref into Total Divas? Is he gonna be Eva Marie’s Superstar Boyfriend?
That would actually be pretty great, now that I think about it. A WWE Refs reality show would be WAY better than Total Divas, especially if it involved Charles Robinson sitting around being all emo about Molly Holly.