Best: Roman Reigns Ends Dolph Ziggler’s Life For Realsies
Dolph Ziggler has been one of those Alex Riley “mystery opponent” silhouettes for me since he dropped AJ and Big E Langston, and after pretty much ignoring everything he did at SummerSlam, I thought to myself, “what’s been so different?” My conclusions were twofold:
1. he’s acting like a tanned, miniature Sheamus, and I hate that (especially when Sheamus AND John Cena are out for several months and Miz is relegated to hosting duties, leaving us dangerously low on main-event butthole good guys)
2. it had been a while since he’d done one of those things he used to do where he takes a basic wrestling move and makes it ridiculous, like adding a handstand to a chinlock or selling a hip toss like he’d just jumped out of a plane and hit the Earth
Want to see a guy jump out of a plane and hit the Earth? Watch Dolph Ziggler go for a Stinger Splash and get turned into Inside-Out Boy by a Roman Reigns spear. Holy SHIT that thing was massive. Dolph Ziggler and Roman Reigns might need to wrestle each other more often. In fact, if Dolph spent the next, oh, I don’t know, eight months feuding with The Shield guys one at a time (possibly alongside Daniel Bryan and Kaitlyn for MAXIMUM BRANDON ENJOYMENT) en route to a big WrestleMania thing, sellin’ headlock drivers and spears and jumping knee strikes all the while, I would spend the next eight months happily clapping my hands.
Worst: Seriously, Sin Cara, Are You F**king Kidding Me
Sin Cara returns to face Alberto Del Rio, and his music gets a small “Oh, THIS guy still exists!” pop. ONE GODDAMN SECOND INTO THE MOTHERF**KING MATCH Sin Cara gets kicked in the hand and collapses in pain, having taken exactly one offensive move before failing. A few seconds later he goes for a dive to the outside and connects, which is a great idea if you’ve just gotten your hand kicked off. That causes a ref stoppage, complete with exaggerated “come here and observe my Avian bones being broken” gestures. Jesus Christ. Didn’t John Cena JUST get finished wrestling a match of the year candidate with a torn tricep and an elbow the size of Hornswoggle’s head?
I’m done with you, Sin Cara. I don’t care about your stupid Mexico comic book, you deserve ever “LOL BOTCH” MS-painted 60s Spider-Man meme you get. The best part is how much Del Rio still wanted to kill him, possibly for being such a f**k-up, and how those baby-sized referees had to keep dragging him away and shoving him into the corner.
Worst: So The True Hero Of The Latino Community Is … Rob Van Dam?
Ricardo Rodriguez returned to tell Alberto Del Rio that he’s NOT a Mexican hero, and to announce that he’s thrown in with a NEW wrestler who is everything Del Rio isn’t. Then he brings out Rey Mysterio, who looks great and isn’t wearing a sadness shirt and … wait, sorry, that’s what we were expecting. So he brings out Hunico, and Camacho rides out with him on those bicycles and … sorry, that didn’t happen either. Memo Montenegro maybe? I don’t remember.
OH WAIT NOW I REMEMBER IT WAS F**KING RVD
What is Ricardo getting out of this, exactly? Is Van Dam paying him in wellness violations? Hopefully Van Dam’s getting some of those fat burners that got Ricardo suspended. Ugh, man, the only way this is gonna be okay is if Ricardo starts wearing a whistle and calling everybody “daddy.”
Note: Rosa Mendes would make a pretty awesome Hispanic Beulah. She can pose in Cereza magazine*.
*Unless I make a Live Bait joke at some point, this is the most esoteric 90s wrestling valet porn joke I’m ever going to make.
Best: I Might Love The Babyface Prime Time Players
When Zeb Colter started in with his speech about WWE making headlines, my brain went DANGER, DANGER and I started swinging my arms around like that robot from ‘Lost In Space.’ Thankfully nothing came of it and Zeb just did a thing about how he hates Los Angeles, and that was that. The Prime Time Players got to wrestle (and win!) a match without the announcers, wrestlers or crowd mentioning anything about Darren Young’s newly-known-to-everybody sexual preferences. Awesome.
The weird thing that happened is that Darren Young coming out turned The Prime Time Players FACE, which is probably the most promising development for decency in the wrestling industry in … ever. A lot of people are doing the “why’d they turn them face out of nowhere just because he came out” thing, and that’s valid, but if you’ve watched any of the backstage stuff on YouTube, seen any interviews with Darren or Titus or hell, if you watched NXT Redemption, you’ll know that they’re charismatic, funny, likable guys who really should’ve been being themselves on TV a long, long time ago. They’ve been face pretty much since Pancake Patterson, haven’t they? Darren had that great singles match on Raw with CM Punk not that long ago, too.
It makes sense. The crowd seemed to like it, and I like it a lot. Let’s keep this going, and let’s hope Michael Cole’s reiterated “we’ve got GOOD TAG TEAMS you guys” talking point and Big Show’s mention of a title challenge means somebody remembered tag teams are a thing again.
Worst: Let’s Ask The WWE Universe What They Think About Darren Young’s Big Victory On Raw
(This is why we can’t have nice things.)
Worst: Oh God, Primo And Epico Are Going To Be Matadors
THIS IS ALSO WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS
Primo and Epico are being repackaged as LOS MATADORES~, a pair of masked matadors who have combined three terrible gimmicks:
1. Tito Santana’s hilariously racist “El Madator” period
2. Aldo Montoya’s hilarious pastel jock strap mask
3. Los Conquistadores’ hilarious “we’re Hispanic-themed guys who lose” act
If we’re gonna bring back teams and give them rehashed, racist 90s gimmicks, let’s go all the way with it. The American Wolves can dress up as Akeem The African Dream, right? Sign Takashi Iizuka and Toru Yano and have them do nothing but run around threatening to “choppy choppy your pee pee.”