Worst: Wade Barrett Makes Clowns Sad
You don’t seriously want to watch a Wade Barrett vs. The Miz match, do you? Seriously?
This is how bad Wade Barrett’s gotten … he locks in a chinlock on the Miz, and the combined boredom is enough to make clowns sad. No, seriously, look up above them, in the crowd.
THAT IS A BORED-ASS CLOWN.
Actually, wait …
Is that Jeff Hardy?
Best: I’m Starting To Understand Nihilistic Fandango
Lately I’ve been down on Fandango, because he doesn’t make any sense. He takes purposeful count-out losses all the time, he can’t win a dance off despite being the only guy who is a dancer and his catchphrase just gets tacked onto the end of everything, even when it doesn’t make sense. He gets knocked out, rolls to the outside, then yells IT’S FAAAAAN DAAAN GOOOOO, when nobody has asked him about or mispronounced his name. He’s just saying it to say it.
His backstage appearances at SummerSlam, his interference in the Miz/Barrett match and the AMAZING Foot Locker segment made me reconsider my position on Fandango. See, I’ve been approaching him as a wrestling character. He’s not. He’s a performance artist. He’s an avant-garde interpretation of what a pro wrestlers is, this absurd person who drifts in and out of life accompanied by an entrance theme, his only goal to interact awkwardly, fight a little and hit his catchphrase. He’s BEYOND Raw. He’s existing outside of it and influencing it, but only a little. It’s wonderful.
And that Foot Locker segment was incredible. I wish they’d upload it. Zack Ryder is backstage all NO WAY ARE THESE SHOES COMFORTABLE BRO ARE YOU SERIOUS because I will be African-American before he’s over again, and Justin Gabriel’s also there because he’s the go-to “also in the locker room” guy. Fandango interrupts, Ryder and Gabriel IMMEDIATELY LEAVE because they’ve been usurped by a more popular character, and Fandango says a series of hilarious things about wanting to dance in Nike shoes. To me, this was the opposite of that time Damien Sandow slummed it and ate Subway.
Best: Shield Security!
Before I get into the segment you’re assuming I hated most, I wanted to give a Best to The Shield for being adorable security guys on the outside. I had a long discussion with Impact columnist Danielle Matheson about how The Shield can be a great team who legitimately care about one another, but are also heartless scumbags. This is a great example of that.
They are, irrefutably, a TEAM. They’re in this together. They’re a bunch of NXT guys who decided to improve upon the Nexus formula by showing up as a unit, raising hell and actually sticking together and winning instead of developing supporting cast Decepticon drama. You’re never gonna see a Shield “Corre.”
They’re also terrible, opportunistic, violent people. The backstage segment where they were intimidating to Vickie but sorta licked Vince’s boots was the first sign of them being liars about the whole “justice” thing. They want to topple old regimes and jack legends who are hogging the spotlight, sure, but they want it for THEMSELVES, because they are wrestlers who are trying to win and keep their jobs on the main roster. This is when remembering NXT exists comes in handy. NXT is all about “who’s gonna make an impact and go to the main roster.” All about it. The Shield made the biggest impact of ANYONE, won a bunch of title belts to justify their spots, and do whatever they can to keep them. Purposeful DQs, working as Triple H’s thugs in a long con, whatever.
Believe in The Shield, even when they’re lying.
Best: This Stable Of Unbelievable Dickheads Is The Collective Heel I Was Born To Boo
I loved this segment so much I can barely explain it.
Okay, here goes: remember that stuff I said at the beginning about how it was fun to root for Daniel Bryan against Stephanie, because he’s my favorite and she makes me want to throw myself into a wood chipper? Imagine that amplified by A BILLION and you have the ending to Raw. It’s my favorite against Stephanie McMahon, a woman who “earned her spot” by being the boss’s daughter, then gave herself a rap song about how she worked hard and earned her spot. Against Vince McMahon, the grand dragon of evil pro wrestling, the guy who laid waste to the territories and defined “successful pro wrestler” in the 2000s as “people willing to do what we say.” Against Randy Orton, the most boring, pantsless, third-strike motherf**ker in existence, a guy who has every personal problem in the world and gets TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS handed to him because he’s handsome and related to the guy who main-evented the first WrestleMania. Against TRIPLE H, who is THE DEVIL in EVERY IMAGINABLE INTERPRETATION OF THE DEVIL. The guy who represents everything regressive, counterproductive, self-serving and stale about WWE. The guy on the tank who went to Little Peoples’ Court, bagged the boss’s daughter and survived a deadly fall from a crane with varying degrees of realism. Combined, they are every. single. thing.
On top of that, the coronation was perfect. Triple H addressed a lot of the nitpicky problems a guy like me would have with him, like the whole “Randy Orton once DDT’d and made out with my knocked out wife” stuff that should make them NEVERFRIENDS and the past month of now-unnecessary “c’mon, Daniel Bryan’s all right” stuff backstage with Vince. He touched on why the guys on the stage wouldn’t help out, because they’d get suspended and face the same fate. Covered the plot holes. He then progressively got more and more evil, going from “I didn’t enjoy doing it” to a sing-songy “show some guts” after he’s ORDERED THE SHIELD TO JUMP BRYAN AND LIED TO HIS FACE ABOUT LETTING HIM SPEAK. He went from being a fictional asshole in my brain to being a fully-realized evil, and I would be dumber than a brick to not see that and applaud him for it. Whether I like it or not.
That’s an important distinction to make. As a Daniel Bryan fan, I HATED this. I started smiling when he temporarily dispatched The Shield, and felt SO MUCH RAGE when H squatted by the ring rope and looked down on him and his “little career.” I wanted to see Bryan kick Vince in the dome, headbutt Orton’s face off, lock Stephanie in the Cattle Mutilation and somehow small package Triple H in a way that breaks every bone in his body. I wanted — and want — to see Bryan kick their asses. As a guy who loves wrestling and wants his show to be entertaining, this was IT. Absolutely killer, and the constant support and reaction of the crowd for Bryan for three hours helps me believe that the ending will be what it should be (the WrestleMania XX triple threat) instead of what I always assume it’ll be (Booker T getting slurred, pedigreed and made to lie there motionless for half a minute before being pinned).
The revolution will be YESSED.
Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Night
A new WWE cartoon: the Shield drives around in a van with their hound, Justice, and solve mysteries! The first one: finding Andre the Giant’s g-g-g-ghost!
I’ve never trusted that Triple H, he really hated cheerleaders
pace Monkey Mafia
Daniel Bryan’s Official WWE Performance Review reads “B+, Not A Star”.
So only a reunited Nexus can defeat Sauron Eye Randy Orton, right? I mean, there’s nine of them, and they’re the only ones we know who can destroy the ring.
This Ricardo/RVD tandem is proof that the bond of people who happen to share an ethnicity is nowhere near as strong as the bond of people who love drugs.
Who just hit “Random Character” and “Random Manager” on their controller?
With all the positive press around Darren Young I’m surprised Triple H hasn’t made it clear that Young wasn’t gay until he saw Triple H’s match with Undertaker at Wrestlemania
“Mac Pisses Off a Professional Wrestler”
I, John Cena, of sound mind and body, hereby leave my JACK to The Big Show, and my RIGHT HERE to CM Punk.
Using all of his backwoods magic, Bray Wyatt pulls Little Jimmy from the astral plane into this one, pulling stray atoms from inert matter around the arena to craft him a corporeal body, only to force R Truth to watch his little buddy die before him once again, sending him, finally, irreparably, into a madness he will never escape.
See you all next week!