Best: Tyler Breeze Is Okay Being Punched In The Face
Poor Yoshi Tatsu. After two weeks of getting insta-killed by Corey Graves, he loses quickly and easily to Tyler Breeze while the announcers say things like HE’S LOST HIS FIGHTING SPIRIT. It’s so sad. I’m not sure why Yoshi sticks around. Couldn’t he go back to Japan and be FORMER WWE SUPERSTAR YOSHI TATSU? Wouldn’t that make him a ton of money? I’m sure he could steal Shelton X Benjamin’s spot on some Wrestle Kingdom show.
The good news is that the announcers are openly discussing how Tyler Breeze is sorta shitting or getting off the pot regarding his “don’t hit me in the face” issues, and that’s absolutely necessary. Breeze not wanting to get hit in the face is fun, but him actively cowering and fleeing when punches appear makes him less a marketable wrestler and more of a one-off joke. Working to find the sweet spot is important, and I’m glad they’re taking the time to really make Breeze a thing.
(Just give him more improv-heavy mic time, please and thank you.)
Worst: Corey Graves Thinks An Underdog Is An Actual Dog
In a “backstage exclusive” that I guess Impact Wrestling was desperately trying to air before NXT, Corey Graves shares his thoughts on Sami Zayn. I use “thoughts” loosely.
Corey Graves thinks an underdog is an actual dog. He’s all, “let me tell you a story about an underdog, a puppy who wandered too far into the forests, and then he got his little actual dog foot stuck in a BEAR TRAP, and then the WOLVES came out, especially one wolf named COREY GRAVES. And I guess it makes sense that a forest full of wolves wouldn’t result in a wolf getting caught in the bear trap but a curious puppy WOULD, and I also guess there are no BEARS which is why it was still set. And then the WOLF killed the BEAR.”
Worst: Concussion Stories
Concussion stories integrated into pro wrestling matches are the worst. Wrestling loves to do them, and I’ve never understood it. “He’s clearly hurt and should not be wrestling” is a ridiculous conceit, especially when you’ve put weeks between damaging incidents and declared that the clearly hurt guy has passed all the requisite medical tests. Those things aren’t for show, those are actual tests to decide if the wrestlers can go. So why is the wrestler immediately not able to go when he starts wrestling? Do you have bad doctors? Are the doctors in developmental? ARE THEY FOREST WOLVES?
Furthermore, concussions have caused a ton of wrestlers to, you know, have their careers ended and/or flip out and murder people. They are not a birthday cake you can throw in somebody’s face on their birthday. They aren’t a wrapped gift that turns out to be a trap. They are a serious problem, and “murder” is one of those things that makes me instantly say “you should probably be doing a different story.”
Best: Sami Zayn (And The Crowd) Are Desperately Trying To Drag Something Fun Out Of Graves
The match itself is okay, and poor Sami is doing everything he can to get the seriousness of his Medically Cleared Concussion over, but it’s Corey Graves. What’re you gonna do? The guy can’t anchor a match. He’s a much better heel than he is a face, but if he’s forced to carry the heat for more than a few minutes he Randy Ortons out and falls apart. The crowd picks up on it, too, and starts chanting HEAD-LOCK HEAD-LOCK HEAD-LOCK. A few minutes later the “WE LOVE HEADLOCKS clap clap clapclapclap” starts up.
I think what they’re getting at is that the last Zayn/Graves match was much better, and did not rely on Sami Zayn’s brain damage for substance. And seriously, he got thrown into a post once half a month ago. Get the net.