Best: You’ve Come a Long Way, Tripsy
Tripsy — that’s totally going to catch on, right?
A lot has been said about how much better the Triple H of the past year is than “classic” Triple H, but better doesn’t really cover it. Current Triple H isn’t just an improved version of Triple H from the mid-2000s, he’s his total Bizarro world counterpart. Old Triple H was all about being the coolest dude in the arena while passive-aggressively tearing his opponents down within inside comments, and barbs that hit a little too close to home. Meanwhile, the Triple H that came out on this week’s Smackdown praised his opponents to high heaven. He did everything he could to communicate that The Shield are legitimate, awesome guys, and when he did lay into them, all Triple H’s barbs stemmed from his own ego and insecurities. The result? I actually look forward to say-nothing 10-minute show opening Triple H promos now. It took 15-years of hanging around with the guy, but I guess some Ric Flair finally wore off on Triple H. Or maybe it’s something to do with the ponytail — I bet that thing was haunted.
Best: Tournaments Make Everything Better
Even directionless, Wade Barrett-esque Intercontinental Championship reigns! I guess Big E’s still wet enough behind the ears that he thinks multiple former world champs coming after his title is something to get excited about, because dude was keyed up for his match with Alberto. The match was actually shaping up to be one of the best Big E bouts in quite some time, until…
Worst: What the F–k?
…Alberto put Big E in the armbreaker, Big E got the ropes, the ref counted to five, Alberto released the hold and the ref threw the match out anyways. Now honestly, I’m not entirely sure whether the rule is “you get to a count of five and then the match is thrown out if you don’t break” or “if the ref gets to five the match is immediately thrown out” because matches don’t end like this. The rare times a ref disqualifies a guy for leaving a hold on too long, he usually counts to five, gives the guy a sternly worded lecture then tries to pull the guy off before finally chucking the match.
Aw crap, somebody on the writing team dusted off Ye Olde Professional Catch-As-Catch-Can Rulebooke again, didn’t they? This is the new “match is called on account of guy getting hit too much in the corner” isn’t it? God-dammit.