Worst: The Authority Has To Be Working With John Cena, Right?
So here’s where we’re at.
John Cena is the Big Bad. I don’t know if he’ll ever have one of those Bash at the Beach moments where he condescendingly backs up into the corner and leg drops somebody, but he’s the Higher Power, the guy everyone else reports to. The living, breathing Board of Directors in man-form. It’s why Vince McMahon gets gulpy whenever John’s around, and why The Authority could have a year-long feud with the company’s top babyfaces and only really run afoul of John when he feels compelled to Real Talk them about a bad decision. The Authority only feuds with Cena to keep up appearances.
Think about it. It goes way back. Remember when John let CM Punk leave the company with the WWE Championship and still somehow got a title shot against a tired, five-foot guy who’d just finished wrestling a tournament? Remember when he “quietly formed” a massive team of mostly bad guys to defeat the Nexus, aka “the future of WWE?” Remember how the FIRST time Bryan got fired it was immediately after kicking Cena in the head and screaming YOU AREN’T BETTER THAN ME in his face? Remember how ever since then, John’s shown up to chide anybody who treated Bryan badly? Notice how this always ends with John on top, getting what he wants, doing what he wants to do?
There’s a WWE World Heavyweight Championship ladder match at Money in the Bank. Randy Orton got a free invite to participate because he’s the Bad Guy Ace. Spoiler alert: Cena gets a free invite, too. But hey, we’ve got to keep up appearances, so instead of expecting to Cena to win a battle royal we’re gonna give him the easiest kind of win for John Cena — a gimmick match with no chance of him losing cleanly by pinfall or submission, full of props, against Kane, a guy he’s beaten at least 60 times before in PG-ass gimmick matches.
So instead of, I don’t know, putting John in a fight against someone like Roman Reigns, we’re asking him to complete some weird Nickelodeon Guts competition where he has to hoist Kane up on his shoulders and Frankenstein walk up the Aggro Crag. You could’ve put Cena in a “your hat and shirt have to match” match and he would’ve had a harder time qualifying. Cena and The Authority are in on this, dammit, and I’m gonna keep tacking things to the corkboard until it makes sense.
Best: Seth Rollins Vs. Dolph Ziggler, Part Who Cares How Many
Seth Rollins wrestled Dolph Ziggler on Main Event. Seth Rollins wrestled Dolph Ziggler on Smackdown. Seth Rollins wrestled Dolph Ziggler on Raw. Seth Rollins will probably wrestle Dolph Ziggler on the next episode of Saturday Morning Slam, whenever that airs.
For once, I’m okay with it. WWE’s living with this abhorrent sickness where they make two guys with beef wrestle each other on an endless loop until everyone’s tired of seeing it, especially when they work well together, especially when one of them is Dolph Ziggler. When Ziggler first started wrestling Kofi Kingston it was cool, because they were evenly matched and brought out the best in one another. A few years later, they’ve wrestled a thousand times and the idea of Ziggler being within 50 feet of Kingston makes me want to throw myself through a window. Same with Alberto Del Rio. Ziggler/Del Rio was a GREAT matchup when it first happened. Del Rio needs his offense to look strong, and Ziggler psychotically ragdolling made that happen. A year later, Ziggler/Del Rio is a joke where I type THAT’S THE KICK THAT WON DEL RIO THE CHAMPIONSHIP MAGGLE and literally nothing else.
Rollins and Ziggler are the most video game motherf*ckers in the company right now, so seeing them work together is fantastic. It’s as “indie wrestling” as WWE gets. Tons of hair shaking, leg slapping, ridiculous falling, dives, counters into buckle bombs, whatever. It’s refreshing because it looks and feels different from a lot of what we see, even the good stuff. It’s its own kind of good stuff. Rollins is in a transitional period where he’s got to reestablish what he does in the ring and why, so Ziggler eating 100% of a Black Out and ricocheting his head off the canvas like a basketball will do wonders.
Best: JEAN AMBROSE
And here comes GREASER DEAN AMBROSE, straight from his pre-show seminar with Deuce and Domino, to interrupt the match. Tumblr gets overloaded with explosion GIFs with OVARIES written across them and vanishes from the Internet forever.
I’m giving a supplemental Worst to Dean’s new music, but at least it’s better than Seth’s. Why does Roman Reigns get to keep the Shield tune? Is Ambrose not his bro anymore? Are they not Am-bros? Are they AM-ENEMIES?
Best/Worst: Bad News Barrett Escapes Without A Non-Title Loss
1. Triple H needs to know that “bad news” is the end of the statement. It’s not “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for ya!” It’s “[explain what the people are expecting, but] I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news!” “Bad news” has to be at the end. THIS IS A SCIENCE.
2. I really enjoyed the first two-to-threeish matches of the show (aside from a point I’ll be making shortly), even if they all had screwy finishes. Rollins/Ziggler ended with Ambrose running in and causing a DQ. Barrett/Ambrose ended with Seth Rollins returning and ending up in a fight with Ambrose that bled into the crowd and got Deano counted out. Right after this, Sheamus/Bray Wyatt ends with the Wyatt Family pulling Sheamus out and drawing a DQ. Congratulations on not having your Intercontinental Champion take another clean pinfall loss, but do we have to do a bunch of these in a row?
Somebody needs to make one of those YOU HAVE $25 TO BOOK A WRESTLING SHOW graphics, and “distraction roll-up loss,” “sudden disqualification,” “a rematch from another show this week” and “bullshit non-finish” should be $5 choices.
Worst: These Commercial Breaks Are Killing Me
Aside from that, the only thing that hurt the first hour of Raw was the unusual amount of commercial breaks. It was an unusual amount, right? I’m not making that up, am I? It felt like they suddenly remembered they had an app that played matches during commercials and wanted to remind everybody about it, so they put a jarring break in during important parts of everything. What’s next, you guys gonna interrupt a Bray Wyatt promo with what the fans are Touting?