Best: Kevin Hart
It probably has a lot to do with him doing the bare minimum required to be a “guest star” on Raw, but Think Like A Man Also star Kevin Hart was … not bad. All he really did was go “uh” at the Rosebuds and wear a wacky shirt, but we escaped with just a little bit of contextualized dancing and about 40 seconds of “go see my new movie, Think Like A Man As Well, in theaters this Friday.” I can live with that. The guy’s clearly not a wrestling fan (despite the announcers claiming otherwise), but he didn’t waste our time or detract from the show.
It’s not going to get me into theaters to see Think Like A Man Once Again, but it was fine. You know what WOULD’VE made me go see that movie? Kevin Hart giving Adam Rose a clubbing forearm to the back of the neck during any part of this.
Worst: THAT CATTY LITTLE CAT
In case you missed it, Summer Rae thought “catty little twat” was a thing she could call someone on a live wrestling show. Jump to the 1:50 mark.
It lacked the brutal grace of Diss The Diva’s legendary “having a cock in your mouth has nothing to do with wrestling” and “cum-guzzling gutterslut,” but it’s certainly the most graphic insult launched on live WWE TV in a while.
The clip keeps getting aired in different forms. On Smackdown, they muted “twat.” On Raw, they dubbed it over with “cat,” so now Summer’s calling Layla a “catty little cat.” Welcome to my verbal repertoire, most obscure wrestling reference ever!
Best: LeBron James Takes His Talents To Developmental
What will Damien Sandow’s legacy be? My column:
Best: A Battle Royal With An Obvious Winner (And A Lot Of Great Options)
YEAH BATTLE ROYAL.
Longtime readers know I’m a sucker for a good battle royal, mostly because I have to preface every battle royal with a thing about how everybody knows I like battle royals. It’s the “Rob Van Dam hasn’t done anything new since 2001” of positive wrestling writing. Anyway, this was a GREAT one, and one of the major reasons why was the amount of conflicting stories and momentum presented in the class of competitors clearly not winning. Does that make sense?
We all knew Roman was winning. Of course he was. He’s Roman Reigns, and we just got several backstage comedy segments to justify him participating. The cool thing is that Roman didn’t HAVE to win, because the ring was full of guys who hypothetically COULD, if you removed the smarky observation. The ring’s full of guys like Ryback and Big E, and battle royals LOVE a hoss who can muscle people out and has to be ganged up on to be eliminated. There are guys in there like Kofi. Yeah, Kofi’s never won a battle royal in his life, but he’s great at making you get excited for his elimination, and that can take him to the end. New characters like Bo Dallas and Rusev are in there doing great, and with the shaky main-event scene in WWE right now and the setup of the multi-man ladder match there’s no telling who could pop into one of those spots. They very easily could’ve inserted ANY of the people I just listed into the Money in the Bank ladder match. Being in the title match doesn’t mean they have to WIN it. Does anybody really think Bray Wyatt or Cesaro is leaving MITB as WWE Champ?
Even the dark horses were fun. Ziggler had the support of the crowd. Hell, even Curtis Axel had the support of the crowd. WWE’s secretly got the best under and midcard in the history of wrestling, they’ve just beaten us into numbness with half-assed repetition that we never really notice it. These guys could go anywhere and do ANYTHING if WWE ever decided that the unimportant guys should be important, too.
Best: Bo Vs. Bad News Revisited
I love love loved Bo Dallas and Bad News Barrett ending up as reluctant teammates to eliminate Rob Van Dam. If you don’t remember the first time they butted heads, it was back in the 2013 Royal Rumble. WWE hadn’t yet realized that Bo is the most easily hateable person in the world and was booking him as a plucky babyface, so he got to eliminate Wade and feud with him for a few weeks.
Fast forward a year and a half and now they’re PERFECTLY ALIGNED ENEMIES. Seriously, think about it. Wade Barrett loves delivering bad news so much he’s become Bad News Barrett. Bo Dallas is a motivational creep who won’t stop reassuring people and telling them how great they are. They’re MADE for each other. Yin and yang. And they’re eliminating the guy who always has yins and yangs on his gear. This is purposeful symbolism, god dammit, I know it.
Yes, I loved when Bo pulled Barrett up out of the corner and they hugged, and yes, I loved it when BNB Bad Newz’d him to death. You’re the poorest man’s Rock/Austin, guys, enjoy it.
Best: YO That Finish Was Hot
Aside from that, holy CRAP was the crowd down for Roman Reigns vs. Rusev. That’s how you do a finish to a battle royal.
The best part is that they set it up to be a big moment, but didn’t give us too much. We still don’t know who’d win in a one-on-one match between the two, we just know that Roman was able to get the better of him in a quick finishing sprint. That’s cool. It’s also cool that Roman is apparently KING OF THE BATTLE ROYAL. He should never, ever enter a battle royal and not be one of the final four. Keep that characteristic alive. Make him the Undertaker at WrestleMania of Royal Rumbles. I mean, he won the 2014 Royal Rumble, didn’t he? I’m remembering that correctly. If somebody else had won it they’d still be in the company in June, right?
+1 if the Rusev/Reigns grudge carries into any Dean Ambrose/Lana moments.