Here’s the worst reason for a handicap match I’ve heard in a while: Nikki Bella was expressing mild concern/sadness over her twin sister quitting the previous night and Stephanie McMahon overheard (all offscreen, mind you), so Nikki ended up in a handicap match against Alicia Fox and Aksana. All right.
The good news is that it was the handicap match I’ve been asking for. I hate when a wrestler gets 100 times better when faced with a 2-on-1 advantage. A wrestler being able to dispatch two opponents it makes it hard for me to believe either of those wrestlers can compete 1-on-1. Remember when Cena beat R-Truth and The Miz by himself, and then immediately afterwards we were supposed to wonder if Cena could beat them in a tag team match if his parter was THE F*CKING ROCK? Those are the worst.
Here, Nikki Bella just gets her ass kicked. That’s it. No shenanigans, no big hope spots. She tries to compete against two women, fails, and loses the match. Alicia pins her clean with an axe kick. FOXANA IS ROLLING, FOLKS. After the match, Alicia does that wonderful/dangerous thing where she sideslams people through the ropes to the floor, and we establish that Alicia has post-match freakouts whether she wins or loses. That’s good.
Two quick questions, though:
1. Hey WWE, do you seriously think we should cheer Nikki Bella? Have you watched her on ANY of your programs? She tries hard and she’s a beautiful woman, sure, but her character across the board is a horrible human being who mostly cheats to win and wrestles in a sexy baseball player Halloween costume.
2. How did Alicia Fox spend two weeks dousing herself in soda and then compete on a soda-themed pay-per-view without paying that off?
Whatever: Kofi Kingston Vs. Bo Dallas
The only way I’m into this story right now is if Bray is changing hosts and moving into the body of Bo. Husky Harris shows up next week in his New Nexus shirt to take revenge on Randy Orton and suddenly Bo’s all haggard and into church songs.
Best: Luke Harper Is Talking!
Here’s a well-kept secret: the other guys in the Wyatt Family can talk.
I really enjoyed the idea of the Wyatts being competent characters when Bray is away. I think that helps them a lot. They’re cronies, sure. Total henchmen. But like any good henchmen — see The Venture Bros. or any PS2 Final Fantasy game — they “exist” and have thoughts and motivations and personalities of their own.
Luke Harper’s gonna be a big deal one day. I don’t know how they’re going to get to it because character-wise we’re seeing pretty much all he’s ever shown us, but the man can work, has size and can talk. Plus, independent wrestling street cred. He’s a greatest hits of reasons to push a guy.
Worst: CM Punk Chants
How great would it have been if the crowd’s C-M-PUNK chant had actually produced Punk, and they wasted it on an Adam Rose/Jack Swagger match? Punk just runs out, slides into the ring and eats a Party Foul. Rolls out, is never seen again. Indianapolis is BLAMED FOREVER.
Worst: Did We Seriously Build A Feud To Blow It Off In Two Minutes In The Middle Of Raw, Or
Best: This Is The Best Adam Rose Has Ever Looked
Okay, so, the Worst. Adam Rose’s debut beef has been with Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger, as he is a gluten-free millennial and Zeb wants to deport anyone who was born after 1990 or eats …gluten? Am I understanding this correctly? Anyway, I don’t really expect Rose and Swagger to have a 20 minute barn burner or whatever, but hell, Rose and CAMACHO settled their problems on a “special event” show. Swagger and Rose couldn’t have blown this off in three minutes at Payback Pay-Per-View? Did we build for a month and then blow it off in the middle of the show like it was nothing, or are we in for five more Rose vs. Swagger matches? Ugh, I just answered my own question.
Supplemental Worst While I’m Thinking About It: is anybody else bothered by how they won’t stop calling it Payback Pay-Per-View? Can’t they just call it Payback? We know it’s a pay-per-view. They don’t call WrestleMania “WrestleMania Pay-Per-View.”
Anyway, while the match wasn’t great, I dug the finish a lot:
How much better does that look? The Party Foul just became a thing to look forward to, even if it’s 50% his opponent lifting him like he’s taking a Dudley Dog. It differentiates Rose’s snapmare driver from Dean Ambrose’s headlock driver, and the more they can do to clearly identify these identical moves they’re giving people, the better. Going up like that for the Party Foul also creates a lot of fun counters. Imagine Cesaro launching him into the air and European uppercutting him, or Orton flipping it over into an RKO.