Best: Bad News Barrett Vs. Dolph Ziggler, Good Grief
This was SICK. One of the very best matches on free TV this year.
If you want to talk about guys being “used right,” this is guys being used right. I feel like I’ve explained it too many times, but here we go again: the difference Wade Barrett being an okay wrestler and Wade Barrett being an ace is the impact and severity of his offense. If he goes in there and does his awkward Rainmaker Bullhammer where he has to step across the guy’s body and hit them in the hair with part of his forearm, he’s lame. If he does the Wasteland and the guy just drops there and makes a sad face, he’s lame. If he does Winds of Change and his opponent doesn’t rush into it full force and really go all the way around, it’s nothing. The reason a lot of the matches with Orton weren’t great is because Orton isn’t the best when it comes to committing and really eating his opponent’s moves. Ziggler is PERFECT for that, because ALL HE DOES is eat moves.
People are gonna tell you that Ziggler’s not being “pushed” or whatever, but this is the A+ position for him. Ziggler is just a more publicly acceptable, region non-specific Heath Slater. His role is to leap into things and lean into strikes and spin all the way around when it’s time to be spun. It’s to scream and jump and die. It has nothing to do with being in the doghouse or how many concussions he’s had and when, it’s a wrestling promotion noticing that he’s way, way better at getting hit in the face with an elbow than he is walking down the ramp delivering a crowd pleasing promo, so here he is getting hit in the face with an elbow.
I loved this, because I have eyeballs. Listen to them on the mat at 1:19. “We’re hot, brother!” YEAH YOU ARE.
Best: ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba baAAAOOOMMMMMMM
When Wade became Bad News they fixed the Bullhammer Elbow. Before, as I mentioned, it had a convoluted setup that never paid itself off. Now he just picks his spot and OBLITERATES dudes. ENDS them. Take, for example, Dolph Ziggler Stinger Splashes face-first into a bow and losing his gum in the process:
THAT is how you Dog Boner somebody. Beautifully done. Standing ovation all around, from the match opening YOUR LOCAL SPORTS TEAM IS RACIST declaration to the KO. Brother.
Best: Let’s Ask The WWE Universe What They Thought Of Dolph Ziggler’s Performance
What: Are Santino And Emma Getting Married Back There? Is Sin Cara The Priest?
On her way to the ring, Vickie passes Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston having a conversation. Woods is dressed like the Brawny paper towel guy and Kofi’s wearing headphones because he doesn’t want to talk to Xavier Woods. Vickie gets dragged into a backstage interview and interrupted by Randy Orton, but the important thing is the weird shit happening in the background: Santino Marella is wearing a suit, Emma is wearing a dress and Sin Cara is wearing HIS FULL ENTRANCE GEAR. Full-on sparkly Dracula cape and all. What could they possibly be talking about? Are they going to a wedding? Is that what Sin Cara wears to relax? Is he getting an estimate on a BRAZO DE SERPIENTE?
Worst: Let Jack Swagger’s Face Tell You How Much I Enjoyed This Kofi Kingston Match
If Kofi gets Ziggler Kicked at Money in the Bank, it’s his fault.
Best: Stardust Is The Greatest Thing In The Entire World
He’s got his own mood lighting, is singing Disney songs in a David Bowie voice and appropriate the Alexa Bliss glitter spray.
HOW IS THIS BETTER THIS WEEK?
Best: Rusev’s Continued Dominance Of Anybody Who Gets In His Face About The United States
At NXT Takeover, Mojo Rawley came out waving an American flag and threatening to shove it up Rusev’s ‘Putin.’ Rusev quickly dispatched him. On last week’s Raw, Heath Slater showed up as the ‘American Rockstar’ and told Rusev to go back to Russia, baybayyyy! Rusev quickly dispatched him. Last night, Damien Sandow showed up dressed as Abraham Lincoln and lost quickly to Big E. Suddenly Big E became a character from Coming To America, delivering a sermon about how great the USA is. Rusev showed up and quickly dispatched him.
Here’s an idea: stop acting so stupid about the United States. Maybe you’ll do better in your matches.