Best: 3MB Branches Out
I love the 3MB/The Shield beef.
If you haven’t been following it, 3MB has been involved in a blood feud with a pair of matadors and their living man-bull child, while The Shield has been destroying main-eventers from 15 years ago in high profile matches and being the high point of WWE live shows. This takes up most of their time … but sometimes, only sometimes, their paths cross. It almost always involves 3MB showing up randomly to be like YEAH F*CK THE SHIELD and The Shield instantly answering/brutally beating them. It’s WONDERFUL.
Last night was the best example in a while, with The Shield “breaking up” last week and 3MB deciding now (before either side has appeared or spoken about the situation) was the best time to gloat. YEAH F*CK THE SHIELD and then immediately SIERRA HOTEL INDIA ECHO LIMA DELTA and Heath Slater getting speared on the stage. It’s like the old Zack Ryder/John Cena issue, only instead of “it’s all right man, we’re still friends” it’s “I AM GOING TO RUN INTO YOU SO HARD YOUR RIBS FALL OUT.”
Best: F*CK YEAH THIS VERSION OF THE SHIELD
While we’re putting stars into the word “fuck,” F*CK YEAH THIS VERSION OF THE SHIELD.
My problem with Shield promos has always been that awkward Seth Rollins part in the middle. As we’ve gone over, Dean Ambrose is the money talker of the group. He can talk about anything for as long as he’d like. Roman Reigns is there for SEXY PRINCE PUNCTUATION. He says something about asses and then BELIEVE THAT AND BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD and we’re done. The purpose of Seth was (I guess?) to clarify the situation and speak candidly about whatever’s bothering the team, because you can’t rely on Ambrose or Reigns to do that. They’re gonna go bonkers in one direction or the other. The problem is that Seth always took 600 words to say what he could’ve said in six.
So we’re fixed! Now Dean Ambrose is speaking with CRAZY FACE about how he’s going to literally dismantle Seth Rollins’ existence, basically cutting the most graphic heel promo about violence and revenge we’ve heard in … what, years? To a face response. That’s great. People like the guy so much that he doesn’t have to change a single thing about himself, he just does his crazy mess to the bad guys. Perfect. Roman Reigns is good here too.
Dean: “I’m gonna rip out your tongue and use it like pita bread to scoop out your eyeballs, yeah, and then I’m gonna eat your eyeballs like falafel. I’ll use the blood from your eye sockets like hot sauce, Seth, this is a Mediterranean restaurant OF YOUR LITERAL PHYSICAL DEATH, Seth. I will knock out your teeth and put them in a bowl for people to use as breath mints, and then I will take a gun and shoot you in your dead face because I hate you.”
Roman: “JIM CROCE LYRICS TOO, BITCH, BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD”
Roman could’ve launched into the lyrics to ‘Operator’ and I would’ve been pumping my fist. I loved everything about this.
This week, Damien Sandow dresses up like that naked create-a-wrestler you were trying to make before you realized they put a crotch blur on the crotch and nipples so you can’t properly draw on the dong and weird people out online.
Seriously though, we need to have a talk about Damien Sandow.
Almost every week, Sandow comes out dressed as a thing and people get mad about it. “You’re not using him right!” or “give him a push” or whatever. It’s our mournful cry for another of our species. All past “lol dress up” gimmicks have ended badly. Big Show took years to recover, Charlie Haas wandered into obscurity, and so on. Cosplaying to be the butt of the joke is not a great way to ensure future championships or longevity in the company.
Here’s the thing, though: people are chanting “let’s go Sandow” at him. When have you EVER heard that? And aside from that, the guy’s in a featured spot on television every single week now because SOMEBODY enjoys seeing him work. Seeing him humiliated, whatever. That’s not “being buried.” It’s not thrilling for his integrity or whatever, but that’s not what burying is. Burying is not being used, not being showcased, and being fired. Burying is being humiliated when cameras AREN’T on. They don’t bury people as a joke for 10 minutes of their primetime show. People on the wrestling show fill roles, and the disappointing thing here we should agree on is that Sandow is far too talented to be the joke role. Or he’s so good at the joke role (and he is) that we’re gonna have to reevaluate what brings him to the dance.
To the interpretive dance.
I don’t know. I’m as depressed as you are that Intellectual Savior Damien Sandow didn’t catch on, beat Cena for the championship when he cashed in Money In The Bank and get into a months-long feud with Cody and (by proxy) Goldust. That would’ve been great. He’s one of my favorites. But hey, he’s on TV getting cheered now, and that’s something.
Worst: Bo Dallas Vs. Xavier Woods Isn’t Even A Match I’d Want To Watch On NXT
Isn’t there an Ascension match I can review or something?
I did like two things here: Bo’s face going from determined to GASP I WON? at the three count, and Bo returning to hug Xavier Woods in the corner. Like any WWE gimmick, it’ll only succeed or fail when you put it up against other stuff that works … you can’t repeatedly run your new gimmick against six things nobody cares about and expect them to associate it with anything but the shit they don’t care about. It’s why Bray Wyatt wasn’t taken seriously until he feuded with Daniel Bryan. Nobody cares if you can beat R-Truth and Xavier Woods. Nobody in the world.
Best: Cesaro Lights A Fire Under The Money In The Bank Match
finally, a fresh matchup
I’ll be honest, I left the room for most of this. But yo, that rolling monkey flip attempt into the Swiss Death should’ve been the finish. I don’t know why they use that for a false finish when Cesaro’s gonna win the match anyway. That should be the set-up to the Neutralizer. He hits the European, it’s over, and then he Neutralizes you for the pin. That’s usually how it works on NXT, and how it should work on Raw. There is no way you should be flipping around and doing stuff after he snaps your jaw like that.
I’m starting to feel badly for Rob Van Dam. Aside from that “do something different” talking point I’ve beaten into the ground, wouldn’t it help the guy if he could have some perspective on his gimmick and body and maybe change things up to hide his weaknesses? He’s not a spectacular athlete anymore, you know? He doesn’t get height on things like he used to. Maybe stay grounded a little more, and add some basic pro wrestling between moves so you aren’t always having to stutterstep into wild potato kicks? Throw a hiptoss, Bobby.