Best: Stephanie McMahon Dancing
Before we start the report, I need to sing the praises of Stephanie McMahon getting turnt up and mom-dancing on Raw. She’s been hitting that sweet spot between “adorable comedy heel” and “the devil herself” all year, but last week’s foray into sassy club dancing made her my official Favorite Thing About Wrestling.
If you missed it last week, Stephanie put Vickie in a 4-on-1 handicap match where the loser would be thrown into a pool full of chocolate — sorry, “crap” — and fired. Vickie managed to throw three of her opponents into the pool, but Steph shanghai’d her from behind and won the match. Steph won, but winning just wasn’t enough, so she had to launch into ‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye’ and a FULL-ON GODADDY.COM HIP SWIVEL. It was MAGICAL.
Steph has an amazing history of drunk white girl dancing, but she may have hit critical (wonderful) mass last night by lip syncing and interpretively dancing John Cena’s entrance theme.
I honestly don’t know how anybody could be booing her right now. “She’s mean!” Who cares, she is amazing.
Best: Triple H Making Fun Of Cena’s Affected Accent
I was like, “wow, Cena’s laying it on pretty thick tonight,” and H jumps in with CHILL HOMIE. I lost my sugar. How could you boo EITHER of them?
Best: Addressing A Major Plot Hole
I like John Cena 100% more when he’s not being an idiot.
Instead of the “some people LIKE this title win, some people don’t, that’s OKAY we had a ZANY NIGHT” promo most of us were expecting, Cena simply showed up with a belt necklace, addressed how weird it was that The Authority were upset last night and chipper as f*ck less than a day later and pointed out a very important thing that needed to be pointed out. “Why does John Cena being WWE World Heavyweight Champion make The Authority mad?” It shouldn’t. He’s the ideal company man, and aside from those times when he interrupts people to morally judge them he doesn’t really do anything “anti-authority.” It’s why he and Vince are such bros.
The rub is that he’s not their specific, hand-picked guy. That’s perfect. The Authority are the types who have to have everything their way, so even if something unexpected works out for them they’ll get mad that it wasn’t Plans A or B. There are still problems with that, but addressing it and at least giving us a thread of explanation for all the seemingly-random Machiavellian shit going on in Triple H’s head is worth Besting.
Worst: Poor Daniel Bryan
Stephanie doing Yes Fingers and saying “I know you’re all excited about Daniel Bryan being back” while the crowd chants CM PUNK CM PUNK might be sadder than Sunday’s boner joke.
Worst: Uh, Not Addressing A Major Plot Hole
My only problem with the opening segment is Triple H’s big fatal fourway main-event for Battleground. To punish John Cena, he’s putting him in a match with Randy Orton, Kane and Roman Reigns. Roman Reigns. The guy who wasn’t allowed in the Money in the Bank qualifying battle royal two weeks ago because they were trying to keep him out of the title scene. The guy who drugged Triple H’s wife. The reason they fired Vickie Guerrero last week. This isn’t an obscure historical footnote I’m bringing up, this is THE ENTIRE POINT OF EVERYTHING LEADING UP TO THIS WEEK.
It’s also the reason for The Shield breakup in the first place, isn’t it? Rollins had to “evolve” or whatever and get more opportunities for himself. So he turns on The Shield, breaks them up, throws in with The Authority and becomes one of six people in a ladder match for a chance at a CHANCE of a title match while the guy who’s against The Authority has two straight PPV title matches. Even the other guy in The Shield got Rollins’ chance at a chance. I get that they’re trying to put Cena into these harmful positions so Rollins can cash in, but hey, if babyface wins are so upsetting to you, maybe stop setting up the babyfaces to win?
Best: Van Dam’s High Flyer Farewell Tour
Per Thursday’s episode of NXT, my “here’s why I hate RVD” talking point is officially dead and I’ve got to give the guy a fair shake. It’s good timing, too, because he’s doing what legends who aren’t really legend legends should be: having matches with all the talented young guys who came up loving him, putting them over and maintaining 100% crowd support despite it because he understands that wrestling is not real and it’s fine. Guys on YouTube are gonna say “I wish he wouldn’t job so much!” and not a single person who likes Van Dam’s gonna like him less on Tuesday.
One thing, though: the announce team needs to make an effort to point out why the people in the ring are doing what they’re doing. I know that’s like asking a blind man to see, but seriously, if Rollins spends the entire match working Van Dam’s leg and then finishes him with a jumping stomp to the head, there’s probably a REASON for it. Here, I’ll do it for you. “Seth Rollins is attacking Van Dam’s legs so he’ll have trouble standing up. If Van Dam can’t get off the mat quickly, Rollins has a better chance of hitting a knockout blow with the Curb Stomp.” Two sentences. It improves the story of the match, justifies things the wrestlers are ALREADY DOING and takes what, 10 seconds away from your “Mountain Dew is great” time?
Best: Dean Ambrose Does That Thing I Said I Hoped He’d Do
The difference between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose on the microphone is the difference between me and Seth Rollins in the ring.
Rollins pins Van Dam and goes into another one of his Linda Belcher promos until he’s interrupted by Dean Ambrose, who read yesterday’s Best and Worst of Money in the Bank column and decided to base the next year of his life on it. An excerpt:
I’m sure we’ll get plenty of [Rollins vs. Ambrose one-on-one], especially if Rollins trying to cash in Money in the Bank repeatedly leads to Ambrose bumrushing him from behind before he can do it. If I was fantasy booking this, Rollins would try and fail so many times because of Ambrose that he’d be the first person to lose their briefcase via expiration.
Last night, Ambrose told Rollins that his briefcase contained TNT, and that every time he tried to cash it in it’d blow up in his face. Love it. I’m so excited that the answer to the “which Shield member will get over and be the breakout star” debate we had for a year and a half ended up being, “all of them, all at once.”