I dearly hope Heath Slater wins the battle royal, tries to pick up the Andre trophy and somehow gets pinned by it.
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Okay, on with the Smackdown…
Worst: Peaking At The Right Time
The “roll” Dolph Ziggler is currently on is, somehow, actually sadder than the months of crushing losses he preceded it with. I mean, there’s something noble about aiming high and falling short, but celebrating like you’d just won the World Cup of Supermodel Sexing when you just pinned Damien Sandow and gesticulating wildly at the Wrestlemania sign when you’re in the pre-show battle royal is a farce.
Also, no JBL, Ziggler is not peaking. Peaking implies you’re at the top, the zenith, of your career, and Dolph Ziggler won a World Title. Two of them I think! I mean, hell, he didn’t beat Sandow via a drum to the face, so this isn’t even the peak of Dolph’s last six months.
Worst: A Master Class In Wasting My Time
This was pretty much the platonic ideal of a time wasting segment. Kane comes out, shows a lengthy clip, each and every one of you’d the audience for a while, then read a letter from Triple H that stated literally nothing. Whenever I start feeling a little sorry for the WWE writers and production team having to put together 30 hours of television a week, I think of segments like these and don’t feel so bad. Thankfully our man Kane would redeem himself in a big way later in the show.
Best: Booking By Alliteration
Fandango and Fernando were just booked against each other because their names sound sort of the same, right? There’s no other possible reason for these two to be fighting. And hey, I’m fine with that — I encourage more booking based on people having similar letters in their name. I’m legitimately not sure who would win between Camacho and Cameron and I’m sure Curtis Axel and Curt Hawkins would be a uh, hmmm…okay, I guess this can only be taken so far.
Fandango/Fernando wasn’t just delightfully random, the match itself was pretty fun too. Has Torito always had tiny Giant Gonzalez muscles painted on his outfit? Maybe the white outfit just makes them more noticeable. Thankfully Torito hasn’t hit little bull person puberty yet and thus far lacks the uh, crotch fur. Torito being attracted to Summer’s red dress was also pretty clever (and a more adult treatment of human sexuality than the Santino/Emma segment that came later).
Worst: Nope, Don’t Care
Ever since Cena/Wyatt became about [slow exhale]…John Cena’s Legacy I’ve had just about zero interest in this feud. It doesn’t help that I’m pretty much done with Bray Wyatt promos in general. Yeah, sometimes Wyatt pulls off a creepy turn of phrase, but his promos aren’t about anything. When Wyatt first showed up on the main roster I criticized his promos for just being collections of scary words, and months later they haven’t progressed an inch. Producing random litanies of vague creepiness isn’t hard. Here, I’ll write a Bray Wyatt promo…
“Your parents always told you the Boogie Man wasn’t real, but you need to open your eyes man — there are worse demons lurking in the dark! Demons like me who will eat your soul and drink your tears and throw open the doors of a new reality! Ohhhh my stars and garters! Chikara reference, crab walk, 60s pop standard lyrics, follow the buzzards!”
You’re free to use that one Bray.
To all the Bray fans typing up their furious comments as we speak, listen, I can understand how you’d be invested in this character if you followed him from day one in NXT. This guy used to be Husky freakin’ Harris. He pulled off an impressive transformation, but now he has to go further unless “dumpy Kane” is all he aspires to.
Bray is supposed to be a cult leader, right? Tell me what this cult believes in. Tell me what his goals are. That’s the difference between, say, The Straight Edge Society, and The Wyatts — Punk had a set of beliefs and his feuds grew in a natural, satisfying manner out of conflicts with people who offended those beliefs. When Bray has something meaningful to chew on, like say his battle for three-man unit supremacy with The Shield, things work, but when he doesn’t, he’s lost at sea. He needs a guiding philosophy to anchor him. Honestly, I hope Bray steps things up to the next level, because there is a man with his legacy on the line in this feud, and it ain’t John Cena.
Best: The Shield, High-Flyin’ Babyfaces
So, until somebody finally turns on somebody I guess The Shield are just unapologetic babyfaces now. It was rather bizarre to see these guys who have been all about relatively unflashy teamwork for over a year hitting stereo dives and elaborate sunset flip spots left and right, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. At this point I’d be totally okay with pushing the break-up back to SummerSlam and letting The Shield be smilin’ flyin’ dudes with tudes for the next few months.