Being a happy wrestling fan is like being politically moderate. It makes sense on paper, but Jesus, everyone around you has fallen off the deep end. To the right you have Pro Wrestling Republicans, the people who describe themselves as “smart” but can’t stop telling you who got the biggest pops, the people who can’t send in match results without editorializing about burials and “going home” and whatever other lingo they picked up from DVDR this week. To the left you have Pro Wrestling Democrats, apologists who think we should all just sit back and enjoy the wrestling for what it is, people who don’t understand why you’re taking this so seriously because the only thing good about wrestling is colorful characters and finishing moves. Both sides love the Undertaker.
And that brings us to Wrestlemania 27, one of the most talked about shows in recent memory. No, not that happy kind of talking like when the Nexus attacked and something violent and wonderful was happening in wrestling. No, that sad kind of sighing talk like when Nexus existed in any and every other week.
I’m going to go through this in order, and try to keep my wits about me.
[images (mostly) courtesy of MGFanJay @ DVDR]
Worst: Edge is a Jerk
Edge barely makes sense as a character and wrestler. Have you ever stopped to think about it? His original character was a man that you “did not know.” Then he transitioned into a vampire, became a surfer, got into bodybuilding and became a do-gooding babyface monster only to morph into the dough-bodied, hyper-sexual “ultimate opportunist.” So now he’s this ratty-haired guy with a body like Scud the Disposable Assassin and the whitest voice ever, doing the lamest, jerkiest things (calling people “stupid,” feuding with a laptop, kidnapping and murdering Paul Bearer for fun) and somehow he’s a good guy. Maybe his character is still “guy you don’t know,” because man, I don’t think I know who he is.
All that being said, Edge may have topped himself by pinning Albert Del Rio and destroy his Rolls Royce for no reason. Remember Starrcade 85? Tully Blanchard had been a total asshole to Magnum TA, doing all sorts of reprehensible sh;t to him. Magnum finally got Tully in a cage, where he couldn’t get out and nobody else could get in to help him. He beat Tully within an inch of his life and made Tully quit. After the match, Magnum had a chance to finish off Tully for good, but you know what he did? He refused. He didn’t want to stoop to Tully’s level. Magnum walked away the better man, leaving Tully a blubbering, hypocritical mess in the ring. What Edge did here is the exact opposite of that. All he accomplished was making me wish ADR would beat his ass for wrecking up his car.
That’s the generational difference, I guess.
Best: Alberto Del Rio is a Jerk
And man, if you’d told me two years ago that Dos Caras, Jr., would be competing in a World Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestlemania and carrying Edge to his first watchable thing in ages I would’ve laughed in your face, but here we are. Del Rio is the best kind of heel; a smug, satisfied guy who isn’t necessarily a bad guy, he’s just different, and willing to go to extreme lengths to get the job done in the ring. He’s a scaled back version of the “ultimate opportunist” — in direct contrast to Edge, Del Rio seems like he’s sneak attacking the arm and getting help from the outside because he wants to win wrestling matches, because he’s a wrestler. Edge kidnaps people and hits them in the face with food because he’s a horrible person.
Del Rio’s palatial estate entrance was the best, completed by the explanation from Cole about how that’s his actual house, and how he employs a bunch of people to work there and makes his community better. That’s the kind of thing they should be saying more often. It makes local Joes dislike him for his privilege without having to resort to “he hates all of you! Even you!”
A supplementary best goes to Michael Cole for making Jerry Lawler shoot laugh by screaming “HOW’S HE GONNA GET HOME?” when Edge ruined Del Rio’s car. I love the idea of Del Rio solemnly driving home from Georgia to f**king Mexico in this scratched up car with half a windshield.