I’m hyperbolic about … basically everything.
The title of “best pay-per-view of all time” is a hard one to bestow. A lot of people will say Wrestlemania 3, or Wrestlemania 10, or Wrestlemania X-7. As an NWA kid, I might say Starrcade ’85, or The Great American Bash ’89. Maybe Wrestlewar ’92. That’s lofty company, and I don’t want to sound hyperbolic when I say that last night’s Money in the Bank show seems like it’s as good as any of them. How do I come to terms with that? How do you admit that this new thing is just as good as the old stuff you’ve been building a love on your entire life?
I am a nerd about wrestling on the Internet, and to me, it was wonder.
Best: Daniel Bryan is a NERD, KING
I don’t want to fill the parts of this that aren’t about CM Punk with CM Punk, but one of my favorite wrestling memories is being live at Wrestlemania 24 (right at that moment when Chavo Guerrero and Kane were having 4 second matches for the ECW Championship when you thought Punk was too small a fish in too big a pond) and seeing Punk win his first Money in the Bank briefcase. I remember my good friend Bill Hanstock flipping out, turning to me and yelling ARE YOU KIDDING ME over and over.
Part of me felt that way last night, watching my favorite wrestler in the world win Money in the Bank. Sure, there’s always a chance that the guy who wins it is going to be the first to lose a cash-in (that really should’ve happened to Jack Swagger), and hell, part of me though Bryan was going to get fed to Punk at the end of the show, but as of right now there is a greater logistical chance than ever of “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson becoming WWE Champion. That would make me the happiest person ever. I want him to keep it for a year and a half. I want a match where Big Andy Leavine’s hand gets sliced open and Daniel Bryan taps him out by working it for twenty minutes. I want him defeating Drew McIntyre with a small package at the 28-minute mark.
Worst case scenario, I want him to be a popular wrestler and remain employed for as long as possible, because he’s great and deserves it. Actually, nevermind, worst case scenario is Edge coming out of retirement, spearing Bryan, taking his title shot and cashing it in for absolutely no f**king reason whatsoever.
I wish WWE hadn’t conditioned me to always expect the worst.
Worst: I Forgot Who Was In This While It Was Going On
Admittedly I don’t watch a lot of Smackdown, but these Money in the Bank participants were decided so quickly and randomly that at one point in the match Cody Rhodes shows up and I’m all, “oh, cool, Cody Rhodes is in this”. And that was seriously about ten minutes in.
As cool as it is to pile these guys on and have them do crazy spots to each other, I wonder if Money in the Bank wouldn’t mean something greater emotionally if we did it with four, maybe five guys. For example, people always speak fondly of Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon at Wrestlemania X, but nobody is going to care about those Jung Dragons/Three Count/Knoble and Karagias triple threat tag team ladder farts from Nitro no matter how many times you shoehorn them onto a DVD.
Worst: But Seriously, the Nerd Thing
Michael Cole is getting into that scary territory he got into on NXT where people started thinking his nonchalant, insulting character was funny, so they turned it up way too loud and we suffered through six months of sailor tattoos and blaze orange singlets and 60,000 emotional instances of Jack Swagger putting Jerry Lawler in the ankle lock. Cole is extremely interested in calling Daniel Bryan a nerd, so much so that he’ll do it in response to any sentence. It doesn’t have to be Booker T saying Daniel Bryan is tenacious (or whatever), it is literally anything:
Lawler: “Wade Barrett just punched Sheamus.”
Booker: “that right there is what we call a punch, king, and that right there will knock yo lights out, knock you clean out, that right there”
Cole: “DANIEL BRYAN LIKES BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, WTF”
And nobody f**king mentioned Battlestar Galactica. He’s like Austin Powers trying not to say “mole”. He used it on AJ on Smackdown, too, because she said “dude”. WHO SAYS DUDE, AJ IS A NERD. AJ is a gorgeous tiny gymnast made out of muscles and Ashley Massaro’s leftover underwear. When did “dude” become a nerd qualifier? The only people I know who say dude are surfers, frat guys and Ninja Turtles.
Worst: Goodbye, Mexico’s Rose
So hey guys, how about that Sin Cara?
In accordance with its Talent Wellness Program, WWE has suspended Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde (Sin Cara) for 30 days for his first violation of the company’s policy.
WWE, if any of your representatives are reading this, I have a great idea. Have you ever heard of a wrestler named “Ricochet”? He wrestles in Dragon Gate, used to be in CHIKARA as Helios. Anyway, he’s skinny and olive-skinned, hire him for 1/10th of what you’re paying Mistico, dress him like Sin Cara, and let him do all this basic lucha sh** without screwing it up. I’ve seen him do a double moonsault with my own goddamned eyes, I’m pretty sure he can do a headscissors without f**king up and dropping himself, Chavo Guerrero and 2/3rd of the audience on their faces.
The best part of that paragraph is that I assume a guy in Dragon Gate isn’t on a ton of drugs. CIMA could inject anabolic steroids into a bag of weed and sell it at his gym, nobody would care. He could call it DO GREAT BREATHING STRENGTH.
Best: All Hail Kelly Kelly, Destroyer of Divas
You know a Divas match is great when all the reviews the next day include the sentence “even the women’s match was passable!” Some places have even called it “good”. I liked it, but I’m a women’s wrestling apologist. And at four and three-quarter minutes it was nearly four times longer than your standard Divas affair.
At some point during the afternoon, Kelly and Brie figured out that they could just do an abdominal stretch and bounce a K-Driller (or whatever she calls it) off the ropes and people would be fine with it. They didn’t have to get naked, they didn’t have to fall all over the place, they didn’t have to pull a Candice Michelle and screw up something they saw on YouTube. They just had to be completely passable at wrestling and people would give it a thumbs up. It’s like a Coldplay album. If “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” had shown up on Radiohead’s Kid A people would’ve threatened to kill themselves, but because it appears on Sh:tty Coldplay Album by Coldplay, people think it’s fine.
For the record, that song is terrible. Just work with me.
Best? Worst: Kelly’s Entrance Attire
Kelly Kelly comes to the ring wearing gold lamé hot pants and a long-sleeved gold lamé top that stops just below her boobs, then turns into what I can only describe as a Greek sandal until about the middle of her stomach. Then, she takes OFF the top, but just the sleeves and sandals part, leaving a bra.
So was that supposed to be entrance attire, or did she just take off her shirt? The wearing and removal of sleeves makes even less sense than those sheer bracelet capes the Bellas wear or the chain wallet shoulderpads Kharma was rocking. Kelly should’ve taken off her hot pants to reveal one pant leg and half a vagina.
Worst: Eve’s “Back-up”
There’s a great moment at the end of the match where Kelly hits The Bella with her finisher and goes for the pin. Additional Bella gets upset and toward the corner like she’s going to get in the ring and break it up. Eve, who accompanied Kelly Kelly to the ring as “back-up”, backs Kelly up by walking into the corner and lightly swatting at the mat as the other Bella gets in the ring. The Bella does nothing, and Eve kneels on the apron in beige-ass pants until it’s time for her to celebrate.
It is time to wish Eve the best in her future endeavors. Her future endeavors in that sentence being “a booth beside Maria at Wizard World” and “a boring shoot interview about how Randy Orton once blew his nose on her shirt”.
Worst: I See You Working That Match With the Girl I Love, and I’m Like, F**k You
This is the theme for Summerslam.Subscribe to UPROXX
WRITTEN IN THE STARS
A MILLION MILES AWAY
These things keep getting worse. What, is Jet Black Stare too busy to record your pay-per-view theme? What could they possibly be doing? (They could call it “Rock and Roll”!)
Best: Mark Henry Is My Favorite Wrestler
I don’t know what universe I’m living in, but here’s a sentence: The Big Show versus Mark Henry match at last night’s pay-per-view was fantastic. How did I get here? This is not my beautiful wife.
But it was. It WAS my beautiful wife. As a supporter of North American and Japanese independent pro wrestling I love and appreciate a couple of little guys jumping around and dance fighting, but occasionally the red-blooded fan needs to see two hoss-ass monsters being fat and beating the sh*t out of each other. In just under six minutes, Mark Henry (continuing his month-long streak as the second-best booked person in the company) dismantled and dispatched The Big Show, most notably in my favorite type of finishing sequence — Big Show kicked out of a World’s Strongest Slam, so instead of standing up and yelling C’MAWN THAT WAS THREE THAT WAS THREE REF until Show could roll him up and win, Henry picked him back up, hit him with two more World’s Strongest Slams and splashed him repeatedly until he won. THAT is awesome.
If you are not on this big motherf**kers bandwagon yet, get on it, because if he’d wrestled like this in 1996 we’d be talking about one of the all-time greats.
Best: Big Show Gets Henryized
We need to rename the act of getting “Pillmanized”, because it’s quickly becoming this generation’s O’Connor Roll. Do you know where that move’s name comes from? If you’re me or Mike Quackenbush, you do. If you were Twittering your friends to ask them if CM Punk’s worked shoot was a work or a shoot, you probably don’t.
I move we call it getting “Henryized”, possibly with an alternate spelling, because a 400 pound World’s Strongest thing dropping its stuff on your leg and breaking it to sh*t is great. Last week Mark Henry was the rhino from Donkey Kong Country Returns, and this week he’s a Thwomp. Gotta love it. Next week he should be a Linda from Double Dragon.
(that means he should attack somebody with a chain whip)
Best: Big Show is Frank the Tank
Watch Will Ferrell take a tranquilizer dart to the neck and flop around in a bunch of chairs and tell me it doesn’t sound exactly like The Big Show when he’s injured.