Hello lasses and lads. If you’re anything like me, it’s been an emotional couple of days. After the tragic events of Friday, I almost didn’t post this week. It’s really hard to force yourself into making fun of a goofy form of entertainment after 20 kids were murdered in an elementary school. But, the reason I do this blog is to entertain, to inform, and most importantly distract, which is important after the past few days. So I’m going to do my best to do that for you, and you do your best to keep those families in your thoughts and prayers. So let’s talk about some wrestling, and hope that this world will do something to show us that it’s not as terrible as it seems right now.
In case this is your first time here, you should know that this isn’t like the traditional recap/review that you’ll see on this website. And by that I mean I don’t use star rankings because star rankings are silly. But, since most people need things spelled out for them, I went ahead and put it in two columns; Smacked Up (good) and Smacked Down (bad). And in case you’re the type that can’t function unless things are in order, here’s a helpful guide to aide you in the mind-bending world of non-linear writing.
Big Show defeated R-Truth
Backstage segment with Big Show & Booker T
Team Rhodes Scholars defeated The Usos
In-ring segment with Big Show, David Otunga, Booker T & Sheamus
Backstage attack with The Shield & Randy Orton
Kaitlyn defeated Aksana
Miz TV featuring The Miz, Team Hell No, The Shield, & Ryback
Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, Great Khali & Hornswoggle defeated Primo, Epico, & The Prime Time Players
Kofi Kingston defeated Alberto Del Rio
Antonio Cesaro defeated Sheamus by count out
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are the things that made me shake my fist in rage.
The Shield Attacked Randy Orton For Reasons
I’ve watched and rewatched this beat down several times already, and I can honestly say I have no idea why the hell The Shield attacked Randy Orton. There was a lot of talk about righting wrongs and fixing injustice, but nobody really mentioned what those injustices were. Did they attack him for shitting in people’s bags? Did he shit in their bag? Did he get dookie on their Kevlar? Did he complain about them being safe to work with and they wanted to shut him up before they became Ken Kennedy? I have no idea. Look, I’m not saying Randy Orton doesn’t deserve to get his ass kicked; I’d just like specifics as to WHY.
This… This Wasn’t Good
I’m going to just come out and say it; I don’t get the Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins hype.
Over the past few years everyone from the dirtsheets to local indy fed wrestlers I’m friendly with to even Mick Foley were talking and hyping up this guy named Dean Ambrose and that he was going to set the wrestling world on fire. The dirtsheets (especially NoDq because they’re terrible) blew a gasket every time he wrestled in a dark match. It wouldn’t even be a blurb at the bottom of an article talking about what mall Kelly Kelly was signing photos at, it was its own goddamn story. So naturally I thought this guy was a big deal, so I did what I usually do and I researched. I went on YouTube and watched dozens of videos, and all I saw was Jon Moxley/Dean Ambrose do his best Heath Ledger/Joker impression while he got all rapey with some poor females and had a couple of somewhat interesting but mostly just okay wrestling matches. I mentioned to my indy buddies that I just wasn’t understanding the appeal, which they rebuked and said that I “just don’t know the business” or some other elitist bullshit comment. This, of course, is ridiculous. Just because I’m not jumping off of scaffolds in middle school gyms for 30 kids and their bored parents doesn’t make my opinion invalid. I’m a semi-popular-ish blogger that writes about wrestling on the reg and I’m confident enough in myself to have my own opinions and to back them up when necessary. And I can tell you this; right now I think Dean Ambrose is average.
Same goes for Seth Rollins. I’ve read a lot about how he’s very much like CM Punk and that he’s his natural successor, but all I’m seeing right now is a dude that can’t decide what hair color he wants. He’s good in the ring, but he’s not jaw dropping like you’d be lead to believe, and to me he’s just a less familiar Justin Gabriel. Out of the three of them Dean Ambrose --- while not being the promo man I was lead to believe --- is still probably the most competent and likely to get their point across while holding a microphone, even if it will take him 20 minutes of pacing and hair pulling and doing crazy eyes to spit it out. Why is Rollins talking? Every time he opens his mouth I feel like I’m watching my old backyard wrestling promos, and that’s not a good thing at all. At this point Roman Reigns is the one I like the most, and it’s because I literally expect jack-shit out of him. But, he’s imposing as hell and looks like he could bench press a Buick, so he’s already more impressive than whiney teenager who does flips and guy who probably dresses like The Joker every Halloween.
And they’re segment killers. Miz TV was doing fine because Team Hell No dominated the mic time and did their whole being over as f**k thing and making the audience chant. It wasn’t thrilling or anything, but it was enjoyable and fun. That was at least until the “found footage” style video showed up and everything went to shit. The whole video they made for Miz TV was indy fed as hell, and it f**king stunk. They’re trying so hard to be different and cool that they’re coming off as played and lame. Shakey came promos weren’t cool when the nWo were doing them guys, what the hell makes you think something lame in the 90’s would be cool now?
I can understand the hype, at least to a point. To my indy buddies they’re them. Ambrose and Rollins are the guys that have been given the opportunity to make it, and that’s what they desire. They even still reek of their indy cred. But, instead of giving them deserved adulation like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk got when they came up, the praise Ambrose and Rollins are getting isn’t really earned. CM Punk got to where he is because he’s an amazing wrestler and he took chances with his character that nobody had attempted before. Daniel Bryan is the legit best wrestler in the world and when he was given a chance to show off his natural charm he blew up. Right now neither Rollins nor Ambrose have done anything that made me go “Wow, that’s a guy to watch” or given me pause. They’re just two good to okay guys that will probably have success, but it’ll be mostly attributed to their hype as opposed to their actually ability. Which is totally fine, Ultimate Warrior made a career out of it. They can too.
But what the f**k do I know right? I’ve never taken a clothesline off the top of a ladder, so my opinion is invalid.
Jesus Christ, They’re Really Doing This Aren’t They
Look, I’m not jaded enough to not understand that Hornswoggle has a role to play in 2012 WWE. He’s fun for kids and is a great guy to shoot the t-shirt gun and goof off with Muppets when they come hang out. I’m even okay with the occasional match, because they’ve built up that Hornswoggle is one of the greatest cruiserweights of all time (apparently) and that he has no problem pinning Chavo Guerrero or Heath Slater, so why not? I get it. It’s dumb, but I get it.
I also understand why they’d pair him up with Khali, because he’s tall and Swoggle is short and contrasts are fun when you’re a toddler or Tim Sale. But, putting them in an active tag team with other active tag teams gives me a lump in my throat. I guess I’m just waiting for the day that Great Khali backdrops Daniel Bryan and cripples him, only for Hornswoggle to grab the tag team title belts and bury them in whatever hole he’s keeping the cruiserweight title and probably dozens of other valuable objects he’s found throughout the years.
What? It’s because he’s a leprechaun. Try to keep up.
Sorry, But I Couldn’t Get Into This
Here’s my problem with Kofi Kingston; it’s not that I think he’s a bad wrestler (because he’s not) it’s that I think he’s dull and easily forgettable. He’s Carlito with less hair and more jumping. Even against Alberto Del Rio --- who I LOVE --- I couldn’t stay interested in what was happening. Kofi does a top rope missile drop kick and I think “Oh wow, that’s cool” and then three seconds later I forget about the move, the match, and who Kofi Kingston is.
Kofi Kingston has no staying power, and can easily be replaced on the roster with Justin Gabriel. He’s a better wrester, he’s a better jumper, and he’s legit more African than Kofi Kingston. Yeah I know Kofi was born in Ghana, but he moved to America when he was 1. Gabriel is the Cape Town Werewolf and talks like Leonard DiCaprio in Blood Diamond. Gabriel wins.
What The F**k Was This
Yeah, the Dolph/Sheamus match from RAW was good. I know this though, because I saw it on RAW. You know who else saw it on RAW? EVERYONE ELSE.
We live in an age where WWE programming is shown 24/7. If it’s not on the TV it’s online, and every match is accessible to everyone if they’re willing to find it. Unless you want to watch Owen Hart fall to his death (and you shouldn’t, because that’s terrible) there is nothing you can’t see that WWE has filmed. Why --- WHY --- are you replaying an entire match twice in one week on two separate shows? That defies logic. I can understand showing a clip or at least the go-home sequence, but YOU SHOWED THE ENTIRE MATCH. What is wrong with you as a company? Do you think there are people that just watch Smackdown and have no idea that RAW is on every Monday night? THOSE PEOPLE DON’T EXIST.
If I’m ever given the opportunity to meet Vince McMahon I’m just going to stand in front of him with my hands cupped around my mouth and scream “STOP REPLAYING CLIPS FROM YOUR THREE HOUR SHOW ON THE TWO HOUR SHOW I WATCH WHERE WRESTLING HAPPENS IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE,” over and over until he relents and says “FINE, DAMNIT” or has me thrown out of the building.
This Could Have Been Much Worse
If you’re anything like me, the second you saw Sheamus at the broadcast booth your asshole puckered up so tight if you jammed a piece of coal up there it would turn into a diamond. Sheamus is terrible when he’s allowed to talk, so basically what I expected was 10 minutes of him calling Antonio Cesaro gay because he wears a tote bag and then punching everyone without provocation. Really when you think about it in my mind Sheamus didn’t really have anywhere to go but up.
And while he was still the dickhead that we’ve come to expect, it wasn’t terrible. It set up the main-event, Big Show threw R-Truth around with all the care of an ape handling a garbage bag filled with meat, and it created a dumb but entertaining series of events that lead to David Ontunga using his magic lawyer powers to make Booker T look like a shithead. So all-in-all I’m not going to complain. I could, but I’m not going to.
Oh My God, Look At It
I don’t think I can muster the words for how amazing this is. Cody Rhodes left with a shoulder injury and came back with a talking point that gets people chanting for facial hair. And it’s not even that great of a mustache. It looks like an anorexic caterpillar died on his face. In the history of wrestling mustaches it’s probably one of the ugliest that has ever existed. It’s not iconic like Hulk Hogan’s handlebar or sexualized as Rick Rude’s gay porn star look, but it’s goofy enough that it makes Cody Rhodes seem like a thing again, which is important because he’s awesome and should always been on the map as a guy who is important.
Of course, the only downside is that the mustache is going to bring on stupid jokes from bad writers who force Miz to make terrible gay jokes at Team Rhodes Scholars expense. I got so mad at Miz on Monday that I turned off the TV and had to walk away and calm down. If Cody and Damien had the balls they should have dropped script and started f**king with Miz. The second he alluded to their homosexuality by saying Damien’s beard rubbed off on Cody’s lip, Cody and Damien should have just started kissing. Not because they’re gay, but because Miz is a homophobe and he can f**k off.
This Was Going Great Until Shit Head Showed Up
I’m a complete mark for super lawyer David Otunga using the power of LAW to verbally make everyone around him his bitch. Otunga is articulate and captivating, and while he’s not my favorite guy to watch wrestle, he’s still one of the best reasons to watch WWE programming. When he told Booker T that just because he’s been to prison that doesn’t mean he knows jack shit about the law, I almost cried. It was hilarious. The guy moonlights as an attorney for his coworkers, which alone is interesting as hell. When confronted with a contract with a these guys can’t touch because wrestling is weird clause and have an argument that it was broken, of course you’re going to go to Otunga. But he only takes cases if he thinks you’re in the right or being mistreated at the work place, which since this is WWE means that he only takes cases for heels because all the faces are homophobic, racist, and violent jerks.
I actually loved this for a good portion of the segment. I’ve really enjoyed Big Show’s realistic view of himself as of late. He knows that he’s a giant that can f**k you up with a pun ch, but he’s also aware that he’s in the twilight of his career and going up against a younger, angrier, and more violent opponent. The chip he had on his shoulder over the summer fell off when he won the belt, because he finally got to prove how dominate he can be, and now that his frustration is gone so the strength he was drawing from it. Now he has to go up against a big white wrecking ball who has a chip on HIS shoulder, and Big Show is 100% certain he’s going to walk away from this. That’s good character development, and it explains why a 7 ft tall monster is willing to squirrel out of a match on a technicality.
So I was digging this, of course, until old Lobster Head came down and held a figurative gun to Big Show’s head (gun=chair for this segment) and then threatened to knock his head off unless he took back his request to cancel the match. Which Show did, because there’s a maniac standing in front of him with a chair and he has murder in his eyes. Stone Cold Steve Austin did a real disservice to pro-wrestling, in that while he made it super popular and broke down main-stream barriers, he also made it cool for heroes to hold their opponents hostage with weapons and threaten to kill them unless they give them what they want. I guess you can argue that it was worth the tradeoff for WWE’s sense of morality, but not really. I’d like to one day watch WWE with my children and not have to explain to them why you shouldn’t kick lawyers or hold a gun to your bosses head until he pisses himself, no matter how many people cheer you on to do it.
Really Liked Kaitlyn’s Alternate Street Fighter Attire
The match itself was no lie, a solid 4 minutes of headlocks. Which is boring, but it did tell a story. Aksana spent the majority of the match wearing down Kaitlyn’s neck, all for Kaitlyn to make the big come back and ride that wave to victory. It’s lazy storytelling, sure, but it works.
I can handle a match full of headlocks if it’s leading to something. If Aksana had done say 2 minutes of headlocks, I would have thought it was lame. But no, she did 4 full minutes. It was like watching Sideshow Bob step on rakes. At first it seems redundant and unnecessary, but eventually it gets to the point where it’s entertaining and you can’t wait to see where it goes. So when Kaitlyn finally made the comeback, I was cheering and thinking she was tougher than she is, because she just got her neck rung for 4 minutes and isn’t unconscious. It was basic, it was deliberate, and it worked. I don’t think you can ask much more from two women who up until the day they joined WWE probably didn’t even know what a headlock was.
The Passion Of William Regal
First off, the match was nuts. The Cesaro train kept running and showed us again why he’s one of the best reasons to be watching wrestling right now. Sheamus is a good foil for him too, because they’re both ferocious in their offense and know how to take each other’s moves realistically. Cesaro is great, and if you’re not turning on RAW or Smackdown with the anticipation of getting to see him wrestle, than I’m sorry but you’re not doing this whole being a wrestling fan thing right.
I even dug the ending, because while it was goofy and kind of expected, it made sense. Last week Sheamus threw Ricardo into Big Show’s dick, so this week Big Show will go after something Sheamus loves. And despite how silly the whole thing was, seeing William Regal beg Sheamus to just let it happen so that he wouldn’t lose his title match was very poignant. Regal’s sacrifice meant that Sheamus could live. It was a nice metaphor, and if you don’t really understand what I’m getting at, you should probably do some research. Here's a hint: We celebrate him during this time of the year. That’s right; Santa Claus.
Before I go, I just want to thank you for reading this week’s column. It was a hard one to get through. I just want to leave you with this one plea; if you were affected by Friday’s tragedy, please don’t go researching the killer’s story. He’s not important, and he doesn’t deserve our time and attention. Don’t remember his name, don’t look at his photo. He doesn’t matter. The victims matter. Look at their faces, remember their names. Don’t let their memories fade away. This world is terrible and wrong, but maybe by remembering who they were and how we felt when they died, we might make it a little less terrible in the future.
If you made it this far, a winner is you. Thanks and I’ll see you next week.
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