Best: Rhodes Scholar Is Now Canon, Holy Shit
For those of you who asked, this was my experience. Daniel Bryan and Kane have a RAWACTIVE~ poll about what their team name should be (my suggestion was not included) (my suggestion was “The Huggabunch”). They’re announced as Team Hell No, and they get jumped from behind by Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. At some point during the beatdown my brain goes, “hey Brandon, maybe they’ll get a tag team name, too, that would make sense”. Cody backwards-walks up the ramp and gets a microphone and starts talking about team names, and my internal monologue starts going “he’s gonna do it he’s gonna do it he’s gonna do it he’s gonna do it he’s gonna do it he’s gonna do it he’s gonna do it he’s gonna do it come on do itttt”.
He says the word “team”, and his mouth starts to make the R shape, and without a word my hands shoot up into the air.
A lot of people are gonna take credit for this (because “Rhodes Scholar” isn’t the most impossible-to-come-up-with name ever), but I’m calling this victory for myself, folks. I’m sure WrestleSite-dot-xanga-dot-org or whatever is a great blog full of timely wrestling gags, but WWE isn’t reading you, so give it up. I’m gonna be in the next edition of the WWE Encyclopedia for this achievement, crammed somewhere between Braden Walker and Bryon Saxton. My ability to be tangentially mentioned on wrestling will BRING YOU TO YOUR KNEES.
(Macho posturing about totally imagined blog superiority is awesome.)
Best: The Tag Team Division Is For Real
So! Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are now a christened tag team, jumping WWE Tag Team Champions (and former World Champions) Daniel Bryan and Kane. Daniel Bryan and Kane have an ongoing story about their formation as a team, to give their matches gravity and help them rise above other randomly-put-together semi-main event teams. Earlier in the show, we have Santino and Zack Ryder teaming up against the Prime Time Players, who have their OWN story about how they’re going to destroy all the other teams in the division to become rightful number one contenders again. Former champions R-Truth and Kofi Kingston are still hanging out together despite losing the belts, and remain united as they get into a thing with Dolph Ziggler. Also on the show (!), Jim Ross is telling us to keep an eye on the Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara pairing.
How great is this? The tag team division is really happening. It’s existing outside of the one, cobbled-together story so the pay-per-view can have a filler match. These are real teams of real wrestlers moving forward with goals and characters. I cannot applaud WWE enough for taking the proper steps toward making this happen, and if the stories of this being a Triple H orchestration are true, I am prime and ready to blow that man for his creative ideas on the reg, assuming he never shows up or does anything and I don’t have to look at or hear him.
Worst: Burps And Puke, or
Worst: Goodnight, Sweet Vegan Prince
Watching Daniel Bryan take a bite out of a meatball was pretty depressing for me, but not as depressing as the normally great Daniel Bryan and Kane relationship segments end in When Harry Met Sally jokes or, as in the case of the final segment of the night, foley burps and simulated vomits. For the first time I started to come around to that “Daniel Bryan should really be doing something better with his time” talking point.
One huge, huge Best for the segment: the amazing, in-continuity callback of Kane only eating spaghetti and meatballs. I cannot f**king believe they remembered that.
Worst: For A Second I Thought Brodus Clay Versus Tensai Was Gonna Be Awesome
For a second I was pretty stupid.
I think WWE can do HOSS FIGHTS really well when they go for it. Two big guys just throwing bombs at each other can make for great, classic pro wrestling TV, and I think Brodus Clay and Tensai (called “Damien Sandow” by WWEFanNation in the video description) are at points in their career where they’re looking at their upward momentum stall, and a huge throwdown thing where they go all Rikishi/Val Venis on each other could help. Well, Clay’s seeing his forward momentum stall, Tensai’s already halfway into the OVW crate.
Sadly the match ended almost immediately, and The Big Show got to wander out and just kinda stare at us while occasionally punching, because “Big Show”. I’m sad that Brodus played Dolph Ziggler to Big Show’s Brodus Clay by just running straight at Show’s fist and dying, and I’ll echo the sentiments of nearly everyone in last night’s open discussion thread by saying how much I wish this could’ve been Mark Henry, and how awesome it would’ve been to see him World’s Strongestly Slam these fat motherf**kers into dust.
Jack Swagger Of Mars
He’d made it!
Jack Swagger rushed to the pod bay door of the U.S.S. Rhadamanthus and engaged the control on the vessel’s airlock. As the heavy door slid into position and began to open, Jack quickly grabbed a nearby boombox and hit “play”. Soon, the confrontational, government-rock sounds of
Rage Against The Machine’s Jim Johnston’s ‘On Your Knees’ blasted through the depressurized cabin and out across the red sands of Mars, and into the darkest reaches of outer space. Jack Swagger put on his fishbowl astronaut helmet and made sure the straps of his singlet were tout. Sorry, “taut”.
With big footsteps, Jack stepped out onto the planet’s surface, holding out his arms and mouthing hard-to-make-out words to nobody in particular. After he was several feet from the hull of the Rhadamanthus, Jack paused, pointing toward the ground with his arms raised high. He fell flat to the surface, doing a series of military-style push-ups before hopping up to his feet. Fireworks fizzed from the top of his ship, but the atmosphere of Mars isn’t great for fireworks so a small part of the Rhadamanthus caught fire. It didn’t really do anything, but the footage was beamed back to Earth and played on Raw six or seven times.
It was at this moment when Jack Swagger realized there were no fans in this Universe … only distant mountains, a great valley and the twinkling of stars he found no brighter than the ones he’d seen in Oklahoma.
“Uhhhh, HULLO?” he once again bellowed. Nothing hulloed back. Jack rolled his eyes and smacked his lips. “Great job, Jack,” he spoke aloud. “What’ve you GOTTEN yourthelf INto?”
Using the techniques he’d learned as a scout, and, to a lesser degree, the skills he’d come to learn as an interplanetary traveler, Jack began his great conquest of the red planet. His mission was exile and solitude, yes, but it was also Manifest Destiny, a great desire to reach out to a desolate abyss, close your massive, taped hands and pull back discovery. It was the mountains he’d reach by morning, he thought, as the chilling cold of night seemed to have no effect on his well-being, but the daytime sun would make him sweat a lot and ruin his finely-combed hair. Jack looked at his futuristic watch: -63 C. “Thank goodness I’m wearing boots, kneepads, a spandex onesie and some wrist tape,” he thought.
Jack Swagger had walked almost a mile before he realized the distant mountains he’d seen at the landing site weren’t getting bigger. His futuristic watch was great for telling you the temperature, but its navigation functions left much to be desired, and it’s nearly impossible to get phone coverage on Mars. Also, it’s nearly impossible to carry around a phone all day when your work clothes are more or less a bathing suit with shoes. To make matters worse, Jack had anticipated the need to travel ‘cross great expanses of crimson earth and had loaded his speeder bike, the Swagger Soaring Eagle, onto the deck of the Rhadamanthus before takeoff. That was advice from WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross, an aficionado on intergalactic speedbiking, but there it sat, a mile back, as cold as the rest of this lonely planet. “Just another part of my LOSING STREAK,” Jack thought.
Somehow, the night on Mars grew darker. Colder. Jack kept warm by jogging in place, stopping to do push-ups whenever necessary, but his stomach began to rumble, and his tongue began to dry. “I gueth I should sthop and GET a BITE t’EAT” he muttered aloud. This was the first sound greater than footsteps in the Martian valley in eons, and as the All-American American American American dropped into a criss-cross applesauce to enjoy the wedge of astronaut ice cream he’d stashed in his wrestling boots, his voice echoed into the unseen holes and caves of surface. Places sound should never go.
Swagger quickly snapped off the entirety of “strawberry”, but before he could taste vanilla, he was pinned to the ground by an epic Martian serpent! Jack could only see the face of the beast, its pincers snipping only inches from his face, seething and lurching for a meal. Swagger kicked out at two. As he rose to his feet, the serpent appeared to convulse, sprouting dozens of thin, arachnid legs. It made a shrill sound as it scuttled across the sands, like glass scratching glass.
The serpent leapt at Jack’s face, but he was able to duck, wrapping his arms around the beast and gator rolling it to the ground. There he quickly transitioned into an ankle lock on the monster’s tail, wrenching it in and opening his mouth to make things look more painful. After like four seconds of pretending to be hurt, the vicious creature rolled forward, sending Jack Swagger stumbling through the darkness.
Jack was able to narrowly duck a clothesline attempt and used his space ranger training to spin with the serpent’s momentum, gutwrenching all fifteen feet of slimy Martian reptile into the air and down for a sit-out Swagger Bomb. The beast let out a deep cry and went limp, allowing Jack to roll backwards onto his feet before he, too, collapsed to the ground.
Far from home, lost in an empty Martian wilderness and dying from dehydration and starvation, Jack used his last bit of strength (because “selling”) to push the monster away. Under its body lied the remainder of Jack’s astronaut ice cream, the package he’d paid $35 for at a live WWE event, crushed and vaporized in the dripping pink sand. “Aw COME AWNNN” he moaned, and lowered his face into the dust.
He would die here, he thought. What good is he on a losing streak? He would simply give up and die here on Mars, long forgotten, an anecdotal footnote in the future’s Grantland articles about aborted World Heavyweight Championship runs. “The end,” he breathed.
It may have been a moment or a week later, but Jack was awakened by a strange noise. It sounded like the cars from ‘The Jetsons’, he thought, but different. Jack’s brain wasn’t very poetic and had a limited number of literary references. He raised his head, expecting to see nothing but pink-hued darkness, and instead found himself staring at the chassis of a fantastic machine! “A sthpeeder bike, are you KIDDENG ME,” he said.
Lost in what he thought was a deathly dream, Jack pulled himself up to his knees. It was a speeder bike, all right, but one unlike any he’d seen before. The sleek metal of the bike had an unusual greenish hue, and light seemed to emerge from within it, rather than from its headlights. In the drivers seat sat a figure vaguely human, but not … a body too thin, too long, too angular. “Athley Matharro?” he thought aloud, before realizing she’d died like 4 years ago, probably.
The figure turned its head, a metallic green shell with dark eyes, toward Jack Swagger. Instinctively he prepared to go into a tie-up. Before he could, the figure reached its long fingers up to the face and removed it, revealing a set of beautiful, etherial features, roughly female, distinctly Martian.
“You look like you could use some help,” the figure said. She said it in Martian, but Jack had planned a trip here, so he could understand her, because at least he prepared for something. Why do you think he’d been losing so many wrestling matches?
“Do YOU know where I AM?” Jack stuttered.
“I’m on my way to Hellas, I’m late on a delivery. I thought I’d cut through the silent zone to save time, and … well, here you are. You’re welcome to hop on … the last thing I want to do is clean up abandoned bodies on the way back to Ella’da.”
Jack climbed onto the rear of the speeder, bound for adventure, determined to survive.
“My name is the ALLL AMERICAN AMERICAN AMERICAN AMERICAN … JACK, THWAGGER.”
“Kaa’orri. If you don’t be quiet you’ll get us both killed. Possibly by me.”
Jack sat silently as the speeder shot across the wasteland, en route to a new and exciting destination.
For all the Jack Swagger Of Mars updates, be sure to visit the story’s official Tumblr page.
I want more like this!
Follow us on Facebook and get the latest before everyone else.