Best: Bully Ray must be taking lessons from my mom…
…because this is one heck of a guilt trip. Again, this is a perfect reminder of why Bully Ray shines the brightest in backstage segments like this, and his in-ring tirades only serve as frustratingly pale comparisons. In the ring, he’s an angry dude shouting things and showing off Miss Tessmacher’s ass, but backstage is where you get the true depth of his character. Without these segments, I wouldn’t be clinging to the “could have been” of Aces & Eights that I wrote about last week. Given Anderson’s origins in Aces & Eights, it still doesn’t make much sense that he’d be anything more than an opportunistic dude out for himself rather than the good of the club, but Bully Ray is a strong enough actor that you want to believe he feels threatened by someone trying to take away the leather-clad fellowship he built, as it’s really all he has left to help him guard his title. His brother is gone, DOC and D-Lo are gone, and he’s left with three terrible wrestlers (sorry, Knuxxy), and Tazz. That is…not the best list of people, but it’s the hand he’s dealt himself, pun absolutely intended. It really is a shame that Anderson is the one in the position to betray him and try to take it away because, history aside, in no way is he able to portray a sympathetic character. As soon as he opens his mouth you’re right back on Bully Ray’s side, hoping Bully beats the Wisconsin right out of him.
Best: Knux, must you betray me with a kiss?
Say what you want about aping the Shield triple power bomb, but Mike Knox kissing Anderson before they lay him out was a brilliant touch. That’s the buzz, that’s what’s happening.
Ken, if Brischoff suddenly invite you on a fishing trip to Lake Tahoe, you might want to stay home.
Best: He got the Rhino!
Well….kind of. This match was, on the whole, incredibly boring, but I am a super sucker for spears through a propped up table. Friendship-based wrestling wins out in the end, Brooke actually does something other than pout and suck on her finger, and tables! Lord do I love table spots. Bully Ray’s post-match pile driver after ripping Anderson off of the stretcher is a nice touch to back up his big bad persona. It’s still not enough to give the whole match a best, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.
Worst: Team Long Hair, Don’t Care
In case you’ve forgotten, and you most likely have, The Superkick of the Cowboy James Storm and the Modern Day Viking Gunner are the tag team champions. James Storm is here to talk about beer, the only non-hat part of his personality, and try to create a feud in time for Bound for Glory. Calling someone out from the back brings out Chavo and Hernandez. If that wasn’t bad enough, Gunner takes to the mic to talk about how much he loves to fight, and threaten to bash Hernandez’s skull in with the tag title belt. Sigh. I can’t even joke about this. Trust me when I say you can skip this part of the show entirely.
Additional worst: Gunner
Can we just take a second to acknowledge this whole “Modern Day Viking” thing? I mean, is it hilarious and mind-numbingly confusing to anyone else that a dude who is so overtly religious on his twitter claims to be a modern-day version of a member of pagan society of slavers/raiders/explorers whose demise was directly influenced by the legitimization of Christianity?
Gunner does more than enough to confound and anger people on twitter without my help, and as someone whose heart lies in a world of talking Mexican ice creams, vegan insect overlords, and amphibian thundergods, I understand that your wrestling persona can be drastically different from your day to day life, but…come on.
I guess this is what happens when you base your character work on a cursory google search of “dudes with cool beards.”
Ps. Freight Train rules.
Worst: These kids
No need for Crystal Lake shenanigans today, because these kids are nightmare fuel forever.
Best: Egotistical Me
I’ve never been so happy to see these three newly-minted BFF before. To the shock of no one, this main event is very specifically Not For Me, and I’ve covered why not pretty thoroughly in this report, but short as it was, this was definitely a bright spot.
Meh: AJ Styles vs. Magnus
It’s not so much AJ Styles as how he matches up against the one-two-three one-two-three Dancing with the Stars wrestling style of Magnus. I want this to be good because I want to be entertained, and I want the Bound For Glory series to carry some weight because again, it’s an idea that I love. Just Okay is Just Okay in the end, and as much as I wanted to see Roode vs. Bully Ray, if done properly and with clearly defined motivations, AJ Styles vs. Bully Ray could be (calf) killer.
Best: Dat Spiral Tap tho…
I dig it. Oh boy do I dig it. Roll to the left, roll to the right, that was definitely the move of the night.
Rhyming is fun! See you next week…un!
I want more like this!
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