Best: Let’s Give It Up For The Night Of Champions Opening Video Package
I yell a lot at WWE for not embracing their history because WWE history is awesome. Not because I am a continuity nerd, although I am that.
When I was a kid I loved wrestling, but what I was REALLY into was baseball. I was an Orioles fan because my dad was an Orioles fan, so I loved Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray because they were the big stars. What made me a baseball fan for LIFE was discovering the hundred years or so baseball had lived before me, watching old footage of Mickey Mantle and Bob Gibson and hundreds of other guys who were great at a thing I loved. I was always thirsty for knowledge, and baseball was like, “here, little boy, look at how we’ve magically defined a nation for a century, don’t you want to be a part of this?” At no point did baseball say “it’s the 1985 season, forget everything that happened before April.”
I like when WWE seems okay with their history, and isn’t afraid to put up pictures of Buddy Rogers and Pedro Morales and be like, “here, little boy, like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan? These guys were them first. Don’t you want to be a part of this?” The serious announcer helps a lot, too. TNA’s done that to open 90% of their pay-per-views, and their entire history is “Jeff Jarrett.”
Worst: Me Too, Paul. Me Too.
I was worried (read: not worried) that the Intercontinental Championship wasn’t going to be defended on the pay-per-view built around the idea of every title being defended, but thankfully Triple H knows that throwaway undercard title matches we’ve seen twice already this month are BEST FOR BUSINESS and made an impromptu Kofi Kingston/Curtis Axel match.
Granted, it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. It wasn’t as bad as the Raw match. Kofi is helped tremendously when he’s doing his thing in front of a crowd that actually likes it, instead of commanding people to mindlessly yell “boom” and clap their hands all stupid between deep stretches of boredom. “Guy who has competent-ish matches with lower card talent” is Curtis Axel’s wheelhouse (see: his NXT feud with Tyson Kidd, where he almost convinced us he was worth another shot), so if you can put them together and not have it slow the world to a halt, it can work.
It also helped get over the story that Paul Heyman was doomed, because nobody thought Axel was gonna beat Punk full strength, and now he’s just wrestled for 10 minutes and been kicked in the face a bunch beforehand. Heyman getting more and more frustrated with Axel’s ineptitude is a good sign for wrestling fans, because it increases the chance that he’ll jettison Axel into space forever and pretend that whole “infallibility of Paul Heyman Guys” thing still exists. Bring up Paige to steal AJ’s thunder, quietly Forrest Gump Antonio Cesaro into some old ECW footage and there you go.
My least favorite part of the match happens about midway through, though, when Axel does his weird galloping leapfrog that barely clears the dude (seriously, Kofi could’ve been lying facedown on the mat and Axel would’ve almost crotched him in the top of the head) and hits a weak dropkick to the sternum, and JBL yells out, “LOOKS LIKE ‘IS DADDY RIGHT’DERE.” LOOKS LIKE HIS DADDY NOWHERE, JBL.
Worst: Rob Van Dam Stars In Destinos
A brief transcript of “Rob Van Dam learns Spanish from the first Hispanic person he’s ever met and also he’s in 10th grade apparently,” in case you missed it:
RVD: “how do you say ‘hasn’t learned a new move since 2000′ in spanish”
Ricardo: “uhh, that would be ‘no ha aprendido un nuevo movimiento en 13 años,’ I think.”
RVD: “cool man cool hey how do you say poop”
Ricardo: “Like, poop specifically, or just any word for shit”
RVD: “how many sons does Don Fernando have?”
Ricardo: “Don Fernando tiene dos hijos.”
RVD: “and what does Raquel Rodriguez do for a living?”
Ricardo: “Raquel Rodriguez es una abogada de Los Angeles.”
RVD: “argh hold on this is fun and all but my my brain just stopped working, what’s going on… I can’t breathe and I think I’m starting to go blind”
Ricardo: “it’s because you haven’t pointed at yourself with your thumbs and said RVD in the last five seconds, try that”
RVD: “RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD”
Ricardo: “RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD”
RVD: “RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD”
Ricardo: “RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD RVD”
RVD: “now THAT’s more like it. Hey, want to make some vegetable faces?”
Big shout-out to the three people who enjoyed that.
Worst: Okay AJ, New Plan
AJ Lee found her Diva Army backstage and, unsurprisingly, they are tired of accompanying her to the ring after one-ish week. It cuts into their “stand backstage, wear dresses” schedules. Also, their “stand with our shoulders in each others’ armpits and have conversations” schedules. Who blocks these backstage shots, Tommy Wiseau? I want to watch the Divas play football by tossing it back and forth from three feet away.
Hey AJ, I’ve got an idea: why not use Big E Langston? I’m not just saying this because I love Big E and miss him being a regular part of Raw, I’m saying it because I want to see him pick up Layla, Alicia Fox and Aksana on one shoulder and give all three of them The Big Ending at the same time.
I want more like this!
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