Worst: How Many Times Are We Gonna Pretend Like We’ve Never Seen A Double Sharpshooter
Jerry Lawler: “We are about to witness maybe the first-ever double Sharpshooter!”
Jerry Lawler: “Has this ever been done?”
Royal Rumble 2011:
Jerry Lawler: “Has this ever been done before? It’s locked in!”
I feel like Natalya does the double Sharpshooter more than she does the regular one. Guys, it’s okay to get excited about it without pretending it’s the first one ever.
Best: AJ Wins!
The good news out of the Divas fatal fourway is that AJ Lee held onto the championship, and the folks at the E! Network didn’t suddenly send down a “give Jojo the belt” memo. She got the win cleanly, too, with a Black Widow in the middle of the ring, and Natalya was mindful to tap out on AJ’s lower back instead of pounding her in the ass like last time. That … ended up being a really gross sentence.
But no, as a wrestling fan, a longtime Chickbusters fan and the Internet’s leading NXT booster I can only accept this story going in one of two directions: (1) Kaitlyn deciding that AJ was right all along, throwing in with her, forming the new heel Chickbusters (to bust these chicks up) and Kaitlyn being repurposed as AJ’s Hot Lady Big E Langston, or (2) Paige, Emma, Bayley, Charlotte or whoever showing up on Raw and being all, “while you were claiming to be the only Diva who works hard, we’ve been getting kicked in the face by Sara Del Rey for the last six months, prepare to die.”
Actually, my third acceptable option is “Sara Del Rey all day everyday.” She can come out to Konnan’s music video.
Worst: You Have Access To Literally Every Living Wrestling Legend And THESE Are The Guys You Let Talk About Wrestling
WWE employs (or can easily employ) basically every talented speaker still currently alive in the history of pro wrestling. I’m talking Mick Foley, William Regal, Dusty Rhodes, Arn Anderson, Ted DiBiase (the rich one, not the one that loves hunting) … hell, they can get Jesse Ventura or Gene Okerlund or Terry Funk or whoever they want to wear a suit and talk about wrestling. Instead, who do they get?
1. Michael Cole’s Nobody
2. A guy who can barely form completely sentences
3. A guy who can talk but is handicapped by having to do so in a wacky accent
4. ALEX RILEY
So instead of, I don’t know, a decent conversation about the show they’re watching, every “expert panel” segment goes like this:
Josh: “Booker T, you said earlier that Rob Van Dam was going to win the World Heavyweight Championship.”
Booker: “AW DEFFITLY JOSH, ROB VAN DAM HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO BE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, BUT ALBERTO DEL RIO HAS PROVEN TIME IN AND TIME AGAIN THAT HE IS BEST CHAMPION, HE WILL WIN HERE EASILY TONIGHT JOSH.”
Santino: “WHATSAMATTA YOU FACE”
Riley: “This is like the time I talked to Rob Van Dam about The Miz.”
Get the f*cking Iron Sheik in here to call Rob Van Dam THE JEW, I don’t care, anything else.
Best: It’s Like Wrestling Jack Hanna!
At some point during Van Dam’s return run my consistent hatred for him subsided. He’s that uncle who was a real dick to you when you were a kid and you hated his guts, but then you grow up and he shows up again and he’s exactly the same, with all the same issues and problems, and you just sorta feel sad for him and good for yourself that you didn’t end up like that. Rob Van Dam is COOL UNCLE, brother of Cool Dad, and him being around is fine, as long as he isn’t winning belts and making young talent look like hapless nerds like some asshole uncles might.
Van Dam matches are still not my bag, however, and the high-points for me here were mostly the times when Del Rio would dropkick him in the head and slap BOTH of his legs, so it sounded like he was caving in Rob’s skull. One day Austin Aries is gonna discover that you can slap both legs at the same time and make SUPER SOUNDS and he’s gonna feel like he’s dropkicking people with a rocket ship. I liked the finish, cheap as it was, with Del Rio not releasing the cross arm-breaker and drawing a disqualification. It’s a nice way for a coward champion to BE a coward champion without being a total wuss.
Even the Ricardo stuff after the match made sense, and it’s normally the kind of thing I hate. Van Dam didn’t just mindlessly beat Del Rio up after the match … Del Rio held the submission too long, got DQ’d, then tried to attack Van Dam with a chair. Ricardo proved his worthiness for the first time since he started wearing mall kiosk clothes and stole the chair, allowing Van Dam to get the advantage. They put the exclamation point on it with the Van Terminator to send the Detroit crowd home with a happy memory of their legendary local guy, and while Ricardo’s NO, DO THE BIG MOVE THAT KILLS PEOPLE gestures seemed a little heartless and vindictive, I get it.
Best: I Once Ordered An ECW Pay-per-view To See What The Van Terminator Was Gonna Be
True story: the most effective “buy this pay-per-view” moment in my history as a wrestling fan was back in 2000 when Rob Van Dam was feuding with Scotty “Anton” Riggs in ECW and was all, “MAKE SURE YOU GET THIS SHOW, BECAUSE I’M GONNA DEBUT A NEW MOVE AND IT’S GONNA BLOW YOUR O-RING OUT.” I’m paraphrasing. The entire ad campaign was THE VAN TERMINATOR IS GONNA HAPPEN, WHAT IT IS and I was totally hooked. I was a big Van Dam fan back then, because I was 20 and he hadn’t had his horrible, neutered WWE or TNA runs yet. I ordered a show I wouldn’t have otherwise and had a great time watching it, so the Van Terminator has a special place in my heart, even if Shane McMahon usurped it immediately and reappropriate it for non-neckbearded audiences.
Michael Cole’s call of “Shades of a decade ago!” didn’t really help things, though.
Worst: Fandango Vs. Miz Is An Excuse For The Announcers To Discuss Breakdancing
So, this happened.
Fandango and Miz had what I’m praying to Christ is the blowoff match to their awful, awful side-thing and it ended with Miz getting the submission victory while making that awful, awful face. What is that face? Why does Miz become a Jack Kirby character when he locks in the figure four?
The highlight of the match for me was Cole, Lawler and JBL getting bored with what was going on in the ring and deciding to have a conversation about breakdancing. Lawler, who you’d expect to be totally cool with young people and non-whites, suggests that breakdancing was born when people tried to steal hubcaps off of a moving car. That causes a grand WHATTA YOU KNOW ABOUT BRAKE DANCIN’ MAHCULL and Michael Cole meekly mentioning that he used to breakdance in high school. Part of me wants the WWE announce team to never go off-script, and part of me wants them to ONLY go off-script.
Best/Worst: “Randy Savage” Is The New “Boring”
WWE crowds learned a lot of weird lessons from the post-WrestleMania New Jersey crowd this year, the weirdest one being the substitution of random noun chanting instead of saying “boring.” Don’t get me wrong, I hate (hate hate) the “boring” chant, but now people are chanting “maple syrup,” chanting “JBL” to try to get JBL to wave at them and “Randy Savage” at any and all situations. “Randy Savage” is the new boring. I can’t remember the last show or PPV where somebody DIDN’T chant Randy Savage. Was it WrestleMania?
I hope they put Macho Man into the Hall of Fame this year (passive-aggressive Lanny Poffo or NO passive-aggressive Lanny Poffo) just so the chant can reach critical mass and be replaced by next year’s One Good Crowd.
I want more like this!
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