Worst: Tell Me You Did Not Just Poll That
The “who is the greatest champion ever, people with no attention span who regularly participate in our app” polls were easily the worst part of the show, with each championship getting its own ridiculous result. Some were bad but to be expected — Chris Jericho as the greatest Intercontinental Champion ever over Honky Tonk Man, Mr. Perfect and not-even-on-the-poll Macho Man or Warrior; Trish Stratus being the greatest women’s champion ever because they spent 10 years demanding we believe that — but some were downright OFFENSIVE, like the idea that ANYBODY could EVER be as synonymous with the World Heavyweight Championship as Ric Flair.
In what goddamn multiverse does RIC FLAIR not win a “who is the best World Heavyweight Champion ever” poll with 100% of the vote? ESPECIALLY not finish FOURTH out of five, behind Edge, the Undertaker and Booker T. If you’re only counting WWE’s version of the World Heavyweight Championship, sure, some of these guys deserve to be higher than Flair, mostly because Flair never held the WWE version of the World Heavyweight Championship and was WWE Champion. His inclusion in the poll suggests that WCW and the NWA count, which means WHY THE F*CK ARE EDGE AND UNDERTAKER AND BATISTA EVEN ON THIS POLL.
They should’ve put an asterisk next to the poll name and had the fine print read, “can you remember what you had for breakfast this morning? If not, vote in these polls.”
Worst: Awesome, Two Curtis Axel Matches On One Show
Speaking ill of CM Punk is sorta the death sentence of the comments sections of these reports, so I’ll be honest and say that it isn’t his fault that he’s wrestling Curtis Axel in the second of two Curtis Axel matches, and that this wasn’t one of his better efforts because of it.
There was zero drama going into the match anyway. Nobody thinks Curtis Axel can beat Punk. This is the guy who got slapped in the face by Triple H and stayed down with an upset look on his face. This is the guy who rests the microphone on his chin and says all the syllables in “intercontinental” instead of having charisma or being able to speak like a human being. If they were having a gibberish-off, sure, Axel might be able to crush him, but in a wrestling match that assumedly will constitute a cog in a much bigger story involving main-eventers, no, Curtis Axel is never beating Punk.
And what’s funny about it is that Axel’s manager won the match, but only after Axel had been knocked out and choked out. So technically Axel’s side won, meaning Axel won, and … man, how sad is it that Axel’s only memorable victories are the ones that don’t make sense? When did Dadaism become a professional wrestler?
Best: The Big Guy!
On the upside (or the downside, depending on how you look at it), Paul Heyman summoned THE RYBACK from out of nowhere to put Punk through a table (dangerously) and slice up his back. Ryback went through the table all weird, making me think he had Goldberg’d himself into the ring post or something and gotten knocked out to earn the “Goldberg” chant for the first time ever, but eventually he got up, dragged Heyman on top of Punk and gave Paul the victory.
The good part of this is twofold: Ryback gets to do something interesting besides physically/sexually harass local wrestlers I enjoy, and Paul Heyman gets someone who can feasibly compete in actual wrestling matches and can bury Curtis Axel in a shallow grave somewhere and forget about him forever. The history between these three is complicated … Heyman worked with Brad Maddox to keep Ryback from beating Punk in Hell in a Cell last year, but now Punk and Heyman have split, Heyman and Maddox find themselves on opposite sides of Triple H’s favor and Ryback does/should hate everybody. Maybe Ryback’s going back to the Cena feud and being the smartest guy on the show, figuring out that if Punk could win the belt and keep it for almost two years with Heyman in his corner, maybe he should try out hanging with Heyman and see if it works.
The bad part of this is that Punk and Ryback have never had very good matches with one another, and Ryback sorta feels like Substitute Brock Lesnar. Shouldn’t that match have ended with LESNAR showing up and putting Punk through a table? If Brock didn’t charge the cost of South Dakota to show up for wrestling dates, it probably would’ve been.
Best: Thanks For Playing, Dolph
Poor Dolph Ziggler. He “said something in an interview around SummerSlam” that put him “in the doghouse,” and I put that shit in quotes because I hate quoting Internet hearsay, but man, if a doghouse exists, Dolph Ziggler is f*cking in it.
This guy was the World Heavyweight Champion a few months ago. Now he’s getting sorta-impromptu matches in the “breathing room” portions of pay-per-views against 1/3rd of a heel team and is losing to them clean as a sheet, going down to their finisher and not even making it look good. This whole time I’ve been like, “Ziggler vs. Ambrose will be GREAT because Ziggler will do a Van Dam headstand on the headlock driver and make it look like a million bucks.” But nope, he just lies down. Super disappointing, especially after Kofi Kingston made the Curtis Axel Driver look so good. Yes, I just complimented Kofi at the expense of Ziggler. I don’t understand it either.
The match was fine, but nothing we haven’t seen done 20 times better on Raw recently. That’s one of the weird things about Raw (and NXT) setting the match bar so high lately … you’ve got to do something really special to make a match on pay-per-view seem like it was worth paying 50 bucks for.
Best: The Shield, Again
As you might’ve read once or twice before, I love these guys, and never more than when they’re winning championship matches without cheating while the announcers yell THE DAMNED NUMBERS GAME because they’re bad guys. Dean Ambrose beat Ziggler with the one-to-one numbers game. Reigns and Rollins took advantage of the referee crouching over Darren Young for no reason to win their match. They are young, talented guys who understand how WWE matches work. They’re champions, and frankly they should almost never be beaten.
Also, if you like The Shield at all, I do not recommend listening to this podcast, even if my Roman Reigns impression is on the nose.
Worst: Does Titus Not Know He Can Pin A Guy Without Having To Laterally Press Them?
My only complaint from the tag team match is that Titus O’Neil does the Sky High as his finish and doesn’t seem to understand that when you sit out you can just hold on to the guy’s waist and that’s a pin. You don’t have to let go, roll backwards awkwardly, then crawl over and laterally press the guy. I really want to see Titus do a sunset flip, then let go of the guy and roll around all stupid until he’s on top of him.
I want more like this!
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