Best/Worst: Not Sure If Good Segment Or Triple H Being A Cool Heel Again
Here’s what went down:
I want to give this a Best and a Worst at the same time, and I need to explain myself thoroughly so you don’t think I’m arbitrarily assigning these based on what I assume I like.
These are clearly the roles Stephanie McMahon and Triple H were born to play. Stephanie McMahon is a cold, heartless businesswoman who will get all bent out of shape if you “mention her children” or whatever, but that’s secretly because she needs to raise them as backup kidneys. She is so used to spinning things to explain herself that she doesn’t even know what’s true anymore … she sincerely believes the bullshit that comes out of her mouth about doing what’s best for business and for her husband because, well, she spent her (kayfabe and canon) childhood being whored out to businessmen and being kidnapped by evil zombie morticians who want to Black Marry her and burn her teddy bears. She is in this more than anybody and if you got her out of the wrestling business she’d be Chance from Being There, just wandering around mumbling shit and being taken in by strangers.
Triple H is learned evil. He is obsessed with his own narrative, rewriting things so that he “ruled the Attitude Era with an iron fist” and is the most legendary WWE champion of all time, even though nobody f*cking considers Triple H the greatest anything of anything. He was Shawn Michaels’ friend, got to lead the shitty back-up D-Generation X, became the fifth most important guy on the popular version of the show behind Austin, Rock, Foley and McMahon and then systematically buried and emasculated every popular wrestler of a generation to become the King of Kings on a sinking ship. The one mid-card guy he sincerely worked to put over and lost to cleanly at a WrestleMania turned out to be a murderer. WHOOPS. Now he’s the less-important Vince McMahon, repeatedly inserting himself into these “legacy” feuds against guys like Brock and Undertaker as though they’re fighting to be the “best ever” while every reasonable choice for best ever is either feeble (Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart), retired with semi-working body parts (Austin, Michaels), 800 years old (Bruno, also Hulk Hogan) or off somewhere taking a nation’s worth of steroids to drive a car in a movie (The Rock). He’s not even the most important guy still around. Taker’s still around, and Cena’s more important to history and the box office than both of them. So here he is, having slept and friended his way into a position of power, desperately trying to control that power while the actual important powerful person (Vince) is off somewhere doing God knows what.
So those are strong, strong Bests. At the same time … objectively this is still a segment where Triple H refuses to show vulnerability. He got knocked out last week, so his response is “I’m totally fine, the Internet was lying about me, it doesn’t matter.” It’s to set up something — specifically Show’s appearance in the main event, and whatever else they come up with — but it hits all the regular TRIPLE H IS BEING A HORRIBLE DUDE buttons in my brain. He just can’t ever lose. He loses moments, but wins stories. Nobody ever shows up to summarize it and say “you lost” and send H flying into the sky in a gleam of light like Team Rocket. That should probably happen once during his entire f*cking career.
Best: Alberto Del Rio Preemptively Shuts Up Sarcastic Susan
Daniel Bryan tried to interrupt the moment but was attacked from behind by Alberto Del Rio to set up a match later in the show. I’m a pretty important guy in the wrestling writing world, so I was able to get a transcript of the promo Bryan was going to cut. Here it is:
“Sooooo … the Big Show punched you and you’re okay? That’s GOOD. GOOD FOR YOU. ISN’T THAT GOOD, EVERYBODY? EVERYBODY IN THE AUDIENCE, ISN’T IT GOOD THAT TRIPLE H IS FINE? SO GOOD. SO GOOD. I should be WWE Champion” and then it says “say yes until somebody turns off the cameras” in parenthesis.
I don’t want to hear Daniel Bryan talk the same amount I want to see him wrestle.
Best: Shell Shocked Without The Marching
Yes. Do it exactly like this forever.
Worst: Beat The Clock
Seriously, guys, there has got to be a better wrestler you can shoehorn into stuff than R-Truth. The guy is just abysmal and you took away the invisible child that had somehow miraculously connected him with the crowd. He’s just a guy with braids in his hair doing the one rap song he got over several years past its prime. He is Coolio, basically. You are letting COOLIO wrestle on your shows.
There is no reason why it should’ve taken Ryback six minutes to beat R-Truth. This is the guy who used to beat MULTIPLE opponents in under a minute. Now he’s struggling, doing a bunch of schoolboy roll-ups against a 40+-year old under-carder? This is the guy you’re sending into matches with CM Punk every month? Ryback’s the most fascinating current case of WWE clearly and openly snipping a wrestler’s balls every time he starts to get some traction. He got over killing jobbers, so they had him losing to low blows. He got over as a bully and you had him lose like a SUPER CHUMP to John Cena en route to losing via CRYING to The Miz. He got over as THE BIG GUY (at least with me) and … uh, he’s losing to low blows. And he’s doing schoolboys to R-Truth. What is wrong with you.
Here’s how you book this match: Ryback comes in confidently and murders Truth with some stuff. Big clothesline, powerslam, whatever. Truth shows some guts by kicking out, but at like the two minute mark Ryback puts him down with something and wins. That way when it’s time to do Punk vs. Axel, Punk’s gotta get in a bunch of furious, exciting offense right away and is at a huge disadvantage because he’s facing a guy his size. Punk scrambles, gets in a lucky kick a few seconds before the timer goes off and wins. Now you’ve got everyone excited, Ryback doesn’t have to look like an ineffectual putz and you kept both your R-Truth and Curtis Axel matches under two minutes.
Worst: Curtis Axel’s Effort Wasn’t Much Better
Would it kill you to just let CM Punk be the Intercontinental Champion? If he’s not gonna be in the WWE Championship picture for a while and is gonna beat Curtis Axel on the reg, can he just get the belt in the process and make it look like it means something? Those belts don’t make people important anymore. You have to give them to important people for a while, let THEM make it important, and then give it back to the Axels. Kofi Kingston and Dean Ambrose trading US title wins or whatever is the most pointless f*cking thing on the planet.
Worst: CM Punk, Stupidest Guy On The Show
Hey look, it’s the return of my least favorite story tentpole: the babyface who wins the ability to pick the stipulation for his match and picks something difficult for himself. Remember when Alberto Del Rio got to pick a stipulation and picked a ladder match, even though he was going up against two other guys who’d won Money in the Bank matches? Yeah, earlier in the show Paul Heyman recommends it be CM Punk vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel in a handicap match. Punk wins Beat the Clock and picks ALSO A HANDICAP MATCH, with Ryback teaming up with Heyman instead of Axel.
Dude, you get to pick ANYTHING. You didn’t get “change the pre-existing stipulation slightly” for Beating The Clock. You could say “CM Punk vs. Ryback in a submission match because Ryback’s never done a submission in his life, with Paul Heyman suspended above the ring in a shark cage, and when I win I get to beat the shit out of him with a cane for as long as I want with the Hell in a Cell lowered around us so nobody can interfere and he can’t run.” Anything like that. Say you want a match where Heyman is tied to the ring post like a pig at a luau so you can wander over and kick him in the face every time you’ve got the offensive advantage. Make it a career-threatening match where if Heyman’s guy loses, all the Heyman guys are fired so you’ve got a clear shot at him. ANYTHING. Just THINK ABOUT IT for FIVE F*CKING SECONDS before you blurt out SAME MATCH.
I want more like this!
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