Worst: Triple H
I have a tremendous amount of personal bias against Triple H, but that’s not what gets him a Worst here. Ten plus years of Motörhead, crotch chops, sledgehammers and Katie Vick have pretty much deadened the nerve endings that used to make me want to trepan myself every time he came on screen.
Nope, instead he gets a Worst here because I took 5 years of Latin and I’m almost positive that “Vocare Ad Regnum” doesn’t mean anything. When Namor the Sub Mariner is inventing non-sensical Latin catchphrases, it’s the bees knees. But when Triple H does it, it fills me with banal indifference like everything he else he does.
And that’s what really grinds my gears about his run as COO the last 2 months: even if he does something I like or that’s interesting, HE’S STILL TRIPLE H. I’m never going to like him, never ever. Is it unfair to view his present work through the scope of how he used to carry himself? Probably. Do I fly into a fury when people say they don’t listen to Kanye West because “he seems like an asshole”? Most definitely.
So maybe I’m being hypocritical and just need to let Mister Haitches run with the ball for a little bit. But if Triple H is now Namor, we should at least acknowledge that CM Punk gets to be Ben Grimm, Sheamus is Terrax the Destroyer, and Mark Henry is a character I’m gonna call B’lactus.
Best: Neatly Arranged Viewing Parties
And while I’m beating the comic book analogies to death, who’s idea was the George Pérez-like backstage segment to close the show? I get that we’re supposed to suspend disbelief because it’s a wrestling show, but at least do us the common courtesy of separating the Goodies from the Baddies.
I’m not complaining however, because this was easily the funniest moment of a genuinely funny show. Everyone just sitting around backstage like it’s no thang, watching a seemingly unimportant tag team main event. Are we supposed to think this is what they do at the end of every show? Did Helmsley gather everyone and say “listen guys, we’re gonna reveal everything in the third act, so sit down peacefully in this quiet uncatered area we arranged for you”? And if that was the case, wouldn’t you have the same befuddled reaction after uncomfortably sitting within 10 feet of your work nemeses, probably just trying not to make eye-contact, only to have the whole thing be an elaborate set up for a semi-irrational firing?
AND ANOTHER THING: to borrow an old comic roast joke, it was like a “who’s who of who’s that?”. I spotted a Tyler Rex and a William Regal fob watch, before the shit hit the fan and it turned into a blur of shouting and teeth and tanned flesh.
Best: The “Firing” of Miz and R-Truth
I got the sensation last night, and lord help us if I’m right, that some of these story lines might actually have a larger picture in mind, and that WWE creative is actually vectored in the right direction. I know, I know. I’m as confused as you are.
It started at Night of Champions, when a frustrating month of arbitrary promos and match-making culminated in a finish to the main event that left me more intrigued then I thought possible. It’s been building in the ascension of Henry and the tag-team division, and the creative free reign given to Awesome Truth and Punk during their respective airtime. The use of heavy-handed fines levied against employees who assault officials might just be seen as a single step towards making the WWE seem “more realistic,” but it’s also an example of the kind of new wrinkles they’ve been mixing into the product that are keeping me tuned in.
The biggest challenge that WWE faces going into the future is how to keep the attention spans of people who are given more and more to look at. Sure, DVR makes it imminently easier to justify spending the 80 minutes (without commercials) or so that a show like Raw demands. But that all goes for nought if people like me, people who WANT to believe in the product and WANT a reason to host Nitro-parties, can’t be given something new and fresh and interesting.
Last night and Night of Champions and some of the things they’ve been doing for the last 12 weeks have given me some hope for the future. But let’s see how long it can keep up before even I can’t justify watching this shit.
Until then, as always, A-Ry for President.
Diego McCafferty is a Los Angeles-based writer. You can follow him on twitter @UniqueDiego.