Best: “TRAINER ROOM”
One of the things I love about wrestling, and about the WWE in particular is the aspect of the constantly-moving venue that is presented to look like WWE lives there. I love that the general manager always has an office with the same stuff in it every week, no matter where they happen to be. I love that when JBL sends Hornswoggle to the hospital, the “hospital” is just a hospital bed and an IV pushed against a cinderblock wall in the arena with the fire alarm and a door to nowhere plainly visible. And I love that WWE has this assortment of professional-looking signage with an adhesive back that they can just stick on a wall and stand Josh Matthews next to. I am dying to know what other signs they travel with. “Petting Zoo?” “Wellness Center?” “Waterslide —->?”
The Worst Worst That Ever Worsted: Santa Claus Heartily Endorsing Racism
Ever since Hornswoggle got his talking skills for Christmas, he’s been falling all over himself to just be a wise-cracking hipster racist. (In case you’re not aware, “hipster racism” is that brand of winking, ironic racism where the gist is “This is obviously racist, so I can say it, because THAT’S THE JOKE.”) Anyway, when this segment kicked off, I was all set to give it a Best, because Teddy Long dressed as Santa Claus, bopping around to music and trimming the tree? That’s great!
It all went straight to hell (IT’S GOTTA BE KANE) when the camera pulled back to reveal Hornswoggle dressed as an elf (which was never addressed, by the way). We started out with Teddy Long assuming the midget is a child, which segued into Hornswoggle talking about his “testes” because Hornswoggle is the living incarnation of the Attitude Era made flesh, before we got right down to the meat of the matter. Horny led with the “SINCE WHEN IS SANTA A BLACK GUY” talking point that never gets old, and then Teddy gave Hornswoggle his gift.
Yep. Teddy Long wants Hornswoggle to be a more efficient and effective racist. Let’s leave off that “ebonics” by itself is a staunchly racist term BY DEFINITION and dig that Photoshopping job. The only thing that box is missing is Al Jolson. By the way, WWE? You’re going to get sued by Rosetta Stone. WWE is the only television program in history to be dumb enough not to go the iCarly/Two and a Half Men route and just make a fake name for everything, including saying “Facespace” when talking about a social media website. You even used their logo and everything, WWE. You couldn’t even think to have the box say, like, “Baretta Stone” or “Blosetta Blone” or anything? You morons.
Worst: RRRRRRRRENDY ORTAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
I’m sure some people are happy about Lillian Garcia being back. These people include Lillian Garcia, Lillian Garcia’s agent, people who love the National Anthem before watching engorged men paw at one another, and people who love jokes about people who have slightly equine features. It was really hammered home for me how much I did not miss Lillian the second Orton came out. Her reading of his name is my all-time least-favorite announcing of a wrestler. Worse than “JYYYYERRRRNNNNN CENA,” worse than “Jeff Harvey,” worse than anything. “Rendy Ortah.” Always “Rendy Ortah.” Lillian Garcia has known Randy Orton for over ten years and has never been aware that his name has an “n” at the end of it. While we’re on the subject of things that are awful, “The Apex Predator” is basically the worst nickname.
Worst: All Of These Theme Songs Are The Same Song
As Randy Orton’s theme gave way to Wade Barrett’s theme before their tables match, I realized that most of the current WWE theme songs are exactly the same. Same whiny singer, same stupid guitar parts, same unmemorable mish-mash. Just lousy. It makes the WWE Network dubstep commercial just that much more amazing by contrast, so that’s a good thing I guess.
Best: Wade Barrett Just Flips A Table Over
There was a point in this table match where Barrett and Orton were brawling on the ramp next to the furiously unimpressive minimalist table array and Orton got behind Barrett, who was standing by one of the tables. Barrett turned around, saw Orton, and simply flipped the table over as fast as he could. He knows how the match is won, and that sort of attention to detail is the kind of thing that makes a match great and paints you as a smarter-than-average wrestler. Of course, Barrett would blow it later on in amazing fashion by jumping towards Randy Orton, which is something that only idiots do.
Most Telling Best: GOTTA GET THESE GLOVES ON
I mostly follow indie wrestling these days, because it’s great. Well, PWG and CHIKARA are great, anyway. You’ll notice that in any wrestling promotion that isn’t WWE, most big cards will see a guy bleed. If it’s an entire card of matches involving tables, ladders, or chairs matches, pretty much everyone will be bleeding by the end of the night. All over the ring, all over each other, and all over the same ladders and chairs they’ll have to use again next month.
That’s why it tickled me so when Wade Barrett got a small, accidental cut on his head during this match and started bleeding, and the referee in the match IMMEDIATELY put on rubber gloves. The WWE wrestlers are tested every couple of weeks for everything from horse steroids to synthetic weed, whereas someone like the Necro Butcher, I would wager, has never even taken a vision test. So you would think that the WWE higher-ups would know exactly what everyone has and whether they’re a danger to themselves or others. Given all of this information, we can only assume that Wade Barrett has the most hepatitis ever recorded in a single man.