Best: NEXUS CHANTS
Welcome back, half of Wade Barrett!
If you’ve been reading this column longer than a week (hi, Jerry Lawler column friends … wait, you don’t have to go, stay, you can call me a mark in the comments section) you’ll know that one of my favorite things from the last decade or so of wrestling was the Nexus. It was this great coming together of nobodies to form a massive, hell-bringing unit of wrestlers, and while it only led to a couple of good things (Wade Barrett’s “you can’t see me” goodbye to John Cena among them), their initial attack was stellar television and the kind of grand ass-whomping WWE (and WWE audiences) have been missing out on for years. So yes, my heart swelled when a f**king Nexus chant started up during the Wade Barrett/Justin Gabriel match.
I’m going to type this in every column where it is applicable until it happens: the best thing WWE could do right now is reform the Nexus with its original members. When it started, they were nobodies, but now we KNOW everybody and it could be the GREATEST THING EVER. Bare-knuckle elevator brawler Wade Barrett, Capetown Werewolf Justin Gabriel, smarmy lawyer David Otunga, Prime Time Player and wang-hoarder Darren Young, RYBACK, “repeat after me” megastar Daniel Bryan and the goddamn One Man Band. Hell, throw backwards-hat McGillicutty and Bray Wyatt in there for kicks. Let them choke the shit out of everybody they see with their own neckties. Make it a real thing.
Anyway, next week let’s put Wade against Heath Slater and see if we can get a “Corre” chant going. CORE-REE! CORE-REE! CORE-REE!
Best/Worst: I’m Happy Jerry Lawler’s Okay, But Can We Be A Little Less Exploitative About The Whole Thing
I don’t want to type too much and make you think I’m throwing shade at Jerry Lawler, because I’m happy that he’s seemingly fine and that he’ll make a 100% recovery. I just don’t completely totally see why we need to see his shirtless hospital Tout on TV multiple times, see footage of him shaking peoples’ hands at the airport or have multiple instances of Michael Cole and whoever going JERRY LAWLER’S WATCHING TONIGHT!!! HI JERRY!!!!
It seems less like being happy for the guy’s health and more like “this generated a lot of mainstream interest so let’s milk it as much as possible”. That’s probably me being jaded, but I wish they could’ve just started the show with an update, wished him a speedy recovery and moved on with the show. I wouldn’t be surprised if next week we get slow motion video of him collapsing in gritty black-and-white.
Also, how funny is Raw for advertising an “exclusive interview” with Jerry Lawler? What, was he gonna show up on Impact for a sit-down with Jeremy Borash on Thursday?
Best: I’M THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS, or
Best: I Guess I’m Wearing Anything Daniel Bryan Says On A T-Shirt
I missed Night Of Champions so I didn’t get to see the origin of I’M THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS~!, but I’m willing to send WWE.com 30 dollars to wear it on a t-shirt. Forget how difficult it is to cheer for him already with the YES and NO chants, in a few years Daniel Bryan’s going to be completely mute, because every word out of his mouth will be a catchphrase. He’ll be exactly like The Rock. CM Punk will be all, “Daniel Bryan, I want to wrestle you at Royal Rumble” and he’ll stand there silently for 20 seconds before yelling CHINESE FOOOOOD to thunderous applause. Punk will have to sell it by collapsing to his ass and scurrying away.
Anyway, hanging out with wrestling fans over the weekend gave me lots of time to discuss Daniel Bryan and Kane, and these are the two absolutes I think I’ve come up with:
- For anyone asking, I’m disappointed about Daniel Bryan not being vegan anymore. The upsides to that are 1) Daniel Bryan was vegan when he was World Heavyweight Champion and wrestling Kofi Kingston in copper penny tag bouts when he wasn’t, so we’ll always have that, and 2) I didn’t start liking Daniel Bryan because of his diet, I liked him because he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world. He still is, so I keep liking him the same. Him being vegan was a great plus, but whatever, there are suddenly a solid amount of vegan role models in pro wres, so I’ll live.
- After arguing about it from every perspective, the best approach to Daniel Bryan and Kane as a tag team is that My Boy D-Bry Right There is talented enough to spin shit into gold so he’s a valuable hand for stories like this, but everyone in the world would rather see him wrestling well. That devolves into the grand “WWE vs. everybody else” mentality of “do you wrestle for art or money”, and WWE’s idea of wrestling for art OR money is saying asinine phrases for t-shirt success. The good Daniel Bryan wrestling won’t go away, so we should do our best to enjoy the dumb crap he sludges through and try not to get too down about it.
It’s good to see important wrestlers holding the tag team titles in a story revolving AROUND the tag team titles, though, and not just two main-eventers being thrust into it against their will as a placeholder. These guys are PROUD to be the tag team champions, even they don’t like the other guy. We could get a lot of really good stories out of this if they can sustain it, especially if it ends with a big WE ARE THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS.
Best: Hugging It Out As 2012′s Hulking Up
The joy of the Hug It Out spot hasn’t gone away because they keep finding new ways to reintroduce it. Sometimes they have to do it in the middle of a match to get their act together. Sometimes they do it afterwards to cool down a hostile situation. Sometimes they do it by order of the WWE Universe.
But every time there’s such a weirdness to it that I can’t look away. Two guys are hugging on my TV … one is wearing underpants with dragons and shit on them, one’s wearing a sirloin mask and fire pants. They’re arguing over giant copper belts. This is interesting television. I also like that I can never fully tell if they’re okay with the hugging, hugging only to get a better shot at screwing the other over (like when Bryan tried to steal both tag title belts) or if they’re okay with the hug, then forget about it mid-way through and THEN get manipulative.
Ah who cares, they’re gonna end up wearing pantsuits as co-Smackdown GMs in like three weeks anyway.
Worst: Kofi Kingston Is A Terrible Professional Wrestler
Maybe it’s time for Kofi to bring Evan Bourne out of weed stasis or whatever and give it a better go. If you can seriously watch a Kofi Kingston match with an objective eye and tell me he’s not terrible at pro wrestling, I don’t know what to tell you. Being mildly athletic does not a “good wrestler” make. If he didn’t have the legs of an Olympian he’d be Jenna Morasca.