Best: Rhodes Scholar With The Great WCW Saturday Night Heel Tag Team Victory
It’s not particularly fun for a young WWE fan to watch a heel tag team dissect a less talented face (I guess?) team en route to a decisive victory, but it’s necessary. If we don’t have matches like Rhodes Scholar vs. PERM where one team is just clearly better than the other and beats them with clean, actual wrestling and wrestling moves (which we don’t, really), it negates the drama of said team picking apart, dissecting and controlling a much more popular team.
For example, if Rhodes Scholar has Rey Mysterio down in their corner and are beating him up, you and I know that they’re gonna beat him up for a couple of minutes and then he’ll make the hot tag to Sin Cara, and they’ll do the finish or whatever. However, if we’ve seen several examples of Rhodes Scholar doing that isolate/maim thing to other tag teams, there’s a chance they’ll just do it to Rey, and the hot tags and standard tag team stuff we’re used to might not happen. The illusion of danger.
That’s what wrestling’s about, isn’t it? Sometimes you can’t have it a certain way and make everyone care without doing all the necessary shit that builds the foundation for it to BE that way and for everyone to care. Give the heels true credibility — don’t just SAY they’re credible and hope we believe you — and they can give face teams who wrestle them credibility by proxy. That’s how it works. Now when the USA Guy shows up to take back the United States Championship from the dreaded Antonio Cesaro, it’ll really mean something. YES, THAT IS A THING THAT SHOULD HAPPEN. I KNOW YOU’RE READING ME, WWE.
So this was my favorite match on the show. Two wrestlers I love defeating their opponents because they’re great at wrestling, and not because they’re cowards, or whatever.
Worst: Rey Mysterio’s Wellness Violation
Hey, being sick with the flu is a wellness violation. It violates your wellness. Shut up.
By the way, funny people follow me on Twitter, and one of them came up with a much better name for Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio.
Best: The Miz Pretends To Be Brandon
For everyone who asked, yes, I wrote The Miz’s dialogue for Miz TV. They changed a lot of it, though, and cut out a big paragraph from the middle. Insert this into the part where Miz is telling Kofi all he’s ever done is say three sentences, play second fiddle in a string of forgettable tag teams and do nothing of note greater than palling around with Larry King:
“I tell people that you’re terrible all the time, and they’re always like, ‘oh, what do you mean, Kofi’s really good!’ And I have to explain to them that you do cruiser offense, and that wrestling fans on the Internet have become conditioned to think that only ‘hoss’ wrestlers are bad. They don’t really have a perspective for bad cruiserweight wrestling other than ‘botches,’ so they don’t notice that all your chops make Shawn Michaels look like Kenta Kobashi, you move away from your opponent as you’re striking so it makes it look like it hurts even less, you barely touch them most of the time, your finishes and signature moves take forever to set up and feature you dancing and yelling things more than fighting people, or that all you do is jump, and you don’t even jump WELL, you just jump high. Remember the last five WrestleManias where you were the ‘jumping’ guy in ladder matches, or you spent all weekend beating Ashley Massaro or whoever at video games because the most important thing on your plate was ‘battle royale w/ everybody’? Remember when you were supposed to be Jamaican, and suddenly you were from Africa, and the joke was that you were too shitty to remember your fake accent and someone backstage noticed, but nobody cared BECAUSE YOU’RE KOFI KINGSTON? Remember how you were only Jamaican in the first place because you’re black and have dreadlocks and our bosses don’t know how races work? Remember when your logo was a SMILING BLACK FACE, ALSO because our bosses don’t know how races work? Have you noticed that your entrance them is still faux-reggae, even though you’ve been African for like 2 1/2 years? Actually, forget this, where’s John Morrison? Somebody bring John Morrison onto MizTV. I would legitimately rather talk to John Goddamn Morrison than you, Kofi. YOU ARE TERRIBLE, GOODBYE FOREVER”
and then I wrote “THEN MIZ SKULL-CRUSHINGLY FINALES HIM ONTO A BED OF NAILS AND KOFI IS CARRIED AWAY BY HORNSWOGGLE AND NEVER SEEN AGAIN. HIS SKELETOR TRUNKS ARE GIVEN TO EVAN BOURNE”. It was pretty good. Also, Maryse shows up at the end for some reason.
Worst: So, Uh, Hey Kofi, About That “Main Event”
After Jim Ross spends a few minutes finding every polite way possible to say “Kofi hasn’t really tried hard, and he’s managed to screw up everything,” Kofi does this:
Pretty excited to see Kofi Kingston as a part of Aces & Eights*!
*I’m kidding if you couldn’t tell, but “WWE wrestler goes to TNA and gets a funny ‘almost name’, like Bubba Ray Dudley becoming Brother Ray Deadly” is outdated, so “WWE wrestler goes to TNA and is revealed as a part of Aces & Eights because TNA values WWE garbage over homegrown talent” is still timely and hilarious. Congratulations to new tag team champion Chavo Guerrero!
Jack Swagger Of Mars
From inside the cool, adobe hut, Jack Swagger could hear the crystalline chirping of the marsfrog. He stretched out on the makeshift cot, feet crossed, arms behind his head, and thought about how he’d finally found the solitude he’d been searching for when he landed the U.S.S. Rhadamanthus on the surface of this Godforsaken planet so long ago. “Why didn’t they come up with a better name for a frog on Mars than ‘marsfrog’,” he also thought.
The stars had shifted when Jack finally pulled himself up and gazed out through the window. The valley’s lonesome winds and whistles echoed. He thought about the first time he’d seen the red sands. His first big, Frankenstein-stye steps and push-ups on the planetary crust. The first time he thought he was going to die. The first time he saw Kaa’orri. The descent into the great city, and again, Kaa’orri.
“Give ME a BRAYKE,” he bemoaned, turning gruffly and dropping to his butt against the wall of his new home, his new lonely, lonely home, so far from everything he’d known. He ran his hands through his perfectly manicured 1950s hair-do and sighed. He wasn’t going to think about her again. This is what he’d chosen for himself. She chose to stay with them. She didn’t believe in him. Why should she? He didn’t still believe in him.
Silence. For so long. Yes, this is what he’d wanted all along. Time to think.
A familiar voice broke through the void.
Jack Swagger looked up from his pitiful position to see the face of WWE Hall Of Fame announcer Jim Ross, taking the form of a tiny, backlit square on the bed across the room.
“JEE-um ROTH?” Jack ask-yelled.
“How y’been, son?”
Jack climbed to his feet and dusted off his singlet. He didn’t want the man who’d discovered him at the University of Oklahoma to see him moping about all the stuff that’d happened to him on Mars.
“Oh-wahm fine, Jim,” Jack lied. “Juth PEACHY. Doin’ GRATE.”
“I was worried about ya. Heard creative didn’t have anything for ya and y’ran off like a scalded dog.”
“Yea-uh, wellll…” Jack trailed off.
“Heard they were lookin’ for ya. Sent some scouts out lookin’ for ya, scouts like the late Jack Brisco. Said they couldn’t FIND ya. Mr. McMahon heard you were on damn Mars.”
“I TOLD A.J. Lee that I wath taking an exthended time off from dub-dub-e,” he answered. “I didn’t exaggly ‘run off’.”
“Jack, you know A.J. is just a television character, right? She’s not yer actual boss.”
Jack’s eyes blinked.
“oh for the LOVE OF GOD,” Good ol’ J.R. continued. “Somebody stop the damn call!”
“Jim I’ve seeen things, things on Marth, people and things.” He started to cut a promo about Mars, but realized it would be f**king terrible. “I juth don’t want to go back. People don’t want me there.” He paused, then looked away. “People don’t want me anywhere.”
“Are you KIDDIN’ me,” Jim exclaimed. “You’ve been a BLUE CHIPPER since I met you back in Oklahoma Boomer Sooner! Since when are you not worth nothin’? YER A DUBYA DUBYA E SUPERSTAR!”
“That doethen’t MEAN anything, JIM,” Jack screamed. “NOT ON MARTH.”
“Son, listen.” Jim removed his 10-gallon hat. “Remember all the good times we had? Remember travelin’ the world with dubya-dubya-E?”
Jack nodded. He did remember it. Those long trips were what prepared him for his journey to Mars. Had he not traveled to every destination on the globe, perhaps he would’ve chosen Siberia instead of Mars. Or the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Or worse, TNA Impact Wrestling.
“Remember all the special people y’met?”
Jack smiled. He remembered meeting Miss Piggy, and how he’d made her feel badly. He remembered meeting the third lead from Hot Tub Time Machine, the one with the glasses. He remembered the sick children he’d met at Make-A-Wish who’d frowned at him, then buried their faces in their mothers’ stomachs, asking where John Cena was. He remembered Kaa’orri. No, she wasn’t there.
“Remember all the GOOD TIMES y’had?”
Jack began to laugh. He remembered when Tommy Dreamer stopped him from attacking Chase Stevens, and how unimportant that seemed. He remembered cashing in the Money In The Bank briefcase on Chris Jericho, winning the World Heavyweight Championship, then getting himself intentionally disqualified to retain that title against The Big Show on a pay-per-view somebody paid 50 bucks to watch and had long forgotten about. He laughed hard, and remembered the picnic he’d shared under the Martian fireflies with Kaa’orri. No, not her.
“It’s all gotta be worth somethin’, right? Otherwise yer a long tailed cat in a room fulla rockin’ chairs, or a government mule workin’ in the OBAMA administration.” Jim took a moment to write that down, because people at work would love it. “Remember when ya had dreams? Yer livin’ ‘em, right now!”
Jack closed his eyes. When he opened them, he was back in the WWE locker room, standing with his shoulder to a television monitor, watching Dolph Ziggler wrestle. He looked over his shoulder to see Vickie Guerrero standing there with her hand on his shoulder. He looked forward and saw Santino Marella trying to drink a milkshake with his snake hand. NO HE DIDN’T, HE DIDN’T SEE ANYT OF THAT, JACK SWAGGER IS ON F**KING MARS.
“MARTH!” he shouted, suddenly.
“You awright, son? I was just about t’tell ya about business, and the ways y’could pick it up…”
Jack Swagger closed his eyes again, and saw Mars for the first time. Jim Ross was right. He was living his dreams. He couldn’t let himself imagine Kaa’orri because he didn’t have to … she was here, on Mars, living a life alongside his, and she needed his help.