Best: 2 Out Of 3 Falls Matches On Raw
My original idea for this week’s column is that it’d be one sentence — “I liked the wrestling on this show, and didn’t like everything that wasn’t wrestling” — and six pages of Jack Swagger Of Mars. Get ready for the next three pages, which are mostly just that.
I love 2 Out Of 3 Falls matches. I think they’re a woefully underused wrestling trope that can give you the pop/pathos of up to three match decisions without having to have someone restart the match, and without referees aruging, and without Teddy Long showing up to make this a tag TEAM match. It very easily lets you show a wrestling crowd that these guys are evenly matched, and that a one-fall match between the two could go either way. One guy gets a fall, the other guy gets the second fall, and we settle it in a third.
WWE falls into a trap where their favorite way to book a 2 Out Of 3 falls match is to have the heel intentionally lose the first fall to “hurt” the face, leading to a quick second fall where that comes in handy, and a third fall where it does not. That’s fine, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense. What’s the value in Alberto Del Rio slamming Orton’s arm into the ring post three times to soften it up and getting counted out against him doing it twice, rolling back into the ring to break up the count, then rolling out and doing it the third time? One way makes him look like he knows how wrestling works. One way makes him look kinda stupid. You could skip the DQ and let the cheap tactics lead to a first fall loss for the face, and then he’s got these huge insurmountable odds ahead of him where he’s got to win TWO falls with a busted arm (or whatever) instead of just one. And one seems impossible! So your face comes back and looks like he can accomplish anything, and your heel doesn’t look like a bumblef**k who doesn’t know how to do his job.
Regardless, I liked this match a lot. I wish Del Rio didn’t lose all the time, but at least he got to kick Orton’s ass for a while. And frankly, this match could’ve been the worst piece of bread in history and I would’ve looked back on it fondly, because the next thing I saw on the show was:
Worst: WAIT NO GO BACK TO THE 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS MATCH
Sometimes I wonder if part of the set-up for a WWE live show is a big red ABORT button in the Gorilla position. Like, if a show has been too wrestling-heavy and nobody’s made HIS RELATIVES ARE JOSE AND HOSE-B HEH HEH jokes in the last 45 minutes, Vince can powerwalk up and slap the button, and that makes Hornswoggle’s music hit or whatever and the next segment is about fat guys dancing and cruiserweights being helpless.
Worst: This Rosa Mendes Thing Is Just A Way To Get Prepico Fired Without Losing Her, Isn’t It
I mentioned those roster cut rumors earlier, and I don’t know if they’re true, but if they are, things don’t seem hopefully for the P and E in PERM.
I mean, Rosa Mendes just got out of a terrible, abuse relationship and is a good hand to have around when one of your celebrity guest hosts wants to bag a Diva, so you’ve got to keep her. You can write her into the Alberto Del Rio mythos and maybe put her in a French maid outfit so Ricardo can start wrestling without having to “break up” with Berto, and everybody wins. So how do you get her from point A (tag team valet) to point B (singles valet in a maid costume)?
Well, if you’re a normal person, you go to a Halloween Express and just have her start accompanying the singles wrestler. If you’re WWE, you’ve got to ease the audience into it by having her get clandestine messages from Ricardo Rodriguez and get sprayed in the face with PRANK FLOWERZ so she’s got “things” going on unrelated to Primo and Epico. That way you can whittle off Primo and Epico and nobody’ll ask HEY, WHY AIN’T ROSA MENDEEZ GO WITH’EM. It’s WWE’s weird interpretation of independence. I don’t know, I just watch the show.
If Prepico do get released, it’s not the worst news, because it means they can go hang out with Carlito more often, and the Colons will be at full strength. And trust me, when you’re watching Carlito wrestle, you need your colons to be at full strength.
Best: Babyface Miz Continues To Deliver
And, more importantly, the secret Pretty Gooding of David Otunga continues. Remember that singles match he had against Sheamus (well, one of them) where he forgot the smarmy heel stuff and just threw lariats and forearms at him until Sheamus got enraged and put him down? This was the “not Sheamus” version of that.
I talked about this with Casey/THESTINGER the other day, and The Miz, as much as he appears to be the low-rent Chris Jericho, is actually the opposite. Jericho was a good guy for most of his career, but he’s too disingenuous and sarcastic to be a convincing good guy. He always seemed like a prick. That’s why when he became a Conspiracy Victim in WCW or the Best In The World At What He Does suit Jericho in WWE he’s amazing. He’s convincing as a piece of shit, because he’s kind of for-real a piece of shit. Miz has been a bad guy for most of his career, partially because of how awkward and punchable he was when he first showed up, but he’s too sincere to be a bad guy. He loves what he does, and he knows how lucky he is to be there, because he was a fan long before he tried to become a wrestler. So when he’s all bug-eyes and duckface about how he’s the most must-see champion in WWE history you don’t buy it, because it sounds like he’s reading a script. He’s pretending to be a wrestler. But when he’s a good guy, everything he does suddenly has a sense of urgency, a pop, and all that unnatural fog goes away. He’s a guy doing wrestling moves and trying to win because YEAH, WRESTLING RULES. That’s The Miz. At least, that’s who he seems to be.
So yeah, keep this going with both characters, WWE. Let Otunga continue to improve under the radar until he’s enough of a wrestler to catch up to how awesome he is when he isn’t, and let Miz continue to show all the stuff he’s got on the inside, because that, finally, is awesome.