Best: I Am Going To Stop Writing This Column And Just Ship Randy Orton And Brad Maddox
I’m calling them OrtoDox. Eventually I’m going to bring in the Undertaker and ship them into a love triangle. I’m calling that UnOrtodDox. Rob Van Dam’s offense makes a cameo appearance!
Anyway, this match wasn’t anything special (and man, what would Brad Maddox’s career trajectory look like if he WASN’T a Triple H project?), but I liked it. It’s not the best idea from a character standpoint — because seriously, who is going to cheer or boo a guy who doesn’t have a job, but gets to keep showing up with a camera crew and getting tryouts? — but occasionally a guy like Orton needs to trounce a guy like Maddox to establish a pecking order. Without jobber squashes, everybody’s just the same level of boring average and it’s MMA.
The biggest downside to all of this is that backstage segment where Brad Maddox just comes out and says “talent isn’t as important as entertainment,” which I’m guessing is on a motivational poster in the writers’ room under a big picture of Kelly Kelly rubbing her beehole in Eve’s face.
Best/Worst: If The Shield Is Fighting Injustice, They Should Run In And Stop Pretty Much Every Segment And Match That Happens On Raw
The Best here is for The Shield just randomly showing up to “fight injustice,” which would be awesome if it made any sense, or if Creative had actually given them this reason to attack folks instead of just saying it and hoping we’d put it together for them. Michael Cole trying to explain how some people are justifying The Shield’s actions, only for Lawler to shut him down with a dopey YOU’RE MAKING EXCUSES FOR THEM because he has the deductive reasoning and listening comprehension of a f**king wash rag was the Worst.
The thing is, a team of wrestlers trying to right injustices would be GREAT, because I write about shit like Santino interrupting Sandow to make cock jokes or Vickie being called an ugly bitch all the time and Zack Ryder filming “Hoeski” music videos about a woman who dumped him and moved on with her life ALL THE TIME, and that stuff NEEDS RIGHTING. They could buck the status quo, and guys like Cena could fight them to preserve their weird middle school normalcy, and it’d be a grand ethical argument to divide the WWE Universe and spark real conversation about the show, the characters and the wrestling. A statement on the dissolution of good and evil, and how accepting shades of grey means you have to accept the other guy’s shades too, and you can’t be allowed to live on a gradient and think everyone else is black and white.
Instead, we get The Shield attacking good guys, and the announcers calling them cowards, because cowardice is the only trait that makes you a bad person.
Worst: Teddy Long Has Finally Snapped
So, because God doesn’t exist and we’re all going to end up dead and alone, Teddy Long interrupted a tag team match, dissolved it, made it a fatal fourway and asked the WWE Universe to decide whether the Intercontinental or United States Championship would be on the line. He did this by himself, because Vince, Vickie, Booker, the board of directors, C.O.O. Triple H and the managing supervisors of whoever were occupado. I seriously thought he was going to make it a fatal fourway JUST to interrupt it again midway through and remake the tag team match.
You know how wrestlers have to sign contracts to compete in matches? Have they ever explained how those work? Is there a big DISCLAIMER: YOU’RE GONNA SIGN THIS, BUT WE CAN DO WHATEVER WE WANT WITH IT SO DEAL WITH IT OR GO HANG OUT WITH TYLER REKS ON TWITTER across the top of every contract? How can wrestlers, CHAMPIONS even, get put into sanctioned, legally-ass-covered wrestling matches, have them changed based on literally nothing but the whims of people WHO AREN’T EVEN IN CHARGE, and compete as if nothing had happened? I’m not asking for Jack Tunney to show up with a stack of paperwork or anything, but a General Manager character could really stand to spit a few expository paragraphs about how their job works. Or at least have the people in the ring nod YEAH OKAY when changes happen in a kind of word-of-mouth thing to make the sports part of the show even mildly realistic.
I know the show has hungry robot bounty hunters and guys with snake arms and everything, but just basic, ground-level logic would make the show more acceptable to the 87% or whatever of Americans who think wrestling is entertainment’s asshole.
(Yes, I think a clear hierarchy of power and transparent list of rules and regulations is what is keeping people from watching wrestling.)
Best: Antonio Cesaro, The Only Sure Thing On Raw
How good is this guy?
Last night, I was having a conversation with Khal Bundy about how Kofi Kingston and R-Truth failed spectacularly at the “indie standoff,” and that got us into a conversation about how people think Kofi Kingston is “athletic” because he’s in shape and has a good vertical. That’s not being athletic. Antonio Cesaro is athletic. This is a guy who is as strong and on-point 20 minutes into a match as he is at the opening bell. A guy who can move where he needs to move and be where he needs to be with reliability and authority, because his body was made to pro wrestle and he’s f**king good at it. Kofi does a forward roll out of an armdrag because he saw Chris Jericho do it once, and it looks like a dog reaching between his own legs to grab his tail and flipping over.
Right now, Cesaro is the only thing you can count on — really count on — to be amazing on Raw. Daniel Bryan is in his fun homoerotic tag team with Kane, but sometimes they get put into main-eventer tags or into curtain-jerking openers where they just get jumped at the end and it’s fine, but it’s not great. Dolph Ziggler can get a thousand Tumblrs GIFfing (and yiffing) with a single bump, but he’s mired in ALLEGATIONS~ and backstage drama about whose hair-bows were in whose locker. Damien Sandow’s tag partner is hurt, 3MB only shows up biweekly (if at all), John Laurinaitis is off playing on a farm in Minnesota with a bunch of other former GMs (with lots of space to run!) and all the other fun stuff — The Funkasaurus, pre-Crisis Ryback, Lord Tensai’s Mountain Dew spit hand — are all dried up. But here’s Antonio Cesaro, making us laugh whenever he talks, making us say wow whenever he wrestles, no matter WHO he wrestles. He knows what he’s doing and we can very clearly see it. He’s f**king spectacular, and the best thing to happen to WWE all year.
Worst: While I’ve Got A Free Space, Ryback’s Entrance Theme
Here is 10 hours of Ryback’s entrance theme.
As it goes,
Meat on the table, yeah, that’s what you are!
Yeah, you can run but you won’t get too far!
You’re in my jungle and I’ll make the kill!
Meat on the table and I’ll get my fill!
You’re meat on the table. That’s what you are. If you’re already meat, how can you run? Is that why he’s saying you won’t get far, because you are meat and assumedly dead and do not have legs? And even if the “meat on the table” is inferred (as in, “you’ll soon be meat on the table when I catch you”), what’s with the jungle part? Is the table in the jungle?
Ryback’s theme reminds me of Anna Nalick’s ‘Breathe (2 AM)’ where she says we’re cars on the cable, and life’s like an hourglass glued to the table, and nobody can find the rewind button, which is either on the cable car or the hourglass table, I guess. Actually, f**k it, Ryback should enter to Anna Nalick’s ‘Breathe (2 AM)’