Worst: I’m Down For The Mark Henry/Ryback Thing, But Man, Leave Poor 3MB Alone
Good stuff: Mark Henry appearing on more than one segment in a show makes me feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. How long’s it been since that happened? Furthermore, any instance of Mark Henry showing up to split wigs (any wigs, any wigs at all) is appreciated and enjoyed. I’m looking forward to the Ryback/Henry showdown and assume it’ll be my “me against the crowd” moment at WrestleMania. I keep finding myself in those. It was Del Rio/Sheamus at SummerSlam and basically every match at Elimination Chamber. I’d love if it they used the Henry/Ryback match on Smackdown to have Henry just f**king TROUNCE Ryback, so Ryback can develop some sort of humility or nuance or character beyond “breathlessly yelling about meat.”
Anyway, yeah, if Mark Henry does have some kind of match involving Ryback at WrestleMania and you cheer for Ryback, you are dead to me. Just know that.
Bad stuff: The Drew-Off.
Poor Drew McIntyre. Mark Henry and Ryback took turns doing finishers to him to prove that they were … I don’t know, more hoss (?) than the other. It led to Ryback breaking out the “you ain’t NOTHIN’” insult from Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ video (which was pretty funny), but I wish Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre (and Jinder Mahal, for that matter) had something better to do than be cannon fodder for somebody else’s important moments. I guess that’s the downside to cheering for the jobbers and NXT guys … you get attached to them, and their perfectly acceptable role as “guy who doesn’t win” becomes insulting. Like, Heath Slater doesn’t need a title run or whatever, he’s exceptional at acting stupid and taking a move brilliantly and getting home before 10 o’clock. And here I am wishing that Heath Slater had a title run.
Best: Team Rhodes Scholars Are Important Again, I Guess!
so, this is fair
Regardless, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow almost got the win on Sheamus and Randy Orton (in a loose interpretation of “almost”) after wrestling earlier in the night, and it was pretty good, especially for a “Randy Orton trying to get people into position for the rope DDT” thing. Sheamus and Orton continue to be those weird top-shelf WWE stars who don’t have a lot of personality and exist only to say I LIKE YOU or I HATE YOU and just win all the time, but Cody and Sandow are dynamic enough to keep me interested. This is, of course, a placeholder for the inevitable Randy Orton turn (or Sheamus turn, if we’re lucky), which will give both of those guys Mania matches and leave Rhodes Scholars slumming it with Jimmy and Jey on the pre-show (if even THAT), but hey, a decent Raw tag match is an endangered species these days.
Worst: Antonio Cesaro And Wade Barrett Should Have A Title Unification Match And Somehow Both Lose
Here’s what I wrote about Antonio Cesaro in last week’s column, following his 8 minute loss to Ryback:
What I did enjoy, at least, is Antonio Cesaro getting to look like a tough, competent wrestler before going down. When he wrestles Randy Orton (as he’s done so many times), Cesaro looks okay, but he also looks like he’s waiting around for Orton to hit his big moves. He’s just finding complex ways to get onto the apron for the rope DDT or jump headlong into an RKO “out of nowhere” that is out of so specifically SOMEWHERE. That wasn’t the case against Ryback, who took as much as he gave, and got the victory at the end of a hot, physical sequence of moves. The European uppercut counter to the Meat Hook was a knockout blow, and when Cesaro set up for the Neutralizer with his El Generico hands waving around everywhere I thought, “wow, are they gonna let Cesaro win?” Of course, they didn’t, and that’s fine if you’re giving Ryback a showcase thing at Mania and relegating the US title to pre-show nothingness (or just regular nothingness). At least the finishing counters were cool. Cesaro’s too good to not land on his feet somewhere more interesting than Jobber To The Stars. You know, eventually.
That said, Antonio Cesaro once again got to look good in his 5 minute loss to World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio.
Here’s what I’ll write about Antonio Cesaro in the next 15 Raw columns, after he’s lost to everybody on the roster and is somehow still the United States Champion:
Worst: “SAY SOMETHING”
Speaking of FFFFUUUUUUUUUU, a colossal, sustained “f**k you” goes out to that fan who decided to scream SAY SOMETHING during Kane’s backstage interview where he’s all quietly holding Paul Bearer’s urn and feeling badly because his FATHER JUST DIED. Even outside of kayfabe, an important performer in the history of the show you paid to see is being honored in a series of little moments and you are F**KING THAT UP because you are either drunk and ignorant or too ravaged by ADHD to accept humans when they are not dressed as Run DMC and dancing. I hate you so much, Say Something Fan. You are the problem. Do not ever go to a wrestling show again.
Best: Halle Berry Has Fire Powers, Or
Worst: This Is When A Continuity Guy Would Probably Come In Handy
I thought this segment was cute when I watched it. I got to see David Otunga again (YEAH) and the reveal that Halle Berry also has telekinetic pro wrestling fire powers was great. I also like that David Otunga had a camera crew in his house filming his phone call to Halle Berry, because that is such a David Otunga thing to do. And yeah, therapy tag team Kane is adorable.
But yeah, no, this was not a good idea. In the best interpretation of the character, Kane is a reformed rapist and murderer who as recently as January of last year handicapped a man, tried to drag him into a fire pillar that may or may not represent Christianity’s interpretation of Hell and attempted to kidnap a woman to convince a tangentially-related-to-the-situation guy about the value of embracing one’s inner hatred. He is also stalking a celebrity and physically threatened a co-worker who happened to be in a movie with her to get her personal information. This is … not cute.
Although it would’ve been pretty funny if he’d dropped the “my dad just died” line for sympathy.