Friday, May 23, 2014

The Best and Worst of WWE Main Event 5/20/14: \(-_-)/\(^o^/) ┻━┻/(x°x/)

This week's main event is "live" from the UK and features everyone's favorite British wrestler, Sherlock Holmes. More after the break.

Best: Let's Just Have Every Episode of Main Event Be About Cesaro

Main Event opened with Paul Heyman:

-Stating that Main Event should be heretofore known as Paul Heyman's Main Event.
-Slagging on the entire continent of Europe.
-Calling the crowd shallow for cheering for Cesaro because he's from Europe.
-Bragging about Cesaro's win over Sheamus on Monday.
-Asserting that Cesaro is now the strongest man in WWE, not Mark Henry.

And I love that final point, because isn't that a great way to get someone over as a heel? Just go around doing things that various faces take pride at being the best in, and outdoing them at it? Maybe Cesaro can come up with several weird ways to avoid elimination in battle royals when he fights with Kofi Kingston. Or wear flamboyant pink trunks and wiggle his hips when he fights with Dolph Ziggler. Or land Rey Mysterio on the second rope in a hundred increasingly hard to believe methods before blowing his knee out twelve times simultaneously.

In all, this episode doesn't hold a candle to last week's because the build-up to the (Main Event)and subsequent payoff weren't nearly as good. That said, any episode that begins with Heyman talking and Cesaro smirking and ends with Cesaro standing triumphant is a good one in my book. There are some people who seem to be shitting themselves with fear that the pairing of Heyman and Cesaro is not going to work out, but I don't see that happening. Previous new Heyman guys didn't fail to get over because being paired with him, they failed in spite of it. Curtis Axel didn't get over because he was thrown against guys he wasn't prepared to wrestle against and got lame count-out victories until CM Punk emasculated him. Ryback didn't get over because he was barely paired with Heyman for longer than a month. Cesaro has been allowed to go up against respectable competition and win, repeatedly, and often decisively. Heyman is practically on cruise control because he doesn't need to talk out of his ass, he just needs to state simple, undeniable facts. And accentuate Cesaro's greatness slightly, I guess. But even when he's not on top form, he's great at getting the desired reaction out of an audience. The crowd cheers when Cesaro comes out and he immediately gets them back on the right track, and he does it so easily. Rumors are that WWE are trying to artificially re-create Daniel Bryan's swell of crowd support with Cesaro, but I don't really see the comparison, and thus why it supposedly isn't going to work. Everyone wants to cheer for Cesaro when he wrestles, but pairing him with Heyman denies them that pleasure. It's the same thing that happened while he was with the Real Americans, only now, WWE is invested in him and is willing to build off of what was already happening naturally. I'm not saying it's wrong to be cynical as a wrestling fan, but occasionally, it's alright to be optimistic as well.

Worst: Mark Henry was just terrible tonight

Look at that bear hug. Look at that awful, awful bear hug.

Once Mark Henry came out to challenge Heyman's assertion that Cesaro is stronger than him, Heyman seemed to completely lose his mojo. I don't know what happened, but Heyman just wasn't captivating, and his sentences weren't structured properly, and the connection between them was tedious. I guess you could say that in a kayfabe sense he was so intimidated by Mark that he wasn't thinking properly, but I don't know, it was weird. And then to cap things off, Cesaro took to shoving Henry challengingly, so Mark put him in a bear hug, except he kept on failing to pick Cesaro up while he did it. It was clear that Cesaro wanted to leave his feet, but a combination of his superior height and Mark's grabbing him way too high up on the abdomen to get proper leverage meant he instead just kind of awkwardly leaned into Henry's chest while he desperately tried to bend his knees enough for his feet to leave the ground. No wonder this isn't one of Mark's finishers anymore.

Worst: Damien Sandow, Jack of All Gimmicks

Damien Sandow came out dressed as Sherlock Holmes, to generic spy-themed (?) production music, because WWE was in London, and because Damien Sandow is doing everything he can just to get on television. A month ago he came out as Magneto. Last week he had a TERRIBLE SECRET that nobody would allow him to speak on, and this week he's strangely forgotten all about it. Unless he's actually alluding to that same secret when he's talking about solving a mystery. I don't know, but it just really seems like Sandow is just doing a whole bunch of nothing week to week and none of it has anything to do with any grander plan beyond "Make Damien Sandow look like a clown." I really, really wish mid-to-late 2012 Sandow were here.

Worst: Damien Sandow Is Better At Gimmicks He's Literally Only Doing For One Week At a Time Than R-Truth Is At the Gimmick He's Been Doing Since 2008

While admittedly Truth earns a small Best in my heart for making a veiled reference to the greatest period of his entire career (Crazy Heel Truth), it's immediately undone by a massive worst for then referring to the massively disappointing "Little Jimmy is my imaginary friend" follow-up period. Aside from that, this was just eye-rollingly bad. Truth has the nerve to criticize Sandow for having dressed up as Santa, Magneto, and now "Sherlock Homie", and his only real point in doing so is to say "You're acting kind of weird." This coming from the guy who dressed as a confederate soldier in order to get a championship match against John Cena. The worst part is that Truth says out-right that he's not going to rap his promo, because it doesn't rhyme. Meaning he was too lazy to make any of it rhyme. The guy's whole character is "Dancing rapper", but he hasn't come up with a new rap in over a year, not even one that follows the structure of the song he's had for years, or even one that doesn't have a rhythm. He simply says straight-out that he's not going to follow his own gimmick, and then calls out Sandow for having a new one. Fuck off, R-Truth.

Supplemental Worst: R-Truth Is Just Jealous Because Sandow Wears It Better Than He Did


Best/Worst: At Least Sandow Finally Won a Match

R-Truth is possibly the worst wrestler on the main roster these days. The guy is absolutely incapable of selling. There's a moment late in the match where Sandow has a headlock cinched in and Truth doesn't even look uncomfortable, he's just sitting in it with a wild look in his eyes while he conducts the crowd to cheer for him. It's not even like he starts tired and then gets re-energized, he just starts off perfectly fine and waits for the crowd to start clapping before he bothers to fight out of the hold. But that doesn't hold a candle to the start of the match, when Truth is firmly in control. There's absolutely no back-and-forth to start, Sandow just looks like a goober more concerned with his props and costume than with wrestling the match. There's a point where Truth stands in the corner of the ring while Sandow stalks around outside, and Truth shouts "WHAT'S UP" about twelve trillion times before the wrestling finally resumes.

On the bright side, Sandow gets his second win in about four months after hitting the You're Welcome, so there's that at least.

Worst: "This Is The First Time Since Returning From Her Injury That Naomi Will Get a Shot At Aksana"


You sure about that, Tom?

Worst: You Busted My Eye, So I'm Going To Stick My Butt In Yours

Total Divas has gotten to the point in their tapings where Aksana legitimately obliterated Naomi's orbital bone after a misplaced knee to the face several months ago. To tie in with this, Naomi got a revenge match against Aksana and beat her pretty handily, but man was it a garbage match. I have a great fondness for Naomi and think she could potentially become one of the best female wrestlers on the roster, but for the time being she's a sloppy worker with an interesting moveset. Aksana did her part in this match, making sure to target Naomi's face to play up the injury, but Naomi was just not on point for this one. She kicks out of one of Aksana's finishers at one, then easily counters the other into the Rear View to get the win. This after she's wrestled the entire match the way she normally does, complete with unnecessary flips and that ridiculous Surra de Bunda-esque move in the corner, against a girl who put her on the shelf for weeks and cost her a potential shot at the Divas Championship. If there were ever an opponent that Naomi should be wrestling completely differently than she wrestles everybody else, it's Aksana, but it's clear that she hasn't developed enough to be capable of wrestling with more than one style at this time. It's amazing you can throw the same criticism at Naomi-Aksana as you can at Orton-Cena.

Worst: What The Hell Was This?

So for some reason Paul Heyman wusses out of having Cesaro wrestle Mark Henry and instead suggests they do something else, like arm-wrestle, and Henry jumps on it because he knows this will let him prove he's stronger than Cesaro. Heyman immediately panics and tries to pull out of the new challenge and go back to a normal wrestling match becauuuuuuuse...success in WWE hinges exclusively on the random arm-wrestling matches that occasionally happen once every several months? Why did he pull out of the wrestling match and then want to go back to it? Wouldn't Cesaro have a better chance of winning a wrestling match, since he's so damn good at wrestling, especially against a guy whom he's recently and soundly defeated? Is it just because Henry's such an awkward size and shape for Cesaro to get up for the Neutralizer? Just European uppercut him five hundred times instead.

So Cesaro's all up for the arm-wrestling match anyway, but Heyman interrupts it after five seconds, so Cesaro sucker-punches Henry while he's distracted, and then flips the table over on top of him. So in less than two minutes we go from main event wrestling match to main event arm-wrestling match to main event non-wrestling segment that isn't going to go anywhere. The episode just kind of ends there, with Cesaro standing triumphant, and it's all very weird and quiet because Cesaro just turned the announcers' table over.

Slightly mitigating best: Cesaro apparently watched Roman Reigns kick Mark Henry's ass a bunch of times, because he immediately KO'd Henry by Superman punching him over the announce table. 

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