a sad panda and lots of kisses

Back when Matt Striker was on the ECW roster he used to do a video bit on WWE.com called ‘Best Week, Worst Week’, where he would select public figures who’d had, well, the best and worst week. He also used to write excellent blogs and answer viewers’ questions. Sadly, this all fell by the wayside when he was shifted to commentary. Depending on how you feel about Striker’s commentary, that’s either a good thing of a bad thing.
Two WWE entities who had a startlingly good and bad seven days, so I figured I’d pay homage to Striker (because I don’t do that enough already) and do my own scribbled version of Best Week, Worst Week. And while we’re at it, Jamie Keyes, you weren’t actually due to be eliminated from NXT this week. But “seducing” Striker was a step too far.
You’re not fooling anyone with that flower in your hair, pal.
To steal words from Tina Fey’s notebook (because I don’t do that enough already either):
“I had never felt this feeling before. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears. My stomach felt like it was about to fall out my butt. I had this lump in my throat like when you dry-swallow a big pill. I hated [Jamie]. I hated her!”
But that’s quite enough of my worrying and feral need to attack a woman smooching a man who isn’t even my man. We should probably get to the bones of this post.

Worst Week

John Cena. Obvious, I know. But he who fights the good fight at all times has had his foundations rocked this week. It’s been a rollercoaster akin to that new ride at Alton Towers that I can’t remember the name of and might just be making up for the sake of it. Things started going wrong at Hell in a Cell, where our hero had to beat Wade Barrett to force the Nexus into going their separate ways. If Cena lost? He had to jump the fence into bad guy territory and swap his purple clobber for the black & amber. Seems unlikely, right?
And yet, unlikely things do happen. The ring was invaded by two fans, who were clearly Husky Harris and Michael McGillacutty. The officials were distracted and Cena lost the match. Of course, if all the people in the arena had actually taken the time to watch NXT, they might have recognised the assailants and not spent the next 20 minutes pulling expressions like this:
Seriously, unless you’re too young to fully grasp the concept that professional wrestling is predetermined theatre, you should not be pulling these expressions when John Cena is forced to buddy up with the baddies.
This is acceptable.
This is not.
24 hours later, things weren’t improving for our hero. John was forced to join Barrett & Co. in the ring and read out a statement in which he declared himself under Wade’s wing. Don’t worry, kids. He did it in a solemn, monotone manner so as not to indicate that he was enjoying himself in any way.

asformyfansihopeyoustandbymebecausethefactofthematterisyou’reeithernexusoragainstus
Now part of this posse of wrong-doers, Cena had to start playing the part. He was told to choose a tag partner and go at it against Evan Bourne and Mark Henry. Apparently, the proper etiquette for choosing someone to tag with these days is to step right up into their face as if about to plant a passionate kiss on their chops and not say a word.
Good to know for the next team building away day in the Bunker.
The match got under way but Tarver was not happy. Shaking your opponent’s hand before a match is very un-Nexusy. And the good behaviour didn’t end there. Tarver stepped into the ring to show Cena how to be mean but found himself being mauled by an extra-shiny Mark Henry. After a while, John felt he should probably help Michael Tarver by offering him a tag. But as soon as Tarver held his shaking hand out for salvation, John pulled it away, stuck his hand in his denim pedal-pushers and pulled out a pen. What?
Ahhhh. Gotcha.
While Cena pressed the flesh with the audience and made insignificant pieces of craft card suddenly worth mega cash, Tarver was suffocated by Mark Henry’s belly. “The happiest loser ever seen” decided that being part of a group wasn’t quite for him and John announced that, if he had to remain a member of the Nexus, he planned on destroying it from within. The ultimate non-conformist, Michael Cole? Not quite.
Cena went on to make mince-meat of Michael Tarver and absorbed the adoration of the bellowing crowd through every pore of his perfectly smooth skin.
Nice of Hulk Hogan to buy a ticket and cheer John on.
This rabble-rousing was not missed by the still anonymous GM. Michael Cole stepped up to his podium and announced that if John couldn’t fall into line and follow Barrett’s orders, his contract would be terminated. For good. Pretty sure that’s illegal, but still, EEEK!
Cena was a sad panda, so he skulked off to consider his future. You know what everyone needs when everything they’ve ever known is hanging by a thread? Josh Matthews with a microphone on the end of his wrist.
A quick appearance from Harris and McGillacutty and Cena was on his toes chasing them to the locker room. He should have known better. His new boss was waiting with his henchmen to quiz John on his anti-Nexus behaviour.
Later on it was announced that there would be a 20-man Over the Top Rope Battle Royal to determine the NoC for the WWE belt. Basically, Barrett wanted it and if John didn’t act as his personal bodyguard throughout the match, there would be consequences. It’s tough having a boss who doesn’t think you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, eh John? Welcome to real life!
The Battle Royal did its work. The professional jobbers fell on their swords and, as if it had been decided beforehand, John and Wade ended up with just each other to eliminate. Cena was in a sticky situation. Eliminate Wade and he’d be the people’s champion, the number one contender and would be safe in the knowledge that he didn’t compromise his principles. Downside? Well, he’d be fired. Kind of a bummer. So what did John do? He did what all of us do when we’re frustrated at work….
1) Get angry and butt heads with the boss…….
2) Consider making a fuss……
3) Then just do what they tell you to do anyway.
Keep smiling, John-boy. You will overcome. Of that I have no doubt.

Best Week

You’d think the person who had the Best Week would be Wade Barrett, right? I mean, in March he was begging for the big-time in FCW and here he is barking orders at arguably the most well-known face in wrestling. Fun times for our compatriot. But ‘Best Week’ goes to a show rather than a single person. That show is……NXT. It was great and…..nah I can’t do it. It’s Smackdown.
Last week it was a big, fat, ugly Raw-fest to celebrate the show’s move to SyFy in America. Dear Raw, do not infect my beloved Smackdown with your Raw germs again. Thankfully, it wasn’t just back to normal this week, it was better than normal.
Edge came back to his spiritual home, the Dudebusters got back on TV, Kaval did lots of clever kicks, the Dolph/Vickie/Kaitlyn lust-triangle took a new turn, and Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio pulled off one of my favourite non-PPV matches of the last few months.
Bravo, Smackdown. With your snazzy new graphics and more favourable theme tune, I think I want to kiss you. Lots.There’s only one thing which makes me want to play hard-to-get and save those kisses for our next date.
Why is Michael Cole commentating on Smackdown?!?!?! Must his insipid, interfering voice be heard on every show now? Cutting Matt Striker off mid-sentence while you’re having a love-in with Jerry Lawler during a PPV is one thing, but cutting him off on his own show is just bad form. GO. AWAY. NOW. Get rid of Cole, Smackdown, and you’re on a promise for next week.

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GUEST POST WEEK: the nxt stars

[This first post in our exciting Guest Post Week has been written by the fantastic Trey Irby. Quite frankly, anyone who sees the genius of Wade Barrett is OK by us and anything we say should be taken as gospel. Read, enjoy and show some love, please.  – Ray]

Before I begin, I must send my apologies to those across the pond for the so far disappointing performance of the Brits in the World Cup. After all, you lads actually like this damned sport while I flip between it and Scrubs reruns during the coverage. This is not important information.

There is important information coming, though. All is not lost, lads! Similar to how the Irish Curse became the glorious Sheamus, Britain will one day too have its wrestling champion. And WWE will hopefully have at least three big stars it can carry to the next decade.

Wade Barrett is the greatest human the world has ever known. This is a purposeful exaggeration, but I shall explain. This man will single handedly change the scene of the wrestling world. Yes, another exaggeration. But hear me out. His achievement is shocking and phenomenal. Going into NXT, he only had a notable commentary stint in FCW where, among other things, he did commentary for a Bryan Danielson/Kaval match. His work was average at best in the ring when he started on NXT. And yet, he’s the best promo out of the group of rookies, even including the now axed Danielson. Perhaps it was the real influence of Chris Jericho that turned Barrett into one of the most shockingly comfortable promos in WWE today, a man who was given the tough order of selling the biggest angle of his career a mere four months into his run on television and knocked it out of the park. Much like Barrett telling Bret Hart that the decision to sign his NXT co-horts was “easy,” it is easy as hell to see Wade Barrett become one of the company’s biggest stars.

I’m sure someone would want me to list Daniel Bryan. So I won’t. Bryan will be a giant deal, don’t get me wrong. His placement in the future will be like that of (okay he was a killer and a horrible human being in the end but I’m strictly referring to ability and not murder, alright?) Chris Benoit. He’ll maybe get a run with the title, cut a shocking good promo in 2017, lose the belt and put over some new guys and be generally respected. And yes, he will be back with the company.

So instead, I will list the non-shocking second star: David Otunga. The sound you hear is people yawning and getting bored, not unlike a current David Otunga promo and match. But calm yourself. With the big NXT angle, the one thing that helped and hurt him is shattered. All through the four long months, all we heard was about Otunga sexing that American Idol chick, equating WWE to a land of starfuckers, pardon the expression. But with the angle, all of this is gone. This affects everyone in that Skip Sheffield will likely not be a crazy cowboy at least until the angle’s finish. Tarver won’t be that weird loser guy and Heath Slater is finally not that goddamn one man rock band. Everyone is a soldier to the army, and their gimmick is gone. So now Otunga has no pressure. He is a poor worker right now, but Ezekiel Jackson had similar poor ability, and he was given the shot to competence. Plus, he’s still a starfucker. Which will save his job, even if he doesn’t even have the gimmick.

And finally, brace yourself, Michael Tarver. Yes, Gabriel is a better worker. Yes, Slater might be easier to boo. Yes, Darren Young does have John Cena’s face. And none of them have the small thing that Tarver has: creativity. I’m serious. Tarver’s expressions are already far and above his peers, from his initiative to wear every cool NXT pun-based shirt he could make, to the presence of his T bandana, Tarver is literally the last man I forget in this stable. And that will help him in the end. In the battle of making himself memorable, he got to be the chill inducer who kicked off the big NXT angle. He has the look of a big name star down. Now, this could be way off. TNA, for example, got money in their pocket with the downright amazing look of Pope D’Angelo Dinero and squandered it fast. Tarver’s promos aren’t bad, though, and neither is his work.

This NXT angle will hopefully not be a failure. If anything, it will be a fascinating experiment. Let’s see what comes out of it.