Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Best Coast Bias: That's What It Says On The Marquee

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Michelle McCool's been retired to be Mrs. Taker for a while and Layla wasn't anywhere in sight, but damn if that got in the way of this being an absolutely flawless episode of Main Event.  Three great sprint matches set the table for a two-segger--well, main event--where the outcome was in doubt, the action was hard-hitting, and the whole thing felt like an amuse bouche not just for the upcoming "special" on Sunday (what the Kizarny are we calling Those Which Used To Be Pay-Per-Views, anywhoozle?) but sowing some tasty seeds for some possible post Extreme Rules as well.

It's hard to say who was what in the peanut butter cup of awesome that took up the bulk of the show, though given Sheamus' being melatonally challenged he probably isn't going to be a chocolate anything ever.  Nevertheless, the throwdown with Bray Wyatt was everything you'd expect it to be: fun and violent.  Thwarting expectations while both men remained rooted to the characters on display, appropriately at times it looked like two drunks in a alley behind the bar fight.  Not only that, the crowd was into it from the outset. The baseline of cheers and boos stayed roughly at about 60/40 for the duration but both men found themselves on both sides of the equation which added to the feeling of "hey, why isn't this a feud and/or match on a monthly special?" that manifested the moment it was announced.  Most hilariously (and impactful since the shots were connecting so hard at times the ring mics picked them up), early on Bray managed to land a pretty nasty uppercut and then Sheamus took to clubberin' the way Chris Rock's dad felt about Tussin.

There were a couple of kneedrops in there but for the most part it was my fist, your face.  Against Sheamus usually, this probably would've been enough, but it turns out when you're fighting a cult leader sometimes there's PEDs in the Kool-Aid.  The second act was like a Jenga stack made out of blocks of deliciously escalating violence: apron DDTs, avalanche high knees, uranagis properly called, et al.  When Big Irish got distracted by the possibility of having lamb mask before the main course it set him up to get introduced to Bray's Sister, and only a post-match save from the Usos saved him from a beatdown.  My word, yes.  More of this singular, more of it plural. Six man tags are so fetch right now.

But before that went down, there were three matches that made up in quality what they lacked in quantity.  All of them clocked in at under five or six minutes yet were all so energetic and well-worked they almost nullified the fun sizedness of the clock.

You'd think the Bad News for Kofi Kingston was the perpetual amber his career's trapped in, and, really, in his case there was only one thing worse: executing a successful counter to a whip into the steps by leaping over them and coming back to use them as a springboard for offense of his own; yet somehow it was as if Wade Barrett had wrestled him before and it was as such that he gave him a ferocious forearm right in the mug so timely and note perfect it stopped the WWE's replay machine so that he could roll him back into the ring and win the match as a result.  Even better, the camera was nearly merged into Wade's back so there was momentarily the thrill of Kofi leaping into one's living room only to catch the backalley dentist of a strike at the worst possible time.  He went full Icarus.  You never go full Icarus.  About the only thing stopping Barrett from being fully cheered by the audience at this point is his pre-match snark and his refusal to yell "BULLHAMMER TIME, FOOL" before he murks somebody.

Before that, there was a Paige/Alicia Fox rematch that would make one woo-hoo even if there was no chance they had been feeling heavy metal or pins and needles before it happened.  When people collar and elbow so fiercely they go spilling between the ropes and keep trying to get the upper hand on the floor it means two things: a) they love wrestling b) about as much as they hate but respect the person on the other end of this.  Paige snapped off another trademark hard kick to set up a huracanrana off the apron and while we're wishing for future matches and Late Late Night with Anna Kendrick and all that how's about Paige win this best of five the next go-round with a match that gets something closer to 10 minutes hmm?

While she didn't uncork the Best Northern Lights in the Business, Foxy's kick to the face may've been even better and sure got Paige ready for Tamina on Sunday even before the latter came out post-match and cracked her neck in the Champ's direction after sneaking up on her.  At one moment, they were fighting over a suplex (that's right, kids, they let divas fight over a suplex and it actually looked like a legitimate fight that could go either way) and the next Paige had just flatlined Alicia with a modified fisherman's buster that drew oohs and aahs from the crowd to finish her off.  Make no mistake about it: while she's barely drinking age on this side of the pond WWE's own dark Knight has found more ways to end things than Return of the King and the whole division's better off for it, whether all of them can hang or not.

And to kick off the show, Goldust triumphed over Alberto del Rio.  From a CV perspective this may've been the biggest win of Goldust's singles career since he came  back, no matter how jarring and quick it was that Cut was certainly Final.  Alberto went from taunting Cody to counting the lights just 24 hours after he'd metaphorically done it to him (see also uppence, come).  So in came The Lovely Renee Young to ask the questions that the older brother succeeding where the younger didn't especially after their team seems to have sputtered to a halt if not its demise will bring up and certainly will not at all in any way shape or form look good in any sort of future video package (see also shadowing shadowing shadowing shadowing).  Goldust thought it was ludicrous she'd even ask even though it would've been more ludicrous for her not to and Cody immediately jumping to a "Are you saying he's better than me?" that didn't reek of jealousy if your nose doesn't exist.  Make no mistake about it, the countdown to Cody kicking Dustin's leg out from under his leg is on, no matter how quickly the latter put the blanket on the smoldering embers of his brother's rage.  Which is weird, because Cody historically hasn't taken a little thing and blown it out of proportion before.

And yet, all of it was of a piece, and brought us all one step closer to being in front of some kind of monitor for Extreme Rules.  There'll be bigger shows, but good luck to Stamford putting on a better hour in totality this year than the one they put on here in the third-tier show days before the signature event.  Don't tell me WWE's not Scrooge McDucking it with the embarrassment of riches their roster is right now.