Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Best Coast Bias: We Be Clubberin'

Photo Credit:
Remember so long ago when Sheamus didn't have direction and this Cesaro heel turn seemed to be more in the hypothetical realm than here?

You should.  It was April.

But that was so long ago when it comes to these guys: now Sheamus is the man who puts the fight in fighting champion and Cesaro's the same brilliant prick he's always been except with a Heyman imprimatur added to the C.V.  Throw them in the ring together and you get something so good you want a rematch before the first chapter's done finished getting written.  It started with a Cesaro sneak attack on Sheamus to open the show after the new U.S. Champion interrupted Heyman and laid out the big Irishman with a Neutralizer.  It ended with a Brogue Kick in the face.  In the middle was a double countout.  But that was almost irrelevant.  For 15 minutes and the final two segments of the show a pair of the E's most talented and hard-hitting talents whaled on each other so hard you'd think the red siren was going off in Hartford all over again.

When you're watching European uppercut battles and cravates not three minutes in, you don't need Rosey or Jamal to tell you what's coming next: violence, and a metric Coulterton of it.  It wasn't just Cesaro throwing more uppercuts than Baskin Robbins has flavors, or Sheamus aiming for his nose when it wasn't his kidneys, though both of those things obviously helped.  It just felt like a fight, front to back and side to side.   On the short list of must-watch Main Event matches this is definitely in the discussion.  If you wanted to call it the best match WWEME's done so far this year, you could.  Most tantalizingly is that this seems to be the opening salvo into a feud that'll add prestige to the belt and the men competing for it.  This match shouldn't be written about; it should be watched.  Gleefully.

But this wasn't just a one-really-awesome note episode of Main Event.  Au contraire, mon frere.  In between the Renee/Heyman/Cesaro/Sheamus segment and the land war that exploded in the main event two of the more disgruntled employees of WWE both went down in losing efforts.   One of them complained about being metaphorically handcuffed, the other about being literally underrated.  Yet in a pleasantly surprising narrative beat it was the male whose effort was small beer compared to the female's. This is not to bash Damien Sandow.  WWE creative is already doing that enough and has since the summer.  But he can only lose to Dolph Ziggler so many times before it loses its heft.

So let's talk about Alicia Fox losing her marbles again, because whatever it was it was compelling as foxtrot unicorn charlie kilo.  It was almost a near full-on Groundhog's Day for the Foxy One as she jumped Emma pre-match after throwing the mic in her face (and scoring  a direct hit to boot) and getting in a few well-placed cheap shots before the match officially got started.  Once it did, short of the best Northern Lights in the Business she rattled off everything you'd want to see in her arsenal replete with cheating.  She was practically getting booed for existing, which is about the apex of heeldom irrelevant of gender.  She noted to the crowd that if they thought she was cray, they didn't know cray.  It seemed destined that Emma's only offense would be a rollup out of nowhere to cinch the victory (thus connecting it in a subtle thread to the rest of the show: every babyface got their W or their moment in the main Oliver Sudden -- see also, Zag, Zig and Kick, Brogue) and she managed to bail out before the tornado of psycho knocked her metaphorical house down.  Thus losing the opportunity to further slam dance with the Australian, Alicia would proceed to a) get frosty with the referee b) apologize to Tony Chimel and c) kiss him on the forehead before d) slapping him around a few times.

It was somewhere around that moment that one's Hader could be excused for clearing his throat.  Lest you think that was the end of it she would proceed to bear hug Phillips and Saxton while singing We Are Family before attempting to shake them down for their money and stuffing their papers down their throat DiBiase style and knocking them over in the process.  In fact she kicked all of the papers off the desk at one point, and stomped on the table before staring out at the crowd.  You know, those people booing her for merely existing.  It's kinda surprising Aksana hasn't come to get her girl yet, but man--compelling will fix a lot of narrative squickyness (scientific term).  As much as several corners of the Internet including this one have been ride or die Team Fox for several weeks if not months or years she didn't have whatever it was connecting her in a larger sense to the audience.

Two old-school Jerichoesque meltdowns later and we have a heel to care about.  Could she -- dare we even say it -- go Full Backlund?  There's been a loss to the champion, a deteriorating mental state, and it's not as if anybody else is providing a compelling counter narrative to Paige starting to establish herself on the flagship.  Honestly, what's Nattie going to do, bad painting her into a pin?

In another stalwart episode of Main Event, it seemed everything was permissible.  Most importantly, good wrestling with characters in flux and a clear thruline towards the future.  33% of RAW's time, and about 333% better to boot.

Just watch out for the brawling Europeans.