Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Best Coast Bias: MehTV

How does the phrase Unified Intercontinental Champion grab you, fella?
Photo Credit:
It's the Main Event before a Network Special (the artists formerly known as pay-per-views) so let me revive a semi-frequent BCB subgenre with a Langston Memorial of takeaways...

5) Naomi might be the new Alicia Fox.

Until she got a bit of shine for a weeks for going bipolar, Alicia Fox seemed to be stuck in the role of one of the, if not the most criminally underrated roster member known for executing a Northern Lights suplex as beautiful as she was.  If only she got more time and/or actually got to beat somebody, the prevailing attitude went, way more eyeballs would know what we knew--she was the hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the bad part of town with superlative food, the opening band that should've been playing for more than 11 people, a diamond that needed only the dust to be knocked off of it to truly shine.  And during her stint on the third headset during the Emma/Cameron match, Naomi stole the show by doing possibly the hardest thing in wrestling - being a sympathetic babyface who wasn't a chump.  She noted that things had been bad with her and Cameron for a while, and that Cameron had struck first.  When Saxton noted that he'd been in similar situations with friends who were being wayward, she rightfully asked if any of them had gotten physical with him in addition to their disrespect.  Her doing the Emma Dance and loud cheer over the Australian's small package victory in addition to running Cameron out of the ring when her ex-partner started being a sore loser and getting some extra licks in post-match was the bow on a very nice package.  Sad that it came to this while being ready for the fight now that this was here, showing good sportsmanship, and refusal to get rattled even when Cameron was taunting her to her face showed that she should be a close planet going around the orbit that is AJ/Paige with her getting the occasional follow-up match for the Lisa Frank Memorial Belt once she settles the estate of the late Planet Funk and shuts down her Total Divas co-star for good.

4) Going forward, Big Kingston should be a thing.

Assuming neither Kofi nor Large Epsilon manage to procure the Intercontinental Championship come this Sunday Sunday SUNDAY at Battleground in the Battle Royale they could do a lot worse than keep their tandem rolling on into the fall.  Up against the Rybaxel they both seemed to get the support from the crowd that's been glaringly missing for them for most of 2014, and not only that but E proved to be a surprisingly adept Morton at taking abuse from both former members of the Heyman Guy club.  His alley-ooping Kofi into a plancha to wipe out the opposition was the high spot of the two-segger but the highlight was him making Ryback look like the land monster he is and making Axel's chop block/running knee combination look like a legitimate finish.  If they're going to be part of the wildly gargantuan midcard of the deepest roster in Stamford history, that and this partnership of convenience bolstering the tag division go together like Jameson and another shot of Jameson.

3) "When life gives you lemons, say fuck the lemons and bail."

If the hardest thing in the Reality Era is to make a heel that'll actually get jeered rather than respected for playing such a scumbag, then you need to remove the possibility of stripping away anything that can be a positive characteristic without completely neutering them as a threat.  Here in the common air of the undercard, especially on Main Event, all the antagonists succeeded at making sure they wouldn't draw shine in lieu of their opposition.  Rybaxel looks like a hybrid of an Abercrombie and Fitch ad and a frat party come to life, Cameron is a 6 and possibly a wrestling 3 who acts like a 10 and is a sore loser and coward to boot, and Miz did his best 1978 Memphis heel impersonation when he wasn't plugging seemingly the entirety of his non-wrestling C.V.  (More about this imminently.) There's something to be said - at least in doses - of heels avoiding comeuppance through sheer cowardice, as long as it eventually pays off.

2) Watching Miz cosplay Tyler Breeze the week before Comic-Con is sort of like making Katherine Heigl the new lead for Orphan Black.

Hollywood, don't get any ideas (or if you do, send the check to ButchCorp™, San Diego, CA).  Anyway, even without a two-segger to put on the board this show should've been subtitled C'mon, Just How Badly Do You Want To See Miz Get Punched In The Face? (The answer, of course, since he's lucky enough to be Mr. Maryse is All The Time Forever Across Every Single Parallel Universe In Addition To This One; they're just starting to fold it into his on-screen character now.)  It began with the "season premiere" of MizTV and his aping of LeBron's letter as he promised he was better than Cleveland forever and also that he'd be the one walking out as Intercontinental Champion yet again come Sunday etc. before Sheamus came out, gave him some repartee, and then came pretty close to Brogue Kicking him right in the apple of his eye.  However, by the time the hour was up, Miz had managed two important things that most Sheamus opponents couldn't say - his face had been both unpunched or Brogue Kicked.  Entrance-free he may've spent most of ten minutes fleeing the ring or cowering on it's edges; sure, he had to take the hardest body punches this side of the Big Show and he lost clean in the middle of the ring and everything but he held firm to his vain ideal and saw it all the way through.  And a gold star for the finish, in which Miz cowered rather than take the bike kick so Sheamus hesitated, shrugged, and rolled him up.  What a great way to get them both over, to add more craftiness to Sheamus' near-Cena level Finisher O'Doom and Miz's vainness rather than having the best announce team this side of Young Regality down Full Sail way say out loud "Miz is .4 seconds away from being nicknamed the Narcissist and Sheamus is adept at more than brawling and crafty to boot".  (TO BOOT!)

1) That said, the show-wide focus on the Intercontinental Championship was awesome. 

Main Event should be the place where the undercard gets built, and it went beyond putting the most beautiful title this side of the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship on a nice looking pedestal covered in fancy-looking fabric just adjacent to the announce table.   Saxton and Phillips brought it up for the majority of the show and every single time a man wrestled, to the point where Sheamus' impressive resume was partially listed only to be buttressed with "but he's never been Intercontinental Champion".  When Barrett got injured by White Savior Jack Swagger it not only sunk the momentum he'd been building since the night after WrestleMania, it dragged the belt's down with it.  This, however, is not a net loss.  It gives them a chance to retell a story with the belt and whoever wins it, since the most Occam's Razoresque feud with Barrett and Swagger is probably off of the table with the latter's alignment flip.  And for all the talk of the prestige that comes with holding that Championship at this point in WWE's narrative it's probably best served with frequent appearances and focus on this show and the other handful like it, letting some of the best wrestlers in the company be allowed to turn it up a little more than they necessarily need to on RAW.   The hard sell for seeing a new Champion crowned may've gotten a bit ubiquitous, but it needed to be; let's see this continue without a Special looming on the horizon and the push going towards building up a secondary title as a thing worth going out of your way to watch (especially in a title match) and for the roster to obtain.  There's no sense in having a past if you can't use it as a tool for betterment, and Sunday's the future and possibly a once and future Champion.  It's time for it.

About the only question left you Bolieve?