Thursday, July 3, 2014

Best Coast Bias: Where The Secondary Is Primary

The once and future Intercontinental Champion?
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With Mr. Barrett getting some real life Bad News of his own, his Championship is suddenly up for grabs in a battle royale come Battleground.  And just to reacquaint everybody with some of the participants, a chunk of them kicked off the show. When the show was off, it was the Show Off himself who had the crowning moment via pinning an injured (?) Cesaro to take the win for his trios squad with Rob van Dam and Big E Langston against the former and current Heymanites.

It was interesting seeing him in the same ring with RVD at the show's opening Mouse Trapesque segment that piled participants up until you could see the clear team demarcations that'd make up the final chunk of the show.  van Dam was popular, but it was familiar popular.  Of course it was; what else could it be?  The Newarkians were happy to see him, but it was more of an excuse to point thumbs at themselves and chant ECW than for anything in the present or ostensibly his future.  Ziggler's popularity comes from a different place, a place of hope if there was such a thumbtack to put in the map of audience emotion.  Even with his two World Championships, there hasn't been the sense that Ziggler's been on an elite level.  Alongside the ridiculous depth of the roster, his own propensity both in reality and in the Reality Era to get on the bad side of the people cashing his checks, and bad injury luck, the Show Off's been swimming uphill for the past couple of years.

But now, after weeks and weeks of popular groundswell you get the sense as you might have at Money in the Bank that if anyone on the white-hatted side of the ledger was going to use recent losses due to injury to elevate a level and get lodged in there for certain that DZ would be That Dude.  When Alberto del Rio challenges Sheamus for the US Championship on the 'Murica Fuck Yeah edition of Smackdown Friday and proposes it as a steppingstone that'll lead to him unifying the secondary titles after winning the Battle Royal at the next Network Special, it's C.K. level comedy.  del Rio needs to be within kicking range of Sheamus the same way Paula Patton needs to be around Robin Thicke.  Yet when Ziggler talks about working hard, and all the things he's achieved while paling in comparison to what he still wants to get done it shines with the ring of truth.

One of the fun side benefits of WWE really honing a six-man tag match over the course of the decade is both subtle and unsubtle.  For the case of the latter, it takes up a bigger space of time in a machine with sharp teeth that eats up minutes on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis in a way that almost defies logic.  In regards to the former?  Somehow the legal man almost always beats the other legal man. Longtime fans know this wasn't always the case, and it was a constant hangnail in the finger of disbelief you have to take on in these circumstances.  Here in the main event, the notes leading to the writeup end this way: Axel makes the save but gets the belly to belly from Big E who gets dumped by Ryback who falls outside of the ring after getting kicked by RVD who gets shoved off the top rope into everybody already on the floor by Cesaro who gets Zig Zagged.  Watching a falling dominoes series like that turn into a perfectly realized pattern where every link in the chain rings true puts a little extra bonus behind something that was already good to begin with.

With the Intercontinental picture coming into clearer focus and taking up the bulk of the room and the plates at the dinner table, we spare a quick moment for the slight further dissolution of the Funkadactyls going the way of their former charges despite the fact they won their tag match.  Of course, when Stephanie McMahon actually pops up on the show to be a further thorn in Nikki Bella's side by giving her Alicia Fox as a tag team partner; well, handicap matches generally go to the 2 instead of the 1 outside of the Cena Exemption. It's hard to say what was more funny, Faux Babyface Alicia pulling off a Flair at Fall Brawl or the crowd eating it up and chanting for Nikki so she could crawl to the corner and get nothing but air as Alicia pulled her hand back before kicking her in the face and allowing Cameron to get the win (yes, Cameron won the match - no, the world isn't over...yet).  Oh, it wasn't "Alberto del Rio swuh-hares he's going to be the Intercontinental States Champion come SummerSlam" funny, but it was highly amusing nevertheless.  Almost as amusing as the team of Truth and Consequences Negro Voltron Rusev Victims Truth in the Woods get so throughly dominated by the non-Bray members of the Family that not only did they not get an entrance but the swamp people cult got a tweaked and beautiful one sans video but with a myriad of white lights against an all-blacked out Tron (a la the thousand blue points of light the NXT alumni have been getting since WM) before they laid them out and Rowan got the win with a weird bearhug/Side Effect combo platter.

Still, this show belonged to Ziggler the way the first of da month used to belong to Bone Thugz.  Whether or not he reregains the IC strap is something that'll run you $10/mo, but at least he's trending in a positive direction.