Monday, August 25, 2014

Dispatches from the Lake: ¡VIVA LA VACA!

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I missed Main Event this week, so I was not prepared for Hornswoggle in a cow costume. I have questions, but knowing WWE, I will never get answers. Superstars was looking slick this week. I hadn’t mentioned it, but I hated the opening for the show. While I was waiting for it to start, I was preparing this long diatribe on how the opening is the dumbest thing ever. The music kicks in, and what do I get? An opening that looks like it belongs to a proper show. Superstars was full of little tweaks like that this week. It’s like WWE is treating it like the show matters. (It still totally doesn’t) It’s like they’re listening!

First match of the evening was El Torito and La Vaca with Los Matadores vs. Slater Gator. Again, I was not prepared for Hornswoggle running through the capes. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t have a smile on my face when they all came down to the ring. The match lasted all of three minutes, with the livestock getting the win. Torito is super fun to watch wrestle. I really liked the sequence with Titus O’Neil. Torito clung to O’Neil’s wrist as the gigantic man tried to fling him across the ring, then forced him to tag in Slater after pummeling him with strikes to the face. As throwaway and ridiculous as this match could have been, Renee Young and Todd Philips sold it well on commentary. Slater and Hornswoggle have some history on Superstars, so them mentioning it was a happy surprise. Any continuity makes me super happy.

We revisited Slater Gator in the locker room later in the show, and while I’m still enjoying the dynamic between Slater and O’Neil, I’ve got that little voice in the back of my head asking where this is going. It’s entertaining, so who cares, but I’d like to see these two fight each other, have Slater win, then have O’Neil want to be a tag team with Slater rebuffing him in that special Slater way he has.

Second match of the night was Emma against Alicia Fox. This match never really pulled me in. I got distracted by a string of Simpsons quotes on Twitter and became momentarily obsessed with finding a very specific picture of Lisa for my profile photo because I’m a dork. It was kind of plodding and just meah. Fox’s freak out mid match seemed like she was doing for the sake of doing it. I haven’t seen her do it in a while, but it rang false to me. She got some solid offense in after it though. She hit Emma with a vicious kick to the chest after she got back into the ring. I thought that was it, but they kept going. Long ladies matches! Hurrah! Emma’s power up dancing was a highlight, and she ended up winning the match, to my shock and surprise, with a cross body.

The Sound and The Recaps

The RAW Recaps were very handy this week. I missed the show Monday due to air travel, I appreciated the abbreviated summary. They started out with Stephanie McMahon and the Bella Twins. For the record, I LOVED McMahon’s ring gear from SummerSlam. It was just perfect in every way. The only bad thing about this segment was Brie Bella’s fake crying. Everything else was solid. Nikki Bella threw that elbow with authority (see what I did there) and her promo, while a bit overblown, was solid. I think your blind grandmother could have seen the swerve coming, but I’m into these two feuding. And though I think the cheating angle is crazy stupid, but it keeps Daniel Bryan’s name in the mix while he’s out, so I can’t get too mad about it. Get well soon, D-Bry. We miss the shit out of you.

Next up, we saw the Authority presenting Brock Lesnar with the new title design. I think I might be in the minority, but I really liked the idea of a guy holding two titles. The visual was rad. I wasn’t about how John Cena wore them, but that’s my struggle. I know not everyone is about Paul Heyman’s promos these days, but this one was doing things for me. Sure, they can be a bit repetitive, but Heman saying ‘suplex repeat’ however many times was glorious.

Great as all this was, I still had that Twinge of Concern. What’s the Twinge? You know the Twinge. You’re feeling it too. Until the day after Night of Champions, I’ll still have it. Cena’s going to win at Night of Champions, says the Twinge, and the SummerSlam match will ultimately mean nothing. I hope WWE isn’t that stupid, but I still don’t have confidence in their booking. So, I’ll be living with the Twinge for the next month. Dear Flying Spaghetti Monster, I hope it’s wrong.

And then we come to Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose. Like most with working eyes, I’ve been loving this feud. Their match at SummerSlam was great. The whole end sequence with Ambrose looking crazy conflicted and telling Rollins just before the curb stomp that he loved him was beautiful. Rollins getting the win through nefarious means rocked. The match the next night was solid too, but I was not about how it ended. While I like the idea of using the cinder blocks for the curb stomp in theory, in practice it was kind of dumb. I needed a proper noise. Maybe if Rollins used a chair to hit Ambrose instead of the curb stomp? Either way, I’m looking forward to Ambrose charging back into the arena after he’s done filming his movie. I’m also irrationally excited to see his movie.

Random Thoughts

  • $9.99 signs? Really? REALLY?
  • Seriously, Brie Bella needs to work on her fake crying game. That was…not good.
  • Brock Lesnar can defeat any man? ENTER ÉOWYN.
  • Alicia Fox needed to get some pressure on that pin after the Northern Lights Suplex she hit Emma with. When Emma kicked out, Fox didn’t move at all. She was just bridging over Emma. It looked really dumb.
  • Rollins’ ice bucket challenge brought me great joy.
  • I loved the slicker presentation. They even showed the outside of the arena they were in, which is usually a Raw move. Keep doing this, and maybe throw an extra match in there, and Superstars will be an asset to the Network, instead of just being there.