Friday, December 19, 2014

Dispatches from the Lake: Superstars for the Sake of Superstars

Hey, this match looks like happened a few times in NXT before...
Photo Credit:
Question, isn’t Superstars a show that is exclusively wrestling for wrestling’s sake? Second question, how sick are you of people referencing the Vince McMahon Podcast? I’m just joking, but I had that thought as I watched last night. Sure, these are the dark matches for RAW, so there really isn’t any reason for these people to be sports entertaining other than to warm up the crowd. Hey, there IS a reason. Hurray! That said, I do miss the little back stage segments WWE was adding to the show that added a little flavor to the proceedings. It felt like they cared.

One thing that they were adding was a TON of crowd noise. Either Detroit was SUPER EXCITED for the dark matches, or WWE added ALL OF THE CROWD NOISE in post. It was so loud that it was actively distracting when the wrestlers made their entrances. While the other two people whom watch this show and I appreciate the effort, WWE, we know what we’re watching. There is no illusion of relevance to maintain here.

First match of the show was Summer Rae vs. Emma. Summer used to know how to wrestle, right? I wasn’t watching NXT regularly when she was on, so I only caught her a few times. But, from what I’ve read and remember of those few matches, she’s capable. So, what the hell happened? She’s been lost in a sea of uncaring management and distraction finishes. We didn’t have one tonight, which I was shocked by. I’ve just started assuming that every women’s match I watch in the WWE will end up in a distraction roll up. No, after a few minutes of Summer flipping her hair, begging off, and whimpering in the corner (she must have gotten SOME offense in, but I watched the match twice and still can’t remember anything of note), Emma hit all her eponymous moves and won via submission with the Emma Lock.

I said a while ago in one of these columns that you have to be pleased with the state of women's wrestling in the WWE, and I still stand by that, but matches like this make me wonder what I was smoking at the time. How about taking out one of those pointless commercials for Stephanie McMahon's work out tapes and let these two go for a while longer? If you make women's wrestling seem like an important part of the show, the fans will follow. In fact, just watch NXT. They seem to know what they're doing with it down there.

Second match was a tag team between the hastily-thrown-together-guys-we-don’t-know-what-to-do-with du jour, Cesaro and Tyson Kidd against Los Matadores who were accompanied to the ring by El Torito. While I’m sad to see Cesaro in a tag team again, I really dug the energy between him and Kidd. They work well together, despite only being a team for what, like a week? Los Matadores were nothing to sneeze at either. They looked like they were having a blast. All four of these guys treated their match like it was the main event, and I loved them for it. They managed to work in some comedy bits with Torito at the beginning of the match that didn’t make me want to kill myself. Kidd and Cesaro really heeled it up for the crowd, mocking the Matadores ‘Ole’ cheer throughout. They eventually got the pin off their blockbuster-assisted power bomb, which needs a cat themed name immediately. I’d definitely check out this match. It was a refreshing pairing that didn’t just go through the motions, like so many other of Superstars’ matches do.

So if this is where Cesaro must toil until he deciphers what Vince McMahon’s mysterious ‘IT’ is, I’m cool with that. But if we let him do something amazing at WrestleMania again, let’s not waste that next year, kay?

Slaughterhouse RAW

  • Chris Jericho needs to drive his tour bus off a steep, high cliff. Seriously. Between his baby talk insults, his disgusting disrespect towards Lana, and his threats to non-wrestler and middle aged guy, Paul Heyman, I need him to go away for a hot minute. I’m having a hard time remembering why I like him with each subsequent appearance.
  • Thank the flying spaghetti monster for Brock Lesnar, defender of friendship and slayer of douchebags. If you shout his name, does he appear, or do you need some sort of talisman to summon him?
  • I’m very secure in my decision to play Final Fantasy Tactics instead of devoting my full attention to RAW. Even the recap of the opening segment when on forever. Cookie, my ninja, was in desperate need of leveling up. We were storming Limberry Castle, after all.
  • Shut the commentators microphones off while the wrestlers are delivering a promo in the ring. This isn’t out of respect or anything. I just need to not hear Cole and Lawler chortling loudly at everything your Jerichos and Cenas of the world say.
  • Heyman’s facial expressions are my Quickening.
  • And because we won’t be speaking to each other before, no matter what you celebrate, the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s Feast of the Seven Pastas, Festivus, or Atheist Gift Giving Day, I hope it finds you well sauced and in good spirits! Happy Holidays from the Lake!!!