Friday, January 6, 2017

Year End Sorting Bins: I Guess So?

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The time has arrived for Sorting Bin Numbah Two, Begrudging Toleration, to be filled up. From this bin and the two directly following it, I will only blurb a handful of names, because I don't want to be here for the rest of my life blogging about why I like or dislike every wrestler in existence. Anyway, the Begrudging Toleration bin contains all the wrestlers I don't really actively root for, but that I don't necessarily have a problem with. Or they're people who inspire strong reactions in both directions. Or they're just there with flashes of good performance. Either way, I'm not too crazy about them, even if they can be really good at times.

Mauro Ranallo - No one really polarizes the Twitters like Ranallo, whom some are convinced is a bad announcer. He's not; his work in the Cruiserweight Classic is enough of an indicator that he's good at his job. However, it's not enough just to be good at your job. I'm teetering on the edge of my tolerance for Ranallo for a few reasons. The first is that he's found an even WORSE way to engage with JBL than Michael Cole did. He basically ignoring JBL's most trollworthy points, which sounds good in theory but the results are so dissonant. The last thing commentary should be is dissonant. The second is his ongoing war against "Twitter troglodytes." It would be one thing if he just kept it to Twitter, but his proclivity for blocking people has become a talking point on the show, for fuck's sake. Keep your shitty social media habits off my television screen, thank you very much.

Ethan Page - I've softened on Ol' All Ego, because he's got that Miz-esque quality of getting genuine heel heat. When you've got Drew Galloway and company running around EVOLVE trying to be bad guys but failing to get boos, it can be refreshing to hear someone mine the crowd for actual heat and succeed. Page still is barely passable as a wrestler, and I really hate the name-searching gimmick he runs on Twitter, but the dude should get a *little* credit. Not too much but a little.

Brock Lesnar - In his four matches in 2016, Brock Lesnar did the Royal Rumble, refused to get hit with a weapon in a hardcore match, legit concussed Randy Orton, and worked fewer than two minutes to put over a dude in his first match in a decade. It's safe to say the bloom is off the rose of his return to WWE here.

Randy Orton - Speaking of Orton, it's great to see him getting back into the groove of taking inordinate amounts of credit for doing minimal work in major angles. I didn't know standing around with the blankest look possible on his face was doing the bulk of the work in advancing his story with the Wyatt Family.

PJ Black - I thought leaving WWE would do him a world of good, but he continues to be the absolute, baseline, replacement level. I can't find myself to give a shit about him even though he's not technically bad either.

Kane - Y'know, if WWE spent half as much energy protecting him in 2003 when he was viable and spry as it does now, the ol' libertarian bastard might have been a more viable monster type for the company throughout his career. But hey, no one's bigger than the company, right? They must be cut down and made small until they're too old to be effective fulltime.

Michael Elgin - I've softened on #BigMike too, but I just can't get into him in the ring. But as a fellow dad, I relate to him a lot more now that he's had a kid.

Alberto del Rio and Paige - Look, their relationship is none of my business, and Paige is still really young, so the high school romance outbursts are maybe to be expected? I don't know. But the fact that everyone, myself included, was wowed by Paige when she first came up spoke the sorry state of WWE's presentation of women's wrestling, especially now that she's been thoroughly lapped by every one of her peers. And as many people on Twitter would remind you with annoyed tones, I basically forgot del Rio was working for WWE again after awhile, and it wasn't just because of the booking.

Jay Lethal - The epic-length boring title reign wasn't his fault, sure, but the fact that stepping into Ring of Honor and stripping himself of everything that made him engaging before he got there in the first place certainly is.

Kevin Condron - Who knew that such a great in-ring heel turned out to be a real life one too.

TM 61 - I want to like them more than I do, but they both feel so bland. Part of that is NXT's problem in giving name dudes something to hang their hats on other than HAWTEST FREE AGENT when they enter (same with Apollo Crews), but the best match they had since signing was one where Shane Thorne did a mega high spot WAY too early in the match and they got in effect smushed.

Austin Aries - All the luster Aries had with me is pretty much gone at this point, but he's not really actively terrible in the ring.

Noam Dar - He will grow and maybe become useful and entertaining in WWE, but when you're the worst performer in the Cruiserweight Classic, maybe you should do some soul-searching.

Roman Reigns - See here

Sin Cara - I'd write more about him here, but I'm afraid he might seek me out and kick my ass.

All-Nite Express
Amber O'Neal
Angelo Dawkins
Arik Cannon
Bad Luck Fale
Billy Gunn
BJ Whitmer
Bob Evans
Booker T
Bray Wyatt
Buddy Murphy
Bull James
Byron Saxton
Caleb Konley
Chuck O'Neal
Chris Dickinson
Cody Hall
Colt Cabana
Crummels and DeFarge
David Otunga
Dr. Wagner, Jr.
Erick Rowan
Gene Snitsky
Hirooki Goto
Ho Ho Lun
Jack Swagger
Jinder Mahal
Ken Broadway
Kobra Moon
Kona Reeves
Michael Cole
Mike Verna
Peter Kaasa
Ric Flair
Roderick Strong
Shining Stars
Team Sea Stars
The Ascension
The Briscoes
The Club
The Dudley Boys
Tomoaki Honma
Wade Barrett
Wesley Blake

Part 1: Unequivocal Hatred