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In Which Triple H Becomes Shooter McGavin
October 5, 2013

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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As with anyone else who has discerning tastes in media goes, I too am saddened by thoroughly satisfied by the ending of Breaking Bad. I'm with Rick that it was the most satisfying TV finale ever... at least, as far back as I can remember for all the shows I've seen. I haven't yet caught the finale of Futurama, which I heard was damn good as well, but I highly doubt that series could hold a candle to the perfection of Breaking Bad. All the stories wrapped up nicely, and just about everyone got what they deserved.
For me, I haven't been on Walt's side for a couple seasons now; I totally get where Rick is coming from where he said he tried to keep Walt in the “anti-hero” classification for pretty much everything up until these last eight episodes, but I thought Walt basically went from “morally gray to survive” to “dangerous asshole” the instant he yelled at some random douche in a Home Depot parking lot for slinging plain meth.

(That was, what, Season 3? It's been a while.) Walt had many flashes of humanity and decency, so I never thought he was completely gone, even through these last episodes when he baby-jacked his own wife. It was an awful thing to do, but during his phone call with her that episode, you could tell he didn't really want to go that route. He had become desperate, did something stupid, and regretted it... not that it erases the sin, but at least he realized his error. He still had, and probably never lost, his humanity.

Still, maintaining a shred of your humanity doesn't make you an anti-hero: it just means you're not a total, complete scumbag. But Walt crossed the line once he started donning the hat for shits and giggles, and his self-justification (“I'm doing this for my family!”) was him simply lying to himself. Maybe he believed his own self-lie for a while, but again: that doesn't make him an anti-hero, it makes him a jerk. [Ed. Note: the way I looked at it, "anti-hero" applied so long as Walt was the lesser of two evils, and the guy you'd prefer to see "win." It's the Tucos and the Gusses and the Mexican Wonder Twins and the Don Eladios who are the undisputed scumbags. But when Walt's opponents are no longer scum -- he's at odds with Jesse, Mike, his family, and of course, Hank -- it becomes a whole other ballgame.]

All I know is, through the many shows and movies I've watched over my super-long three decades (and one year) of existence, Breaking Bad is one of the few I even want to have a discussion about. Most shows don't warrant much discussion, at least none that I'm interested in; I love Star Trek but no amount of alcohol will get me to discuss the intricacies of warp cores with anyone beyond “It's plot-relevant.” But Breaking Bad... man, I could talk about it all day.

Fortunately, Rick doesn't pay me to talk about Breaking Bad. He pays me (in free advertising) to talk about wrestling! Let's roll...

Opening: I was about to potentially overshare about what I find attractive in a woman, and it was too much, even around here, where I've bluntly said before that I'd like my face to be the ring apron during Melina's entrance.

Suffice to say: I always thought Brie was the hotter Bella, and especially after Nikki's enhancements, it's never been truer. Daniel Bryan is one lucky (possibly charming) bastard.

Segment 1: Big Show hits the ring, then immediately throws it to a montage of the actions he so totally aren't proud of but has had to do. It goes too long, and then Show starts trying to “relate” to us since he's scared of being fired, and how we're all like that because we've held shitty jobs before that we don't want to fired from. Sure, big man... but the difference is that we haven't made millions of dollars in a company and, oh yeah, if you're broke and fired, you can just go to TNA, ROH, or any of the other wrestling companies that exist, since getting tossed from WWE is hardly a death sentence.

Anyway, Show keeps pleading his case. No one's buying it, and it's boring as hell. Show concludes that his act of almost getting frustrated at Triple H on Monday has led to a 1-on-3 handicap match against The Shield. And he'll totally be able to beat the piss out of all of them, since he's super-frustrated.

Show seems to be done, but Triple H pops out onto the stage to offer his own views. Trips says that any problems that Show is having, from his financial problems to his frustration with the company, are on him, not Trips, so Trips so totally doesn't know why Show is out here whining. And just because this whole storyline isn't stupid enough yet, Trips announces that Show won't have to worry about paying the bank back to fulfill his mortgage, because Trips bought the mortgage, and now Show has to pay him.

Uh... mortgages don't work like that, right? I mean, I'm no home owner, but I'm pretty sure some random douchebag can't purchase someone's mortgage out from under the bank, since otherwise you'd wind up with people owning entire towns just by buying everything from a single bank.

Regardless, this bullshit goes on a bit longer, and Trips announces that Randy Orton gets added to The Shield's team for the main event. And then Trips a stupid insincere line as he says that he totally owns Show's house now, and he leaves. That's it, no music.

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Rob Van Dam (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) defeats Fandango (w/ Summer Rae) by disqualification. Match was about 45 seconds, then commercials, then 45 more seconds before Summer pulled RVD's foot when he hopped up to the top rope for presumably a Five-Star Frog Splash. Summer had the perfect “Whatevs” face expression, proving she is a valley girl and has no time for entire words.

Post-Segment 2: After the match, Fandango didn't care about the L since he just wants to soften him up for their match on Sunday, so he just beat the shit out of RVD. But then Fandango started looking under the ring for foreign objects, but he couldn't find any, giving RVD time to recover. RVD concluded with a coast-to-coast Van Terminator (with an assist from Ricardo, who was holding a trash can next to Fandango's face).

The weird thing here is, if Summer had no qualms about pulling RVD's foot and causing a DQ for a Five-Star Frog Splash, why the hell would she allow RVD to do the Van Terminator? It's not like Ricardo (or anyone) was in her way, and RVD even jumped from the turnbuckle nearest to her. Maybe that blond hair finally got to her brain, because blond jokes are so totally never not funny even in 2013.

Pre-Segment 3: They had a weird edit for R-Truth's entrance. Truth seemed pretty jacked up during his entrance and missed half a verse, and then Cole so totally wanted to talk about Monday... by himself, where they cut to highlights without live sound. Once they got back (within the same sentence from Cole), suddenly Ryback was already in the ring and his music was fading.

So my guess would be that Truth totally screwed up his song, so they just did a little editing so Truth and Ryback were magically in position afterward with nary a scrambled lyric to be found. Props to WWE for, this time, making sure the Cole in post-production sounded the same as the Cole who was live.

Segment 3 [Singles Match]: Ryback (w/ Paul Heyman & Curtis Axel) reverse-squashes R-Truth by pin. I smiled when I read Rick's recap and he used my “reverse-squash” term. Sadly, I don't know if Rick used it “correctly” since that particular match had been cut from the Hulu version of RAW, but I figure he did.

Regardless, this was a reverse-squash too: Ryback took damage for about 15 seconds, bailed like a chickenshit, came back in and kicked Truth's ass within a minute. Shell Shock, done.

After the match, Curtis Axel got in the ring and punched Truth... or kicked him, I don't know. I stopped paying attention. Truth sold it with his eyes rolled up in his head like he was practicing his Undertaker impression, which just turned a moment that was supposed to be intense into slapstick.

Segment 4: Renee Young interviews Alberto Del Rio in the back, and he talks shit about Rob Van Dam. Whatever.

Renee asks if ADR is afraid Dolph Ziggler will slow ADR's momentum tonight, since they face each other. ADR doesn't get much of a chance to answer as a stagehand appears and hands ADR the trash can that was used earlier in the Van Terminator against Fandango. The stagehand says that RVD gave it as a “present,” then hauls ass before ADR can use it on him.

Good call. ADR stares at it for a while like he can't fathom what a trash can is, and finally he just slams it into the floor with rage as he storms off. Renee, once again proving to be the best interviewer WWE has ever had, hits the perfect face expression to convey annoyance rather than fear or any other bullshit over-sold emotion. She was probably more upset that he made noise rather than reacting to his anger.

All right, I think I want to marry Renee Young. I don't think she'd mind, would she?

Pre-Segment 5: ADR hits the ring for his match. I wouldn't normally mention the cut scene stuff, but after ADR gets there, they show a montage of “RVD's Extreme Top Ten,” a YouTube video on WWE's official channel of his various insane spots from WWE and ECW. It's key because they played that in the arena, and when we cut back, ADR is clearly concerned after viewing it. Subtle, and good for character-building.

Also, Damien Sandow is on commentary for this. I'm sure this'll be fun.

Segment 5 [Singles Match]: Alberto Del Rio defeats Dolph Ziggler by submission. Sandow hits the best line of the night so far (though I doubt it will be topped) as he makes the case for cashing in his contract after the Hardcore Match between ADR and RVD at Battleground...

DS: “I'm going to cash in the contract the noble way.”

MC: “So the 'noble' way is to cash it in after both men are beaten to a pulp after a hardcore match?”

DS: “Michael, I'm leaving nobility to my own discretion.”

I'm totally going to use that at work. Also, in regards to Dolph's choice of catchphrases, Sandow “has eaten Alphabet Soup and regurgitated better tag lines.” Ha! Also, gross.

As far as the match goes, it was good I suppose, but I just wasn't feeling it. It probably doesn't help that I find ADR boring as hell as a heel, and even with Dolph being his usually spazzy self, it just couldn't hold my attention. Maybe it was because the match was a forgone conclusion? Regardless, Sandow's blathering was the only part worth paying attention too. Just... meh.

Segment 6: Apparently WWE enjoys actively annoying me, because they're showing another goddamn vignette for the Los Matadores.

Also, I haven't brought it up before, but: doesn't “Los” mean “the”? So wouldn't “The Los Matadores” be redundant? Or have they simply been called “Los Matadores” this whole time and I haven't been paying attention? Man, I should get some Adderall when I do these recaps.

Pre-Segment 7: Apparently Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal talked to Renee Young before the night started, and they asked for this rematch against Los Matadores because they were totally distracted by the bull midget, but now they're ready for him. They asked Renee if she had a rope so they could deal with him. She said no, and looked at them exactly the same way my high school cheerleaders looked at me when I started talking about hit dice and that there damn sure can be an exciting way to play a True Neutral character.

Another Pre-Segment 7: I get to experience the Los Matadores entrance, which was cut from Hulu's version of RAW. And... ugh. Just, ugh. Their entrance music is pretty rocking though.

Segment 7 [Tag Match]: Los Matadores (w/ El Torito) extend-squashes Jinder Mahal & Heath Slater by pin. Now I just need to get Rick to use “extend-squash,” and my takeover of OO will be one step closer to fruition. (First special column: comparing and contrasting Rosa Mendes and Melina courtesy of 6,000 pictures.)

Let's not pretend this match was anything more than what it was: Los Matadores beating the hell out of a throwaway jobber team. Where the hell was Drew McIntyre, though? Not that it mattered: after a brief heel flurry in the middle of the three-minute match, there was never any question who would win this.

Still, I'm not belittling Epico and Primo, or whatever they want to call themselves, since they do work great as a tag team. They're flashy without being overly so, and their teamwork is silky smooth. I'm glad they're back in the spotlight, though I question what trajectory they're on given the lack of heel tag teams on the roster.

Segment 8: Renee is back at it as she interviews Paul Heyman, Curtis Axel, and Ryback. Of note, she once again wields subtlety like an Arcane Archer wields a bow, because she changes her inflection just a bit as she pronounces Heyman's name, demonstrating distaste (but not necessarily discomfort) at having to share breathing space with the man who's gone out of his way to be a jerk to her.

Anyway, Heyman talks shit to both Truth and CM Punk, to no one's surprise. It's nothing noteworthy.

Segment 9: WWE wants you to neck-punch breast cancer.

Segment 10 [Singles Match]: Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella) defeats Aksana by pin. Aksana cut her hair. Sad face. At least she's sticking with that sultry ring attire.

Overly time-compressed as most divas matches are nowadays, but this one was surprisingly not bad. I don't mean to be flippant, but only someone way too much up their own ass can't admit that when Brie Bella and/or Aksana has been in a match for the past year, it's been a token appearance at best. Their timing was a little shoddy, but the match told a (very short) story. Hey, here's a crazy idea: how about giving each woman a full five- to ten-minute match more than once a freaking year? And not just because they happen to be marrying one of the guys scheduled in a main event?

Aksana basically had the early offense, but when she got Brie down, Aksana distracted herself by doing her cat-crawling and “Woo!” thing, as if she temporarily forgot she was in a wrestling match and just downed her fifth shot of tequila. That gave Brie a chance to get in some shots, ultimately ending with a jumping facebuster off the bottom rope.

Post-Segment 11: AJ and Tamina “Lady Diesel” Snuka pop out of the back as the Bellas celebrate. AJ says in a sing-song voice that she's going to do to Brie what Orton did to Daniel Bryan last week. AJ then tries to make a joke about how Brie and DB will have super-ugly babies, but it... well, it was just awful. Even the fans didn't react: no boos, no cheers, just silence followed by AJ's music. Ouch.

Ah well. We get the point: they hate each other. Let's see who wins at Battleground!

Segment 12 [Singles Match]: Kofi Kingston reverse-squashes Big E. Langston by pin. Was this match even 45 seconds long? Seriously, it would take me more time to write about it than it would be for you to just watch the damn thing, Google searching time included.

Post-Segment 12: Kofi got a flash pin and stumbled out of the ring, and as he did so, the screen freaked out due to Sister Abigail (or somebody) possessing the production truck. They're here.

Bray Wyatt pops out from the back, and we see Kofi standing at the top of the ramp in a fighting pose. But then a spotlight pops on behind Kofi, and we see Luke Harper and Eric Rowan standing behind him. Bray says some weird shit about that at Battleground “the first will fall.” Laughter, follow the buzzards, and... we're out to ads?

Huh. That was certainly weird. Perfectly within character though. I bet the WWE app showed Kofi getting destroyed or something. [

Cut Scene: Apparently during commercial, Kofi was fine, but Vickie Guerrero made a match between them for Battleground. No surprise there.

Segment 13: RAW recap concerning the Rhodeses. Rhodes'. Rhodii. Something like that.

Segment 14 [1-on-4 Handicap Tag Match]: Big Show probably defeats Randy Orton & The Shield by disqualification. Decent match, nothing special. Show had most of the offense in a reverse-formula type dealie, but eventually the heels got bored playing fair and just beat the piss out of Show together. The ref tried to get some sort of control, but when Dean Ambrose brought in a chair, he called for the bell and bailed. Of note: Show punched the chair into Ambrose's face, so you could make the argument that it was Show who got disqualified. But probably not.

Post-Segment 14: Thanks to some triple- and quadruple-teaming, Show ate a Spear and an RKO. Then Orton decided to try to Pillmanize Show's neck.

The fans were chanting for Daniel Bryan, but it was the Usos who showed up first and took down Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. Orton tried to Pillmanize Show again, but DB showed up and peeled him off. Ambrose stopped that, giving Orton a chance to bail, but Ambrose ate DB's Sagat Tiger Flying Knee for his troubles.

Final Thoughts: Not one of SmackDown's best nights. Stories advanced, but nothing significantly, and certainly nothing you need to watch. I'd pass on it, unless the Dolph/ADR match was better than I gave it credit for. [Ed. Note: it was. Those two had an extended post-WM feud, including 2 PPV matches, and this was their best one, yet.] Certainly wouldn't be the first time.

I've said everything that needed to be said, so I'm going to call it a night, weeping softly into my BR and BA pillows as I simultaneously curse and cheer Vince Gilligan's name. Seriously, I like Stephen Colbert's idea: let's just lock Gilligan in a room so he can type up another 187 years' worth of episodes, and then everything will work out for literally everyone on the planet forever.

Episode Grade: C-... bitch.


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PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
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RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




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