Hey, there was no spoopy activity on Raw last night! No Alexa. No furthering of The Fiend’s absence. Just wrestling and a lot of memes about Nia Jax’s hole.
Matt Riddle and Keith Lee had a swell little match to set up a Triple Threat at the next PPV for Lashley’s US Title, and GOD, someone needs to get that belt off of Lashley and actually start defending it. Not that the US Title has been prestigious in years, but it feels even more like a prop on Bobby than ever.
And this Sheamus storyline? It’s the most damning indictment of WWE storytelling in ages. Even Drew pointed out how dumb it was: “if he wanted a title shot, all he had to do was ask”. There is NO realistic impetus for Sheamus to betray his lifelong friend. It was just the easiest dot to connect to get WWE where they wanted to go for a stop-gap feud. Time was, they would build stories like this and we’d see Sheamus have a reason to turn, or we would see his jealousy grow as fair play was unable to help him unseat Drew. Now… he just turns because plots are hard.
He goes from “I found you these family heirlooms, best friend” to “I WANT A TITLE SHOT AND I HATE YOU” with no stop whatsoever in-between.
Let’s rate some wrestlers, this is depressing me.
LOOK: 5 – Madusa was a perfectly fine women’s wrestler as far as appearance goes. She was in decent shape and was buyable as a talent, but she wasn’t memorable in any way. I’d put her as the exact mean here.
CHARISMA: 4 – I mean, aside from chucking the belt in the bin on Nitro, I can’t remember anything she ever did. And even that was more about WHAT happened than how she did it.
RINGWORK: 7 – She had some good matches as Alundra Blayze, properly anchoring a division that not enough people cared about. Her prime was in the exact wrong era because I’d like to see what she could do in a time where women’s wrestling gets the proper attention. I don’t remember much of any of her work from her time as Madusa, but that’s probably more WCW’s fault than hers.
THOUGHTS: 16/30 – Jab and Wyntyr are higher than Blayze than I am. I think she was fine, but had decent potential if she had a better era to show herself. But I can only grade her based on what I did see.
LOOK: 8 (I mean, she’s super-tall for a woman, and had a strong-looking physique. A pretty good “Main Event” look for a female wrestler)
CHARISMA: 6.5 (she’s a hoot in Japan, where she turns into a raving, screaming heel- “I’m the director… of PROCOTOLOGAYYYYYYYYYYY!”- but otherwise seems like any generic wrestler)
RINGWORK: 6 (pretty solid with a GREAT German Suplex, but she’s very basic and has to be carried to anything really good. Has good chemistry with Bull Nakano, but Bull is otherworldly)
THOUGHTS: 20.5 (not bad- ideal for a Women’s Wrestling Champ in the 1990s, but wouldn’t hold as much of a candle to today’s stars)
LOOK: 7. She was in good enough shape and combined with her charisma was scary enough that she definitely came across as believable in her role as a spoiler as a valet
CHARISMA: 6. Scary. Scary. Scary.
RINGWORK: 6. Basically a brawler with a slightly expanded moveset that she could bust out when she was properly motivated
THOUGHTS: 19. I always enjoyed her more when she was beating up dudes than when she was beating up women. She and Rude were great absolutely great together
DAVEY BOY SMITH
LOOK: 8 – Davey was BUILT, but he always seemed a bit squat to me. He never seemed like a proper giant; just a jacked regular-sized dude. He was most memorable with the braids; once he buzzed his head, he was much more “just a guy”. But a his peak, around SummerSlam 1992, he was a guy with a very good appearance.
CHARISMA: 4 – He wasn’t stumblingly bad or anything. But he also wasn’t there to give great speeches about what he was going to do to you; he was just there to do it to you. Owen, Bret, Cornette, and Dynamite were all better mouthpieces for Smith.
RINGWORK: 7 – Davey was one of those eminently carryable guys who could have a predictably good or bad match based on who he was in there with. I think Bret Hart historically WILDLY overstates his own role in dragging Davey to their epic encounter at SummerSlam, but that’s typical “everyone is dumb and bad but me” Bret Hart. Davey excelled in the tag ranks.
THOUGHTS: 19/30 – This actually feels… no, 19 seems okay for Davey. He was never going to be the face of the company, but as a higher-end tag guy or upper-midcard player, he worked perfectly well. He honestly had about the perfect role for his talents. He could be short-term built up as a main event challenger, but he was never going to stay in that spot.
LOOK: 9.5 (Davey-Boy REALLY liked steroids, and they built him one of the best bodies in wrestling- he had that bloated tummy that a lot of guys develop, but his strength looked off the charts)
CHARISMA: 5 (Bulldog was only ever passable on the mic. Arguably his biggest catchphrase is randomly going “Cuz I’m BIZARRE!” at the Royal Rumble)
RINGWORK: 8 (Davey-Boy is a frustrating wrestler to watch, because he’s had two or three ***** solo matches in his life, but he never comes close to that with lesser wrestlers than himself- he’s like a 10/10 wrestling a Hart, but otherwise is much worse. He just can’t lead guys through matches. Good speed, skill and power wrestling, though)
THOUGHTS: 22.5 (A good sub-main eventer- there’s a reason he was always a disaster when he was the top heel, but he was a great “Filler” guy who rarely had bad matches)
LOOK: 9. Fantastic build, but surprisingly short.
CHARISMA: 4. Matilda bumps him up to a 7
RINGWORK: 8. Like Jabroniville said, Davey had *all* the talent anyone could hope for, but somehow in singles he just couldn’t make it happen. Against a skilled mat general he could pull off 4 star matches all day, but put him against a Luger, Warlord, or an absolute piece of shit like Nash and things get real bad real quick
THOUGHTS: 21. One of the better tag team wrestlers of all time, and a serviceable singles guy. 21 is actually higher than I thought he would get
LOOK: 5.5 – I can’t realistically put him any higher than I did Bret or Shawn, though I am starting to regret not giving all of them a 6 here. Eddie was small, but he had such an expressive face. He also was stacked in his prime WWE years, allowing him to keep his speed but also making him believably powerful.
CHARISMA: 9.5 – Eddie was immensely entertaining once he went heel in WCW and was allowed to start showcasing his talents. Some of his early promo work was stunted, but he worked on it and became a pro. That’s a remarkable sign, honestly, that he wasn’t NATURALLY gifted as a speaker, but he made himself into a legendary one through sheer force of will.
RINGWORK: 10 – He wasn’t a naturally gifted talker, but he WAS a born wrestler. Eddie is in the Bret/Shawn/Bryan category of guys who just inherently understood what wrestling is.
THOUGHTS: 25/30, wow. And that is with his look being possibly slightly low-balled. Eddie should have been a central-focus talent for much longer than he was, but he had his own demons to blame for that. Thankfully he eventually climbed the mountain and spent some time at the top.
LOOK: 5.5 (Eddie was puny but was roided to the gills and looked strong)
CHARISMA: 9 (Eddie was so great he could get the stupidest angles in history over. He acted like a slimy heel, but was CHEERED for it he was so delighted with it)
RINGWORK: 10 (Because of various circumstances, Eddie never hit the ***** totals that his top-tier contemporaries did- he got injured too fast, and his life was a mess. But at his peak he was as good as anybody- had the speed, skill and power moves, and could work multiple styles)
THOUGHTS: 24.5 (one of the best ever at his size)
LOOK: 7.5. When he was juiced up like Tropicana, he looked crazy scary. Incredible vascularity, great size, but definitely skipped leg day
CHARISMA: 9. Eddie might be one of the most lovable wrestlers of all time, even as a heel. Who wouldn’t love that smile?
RINGWORK: 10. Another one of those guys that could work any style at any given time. Eddie was just… perfect.
THOUGHTS: Such a sad ending to a beautiful career. Eddie rarely reached the heights he was destined for because of his demons, but he’s still one of the greats. And thank God for Vickie Guerrero