I didn’t watch Raw last night, so I don’t have much to say on it this week.
Last week’s episode was ROUGH, and while I guess I’m happy for Lashley to “finally” get the big world title he always felt on the cusp of, I never really cared for the guy. He doesn’t do anything for me, and this feels like just a way to get Drew a world title win at WrestleMania in front of fans.
I did read a recap of last night, though! It looks like Alexa Bliss is still doing spooky stuff to Randy Orton! I still admire the patience WWE is showing with this angle–it’s been almost 4 months still Bray Wyatt was written off and he STILL hasn’t come back!–but it’s one of those things that doesn’t work for me in the modern era.
Back in the days of Wrestlers Who Had Part Time Jobs? Sure. Have a spooky voodoo man go up against the repo man or the alligator skinner or the race car driver. Why not? But nowadays, where most gimmicks are “I’m a wrestler!”… how does this work? How do Alexa and The Fiend casting spells on you exist in the same realm as, say, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, and Roman Reigns just throwing people around?
Let’s rate some wrestlers!
LOOK: 10 – I hesitated here because I could see Batista as a 9.5, and I give out a LOT of 10’s in look, but Evolution era Batista through early in his main event push, Dave was a MONSTER. He’s also crazy handsome. So yeah, a 10 works for him.
CHARISMA: 9 – Batista was naturally magnetic, but he was always well more than solid on a promo, too. He had a lot of tenacity when he spoke, was funny at other times, and could pull off being a heel or a face expertly.
RINGWORK: 6 – Dave was always decent, if unspectacular. I think he might be a bit underappreciated here because he’s probably had more good matches than bad.
THOUGHTS: 25/30 for Drax The Destroyer! It’s a shame he got into the game so [relatively] late in his life and had a shorter career than he otherwise could have, but man… kudos to him for turning it right around into a Hollywood career.
LOOK: 10 (I mean, come on now)
CHARISMA: 8 (shockingly good at times. His promos are more “pretty good” than amazing, but the dude has top-tier physical charisma, being able to get pops just from taking a look at a guy. One of my favorite bits was just him picking up Triple-H’s World Title and just LOOKING at it- you knew what he was thinking)
RINGWORK: 5 (MEH. I am hugely not a fan of what the WWE Main Event Style became during his rise to the top, so I never really enjoyed his style of match. The Batista Bomb, Spinebuster, etc. all looked good, but it was largely the “Main Event PunchanKick” stuff and that was death to me)
THOUGHTS: 23 (a very top-tier wrestler, who was gonna get a look with that body and that charisma anyhow)
LOOK: 2 – I mean… I guess he can be menacing looking at times? But he’s just a flabby dude who wrestled in a T-shirt and baggy pants. He makes modern Daniel Bryan look like a 8/10 in Look. And he had that weird flat-top like he was Spider-Man villain Hammerhead.
CHARISMA: 7.5 – Tommy had some really good intensity, even if some of his promos came across a bit dorky (but then, could ANYONE make “I’ll take them both; I’m HARDCORE” sound good?). He had tremendous passion for what he was doing out there, and he made his rivalries feel properly intense. Plus, there was always REAL sentiment hoping he’d get to be ECW champ.
RINGWORK: 5.5 – This is so hard to gauge. As far as the ECW “brawl around the arena until you fall off something tall” style goes, Tommy was a 10/10. He made that shit work. But it was one-dimensional, and he wasn’t out there pacing Eddie Guerrero or anything. He gets the plus side of average for his dedication to perfecting one match type.
THOUGHTS: 15/30 for Tommy feels low, and I genuinely LOVED the guy in ECW’s heyday. He was one of my very favorites. But he was clearly limited and got by with good storytelling and passion. And dude is STILL GOING TODAY at 50! He either loves what he does or has lots of bills.
LOOK: 3 (pppffffffffttttttttttt hahahahaha. Dude had a “I work out but cardio is HARD” physique. There’s a reason every flabby indie guy was a “Wear a t-shirt and jeans” fashion statement)
CHARISMA: 7 (cut some pretty good promos in his day, but was always left in the dust by Foley and Raven during his peak)
RINGWORK: 6 (adequate brawler and REALLY good seller, but I’d be shocked if he was ever in a singles match over ****)
THOUGHTS: 16 (one of wrestling’s greatest overachievers- to think, he’s STILL banking off of being “the big ECW Babyface”- smart booking from him & Heyman, and staying in his own lane as a talent- there’s no embarrassing incidences of him trying to be a technical wizard or a high flier- kept him far more relevant than he should have been)
LOOK: 8 – Ricky was in shape and was a good looking dude, but he wasn’t a monster or anything. He’s what a lot of us WANT to look like, which is great. Would I rather look like Ricky or Goldberg? Ricky! But Goldberg is a 10 in look because he’s a mammoth and is scary as hell. We’ll call it a Thumbs Up 8/10.
CHARISMA: 5 – He was… fine. Ricky was a very “actions speak louder than words” kind of guy. He didn’t need to rip you down on the mic because in the ring, he’d work circles around you. I’ll give him an average 5 for being such an inherently natural good guy.
RINGWORK: 10 – Rick has had as many classic matches as anyone this side of Bret Hart or HBK. Savage at Wrestlemania, all those Flair battles. Yeah, he’s a 10.
THOUGHTS: 23/30, which, the more I think about it, feels right. He was GREAT, but could be left behind overall by some legends.
LOOK: 8.5 (REALLY muscular, good-looking guy. A tad small, but looked him in, say, the NWA, and was never ridiculously outsized in the WWF)
CHARISMA: 6.5 (one of the supreme fired up babyfaces in the ring with great physical charisma, but he was always, ALWAYS left in the dust by his opponents on the mic. For all the respect he’s earned, every run with him on top was a box office failure)
RINGWORK: 10 (come on now. The dude could hang with ANYONE, and is probably wrestling’s greatest overseller- just flying and flopping around from the merest graze. A great carry-artist and has had ***** singles matches)
THOUGHTS: 25 (a top-tier wrestler, held back largely by his lack of promo ability)
That’s it for this week! As always, let us know what you’d score these folks. And let us know who you’d like to see us cover going forward!
Until next time… take care!