No one demanded this.

I’m here to show the world, I’m here to show the world
I’m here to frigging suck, I’m here to frigging suck

The very first thing that happens is that Dolph Ziggler’s music hits and right away, my day is ruined.

Dolph comes out wearing a suit jacket, shirt and tie, with ACID WASHED GRAY SKINNY JEANS not to mention MOTHERF*CKING CONVERSE ALL STARS.

Ziggler's terrible outfit

He looks like he’s cosplaying as the wanna-be cool philosophy professor at the local community college.

Tom Phillips, who is just generally a horrible person for getting Rich Brennan fired (#Milhouse4Life) says that Dolph did guest commentary on one match at each of the last two episodes, and “due to popular demand, he’s going to join us for the whole show today.”  First of all, Tom Phillips is a dirty filthy liar, nobody demanded that, and if they did, and you, reading this, if you are one of those people, you’re horrible, and I hate you.

Even if you’re a fan of Dolph’s work in the ring, and I usually am, he’s objectively the dirt worst as a character, a babyface who gets away with the most heelish shit imaginable, and I hope that eventually Baron Corbin End of Dayses him through the floor all the way to China.

Also, his commentary is worse than cholera.

For one, he INSISTS on calling Tom Phillips “T.P.” which is as douchey as a literal box of Summer’s Eve. When you get that “not-so-fresh feeling,” use Dolph Ziggler. With natural ingredients like Vinegar & Water or Baking Soda, Dolph Ziggler is the brand of douche that more doctors recommend.

Secondly, when he gets excited, his voice gets all high pitched and screechy.  He sounds like Vickie Guerrero. I guess that wouldn’t be so bad in small doses, except he won’t shut up. He’s basically doing play by play.  Tom Phillips barely gets a word in edgewise, which … I guess … is actually a mark in Dolph’s favor.

Eh. We’ll call it a draw.

Stop calling it a Brogue-y Boot. Stop it.

Zack Ryder comes down to the ring and he actually has NEW ERA written in Zack Ryder font on the crotch of his trunks.

Zack Ryder

I’m calling it. The New Era is done. When wrestlers in their 30s who have been with the company for almost a decade start putting your marketing phrase about a “New Era” on their crotches, it’s done.

Zack Ryder Crotch

Was fun while it lasted.

Sheamus comes out, and I have a question:  This can’t be healthy, can it?

Sheamus Radioactive

To be bombarded with enough UV rays to bleach a beaver’s teeth from 100 yards away? That can’t be good for you, can it?

Tom Phillips congratulates Sheamus on his movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows. No word yet on if he’ll return for Turtles 3: Out of Original Ideas.

*Rimshot*

Anyway, prior to the match beginning, Ziggler and Jerry Lawler make jokes about ViewMasters, Disco and Beta Max.  I am not kidding. They probably made several other timely references, perhaps about Pet Rocks and Cabbage Patch Kids and Milli Vanilli but I couldn’t hear them over the sound of my own retching.

The match is a good one, and Zack acquits himself well, considering that he wrestles lower-mid-card heels every week on Main Event and I’m pretty sure the only man he’s beaten in two months is the little guy from The Ascension. It’s back and forth, Sheamus using brute force and Ryder giving up his body to get some offense in, like a missile dropkick off the apron to the outside. But the last two minutes of the match is where business starts to pick up. Sheamus baits Ryder into attempting a Broski Boot only to pop up into a wicked lariat, then picks up Ryder and goes for a vertical suplex, but Ryder continues through and lands on his feet to hit the ol’ Rude Awakening neckbreaker.

Ryder's Rude Awakening

Ziggler, begrudgingly to his credit, calls the move correctly, but Tom Phillips, who is just awful and shouldn’t have a job, says “What did you call that Neckbreaker?”

*headdesk*

Zack hits two back to back Broski Boots and an El-bro drop, but that flurry only leads to a two count.  A few well timed reversals later, Zack counters the Cloverleaf into a small package that Sheamus kicks out of, and before Ryder can get his bearings, BROGUE KICK.

Brogue Kick

Jerry Lawler thinks he’s being clever, combines Broski Boot with Brogue Kick and starts repeating “Brogue-y Boot,” like he thinks it’ll keep getting funnier with repetition, because that’s how comedy works.

 

Regardless of what Lawler decides to call it, it’s a finishing move so protected that only a small handful of superstars ever kick out of it, and none of those superstars are nicknamed The Long Island Iced Z.

Oh well. At least Sheamus had to work for it. Better luck next week, Zack, when you get your ass handed to you by the ghost of Mark Henry.

What? Too soon?

 

At least Viktor has got his facepaint under control.

Viktor Facepaint

There you go, buddy. Everything in moderation.
(For those of you not paying close attention, Viktor looked like THIS last week.)

Viktor takes on Titus O’Neill, who has been decreed by Vince as the new number one contender for the US Title.  It’s like “Sorry I went nuts and suspended you for 60 days for nothing. Here’s a title shot.”

Side note: Remember when Rusev won the US title from Kalisto and we all thought Cena was gonna show up on Memorial Day and murk Ru-Ru for the belt?  Ah, to be young again.

Side Note’s Side Note:  A dramatic interpretation of Rusev, at home with Lana, after winning the title from Kalisto, getting the news about his first feud:

(Phone Rings)

Rusev: Hello? Da, this is Alex Rusev.

Lana: Who is it honey?

Rusev: Shh. I am on phone. … Yes, I understand.  Thank you, Mister Vince.  Dos Vedanya. (Hangs up.)

Lana: What did Vince say?

Rusev: He say I no face Cena for belt.  He says Cena face little man with bad haircut and funny gloves.

Lana:  Who will you face?

Rusev: I face barking big black man. (Rusev starts to cry.)

Lana:  Honey what’s wrong?

Rusev (sobbing):  I SO HAPPY.

(SCENE.)

Back to the match.

It’s passable.  Viktor actually gets a lot of shit in, like a pretty solid flying knee off the apron. Nobody is really over here, but while Viktor has Titus is in a front facelock, the crowd actually breaks out into a tepid “Let’s go Titus” chant.  I say “the crowd” but what I mean is, “like 45 people.” The rest of the WWE Universe can’t be bothered. Titus acquiesces to the will of the smattering of cheers, and comes back to hit several power maneuvers en route to a Clash of the Titus and a 3 count victory.

Titus

Still can’t believe this the best we can do for a feud for Rusev, who could easily be built into the kind of monster heel that could main event a PPV for the World Title. Instead, let’s make him look kind of weak against Jack Swagger for two weeks in a row on TV and then have him wrestle Sin Cara on Main Event.

 

Sin Cara is out here looking like a black and white cookie.

Sin Cara

black and white cookie_edited

And Rusev is about to eat him for lunch.

Sin Cara 2

Or rather, he should be. He should be DESTROYING guys like Sin Cara. Anyone not over 260 pounds should be Machka’d into frigging OBLIVION.  But as you’ll see if you watch this match (and by no means do you have to), you’ll find that Rusev controls it for the first six minutes or so, starting with clotheslining the Lucha Draggin’ as he enters the ring after his trampoline routine (which is kind of dope, I gotta say) only to have eventually have Sin Cara hit a tornado DDT off the second rope to turn the tide.  From then on, it’s Sin Cara getting in all of his shit—botchy frog splashes, botchy springboard crossbodies, botchy suicide dives, you name it.  Almost all of these lead to 2-and-a-half counts, with Rusev barely kicking out.

Rusev Eyes

I know, pal. I’m surprised they’re booking you like this too.

Of course, Rusev gets the upper hand with a super stiff super kick and locks in the Accolade, because they’d never have him lose a match like this, just look weak through half of it before finishing strong.

Rusev Accolade

Now he’s locked in a feud with Titus O’Neill and it will come to a head at Money in the Bank.

If only these two could work out their differences diplomatically and learn to co-exist peaceably. There is no better combination than vanilla and chocolate.

And yet, somehow, racial harmony eludes us.

If only they would look to the cookie, all their problems would be solved.

Final Verdict:

Pros: The Ryder and Sheamus match was better than anticipated, and certainly the highlight of the evening’s festivities.  Although, I guess it was kind of neat to see both participants in the US Title program wrestle two separate matches, even if they never crossed paths.

Cons:  The worst three-man commentary team in history: Milhouse-backstabber T.P., mega-douche Dolph Ziggler, and plus-size Ed Hardy model Jerry Lawler.

Final rating:  5 out of 10.

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