*** WARNING: YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE! *** PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE AT ALL TIMES *** Knowing the end of a story doesn’t always hurt how much fun it is, if the focus is both on the journey and how the end comes to be as a function of that journey. And for much of this match, it looked like it would get to a place where this would happen, especially considering the two performers involved.
Despite it being rather obvious that this match needed to end in DQ, that both performers would be served be being portrayed as strong and being fully aware of what these two could do in the ring over a year ago (in an amazing five-minute match on NXT on the same episode where Sami Zayn and Cesaro brought the house down last July) they went with one of the laziest (and more importantly, wishy-washy) possible scenarios for DQ in an effort to get the desired result through the past of least resistance. WHICH WAS A TERRIBLE IDEA.
Perhaps the only saving grace would be that it’s because the story of this match was largely built around a third person: Ryback. The purpose this match wasn’t to make Ziggler or Rusev look strong — at this point they don’t protect the former as much as try to not bury him, given the near teflon reputation he has amongst the time of fans that normally care about what they perceive to be “pushes” and “burials” and the latter is a God who has no such mortal concerns about his place on the card– but instead Ryback. Him coming down and clearing house was nearly as over as the match, and more importantly, Ziggler/Rusev in general. That’s because people want to not just like but love Ryback.
And although it was far too long, the speech/conversation with the audience had him do out there allowed them to do so not just on a visceral level as fans, but as on a human level as people. It not only humanized Ryback as a lovable but tougher than nails “Big Guy” but made Ryan Reeves into “one of us”, a fan who has worked hard to achieve his dream and not a former football player or generic meathead looking to make a quick buck because “real” sports didn’t work out.
Whether or not this will be seen as a shockingly significant moment the long-term history of the WWE or just that time they let a performer into the video library to cut his own footage/promo packages remains to be see, but, at the very least, hopefully this means an end once and for all to the “Goldberg” chants. *** WARNING: YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE! *** PLEASE ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY SONIC® CHILI CHEESE LIL PRETZEL DOGGIE MILKSHAKE ON YOUR WAY OUT ***