*** YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE *** PLEASE KEEP ALL EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE AT ALL TIMES *** As I said on the Twitter last night, we are no fans of Dolph Ziggler in these parts. His slightly-better-than-average work and his fish-flopping-on-the-dock selling has been long buoyed by his legitimately compelling mic work and his even more legitimate good looks, all of which have turned him into the chosen representative of the aggrieved white dudes who feel like they’re held back at work. He’s a literal Fox News contributor, for fuck’s sake.
But, damn if this combination with him and McIntyre doesn’t deserve literally all the thumbs up. As I wrote last week:
Ziggler needs other people to prop up his bullshit, helping him cut the corners to be half as good as he says he is and a quarter as good as he thinks he is.
And this team might be the best example yet.
McIntyre showed as clear as possible why Vince assumed he was (and maybe still is?) The Future of the Business. He cut the kind of promo that makes you feel something in your core, with his intensity matching his cadence perfectly to project a feeling of real pain and frustration felt by both of them. This is the kind of thing that wrestling often strives for and completely misses.
As The Wrestling Estate’s David Gibb and I discussed in our most recent episode of How Wrestling Explains the World (on The Music Man,) that wrestling works best when the “lie” being told in a given moment comes from a place of earnestness. It’s why we find people who work through legitimate injuries in their matches — like broken nose John Cena against Seth Rollins — endear themselves to us so much and it’s what makes “worked shoots” so effective.
Because even though this wasn’t a worked shoot any more than any other wrestling promo, coming from the (at some point, if not currently) true feelings of the performers make it so that the effortlessness with which they traverse the concepts of the lines between reality and fiction isn’t built on the construct of either but allowed to exist entirely in the space between.
Also, that double finisher is fire emoji cat with heart eyes emoji pajamas emoji fire emoji.
*** YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE *** PLEASE ENJOY A COMPLIMENTARY CHILI CHEESE DOG MILKSHAKE, NOW WITH EXTRA DOG SHAKE! ***