If you were watching RAW tonight, and managed to make it past the ‘wash, rinse, repeat’ John Cena promo, or the ill-timed but mostly harmless Jerry Springer segment, you saw a newly heel Gold/Stardust team (seriously, can’t we call them something now? Space Dust? Dusty Weird? Dust Warriors 2000?) defeat those other guys.
But you also witnessed one of my biggest pet-peeves in wrestling.
See, for years now, Cody Rhodes has had one of the BEST finishers in the WWE. His Cross Rhodes has a definitive “umph” to it. The guy isn’t getting up. Rhodes gets to set it up, stare at the crowd, and bring his opponent crashing down to the mat. Clean.
But tonight, some jack wagon decided to mess with a good thing. Instead of the beauty behind Rhodes and his lean, mean, Cross Rhodes machine, we got to see Stardust debut some messy looking thing the announcers called “dark matter.” Which, fine, I get the name change. You gotta keep up with the times. But why make Rhodes look like such a goof doing it? More importantly, why make the guy receiving the move look like a complete DOLT for just standing there and taking it? Go back and re-watch the move. It involves Cody taking his leg, putting it behind his opponent’s heel, grabbing him by the wrist, doing the hokey-pokey, and falling over backwards, or something.
This isn’t the first time a gimmick change has necessitated a finishing move overhaul. Big Show went “Hollywood” at one point and created the “final cut.” Austin famously went from his million-dollar-hold to something a little more stunning. And The Undertaker, in his bizarre stint as a biker/hobo-wannabe/Fred Durst ultimate fanboy, dropped the iconic Tombstone Piledriver in favor of a modified power bomb. Boring.
Our own Brian Fritz has a philosophy about finishers – how they need to be something definitive, not transition moves. It’s why the DDT shouldn’t be abused like it currently is, and why finishers that take forever to set-up (sorry, Ambrose) tend to take us out of the moment. And it’s also why people freak out over the RKO, or Superman Punch. They love being surprised.
I’m just sick of the needless tweaks. Rhodes is one of the more interesting, varied, and entertaining young grappling stars working today, and while I can handle the Stardust persona (as long as it’s temporary), I can’t handle such asinine, needless changes, like dark matter.
Give me wrestling, or give me death.