While I may currently be on vacation in Washington state visiting my family, WWE doesn’t take breaks, so neither do I. Heavy rain may have ruined my plans to go on a nature walk yesterday, but it gave me an opportunity to catch up with the week’s TV. In a move that was both surprising and touching, my very supportive and kind parents (who stopped watching WWE altogether after the first Saudi Arabia show) sat with me for all six hours of Raw, Smackdown, and NXT.
They hated Raw and Smackdown and repeatedly asked me if it’s always this bad. To honor their sacrifice, I decided to let my two favorite 64-year-olds pick the seven best things they saw this week.
1. Oh wow, remember wrestling?
Mom: It was exciting! There were all those turnarounds where I really thought the match was over. My favorite was when I really thought Gallagher was going to win but Gable just… [she then silently did her impression of Chad Gable putting his foot on the rope]
Dad: Excellent, entertaining, what I want to see every week. I want half of everything to be that good.
Chad Gable and Jack Gallagher’s first match on 205 Live was an absolute treat, and their follow-up this Tuesday did not disappoint. I was thrilled to see that they’d gotten back in the ring together, and was especially grateful after I’d mainlined both Raw and Smackdown in one sitting and desperately needed to be reminded that I didn’t actually hate professional wrestling. This was by far the best thing WWE did all week, even rivaling the Cesaro/Aleister Black match at Extreme Rules. I would love to see more of Chad Gable on 205 Live, and think the possibility of him challenging Drew Gulak for the Cruiserweight Championship could do a lot for the division.
Gable vs Gallagher part 2 is one of those things that I really recommend checking out even if you skip literally everything else that happened in WWE all week.
2. Two nice girls
Mom: I love Bayley under just about all circumstances because she has incredible energy. The minute she comes out, the room just livens up. I like pairing her with Ember because Ember Moon’s got very different energy.
Dad: Two women with high energy and strong ring skills and personalities and stories… Yeah!
My parents love Bayley. When my dad was still watching WWE a couple of years ago, his ringtone was her entrance song. They also really like Ember Moon, which I know because they exclaimed “ooh! I like her” when she appeared. I can’t disagree with them on this. Of all the Summerslam previews we got on Raw and Smackdown this week, the prospect of Bayley defending the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Ember Moon is by far the most exciting.
3. Adam Cole as an asshole is very good
Mom: Adam Cole is just horrifying and is great at that! He’s just such a jerk!
Dad: That Adam Cole beatdown thing with the former champion was boring. It wasn’t terrible, but I’ve seen this before. But Adam Cole as an asshole is very good. He has Jericho qualities— I kind of like the way I hate him… I don’t know if I would go out of my way to watch him wrestle, though.
My mom lit up when Adam Cole came onscreen, which makes sense because she raised me, and I do the exact same thing. Dad definitely wasn’t as into it, but he’s not as into horrible little mouse men, so that makes sense. My dad and I are definitely on the same page about what ended up happening instead of the match against Big Twan we all wanted to see. I would be jazzed about Adam Cole defending the NXT Championship at NXT Toronto next month against more or less anybody. ANYBODY who isn’t Johnny Gargano. I’m so sick of Johnny Gargano! He’s like a tiny, skinny jeans wearing Brock Lesnar except his matches are way too long and he’s not even funny to look at.
4. The most handsome man
Mom: Cedric Alexander looks handsome in regular clothes! I love him in glasses! Drew, on the other hand, looks like several drumsticks tied together.
Dad: I think Cedric Alexander is the most handsome man I’ve ever seen in WWE. That match was reasonably good, but I would have liked it better if Cedric had been wrestling anyone else.
The first thing that really got a response out of my parents this week was Cedric Alexander in a backstage promo before his match with Drew McIntyre… because he was so cute in glasses. As for the match, they really like Cedric Alexander and really don’t like Drew McIntyre. Alexander’s high flying elicited several “ooh”s and “aah”s, and they seemed pretty entertained by the quick roll-up finish. When I told them this was his first main roster win, they just kind of scoffed at me.
Mom: I loved seeing how much Matt Riddle is able to do and communicate on television because he’s just a breathtaking personality in person. The entrance looked great! The sandals!
Dad: It looked like mixed martial arts, and it was fun to watch! It was different and I like different.
I took my mom to Matt Riddle’s final PWG show last summer, and she very promptly adopted him into her heart. Does she comment “mazel tov” on all of his Instagram posts like she is his actual aunt? I mean… not all of them, just most of them. She spent a lot of this solid little match Riddle had against Arturo Ruas filling in my dad on Riddle’s life story, from UFC to what a great dad and husband he clearly is.
They were less enthusiastic about Killain Dain’s attack on Matt Riddle, probably because they weren’t as relieved as I was that this probably means we won’t be getting any more of those weird videos of Dain watching footage of the Troubles in Northern Ireland promoting his return. They weren’t that excited about Dain and Riddle going through a piece of the stage either. Maybe old people aren’t as into property damage as I am.
6. Don’t fuck with Mia Yim
Dad: Ooh! A “fan” filmed this? I love that! That’s so cool! That’s so clever!
Mom: What happened? I missed it.
NXT featured a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it clip of Mia Yim beating up Marina Shafir in a parking lot with a car door and my dad loved it. I always love a parking lot, and the folks at NXT really know how to use one. Both my parents really appreciated how much “less glitzy” NXT is than Raw and Smackdown, and it doesn’t get much less glitzy than a parking lot attack filmed on a phone!
I was excited about Mia Yim challenging Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship, but I’m even more excited if we’re going to get there by Yim taking out the horse girls one by one.
7. Drake Maverick fails to consummate his marriage AND keep the 24/7 Championship
Mom: There’s a lot of penis jokes this week.
Dad: I hate this.
Okay, so my parents actually didn’t like this segment at all. But, to be fair, they didn’t like seven whole things for me to use for this list, and I loved every excruciating second of Drake Maverick and Renee Michelle’s completely insane continuation of their terrible honeymoon. I saw it pointed out that Drake Maverick is now also a wife guy, which is really fabulous news. Drake Maverick’s hornyman energy was truly off-putting in a way that continues to solidify his feud with R-Truth. Sorry Mom and Dad, it may be gross and it may be stupid, but I love it with all my heart.