It's the little things that matter.
No, I'm not talking about the value of Rey Mysterio and Evan Bourne to the WWE. I'm talking about the incline of show quality when every segment has even the most minor story attached to it.
You see, when even the enhancement talent have tangible stories attached to their matches, it makes their time on screen that much more valuable. Such a simple concept, yet often overlooked.
This Monday was different though. Every match had a purpose and every segment did as well. A story was attached to every performer and it really got me excited about where all of these different stories might go.
So does that mean that everyone was HOT this week? Heck no! There are still plenty of stars who had better weeks than others. So who falls where? Let's get to it.
1. The Miz - When you start and end the show by one-upping John Cena, you've had a good week. Couple that with looking spiffy in the grey suit and you've had a great week. It's amazing that a little over a year ago, The Miz was calling Cena out but was nowhere near good enough to get facetime with the man. Now, he's beating him in matches. I know he had help, but remember that this is a fake sport. There's obviously a reason that he was booked to win and it wasn't just to further Cena's story with Nexus. WWE has faith in Miz and he is getting every opportunity to shine.
2. Wade Barrett - Anything I ever said or felt about Sheamus goes double for this guy. He gets better every week, and I'm beginning to see him as one of the best performers in all of wrestling. He is playing the bully absolutely perfectly and that final segment was incredibly well done. The only thing I fear is that he's been so good in his role that creative finds it impossible to steer the story in a direction other than pushing Cena over the edge and facing off against Barrett again. No matter which way it goes though, this guy is going to go out and steal the show. He's going to be a star for a long, long time.
3. Santino Marella - He makes the list for hitting the Cobra on TV for the first tme ever. The move is so ridiculous and over the top, and only Zack Ryder could make it look painful. I debated putting Ryder on the HOT list for that reason, but then I remembered that he lost to Santino, and that is reason enough to stay off the list for months. For Mr. Marella, he will be wrestling on a Pay Per View for the first time since he was "the Greatest Intercontinental Champion of all the times". Call him a joke if you want, but the guy gets a huge pop every time he comes out. That's reason enough to give him TV and PPV time. Plus, this is a team contest so his time for ring antics will be limited. It just plain works, even if I still want Ryder on the team.
1. Evan Bourne - Some were born to fly. Others were bound for the operating table. Yep, shortly after Bourne's demolition at the hands of CM Punk, word came out as to why this promising young star who went over Jericho just a couple of months ago was beaten so badly. He has a shoulder issue that requires surgery and could keep him out about 4 months. Very unfortunate for this young man, as other young stars could pass him up on the food chain in that time. This is a weekly column though, so strictly looking at this week, the guy got pinned within minutes and pummeled into submission. This week, it truly sucks to be Evan Bourne.
2. Randy Orton - Shocked? Perhaps you should be. This has been the hottest superstar in wrestling lately, but everyone is bound to have a bad day. The champ's appearance featured a match against Justin Gabriel, which was fine until he couldn't get out of the way of the 450 splash in time. He was clearly supposed to avoid it, but the move ended up hitting his side. He covered well for it, but he wasn't fooling anyone. It was a botch, and definitely his fault. We are all entitled to mistakes, but there are consequences for them. The Viper's is that he ends up on the Mouth's NOT list.
3. Zack Ryder - Yea, I have to do it. As much as I like the guy and as much as his true New York roots make TNA's Shore look 4th rate (because second rate wasn't bad enough), the guy is not going well right now. He's become a comedy figure, which would be fine if he could win a match every now and again. He hasn't been booked to do so, and my dreams of Zack Ryder, United States Champion, look about as likely as the St. Louis Rams holding up the Lombardi trophy at this point. Sad but true. Well, this week, he lost to Santino. Yea, when you lose to a joke, what does that make you? A joke. At least he was on TV.
Though I'm not fond of the Bragging Rights Pay Per View (what rivalry do Raw and Smackdown really have?), it helped every segment have a purpose. On top of that, there were stories created or furthered with every level of talent that was on the show. Simple pieces of writing and booking that make the viewer interested in more than just the main event are excellent ways to create quality TV. I believe the WWE did that this week and it could be a good sign of things to come. Tune in next week to see if the trend continues.