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Six thoughts on The Wyatts vs. The Shield, aka the best six-man tag ever (until the next one)

I'm not even sure what constitutes a five star match, but I loved last night's six-man tag match A LOT. Let me count the ways. Six of them to be precise - one for each man involved in this instant classic.

I don't give out star ratings. Like my boss, Geno MroskoI give out letter grades to whole shows. And even that gives me fits and usually gets me in more trouble than they're probably worth.

But last night's six-man tag match between The Shield and The Wyatt Family at Elimination Chamber in Minneapolis had me throwing around terms like "five star match" like they were shrieks in a Divas match. I don't know what "technically" constitutes a five-star match, but I know that I honestly wouldn't change one booking decision or spot, big or little thing about any performance in the half hour or so that the two teams were on my screen.

So, I was a completely satisfied fan when Bray Wyatt pinned Roman Reigns, and I'll drop some star ratings into convos when I feel like that.

But with four or five hours to sleep on it, I do have some more detailed thought about the match. And Geno hasn't taken my posting privileges away for (allegedly) sloppy editing yet, so I get to post 'em here.

1. Seth Rollins needs to be a babyface sooner rather than later.

Even putting aside that he's a good-looking dude (seriously, has there ever been a trio of panty-melters like The Shield, in the history of pro wrestling? You like crazy bad boys? Mysterious island beefcake? Dreamy cos-players? The Hounds have something for you), the former Tyler Black bumps like crazy in a completely believable way, leading to some of the best face-in-peril work we've seen in years. His offense makes you jump out of your seat whether you love or hate his character. And did I mention that he's a handsome fella?

2. Erick Rowan is getting better at pro wrestling.

In late 2012 when I joined the staff at Cageside and was given the NXT beat, Rowan was a faux-Viking character who slammed people in squash matches before pinning them. He was like a scary-looking Mason Ryan.

Putting him with The Family was a genius move based on his look alone. But even there, he spent a long time delivering splashes and putting jobbers in a vise grip for a few seconds before Luke Harper would prod him out of the ring with his head and do the bulk of the work in their tag matches. Last night he more than held his own, and gave us a few tantalizing glimpses into what an Erick Rowan hoss fight might look like.

He's also really developed his largely non-verbal character. Bray is a leader and Harper can be lead, but all they have to do is point Rowan at the target and hope they'll be able to reign him back in before it's too late. He's like seriously scary Festus.

3. It's really exciting to see more people learning what Luke Harper can do.

If you've spent much time in a wrestling site's comments, you've seen gifs of Brodie Lee doing hurricanranas and other things that a power forward-sized man shouldn't be able to do.

But it's a whole 'nother thing to see him do those things repeatedly. And to men his size. And over the course of a long match without blowing up. More casual or strictly WWE fans are starting to see what an agile big man he really is, and watching them react is reminding those of us who've been watching him in high school gyms for the past six or seven years how special he is all over again.

4. Dean Ambrose is a lunatic, and I love it.

One of the indelible images from last night's match for me was barely even on camera. It was Ambrose's sell of (I believe) Harper's drop kick, where he bounced off the mat, rolled out onto the floor, and then did a Flair flop onto the concrete out of view.

Nobody does over-the-top like Dean. And it doesn't even really bother me like it does when other workers trot it out, because he somehow saves it for spots that call for it like that one and incorporates it into everything he does so it doesn't seem out of place when he goes there. This is the guy who was pacing around like a rabid dog behind Reigns and Rollins before the opening brawl. He often slaps himself in the face in the midst of striking a downed opponent. So when he over-acts a bump, I'm not annoyed like I would be when some guys do two 360s selling a Rough Ryder.

5. Roman Reigns can get over on physical presence alone.

I do hope that he's working with some of WWE and cousin Dwayne's acting coaches, but if he can just master delivering his one-line growls without a flub, he's set for life. Hell, he may not even need that. He's not as big as Brock Lesnar, but when he cues the audience that it's time to Believe, I defy you to take your eyes off of him.

At the end of the Rumble and at the end of last night's match, I desperately wanted him to beat the odds and win - even though I haven't really been given any in-story or character reason why I should be rooting for him. When they figure out how to actually cast him as the hero of the story...well, most of us on the internet will probably start moaning about it. But he's going to draw a $#!+-ton of money.

6. I don't really have words for Bray Wyatt.

Seriously, now that the "can he work a match?" questions are dead and freaking buried, what else is there to say about this man? He is a uniquely talented entertainer, and I can't wait to see what he accomplishes in his career.

I defy even the smarkiest of smarks to try to start a Husky Harris chant now. Follow the buzzards. The Eater of Worlds is the future.


How did you all rate the six-man last night? What did you like or dislike about it? Can it be topped? Should they even try?

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