I thought I was ready.
In fact, I thought I was pretty much over Beauty and the Man-Beast. Their run to the SmackDown tag titles was fun and a great capper to the “Heath Slater: Free Agent” story which started at the brand extension draft, but we have other best friends to worry about and another cinderella geek to cheer (or now jeer).
But I was also expecting a standard pro wrestling tag team betrayal. You know, a Rhyno-gets-frustrated-and-Gores-Heath-Slater-after-a-match kind of thing.
Instead, we get the above segment from Talking Smack, re-affirming that it’s the gold standard for verbal storytelling in pro graps. And reminding us that though he may not be the flavor of the month he was this Summer, Slater is a hell of a performer.
Not that Rhyno isn’t great. The pathologically calm way he takes credit for everything they’ve done as a team while blaming Heath for all their shortcomings is pretty amazing. That he does it in so few words is both amazing and a great payoff to how he’s presented his character since returning to the main roster.
But the One-Man Band’s slow realization of what his partner is saying? His disbelief that, yes, we are doing this right now? His courteous apology to Renee Young & Daniel Bryan even though it was he who took the gut punch that ended this week’s episode?
I’m gonna need a minute, y’all.