I usually don’t watch Smackdown. Nothing pivotal happens. We get a lot of replays. Matches are rematches. And, my personal favorite, the crowd reactions are put in via post-production, sitcom-style.
But, this week, Luis Aguirre tweet me this:
@Heelbook It's awesome that Cesaro's won the battle royal, but don't you think there's no logic, I mean wasn't he going for the U.S title?
— Luis Aguirre (@ChicagoMadeLuis) September 27, 2014
So, immediately, I’m thinking I have to make at least a little time to watch this week, because I’ll get to see Cesaro win a battle royal.
Then, as I was heading into a quick photoshoot for the podcast pilot cover art, my co-host pointed out that the BR was to determine the #1 Contender for the IC Title, and the match took place the very same show. Meaning, Cesaro vs. Ziggler.
Ok, I’ll definitely make time. You’ve convinced me to watch Smackdown this week.
Getting ready for the podcast pilot has been demanding, so I ended up getting to Smackdown only this Monday morning, while I reviewed tweets made to @heelbook. At which point I spotted this:
— FackenBoolshet (@FackenBoolshet) September 27, 2014
So, basically, you’re telling me Cole called Rosa “Latina Heat”.
This is gotta see… I fast-forward to Nattie/Rosa vs. Layla/Summer. I look for the reference. Since there are no entrances, I’m thinking it’s in the hot tag or the win. Yip, it was in the hot tag. And I couldn’t believe my ears.
But hey, don’t take just my word for it. Go to 0:52.
I circled back to Mr. Facken’s tweet. Am I also too much of a purist and just randomly get drawn into this kind of outrage?
Then I tried to think about it logically.
Michael Cole converted Eddie Guerrero’s nickname “Latino Heat” into the female version to use it on Rosa Mendes.
For the record, I harbor no ill will toward Rosa so, again, let’s be logical and objective. I review the hot tag, Nattie is the “face in peril” getting out, Rosa is getting in.
As I recall, making the hot tag means the babyface rushes the ring, getting in there as soon as humanly possible, and takes over, putting a beating on the heels, effectively conquering the ring. This is a pro wrestling tag team match, right?
Rosa walks in over the bottom rope, with a kind of slow and clumsy pace you’d expect from a Diva Search contestant who is scared her long dress would get caught in the ropes.
What follows are 2 of the worst clotheslines you’ll ever see a WWE superstar deliver. Rosa’s run toward Layla is that of a first-time-in-the-ring trainee who wants to make sure she hits Layla in the right spot.
Her run is very hesitant and her arm is already out there for the move halfway through, like she’s jousting in “A Knight’s Tale”.
Then, she does a little “Look I’m such a babe” dance, like Candice Michelle (perfect for both babyfaces and a PG product…).
And she goes for a dropkick, which ends up being more sufferable than the John Cena version.
I stopped watching at this point.
So, I’m guessing “Latina Heat” isn’t a reference to Rosa’s amazing wrestling-savvy style.
I’m going to go out on a limb and also assume it’s not a tribute to Rosa’s charismatic promos and relationship with the crowd. You know, like “Latino Heat” had.
OK. Let’s review.
I think we can agree that, within reason, the nickname “Latina Heat” wasn’t used because Rosa is a legitimate throwback to Eddie.
Which leaves us with:
1 – Cole, or whoever fed him the line, does not operate within reason.
2 – It was a comment made with very little thought put into it, which means we can expect Cole to have Cameron on his screen and choose to refer to the ring as “her yard”.
3 – It was meant as yet another “joke” between the announcers. Just as Rosa hits the first clothesline off the hot tag, Cole goes for the “Latino Heat” reference.
And… one second of awkward silence later, you can hear a discrete half-laugh, half-cough, typical of when you hear a joke at a corporate meeting, and you’re divided between laughing and staying composed.
I don’t know if that quasi-laugh meant something like “Dafuq are you doing, Maggal?” or if it was a genuine laugh coming from an announce team still having fun where no fun is to be had, as it also damages the product. More than a clearly-not-ready-to-wrestle Rosa Mendes ever could.
Whatever the case: thank you, Michael Cole. Your commentary did hit a new low. And the only reason I’m making this much of one second of announcing is because you inserted that second into hours (days, weeks, months) of consistently damaging commentary than no wrestling consumer with operating neurons can appreciate.
You joke about the very product you’re supposed to be enhancing, either by talking about it (“Latina Heat”) or by talking about something else.
You don’t call the moves and very little effort is put in to acknowledging the stakes of a feud, especially the ones lower on the card.
You’re painful to listen to. Even more so than watching Rosa. But hey, you two make a hell of a team. In fact, you’re the real Team Hell No.
If this were a game show, I’d be saying: “You are the weakest link. Goodbye.”
But all I really wish for is to either understand why you announce the way you do. And who approves of such announcing. AKA the real weakest link.
How about you, what’s your take?
P.S. I ended up not watching Cesaro.