It happened exactly as predicted. Well, almost. Instead of punching WWE superstar and bad guy Damien Sandow in the face, “X-Men” actor Hugh Jackman hip tossed him. (If you want to skip the lead-in skit, which is what simultaneously excited and angered WWE fans, skip to the 4:25 mark to view the move.)
Jackman’s got skills! But that’s pretty much all that WWE fans agreed on. The rest of the skit was hotly debated on Twitter during Monday night’s broadcast.
In it, Sandow, who promotes himself as the “intellectual savior to the masses,” confronts Jackman and Dolph Ziggler, another WWE superstar who beefed with the Australian actor in 2011. Jackman and Ziggler make amends, before Sandow emerges from backstage wearing a comically ill-fitting Magneto suit meant to provoke Jackman, who stars as Wolverine in the “X-Men” movies. The two jaw-jack before Jackman executes the hip toss and Ziggler follows with his signature move, the Zig-Zag.
About half the fans thought it was hilarious:
That Damien Sandow/Magneto segment was seriously one of my favorite segments since I started watching wrestling again. #Raw— Trey Darnell (@CMPuLs3) April 29, 2014
And the other half? Well, not so much:
Every time WWE gets a brush with mainstream, they get all goofy with it and it’s the reason people look at wrestling the way they do. #Raw— Zack Zim (@DotNetZim) April 29, 2014
that Hugh Jackman skit was the dumbest thing ever #RAW— 3K Upton (@jbforhire) April 29, 2014
Okay, Okay, Okay. So, the segment wasn’t intelligent by any means. As WWE announcer Jerry Lawler put it, it made Sandow look like a doofus. But can anyone really argue that it didn’t entertain, or at least attempt to? After all, that is what the “E” stands for in WWE, right?
Here’s what’s up: To enjoy professional wrestling, you have to think organization like the WWE like the Harlem Globetrotters. Sometimes they miss a trick dunk. But at its core — just like the Globetrotters — the WWE is composed of a group of extremely talented, hardworking athletes. No one can call that dumb.