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On we go! If the skyyyyy turns blaaaack it don't matter...
Worst: Having Nothing To Say Is Okay If You Say That Nothing While Sitting Down
When WWE has nothing new to add to a storyline (rare I know, but play along) they seem to think they can get away with reiterating already stated points if they just change up the format slightly.
So Triple H came out and detailed the Big Show situation in exhausting detail, adding no new information aside from "well, he's still fired!" He then went on to make other shocking statements like "John Cena is coming back and that's good!" and "Shawn Michaels is my friend." Now, normally all this would have been an appalling waste of time, but you see, Triple H and Michael Cole were sitting in director's chairs. This was a sit-down interview, which is totally different than a regular in-ring promo. Sure, fans of stand-up interviews already had all this information, but Triple H had make to sure those sit-down interview fanatics who only listen to people talking if they're sitting in chairs were filled in. You know what? I'm reversing this Worst -- Triple H was clearly just being inclusive.
Worst: The Miz Temporarily Gets The Best Of The Wyatts
The Wyatts and Usos had a match on Smackdown, which I mostly missed out on because the combination of Miz and Wyatt Factz-spouting Michael Cole on commentary pushed the "Oh f--k this, pay attention to anything else" button in my brain pretty hard.
I do recall that The Miz managed to blindside Bray at one point, sending him sprawling onto his back like a Hawaiian shirt clad turtle, which of course led to Luke Harper being distracted and pinned, which should not be happening, like, ever. The Miz is not allowed to get the upper hand on evil mastermind Bray Wyatt. Thankfully Miz's victory was short-lived...
Worst: Poor Nikki Bella's Shoulders Sure Are Stiff
Hey everybody, Nikki Bella's healthy enough to have singles matches again! Ha ha, ohhhhh boy.
I don't remember much about this match other than it being pretty bad and Nikki being very concerned that her shoulders remain limber. The fact that her shoulder stretching animation involves her thrusting her boobs out is just a happy coincidence I'm sure.
Still, minor best for Nikki herself. She does half as much as her sister at half the speed, but, well, I'm just going to say it -- I think she's overtaken Brie as the better looking Bella. Hey, don't get on my damn case Twitter -- back in the day Brandon couldn't get through a Bellas segment without proclaiming Brie the prettier one. I'm just providing some balance and making the case for Nikki. Exhibit A -- dat ass. I rest my case.
The ruthless aggression kind of dried up quick, didn't it?
Worst: Those First Couple Years Of John Cena Were Pretty Good, Weren't They?
So, they replayed the Inspiring John Cena Career Retrospective on Smackdown. Brandon had a lot of nice things to say about it on Tuesday, but man, I dunno -- what I got out of it was that John Cena's first two years in the WWE were exciting, inspiring and unpredictable, annnnnd then flash-forward eight years to that time he beat Brock Lesnar.
This was the profile of a guy who burst out of the blocks a smoldering ball of fire then almost immediately turned the heat down to electric blanket cozy and stuck at that level ever since. I know literally every single person who's been watching WWE for more than six-months has said or thought this, but come on Cena, try something new. It doesn't even have to be good! Taker was a red-haired biker for a while, and Stone Cold had his year of playing guitars with tiny cowboy hat Kurt Angle and things turned out fine for them. Just, something. Anything. Please.
Best: Well, That Escalated Quickly
We follow up the uplifting John Cena video package with the revelation that Bray Wyatt's murdered The Miz for reals. Well okay, I suppose all they really did was write "LIAR" on Miz's chest and muss up his bangs a bit, but still, that's kind of weird, isn't it? If a dude wanted to write things in Sharpie on your chest, you'd be kind of creeped out, right? I'm putting this Wyatt segment in the "successfully unsettling" column.
Well, Los Matadores wrestled 3MB again on Smackdown, and I dunno -- what am I supposed to say about a match we've seen six times in the last three weeks? I guess I could say something about Zeb Colter's after-match promo, but he didn't really say anything new either.
Uhhhhh, ummmm...at one point Colter was accusing Los Matadores of "deviant behavior" and Swagger shouted out DEVIANTS! behind him. That was sort of funny -- particularly coming from the pothead drunk-driver with a lingerie model wife. Good enough for a Best in my book! Moving on...
Worst: Missed Opportunities
I'm not going to say I disliked this segment in which Ryback and Paul Heyman beat up a jobber with a white Mohawk named "CM Skunk", because come on, there's really no way that could be bad. That said, it wasn't everything it could have been.
For starters, CM Skunk absolutely should have been played by Curtis Axel. Did Axel accidentally punch himself in the balls while trying to do Punk's "Clobberin' Time" taunt during rehersals? Is that why we were deprived of a Curtis Axel Punk impersonation? Also, CP Munk is a better joke than CM Skunk.
By the way, as long as we're talking missed opportunities, just give Ryback a powerbomb as a finisher. His powerbomb is actually good. The one he nailed CM Skunk with in this match had twice the impact of his lame Samoan drop thing. Batista isn't coming home guys -- it's time to redecorate his room and let some other guys use his moves.
Best: Alberto Del Rio Is Still WWE's Happiest Person
Ever since WWE shocked the world by booking an Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena title match for Hell in a Cell ol' ADR has just been beaming. John Cena -- the John Cena -- wants his belt! It's like the World Heavyweight Title is some sort of legitimate world championship or something! Which makes Alberto Del Rio an actual world champion! Compare the ADR of today to the husk of a man who was feuding with RVD last month. I swear October Alberto is like, six inches taller.
Last week on Smackdown Alberto dropped a fantastic grinning heel promo straight out of the 80s (or as close to them as this era of wellness permits) and he cut another scatterbrained masterpiece this week (while wearing the swankest suit I've seen on WWE TV in a long ass time). I'm glad I watch these shows online, because I had to rewatch ADR's delivery of the words "class and sophistication" at least half-a-dozen times. Too bad Alberto's going to leave Hell in a Cell a very sad man.
Best: I Actually Like The Stupid WWE Shop Promos
The theme of this week's Smackdown report is "Nate disagrees with Brandon." The theme of next week's report will be "Smackdown report mysteriously disappears."
If you're looking at the bigger picture and comparing these R-Truth WWE Shop things to like, any other form of comedy ever, then yeah, they're completely awful, but compared to most WWE humor, they sit nicely above average. They aren't just random silliness, or "Look at the freaks!" bulls--t or Sherlock Holmes hats and magnifying glasses. They're actual, sort of well-observed parodies of HSN-type stuff. They're actual comedy. Also, I kind of loved Santino filing the "sheep faces and fake beards" under the "miscellaneous items" category. If you have to be PG, that's probably the best way to categorize them.
Worst: The Land of the Five Rivers of S--t
Speaking of WWE "Look at the freaks!" anti-humor, uggghghghhhh...this segment.
Why in the f--king f--k is Natalya back dancing with The Great Khali? What is wrong with you WWE? The season finale of your popular reality show Total Divas revolved around this woman's wedding -- you can't just revert and make her the butt of your lame "a giant, a leprechaun and a blonde walk into a bar" jokes until the next season starts up. I'm sorry to break it to you, but if you guys want to do to do a reality show you might have to introduce some reality into your main wrestling product. For instance, in the real world blondes with double-Ds don't have to resort to sex with mythical creatures. Funny, talented guys who happen to have beards do okay too (or so I've heard).
So, uh, what else happened in this segment? I guess Khali had a match with Fandango, which ended in a non-finish and a tease of a Summer Rae/Natalya feud and uggghghghhhh...
Best: Eight-Man Mosaic
The final match on Smackdown wasn't quite as ballin' as some of the tag-team mains we've had lately -- too much Orton (who decided to set his intensity dial to "light stroll in the park" for most of this match) and not enough Daniel Bryan barrelling through everyone like a burgundy cannonball -- but still, it was pretty damn good.
As I (and every other wrestling fan on the Internet) has mentioned before, it's pretty much impossible for a WWE match with six men or more to be bad. At the very least they're always going to be interesting. For all of WWE's issues, it's great strength is that it's a beautiful pro-graps mosaic. In your smaller promotions, even the very good ones, most of the guys tend to be of a similar type and have travelled more or less the same path to get to where they are, but WWE (ideally) absorbs the best from all walks of life.
In just this one Smackdown main event you have the over-the-hill veteran trying to make up for a life of mistakes, the Samoan prince, a few scrappy indie favorites made good, a legit athlete entirely moulded by the WWE machine, a guy who rode being a midcarder's son to 10-world titles and a guy who's been dumped on for years for being a legit legend's offspring, and all of them are great in their own unique ways. These kind of matches are emblematic of everything that sets the WWE apart -- what makes them the big leagues. WWE fortunes may rise and fall, but as long as they can still put together a good six-man, they'll probably be okay.
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