Welcome to this week’s Best and Worst of Smackdown! This one has more Bests than Worsts, so you can all change out of your fussypants before reading.
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Shall we proceed?
Best: A Thing! A Thing Happening On Smackdown!
Harper & Rowan vs. The Usos was, of course, a damn fine match — The Usos are secretly the best babyfaces in the WWE, and Harper & Rowan are so good they could get a decent match out of the New Age Outlaws (which, as we’ll see later, is no easy task). Unfortunately the match’s aura was harshed just a bit by the fact that the Wyatts were once again wrestling their asses off in front of an empty rocking chair.
But then wait! Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan showed up! Guys who matter doing something on Smackdown! I think I detected genuine excitement in Michael Cole’s voice when they came out!
Unfortunately the Wyatts’ beatdown of the Usos was almost ruined by bizarre technical issues — hopefully they’ll have fixed them by the time the show airs in the States, but in the international version I watched Michael Cole was going on about an expression Daniel Bryan was making and yet the camera never showed his face. Bray Wyatt did the Sister Abigail while facing the wrong side of the ring. At one point they cut to a shot of some guy’s shoe. It was weird.
But still, things happening on Smackdown! That’s all I ask! Don’t worry complainers from last week, this opening segment has put me in the mood to Best.
Best: JBL’s Clotheslinegasm
JBL clearly has a bit of a crush on Luke Harper, which makes sense, because Luke Harper is basically the real version of what JBL was always sold as. JBL was supposed to be this big badass with a killer clothesline, but in reality he was sort of chubby and pigeon-toed and his clothesline only looked good maybe a third of the time. I’m fairly certain the JBL in JBL’s head is Luke Harper with better hair.
When Harper clotheslined an Uso’s head off near the end of the match, JBL momentarily morphed into Hank Hill talking about propane and propane accessories. Listen to that tremble in JBL’s voice at the end of “clothesline” — the guy isn’t even that aroused around the NXT showers.
Worst: A Miz TV Featuring The Big Show Where The Miz Isn’t Brutally Punched In The Face?
Best: Mexicans vs. Meatheads
You know Mysterio, if a writer runs up to you backstage and say “You’re teaming with Sin Cara and Los Matadores tonight because Mexicans!” you’re in a position where you can, and probably should, just say no.
That said, this was a fun match full of unanticipated joys like Ryback selling for Hunicara, Rey Mysterio being dangerously close to the only a couple inches shorter than him “little person” Torito, and Los Matadores moving on from their best of 1,173 series with 3MB
By the by, if Mysterio is intent on spending the last few decades of his life in a wheelchair, at least let him cripple himself doing something awesome — Cesaro/Mysterio feud, now. Thanks.
Best: Orton vs. Langston
This isn’t the first time Orton and Langston have tangled, but it was certainly their most substantial, and best, match to date. They worked well together — partly because Orton is working well with anyone not named The Big Show these days, and partly because Langston’s much heralded explosiveness kept Orton from shifting down into second gear.
It also told a fine, simple story — Langston was the young, superior specimen and Orton was the wily vet. Langston didn’t have the experience to keep Orton down, and Orton didn’t have the physical ability, so the match kept going until bad person Orton decided “Okay, screw glory” jabbed Langston in the eye and got the win. Both guys come out looking good — sure, Orton “cheated” but a poke to the eye isn’t like an outside interference or distraction win. The former makes you look like a jerk, but ultimately still a smart, canny wrestler, the latter just makes you look like a loser. Langston ends up eating a pin, but the underlying message of the whole match is “Langston’s the future and Randy Orton’s reckoning is coming some day”. WWE is still really good at this stuff when the guy they’re doing it for is John Cena’s friend. Go figure.
Best: Daniel Bryan’s Southern Accent
So, not only does Daniel Bryan get sporty new hillbilly PJs, but now he apparently speaks in a southern accent! Even though none of the other guys in Wyatt family do! I mean, Erick Rowan’s from Minnesota and I’m not sure what Bray Wyatt’s supposed to be. Cajun I guess? Anyways, the accent is kind of amusing for now, but if he starts calling pop, soda (or Lord help me, Coke) then me and Daniel Bryan are through.
Worst: What Assholes
Seriously, “stealing” the Funkadactyls is one thing, because they’re grown ass women who can pop booty for whomever they damn well please, but why the hell are Truth and Xavier Woods still coming out to Brodus’ music? There are other songs out there guys! Your choices aren’t limited to funk songs about The Cat’s mother and R-Truth rapping about pimples.
So, not only are these guys stealing a song nobody should want in the first place just to be jerks, but the Funkadactyls double-teamed Summer for no good reason, then Truth and Woods double-teamed Fandango. FYI, when your “having fun” involves gang beatings, attacking women and random fits of dancing, you’re not so much a bunch of likeable wrestling good guys, as A Clockwork Orange characters.
Best: The Usos Get a Mic
…and kick some ass!
I don’t recall the Usos ever cutting a promo before, but I just kind of assumed they wouldn’t be good at it, beeeecause WWE has trained us all to be latently racist towards Pacific Islanders I guess? Anyways, Jimmy’s promos was good intense stuff. Jey on the other hand, didn’t speak — maybe he’s so bad they don’t let either Uso speak lest they accidentally put a microphone in front of Jey? Let’s go with that theory until we see evidence to the contrary.
Worst: Piped In “You’ve Still Got It” Chants
I mean, I have to assume they were piped in. I refuse to believe the crowd actually started chanting “you’ve still got it” after Road Dogg tagged in, sort of stumbled around in a daze, put Ambrose in a hammerlock then immediately tagged out to Billy Gunn who unleashed a dazzling array of arm-wringers and arm-drags. Is this where the bar is now? Anything above a “Kevin Nash’s legs disintegrate as he walks across the ring” situation constitutes still having it?
The rest of the match wasn’t much better with the crowd being comatose anytime Punk wasn’t in the ring, and the announcers barfing out a steady string of absurdities like, “Somebody forgot to tell father time that Billy Gunn was supposed to get older!” No, I’m pretty sure father time got the memo. Also, JBL would not stop calling Road Dogg, The Road Doggy. Ugh.
Punk, Punk, Punk — whether it be his blazer or his friends from his wiener-pointing club, you really have to stop trying to carry Triple H’s cast-offs around on your back.
Uh, and that was it for Smackdown! I really wish I didn’t have to end the report with a sentence about Billy Gunn, but here we are. It’s times like these I really wish I had my own Top Comments section.