The Best And Worst Of Smackdown 5/23/14: Si-Bo-Ling Rivalry

By: 05.24.14

Worst: Why Is This House Show Match on TV?

Guys, if you’re in England, haven’t brought the full Divas roster with you and can’t put together anything that makes sense, it’s okay to just give the ladies a break for the night. Or use the random Nikki Bella & Eva Marie vs. Funkadactyls w/ Summer Rae as guest referee thing as a dark match. Cameron and Naomi haven’t been doing tag matches for months, and I don’t really keep abreast (heh) of Total Divas, but haven’t the Bellas and Eva Marie been enemies since more or less scene one?

Randomness aside, the match was just plain rotten with Summer Rae forgetting who’s supposed to be on the receiving end of her heel reffing on a second-to-second basis, Cameron throwing codebreakers that do less damage than punches and Eva Marie screwing up the roll-up finish, because of course.

Best: Bolieve

Okay, I know I’m not the first, and I definitely won’t be the last to say this, but Bo Dallas’ new life guru character is basically a happy version of Bray Wyatt, right? It doesn’t help that Bray and Bo pretty much have the same voice, especially when they’re doing the lilting spirited delivery.

Not that the similarities are a bad thing — in fact, I think Bo’s character, done right, could have better legs than Bray’s. There’s that grain of realism to Bo that Bray has long since chewed up and spit out. In the real world most cult leaders aren’t filth-encrusted swamp monsters. They certainly don’t outright admit they’re evil. The clean-cut, just a little bit too friendly, aphorism-spouting dude is who you really need to be afraid of. The folks down at your local Scientology test center are more Bo Dallas than Bray Wyatt.

For this to really work though, Bo needs to cut down on some of the more overtly goofy aspects of the character. The running around with the thumbs up has to go. I know WWE doesn’t really understand dry humor, but the joke shouldn’t be “Look at this stupid clown!” Bo needs to play this role straight-faced to the point of absurdity. Have him deliver his cheesy truisms with absolute conviction. If Jim Carrey or Will Ferrell had jumped up on Oprah’s couch it would have been forgotten the next day — it was Tom Cruise’s weird, fervent sincerity that made the couch thing a cringe comedy moment for the ages. If Bo can tap into some of that, he can escape the cartoon character mire his brother is probably permanently stuck in.



Worst: Never Stop Trying

So, I like Bo Dallas’ character, but man, as a physical performer he still has some issues. Bo’s not bad looking compared to his brother, but not really in comparison to almost anyone else on the roster. He’s what you’d get if you took a regular, passably handsome guy from the mall food court and poured an entire bottle of baby oil on his head, which is not a good look.

He definitely hasn’t figured out how to play his character between the bells like his brother. He should be all handshakes and friendly pats on his opponent’s back before winning via some underhanded means. Or maybe he should be the guy who turns on a dime and becomes an unexpectedly brutal brawler once the bell rings. Instead, he spends most of the match doing arm-drags and roll-ups, then surprises with a stiff clothesline before finishing with an Acid Drop? It’s all over the place, but then the match is over and he’s back to being great again, shaking Sin Cara’s hand and ensuring him that if he never stops trying, one day he could be like Bo. He wishes.

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