LOL. Batista couldn’t look like more of an asshat if he were literally wearing an ass for a hat. Welcome back buddy.
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Okay, on we go…
Worst: The World’s Strongest Jobbers
Hey, I heard Antonio Cesaro was involved in a really great opening match this week! This is totally it, right? Right?
This match wasn’t terrible, but did they have to do this “Swagger and Cesaro fight over who gets the win” thing with Big E and Mark Henry? I mean, a month ago the Real Americans were struggling to beat Los Matadores, and now suddenly they’re so cockily confident they can beat the strongest man in the world that they’re eagerly tagging themselves in? Why does one talented guy being on the rise almost always mean another talented guy having to look like crap in this company? I assume you keep 3MB on the payroll for a reason WWE.
Best: Welcome Back (Intentional) Dickbag Batista
2010 era heel Batista is one of my all-time favorite WWE characters. He was the walking, ridiculously clad representation of that crappy wrestling guy — the loser who grew up liking silly underpants fighting, who then got big muscles and thinks the world owes him unlimited blowjobs because he now looks like The Ultimate Warrior. I was hotly anticipating more classic “hugging fat girls” promos upon his return, but instead we got just wants competition Batista who looks baffled and betrayed when people don’t cheer him for dropping jokes Disney Channel execs wouldn’t consider edgy about Orton being the ASS of the WWE. They even tried to do a colossally misguided “ya likes me or ya hates me” John Cena thing on this week’s Raw.
Well, as of Smackdown Batista is officially a bad guy again. At least I hope he is — WWE couldn’t possibly think a guy wearing that f–king newsboy cap is still a good guy, or even a tweener, could they?
Anyways, this promo was right up to early-2010 standards. It was full of Batista enumerating FACTS and “I’ve got abs, so I’m the best regardless of talent of accomplishments” douchebag logic. It was the sort of electric heel promo you only get from a genuinely kind of scummy person “being real”. Of course, Batista’s turn back to the real side begs the question — who the hell does he face for the title? Randy Orton? Jesus, are we dropping the Wrestlemania name and re-christening this event the first annual Asshole Bowl? I mean, them giving up and going heel with Batista pretty much means Daniel Bryan is in the match, right? Or the Brinks truck is backing up to CM Punk’s porch as we speak?
Worst: Slacks Ziggler
Woof. Has Dolph Ziggler worn pants on WWE TV, like, ever? Go put on your sparkly diaper or get off my television screen good sir.
So yeah, Batista was all “I can destroy all your heroes Internet marks!” and so out comes the 2014 version of Dolph Ziggler to make us all feel kind of embarrassed. Dolph’s promo was hot trash too, with him dropping enough “Jacks” to choke John Cena as he unconvincingly proclaimed himself more rugged and manly than the guy dressed as male stripper Oliver Twist.
Batista should just continue beating on the saddest “Internet heroes” possible. Have him drag out Zack Ryder, or be all “I was reading this guy Brandon’s stuff and for two weeks back in 2012 he totally loved this Lord Tensai guy. Is he still around?”
Best: Sheamus, Alright Fella
Since his return I, like many of you, have been on edge waiting for the moment when pleasant enough top-notch worker Sheamus transforms back into a living 2000s-era Adam Sandler joke. So far it hasn’t happened, but on Smackdown he faced his greatest challenge yet — briefly standing in the same room as Alberto Del Rio.
Sheamus was of course paired with Del Rio when his comedic persona was in full rancid bloom, a feud that “peaked” when Sheamus proudly filled Del Rio’s car with burrito diarrhea, because Vince is old and doesn’t like that there foreign food.
Anyways, on Smackdown Sheamus was…perfectly agreeable. He called Vickie “love” and seemed like he meant it, and then made a crack about Del Rio’s hair, which actually made me laugh because, seriously, Del Rio’s hair is pretty bad. I think we can breath easy guys, good Sheamus is here to stay (at least until he gets a serious title push again).
Best: Christian In Real People Clothes
Hey, Christian doesn’t look so bad when he’s wearing something other than saggy-ass wrestling trunks and orange paint. I guess the poor guy got wind of all of JBL’s “2/10 Would Not Bang” comments.
Uh, so Sheamus and Del Rio had a match, which hmmmm — as mentioned, I’ve liked Sheamus since his return, but Del Rio is a sucking black hole of boring these days. More entertaining than the match, was Christian on commentary. Christian’s commentary is just like his wrestling — workmanlike, unflashy, but fundementally rock solid. He explained his heel character succinctly and convincingly, never once let ol’ dickhead one and dickhead two bully him, and added a few bits of entertaining color, like his exasperated “Oh, come on, you’ve gotta be kidding me” when Del Rio bumbled into Sheamus’ cloverleaf. Then he even managed to successfully complete the Killswitch! It was a good day at the ol’ grappling office for Christian is what I’m saying.
Best: Strap Up Boys!
Can the Shield break up forever? I wouldn’t mind if this place we’re at where they keep adding depth and color to these guys in anticipation of their singles careers never ends.
This backstage bit was short, but it contained more than it’s share of pleasures like Dean Ambose screaming liking a velociraptor, and Seth Rollins continuing his transformation into this likeable level-headed guy who just wants everyone to get along (my designated role in life it seems). Also, Reigns is now just a dude who un-ironically shouts things about STRAPPING IT ON BOYS. Er, I mean, strapping it up, which is a totally different thing, I’m sure.
Best: Working Within Your Limits
Batista vs. Dolph Ziggler was by far the best match Big Dave has had since returning. Some of that can be chalked up to Ziggler, but really, it was more just a case of Batista sticking to what little he can do, namely, looking bemused and dismissive as Ziggler flailed himself in his direction (on a side note, Jesus, there’s a difference between being quick and just being frantic, Ziggler) and then hitting a couple power moves. Batista does have in-ring presence and charisma when he’s not being asked to, you know, work a match and actually do stuff. So yeah, the Smackdown report is officially your With Leather pro-Batista zone. Deal with it.
Worst: Your Smackdown Guest Host, Funnyman Steve Harvey!
So, for some reason we were treated to Bray Wyatt’s Steve Harvey-deep insights into the oh-so-sordid relationship between men and women on Smackdown. Ya see, guys go out and make money, oh but you know they’re just makin’ that money to get the ladies who are off putting on make-up and what the f–k am I listening to here? Then he somehow segued into something about how John Cena is on billboards and siiiigh — this is yet another “face of the company” storyline isn’t it? I don’t care who the face of the company is. I don’t care if it’s John Cena or, wait, isn’t it supposed to be Randy Orton? Guess that’s only in the other top Wrestlemania storyline. Also, where the hell is Bray seeing all these John Cena billboards out in the bayou?
Best: Sierra Echo Ect to the Rescue
But then suddenly, the clouds part, The Shield stomps out and the mood entirely changes, because The Wyatts vs. Shield storyline isn’t about WWE’s corporate image or who generates the most licensing revenue, it’s about two tough cool teams who want to prove themselves the best via fisticuffs. Suddenly Bray’s telling The Shield to listen to their daddy like a badass instead of prattling like a fop. As part of The Shield never actually breaking up, can they also be the only guys Bray Wyatt feuds with forever?
Worst: Somebody Take Cameron’s Melina/Alicia Fox Tape Away Please
Cameron decides to emulate one thing about her co-inspiration Melina and she chooses the non-stop screeching and not the apron butthole splits? I’m beginning to think this girl just doesn’t have a feel for the business.
Worst: Daniel Bryan, Smackdown’s John Cena
Listen, don’t get me wrong, I love Daniel Bryan and 99% of his matches, but we’re starting to get into “He’s the main eventer, so whatever random thing he’s doing always goes on last” territory. At least on Smackdown. There’s no way this random tag team with the Usos and Outlaws belongs anywhere but in the middle of the card. Also, I dunno, your “The Authority is keeping Daniel Bryan down” storyline might work better if he wasn’t in the highest possible match on the card every night.
Best: The Main Event (Thanks to Road Dogg?)
That said, the match was a lot of fun, and shockingly the lion’s share of the credit has to go to Road Dogg? He was in fine Grandpa Dogg form today, rolling out of the ring proclaiming “I’m not doing this!” at the earliest sign of an actual wrestling match breaking out, and not-so-kindly giving credit to Kane before hitting an Uso with a terrible seated dropkick. Bryan mostly sat on the apron, as a mini, bearded John Cena does, but his eventual tag-in, with him seemingly rising from a trap door beside the ring while shaking his head like a mad man was a nice touch.
Bryan’s running wild was fantastic as always, and the final moments of the match featured the memorable “What universe am I in?” moment that was Billy Gunn almost pinning Daniel Bryan with a Fameasser. So yeah, fun, and hey, if Daniel Bryan can make a crowd cheer for a sequence with Billy Gunn like it was a PPV main event, I think he might just work as champion. Deal with it WWE.