The Best And Worst Of Smackdown 3/7/14: Sacrifices

WLSmackdown371

Seth Rollins would sacrifice anything for The Shield. For instance, he clearly gave up half his bottle of peroxide before bleaching his hair.

Pre-show Notes:

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Okay, on we go…

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Worst: 15-minutes of Alberto Del Rio on Guest Commentary

No guest commentary match should ever go through a commercial break. First off, we know we’re heading for a garbage distraction finish, so don’t waste our time. The wrestlers know it too — I don’t think I’ve ever seen a really good match happen when somebody’s on guest commentary, because the guys in the ring know the announcers are going to be too busy Googling what a Skip-it is to actually call the match.

This rule is doubly true if it’s Alberto Del Rio on commentary. The guy doesn’t know what to say when he runs out of gringo perro talking points and both Cole and JBL are terrible to him. Cole because he’s a twisted little man who’s awful to everyone, and JBL because, well, you know why. So yeah, the commentary was insufferable, and the Christian/Ziggler match in the ring didn’t do much to distract. Well, except for Christian’s attempted imitation of Ziggler’s ass wiggling…

Christian

Hey, don’t laugh. Compared to most Canadian dudes, that’s some Step Up 2 The Street shit right there.

Best: Batista, Humble Man

I’m no wrestling historian, so somebody help me — who did Batista steal his “I’m a humble man, and I don’t need you to cheer me” line from? If he came up with that himself, then that needs to be the first clip in his eventual WWE Hall of Fame video package. Guys, heel Batista is so f–king good. It’s time to get over the “I think I’m going to get a Rock reaction and not have to do any work” Batista we saw at the Royal Rumble. Big Dave is actually being a real pro-wrestler now, and he’s knocking it out of the park. At least on promos he is. In the ring, well, at least he’s getting on base now.

Worst: Daniel Bryan, Total Butthole

Batista certainly squashed Daniel Bryan on the mic tonight.

For some reason WWE thought it would be a good idea the have Daniel Bryan (the guy who constantly argues the point that his looks and grooming shouldn’t matter) attack Dave Batista’s sartorial choices. Batista hits close to home with a remark about how Bryan is just a fan they let into the locker room and all Bryan can come back with is, “Yeah, well, you wear skinny jeans like a woman!” Yeesh. If you’re going to rag on a guy’s outfit, maybe don’t do it while wearing a faded grey hoodie and red Underoos.

Also, Batista doesn’t dress badly. Batista dresses obnoxiously. He’s the guy who makes all the guys at the bar groan, but then goes home with the ladies. Now Daniel Bryan, he dresses badly, and him snarking about what Batista’s wearing just makes him come off as petulant. Like a kid at the nerd table in the cafeteria chortling about how all the football players and cheerleaders at the popular table are so dumb and shallow. Right kid, you’d never want to be like them. Sure you wouldn’t.

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WLSmackdown372For some reason WWE didn’t post a video of this match online. CONSPIRACY. 

Best: Eva Marie, Professional Grappler

What’s this? Eva Marie in-ring grappling action? You’d think they would have announced this well in advance, but sure! Who says Smackdown’s the B-show?

This watch was even, uh, “better” than I could have hoped. First off, the match starts off with Eva Marie vs. Tamina, and holy s–t, we’re going to see a real live death on TV, aren’t we? Eva Marie looks more concerned with her hair than the supposedly intimidating Tamina, then limply saunters into the middle of the ring, and wait, what? Tamina is bumping for Eva Marie? Did Eva Marie just blow a snot rocket on Tamina?

Okay, Tamina finally takes control. Eva Marie’s selling isn’t “I’ve been knocked down and am in pain” so much as, “It’s Sunday morning and I don’t want to get out of bed.” Are, are those Eva Marie chants? Is this real life?

Anyways, eventually Natalya gets tagged in, looks better than she has in a while, pins AJ annnd the women’s division has been reset to November of last year. Although I suppose technically Eva Marie also won. Hmmm, do I smell an AJ/Eva Marie Wrestlemania match brewing? Just play Lita’s music when Eva comes out and maybe nobody will notice the difference.

Best: Are We Done Here, Or Are We Done?

Between this and the last couple weeks of Batista stuff, the best parts of recent Smackdowns have been the talky segments. That never happens. Once in a while a Smackdown match might matter, but the talking stuff is never anything but an excuse to set up a tag TEAM match.

Anyways, yeah, this was great. Somehow they managed to take Rollins walking out on the team on Raw, and believably twist it around so that he was still the good guy and the jilted Ambrose was still the bad guy. They’ve given these guys personalities that are extensions of the way they wrestle, so it feels like these are deep characters that have been with us from the start as opposed to something they just came up with once they wanted to break the team up.

Rollins, the guy who hurls himself over the top rope half-a-dozen times per match is the sacrificial one. Ambrose is the crazy, angry guy. Reigns, who spends most of the time on the apron pursing his lips before tagging in and destroying everybody, is the stoic one who’s going to snap eventually. We didn’t know it at the time, but every Shield six man was part of a yearlong character building exercise. Perfect.

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Worst: 15-minutes of Alberto Del Rio Wrestling

On the plus side, I was totally expecting Dolph to come out to do commentary then climb up on the table to distract Del Rio who would totally not remember he did the exact same thing in the opening match. Instead Sheamus just kicked Del Rio in the face and pinned him for the thousandth time! So uh, hooray for one form of repetitiveness over another?

Worst: John Cena’s Legacy

So, last week it seemed like Bray Wyatt/Cena was going to be another Face Of The Company thing, but now this week it’s about the second most annoying thing a John Cena feud can be about — John Cena’s legacy.

John Cena’s legacy is already well established. His legacy is “being the top guy and making millions of dollars a year for over a decade”. He doesn’t need to defeat the Rock to cement his legacy, and Bray Wyatt beating him won’t destroy his legacy. Part of Cena’s legacy is he’s the guy who always pops right back up on Raw no matter what happens to him, so forgive me if Bray Wyatt’s scary talk doesn’t impress me.

How about we make Cena/Wyatt a #1 contender’s match? So they’re actually fighting for a thing Wyatt can take from Cena. Or, I dunno, over who’s the toughest best wrestler? No? Too easy?

Best: How Many Hosses Does It Take To Make A Daniel Bryan Match Boring?

The answer, apparently, is more than three, but damn if Kane, Big Show and Batista didn’t give it the ol’ college try. Until Bryan tagged in this match was, as one might expect, a bit slow and rough, although I did chuckle at Batista being all, “Oh f–k no” and hitting a fetal position when Show went for a third chest chop. Once Bryan got in there things started cooking, and the finish, with Big Show KO punching Kane through the ropes, was fun. Between this match and Sheamus/Christian on Raw, guys getting knocked out through the ropes seems to be the agents’ new obsession.

And that’s it for the Smackdown report! Seem a little shorter than usual? Well, that’s because I actually watched a far more important wrestling show yesterday…

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The Best And Worst Of A WWE House Show From Winnipeg: 5000 Kids Have A Fun Time

Yup, WWE visited the frozen, barely thumping heart of the continent last night, with one of the more elaborate WWE house shows I’ve been to (there were, like, 8 matches and an intermission and everything). So, uh, I’m going to try to do this house show report thing right dammit…

Biggest Pops:

1) Novelty size championship belts. Easily the most over entity at the show

2) Daniel Bryan

3) Non-existent Chris Jericho

4) Other Canadians

5) All other good guys

6) Alberto Del Rio, although they all came from a guy behind me who was very good at rolling the Rs on R-R-R-Rio

7) Nikki Bella (according to the boner of the guy beside us)

Most Heat:

1) Batista

2) Guys who said Canada wasn’t good (BOOO THUMBS DOWN WE’RE GREAT)

3) My car that broke down after the show

S–t. I probably shouldn’t have started with Pops n’ Heat — never lead off with your hottest attraction.

WLSmackdown373Winnipeg.

Best: Winnipeg, The Anti-Chicago

If you’re tired of cynical wrestling crowds, I suggest taking in a WWE house in Winnipeg with an audience mostly made up of grade school Native American kids. The show started off with fan super-fave KOFI KINGSTON going against super heel DAMIEN SANDOW. Next up a Miz/Dolph Ziggler match featuring numerous non-ironic “This is awesome” chants.

Then Christian came out — we were all a little unsure about this guy, because he’s been mean to Sheamus who is a good guy, but then Christian outed himself as secretly the best dude ever by being all “Go Jets!” Yeah! Go Jets indeed, and go Christian! Also, little Native kids totally f–king love Roman Reigns.

At one point some jerks in the upper rows briefly tried to start up a CM Punk chant but everyone was all “NO THANKS, TOO BUSY CHEERING FOR BIG SHOW.” So yeah, thanks for being so Winnipeggy about it Winnipeg.

Worst: The Novelty Size Championship Belt Effect

That said, there was a bit of a lull in the intensity of the cheering around the middle of the show. Most would chalk it up to simple audience fatigue, but I’m laying the blame squarely on the novelty sized championship belts. As the show progressed more and more of the kids around us acquired them, and come on — are you going to pay attention to an Usos match when you’ve got a rad new mini-belt you can put on your head like a crown and hit your sister with? Come on. Thankfully most of the kids were already tired of their new toys by the time Batista and Daniel Bryan came out.

On a related note, we all make fun of the Divas butterfly belt, but I think I actually saw more girls with Divas belts last night than rude dudes with Rock belts. Say what you will about the title design, but I’m pretty sure no little girl asked to buy a replica Women’s Title belt, like, ever.

WLSmackdown374Believe it or not, the guy on the right ends up with a fist in his face. 

Worst: The One Thing Of Importance To Happen On The Show According To The Rest of the World

So, a dickbag radio host in the front row pushed Batista and Batista punched him.

One the one hand, a part of you goes to house show secretly hoping to see this kind of thing. House shows are where the wrestlers get to misbehave and get away with it, right? In reality, it was something that took place 50-feet away, was over in two seconds and wasn’t the story of the night at all, but I guess “5000 kids have a fun time” isn’t a traffic generating headline.

Best: Yes, Yes, Yes!

Hey, did you know being in the midst of thousands of people loudly shouting yes and thrusting their arms about is cool and fun? It is! Oh, and Daniel Bryan’s match was pretty good too. Speaking of which…

Best: My Wrestling Photography Skillz

WLSmackdown375“This night’s main event will be held in a box of pure light!”

It’s like you’re really there!

WLSmackdown376Indistinct Blob #1 vs. Indistinct Blob #2 was a barn burner. 

Better get me on staff quick PWI! You know, before National Geographic snags me away.

Thanks for tolerating this page of “Hee hee, I went to a house show!” stuff. See you next week folks.

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