For God’s sake man, it isn’t real. It isn’t real!
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Best: A Really Great Video Package
Smackdown opened with an even longer-than-usual video package hyping Money in the Bank, but that’s okay, because it was one of the better video packages WWE has done in a while. As I mentioned last week, I like the fact that the build to the 8-man ladder match has made it feel like WWE has an actual main event scene for the first time in a good long while. It isn’t just Bryan/Cena/Punk, their immediate challenger and the scheming Authority — there are multiple guys actively vying for the title from different angles.
This video package was nothing groundbreaking, it was just eight men looking tough and saying determined things set to uptempo music, but that’s all it had to be. That’s all wrestling is when you boil it down to the essentials.
Worst: Gilding the Lily
They should have left it at the video package. After that rousing start to the show, Triple H, Seth Rollins and Randy Orton came out to add zero of value. There was talk of Orton becoming the Face of the Company again even though, just last week, he claimed he had never stopped being the Face of the Company. Then they teased Orton/Rollins dissention because, I dunno, they thought it would eat up five minutes?
Listen guys, I know having an opening Triple H talky segment makes Smackdown seem more important, and I’m all for Smackdown seeming important, but if you have absolutely nothing to say, just throw the Usos our there or something, m’kay?
Worst: I Watched This Match Through My Fingers
I knew BNB was injured on this show, but I try to avoid spoilers, so I didn’t know when and how it happened exactly. I assumed it must have happened in this match, so I spent my time recoiling whenever Barrett took a basic back bump. I think this match was pretty good, in fact I’m sure it was, but I couldn’t really enjoy it.
But wait, Ambrose just won the match and Barrett’s shoulders and limbs still seem to be in functioning order! Soooo, how he get inj–
Worst: It’s Time to Fire Jack Swagger
Listen, like most of you I have a certain amount (a certain large amount) of affection for Jack Swagger. He hasn’t been treated terribly well by WWE, and I feel kind of sorry for him, but on the other hand, f*ck Jack Swagger.
The fact that he hasn’t developed an iota since 2010 isn’t WWE’s fault. The DUI wasn’t WWE’s fault. The fact that he staggers through his job like an unmotivated, stoned Frankenstein isn’t WWE’s fault. And now Swagger’s sidelined another promising career with his carelessness. He shouldn’t get a third chance.
Yeah, I know — Swagger’s had hundreds of matches with WWE and only seriously injured two people! Those are good odds, right? Well, no. Giving even one co-worker a concussion or separated shoulder is a bad thing. Trust me, the folks in your HR department will back me up on this. It’s not like these have been slip on a banana peel incidents where Swagger happened to be in the ring with somebody when their muscle exploded, these injuries have been a direct result of Swagger not being able to get it through his corn fed hoss skull that this isn’t real.
Besides, what’s Swagger doing in WWE anyhow? He could be TNA champ next week. He’d wreck shop in Japan (you don’t get the title there unless you’ve inflicted a decent number of concussions). Let Jack Swagger go, WWE — Mars needs him, and the rest of the roster needs to stop getting kicked in the face by him.
Best: Coping Mechanisms
Huh. So, I’m actually kinda getting into this Funkadactyls break-up? Or non-break-up? Usually in wrestling a team is bestest pals until artificial tension arises, then one person violently turns on the other and they’re blood enemies forever.
That’s not how real friendships usually work. In the real world you’re going to have friends that you’ve outgrown or you don’t really like, but there’s no dramatic break-up, because life’s too short for drama and new friends are hard to make. The Funkadactyls don’t get along, and Cameron is holding Naomi back from becoming the respectable competitor she wants to be, but Naomi doesn’t trash Cameron on commentary. Being a terrible person is just who Cameron is, and Naomi still considers her a friend because, well, she just does. Once you’ve touched butts with somebody a certain number of times, you’re pretty much locked in with them for life.
Oh, and a Paige/Cameron match happened too. It was pretty good! The Paige Turner actually sorta looked like a real move for once!
Butt Touching Friends Foreva!
Best: Bray Wyatt vs. Sheamus
This was good stuff, which may seem like a no-brainer statement, but Bray doesn’t always have good matches with guys bigger than himself, and Sheamus has been a little off his game lately. But nope, this was a quality hard-hitting affair with Sheamus effortlessly herking Bray up for all sorts of stuff. And what’s this? A 2014 Sheamus match ending in something other than a Brogue Kick? Well, okay, Harper and Rowan ran in before the match could actually end, but when Sheamus locked in the cloverleaf I was legit excited to see Sheamus win a match without resorting to his stupid kick.
Best: There he goes!
Hooray! Stardust makes his Smackdown debut! There he goes! Wow!
I love that Goldust loves Stardust. Goldust isn’t jealous, he’s excited his brother is doing the gold paint thing and doing it better than him. I hope they keep threatening to break up the Rhodes Bros. and just make them even better friends every time.
Worst: We’re Going to Applebee’s Later! C’mon!
I’m officially tired of watching RVD and Cesaro wrestle. In order to interest me in another RVD/Cesaro match you’d have to add something really fresh, like, uhhh, like something the complete opposite of Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio. Jesus.
I found the match a little dull, you see.
Okay, okay, the match at least ended on a pretty decent note, with Cesaro decapitating Ziggler with Swiss Death and RVD frog splashing into Alberto’s knees and eating an arm bar like a goob.Also, WWE had the crowd mics turned all the way up all night and you could hear all sorts of random crowd chatter during this match, including one guy’s very disappointed “C’mon Dolph! We’re goin’ to Applebee’s later! C’mon!”
Was this guy going to Applebee’s somehow dependent on Dolph winning? Was he just so excited to be going to Applebee’s that he couldn’t get through some simple heckling without mentioning it? This is my white hummer, guys.
Best: Renee’s Shirt
I see your flower print and raise you a hair-matching yellow number. You’re not the only one who can be struck by a fetching blouse, Stroud.
Worst: This is what I Call a Metaphor
Here’s a metaphor for how I feel about Rusev lately…
Please, give me anything different. Bring back his monogrammed boards, or let his matches go longer than two moves. Something. Also, I was kind of willing to overlook it on Raw, because Raw was mostly awesome and I was sure WWE would realize it was horribly racist and cut it the f*ck out, but the Big E, Jesse Jackson/James Brown voice has to end immediately or I’m telling Tumblr.
Worst: Safe and Effective Ladder Use With Kane and Randy Orton
So, Roman Reigns and Kane had a match. It was a Kane match. Moving on.
After the match, with Reigns selling a chokeslam, Orton and Kane decided to do everything they humanly could to make ladders as boring as possible. Kane brought a ladder into the ring, sort of teased hitting Orton with it, but then elected to carefully set it up in the middle of the ring instead. Then Randy slowly and cautiously climbed the ladder while Kane attentively spotted him, retrieved the titles and gingerly made his descent. Once Randy was clear of the hardware, Kane closed the ladder back up and deposited it outside so it wouldn’t get in anybody’s way. The ladder’s instruction manual is probably more thrilling than this was.
But hey, I was willing to sit through with Playing It Safe With Glen & Randy because apparently every WWE show now ends with Roman Reigns rising up and murdering everybody. Hey, how ’bout we make it three in a row at Money in the Bank, WWE?