The Best And Worst Of Smackdown 6/6/14: Who Rang the Bell?!

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WWE

Alicia Fox straddling Lilian Garcia — something you didn’t know you desperately wanted to see until right now.

Pre-show Notes:

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Worst: I Don’t Owe You People An Explanation!

Seth Rollins came out on Smackdown to offer his explanation for turning on the Shield, and well, first disappointment — what’s he still doing wearing the flak jacket? If Rollins is supposed to be Batista’s replacement he should have come out wearing, I dunno, a leather panel hat and a blazer that’s half yellow and half black (to match his hair) with no shirt underneath. Hopefully Ambrose and Reigns don’t show up on Raw in sequined trunks and willingly abdicate the right to wear the flak jackets to Rollins. What’s this feud going to be about if not the flak jackets?

Anyways, guess what Rollins’ explanation for turning on his teammates was? Yup, he I don’t owe you an explanation-ed it, which is near the top of the “Lazy WWE Writing Tropes” list. It’s particularly frustrating because there’s a perfectly satisfying explanation laying right there — according to WWE retcons Rollins founded The Shield, and for most of their history they were bad guys working for Triple H, so Rollins must like doing bad things for Triple H. Simple! Logical! But WWE storylines aren’t allowed to reference things that happened more than a month ago, so until the WWE writing team can figure out a way to explain the Rollins turn without referencing dirty, icky history, we’re stuck with placeholder explanations.

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Worst: The Worst Thing You Can Ever Do

Uh oh! Dolph Ziggler is disappointed in you Seth! You turned your back on your brothers! You’re a traitor Seth. Dolph Ziggler would never cast aside someone who cared for him for his own personal gain. Certainly not!

Certainly, definitely not!

Before you start throwing around the term sell out all willy nilly, you might want to check who signs your checks, Dolph.

Hey lady who’s way too attractive for wrestling, but still works the indies after being released by WWE, how does one well-paid WWE superstar accusing other WWE superstars of selling out make you feel?

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Me too.

Best: Rollins Stomps Dolph Ziggler

I was kind of afraid that Rollins’ turn would immediately render him an ineffectual cheating yellabelly even though he was never anything of the sort all that other time he was a bad guy, but nope, he just put Ziggler down fair and square. Granted, the match was fairly competitive, and the announcers and Triple H were selling it as a squeaker, but that makes sense — Rollins hasn’t had a lot of singles matches, and was under pressure to perform now that Triple H has given him the official Snaggletooth stamp of approval. Ultimately the match had a fun “Will Rollins disappoint Uncle Hunter?” tension to it.

Now, let’s get Rollins a real finisher. If Rollins is going to be a thing, he can’t be going around beating guys with Paul Burchill’s moves.

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Bad News: BNB May Be Going Face

Uh oh, I got a distressing WWE face-ish vibe from this Bad News Barrett backstage interview. It was mostly humorless, featured and out of nowhere shot at Paul Heyman and was just generally the opposite of what Barrett interviews have been lately. Yes, the guy is likeable, but a guy called Bad News Barrett kind has to be a bad guy, right? At least officially? Please don’t make him a fightin’ WWE babyface whose bad news always involves his opponents’ lack of balls — I just got used to liking BNB and I don’t want to stop now.

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Big Show, Seth Rollins and new WWE minis division COO Hunterswoggle. 

Worst: What the F-ck Is Wrong With You People?

Jesus, is there something in the Cincinnati water that turns people into irrational assholes? Uh, don’t answer that Cincinnatians.

First we have Dolph Ziggler suddenly being deeply concerned about The Shield’s interpersonal affairs, and now here comes the Big Show to tell Seth Rollins that he’s a soulless piece of trash for being mean to guys Big Show doesn’t even like. Come on Show, how many times have these guys triple powerbombed you? You don’t care about Roman Reigns’ delicate feelings.

Of course, who knows — maybe Big Show’s actually mad because Triple H rents his old house out to new Evolution members. Still, even if that’s true, it’s not really Seth’s fault, so can the faux indignation, Show.

Worst: Rybaxel Have Really Come Into Their Own

JBL spent this match hammering on two points a) that Ryback and Curtis Axel didn’t get along and weren’t a good tag team at first, and b) that they’re now a great tag team. Okay, first, Rybaxel always got along. Paul Heyman almost proposed marriage to Ryback, and Axel was happy for them. After Heyman dumped them both, they stuck together even though they probably should have gone their separate ways. Second, the now super great tag team lost to the Usos in two-and-a-half minutes like chumps. I get that you don’t want to be completely honest and say “Ryback and Axel have a tragic friendship forged in failure and are probably going to lose”, but stop making things up JBL.

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Worst: Rusev Better Change His Name To The Russian Ruffian Quick

A few weeks back I noticed the more elaborate Lana’s Russian boosterism gets, the less time she has to do her actual job introducing Rusev and joked that one day she’d forget to talk about him at all — I didn’t think it would happen quite so soon. This week she rattled on about various Russians from Gorbachev to Tchaikovsky, and then just threw it to Lillian for Rusev’s actual intro. What exactly is your purpose on the show Lana? Well okay, dumb question, but at least try to keep up the pretense you’re on TV for something other than “short skirts and humorously mispronouncing Jim Duggan’s name”.

But perhaps there’s a tragic unspoken story here. Lana’s Russophilia has become so acute she can no longer stomach introducing a lowly Bulgarian. Rusev has done everything he can to rekindle what he once had with Lana — he’s moved to Moscow, he waves the Russian flag wherever he goes, but it’s not enough. He knows Lana can never truly love his impure non-Russian blood. Man, imaginary WWE is so much more dramatic than actual WWE.

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Best: Obstructed Seating

If WWE really wanted to get Rusev some heat they would have just left the giant, ring blocking Russian flag up for the rest of the show. “Warning, all seats on the right side of the arena might have an obstructed view of the ring and FREEDOM.”

Best: A Good Triple Threat Match

Sorry for the lack of a clever headline, but that’s what BNB/RVD/Cesaro was. Just a good, solid triple threat. It was surprisingly low on “guy is knocked comatose for 10-minutes by a standard fall to the outside” situations and Barrett and Cesaro went to admirable lengths to set up RVD for his signature spots. All snuggling next to each other on the mat so Rob could double Rolling Thunder them. Real sports, those two.

So yeah, good stuff, but unless WWE actually plans to put one of the secondary titles on RVD or Cesaro, they need to find them something else to do now.

Worst: Hustle, Loyalty, Respect and Sometimes Murder

Well, it’s official, John Cena committed his first on-air murder at Payback. I suppose it was bound to happen eventually. Bray Wyatt confirmed it — after being heartlessly crushed by Cena he felt the cold hand of the reaper pulling him down, and he realized that death is real. Not a lot of room for interpretation there! Thankfully Bray Wyatt is a comic book character (I think he’s part of the Archie universe) so he only missed one show before returning to life (hopefully as somebody no longer feuding with John Cena).

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