Previously on The Best and Worst of Smackdown: Big E crushed Dolph Ziggler with both his tricep and bicep meat and Rusev got weirded out by Hot Summer reading wedding magazines (ah, for those innocent halcyon days). Also, Stardust read his own cards, Team NBC was formed and for one show, Bran Muffinman was surprisingly effective at his job. It wasn’t exactly a landmark episode of the show.
Keep on a-scrollin’ for The Best and Worst of Smackdown for Oct. 15, 2015.
Worst: Cold Bo-pening
According to live reports, Roman Reigns cut a long recap promo to open Smackdown, which was apparently so bad WWE completely erased it from the show. Considering some of the sufferin’ succotash WWE has allowed to air on Smackdown, that’s kind of scary. So, how did WWE artfully edit around the missing promo? They didn’t, they just lopped it off and opened the show with the Bo Dallas/Roman Reigns match that followed the promo. You really know WWE doesn’t care about a show when they’re willing to throw up their hands and kick things off with Bo Dallas.
Not that I have anything against Bo Dallas, but, well, he’s Bo Dallas and it’s 2015. He can be fun in a meaningless spot in the middle of the card, but him being the first thing you see on a show doesn’t BOde well, y’know?
The match itself was just a squash, with Bo only getting scattered, weak-looking offense. There was a funny bit in the middle where Bo tried to sucker Reigns in with a handshake and Roman just shrugged and went for it, because really, what’s the worst that could happen? A kick to the gut by Bo Dallas? May as well be polite.
Worst: Straight Into Hell
After the match, Roman got on the mic again to address Bray Wyatt, which means, yes, after taking a massive oral dump on Raw, WWE decided to have Roman cut both a boring Raw recap and sweaty post-match promo to open Smackdown. I thought we were starting to figure this out? Roman is best when you let him ad-lib and be a cool, sorta goofy guy in backstage interviews. His worst is when he’s in the the ring having to hit bullet-pointed jokes and plot points. The Rock was the same, but back in his day WWE actually wrote to a person’s strengths.
Anyways, according to Reigns, Bray Wyatt is the literal Devil. Sometimes, he imagines him in the depths of hell screaming that he’s The Devil. The Devil, you guys! THA DEBBIL! Bray then shows up on the Titantron and says some biblical-sounding stuff about the Sin of Pride or somesuch. Guys, you had me. A couple weeks ago I was into this feud. Just…stop…talking.
Worst: Down With The King
And now, let’s sit back and watch the WWE midcard carousel of sadness turn. Neville and Cesaro vs. Sheamus and Barrett was some perfectly acceptable professional wrestling. The bad guys stomped on Neville and Cesaro did all his usual uppercuts and whatnot in a slightly halfhearted way. Stardust and The Ascension were watching from the audience while holding up a “Stardust Section” sign, and yet they never factored into the match. Don’t ask me. In the end, Cesaro got Bull Hammered and pinned. Ech. At this point, I just feel like I’m being jerked around when they give Barrett a minor push. Let’s not fool ourselves, Barrett winning is always just a set-up to him losing, losing, losing.
Worst: Fall of Summer
Welp, Summer Rae turned face (I guess?) on Raw and as of Smackdown I already find her totally insufferable. That was quick. Summer is going to be the ref for Dolph vs. Rusev, because in WWE breaking up means you must cost your ex all their matches for at least the next three months.
Renee asks Summer whether she’ll be impartial, and she’s all, “y’know, unlike some people I can keep my personal and professional life separate.” Since f*cking when? Literally every main roster Summer Rae storyline has been about who she is or isn’t dating. YOU ASKED A DUDE TO MARRY YOU IN THE RING LAST WEEK. Gah. It would be one thing if Summer was playing the insincere heel here, but her delivery was total WWE babyface. I’m beginning to suspect WWE doesn’t know what they’re doing with this storyline.
Best: Silly Byron, Paydays are for Deans
Sometimes I complain that nothing important happens on Smackdown, but hey, at least this week’s show got its very own Payday skit! I have to say, I kind of love that Byron Saxton has become the Trix Rabbit of sh*tty chocolate-less candy bars. Futility and Byron Saxton go well together. Also lovable; Dean Ambrose carrying his Slammy around in his giant, person-sized duffel bag. Payday, the candy bar you buy when you think “Hey, maybe I’ll try something different” and then immediately regret upon first bite. See also; Mounds, Eat-More.
Best: Woo Ryder Woo
Yup, 15-years of gutting it out on the indie scene has culminated in this. Soak it in, Kevin. This was everything a Kevin Owens vs. Zack Ryder squash match should be. It was quick, it was decisive, and Owens could barely restrain himself from making jackoff motions the whole time. Owens’ desperate “Oh God!” as Ryder almost scored a distraction roll-up was particularly choice. Unless he’s actually doing something important, Kevin Owens should always be dismissively beating jobbers.
Worst: Ziggy Don’t Play That
Hey, remember when Summer Rae (sadly she had to turn in her “Hot” title along with the miniskirts) said she knew how to keep her personal and professional life separate? Well, whoops, must have slipped her mind, because she was up in Rusev’s face, counting fast pins and refusing to count when he went for covers. Despite this, the announcers were still treating her as a face, because, uh, Rusev rejected her proposal so he could propose to Lana? Who everybody likes?
That match itself was a big ol’ nothing. Dolph was immediately flopping around the ring like he’d been wrestling for half-an-hour, then after a lot of boring pummeling and heel ref tomfoolery, Rusev gets slapped, Zig-Zagged and pinned, because he’s officially Fandango now.
After the match, Summer starts hitting on Dolph, who’s all “Sorry baby, I try to keep it to one scuzzy rebound hookup per month”, then the camera zooms in on Summer looking all scorned and confused. But…Summer was a face until a minute ago. So, was Dolph blowing her off supposed to be a heel move? Which one of these despicable human beings am I supposed to like again? Stop forcing me to think about this, WWE.
Worst: Go Ahead, Touch Him
In order to combat the non-stop flow of brilliance coming from The New Day, it seems the Dudleyz tried to turn their wackiness dial up a notch, telling Renee to touch Dean Ambrose, then yelling “Boom!” in her face when she does. It…didn’t really work that well. The Dudleyz should never deviate from being loud, humorless dudes who are pathologically obsessed with particle board tables. Leave the entertaining nonsense to the pros.
Oh, and a bonus “Sweet Jesus” to Renee’s white dress tonight.
Best: Hoss Fight!
The Prime Time Players vs. Wyatts was three hosses (and Darren Young, who’s actually fairly hossy in his own right) hossing the heck out of each other. Nothing wrong with that. The beginning stretch of the match, which saw Buff Bagman desperately trying to maintain his tough guy veneer while Titus legitimately steamrollered him was fun. Things then broke down for a bit until Darren found himself alone in the ring with Braun and was immediately devoured. Survival of the hossiest.
Worst: Charlotte vs. Alicia Fox
Yup, this was a match. Alicia Fox is the worst wrestler of the Divas revolutionaries. Her offense is weak, she’s often in the wrong spot, and doesn’t really seem like she’s interested in getting better. She’s been with WWE nearly a decade, why change now? So yeah, the headlocks started early and continued for most of the match until Charlotte hit some chops, a spear and slapped on the Figure Eight.
Worst: Stop Disturbing Natalya’s Nap
So, earlier in the show Paige tries to make up with Natalya backstage and Nattie says she’ll THINK ABOUT IT, before returning to her personal locker room (lol, she wishes). Later, after the Charlotte/Alicia Fox match, Paige saves Charlotte and Becky from a beatdown, then tries to reform Team PCB backstage, but before she can do much convincing, Nattie is found lying on the floor of her dressing room. Okay, if this was all a nefarious Paige scheme, what the hell was she trying to achieve here? There’s no way anybody, even WWE’s dumbass characters, could think anything other than “Paige attacked Nattie, duh.” So how does that help Paige get back together with Charlotte and Becky? She needs to be trying to make Nattie look bad. Paige should have been the one lying on the floor saying Nattie attacked her.
Also, what was the timeline here? Paige had to have attacked Natalya sometime before she ran down to save Charlotte and Becky, so was Nattie just lying on the floor of her dressing room for 10-minutes or more before anybody discovered her? Was she having a floor nap? Personally, I hope Paige rolled Nattie up from behind, then ran away and she just spent 10-minutes struggling on her back like a turtle. Anyways, in summation, a bunch of stuff happened and none of it achieved anything. The Divas division!
Best: Tower of Power
Before their match The New Day mmmmm…dropped some Beastie Boys references, and thus, for a brief shining moment, I experienced what it was like to be a New Day fan who also knows something about hip-hop. I liked it. Also, forget everything you learned in your science books, because the most powerful force in this universe is the power of positivity! Good to know. Science knowledge, erased.
This was one of New Day’s better matches to date. They’re obviously fantastic on the mic, but they haven’t quite gelled as an elite three-man squad in the ring yet. That said, they’re improving steadily, and tonight they were aided by motivated hometown-boy Dean Ambrose. The match really got cooking in the final stretch, with everybody racing around hitting bit moves. Eventually, the Dudleys snuck in with the 3D, but Xavier broke up the pin with the trombone for the DQ (DQs suck, but I love that I can type that sentence).
If there was a downside to this segment, it’s that Xavier appeared to have a legit busted up nose after the match. Bubba, what did I tell you about playing nice with the New Day? If you break the one good thing happening on WWE TV, so heaven help me.
And hey, here’s your last chance to share the Smackdown report. Just looks at those shiny social media buttons! Go ahead, touch them.