Previously on The Best and Worst of Smackdown: Summer Rae made Rusev look like a fool, but then Dolph Ziggler also made Summer look like a fool, so everybody looked bad, and I wasn’t sure who to side with. Meanwhile, Natalya was the victim of particularly incoherent plot by Paige, Renee Young wore a white dress that will live forever in my dreams and, uh, I bet The New Day did some fun stuff, too!
Keep on a-scrollin’ for The Best and Worst of Smackdown for Oct. 22, 2015.
Best: The Corporate Parachute
Haaaahhh. Why in the f*cking f*ck is Kane running Smackdown? Have we not thoroughly established The Authority is not on Kane’s side? They suspended him on Raw, and have put him in a career match against the guy they always help win. So, why in the red blazes would they put him in charge of one last Smackdown? I mean, presumably, Kane could book himself in “Guy who is Kane automatically wins” title match with Rollins and take the belt before anybody notices, right?
Incredible, mind-splitting stupidity aside, I still ended up begrudgingly liking this segment thanks to, of course, The New Day. I’m not made of stone. I’m not going to Worst a segment featuring Kane playing air-trombone with a sh*t-eating grin and Big E declaring “Director of operations? D-O-O? More like B-O-O… T-Y!” The fact that E didn’t go for the obvious doody joke is what makes New Day so special. Goodbye, Director Of Operations Kane. I’ll let you sad trombone yourself out.
Best: Seth Rollins Wins Again!
Two shows a row! It’s sort of a streak! Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro was, unsurprisingly, a good match, although it’s kind of sad that there wasn’t any of that “Can this crazy kid do it?!” drama from Cesaro and Cena’s matches. At this point, we just assume pretty much anybody can beat Seth Rollins. It’s not even a particularly big deal.
Sure enough, Rollins tried to walk out after being in the ring for about 30 seconds, and continued to do so throughout the bout. The match was still fun though, which was mostly due to Cesaro, who was in ultra worker mode, dropkicking Seth off the top rope, and breaking out the Swiss Death for the first time in a while. Of course, in the end Rollins manage to get a relatively outta nowhere Pedigree for the win. Poor Cesaro.
Best: Charlotte, Bullsh*t Cutter
Paige came out to apologize again to Charlotte and Becky and deny her culpability in Natalya taking a nap on the floor last week, and, well, it looked we were headed for the usual Divas Division barbs and nastiness, when Charlotte unexpectedly stepped up to save the segment. Rather than accusing Paige of being jealous, Charlotte, in an earnest, honest sort of way, said the real issue was Paige not respecting her and her accomplishments. That may not sound like a big thing, but it’s a break from the usual accusatory, “you’re jealous, you’re ugly, you’re whatever” tone of WWE women’s storylines. This is how decent, regular people handle disputes. They talk about their own feelings, why the other person’s behavior is hurting them, rather than pointing fingers.
Team Bella then came out, because of course they did, and did the usual name-calling, which is fine because they’re heels (I think), but Charlotte was just, “Whatevs, I’m champ, you’re not, get in here if you want to fight.” Yes. More of this. If Charlotte continues to be the girl who cuts the sh*t and brings the realness, she’s going to be super over before WWE can ruin it. I mean, ideally, all the girls on the face side would act like Charlotte did here, but let’s not get carried away.
Best: Paige vs. Nikki Bella
Somehow, this led to Nikki Bella vs. Paige, which was probably the best match on the night. Nikki Bella has become legitimately great at breaking down body parts. Like, better than almost anybody, male or female, on the roster. There’s some real menace behind her holds. The bit where Nikki locked up Paige’s arm and started elbowing her in the shoulder was particularly good. For her part, Paige was also on, putting more oomph behind her strikes and kicks than usual. The finish of the match was beautifully decisive – Nikki just blocked a Paige kick, waylaid her with a forearm while trapping her leg, then finished her off. Good stuff. As frustrating as The Bellas being the constant focus of the Divas Division can be, matches like these are the reason why Nikki can’t just be shuffled out of the spotlight.
Worst: Let Me Stop You Right There
Remember last week on Raw when the formerly Hot Summer discovered Rusev got engaged to Lana behind her back and unexpectedly became this Russian-slapping, take-no-nonsense babyface? Well, as of this Smackdown she’s right back around to being a full-on heel. Miz and her are buddies, the announcers are giving her the Jezebel treatment, the works. Why? Shrug. Come on, since when does WWE need a reason to make a woman look awful?
Meanwhile, we have Dolph. I have no idea what they’re doing with Dolph. They’ve given him this scumbag player gimmick, because they kind of had to given his increasingly ugly history with women, but he’s still a face. I guess? Which means he has to rudely reject Summer because she’s a heel. Although she was still at least marginally on the side of good when Ziggler rejected her last week. I dunno. How does WWE expect us to react to a guy who tells Summer Rae “I’m just not that into you, bro” without a hint of irony?
So yeah, Summer and Dolph are out for Miz TV, Summer starts to say she proposed to the wrong man, and Dolph, ultimate egotistical dickbag, just assumes Summer is going to propose to him on the spot. But no, Summer has a new man. A real man. A man not afraid to raid Melina’s closet…
Best: Back To The Future
Yes, Tyler Breeze is here. I’m going to risk a virtual stoning and admit I’ve never been a huge Prince Pretty fan. He’s good, but I wouldn’t give him top marks in any particular area. His gimmick is the most basic hunky egotistical heel thing ever. He’s Gorgeous George with a selfie stick. I also don’t particularly get the whole, poor underappreciated Tyler Breeze vs. indie star invaders narrative NXT fans have built up. Tyler Breeze isn’t the underdog, he’s the ultimate coddled WWE product. Dude trained with Lance Storm, went almost directly to WWE, and has spent five years gestating in the warm, comfy womb that is WWE developmental. I don’t feel sorry for this guy because he didn’t get to beat f*cking Jushin Thunder Liger.
With that off my chest, I will say, I’m excited to see Breeze get called up. Being the prototypical WWE product is why I think he’s actually going to work better on the main roster than in NXT. Vince McMahon knows what to do with a guy like Breeze, and there’s a ton of spots he could potentially be slotted into. With Kane likely on the way out, I think Breeze would be a perfect addition to The Authority. Have Steph and Hunter take Breeze on board and force Rollins to mentor him, only for Breeze to start showing him up. Have him and Miz form Team Manscape. Give him a big dude bodyguard and give him the Shawn Michaels run. Sky’s the limit.
But for right now, Breeze is being paired up with Summer Rae, which is a fine choice. Summer Breeze already seems to have solid chemistry. I particularly got a chuckle out of Summer Rae of Sunshine helpfully relaying crowd chants to Breeze. “They think you’re gorgeous!” I also like that right off the bat there’s no ambiguity over whether these two are boning. Their beautiful genitals had to have been attracted like a magnet.
Tyler Breeze’s actual promo was fine. He hit all his catchphrases, rattled off his nicknames and generally did a good job of getting his character across. The announcers couldn’t shut up about selfie sticks, so you know he has some merch lined up. That said, the real person to keep an eye on was Dolph Ziggler. Dude was basically face-to-face with a vibrant, still-relevant 2010–2012 version of himself. You could see the sadness and fear in Dolph’s eyes as he was confronted by this new model sent through the Time Door to destroy him. Don’t worry, Dolph, there’s a nice farm in Connecticut for retired sexy butt-wiggling wrestlers. Shawn Michaels visits sometime. You’ll like it there.
Worst: Team Eurotrash vs. Team Luchatrash
My apathy for anything King Barrett-related is strong, but I have to admit I’m kind of into the alliance of Barrett, Sheamus and Rusev. I love that in WWE’s ultra Americentric world, the British, Irish and Bulgarians/Russians are all naturally good buddies because they happen to be from the same side of the Atlantic Ocean. I’m fairly sure Vince McMahon’s face would melt off Raiders of the Lost Ark-style if he ever opened a history book.
Unfortunately, while I like Team Eurotrash, this bout was pretty dismal. Sin Cara looked particularly bad tonight, missing one guy after another with slow, sloppy springboards and splashes. Even Kalisto couldn’t pick up the slack tonight. Lousiness of this match aside, I do hope they keep the Euro dudes together. Hell, add Cesaro and Lana and have them take over the WWE. Total domination, mayonnaise fries for everybody!
Worst: Bo Say Can You See?
Hmmm, so apparently Bo Dallas has an anti-American gimmick now? Well, I guess it’s not anti-American, he just refers to the crows as his fellow Bomericans, sings the Bomerican anthem and so on, and this is supposed to achieve something? Somehow? We all know Bo is actually a Bolivian sympathizer. Anyways, after that bit of confusion, Ryback came out and beat Bo in a minute. Moving on.
Best: Sparks A-Flyin’
Am I the only one starting to get some serious “Will they or won’t they?” vibes from Renee Young and Kevin Owens’ backstage interactions? Kevin Owens is being cartoonishly condescending, and Renee is pulling her best smelled-a-fart face, but all I can think is “stop overcompensating, you two.” You may think Renee is out of Owens’ league, but trust me, if Canadian girls didn’t go for snarky bearded guys with farmer’s tans, I wouldn’t be married and the country would be empty (well, emptier). Maybe get Byron Saxton to interview Owens full-time. The guy’s a family man, after all, and I’m not sure these two can be trusted.
Best: An Entertaining Step Back
WWE needs to make their mind up about The New Day. One show, they’re laying out Cena, The Dudleyz and Dolph Ziggler all at once, then next they’re just sent out to play the clowns and make Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose look cool. This match was, unfortunately, the latter.
That said, despite New Day looking like goobs in the end, this was fun stuff. New Day wearing XW armbands and doing tribute unicorn horns for the fallen Xavier Woods was deeply touching, and Kofi hopscotching before doing the Boom Drop was perfection. Reigns and Ambrose also had their working boots on, and them eating poor Kofi alive during the final stretch of the match was admittedly satisfying. So, fun stuff, but The New Day is capable and deserving of so much more.
Best: See You In Hell, Roman
After the match, Bray Wyatt popped up on the big screen to tell Roman he’d see him in hell. That’s just about the perfect Bray Wyatt promo length. Say one ominous thing, cackle, cut to black. Tear that cell down, boys.
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