Another Uce bites the dust.
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Worst: Kicking Things Off With A Wheeze
Welp, Bray Wyatt’s aura is officially so diminished. He’s now the guy who shows up at the beginning of Smackdown to summarize recent events. Actually, now that I think about it, Bray might be the perfect guy to deliver the Smackdown Special. It’s not like his promos usually have any content or meaning anyways.
Bray is here to remind us that they beat up Randy Orton on Raw, and they’ll take out anyone else who dares ally themselves with Reigns and Ambrose. The Wyatts and the remnants of The Shield are a modern day Hatfields and McCoys (yeesh, there’s a line straight from Vince McMahon) and nobody is safe. Lawn Mowman takes off his mask and looks scary(?) Okay then. Moving on.
Best: Cesaro Succeeds At A Thing!
Why the hell are Cesaro’s ribs still wrapped up? A light fall against the announce desk should not require taping from hips to nips two weeks later. Is Cesaro not getting enough calcium or something? Are his bones made of chalk? Cesaro, buddy, you can’t just eat the 70 percent cocoa stuff. Gotta get some milk chocolate in there, too.
Anyways, even though Cesaro’s phantom injury hasn’t cleared up, he still won his match tonight. Granted, the match was against The Miz, but hey, beating Miz is better than being dropped like a bag of trash on Raw, or challenging top guys every week and failing. As I’ve said before, nobody in WWE loses as well as The Miz, and this was a great little squash. Cesaro ran wild to start, then Miz took over and worked the ribs just enough to make himself look credible, then Cesaro came back and actually got the win the Sharpshooter. Perfect. Let’s give Cesaro at least a solid month of wins like this before he goes back to failing to beat guys who matter.
Best: Jimmy Uso Is Totally Going To Survive This Movie. Totally.
So, the Wyatts are murdering anybody who even talks to Reigns and Ambrose, and tonight they’re full-on teaming with JIMMY USO. The guy who just wrapped up two terrible months on the Smackdown announce team, and now has absolutely no reason to be on WWE TV until his injured brother returns. Yup, I can’t foresee this working out any way but super great.
Renee asks Roman about teaming with his cousin, and he’s like, “Eh, it was Dean’s dumb idea.” Dean, trying to save face, is “You’re cousins! Family! It’s gonna be great!” and Roman is just, “Dude, you did not grow up with this guy. This was not a wise move.”
Then Jimmy Uso leaps in out of nowhere and is all, “LETS GO TO WAR! JIMMY USO IS GOING TO LIVE FOREVER! MY OVERCONFIDENCE WILL HAVE NO REPERCUSSIONS! OOO-SO CRAZY, DAWG!” Jimmy Uso should have been smoking pot, then challenged Renee to go skinny dipping with him down at the old spooky pier just to really drive it home. But no, I’m probably just being paranoid. I’m sure Jimmy Uso won’t be murdered by a giant man in crotchless brown pants and a sheep mask tonight.
Best: Head Of The Household
First up, shame on you Smackdown for piping in fake boos over Sasha’s entrance. I mean, is she even supposed to be a heel? I suppose she is, but she’s done literally nothing to establish herself as morally better or worse than any of the other women since coming to the main roster.
Paige vs. Sasha was good stuff. Some of the best main roster women’s action I’ve seen since the Divas Revolution shake-up. We started out with some quick roll-up attempts and a backslide battle, which is something I’m always a sucker for. Paige, who, at her worst, has a tendency to work light and sloppy, was laying in her kicks and knees and Sasha seems to be getting the hang of working in the main roster ring. Sasha’s so small, she needs to keep up the momentum for any of her offense to look like it has any impact, and she was doing that here. The match even a nice little story, with the overconfident Paige resorting to slightly shady tactics by playing possum, then hitting a spear Charlotte could take some notes from. The match then broke down into a catfight/brawl. Caterbrawling? It spilled to the outside, both girls started throwing each other into the barricade, and then…
Worst: Stop Fighting So Hard!
… just as business was really picking up a notch, another referee runs down in a panic, to… I’m not sure what? Put a stop to all the shameful excitement and intensity? Did they mistake this for a Lana/Summer Rae segment? Guys, when actual wrestlers start rolling around, punching and throwing each other into stuff, that’s called a wrestling match. It’s okay to let it go.
Anyways, with the refs having already ruined things, Paige and Sasha’s crews decided they may as well run back out and make it a brawl. I appreciate when they let the women do angles that have typically been reserved for male wrestlers, but this won’t go down as one of the great pull-apart brawls. There was a lot of stumbling and falling and ladies laying around in a heap, but not a lot of actual brawling per se. Further evidence that the Divas Revolution stuff needs to be more focused. Paige vs. Sasha one-on-one with nobody at ringside was really good. The six-woman Divas donnybrook was significantly less so. Keep it simple.
Worst: Sheamus Strategy
Seth Rollins is backstage mourning his statue and bemoaning the fact that he has to wrestle two matches at Night of Champions, and Sheamus pops up like he has been lately to be all “Actually fella, you might be having THREE MATCHES! Wink wink.” I dare say, this is poor tactics. If Rollins doesn’t hop the barrier and run out through the audience the second he beats Sting, he deserves whatever he has coming.
Best: They All Fall Down
I haven’t mentioned it yet because, compared to Jimmy Uso, he was just sort of blandly competent, but Booker T was back on commentary tonight. The good news, is that we now know The New Day is in Booker’s coveted TOP FIVE. This is it guys, the top of the mountain.
Reigns, Ambrose and the not expendable at all Jimmy Uso vs. The New Day was tight stuff. Jimmy has obviously had a bit more time to hit the gym while on hiatus, because he looked in good shape and was working hard. Really, everybody was moving fast and hitting hard. Also, we learned that the timekeeper now doubles as the trombone keeper when Xavier is actually wrestling. Speaking of Xavier wrestling, he got his ass Superman punched as he was going for the Honor Roll, so he can officially retire the move. It’s served its purpose.
Yes, things seemed to be going the good guys’ way, but then the lights went out and when they came back on, Jimmy Uso had been magically transported up the ramp into Brock Samson’s chokehold. NOOOO! The lights then went out again, and when they returned Jimmy’s corpse was all that remained. I THOUGHT YOU’D BE THE LONE SURVIVOR JIMMY. Tune in for Raw when Reigns and Ambrose team up with Paris Hilton’s character from House of Wax.
Guys, I think I might like The Ascension now. I’m not entirely sure why Stardust + The Ascension works so well, but it does. Their combined entrance is fantastic. The Ascension have already had a great entrance, they just didn’t have the charisma to sell it, which Stardust of course has in spades. What Stardust lacks is physical credibility, which is arguably the one thing The Ascension do have a bit of. I am all in on The Cosmic Wasteland.
Or at least I am during their entrance. Once the bell rung, this was just an Ascension match. At one point Viktor whiffs a clothesline and just falls head-first out of the ring for no reason. I suppose The Ascension did seem slightly less crushed by life here, and hey, they even won the match, so we’re making baby steps in the right direction. After the match, The Cosmic Wasteland put the boots to the Lucha Dragons and Neville ran out for the save, which I supposed made sense. Stardust has ascended to a higher level of supervillainy, so Neville has to bring him to justice once again. Why, this feud is just like one of those SUPERHERO COMIC BOOKS!
This is going to sound like ridiculous hyperbole, but this might have been my favorite lumberjack match ever? That’s not really a particularly glowing endorsement, as I’m not sure I’ve ever actually liked a lumberjack match before. The problem with lumberjack matches is twofold: first off, in between guys getting thrown over the top, they’re almost always just a bunch of filler and chinlocks, and secondly, the lumberjacks never have anything to do. They just mill around, occasionally punch a guy, and generally look kind of embarrassed to be out there.
This match didn’t fall victim to either of those issues. Rollins kept the action fast-paced throughout, and they actually used to the lumberjacks to advance storylines. Mid-way through the match, Big Show pulled Ryback out of the ring to further their ongoing thing, and all the lumberjacks chased the giant out of the arena, because nobody likes the Big Show. Stardust then rallied the Brotherhood of Evil Jobbers and mobbed Ryback in the ring, which of course led to another confrontation with Neville and the Suicide Dive Squad. Best of all, during all this chaos, Kevin Owens was just hanging out in the corner aloof as, well, a Frenchman…
… or was he? After playing it cool all match, Owens tripped Ryback as he was going for the Shellshock, costing him the match. Dang, look at you Smackdown! Actually telling stories in your main event! I don’t know what’s got into you the past couple weeks, but let’s keep this good thing going.