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Best: The Laws of Physics Don’t Apply To Dean Ambrose
This was your standard say nothing, add nothing Smackdown opening promo, but I dunno, I’m giving it a Best because Dean Ambrose is in a zone where I’m entertained pretty much regardless of what comes out of his mouth. Don’t tell anybody, but I even sorta liked that mannequin thing from Raw. Also, any time new hunky Mick Foley interacts with or even references original Mick Foley is gets me all a-flutter. Ambrose selling himself as a guy who’s as crazy as Mick Foley, but without the Christmas and porn star-loving soft side is a great way to make you want to see him in a Hell in a Cell match – of course he can’t actually live up to his big talk, but at least the talk is good.
Rollins has also been turning in good work the past week or two. No subtlety, he’s just the most nasally shitbag possible. I mean, come on, even “Believe in The Shield” wasn’t real? Low blow man, low blow.
Worst: Uh, Why Are You Calling Him Out Later?
So, Ambrose and Rollins get finished with their 10-minutes of nada, then Rollins is all “I’m going to call you out LATER! See you LATER! Heh heh…LATER!”
You…you’re talking to him now. You’re doing calling-out-esque things right now. What reason, aside from “we want two talky segments and Ambrose and Rollins are the only two guys people care about on the show” is there for Rollins to call out Ambrose later? Guess I answered my own question.
Best: How Does This Keep Getting Better?
As we’re all well-familiar, WWE has a terrible habit of taking something amusing and/or novel and repeating it three or four times a week, every week, until that once-clever thing makes you want to vomit. I believe the official term for it is Funkasaurusing. Anyways, so far, against all odds, the Miz/Damien Mizdow combo has resisted Funkasaurusing.
The key is Sandow hasn’t allowed it to become an act – a pat thing he does the same way every show. Each time he comes out he adds a little something new. For instance, during this match Miz taunted Sheamus by stealing his pose, they Sandow copied Miz copying Sheamus. Anything that causes me to enjoy three people simultaneously doing a Sheamus pose is, by definition, next-level brilliant. The finish of the match, which saw both Miz and Sandow slapping Figure-fours on Matadors both in and outside the ring, was somehow even better. Will WWE eventually capture and Planet Funkify Miz and Sandow? Probably, but for now, run free you glorious, silly bastards.
Best: Hey Guys!
I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty into the idea of the Dusts and Bo Dallas being pals. And in keeping with my theory that he’s a grown-up Ralph Wiggum, I know how Bo should paint his face…
Best: AJ vs. Alicia
I’ve been kind of down on AJ in the ring recently, but well, this was better than her match with Alicia on Raw. It was nothing great mind you, but it was passably entertaining all things considered. For starters, it was around two-and-a-half minutes instead of one-and-a-half, Foxy was dishing out some pretty solid offense (including a nice northern lights suplex) and AJ just seemed more into her job than she has in a while. Really, I’m not hard to please (especially where AJ’s concerned).
Worst: The Big Show, WWE Stuporstar
Brandon did an excellent job laying out why Big Show is, somehow, coming off totally unsympathetic in his feud against the most cartoonishly evil character WWE’s done in years, so I won’t reiterate his points. It seems WWE realized they took a wrong step on Raw, but unfortunately their attempts to fix things on Smackdown may have actually made things worse.
A large chunk of Big Show’s interview was dedicated to Show describing what a swell, God ‘n’ country lovin’ guy the soldier who rushed the ring was. How, gee shucks, he just got so darn worked up and golly, who can blame ‘im for losing his cool? Sorry, no. I know Americans have strong feelings about this kind of stuff, so allow me as an outsider to say it – signing up for the army doesn’t give you a pass to be a butthole. If anything, it bestows a responsibility on you not to be a butthole. Rushing the ring is being a butthole. Guys who rush the ring get their asses beat down — it’s one of pro-wrestling’s most cherished traditions. So no, I’m not buying the soldier as a faultless victim no matter how misty eyed Big Show gets about it.
Speaking of Show getting misty eyed, he dusted off a John Cena “and then he gave his purple heart to ME” classic, and told a story from 2002 about a two-star general being so overwhelmed and thankful to be in Big Show’s mere presence that he broke down in tears. Does WWE think these kind of stories make their guys look good? Humble? If you’re still telling the story 10+ years later on national TV, I don’t think you quite understand what it means to be humbled by something. Eh, can we just go back to when Rusev feuds were all about who could wave their giant flag the hardest?
Best: Hot Damn
Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro for the IC was really, really damn good. One of the best WWE TV matches in a long while. Maybe since Daniel Bryan had to stop being awesome every week. Yeah, that good.
And I’m not even a huge Ziggler fan. Usually his matches don’t have a lot of real grit or credibility – they’re just Dolph flopping around and occasionally hitting some crappy Billy Gunn move en route to a roll-up finish. But Dolph is a legit grappler and knows how to make this shit look and feel real when he wants to, and he and Cesaro went out and had a match with some genuine heart tonight. It started with some tight technical wrestling, then escalated to stuff you’re not used to seeing in a WWE TV match. Dolph did this wacky La Mistica into a sleeper thing, and Cesaro was nailing Tiger Bombs and legit (no push-off by Dolph) vertical suplexes.
The story of the match was Cesaro being bigger, stronger and marginally better than Dolph, but Dolph being just close enough that Cesaro could never let his guard down. Cesaro tries to go for the swing, and almost gets rolled up for the pin. Later, Cesaro tries to go for the uppercut he beat Dolph with on Raw, and Dolph reverses, gets the Zig-Zag and wins. Cesaro shouldn’t have gone for the uppercut, he should have known Dolph would have a counter by now, but they’re his thing. He couldn’t resist showing off and paid for it. Two consummate pros putting a perfect little piece of performance art. Go out of your way to watch this one.
Worst: Dirty Little Cinderbella
Oh dear, this six-woman tag was…unfortunate. A lot of these ladies (the Bellas, Natalya, Cameron, Naomi and Summer Rae) are good, or at least underrated, but they did that weird WWE thing where the make the worst girl wrestle the majority of the match. Cameron has her acceptable days and her off days, and this was a seriously off day. It’s clear everything had been very carefully laid out for her, and every spot was executed as robotically as possible, and Brie, the other main focus of the match, wasn’t much better.
Also, Nikki knows Cinderella turns out badly for the wicked stepsisters, right? Like, cutting off their own toes to fit in the glass slipper then having their eyes plucked out by birds bad. Even if you’re feeling sassy and sexy-evil, you still probably want to be Cinderella.
Worst: I Still Can’t Do This
Nope, sorry. I have nothing to say about yet another Dusts/Usos match. Not even the addition of America’s Sweetheart, Bo Dallas helps. Who haven’t I sketched yet? Uhhhh, here’s Emma and Da Undertakah…
Worst: Is This the Worst Evil Heel Plan, Like, Ever?
So, Seth’s plan, which apparently took him two hours to craft with, was…
1) Spread out a bunch of weapons on some tables.
2) Station ineffectual losers Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury on the ramp.
3) Uh, hope Dean Ambrose comes out peaceably and presents his skull for weapon shots, I guess?
Well, you’ll never guess what happened – Ambrose entered the ring from one of the three sides Noble and Mercury weren’t guarding then hit Seth with his own weapons! Phew, talk about about your unexpected twists! Did M. Night F*cking Shyamalan join the writing team? Well, maybe 2014, After Earth Shyamalan.
Best: You Can’t Do That To Jamie Noble!
Bitching about Seth’s dumb plan aside, I’m not about to complain about a 2014 edition of Smackdown ending in Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury being put through tables. Or any segment that outs JBL as a diehard Noble fan/historian. You can’t put Jamie Noble through a table, that man once won the lottery! And you certainly can’t throw him off Hell in a Cell this Sunday — he once had a threesome with Nidia and Torrie Wilson! Wait, Billy Gunn was there too, wasn’t he? Okay, toss him.