The Best And Worst Of Smackdown 10/31/14: Jack-O-Lantern Backdrops

For the one guy whose fetish this is, you’re welcome.

Pre-show Notes:

Hey kids, use that excess fun-sized candy bar energy to share the HELL out of this week’s spooky Smackdown report. Here’s the buttons!

– Join the cool kids’ wrestling club by following With Spandex on Twitter and Facebook. Follow yours truly on Twitter too!

Hit the next page to continue smacking down…

Worst: Pack in Your Boners, Sexy Halloween Times are Over

Sorry folks, Halloween sexiness is dead. WWE killed it. Somebody will be around to collect your sexy Spongebob and Naked Mideon costumes shortly, and if you’re one of those types that feel Halloween has been over-sexualized, well, congratulations you obstinate dweeb.

Dress-up Divas battle royals have always suffered from the same issue – the supposedly risque Halloween, Christmas and/or President’s Day costumes are usually significantly more conservative than the padded bra and booty shorts look that’s become the standard Divas uniform. It’s kind of unavoidable, since communicating what a costume is supposed to be requires more fabric than Nikki Bella or Paige are usually afforded.

So, I don’t know if WWE was intentionally hanging a lampshade on the holiday outfits issue with this match, but Jesus, these costumes. None of them had any logical connection to the women wearing them – Paige was dressed as Summer Rae, even though they haven’t had anything to do with each other on the main roster. Summer Rae was a “schoolgirl nerd” which basically meant she was wearing Cameron’s regular ring gear. Emma was Tarzan for some reason. Did Tarzan have a shoplifting problem? Aside from the randomness, almost all the outfits were completely unflattering — here’s what they did with Layla, who usually has more raw sex appeal than any other girl on the roster…

A crime. A f*cking crime, that is.

Then they had a match. You know the drill – under the bottom rope eliminations, all the girls off their games and stumbling all over because they’re having to wrestle in weird, awkward shit. Thankfully everyone didn’t lock arms and skip in a circle this time, but there was a “Paige stuffs her bra” visual gag. Nnnngh. WWE better be giving away full-sized bars later in the show to make up for this trick.

Worst: Daniel Bella

This whole Brie being Nikki’s bi—er, personal assistant thing has been horribly disappointing so far. Most the things Nikki has done to Brie has been sort of annoying at best. And they all have these overworked pointless set-ups. “Go make this very elaborate smoothie so I can pour it on your head” — why not save us all some time and just pour the nearest available soda over her head?

On Smackdown Nikki made Brie dress as Daniel Bryan, except not really. She just looked like Brie Bella wearing a very elaborate fake beard. Then she had to drive from Houston to San Antonio for a handbag so she’d miss the opening embarrassment battle royal. I dunno, this all requires us to believe Nikki Bella is this sophisticated, Machiavellian schemer, and there ain’t nothing subtle or sophisticated about Nikki Bella. Every Bellas segment for the next month should just be Nikki pink bellying Brie with one hand while sending boob selfies to Daniel Bryan with the other.


Worst: Who Will Team With Wildly Successful Superhuman, John Cena?

Man, who’s going to be willing to join John Cena’s Survivor Series team? You know, aside from the entire babyface side of the locker room? The idea that nobody will have to guts to team up with the guy who literally goes around shouting about how he runs the place is one of WWE’s more feeble attempts to add drama to a PPV main event in a while.

Nothing bad ever happens to John Cena or anyone in his sphere. The Authority picks on guys like Daniel Bryan and Dean Ambrose, but John Cena buddies like The Usos are left to be smilin’ dancin’ babyfaces free from villainous interference. Really, what lasting harm has The Authority ever done to anybody? They fire people and they’re back the next week. They mess with Daniel Bryan and he ends up in the main event of Wrestlemania. John Cena on the other hand, watch out — get in that dude’s hair and your career is f*cked. The Nexus and Wyatt Family can back me up on this. If John Cena asks me to help him do whatever thing he currently has a FIERY PASSION about, I say yes immediately. Being a good dude in John Cena’s eyes is worth a few dispassionate Randy Orton beatdowns.

Worst: Kane Beating Anybody

I suppose Dolph Ziggler being beaten by a former world champion and movie star shouldn’t be so appalling, but it is. Kane shouldn’t be beating anybody in 2014. He now exists to be a bumbling, fumbling easy win for plucky anti-authority babyfaces. That said, Kane grabbing Ziggler mid Stinger Slash and hefting him to the middle of the ring with one arm for a chokeslam was pretty rugged stuff. Kane earned his win, but that still Headoesn’t mean I have to like it.

Best: A Big Ol’ Bravecrow

Hey look, another person wearing a random costume that has nothing to do with their character. Why would Heath Slater dress up as a scarecrow? The only explanation is that WWE thought it would be funny to see hay falling out of Heath Slater when Ryback punched him and, well, they weren’t wrong. Admittedly I’m an avowed fan of guys having stuff (hay, dust, whatever) fly out of them when hit – I’m just sad they couldn’t bring the ECW Zombie back for this show I guess.

Best: R-Truth Lives Up To His Name

This segment certainly walked a fine Best/Worst line. Adam Rose and the Rosebuds on an already excessively silly Halloween show? Worst. Adam Rose walking in on Gold and Stardust’s promo/masturbation closet? Best. Sin Cara jumping out in a Ninja Turtles costume and saying “cowabunga”? Best. R-Truth showing up under a white sheet? Worst, and kind of uncomfortable. R-Truth finally living up to his name for the first time in 15-years and pointing out that Adam Rose is now basically the Bunny’s sidekick? A very solid Best, and just enough to push the segment as a whole back over to the light side.

Best: It’s Not About Size

This Mark Henry turn has not been handled as well as it could’ve been. They set it up nicely, but the time for the turn was Big Show’s match with Rusev at Hell in a Cell. Instead Henry turns on Show a week later in a tag match for generic jealousy and spotlight stealing reasons.

Thankfully Henry did a solid job of salvaging things here. He did mention the Rusev stuff, but that’s not the main motivation — Henry’s anger goes deeper. He’s upset that Show constantly refers to them as brothers and implies they’re more or less the same, when in Henry’s eyes he’s a legit athlete and former Olympian and Big Show’s just a freak who owes his career to his physical stature. It’s a little out of left field, but hey, size envy is always a pretty believable motivaion when you’re dealing with the Big Show.

Worst: Where Did The Tag Division Go Wrong?

I didn’t really notice the tag division devolving into a joke, but Los Matadores just beat the tag champions in a match that mostly revolved around little person humor, so yeah, there’s no denying the division is a joke at this point. I mean, I can’t name more than three regular tag teams off the top of my head – The Usos, The Dusts and Los Matadores. There used to be more! I know there was! Where did they go? What happened to them? [Checks my watch for lost time] we’ve got a conspiracy on our hands.

Worst: The Great Khali’s Continued Employment

Why is The Great Khali still employed? Is it because they think they need an Indian guy? Because there’s better Indian guys out there. Know how I know? Because literally every Indian pro wrestler who’s ever laced up a pair of boots is better than The Great Khali.

The dude seemingly hasn’t won a match in years. He hasn’t had a match longer than 90-seconds in years. Khali’s mystique is as low as a seven foot tall living gargoyle’s mystique could possibly be. He’s not even a regular part of the show – he just shows up every month or so, does a minute-and-a-half of work then disappears again. Are they just keeping him around so they can force women they’re mad at to dance with and/or kiss him? I have a habit of answering my own questions, don’t I?

Worst: Um, Sheamus isn’t American

After the match Lana and her shiny Pepto Bismol suit (even she couldn’t avoid the terrible outfit curse tonight) announced she and Rusev are now receiving instructions directly from MOTHER RUSSIA, hopefully in the form of old-timey telegraphs, stuffed inside a capsule and shot out of a trick spy umbrella. They’re now to go after America’s champion! Oh no! America would never tolerate a non-American US Cham—oh, right.

So out comes Sheamus, talking about how he’s wanted to shut down Rusev’s anti-Americanism since his debut and how deeply he believes in everything the US Title represents, while wearing Irish Cross and cloverleaf covered gear and speaking in a thick brogue. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with an Irish guy admiring America, but if that’s the case, be honest about it.

“Here comes the Celtic Warrior Sheamus! He’s from Ireland, but he really respects his new American home!”

Instead they tried to sweep it under the carpet – this was maybe the first segment in Sheamus’ entire WWE career where neither he nor the commentators mentioned his Irish-ness. It’s not like you haven’t had time to figure out how to get the US Title on an American transitional champ. Plan better, WWE.

Worst: Welp, I’m Already Tired of Bray Wyatt Promos Again

I was hoping Bray’s little hiatus might allow me start fresh with him, but nope, I’m already tired of the act again, new smoking lantern and all. This promo certainly packed a lot of passion, like most Bray promos, but the whole “You’re a monster just like MEEEE!” thing doesn’t really work, because Dean Ambrose isn’t really a monster, is he? He’s a mildly wacky sarcastic dude who does mannequin comedy and stars in WWE action-comedies. His current character is more Edge and Christian than classic Mick Foley.

Best: Trick or Street Fight

I admit, I like how modern WWE hardcore matches/street fights just embrace the silliness of the stipulation instead of acting like guys hitting each other with cookie sheets and kendo sticks (which are specifically designed to not be painful or dangerous) is some deadly serious, edgy thing. If you’re going to have a street fight, by all means, paint everything candy corn colors and have apple bobbing stations around ringside.

Also, I was pleased to see Chekhov’s jack-o-lanterns coming into play. Miz had a bunch of jack-o-lanterns sitting around the ring for Miz TV, and I was very disappointed that Sandow didn’t take a gourd to the skull, but it turns out my disappointment was needless — the pumpkins returned in a big way for the main event, with Cesaro taking a backdrop into a pile of them, in a fantastically stupid visual. Would falling into a pile of pumpkins even hurt? Seems like they might actually cushion your fall. Somebody test it out and let me know your findings.

Then the match ended the only way it possible could…

The living embodiment of pro wrestling lying dead with a shattered pumpkin on his head. Yup, that pretty much sums up this Smackdown.