The Best And Worst Of Smackdown 12/5/14: WWE’s Version Of A Demolition Derpy

Stop being so angry cartoon jumping man.

Woof, this was not a great week to the the B-show reviewer. If you appreciate my sacrifice please hit these here share buttons!

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Worst: Santinodown

What is WWE’s hang up with putting the least qualified people possible in charge of their shows? Teddy Long, Vickie Guerrero, Brad Maddox and the list goes on – apparently the qualifications for running WWE are either be a McMahon family member or failing that, be a wildly incompetent joke. What happened to giving guys like Mick Foley and William Regal these roles? They have a whole gaggle of guys with Legends contracts either sitting at home or whiling their time away at autograph signings – put Ted DiBiase, Ricky Steamboat or Ric Flair in an on-air position of authority and give your damn shows some credibility.

I mean, just don’t get what WWE’s trying to achieve with these crappy GMs. Does the company not realize they’re making themselves look bad by portraying most of their authority figures as stupid and/or insane? Who wants to follow seriously invest in TV show controlled by clowns?

Phew. So yes, Santino Marella was in charge of Smackdown, a position he earned by, uh, making funny voices and barely being on TV for the past year? I suppose he was the one to discover the identity of the Anonymous General Manager back in the now-retconned day. Did he extort control of Smackdown from Hornswoggle? Why am I watching a show lorded over by Super Mario and a leprechaun?

Best: Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler

I’ve been getting on Luke Harper’s case a bit since he began his singles run – his work has just been a bit sloppy and not up to the standards he set as part of the Wyatts or earlier in his career. Thankfully, while not a classic by any means, his latest match with Dolph was a good notch above what he’s been turning in lately.

It was still a bit on the slow side, but the sloppiness was largely cleared up, Harper was hitting some good hard shots and the action built nicely. Unfortunately it built to a DQ ending, but I dunno, I’m kind of okay with DQs when they come about from one guy just blatantly booting the the other in the balls. One, guys getting hit in the balls is always funny and two, I don’t mind DQs when they feel like acts of desperation. Then they feel like a natural part of a fight as opposed to WWE just hitting the “end match now” button. So yeah (yeah yeah), not a bad little match.

Worst: A Bunch of Splinters in his Butt

People like to kvetch about Raw’s 30-minute talky segments, but they’ve got nothing on Smackdown’s say-nothing, progress-nothing wastes of breath. Granted this segment started on a semi-amusing note with Seth Rollins rabidly going after cheap Christmas heat (used to be you waited until at least the second week of December to go for Christmas heat) but everything after that was pure filler. Just guys recapping their storylines as slowly as possible and laughing robotically at Seth Rollins’ third-grade jokes about how Cena is going to get splinters up his butt when he puts him through a table. His butt! Ha ho ha ho ha ha ha!

By the by, why are The Authority guys still hanging around together in suits? Why is Kane still wrestling in slacks? Why is John Cena in danger of losing his title shot at TLC? The Authority is supposed to be out of power, and yet the shows are exactly the same. Oh, and here comes Santino to make the exact same tag TEAM match Triple H or Stephanie or Teddy Long or a random MacBook would make. Half WWE’s storylines are about who’s in charge of this and that, but there’s nothing than matters less in WWE than who’s in charge. WWE is a hive mind – none of the individual worker bees have a voice or ability to shake things up. Only the queen (aka Vince McMahon) can alter the course, but he’s too busy munching royal jelly and excreting eggs from his fat, swollen…uh, I think this analogy may have got away from me. What was I talking about? Right, splinters in John Cena’s butt. Ha ho ha ho ha ha ha!

Best: A Good New Day Segment!

Hold onto your seats, I’m about to Best a segment featuring The New Day. It was mostly Cesaro and Tyson Kidd’s doing, but this match was actually pretty passable! Oh, and they now have a double-team finisher that actually make sense and looks like it hurts. Progress!

Worst: Darkness Will Not Prevail

I’m not so sure how progressive the post-match stuff was though. The Dusts going on about black holes and darkness not prevailing in the presence of The New Day felt intentional and a tad uncomfortable. Big E going full preacher in response didn’t exactly help the situation. I dunno, like I said, the match was okay, and I thought I caught a few flickering glimpses of a better future for the New Day guys when Xavier and Kofi were talking, so I’m more positive on the group than I was last week. Still, this kid’s reaction pretty much sums up my current enthusiasm levels…

Worst: What’d You Do That For?

What’s this? Naomi experiencing joy? Rarrgh! Crush it! Crush the joy Jimmy! Hurl it to the ground!

As I said in the Main Event bee an’ dubya, Jimmy was maybe justified in being upset with Miz at first (within reason), but the jig’s up now – even if Miz was trying to get in Naomi’s spandex pants, he was caught red-handed on TV, so what can happen now? Miz’s continued offers to help Naomi pretty much have to be taken face value at this point, because any devious plot is exposed and dead.

Honestly, two people in a healthy relationship would laugh all this off, but no, Jimmy’s grabbing flowers from Naomi with murder in his eyes and pitching them across the room like he’s a Samoan Stanley Kowalski. There’s a sinister person in this storyline, and it sure ain’t Miz – could this be intentional? Does WWE think turning one of their twin face-painted, jumpin’ super-babyfaces into a wife beater is the way to go? No, knowing WWE, Naomi will turn on Jimmy (justifiably, because he’s being a grade-a b-hole) and she’ll be the villain.

Worst: Bait and Switch to Nothing

Dean Ambrose vs. Rusev was the one match advertised for Smackdown. Guess which match didn’t end up happening on the show?

Instead of doing a backstage injury angle or just having Cole admit that Ambrose/Rusev is too potentially important for Smackdown, they spent an entire segment explaining (badly) why the advertised match wasn’t going to happen. See, Rusev attacked Zeb Colter on Raw, so that means he’s not wrestling Dean Ambrose on Smackdown for, uh, some reason? Ambrose kind of pointed out that this all made no sense and was going to fight Rusev anyways, when Bray jumped him and all was forgotten, because you don’t have to keep your promises once the punching starts in WWE.

At least Ambrose got to do a little gloating about destroying Bray’s chair during the segment. An old rocking chair may seem like a silly focus for a feud, but Dean destroying that chair was probably the most significant, lasting thing to happen in WWE in the last three months.

Worst: A Singles Match With The Uso That Doesn’t Even Have a Hot Wife

What the hell am I watching here? A singles match featuring the Uso that isn’t married to Naomi? Why? This whole Usos thing is so uninspiring it’s actually dulling my passion for Miz and Sandow. For the first time ever I had a “Eh, is that all you’ve got?” feeling when Mizdow was doing his wacky spots. God-dammit, don’t you ruin my perfect Mizdow love, WWE.

Worst: Get Your Mouth Off That

I’m giving Naomi vs. Brie Bella a Worst, but there was nothing really bad about it. There was nothing really good about it either. Everything about the segment was perfectly neutral, perfectly unremarkable. I mean, I guess it’s nice that Naomi actually got to have a match instead just hanging around backstage in her gear waiting for men to either hit on her or throw her stuff on the ground. That’s something! AJ might have said some clever things on commentary, but I couldn’t get past her bored delivery. That’s about all there is to say about this segment. Moving on.

Worst: Big Red Rowan

Boy, Big Red Rowan sure is big! And red! And Rowan-ey! Big Red Rowan sounds like slang for a dog boner – Bad News Barrett should have claimed the name for his finisher while he had the chance.

So, this was just about the least likable combination of four men WWE could have put in the ring. Rollins and Big Show are the two least trustworthy arseholes in WWE, but are Ryback and Erick Rowan much better? Ryback flip-flops as often as Show, and Erick Rowan was still a hair-pawing cultists mere weeks ago. Honestly all these guys should be heels, so there wasn’t a huge amount of drama in the early portions of this match. Just a bunch of big jerks (and one small jerk) clubbin’ on each other.

Thankfully things picked up late in the match with Rollins and Ryback in particular working at a nice clip, but the ending was, well, odd. Big Show tags in, but the ref doesn’t see it and Ryback uses the distraction to get the advantage on a tired Rollins. Are we supposed to feel sorry for Show and Rollins? Don’t worry WWE, I won’t blame you if you forgot which side of this match were supposed to be the good guys.