The Best And Worst Of Smackdown 1/29/15: Doin’ The Hartford Hoedown

The day Cena finally Jacks so hard his head explodes inches ever closer.

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Worst: WWE Has No Balls

I mean, that’s the most obvious punchline, right? Triple H made a bunch of ball jokes at the NFL’s expense (because football is STUPID and wrestling is COOL) then said WWE has never had a problem with balls, beeecause they don’t have any? Because they’re a wrestling show and not a ball-based sport? It’s a sad day when WWE can’t even properly format their nut jokes anymore.

Anyways, Triple H started off Smackdown with a, let’s say, interesting little spiel. It kind of felt like a promo that might sneak out during the Christmas holidays when WWE thinks nobody’s watching. Dude started by shootin’ on the blizzard, then tried to sell Monday’s Raw clip show where they gave away the Rumble for free as a rebellious moment of quick-thinking ingenuity. From there it was onto the balls jokes, then he actually acknowledged everyone crapping their pants over Roman Reigns winning the Rumble, and teased a Raw announcement that would shake WWE to its core. Huh. I doubt the announcement will be “this is fake, so who cares, somebody else gets the shot” but I think that was kinda, sorta what they were teasing.

Finally, Roman Reigns appeared and was all “Announcement? What announcement? I won the Rumble, don’t you f*ck me on this” and Triple H was all, “Eh, we’ll see” then f*cked the audience instead by making an impromptu Reigns/Big Show match…

Worst: Reignsacanrana-arama

Guys, I know we all kind of hate face Roman Reigns right now, but we might have to reconsider booing him. Turns out he was powered by the WWE Universe’s love, because in its absence this match was the hottest of hot garbages.

Most of the match was Reigns selling, which is always a guaranteed snorefest, mixed with him knocking the Big Show over the top rope over and over again. It doesn’t seem possible, but WWE might actually think people are mad about Roman Reigns winning the Rumble because he didn’t look strong enough, and so dedicated this entire match to reminding us that Roman Reigns is really super capable of knocking a guy over the ropes. The announcers really pounded it home the whole time too, ensuring us time and again that Roman really did great in the Rumble, and gosh, it just wasn’t his fault the fans were mad, and boy oh boy is he good at clotheslining guys over the top.

Oh, and the match featured the stunning debut of the Reignsacanrana…

…Jesus. He also managed to mess up his apron dropkick spot.

In the end, after being beat on the entire match, Reigns only won because Big Show made the massively stupid decision to interrupt the ass kicking to go to the top rope. But hey, Reigns still won with the spear, so the dude is still totally on track.

Best: I’ll Be Back. Ryback.

WWE has always had a big, squishy, slightly embarassing crush on Arnold Schwarzenegger, so of course they put together a fawning video package to commemorate his Hall of Fame announcement, and had bunch of wrestlers do their, uh, “best” Arnie impersonations.

This was similar to the thing they did with Randy Savage, but without the requirement to be at least slightly respectful and/or serious about it, so there was some pretty major doofery going on here. Ryback totally flubbing the timing on the “I’ll be back. Ryback” pun, the fact that 60% of the quotes were from Kindergarten Cop, Paige, for no reason I can imagine, doing a Home Alone quote instead – it’s sometimes nice to know that the folks that do wrestling are more or less as dorky as the folks who watch it.

Worst: Some Losers Did Some Stuff

Rollins with J&J in tow came out to brag about his performance at Royal Rumble, which irked me a bit. Sure, as a performer the Royal Rumble was a big step forward for Rollins, but within the fictional world of WWE Seth Rollins isn’t a performer, he’s a wrestler, a fighter and he lost his fight. A character as egotistical and driven as Rollins shouldn’t be happy and bragging about a loss. Sure, have Rollins boast about taking it to Brock, but also make it very clear he’s upset about the loss.

Anywho, Rollins then issued an open challenge, bringing out Ryback and in this segment’s second annoying turn, Rollins acted like he was afraid of Ryback mere seconds after recounting the tale of how he nearly beat BROCK LESNAR. Seth Rollins should not be sweating Ryback even a little bit.

Ryback hit the ring, and J&J Security immediately jumped him, prompting Rowan and Ziggler to run down for the save, but Rollins and J&J got away because the John Cena Fairweather Friends Crew are dorks. That said, I guess none of them got punched out and dumped out of the ring like bags of garbage tonight, so this was probably the best they’ve looked in the past week.

Best: Tyson and Cesaro Achieve a Thing!

Ordinarily I’d never give an Usos singles match a Best as a basic matter of principle, but come on, The Swinging Cats got to win a match! Against the tag team champions! Yeah, Tyson and Cesaro possibly getting a title shot at the random February PPV really isn’t a thing to get too excited about, but on the other hand, sadly, it kind of is. So here we are.

Best: A Man From the Past

I’m pretty excited Rusev and Lana have mostly dropped the xenophobe-baiting stuff, and instead decided to focus on the fact that Rusev is an unstoppable wrestling machine who should be destroying top guys and collecting championships. I always find it frustrating when the Big Shows, Tensais and Umagas of the world are pushed as these unbeatable monsters, but then they don’t get title opportunities. If I was a wrestler, I’d be demanding a title shot if I managed to string together three back-to-back wins.

Rusev’s promo was also pretty merciless, calling Cena out on the fact that he hasn’t won a title or really achieved anything of import for months now. John Cena is a man from the past, no hunger, no desire, a loser and Rusev don’t fight no losers. Well, except for all those times he wrestled Zack Ryder. Of course telling John Cena his time is up is the one surefire way to summon him, so…

Worst: Shut Your Hoel, Cena

Oh man guys, the next couple months are going to be rough. At least Cena didn’t resort to full-on southern preacher voice, but he did do rapper guy voice as he screamed about how he’s been running WWE since before Rusev and Lana and pubes and boobs respectively. Dude, Rusev and Lana were, like, 20, when you won your first world championship, what are you even talking about?

After that lovely intro, Cena spun off into some weird aside about Fred Astaire doing the Mashed Potato, then called Lana a ho four times within the span of a minute. I know it’s easy to say the wrong thing when Lana’s involved (trust me, I have experience), but Jesus, Be A Star, John. At the very least, keep your Howie Mandel puns to your goddamn self.

Best: There Will Be Bellas

I’m split on this segment – on the one hand, Nikki allowing her sister to drag her back into doing old-school robotic Bellas promos continues to be depressing, but I did like the sudden Paul Thomas Anderson-esque explosion of callous violence at the end. Also Paige made funny faces, because whatever, sometimes you gotta laugh when your lifelong dream turns out to be a joke.

But hey, let’s cut the pretense that I’m carefully weighing pros and cons here – Nikki Bella forearmed another girl in the face. Best.

Worst: I’m Already Tired of The Ascension vs. Gold and Stardust

This Ascension vs. Rhodes Bros. match was perfectly okay I guess. I wasn’t thrilled when Stardust blind-tagged in and got beat, because I am sooooo not interested in a Rhodes feud at this point, but otherwise, serviceable stuff. The problem is, Gold and Stardust never wrestle anybody any less than 100 times, and I was already pretty done with this pairing by the end of their first match. At least Main Event disappearing should spare me from watching at least a few dozen of those Ascension/Rhodes matches.


THERE IS A MAN ON TV WITH A REGENERATING COOKIE. Sorry folks, this is the last Smackdown report, as I’m now dedicating my life and all my scientific acumen to cracking the alchemy of the regenerating Oreo.

I like cookies, okay?

I’m an unapologetic nerd for magic, and I love that it’s become so meta that guys are now doing tricks as they spoil other tricks. Also, I knew they weren’t going to follow up on the Miz/Mizdow dissension from the Rumble in any serious way, but I definitely didn’t call “elaborately miming doing a magic trick” being Mizdow’s response to Miz trying to steal his Rumble spot. WWE still has the capacity to surprise I guess. So yeah, this was the best WWE segment of 2015 thus far, pretty much in a walk.

Worst: Bray Wyatt, Kane Hype Man?

So, Bray Wyatt cut a generic Bray Wyatt Titantron promo, then ended with the line “after what transpires next, you’ll never be able to smile again”. I’m sure he was supposed to be talking in a big picture sort of way, but it came off like he was playing Flavor Flav for the upcoming Kane match. Honestly, hype man for all the guys with horror movie gimmicks wouldn’t be the worst role for Bray in the world.

Best: The Casket Match

Compared to other Daniel Bryan matches this really wasn’t all that great, but by general standards it was perfectly passable. I’m not a casket match aficionado by any means, but I always thought they were similar to ambulance or stretcher matches, in that the idea was to incapacitate your opponent before you put them in the box, but Bryan and Kane played it more like a battle royal. They did a ton of goofy spots where one guy would try to force their opponent into the casket even though they were still completely fresh and capable of hopping right back out again. Eventually, as Bryan was holding the casket open with his legs while Kane tried to force the lid down on him, the whole thing became just silly enough to be kind of fun.

Even though Bryan generally seemed kind of dejected throughout most of the match, the final moments were good and fiery, and Bryan hitting the flying knee through the ropes to knock Kane into the casket was a nice final spot. So yeah, a solid match, although I have to say, this feels like a bad omen.

Come on man, don’t whistle past the graveyard and don’t YES on a coffin – everybody knows that.

Here’s your top 10 comments:


There are two former governors in the WWE Hall of Fame. That says a lot about the state of American politics.


Lesnar vs Reigns vs Axel confirmed


kane is merely figuring how the casket can be a tax write off since its a business related expense.


They had to talk Cena out of switching the targets in the “pubes and boobs” line guaranteed.


The catch is that after Bryan beats Kane, he has to beat him again in an inverted casket match to get the real ending of the feud.




Kane in another Casket Match, huh? Looks like all that’s missing is a…




I think King is shoot scared that the casket is actually for him.


The ironic thing is that the top of the casket still says C.M. Punk on it.


Simpsons reference.

Thanks for making the report funnier folks. We’ll do it again next time the show is live.