I really respect you, you turd.
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Worst: You Deserve Better Than This, Mark
Last week on SmackDown, Mark Henry made his surprise return and took Roman Reigns to the verbal woodshed, telling him everything most of us are already thinking: He has no identity, he hasn’t earned his spot and he doesn’t have anybody’s respect. Reigns’ rebuttal to this stinging takedown was a bunch of “aw, gee whiz” faces and a Superman punch.
Well, Henry interrupted Reigns again this week, but guess what? He now LOVES reigns. Yup, Reigns really showed him something with that one punch, and now he’s 100 percent on his side after being 100 percent on Brock’s side last week. You shouldn’t be able to buy Mark Henry’s respect with one sucker punch and a spear. I mean, did Mark not know Roman could throw a punch before last week? Was he afraid that Reigns was going take on Brock with nothing but headbutts and kicks?
Anyways, Mark just wants to make it official: He deserved to get beaten up, and Roman is a God that he’s going to bet all his money on at WrestleMania. Oh, Mark. Have you fallen behind on Hall of Pain mortgage payments? Why are you doing this?
The Authority then showed up (well, the sad SmackDown version consisting of Rollins, Kane and J&J) and they made a tag match. Yeah, I know. Hard to believe. They assured us that Randy Orton won’t be here tonight because they’ve blocked every entrance in the building. That’s gotta be a fire hazard. Welp, I have to say, I’m looking forward to a completely Randy-less show. Thanks, Authority!
Worst: Here’s The Awesome Fujinami Video They Didn’t Have Time tTo Show You
If a guy’s important enough to go into your Hall of Fame, isn’t he important enough to merit two minutes on SmackDown? Maybe cut a couple of your half-dozen “Jamie Noble berates a security guard” segments in order to get the guy who invented the f*cking Dragon Suplex a little TV time. They actually did make a video for Tatsumi Fujinami, and it’s pretty great, so I suggest you watch it.
You know how sometimes WWE inducts somebody who’s been around forever, and you kind of have to pretend the old clips of them wrestling look good? “Oh, well, that’s just how matches were back then.” Certainly don’t have that issue with Fujinami.
Worst: Not Sure What The Lesson Is Here
I really, genuinely enjoy women’s wrestling. Frankly, I’d rather watch even a “bad” women’s match than most nothing, mid-card men’s matches. Ever since the #GiveDivasAChance thing, I’ve really been trying to stay positive and look for silver linings, but I just can’t do it anymore with this A.J. & Paige vs. the Bellas thing. Literally every aspect of this feud is a stale retread. The “different” girls vs. the Total Divas, A.J. and Paige being frenemies, Nikki complaining that she isn’t respected because of her looks, the twice-weekly Brie Bella matches. It’s blatantly clear that no thought has been put into any of this. They could have called up an NXT girl, or brought back a veteran Diva or taught a Kardashian to do a handspring elbow or something, anything to create some interest in the women, but we’re getting a match that wouldn’t even main-event an episode of Main-Event.
The actual match between Paige and Brie was pretty good while it lasted. Brie is getting to be almost as boss as her sister in the ring. Ultimately, though, the whole thing lasted two minutes and ended in a roll-up, so meh.
Best: Keepin’ The Perimeter Clear
They did too many of these segments, but I’ll admit, I did kind of enjoy the sight of J&J Security actually, you know, doing security stuff. It’s something they should play up more often. Noble and Mercury should just always have a small swarm of middle-aged mom and dorky teenage security guards following around. Yup, feelin’ pretty secure about this being an Orton-free show.
Worst: Clearing Out The Chaff
So, all the IC title guys (minus Barrett) were in a gauntlet match on SmackDown, because, shrug, gotta fill those two hours somehow. The match quickly disposed of the human recycling. First, Stardust got rolled up within about a minute, then R-Truth, the guy who’s basically been the main focus of this whole IC title debacle, comes out, gets distracted by Stardust and immediately pinned by Ambrose. To repeat an earlier question, if two guys are important enough to have a title match at WrestleMania, aren’t they important enough to merit more than two minutes on SmackDown?
Best: Holy Sh*t
Thankfully, things took a turn for the rad once Luke Harper entered the match. The dude was having none of Ambrose’s lazy, rebound clotheslining bullshit. Harper was hitting badass second rope stunguns and crossfaces on Ambrose, then he just nailed him with his powerbomb and pinned his ass. Clean as a sheet. Holy crap.
Harper is suddenly the most credible guy in the whole WWE because he just straight-up beat a guy by being big, tough and good at wrestling, which nobody ever gets to do. And here comes Daniel Bryan looking like he wants a war. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeeeeah.
Bryan vs. Harper was the best WWE TV match of the year thus far. There were so many great things about this match. Bryan getting 300+ pound Luke Harper up in a surfboard and then doing leg presses with him. Harper going for the discus clothesline, getting interrupted with a kick, then just continuing to go for it. Harper tossing Bryan right on his f*cking head with a half-nelson suplex. Well, that last one was also a bit terrifying in addition to great.
Then, the finish… man, the finish. Bryan was kicking the shit out of Harper’s legs the whole match, and Harper was doing an absolutely fantastic job of selling them. Harper could barely stand, he was collapsing into covers, and then out of nowhere, Bryan grabs a heel hook, a move we’ve never seen him do before in WWE, and Harper taps out. What is even happening? Wreeeeestling!
Best: Holy Sh*t Part 2
So, now Bryan is the most credible, awesome guy in WWE because he just systematically destroyed the old most credible awesome guy in WWE. And here comes Dolph Ziggler. They almost ruin the good mood by having Ziggler call Bryan a turd in an inset promo, but thankfully, he restrains himself.
Did I say Bryan/Harper was the best WWE TV match of the year? Well, we already have a new champion. This was so good. So good. Bryan was great as always, blasting around like a maniac and throwing uppercuts that would make Cesaro blush, but Ziggler really stepped up and impressed me. His offense looked more credible here than it ever has. His punches, while not Daniel Bryan quality, were actually pretty solid tonight, and he was throwing headbutts and superkicks left and right.
These guys were battling for everything. A simple backslide spot became a life-and-death war. I only had one gripe with the match…
Worst: Ziggler Winning
That gripe being that Ziggler won. Don’t get me wrong, this is a very minor Worst, and really not justifiable at all, but if Daniel Bryan has to wrestle for the IC title, I at least want him to dominate the division. I don’t want him trading wins with Dolph Ziggler and Stardust. Petty, I know.
After the match, Bad News Barrett came out, and I thought for sure somebody was going to steal the belt again, but he just elbowed everyone’s head off and stood around looking like a credible champ. I kind of hope WWE just gives the Intercontinental division next week off because after that gauntlet match, I am at MAXIMUM HYPE for the IC title ladder match, and anything else they do will just ruin it.
Worst: Six-Being Interspecies Match
From the previous match, to this. This match is funny because one team has a short person on it and the other has a woman. Interspecies! Little people and women aren’t humans!
This match was just kind of there for the most part, until I remembered Tyson and Cesaro are the Tag Team Champions and this is how they’re setting up a title bout at WrestleMania. Then, it became sad. That said, this match did feature a leather-clad Natalya powerbombing the bullshit out of Torito for the win…
… so forget what I said, this match gets my bestest possible Best.
Worst: He Can And Did Bore Me
I originally watched this show on Wednesday, and by the time I got around to writing this report today, I’d completely forgotten this match even happened. Mark Henry is face down and unresponsive backstage, which everyone is only mildly concerned about because Roman Reigns now has ODDS TO OVERCOME.
Roman Reigns vs. Kane and Seth Rollins in a pointless handicap match was about as stimulating as you’d expect. Slow, repetitive, nothing really building to anything. That thing Reigns does where he clotheslines guys multiple times in the corner has to go. It looks like he’s dancing with his opponent. Then, Reigns just speared Kane and won. He could, he did and I didn’t care.
Best: Randy Orton RKO-ing Dweebs
WHAT?! NO! YOU PROMISED ME, AUTHORITY! YOU PROMISED ME!
Eh, what the hell. Randy Orton murdering every security guard in the building was entertaining enough. To be honest, I’m actually pretty excited for Orton vs. Jamie Noble at WrestleMania.