The Best And Worst Of Smackdown 4/16/15: Kiss Me Arse

Cena with his best “thank goodness Bryan’s arm didn’t fall off” face.

Pre-show Notes:

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Worst: Unbreakable Siberian Steel

Smackdown kicked off with John Cena coming out to address Rusev and his Russian chain match at Extreme Rules. It turns out the stipulation has already changed – it’s no longer a basic “guys can hit each other with a chain” thing. It’s now a bull rope match, with two guys being chained together with UNBREAKABLE SIBERIAN STEEL. Ugh. I hate bull rope matches. Hate ’em. It’s the most needlessly convoluted, phony stip in wrestling, so of course John Cena has had a million of them. The only way I end up happy about this is if Rusev yanks Cena to every corner with the chain like he’s friggin’ Scorpion. Get over here-ski.

Best: Unexpected FACT Dropping

Thankfully John was interrupted by the tag champs before he could elaborate too much more on Russian alloys. I always like it when unexpected guys come out during these opening talky segments. I mean, why shouldn’t they? The next time The Undertaker returns why doesn’t Zack Ryder wander out to talk social media presence? It’s never been established that there’s anything stopping anybody from coming out whenever they want. WWE has an open stage policy.

The Swinging Cats then start dropping some serious FACTS on John, and thankfully Cena looks like he’s willing to play along. No condescending “Who are these assholes?” look on his face or nipple jokes. Cesaro and Kidd claimed they were the best champions in WWE today, so Cena told one of them to step up and accept the Cena US Open Challenge. This brought out Bryan, although sadly his body isn’t working so well right now, so he wasn’t accepting Cena’s challenge. He asked if the audience thought Cesaro and Kidd were the best champs (Nattie covering Tyson’s ears as they booed was a great touch). He asked if they thought Cena was the best champ. Finally he asked if they thought he…was the most handsome man in WWE.

Obviously everybody was having a lot of fun here, and Cesaro and Kidd seemed pretty chuffed to have a play date with the popular kids. It was all very house show-ish, but that’s fine. More of the goofy, anything to entertain spirit of live WWE shows should make it to TV. Eventually we wound around to a ALL CHAMPIONS Cena & Bryan vs. Cesaro & Kidd match. Hmmm, wonder who’s going to win that one?

Worst: Are You Kidding Me?

Bray Wyatt wrestled R-Truth again on Smackdown. I’d rather watch Wyatt wrestle with a book of Sudoku puzzles at this point.

Best: Bad News Barrett Being Allowed to Look Competent

Believe it or not, Bad News Barrett was allowed to look like a tough, competent wrestler in front of a home country crowd on Smackdown. He came out, elbowed former World Champ The Miz in the face and pinned him in 10 seconds. Weird, right?

Barrett being the most hapless guy in the company isn’t just frustrating because he’s talented. It particularly hurts because few guys in the company are as good at looking competent as Barrett is. He’s got that legit tough guy swagger. Barrett celebrating over a pile of guys he just Bullhammered to death is infinitely more satisfying than, say, Roman Reigns posing over that same pile. Barrett doesn’t have to be World Champion or anything, but please, give him more opportunities to be a successful dude with dignity.

Worst: Mizzy Wizzy

Until now I assumed Sandow continuing to steal The Miz’s gear, moves and mannerisms was just laziness on WWE’s part, and that he’d get his own stuff eventually. Shows what I know.

Miz finally called Sandow on his thievery, and Sandow fired back by challenging Miz to a match for the rights to the Miz name, look and gimmick. Say what? The Miz’s real name is Mike Mizanin. You can’t win a person’s actual name in a match. Most of Miz’s act his just himself turned up to 11. How is this weird doppelganger trying to violently seize another man’s life not the creepiest heel in WWE? Worse, Sandow has to lose this match, right? So when he finally does get a new look and entrance it will be a celebration of failure. The thing he got because he couldn’t be The Miz. How could they have gone so wrong with this thing? Sandow should be trying to escape Miz’s shadow, not pathetically clinging to it.

Oh, and bonus Worst to Summer Rae for being an appalling baby-voiced living Trollface throughout this segment. I remind you, this woman has been in a movie and presumably received actual acting training.

Best: Sheamus vs. Neville

This was the best main roster Neville has had to date. His matches against other agile guys like Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler have been good, but he actually works best against a bigger guy who can provide a good contrast to Neville and base for his acrobatics.

The match told a good story too, with Neville playing the over-excited rookie, and Sheamus playing the cagey vet. Neville started with a nice flurry, but got over-eager after missing a Red Arrow and followed Sheamus to the outside where he turned the tables. Also, in addition to the high-flying (of which there was a lot) Neville got to show a bit of his more rough and tumble side against Sheamus.

Sadly the match ended in DQ when Sheamus slammed Neville on the table, but really, I was fine with that. At least Neville actually got to win a match on the main roster, and it was perfectly in keeping with Sheamus’ bully character. Hopefully a full feud between these two happens sometime.

Worst: Well, That Got Weird Quick

After the match, Sheamus started laying a beating on Neville and Dolph made the save. They got into some passable smack talk and Dolph challenged Sheamus to a match, but Sheamus told him to kiss his arse. Uh, then things got weird.

Sheamus looked like he was going to walk away, but then he turned around and said he was going to make Ziggler literally kiss his ass, because he’s asked for a “Kiss Me Arse” match with him at Extreme Rules. How the hell does that match get set up? Did Sheamus see Brad Maddox sneaking around back stage, just assume he was general manager again and ask him? You might want to take this one a little higher up the ladder, fella. Then things got weirder.

Dolph accepted, then said he was going to grind, pull and stretch Sheamus so hard he wouldn’t know which end is up, then make him kiss his own arse. Boy, good thing Dolph didn’t say he wanted Sheamus to kiss his arse – that might have been a bit homoerotic. Oh, and you better win this one Dolph. If Sheamus’ gleaming white ass ends up exposed and an arena of children is blinded, it’s on you, buddy.

Best: Kofi Kingston’s Pigtails

I continue to be totally into heel New Day. “Foggy London, we’re here to bring you sunshine”? Kofi Kingston wrestling in pigtails? These guys are operating on a level I didn’t know they were capable of. The match was also pretty good, or at least as good as a Los Matadores match can be.

Clap on and clap on and clap on and clap on and clap on…

Best: Scumbag Adam Rose

I should probably be Worsting this segment, but I’m a sucker for any segment that allows Adam Rose to express his true sleazebag self. Sucker? See what I did there? Fandango dumps Rosa for realsies, and literally five seconds later Rose flounces down the hall to scavenge him some scraps. Is that the real purpose of the Rosebuds? Are they agents constantly on the lookout for rebound humping opportunities? It’d explain why Rose totes a bus from town to town.

Best: The Dorkiest Giant in History

Well, this was a big ol’ pile of goofiness. They just sent Big Show out there with no material to recap what he did to Roman on Raw, and well, I won’t say the dude did his best, but I was entertained. Sure, opening with “It was made painfully obvious to me, the people of England SUCK” wasn’t the most subtle, but subtlety is overrated. Especially in pro wrestling. Sometimes you just need a giant to point out where he threw a guy’s head through a car door, make a few “the English have bad teeth” jokes the wobble a car around with his legs.

Worst: One For the “Worst Match of the Year” File

Okay, so this match got a good amount of time, had some near falls, even tried to tell somewhat of a story. That’s good. More WWE women’s matches should do that. Unfortunately the match involved Cameron and unmotivated, sloppy Alicia Fox. I’m all for letting the ladies try more things, but this started feel like a parody about two minutes in, and then it went another four horrifying minutes.

There were so many “highlights” it’s hard to keep track of them all – how about the powerbomb/superplex tower spot I’m pretty sure was specifically designed to kill everybody (I think Cameron and Alicia bonked heads on it)? Or Alicia mistiming her bump and getting legit waylaid by Natalya’s discus clothesline? Or Nattie getting pinned after Fox axe-kicked her butt? No slight at all to Nattie, but she shouldn’t be laying down after being hit in the butt. Girl’s got some protective padding back there.

Oh, and yes, Cameron is now on a winning streak, because the Divas division completely unraveled the literal second AJ left.

Worst: Stop Encouraging This Man

Why is everybody playing along with Retro Fandango? Remember when people used to chant for guys because they thought they were good and/or bad? I don’t believe anybody thinks Fandango is anything.

Anyways, yeah, Fandango and Adam Rose were having their usual forgettable match, when Rosa came barreling out on heels, because women and their craaaazy emotions, amirite? This “caused” Adam Rose to lose, although you don’t really need an outside explanation for a Adam Rose loss. So yes, we’re redoing the Fandango-Summer Rae storyline with Rosa Mendes. If you need a moment, I’ll understand. Just cry it out.

Worst: Wanna Hear a Secret?

No Bray, I don’t want to hear a secret. There’s only so many times your brother can burp in your ear before you start to catch on.

Best: All Champions Tag Team Match

WWE almost certainly didn’t want to put the tag champs in the main event, but Bryan is so busted up they sent him home after this show, so they had to protect him in a randomly thrown together tag match. Also, Bryan and Cena’s opponents needed to be consummate pros who wouldn’t hurt Bryan further, so enter Cesaro and Kidd.

The circumstances that led to the match may have been out of WWE’s control, but I can’t complain about the results. John Cena sold for most of the match, which is admittedly always fun to see. It wasn’t fake “make a poopy face while preparing to overcome the odds” selling either.

When Bryan finally got the tag, he thankfully worked a lot safer than he has been recently. Still lots of kicks and running around, but less spills onto his head or dives to the outside. It kind of felt like a preview of what Bryan’s style might be if WWE ever convinces him to take it down a notch, and you know what? It was fine. It was fun. I’d be perfectly alright with more of this.

You don’t have to take half-nelson suplexes onto your head to make me happy, Bryan. You still being able to walk at age 40 would make me happy.