The Best And Worst Of Smackdown 5/16/14: Balls Balls Balls Balls Balls

Never give up on washing your balls balls balls balls balls.

Pre-show Notes:

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Worst: Don’t Be So Selfish With Your Radioactive Super Blood, Cena

Before properly launching into his show-opening promo, John Cena felt he needed to leach some crowd sympathy from Daniel Bryan as he lies in his hospital bed. Come on Cena, save your well wishes and just give Bryan some of your Wolverine blood. It doesn’t even have to be a full transfusion! Just give him a 5-Hour Energy bottle full and he’ll be recovered from this broken neck bother within the week.

With that pandering done, it was on to The Wyatts, with Cena calling Bray out for speaking with charisma and passion without really saying anything. Hey, stop stealing my material Johnny. Thankfully I didn’t have to feel uncomfortable about being on the same page as John Cena for too long, because then it was time for ball talk! Feud with John Cena long enough and he will make your testicles a subject of conversation and boy did he on Smackdown, listing off gonad synonyms for so long even the 10-year-old boys in the audience were starting to get exhausted.

Bray Wyatt lacks those all-important balls, ya see. Of course that’s totally at odds with Bray’s characterization thus far — Bray’s a dangerous brawler who’s gladly stepped into the ring with John Cena on multiple occasions. He usually hangs back and sends in Rowan and Harper because, well, what’s the point of having followers if you can’t make them do your dirty work for you? But nope, Cena insists Bray choose one of the Wyatts to face him tonight, then tries to shame Bray into picking himself, saying any other choice would be evidence of cowardice. Well, no, it would be evidence of intelligence, but I guess that’s more or less the same thing as cowardice in John Cena’s world.

Bray Wyatt responded to John Cena’s challenge by singing a song, because this feud has been two guys reading from different scripts from day one, so why change things now?

Best: Turning As a Team

On Raw Cody beat Damien Sandow with an eye-rake and Goldust acted kind of put out, which made people fear we were in for a story in which Goldust, whose most beloved move is an elaborate low-blow, castigates Cody for rule breaking. Thankfully on Smackdown the Rhodeses wrestled the Usos and both Cody and Goldust were happily working heel.

Have The Shield started a new trend? Traditionally only one member of a tag team was allowed to turn, and then they had feud with their partner until one was clearly designated the Michaels and one the Jannetty. I mean, it makes sense that guys who wrestle together every night in matching costumes might also change allegiances together, right?

I really do hope Cody and Goldust are turning heel together, because nobody wants to see them fight, and they’re both better as bad guys. Heel Cody can focus more on his physical, brawling side, which is much better than his half-formed high flying side, and while nobody’s actually going to boo Goldust, working heel allows him incorporate all sorts of amusing little veteran tricks. This match was definitely the most lively the Rhodes boys have looked in some time…annd then they lost, which means they’re probably still breaking up, but oh well. For tonight a united bad guy Rhodes Bros. was a thing, and it was fun.

Best: I Can’t Stop Liking This

On paper Torito wrestling Heath Slater would seem to be treading dangerously close to Hornswoggle/Chavo Guerrero territory, and yet, well, it’s Torito vs. Heath Slater! Torito is better than Swoggle and Heath is much better than Chavo when it comes to being a shameless dork, so this was entertaining. Plus that moonsault finish was crisp as shit. I’m totally going to stop liking this little person comedy feud next week though. Totally.

Worst: A Match Almost as Terrible as Picasso

Gat-dangit WWE, stop showing me Paige video packages unless Paige is about to come through the curtain. A couple weeks back you used a Paige package to set up a Tamina match, and this week you use one to introduce a rematch of the Nikki Bella/Natalya fiasco from Raw? Intolerable. I will not tolerate it.

Anyways, holy shit, this match was the worst possible time you could have watching attractive spandex-clad women tussling. Eva Marie was playing referee and, well, bless her pretty plastic soul. The poor girl is incapable of walking across the ring in a natural manner. Also, every time she had to go for the count she’d sort of squat down or flop awkwardly onto her hip. I guess the trainers just assumed she already had an aptitude for getting down on her…

Uh, maybe I shouldn’t finish that thought.

Even without Eva Marie’s crack officiating, this bout would have been pretty ghastly. The end of the match in particular was, well, I’m not even sure I can describe it. Natalya had Nikki up in a surfboard, then Nikki flopped down, sort of looked like she was giving birth to Natalya for a second, and then Nikki won somehow. I dunno. GIFs to the rescue!

Of course all the commentators could talk about was Natalya’s painting, because WWE expects their pro-grapplers to be trained artistes now I guess. At one point Cole tries to defend Nattie’s painting by saying people thought Picasso and Van Gogh were awful at first, and JBL responds with “What’s changed? Maybe in Canada that’s art.” Yes. Yes it is. WWE — still not quite sure if they’re on board with f–king impressionism.

Worst: I Hope Batista Eats Dolph Ziggler Alive

First off, hey Renee, welcome back to Smackdown. Visit more often.

Secondly, shut it Dolph Ziggler. Your “I’m underappreciated so I’m going to say snarky passive-aggressive things on Twitter” character wearies me. Yeah dude, you’re pretty good when you’re shouting about how great you think you are, but when it comes to the hard stuff — actually carrying storylines and getting the audience to invest in you, you’re a flop. I don’t fondly remember, or really remember at all, a single feud you’ve been involved in. Since he’s returned Batista has brought me a lot more entertainment than you have you diaper-wearing goof.

Best: He did!

Only thing Dolph’s going to be showing off for a while is kidney bruising.

Oh, Batista — why do you always have to get so good right before you leave us? I’ve been on Team Batista from the moment he put on the newsboy hat and officially turned heel, but I’m loving the current incredulous, can’t be assed Animal. Nobody else in the company has the courage (or opportunity) to be such an unrepentant asshole heel in the ring. He stalls, he cowers, he ends the matches as soon as possible even when he’s in absolutely no danger, taking easy count out victories and low-blowing Ziggler when he’s going for his flailing corner punches. If Batista comes back again, he needs to be signed to a series of one-week contracts so he’s perpetually just about to leave the company.

Worst: Don’t Worry, Sheamus Will Never Lose Again

Recently Sheamus lost twice in one week and WWE has been frantically trying to make amends for it since with a parade of underserved title wins and smug effortless victories. Remember that time a couple weeks ago when Titus O’Neil got a in couple minutes of offense before being sucker kicked and pinned? Well don’t worry, they cut straight to the kick on Smackdown, with Sheamus beating Titus in around two-seconds. Sure, why not? Sub 30-second Brogue Kick victories have done a lot for Sheamus in the past, right?

Best: The Party Bus of the Damned

So, Byron Saxton tries to interview Adam Rose and of course Rose’s entourage is partying up a storm, and by partying up a storm I mean sort of bopping up and down in a desultory manner around the door of a tour bus sitting in an empty parking lot without any music. I like the idea of the Exotic Express being a vessel of the damned that compels its cursed inhabitants to party all day, every day — sure, sometimes they’re feeling it and break out the Hungry Hungry Hippos, but most of the time they’re just half-heartedly baby dancing while staring vacantly into space. Is Party Cat actually sitting on a little throne in the back of the bus?

Also, I couldn’t identify the new brunette lady in Adam Rose’s posse, but I’d be pretty okay with her showing up again.

Worst: Did Somebody Lose The Footage Of the Main Event?

What is happening here? Smackdown has its comfortable set patterns. Usually there’re five or six matches, with the second hour consisting of a big(ish) mid-show match, endless Raw recaps, a quick throwaway match, then the main event. Somehow though this episode stumbled and took a header into a black hole of pointlessness.

First up we had Santino vs. Damien Sandow, which Sandow lost in under a minute before cutting a sarcastic dissatisfied guy promo. Ew. Come on Sandow, a smart guy like you should know not to play with The Miz’s cast-off gimmicks.

Then we had an R-Truth match. Sigh. You erased it didn’t you, WWE? You had the main event on your PVR and a new episode of Wheel of Fortune taped and auto-deleted it. You have to curate that shit guys.

Worst: John Cena’s Face Cloth

What’s with John Cena holding up a Never Give Up face cloth before all his matches now? Or maybe it’s a washrag? I’d ask Titus, but I think he’s still selling the Brogue Kick. I hope Cena’s line of household goods continues to expand — he could come out wearing the Cenation duvet cover as a cape. Or tossing “You Can’t Smell Me” potpourri.

So yeah, this was an impressively thorough demolishment of Bray Wyatt. At first The Wyatts were just going to jump Cena en masse, but then the Usos ran out and Bray found himself strategically outmaneuvered by crazy dancin’ Samoans. Failure #1. So then instead of just telling John Cena’s manipulative ass to go screw, Bray plays along and picks Rowan as his representative. As I mentioned at the top, it would have been dumb of Bray to choose himself, but why pick Rowan when Luke Harper is standing right there? Failure #2. Rowan is, of course, soundly drubbed by Cena. Failure #3. Bray then tries to rush the ring, but is immediately cowed when the Usos stand in his way, providing fodder for Cena’s trumped up “Bray’s a nutless coward” charges. Failure #4.

Is the Cena/Wyatts match at Money in the Bank just going to be Cena giving Bray a 20-minute noogie? A Bray’s underwear on a pole match? Time to call it a day eater-of-worlds, you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.