The Best And Worst Of Smackdown 5/30/14: Gluten-Free Millennials

This week’s title comes from an Adam Rose segment, but I have a feeling he’s not much of a click grabber, soooo hey look, it’s Paige!

Pre-show Notes:

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Worst: Keep This Kind of Stuff Under the Bleachers

The Shield are all awesome dudes who are good to great on the mic, but this opening segment was boring as ass. No, wait, asses aren’t boring. Uh, boring as elbows? All three guys just slowly recapped what happened on Raw, said they were going to beat up Evolution, and that was it. This would have been a fine three-minute under the bleachers Shield classic, but I kind of expect things to actually happen in show-opening in-ring segments. Did The Shield catch Santino masturbating under the bleachers and refuse to go back under to film this promo?

Roman Reigns may look like The Rock, but The Shield aren’t at the place where they can just go out and talk about nothing yet. If you need something for them to do, I hear they’re pretty good a six-man tag matches.

Best: Cesaro vs. Kofi

It feels like it’s been a while since I saw Kofi Kingston on TV. I’m sure I probably saw a Kofi Kingston match last week and just forgot about it because, well, it was a Kofi Kingston match, but I dunno — my Kofi weariness wasn’t as acute on Friday.

It helps that this match was really quite good. Obviously Cesaro was great, landing his uppercuts with even more snap than usual, but Kofi was no slouch either, nailing a mean drilling missile dropkick and a nice spinning kick that was very RVD-esque, except, you know, actually good. I wouldn’t mind having this Kofi Kingston around more often.

Best: For Cryin’ Out Loud

Bad News Barrett, loveable rogue that he is, kicks his backstage interview off by talking to Renee in a French accent (because Francophone girls totally dig that) and then launched into a wonderful spiel about how pathetic 2014 RVD is, and how the English have never ever been afraid of the Irish (and they never will be). I’ll take his word for it.

He also cleared up something I’ve personally been confused by for the longest time, by confirming that the Intercontinental Champion does indeed represent all the world’s continents. Every one! Sure, that’s only 30% of the Earth’s surface, but it’s still pretty good, and a damn sight better than just being the US champion. Say what you will about BNB, but he’s nothing if not informative.

Best: A Believable Distraction

I guess I didn’t notice because of general Tamina apathy (Taminapthy), but what I always thought was just random noise during her entrance music is actually guys chanting TA-MIN-A. That’s hilarious. Her music sounds like the theme song to some second-tier 90s cartoon. Is Tamina a Skeleton Warrior? Her shirt would make more sense if she was.

One reason (amongst many) that WWE distraction finishes are so frustrating is the fact that the distractor rarely does anything legitimately distracting. Some guy’s music plays, he moseys out and the person they’re feuding with is compelled to bug their eyes out in disbelief then yell up at the stage while leaning over the second rope with their butts sticking out in perfect roll-up position. It makes the person being distracted look like the dumbest, most irrationally angry person in the world.

That said, given the past couple weeks I don’t blame Paige at all for being distracted when Alicia Fox sashayed out. Hell, I was distracted the entire match. Usually when someone’s obviously out there to cause a distraction, I just try to ignore them and focus on the ring, but any time the camera wasn’t on Alicia I wanted it to be back on Alicia.

So yeah, I would have totally understood if Paige fell victim to the unbreakable distraction roll-up, but she didn’t! She weathered Alicia’s greatest weapon (doing crazy shit at ringside) and still beat Tamina’s ass. Nice to see Paige back on the ball after a few weeks of doing nothing much.

Worst: Sheamus Promos Are The Worst News of All

Renee did backstage interviews with both the mid-card champs, and boy, what a contrast. BNB was witty, well-spoken and subtly self-effacing, while Sheamus was humorless (aside from a terrible Gremlins joke), ignorant and ended on an awkwardly worded, kind of weird threat involving English teeth being kicked down throats. Why are top-level WWE babyfaces so preoccupied with forcing things down their opponents’ throats? So yeah, Sheamus still awful, news at 11.

Best: Xavier Woods Turned into JTG so Gradually, I Didn’t Even Notice

I love Bo’s wet t-shirt. The guy’s like a chubby kid at the beach. Dude, dump the baby oil on your head, then put on your souvenir shirt. Ask big brother for help — he’s got the greasy hair, dry shirt conundrum figured out.

Anyways, this was the same basic Bo match from last week, but it was better because it didn’t involve Sin Cara. This may have been the longest, most competitive match Xavier Woods has had on the main roster, which is kind of a sad statement considering it was a three-minute semi-squash, but there it is. Also, apparently Xavier Woods has been expelled from R-Truth’s dance crew and has stolen JTG’s “black dude with no patience for your shit” gimmick instead. Or maybe JTG just grew out his hair and, uh, wait, this joke is heading into “all black people look the same” territory, isn’t it? Moving on.

Worst: Shudder

Hornswoggle/Torito III at Payback is a hair vs. mask match, so to promote this Torito had a pair of giant hedge clippers with him tonight, which he wildly and recklessly ran around with while making cutting motions. Brrrrrr. I guess my mom beat the whole BE CAREFUL WITH SCISSORS thing into my head a little too hard as a kid, because nothing makes me cringe harder than people f-cking around with scissors. Someone starts opening and closing scissors near me and all I can think of is blood, sheared flesh and severed appendages.

When Torito was running around with the shears I imagined him tripping and plunging both blades into his eye sockets. I imagined Heath Slater grabbing for them getting the tender flesh between his fingers sliced. I won’t go into detail, but there was a scenario where Jinder Mahal ended up castrated. I DON’T KNOW, I’M SICK OKAY?

Just…just be careful with scissors guys. No, really — BE CAREFUL WITH SCISSORS.

Best: The Epic Middle of Smackdown Champion vs. Champion Match For the Ages!

Finally, a monumental confrontation to determine which mid-card belt is more worthless! Spoiler, it’s the one WWE didn’t create.

Sheamus vs. Barrett wasn’t quite the hard-hitting slugfest I was expecting, but it was still solid stuff. The match was surprisingly fast-paced, with Barrett doing some clever stuff like avoiding a whip into the stairs then kicking them back into Sheamus’ knees. Of course the match ended with an outta nowhere Brogue kick because that’s the way all Sheamus matches end now. Sheamus should make the Brogue his version of the dropkick from the Ninja Turtles arcade games — never give the Foot Soldiers/WWE superstars an opening. Just Brogue Kick his way down the ramp and don’t stop until everyone’s dead.

Worst: This Is Happening in 2014

Hey, there’s two African-American wrestlers in the ring — guess who shows up before the match can even start?

Man, I know both Rusev and Big E are sort of throwbacks, but I’m still astounded WWE is doing a feud in the Year of Our Lord 2014 that’s predicated entirely on fervent flag waving. Look at Big E wave that flag! But wait, look at Rusev wave his flag! Their flag waving abilities are so evenly matched I believe only a professional grappling match can determine who’s the better man and patriot!

Titus should have started wildly swinging a flag from, I dunno, Guam or something just to confuse everyone. Or a giant flag with a picture of his own face on it.

Worst: Weak Buttock High School

Sooo yeah, I’m pretty done with Adam Rose’s tiresome shithead antics. Thankfully this match featured Zeb being a cranky old man all-star on commentary, branding Rose’s posse gluten-free millennials and accusing them of being scofflaws who don’t even have passports. I’m pretty sure I made it just under the wire for Gen-X eligibility (born in 1981), so preach on Zeb. Or, you know, whatever. Also, considering the fact Rose had a totally different crew in England, Zeb’s probably right about the passports thing.

Oh, and can anybody help me out with what JBL said as Rose was coming down the ramp? I re-listened to it about a dozen times, and it sounds like he said Adam Rose was from Weak Buttock High School. Or maybe Wheat Buttock High School? So, he was either making fun of Adam Rose for having a skinny ass or, alternatively, a flabby carb-swollen one? Which is it? Or maybe I just misheard and he said something completely sensible, but this is JBL we’re talking about here.

Worst: An Uso Singles Match For the Main Event? Really?

I’m a well-documented Usos fan — I think they’re a great tag team, but the emphasis is very much on tag team. I’m not terribly interested in seeing Usos in singles matches, especially in the freakin’ main event. Jimmy’s match with Bray was basically one long heat segment without the hot tag. That would have been bad enough, but the match was made worse by it being last man standing, a dull stipulation at the best of times, and the fact that Jey Uso and the rest of the Wyatts spent the entire bout just sort of milling around not doing anything. The match would spill to the outside and the Wyatts and Jey would just stare at the proceedings with disinterest. Why it’s almost as if like the writers forgot they’d be out there and didn’t give them anything to do!

Also, am I supposed to be excited to see Bray Wyatt fight John Cena when he could barely put a single Uso down? Again, I like the Usos, but they are and forever will be tag team guys, so it’s okay for them to lose singles matches. This match should have been Jimmy Uso going for a superkick, missing then getting hit with 10 consecutive Sister Abigails and not being able to answer the 100-count. Oh well, at least this segment didn’t involve a) John Cena or b) Wolf of Wall Street chest thumping. Small victories.