The Best And Worst Of Smackdown 9/19/14: I Wear Two Pairs Of Sunglasses At Night

Double sunglasses! Of course! Watch out guys, I’m about to get twice as cool.

Pre-show Notes:

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Worst: Knee Confusion

What the hell is going on here? This whole feud has been about the Dusts attempting to wear down and injure the Usos heading into their title match at Night of Champions. It’s kind of made the Usos look like they had knees made of dried pasta, but for the most part, it’s been solidly executed, old-fashioned stuff.

Then, on Raw, the Usos were miraculously healed. Back at 100%! Okay, so they dropped the injury storyline for whatever reason. Except now on Smackdown, Jey’s knee is wrapped again, and we got a full recap of every time the Rhodes have attacked the Usos’ knees. Huh. Then Michael Cole pipes up and says the Usos are 100% healed and ready to go. There’s even a continuity error where Jey’s wrapped knee disappears for a shot. No, I’m not kidding, check this out…

You know what? Fine. If WWE can’t be bothered to keep track of this stuff, I suppose I shouldn’t get fussed over it. Have Gold and Stardust show up for Night of Champions with both their knees wrapped. Put the Usos in neck braces. I’m just going to roll with it.

Worst: Strong strike, Strong Strike, Strong Strike

Knee weirdness aside, the match between Jimmy Uso and Stardust was also no great shakes. Cody has the Stardust character down flat, but he hasn’t really figured out how to play it in the ring. Does Stardust even have a finisher? It seems like he goes for something new every week.

Jimmy, on the other hand, was very much in “mash the square button until I finally land my strong strike” mode. He went for two superkicks in a row, had them countered then immediately went for a third, hit it and won. I mean, I suppose “one guy fixates on hitting a certain move, finally gets it and wins” is the way a lot of MMA plays out, but well, there’s a reason I write about WWE and not UFC.

Worst: These Goofs

Well, here’s a graphic reminder of the sad state of WWE’s secondary titles. Just look at this goober patrol.

And really, I shouldn’t say that because all three of these guys are former world champions. Well, okay, Truth was only TNA champ, so let’s call it two-and-a-half world champions. Still, it’s a testament to what a dismal, dehumanizing place the WWE midcard is. Unless you’re one of the half-dozen or so guys in the company that currently matter, you’re a clown, regardless of past accomplishments.

Best: A Slightly Different Miz/Ziggler Tag Match!

I was bracing myself, fingernails embedded deep in my desk, for a fourth Ziggler/Truth vs. Miz/Sandow tag match in a week, but no! We instead got Sheamus/Ziggler/Truth vs. Cesaro/Miz/Sandow. I’m chalking this up as a victory.

The match was pretty good too — at least I think it was. I was mostly smitten by Damien Sandow’s charming dorkery.

Pro-tip WWE guys, any segment in which somebody wears two pairs of sunglasses on top of each other gets a guaranteed Best from yours truly.

Worst: The Recap Guy Has Given Up

Listen man, I know finding something worth recapping from this past Raw is no easy task, but replaying a Cameron match in its entirety is never the right decision.

Worst: I’m With You, JBL

Okay, I’m officially done with the bunny. It’s a guy in a bunny suit who does moves — I get it. If it was ever funny, it isn’t any more. I’ll also never forgive it for derailing the Slater Gator express. Slater was on a winning streak until the cursed lagomorph showed it’s grinning face. Hell, Slater was about to become the 1 in 278-and-1 (or how ever many times Adam Rose has won since being called up) until the bunny interfered. Kill it, stuff it, [Fatal Attraction reference] it, Maggle.

Best: Potato Olés!

I’m pretty sure Big Show didn’t mean to get involved in this match, he just heard “Olé” and thought everyone was making a Taco Johns run. Yeah, that’s right, I’m making Wyoming and Dakotas specific jokes and you can’t stop me.

Best: Swamp Living Breeds Synergy

This was pretty choice. The best Wyatts match in a good many weeks. At first I was a bit aggravated by the matadors still doing their dopey comedy spots while in the ring with the EATER OR WORLDS, but then the Wyatts took over, and lemme tell you, there’s few things more satisfying in this world than watching Bray Wyatt annihilate a dweeb in a minty green matador costume. Hey, while we’re at it, let’s say more nice things about Bray — he looked a little trimmer tonight. Quicker and more on his game.

I wasn’t expecting The Big Show to bring more out of Bray than Chris Jericho, but I guess it’s time to adjust my expectations. I was wary of a Bray/Big Show feud, but Show bumped like a champ for the Wyatts. If Show’s willing take it on the chin like this, I think the feud could be promising.

Oh, and “Bray Wyatt nailing a guy with the Sister Abigail out of nowhere as they come off the ropes” officially joins double sunglasses on the guaranteed Best list…

Now, if everyone who complains about me being too mean to Bray Wyatt could bookmark this page, that’d be lovely.

Best: Nikki Bella Goes Full Hoss

Paige/Nikki was a rock solid, hard-hitting match and only part of the credit for that goes to Paige. I know my Nikki boosterism is starting to border on the obscene, but dammit, the girl is not bad in the ring. Hell, she’s getting downright good.

For one, Nikki a good 50% big–er, more voluptuous than most of the other girls in the division, so she can actually absorb Paige’s badass offense without crumpling in a ball and dying, and she’s perfectly capable of returning fire. That forearm she waylaid Brie with was the beginning of something. Check out this clothesline…

That’s a good f*cking clothesline. Straight up. And hey, the Paige Turner continues to look more and more like a real move by the week, so yeah, good match.

Also, in other important news, AJ wants to get Paige on her back…


Best: Zeb Colter, Sugar Thief

He nicked it when you let your guard down for that split second…and he’d do it again.

Bo Dallas and Jack Swagger had another match on Smackdown and it was, eh. Bo won this one. The important thing is that they seem to be hinting at Dallas recruiting Swagger as a follower again. This seemed to be where they were heading for a while, but then Bo/Swagger just transformed into a regular, standard-issue feud.

There’s a good chance this won’t ever go anywhere, but I continue to grasp onto a wisp of hope that it will. I want Bo Dallas leading a WWE sad sacks support group like twisted a Dr. Shelby who’s capable of beating your ass if he wants to. I need Bo Dallas to come out during a John Cena promo, have his follows form a “sharing circle” around the ring then inflict a little deep spiritual healing. I gots Dallas demands guys.

Worst: Rusev vs. Reigns

This was the second time they’ve done Rusev vs. Reigns on Smackdown and both times it’s been kind of disappointing. I gave the first one a Best, largely for novelty’s sake, but it didn’t come close to living up to what you’d imagine a Rusev/Reigns match could be. This second match was no better.

Reigns still hasn’t figured out how to fill out the middle part of his matches. He’s good when he’s running wild in the early going and Superman punching shit near the end, but in between he’s lost. Rusev is kind of in the same boat. So, the majority of this match consisted of one guy doing a big, explosive move and roaring, then the other guy doing a big explosive move and roaring. Sometimes they’d do a headlock. No drama or build to anything. It didn’t help that there was zero chance this match was ending conclusively, which kind of killed the excitement. Speaking of which, here comes Seth Rollins…

Best: Rarrrr! RAARRRRRR!

So, Seth Rollins comes out, causes the DQ and he and Reigns brawl out through the crowd leaving Rusev and Lana in the ring, free to extol the virtues of Mother Russia, but wait! Here comes Mark Henry!

Do…do the Smackdown bookers legitimately think Mark Henry/Rusev is the main event of Night of Champions? It was just a weird booking around football thing, guys. Just because Raw throws their ratings off a bridge and puts Mark Henry and Rusev in the main event, doesn’t mean you have to, too.

But hey, at least they got to the point on Smackdown. Mark Henry came down, pointed to the rafters and an AMERICAN flag dropped, which completely blew Michael Cole’s mind for some reason. Then Rusev went RARRR and Henry RARRRR-ed even louder, and then beefy men started pummelling each other. Now that’s how you rally America.