The Best And Worst Of Smackdown 9/5/14: Playa, Holla!

Hey guys, the Smackdown report is back! If you want to fill in the gaps on last week’s Smackdown, most of what happened probably happened again on this week’s Raw.

Pre-show Notes:

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Worst: Hey John, Good of You to Stop By

Well, well, well…John Cena on Smackdown. Been a while Mr. “I’m Always Here”.

Cena came out tonight on a mission, and that mission was to take any depth or intrigue his feud with Brock Lesnar might have had, escort it out back and AA it into a shallow grave. Was John Cena shook by the beating he received at SummerSlam? Was he permanently changed? Are we witnessing the dawning of a new era? Is Cena’s time coming to an end? STOP IT, you’re making shit too complicated! John Cena, who’s exactly the same and just as great as he ever was is going to fight Brock Lesnar at Night of Champions, end o’ story. Why should we care when Brock tore Cena apart like a used Kleenex at the last PPV? Hey Jack, I thought John told you to stop it! No trying to add layers here! Stop it, stop it, STOP IT.

Then Rollins and Kane came out, and they actually fired off a rare heel zinger on Cena, calling him out for his obvious over-compensating, which caused Cena to immediately become super pissy and defensive. He even pulled out a classic “go stand in the corner, the grown-ups are talking” on Rollins like he was late-2000s Triple H or something. I suppose if you want to beat Brock Lesnar becoming Triple H is a good start.

Aw, do we have to let little brother Chris tag with us?

Best: Guys Keep Walking Out, and None of Them Are Randy Orton!

So then Roman Reigns came out, then Kane called out the Wyatts, then Jericho, Big Show and Henry make their presences known and dammit, I got kind of excited. It’s like I was watching an unimaginatively booked episode of Raw! A large number of guys who actually mean something interacting on Smackdown! When does that ever happen? As the resident Smackdown expert, I’ll tell you — not bloody often.

Then Triple H came out, made a tag TEAM match, did the holla dance and Teddy Long’s music played. No, f*cking really. Is Triple H reading With Spandex now? Is he taking requests? Is he going to wheel out a white board with DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO still written on it on Raw?

Best: Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro

Well, obviously this was good. It’s the guy with the most believable offense in WWE against the guy governed by ridiculous video game ragdoll physics. Even Sheamus plodding through his best anti-Swiss material on commentary couldn’t tarnish this bout.


The final minutes of the match had some particularly choice spots, such as Ziggler reversing the Swiss Death into his DDT (the rare DDT reversal that actually looks good) and Cesaro and Ziggler combining powers for maybe the best European uppercut spot of all time (the one where Ziggler goes for the Stinger splash and Cesaro just shoots him out of the sky).

“Another roll-up? What is my f*cking problem?”

Worst: The Swiss Gooberman

So, the match was going along swimmingly, then Ziggler just rolled Cesaro up out of nowhere for the pin. As a follow-up, the guy Cesaro’s challenging for a title at Night of Champions hit the ring and dropped him with a kick like a sack of garbage. Frankly I’m surprised Ziggler and Sheamus didn’t cap the segment by standing back-to-back, locking arms and co-teabagging Cesaro. Please stop making your best guy look like the worst guy, WWE.

Best: We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes

The Dust Bros. are back doing backstage vignettes again, which isn’t great from a character progression point of view, but at least they’re now doing heel promos from their subterranean promo cave. It really is for the best that the guy that looks like Joker and acts like the Riddler is a bad guy.

Best: Uce Oh No!

Oh dear — an Uso trying to do the dancey Uso entrance while on crutches is the saddest thing. Poor Uso. Poor, poor Uso.

Thankfully the sadness was soon alleviated by a pretty solid little Jimmy Uso/Health Slater match. Clearly Heath was backstage watching Ziggler sell Cesaro’s uppercut on the monitors, because he was on another level with the selling too. Look at this ridiculous Slater superkick bump…

…how does hang there suspended for, like, five seconds? Does Heath Slater have access to Matrix wires?

Best: Byron Saxton’s Epic Struggle to Maintain Eye Contact

Come on Byron, you can do it. Be professional! Be double professional! Double D professional! Whoops, sorry, I’m probably not helping…

E-cup for effort, buddy.

Best: A Red, White and Blue Ass Whuppin’

I probably shouldn’t be Besting this since absolutely nothing of note was said aside from Mark Henry stating that Lana looks like an escort. But hey, Lana doesn’t need to say anything important to keep my attention, and, well, Mark wasn’t entirely off base.

It’s not like this feud is in need of much verbal gamesmanship — it barely needs words at all. Rusev could just come down, do his Sambo dance for a bit, then Mark Henry could come out and glower at him reeeeally, really hard and I’d be sold. Mark Henry glowering could sell me on most things.

Best: A Good Bellas Segment?

Look, I know this Bellas business is objectively terrible when compared to, well, pretty much anything, but dammit, NIKKI Bella is my favorite, and a twisted part of me kind of likes this storyline. And hey, pretty much everything that happened during this particular Bellas segment was good.

Okay, so 80-pound Brie doing strongman lockups with Paige was absurd, but Brie’s decent in the ring and the action was solid. Good thing! Brie went to help Nikki when AJ attacked her, which actually made Brie look like a decent human being for once. Good thing! The match ended with Paige’s cradle DDT thing instead of the goddamn Paige Turner. Good thing! Brie’s new music is, well, it at least sounds surprisingly modern for WWE. I could imagine teenagers raving to it or whatever teenagers do today. Good thing! AJ was there! Good thing!

Side note — anybody else notice the little CM Punk bags that have appeared under AJ’s eyes since the marriage? Is it the Pepsi that’s keeping you up? Guys, when you’re in a long-term relationship sometimes it’s okay to just turn off the Netflix and hit the sack early. Nobody has to know.

Best: Bo Dallas Existing For Three Minutes

“Bo Dallas was Bo Dallas for three minutes” basically sums up this segment. He beat Zack Ryder in 30-seconds with the usual, told us to Bolieve, brawled with Jack Swagger for a moment then ran off. I was still thoroughly entertained.

Best: 10-Man Tag! 10-Man Tag!

Yaaaay, I’m all a-twitter! If WWE multi-man tags in general are almost never bad, WWE 10-man tags are absolutely, positively never bad. This match was a master class in getting people to cheer for somebody they don’t really want to cheer for (in this case, John Cena). They spent 20-minutes and did three heat segments on Big Show, Roman Reigns and Jericho, with Cena playing ridiculous cheerleader all the while, and when he finally got the tag Nebraska friggin’ lost it. They cheered for John Cena the way WWE always tells us people cheer for John Cena. Then everyone started hitting finishers, things were getting crazy and, and…

Worst: Oh, F*ck Off

…during an already out of control match four guys teamed up on John Cena for, like, two seconds and the ref threw out the match. God-dammit.

We had a good thing going September 5th Smackdown. I was going to tell everyone, “Hey, make some time for this Smackdown, it was one of the best in months!” but you just had to go and end it on this note. I mean, Cena and company beat everyone up anyways, so why not just have them win the match?

Hey, look who’s standing tall at the end of the episode!

Take your time before your next Smackdown appearance, John.