Hey, Blue Team.
The post-TakeOver SmackDown is always a difficult one. Even the worst TakeOver is better than any SmackDown episode from the past 13 years. A solid TakeOver the night before always makes SmackDown feel like less of a show and more like content fulfillment. This week’s show is pretty good, even though nothing happens. I guess we probably have five more weeks of that.
And now without further ado, here is The Best and Worst of SmackDown for June 9, 2016.
Worst: Enzo’s Skull Is S – A – W – F – T… SAWFT!
At some point between RAW and SmackDown, WWE decided that people are talking about the possibility of this year’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view being the greatest Money in the Bank pay-per-view of all time. CM Who? Within the first three minutes of the show, both Mauro Ranallo and AJ Styles state this. It’s one of those things that becomes true just by them stating it. They mention that people are talking about it, and then I type here that people are talking about it, and by virtue of that, I am talking about it. So people are talking about this possibly being the greatest Money in the Bank pay-per-view of all time and I certainly hope so – I have tickets!
The Club kicks off the show by bringing us up to date with everything going on in WWE. Money in the Bank, the brand extension, what happened on RAW, etc. All through the mouth hole of heel AJ Styles. AJ’s verbal skills were already no match for his in-ring ones, but heel AJ trying to make his way through these scripted WWE promos is rough.
The key difference between a face AJ promo and a heel AJ promo seems to be him just saying everything angrily and emphatically. He has no idea where his inflections should go. Is he angry that he’s wrestling John Cena? Is he angry about the brand extension? Does he just dislike the word “match”? It’s hard to tell, exactly.
Luckily, Enzo & Cass show up to save television and see how everyone’s doing. Gallows and Anderson turn The Club’s mic game around slightly and have a nice back and forth with Enzo & Cass, mainly focusing on the fact that Enzo once ran a Hooters and more discussion of his concussion. Oh, concussion jokes. Always a laugh. I’m always for working real-life injuries into your angles, but maybe concussions should be off-limits. It’s just a little too real for me. I guess one too many of my favorite wrestlers killed their families (plus Daniel Bryan’s body is still warm). And watching what happened to Enzo at Payback was horrifying. It just doesn’t sit right with me to bring it into wrestling storylines.
Anyway, Cass spells out SAWFT and everybody’s happy.
Best: Tag Team Wrestling, While It Lasts
Enzo & Cass vs. Gallows & Anderson is the first match-up of the evening, and these teams have much better chemistry in the ring than out of it. The teams styles compliment each other really well. Gallows & Anderson work best when they’re beating the crap out of people, and Enzo & Cass work best when Enzo’s getting the crap kicked out of him, leading to that hot tag to Cass. They’re taking the “reaching for the hot tag” schtick to new levels here. The match also has the cherry on top of New Day on commentary (which is always great), bringing their signature blend of comedy and competent commentary. They also somehow get Byron Saxton to feed them grapes while they’re commentating.
There’s a great moment in the match where Enzo escapes a big boot from Gallows outside the ring by the time keeper’s area, and then ends up on the ground by the announce table. He looks up and sees Cass reaching out for the tag from their corner. It’s dramatic enough when Enzo’s trying to get from one side of the ring to get the tag, now they’ve added another five feet and it’s fantastic. Enzo dives into the ring, and then dives in for the tag, but catches a knee from Anderson, sending him back out of the ring. It’s great.
After a commercial break, an appearance by The Vaudevillains and some more beating down by The Club. Enzo finally tags in Cass. Man, I LOVE good tag team wrestling. This is just pure joy for me. Unfortunately, well enough cannot be left alone, and the match has to end with The Vaudevillains and New Day getting involved and everyone brawling. The faces dump the heels out of the ring and Enzo & Cass stand tall. People are saying this could be the best Money in the Bank pay-per-view of all time. The card is stacked with a lot of potentially great matches, but I may be looking forward to the tag team title match the most. It’s one of those weird modern WWE matches that I never could have imagined just two years ago. I can’t imagine what this match looks like, and I love that. It’s a good time to be a tag team wrestling fan. At least until the brand split separates these teams once again. For one bright shining moment, all these teams found themselves on the same roster at the same time, so let’s throw them all together and see what happens.