Hello you princes of the universe, you kings of hippo, and welcome to the first Smacking of Smackdown of 2013. The vacation is over, and it’s time to get back to writing around 3,000 words a week about how much of a dick Sheamus is. Last year was nuts, and as we look back on a full year of pumped in crowd reactions and over 800 hours or Raw Recaps, it’s great to reflect on the fact that I’m basically wasting my entire goddamn life on this nonsense.
Welp, no reason to change now. I’m in too deep. Let’s do what my doctor tells me to do when I’m constipated and keep pushing forward.
In case this is your first time here, you should know that this isn’t like the traditional recap/review that you’ll see on this website. And by that I mean I don’t use star rankings because star rankings are silly. But, since most people need things spelled out for them, I went ahead and split the show up into two columns; Smacked Up (good) and Smacked Down (bad). And in case you’re the type that can’t function unless things are in order, here’s a helpful guide to aide you in the mind-bending world of non-linear writing.
Randy Orton, Sheamus, Big Show, Antonio Cesaro & Booker T ringside segment
The Miz defeated Heath Slater
Wade Barrett defeated Kofi Kingston to retain the Intercontinental Championship
The Great Khali, Hornswoggle & Natalya defeated Primo, Epico & Rosa
Tamina defeated Layla
Randy Orton & Sheamus defeated Antonio Cesaro & Big Show
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are the things that made me shake my fist in rage.
All photos courtesy of WWE.com
I’m just going to say it; I’m completely over Randy Orton.
I know he’s talented and he’s just getting ready to turn heel again and blah blah blah but here’s the thing; ever since his return from his office mandated vacation I’ve been really cold toward his matches. He’s good, don’t get me wrong, but I think I’m starting to understand what you guys mean when you say Alberto Del Rio bores you, because that’s what’s starting to happen with me with Orton.
It’s tough because I recognize that I once really liked him, but right now I’m just at the point where whenever I hear “Voices” I just groan and pull up Snood or something until he’s done talking. When his matches occur I find myself surfing the web and just half listening to what’s going on.
This interview didn’t help either. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking a Randy Orton/Sheamus feud isn't all that interesting from a character standpoint. The matches would undoubtedly be great, but all the stuff leading up to them will be UNGODLY. Sheamus on the mic alone is pretty terrible, but put him across the ring from a sociopath who’s biggest promo moment came after saying Eddie Guerrero was in hell? UUUUGH.
I want to like Orton again, and I want to get excited about seeing him do things, but when he threatens Big Show and Cesaro by saying “How about I come up there and RKO both of you” is a kind of weird and dumb thing to say. This is really what babyface Orton is in a nutshell; kind of an awkward yet still threatening weirdo. I’ll opt to take the wait and see approach, but I’d much prefer either a Sheamus/Antonio Cesaro feud or a Randy Orton/Antonio Cesaro feud or an Antonio Cesaro/Antonio Cesaro’s clone feud, because seriously.
We Gonna Have A Tag Team Match Playa Suckas!
Good lord, we’re never going to escape this are we?
I know that impromptu tag team matches are a wrestling staple but for the love of God isn’t there a better way to announce them than by marching out a black general manager to “ad-lib” a match together because these four dudes just happen to be standing next to each other? Booker T is like the post-Flashpoint version of Teddy Long and just like a rebooted DC Universe, he’s about as much of an improvement as a thin Amanda Waller or a Skeets-less Booster Gold. Booker T’s job could easily be done by the following;
The last one would be the cutest/most accurate.
I Don’t Think I Can Keep Doing This, You Guys
Look, I could go on yet another rant as to why comedy group Hornswoggle/Khali/Natalya-destroying-legit-tag-teams-thing is terrible, but I don’t really feel like I need to because Jesus Christ.
2013 Big Show Is Just As Interesting As 2012 Big Show
It’s true, and if you disagree you’re wrong, because apparently that’s a thing we do here now.
Seriously though, 2012 was the year where I learned to stop worrying and love the Big Show. He stopped being this big goofy dork that dressed like a condom and yucked for the camera and became this dominate force of nature who spoke truth. For the first time in what seemed like forever he had purpose, and he rode the wave of strong character development and convincing growth all the way to his first legitimate World title reign in years. The guy is stellar, and it’s all because he stopped f**king around and started taking himself seriously. In effect, it made us all take him seriously, and Smackdown is all the better for it.
Big Show didn’t exactly save the opening promo, but holy hell did he make it better than what it was. We all know the feud that’s being built doesn’t involve him, but Big Show can still be relevant and be effective without being the centerpiece. He’s the obstacle they both need to overcome before they can get to each other, and Show can do that convincingly.
Extra points to Antonio Cesaro for coming out and legit saving the promo by blindly blaming American arrogance for the shamefulness that was occurring at that moment, only for Sheamus to say “Yeah um, I’m Irish” all for Cesaro to just completely ignore him and continue to treat him like garbage. It’s like he was making a generalized and uninformed statement to gain the ire of the audience. You know, like a goddamn bad guy.
I love you Antonio Cesaro. You’re the only person in WWE that seems to get this whole wrestling thing.
“Air Guitar Version Of The Spirit Squad”
I don’t need to go too deeply into why I think babyface Miz has been an unmitigated disaster, because I’ve done it in the past and I don’t think you guys want to read a lot of repetitive bullshit. But, it was a smart move on WWE’s part to pit him against the 3MB because those guys (especially Slater) are 1) Great foils for Miz to cut his good guy teeth on and 2) So dislikable to the average wrestling fan they make people want to genuinely cheer for Miz instead of just cheering for Miz because they were told to.
I don’t often give props to the announce team because I’ll be honest, I’m only half listening to them most of the time (2 years of badgering villain Michael Cole can do that to a guy) but I have to give JBL some credit; his irritation with the Three Man Band has made for some really great attention grabbing quotes like the one in the headline. 3MB seem to be the only heels that JBL legitimately hates. He’s pretty impartial (well, as impartial as JBL is capable of being) when it comes to the rest of the roster, but he seems to have an aggressive anti-3MB campaign going on at that broadcast booth and it’s hilarious.
My only criticism of the 3MB is that they seem to get hung up more on the “band” aspect and don’t focus on what they actually are. JBL kept complaining about how they call themselves a band but don’t play music, which is stupid because obviously they aren’t dragging guitars down to the ring plugged into amps. They’re a band because they stick together and help each other win wrestling matches. They’re not together to release a single about whicker hats on Scottish dudes, they’re together because they were drifting as single acts and 3 is greater than 1. It’s like JBL’s never heard of a gimmick before. You were a redneck, a blackjack, an acolyte, a mercenary, and a stock market tycoon in your career Bradshaw, and I’m pretty sure you’re only legitimately like two of those things.
We’ve Avoided The Jamaican Apocalypse, Everyone!
For what seemed like an eternity, Kofi Kingston was positioned to move up the card by becoming the IC champion again. The thing is that it wasn’t really genuine, because when WWE starts feeling white-guilt they put a singles title on Kofi Kingston (or R-Truth) and fake-push him for a few months before they get serious and give it to someone that’s actually good enough to be in that position. Don’t take this as Kofi Kingston hate, because it’s not. I don’t mind Kofi, but is there anyone out there that considers him a main-event level guy? Because I don’t think those people exist.
And, the match was pretty good. Kofi Kingston’s greatest strength is jumping, and when he uses that ability to throw himself into his opponent’s signature moves, it makes the whole thing seem way more effective. Barrett’s bullwhip or whatever is kind of a silly finisher, but when you come off the second rope and direct your jaw squarely to Barrett’s elbow, it looks pretty devastating. Not Big Show punching your goddamn head off levels of devastating, but still pretty impactful.
This IC title run has stronger legs than Barrett’s last one, where he was saddled with The Hostess Pie Gang and lost his belt to Ahmed Johnson 2011. Let’s hope this time it ends with him in a position to be elevated up to a World title run, and not with him on Ryback’s shoulders and getting Shell Shocked into obscurity.
Tamina Is A Lusty Klingon Lady
I’ve been on the Tamina Snuka bandwagon since last February when she emerged from the lockeroom to awkwardly splash Beth Phoenix and slowly inherit her powers of being the dominate lady with fire-themed wrestling attire. The lady is sexualized power, and if she had some ridges on her forehead she’d be the first Klingon to give me an erection since those two chicks from Generations that rocked cleavage through the whole flick.
I don’t really have a point, I just really like Tamina.
And Here’s Your WrestleMania Opening Match, WWE Universe
I really hate to reiterate this, but it makes me sad that WWE is making it apparent that Sheamus vs Orton is going to be the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania (and will go on for more than 18 seconds because Randy Orton is a legacy and Daniel Bryan smells like armories and middle school gyms) because Antonio Cesaro versus either of them would probably be a better option. He and Sheamus have crazy chemistry, and his interactions with Orton in this match were interesting enough to make me want to see more. I think they have the ability of making an RKO/Swiss Death combo happen and make it look like Cesaro is murdering Orton. Wrestling is at its best when you know the people involved are okay because they’re taking care of each other, but then something happens that makes you stand up and scream “HOLY F**K HE’S DEAD.”
Anyway, get ready to see those staredowns over the next few months of video packages.
Anyway, what did you think of Smackdown? What did you think of this review? What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Is it to eat less pretzels that you find in the garbage? Because mine’s totally not that at all.
If you made it this far, a winner is you. Thanks and I’ll see you all next week.
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