Hey folks, and welcome to the Smacking of Smackdown. We’ve got a lot to go over this week, but before we get started I’d like to ask everyone to leave comments/click like/ tweet to all your friends because I don’t have a lot going on in my personal life, and your words are pretty much the only thing that keeps the toaster out of the bathtub.
If you read that joke and are still here instead of calling the Nine Line about my cry for help, thanks for sticking around. 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.
In-ring segment with Booker T & too many other names to type
The Sinestro Corps defeated Team Hell No
The Great Khali defeated Jinder Mahal
Sheamus defeated Damien Sandow by DQ
Randy Orton defeated Wade Barrett
Jack Swagger defeated Kofi Kingston
Parking lot brawl with Alberto Del Rio & The Big Show
Alberto Del Rio defeated Dolph Ziggler
Anyway, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.
(Most) images courtesy of WWE.com
The Tag Team Division
This match wasn’t bad, and beside the whole giant orange shirt Rey was wearing, I don’t have much to complain about when it comes to what I was watching. I just wish I could have enjoyed it more without the lingering feeling that this whole tag team division dream I had getting a comically oversized safe dropped on its head.
I love tag team wrestling. Love it. A lot of people complain about the state of the Divas division or the relevancy of the secondary titles, and while that stuff bugs me, nothing pains me as much as seeing the art of good tag team stories being thrown to the wayside. Tag teams and tag storylines are not hard to come up with, and I Vince McMahon’s disdain for them is something I’ll never understand. Instead of building up 2 guys in a feud, you get to build 4. Now correct me if I’m wrong because math was never my strongest subject, but I’m pretty sure 4 is greater than 2.
This isn’t anything new of course, but at this point I really wish they hadn’t teased us with a real tag team division all those months ago. Right now the division consists of a man who is more-or-less a cyborg considering all the knee surgeries he’s had teamed with a guy who has Daredevil syndrome but without the powers that keep him from tripping over his own feet, two guys that stole Sweet Brown’s catchphrase, two guys that hate each other and are building to ending their tandem with carnage at WrestleMania, three hair band enthusiast, the sons of Rikishi who have f**king vanished, and two dancing fat dudes.
Oh, and of course the worst blow to the tag division was yet to come…
Goodbye, Team Rhodes Scholars
This was like a dagger in my heart. I think everyone assumed Team Rhodes Scholars was going to be a thing for a lot longer than it was, mostly because we all thought they would have had a run with the titles before returning to try to conquer singles glory. I never looked at Team Rhodes Scholars as a step back for either guy, because tag team wrestling doesn’t have to be the bottom tier if you book it right.
WWE has this weird macho attitude that you have to do everything on your own or else you’re a wuss because that’s not how real men do things. It sucks and I hate it. Triple H in one of his many “This Business” speeches said that everyone should strive to be the WWE champion. Which is fine, but growing up my favorite title was the Intercontinental Championship. When I was a kid I never wanted to be the WWE Champion, I wanted to wear foam replica of the belt that Razor Ramon and Owen Hart wore. Not everyone’s dream is to be the guy on top; people are allowed to have different goals. Some wrestlers are just content having a job and others want to be the best tag team of all time. The Dudley Boyz were garbage when they were alone (until they went to TNA, where Bubba became Bully and essentially the best heel in wrestling for a while) but when they were together they were great, until WWE stopped giving a shit about tag teams again and they didn’t know what to do with them and sent them packing.
Regardless of how much I hated to see it happen, Cody and Damien really parted the best way imaginable, while Booker T acted like a complete dick while they poured their hearts out. They said they were going to dissolve the team, but they were still best friends. Damien busted out an Albert Camus quote I hadn’t heard since college lit: “Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend." They hugged and assured each other they would always be best friends.
Then Booker T said “Yay dawg you homos done kissin’ cuz yo match tonight is wif Sheamus! Now can you dig dat sucka?” and had a big stupid laugh while Teddy Long danced behind him and Cody tearfully said goodbye, reminding Sandow that he’s on his own from now on physically but not in spirit.
Why are the bad guys the only ones I’m rooting for? Am I doing this wrong?
The Great Khali vs Jinder Mahal
Here are the pluses from this match:
No one died.
Here are the minuses:
Extra Smacked Down to Heath Slater for entering Hornswoggle’s realm under the ring and emerging the other side perfectly unscathed. I wish he had followed Swoggle down there and came out the other end with a big beard and his red hair turned white, screaming “What year is it?! I’ve been go for so long! I’VE SEEN TERRIBLE THINGS.”
This Whole Wade Barrett Thing
Let’s just get this out of the way; I didn’t hate the match. I didn’t love it either, but I’ve seen Barrett/Orton enough times at this point that I don’t really need to see it again. I will give them props for at least coming up with a realistic finish. Maybe Barrett will go back to the Wasteland and stop throwing elbows at ring posts like a dipshit.
Anyway, what I don’t like is this blood feud brewing between Barrett and Bo Dallas. I’m a big believer in the idea that a title doesn’t make a wrestler, the wrestler makes the title. And this whole feud has “put the IC belt on the rookie” stink all over it. The way title belts are supposed to work is you build a guy up to the point that you want to see him win a title, and then he does. WWE has this weird theory that they think the belt will elevate a guy automatically simply by it being a title and he’s holding it. This is stupid for a lot of reasons, but the primary one is this; being Intercontinental Champion is not a personality trait. Need an example? How about Rocky Maivia? pre-unibrow Santino Marella? Ezekiel f**king Jackson?
Granted, these guys (well, most of them) went on to establish their own personalities after they won the IC belt, but their first title runs were boring as f**k because we didn’t know anything about them beyond “I’m a rookie who already won a title, look at my talent!” Being the new white-meat smiling babyface isn’t a very popular role, Bo. You need a hook beyond having long hair that constantly looks like its dripping wet.
By the way, while we’re at it: Bo Dallas < Bray Wyatt.
Hell, Bo Dallas < IRS < Bray Wyatt.
You picked the wrong Rotunda brother to put in that Rumble, WWE.
The Opening Segment
I have a very real hatred for Booker T that has been growing ever since he was dubbed GM of Smackdown last summer, mostly because of his constant claims of how he’s going to shake things up on Smackdown, then does pretty much everything exactly like his predecessor did, including impromptu tag team contests and grandiose opening segments that waste everyone’s time and accomplish nothing. It’s like Michael Scott were GM of Smackdown, only nothing is funny and nobody is watching.
That being said I really enjoyed two things that happened:
1) Dolph Ziggler listening to Booker’s plans to make every former World Heavyweight Champion beg for a spot in the Elimination Chamber, and then telling him to go pound sand. Dolph doesn’t need to go through figurative hell to get to his endgame, so why bother? If I were Dolph I would just etch a middle finger right on my tights, and every time Booker talked I’d just point at it.
2) The return of Jack Swagger, but not for the right reasons. There is nobody who is more awkward on the mic when they’re trying to be serious than Jack Swagger. He sounded like he was lost most of the time, like even he couldn’t believe he came back for this bullshit. And what did he say he was doing all this time? Watching wrestling, because that’s what pro-wrestlers do when they’re taking time away from their job. That and apparently going to Heath Slater’s barber because holy shit.
Sheamus vs Damien Sandow
This wasn’t as fun as their Raw match was, but it was still pretty good. Sheamus and Sandow have great chemistry, and by that I mean they don’t mind throwing bombs at each other and working stiff to make things look good. Of course the real highlight of the match was the end when The Shield came out to wreck shop and destroy Sheamus again for what I assume is back payment on deserved asswhoopings he’s built up over the past year by being a racist intolerable bully and overall piece of shit human being. While he was a good guy.
So yeah, I enjoyed this, even if it isn’t going anywhere at a pace that I’d prefer. I don’t know how much longer The Shield can sustain this guys that show up to f**k up stuff and bail mystique that they’ve cultivated without actually accomplishing anything. I guess I’m just eagerly anticipating the day Dean Ambrose can prove me wrong and show me why the Internet loves it when he sits on their face.
Also the shaky cam during the beat down thing was really cool. I felt like I was watching Black Hawk Down, which is a really weird thing to type on a wrestling blog.
Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston
This was kind of a botch fest, but it still managed to work. Normally I’d be fine with either putting this in the Smacked Down column or just forgetting it even happened, but I’m trying to stay positive when it comes to Jack Swagger. The poor guy has had it rough, and despite how goofy and awkward I think he is I want to see him do good. I still would have rather seen him come back as a super-charged face and bring the pain to Antonio Cesaro for daring to wear the flag of the All American American’s nation on his ass, but I guess I’ll take what I can get.
Good luck you silly lisping bastard. Maybe you can talk Chavo Guerrero into bailing on TNA and put back on the Swagger Soaring Eagle costume. That was legitimately the most I’ve ever liked Chavo Guerrero. No joke.
*Sniff* I'll never forget you, flying bird man.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
Okay, let’s talk about the match first.
The match was good. Moving on.
I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this Big Show/Del Rio feud. The words are kind of lost on me, so please bear with me as I try to explain my emotions properly.
JBL said some things that made a lot of sense, and actually went a long way in explaining how I felt. When Del Rio and Ricardo tied Show’s foot to the ropes with John Cena’s duct tape at the Rumble they were playing within the rules and therefor completely within their rights to do so. It was kinda cheap, but it was also clever and it worked. But, Big Show himself was also in the right to exact his revenge. Basically what JBL was saying is that the only person that’s in the right is the one perceiving it. This is great, because it properly establishes motivation without sacrificing the things that make the battle between good and evil so compelling; the shades of grey.
Under normal circumstances a guy looking to murder another man with a lead pipe in a parking lot would be in the wrong, but because Del Rio was doing it for Ricardo’s honor we can see how he’s in the right. So when he’s chasing Show around and on top of cars we cheer him and we boo Big Show for tucking tail and running. Later, Big Show exacts his revenge on Del Rio, but because he does it by removing Ricardo’s jaw from his face we boo him and we sympathize with Del Rio.
We justify Del Rio’s rage because it stems from love for his friend. We can’t justify Show’s because he’s just doing it for himself. Sticking up for your friend is honorable, even if that involves destroying cars that probably belong to the WWE support staff.
This begs the question, if Cody Rhodes were to beat Sheamus to death with a lead pipe to avenge his friend Damien Sandow, would that be honorable?
This shit just got real, yo.
Anyway see you guys next week. I’ve got some soul searching to do.
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