Hey friends, welcome to this week's review. First off I need to apologize for the unappealing font. It's like that because Fan Vs Fan thinks we're in "Game Of Thrones" or something. Before we get started with wrestling and such, could you click here and check out my side project Blogelodeon where I write about kids shows? I do this because I’m a grown up. I’m going to plug this every week from now on, so you might as well just go over there and give me a courtesy hit for the hell of it.
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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.
Miz TV featuring Randy Orton, Sheamus, The Big Show & The Miz
Mark Henry defeated Zack Ryder
Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston
Jack Swagger defeated Chris Jericho
Team Rhodes Scholars vs. Tensai & Brodus Clay ended in no-contest
The Miz defeated Antonio Cesaro
Randy Orton, Sheamus, & The Big Show defeated 3MB
Anyway, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.
(Most) images courtesy of WWE.com
Thanks for taking 10 minutes to state the obvious, guys.
Look, this was the least offensive Miz TV we’ve seen in a while, but honestly it wasn’t necessary. This whole thing could have been handled with a well-structured backstage segment. Miz didn’t really do anything here, he was more or less a prop, Sheamus was an antagonistic asshole (aka he was Sheamus), Big Show was justifiably pissed, and Orton was trying to keep the peace. The whole thing just felt weird. It’s like the writers are using Miz TV as a way to give Booker T something to interrupt and demonstrate his value, or lack thereof.
Look, it wasn’t bad. It just didn’t matter, which is somehow worse.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston
I have nothing against the prospect of Kofi vs. Dolph round 1,50,590,432, because good wrestling is good wrestling and I’m not going to snort at that. The problem I have is that there was no purpose to it. WWE treats Smackdown as a “In Case You Missed Raw” opportunity. It had the same results as Monday, and it didn’t really accomplish anything. It’s like when you play story mode on WWE ’13 and you don’t accomplish all of your goals, so you have to restart the match. The outcome is the same; you’re still going to pin Billy Gunn and you’ll see the same post match video and this time you get Mankind’s alternate-alternate t-shirt or whatever, but it doesn’t really accomplish anything new. It’s just retreading for the sake of retreading.
The biggest problem I had with this wasn’t the wrestling, it was the commentary. I love AJ, I love JBL, I tolerate Cole, and Matthews is whatever, but basically the entire segment was a “Hey AJ, remember when you dated that guy, you’re a slut” conversation. When Edge was stealing people’s girlfriends and sleeping with his bosses did anyone call him a slut? No, they called him an opportunist. But because AJ is a woman that means she’s doing these things because she’s an amoral hornball. This isn’t anything new mind you, but it just bothers me that when I start to think WWE is doing something good and interesting with their characters, it’s just so their announcers can call them whores. Its bullshit and I hate it.
Anyway, enjoy winning the pre-WrestleMania battle royal Kofi Kingston! Or not! Whatever!
Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz
This is a reality; the secondary titles don’t mean anything. The Miz, who could not beat Antonio Cesaro every time it mattered (i.e. for the US title) just trounced the United States Champion, made him TAP THE F**K OUT, just to prove a point to the Intercontinental Champion, who has lost every match he’s been in since January except for like one. Usually when the secondary champions lose in non-title matches it’s against guys like Orton or Sheamus; people that are clearly further up the food chain. But, Cesaro lost to The Miz, a guy that hasn’t won a match that matters in like, forever.
They did this to set up a match between Miz and the other secondary champion.
The one guy beat the US Champion, NOT for the title, to get a match with the other guy that always loses non-title matches that holds a belt. Now the US champion looks weak against a guy that doesn’t even care if he wins the US belt.
How. Does. This. Make. Sense.
Goddammit WWE, what the hell are you doing? Do you realize Cesaro is actually one of your champions? Does the creative team need to start tattooing the champion list on their arms like this is goddamn Memento or something? Do they all already have “Make fun of Jim Ross when in Oklahoma” in reverse across their chests? What the hell is happening?
Miz, if you want to win at WrestleMania, just ask for a non-title match. If you sneeze hard enough you’ll knock Wade unconscious. Wade, if you want to win at WrestleMania, just wrestle Zack Ryder. That shit is a lock.
Randy Orton, Sheamus, and The Big Show vs. 3MB
Hahaha, holy shit are you f**king FOR REAL? I like to think that 3MB were sitting backstage watching Miz TV on the monitor and thinking “Oh wow, I wonder what team of three dudes will be facing these top tier wrestlers. Maybe its Primo, Epico and Wade Barrett, those guys lose all the time,” and then Teddy Long knocked on their door and they were all like “For f**ks sake, of course it’s us. The number 3 is in our name.”
This match was just silly. It accomplished what it was supposed to; excel the team friction story between Team Not Shield, but the whole time I was just like “They’re fighting 3MB, of course they’re going to win. Pin Drew and get The Shield out here already.” Once The Shield’s music it this whole thing got a lot more interesting, especially when Show and Sheamus started shoving each other like a couple of impetuous school kids fighting over pogs or something (kids still play with pogs, right?). It’s also kind of intriguing that Orton is the only guy out of the three to have his head in the game, and is constantly being the rational guy in the arguments, even though it is like the exact counter to his character history. He’s a guy that hears voices that tell him to kick people in the temple, how rational can he really be?
Mark Henry vs. Zack Ryder
First off, does anyone on the WWE roster have worse tights than Zack Ryder? The dude doesn’t understand subtly at all. Sometimes he wears tights with the Internet title belt printed on it, sometimes he wears a button on his ass that says “PUSH ME” like a desperate child trying to get dad to pay attention to him. His tights are loud and obnoxious, but I have to admit they get my attention. So congratulations Zack! You’re the pancake with the most interesting ring gear in the Hall Of Pain.
Longtime readers of this column have probably already guessed my legit excitement for WrestleMania’s hoss fight. And despite the relatively short amount of time they’ve had, I’m enjoying the build. I don’t understand why they had to go the GM mandated match route, because Henry and Ryback have enough natural character reasons to want to throw down. They don’t need a Teddy Long/Booker T subplot to make this work. Ryback, as much as I dislike his character, has been steadily portrayed as a freight train on wobbly wheels, and Mark Henry is a well-established giant wall of rage. We didn’t need all this who will face The Shield musical chairs nonsense.
It really doesn’t matter though, because holy shit was their stand down thrilling. Really all they need to do right now is to just keep getting super close to beating the f**k out of each other, but then pull back at the last second so that I’m salivating for hossy haymakers. But, they’ve already got my money so they can pretty much do whatever they want at this point.
HOSS FIGHT, HOSS FIGHT, HOSS FIGHT
Jack Swagger vs. Chris Jericho
Wait, Jack Swagger’s America is Cincinnati Ohio? Does he know they have a Jungle Jim’s? I know that store is the bomb Jack, but they sell all kinds of international cuisine. I don’t think you’d like it there. They have Mexican stuff.
Unlike the Dolph/Kofi match this was a rematch I’m actually okay with, because it’s building on something. Jericho and Swagger had a pretty decent back and forth last week that ended with Jericho on the losing end, so this time he came out of the gate aggressively with all cylinders firing. It wasn’t just a rematch for the sake of a rematch, it told a story within the match that was engaging and made sense.
I enjoyed this go around a lot more than I did last week. Both Jericho and Swagger wrestled with urgency. They made me feel like the outcome of the match was important, even though it’s not. At the end of the day, despite who wins, Swagger’s going to face Del Rio at WrestleMania and Jericho is going to probably fight Fandango. I’ve read a lot about people throwing shade at the prospect of a Jericho/Fandango match, which I don’t agree with in the slightest. To me it makes perfect sense. A dancing wrestler is going to face the one wrestler to compete on “Dancing with the Stars”. That shit writes itself.
So don’t be so negative when it comes to the prospect of this match. I don’t really like Fandango all that much either, but he’s got time to change my mind. His entrance is clever, his catchphrase is kind of fun to say, and his top rope leg drop is pretty crisp. Best case scenario is they have a good match and the biggest show of the year. Worst case scenario, Jericho makes more movie ticket jokes. Believe it or not, Jericho is actually the worse of these two characters at the moment. Unless he puts on a suit, calls the fans troglodytes, and “accidentally” punches Fandango’s dance partner in the face, this is probably as good as it’s going to get.
Team Rhodes Scholars vs. Tensai & Brodus Clay
Three things made this a Smacked Up for me:
1) Damien Sandow (obviously)
2) Cody Rhodes (more obviously)
3) Tensai wearing a coonskin hat
Seriously that was fantastic. There’s something about a happy Tensai that just makes me feel warm inside. I’m not excited at the prospect of seeing these guys get the upper hand on my favorite wrestler and his best friend at the biggest show of the year (or more likely the biggest pre-show of the year) but something about seeing Tensai having fun just fills my heart with joy. The guy has had a rough run of WWE in the past year. They took away all the things that made him awesome (green mist hand, pimp entrance attire, and indentured servant accessory) he hit rock bottom, and the only person to extend a hand to him was a half man half dinosaur and his sexy dancing ladies.
And guess what, he loves it! He’s having the time of his life! He’s doing stupid dances like the shovel and the sprinkler and wearing a COONSKIN CAP like he were a giant tattooed dick pierced Ron Swanson. Tensai the murdering Japanese culture enthusiast was a bad ass, but the Sweet T version of Tensai is ADORABLE.
Good for you Tensai. Keep living the dream buddy.
Speaking of dreams, I need to ask you readers a favor. I’m putting this at the end of the column because it’s important and I know you all just skip the intros anyway (I know your tricks). It would be really cool if you could check out this article I wrote yesterday about our buddy Brandon Stroud’s movie project, and think about contributing some ka-chings (aka $) so the movie can happen. Brandon will love you forever, and I’ll think you’re cool and unworthy of my scorn. Those are pretty cool things to have if you think about it. Plus, you can get DVDs, movie t-shirts, and an assortment of other cool stuff that actually has monetary value.
Anyway, if you made it this far a winner is you. Thanks, and I’ll see you guys next week.
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