Hey friends, and welcome to this week’s article. It’s WrestleMania season, so that mean there’s lots of match building and sign pointing to be had. I’m actually going to the show this year, and will be writing a series of WrestleMania diary entries throughout next weekend, so watch out for those. This is the last Smackdown before WrestleMania, because next week is going to be recap city and I’ll be damned if I’m going to review a recap show.
Real quick, 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.
The Rock in-ring segment
Chris Jericho defeated Wade Barrett
Paul Heyman sit-down interview
Mark Henry & Ryback press some benches
Daniel Bryan & Kaitlyn defeated Dolph Ziggler & AJ Lee
The Great Khali vs. Jack Swagger ended in a double count-out
Sheamus, Randy Orton, & Big Show defeated Antonio Cesaro & Team Rhodes Scholars
Anyway, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.
(Most) images courtesy of WWE.com
The Rock, Obviously
Hoo boy, check out this mother f**ker.
I understand that there are worse things in the world then watching The Rock take up twenty minutes of airtime to talk about being a tall handsome fifteen year old that lived near Hershey PA during his formative years, but Jesus Christ he’s nine days away from the biggest show of the year and all he can talk about is chocolate bars and assholes. It was a typical Rock promo; full of self-indulgence. I know you guys are probably getting sick of me complaining about Rock being Rock, but holy shit was this pretentious.
Honestly the one joy I had watching this was seeing BIG JOHNNY make his triumphant return to WWE television, and he did not disappoint. You know how WWE fans will clap for wrestlers that are gone for a few months and chant “you still got it” even though they weren’t really gone long enough to lose it? This would have been an appropriate moment for that. Former Vice President of Talent Relations and the former General Manager of both Raw and Smackdown John Laurinaitis came back after nearly a year-long absence and did not miss a beat. He elicited the same overwhelming joy in my heart that he did when he was fumbling through promos and taking draft pictures with Christian.
But still, even Big Johnny wasn’t enough to save this for me. I figured he was going to eat a Rock Bottom and/or a People’s Elbow, but watching it happen just kind of made me feel sour. Have you ever had a bad meal, and the only thing you enjoyed was the after dinner mint? Then some egomaniacal movie star came over, took the mint out of your mouth, rubbed it on his balls, shoved it back in, and then forced you to swallow it? That’s how this felt.
Chris Jericho vs. Wade Barrett
Just… ugh. I hate it when good wrestling between two characters that have a legit mentor/mentee relationship together can be ruined by a mouthy 10-year-old who can’t shut up about WrestleMania being the show of shows or the showcase of the immortals or way more hyperbole than I have time to write (seriously, have some self-awareness Miz), and a total lack of creative thinking. Sometimes I think that I’d like to write for WWE’s creative team, but I think working directly under Stephanie McMahon must make people functionally retarded or something. I don’t understand how they can look at Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and think the best way to get him over is to make him lose all the time. It’s beyond backward thinking, it’s just insane.
I could literally go on and an on about this but what’s the point. I can say though that if I were a member of the creative team that my first order of business would be to honk Stephanie McMahon’s boobs. My second order of business would be to promptly get fired and sued for sexual harassment. Let's face it, if I were on the team it’s not like I’d make a goddamn difference. I’d just scream myself stupid until I eventually uttered the words “You know what would be cool? Midget Courtroom” so I might as well take a swing at the pervert Hall Of Fame.
One of the biggest criticisms I’ve had about the Triple H/Lesnar match is that the consequences are minor. Triple H put his career on the line, but that’s not so bad for a guy that has like two matches a year. But because Paul Heyman took five minutes to come on TV and deliver a brief concise addition to the narrative, the whole thing now seems dire. It’s not about just taking away Triple H’s ability to get in a wrestling ring; it’s about infecting his mind. Heyman points out that he knows Triple H will grow to resent his position as COO if he has his passion taken away from him, and the resentment will ultimately destroy his corporate career.
This is why Paul Heyman is a valued necessity in the business of professional wrestling. He did more for Triple H/Lesnar in five minutes than The Rock did for his match in f**king twenty. The man isn’t in the business of getting himself over but in the business of getting moments over. The guy has a bald head and a ponytail in 2013; he’s clearly not interested in looking cool.
Another thing I noticed about this was when Heyman was talking about how he’s smarter than Triple H -- which played into his ability to get him to bait Hunter into agreeing to a stipulation before finding out what it was -- he sounded a lot like Vizzini from The Princess Bride. Which if we were to further the analogy that means CM Punk is Inigo and Brock Lesnar is Fezzik, (only instead of being misunderstood heroes they're horrible shit heads) Triple H is Wesley because he’s the smartest and coolest and totally not a loser fag like Heyman, and Stephanie is Princess Buttercup because why not.
If Triple H is Wesley, then I hope he dies in the Fire Swamp. Or better yet, I hope Fezzik F5’s him off the Cliffs of Insanity and he pisses his grundle on the way to his doom.
Pressing Those Benches
I don’t get impressed often by weight lifters because I used to play sports and go to gyms, and I’ve seen a lot of meat heads do like six reps with twenty pound bars and then jump up like they’ve just lifted a car, put on their TAP OUT t-shirts, and do jabs at the mirror like assholes. That kind of behavior is the quickest way to get me to do air-wanks and call you a dipshit behind your back (because I’m a COWARD) and I’ve seen that kind of thing happen so many times it’s hard to shake that “weightlifting is for assholes” mentality.
That being said, this was nuts. Watching Mark Henry and Ryback display their AWESOME POWER and rep like a couple of mad men was impressive as hell. I guess all it took for me to respect weightlifting was watching real weightlifters lift weights.
I only have two real criticisms of this segment:
1) I do not appreciate the Teddy Long/Booker T subplot being shoehorned into my HOSS storyline. Booker T still has enough King Bookah grace for me to give him some slack, but keep that goddamn peanut-headed nuisance FAR AWAY FROM EVERYTHING. Make him a maid, throw him off a cliff, I don’t care. Just get rid of him.
2) I don’t believe for a second that Ryback could bench more than Mark Henry. Ryback is muscular but that isn’t a true testament of strength. How many strong-man competitions do you see with guys that look like Ryback? If your answer is anything other than zero, you’re a liar. All of those dudes are built like Henry; brick shit-houses. Henry could do those reps and eat a sandwich at the same time. The dude can lift a goddamn car, don’t tell me his rep limit is 53 you assholes.
The Mixed Tag Team Match
Things that make Andrew happy:
Honestly I would have preferred this to be the WrestleMania inter-gender match; Daniel Bryan and Dolph tearing it up while the Chickbusters EXPLODE intermittently, and Kane and Big E throwing bombs at each other. The whole thing was just fun, and would be WAY better than watching Team Rhodes Scholars job out to The Dancing Fats.
Oh who am I kidding, I can’t deny Cody Rhodes a WrestleMania match, no matter how stupid it is. I know Cody doesn’t read this blog, but I like to think when I cheer for him he hears it in his heart.
Because I’m not totally weird or obsessive or anything.
Jack Swagger Murdering The Great Khali & Hornswoggle
No but seriously, that was great.
The only thing that could make that whole segment better was watching Ricardo Rodriguez use the power of smarts to distract Swagger so Del Rio could come down and revenge on him with authority. Ricardo just swaggered (lulz) around the ring while his BFF defended his honor and then tossed him a crutch to create violence. It was great. Top marks all around fellas.
The World title match has kind of taken a backseat to pretty much everything on the WrestleMania card, but Jesus I can’t wait to see this. The only way watching this match live would be better is if during the match Ricardo walked up into the stands and gave me a hug.
Sheamus, Randy Orton, & Big Show vs. Antonio Cesaro & Team Rhodes Scholars
Even though this was basically a checklist of Andrew’s least favorite things (Sheamus and Randy Orton making Team Rhodes Scholars look like assholes- check, etc.) I was actually okay with this. It’s one thing to watch the anti-Shield take out 3MB because those guys are chumps, but it’s another to see them trounce the United States Champion and two respectable workhorses, no matter how many times they lose (ALL the times). Besides, I’m a total mark for back-to-back finishers, and watching The Shield get a small measure of comeuppance makes me feel like they’re going to once again pull of the W at Mania.
The popular theory right now is that Orton is going to turn on his team and join The Shield, which isn’t exactly the best story idea, but at least it’s something different. Randy Orton is the stalest character in WWE, way more stale then Cena despite what every message board might say, and I’m willing to take it if it turns Orton back into an unstable lunatic that will kick you in the temple for looking at him cockeyed.
Anyway, what did you think of Smackdown? What did you think of this review? Let us know in the comments. If you’re going to be at WrestleMania, hit me up on Twitter and maybe we can get a pretzel during the Undertaker’s entrance. We’ll have at least a half hour window. And if you’re not, make sure you check back for my WrestleMania diaries, and read about how your favorite Smackdown review person is really a colossal loser that doesn’t party and jizzes his pants at the idea of meeting Jushin Liger.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and see you cats later this week.
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