Hey friends, and welcome to this week’s Smacking of Smackdown. A big thing happened this week, and SHOCKING, the Internet is split on it. So in case you’re just here to read about The Shield’s first unified loss, go ahead and skip down to the bottom of the page. And while you’re there please leave comments/click like/ tweet to all your friends for this article because why not.
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.
Kane, Daniel Bryan, & Randy Orton in-ring segment
Sheamus defeated Antonio Cesaro
Teddy Long, Dolph Ziggler, AJ, & Big E Langston backstage segment
Heath Slater defeated The Great Khali
Alberto Del Rio & Chris Jericho defeated Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston
Kaitlyn vs. Aksana ended in a No Contest
Curtis Axel defeated Wade Barrett
Team Hell No & Randy Orton defeated The Shield
Anyway, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.
(Most) images courtesy of WWE.com
Heath Slater vs. The Great Khali
You know good for Heath Slater and good for 3MB. It’s nice to see they aren’t as shitty as the shittiest team in WWE. More specifically, in-his-prime professional wrestler Heath Slater is not as shitty as horrible Indian giant who looks like he walks on stilts.
I seriously don’t know what this accomplished. Is it to set up a 3MB feud with the Oddities 2013? Are Khali, Hornswoggle, and the farting girl going to get another member of their team to help bring justice to the mighty Three Man Band? Who knows!
No wait, I meant to type cares. Who cares.
Curtis Axel vs. Wade Barrett
So many things I hated about this. Let’s break them down with bullet points, shall we?
- Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett lost again in another non-title match. At this point why even bother going to work Wade? Just send someone out there with a note that says “I am Wade Barrett, I am garbage, you pin me 123” while you shove a Hardee’s burger in your mouth between sobs and call yourself a piggy.
- Curtis Axel is actually a solid worker, but he doesn’t wow me. Plus his new “send the eye line to my dick” tights are distracting. I know people like to point at Heyman’s track record and say Axel is going to be something due to their association but keep in mind that Heyman also managed 911, so they can’t all be winners.
- The Miz basically inserting himself into the match and making the whole thing about himself. I have genuine love for you Miz, but you are terrible right now. Please stop being terrible. It makes my heart weep.
I’ll Always Love You, Team Hell No
I think we’re all at the point where we’re ready to see Team Hell No officially make a break as a team and watch Daniel Bryan skyrocket to the singles superstardom he’s destined for. With that being said, I’m really going to miss this team. For the first time in his fifteen year existence, Kane is a normal sympathetic character. He’s evolved past the whole rape and setting people on fire thing, because he went to anger management and it worked. Bryan spent the last year as a comedy character, but he took something that was usually a nail in the coffin and made something magical out of it. Team Hell No, even with all of its faults, was still a very successful pairing of two single stars that made them both come out the other end for the better.
And this promo really hit all of Team Hell No’s high points. I loved watching Daniel talk to Kane like he was a 5-year-old while he was trying to explain that he was now going to be in a team with Randy Orton and not him, with Kane being like “I get it” and Daniel just not letting up. Even the inclusion of Orton was a positive, because when Team Hell No gets rolling the best thing to do is jump in and try to leach off some of their pop.
Yeah, I’m going to miss this team. I still think they should avoid following the formulaic tag team blow up and just let these dudes be friends and reference it every once in a while. I’m serious about this. I didn’t think this a few months ago, but if Team Hell No end up dissolving their friendship and throwing down, my heart will break. Don’t do that to me WWE. I’m begging you.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Sheamus
Look I hate watching Cesaro lose, and I really hate it when it’s to Sheamus in a throwaway jobber to the stars kind of thing, but at the end of the day they have great chemistry together (that over the top rope back breaker was dope) and good wrestling is good wrestling. I can only complain so much about these kinds of things before even I get tired of hearing myself say it and just shut my brain down for the night.
It especially bothers me because I really want to like Sheamus more. He’s extremely giving in the ring, and always makes his opponent look like a beast. It’s tragic how his character is the exact opposite, because face Sheamus could work if he wasn’t such a dick head. His offense is strong and easy to cheer for, his taunt is memorable and massively popular (especially with drunk frat guys) and he has the ability to be sincere and engaging in his promos. Last year when he spoke from the heart and talked about how he’s a fighter because he was bullied really connected with me, and I wanted to cheer for him and see him succeed. Then he followed it up with 12+ months of gay-bashing, childish taunting and ignorance. It’s a real shame too. For a while I felt like we could’ve been friends.
BTW if I were Antonio Cesaro I would be kayfabe pissed at Damien Sandow. I wish they had sent a camera backstage to follow Cesaro as he tracked down Damien and said “Why did you come out and instigate with him right before our match? You know he’s an idiot, all he did was redirect his rage at me, and now my jaw needs realigned. Thanks a lot, asshole.” And while he’s doing that, Sandow could be eating a Hardee’s bacon death murder burger without a bun and with a fork and knife, because he’s a gentleman and also because he recognizes that he doesn’t need all of those carbs.
Big E Langston Ate My Sandwich
Ignore the fact that Teddy Long is a fast food corporate shill, and focus on the idea that Big E Langston just walks around backstage stealing people’s food out of their hands and aggressively eating it in front of them. Forget about Teddy Long WWE, Big E is the guy you want selling you sponsor’s products. The guy looks like he could eat a cow pressed between two sesame seed buns; I bet he’d have no problem chowing down on protein every week for corporate greenbacks.
That or just try and get him to sell kielbasa.
Yep, that sure does look fine! I'll take a dozen, kielbasa spokesman. So long arteries!
Alberto Del Rio & Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston
If the above GIF wasn’t enough for you to fall in love with Big E Langston, than you need to follow him on Twitter. It’s like a dream come true. He’s legit hilarious, and doesn’t tweet about Fozzy or any of that bullshit, so he’s automatically better on Twitter than Chris Jericho.
I’ve become a big mark for Big E lately. I don’t know if it’s his series of matches with Del Rio, the fact that he’s a hoss that is stuck in beast mode, or that he’s an uncharacteristically funny dude that is constantly on and making the lulz. I guess it doesn’t matter though. I’m just happy that he’s on TV and making everything better with the power of his brute strength and tiny onesie.
As for the match, I gotta tell you I thought it was kind of so-so until the build to the finish. When Del Rio connected with that mule kick to Ziggler’s face I winced, and my brain went “Great, we’re going to have another #1 contenders match at Payback, who will they trot out for that, Big Show?” but thankfully that was just Dolph selling. God bless you Dolph, you make wrestling look so real that I worry for your brain. Kudos, I guess.
I Feel Ya, Kaitlyn
Smackdown was kind of a stall for Kaitlyn, but an effective one. How do you further the storyline without it just being a rewind of AJ humiliating her? Let Kaitlyn show some real aggression and pain by clawing the ever living f**k out of Aksana and giving the ref a pop in the jaw. Seriously, she hit him so hard that my jaw cracked.
It accomplished a few things; it displayed that AJ is in her head, that Kaitlyn is way more emotionally destroyed than we first thought, and because of that she is now dangerous. If you watched that and didn’t kayfabe worry for AJ’s life, than you’re a robot that doesn’t get this whole emotion thing and need to be destroyed, or you’re Randy Orton and you probably should still be destroyed before you make 12 Rounds 3: Back to the Str33ts or whatever.
Team RK Hell No vs. The Shield
I think it’s safe to say the reaction I’ve noticed on this has been mixed. There are a lot of people that were made that The Shield were taken down, especially by three guys they beat repeatedly, on Smackdown aka “The B Show” aka not on PPV. I can see their points, and can empathize with the idea that they felt like the whole thing was stupid and a waste.
Three reasons why they are wrong—
1) The Shield hasn’t been unbeatable for a while. Sure they’ve held onto the whole mystique of being unbeatable as a team, but individually all of them have tasted losses, whether they were DQ finishes or pinfalls. They’ve evolved beyond a point where six-man matches aren’t going to be as common anymore, and if a group is going to beat them and it still mean something than the time is now. People can only be unbeatable for so long before it gets boring, and The Shield needed to show some chinks in the armor to make Orton, Kane, and Bryan look like a real threat. This accomplished that.
2) Just because it happened on Smackdown doesn’t make it less important. They had a great match (seriously, GREAT match) and ate a loss on TV. At least it wasn’t a house show that they recapped on RAW. “The Shield lost their first six-man-tag at a live event in Des Moines, Iowa,” sounds a lot less impressive than losing on the taped show. And you can make the argument that they should’ve lost on PPV, but seriously how many of those matches have they had and won? Better yet, what would be the point? Ambrose is a singles champion now, and Reigns and Rollins are the tag champs. It’s not like there’s a trios title to defend, as awesome as that would be. Let the six-man undefeated streak end while it can still mean something.
3) Daniel Bryan was the star of this match, hands down. Not just as the guy who wrestled the best, but he was made to look like the star. Do you understand how important that is? Sure Orton and Kane played their parts (and very well, I might add) but Bryan was the guy that got the tap-out decision. Bryan is the guy the cameras followed. Bryan is the guy that got the crowd on their feet chanting “YES.” Sure it might have been a three man victory, but Daniel Bryan is going to be the guy that gets to hang his hat on beating The Shield as a unit for the very first time. How can anyone complain about that? Let’s just enjoy when good things happen to good wrestlers and stop complaining about getting great matches and important wrestling moments free on TV.
Anyway, what did you think of Smackdown? Tell us in the comments below. Before we go I want to give a quick shoutout to TJR writer Heather for filling in for me last week. She did a great job, and if you're not reading her weekly columns than you're a fool. If you made it this far, a winner is you. Thanks, and happy Father’s Day if you recognize that kind of thing.
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