Hello, and welcome to this week’s Smacking of Smackdown. It was my birthday this Friday (yay) my 30th in fact (boo) and I was blessed with the gift of friendship as former TJR writer Jacob Lindsey drove 9 hours to spend the weekend playing video games and watching blues bands with me. It was pretty sweet. Before we get started I need to plead with you to please like/tweet/Google + this column, because now that I’m 30 I need a reason to keep doing this nonsense for zero dollars a week.
Also before we get started I need to thank Heather who fills in for me way more than she should have to. She’s a real peach, and you should follow her on Twitter and like all of her articles and stuff because she’s legit better at Smacking Smackdown than I am.
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 defeated Rob Van Dam
Miz TV featuring The Miz, AJ Lee, Big E Langston, Kaitlyn, & Dolph Ziggler
Fandango defeated Kofi Kingston
Daniel Bryan defeated Wade Barrett
Kane defeated 3MB
Christian defeated Alberto Del Rio
Anyway, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.
(Most) images courtesy of WWE.com
Miz TV or Hey Remember When The Miz Was A Wrestler?
As far as Miz TV’s go, this actually was better than average. The problem is that when average is essentially the equivalent of dogshit terrible, it shouldn’t take a lot of effort to be better than mediocre. And yet, here we are.
The truth is that this was going well until Dolphyn™ showed up. AJ Lee was adorable and kinda funny when she was talking about her personal romantic history (plus I could watch her do her River Tam impression all day and never not swoon), Miz was less obnoxious than usual, and Big E was Big E, which is always great. His interaction with AJ is always pretty fun (when she lifted his fist up for the bump my heart swelled) because he toes the line between “guy who’s friend-zoned” and “guy who doesn’t really give a shit either way” really well. They weren’t the problem. They usually never are.
The problem was the walking bleach blonde dick wad that came out to the ring and ran down his former friends in the most middle school way possible. He might has well have drawn on his binder “AJ sucks eggs” and “Big TITTY”. He would’ve gotten his point across with equal amount of grace.
Kaitlyn as well was just catty and mean spirited. I usually am a Kaitlyn apologist but I can’t condone faces acting like heels. Never have, never will.
Also, I don’t know who made Miz the GM of SummerSlam, but Jesus Christ I didn’t know a person could fall THAT far down the ladder. Enjoy hosting WWE Network shows in 12 years, or in your basement in case that whole thing never pans out.
Fandango vs. Kofi Kingston
Here’s the thing about Kofi Kingston: Despite his sloppy assaults and sunken chest I actually like the guy. He’s infectiously charming, he’s got a decent ring presence, and he jumps super well. Kofi Kingston is not a bad wrestler, despite what some people might think, and I’m glad he’s back and wearing pants now (Jacob pointed out they might be in preparation for Evan Bourne’s return and a possible Air Bourne reunion, but I don’t know about that).
Here’s the problem though; this match kinda stunk. I don’t know if it was because I hate instant rematches from Raw or because Fandango dropped that sloppy plop-on-his-ass looking finish, but this didn’t do it for me. I have enough faith in both Johnny Curtis and Kofi to think they’re capable of a really good match, but this wasn’t it.
I will say though that the one positive that came out of this match for me was Summer Raye, who has been steadily growing on me over the past few months. She’s improving as a valet, and her dancing isn’t terrible, and after watching that red-haired homely looking girl on “Total Divas” dance like Mac, I realized we could have been given a lot worse.
Kane vs. 3MB
Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam
I know. I’m as surprised as you are.
Here’s the thing about Rob Van Dam: I keep my expectations when he wrestles crazy low. I feel like I’ve watching RVD my whole life, and I can say that I’ve only been impressed by him when he kicks it in to high gear and knocks the hubcaps off. His offense is silly and dumb, but when he wrestles with fire it at least looks like it could possibly be painful. I guess what I’m saying is that all I want is an RVD that’s going to try, because his usual isn’t good enough to make me care.
The same can pretty much be said about Randy Orton. Randy’s a better wrestler than RVD, period, but he has the same problem with getting lazy and just going through his move-set until it’s time for the finish. It’s annoying because I know he’s better than what he usually gives us, and it’s frustrating as hell.
I don’t know if wrestling a mirror of mediocrity lit the fire under both of these guys, but they are great together. They stole the show last week when Christian was in the mix, and while this match wasn’t nearly as entertaining as the triple threat, it still impressed me. I could’ve used less recycled spots, but I’m not going to complain about two guys that usually bore me pulling out a watchable and engaging wrestling match.
I mean I could, but I’m not going to be that asshole.
Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett
I’m always up for Nexus on Nexus violence, but I also really enjoyed Barrett and Bryan’s chemistry together. If Barrett were at a higher station in WWE I wouldn’t mind seeing them actually feud it out. Bryan has the enviable ability to raise his opponent’s quality simply by selling, and when Bryan takes Wade’s offense he makes Barrett look like a machine. Hell, if Wade hadn’t spent the better part of a year sucking ass and getting distracted by facial hair, he probably would’ve looked like he stood a chance.
But, that’s not the case, because lumberjacks are in, bitch.
I’M ALREADY DEAD
Holy mother of God.
Here’s something I find concerning about the Bray Wyatt character—I don’t know how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Characters like Undertaker and Kane are cool but they’ve never really frightened me, at least not in the dream invading way. Taker’s pyro is the closest I’ve ever come to feeling fear in his presence, and that's because I thought I was going to catch on fire. They're ominous and gothic, but at the end of the day they’re just goofy comic book characters brought into the real world. Their dangers come from perceived magical abilities like controlling fire and summoning lightning. It’s cool, but at the end of the day you know that there is just some pyro guy sitting backstage hitting buttons on cue. It’s not cake, its icing.
Bray Wyatt doesn’t really have tricks. He's all cake, and he's delicious. He relies solely on his ability to spin his yarn or words and make his comments—outrageous as they might seem—truth. He doesn’t rise from coffins or make ring posts shoot fire; he just has his mind and his ability to get into yours. That’s real evil. There are men and women in this actual world we live in that can hypnotize a whole room, and that’s what Bray Wyatt is channeling. What’s scary about Wyatt isn’t that he thinks he can rise from the grave; it’s that he thinks he’s already dead. He sees through the bullshit that is the icing, and he’s here to show us that real evil exists, even in our escapism.
If Kane is the King of supernatural wrestling-scary, and Undertaker is the God, what is a God to a none-believer? Nothing. And that’s what’s truly scary.
That and the creepy lamb mask.
Here’s something surprising: Brock Lesnar should do more of his own promos.
It’s true, because next to Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar is the scariest mother**ker in professional wrestling. There’s few things more terrifying to me than a man who tells you that he’s going to hurt you, but in the most reasonable and monotone way possible. Brock doesn’t shout, he doesn’t spew falsehoods about ripping people’s heads off or shining things up to shove up their buttholes. He just nonchalantly and with all the confidence in the world tells you that he’s going to mess you up, and holy shit you believe him.
Paul Heyman is a genius with a microphone, but at the end of the day he’s a carnival barker. He’s never going to strike fear into the hearts of people by hyping up his man. What’s really going to sell Brock Lesnar is Brock Lesnar just being himself: Id incarnate.
Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio
We need to separate a few things here:
1) I hated the fact that Christian got the clean win in a non-title match, especially because Del Rio just lost on Raw against RVD. I don’t understand WWE’s policy on making they’re champions look weak up until the title match and then rinse/repeat, but it’s counterproductive as hell. Thanks Alberto! Enjoy becoming Wade Barrett over the next few months!
2) I love Christian with all of my heart, but he was not at his best here. I understand that he’s in the Brett Farve twilight of his career, but I know he can still go. Hopefully he’s just holding back for SummerSlam, because if not than I’ve got a lot of personal age issues I’m going to have to deal with really soon.
3) The Sandow cash-in tease, with his beautiful new chocolate bar briefcase, saved this whole thing for me. I was pretty close to just doing wanking motions at the screen and Smacking Down this whole thing, but Cody spoiling the cash-in pulled me right back in. Thanks Cody Rhodes! You make everything the cat’s pajamas!
Although the cash-in failure did spark an interesting conversation between Jacob and myself. He wondered why Cody would do that, because if Sandow had won the title than he himself would get a title match at SummerSlam. I tried to argue it with a lot of different scenarios, but in the end it came down to what it always come down to—wrestling is stupid.
See you next week!
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