Hello, and welcome to this week’s Smacking of Smackdown. If you’re feeling generous do me a solid and Facebook/Tweet/Google +/Reddit/Tout/Carrier Pigeon this thing to everyone you know, because I’m STILL doing this for free, and it’s getting old.
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 & Daniel Bryan in-ring segment
Curtis Axel defeated Cody Rhodes
Dolph Ziggler defeated Big E Langston
Alberto Del Rio defeated Christian
Big Show & Mark Henry defeated 3MB
Darren Young defeated Antonio Cesaro
Daniel Bryan defeated Wade Barrett in a Steel Cage Match
Anyway, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.
(Most) images courtesy of WWE.com
Cody Rhodes is in Trouble
Long time readers are already aware of my affinity for giving Cody Rhodes slobbery blowies in this column, but here’s the rub; Cody Rhodes is in big bad trouble right now.
Sure he just came off of not one but two big wins over the only remaining MITB briefcase holder, but if Dolph Ziggler’s career trajectory is any indication than holding the blue briefcase (or in this case, chocolate) means jack of all shit. It’s lower than a secondary title in terms of credibility, and is more of an albatross than having the name Wade Barrett. So getting a W—hell, getting a dozen W’s—over Mr. MITB isn’t as prestigious as it might once have been.
So fresh babyface Cody Rhodes is now sans mustache and hugging fat girls, and now he can’t even get a convincing win over Curtis Axel, a guy so irritatingly humdrum he can’t even make face-plant neckbreaker look convincingly painful. He’s already beaten his boss and didn’t even get to take his Hershey Bar with a handle, so where does he go from here?
It’s not that I don’t have faith in Cody Rhodes, because I do. Cody is mint and he’s just waiting for someone who writes his checks to wake up and realize it. I don’t have faith that WWE has faith in him.
Learn How to Talk, Curtis Axel
Since we’re already on the subject of terrible f**king things I wish would go away forever, here’s Curtis Axel trying to follow King-Shit of Promo Mountain Paul Heyman, and bumbling through a sentence as if he were Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds. For a few seconds Heyman managed to make me care about Curtis Axel, because he’s so goddamn good at his job he could make garbage sound appealing (which is essentially what he’s doing) but then Axel grabs the stick and stumbles out “Punk, I’m gonna finish the job Brock Lesnar gave you” and continued as if that sentence made any f**king sense. He then pointed down to the announce desk to reference Heyman, a man that was literally standing right next to him and rubbing the back of his neck like he were a dog pooping in the grass. Are you not aware of your surroundings at all, McGillicutty? Because that would explain your punches.
You’ve been alive on planet Earth for 30 years, Curtis. It’s time you started learning how to talk like a goddamn human being.
Alberto Del Rio vs Christian
I hate being that guy that complains about two wrestlers I like having a decent wrestling match on the show I watch for free, but here I am. It’s not that the match was bad, but how do you improve on the bout they had at SummerSlam? How do you watch something like this—
—and expect to be excited by anything less awesome than that? So yeah, it was fine, but I’m not going to pretend I haven’t seen better.
The real problem I had was post-match, and it wasn’t the fact that Christian gave Del Rio a dropkick receipt, it’s that I’m super conflicted about the team of Rob Van Dam and Ricardo Rodriguez. The only explanation I can think to put them together is to make smarks like me who love Ricardo and STRONGLY dislike RVD suffer emotional confusion. It’s like WWE is intentionally trying to f**k with me.
What a Beautiful Villain Randy Orton Is
The best part about Randy Orton’s heel promo is that he seemed sincere. And that’s what made the whole thing work: Sincerity.
When Orton was saying he didn’t know Triple H was going to turn on Orton, he was believable. I mean, he’s lying, but the way he presented himself made it seem like he believed himself. The best heels are the ones that believe they’re right, even when they’re SUPER wrong, and in Orton’s sake it makes sense. He wants the crowd’s support, and this is the only way he thinks he’s going to get it. But, Orton isn’t the face of the WWE, he’s the face of nepotism.
Daniel Bryan for his part was equally as sincere. Sure at the beginning of his promo he got all “Gee shucks, thanks Mr. Cena” and dipped his toe into Triple H’s “Call them gay” insult pool, but once he got past the whole “Randy Orton is so pretty” comments you saw that he had a point. Orton is the opposite of Daniel Bryan. The Joker to his Batman, if you will (even though Orton is the brooding one, but I digress). Randy Orton has looks, height, and a pedigree that has gotten him to where he is. Bryan has zero of those things, but has forged his own path to success. You have the difficult path versus the not so difficult path.
Everybody thought Cena was Bryan’s opposite, because they believe the “Cena can’t wrestle” bullshit nonsense. When Daniel Bryan, the Frank Grimes of WWE, looks in that funhouse mirror he doesn’t see John Cena. He sees the face of nepotism.
Dolph Ziggler vs Big E Langston
Holy hell, is it just me or did Big E Langston look like a beast in this match? He was super aggressive to the point that I thought he was going to pick Ziggler up and rip him apart like he were a bleach blonde phonebook. It also doesn’t hurt that Ziggler sells a nudge as if he were getting thrown out of a helicopter, so it made Big E’s offense look even more devastating.
I don’t know what the hell WWE is doing with Ziggler, but it looks like their interest in him has shifted to Bryan. Which I’m cool with, because while I like Ziggler just fine, I’ve cooled on him ever since he’s lost his posse and started being on the wrong end of his feud with AJ. I think the rest of the audience has too, and that’s the difference between guys like Dolph and guys like Bryan; even when he was in the comedy gimmick shithouse Daniel Bryan still managed to make gold. Ziggler is struggling, and I don’t know what they’re going to do to fix it. This kind of thing has happened before where WWE gets bored with a toy before it can reach its potential, and it’s never really worked out well in the end. Maybe things will be different this time though.
But hey, it could be worse. At least he’s not Ken Kennedy.
World’s Strongest vs 3MB
I’m not a very big fan of two singles stars going after tag team gold, especially when there are like 5 other perfectly good real tag teams that could get the nod, but I also don’t run a multi-billion dollar a year sports entertainment conglomerate, so what the f**k do I know. However, if we’re going to put Henry and Show in a tag team to combat 2/3 of The Shield, I can ignore that and enjoy watching them run through 3MB like they’re Hulk and the Thing having a SMASHING competition.
Darren Young vs Antonio Cesaro
Huzzah! It’s not all about him being gay!
Long time readers know of my love for the Prime Time Players all the way back when they had a guy who makes rape jokes on TV as a manager, but this recent face run based solely on the fact that Darren Young is now an out and proud gay man IRL, I am SUPER excited. The PTP are two energetic and funny dudes that are charming as hell and have a knack for entertainment. Remember Leon “Bonecrusher” Baker and Rufus “Pancake” Patterson? Because if not, get acquainted. They’re natural faces, and they’re “MILLIONS OF DOLLAS” dance is fun to mimic. Give them the penny belts and all of our money.
As for the Real Americans… good effort? I got nothing on them this week. I’m too busy chanting MILLIONS OF DOLLAS, MILLIONS OF DOLLAS, MILLIONS OF DOLLAS…
Daniel Bryan vs Wade Barrett
First things first; I think it’s adorable that Wade Barrett is not only growing his beard back, but also that he thinks he’s going to win a wrestling match. Your name is Wade Barrett, son. Although you still have a sweet entrance theme and a dope jacket. So there's that!
That being said, I’m not a big fan of steel cage matches. They’re slow, plodding, and unless you have a specific spot planned out, they’re not all that interesting. Hell in a Cell matches have that added element of brutality, but for the most part steel cage matches just kind of bore me. However, Bryan’s ability to move around like a rocket and Barrett surprisingly bringing the pain, this was enjoyable. I hate when you have the option of pin or escape, but I’m not going to complain. It was the first cage match I’ve cared about in a long time.
So what did you guys think of Smackdown? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading, and see you next week.
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