Hello, and welcome to this week’s Smacking of Smackdown, the ONLY SMACKDOWN REVIEW COLUMN ON THE WEB I THINK. If you’re feeling generous do me a solid and Facebook/Tweet/Google +/Reddit/Tout/Carrier Pigeon this thing to everyone you know, because friendship is magic.
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, because recaps bore me and I’m not very good at them anyway. So what I do is just group things into two columns; Smacked Up (good) and Smacked Down (bad). But, in case you’re the type that can’t function unless things are in chronological order, here’s a helpful guide to aide you in the mind-bending world of non-linear writing.
Triple H’s Town Hall Meeting
Randy Orton defeated Rob Van Dam
Ryback defeated Dolph Ziggler
Kofi Kingston defeated Curtis Axel
Naomi vs Brie Bella ended in No Contest
The Real Americans defeated The Usos
Big Show defeated 3MB
Daniel Bryan defeated Seth Rollins
QUICK NON-SMACKDOWN UPDATE: I was recently fortuitous enough to be put on the comp list of a local indie wrestling show called Black Diamond Wrestling, and in return I agreed to write a review of their show. So later this week check out the very first “Smacking of Black Diamond Wrestling” here at TJR Wrestling, and let me know if writing about a local indie show in Wheeling, WV is entertaining enough for people in places like England.
Anyway, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.
(Most) images courtesy of WWE.com
Triple H’s Big Old Triple H Meeting
I’m going to try really hard to not get all “Andrew Johnson” about this, because Triple H is a heel and he’s doing heel things. Parts of it where useful, such as picking trying to goad lower-tier talent like Alicia Fox (who is apparently a Sheriff now?) into risking their livelihood for a chance to say “I think you’re not doing well at COOing and stuff.” An open forum is legit slimy executive politicking, especially when there is no anonymity to protect those that are willing to step-up (to the streets) and voice their opinions, so in that essence this whole thing worked. If he wants to have a town hall on stage and passive-aggressively force everyone to say “THAT TRIPLE H SURE IS GREAT” than cool, he’s a heel who has power. That makes sense to me.
The part that bugged me was how Triple H still has to be the coolest and smartest and funniest person in the room, and it looks like nothing is ever going to change that. I don’t see how it was useful to dress-down Damien Sandow for being sincere in his joyousness that Cody Rhodes was shit-canned by calling him a brownnoser, tearing down Heath Slater for being a meathead who doesn’t understand how to formulate a sentence properly, and acting like being called “Dude” by Rob Van Dam is a goddamn rite of passage or something. I’m sure Rob Van Dam has called Triple H “Dude” before. He probably calls his own mother “Dude.”
That behavior wasn’t Triple H trying to be a villain. That was Triple H still trying to endear himself to the crowd. You can’t be “King of All Evil” and “Mister Funny Cool Dude” at the same time. It doesn’t work that way. So good job Triple H! You ruined another potentially great segment with your awfulness! At least you’re a real life heel to me.
The Total Divas Have Crossed into Our Reality and It’s Destroying Both Universes
Before we get into the terribleness of this whole…thing…we need to address something. In the past Alicia Fox has cosplay as a sailor, a beat-cop, a princess, a literal fox, and now a Sheriff. What the hell is going on with her gimmick? I assume this is WWE’s subtle PG way of telling us “STRIPPER” but I don’t know enough about the profession to really make a call. Do strippers dress up like foxes? And if so, who wants a sexy animal dancing for them? PETA?
Anyway, I was 100% on board when AJ had her “Come to Jesus” moment with the Divas Division, but that was until I realized that this was less a “AJ is leading a crusade for better talent in WWE Women’s wrestling” and more “AJ is jealous cuz they R pretty AJ is dumb #bitch #sayittomyface” Total Divas storyline bullshit. It’s painful to see something that could have been so top shelf immediately get dropped into the toilet. This whole thing was built for the Total Divas show so they can have a triumphant victory over the mean girl who is jealous of them for their finale, and because of that the “reality” show is bleeding into my wrestling program and it’s making the sky turn red.
Hilarious Smacked Down goes to AJ Lee for thinking legit WWE Diva wrestlers = Alicia Fox, Layla, and Aksana. Credit to AJ for looking at this group of women and not immediately burst into hysterical laughter.
Not Hilarious Smacked Down goes to Aksana for accepting this claim, and acting like even she doesn’t know she’s terrible.
Cody Rhodes Is Going to Come Back with FIRE
I’m a popular-ish enough blogger to have made an impact on a small number of people, so much so that when Cody Rhodes got fired on RAW I got flooded with Tweets/Facebook messages/emails telling me to put down the gun because wrestling is fake and he’s not really fired and I shouldn’t kill myself. Believe me, I was kayfabe destroyed but secretly in the deepest recesses of my heart I was all like “F**K YES, CODY RHODES IS GONNA BE TOP-TIER SOON SON.” But, thanks everyone for the messages! It’s nice to know that you don’t wish I was dead.
Recently I’ve been terrified that Cody was going to float in babyface purgatory due to finishing up with Sandow and not really having anything else to do except lose to Curtis Axel, but if the opening video package was any indication, Cody Rhodes is going to come back with that Rhodes fire and be in a solid place for an upswing. Maybe he and Daniel Bryan could start the 2013 version of The Union and carry 2x4’s around. Whatever happens, at least Cody is escaping the Kofi Kingston level of momentum. Besides, he’s too good not to rise to the top.
Also, this is happening:
This is the equivalent of a wrestling program giving me a diamond ring for my birthday. Oh WWE; and here I thought you didn’t care.
As for Cody, he is now and forever will be my motherf**king GUY. So enjoy your time off marrying the most beautiful woman in existence. You deserve it.
Randy Orton Is the Best Thing that’s happened to Rob Van Dam since Airbrushing
Here’s something I didn’t expect to type this week; Rob Van Dam vs Randy Orton was f**king phenomenal. I don’t know how he does it, but Randy Orton—who ever since he shed his babyface skin has gone full Voldemort—brings out the best in RVD, without RVD ever having to do anything different. The beauty of their pairing is this; Randy Orton is the only wrestler in history that seems to have watched Van Dam and realized that he does the same exact moves in every single match. Seriously, he’s the only guy ever that has made an effort to reverse Van Dam’s offense. You think that more Superstars would have caught on to the 40-year-old dude who hasn't changed his move set ever.
Dolph Ziggler: Pinball Wizard
I don’t see how anyone can ever complain about Dolph Ziggler wrestling dudes that are his physical superiors and running around and hitting his marks like a human pinball. Ryback is great when he’s against dudes that are his opposites, namely fast guys. He throws bombs but is too slow to catch them, so he needs to change-up his offense to compensate. So when he finally caught Ziggler, his hits were devastating.
I think another thing that helps is that Ryback has lost so much lately that I never really felt like Ziggler was a lock to lose. It’s not like when he’s up against Cena or Orton, men who are genetically predisposed to making people’s shoulders turn into mat magnets. So up until Dean Ambrose creeped his way to the announce table, I had it in my head that Ziggler was going to pull it out. That’s not a slight on Ryback mind you, I’d actually prefer that more beast-mode wrestlers weren’t always consider locks to win. It makes things more interesting.
This match was fun. I don’t know what Ziggler did to (allegedly) piss off the front office, but if a feud with the United States Champion is considered a punishment, I’d say he got off easy.
The Last Temptation of Paul Heyman
Holy shit, this Minnesota crowd loved them some Curtis Axel. To be honest for the first few minutes of the chants, I thought they were chanting “Curtis Asshole” because 1) Accurate and 2) That taunt seems like it should have been picked up on sooner.
Regular readers know that I’m no Curtis Axel fan, but I like Kofi enough and despite the awkward cheering going on during the match, it wasn’t that bad. Kofi is very good at jumping, and while that seems to be a problem for some people, it’s enough for me to appreciate what he does. I don’t think he’s stellar or anything, but he’s fine at his job, and he’s at least convincing when he takes down Curtis Axel, sunken chest and all.
The best part of the match of course was just watching Heyman fall apart after Axel got SOS’d for the three. He looked like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying to his father to spare him from the pain he is about to endure. Nobody plays “I’m going to die” quite like Heyman does, because he looks both terrified and dangerous. Thank you Paul Heyman for making Curtis Axel bearable, amongst other things.
Tag Team Wrestling, Yaay!
Oh my God, The Real Americans were f**king machines here. Did Cesaro start teaching Swagger some Kings of Wrestling tricks? I don’t know how, but something has turned on the tag team wrestling switch in Jack Swagger’s brain, because this is the first time I can remember thinking they looked like a genuine unit. Quick tags, innovative double teams, and a decisive victory have made the Real Americans a threat.
Look, I love The Shield as much as another other Internet type, but the tag belts are wasted on Rollins and Reigns. Put the tag titles on teams that will use them, and then these matches will have some added gravitas. The Real Americans are the heel tag champs that you need; stop sitting on your belts and do something useful with them.
Big Show Smash
I’ll give credit where credit is due; Triple H got a legit snicker out of me when he was openly blaming Show’s anger on 3MB. I kind of like how Hunter is trying to play it buddy-buddy with Show, even though you can tell he just wants to knock Triple H’s teeth out. When Triple H isn’t trying to get himself over at other people’s expense, he’s a wonder.
Anyway, this was exactly what you’d expect:
The Main Event
Here’s some truth: If you’re comparing Daniel Bryan to Stone Cold and are mad that he hasn’t gotten the upper-hand after weeks of Viper stomping, than you are missing the point entirely.
Yes there are similarities. Bryan is the unconventional people’s favorite and Triple H and company are the machine. It’s a similar story sure, but that doesn’t mean it has to play out the same way. Mainly because Daniel Bryan isn’t Stone Cold Steve Austin. He’s not going to rush the ring in a soy milk truck and spray down everyone. He isn’t going to flip off the crowd and assault his physically inferior boss with a Joker gun. Austin got over with props and attitude, Bryan has gotten over with wrestling. They are different beasts, and they can’t be treated the same.
That’s why it felt off when Bryan spray-painted Orton’s car; it wasn’t a Daniel Bryan move. It was an Austin move. Bryan should never destroy someone else’s property to prove a point. He should do it with superior wrestling ability, and that’s what he did here. He took on 1/3 of The Shield with the other two circling the waters and inserting themselves as much as possible, and what happened? He divided and conquered. Sure Orton ended the show standing over him, but the point had already been made; pretty soon you are not going to beat Bryan in a fair fight, even if it’s not really all that fair to begin with.
Every week he’s taking a beating but he’s not only coming back, he’s learning. Instead of giving Ambrose a chance to interfere he flew out like a rocket and took him out, then dropped Reigns before finishing Rollins off. He’s figuring out the formula. Daniel Bryan isn’t going to beat the machine by being a lewd beer swilling bad ass; he’s going to do it by being the best wrestler in the world. Let Orton stand over him while he can, because when Bryan finally gets his revenge, it is going to be righteous.
Or, maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m no big city blogger.
Tumblr: Andrew Johnson Is A Robot