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.
Big Show & Triple H in-ring segment
Natalya, Naomi, & Brie Bella defeated Aksana, Alicia Fox, & Layla by DQ
The Miz defeated Fandango, R-Truth, and Great Khali in a dance-off
Ryback interviews ARCHIBALD PECK
Santino Marella defeated Damien Sandow
Paul Heyman & Curtis Axel in-ring interview
Alberto Del Rio defeated Ricardo Rodriguez
Dolph Ziggler defeated Dean Ambrose by DQ
The Shield defeated Dolph Ziggler & The Usos
The Cutting Edge with Edge, Daniel Bryan, & Randy Orton
Anyway, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.
(Most) images courtesy of WWE.com
This Feud Better Have a Hell of a Payoff
One of my least favorite things about Smackdown leading up to a PPV is when they basically just do a the same match they had on Raw because they’ve run out of ideas and have a segment to fill. That’s essentially what happened here, except when AJ was on commentary she was able to make her point without a creepy 60-year-old yucking about his own sexist jokes. And as much fun as I had listening to AJ passive-aggressively call Jerry Lawler a pedophile, I never want to listen to that again.
Likewise, the match itself wasn’t bad per se, but it wasn’t really worth having the exact same thing only now with a DQ finish. It’s also hysterically strange that when AJ sought out 3 Divas to stand against the so-called phonies of “Total Divas” she had to find 3 women who have less ring presence than Brie Bella.
So whatever, this whole thing is almost over, and unless it ends with a portal opening up and Saturyne stumbling through to hurricanrana everyone out of the ring and then springboard plancha them to death, I doubt I’m going to be very impressed.
The Motherf**king Dance Off
Look, it was bad enough that this was a dance off. Dancing itself isn’t a bad thing (I’m not the town from Footloose for God’s sake) but when the word “dance” comes on my wrestling program I cringe. It got worse when R-Truth—and not the beautiful R-Truth screaming about conspiracies and dressing like Robert E. Lee— came out to essentially dance on his own character’s grave. Then it got even worse when the Miz—foregoing all shame and social awareness—emerged wearing an afro and calling himself “Mizco Inferno” which is retarded on so many levels I can’t even begin to describe them.
Then, THEN, came The Great Khali, because Dancing=Khali=Barfing. And yet, even with the giant Indian guy who can barely stand and his idea of dancing is just waving his arms in the ring, Mizco Inferno was my least favorite person there. In fact, Mizco Inferno might be my least favorite thing ever. Congratulations Mizco Inferno, you're officially worse than Nickelback.
I like to think the second Khali's music hit Miz fully realized how hard he's bottomed out. In a few years when he’s working WrestleCon, he can put on his table 6x8’s of him holding the WWE title, hosting Miz TV, and beating a bunch of losers at dancing in a wrestling ring. So good job, asshole.
Go Big Show, Go Big Show, Go Big Show, GO!
Say what you want about Big Show, but when he goes to work he goes to work. Holy hell.
This whole thing was choice. Big Show being forced to apologize by reading a prepared statement, Triple H teasing the firing but then not because he’s a dickhead (and a superb one at that) only to suspend him a night without pay, and then when you think things can’t get worse SIERRA HOTEL INDIA ECHO LIMA DELTA and shit gets real.
I honestly thought before the Shield got in the ring Hunter was going to just stand on the ramp and wordlessly tell Show to just take his beating like a man, only for the Hounds of Justice to effortlessly pound on him until we saw Show tears. But then, the exact opposite of that happened, and it ruled so hard. Show used his hoss power to dismantle the Shield, ran to the announce table for high ground, and then mother**king flying speared Roman Reigns into another zip code. It was DOPE, and when you thought it couldn’t get any better, he slapped Rollins mid-air into a seizure and was ready to murder-death-kill him with a big punch until Reigns rallied and whipped him with a chair like Show was Kunta Kinte.
It was wonderful. Absolutely wonder. More of this and less dance offs, please and thank you.
OMG ARCHIBALD PECK IS ON MY TELEVISION
For those of you who only know of the man Ryback interviewed on Smackdown as “Skinny Ottawa Guy” here’s a quick independent wrestling lesson on the house; that was Robert Evans aka R.D. Evans from Ring of Honor, and (most importantly) Archibald Peck from Chikara. There, his character was a one-man marching band with his majorette valet Veronica. He was amazing, just like everything in Chikara. Here are a few examples:
-He had a mascot called Colt Cabunny, which he was accused of abusing by way of animal testing to find a cure for male patterned baldness.
-After being hit by Eddie Kingston’s “Backfist to the Future” he traveled through time equipped with a Sports Almanac to unfairly win wrestling matches.
-He had a match with Chuck Taylor and stopped mid-fight in front of a mural to do this—
Please WWE, just bring in a Chikara regular to be interviewed and slapped around by Ryback every week. It would make my heart sing. Next week Ryback should interview Mr. Touchdown and leave him dangling over a goal post.
Hey it’s Santino, and I’m Not Rolling My Eyes
I know I’ve been particularly hard on Santino in the past, but I have to admit that I’ve kind of missed him. The guy has a role and he plays it well, and as long as the Cobra isn’t taking out my favorite wrestlers with authority, I don’t really have a problem with him. I didn’t even mind him getting back-to-back victories over guys on the list of Andrew Johnson’s favorites, because 1) Cesaro loses all the time unless he’s on Main Event or NXT and 2) Sandow is Mr. Blue Case Money in the Bank, which is like a briefcase shaped albatross.
Paul Heyman’s Last Lament
Look, this was basically treading water (again) but so many things combined made this work. Heyman looked the absolute worst he’s ever looked, with his unshaven face and bloodshot eyes. He looks like he hasn’t showered in days. Even Axel made his part work. I like to think he’s taking the criticism that he doesn’t know how to talk properly to extremes and busting out first year English major language. "Tantamount" and "hyperbole” are two words Curtis Axel has earmarked in a dictionary somewhere.
If this is the final time we see Paul Heyman (it’s not) than he had a decent in-character farewell address. It wasn’t Heyman at his best. Hell, it wasn’t Heyman at his medium. But it was heartfelt and meaningful, and it showed that even when Heyman is phoning it in he can still stir something inside the viewer, whether that’s fondness or contempt. It’s kind of nice that Heyman has seemingly accept his own fate, and essentially admitting that even he knows Curtis Axel is hot garbage.
So I guess he’s only wearing shitty RVD shirts from now on? I bet he misses his tuxedo.
I like how WWE likes to pretend that because Ricardo is a ring-announcer that automatically makes him feeble and weak. Here’s some truth; Ricardo can bump just as well as Dolph Ziggler, and has legit wrestling skills and credentials. He competed in the Royal Rumble for God’s sake. Don’t act like him having one wrestling match is going to kill him.
Anyway, as much as I love Ricardo, I loved watching Del Rio trounce him even more. If WWE would get their heads out of their asses and just let Ricardo be the star he’s capable of being, we could see a balls out Del Rio/Ricardo feud masterpiece. Wake up, WWE. You’ve got a wonderful wrestler wearing an RVD shirt, and surprise, it isn’t RVD.
WWE Remembering that the US Title Exists
Hey, look at that.
6 Man Tag
Dolph Ziggler was on freaking fire this week, having both a wonderful 1-on-1 with Dean Ambrose and then played a good hand in an incredibly enjoyable 6 man tag with the underrated Usos as his partners. I don’t know why it took so long for WWE to remember that they have a belt that wasn’t being defended at their PPV called NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS where the whole point of the show is to have EVERY TITLE ON THE LINE but whatever, if this was their way of saying sorry, I forgive you.
The Cutting Edge
It’s no secret that I’m not an Edge fan. The only time I can ever remember liking him was when he was ½ of Edge & Christian, but once he went solo I kind of lost my interest. He’s not as good as Christian, either in ring or on mic, but he’s got a connection with the WWE Universe and seems to be fairly beloved, so maybe I’m wrong and just don’t know how to appreciate goons that have trouble enunciating properly.
That being said, Edge was fine here. He got to show his disdain for his own former tag team partner (remember Rated RKO? They don’t seem to) kept the attention on Bryan and Orton by backing off at the right time, and didn’t get involved by trying to save Bryan from Orton’s attack because he clearly didn’t need his help. Edge is perfect as the talk show host, and if he can’t wrestle than maybe he should think about doing this full time after “Haven” gets cancelled so we never have to watch Miz TV again.
As for Bryan and Orton, they were both sincere and believable in their hatred in each other. When Bryan speaks with passion he’s the best guy on a WWE microphone, and Orton is so suited in the heel position it’s like he’s a completely different person. I still don’t think Bryan is going to win at Night of Champions (and he shouldn’t, not yet) but watching this made me think about buying it instead of illegally streaming it while I watch football.
So what did you guys think? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week.
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