Hello you Princes of Maine, you Kings of New England. This is the fourth week that I'm attempting to review WWE Smackdown, and with your help I've crafted a format that I've become pretty pleased with. So instead of spending an entire intro telling you what I'm going to do and asking you to leave a comment below (oh look, I did it anyway) let's just get right down to it.Prepare to Smack It...HARD. (Oh lord, that came across a lot more sexual then I wanted it to. Geeze, I'm really, really sorry. I still haven't gotten a handle on this catchphrase thing, please be patient. (Ugh, I feel like I need a shower now. (Shut up internal voice, get it together. You have a show to review. (Alright fine, don't get your lack of underpants in a twist. (I have underwear, they're just in the laundry. (Yeah, sure
.)))))<!--more-->First, here are the results of the show. Since I assume you all watched the program or know what's going to happen, I tend to write in a style that isn't really linear. I just jump all over the place. This is for the benefits of those without a television.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cody Rhodes defeated Booker T to retain the Intercontinental Championship
Backstage Cody called Dustin Rhodes a chump, more or less
Hornswoggle defeated Heath Slater in an over the top rope challenge
Hunico defeated Ted DiBiase
Wade Barrett in-ring promo/Sheamus beat down by Barrett & Jinder Mihal
Epico & Primo defeated Air Boom in a non-title match
Tamina defeated Natalya
Daniel Bryan defeated Big Show by DQ to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let's break down the show. I'm going to try to cover everything, but keep in mind
(This is the stuff I didn't like. Let's get it out of the way now so I can try to end this post on a good note.)
Sad Music UpdatesFor those that didn't watch the show, you were deprived (is that the right word?) of the several sad music interludes coupled with a slow motion zoom on a prone Randy Orton. I was going to try to avoid making a former soap opera writers joke because it's so easy to make, but once you've watched this clip more than once all that runs through your mind is "This is the most proof ever that WWE is written by a bunch of soap opera digest readers." Because it so totally is, you guys. I don't need some somber music to give me an update on a guy I know is fine. Your show is taped on a Tuesday and aired on a Friday. Your own website has already confirmed that Randy is going to be fine three days
before this aired saying that Orton would be sidelined for only a couple of weeks. You know what the sad music is? You going to your doctor for a cold and him telling you it's cancer. You're supposed to be professionals dammit, get your sh*t together.
Teddy Long's Office Is The Black Hole Of This ShowI think Drew McIntyre's face really says it all. I've only been reviewing this show for a few weeks now, and I can say with utmost sincerity that the worst thing in the world is when the camera goes backstage to Teddy Long's office. Because that means that an otherwise good show that I was enjoying is about to get a severe dosage of eye rolls and superfluous wanking motions from me. Here's a break-down of every Teddy Long office conversation for the past three weeks:Teddy: Playa!Santino: I wanna be-ah your-ah assistant!Drew: I need to talk to you!Teddy: You're fired, or not, whatever.Zack Ryder: Bro!Aksana: Sex, sex, sex, sex---Santino: [Insert boner joke]Me: UUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHH.That's it in a nutshell. These segments have made me dislike Santino a lot more then I already did, pity Drew McIntyre, and f**king HATE Teddy Long. WWE, you can do better then this. Seriously. If the only thing Teddy Long is really good for is being a stereotype that makes matches then give Yoshi Tatsu the Smackdown GM job. He could speak in broken English and maintain order by swinging a samurai sword wildly everywhere he goes. That's way more fun and enjoyable to watch then some old dude that has to constantly remind us that he's black by shouting "Holla holla!" every goddamn time he walks on the screen.
Heath Slater Is The New Chavo GuerreroI'm no fan of Heath Slater, but I'm even less of a fan of storylines that involve Hornswoggle being portrayed as some sort of pro-wrestling savant. It's like watching Eugene only much shorter and a lot more retarded, if that's possible. Despite my dislike for the ginger West Virginian, he has worked hard to get to where he is, and he shouldn't be subjected to getting bit on the ass and then thrown over the top rope by a goddamn dwarf. I felt so bad for him that when Hornswoggle got a Jericho-style kick to the face by Slater during his celebration, I jumped up and said "F**K YEAH!" but incidentally that's what he should have done in the first place. He should have walked out there and just kicked him as hard as he could, because his face is RIGHT THERE, and then picked up his lifeless and useless body and chucked it into the audience. If that would have happened, Heath Slater would be getting Cody Rhodes level praise from me. Instead we got one good kick and then Justin Gabriel ran out for the save because... I don't know. He's a Cape Town Werewolf. I don't know how those guys think.By the way, how 80's is Justin Gabriel? I don't know if it's the brightly colored tights, or the Maniac Mansion
style entrance music, but It's like he stepped right out of an old Nintendo cartridge.
Stupid Tights And Unintentional RacismFirst off, I need to say that the way Hunico pinned DiBiase was pretty cool, but it wasn't enough to really save this match for me. The wrestling wasn't the problem, it was everything else. Hunico and Ted had a decent back and forth that would probably keep the average person's interest, but I couldn't get over two things:
- Those stupid DiBiase Posse tights. Seriously, they're awful.
- The feeling that Hunico and Camacho were going to stab somebody.
The second isn't really WWE's fault. I grew up in the whitest-white suburbs. We we literally had our token black kid in high school. I didn't grow up in hick-town where they hate all minorities, I just lived in a world where we were taught to accept everyone regardless of color, but it wasn't really a problem because the only color was white. The other thing we had ingrained in us was that gangs were dangerous, and if you meet a street gang member he would f**king kill you. But since I was in white-ville, the only gangs I ever saw were in movies, TV shows, and the videos they would show us in D.A.R.E. So when I see Hunico and Camacho ride down to the ring on that tiny bicycle, I get a little anxious for the white guy in the ring getting surrounded by gang members. I didn't like Los Boricuas for the same reason. They don't wear tights, they wear clothes that could pass as prison jumpsuits. Before you get all pissy and uptight, I know that not all Mexican's are gang members. I loved Eddie Guerrero just as much as you did. But, WWE's version of Hunico and Camacho are definitely the stereotype of "stab, holmes, stab" and they make me uncomfortable. Can't he just be a normal guy? Epico and Primo are doing it, and they don't make me uneasy.Goddamn you D.A.R.E. You might have kept me off drugs, but you made me scared of Mexicans in bandanas. WAY TO GO.
Drew McIntyre's Transformation Into MVP: Week 2Last week
I mentioned that WWE is recycling the MVP losing streak storyline with Drew McIntyre. And just like MVP, WWE is chipping away at his confidence and taking away the things that make him unique. Last week he lost his fancy jacket (which might have been gone for a while, I don't know) and this week his entrance music was cut down. After losing to Santino, I don't think they can take much more away from him. Can they take his Scottish accent? Is that possible?Anyway, I really wish this wasn't happening to Drew. I like him enough to want to see him do well, and anyone that has to do the job for the f**king cobra has my sympathy. I do think it's funny though that last week Ezekiel Jackson beat Drew, and this week he's no where to be seen. Drew should bring this up to Teddy next week, and tell him "I've lost two weeks in a row, and I'm still on TV. Ezekiel beat me once and disappeared. Winning doesn't matter. Just ask Chris Jericho's career," and then he should just flip him off and walk out of the room to go get a plate of haggis or something.
(This is the stuff I liked, or at the very least didn't think was crap.)
Cody Rhodes, Just Being AwesomeIf I'm going to be realistic in this review, I have to say that this match out of the three they had was not the best. I don't know if he's always moved this slow, but Booker T seemed to be moving in slow motion. There were so many times I thought to myself "Just move around him Cody, you're faster then he is for Christ's sake, just kick him in the head and be done with it." Don't get me wrong, the match wasn't bad, but I couldn't really get past how slow everything seemed to be going. But, of course the other side of this is that Cody Rhodes was in the match, so of course I'm not going to say anything bad about it. Over the past few months I've become an unapologetic Cody Rhodes mark, and he's done his part to prove to everyone why that isn't a bad thing. Even in a match that seemed to be going in Matrix time there were still so many flashes of Cody's brilliance that I was able to forgive the sh*t I would just be nit-picking anyway. Cody Rhodes should start every episode of Smackdown, just like he has for the past three weeks, because he sets the tone for the entire show. Because I just spent 7 minutes watching him be awesome, I'm able to get past the Teddy Long office nightmares and overall Hornswoggleness that shows up later. Cody Rhodes just doesn't bring out the best in his opponent, he brings out the best in the entire show just by being on it.Also, extra props to the backstage moment he shared with Dustin Rhodes after he kicked the hell out of Booker T's face with his sweet new signature move. I don't know how he does it, but Cody can act like a complete dick to his older brother who silently and passively let's him talk as much sh*t as he wants, and Cody is the one who comes out more likable. Cody Rhodes for President of Everything.
More Consistency!Last week I made an assumption that AJ's "see you tonight" to Daniel Bryan was code for sex, but there was no concrete evidence that they were still a couple. This week they threw the metaphor's out the window and confirmed their relationship was still going strong when AJ was telling Alicia Fox that she and Daniel spent New Year's together, and Alicia called him her boyfriend and AJ didn't go "eww, gross." AJ isn't my favorite of the Chick Busters (my favorite is Kaitlyn's thighs) but she's so goddamn adorable that her involvement in what I can only assume is Daniel Bryan's slow decent into evil will only make his villainy more ripe when he goes all Anakin Skywalker and tries to force choke the life out of her throat. Also, I'm not sure what Bryan meant when he said later that night he and AJ were going to "celebrate" but I can only assume since now that he's turning to the dark side, he probably expects anal.
Wade Barrett Is MoneyRandy Orton falling down a flight of stairs is the best thing that has ever happened to Wade Barrett. Over the past few months he has reestablished himself as a top contender in the WWE, given some of the most quality promos on the show, and all it took was the near manslaughter of a guy that takes the his snake nickname a little too seriously. I got excited when I saw that Barrett was going to cut a promo, because good lord do I love English accents, and good lord do I love pretending to have one, and Wade Barrett's is a lot of fun to imitate. The only English accent that is more fun to assume is Michael Caine's. By the way, I don't understand how we can have a national "Talk Like A Pirate Day" but not a "Talk Like Michael Caine" day. His voice is awesome. It would be great to just have an entire day where you can intersperse several of his most famous dialogue to create new ridiculous phrases, like "Why do we fall sir? So we can learn da prestige."Wow, am I ever off topic.Anyway, there's no one I'd rather watch Wade Barrett have a conversation with then Sheamus. Ever since he saw the light and become a guy that hugs kids instead of Brogue kicking them in the teeth, Sheamus has had a wonderful run of nonsensical promos where he talks about his Irish family members, most of whom I think are completely insane. I think Wade Barrett and Sheamus should be given five to ten minutes of every show so Sheamus can talk about his mentally deficient uncle while Wade just stares at him with that "I don't understand a word you're saying you lunatic" face. Even if you have to end the segment with Wade helping a Narnian beat up Sheamus, it would still be worth it.
Tag Teams Are Back For RealsI know it's silly for me to get excited about stupid things like matching tights and the tag champs being announced by their ridiculous team name, but seeing Epico and Primo act like a tag team and not simply be a tag team really stood out. I love it when the bad guys use devious yet simplistic tricks like pulling their partner out of the way of a shooting star press, but it makes the tag team division seem like it's deeper the three teams. Honestly though, I could probably watch these two teams trade the tag titles for a few months before I get bored with it. They're trying their best to make those titles mean something, and goddammit they've got my attention. If we could get Rosa dressing sluttier then we'd be all set.
Daniel Bryan: Super Tough GuyI don't know about you, but I had a legit LOL when Bryan looked Big Show in the eyes and said "Get your fat f**king fingers off my shoulder, asshole." What made it even better is that Bryan essentially laid it out for Big Show, saying yeah I'm a good wrestler but I had to work my ass off to be one, you were born a giant and you still have the shortest World Title reign in history. He came across like a complete dick and it was very much welcomed and needed to convince me that Bryan even stands a chance against anyone bigger then him, which is pretty much everyone. Bryan's needed a mean-streak for a while, and if it comes at the expense of Big Show then so be it. Anyone who dresses like a penis deserves to be mocked.
Okay, So Tamina Is Pretty GreatI don't have a whole lot to say about Divas matches because generally I don't care. I've never been a big fan of women's wrestling, and I think the silence of the fans in attendance shows that I'm not alone. I don't mean to be negative or a "hater" I'm just being honest. But, I will say that Tamina, someone I forgot up until a few weeks ago existed, is someone who can change my mind. She hit a cross body on Natalya that looked like it crushed their ovaries in half and her top rope splash looked like death. The best thing about her though is the facial expressions. When she sat up on the top rope looking down on Nattie with her head cocked to the side, all I could think was "this woman is a Klingon". Then she jumped off the rope and murdered Natalya's implants with her sternum, and I remembered what love was.So yeah, I like Tamina now. Funny how that happened.
Mark Henry's Commentary During The Main EventThe only thing that could overshadow Daniel Bryan in a World Heavyweight Title match would be something way more awesome happening at the same time. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mark Henry, color commentator.I can't believe it's taken me this long to realize it, but Mark Henry's recent Hall Of Pain bad ass character is basically a character study of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison (who you can see here
ripping the head off of Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy). From his intentionally injuring of opponents to his terrifying aggression in interviews, Mark Henry is one black and gold jersey away from getting a fine from Roger Goodell.Don't take this as a negative though. Mark Henry on commentary is fantastic. He spent the whole time talking trash, and whenever super heel supporter Michael Cole would try to make small talk Henry SHUT HIM DOWN with threats of violence. Henry made Cole his bitch for the entire match, and it was glorious. How Henry didn't become the biggest face in the company at that point is beyond me.
Daniel Bryan Is A Little AssholeI wasn't sure how I felt about the DQ finish at first. I hate DQ finishes, but Bryan's antagonistic behavior toward Henry was kind of a clever way of retaining his title, especially the way he played it out. When Bryan was on the outside, his face told the story that he was out of options. That was until he laid eyes on Henry sitting at the booth, and instigated him into shoving his little white ass on the ground. At first I thought it was a stretch, because people have gotten away with a lot worse in WWE and the match kept going, but the way he petitioned the ref to call for a DQ and then ran around the ring like he just did the impossible left a bitter taste in my mouth and a big ol' grin on my face. I'm not going to pretend this is anything but a slightly different version of the CM Punk/Jeff Hardy debacle of 09, but it's still enjoyable. If the only way Daniel Bryan can be a WWE main-eventer is to be a little opportunistic sh*t instead of being the best wrestler in the world, well, I'll take what I can get.That's it for this week. If you made it to the end, then a winner is you. Thanks for reading.Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: TheAEJohnson