Hello, and welcome to this return of Smacking of Smackdown, the only Smackdown review on the web that really matters. I’ve been MIA for the past two weeks for reasons, but I’m back now, so hazzah and what not. 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
Rob Van Dam defeated Fandango by DQ
Ryback defeated R-Truth
Alberto Del Rio defeated Dolph Ziggler
Los Matadores defeated 3MB
Brie Bella defeated Aksana
Kofi Kingston defeated Big E Langston
Big Show defeated Randy Orton & The Shield by DQ
Anyway, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.
(Most) images courtesy of WWE.com
Rob Van Dam vs Fandango
I’ve never ever been very high on Fandango. I’ve always liked Johnny Curtis and thought he was talented, but the whole Fandango gimmick is a sinkhole. I think when Curtis doesn’t wrestle “in-character” he’s very solid, but when he wrestles as Fandango he’s spending all of his attention on swaying and dipping and generally trying to remember his dance steps and he looks sloppier than he actually is. When he’s up against a guy that can compensate for that kind of thing it’s pretty manageable. When he’s up against RVD, a man who has become less coordinated in his twilight, it has the potential to verge on disaster. Luckily it wasn’t, but man alive there are fewer things in the world I want to watch than an RVD/Fandango match.
Also quick side note: It’s nice that WWE has chosen sides in the fight against breast cancer, and are allowing both their faces and heels show their support by wearing pink. Sure they have their differences, but I’m sure both the heroes and villains agree that cancer is an asshole. All I ask is that maybe you guys should partner with a cancer research organization that actually accomplishes something, instead of an organization that cares about the cure for cancer as much as the GOP cares about affordable healthcare.
You Keep Using That Word. I Don’t Think It Means What You Think It Means
Good lord R-Truth. You get an Intercontinental title shot at the PPV, and you can’t even go into the show with any momentum. Curtis Axel might be a drip, but unless you plan on wearing CM Punk’s ring gear and entering to “Cult of Personality” there’s a very big chance you’re not leaving with the belt. Wrestling: you are doing it wrong.
As for Ryback, I am 100% on board when it comes to the “Big Guy.” Ryback shedding the Goldberg skin he started with and actually developing a personality has improved my outlook on him ten-fold. But, I find it confusing that a man who works for a company that has their own anti-bully campaign wouldn’t understand what bullying is. He’s been actively bullying people for months while simultaneously saying he hates bullies. I hope one day somebody sits Ryback down and shows him that Bully documentary. He’d probably be like “Wait, that’s what bullying is? No wonder nobody came to my birthday party.”
Kofi Kingston vs Big E Langston
Way to waste Big E Langston, WWE. Seriously, you guys are the worst.
Bray Wyatt and his family are wonderful shining beacons in the haze that is WWE’s mid-card, but I don’t really understand what their motivation is here. I get that Wyatt just wants to wreck people and make them disappear, and he’s got better uses of his time than wasting it on guys like Zack Ryder who barely registers as a wrestler, but why Kofi? Is it because there’s no WWE Superstar that embodies “popular but generally unimportant mid-carder” than him?
Oh God, that’s it isn’t it?
Triple H: Asshole Landlord
Big Show’s storyline against McMahon-Helmsley 2013 has been the most interesting thing on WWE programming that doesn’t involve a Rhodes (and sometimes it does!) because Show himself is such a top shelf performer. Seriously, his acting ability is stellar. He manages to bring out sincere emotions in the viewer, so when he talks about being conflicted and how doing the things Steph and Trips are making him do is breaking his giant heart, you believe him. I swear if it wasn’t for Knucklehead on his resume, I’d say he’s the best actor WWE has ever produced.
Likewise, Triple H is nailing it as the cruel boss who enjoys turning his most physically dominate employee into his giant bitch. He’s gone further than any employer has ever gone to ensure unearned loyalty, and short of holding a knife to Big Show’s wife’s gut he’s done everything he can to castrate the giant. He even went to the bank and bought Big Show’s house, but instead of making payments in dollars the bastard is making Show his personal hitman. It’s a convoluted story, but it’s working as long as all parties involved continue to work at a high level.
My only criticism is that I personally don’t agree with Show here. If my boss paid off my mortgage and all he wanted in return was for me to punch people at his request, I’d be swinging my mitts with the biggest f**king smile on my face. I guess Show and I just have different priorities.
Alberto Del Rio vs Dolph Ziggler
First off, I kind of loved how RVD sent Del Rio the trash can he broke on Fandango's face after he Van Terminated him, and Del Rio sold it like he was more disappointed by the gift than the intended message. He threw it to the ground as if he were thinking "This trash can has a giant ass crack in it! What a terrible present!"
That aside, the match that followed was tits out awesome. Nobody makes Del Rio look like a beast better than Dolph Ziggler. These two have always had a good rapport with each other so their matches are usually enjoyable, but this one was better than average. Maybe after a few weeks of wrestling R-Truth and getting trounced by the Shield has made these two desperate for some good wrestling and when they saw their names next to each other on the card sheet, the mouthed "f**k yes" and then brought the fire.
The only downside to this was during the entire match JBL and Cole were heckling poor Damien Sandow to cash in his contract, even though he gave them about a zillion reasons why doing so would be ill-timed and stupid. I wish he would have just nutted up and said "Listen dipshits, I'm not in my ring gear. I'm in a suit and I'm trying to scout my opponent for Sunday, could you show some professionalism and do your f**king jobs?" instead of just passively going "Yeah maybe I will, I dunno, probably not."
I’m pretty hot and cold when it comes to silly gimmicks. I fell in love hard when Brodus Clay danced onto the scene, and I paid for it when a year later he was exactly the same thing with zero forward momentum. I spit on Fandango before he even showed his face, and I was proven right to do so. Now I’m faced with Los Matadores who are two great wrestlers that are parading as bullfighters and actually wrestling as bullfighters, and I’m clapping my hands while at the same time thinking to myself “Don’t give them your heart, you don’t know how this is going to go, you'll just get it broken again.”
So for now, I’m on board. Mostly because of how hard they are working to make the gimmick work. They’re doing the matador point, they wrestle defensively with fancy dodging, and the little bull mascot is too stupid to hate. I bet when Hornswoggle saw him he immediately went to the trainer’s room and started snapping tongue depressors.
Extra Smacked Up goes to Mahal and Slater during their pre-taped interview, where they hypothesized how they could wrangle El Torito. “We know anyone with a rope?” “Drew has a rope, but he isn’t here this week!” “DANGIT.”
Brie Bella vs Aksana
It’s pretty well established that when it comes to the Divas division expectations need to be lowered. It’s not that the women involved are necessarily unwatchable, because they aren’t. Compared to what she used to be, Aksana has drastically improved. As has Brie Bella, who was appropriately enjoyable here. She’s started aping Bryan’s urgency when she hits the ropes and seems to have been taking notes when he talks about his job, and its showing. Brie Bella isn’t the best Diva on the roster by a mile, but she’s when you look at the division as a whole right now, she’s also far from the worst.
Brie also needs to be commended for ignoring her baser urges and not making L’s on her forehead and shouting “Say it 2 my face hash tag jealous” while AJ ran her down. It’s not easy being beautiful Brie, but you’re starting to make it work.
Big Show vs The World
I’m really glad that Randy Orton has stopped worrying and learned to love the Shield, because watching Big Show go four-on-one with the pawns of the architects of his pain was fun as hell. Show is excellent when he becomes the Brute Squad and ramps up to nigh invulnerable. When the odds get ridiculous Show hulks out to compensate, and then even a chair can’t hurt him. It was fun television, and it lead into a good penultimate showdown between Bryan and Orton before the PPV.
I don’t know what the hell is going to happen with the WWE title at Battleground, but whatever it is I’m entranced in this story. Totally 100% on board. Plus, I don’t know how they can screw it up. It’s captivating no matter which guy gets the belt. Orton gets it and continues ruining the lives of both Show and Bryan, Bryan gets it and he has to run the corporate gauntlet with a larger target on his back, or it’s a no contest we’ll have a blow-off in a big ass cell. Short of Triple H putting the belt on himself, I don’t see a downside here.
Oh God, that’s what’s going to happen isn’t it?
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