Hello, and welcome to the Smacking of Smackdown, the only Smackdown review on the web that really matters. 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 & Daniel Bryan in-ring segment
The Usos defeated Luke Harper & Eric Rowan
AJ Lee defeated Nikki Bella
The Wyatt Family destroyed The Miz
Los Matadores defeated 3MB
Paul Heyman & Ryback defeated CM Skunk
Alberto Del Rio segment
The Great Khali vs Fandango went to a No Contest
Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, & Big E Langston defeated Randy Orton & The Shield
Anyway, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.
(Most) images courtesy of WWE.com
Treading That Water
I understand that Smackdown isn’t really that important in the grand scheme of WWE’s plans. The interesting story development happens on Raw, the fun of trying new things is on NXT, and the extra stuff is on Main Event and Superstars. Smackdown used to be “the wrestling show” where all the good in-ring action happened, but then Raw became a 3 hour show and they started filling in the time of their wrestling show with actual wrestling, thus making Smackdown the tread water program. Sometimes cool stuff happens, but a large part of the show is dedicated to maintaining status quo as to not screw up the big moments for Raw and PPV’s.
The problem is that WWE seems to have this idea that WWE fans have the memory retention of house flies. It works in their favor when they want the crowd to forget that Ryback used to wear a cowboy hat, but is less helpful when they actually want people to remember story beats. When that happens they march out Triple H—the King of gratuitous exposition—to repeat everything again. It’s exhausting to the point that when Daniel Bryan came out to aide him in expounding the past three weeks—I had to tune it out. The first 20 minutes of Smackdown were a goddamn trial.
The upside to this is that these things usually lead to a dope main-event (which happened here as well) which is great, but I’d love to just get there without the exegesis of WWE’s sacred playbook. Speaking of which…
It’s Officially Groundhog Day
I’m glad that WWE is finally getting around to the Real Americans/Los Matadores feud. I know they only debuted a few weeks ago, but I feel like I’ve watched El Torito plancha someone from 3MB every week for the past three years. It’s fun and all, and I’m glad that Not Primo and Not Epico have an entertaining new gimmick, but good lord. I wonder if the guys from 3MB sit up at night and just think about how everyone under 5’3 seems to one up them at some point, and maybe they should change their gameplan.
Alberto Del Rio Thinks John Cena is the Ultimate White Person
I think it’s cute that ADR is SO EXCITED to be wrestling John Cena at Hell in a Cell, but I think he needs to readjust his expectations. Cena and Del Rio’s matches have ranged from passable to good and the whole ADR is gonna destroy Cena’s newly repaired tricep is a good story beat, but if ADR expects this match to end any other way than Cena unscrewing Del Rio’s name off the big gold belt he’s got another thing coming.
Of course, now that I typed those words that means Del Rio will retain somehow. It’s like when I say out loud “I’m really starting to enjoy this show” and then Great Khali shows up.
Speaking of which…
The Usos vs Harper and Rowan
Let’s ignore that the Miz managed to sneak up on Bray Wyatt and hit him so hard it made his fedora sell like it were Seth Rollins, and focus on the really cool wrestling that was happening in the ring. A lot of people were upset that the Wyatt Family lost again, but here’s the thing: Not every team that loses is automatically 3MB. Wins and losses don’t matter nearly as much as moments, and later in the show the Wyatt’s revenge pretty much destroyed the bad vibes they got from Harper laying on a mat for three seconds.
Also let's remember that when the Usos do gut kicks they look like they're kicking their opponents in the pecker, and that's just hilarious.
AJ Lee vs Nikki Bella
It’s pretty popular to hate on the Bella Twins (almost obnoxiously so). It’s so popular in fact that people are willing to ignore the good things that they do just to get in jabs and in some cases page views. Nikki Bella isn’t the best wrestler in the world. Shit, she’s not even the best wrestler named Bella. But, she seems to follow instruction well enough to have passable matches, and I’m not going to give hell to someone who is clearly trying. It’s not like this site is Perez Hilton or Buzzfeed or something. If it was you’d see an MS Paint picture of Nikki Bella and a crude chalk white penis pointed at her mouth, or an image of Salvatore Sincere at the bottom of this page for an article titled “50 Wrestlers Only 90’s Kids Would Remember.”
American Horror Story Redux
For a guy that has been trumpeting Bray Wyatt since he showed up on Raw all those moons ago, this return to horror movie monster form has been refreshing. For a long time I’ve been seeing people gripe about how Bray Wyatt isn’t what they thought and seems to be stuck in neutral. They’re partially right about that, but their anger is misdirected; it’s not Bray’s fault that WWE isn’t giving him a canvas to paint on. He’s got a plethora of colors and all kinds of brushes and skill, but if you’re stuck painting on a rock then guess what, it doesn’t matter if you’re Van Gogh because it’s going to look like a 3rd grade art project. This though was a return to form of sorts from his NXT days, and it gives me hope that maybe that Bray Wyatt is still waiting to fully emerge and wreak havoc on the minds of WWE’s viewers.
I’d also like to point out that Miz totally deserved what he got. When you provoke a psychotic hillbilly by attacking him for NO REASON you’re going to get tracked down and wrecked. Plus Miz, getting chained up and “LIAR” written on your chest like you’re Dwight Schrute isn’t so bad. Have you seen Deliverance? It could have been WAY worse.
What the Hell is a CM Skunk?
I guess CP Munk was busy.
Sometimes when WWE treads water it’s taxing (see the top of the report) but sometimes it’s inventive and at the very least engaging to watch. Paul Heyman and Ryback bringing out their own straight edge Pepé Le Pew was dumb but fun because we got to watch Ryback f**k up another local indie guy while Heyman spouted vitriol and took all the credit. I can’t explain it; sometimes I want complex and layered storytelling, and sometimes I’m super easy to please. My love is not an exact science.
The 8-Man Tag, Because Of Course
Speaking of easy ways to get me to love you: 8-Man Tag full of people I love! Yay!
I like to consider myself the foremost authority on what the inside of Cody Rhodes’ asshole smells like, but I’m also a giant nerd mark for Goldust and Big E Langston, so this was kind of a dream for me. Goldust is a guy that has come-and-gone so many times that he’s never really been vacant from the memories of long time WWE fans so he’s always going to have that feel good pop to welcome him, but Big E is someone I feel that hasn’t been given enough credit at all. His face turn last week was legit the best thing on that episode (and slightly broke the Smackdown mantra of “maintain…maintain” for a brief shining moment) so watching him get a chance to get the top shelf rub was welcomed.
I do a lot of arguing on Twitter in defense of Langston (something that surprised even me) but in reality it’s moot. In six months everyone will realize how wonderful and funny he is and learn to appreciate his smash mouth style (no not “All Star” stop it) and everyone that’s talking shit now is going to love him anyway.
Anyway, that’s all I got this week. Enjoy reading this and not sharing it with anyone! (Please share it with EVERYONE.)
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