Hello, and welcome to the Smacking of Smackdown, the only Smackdown review on the web written by a communist hipster douche. 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.
CM Punk defeated Curtis Axel
R-Truth & The Usos defeated 3MB
AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka defeated The Funkadactyls
John Cena & Alberto Del Rio in-ring segment
Alberto Del Rio defeated The Great Khali
Daniel Bryan defeated Luke Harper by DQ
John Cena defeated Ryback
Anyway, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.
(Most) images courtesy of WWE.com
3MB Are the Glass Joe of Trios Matches
When 3MB first made their appearance as a united front I was firmly in their tent. I loved the idea of basically three nobodies creating a united front against the oppression of the upper card. As a man that tends to lean toward the left politically (HE’S A RED, GET EM) it was nice to see the class system in WWE being challenged.
Unfortunately instead of them using their new powers of unity to better themselves they got matching leather pants and started to care about air band practice than winning wrestling matches and I cooled on them hard. Now they're at a point where they can’t even convincingly be expected to win a 6-man tag—something that should be their specialty—against the Usos and R-Truth. R-Truth. Jesus Christ.
Here’s my hope: 3MB gets collectively released and hit the indie scene to gain actual trios skills, then eventually make their way to Chikara (if Quackenbush decides Chikara is allowed to ever exist again) go to Kings of Trios and effectively get stomped in the first round by the current incarnation of F.I.S.T. If they can’t get anybody in WWE over by getting pinned, might as well use their WWE cred to make better people look important.
I Can’t, John Cena
There’s a lot of stuff written on the Internet about John Cena that I’ll fight. The fact that he can’t wrestle is probably the biggest falsehood that I’m willing to argue against, but when people criticize him for his childish arrogance when talking to authority figures or minorities, I kind of have to shut up because they’re right. John Cena at times can be the best thing about the WWE, but often times when he gets on the stick he is the worst of the worst shit-stained garbage people ever.
Del Rio wasn’t much better here, but once Cena started making poop jokes it’s not like he had any chance of coming out of this smelling very good. Goddammit Cena, you coming to Smackdown was supposed to be a sign of change, but it’s really just more of the same only now with a blue background. It’s like a republican being replaced with a democrat as president; the only difference is the color of their name tag.
I don’t know whose idea it was to interrupt the WWE “Then, Now, Forever” standard intro with a Wyatt Family video infection, but it was a nice touch. I’m not a video editor or a graphic designer, but I can appreciate the skill that goes into these Wyatt videos and I’ve gotta say that they’re some of the best WWE has ever produced. Another thing I know is how a great character can inspire artistic people, and what those guys do is just a much more profitable version of art. That being said, I bet when the video team in Stanford heard that Bray Wyatt was coming up to the main roster they all collectively jizzed in their pants.
The Majority of This Match
CM Punk opened Smackdown with a promo that screamed “This is Smackdown and I don’t really want to try that hard.” Punk is probably one of the best promo men of all time, but when he doesn’t give a shit it shows. I honestly expect things to get better, especially when he and Wyatt get a chance to duel with words, but right now he’s just kind of circling the post-Heyman stuff again and it’s not really doing anything for me.
This of course all led to the champion of the Intercontinents showing up because of “unfinished business” or whatever, and getting to tangle with a guy that has beat him 700 times in the last two months. To my surprise though, I found myself actually engaged in something Curtis Axel was a part of, and surprise, it was because of Curtis Axel.
There are times when I watch Curtis Axel wrestle where I think he shows shades of the man he could be. When Punk worked his knee with monster kicks, Axel bumped like Heath Slater. He was able to keep up with Punk’s offense better than he has in the past, and actually sold the knee damage longer and better than I expected him to. I’m still not on the Curtis Axel bandwagon and when he talks I keep thinking back to that Curtis Axel: Human Disaster joke, but shades of Curt Hennig is better than no Curt Hennig so I’ll take what I can get.
The real bullshit though was at the end, because honestly Axel should’ve won this match. It was a duel between two of WWE’s favorite tropes: Guy loses because he’s distracted by music, or mid-card champion loses non-title match. Unfortunately for Axel when you hold a mid-card title your specials are locked on zero, even if it’s a Perfect Plex. So congratulations on the next step of your career Curtis Axel! You’re well on your way to becoming Wade Barrett.
AJ Lee is Invading My Brain
There’s a lot of nitpicking I could make about this, but I have to be honest; it’s getting harder and harder for me to criticize AJ Lee matches. I don’t know why her shorts have the power they do over me, but I don’t think I can objectively critique her matches after I watch her wrap her legs around another woman’s body. I try really hard not to be so subjective when it comes to women, but AJ Lee has done something to my brain, and until I can figure out what that is I’m just going to shut up and move on with my life.
I will say this though; nice powerbomb Tamina! I think I’m the only person on the Internet left that still likes you, even if you are wearing Diesel’s bedazzled vest.
The Best Match of Great Khali’s Career
I know you probably expected me to just write “FAAAAAART” and post a GIF of a hippos shitting or something, but if you did than you greatly underestimated the greatness of Alberto Del Rio. It’s true that Khali is hot garbage, but when he’s against the right opponent he can have passable and even fun wrestling matches. Del Rio is King Shit of Counter Mountain, and knows how to effectively use his opponent’s size to make the match work. That’s why all those matches he had against Big Show were so stellar.
Granted that Great Khali isn’t Big Show, but I still managed to enjoy this. I’ll never tire of watching Del Rio wrap up giant arms in twist them until they’re ready to break, and if Khali is one of the two guys he can do that to and look like a beast doing it, I’m on board.
I Could Watch This All Day
If you like your Daniel Bryan matches to be full of Bryan throwing himself against talented hosses at full speed and desperately trying to rally against their absurd strength, than this the match for you. The wrestling on Smackdown this week was for the most part really good, and it never hurts to have the best wrestler in your company against a monster hoss that was built by the Indie scene. WWE is just now starting to see the value in Luke Harper, and if they want to get the most for their money they should have him wrestle their top shelf dudes on the reg. In one week he had solid matches with CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Kassius Ohno*. The dude is a keeper, and they should continue to pay him for years to make their stars look good. But, if I have to critique something, it would be that I wish this match had started off with this:
*Kassius Ohno was released? OH NO! (dodges pie, dragged off stage by giant hook).
Ryback Finally Goes Full Goldberg
I’ve never really been a fan of Cena and Ryback’s matches. For the most part I think they’re plodding and predictable, and it’s really hard for me to enjoy something when I can pretty much tell you what’s going to happen beat for beat, give or take a clothesline or two. This match wasn’t all that different from their previous affairs, but there were two added elements that made it better than average:
The inclusion of new and unexpected things
How Ryback learned to stop worrying and love the Goldberg chants
John Cena gets criticized for his Five Moves of Doom a lot (you assholes act like Bret Hart didn’t do the same thing), but by recently adding a full nelson neck breaker to his offense he’s shown that he’s at least attempting to break that decade old joke. Also Ryback for his part was willing to try new things, or old things if you want to split hairs.
The Jackhammer was probably the biggest talking point that came out of this Smackdown. Since day one Ryback has been compared to Goldberg, and while it was fair to call him that at the beginning of his run, it’s not really accurate anymore. I give Ryback a TON of shit, but ever since the emergence of his BIG GUY persona the Goldberg comparisons have pretty much been non-existent, so embracing the chants now seems kind of strange to me. If he started doing this before he got a personality I’d be willing to buy it hook line and sinker, but now it’s not really applicable.
Of course this is all leading toward a (hopeful) confrontation between the Back and the Berg, and while I don’t know how I’m going to feel about it when we get closer to WrestleMania, I can say that as long as their match is better than Golberg vs Lesnar from 10 years ago I’m probably not going to complain too much.
Anyway, what did you think of Smackdown? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week.
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