Note from John: No Andrew Johnson this week due to a prior commitment. He will return next week. In his place this week is Isaac Kozell. He's a writer and comedian from Pittsburgh. Enjoy!
Growing up in an intensely conservative Christian home, many things were off limits. But there were three things in particular that I coveted more than all of the other untouchables combined: MTV, bb guns and professional wrestling. As I came into adulthood, MTV lost its appeal, as it slowly moved away from what made it great (music) and toward what makes it what it is today (total mindless bullshit). Last year, I bought my first bb gun. It's a Crosman C11 Co2 powered semi-automatic pistol. When I hold it, I feel very handsome and powerful. The third fixture of my forbidden trinity, professional wrestling, hadn't crossed my mind for years. That is, until last week, when I was offered the chance to be guest blogger for this week's Smacking of WWE Smackdown. I saw this as a golden opportunity do something I've never done before: watch professional wrestling. That's right. I've never watched wrestling.
I'm sure that at this juncture, some of you loyal readers are grimacing in disgust, already planning your swift exit to another website. But hey, the internet is a big, scary place. You don't want to go storming out into a big, scary place with your pretty little heads all full of anger, disappointment and frustration, do you? Of course you don't. So I ask, dear readers, that you take my capable - albeit metaphorical - hand and walk down this wild road with me. Let's relive all of the passion and fury that was this week's Smackdown.
I should mention that if this is your first time here, you will do well to ignore all of the persuasive pleading found in that last paragraph and simply school yourself on the premise of this blog, which is as follows:
This isn’t a traditional, chronologically correct recap/review format. Rather, we put things in two columns: Smacked Down (Lowlights) and Smacked Up (Highlights). Before we get to those delectable meaty bits, here are the results of Friday Night's Smackdown:
-Sin Cara defeated Heath Slater.
-Damien Sandow defeated Ezekiel Jackson.
-Ryback defeated two enhancement talents.
-World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler.
-United States Champion Santino Marella and Zack Ryder defeated Titus O’Neil and Darren Young.
-Cody Rhodes defeated Tyson Kidd.
-WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Kane ended in a DQ due to a Daniel Bryan interference.
Like Knives to a Gun Fight
I learned a new expression this week: Jobber. For those not familiar with the term, a “jobber” in professional wrestling is someone who has been contracted to lose a match intentionally. This week's match between Ryback and two jobbers, Ryan Shelton and Chris Lyons, was an embarrassment. Before the match, the camera focused in on the ring, showing Shelton and Lyons looking less like wrestlers and more like members of Taylor Swift's backup band. The pair shivered and gazed about the room as if they had just been beamed back down to earth after a few rough days of alien abduction. Ryback then entered the arena and performed a moving and powerful hands up/hands down dance that is sure to sweep the nation. The camera cut back to the jobbers, who gave each other a look that said, “I may not have said this enough but...I love you, man.” Once the fight began, Ryback had a field day tossing these two ragdolls around the ring. Shelton and Lyons had no stamina whatsoever, looking as if they were super tired from a wild night of playing Xbox and telling each other secrets. I was bored. Even Ryback was bored. At one point, I think I saw him check his Twitter while his opponents rolled around the mat, writhing in pain and regret.
Where My Ladies At?
Before I proceed, let it be known that I'm well aware that wrestling's audience is comprised primarily of the highly sought after 18-34 male demographic. That being said, the portrayal of women in this week's Smackdown left something to be desired. Take for instance, AJ's ringside appearance during the championship match between Kane and CM Punk. Sure, she looked pretty. But that's where her depth as a human being stopped. For what seemed like an eternity, she stood idly by, looking into the ring like a hungry orphan staring into the window of a wealthy family feasting upon the finest Cornish game hens. What was the point of her appearance? To raise question about a blossoming relationship between her and CM Punk? Maybe. Or, perhaps the producers realized that the show was almost over and the tits and ass quotient was dangerously below the usual average.
I also didn't care much for Dolph Ziggler's cheerleader (is it his mom?). She reminded me of the kind of woman who, after the kids leave for college, decides to open up a combination tanning salon/knockoff handbag/home décor/candle emporium. Like AJ, she set up camp ringside but instead of playing the doe-eyed mute, she instead spent her time screaming total nonsense into the void. You know, like women so often do (sarcasm implied – save your hate mail for another topic).
Who Are You Calling a Championship Match?!
For an event that started off with a bang, courtesy of the mesmerizing physical feats of Sin Cara, this week's Smackdown ended with a whimper. Maybe it's just me but when I hear the words, “Championship Match,” I get the feeling that I'm in for a treat. Apparently, I'm wrong. CM Punk's opening moves reminded me of a drunken, blindfolded bear cub swatting at a pesky bee that just won't stop stinging his nose. And even though the behemoth Kane looks like the kind of guy who could take a cannonball to the chest, he was, to my surprise, adversely affected by Punk's playful little kicks and love taps. This match was so boring that I ended up turning my attention entirely to Kane's mask, which looks like it's made of delicious fruit rollups.
On a positive note, the WWE should be commended for including an autistic character, Daniel Bryan, in their lineup.
Sexy and I Know It
All it took were the opening notes of Sin Cara's intro music to turn me into an instant fan. My body began to pulse to the silky electronic rhythm. On my palms, tiny droplets of sweat formed, glistening in the soft, flickering glow of my television. A sexy mist enveloped me as I became one with everything in the universe. It was at that moment that I realized I would have to let the Ecstasy wear off before watching the rest of the match.
A couple of hours later, I unpaused the DVR and resumed watching Sin Cara in all of his high-flying glory. I was completely captivated by his stunning acrobatics and impressive use of the ropes. His opponent for the evening, Heath Slater, represents a lot of what I despise in the world, namely, testosterone-fueled douchebaggery. Sin Cara pulled double duty this week, winning the match and winning me over. I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Sin Cara t-shirt, bumper sticker and collectible coffee mug.
This Charming Man
I'm really feeling Damien Sandow right now. He has clearly set out to be “The Most Interesting Man in the World (of Professional Wrestling)” and in my humble opinion, he has earned the title. When Sandow enters the arena, he looks as if he has just laid aside his favorite pipe and taken one last sip of brandy, before bidding a fond farewell to the various taxidermied wild game that grace his candlelit walls. For Sandow, this is a necessary ritual of monastic proportions that serves to prepare his mind and body to emerge from the comfort of his den and out into the deafening white noise of a painfully unsophisticated outside world. On this particular evening, Sandow is met in the ring by the hulking dolt, Ezekiel Jackson. Sandow says (I'm paraphrasing), “I don't always wrestle. But when I do, I prefer to wrestle people on my intellectual level,” before turning his back on the match. However, Jackson wants a fight. Sandow, realizing that a lesson needs to be taught, stoops to Jackson's level and proceeds to swiftly kick his ass. Sometimes, even a gentleman must get his hands dirty for the greater good.
Hey Bro, Do You Moisturize?
I hope this finds you well. While watching your June 1st match against Dolph Ziggler, I couldn't help but notice the fantastic condition of your skin. From my studies, I've learned that Irish skin is prone to acne, psoriasis, malignant melanoma and atopic eczema. But you my friend, have the skin of a giant, muscular, powerful porcelain doll. Even after being submitted to the incessant slaps and kicks of that tanning bed nightmare, Ziggler, your flesh showed no signs of irritation or fatigue. So, I was wondering, would you mind writing me back and sharing your skin care regimen? I would really appreciate it.
P.S. - Congrats on the win. You did a nice job.
Alright class, discuss. What did you think of this week's Smackdown?
Oh, and if you want to send me notes of adoration and praise (please, only adoration and praise, I'm a delicate flower) you can do so on Twitter @IsaacKozell.