Hello, and welcome to the Super Smacking Of Super Smackdown, where everything is made up and the points don’t matter. This week WWE decided to have Smackdown live on a Tuesday with zero commercial breaks, which meant I got to sit at my computer for two straight hours and feel my bladder expand to the size of a beach ball while I waited for important things to happen. I’m starting to think those bastards are trying to kill me.
Anyway, please Facebook like/Tweet/Digg/Poke (?)/ share this column as much as possible. I’ve been doing this for a year now, and maybe with your support and interest I’ll be convinced to do it for another.
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. And by that I mean I don’t use star rankings because star rankings are silly. But, since most people need things spelled out for them, I went ahead and put it in two columns; Smacked Up (good) and Smacked Down (bad). And in case you’re the type that can’t function unless things are in order, here’s a helpful guide to aide you in the mind-bending world of non-linear writing.
Miz TV featuring The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee, & Big E Langston
Booker T, Teddy Long & Brad Maddox backstage segment
Damien Sandow defeated Sin Cara
Santino defeated Tensai
Kofi Kingston & Team Hell No defeated Wade Barrett & The Prime Time Players
Sheamus & John Cena backstage segment
CM Punk, Paul Heyman, & Ryback in-ring segment
Ryback defeated Antonio Cesaro
Kaitlyn defeated Eve by DQ
Brodus Clay defeated Brad Maddox
John Cena & Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler & Big Show by DQ
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are the things that were terrible.
(Most) photos courtesy of WWE.com
Teddy Long: Brad Maddox’s Only Friend
I don’t really understand Teddy Long’s interest in Brad Maddox’s career (Or is it Brian Maddox? Or Is it Brian Madrox? Is he the Multiple Man?) but I think it goes to show what kind of person Max is. Teddy Long doesn’t exactly have a glowing list of acquaintances. In WCW he managed One Man Gang, Johnny B. Badd, Norman the Lunatic, Sid Vicious, Dan Spivey, Buff Bagwell, Joey Maggs, and something called Ice Train. In WWE he managed Rodney Mack, pre-Hall of Pain Mark Henry and post-Droz paralysis D’Lo Brown, and Mark Jindrak. As a GM he was BFF with Santino and Zack Ryder and had a sexual relationship with more than one employee.
My point is that if Teddy Long is interested in him, than Bradley Madrox’s chances of being a “thing” in wrestling are pretty small, and if he wants to have an actual career in the WWE he should avoid the counsel of Teddy Long. And I mean like running in the opposite direction when Teddy starts shucking and jiving in his direction. Because Jesus Christ, I know he managed the Undertaker, but he was just Mean Mark then. That’s like bragging about dating Rashida Jones when she was in middle school.
Time To Pack It Up, Tensai
I have to admit, this really saddens me. I liked the prospect of Tensai, and as a fan of green mist spit and the out of the box way of incorporating his Giant Bernard history with his recent WWE run, I’m truly bummed that things haven’t gone better for the former Lord. The dude is a hoss of the highest quality, and had one of the most brutal and intense Smackdown matches with Sheamus over the summer. I hate to see that things have come to this.
Losing to Kofi Kingston in 14 seconds is one thing, because he’s the Intercontinental Champion and should beat a guy like Tensai by being quick and sneaky. But, losing to Santino after bringing the pain for a good portion of the match? I’m sorry, but I don’t think WWE could be any more obvious in saying that they are done playing with their Tensai toy. They already lost your accessories which means you’re only one rejected yard sale away from the trash can. You’re like Krang’s big robot body without the little brain in the stomach. Who wants to play with that? Losers, that’s who.
I've Got The Feeling That I’ve Watched This Smackdown Before
Minus the fact that D-Bry and Kane got separate entrances to stretch things out (because the writers don’t know how to properly budget time) it was basically the same thing from two weeks ago. One plus I’ll give this match though was the looming presence of The Shield which I’ll talk about more later, but for the most part this thing seemed like a retread. Here’s what I wrote on the 11/30/12 Smacking Of Smackdown, and I think it still rings true for this match:
“Here’s the thing, Wade Barrett was essentially facing off against former World Heavyweight Champion and current Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan, former World Heavyweight Champion and current Tag Team Champion Kane, and current Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston, teamed with a guy that became Internet popular for looking like a black John Cena and another guy that is doing a Terry Crewes impression. He was facing three champions, two of which are champions of tag team wrestling, in a tag team wrestling match. If he had any sense Wade should have taken one look around at the group of people he was sharing a ring with, said “F**K THIS” and bailed.”
So yeah, pretty much the same thing, only this time Wade should have known better. They’re the Prime Time Players Wade, just GTFO or sit in the corner and do air jabs until its over.
Right, Because This Worked So Well On Raw
Smackdown was weird this week. There were no commercials and some of the matches were kind of fresh, but there was a lot of repeating from Raw. Kaitlyn beat Eve, The Shield attacked people, CM Punk yelled a lot, 1998 Mark Henry squashed John Cena while Dolph Ziggler watched and AJ skipped, and Antonio Cesaro lost to Ryback. It’s like the writers don’t know what to do with the surplus time. I like to imagine they dragged out the dry erase board, couldn’t find the eraser, and just started writing on top of Monday’s plans with a giant “FAT DINOSAUR DANCING” at the bottom of the board, which I assume is there in permanent marker.
Some of those Raw rehashes weren’t bad, though. They moved the story along and for the most part were productive to the overall plot and tone of the show. One of those things however was bad on Monday and was made inexplicably worse on Tuesday, and even now it still defies logic to me; Antonio Cesaro should not be losing to Ryback two nights in a row.
I know that I preach that wins/losses don’t matter and that’s still true, but I also preach HOW you win and HOW you lose do matter, and for two consecutive nights United States Champion Antonio Cesaro was made to look like a chump against post-Hell in a Cell derailed gimmick having Ryback. It’s infuriating, because it doesn’t even make sense for a couple of reasons;
1) Why would you take your DOMINATE United States Champion who has been wrecking dudes left and right for months and have him look weak by comparison against a guy who’s sole gimmick is to make other people look weak? It doesn’t kill Cesaro’s character, but it doesn’t help it. Cesaro is a champion who beats veterans decisively and with style. Ryback hits people a bunch of times and then murders them with power moves. There’s no way that putting these two together in a match will end with both of them coming out of it the better. One is going to have to be the chump, so why did you make it one of the guys that carry around your belts?
2) It doesn’t make sense from a physical standpoint. Cesaro is taller than Ryback and has displayed as much aggressive and insane power as him, why the hell is he intimidated? Is it because Ryback’s dumb music tells him that he’s meat on the table? Antonio Cesaro, you dead lifted The Funkasaurus when Ryback could barely move Tensai, who is lighter. YOU ARE BIGGER AND STRONGER THAN HIM, STOP BEING SCARED.
Cool Entrance, Bro
I’m having a hard time remembering if his name is Maddox or Madrox, and that’s a real problem considering he spent his entire march down the aisle repeating his damn name. If you’re constantly reiterating your name and a guy who writes about wrestling on the interwebs can’t even remember who you are, that’s pretty bad. It either speaks of Multiple Man’s staying ability or my laziness, and since this is my column I’m going to say it’s the former.
The thing is I can sympathize with the Maddox/Madrox character. I understand what it’s like to want something so badly you’re willing to make an embarrassing ass out of yourself to achieve that goal (evidence*). I relate to him because in a sense I am him. I’m a no-name with a tiny shred of popularity that can’t seem to break through that wall. The problem is that instead of wanting to root for this guy I can see myself in, I want him to fail miserably because he’s such an unbelievable dick about it. If I wanted to get more work as a wrestling blogger I’m not going to low blow David Shoemaker (who follows me on Twitter, which is freaking cool) or do a fast count on Brandon Stroud (who also follows me on Twitter and has had conversations with me, also freaking cool) or call John Canton names (I actually do that a lot (Oh and he also follows me on Twitter, but only because he has to)). I’m going to work hard, and try to make opportunities happen positively. Brad Maddox is just being a shithead.
*I don’t think writing for With Leather is embarrassing because it isn’t. It was the biggest opportunity I’ve had so far, and I’m lucky to have gotten the gig. I think my attempt was. But I’m a better writer now, I promise!**
** No I’m not (evidence).
AJ Is Great Again
At the beginning of the summer AJ Lee was one of the freshest and most interesting characters in the WWE. Then she put on Stephanie McMahon’s pantsuit and everything went to hell.
So I’m happy to report that the AJ Lee I fell in love with this summer has returned, and by some miracle her character change makes sense. Miz TV was basically the AJ clip show, but it told the story of a girl that was trying to find love in her own way constantly being met with disappointment and regret. The admission that those terrible John Cena buttons were actually made by her? Gold. I wanted to cry for her. She played her part with passion and a fervor that actually made me understand her mindset.
See, AJ isn’t crazy despite what the announcers will try to jam down your throats. She’s a woman that has been used and degraded for over a year, and she’s reacting to it poorly because she’s been treated badly by everyone she’s opened up to. Bryan used her, Punk ignored her, and Cena was ashamed of her. How the hell is she supposed to feel? So it makes sense that she’d latch onto the one guy that has played it straight with her from the get go. Sure Ziggler was a dick about it, but he didn’t pull punches and was open and honest. For someone that’s been jerked around by guys for the better part of a year, that must have been huge.
I don’t understand the need for Big E being there, but it’s kind of cool to see that AJ has her own little group going. She’s gone from victim to aggressor, and I for one think it’s about damn time.
If it turns out she’s behind The Shield than AJ would be like the NXT puppet master, which would be awesome on a level that I can’t even describe. If that’s the case than maybe she’ll bring up Bray Wyatt soon and he can show the WWE fans what real crazy looks like.
The only bad thing about this segment though was Miz being his usual terrible. I’d really like to watch one Miz TV segment where after the guest makes a valid and powerful argument Miz doesn’t just say “Whatever, you’re dumb lulz” and then makes his duck face. If Big E had flattened Miz after he talked down to AJ I’d be wearing a custom BIG E t-shirt made out of markers and imagination right now.
Don’t Let The “INJURED RESERVE” Door Hit You On The Way Out
First off, in his suit and mustache combo, Cody Rhodes looked like my dad when he would yell at us courtside during pee wee basketball games. It was hilarious AND emotionally damaging.
Secondly, I’d heard that Sin Cara has caught killer knee disease from Rey Mysterio and might need some time off, but I didn’t think it was true. Nonetheless if you’re going to take a character off TV, the best way to do it is to give the rub to a group of guys establishing themselves as unpredictable assassins. If both Sin Cara and Brodus Clay are put on the shelf following their Shield attacks than that would really give them a boost in the ferocity department. The Shield are like the Anti-Monitor of WWE; ridding us of those goofy alternate universe WWE Superstars one at a time.
And thirdly, I need to give a huge Smacked Up to…
I’m not so proud that I can’t admit that I owe The Shield the biggest f**king apology ever in assuming they would just coast on their laurels. Which is what I thought they were going to do based solely on their backstage videos (which I still think are terrible) and interview with Michael Cole, which I realize now was a stupid thing to expect. Their TLC match helped a lot, but what is really selling me on them right now is their presence.
See, the entire show there was this vibe that at any second The Shield were going show up and cause destruction. Even in the six man tag their presence loomed over the match. They’re becoming more than just three NXT guys that gang up on people. They’ve altered the atmosphere to constantly be of uncertainty. WWE is always saying “Anything can happen in the WWE!” but for the first time in a long time, it actually feels like that’s true.
Keep in mind; I’m still not sold on them individually. But, as a unit they are outstanding, and I’m willing to eat crow all day as long as they keep this shtick up. Also, kill Brodus Clay more. That would be great.
Miss Piggy Looks Like A Star Trek TOS Red-Shirt
Holy Shit, A “Father Ted” Reference
I hate talking Sheamus and his “I’m Irish I love potatoes let’s foight!” stereotype, but when Sheamus busted out a Father Jack “DRINK!” I almost lost my mind with joy. Watching Sheamus try to explain the greatness of “Father Ted” to a baffled John Cena is what I like to imagine it’s like when the writer’s try to explain the concept of continuity and long term booking to Vince McMahon.
Writer: See, continuity is important because people remember things and when you change stuff on the whim the fans get agitated and ---
Vince: IN ENGLISH, DAMNIT.
Or if you want to get really nerdy about it, it’s like Sheamus is trying to tell Cena that a giant monster is behind them and all Cena can hear is “Shaka, when the walls fell!” because I haven’t made enough Star Trek references yet.
Anyway this segment was going great until Cena started tongue f**king Sheamus’ ear.
CM Punk Is Beautiful When He’s Angry
This promo got a little too close to “Little Jimmy” territory, but I could feel what Punk was saying, and more importantly, justify what he was saying.
CM Punk is a lot like Randy Orton. When he gives a shit he’s outstanding, but when he’s just going through the motions it’s obvious. Orton is like that with his wrestling. Punk is like that with his promos. For the majority of this year CM Punk hasn’t really talked about anything important, and his work suffered. His gripes weren’t believable. But, now he has a real gripe, and when he let loose about the injustice of the fanbase overlooking his accomplishments and giving John Cena the coveted (LOL) Slammy Award for Superstar of the Year he was fervent and on fire.
And holy shit was he right. His anger was misdirected, but he was right. When he was ranting about the past stars coming back to suckle at the teet to make their alimony paychecks, he was 100% correct. When he said that Cena had the worst year of his career while he had one of his best, he was correct. CM Punk is at his best when he actually has something to say, and even though blaming the fans was easy (even though his real argument should be taken up with WWE sandbagging the voting with an app only 12-year-olds and TJR writers would download) he was right to do so and he ruled because of it.
I also enjoyed Punk dogging on Pittsburgh while he wore his little black and gold hat. It was kind of adorable. I’m really glad he didn’t go into Abraham Washington territory and make a Ben “Rapelessberger” joke, though. That… that could have gotten ugly.
ChickBusters Explode… AGAIN
I know this isn’t all that significant, but seeing WWE stick to the personal histories of their Superstars is an important habit they need to get into. AJ and Kaitlyn have genuine history, and even if this is a one-off kind of fight, it still establishes that AJ has changed in a dramatic way. In story no one knows AJ better than Kaitlyn, and if she can see through the bullshit and tell AJ to f**k off when she tears up, it establishes that AJ isn’t crazy, she’s a manipulator. She rests on this idea that she’s crazy so that people will underestimate her and do what she wants. It’s clever, and subtle enough that it’s not painfully obvious that AJ isn’t the nutbag they want us to believe she is.
Also CAT FIGHT! CAT FIGHT! CAT FIGHT!
They Can Wrestle If You Let Them
Or to be more specific, they can wrestle the way you want them too if you let them, WWE. This was a fun, competitive match that had me interested from the get go. The best thing to come out of the whole no commercials thing was the Divas match actually getting some time to let Kaitlyn and Eve go to work. And they did a good job, all things considering. They had the best match I think they are capable of having given the limited amount of training and experience they have.
The Divas division is in need of fixing, but I don’t think bringing in “real women’s wrestlers” into it will make it better. I think just hiring women who are good at wrestling to wrestle in every division would make it better. Say what you want about how bad Chyna was as a wrestler, but the idea of a woman wrestling in a men’s division was awesome and before it’s time, and she helped spearhead that. They’re already doing it in CHIKARA. I don’t want to see Sara Del Rey as the Divas champion. The Divas division is for former models that can springboard. I want to see Sara Del Rey wrestling other wrestlers who she can have a good match with. It doesn’t matter if they’re man or woman;, if they can go, they can go.
Look, I’m not saying I want Sara Del Rey to be WWE Champion. I’m just saying I want to see a new take on women’s wrestling in the WWE, and Sara Del Rey to be World Heavyweight Champion. There’s a difference!
I'm Really Loving This Dolph/AJ Pairing
The main-event started off as you’d expect, and while I can’t say it thrilled me or anything, I really enjoyed the bond AJ and Dolph were creating during the match. They completely stole the main event with their little glances and Dolph’s attempts to impress her with his elbow drops. It was kind of cute, and helped change up a match I didn’t really feel needed to happen.
My biggest problem though was the ending, or should I say, the exact same ending as Raw. WWE does this weird thing where they repeat things in succession because they think it will be more impactful somehow. Instead all it does is unnecessarily rehash plot points and make bloggers like me go “WTF” as they furiously rage-type “WWE ez stupid de so dum” on Twitter and shit. They could have covered Big Show’s next opponent (Mark Henry or we riot) or even a cash-in attempt (even though Big Show threatened to punch Dolph into July if he tried) or anything other than what we already saw less than 24 hours ago.
But the Dolph and AJ stuff… that helped.
So what did you think of Smackdown? What did you think of the review? Please Facebook like/Tweet/comment your responses. If you made it this far, a winner is you. Thanks, and I’ll see you guys next week for the last Smacking Of Smackdown of 2012. We’ll have cake!*
*We won’t have cake.
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