Yo yo yo, you crazy kids. It’s Friday night, which means it’s time for me to write the SmackDown Report, although that may or may not also occasionally take place on Saturday night, or Sunday morning. What’s it got to do with you anyway, man? Can’t a guy spend Friday night taking the edge off? Pouring himself a fine Irish whiskey and watching Adventure Time? You’re not my parents, dude.
Anyway, we’re in Albany, which years of watching WWE tells me is in New York. And people say this show isn’t educational. Because, let’s face it, it is not.
When Your Only Other Teams Are Los Matadores and Miz2
Looks like we’re kicking of SmackDown with a cage championship match. You know, feels like a main event sort of thing, but what do I know? I don’t run a business which is so desperate for money that about two thirds of its programming is advertising for itself or other products. But hey, tag team cage championship match. So…let’s do it.
God, that new announcer has a shrill, nasally voice. And Cody is either totally committed to his character or has just snorted a metric assload of cocaine; either way, I’ll watch it. Wait…wait, it’s not a tornado tag match? Inside a steel cage? You know, I had a whole rant written out about that, but no. No, I’m going to do what some parents do to their unruly, screaming kids, and not dignify bullshit with a response. Yet.
Jimmy or Jey starts off against Stardust or some crackhead who dressed as Stardust for Halloween and is now in way over his head one week later. Chops to Stardust, then a big uppercut from Jey. There’s an escape attempt, and then a stand-off. So…what, if neither illegal man goes back to his corner, they can get DQ’d, right? I mean, I assume that’s why both of them are standing there doing nothing. Goldust tags in, slamming some Uso skull against the turnbuckle, but his Irish whip gets reversed and he gets backdropped. Jimmy comes in now, knocking Dust down with a chop and flipping onto him. Goldust does fight back, hitting the Rhodes Uppercut, but gets slammed face-first into the cage for a two-count. Goldust struggles out of an armlock, and manages to duck a crossbody, leaving Jimmy to smash right into the steel, and then turns him inside out with a huge clothesline as we head to the commercial break.
Back to the action, and Stardust is slamming Jimmy’s back against the steel, tagging Goldust in to rake the Samoan’s face against the chain links. Jimmy manages to turn another attempt to smash him into the cage into a near-escape, but Goldust catches him with an electric chair drop. Jimmy gets placed onto the turnbuckle as the announce team fellate the WWE Network to the point of workplace harassment. Goldust gets knocked back down to the floor, and Jimmy hits a corkscrew moonsault to the Bizarre One. Both men are down, but Jimmy gets the tag, as does Stardust. Jimmy is all over his opponent, with strikes and a Samoan Drop. Goldust tries to interfere, but gets a taste of the steel. Samoan Wrecking Ball to Goldust; Stardust almost eats Uso ass, but manages to counter with a sitout pin for a near-fall. He gets sent into the steel and takes a dropkick; Goldust hurls Jimmy into the steel, and then takes a superkick from Jey! Stardust hits Crossrhodes, but Jey kicks out at two!
Stardust is amazed at the kick-out, and decides climbing out’s a good move, but Jey manages to grab his leg, keeping him up there. Goldust boots Jimmy down, and those two head up to the turnbuckle as well. Stardust gets headbutted to the canvas; Jimmy superplexes Goldust and Jey nails Goldust with the Samoan Splash, but Stardust rolls Jey up for the win.
Decent match, but a good combination was dealt a poor hand with the ridiculous tagging premise and a finish we’ve seen used before. I’m starting to yearn for the end of this feud; Henry and Big Show should have taken the belts and been the huge mountain for the Usos to climb. 2 Stars.
We recap RAW, which was basically Randy Orton going from ‘fucking awesome’ to ‘injured, but still fucking awesome’. I actually like this Orton turn, because he’s now not just that guy they can throw into a match they need someone to get booed in. He’s always been at his most entertaining (for me) when he wants to kick the shit out of someone but will settle for whoever he runs into first, and I only wish he could have a match with Lesnar where he could bring this much ferocity. Seriously: WWE did something I’m happy about, and also made Rusev the US Champion (except they get no credit for that because they put the match on the Network; that was actually the first time I’ve ever typed ‘Sheamus vs.’ into the YouTube search bar before, and I felt dirty doing it). It’s been a decent week.
Kane shows up to the ring with the difficult task of rationalising the maiming of an employee whilst being yelled at by a crowd. He has, like, a weird job. Randy Orton is apparently being used as an example to the rest of the locker room, and if I was a guy whose job ostensibly came under the category of ‘hurting people’, and my employers plus four of their friends were threatening to concuss me, I’d have gotten a group of every other wrestler together and said ‘okay guys and gals, we’re going to break one leg per Authority member, which hopefully will put an end to this “threatening us with physical violence” policy. After that, beers are on me.’ I’m surprised John Cena hasn’t already led the WWE locker room out to the ring to a chorus of ‘Do You Hear The People Sing’. Kane says the battle lines have been drawn, and then picks out Dolph Ziggler, and says he could have had the world but, really, if he’d joined the Authority’s team he’d probably have jobbed to Cena. For avoiding that, Ziggler will fight Kane tonight in a steel cage. Okay…fair reason for having the Uso match early.
Kane starts talking about another potential member of Team ‘We’ve Only Got Two Full-Time Wrestlers’, but Cesaro cuts him off with his siren, which is a wussier version of Scott Steiner’s. And how dumb or masochistic is Cesaro that, after seeing what happened to Orton, he wants to hang out with those guys? Kane actually wasn’t thinking about Cesaro, which would have been an awesome moment for Cesaro to snap, beat Kane to a sobbing pulp and win both a place on the Authority’s Team and any ground he’s lost against Ziggler and Sheamus, and show Triple H’s fall into desperation as he makes any decision necessary to hold onto his power, but instead Cesaro will face Ryback. Hey, I’ll still watch it.
Ryback vs. Cesaro Really Looks Like Machoke Facing Machop
Ryback says ‘it’s feeding time’, which he should not ever do again ever. The WWE Rewind shows Ryback flattening Titus O’Neil, so this is totally anybody’s game. We come back to Ryback breaking out of a sleeper, but running into a big boot. Cesaro locks in the sleeper again, rolling the Big Guy over. Snapmare to Ryback, then a suplex for two. Apparently Rusev might join the Authority, which I’ll admit is a way Cena can pin him without having to wait until WrestleMania, with the added advantage of devaluing the US Title yet further. Ryback breaks out of a sleeper, although Cesaro is persistent, and drives the Swiss Superman into the mat with a spinebuster.
Meathook Clothesline levels Cesaro, but he breaks out of Shell-Shocked, throwing Ryback into the turnbuckle and booting him! Elbow from the top rope connects, and he rains punches down on Ryback. Suplex to Ryback is reversed, into a Shell-Shocked for the win.
This was okay; I’d be interested in seeing something full-length, as this was very short. 2 Stars.
Ryback isn’t getting paid to hang around, so gets out of the ring, and Kane stands in the ring, looking jilted. Chin up, ugly; you get to maul a blonde guy later.
The Bunny Stood Looking On. “O Brave New World, O Brave New World…”
Oh yay, it’s R-Truth. Blah blah what does this guy contribute blah blah get rid of him blah. He’ll be facing Adam Rose, in the moral lesson that speaking your mind means you have to fight a guy.
With the psychotic narcotics looking on, the two men lock up. Rose is knocked down with a shoulder block, and Truth mocks him through the medium of dance. Adam Rose leaps into R-Truth’s arms in response, which is surely something to avoid in a wrestling match. But then…this isn’t going to be a wrestling match, is it? More dance mockery, and Bunny starts dancing; JBL is so excited by this that I can only assume he’s rabidly humping Tom’s face whilst commentating. Adam Rose tries to have words with the man he forces to dress up as a rabbit for his drug-addled amusement, but R-Truth rolls him up.
Well, I guess this is the new stupid thing we’ll be watching. Although ‘stupid’ is a vague term. 1 Star.
Adam Rose hits the Bunny in the face, clearly having learned a thing or two from the Authority. The Rosebuds look shocked, but at Adam Rose’s encouragement, start dancing and partying again. Holy shit, the veil was just lifted there on a very twisted vision. Is the Exotic Express some sort of 1984 dystopia, where Rose rules through myriad tortures and all-pervading surveillance, quelling any disquiet through organised hatred directed toward Bo Dallas? Or is it more like Brave New World, where any feelings of dissatisfaction are removed and suppressed through the moulding of the Rosebuds to their station in life, plus a steady diet of awareness-numbing drugs?
The drugs one. It’s the drugs.
The Bunny gets back up, and Adam Rose stares at him until he cringes away. But it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother Adam Rose.
Well, turns out Christian’s still alive and employed. Good to know. Seems Ambrose will being continuing his tour of fake interview segments, although Christian’s doesn’t even get furniture now. He says unless his ears are deceiving him (they are), he has a lot of peeps in Albany. He asks if people want to see the Authority (who, by the way, are apparently less effective as a governing body than Adam Rose) or Cena triumph, and Ambrose interrupts. We replay the bullshit ending of Hell in a Cell and Christian asks him why, Bray, why?
Ambrose asks why anyone goes after anyone, and it’s because WWE Creative have not a fucking clue. He says he can play games too; he gets a thrill out of getting hurt and hurting others…and this brings out Bray Wyatt, who should really look into the fact that his lantern is billowing smoke. He tells Ambrose that he shouldn’t worry; he has nothing to lose. He rubs in the fact that the Shield broke up, even though it sort of looks like the Wyatt Family isn’t together now either. He offers to heal Dean, and on an interesting side note, I met a group of faith healers once and found them to be condescending assholes when not scamming people for money about their work. Bray references Daniel Bryan, which is way better than when the Bellas do it. Wyatt then taunts Ambrose about his incarcerated father, who apparently sends postcards from prison instead of, you know, letters or emails. Ambrose heads for Bray, apparently keen on demonstrating some of the shower-themed features of prison life to the fat bastard, but the lights go black, and Wyatt vanishes…
…only to reappear like one fucking inch behind Dean Ambrose, which is the most terrifying fucking thing I’ve seen outside of a fucking horror movie. FUCK. Oh, that just bought them this whole feud without a complaint from me; they can do what they want. Then Bray legitimately vanishes, and Ambrose, to his credit, looks more furious than afraid. Holy shit.
The commentary team try once again to use a Sheamus match to advertise the WWE Network, which is like making an advert for burgers set entirely in an abbatoir: it’s a component we’re not interested in knowing about. Also, they pussy out of their ‘this is only for customers of the WWE Network (and anyone else with an internet connection)’ by showing the end of the match, which is all most of us would even watch. Seriously, guys, I hate your strategy of censoring matches and only allowing people to watch them if they suckle at your poorly-thought-out and money-haemorrhaging teat, but it’s an exercise in futility if you don’t follow through on the threat. Come on; we’re going to complain about you anyway: be an asshole and don’t show it to us filthy, non-subscribing, UK-based pagans. Yeah, Britain still doesn’t have the Network, but on the lighter side, Sheamus passed out in a wrestling hold.
We recap something I missed from RAW, where Nikki ordered Brie to slap AJ and AJ decked her. In an interview with Renee Young, AJ absolves Brie from blame, but doesn’t apologise for punching her. Brie then appears to seemingly try to patch things up, and Nikki jumps AJ from behind. I fear that that wooden, wooden woman might actually hold the title. She tells Brie ‘try to be more sincere’, and that was so hypocritical I’m amazed Michael Cole didn’t ascend to his final form.
Wow, WWE, Too Real. Too Real.
Well, seems like Natalya’s got a match, and that’s something. Apparently Tyson Kidd is trying to win an award for being the Worst Partner of All Time, which is up against some stiff competition from Triple H (drugged, married and raped a woman) and Kane (killed a woman due to being drunk and driving, and then raped the corpse). Tyson is just sort of an asshole. Natalya’s facing Summer Rae, who starts things off with a stiff jab to the jaw.
Nattie goes for Summer, who takes her down with a swinging foot to the face. Summer wraps her legs around Nat’s waist, but she powers out of that, bodyslamming Summer as Michael Cole calls Tyson Kidd out on being such a piss-poor onscreen husband. This drives Tyson Kidd, who has a strange form of speech-impediment, to call ‘lock in the Sharpshooter!’, which somehow distracts Natalya enough for Summer Rae to pin her.
I assume this has something to do with Total Divas, but as I neither know nor care, that’s sort of redundant. Tyson Kidd is actually a fairly restrained parody of the entitlement oft present in couples these days, which is a part of this storyline which has caught my interest. But all I wanted was a real match. 1.5 Stars.
See, this is intense stuff: Tyson sabotaged his wife’s efforts, thus undermining her self-esteem and making him seem to be the more successful and dominant partner in their relationship, meaning that she won’t see him for the worthless parasite that he is and her sense of self-worth will begin to align with his fiction/fantasy of her, allowing him to act out his delusions of grandeur in real life. Guys? Girls? Do not be a Tyson Kidd, and do not enter into a relationship with a Tyson Kidd. Tyson Kidd is not the sort of person you need in your life (this writer acknowledges the likelihood that Tyson Kidd is probably a stand-up guy and a great husband in reality; his character is just a rat bastard).
Okay, between the dystopian undertones of the Exotic Express, the uncomfortably realistic themes of the Kidd/Neidhart marriage and Bray Fucking Wyatt, this has been a seriously dark SmackDown. But on a lighter note, a psychotic attempted-murderer burn-victim necrophiliac will now lock a former cheerleader in a cage and hurt him.
Kane’s future cheerleader-skinned rug is backstage with Renee Young, who has a history of having potentially-last conversations with Dolph; you’d think she’d have it in her to give him a hug, or at least end with a prayer. Triple H shows up, interrupting Ziggler’s shouting into the void, and extends another offer to join Team Authority, and then threatens Ziggler with Orton-like consequences. Shit, guys, form a mob and cripple him.
If Irony Happens In A Steel Cage Does That Mean It’s An Alloy?
Ziggler makes his way out to the cage, the condemned man who, let’s face it, could have lied to the Authority, joined their team and sabotaged them at Survivor Series, meaning he’d have them out of power and would have avoided weeks of this ‘getting beaten up’ bullshit. Then some crazy Wyatt-related eyes show up on the screen, so apparently that’s another aspect of this situation. Immediately after that the Big Red Machine comes out, and I would love it if it turned out Ziggler paid the APA enough money to beat the hell out of Kane before the match for the easy win. Actually, I’d just like to see one person employed by WWE demonstrate the slightest bit of devious cunning; it’s not been the same since CM Punk left.
Both men get locked in the cage, and it’s go time. Ziggler plays hard-to-get with his dodging, and takes Kane onto one knee with a dropkick before hitting a facebuster. First escape attempt of the match, and Kane stops it. He tries to hurl Dolph into the cage, but that just leads to Ziggler climbing back up. Finally, Kane manages to smash Ziggler’s face into the steel as we go to a commercial.
Back from the break, Kane is in firm control, and destroys any possible hope spot for Ziggler with a big boot. Ziggler gets pancaked into the corner, and Kane rips off the top turnbuckle. Because there wasn’t enough exposed metal in this match, I guess? Ziggler manages to capitalise, hitting his big DDT to down Kane. Another escape attempt from Dolph, but Kane heads up there with him, only for Ziggler to crotch the Big Red Machine on the ropes; Kane then does the exact same thing, and think about the fact that they both agreed with each other to do that spot.
Both guys are down, because they are guys with guy parts, but Ziggler finally leaps at Kane, only to be caught with an uppercut and knocked to the floor. Kane signals for the chokeslam, and almost hits it, but Ziggler leaps away at the last second, dashing back up the cage again. Kane catches him by the leg, hurling him back down to the mat. Chokeslam hits, but Kane doesn’t want the cover; he wants the Tombstone. Ziggler manages to wiggle out of it and hit the Zig-Zag for a tremendously close fall, but Kane does get the shoulder up.
Dolph has the least movement-efficient crawling ever, and you’d think the whole ‘both feet must touch the floor’ rule would prompt more superstars to head out of the cage backwards. But Kane does catch him, dragging him away from the door, only for Ziggler to kick him away. Kane comes back; Dolph ducks and superkicks him, but Kane rebounds right away with a clothesline; both men are down again.
Ziggler tries to escape again, really giving Kane as much time as he needs to catch him. Kane charges, but strikes the exposed turnbuckle (damn you, irony!), and Dolph climbs on Kane to escape the cage, as oppose to anything you could climb on that wouldn’t try to attack you. Ziggler gets to the outside of the cage, in front of the door, but Kane boots the door open, leaving Dolph to hang across it. Kane tries to escape, but Ziggler uses the door like a battering ram to slam into Kane’s face, and drops down to the floor for the win.
At first, it seemed like a fairly simple match, but the ending really elevated it. Great main event. 3 Stars.
On the whole, things seem sort of almost promising. I like typical Survivor Series match-ups, and some of the other feuds look decent. Honestly, though, I’ve been most amused this week by the really dark stuff I’ve been reading into the WWE’s product. But it’s something I enjoy, so hey. Eight for this week.
Movie Recommendation: Sunshine. My favourite science-fiction movie ever, even more than The Matrix. Some of the most brilliant…everything I’ve seen in a film. Plus, Cillian Murphy. You know…it’s Cillian Murphy.
Tags: 'Tom', Adam Rose, aj lee, Bray Wyatt, Brie Bella, Cesaro, christian, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, goldust, jbl, jey uso, jimmy uso, kane, Layla, Michael Cole, natalya neidhart, Nikki Bella, R-Truth, randy orton, Renee Young, ryback, Smackdown, Stardust, Summer Rae, Tag Team Championship, The Bunny, Tyson Kidd, WWE