Inside Pulse 12

Spain’s WWE SmackDown Report and Results for January 28th 2016: I Need A Goddamn Cigarette

Ahoy there, fine wrestling fans. I am your SmackDown reviewer, David Spain, here for the first post-Rumble SmackDown and the beginning of our Road to WrestleMania.

I have to say, after a couple of really disappointing Rumbles, this one definitely brought home for me how much I goddamn love this match. I sort of wish they hadn’t called the Wyatt/Lesnar thing ahead of time, because it would have been even better if that had come out of nowhere, but I’m still psyched as fuck about the fact we’re getting Bray vs. Lesnar and, even more importantly, Bray vs. Heyman on the promo game. Lesnar himself looked fricking dominant in the ring (specifically the clothesline that wiped Stroman the hell out), although he looks awkward as hell when he’s not actively dismembering people. Wyatt’s stare-down with Triple H was something else that got me a little shivery, and Triple H was in good shape and in decent form.

Hell, I turned off the TV feeling pretty good about things, which is not the kind of thing which always happens post-PPV.

But hey: SmackDown!

Tonight, we’re kicking things off with the New Day, and we replay the Rock and the Usos taking them out. Mauro has joined in the other commentators’ game of mocking Byron, and I’m just impressed he was able to resist the urge for so long. The New Day are not happy tonight; Kofi says they only wanted to show the Rock that they had what he didn’t: gold. Well, come on: the guy’s not been in the ring since WrestleMania. They’re also pissed about the levels of profanity Dwayne threw around, and speaking of bad words and things which shouldn’t be on television: it’s the Miz!

Miz has his own axe to grind with the People’s Champ. He insists that nobody can upstage him, and is actually a fair way into his promo before the Usos appear, because someone has to interrupt him: it’s a law of the WWE, and also a moral imperative. They laugh at the four fashion victims in the ring, and mock Miz for the greatest moment of his career having anything whatsoever to do with WrestleMania 28. The New Day defend the Miz, and point out that the Usos have 1) no Tag Team Championships and B) no back-up.

Turns out, the Usos do have some friends, and one of them is Titus O’Neil, and the other is Dolph Zigger. Okay, are these guys actually friends, or do Titus and Dolph just want to get paid for having a match tonight? The faces rush and rapidly clear the ring, and if you’re really quiet, you can hear Teddy Long’s erection tapping against the coffin lid.

When we come back, Woods and Jey are circling each other before Xavier backs off, tagging in the Miz. Jey applies a headlock to the Miz, gets shot off the ropes and takes the Miz down. He runs the ropes, and counters an attempted hip toss with a clothesline, avoiding Miz again before dancing. Miz charges, infuriated, directly into a right hand: that’ll show him. Jimmy gets the tag, and the Usos hit a pair of double elbows. Miz finally hits a jawbreaker, and Kofi tags in, running into a hip toss and getting thrust into the face corner.

Titus tags himself in as Kofi is held in place by Jimmy, and he slaps Kingston right across the chest, and then does the exact same thing again, and again. He tags in Ziggler then, who hits a beautiful standing dropkick right in the face of Kofi. Kingston rakes his eyes, and then hits a dropkick of his own before tagging in Woods. Xavier comes in, hitting a dropkick. Big E tags in now, hitting a big belly-to-belly suplex.

Ziggler comes off the ropes, hitting a kick to the face; he slides under E’s legs and tags in Jimmy Uso. Jimmy comes in with a flurry and a Samoan Drop, before hitting the Samoan Wrecking Ball. The New Day and the Miz cause a distraction, and Jimmy disposes of all of them, only to get thrown into the corner via another belly-to-belly suplex by Langston as we head to a commercial.

Back with the action, the New Day and the Miz are hitting the Unicorn Stampede, culminating in Miz’s clothesline into the corner. They all celebrate, whilst Kingston stomps Jimmy. The Uso suddenly blocks a punch, fighting back until he scores with a Dragon Whip, taking Kingston down! Kofi tags in Woods, who Jimmy throws throat-first into the ropes, tagging in Titus!

O’Neil cleans absolute house, catching Kingston in mid-air to strike with a backbreaker. Clothesline and a bodyslam to the Miz, who is now the legal man, and the New Day charge in to break up the pin; the Usos superkick Big E and Kofi out of the ring before diving out onto them, and Ziggler takes Woods down with a Zig-Zag! Miz tries for a Skull-Crushing Finale, but instead eats a superkick from Ziggler, stumbling back into Clash of the Titus for the win!

Good starting match, with nice work seen by everyone. Not really anything to complain about here. 3 Stars.

You expect me to fucking call this match?

This is a United States Championship match, with the Champion Kalisto defending against Neville, because the WWE apparently want to fuck physics so hard that it gives birth to a black hole.

The bell rings, we get the post-entrance announcements, a racist comment from King, and we are doing this. I’m mildly surprised that both men didn’t simply vanish for ten seconds before reappearing as one of them pins the other to win the match. Mauro asks why King doesn’t want a Luchador as the US Champ, and apparently Jerry is allowed to make allusions to being a racist, but not actually say anything out-and-out bigoted, because he lapses into uncertain blustering. I’d never wish a second heart attack on anyone, but if I was ever forced to and had to write a shortlist of more than twenty names, I feel like Lawler would be on it.

Kalisto monkey-flips Neville, who somersaults over to land on his feet: that is the kind of shit I’m talking about. Neville runs off the ropes, rolls over Kalisto, who handstands and backflips and…

And…

You know what? No. No to all of this. I’m not going to be able to call it, and I’ve already had to pause this match about four times: there’s been two moves. I’m absolutely not going to be able to do this one justice, people, so I recommend just watching it.

I stand by that choice, but goddamn was that something whilst it lasted. I hope to hell this is a sign of things to come, because I could absolutely stand to watch more of this. Could…could we bring the Cruiserweight Division back? Please? 3.5 Stars

It’s Highlight Reel time, and Chris Jericho makes his way to the ring. He talks about what a week it’s been, what with the Rumble, Styles debuting and the match announcement for Fastlane‘s main event. He’ll be talking to Ambrose and Reigns, because it’ll be a cold day in hell before Brock Lesnar appears on another SmackDown. Dean shows up, carrying some flowers, and that has got to set off some red lights. Reigns appears too, with no flowers: cheapskate fuck.

Ambrose offers the flowers to Jericho, who is absurdly excited about it. He then turns to the matter at hand, and Roman and Dean both promise that their friendship will survive another session of them beating the hell out of each other: true bromance right there. Jericho brings up Lesnar, stating that Roman has encountered the Beast, but Ambrose hasn’t. Dean says that Lesnar is the WWE’s most destructive force, but he’s indestructible, and can take all the punishment he has to.

Reigns gets protective over Ambrose, saying that he’s got to be careful about Brock. Dean doesn’t take altogether kindly to this, and says that maybe he’ll just beat Reigns; Roman comes right back, saying that it’d be the first time…and cue the Wyatts suddenly showing up.

Bray says that he and his Family promised to bring on the apocalypse, which apparently means ‘unfairly eliminate Brock Lesnar’. Roman says that he’s no idea what Wyatt’s saying, but he’s super up for everyone punching the shit out of each other instead of talking. Bray laughs, telling Roman to be patient. Wyatt and two of the Family, tonight, will face Ambrose, Reigns and Jericho, and Bray says that the apocalypse is upon them.

Bit of a comedown from Chris Jericho

The Social Outcasts are in the ring when we come back, talking about AJ Styles overshadowing the end of Axel’s 364-day Royal Rumble record; I really hope that that is actually on WWE’s books. I feel if like if they’ve milked it this much, it really should be.

AJ Styles shows up, and King is doing his ‘every promotion that isn’t WWE is worthless’, despite owning his own fucking promotion. Waistlock to Axel, who elbows his way out of it, and runs the ropes into a dropkick. Knee drop from Styles, and Axel tries to get out of the ring. He catches Styles with a kick with the shin, and then a clothesline to the back of the head. Beatdown to Styles in the corner, and then a big dropkick and a backbreaker as King continues to piss upon every other wrestling promotion. I absolutely hate this viewpoint, even coming from a heel commentator, and it’s especially insulting because nobody ever said this about fucking Goldberg.

Styles dodges a charge, clotheslining and kicking Axel. Axel slides off Styles shoulders, but eats a Pele kick from Styles out of the corner. Styles beats the Social Outcasts away, somersaulting out onto them, but springboards right into a Perfectplex attempt; he twists away, hits a Pele kick and is finally able to hit the Styles Clash. Which looks like its first botch will kill a man.

I think King moves up my Hypothetical Heart Attack List with every single word he speaks, but it couldn’t detract much from the match. 2.5 Stars, which I think is the highest I’ve ever rated a match featuring Curtis Axel.

Fuck’s sakes…

Charlotte and Ric head to the ring, and it honestly never occurred to me how close ‘kiss-stealing’ was to ‘outright sexual assault’ until Sunday. But you just know that WWE Creative will go that extra mile to try and ruin everything good about this product. And fucking props to them for using Ric Flair himself to ruin it: that was some advanced incompetence right there.

Charlotte is facing Natalya, which I’ll accept as an apology. Headlock takeover to Charlotte, who traps the head; Natalya kips up, and there’s a stare-down. Tie-up, then Charlotte locks the arm; Natalya rolls through and goes for the pin: kick-out. Natalya catches a kick, hits a snapmare and runs over Charlotte before hitting a dropkick. Charlotte backs off onto the ropes, then surprises Nat with a big boot to the face.

Charlotte gets aggressive, slamming Natalya’s face against the mat before applying an abdominal stretch. Natalya, however, is able to reverse it into a stretch of her own, even raising the leg for extra tension. Backslide attempt from Nat, but Charlotte rolls through and scores with a dropkick. Flair Chops to Natalya, but she ducks and hits an Anvil Clothesline, following it up with a German Suplex!

Charlotte rolls to the outside, but Natalya doesn’t want to give her a chance to regroup, and throws her right back into the ring. Oh, and then Flair ‘WOOOO’s at her. Jesus, this just went from sad to worse: first he’s a sex offender, and now he’s acting like he’s wandered out of a fucking care home. Can we just keep Ric Flair off television?! Natalya is apparently distracted by the sight of an old man acting like he’s having a fucking stroke, and Charlotte locks in the Figure Eight.

Once again, a really well-wrestled match was ruined because of Ric Fucking Flair. I loved Ric when he was around: I was even okay with that extended period of him beating guys he had no business beating before his retirement match. But. Fuck. This. Shit. 2.5 Stars, and it should have been better.

Charlotte then attacks Natalya again, but Becky Lynch shows up to run her off. At some stage, one of these women has to beat the shit out of Flair; I don’t give a damn who it is.

R-Truth and Goldust have some wacky adventures. I’d call Goldust out on trying to replace Booker T quite so blatantly but…I mean, Truth’s got the exact same hair as 2002-era Booker! Also, did Goldust act quite so predator-like towards Booker, because I don’t quite remember that.

That…was actually pretty awesome

It’s main event time, and the Wyatt Family make their way to the ring, followed by Jericho, Ambrose and Reigns. Erick Rowan starts this match off against Chris Jericho, going on the offence on Y2J. He runs into a back elbow, however, getting chopped into the face corner, and Ambrose tags in, smacking away at him before hitting a dropkick. Reigns tags in now, hammering Rowan in the corner. Jericho’s back in again, and he runs off the ropes right into a big shoulder tackle; Rowan tags in Luke Harper.

Harper hits some shots to Jericho’s midsection, and he wrenches Chris’ head around. Kick to Jericho, who comes off the ropes to hit Harper with a boot, but Luke tosses Jericho onto the apron, only for Chris to come off the top with an axe-handle. The Walls of Jericho are countered, but the step-up enzuigiri is not; clothesline to Harper in the corner, then a bunch of fists to the face Harper…until Luke counters it with a straight-up suplex out of the corner, getting a two-count before the break.

When we come back, Bray has just pancaked Jericho in the corner before tagging in Rowan. Fists are applied to both sides of Jericho’s head, but he works his way up to his feet before eating a pumphandle backbreaker. Harper comes back in, walking all over Jericho before locking in some variant of the Indian Deathlock, then transitioning into a headlock. Chris gets back to his feet, comes off the ropes with a crossbody…but gets caught with the Michinoku Driver!

Harper boots Roman off the apron, then misses a charge to Jericho in the corner…Codebreaker to Harper! Jericho crawls to Ambrose, and gets the tag! Rowan is taken down, then eats a forearm in the corner and a running bulldog! Standing elbow to Rowan, and then Dean takes Bray over the top rope, diving out onto him, then sending Rowan out to before diving through the ropes onto him!

Back in the ring, Ambrose dives off the top rope, getting caught by Rowan and a spinning kick. Bray tags in, hitting a back senton, and now he’s stalking Dean. Sister Abigail is countered by a roll-up; Ambrose pendulums off the ropes and hits the Lunatic Lariat! Roman gets the tag, taking out the now-legal Harper with clotheslines! An elbow to the face from Harper doesn’t stop him: Roman just clotheslines him harder and hits a big boot! Rowan interferes, and Ambrose takes him out, with Jericho hitting a springboard dropkick to Wyatt, sending him the floor before Ambrose and Jericho dive out onto the Rowan and Wyatt!

In the ring, Reigns is winding up for the Superman Punch, but Braun Stroman distracts Roman, and Harper almost rolls him up! Two count, and then a Superman Punch! Stroman drags Roman out of the ring, leading to the DQ.

Hell, Stroman is better than Flair right now. Even with the ending, that was a damn decent match: stellar work. 3.5 Stars.

Stroman takes out fucking everyone on the outside, and we need to stop him from actually wrestling, and just use him to wreck people’s shit: he looks convincing enough at that. The Wyatts single out Roman, beating him down in the centre of the ring…and the Big Show shows up? Wait…wait, what? Oh, yeah, right. I mean…it makes sense. Took me a while to remember that.

Show lays out Harper and Rowan, and Bray sends Stroman forward to face Big Show. Show, for some reason, doesn’t use his punch that, you know, knocks out goddamn everyone, and gets jumped by the rest of the Family. Roman flies in out of nowhere for the Superman Punch…and Stroman catches him, beginning to choke him out! Then Big Show grabs Stroman, hurling him out of the ring! Bray tries to hit Sister Abigail on Reigns, but takes a Superman Punch instead! Rowan is thrown out of the ring by Jericho and Ambrose, and then Show throws Harper into a Spear!

Whoa, that was some show. Even the match with Curtis Freaking Axel was of satisfactory quality! I have no option but to give this show 10/10 and try to stop feeling so aroused. Until next week!

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