Inside Pulse 12

Spain’s WWE SmackDown Report and Results for February 4th 2016: Fuck You, Jerry Lawler

What up, mostly-American readers? It’s been a long day of writing political fiction whilst also watching Futurama. And wondering why the hell you’d upload seasons 3 – 6 of a series on Netflix, but none of the others. And also wondering what kind of person finds honest-to-God political fiction entertaining; there’s going to be an awkward few conferences over the next couple of years.

But hey, SmackDown!

Is it just me, or are the words ‘Then, Now, Forever’ the exact kind of motto you’d expect one of the creepier religions to have? And the first line of the show, spoken by Mauro Ranallo, is instantly the line of the night: ‘we are just over two weeks away from the penultimate pay-per-view event before the Show of Shows, WrestleMania‘. That is one of the most amazing sentences I have ever heard, and fuck you, RAW: he’s a SmackDown guy.

In Ambrose’s defence, it’s not like you can alter your flight path in mid-air…

Looks like the first match of the night is Rusev vs. Roman. They’ve been going to this well quite a bit, but I can see the basic appeal: two big, powerful guys with high-impact moves smacking the shit out of each other. Jerry Lawler calls Byron ‘BS’ again, and I would pay a fair amount of money to hear Byron use ‘defendant in a statutory rape case’ as Lawler’s nickname. I know: this level of hate is unseemly, but fucking Jerry Lawler, man…

Tie-up to start things off, with both men jockeying for control. Roman can’t be having with that, so uppercuts Rusev before heading out after Wade and Alberto; Rusev tries to catch him, gets uppercutted again, but is able to hurl Roman into the stairs. Back in the ring, Rusev boots away at Roman, then sends him off the ropes and into a back elbow.

Roman is still down, and Rusev continues to hammer away at him. Finally, Roman ducks out of the way of Rusev’s charge, leaving the Bulgarian to blast the ring post with his shoulder. Reigns charges back at Rusev, gets elevated over the top rope, and hangs Rusev up on the top rope. He turns away for a second to scare off Wade and Alberto, then slams a Drive By into Rusev’s face.

Roman ducks another charge before laying Rusev out with some big-time clotheslines. More clotheslines in the corner, and has anyone else noticed that Reigns’ offence is sixty percent clotheslines? He only uses the Samoan Drop so that the Rock doesn’t disown him. Reigns goes for the Samoan Punch, but he gets jumped by Wade and Al (which is absolutely what we’d call them if they were a gay couple).

Really didn’t get going, but I suppose you’ve got ‘just over two weeks’ before Fastlane. 2 Stars.

The beating continues on the outside, and Ambrose suddenly charges out to help Roman. He deals with Rusev handily, and then tries to take out Barrett and Del Rio with a diving clothesline, but they dodge and he hits Roman instead, looking horrified at his mistake, because that’s what a psychopath does when he hurts an innocent bystander. The League then takes out Ambrose, even though its in Triple H’s absolute best interests for Dean or Roman to win at Fastlane, unless getting murdered by Brock Lesnar is at WrestleMania is Triple H’s attempt at a Viking funeral.

Ambrose gets the Accolade applied on him until Reigns grabs a chair and rushes the ring. We see a replay of the incident, with King shouting about how Ambrose was totally aiming for Reigns. I’d take issue with that, except A) he obviously was and 2) the footage makes it seem absolutely impossible that he was trying to hit anyone else. So…King finally gets a point.

Renee AMBUSH INTERVIEWS Ambrose backstage, asking if that’s what he’s going to do to Roman at Fastlane. I mean…if she’s talking about a dive off the apron…almost certainly? Also, is this Renee’s way of trying to stop Dean hanging around with his best friend so much? Reigns is a bad influence, and she wants Ambrose and her to spend more time together? It’s convoluted, but I can see Renee pulling that off.

Ambrose says that it was an accident, but he’s crazy, so fucking shit up is his default setting. And if you don’t like it, then you’d better start being more supportive of his specific, violent brand of neurodiversity, shitlord.

Fuck Yeah, Kevin Owens

Somehow still alive after trying his damndest to end all gravity last week, here’s Kalisto, ready to face Kevin “Motherfuckin'” Owens. And that, ladies and gentleman, is why I goddamn love SmackDown. Oh, and Dolph’s on commentary. It’s been long enough that I can’t remember whether or not that’s a good thing: by his banter shall we judge him.

Owens jumps the shit out of Kalisto, because he doesn’t want any part of the luchador’s gravitational schemes. Aaaaaand King makes a joke about the Zika virus: the virus that attacks foetuses, just so he can steal JBL’s ‘mosquito’ joke. Well, here’s a joke for you: I hope King’s next heart attack leaves him incapable of speech. Kalisto rolls out of a back suplex, then elbows his way out of a waistlock and hits a handspring roundhouse to roll Kevin Owens out of the ring!

Owens has barely had a chance to get up before Kalisto flips over the top rope onto him in a senton! Back in the ring, Owens is able to counter a Salida Del Sol into a German suplex, sending the United States Champ the entire way across the ring as we go to a commercial break.

Back with the programme, Owens is still firmly in control of Kalisto, throwing him onto the ropes from a suplex position. Back senton from Owens, getting a two count. Back suplex into a gutbuster almost gets the win, with Kalisto just getting his shoulder up in time. Another back senton goes awry as Kalisto rolls away, and the Champ hits a roundhouse to Owens, flipping over his head, coming back off the ropes, ducking two clotheslines and hitting the corkscrew moonsault! Spikearana plants Owens, getting a near fall, and Kalisto stalks the big man, kicking at him until he gets to his feet.

Kalisto runs off the ropes, hitting the wall that is Owens. KO wants to end it here and now, and tosses Kalisto into the ropes. Kalisto hangs on, however, and kicks Owens in the face before scoring with a big DDT! Owens rolls out of the ring, but catches Kalisto after the latter’s attempt at a baseball slide, and dumps him, chest-first, onto the barricade!

Owens rolls back in the ring to break the count, and then starts dismantling the announce table. Dolph’s tone of surprise is an amazing counterpoint to the commentators’ weary resignation at this development. Owens is about to powerbomb Kalisto through the table, but changes his mind at the last second and throws him at Ziggler! Then superkicks Ziggler! Kevin Owens is the fucking man.

Ziggler charges at the ring, pissed beyond all belief, but the distraction allows Kalisto to roll Owens up for the win!

Okay, that was a great match in an unorthodox fashion. The wrestling itself was actually really good, but the ending had me even more impressed: something pretty different. 3.5 Stars.

We replay the Miz mocking AJ Styles and getting the shit kicked out of him. Well, AJ’s had a more-or-less perfect introduction to the WWE: surprise darkhorse entrant in the Rumble; fantastic match with Chris Jericho and he suckerpunched the Miz. All he needs now is a feud with Kevin Owens and he’s basically the new Jesus, as far as I’m concerned. And I say that as a Catholic.

JoJo is backstage, to interview and be dwarfed by the Miz. The Awesome One rants for a while, and…is it possible that we could have become numb to Miz’s clothing? Because I just looked more closely at his attire, and was genuinely shocked at how stupid he looks.

In case you ever wondered if Ryback got an erection during a match

Red motherfuckin’ alert: Ryback has lost his leotard and is out here in his skivvies. What sick fuck okayed this perverted display? Has Goldberg transferred his consciousness into an even botchier body? He’s facing Erick Rowan, so if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to watch a retarded hillbilly and a man who looks like he works at a place called ‘The Dungeon’ beat the bejesus out of each other whilst a thirty year old man with the face of an infant looks on, then this is the match to cater to your disturbing, highly specific tastes.

We see a replay of the Wyatt wrecking the Big Show’s 500lb shit, and I am honestly offended that the WWE considers Big Show vs. Braun Stroman something genuinely worth teasing. Rowan and Ryback circle each other, before Ryback smacks him around in the corner. Ryback runs the ropes, ducks a clothesline and then hammers Rowan. Erick rolls out of a ring, hangs Ryback up and then smashes him to the ground with a running shoulder tackle.

Ryback’s down, with Rowan smacking away at him. The beating continues in the corner, and Rowan is trying to keep Ryback from gaining his feet. Fists to the side of the head, and it’s cute as hell to watch a guy try and sell that. Ryback is laid over the turnbuckle, and Rowan laces him with some forearms, but runs into an elbow off a charge.

Ryback hits a flying dropkick from the second rope, and someone is definitely trying to possess Ryback; I don’t care what any so-called scientist tells me. Clothesline in the corner to Rowan and then a CM Punk-esque high knee, followed up by a spinebuster. If he hits the Jackhammer again, this match gets five stars: I’m not fucking joking around here. Stroman gets up on the apron, and Ryback hurls Rowan into him, before decapitating Erick with the Meathook for the two!

Wow, an unexpected victory, even with Ryback’s new look. The Wyatt Family’s been on a tear lately, and seeing as how they’re about to start a programme with Lesnar, I figured they’d be losing to nobody until about April. Fair play. 2.5 Stars.

Stroman ambushes Ryback after the match, and did they just do the operation from Face/Off with that guy and a baby? Is there a mother out there now, breastfeeding a child who has the face of a man in his mid-twenties/early thirties? Because I imagine that raising a child is difficult enough without having to go through that kind of aggravation. Ryback backs off, because he’s not about to damage those new, black, extremely skintight shorts.

Renee Young is backstage with Becky Lynch, asking her why she’d help Sasha Banks out. I mean, Becky’s Irish, and I’m reliably informed (by Irish people) that Irish people don’t need a reason for doing anything. Sasha then rocks up, telling Becky that she’s a bastard-coated bastard with bastard filling, and the two of them yell at each other before agreeing to work together. Man, they’re the Team Hell No of the Divas.

Somewhere, Neville’s crying

Oh, Chris Jericho’s here. He’s like the Brock Lesnar of SmackDown, and typing that sentence just made me cry. He’s here to observe the match between AJ Styles and the Miz, and surely it would make more sense to watch a tape of his own match against Styles.

The Miz and AJ Styles make their way to the ring, and AJ Styles immediately takes the offence, hammering away at the Miz before hitting a dropkick. Snap suplex to Miz, who begs off, cheapshotting Styles as he backs away. AJ takes the Miz down again, smacking him around until the Miz rolls out of the ring, and then Styles vaults himself out of the ring and smashes an elbow into Miz’s face in mid-air!

The two men get back into the ring, right before Styles dumps the Miz out again. The Miz manages to grab AJ’s leg, pulling him down onto the apron and then hurling him into the barricade. Back in the ring, Miz pounds on Styles, and then locks in a sleeper hold. Back-and-neckbreaker from the Miz, who then chokes Styles on the ropes. Surfboard by the Miz, wrenching Styles’ arms behind his back.

Styles manages to break out of the hold, and he rallies, but Miz beats him back down. Boot to the face of AJ, and it looks like that woke Styles up, because he smacks away at the Miz for a little before Miz takes him down with a clothesline, then a boot to the face, and another. AJ almost rolls up the Miz, takes a left hand, but still takes the Miz down with a lot of shots all over the body. AJ is elevated over the ropes and onto the apron. He springboards back in; Miz ducks him and both men hit each other with clotheslines before we go to a break.

When we come back, Styles has regained the momentum, hitting a forearm and a Death Valley backbreaker. Miz counters suddenly with a short DDT for a two count, and almost gets the Skull-Crushing Finale; Styles counters with a Pele Kick; Miz counters the Styles Clash, but eats a springboard elbow! Styles kips up, going for the Styles Clash. Miz counters again, almost rolling him up, but AJ locks in the Calf Crusher and Miz taps out!

Nice reveal of a secondary finisher, which looks pretty painful. Honestly? Surprisingly good match, considering it featured the Miz; the more and more I see of Styles, the happier I get. 3 Stars.

Jericho approaches the ring with a microphone, congratulating Styles. You can just smell the double-cross, can’t you? Chris challenges him to another match next week on SmackDown, and that’s how the bastard gets you. Although, to be fair, I am fucking psyched to call that match. There’s a handshake, which turns into an INTENSELY HOMOEROTIC handshake, which is probably a good indicator of match quality.

JoJo is now interviewing Roman Reigns, and the size disparity should not be this entertaining. She asks if Reigns and Dean are on the same page, and Roman says that they’re not, and that they’ve never been, and he’s going to kick his ass at Fastlane, but they’re still bros. This is the most tension-less friendship in the history of professional wrestling.

You maniacs! What hath the internet wrought?!

The New Day’s here, ready for some six-man tag action. Woods mocks every other team in the WWE for not being Champions, and this goes on for a while…before the Social Outcasts come out! Good God, it’s happening! It’s HAPPENING!! The Social Outcasts declare their intentions to take the championships, which devolves into them yelling ‘we’re going to touch your waists!’ Alright, the Social Outcast experiment is, I personally feel, a success: I don’t care what happens next.

Woods and Slater start off against each other, and Slater clotheslines both him and Woods out of the ring as we go to a commercial break. When we come back, Heath hits Kofi with a dropkick and tries to roll him up. Tag to Adam Rose, who hits a European uppercut and then misses a corner splash. Big E comes in, hitting a belly-to-belly suplex before starting the Unicorn Stampede in the corner.

Kofi boots Rose in the face, getting two, and then Woods comes in with a tornado DDT for a near fall. Suddenly, Xavier runs into a spinebsuter, and Rose tags in Curtis Axel. Kofi comes in; the two men move and counter in a wonderful sequence before Axel scores with a knee to the face. Woods tries to interfere, and Slater tosses him; Big E chucks Heath out and Rose sends him through the ropes before eating Trouble In Paradise.

Axel almost gets the cover off a roll-up on Kofi with his feet on the ropes, but Woods breaks up the pin before Big E takes out Rose and Slater on the outside. Kofi then rolls up Axel, his own feet on the ropes, and that’s the win.

Nothing spectacular, but I never thought they’d go through with this match, so I’m happy I got to review it. 2 Stars.

Well, that’s an improvement

It’s Alicia Fox vs. Charlotte, and we get a recap of Brie toppling Charlotte on Monday. Fox and Charlotte lock up, and Alicia catches Charlotte with a shoulder block. Charlotte comes back with a boot to the stomach, avoids Alicia’s leapfrog and slams the back of Alicia’s head off the mat. King starts mocking the idea that Charlotte can’t get a win unless Ric is somehow involved, and that sort of pisses me off, because that’s exactly what they’ve done to Charlotte: there’s not been a victory in weeks she’s actually earned herself, even if she’s been goddamn fantastic throughout the entire match. So, fuck WWE for that bit of self-referential wank.

Dropkick sends Fox out of the ring, and Charlotte follows her, getting backed off by Brie for a second. When Charlotte gets in the ring, Alicia hits a lot of forearms, almost rolling Charlotte up for a pin before Charlotte slams her back down. Charlotte gets Fox in the headscissors before Alicia bridges to escape, and both women hit a big boot at the same time, sending them to the mat together.

Meanwhile, King’s bullying of Byron is getting pretty tough to listen to. Just say ‘why don’t you go fuck yourself?’ Byron: it’s how you’re supposed to deal with toxic people in your life. Both women get to their feet, with Alicia seizing the initiative, hitting two dropkicks and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a near fall! And she yells at Ric to shut up! Fuck yeah, Alicia!

Charlotte hits a forearm to the face, but gets caught with a Northern Lights suplex for the near fall! Charlotte sends Alicia throat-first into the ropes, following that up with the chop block before locking in the Figure Eight! Alicia taps after a few seconds.

Well, I am impressed. I mean, the match was fine, but I’m happier that Ric did nothing except stand on the outside and be eye-candy for the extremely undiscerning. 2 Stars.

Alicia screams after her match, practically having a tantrum, and I do appreciate the reference to that weird two-week period when she kept acting like a deranged cat. I mean…that happened, right? I didn’t dream that?

In other news, Goldust is trying to be R-Truth’s partner, and only possibly not in a sexual way. And…did that hotel hire Goldust, or is the manager just not going to get involved in whatever…that is?

Got to admire how Lesnar’s just avoiding all this drama

It’s time for our main event, and Dean and Roman make their way to the ring, followed by three-quarters of the League of Nations. Sheamus isn’t there, I guess because he’s busy being a villain in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, which is only slightly more cartoonish than his actual career. If anything, he looks more normal in the promotional stuff for the movie, even after he’s turned into a rhino.

Rusev and Ambrose start this one off, and Ambrose gets a headlock takeover, taking Rusev down. King says he might sit here and say nothing until the inevitable explosion, and I SHOULD BE SO FUCKING LUCKY, JERRY. Dean attacks the arm of Rusev, gets sent off the ropes and then taken down with a shoulder tackle. Rusev runs the ropes, gets taken down at the leg and gets his face ground in the canvas.

Tag to Reigns, who kicks Reigns in the face and exchanges some blows with the big Bulgarian. Rusev goes downstairs, and manages to roundhouse kick Reigns head pretty much off. Del Rio tags in, coming off the ropes to hit an axe-handle to Roman. Alberto immediately locks in the sleeper, not wanting the more-powerful Reigns to regain his feet. Roman does get to his feet, breaking free of the hold, but runs into a boot to the face and taken back under Alberto’s control. And another Zika virus joke from Mr Jerry ‘Accused Of Raping A 15 Year Old Girl And Once Ran Over A Policeman’s Foot’ Lawler, because there’s not a fucking thing that it’s poor taste to joke about.

Meanwhile, Rusev tags in, putting the boots to Reigns and knocking Ambrose off the apron. Suplex to Reigns, and Rusev chokes him on the ropes before Del Rio hangs him up on the ropes. Reigns suddenly Samoan Drops Rusev, and manages to get the tag to Ambrose!

Dean comes in all revved up, taking Rusev out with a forearm, bulldog and a dropkick. He takes Del Rio off the apron, low-bridges Rusev and takes out the Bulgarian with a dive through the ropes. Back in the ring, Rusev catches Dean’s crossbody attempt, but his own attempt at a slam is turned into a roll-up from Ambrose, almost catching Rusev! Ambrose attempts Dirty Deeds, takes a roundhouse kick but rebounds with the Lunatic Lariat!

Ambrose tags in Reigns, who hits a Drive-By to Rusev, and nails Alberto with an uppercut. Wade tries to get involved, but Reigns still Superman Punches Rusev, with Alberto breaking up the pin. Dean dives through the ropes, almost hitting Roman again, and okay: once is an accident; twice is a coincidence. And what could have been a really nice little argument is broken up as Rusev and Del Rio try to attack, and get the shit kicked out of them. In the ring, Reigns hits the Spear, and that’s the win.

Well, it was an ambiguous enough hint at a meltdown without there being too much proof either way. Roman catching Dean was pretty adorable, actually. Other than that, fair match. 2.5 Stars.

That wasn’t a bad SmackDown: it had most of the ingredients of a successful show, with some really good quality matches. Nice stuff: 7/10.

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