Welcome back to the only Smackdown coverage on Inside Pulse! I hope to Cthulhu that we’ve got a better show on tap this week because the WWE is quickly reaching levels of TNA insanity circa Blair’s reviews. Remember that? When TNA just threw shit at the wall to see what sticks? Well here we are with the WWE deciding that nothing new is a good thing unless you have a dancer gimmick and people mindlessly chant your theme song.
Sorry, I’m rambling.
1. Fandango vs Santino Marella
Josh Mathews actually compares “Fandango-ing” to the Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style. Yeah, it’s that huge. I just realized that, in the two months since Curtis’s re-debut, he’s only wrestled one real match at this point. Lillian Garcia botches Fandango’s name so he hits on her with dance euphemisms. With that raspy voice I half-expected him to ask her, “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” They dance for a second but Fandango drops her and says she can’t dance at all. God, this is dragging. If it weren’t for the over-the-top way Curtis treats his character, this would have died a million deaths already. Santino Marella interrupts to attempt to dance the “Fandingo” with his dance partner…the fucking Cobra. Oh, and there’s supposed to be a match somewhere in this mess. Fandango debuts a new finisher where he dips Santino then pulls back, dropping his foe on his face. Sort of like a modified DDT/Russian leg sweep.
2. Big Show, Booker T, and Teddy Long
Booker T yells at Teddy for making matches without his consent until Big Show interrupts to thank Long for giving him a partner tonight so that he won’t have to worry about getting injured. Hmmm…a heel thanks an authority figure? Smells like a Teddy Long heel turn!
3. Champion vs Champion Match: Kofi Kingston vs Wade Barrett
It’s sad just how much further these titles have fallen. Anybody who holds either of these belts is stuck in a holding pattern forever these days. Imagine the kayfabe resume these poor midcarders would use at a job interview:
Employer: “So you’re applying to be a manager at our fine establishment?”
Kofi: “Yup. As you can see, I’ve got a lot of awards over the past seven years.”
Employer: “Well it says here you’ve won the Loyal Employee Award 15 times. But no promotions?”
Kofi: “Not yet, but I’m confident one day I’ll get to climb the corporate ladder.”
Employer: “It also says a fellow employee called you, uh…’Stupid! Stupid!’ and you didn’t do a thing about it?”
Kofi: “Oh, that was Randy. He’s such a kidder! He once violated a woman’s gym bag and they made him a manager a week later.”
Employer: “So your previous employer trusted HIM over YOU?”
And so on. Oh, Kofi beats Barrett. After the match, Mark Henry is interviewed backstage but Sheamus runs him over in retaliation for the last week of assaults.
4. Raw Rebound #1: The World Heavyweight Title Picture
So we’ve got a Triple Threat coming up at Extreme Rules between Jack Swagger, Alberto del Rio, and Dolph Ziggler. I’m not exactly impressed with this, to be honest. Sure, it’s something fresh, but it doesn’t scream “World Heavyweight Championship material.”
5. Alberto del Rio vs Jack Swagger
Two words for this match: absolutely fantastic. This was a great bout highlighted by the unique situation involving both men having injured limbs – Swagger’s arm and del Rio’s leg – and the story of the match was simple yet done right: work on the injury of your opponent using your submission maneuver. Lots of reversals and near-falls here, making both men look like a million bucks. Del Rio wins with a roll-up after a great series of counters and the crowd came alive several times throughout. Forget what I said during the Raw Rebound; if we can get a showing like this and add Ziggler to the mix, I’m all for it!
6. Raw Rebound #2: Ryback and John Cena
Truth be told, I enjoyed Ryback’s angry rant last Monday night on Raw. I’m a little concerned about the way Ryback’s been built, as he started his WWE career portrayed as an unstoppable monster but has consistently lost matches on every PPV since taking Cena’s title shot at Hell in a Cell last year. How does one attack on Cena make him number one contender? I hope he wins, if only to add a little freshness to the title scene. And how sad is that?
7. The Shield Addresses The Undertaker
The Hounds of Justice talk about how they destroyed Cena on Monday and that now Ryback understands what they mean when they speak of justice. They turn their attention to the Undertaker and claim he’s afraid of them. With CM Punk gone for now, these guys are what I’m looking forward to the most. I believe in The Shield!
8. Great Khali, Natalya, and Hornswoggle vs Epico, Primo, and Rosa Mendes
I shit you not: this match came about because the Latinos stole Khali and Natalya’s parking spot. Wrestling, folks. This match is just another excuse for the announcers to make fun of the freak show. They confuse Khali for Richard Kiel and blah blah blah hilarity. The faces win…and we all lose.
9. Raw Rebound #3: CM Punk Walks Away and Brock Lesnar Returns
I’m okay with Punk taking an extended leave; he CARRIED this company for over a year and deserves some rest. Until the main event scene freshens up, there’s no reason for him to stick around anyway. As for Lesnar, I have complete apathy. I’m tired of his feud with Triple H. Can we please have something new with this guy?
10. Randy Orton and Sheamus vs Big Show and Mark Henry
An inoffensive battle, but about what you’d expect from these four. Henry interrupts an RKO which allows Big Show to hit a choke slam and get the win for his team.
All things considered, this was a much better show than what we got last week; certainly better than even Monday’s Raw. I was a little surprised we didn’t get a visit from Dolph Ziggler, seeing as how he’s technically representing the show as its champion. Oh, and here’s a plug for my column from Thursday, in case you’d gotten distracted by the screaming match between Swayze and Starcade.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: alberto del rio, big show, Booker T, Brock Lesnar, cm punk, Dolph Ziggler, Epico, extreme rules, Fandango, Great Khali, Hell in a Cell, Hornswoggle, jack swagger, john cena, Josh Mathews, Kofi Kingston, Lillian Garcia, Mark Henry, Mike Gojira, Natalya, Primo, randy orton, Rosa Mendes, ryback, Santino Marella, sheamus, Smackdown, Teddy Long, The Shield, triple h, undertaker, Wade Barrett, World Heavyweight Championship, WWE