We’re fast approaching WrestleMania, and our journey’s been picking up steam. I’m your reviewer, David Spain, and I am just jolly excited for the PPV in just over a week’s time. It coincides with my holiday and my period of ‘doing sod-all coursework’, so that’s a bonus. Let’s get to grappling.
Xavier Woods is still on the opening graphic. This worries me.
We’re in Boston tonight, and our main event is Bray Wyatt vs. Big Show. Honestly, colour me intrigued; looking forward to seeing how Bray’s going to do it.
Where’s Your Scooby Now?
Sin Cara and Damien Sandow are already in the ring, apparently having a rematch from RAW. I believe I saw a person in a Scooby-Doo costume on Monday’s show and skipped through that whole segment.
Damien takes control, coming off aggressive as he backs Sin Cara into a corner, then hits him with a clothesline. He says we’re welcome, as if we’re all suddenly Canadians now, then hits a suplex. Strikes to the chest of Sin Cara, then a sleeper hold is locked in. Another clothesline to Cara in the corner, but he ducks a second attempt, then rolls Sandow up for the win.
Practically nothing to this, although thankfully one thing not included was a man in a dog costume. Really quick match, but it’s hardly a storyline. 1.5 Stars.
Renee Young, my pick for Lois Lane in the Batman vs. Superman movie, is backstage with the Big Show. She wants to get his thoughts about the match he’s heading into. Show gets all serious, acting as if three guys beating up one guy is something we’ve never seen before in this business. He says some of what Bray says makes sense, and that’s how they suck you in. Hah, like children. He says they’ve got a giant problem and walks away.
We relive last week’s assault on the Shield by a bunch of tag teams with nothing better to do (and the Real Americans). Well, at least we’re not recapping RAW just yet.
There’s Just No Calling This One
Speaking of the Shield, here they come. Rollins and Ambrose will be teaming together again, and Seth’s wearing his fucking wetsuit again. If he had a mask, that would be a gimp gimmick right there. Oh God, they’re facing 3MB. This is hilarious and sadistic at the same time.
Rollins starts off against Jinder Mahal, a man who holds the honour of almost feuding with Ryback and Khali. Tie-up, and the guys chain-wrestle for a while until Jinder elbows Rollins in the head, then runs right into a dropkick. Rollins hits the Three Amigos, tagging in Ambrose before the third, and Ambrose stays on Mahal, dropping feet and elbows before tagging in Rollins again. In case anyone was doubting what the Shield’s alignment was, Michael defends Ambrose’s lack of title defences. Glad we cleared that up.
Jinder manages to get a tag to McIntyre, who suplexes Rollins before actually thrusting his crotch at Reigns. Roman just looks at Drew, imagining unspeakable things. Rollins nearly gets his tag, but gets caught, backflips out of a back suplex, rolls under a clothesline and gets the tag. Ambrose comes in hot, knocking McIntyre and Mahal down. He hits some punches and a dropkick to McIntyre and sends Jinder out of the ring for Rollins to dive out on (Rollins likes that). McIntyre pushes Ambrose into the ropes, but Dean rebounds and comes straight back with a clothesline, hits the Dirty Deed and the Shield win.
Fun match to watch. Obviously, you don’t want that one looking too even, but it wasn’t a total squash and that makes it more entertaining. As always, could have done with seeing more, but I enjoyed what I did see. 2.5 Stars.
Kane’s music hits and he comes out with the New Age Outlaws, who look like they’re on their way to their own defence hearing. Kane says they’re going to do to the Shield what the Shield did to 3MB at WrestleMania. He makes a new match for right then; the Shield vs. Rybaxel. That bastard: either trying to get Ryback to injure them or Axel to wipe some of his non-notability on them.
We’re back from the break and Ryback knocks Ambrose down with an elbow as Kane and the Off-The-Rack Outlaws look on (that was a cheap shot and I’m sorry). Axel comes in off the tag and Ambrose drop toe-holds him, vining Axel’s legs and wrenching back on the head, then works over the legs. I take it back: Road Dogg looks like a public school principal. Ambrose is tossed over the top rope and knocks Ryback to the floor before Axel does the same to him. Back in the ring, Ryback comes in off the tag and bodyslams Ambrose. Tag to Axel and both men fall on Ambrose from the second rope. Ryback in now, and Ambrose reverses a delayed-vertical suplex into a DDT. Tag to Rollins, hitting a somersault neckbreaker from the second rope to Axel, following with a splash to the corner, then a boot. Rollins is flipped over the top rope, lands on the apron, dodges a headbutt; Axel ducks a kick and Rollins hits an enziguiri; he dodges Ryback on the floor and boots him in the face before Ambrose jumps on him; that was fantastic.
Axel charges at Rollins and gets backdropped over the top, then Rollins sentons out onto Ryback and Axel. The Outlaws and Kane look worried as they realise that if their match on Sunday sucks it is going to be all their fault. Back in the ring, Seth sunset flips right into a kick. Curtis goes for the Perfectplex; Rollins boots his way out of it and hits the Curbstomp for three.
Another very fun match to watch. The Shield’s run here seems very consistent with their dominance as heels, making this pre-match roll appear very natural. 2.5 Stars.
As Kane and the Outlaws look on, Rollins dives through the ropes and hits Ryback, just to be a dick. Ambrose then throws Ryback into the ring to taste a Superman Punch. Holy shit, a ‘Shield’ chant. Triple Powerbomb to Ryback, sending the message that if they can do this to four men in their prime, they can probably do it to three guys who are pretty old and stuff.
We get that advert for WrestleMania where we see a guy called Joe live his life with wrestling eras as milestones. What the hell is Joe thinking, wearing a button-down shirt over a Batista t-shirt for his date/paid-arrangement with that beautiful girl/probably a hooker?
Oh, speaking of Batista. And dressing terribly. Aw, that guy doesn’t disappoint. Well, it’s mainly the hat and glasses I take offence to; if you’re going to wear that hat, have the decency to dance on a rooftop with Julie Andrews and an unconvincing accent (‘Oi’m gaowing t’ RessleMoynya! Deel wiv it, Meery Boppins!’). Batista says that we begged him to come back when he left; lying bastard. He takes us to task for booing him and cheering for Bryan. Wow, the Bryan-love is strong in Boston tonight. He says that it’s a personal slap in the face, and speaking of slappers…slaps, it’s Stephanie McMahon and her sunglasses-seeking hand. If her kids saw that, they will never argue about bedtimes with her again. Batista says he’s leaving WrestleMania with the title, and that Stephanie hits harder than any of them.
Comparing Steph to muscular, hairy, orange men brings out her husband; it’s one of the easier demonic summons you can enact. Wow, I just saw a ‘CM Quitter’ sign in the crowd. How things change. He says why don’t they leave his wife out of this, and there’s probably a sex joke in there somewhere, but who am I to say? Batista makes the ‘you married the boss’s daughter’ crack, and Triple H responds by using the ‘Reality Era’ defence. Batista makes the point that Triple H has never beaten him, and that Hunter’s not going to stop him from winning the title. Triple H claims that Batista got where he was because of Triple H; once he got to the top he quit and left for Hollywood; now that he’s back we’ve never seen the Animal. Triple H showed the world what he could still do; when’s Batista going to do the same? Wow, this is actually…annoyingly compelling. Batista will be going one-on-one with Sheamus.
Dancing With The Stars, WWE Style
Goldust is in action here against Fandango in this weird ‘nobody knows what’s going on here’ programme. Man, how far can you fall in a year? Just ask the Miz. Tie-up and Goldust hits a shoulder block, then an armdrag. Fandango throws Goldust into the corner with a hard Irish whip, then stays on him with a headlock before slamming him back onto the mat. JBL calls winning the Andre The Giant Battle Royal a career-defining moment, that definition being ‘It Really Didn’t Work Out’. Goldust fights back with a back-suplex, ducks a clothesline to hit one of his own. Rhodes Uppercut, inverted atomic drop and then a boot to the side of the head. Goldust goes up on Fandango in the corner, reigning down punches. Fandango runs into a powerslam for a near-fall and scoots out of the ring.
On the outside, Summer Rae gets between Goldust and Fandango, a position hardly likely to be actualised, distracting Goldust for long enough for Fandango to hit a boot to the head as Goldust gets into the ring and gets the pin.
This wasn’t bad, although I’ve no idea where they’ll be wanting to go with it. Guess I’m a little bitter that we’re not getting the Rhodes Brothers match at the big show that would make a lot of sense. But hey. 2 Stars.
Triple H Likes To Make His Protégés Fight Each Other
Batista makes his way out to the ring as Triple H watches on the monitor, and then here’s Sheamus. The two men circle each other, and Batista leans out of the ring like the dominant force he is. Sheamus backs Batista into the corner and he leans out again. Batista applies a headlock, gets shot off the ropes, knocked down with a shoulder block and…ducks out of the ring.
Sheamus follows Batista, who ducks inside the ring and jumps Sheamus when he follows. Shoulder thrusts in the corner, then Sheamus comes back with some right hands before his Irish whip is reversed and he’s sent straight into the turnbuckle. Dave follows up with a clothesline, but Sheamus fights back; Batista sends him off the ropes and kicks him in the stomach before hitting a knee to the face. An Irish whip sends Sheamus into the corner, and Batista’s right behind him with a clothesline. Sheamus manages to get a boot up, but runs into a spinebuster. He signals for the Batista Bomb, but takes his time doing so and Sheamus levels him with a clothesline. Axe-handles to the face, then a shoulder thrust of his own followed up by a knee lift. Batista is in position for the clubbing forearms, but fights out, but Sheamus manages to hit them anyway before bringing him right over the ropes into a powerslam. He signals for the Brogue Kick…and Batista ducks out of the ring. What a match Sunday’s going to be… Sheamus follows Batista out and gets a steel chair in the stomach for his troubles, earning Batista a DQ.
Well, if we were supposed to see the Animal here, I didn’t. Love how we’ve still got Batista ducking out of the ring every few minutes, and I honestly can’t imagine a world in which this Sunday’s main event wasn’t a triple threat. Well, I can, but it’s awful. 2 Stars.
Batista continues his assault after the bell rings, with Triple H looking on. Back in the ring, Batista hits the Batista Bomb as Michael and JBL remind us that a triple-threat match will involve no-DQ. Oh God, another thing which can go wrong. Batista grabs the microphone, says he’s going to the champ. Because we’re worth it.
I mean…deal with it.
We get a Cena-Wyatt promo, followed up by a promo from Bray Wyatt, waxing both lyrical and fucking crazy on John Cena and the mask he wears. Really, he’s just glad to take a break from trying to build up Roman Reigns’ confidence re. Renee Young (Bray Wyatt gets his fair share of feminine attention). He says tonight, his sword will slay a giant, then he sings ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’. When I was at Catholic school, one girl sang a variant where you changed the word ‘hands’ to ‘pants’. We never saw her again.
Backstage, AJ and Tamina are heading to the ring. It would be hilarious if they bumped into the Wyatts backstage, wrapping up their filming.
In our RAW recap, we watch Los Matadores fight Rybaxel until the Shield show up and wreck shit.
‘Boo, You Whore’
AJ and Tamina are in the ring and the Bella Twins arrive for a tag-team match. We’re joined by the General Manager of SmackDown, and I honestly did not know who that was until they said ‘Vickie’. AJ and Brie start off, with Brie hitting a kick to the midsection followed up by a throw; almost a release-Northern Lights suplex. She tags in Nikki, who hits a springboard knee. AJ manages to get a tag to Tamina, who catches Nikki with a Samoan Drop. Michael then defends AJ, which means all the ethical systems in the world have just burned and died. And AJ has a front-facelock on Nikki, wrapping her legs around Nikki’s waist.
Nikki manages to whirl her onto her shoulder, and AJ switches up into a sleeper. Nikki does manage to escape, but Tamina tags herself in and slams Nikki down with a clothesline. Tamina misses and splash and Brie gets the tag, taking the fight to Tamina, with a knee to the face and a missile dropkick; Tamina rolls out of the ring in the face of this as Michael thinks about JBL and Vickie’s hypothetical boning. Seriously. Brie decks AJ and Tamina decks her back, but AJ gets into Tamina’s face; Tamina shoves her, tags her, throws her in the ring and Brie gets the facebuster and the win.
Not bad at all. I continue to appreciate the fact that the Bellas can deliver a far better match than many of their contemporaries. I don’t know whether AJ or Vickie is supposed to be the bad guy here, which is good for Game of Thrones, not so great here. Fair match, though: 2 Stars.
Oh God, Emma and Santino are at a restaurant. If this doesn’t end with some kind of atomic bomb drop on that exact location, then what is the point in anything? Emma misuses the phrase ‘friends with benefits’, then mistakes Santino looking into her eyes for a staring contest…I would have less of a problem…okay, no, that’s a lie…I would have exactly this much of a problem but for other reasons with this storyline if it wasn’t for the fact that it seems like Santino wants to sleep with someone who is mentally eight years old. She then friendzones him, and he spits red wine on her and then vomits. HIGH. BROW. STUFF.
The Coveted ‘Hurry The Fuck Up’ Segment
Swagger is facing Jimmy Uso. Jack backs Jimmy into a corner, kneeing him in the stomach. Jimmy shoots him off the ropes and throws him out of the ring before diving on him. Back on the ring, Jimmy goes high, hitting a cross-body for a two, then a kick to the midsection and a calf-kick to the face. Chops to Swagger in the corner, then a Whisper in the Wind for another near-fall. Samoan Wrecking Ball is met with a chop-block to the knee, then Jack locks in the Patriot Lock and Jimmy taps.
Wow, quick match. Decent, though. 2 Stars.
We go back to RAW to watch Lesnar and Undertaker’s showdown. I recommend watching that, merely because Brock saying ‘this’ is pure, unadulterated comedy on the highest scale.
Both Of These Men Are Odds-On Favourites
Mark Henry’s in the ring following the recap, and his opponent is the Miz. Wow, the possibilities this battle royal hands us. Henry points at the WM sign and…Miz attacks him during that sacred moment? Fucking heel. He tries to toss Henry, but Mark’s going to make him pay, throwing him from corner to corner, then attempts the World’s Strongest Slam, but Miz rolls out of it, attacking Henry at the legs, finally dropkicking them out from under him. Miz continues to work the legs, then boots Mark in the face before working on the legs again.
A clothesline is countered by Mark with a boot, then a running powerslam and a headbutt. A splash misses as Miz rolls away, then he tries the Figure Four; Henry kicks him away, but Miz manages to throw him over the top rope…which totally isn’t the point. Mark pulls him onto the outside, hurling him into the barricade and steps. Back in the ring, the World’s Strongest Slam picks up the win.
Yeah, we get it: the battle royal’s important. No surprises here. 2 Stars.
Careful Bray, Big Show’s An Odds-On Favourite
Here’s Big Show, awaiting his match with Bray Wyatt, and here the Wyatts are. Bray gets into the ring after a quick cuddle with Harper and Rowan. He tries to jump the Big Show, but gets hurled away. Wyatt throws some hands, but gets thrown right out of the ring by Show. Bray comes right back at Big Show, shoving him and yelling, but Big Show throws punches, a big chop, a headbutt. Wyatt keeps on coming, fighting every step of the way until he runs right into a big boot. Bray manages to dodge the following elbow, and boots Big Show right in the face, keeping him down. He drops back-first on Big Show for a two-count, then spider-walks, which actually gets a pop.
Big Show manages to decapitate Bray with a clothesline, but Bray dodges and hits a clothesline of his own in the corner. Big Show tries for a boot, but Wyatt catches the knee and rocks it on his shoulder. Crossbody to Big Show takes him down, and Rowan distracts the referee as Harper attacks Big Show. Sister Abigail hits and gets the pin.
Interesting; as JBL said, I don’t think we thought it would happen like this. Fun to watch, though, of course, and just made me look forward to the Wyatt-Cena match more. 2.5 Stars.
It’s been a pretty decent SmackDown this week. Nothing to write home about, really, but nothing catastrophic that wasn’t Santino or Emma. Did feel like a busy week. Six out of ten.
Tags: 3MB, aj lee, batista, big show, Billy Gunn, Bray Wyatt, Brie Bella, Cody Rhodes, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow, dean ambrose, Drew McIntyre, emma, Erick Rowan, Fandango, goldust, Heath Slater, jack swagger, jimmy uso, Jinder Mahal, kane, Luke Harper, Mark Henry, New Age Outlaws, Nikki Bella, Real Americans, road dogg, Roman Reigns, ryback, Rybaxel, Santino Marella, seth rollins, sheamus, sin cara, Smackdown, Summer Rae, Tamina Snuka, The Miz, The Shield, The Wyatt Family, triple h, Vickie Guerrero, WWE