Oh, hey, didn’t see you there. I guess I’ve just been distracted by the fact that I have, once again, managed to throw my coursework weeping and crippled to the ground and have spent much of this week drinking, writing and asking myself serious, philosophical questions like ‘turn down for what?’ I’ve also actually started using my Twitter account again, so if anyone out there fancies the 140-character rants and musings of a strange, coffee-addicted writer, you could do worse than go to https://twitter.com/MisterShedz.
We get the Shield’s break-up recap. And they’re never ever ever getting back together. Also, imagine how Roman Reigns feels: out of the psychotic Dean Ambrose and relatively-sane Seth Rollins, Ambrose rather than Seth wants be his friend. That’s going to make a person look at themselves a bit.
This brings out Triple H to start, so I guess it’s going to be one of those shows. Oh, but he’s got Rollins with him; for a second I thought his heel turn meant he was going to be too good for SmackDown (cough-Lesnar-cough). Lot of vocal hate for a guy who sold his friends out for money; isn’t this that whole ‘capitalism’ thing you guys love so much? Apparently Seth’s going to ‘explain his actions’: what is this, high school?
Triple H says he’s not here to brag; he’s here to get us the answers we want. Careful, Trips: steal Renee Young’s job, she’ll fucking find you. And holy hell, Seth has got a huge neck in comparison to his head. Seth’s going to give us an answer, and I really hope it’s: ‘I guess I’m just a. Big. Dick.’ He says the only person who knows and needs to know is him. Wow, this guy’s awful at opening up. Triple H seems happy, despite the fact that that was a bullshit answer.
Oh God, here’s Ziggler, who’s doing his ‘get in the middle of stuff which doesn’t concern me and get beaten until I piss blood’ schtick. He’s like a guidance counsellor in a rough school. Ziggler is really hung up on someone stabbing somebody else in the back, despite the fact that it tends to happen a lot in wrestling. He says that selling out is the worst thing Seth could have done, and I’m going to say that there are probably worse things he could have done, considering that Rollins is standing next to the Katie Vick guy. Triple H says that Ziggler’s going to go against Seth Rollins, and that’s a face move right there.
Ziggler Needs To Learn To Keep His Feelings On The Inside
So, Blonde and Quarter-Blonde circle each other, as we tune in once again to see someone go over Dolph Ziggler. Lock up, with Ziggler getting backed into the corner; headbutts and blows to Dolph, and Rollins chokes him on the ropes, utilising the count. Cole says that Triple H has been ‘vague’ about how this partnership has come about, which is the laziest writing I’ve ever heard. Ziggler fires up at this uncreative bullshit, but runs into a boot from Rollins, who drops a knee to the head and hits a bodyslam. So relieved that Seth’s keeping the same costume, by the way; very badass look for him. Dolph ducks a clothesline and hits a crossbody, then a beautiful dropkick, then clotheslines Rollins out of the ring.
Rollins comes back, pounding Ziggler onto the mat and getting a snapmare and a chinlock. Dolph works his way back to his feet, fighting out and transitioning from a headscissors into a sleeper hold: that was a fine move right there. Rollins jawbreakers his way out of it, then dropkicks Ziggler onto the outside. Post-commercial break, Rollins has Ziggler in a sleeper, just in case you forgot he’s been hanging out with Randy Orton. He throws Dolph face-first into a corner as Triple H starts talking to JBL and Cole: let them do their jobs! Ziggler rocks Seth with a boot, then gets his big DDT. They trade punches and chops, with Ziggler getting the better of it, taking it to Seth with a neckbreaker and an elbow. Dropkick to Rollins on the outside. Fameasser attempt, attempted powerbomb counter, roll-up, roll-through, Fameasser! Rollins kicks out, hitting a kick to Ziggler’s head to take him down. He heads up high, and Ziggler catches him, taking him down with a bulldog from the top rope. Zig-Zag is blocked, and then Ziggler runs right into a kick to the face. Seth pounds on him for a moment, and then powerbombs him into the corner before ending it with a curbstomp.
That was good; my only misgiving would be that Ziggler got a little too much offence in. What this required was not a squash as such, but a bit more of a showcase of what Seth’s about as a singles heel. Still, very enjoyable. 3 Stars.
Triple H looks really happy about Seth winning, which is a lot funnier to watch if you pretend he’s just pleased to have a trendy, young friend. Seth’s happy now, but wait until Hunter wants to go to a disco with him (‘go to a disco’ is not an innuendo; Triple H still thinks that discos exist).
Renee Young is backstage with Bad News Barrett, who’s heading into a title triple threat match against Rob Van Dam and Cesaro. He says they’re not in his league and spreads bestiality rumours about Cesaro (that’s bullying in the workplace, but I guess these guys fight each other for money).
Oh, and Bray Wyatt’s coming back tonight, probably to discuss why Cena can’t just win a Last Man Standing match.
Backstage, Triple H and Seth are trying to find Stephanie so Trips can get permission to go to a disco. Orton arrives, apparently unaware that he’s not invited. Then Big Show arrives, and apparently he also has a problem with Seth turning on the guys who used to beat up Big Show. Also, pretty sure Triple H is still living in Big Show’s house. Tonight it’s going to be Big Show vs. Randy Orton.
Which Team Is Not First In Line For A Tag Team Championship Shot?
Here’s the Usos, who will be in a match against Rybaxel. I wish WWE would stop acting Victorian society lady levels of coy about who the number one contenders are going to be; just pull up the skirts and reveal Harper and Rowan. Wow, that metaphor just went south really fast. The bell rings and Ryback immediately eats a kick and a big uppercut from Jey, and then comes back to throw the Uso over the ropes. He tags in Axel, who leaps onto Jey from the apron. Michael says that Rybaxel’s making a living out of breaking up tag teams; this can only end with Harper one day finding Rowan in bed with Ryback and why did I just think that? Axel tags the Big Guy back in, only to get tagged back in to hit Jey with a double suplex. Axel drops the elbow from the second rope, followed by a splash from the now-legal Ryback.
Sleeper applied to Jey, who fights his way out and right into spinebuster; Jimmy breaks up the pin, and Rybaxel keep Jey isolated, and he manages to avoid both men for a while, kicking Ryback out of the ring only to get hit with a straight running knee by Axel. Axel then dropkicks Jimmy off the apron, which I used to do in SmackDown 4 because it was the only way you could win a tag-team match. He then leaps off the top rope, right into a big dropkick from Jey; he tags in Jimmy, who hits the splash and gets the pin.
Very quick ending there. I actually had gone for some time without realising how improved Rybaxel has become. Not my favourite of the teams there, certainly, but better than when I last remembered them. 2 Stars.
We get the safety video which reminds us that WWE superstars get hurt just like real people. We need to replace that with Randy Orton saying ‘If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?’
There’s a recap of Cody trying out Sin Cara as Goldust’s tag team partner, which is a definitive sign that Cody hates his brother.
‘If He Dies, He Dies’
Lana’s here, and according to my Grandma: ‘if that skirt was any shorter it would be a hat’. She (Lana, not Grandma) says that Russians are recognised the world over for a lot of things; some of those things are their terrifyingly jaded hookers and their level of discrimination against the LGBT community. And here comes Rusev, wearing a fake version of a real medal which they gave people for, amongst other things, kicking Nazi ass, being an assassinated government official, or going into space as a cosmonaut. JBL says that only one other person in history has received this, and that is not even close to being a fact; it’s been awarded to well over nine hundred people.
Oh, and it’s Xavier Woods, and he’s dressed as Apollo Creed in what I really hope is foreshadowing. Rusev backs him into the corner and then kicks his face off. Lana calls for the end of this match, which is a face tactic. Accolade finishes it.
Bleh. I like squash matches, but they should have some entertainment value. And I shouldn’t have seen them before. 1 Star.
Interestingly enough, amateur wrestler Alexander Karelin actually has that medal: 887 wins, 2 losses. He also used the Karelin Lift on guys weighing up to 280 pounds, so he was basically Russian Cesaro. Don’t ever say I don’t try to broaden your horizons.
Who Will Be Champion Of All The Continents?
It’s Triple Threat time, and here’s RVD, followed by Heyman and Cesaro. And here’s Barrett, and I like the cape but preferred the pimp jacket from his NXT days. Lillian waits to announce the competitors until they’re all in ring, so you know that this is serious business.
The bell rings and Barrett and RVD immediately jump Cesaro, which is kind of what you get if you’re the kind of douche that he’s been. Van Dam tries to take out Barrett, then Cesaro gets mixed up in it again; Rob Irish whips Cesaro into Wade, then monkey-flips Cesaro and spin-kicks Barrett before hitting Rolling Thunder to both men. Cesaro flings RVD out of the ring and goes to work on Barrett, who hits a kick to his mid-section and then eats a kick to the face from RVD. Split-legged moonsault to Barrett and Cesaro breaks up the pin.
Back from the break, Barrett has Van Dam in a headlock; Cesaro is on the outside after being taken out on the steel steps. Wade gets low-bridged out of the ring; Rob tries to dive out after him and runs into an uppercut from Cesaro, who in turn gets beaten on by Barrett on the outside; Cesaro turns an Irish whip around on Barrett, slamming him into the barricade and suplexing him onto it for good measure. Van Dam throws himself out onto Cesaro, and then drops the leg from the apron onto Barrett! In the ring, Rob vaults over the ropes to hit another leg drop to Barrett; Cesaro breaks up the pin, and actually uses the Karelin Lift to gutwrench Rob Van Dam! Rob tries to roll up Cesaro, but Cesaro kicks out, sending RVD right into a Winds of Change, only to break up the pin.
Both of his opponents in the corners, Cesaro throws uppercuts to each man, but Van Dam counters with a shoulder block; a thrust kick hits Barrett as Cesaro throws him into it and hits his bridge German suplex to RVD, nearly getting the two. Out on the apron, Barrett gets his head slammed into the turnbuckle and Cesaro tries his ‘Look How Fucking Strong I Am’ suplex, but Barrett fights out, hanging Cesaro up on the top rope. Five Star Frogsplash to Cesaro! Bull Hammer to Rob Van Dam! Barrett retains!
Just a great match from those three. That was what I like to see in a Triple Threat: all three men involved. Not one guy getting taken out so that it’s a singles match for half of it. A lot of fun to watch. 3.5 Stars.
Barrett celebrates, but all of a sudden we get a Wyatt Alert. Bray reminisces on how mentally scarring getting trapped in a box was. He seems to imply that this is his resurrection and that he’s stronger than ever, and if he can seem more intimidating after getting Cena-d, then he’s done what many cannot.
Kinda Losing Track Of How Many People On The Roster Are Nuts
It’s Alicia vs. Natalya tonight. I haven’t yet seen the Charlotte/Natalya match and will look that up as soon as I’ve done this; the buzz about it really makes me excited to watch it. In any event, I’m hoping that this is an indication that Natalya might be stepping up to contend with Paige soon. Also, re. the beating Aksana and Alicia administered to Nikki Bella: where the fuck was John Cena? I’ll never say I’m the world’s most perfect boyfriend (because my girlfriend would laugh at me for the rest of our lives if I did), but if my girlfriend was getting attacked, in a non-competitive match situation, and I was in the building and knew about it because it was being broadcast on television, I would be out there saying: ‘you know, why don’t you girls back the fuck up?’ John Cena: godawful onscreen boyfriend.
They lock up, and Natalya takes Alicia over with a headlock. Alicia gets the headscissors and Natalya kicks out of it. They tie up again, this sequence ending with a dropkick to Alicia’s face and double-underhook suplex. Alicia rolls to the outside, and then yowls at Natalya like a cat. Well, at least we’d never considered Alicia to be a potential role model anyway. She then screams at Natalya again, and I don’t understand why that stops Natalya from punching her out, but I’m starting to realise that I’m not an honourable fighter. Alicia offers her hand to shake, and Natalya stamps on it, then slaps her in the face. Alicia dares her to do it again, so Natalya does it; I take it back. Natalya comes off a roll-up, kips up and Alicia throws her into the ropes, choking her. Northern Lights suplex to Natalya; Nattie avoids a senton, goes for the Sharpshooter but gets kicked away. Natalya turns a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker into a cover and she wins.
Very good Divas match there, and yet more promising signs for the division. Alicia’s character work is both funny and impressive, and both women could go in the ring. 2.5 Stars.
Alicia channels Christian circa 2002, and she’s going for the announcers. She starts climbing on Lillian, and the security guy with his back to them really wants to turn around. She gets off Lillian, which is a heel move, then starts attacking the bell. Oh, and I told my girlfriend about the ‘perfect boyfriend’ bit; I got provided with a list of my flaws. Apparently I’m ‘a monster’.
Bo To Hell
Oh yay, it’s Santino and Emma. Which, clearly, can only mean that Fandango and LAYLA are on their way out here. Wow, Santino shakes hands with the ref; I actually find that really sweet. And his opponent is Bo Dallas! We finally broke the Fandango/Santino streak! And apparently JBL is going to be playing cricket against eleven year olds, which they had damn well better broadcast. Bo takes Santino over and does a victory lap with the line ‘I’m winning!’ Santino seems to like him, but does some armdrags and his own celebration. Holy hell, that actually knocked the smile off Bo’s face. He uses the handshake to do some hard clotheslines until Santino rolls him up; Bo kicks out and blasts Santino, smashing him in the back of his head. Bo Dog ends it.
Interesting they’re bring the anger out so soon in Bo, but they picked a good way to do it. 2 Stars.
Renee’s backstage with the Big Show, and asks him how he feels about facing Orton. He says that Evolution 2.0 are bullies, then tells a boring childhood story that actually gets pretty dark; I think Big Show killed a kid.
Not-Renee is backstage with Randy, who I hope has a heartwarming child-murder story of his own. Orton pretty much hints that there’ll be shenanigans tonight; now watch Big Show entirely ignore that hint.
The Giant And The Viper
Big Show emerges, followed by Orton and Triple H: all discoed out. Orton tries a kick to the midsection but gets beaten down in the corner instead; he rolls out of the ring. Back inside, Orton gets a thumb to the eye and some clotheslines in the corner, catching Show’s leg and rocking it off his shoulder before running into an elbow. Triple H whispers some advice in his ear, which was probably ‘marry your boss’s daughter’. Orton slithers back inside and takes a headbutt. Wow: this guy was our champion. Randy goes out of the ring, then back inside to stomp Big Show, who pulls him out of the ring. Triple H distracts Show long enough for Orton to shove him into the ring post; Hunter’s scurry away there was hysterical.
Back in the ring, Orton’s in control, hitting stomps and…more stomps. Oh, and a headlock! Definitely Vintage Orton. Sleeper now, trying to wear down the giant, who turns it into sidewalk slam. Clotheslines to Orton, but he runs right into high dropkick. Draping DDT from the top rope. He calls for the RKO, gets shoved away and speared. JBL actually said ‘it’s like a bus flying at ya’, but I heard ‘it’s like a butt flying at ya’, which meant I had to take a couple of minutes just to giggle helplessly. Anyway, Big Show winds up for a KO Punch; Triple H gets on the apron and Show goozles both him and Orton, only for Rollins to springboard off the top and hit a knee.
Eh, it was a match between Orton and Big Show; I think we all know exactly what that implies. 1.5 Stars.
Orton hits the RKO in a desperate bid for relevance in this story, and good goddamn luck. Triple H hands Rollins a chair, and he hits the Curbstomp to Big Show onto it.
This was a decent SmackDown. The show could have been better arranged: apart from for storyline purposes, that match should not have been the main event, whereas the Rollins/Ziggler match or the IC Championship match more than deserved that spot. Still, two great matches, one good Divas match. Seven.
Tags: alicia fox, Bad News Barrett, big show, Bo Dallas, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Curtis Axel, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, emma, Lana, natalya neidhart, Paul Heyman, randy orton, Renee Young, Rob Van Dam, Roman Reigns, rusev, ryback, Rybaxel, Santino Marella, seth rollins, Smackdown, The Shield, the usos, triple h, WWE, xavier woods