Hey there, folks. This SmackDown Report coming at you a bare evening before I have to doll myself up and attend a wedding. After being given a long list of things I am not allowed to do (play Rains of Castamere) or say (incest jokes: my family’s a little weird), I’ve got a lot of barely-suppressed rage, so I’m going to open up and let fly at the first provocation. More than likely I’ll forget to do so, in which case I want all of you to go on Twitter and call Michael Cole a Nazi.
Our recap, delivered to us by our übermensch superiors over on RAW, deals with the eulogy for Dean Ambrose, and apparently nobody’s told Seth that Ambrose isn’t dead. Or what a bad eugoogalizer he is. Also, where the hell was Roman during all of the other stuff that was happening to Ambrose? Or just after the Shield break-up? He seemed to take it into his head that Orton was the mastermind behind that whole thing, and Randy’s last mastermind plot involved a woman’s purse. And after last week, don’t you think that someone might see Kane trying to sneak a metric fucktonne of cinderblocks out there this Monday and called him out on it? Seems like Kane’s kind of a bitch right now anyway; I’d even buy Heath Slater telling him to fuck off.
Has Anyone Asked Bray If He’s Okay?
Oh, hello ‘Tom’. Surprised me there for a moment, as I’d completely forgotten you existed. Roman Reigns shows up, here to face Bray Wyatt, who apparently hadn’t been screwed-via-contact-with-Cena enough for Vince’s liking according to Monday night. At what point can we just say that the old man’s had it and he can retire? He can go tend his orange garden until he has a heart attack; Shane can come back, take over the business and slap Diane Keaton around; Triple H can be garrotted when it becomes apparent he’s been working for Dixie Carter this whole time and beating Stephanie. There are worse ways this could go than a Godfather homage.
The big men lock up, and Bray leads with some punches until Roman overpowers him in the corner, only for Wyatt to sneak the advantage…and get clotheslined to the mat. Bray does manage to throw Roman through the ropes, where he faces down Harper and Rowan. Wyatt catches Reigns on the apron, blasting him all the way to the entrance ramp. Clothesline to Roman on the outside, and Bray works on him back in the ring. I like to imagine Bray is picturing Cena in front of him, and Roman’s wondering why Bray is legitimately strangling him. He struggles, managing to slam Bray’s head off the mat. High clothesline to Wyatt, who manages to hit Roman with a boot, only to run into a back elbow. Samoan drop’s attempted; Bray slides out and hurls his entire body into Reigns, hitting the back senton on his next run.
Wyatt heads up to the second rope, hesitating once he realises he has no business being up there, and Roman catches him, getting the tubby gent on his shoulders. Samoan drop gets two, and Roman stays right on Bray, knocking him into the ropes. He runs around the outside; Harper tries to cut him off, but Roman has a foot that needs to be urgently delivered to Bray’s face; he ducks Harper, hits the kick, and then starts wailing on Harper out of the need to keep hitting someone. Rowan shows up for the DQ, and referee calls for the bell like he doesn’t enjoy Roman beating the shit out of three dudes.
This was fair. Pretty short, and I’m honestly still irritated by the decision to serve up Bray as a sacrificial lamb to John ‘serious for about a month’ Cena, but it was okay. 2 Stars.
The assault on Reigns continues, somehow summoning The Tag Team Too Fat To Wear The Belts so they can rub themselves over this. Wow, I am really annoyed with everything tonight. Reigns hits a Superman Punch to Rowan as I start hitting the wine. Henry and Show help to clear the ring, when one would think their combined mass would cause the Wyatts to orbit them.
Oh, What, Rob? Was There A Drugs Test Coming Up?
Here’s Rob Van Dam, and apparently this is his peace-out match. If so, I’m glad he got to go against Rollins: it’s the best chance he has of going out on a…high. And can we have a kickstarter to fund some decent ring music for Seth Rollins? He deserves better; it’s like Brock having to have the Network logo on his belt.
Seth immediately goes on offence, stomping Rob in the corner. Irish whip to another corner; Van Dam counters Rollins’ charge and hits a kick. Rob rolls over Seth’s back, takes some kicks and gets running-dropkicked into the ropes. Bodyslam to RVD for a two. Back from a quick break, Rollins hits that leaping forearm of his into Rob in the corner, then steals RVD’s taunt. If he was on SmackDown vs RAW, his heat-meter would fill right up. Michael says that Rollins has ‘some audacity’, which I wasn’t aware was a negative thing; ‘audacious’ is how they describe interesting people in Victorian novels. Right before they catch fire…
Sleeper by the now-more-flammable Seth Rollins, and RVD tries to create separation, kicking Rollins away to avoid being caught in the blaze. Rolling Thunder misses, as does the Curb Stomp, and Seth gets blasted with a kick. Frogsplash attempted; it misses; the Curb Stomp’s countered again, but Rollins hits his enzuigiri for two. Seth heads up, but Van Dam brings him up short with a kick. Superplex attempted; Rollins claws at Rob’s face, rolls over Van Dam and powerbombs him into the turnbuckle. Another turnbuckle powerbomb, followed up by the Curb Stomp for the win.
That was a pretty good match. Rollins was a good opponent for Van Dam, but it still wasn’t enough to convince me that Rob ought to stick around as a competitor. I loved Rob when I first encountered him in 2002, and still love those matches now, but I do hope this absence sticks. 2.5 Stars.
We replay the Bella Twins’ ‘Look How Fucking Bad We Are At Acting’ session, and the sad thing is that this won’t be enough to stop WWE trying to shoehorn them into a movie. Nikki’s ‘died in the womb’ line did make me crack up (which they cut out of SmackDown, maybe after realising that it wasn’t the kind of sentiment they should be voiced on a kids’ show). The only appeal for me is that I view this feud as the live-action adaptation of Adventure Time’s Lemongrab vs. Lemongrab storyline; I just hope that it ends in the exact same way. Also props to Nikki for showing women everywhere how to react to Jerry Lawler approaching them.
We replay the Sandow vs. Ziggler match, because even though RAW’s so starved of material it actually contains flashbacks of the previous hour, we apparently still need to see it. Actually, Sandow being Miz’s stunt double was a fairly decent gag, so there is that.
So Much For That Whole #Emmalution Thing, Huh
Emma’s in the ring, and apparently still employed. On the plus side, not a Santino in sight. And she’ll be facing one of the…what, three insane women WWE’s currently claiming to employ? And that’s just storyline-crazy, not ‘why would you slap the physical therapist’ crazy. I’ll never claim to be a social justice warrior, but the writer, comedian and human being in me is a little perturbed by a bi-weekly segment in which three men (or two men and ‘Tom’) sit around and discuss the mental inadequacies of the women around them.
Emma tries her dumb schtick, and Paige shoves her down: good on her. Emma almost gets Paige with a roll-up, but the champ takes control. Paige runs into a boot, but catches Emma, only for Emma to flip her feet into Paige’s face. She heads up top, but gets pulled down and placed into the PTO.
Decisive victory for our women’s champ, which is refreshing to see. I mean, it was against Emma, but you still worry. 2 Stars.
AJ is brought out, and she comes bearing chocolate. Please say this is building up to her hiring Brother Love to sing at Paige. Okay, AJ used the word ‘friend’, so we’re staying out of the ‘weaponised lesbianism’ thing. I expect to be proved wrong in that, but I just want to believe in WWE for a moment. Paige balks at the chocolates, probably because she believes Roman Reigns has been within poisoning distance. AJ growls at Paige ‘eat one‘, and apparently the Divas Champion in wrestling is so afraid of conflict that she’ll eat a totally-suspect chocolate. It seems like there’s something wrong with the chocolate, and Paige spits it out. Damn it, Roman.
Self-fellating Network discussion. Get used to it, ‘Tom’. You learn these words.
Surely Swagger Is More Suicidal Than John Cena
Rusev’s in the ring, with Lana giving another public reading of her Putin fanfiction. Before she gets the bit where he nails a feral bear which growls ‘no’ as its eyes whisper ‘yes’, Swagger shows up to once again embarrass America. Michael says he respects Jack Swagger for losing a bunch of times but not in a certain way. This is a submission match, apparently, which actually does make sense and conforms to logic and how is that happening in WWE?
Swags goes for the leg, but Rusev backs him away with a kick to the ribs. Rusev, Swagger and Ambrose are clearly in a ‘sell injuries’ competition, and I’m really hoping this leads to the three of them evading the medical profession somehow, with Kane becoming Doctor Isaac Yankem to hunt them down. Jack goes for the ankle again, prompting retreat from Rusev.
Jack ‘We The People’s Rusev, who charges; Swagger ducks, and then slams Rusev right into the mat. Rusev tries to bail, but Swagger gets him in the Patriot Lock under the ropes. The ref starts to count, meaning it’s possible to lose a submission match by DQ. Okay, then. Rusev goes to the outside, and when Swagger goes after him the big Bulgarian hurls him Rusvinto the barricades.
Back from the break, Jack gets flapjacked by Rusev and slammed out of the ring. He’s against the steel ring post, and Rusev beats on his ribs. Rusev goes for a kick, but gets caught in a Patriot Lock on the outside; Rusev scrambles back in the ring, and Jack follows to clothesline him. Swagger wraps Rusev’s ankle in the ropes to kick it around, and then drops him with the big boot. Swagger Bomb to Rusev, who bulls right back, and goes for…the Patriot Lock? Swagger reverses instantly and Michael really hates Rusev, doesn’t he? Rusev gets to the ropes, and then breaks the hold when Jack drags him away. Swagger misses a charge, gets kicked in the face and then Rusev applies the Accolade. After a pretty heroic struggle, Jack manages to reach the ropes. Rusev drags Swagger back, stomping on his back before applying the Accolade. Another herculean effort gets Jack nearly to his feet, but Lana distracts the ref by throwing in the towel. Out of nowhere, Bo Dallas trips up Jack! Oh Bo, you adorable dick. Jack taps, and Bo Dallas is clearly a part of Isis.
Okay, I actually liked that. It all kind of made sense; Jack looked pretty gutsy and it just generally worked. Plus…fucking Bo, man. Don’t ask me not to love him. 3 Stars.
Bo grabs the mic, and if he starts speaking Russian I swear to God…but no, he just wants Swagger to Bolieve. Jack disagrees, seeming to want to rip Bo’s nuts off, but Dallas takes him down and Bo Dogs him.
Miz is backstage, being all Miz about stuff. Oh God, does he have another one of those ridiculous coats? Someone’s trying to tap his shoulder, and it’s Kane. He talks to the Miz’s agent who, if he’s the Miz’s agent, was probably gushing, ‘Oh my glob, you’re the guy from See No Evil! Do you have representation?’ Kane’s kind of a snarky bitch when he’s not trying to kill a man with cinderblocks. Oh, and Miz is in a match with Sheamus, in an attempt to ruin my whole life.
This Is Like If The Warriors Was Really Campy. This Is Like West Side Story.
Here are the Usos, with one of their four identical knees injured. Recap of Goldust and Stardust becoming Dickdusts. Stardust will be facing Jimmy Uso, but first Goldust grabs the mic and apologises, acting like a real human. He apologises fairly decently about it, and Michael compliments him for it, so FUCK GOLDUST.
Jimmy backs Stardust into the corner, with a clean break. Repeat, with Jimmy adding some blows. Chops to Stardust, who manages the Rhodes Uppercut. Shoulder thrusts to Jimmy in the corner, who manages to roll up Stardust for the three!
Wasn’t expecting such a quick match. Then again, wasn’t looking forward to a long one, so hey. 1.5 Stars.
Goldust jumps Jimmy, and these Dusts are dicking all up in this place. Michael instantly turns on Goldust, and I actually called this, like, two paragraphs ago.
Wine Just Is Not Going To Do It
Oh God, it’s the Miz. Even Sandow being there can’t deflect this horrifying mediocrity. And oh God, it’s Sheamus. This doesn’t help. Apparently Damien Sandow will be reprising his role as a way worse wrestler, entertainer and human being than himself. Whose coffee did that man piss into?
Miz tries to distract Sheamus, and does, and Sandow goes on the attack. Miz gets on commentary and whose coffee did I piss into? Back elbow drops Sheamus, and Sandow stomps him in the corner. Sheamus steamrolls Sandow, then bodyslams him. Clubbing blows to the chest, followed by White Noise for the win.
Quick, to the point, minimal Miz. Marks taken off for Sheamus and there still being some Miz. 1.5 Stars.
Miz jumps Sheamus post-match and flees. Ziggler appears to throw Miz back into the ring; Miz ducks so that Sandow can take the Brogue Kick, and Miz flees again. I guess I do want to see Miz get hit in the face, so fair enough, WWE, but I’ve never not wanted that.
Recap of the extended mauling of John Cena. I really want to see only one clip now, and that’s of Brock ringing Cena up and saying ‘so, John, I was at the clinic and I got some surprising news…look, it’s not a hundred percent certain, but you might want to get yourself checked considering…you know…SummerSlam,’ as both he and Heyman keep giggling. God, I want to see that.
Just Not The Wyatts’ Week
It’s main event time, and here are those two big lumbering guys and the actual exciting one. The Wyatts show up as well, and we have a stare-down across the ring. They’re trying to evoke the Wyatts vs. the Shield, but the thing is that Henry and Show are involved in this one.
Big Show goes for Rowan and the brawl starts. Wyatt gets tossed out and Roman stalks him around as Big Show does an honest to God sunset flip on Rowan. Shit, I don’t care what else happens: they get a whole star for that alone. Clothesline to Rowan, and Big Show works the arm, tagging in Roman. Still working the arm over, for some reason or other, and tag to Mark Henry, for some reason or other. Mark tags Big Show back in, and he slings Erick a headbutt and goes to slap the chest, but Rowan escapes and tags in Harper, who runs right into a hip toss. Big slap to Harper in the corner, and again.
Snapmare to Harper, then a dropkick to the face for two. Tag to Henry, who hits the JYD Tribute and pancakes the shit out of Harper in the corner; Rowan runs interference and Harper hits a dropkick before tagging in Bray Wyatt. We get a reminder not to try getting destroyed by Brock Lesnar at home, and when we come back, Rowan is trying to suplex Henry but gets suplexed in return. Tag to Big Show, who knocks Rowan all around the ring. He calls for the chokeslam, but has to take down Bray and Rowan clobbers him with a clothesline. Harper’s tagged in, and keeps Big Show grounded, hitting boots and putting on a facelock. Gator roll of Big Show, turning it into a headlock in the transition. Big Show manages to regain his feet, running right into a calf kick off the ropes.
Bray Wyatt gets tagged in, and he hits a DDT to Big Show for two. Rowan comes in, taking Show down with some punches and hitting the splash. Big Show is kept down as Harper wrenches his neck, and then drives Show into the corner as he gains his feet. Show manages to boot Rowan, but takes an elbow immediately in retaliation. Tag to Harper, who wrenches Show’s head back on the ropes. He holds Big Show in a sleeper, and Big Show grabs the ropes, but no count from the ref. Okay, then. Sidewalk slam destroys Harper, but Bray gets the tag and pulls Big Show away, hitting offence hard and fast until he gets flattened by a desperation clothesline and Reigns gets the tag.
Roman proceeds to annihilate Harper and Rowan in hellaciously short order, practically backhanding Bray in order to hit his apron dropkick. He winds up the Superman Punch; Bray distracts him and gets hit in the face again. Superman Punch connects to Harper; Rowan gets chokeslammed; Big Show gets hit by the flying mass of Bray Wyatt; Wyatt gets World’s Strongest Slammed; Henry gets booted; Reigns gets superkicked for two! That Clothesline attempted, and a spear for the win!
Okay, better than I thought it would be. I know I said I would add a star on, and I will, but that was good in its own right. So, with the sunset flip star, that’s…3.5 Stars. Yep, for a match with Show and Henry in. Collect torches and pitchforks at your leisure.
Up and down kind of SmackDown. Match quality was better than what I expected to see, and they managed to reduce Miz’s involvement more than I dared to dream. Seven for this week.
David Spain’s WWE Sex Move of the Week: The Brock Lesnar. Don’t feel afraid to include such diverse elements as blood, urine and vomit; they’ll come back for a second round, guaranteed.
Tags: 'Tom', aj lee, big show, Bo Dallas, Bray Wyatt, Brie Bella, Damien Sandow, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, emma, Erick Rowan, jack swagger, jbl, john cena, kane, Lana, Luke Harper, Mark Henry, Michael Cole, Nikki Bella, Paige, Rob Van Dam, Roman Reigns, rusev, seth rollins, sheamus, Smackdown, The Miz, The Wyatt Family, WWE