What’s up, comrades in arms? Yep, we’re at war together again, because somehow, someway, we managed to find another enemy to liberty and democracy to inflict civilian casualties and drone strikes on. According to a newspaper I walked past today, us Brits have put three years out there as a ballpark figure. I’m honestly surprised they didn’t re-use the old ‘over by Christmas’ thing; it’s the hundredth year anniversary, after all.
I’m also surprised we didn’t just send in Brock Lesnar and nobody else; it makes perfect strategic sense and then I couldn’t complain about him not being on SmackDown because that would make me a communist or something. You guys still hate communists, right? I think you had a war or something.
Dean Ambrose Obviously Watched The Marine IV
Miz is already in the ring, watching the arrival of Dean Ambrose. Okay, if these gimmicks are to be believed, that’s like making Brad Pitt fight a homeless guy. But then, that’s the first hour of Fight Club…
Miz tries to jump Ambrose, who goes after him and Miz ducks out of the ring. Tyler Durden, you fucking pussy. Back in the ring, Ambrose takes the advantage with a headlock takeover, gets shot off the ropes and knocks the Miz down, then tries to roll him up. Dean winds up for a punch, but Miz ducks again, this time hanging Ambrose up on the ropes. Miz immediately goes on the assault, but Dean blocks a hip toss, tries for a punch and Miz ducks out for a third time. Back in the ring again, Ambrose takes Miz out at the legs, dropping punches and then clawing at the A-Lister’s face.
Chop and kicks to Miz in the corner, but the Awesome One hits a thumb to the eye, then his weird neckbreaker for a two count. Miz stays on offence, dropping stomps to Ambrose. JBL comments that the fact that Ambrose is willing to hurt himself is why we like him so much. I don’t know what kind of friends JBL has, but that’s never been part of my criteria; I like hookers and nuns. Dean hits a dropkick, sending Miz out of the ring once again, then crossbodies onto him and hurls him into the barricade. Damien Sandow yells at Ambrose, distracting him enough that Miz can hit a big boot. When we come back, Miz has Ambrose in the corner, stomping a mudhole. He runs at Dean, but Ambrose explodes out of the corner, taking him down. If you listen to the commentary, you actually find out how Ambrose got out of the locked room; apparently it had two doors. I mean…yeah, there’s a lot of evidence that the Authority are really not that bright, which is sort of what happens when you’re villains on a show aimed at children, but why isn’t Cena’s and Ambrose’s plan just to wait until these people manage to lock themselves in their own cars and suffocate? I swear, that’s what Bryan and Reigns are up to: there’s no surgery going on; the two of them are just playing the waiting game. Ambrose fires up, throwing shots at the moneymaker and then hitting clotheslines and a crossbody. Miz gets clotheslined out of the ring, and Dean dives through the second ropes onto him. Sandow tries to almost get himself some; Miz almost rolls up a distracted Dean, but Ambrose fights out, hitting a tornado DDT from the second rope for a near-fall.
Dean heads up high, and Sandow gets involved again, only to get clobbered in the face for his efforts. Miz makes good use of the opening, however, having the wherewithal to catch Ambrose’s flying dropkick and apply the Figure-Four! Ambrose reaches the ropes without much issue, then kicks away a second submission attempt, rebounding off the ropes to clothesline Miz to the ground.
At this point Rollins and Kane show up, looking pretty swag, and Dean gets distracted once again, allowing Miz to nearly hit the Skull-Crushing Finale before Ambrose almost off-handedly counters that into Dirty Deeds for the win.
This was decent. Ambrose had it all his own way, which he should have done, except for when a distraction allowed Miz to take advantage, which was the only way he should have done that. Smartly wrestled, and kudos to Sandow for being the most useful ringside figure ever. Good match. 2.5 Stars.
Kane and Rollins approach the ring, climbing up into the ring. Ambrose immediately goes after Seth and puts up a valiant effort against both men, low-bridging Kane out of the ring. Rollins hits a high knee, but Ambrose rebounds and levels him with a clothesline! Kane comes back as Ambrose grabs the briefcase and fucks right off. Oh hell, it’s getting really difficult to decide whether Seth’s or Dean’s antics are the more amusing; this is the greatest break-up ever.
Backstage, the Dust Brothers are still doing their WE’RE HIGH OFF OUR FUCKING BALLS schtick. Apparently the Tag Team Titles were the cosmic key, so…I’m going to have to put my hand up and admit that I was wrong about them forgetting that whole motivation. Although now I sort-of demand to know what they needed them for; even if the reason is ‘so Cody can lick them’.
Oh, and Big Show apparently took offence to Rusev knocking about his ‘I’m not a racist because I have a’ black friend Mark Henry, so we’re having a match. If they end Rusev’s streak on SmackDown, I swear I won’t know whether to feel pity, disgust or triumph.
It Must Be Weird For Ziggler Not To Be Competing In This
We’re set for a battle royal to name the number one contender to Ziggler’s IC Championship. I sort of feel like we skipped over Miz getting a rematch, but on the other hand I would rather never watch Miz do anything ever again, so I can roll with this. Okay, so some of the big names here are Jack Swagger and Cesaro. I see Bo Dallas in there already, plus Kofi and Langston. Wow, that’s actually it. Bo eliminates a Matador. Wow, how am I actually supposed to call this thing? Seriously; even the cameramen aren’t honing in on anything in particular. How do comic book villains watch their wall o’ televisions? Oops, there goes Sin Cara. Justin Gabriel’s still alive: who knew. Another Matador goes out. Bo Dallas gets triple-teamed by three black guys, and hands up whoever’s typed that into a search engine. Justin Gabriel is eliminated by Kofi. Oh, and there goes Xavier Woods at the hands of Cesaro, and Cesaro actually presses Langston up over his head before Titus jumps him. Man, that used to be the way to do it in the SmackDown games: pick a big guy, set up a Royal Rumble full of women and cruiserweights, then just gorilla press them right out of the ring. And sometimes, I would still lose. Oh, I also found out yesterday that the department store I work at sells a Heath Slater action figure. I mean…yeah. I want to find the buyer for that particular selection so I can have a frank discussion with them; I’m all for charity work, but come on. Cesaro manages to hurl Big E out as we go to break.
Back from the break, Swagger, Cesaro and Bo are still around, and Michael and JBL yell at Tom to be more enthusiastic. Yep, after every single match that those guys have barely paid attention to; hypocrisy, thy name is ‘them two fuckers’. Oh wow, Zack Ryder’s still there, and as I literally type that he gets eliminated. Out goes Titus after him. Holy hell, Slater’s still there…and now he’s not. Wow, I am the kiss of death. Okay, Sandow’s in there; that snakey bastard. If he wins the title, does Miz have to carry around the replica? Except that’s not an issue, as everyone decides that a stunt double is not a non-punchable career, and he gets thrown out. Final four with Swagger, Kofi, Bo and Cesaro. Kofi nearly goes out, and almost eliminates Bo with a skin-the-cat headscissors, before his pendulum kick takes Bo out. Cesaro gets floored with a kick, and Jack hits the Swaggerbomb. Kofi comes off the top to land on Jack’s shoulders, prompting Swagger to stagger (hah!) the entire way across the ring, before collapsing in front of the corner, dropping Kofi face-first into the ropes: that looked nasty and unplanned, so I guess the Curse of Jack Swagger is still there. Oh, but he goes for the Swaggerbomb anyway, only for Cesaro to leap out in Kofi’s defence, getting Jack on the apron. Kingston comes back, miraculously not injured after his brush with…Jack Swagger, and Cesaro nearly eliminates him. Kingston almost returns the favour, with Cesaro escaping. Kofi is thrown into Jack; Cesaro catches him, presses him and hurls him into Swagger, eliminating both men!
Okay, that was fun. Excellent ending, and thank God Kofi wasn’t incapacitated by that sick rope bump. I’d say the right guy won, but it could have been any of the final four and it would be a good match against Ziggler. 3 Stars.
The Usos are walking down the corridor when Renee Young stops and asks them to do their impression of the Rock. They oblige and it’s awful and they seem pretty lackadaisical for guys heading into a title match.
UUUUUUOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH WHAT A RUSH…
It’s tag team time as the Usos will seek to reclaim the Giant Penny belts from Goldust and Stardust. Both teams make their way to the ring, and are announced once present, to give it that big-match feel. Goldust’s facepaint is goddamn bitchin’ tonight. Almost a shame it’ll last for ten seconds after he tags in. Stardust and Jey to start things off, Stardust scoring a hip toss but then getting rolled-up and chopped. Jey hits a bodyslam, and then clotheslines the oddity out of the ring. Goldust joins him on the outside and the Usos hit dives in stereo as we go to break.
Back from commercial, the Usos are in control as Jey gets a two-count. He gets backdropped onto the apron, then distracted by Stardust so Goldust can take control, finally getting dropped to the floor. Stardust slams Jey’s head off the announce table whilst yelling ‘WHERE’S THE KEY, COLE?!’ and yeah, Michael, where the fuck is it? The ref distracts Stardust enough that Jey nearly makes break for it, but the Dusts are having none of it, and in comes Goldust, wrenching the arm.
Jey keeps on fighting, only for Goldust to slip out of a Samoan drop and rock the arm yet again before tagging in his brother. More punishment to the arm and in comes Goldust, keeping on the heat. He rips off Jey’s shirt, and that’s how I’ll be telling these two apart. Jey’s taken down again, and here’s Stardust. Jey finally rocks Stardust’s world with a clothesline, crawling to the corner, but Goldust comes back, only to get thrown out of the ring; he comes back once again, but gets Samoan dropped! Tag made, and here’s Jey and Stardust. Jey is a house of fire, hitting every move in the book on the both Dusts. He hits the Samoan Wrecking Ball on Stardust, but misses a kick and gets dumped on the outside. Goldust tries to throw himself in a somersault at the Usos, but they catch him and throw him into the barricade, before Stardust takes out both Jimmy and Jey.
Everyone’s down, with Stardust up first, throwing Jimmy in the ring and following for a two count. He heads up to the top rope, thinking moonsault, but Jimmy gets Stardust on his shoulders; Jey heads up to the top…Doomsday Device! Doomsday Device to Stardust! Jimmy tags in Jey for the splash…and Goldust breaks up the pin with titles.
Ah, that was nice. Honestly, the Usos are just great, and whilst the Wyatt matches were better, this rivalry has promise to it. And, I mean, come on. A Doomsday Device. On a 2014 SmackDown. That’s me happy. 3 Stars.
At this point, I don’t think we can say the Usos aren’t the chosen ones of the tag team world right now. What I really want is for Henry and Show to get the titles off the Dusts, and that’s who the Usos reclaim the belts from.
We relive Grand Theft Ambrose (which actually makes it sound like someone stole Ambrose, really). Then we go backstage, and Seth is bitching with his shirt off, and I’m in a very happy relationship with a woman but may I just say: DAMN. Seth wants the briefcase back, even though I’m pretty sure he still has the title shot without it. And hell, with the cinder blocks, the briefcase isn’t even his primary weapon.
Well, At Least There’s No Bellas
It’s another tag match, with Rosy-Cheeks Mendez and Natalya vs. Layla and Summer Rae. And this isn’t even me trying to make up any kind of heterosexual ground, but Natalya looks stunning with her hair like that (that wasn’t even me making up any kind of heterosexual ground). Natalya goes right for Summer Rae, who literally screams and runs away. Layla tags in, immediately getting schoolboyed for one, then hits a kick to the stomach. Natalya chain wrestles, before Layla counters an armdrag into a nice pin. Sharpshooter’s attempted and Layla immediately tags out; Nat brings Summer Rae in the hard way and levels her with that spinning clothesline. Suplex to Summer, and then knees to the corner as the ex-dancer screams. Wow, that actually just resembled assault, and I mean that in the chilling way rather than the ‘Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena at SummerSlam‘ way. Nat backs off, and this is apparently a Total Divas thing, so I guess that show’s still on.
Summer suckers Nattie in and brings her face into the turnbuckles, going on the offensive enough to tag out. Layla and Summer exchange frequent tags: the sign of a good tag team, I believe. Layla chokes Nat on the ropes and hits a dropkick before Summer comes back, applying a front facelock complete with legs wrapped around the waist. Shades of Jamie Noble: the security man who Ambrose seems to think he’s feuding with. Summer pulls Nat down by her hair, but Natalya still gets the tag. Rosa comes in and everyone goes wild, probably in the hopes of more nudity because there is no other reason, I assure you. Michael calls her ‘Latina heat’, and that was more insulting than any other reference WWE has made to Eddie Guerrero. Rosa hits a godawful clothesline, then a godawful dropkick and then Layla kicks her in the head. Natalya ejects Summer; Layla ejects Natalya and she rolls Rosa up for the pin, using the tights.
I’m not sure why we’re supposed to be excited about Rosa; she hit exactly two moves and both looked terrible. I mean…that’s not even unfair to say. Natalya should be doing better, more title-related things; her and Layla’s exchange to open had some really good moments to it. 2 Stars.
JBL tries to ship Michael and Tom, like the randy Texan pervert that he is.
We go back to Main Event, and apparently Mark Henry did an apology that wasn’t really an apology, but at least he wasn’t wearing his Salmon Suit of Betrayal. And then Big Show showed up and said, ‘I’ll do what you can’t do, making you look inferior to me, and that’ll totally cheer you up, right?’
Renee Young is backstage with Big Show. Oh wow, she is a tiny, tiny woman. He talks about Henry, saying that he has the world’s largest heart. Well, that sounds sort of like a health risk. And as we watch, Big Show gets taken over by the American patriotic fervour. He says that freedom comes with a price, and that price is letting your government spy on you whilst it takes bribes from big businesses to look the other way so those businesses can infringe your rights which that government is supposed to protect, all whilst a corrupt militia of men in police uniforms receive paid holidays for murder and both sides of the media manufacture facts to support whatever political sports team they’ve chosen and to sell more papers. Unless you’re not an American, in which case freedom will only happen once they’ve dropped bombs on your country, killing whoever’s in the papers this year and a lot of civilians. And hey, we’re sitting here watching professional wrestling. Okay, I had to actually pour myself some wine there, because I think I ranted myself into a genuine fury and I don’t live in America.
Oh, and Roman Reigns has had emergency surgery, and I think that video implied that he tried to piss out a hernia. Poor guy: best of luck to him for a recovery without issue.
Get Your Shit Together, Chioda
Well, here’s Cesaro, ready to fight the Intercontinental Champion after a gruelling battle royal. So, he’s the face, right? And I just can’t recognise Ziggler not in a pink shirt. I’ve been thinking about getting one of those to go to the gym in; I’ve learned that if you wear a Tough Mudder headband, you can wear whatever the hell else you want.
The combatants feel each other out, neither of them gaining an advantage. They lock up again, with Cesaro having to break it when he gets Dolph on the ropes. They jockey for position again, and again have to break it up. Cesaro kicks Ziggler in the stomach, then hits a monkey flip; Ziggler lands on his feet and hits a hip toss and an elbow. He works Cesaro in a corner before Cesaro throws him right out to the outside. Cesaro heads to the outside, hurling Ziggler into the barricade. Back in the ring, he hits his stomp, and then keylocks the arm before Dolph punches his way out. Neckbreaker reversed by Cesaro, who hits a back suplex. Abdominal stretch follows that up, as JBL calls Cesaro a ‘European hooker’. He really did (he didn’t).
Dolph escapes with a hip toss, but Cesaro still reaches his feet first, then heads up to the second rope, dropping an elbow to Dolph. Cesaro has his arm laced around Ziggler’s neck, who hits a jawbreaker to escape before running right into an uppercut, before hitting a beautiful dropkick. Fameasser attempt; Cesaro blocks; Ziggler rolls him up; Cesaro grabs the rope before the three count but Chioda counts anyway and Dolph wins.
Awesome, looks like we’re doing a feud with these two now. Cesaro just looked dangerous here, right after a battle royal and against a fairly fresh Ziggler. I love Dolph and love the fact he’s got the title, but Cesaro’s earned something, and I wouldn’t mind if it was this. 2.5 Stars.
Michael supports Cesaro, which is like…WWE Creative writing an actually-funny comedy segment? Yep, yep, it’s that.
Backstage, Renee Young hasn’t learned her lesson about Lana’s passive-aggressive only-speaks-Russian bullshit. Lana actually calls herself out on it and translates: Big Show’s going down. Man, Renee would break Lana in two.
Rusev Actually Causes American Patriotism, So Is Still A Heel
Rusev and Big Show make their way to the ring, and JBL says that we might actually see Rusev shut up, despite the fact that Rusev is a pretty close-mouthed gent. Big Show goes right on the attack, throwing punches and a clothesline. Big chop to the chest and some more strikes in the corner. Rusev manages to hit a strike to the throat, going on the attack, but Big Show hits his sunset flip and a shoulder block. Show is on fire as we go to break.
We get told not to try this at home, or we might find ourselves trying to piss out a hernia. When we rejoin the action, Big Show gets hung up on the top rope by Rusev, but he just knocks Rusev right the fuck down and then hits a headbutt. Wow, I’d actually take a win from Big Show at this rate. Michael says of one chop, ‘they can hear that in Moscow’: alright, Sarah Palin. Rusev manages to take Show out at the leg, then goes on the attack, targeting the legs furiously. Big Show’s in bad trouble, but manages to use his leg strength to back Rusev off. Big sidewalk slam to Rusev, and Michael goes crazy for the pin: off a sidewalk slam, Michael? JBL then says that beating Rusev will be at the top of a list of everything Show’s done, and didn’t Big Show beat Hulk Hogan in his WCW debut for the title? I mean, I can go and check that out for nine ninety-fucking-nine.
Show winds up the punch; Rusev ducks and hits the big kick for a two-count. He grabs a clutch around Big Show’s neck and shoulder, but Show rises to his feet, breaking out of it and hitting clotheslines again and again. Rusev ducks Big Show and…runs right into a chokeslam! Big Show calls for the KO Punch, but Lana grabs Show’s leg and is basically dragged into the ring when he steps forward. Rusev comes back and destroys Big Show with the Russian flag for the DQ.
This was new and different. The Henry match suffered from Henry pacing, but Big Show is deceptively fast for his heft. 2.5 Stars
Rusev wants to go for the kick, but then Big Show is all ‘whoops, I’ve got your leg…and you’ve got a concussion!‘ Rusev is knocked into a brain-damaged tomorrow as I’ve just realised that with the Russian, the black guy and the American boxer, this is now officially Rocky IV. Does this make Jack Swagger Paulie?
I liked this show. It had some laudable matches to it, and it was just all-around entertaining. Good stuff, very good stuff. This week gets an eight.
David’s Thought of the Week: How was it possible to run out of WWE-themed sex moves this early?
One final item for your attention: this Sunday I shall be engaging in conversation with the Trashy Ring Attire gents, whilst drinking a martini that is just too damn delicious for words. I don’t know when this will be released, so this announcement is going to sort of tail off now, but just be aware. Be filled with a vague sense of alertness.
Tags: big show, Cesaro, Damien Sandow, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, goldust, Intercontinental Championship, jbl, jey uso, jimmy uso, Lana, Layla, Mark Henry, Michael Cole, natalya neidhart, Night of Champions, Renee Young, Rosa Mendes, rusev, Smackdown, Stardust, Summer Rae, The Miz, Tom Philips, WWE, WWE Tag Team Championships