Yo yo yo, it’s David Spain here for the SmackDown Review. I’m currently in Scotland, after a hellacious week of doing literally everything it is possible to do (yes, including climbing mountains; God, why do people keep asking me that?). And now, it’s wrestling time.
So, I missed RAW again this week, and so this episode I won’t be complaining about the recaps we have forced down our throats. Oh, speak of the devil: recap o’clock. Looks like Bryan was getting all up in Reigns’ face, giving Roman the accursed count-out victory. Then Reigns returned the favour via selfies. Also, is it just the fact that I’m, like, super-smart, or is every WWE employee kinda, sorta really dumb? Although I like the fact that the two faces fighting each other has gotten really passionate: better than that ‘on-edge’ crap.
Miz Died For Our Hype
The show kicks off with Daniel Bryan making his way to the ring, despite the fact that the entire locker room knows that his weakness is selfies. How does this guy even exist? And his opponent is the Miz, whose personal assistant is getting ridonkulous cheers still. Apparently Miz and Mizdow ‘strategised’ for the match which, I’m guessing, just means taking selfies. I’m beginning to wonder whether these two are starting to become the WWE’s version of Fifty Shades of Grey, what with the abuse and my previous allegations that Miz is a rapey beast.
Bryan and Miz face-off, as Mizdow tries and fails, once again, to contain his majestic impersonating skills. Miz then kicks him out, which Bryan refuses to protest: what the hell kind of face just lets that shit take place? Bryan does, however, then start kicking the Miz and slams a knee into his stomach. He backflips over the Miz, hits his leaping clothesline and then hits his corner dropkick before lacing the Miz with kicks. Hurricanrana from the top rope nearly looks like it was about to go badly wrong, but succeeds, and then Miz ducks out of the ring to escape the CENASLAYER. Man, I thought we were about to see a total squash, but God’s not that kind, I guess.
Bryan chases the Miz, who comes back into the ring and catches Bryan upon re-entry with a dropkick to the knee. Mad chants for Bryan, who reverses a Figure Four into the Yes-Lock for the tap-out and the win.
Wow, did Bryan just get built as a main-eventer and possible championship contender ahead of a PPV? What the hell is going on here? I’m giving that 3 Stars just because of how sensible that was.
Maybe Kane Shouldn’t Wrestle In Half-Businesswear
Ryback shows up to the ring, looking pumped in both the excitement and steroid sense of the word. He’s facing Kane, and if we could just make all of these matches squashes like the first one, that would be highly entertaining. Kane starts off with a headlock, but Ryback back suplexes his way out of it, laying some blows on the Big Red Machine in the corner. A couple of slaps from Kane shuts that shit down, but he runs right into a belly-to-belly. Ryback wants a Meathook, and fuck yeah squash match, but Kane bails like the coward he is. Ryback is still on the attack, though, until Kane catches him with that DDT of his. Big boots keep the Big Guy floored, as Michael calls Kane one of the most ‘demented individuals in the history of WWE’, overlooking such individuals as Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole.
Ryback comes back with some shots, ducks a clothesline and Thesz presses Kane, following up with a splash and a spinebuster. Pin gets two, and when Ryback heads up to the second rope, an uppercut by Kane knocks him right down to the floor. Ryback’s clutching his leg when he gets back into the ring, but he still hits Shellshock all of a sudden to end the match.
Nothing all that special, but at least Kane didn’t win. Not much to say about this one. 2 Stars.
Nothing Pisses Barrett Off Like Fraud
Apparently on RAW, Dean Ambrose committed really, really blatant fraud, and apparently that’s totes legal. And R-Truth is going to be in action, which is totes godawful. Truth is facing Wade Barrett, and I’ll take another squash match, please. Ambrose is on commentary, and he really does not stop talking.
Barrett starts the match on the offensive, beating down Truth in the corner. Truth counters being flung off the ropes, and then lays some shots of his own down on Wade before Barrett slams a boot into his face. Barrett lays him across the turnbuckle, hitting some blows and a kick before locking in a headlock. Truth escapes, hitting Barrett with the boots, getting him off his feet for two. A scissor kick misses, but the Winds of Change do not, and Barrett wastes some time to trash-talk Ambrose. Ambrose seems to not want to know, but Wade lays Truth out on the announce table to wail on him directly in front of Dean. Bullhammer winds up, but Barrett apparently can’t perform unless Ambrose is watching him. Truth gets a roll-up off the distraction, and I stand by my claims that every WWE employee is dumb.
I don’t know if this is better or worse than Ambrose stealing the title to distract Barrett, but I hate these finishes. 2 Stars.
Vince McMahon may look awesome and muscular, but the fact remains that he is creatively bankrupt, and majestic, veiny guns do not change that. That said, nice to know I might stand a chance at being in good shape when I hit seventy.
Seems like Cena beat the hell out of Rusev on RAW; I might go and watch that a little later.
Here’s Bray Wyatt, giving his poetry recital in a steam room. Apparently he puts down all his pets, which makes it seem like he really shouldn’t own animals any more.
Sheamus is coming back, and I’d be more excited if Sheamus was interesting in any way, shape or form.
Should Have Used Kofi’s Speed…
Oh kill me, it’s the New Day. Even small children in that audience look disinterested. And…the Ascension? I mean, seriously? Wow, I can actually live with this. Although aren’t Konnor and Viktor still interested in beating up the old guys? I’d love it if these guys worked in my café: just cut furious promos on every single customer over sixty.
Viktor and Xavier start off, and Viktor hits a shoulder block. Xavier comes back with a knee and a dropkick, because he’s so, so smart. Konnor comes in off the tag, and beats Xavier down. Viktor tags in again as both Ascension members put the boots to Woods. Finally, Woods manages to tag in Big E, who tosses Viktor the hell around before going for a splash; Konnor hops into the ring and gets clotheslined out, but the distraction gives the Ascension the advantage and the Fall of Man puts Woods away.
Well, the Ascension did what they came there to do, and the New Day continues to be a bad implementation of a decent enough idea. 2 Stars.
Without One Single Looney Tunes Reference
Luke Harper’s in the ring, waiting for what I assume will be his crucifixion in the name of WrestleMania. Roman Reigns shows up, and can someone tell me why I should support a guy stupid enough for Triple H to fool? Because I’m not a fan of that quality.
Roman’s quick to start off the match, beating Harper in the corner like Harper owes him money and/or sex. Harper bails out to the outside, but Reigns follows him out there and clotheslines him straight out. Luke gets driven into the barricade, and the action gets back into the ring as Reigns back suplexes Harper. Harper elevates Reigns out onto the apron, and manages to shove the guy into the steps before laying him out on the outside. Okay, so no squash match here. Wonder if it means anything?
Back in the ring, Harper somersaults onto Reigns, keeping the possible-contender grounded with the Gator Roll lest Reigns employ a strategic selfie. Roman opts for simply slamming the fuck out of Harper instead, but then runs into a back elbow…which apparently doesn’t count, as he continues to try and smack Harper’s beard off. Clothesline gets two, and Harper reverses a Samoan Drop into a roll-up, before smacking Reigns in the face and hitting a side slam. Reigns is down and Harper wants a powerbomb, but Roman suddenly strikes with a Samoan Drop. He goes for the Superman Punch; Harper counters with a superkick, but Reigns comes right back with a spear for the win!
This is the Reigns I could be happy with at WrestleMania. No promos, no jokes, just beating a guy into unconsciousness as fast and hard as possible. You know: like a competitor. 2.5 Stars.
Ric Flair showed up on RAW, like a confused grandparent who crashes orgies (my life’s in a weird place right now). But apparently Triple H and I deal with that in the same fashion: yelling and shoving.
Urgh…Do Not Want
The Big Show and Erick Rowan will now recreate their stairs match for our viewing pleasure, without the use of any stairs, because that was a really, really stupid concept. And kudos to the Big Show for jumping Rowan before he gets into the ring, trying to spare us this waste of our time. He hurls Rowan into the steel steps, then the ring post. He then puts him into the ring, and no, you fool! That’s where the match happens! Rowan says he’s okay to compete, which is a heel move, and the bell rings.
Show jumps on Rowan, punching the shit out of the guy for ensuring that this match happens. Rowan goes for a ride on the bodyslam express. Big Show chokes him on the ropes for a while, apparently demonstrating that he can even make a squash match dull, and then pins Rowan after a chokeslam.
Could have been worse. Could have been longer. 2 Stars.
Nikki and Paige’s Violent Flirting Continues
Cameron’s carrying a mirror to the ring, because women and the WWE. And here’s Paige, who’s at least washed her stomach this week. On RAW, both the Bellas and Paige became clothing thieves, making Paige the first wrestler to ever actually find a decent solution to that problem. Alicia flips her hair in Paige’s face, so I guess this shit’s on. Paige then hurls Alicia by that same hair and smacks her with a bunch of elbows and knees, so I guess this shit is actually on. Alicia quickly catches Paige with DDT, then smacks her head off the turnbuckle. Splash to Paige in the corner, and then Alicia slams her on the mat by the hair, and then again. Slap to the face of Paige, but that seems to fire her up, and he hits clothesline after clothesline, then a kick to the face. PTO is locked in, and that’s all she wrote.
Decent: Alicia and Paige can make their matches look pretty hardcore, which I hope Nikki’s going to be able to do on Sunday; the two of them could have a good match.
Stardust and Goldust are still on their road to a match at Fastlane (apparently a match unworthy of WrestleMania, like Cena vs. Rusev), and apparently Dusty Rhodes is enabling his kid’s crack addiction and wearing facepaint. Does he still love them after their loss to the New Day? Because that would make me hate my kids. Personally, Cody’s assault on Goldust was well-warranted.
Renee Young is backstage with Goldust, here to find out just what the fuck is going on here. Goldust calls Stardust a cancer, so he’s fighting Stardust to save Cody. If any of Goldust’s family actually gets actual cancer, he should be kept away from them. Stardust appears onscreen and acts all annoying and cancer-ridden, and Goldust looks conflicted or just possibly confused: hard to tell with his facepaint.
Are The Usos and Cena Even Friends Anymore?
It’s Jimmy Uso vs. Tyson Kidd, and Kidd starts off by pummelling Jimmy on the ropes. Jimmy fires back, hitting a bodyslam. Chop to Kidd in the corner, then a bunch of punches to the face. And…then Rusev shows up and beats the shit out of goddamn everyone. Wow…this is something I can deal with. The beatdown continues as Lana laughs on the entrance ramp. I feel like I can’t be annoyed at Rusev, because this was probably more fun than the match itself. Such a moral myopia tonight.
Blondes Apparently Do Not Have More Fun
Ziggler’s here to show the world, and Seth Rollins is here to look smug and ripped and, let’s face it, delicious. On RAW, Noble and Mercury cruiserweighted everything up and got destroyed for it. Saxton has a problem with attacking a security guide, even though that’s exactly what security guards are there for.
Bell rings, and the two competitors lock up. Rollins controls the arm before Ziggler returns the favour, making Seth reach for the ropes to break the hold. Headlock by Seth, who takes Dolph over. Ziggler reaches his feet, shoots Seth off the ropes and gets knocked down, only to hit a hip toss, then a dropkick, but then misses a stinger splash and smashes his head off a turnbuckle as we go to break.
Back from the break, Rowan, Ryback, Big Show and Kane are at ringside, because the WWE would rather push its worthless app than just show these things during their airtime. Ziggleer rolls out of a back suplex, but then gets elevated onto the ropes. Michael Cole keeps calling the Cruiserweights ‘Hobbits’, despite the fact that I think they’re roughly his height and that’s probably a form of bullying. Clothesline to Ziggler, as Michael Cole calls Byron over-sensitive because Byron was bullied as a kid. Michael Cole is sort of a fucking asshole, and there’s another clothesline from Seth Rollins, but Ziggler ducks the third and takes Rollins out with a crossbody.
Stinger splash strikes in the corner to Rollins; Seth’s own attempt fails and Ziggler hits a neckbreaker and his big elbow drop. Ziggler misses the Fameasser; nearly rolls Rollins up twice and then eats a kick to the stomach. Rollins counters a DDT with an attempted powerbomb, which Ziggler counters into a roll-up and then hits Seth with a Fameasser! Ziggler hurls Rollins onto the apron, and then dropkicks him out next to Ryback and Rowan, who Rollins immediately punches and slaps. What a charmer. Ziggler flies out of nowhere to catch him with a fist, and the two men head back into the ring.
Stinger splash is ducked by Rollins, leaving Ziggler up on the second rope. Kane tries to interfere and gets smacked, allowing Rollins to catch Dolph with a powerbomb into the corner and then a Curbstomp.
That ending came a little out of nowhere, really cutting off the flow of the match. Still, that was easily the best match on the card tonight. 3 Stars.
Cruiserweight Security shows up to hand out high-fives, and then the heels decide to lay a beatdown on the faces. Wow, how dastardly…I don’t even really care. All of these dickish tactics are kind of getting old; this is why the Authority should have stayed gone. They’ve dragged this thing out for too long, and now instead of outrage, this whole thing is met with apathy because, like King just said: ‘every week’. At this point, this only gets a suitable pay-off if Sting shanks Triple H at Fastl…is Ryback back in the ring?
Okay, so Ryback just took out fucking everyone like the badass he is…and then decided to stay around too much instead of hitting and running. Feels fitting that we end on the same ‘dumb’ theme on which we started, as Ryback gets curbstomped. When are the faces going to just buy some guns?
Eh, it’s been an okay night. Literally the only thing I care about on this PPV is Reigns and Bryan, and shows like this are to blame for it. Anyway, I’ll see you on the other side of Fastlane. Tonight is a six.
Tags: Big Show, Cameron, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Fastlane, jimmy uso, Kane, Luke Harper, miz, Mizdow, Paige, Roman Reigns, rusev, ryback, seth rollins, smackdown, Stardust, The Ascension, the bellas, the big show, The New Day, Tyson Kidd