Well, here we are, at the last SmackDown before WrestleMania. And, as I think most here can agree, it’s been a disappointing ride. So, unless they’re about to pull something amazing out from behind the curtain, at this hellishly late stage in the game, on SmackDown of all things, I think that we’re going to have to live with the fact that this year just isn’t going to be about what we want/what would make perfect business sense.
I’m your host, David Spain, drinking a Mimosa at 9:55 on this beautiful North-East morning (it’s been a weird day already), all set to review some wrestling.
Enjoy That Pre-Show Spot, Lads
The Usos are here, along with Naomi, and I like how this company apparently employs a woman to support her husband and not wrestle. And, no, I would not be making these complaints if Jimmy was married Cameron or Summer Rae. Big E and Xavier Woods join them, as do Los Matadores and The New Day. Apparently this is going to be a Fatal Four-Way in order to advertise the pre-show tag team match, and does it still count as ‘advertising’ if you remind me that Los Matadores and The New Day are going to be in that match? I suppose I should be grateful that Natalya and El Torito aren’t in a feud, but why should I be grateful for the WWE not doing worse things than they’re already doing?
Matador 1 and Jimmy start off against each other as Langston pounds Cesaro down in the corner. They trade up partners then; Big E belly-to bellies Matador 1 and Jimmy Uso, before hurling Cesaro into the two of them and spearing them all in the corner. He hefts Cesaro up in a military press and then chucks him at Jimmy, before belly-to-bellying Matador 1 for a second time. Warrior Splash hits Matador 1, with Cesaro managing to break up the pin before getting thrown out. Jimmy Uso enzuigiris Big E out of the ring, then takes a dropkick from Matador 1. Matador 1 then dives out onto Big E and Cesaro, taking them all out, and then Jimmy Uso decides to make it a party, launching himself out onto all three of them.
Jimmy takes Cesaro back in the ring, going up top, but Langston takes him back down. Cesaro dropkicks Langston back to the floor, and then tries to bring Matador 1 into the ring with a suplex, only for Jimmy Uso to help him, before Langston back-suplexes both of them as they throw that suplex! Big E’s the first guy up, but he gets DDT’d by Matador 1 as the masked man also reverse-STOs Jimmy Uso. Cesaro comes after Matador 1, who heads up to the top, but leaps right into a Cesaro Swing, before Cesaro uses his legs to hurl him at both Jimmy and Big E!
Cesaro wants a Neutraliser on Langston, but Matador 1 interrupts, hitting a backstabber! Big Ending’s attempted, but Jimmy superkicks Langston, and then elevates Matador 1 out to the floor. He heads up top and hits a splash to Cesaro, getting the pin!
This was quite a lot of fun: the double-team manoeuvres were really put to a good use and they explored the possibilities of a multi-man match. Shouldn’t be a bad match come Sunday, I guess. 3 Stars.
Okay, I just sat through/worked on my novel whilst ignoring a whole bunch of advertising, but we’re finally back to something approaching an actual show, and AJ Lee is making her way down to the ring, microphone in hand. She says we’ve seen her in a lot of roles, but the most important one is as the longest-reigning Divas champ of all time. She loves that title, as does Paige, and the Bellas were smart enough to completely play them. At WrestleMania, she’s beating the Bellas, alone or with company, and if Paige doesn’t want to help out, that’s fine by her.
Paige then shows up, saying that AJ ain’t fooling no-one, and that Lee can’t stand the thought of someone else, even her, being the champion. AJ says that this Sunday won’t be about the title, which Paige does accept, but maintains doubts about how far she can really trust AJ. AJ says that they have two things in common: they’re weird and they hate losing and, for that reason alone, they should work together. Paige, for some reason, is actually convinced by this line of thought, and says, what the hell, let’s be tag team partners.
This brings out the Bellas, who are all ‘meh meh meh you all wish you were us meh’. AJ calls them failed actresses, which is some high talk coming from a failed general manager, AJ. Paige says that they like being the freaks and weirdos. Honey, I really don’t think that you’re exactly what people think of when they think ‘freaks and weirdos’. Nikki says that she prefers no labels, which is a decent point. She wants a scrap, but then strangely doesn’t, and says she’ll see those bitches at WrestleMania. Her words, sort of, because they censored it (apparently Nikki doesn’t get Randy Orton privileges).
I skip some more WrestleMania pandering, because I’ve earned that, I think. I did catch that the Battle Royal is on the pre-show, which is at least being honest about that match.
Well, Consider Me SOLD On WrestleMania, Then
Main event time, and here comes John Cena. And after typing that sentence, I took a break and roughly eight cocktails, so I am fucked up right now. Man, this is going to be fun, because I am not sobering up. The faces all get down to the ring, as do the heels, because this would not be much of a match otherwise. Rollins and Reigns kick things off, and the commentators go off on their whole ‘you don’t tell Roman Reigns he can’t do things’. Reigns lays Seth out with a clothesline, and then works him over for a while. God, Jerry Lawler could make me hate literally anybody, just by praising them in that smug fucking way he has.
Oh, here’s Wyatt, who immediately gets smacked around by Reigns. Not that he’ll lose any mystique by getting the shit kicked out of him, or whatever. Put Show or Kane in there: they’ve got nothing to lose. Apparently Bray’s reading this article as I write it, and tags in Kane, who manages to take control of the match for a moment before Roman Reigns takes him back down. Reigns hasn’t tagged in Henry or Cena, which is a face move, but hasn’t tagged in Bryan either, which is bullshit. Oh, and then he tags in fucking Henry. Because you need to hype the shit out of dat battle royal, I guess.
Big Show’s in now, and takes Henry right down, because being the World’s Strongest Man counts for jack these days. And here’s Wyatt, laying the smackdown on Henry before making the tag to Rollins, who tags right back out. Love how Bray can co-exist with people if he wants to, because it’s evidence that he’s not demonically possessed: just a dick. Kane comes back in, stomping away on Henry before letting Big Show have a taste. You know, I can barely focus on the screen right now, so just assume that the heel beatdown is the same as it has been every other multi-man tag match, and I’ll come back when things change.
Okay, when we get back from the commercial break, Cena’s in the ring, getting worked over by Henry, before he takes a bodyslam from the now legal Show. Kane tags in, and it looks like this is another chapter in the heel beatdown: you know the rules.
Wow, that was way more heel beatdown than this match needed, but Cena finally knocked Rollins out of the ring and tagged in Bryan. Bryan is on fire, hitting Rollins with everything in the box, slamming his boots right into Seth’s face before hitting his hurricanrana. Cruiserweight Security provides enough of a distraction for Seth to bean Bryan in the head, and Rollins tags Big Show back in, who immediately knocks Reigns to the floor. He wants a chokeslam on Bryan, but Roman’s back in pretty much immediately, and Superman Punches Big Show!
Bray blindsides Roman, setting him up for Sister Abigail and, that pop, I swear to God, was almost too enthusiastic. Reigns breaks out of it, hitting a spear to disappoint literally everyone. Kane almost gets a chokeslam (less of a pop), and gets speared. Reigns and Henry go after Big Show, then Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment before Bryan gets the pin off the Running Knee.
So, okay, odd that they had Bryan win that match. Roman looked very strong here, with Cena being the face in peril in his place, and I guess the match was…okay? 2 Stars.
So, that’s the end of the Wrestling Year, once Sunday’s been and gone. I have to say, I’m not that enthusiastic for WrestleMania. I’m really not. And we’ve all said it, I know, but it’s important that we do say it, and keep saying it. Because they didn’t listen to us at first, and we need to remind them why that was such a dumb idea. This show, at least, was not 98% fan access and, like, one promo, but it didn’t help matters anyway. Tonight gets a six.
Well, enjoy WrestleMania
Tags: AJ Lee, Big Show, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Kane, Los Matadores, Mark Henry, Paige, Roman Reigns, seth rollins, smackdown, The Bella Twins, The New Day, The Uso's, Tyson Kidd