Hi hi hi there, wrestling fans. Hope everyone’s having a good week; just remember it’s one more day until the weekend. Well, one of the universities that I got in touch with re. earning three more letters to write after my name has performed the most elegantly psychotic of moves by telling me that I’ll hear from them within the next ten or so days. Cue me being a ball of quivering paranoia and having an epileptic fit every time I receive an email.
Apart from that, things are going quite swimmingly.
SmackDown is in Dallas, Texas tonight, and we kick things off with Daniel Bryan. Apparently he shrugged off having the shit knocked out of him by Barrett and Sheamus (as a semi-British person, I appreciate the realism in having the Brit sit on his arse whilst the Irishman got on with all of the work, before doing one thing and acting like it was all him the whole time).
Bryan says that last week was one of the highlights of his career, as he won the Intercontinental Championship. Dude, WrestleMania‘s over. Let it go. But he says that the title only means as much as the guy holding it, so he’s going to defend it against anyone who wants a piece. Holy hell, if this means SmackDown gets its own midcard belt weekly open challenge, sign me the fuck up. Bryan reflects on Sheamus’ ridiculous hair and dickish ways, and the innate douchittude of Wade Barrett.
Barrett comes out, even though Bryan didn’t say his name three times, and says that he ended Bryan’s magical week. Oh man, and here comes Sheamus. Has he remembered the centuries of England and Ireland kicking the shite out of each other? Ah, no, he still hates short people. Dallas comes on with the ‘you look stupid’ chants, and really, grown men in cowboy hats? Sheamus uses the word ‘munchkin’, which is like PG racism. Sheamus and Barrett decide to mug Bryan, because Europe hates America, and then here comes Ziggler, in his denim vest. That, by the way, also looks stupid.
Dolph seems pretty pissed, spouting some PG fighting talk, and says that if they want a fight, then they can get right to it. Then…the Big Show comes out? Big Show also apparently hates short people, and we are just uncovering people’s prejudices tonight. He also wants to fight Dolph and Bryan, but then Roman Reigns walks through the crowd. Okay, does he hang out in the cheap seats, waiting until he feels like interjecting? And if he announces that he also hates small people, I’ll take that and laugh. But no, he still hates Big Show, and throws himself at him. Brawl concludes with the faces in the ring and Lawler being insufferably smug about the whole thing.
I Refuse To Believe That The New Day Turn Was Planned
Cesaro, Kidd and Natalya show up, so this should be pretty decent. And forget I just said that, because here comes the New Day. The crowd are getting pretty damn resounding on the ‘sucks’ part of the chant, and Big E takes issue on the microphone with them. To be honest, if I could make Xavier Woods make that sad face just by telling him that he sucked, I’d probably be following him around right now. The crowd get their chant on again, and E gets even more annoyed, saying that something has to change. Apparently he means the WWE Universe, because they’re here for them. The crowd want none of it, and I think the WWE needs to put Xavier on a suicide watch.
This match will feature the pairing of Kofi and Langston, with Woods on the outside. Kofi and Tyson start, and Kingston gets a waistlock; the two men chain-wrestle for a while until Kidd breaks the hold on the ropes. Kidd begins the new lock-up as the aggressor, backing Kingston into a corner and hitting a monkey flip. Kofi lands on his feet, ducking a surprise clothesline from Cesaro, and Kidd turns the distraction to his advantage, keeping on Kofi.
Kidd tags Cesaro in, who lays Kingston out with an uppercut and tags Tyson in again. Kingston manages to trip Kidd up, sending him out of the ring and sending Cesaro out there two. Kofi tags in Big E, who throws Kofi out onto both men in a flying double clothesline. The New Day celebrate that one offensive move as we go to the break.
Back from the commercials, Tyson Kidd dives off the top rope, but is caught by Langston and eats a belly-to-belly. He manages to tag in Cesaro, who deadlift-gutwrenches Langston before locking in a headlock. He tags Kidd in, who lays a kick into Big E’s ribs. He launches himself over the top rope, hitting a leg drop to Langston, and then tags in Cesaro, who does the same thing to hit a stomp to Big E’s chest. He locks in a front facelock onto Langston, but Big E throws him off, accidentally knocking him into Kofi, who falls to the floor.
Cesaro manages to introduce Langston’s shoulder to the ring post, and then sets up for the Cesaro Swing. He hits it, and with Kidd’s dropkick adding the extra force, that could be it…but Kofi breaks up the pin and the match continues. Cesaro takes issue with Kingston’s bullshit, but runs right into what almost looks like a Rock Bottom. Both men crawl to their partners, both scoring the tags.
Kofi comes in full of fire, taking down Kidd at ever turn. He wants Trouble in Paradise, but the crowd’s negativity distracts him. Cesaro jumps him, only to get thrown out by Langston. Kidd manages to trip Kofi up onto the ropes; Cesaro hits an uppercut to the guy and Kidd hits his swinging fisherman neckbreaker for the win.
That was pretty good, and will be even better if this keeps The New Day away from those titles. Totally happy to have Cesaro and Kidd be champs for a while, although I would love for the Ascension to get back in on the action. 2.5 Stars.
Replay of RAW and the number one contendership issue. You could see Orton taking it a mile off, but they did set up something fairly believable with Reigns’ inclusion. I’ve seen far worse set-ups.
So Glad I Went To The Gym Before Seeing Neville’s Abs
Oh hell yes, Axel is in the ring. Swear to God, I have never loved this man more and I don’t know whether that’s good or bad but you can’t tell me how I feel!! On the subject of love, Neville’s theme music is pretty wonderful. His body is also terrifyingly awesome, but that face looks so out of place as part of that. Wow, I’m bitchy tonight.
Axel and Neville lock up, and Neville puts Axel in a corner, only for Curtis to rally up, and Neville…just handstands against the ropes and backflips back onto his feet. Seriously, I’m not going to be able to follow this match in any way. BUT LET’S TRY IT ANYWAY! Neville armdrags Axel, then hits a kick to the stomach. Axel regains control, stomping Neville in the corner; I swear, he’s so fired up since AxelMania. Neville basically handsprings all the fuck over the ring, then flips over Axel to get back in the ring, sends Axel out and then does some kind of absurd manoeuvre whilst throwing himself out onto Axel and then bodyslams Axel in the ring and…does whatever in the hell that was from the top rope and wins the match and. It. Was. Amazing.
Okay, Neville is the most entertaining guy who’s been on SmackDown for a while. He’s like Evan Bourne on steroids and, yes, that is a comment on his ridiculously impossible aerial moves and his ridonkulously shredded body. 3 Stars for a wow factor: now get this man to the mid-card, stat.
Renee Young’s backstage, and so are Natalya, Cameron and Alicia. She accuses them of trying to use their sexual wiles on the Big Red Machine, and I saw that on Monday, and Kane sold that whole interaction beautifully. See, this is the problem with #GiveDivasAChance: Cameron and Summer Rae technically qualify as Divas, so the WWE can still have them putting on awful matches and claim the moral high ground. The ladies are all fight talking, and if Cameron says ‘Girl Bye’ one more time, I am going to strawpedo a bottle of whiskey. Nat and Alicia get into a shoving match, and referees materialise to break them up and drag them off either side of the screen: looks kind of creepy. Cameron is left alone, because Cameron is so annoying that even the Secret Referee Murder Cult don’t want to abduct her.
Stupid Secret Referee Murder Cult
Apparently the referees just dumped Alicia and Natalya out in the ring for a match, and that’s the kind of secret murder cult I can get behind: the kind that lead to good wrestling matches. There aren’t many of that kind around; most of them just kill people.
And Cameron’s the special referee for this match. Oh, so you won’t sacrifice her to appease the wrathful ghost of Earl Hebner, but you’ll make her one of you? Fuck this cult.
Natalya and Alicia are pissed, brawling around the ring until Cameron breaks it up. Slaps all around for both women, and then it’s another brawl. Oh God, is it going to be just brawls and slaps? Alicia knocks Nat to the floor and then misses her somersault leg drop. Natalya runs over her back, then hits a dropkick to the face of the seated Alicia. Alicia manages to send Nat into the corner, then hits a big boot to the face. King makes some kind of inappropriate comment, most likely in an oblique reference to his erection, and I drink wine in response. Northern Lights suplex from Alicia gets two; so glad she’s not nuts anymore, by the way.
Chinlock to Natalya, before Alicia snaps her head back onto the floor and then applies a sleeper. Natalya breaks out, ducks a clothesline, and then turns a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker attempt into a body press, almost pinning Alicia. Alicia tries to roll Natalya up out of the corner, but Natalya rolls through, locking in the Sharpshooter for the tap-out victory.
Decent match: I’m actually curious as to whether they’ll have someone dethrone Naomi from her title shot status; it would be an interesting direction to take things in. But this allows some focus on the Divas division, whilst bringing some fresher faces into things. 2.5 Stars.
Cameron jumps Natalya after the match, and apparently she does have a finisher, and it’s the DDT. Wow…that’s almost beyond sad. But hey, she can do one move, and pretty well. She then checks her reflection in the mirror, because delivering two DDTs really emphasises acne and crow’s feet.
There’s A Lot Of Beard In That Ring
Well, Bray Wyatt’s here, and apparently he’s still the New Face of Fear, even though he didn’t defeat the Undertaker. That’s like failing a job interview and then showing up and doing the job anyway. But he seems to have picked a new target, because God knows he needs to get beaten again.
Wyatt gets on the microphone and talks about his and Erick Rowan’s backstory. I’m sure, like, ninety percent of this is made up, and I’m sure that Wyatt actually just got Rowan hooked on meth and probably molested him a couple of times, because that’s how most secret cults work. I’m pretty certain that was what was going on with the Ministry of Darkness. Apparently Wyatt wants to teach Rowan one last lesson, which is ‘you’re mah bitch’. He hints at his new target, and I have no idea who it was and I doubt it’ll be all that interesting when we finally find out.
Here comes Erick Rowan, and Wyatt had better watch out: Rowan’s the veteran of the WWE’s only Stairs Match. Erick starts off strong, knocking Wyatt’s head off the turnbuckle and then charging him right out of the ring and to the floor. Wyatt charges back in, and lays some strikes onto Rowan. These only seem to piss the bald man off, but Wyatt catches him off-guard when he charges, and Rowan blasts the turnbuckle. When Erick tries to get back in the ring, Wyatt dropkicks him back out to the floor.
Back from a commercial break, Wyatt has Rowan in a headlock, and then DDTs him; shades of Cameron! Wyatt tries to hit his running back splash, but Rowan lifts up the knees and Bray falls right onto them. Both men are trying to gain their feet, and Rowan attacks first, knocking Bray all around the ring and felling him with a spinning kick. Erick climbs up high, but Bray rolls out of the ring; Rowan follows him, only to get blasted with a clothesline by Wyatt. Bray hits his back splash on the outside, then sends his former meth-buddy back into the ring.
Wyatt wants a Ura-Nage, but Rowan reverses it into a full nelson. Bray headbutts his way out of it, then slams right into Erick with his running crossbody. Spiderwalk, presumably for shits and giggles, then a Sister Abigail to end things.
That was okay. No doubt as to the result, but it was a fair match. I’d love to see someone actually pick a feud with Wyatt; he does have a history of going after guys. Someone should just jump him one day because they don’t like his beard. 2 Stars.
Miz is in the ring, and there’s a movie poster of The Marine IV on the screen. Wait, so…that was actually a real movie? Seriously? They made a movie with the number four in the title? Which didn’t star Sylvester Stallone? He plays the trailer and, you know, I’m actually going to watch this, because I refuse to believe it; it’s all an elaborate ruse, I say.
Holy God, I am going to buy this, get drunk with my best friend and rip this piece of shit to shreds.
Summer Rae comes down to the ring, and apparently wants her name attached to this cinematic falling star. Miz says that her being in his movie was him giving a Diva a chance. There are a lot of terrible jokes that I could make in response, many of them involving penises, but instead I’ll take the high road and say that Miz has given a Diva a chance to never work in movies again.
Miz and Summer get into a dumb fight about their dumb movie, and they’re really making it seem like Miz is going to smack her in a second; this is actually slightly uncomfortable. On the subject of uncomfortable, this whole segment is why I don’t want Summer Rae to benefit from #GiveDivasAChance. Miz goes off on a rant about Mizdow, and I’m slightly tipsy right now, so I’m reading a lot of sexual undertones in this conflict.
Mizdow comes out, and they’re totally going fuck, aren’t they? Miz is all ‘you done messed up, AA-Ron’, but is willing to forgive Mizdow if he apologises and shakes his hand. Also, I think Mizdow is wearing a homemade t-shirt. Damien finally shakes the hand, and says that he’s sorry. But he’s sorry he didn’t physically assault Miz sooner, and sets out to rectify that. And then he makes out with Summer Rae! That man is a goddamn national treasure! And an American hero!
The Big Guys vs. The Small Guys…And Another Big Guy
Main event time, and the guys make their way to the ring. Can’t put into words quite how much I hate what Dolph’s doing with his hair, but give me a couple of weeks and I’ll have something for you. He starts off against Sheamus, who bulls him into a corner, holding him there to demonstrate his dominance, because he’s a big guy for you. He slaps Ziggler, gets slapped back and it devolves into a brawl, which Sheamus takes control of, tagging in the Big Show. Show backs Dolph into the corner, slapping his chest, then slamming into him in the corner. Ziggler takes his legs out with a dropkick, then hits his huge DDT. He then tries for a stinger splash, but gets slapped the fuck out of the air.
Tag to Wade Barrett, who hits a neckbreaker, then locks in a sleeper hold. Ziggler fights out quickly, kicking Barrett in the face before running right into the Winds of Change. Wade tags in Sheamus, who hits an uppercut, then stomps on Ziggler’s head for a while before slapping him around. Dolph fires back, skips out of a bodyslam and tags in Bryan. Bryan takes Barrett off the apron with a dropkick, then takes Sheamus down with his backflip/clothesline combo. He hits the kicks, misses the last one, but sends Sheamus out over the ropes and dives out on top of him. He sends Sheamus back into the ring, but Barrett blindsides him with a big boot, laying him out as the commercials begin.
Back to the action, and Big Show has Bryan in bearhug, before slamming him onto the ground. Tag to Barrett, who drapes Bryan over the turnbuckle and hammers away at him. Barrett has Bryan in a headlock, as most of the crowd chants ‘We Want Roman’ and about five guys respond ‘No We Don’t’. He really is becoming the new John Cena. Daniel’s sent into the turnbuckle and dodges a big boot, but Barrett tags in the Big Show before Bryan can recover.
I think they’re trying to set up some kind of match at Extreme Rules between Reigns and Big Show, which I’d be fine with if Roman squashed the fuck out of Show. Big Show suddenly knocks Ziggler off the apron, and I say ‘suddenly’, but Big Show moves like a glacier, and Dolph really should react quicker. Show wants to end things with a chokeslam, but Bryan turns it into a Yes Lock. Big Show endures for several seconds, and then hurls Bryan off him and right out of the ring.
Sheamus tags in, and throws Bryan back into the ring. He wants a superplex, but throws some knees to Bryan first, almost toppling him. Bryan fights back, throwing punches to the midsection, then the head, and then launches himself in a crossbody…and Sheamus catches him! The Irishman gets Daniel up on his shoulders, but eats a DDT from Bryan! Tag to Roman; tag to Barrett! Wade gets his head clotheslined off in the corner, then eats a hell of an uppercut. Superman Punch to Big Show! Superman Punch to Wade Barrett, and Sheamus breaks up the pin. Dolph jumps in, superkicks Sheamus, then clotheslines him out of the ring! Bryan launches himself off the apron, slamming a knee into Big Show’s skull! Barrett hits a kick to Roman, calls for the Bull Hammer and takes a spear for the Reigns victory!
That was pretty enjoyable. I’d actually prefer to see Reigns and Sheamus duke it out at Extreme Rules than anyone else, and they were careful not to let the two interact, so I guess that’s a future match possibility. But this was a fun one, with the kind of ending I very much enjoy. 3 Stars.
This was a decent SmackDown. Some good, but not amazing, and not much bad. There’s not all that much else to say; I think we’re all going to be on a bit of a WrestleMania hangover for the next while, but I hope we get some intrigue and excitement started up soon. Tonight was a solid seven. I’ll see you here next week: same time, same place.
Tags: #axelmania, alicia fox, big e langston, Big Show, Bray Wyatt, byron saxton, Cameron, Cesaro, Curtis Axel, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Jerry Lawler, Kofi Kingston, miz, Mizdow, natalya neidhart, Neville, Roman Reigns, Sheamus, smackdown, Summer Rae, The New Day, Tom Philips, Tyson Kidd, Wade Barrett, xavier woods