Oh, it is already the worst day ever. Turns out we’ve just handed power over to the fucking Conservatives, with their amazing policies of starving children, giving tax cuts to billionaires and trying to both spy on us via and censor the internet at the same time.
And even better? We’ve just voted them in for a second term, and they’re likely going to be a majority party. A lot of really stupid, really short-sighted and really selfish people in Britain just let David ‘Fuck the Working Class’ Cameron off the fucking leash and the next five years is probably going to destroy us as a nation.
Fuck, I needed to get that out.
As you can imagine, I am in an incredibly bad mood, which is one of the downsides of being politically aware and, you know, giving a shit. So this episode of SmackDown had best be the greatest show on earth, with dancing girls and donkey shows and Vince McMahon himself showing up at my door to hand me a bottle of fifty year old Macallan Scotch and offering to service me orally (I’d turn him down with a princely courtesy, but I’d appreciate the offer nonetheless).
So, the chances of any of that happening are…?
Okay, the show gets off to a good start by replaying Ambrose’s rise to the main event. I highly doubt that the guy’s getting the title, but I am so relieved he’s worked his way back into the position he deserves. Whilst I’m very much not in favour of trying to make present-day wrestlers act as some kind of medium for popular figures of the past, Ambrose does have the potential to be that Austin-esque figure the WWE previously looked for in Bryan and the Big Show (I mean…the fucking Big Show?). Love the guy: love his character, love his acting, love his wrestling.
Wait, wait…just Byron and Tom on commentary? There’s no Jerry Lawler? Best SmackDown ever…ah, wait, he’s in the ring. Damn it. And don’t chant for him, Canada. But he’s here to talk about the King of the Ring tournament, and is accidentally managing to say nice things about Barrett for winning it. Wade comes out, looking like he’s just stumbled through a Mardi Gras Parade on his way to the arena. If he uses his newly-acquired royalty to create his own sovereign nation, and everyone in Britain who didn’t vote for the fucking Conservatives or fucking UKIP gets to live under his benevolent tyranny, sign me up.
King tries to talk, but Barrett shuts him down; that’s a face move if I’ve ever seen one. He says that there is only one King, and it’s Barrett. He earned that ridiculous costume (seriously, that is the worst crown and sceptre I’ve ever seen) by beating three guys in one night, and Jerry needs to say ‘all hail King Barrett’. He then gets nasty, talking about how there are no castles in America and that, like Elvis, Lawler’s only qualified to sit on a toilet. That’s a thinly-veiled allusion to Jerry’s heart attack, isn’t it?
Jerry says that he’s not going to hail Barrett, because apparently the hero we deserve comes in the form of our tubby, misogynist statutory rapist. Barrett says the interview’s over, and…holy shit, he’s going to Bull Hammer King! Do it! Do it! Ah, damn, Ziggler interrupts. Like, the one time I’m not happy to see that guy. Well, the match should be fun.
It’s Like We Don’t Even Need The Intercontinental Championship
King says that Barrett is abusing his power, despite the fact that a) Barrett has no power, and 2) shut the fuck up, King. The two men circle each other, then lock up. Barrett takes Ziggler down with a back elbow off the initial tussle, then works Dolph over in the corner. Snap suplex for two, then Wade drops a knee for another cover. Barrett seriously does look ripped right now, but still takes a dropkick to the face which sends him rolling out of the ring and right into a commercial.
Something must have gone right for Wade during those advertisements, because when we come back he’s got Ziggler in a headlock. Ziggler tries to leapfrog him in the corner, but gets caught with a big kick to the face. Barrett nails Dolph with some knees to the back, then wrenches back on the arms. Ziggler gets out of it, only to run right into the Winds of Change. I swear, I want to know what happened back when Barrett got stabbed in Budapest. Because he got stabbed, and still walked away with the money. I think Wade Barrett may have killed a guy. Fameasser suddenly connects, and Sheamus comes out of nowhere to break up the pin for the DQ.
Okay, match didn’t really get going, but it was pretty decent for what it was. I really have gotten into the mid-card recently, and it’s because of Ziggler, Barrett, Sheamus. Apparently I’ll be ‘apologising’ for the latter two on Trashy Ring Attire next week, so I may as well stand by them. 2 Stars.
Sheamus and Barrett put the boots to Ziggler for a while, then tie him up in the ropes before Neville literally dropkicks his way into the footage, clearing the ring. Okay, is his face gradually becoming more handsome? I feel like it’s becoming more handsome.
Shit, there is literally one seat needed for the Tories to gain a majority. I’m sort of watching so, after all of the disabled people, children and the people who earn below a minimum amount have died off, and when the billionaires are all living in their giant, cock-shaped towers, hunting the lower-middle class for sport, I can say: ‘I was there when it started’.
We come back from the break, and it’s a tag team match now (Teddy Long lives! He lives!). Sheamus is working over Neville, preventing him from making a tag after a flurry, and then hitting the Irish Curse Backbreaker after knocking Ziggler off the apron. He drags Neville over to his corner, tagging in Barrett. Backbreaker to Neville out of the corner, but he comes back with a big kick to the face…and runs into a big boot. Sheamus comes back in, and latches an aggressive headlock onto Neville. Neville tries to fight back, but then runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Got to stop running into things, Neville.
Sheamus lays the Ten Beats of the Whatever on Neville, who manages to hang Sheamus up on the top rope. Neville manages to avoid a charge from Sheamus, who blasts the steel post, and now it’s Ziggler and Barrett! Ziggler knocks Barrett this way and that, hitting an amazing dropkick and then a big-time DDT for a near-fall. Fameasser misses; Dolph wriggles out of Wasteland and there’s the Superkick! Sheamus tries to interrupt, but gets tossed out of the ring; Neville dives on top of him! Barrett tries to roll Ziggler up with his feet on the ropes, but Neville breaks it up! Ziggler hits the Zig-Zag for the win!
That was fun; let me just reinforce how much I love these guys. 2.5 Stars.
Renee Young is backstage with Dean Ambrose, and asks him how he feels about Fatal Four-Way odds. He says he’s not really a guy for rules or authority. Maybe the last guy we’ll expect to win will walk out with the championship. What he does know, however, is that nobody is going to be happy to see him at the contract signing.
What Would Actually Happen If A Male Dancer Fought A Terrifying Cult Hobo
It’s Luke Harper vs….Fandango? Really? Um…okay. Seriously, when are they going to get this guy a real gimmick? Surely he’s paid his dues now…wait, is Luke Harper Fandangoing? And did he just boot Fandango in the face? Yeah, Harper’s working Fandango the hell over, until Fandango fights his way back with some chops, dropkicks and a nice spinning kick. Tornado DDT from the top rope to Harper, and Fandango’s going up high…only to get pulled back down by Harper. Superkick drops Fandango, and the Discus Clothesline finishes it. Well, he tried.
Thought we were actually going to see something good from Fandango there. More fool me. 2 Stars.
Oh Lord, it’s Erick Rowan. Seriously, again? Oh, he wants to get back to being a tag team, and he seals the deal by assaulting Fandango. Huh…I guess I’m totally down for that.
Lana’s in the ring, and her popularity is growing and growing. She says thanks, but then asks us not to cheer for her because ‘it angers Rusev’. Jesus, that’s a worrying sentence. Is she going to show up one day with a black eye, because that would be way too real, WWE. Rusev then shows up, because Lana needs to shut her mouth if she doesn’t want to
find herself in the Accolade walk into any doors in the near future. Wow, can Rusev form a tag team with Tyson Kidd?
Rusev sends Lana off, and the crowd abuses him for it. The big Bulgarian says that his last two losses were due to a fluke and a miracle, and that the mercy Cena showed Zayn is a sign of weakness. Rusev has no weaknesses, and at Payback he will win back the championship, holding a win-loss record against Cena of 1-2. But on RAW, he will meet Cena face-to-face and tell him why he’ll be saying ‘I Quit’. Oh yay, more Rusev promo time.
Roman Reigns is backstage with long-time love-interest Renee Young, who asks him about any conflicting emotions he has. He doesn’t really have any, although he sort of like Dean whilst being totally cool with beating the shit out of him. See, that’s brotherhood for you.
Right, the Conservatives just got the majority. They’re off the leash now; we’re all fucked. This message brought to you by the guy who didn’t vote for them: now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
In Light Of The Tories, The New Day Doesn’t Seem All That Bad
Unfortunately, your regular scheduled programming features the New Day. Although it is the New Day actually competing in six-man tag competition, which is a bit of a novelty. They’re coming off a big win over two of the number one contenders in Reigns and Orton, but who knows if this means a lengthy run with the belts for them. King and Saxton start taking the piss out of Miley Cyrus for dying her armpit hair pink, and apparently no-one told them that was in connection with her charity aimed at helping homeless LGBT individuals.
Apparently the partner that Kidd and Cesaro brought with them is none other than Ryback. Actually, that makes sense, considering how both Ryback and the New Day are all about positives. And damn it, Byron, I was just saying that.
Ryback starts off against Kingston, and Kofi plays the dodge-n’-kick game. Ryback grabs the arm, however, wrenching it, and takes Kingston down with a back elbow, then a shoulder block. He catches Kingston, tags in Kidd and holds Kofi as Tyson hits a dropkick. Kingston gets away, tagging in Woods, who immediately gets double-teamed by Kidd and Cesaro. Cesaro delay-suplexes Woods, holding him up, and then Ryback grabs an interfering Langston, doing the same thing, and then Kidd comes in and grabs Kofi, and they all suplex them together! Natalya is literally golf-clapping on the outside as Kidd and Cesaro put the boots to Xavier, before letting Ryback try it.
Bodyslam to Woods, then a tag to Kidd. Kidd almost gets the Sharpshooter, but Woods rolls out of the ring, and Kidd hits a senton through the ropes! Cesaro dives onto Kingston on the outside, and Ryback lays out Langston with a clothesline! Back in the ring, Woods gains the advantage of a distraction from Big E, dropkicking Kidd off the apron. Langston then drives Kidd all the fuck over the outside area, leaving him laying as we go to break.
Back to the action, and Kofi has Tyson in a headlock. Sort of like what’s going on after every commercial break. Woods gets tagged in and hits a DDT. God, that cheery-ass face of his makes me want to murder him. Which I guess is the idea. Langston is in and hits a freakin’ huge belly-to-belly, followed by another one. God, that man can throw a smaller man. Woods comes in now, but dodges a charge into the corner, rocking his skull off the turnbuckle. Kingston comes in, taking Cesaro out on the apron, then tries to hit Ryback, but backs the fuck off when he sees Ryback staring at him like Kingston’s a combination meal/sex toy. The distraction costs Kingston, because Kidd gets the tag!
Ryback’s in, spinebustering Kingston and looking like a goddamn crazy man. He wants a Meathook, but is distracted by Woods, allowing Kofi to kick him in the head. He still manages to belly-to-belly Kingston, and Cesaro tags in, RELEASING THE UPPERCUTS!! He wants the Cesaro Swing; Langston interferes and gets tossed out, then Woods tries to get involved and takes a kick to the face. Kofi tries to roll up Cesaro, eats a dropkick, and then lets Kidd hit an elbow off his shoulders for the near-fall.
Big E comes in the ring, breaking up the pin, but Ryback gets rid of him again. He slams Woods’ head off the mat, and Woods begs off up the ramp and SUDDEN WYATT PROMO. Everyone’s distracted: Ryback’s taken out by Langston, who then looks like he gets his neck broken by whatever the fuck Cesaro just tried to do to him. In the ring, Kidd gets rolled up and Kingston holds the tights to get the pin.
This was pretty good. Ryback’s inclusion made a Wyatt element seem likely, but not completely certain. Again, I really would like to see the Big Guy get a chance to smack the shit out of Wyatt before the PPV, if only because it would give Bray something a little different to do. The New Day is still annoying. 2.5 Stars.
Wow, Renee has a busy shift tonight: she’s now interviewing Randy Orton re. his strategy. Orton says that he doesn’t really have a strategy, and thank-you for confirming that, Randy.
Good God, So Much Leather
Emma’s in the ring, and that’s a blast from the past. She’ll be facing Naomi, in her ANGRY FORM. Also with Tamina, who really seems to live for her lackey role. And these two are almost sort of related, which I guess might as well be friendship.
Naomi starts off with a knee strike, then smacks Emma around in the corner. Tamina looks like she’s wearing a totally leather power suit, which is so very wrong. Emma fires up, sending Naomi to the floor and hitting a dropkick to the face. Naomi gets the momentum right back, slamming Emma’s head off the canvas and smacking her around.
Big neckbreaker and a kip up from Naomi, then a kick to the stomach of Emma. Emma gets choked on the ropes. Byron asks why King and Tom turned on Naomi, who they admired, when she turned up the aggression, and neither of them can actually answer. Holy shit, Byron is a decent heel commentator. Emma dodges a charge, nearly rolls up Naomi a couple of times, with Naomi returning the favour. Rear View ends the match and Naomi is victorious.
Well, I didn’t miss Emma. 1.5 Stars.
Naomi and Tamina beat the hell out of Emma after the match. I think we’re supposed to view the Bellas as faces in this feud, but I’m totally down for seeing these two going all APA on them.
More Tough Enough videos. Just…it’s getting so much sadder as the weeks go by.
Renee Young earns her money again, now interviewing Rollins. She brings up the Kane question, and Seth gets all defensive and douchey, which is his primary state of being.
I Literally Have No Idea What’s Going On
It’s going to be the Lucha Dragons (who I like) vs. Los Matadores (who are just a hair above the New Day in my personal hatred hierarchy). They start things off with a sort-of handshake, Fernando then starting things off with a snapmare to Calisto. Calisto comes back with a headscissors, then a springboard-headlock takeover (yeah, I know, right?). Tag to Sin Cara, who hits Fernando with a senton, then a headscissors, and then a headlock takeover.
Fernando forces Sin Cara over to Diego, who tags in and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to Sin Cara. Fernando’s tagged in now, with the two men catching a springboard crossbody from Sin Cara, but Diego gets arm-dragged out of the ring! Fernando elevates Sin Cara into a headstand position on the top rope, then kicks him down to the floor. Torito hits a seated senton to the guy: Torito, you dick.
Back from the break, Sin Cara is the victim of a double suplex from Los Matadores. Fernando keeps him in their corner, until he gets slammed damn hard by Sin Cara. By the way, I’d like to thank Diego for growing the traditional ‘evil twin’ goatee: makes it so much easier to tell them apart. Like when I could tell the Usos apart by checking which one was constantly trying to murder-kill Miz and territorially making out with Naomi. Calisto and Diego tags in, and just confuses the hell out of me with his incredible offence. Fuck you all for expecting me to call any of this: he’s amazing, okay? Just insane.
Diego gains the upper hand from whatever kind of shit he just did there: like a powerbomb whilst Calisto was on the second rope. Calisto kicks out, however, and a double-team with Sin Cara leads to a senton, which is avoided, but Sin Cara gets a small package for the win.
Would totally be happy to have watched a way longer match with these guys. Get rid of the damn bull and the fact that these guys are apparently ex-matadors (which, don’t get me wrong, is one of the coolest things you could ever have on a business card) and I would have nothing against Diego and Fernando. This was great. 3 Stars.
Diego just shoved El Torito! Diego just shoved El Torito to the mat! Best SmackDown ever! BEST SMACKDOWN EVER!!
Well, Kane is in the ring, ready for the all-out war that is a WWE contract signing. He says we made our voices heard, and he listened. He calls out all participants, starting with Orton, and Randy should totally just RKO Kane as soon as he gets into the ring. He doesn’t, but that would have been awesome.
By the way, I have a Chemex now, and if you love coffee then you should too. I’m not being paid to say that: I just really fucking love this coffee I’m drinking right now.
Reigns makes his way out, wearing his latest t-shirt complete with what I can only assume will become his latest catchphrase. Admittedly, it’s way better than his pre-WrestleMania one, but practically anything that isn’t ‘Sieg Heil‘ would have been too. Ambrose shows up, looking delightfully chipper and totally psycho. Then Rollins comes out with his just awful entrance music. Regarding Cruiserweight Security: I’m trying to think of a worse look than a black suit, black shirt and a gold tie, but I totally can’t do it.
Kane tries to talk, but Dean questions why Rollins remains at the top of the entrance ramp, demanding he get down there. Rollins says he’s sticking around up there, waiting for them to devolve into the three of them beating each other up. Reigns and Orton all say ‘yeah, we sort of want to kick your ass more than anyone else’s’, and all three participants sign it.
Apparently Kane is Rollins’ authorised signatory, which seems like something Kane could do some mischief with. But Kane says that after all of the mean things that Rollins has said, he doesn’t want to pretend to be Rollins on paper. I mean…I’m pretty sure it’s not legally valid or anything. Nothing else in the WWE is. You know, I honestly wonder what’s written on the fake WWE contracts: is it just erotic fan-fiction featuring the participants of whatever match it’s for? It would be if I was running this company.
Seth reads it over, and manages to conceal his shock at the sheer level of filth that Stephanie McMahon has committed to paper. He then throws a couple of cheap jibes the way of everyone in the ring, in a paper-thin effort to turn everyone else against each other. Seriously: they’re all going to fight each other in a few weeks anyway. Plus, Seth’s a bigger dick than any of them. Rollins then gets in the ring and signs the contract, so why he acted so scared in the first place is beyond me.
Seth gets in Kane’s face, calling him ‘Mr Obsolete’, and Kane gets pissy, as does Rollins. Ambrose immediately starts moving the furniture aside in a businesslike manner, and it’s exactly this sort of thing which works for him as a character. Finally, when he’s moving the whole table up against the corner, Kane and Seth finally notice, staring at him. Ambrose says ‘we all know how this is going to end anyway’, and says he calls dibs on the table.
Dean then immediately hurls Mercury into it, and the table doesn’t break. A brawl starts, with the Authority vs. everyone else. Also, King mixes up Rollins and Reigns, which seems unforgivable. Ambrose hurls an office chair at Noble, who just dodges. Rollins and Roman are on the outside with Kane, and Seth and Kane beat down Reigns as Ambrose actually beans Noble with the second chair. Dean then dives out onto Kane and hurls Seth into the barricade. Kane wants to chokeslam Ambrose on the outside, but Reigns flies in with a Superman Punch to the Big Red Machine. Meanwhile, inside the ring, Dean goes for Dirty Deeds. Seth drives him into a corner, and then ducks a Spear from Reigns, kicking him into Ambrose. Orton appears, wanting an RKO, but Seth pushes him away and bails.
In the ring, a shoving match develops between Ambrose and Reigns, until Orton hits Ambrose with an RKO. Reigns Superman Punches Orton out of consciousness, and then Seth comes out of nowhere with a springboard knee to Reigns, following that up with a Superkick. Rollins is left standing, title held aloft. Finally, a little bit of badassitude from the guy.
This was a good show, particularly the contract signing: definitely one of the better examples I’ve seen. All in all, I’m looking forward to Payback so far. Without the stress of finding gimmicks for the matches, it should be easier to get into. Eight.
Tags: Bray Wyatt, byron saxton, Cesaro, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, emma, Erick Rowan, Fandango, Jerry Lawler, Kane, Lana, Lost Matadores, Lucha Dragons, Luke Harper, naomi, natalya neidhart, Neville, Randy Orton, Renee Young, Roman Reigns, rusev, ryback, seth rollins, Sheamus, smackdown, Tamina Snuka, The New Day, Tom Philips, Tyson Kidd, Wade Barrett