Howdy y’all. It’s Thursday night and I’m David Spain, so that must mean that it’s SmackDown time. It’s also been a goddamn cloudy day today, which has really pissed me off because I didn’t buy a whole new summer wardrobe to not swan around in the sunshine and sip espressos and bubbly water. I don’t care if the UK gets another super-storm as a result: I want the sunshine.
We naturally start things off with Lesnar making Noble and Mercury’s car his bitch. Which, technically, means that he just pimped their ride. Hah: words. But…why? He’s Brock Lesnar. Kane (slayer of all things babyface, apparently) was in a crudely-photoshopped part of Hawaii. He destroyed Noble and Mercury more or less without breaking eye-contact with Rollins. Why not just hit the ring and tap into his…God, inner Brock Lesnar, I guess? This is the problem with the WWE trying to ramp up the excitement without giving away stuff on free TV: you can only really do both if you’re smart, and…well, it’s the WWE. By academic merit, Xavier Woods would be considered their most intelligent employee. And in a situation like that, it’s a miracle that their company’s still standing.
But hey: SmackDown!
We’re starting things off with Seth Rollins, and of the many things I love about Rollins, one of the top things is that he’s a World Champ who actually shows up on SmackDown. He tells us that by running away from Lesnar, he’s more of a man than us. What is this, Forrest Gump? And Brock Lesnar’s a coward, because who the hell needs an axe to destroy a car? I need nothing more than my own driving skills and maybe a nice big wall. Or, occasionally, another car coming in the opposite direction.
Seth’s pretty steamed after being shown what happened when you fuck a stranger in the ass this Monday, but before he can get too far, the destroyed Cadillac gets delivered to the arena. Wow, I love the idea of Lesnar and Heyman spending money to transport that, plus extra cash to bribe the company to drive their truck into an arena, out of hours. You can tell that Lesnar hates Rollins, because he never pulled any of these fratboy hijinks with Cena, Reigns or Punk.
Heyman comes out now, and starts making his vaguely-Biblical threats (all Old Testament, naturally). Damn it, now I’m imagining Paul Heyman playing Moses, and you just know that the Pharaohs would let his people go before the plagues even got rolling. Seth calls Heyman out on his use of a crushed-car metaphor, and now they’re actually fighting over who gets to use the metaphor. It’s like every Master’s tutorial I’ve ever been in. Things get heated, by which I mean Seth throws a hissyfit at Heyman, and we end the segment with him raising the championship.
Here’s Dean Ambrose, ready to put on the first match of the night. And he’s facing Bo Dallas, so don’t expect an epic-length review here. Bo tries to inspire Dean, and this guy is like every piece of negging in the world combined to create a single person. The match starts with the two men exchanging waistlocks before transitioning into other holds. Bo finally escapes an arm-wrench by grabbing the ropes, and then just gets beat on some more before he reverses a bulldog and then just slams Ambrose’s shoulder into the steel ringpost repeatedly.
Bo covers Dean’s head up with the ring apron and clubs him with some forearms. This is the most competitive match this man has had in WWE. Dallas hits a belly-to-belly, and then locks in a headlock as we go to the break; he’s still got the hold cinched in as we come back, but then Ambrose escapes, hitting his big clothesline off the ropes. Dean starts to take control again, hitting a tonne of strikes before clotheslining Bo out of the ring and diving on top of him.
Back in the ring, Bo catches Dean on the top rope, and takes him down with a hip toss. Reverse STO almost gets two, with Ambrose kicking out at the last moment. Bo now wants the Running Bo Dog, but Ambrose shoves him away at the last second, hitting his own bulldog out of the corner. Dallas counters Dirty Deeds and nearly rolls Dean up, but Ambrose hits the move on his second attempt for the win.
Well, I’m willing to admit that I was wrong in my prediction: Bo looked good out here, showing an indication of what he could do if allowed to be a bit more serious. Great start. 2.5 Stars.
Randy Orton will be on SmackDown tonight and is beginning a feud against Sheamus. Where’s your God now?
Seth Rollins is backstage, looking wary, and he actually flinches when someone puts their hand on his shoulder. What, because Brock Lesnar’s going to be on SmackDown? The someone is actually Big Show, who is offering his assistance to Rollins. Someone wants a new car, and I guess he does need a new place to live, as I recall Triple H is still living in his house. Basically, they agree to beat down Ryback and Roman Reigns in each other’s matches. Because…they weren’t going to try and win before that conversation.
We recap the hot mess that is Dolph and Rusev’s relationship drama. See, I just met my girlfriend, fell in love and was really happy, but according to WWE I’m doing it all wrong. Also, Dolph’s injured and Rusev isn’t. See my previous comment about the location of your God and apply it here.
One Of Those Times You Were Pulling For The Injury
Rusev’s here, and apparently he doesn’t get his old Soviet name-graphic now. So, what, you can love Russia or a woman, but not both? Actually…that sounds about right. Summer’s with him, and at least it stops her from wrestling. Rusev will be wrestling his Eskimo Brother, Fandango. And by ‘wrestling’ I mean basically murdering.
Actually, Fandango manages to hit some offence, including a headscissors takeover. Also, Rusev is wearing boots and the announcers will literally not shut up about it. Rusev takes control and hits his exciting offence known as ‘stomping’ and occasionally ‘kicking’, which is exactly what you don’t do after a bad foot injury. Summer looks angry at the ‘USA’ chant, despite the fact that she’s American.
King makes his first ‘relationships and marriage will destroy everything good about your life’ comment, and I sometimes wonder if under all the jokes, the chauvinism and the sex crime, there’s not a sad, lonely guy in there. Fandango comes back, hitting some elbows and a clothesline from the second rope. He wants the leg drop, manages to avoid a charge from Rusev, but then runs into a superkick from a guy with an injured fucking foot, and then taps to the Accolade.
You never appreciate not having something until you have it again. 1.5 Stars.
Bray’s Had Enough
Roman Reigns’ music hits and the man himself makes his way down to the ring. We see a sample of the propaganda Reigns is using to fuel his Wyatt witch-hunt, including hiring a guy to dress as Bray just so he can assault him. Roman Reigns needs help, and probably shouldn’t be allowed to care for his children if he’s going to use them as bait for his next victim.
The bell rings and the match begins. Reigns comes out strong with some punches, dodging Big Show’s attempted offence until Show runs him over with a shoulder tackle. Body shots to Reigns, then a bodyslam. Roman tries to mount some more offence, but gets thrown through the ropes and out of the ring. Big Show follows him out there, only to miss a charge and slam against the steel post. Reigns stakes advantage, hitting a running dropkick to smash Show’s head into it.
Big Show gets back into the ring, and is hit by a flurry of strikes from Reigns, trying to chop the big man down, finally doing so with a flying clothesline. Roman wants a Superman Punch, but instead of that his Wyatt-related plan kicks into action, as the lights go out and someone comes out with a lantern. Clearly hired by Roman as yet more justification.
Oh, and look: Bray Wyatt’s actually on the apron, so no, it’s not Bray Wyatt. Reigns Superman Punches Wyatt, just like he’s always wanted. He nearly gets Show as well, but Big Show goozles him, only for Reigns to bust out of it and nail the Superman Punch. Another one hits, but when Roman winds up for the spear, Bray grabs his legs and pulls him through the ropes into the steel post for the DQ.
There’s only so much paedo-hunting and character assassination that a man is able to take. 2.5 Stars.
Reigns takes a chokeslam, and then Bray comes in to discuss how Roman’s accusations make him feel like there’s some difference of opinion between them. Or, you know, just Sister Abigails him. Which was basically the essence of his argument.
Like Ten Thousand Spoons When All You Need Is A Knife
It’s Tag Team Champions time, and Titus O’Neil will be in singles competition against Big E Langston. Wow, Langston’s happy-face is the most adorable thing I’ve seen this week. This is actually a match I’m okay with seeing: always have had a certain taste for two power wrestlers going at each other.
The two big guys circle each other, with the other members of New Day distracting O’Neil so that Big E can gain the advantage. Langston runs right into Titus, sending him to the mat, then latches on a really half-assed abdominal stretch. Big E gets sent through the ropes, then takes some knees to the face on the apron before Titus brings him back in the hard way. Shoulder tackles, a bodyslam and a leg drop to Big E, but he manages to catch Titus in a belly-to-belly.
The New Day reaches apparently-criminal levels of distraction and get ejected from ringside. This ironically distracts Langston long enough for him to take the Clash of the Titus, and that’s the match.
Didn’t really get a chance to scratch past the surface of that match. 2 Stars.
We get the advert for WWE 2k16. I am getting around to picking up a PS4 (if no other reason than Arkham Knight and Alien: Isolation), but I’m not sure if I’ll be buying this. The last few games’ graphics were almost PS2 level, and graphics are fairly important to my gaming experience. Also, if you’re going to use the Smoking Skull belt for a trailer after all these years, then you could at least let the camera see it properly. Come on.
OH YAY, IT’S RANDY ORTON. I am so unenthusiastic that it went all the way around to full-caps enthusiasm. That is how not-excited I am for this. We see how Sheamus is a dick, even though he’s never done half of the sick shit that Orton’s pulled, and that’s basically this feud. Although I tend to entitle this feud ‘Pissing Off The IWC’.
Orton talks about all the enemies that he’s made in the WWE, despite the fact that he’s never actually had a career-defining feud with that one nemesis. Oh my God, is it going to be Sheamus? Is his ultimate nemesis going to be Sheamus? Because I’d sooner hang myself than have anyone remember me for anything involving Sheamus.
Then the Ascension comes out, and even this would be a better feud than anything involving Sheamus. Apparently, this is ‘their match time’, and I am pretty sure that we’ve already had the tag team division segment. Surely this should be Paige and the Bellas coming out to confront Orton. And that would be better than this which would be better than Sheamus.
The Ascension get in the ring, because ’38 days in a military prison’ apparently isn’t something they’ve ever heard about Randy Orton. Orton then RKOs Konnor for having the audacity to talk on a microphone like a real wrestler, hits the Vintage DDT to Viktor and then hits the RKO. Which totally sent a message to Sheamus, because those two guys are nothing like him and have no connection to him whatsoever. It’s like if, before entering WW2, Britain bombed Namibia and Nicaragua as a message to Hitler.
We recap Cesaro and Cena’s damned wonderful match from RAW, and it’s like these last few months have been an apology for the last eight or so years when it comes to John Cena. And you know what? I’m thinking about accepting.
It’s Like The Bellas Aren’t Interested In Fair Competition
Here come the Bella Twins plus their Gretchen Wieners, Alicia Fox. Brie and Alicia will be facing Naomi and Tamina. Brie starts off against Naomi, who slaps her across the face. Brie drop-toeholds Naomi into the ropes and hits a knee to the face, then Naomi tags out to Tamina.
Brie hits some kicks to Tamina, then gets caught off a crossbody and side-slammed down to the mat for two. Naomi’s back in, keeping Brie grounded and away from Fox. Brie manages to run Naomi into the turnbuckle and makes the tag. Alicia seems to have things well in hand, getting hits in on both Naomi and Tamina, including a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to Naomi.
Tamina got the blind tag, however, so comes in to wreck Alicia’s shit, clubbing away at her before going for the Samoan Drop. Nikki interferes, distracting the ref enough for Brie to save Alicia, who then pins Tamina off a scissors kick.
This storyline keeps on going: not sure if Naomi and Tamina will seek out an alliance with Paige, but I’ll be interested in seeing what happens. 2.5 Stars.
Some interviewer who I’ve never seen before is backstage with Ryback. Ryback says he’s got no respect for Seth’s conduct as champion, and that tonight, there’ll be no running or hiding. Tonight, it’s feeding time.
Brock Lesnar will be on RAW this Monday, because otherwise it would be a godawful go-home show.
Possibly Not A Winning Strategy For Next Sunday
It’s time for our main event: Seth Rollins vs. Ryback. Seth Rollins will have no help in this match, his help either being in Hawaii or the emergency room. I’d say the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley, but a fucking mouse would know better than to send Kane to Hawaii whilst Brock Lesnar was after it.
Bell rings, and Ryback throws Rollins down to the mat in a show of strength. They circle each other, and Seth clamps on a headlock, gets thrown off the ropes and takes a shoulder tackle. He rolls out of the ring, frustrated, and then comes back, hitting a kick to the gut and knees to the face. Rollins wants a suplex, but it’s reversed, and Rollins tastes a delayed vertical suplex after a hell of a long time upside down. Seth gets clotheslined right out of the ring and Ryback is in full control as he head to the break.
Back from the break, Seth’s gained some measure of control, hanging Ryback up on the ropes and superkicking him off the apron down to the floor. He dives out onto Ryback, then throws him into the barricade before letting him back into the ring, mocking Brock Lesnar as he gets back in himself. Running forearm to Ryback in the corner, and Rollins has all the advantage right now, locking in a sleeper hold to the Big Guy.
Ryback manages to bust out with a jawbreaker/stunner, then dodges another running forearm. Backdrop to Rollins, then a sit-out bodyslam for a two-count. Powerbomb attempt from Ryback; Seth gets his way out of it and sends Ryback reeling before climbing up to the top rope, then misses a boot and eats a spinebuster! Seth wisely rolls out to the apron before Ryback can Meathook him, then counters a suplex with a roll-up before getting caught with a powerbomb from Big Hungry.
Ryback’s fired up now, and he wants that Meathook Clothesline, and he hits it! Ryback wants to FINISH IT, but Seth wriggles out of Shell Shocked, and hits an enzuigiri to the side of Ryback’s head! Rollins wants none of it any more, and then grabs the title, leaving the arena. Ryback follows him, however, and throws him back in the ring. Seth bails again, trying to run, but the Big Guy is relentless. He wants a Shell Shocked on the outside, but Seth runs again, this time escaping. Ryback gets back in the ring, not too proud to take the count-out victory.
I would have loved to have seen the World Champion beat the Intercontinental Champion, not least because such a thing would make perfect sense. And Seth had been doing so well standing up for himself. Good match, though. 3 Stars.
The Big Show comes out, and now they’re going to take down Ryback. I’d say that Reigns should help out, but he’s still probably burning a Bray Wyatt effigy somewhere backstage, the sick son of a bitch.
Beatdown on Ryback from the two heels…oh, and apparently Roman’s in an altruistic mood tonight. He rushes the ring, spearing Big Show, then avoids a Pedigree and shoves Rollins into Ryback for a Shell Shocked. Wyatt must have been moved to a safe house by the concerned authorities.
This was a fairly decent SmackDown, especially with the inclusion of a Heyman promo. The negatives of Rusev and the promise of a feud involving Orton and Sheamus provided some lows, but overall this was a pretty good show. Seven.
Tags: alicia fox, Big Show, Bo Dallas, Brock Lesnar, dean ambrose, Fandango, Jamie Noble, Jerry Lawler, jimmy uso, joey mercury, naomi, paul heyman, Prime Time Players, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, ryback, seth rollins, Sheamus, smackdown, Summer Rae, Tamina Snuka, The Ascension, The Bella Twins, The New Day, Tom Philips