Pip pip, lads and lasses. It’s me, your humble SmackDown reviewer, and the guy who keeps ordering massive amounts of teabags to Inside Pulse Headquarters and charging them to my ridiculous expense account, David Spain!
This show is dedicated to Nick Bockwinkle, because now WWE cares about respecting the dead.
It’s also time for Miz TV, because the WWE doesn’t respect you, me or any other viewers. He’s here to coax everyone still in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament into a West Side Story-style rumble, the musical-loving prick. Kevin Owens interrupts Miz, casting his face-heel dynamic into even greater confusion. He’s going to win that title and put it on his other shoulder, because Randy Orton apparently started a fucking fashion trend way back when.
Miz tries to talk and Del Rio and Zeb come out, because fuck pretending the Miz is relevant. Zeb starts a diatribe against the entire media, using Miz as its face: not sure who should be more insulted by that, quite honestly. Zeb actually gets a Sesame Street pop, then asks if Kevin Owens is Kevin Owens’ real name. I mean…he’s got a point there. Then he attacks Canadian immigrants, who are literally the least divisive immigrants the USA is dealing with right now.
Del Rio implies that, in MexAmerica, Kevin Owens would be a dirty immigrant and made to clean swimming pools for a living. There’s probably a really interesting and compelling point made by that kind of imagery, but not when it’s part of a Del Rio promo.
Ambrose then shows up, and it’s cute how all of these guys are acting so hard like they’re going to be champ. Although it makes perfect sense that the two midcard belters or in the tourney, which I’ve only realised, like, right now. He kisses up to the Miz, who for some reason doesn’t realise that the psychopath known as Dean Ambrose is only nice to A) Roman Reigns, B) Renee Young and C) people he’s luring into a false sense of security who mysteriously vanish a day or so later.
Dean cuts a surprisingly intense promo on both Owens and Del Rio, and it is a damn crime that the result of this thing seems so obvious, because if it wasn’t, then this would be a seriously good build. Speak of the spoiler-devil, it’s Roman Reigns, who is smiling and high-fiving fans on his way down: oh shit, that’s probably practice for when he gets the belt. I mean…I like the guy, and I want him to be champ at some point, but I’d rather he won it in at the climax of a heated rivalry. You know, like he was going to do with Seth.
Roman then demonstrates how conversing with a real person is something he’s actually not programmed to do (I like to imagine all human interaction with Roman takes the form of him delivering a promo or fuming silently; there’s probably some sex too, but I’m respectable enough not to imagine that). Then…R-Truth’s music hits. Oh shit, does he think he’s in this tournament too? Because that is the only thing that could make me happy to see R-Truth. Ever.
Holy crap, Truth cuts his title contender promo, and actually takes it really seriously: this is all I ever want R-Truth to do. Miz corrects him, as the rest of the contenders try to work out what the fuck R-Truth even is. Truth apologises, then shakes Dean and Roman’s hands, blanks Owens and Del Rio and then walks out.
That. That right fucking there…was the perfect use of R-Truth. You’re never going to get it more right than that: it was crazy, it was funny as hell, and it was short. So stop making me review his fucking matches and just keep it to stuff like this.
Miz has finally had it with the level of disrespect his show has been shown, then yells at everyone for not doing the usual talk-show format and not devolving into a brawl. Is…is he angry at them for not resorting to violence? Miz is a fucking monster. Reigns tells him he needs to chill, and tells Miz to tell them what to do: just say ‘action’. Miz says ‘action’…and Dean punches him in the face. It says a lot about Dean and Roman’s guy-love that Roman knew how to set Dean up, and Dean knew exactly what Roman expected of him: it’s the most realistic thing WWE has ever written, and it just so happens to be a bromance. Now, if they only knew how to write women.
Owens and Del Rio leave, because to get into a fight right now would only detract from the beauty and perfection that is an unconscious Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin.
The Perfect Miz Match
When we come back, the Miz is conscious and still in the ring. He says he can’t be expected to have a match right now and, depending on how long he was out cold for, he’s completely right: that man might have a concussion. I think that’s literally the one medical fact I know. And that you shouldn’t try and fix your own broken nose, because you might get an infection.
Anyway, Cesaro interrupts Miz, who tries to back off. He suckerpunches Cesaro, however, kicking him to the ground and booting the Swissman in the face. He still runs into an elbow, then Cesaro applies the crossface and the Miz taps out.
Best Miz match I’ve seen since that tornado tag match. 3 Stars.
Oh, the irony: the commentators are saying that Cesaro’s time is now, and then Stardust and the Ascension show up to start a feud with him. If any member of the audience had any self-respect, they’d dive on the three heels and shank them. And I mean that unironically. The heels just walk past Cesaro, but the damage is done.
Irrelevant R Us
Stardust and the Ascension will be facing Neville and Dudley Boyz. There are so many things wrong with this match that I’m not sure how the universe didn’t just fucking implode on Tuesday.
Neville starts off against Viktor, and it’s cruel that I had such high hopes for all of these guys. Neville counters an armlock, and then hip-tosses Stardust when Viktor tags out. He leapfrogs over Stardust, backflips away from him, but then the Ascension low-bridge him and he hurtles out of the ring to the outside. Bubba Ray plays cheerleader, and it’s not often I say that a guy must regret leaving TNA, but goddamn. Konnor boots Neville in the jaw, and the commentators all pass this off as Neville needing more experience as opposed to, I don’t know, the Ascension being cheating dicks? We go to a commercial break.
Back in the ring, Neville is getting worked over, because he needs experience. Viktor applies a headlock, but takes a jawbreaker and almost gets rolled up. Holy shit, they called out Neville for not tagging out: did he fucking kill a McMahon over the weekend? And I mean one of the real ones: not Shane or any of the extended family, because these guys are denouncing Neville’s lack of experience with a vitriol I tend to reserve for child rapists and ISIS members.
Neville staggers Stardust with a back elbow but gets crotched on the ropes (‘man, fuck this inexperienced sack of shit‘: Rich Brennan). Viktor tries to stop Neville from tagging, but THANK CHRIST Neville made the tag to Bubba, who is actually qualified to wrestle a match.
Bubba hits a ura-nage to Viktor, then the Bionic Elbow to Konnor. Konnor takes a Wassup, and then the Dudleys call for the tables. Right, so the one guy who’s actually followed the rules in this match is the inexperienced one? Stardust stops the Dudley Boyz with a Disaster Kick, but takes a huge dropkick from Neville. Neville is tossed by Viktor, but uses his body as a missile to take out Konnor; he kicks Viktor in the skull; the Dudleys hit the 3D, and that’s all she wrote.
Neville’s inexperience was enough to make me want to rip my eyes out with my bare hands and bury them within the deepest, darkest depths of my arse. 2 Stars.
Promo for the Wyatts vs. Kane and the Undertaker, and I am still unbelievably pissed and confused about the fact that this is not a 4-on-4 Survivor Series elimination match. I know Viscera’s dead and Gangrel is…directing porn movies? Really? Well…shit, the things you learn. Apparently his debut movie is ‘tentatively titled “Miami Rump Shakerz 2“‘. Okay, if it’s tentatively titled, then how is it a sequel? Might he be given a new project? Might they give the sequel to Miami Rump Shakerz 1 a different title? I am vastly confused about this whole business, but I swear to God, if Widro permits it, then I’ll review that fucking movie on this very website.
Right, what was I talking about? Oh, right: IT SHOULD BE A SURVIVOR SERIES ELIMINATION MATCH, DOOFUSES.
I Shouldn’t Review This Show Drunk
Tyler Breeze makes his way to the ring, and I can’t get excited about a guy with a spinning heel kick for a finisher. I don’t care if it makes sense and I love the Bull Hammer: fuck off with your logic.
Oh wow, he’s facing Zack Ryder. Did he team up with Neville in his McMahon-murdering antics? Has NXT begun its inevitable resistance against becoming a part of the WWE Universe? Breeze cuts a promo on Ryder, which actually becomes more about Dolph Ziggler than Ryder, which is about par for the course when it comes to Zack Ryder. Then Summer Rae implies that Dolph’s got a small dong, because A) apparently WWE employees are so bad at sex that size is an issue and B) Vince thinks he knows how to write women.
Dolph then shows, and if he shows us his junk then this is officially the weirdest fucking show I’ve ever reviewed. I mean…I’ve seen Seth’s, so I guess I’ve got some weird WWE-oriented scale to work with.
But instead of flashing us the Zig-Zag, Dolph sits in Tyler’s special seats and sips from one of the cocktails: you just know that there was a roofie in one of them. Ryder nearly pins Breeze, then dropkicks and arm-drags him. Breeze takes control quickly, hurling Ryder into the corner and stomping him.
Zack hits a facebuster, then double knees, but misses a dropkick, allowing Breeze to hit…the Unprettier? Wow, that makes so much sense.
Zack Ryder was a bad sign, but the thrill of not knowing whether we were going to see a schlong-comparing contest kept me on the edge of my seat, and props for Breeze taking the Unprettier as his finishing move. 2 Stars.
The Druids show up to the ring, and then the Wyatt Family follows. I mean…I don’t get why they’re making such a huge deal about the Druids switching sides. Did the Undertaker pay them for their creepy services? Because it seems like Bray could have just bribed them to work for him, and that would explain everything and make way more sense. But fuck Ockham’s Razor: it was clearly magical powers.
Well, we’re in for another Bray Wyatt promo. And the fact that he writes his own stuff is impressive, don’t get me wrong, but I still get bored watching them, because it seems like this happens every single week. And even as a PhD Creative Writing student, there are a limited amount of times I ever want to sit and listen to someone recite basically the same thing every week, with a couple of names changed.
So, this seems to be a really long version of Wyatt deciding who’s going to fight the Brothers of Destruction. I figure Harper has to be in there, because he can absolutely work a match. Bray should also be there, because otherwise this means sweet fuck-all. I’d actually accept Harper and Rowan as a second choice, because they are capable of being one half of some perfect matches. If it’s Braun Stroman, then I would literally rather look at Dolph’s allegedly-small dick than watch that match. And I mean, like, in person, with both of us being really awkward and uncomfortable about it.
Wait…did the gong just go off? Is…is the Undertaker going to appear on SmackDown oh it’s just a taped promo. He actually delivers what I now think of as a Bray Wyatt promo. Kane’s also there, and he’s holding a flaming sheep mask. Undertaker says that everyone will rest in peace, then does the eye thing. And…the Druids are all dead. Whoa, wait…did the Undertaker and/or Kane just commit a spree killing? Do they have the power to induce heart attacks in people? DO THEY HAVE A FUCKING DEATH NOTE?! THIS NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED FURTHER!!
Dominant Charlotte = Best Charlotte
We relive Paige having to insult a guy who committed suicide to sell a feud, and if that doesn’t just scream ‘family friendly’, then I don’t know what does. You know, I’ve occasionally hinted at this throughout the process of writing these articles, and even though I try to keep my ego under control now that I’m sort of an adult, I feel like this is the best time that I’ll ever get (God willing) to say this: WWE Creative employees, I could do your job far, far better than you do it. And I realise that you’re under a lot of pressure, and I hear that Vince and Steph are tyrannical monsters, but which of you honestly thought ‘oh, you know what would fit in this situation? We should have Paige mock a suicide victim to that guy’s sister. I mean, we probably shouldn’t even check with Ric, one of the most important guys in our history who still comes back to do work for us: I’m sure three years is enough time that he can just laugh about it.’ Because whoever it was, and whoever agreed with them, you are bad at your job, and probably aren’t being the best person that you could be.
Charlotte’s facing Brie Bella, and I’m holding my breath, waiting for any suicide references that come up. The gals lock up, with Charlotte going for a roll-up. Waistlock from Charlotte is countered by Brie, who applies a headlock. The commentators are starting damage control for the promo on RAW, which is basically saying that Paige is an asshole for saying that. Classy stuff.
Charlotte shoots Brie off, hitting her with a dropkick and then taking her over with the legs several times before kipping up. She gets tossed into the turnbuckles, landing on the apron and hitting a shoulder to the Bella’s gut, before eating a back elbow. Brie chokes her on the ropes to gain the advantage, then smashes a knee to the face. Dropkick gets two. Charlotte almost catches Brie with a pin, but both of them run into each other’s clotheslines.
As the women get to their feet, a slugfest develops, with Charlotte gaining the advantage off the chops. Neckbreaker and a big boot to Brie, who misses a knee drop, counters a face buster and hits a spear before locking in the Figure Eight for a tap out.
Good to see a dominant victory: Charlotte needs to establish herself further as the champ, especially prior to a hard-fought title match. 2.5 Stars.
Renee Young is backstage with Paige, asking her about the mockery of someone who committed suicide and it’s place in a kids’ TV show. Paige says that Charlotte flying off the handle was completely immature, and if this was all real and I’d been in Charlotte’s position, they’d have had to pry my hands off the promo-giver’s throat. Paige is unapologetic and unashamed, and I’m not saying that this was WWE’s way of flipping the bird at everyone who got pissed at them for Monday, but I would say that is not the least-likely possibility.
Fun While It Lasted
Okay, the fact that the New Day is here is actually really good, because I just got pissed off by having to write about that. I’ll try to let the anger go with them. Woods says that the New Day are conspiracy victims, because they weren’t in the title chase. They then mock Kalisto, and then mention the WWE Junior Division. Wow, that was an obscure reference, and also one of the worst ideas I’ve ever seen from this company. Big E says that size does matter, and I fucking knew it: WWE employees are terrible at sex.
Kalisto and Sin Cara show up, and we’re going to get it on. Big E breaks out of a waistlock and sends Kalisto off the ropes. Kalisto handsprings back, kicking him in the mush to reel him. Okay, I should not be eating beef jerky and drinking wine, but there is something amazing about the combination of beef jerky and red wine. Kalisto hits a springboard corkscrew crossbody, then a spike-a-rana. He’s got the man on the ropes!
Kofi and Woods get into it with Sin Cara, throwing him into the steps, and Kalisto manages to duck a clothesline from Langston and hurl himself out onto them. Big E tries to grab him on the apron, gets kicked, but does take Kalisto down off a distraction from Woods. He hits the splash and…that’s it? I guess.
Well, so much for the shortest push ever. And does this mean that Langston could annihilate Ryback, because it really seems to imply that. 2 Stars.
The Kofi and Woods hold Kalisto down so Big E can hit another splash, and then Ryback charges the ring, taking down all three of New Day like a fucking train. We were talking about the best way to utilise R-Truth earlier? That was the best way to show Ryback: a guy who looks like that should be able to go through multiple people when pissed.
Ambrose is backstage, and then Reigns calls in for his hourly dose of bromance. Reigns acknowledges that it is fun as hell to beat people up, but he and Ambrose might have to fight. Ambrose is totally okay with that, and I can only suspect that their friendship has already had a decent quantity of ‘beating the shit out of each other’. Probably whilst Seth just leaned against a wall, shaking his head in despair.
Finally: A Decent Match
It’s time for our main event, even though this would have been better and made way more sense as a Fatal Four-Way. Everyone shows up, and it’s going to be Kevin Owens starting off against Ambrose. Owens applies a waistlock; Dean counters with a headlock takeover, then is shot off the ropes and hits a shoulder tackle. Owens powers back, but gets a knee to the stomach and Roman tags in, with Owens taking a dropkick and a tackle, then Del Rio eats an uppercut and is clotheslined out of the ring before we head to a break.
Back from the break, Roman Reigns is your face in peril against Del Rio. He manages to avoid a charge and tag in Dean, who jabs away at Del Rio, taking him down with a pair of forearms. Running bulldog to Alberto, then Dean hurls himself out onto Kevin Owens. The distraction is costly, however, as Del Rio hits his fucking beautiful step-up enzuigiri (that is still my favourite move in the entire WWE), leaving Ambrose laying.
Del Rio throws Dean into the barricade, then gets a near-fall in the ring. Owens tags in, laying Dean out with a clothesline and hitting a back senton for another two count. A headlock is applied, but Ambrose breaks his way out with some punches. Owens is still in control, and tags in Del Rio; Alberto takes Reigns out, dragging Ambrose back to his corner.
DDT to Ambrose, and Del Rio tags Owens in. Ambrose fights back, but is out-slugged by Owens, who stomps him on the ropes. Del Rio comes back in, smacking Ambrose around before hitting another Fucking Beautiful Enzuigiri for two. Dean is starting his comeback, but that was a false alarm, and he gets taken down with a backstabber.
Del Rio wants a superkick, but Ambrose counters that into a roll-up, then comes off the ropes with his Lunatic Clothesline. Booker T says that Ambrose getting beat up ‘turns him on’, and that is it: this is the weirdest SmackDown I’ve ever reviewed. Reigns gets the tag, and starts working over Kevin Owens in advance of their title match this Sunday (yeah, I said it). Drive-By Dropkick to Owens, then a shit-ton of clotheslines in the corner before a big boot.
Reigns wants a Superman Punch, but is distracted by having to lay out Del Rio. Owens attacks, but takes a bodyslam, with Del Rio breaking up the pin. Alberto doesn’t want to leave, so Roman throws him out himself. Owens nails Roman with a superkick, then Ambrose sends Owens out of the ring and dives onto him, before taking Del Rio down with another big clothesline over the announce table!
Owens is about to powerbomb Ambrose on the ring apron, with Reigns flying in with a Superman Punch. Del Rio sends Roman into the steel steps before the ref counts everyone out.
Match of the night, without question. The pace was different than the usual, and the dynamics were a pleasure to watch. 3 Stars.
Del Rio superkicks Roman, then throws Ambrose back in the ring to injure him. Oh yeah, because you’re going to be in the final match this Sunday. Ambrose counters the cross armbreaker with Dirty Deeds, then hops over Owens’ attempted Pop-Up Powerbomb before Reigns nails Owens with the spear! The faces stand tall as we head towards Survivor Series!
This was a weird week. The starting segment and main event were great; everything else seemed extremely dull and almost listless. I mean, I get it: you’ve got basically no plans for this PPV, but it still felt like there should have been way more there. Call it 7/10 for what bits were worthwhile.
Tags: Alberto Del Rio, Booker T, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Jerry Lawler, Kevin Owens, Neville, Paige, Renee Young, Rich Brennan, Roman Reigns, smackdown, Stardust, Summer Rae, The Ascension, The Dudley Boyz, The Miz, The Wyatt Family, Tyler Breeze, zack ryder, Zeb Coulter