Okay, so on the one hand, this is late. On the other hand, my workload and related stress has had me contemplating giving myself food poisoning in order to dodge other commitments without hurting anyone’s feelings, so you are damn lucky I’m professional enough to watch this for you guys.
So hey: SmackDown!
The PlayStation used to interfere during my TLC matches
The show kicks off with Roman Reigns, leading Ambrose and the Usos to the ring. The commentators are all saying that, at TLC, Roman is going to have to go it alone. What? No. Fucking…fucking no. Am I the only one who knows what fuck-all DQs means? What has Reigns been telling everyone whilst I’ve been gone? Roman is facing Alberto Del Rio, who has recently brought Jack Swagger back from anonymity and into the PPV picture, an act which should be rewarded by a trip to the electric chair. I hope Roman murders the shit out of him.
Reigns and Del Rio lock up; Del Rio sends Roman off the ropes, gets knocked down and ducks out to the apron. He comes back in, waistlocks Reigns and drives him into the corner. Big kick to the back allows Del Rio to punch away at Roman, but Reigns ducks between the Mexamerican’s legs and returns the punch-related favour. Irish whip sends Del Rio staggering out of the corner and into an uppercut, but he catches Roman with a kick and takes the advantage, locking in a sleeper.
Roman is looking sort of shite for a number one contender, because an audience won’t feel empathy for a guy who just kicks a lot of ass. That’s the WWE talking down to all of us right there. Reigns does manage to clothesline Del Rio, then hits a suplex. Alberto rolls onto the apron, then hangs Reigns up before coming off the turnbuckle to knock the number one contender down.
Hard Irish whip to the corner drops Roman; Del Rio keeps mocking Reigns’ Superman Punch motion, but just looks like he’s trying to make his forearm ejaculate. Reigns comes (sorry) off the ropes and clotheslines Del Rio right out of the ring. He goes out after him, and gets backed off by the League of Nations and ALL OF THE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS THEY HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL. Off a distraction, Roman is thrown into the steel steps as we head out for a break and, in Alberto’s forearm’s case, a cigarette.
We’re back with the action just in time to see Del Rio hit Reigns from the top rope, locking in another sleeper. I’d be playing Resident Evil 4 again, but I’m stuck against a miniboss who can dodge fucking bullets, and there’s only so many times you can do the Agent Smith speech from Matrix Revolutions without feeling like a wanker (sorry).
Roman breaks out of the hold with a jawbreaker, then hits some right hands to Alberto. He sets Del Rio up on the turnbuckle, then Del Rio suddenly catches him in a cross armbreaker on the ropes! Roman manages to power out of it, then smack Alberto right the fuck out to the floor. Del Rio comes right back, and eats a Samoan Drop. Both men get to their feet for a slugfest, which Roman wins, settling things with a flying clothesline.
More clotheslines in the corner, wearing Del Rio down. A big boot adds an exclamation point, and now Roman wants a Superman Punch. Del Rio ducks it and hits the backstabber for two! Now Alberto wants a cross armbreaker, or he’d fucking better, because I can’t stand his other fucking finisher. Roman counters, hitting a one-handed powerbomb (which, apparently, is the most effective counter to that move: fucking powerbomb). Sheamus distracts Roman, allowing Del Rio to hit the Fucking Beautiful Enzuigiri: ain’t even mad.
Del Rio misses a superkick, slides out of Samoan Drop and eats a Superman Punch! The League of Nations drags Alberto out of the ring, which I’m pretty sure gives him the win via disqualification, right? Right? The Usos, Ambrose and everyone gets involved, and a brawl gets the DQ. Oh, right, when one of the Usos put their hands on Del Rio. Fucking bullshit.
I swear, I have no idea what the rules are anymore. Still, decent match. 2.5 Stars.
Rusev tries to charge the ring after being ejected, and eats a Superman Punch before the faces stand tall. It’s really weird not to hear ‘hold on justa minute, playa’ at times like these, even after all these years.
Actually, when we get back from a break, an eight man tag match has been made. HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON!!
Did…did a superkick just get a fucking three?
We’re doing Tyler Breeze and Dolph Ziggler again, because…why not, I suppose? They lock up, exchanging locks and holds to begin: solid mat wrestling. Finally, Breeze forces a break on the ropes, then grabs a headlock, gets the takeover and keeps Ziggler down. Dolph finally sends Breeze off the ropes, gets knocked down and Tyler is still in control. Breeze goes after the left leg of Ziggler, attacking the knee.
Breeze locks the leg, staying on Ziggler as the aggressive. Half Boston Crab applied by Tyler, then a dropkick to the knee has Dolph reeling. More work on the leg by Breeze, wrapping the limb around his torso. Ziggler reaches the ropes, forcing the break, and Tyler tries to wrap his legs around the steel post, but gets smashed face-first into the post himself.
Ziggler recovers as Breeze gets to his feet. Tyler vaults into the ring, turns around and eats superkick. Match over: that’s the three.
Shorter match than I would have thought, but pretty solid. Breeze work as the heel was coherent and logical, but I’m surprised Dolph won after having so little offence. 2.5 Stars.
We recap the fact that Ryback’s a woman-beater and Rusev’s one of those really fucking annoying, PDA, so-very-in-fucking-love assholes. We get it: you’ve met your soulmate; stop making every conversation about them. What I get from RAW (didn’t watch it: too busy having panic attacks), is that Ryback hit Lana again. Okay, once is happenstance; two is coincidence; three is misogyny.
Difficult to call a Kalisto match when you’re tipsy
Oh yeah, time for some motherfucking New Day. Big E’s intro is getting the New Age Outlaws treatment from the crowd, and I don’t think it’s premature to say that they deserve it.
The New Day talk about LeBron James, whoever he is and whatever he did. Kofi’s sneakers have wings and LED lights, and it’s shit like this that makes me want to take a jacuzzi in their thoughts. They’ll be facing the Lucha Dragons, because the Usos are too busy getting involved with feuds that aren’t fucking theirs.
Kofi and Kalisto have an acrobat-off, which was fucking awesome. Sin Cara tags in monkey-flipping Kalisto onto Kofi and chopping him. Xavier comes in off the blind tag and the two of them catch Sin Cara off the crossbody, dumping him out of the ring. Big E tries to play the horn, but he can’t, and we go to a break.
Back from that break, the New Day is stomping on Kalisto, as they do. Dropkick to the Kalisto in the corner. Woods tags in Kofi, who hits two boots to the face, then hurls Sin Cara into the corner for another stomp. Kingston hits a hurricanrana from the top rope, but gets powerbombed out of nowhere by Sin Cara, who tags in Kalisto!
Kalisto does that thing where my words can’t do it justice, but it’s fucking awesome. Sin Cara throws Kofi into Big E, then dives out onto the two of them. Kalisto and Woods trade roll-ups, then Kalisto hits the Salida Del Sol for the win!
Fun match, and it’s nice to see that Kalisto hasn’t become totally irrelevant again. Looking forward to the tag match on Sunday, more than anything. 2.5 Stars.
On Monday, Dean Ambrose threw popcorn and a soda onto Kevin Owens. We’re having a contract signing tonight, because that’ll calm things right the fuck down. Michael Cole will be officiating this bloodbath, but although Ambrose comes out, Kevin Owens has sent his attorney. Whoever he is, he’s not going to be anywhere near as awesome as Rusev’s lawyer.
Also, any wrestler who considers themselves ‘too big’ a star to work on SmackDown should have to send a lawyer to fill in whatever role they’d be playing.
Dean is pissed about the developments, and mouths off about being part of the only professional contract signing in WWE’s history. He then talks himself around by convincing himself that he could always brutalise the attorney, and starts to sign the contract, only to suddenly turn and attack Kevin Owens, who was sneaking up on him.
Owens takes Ambrose down on the outside, tossing him hard into the barricade. Dean fights back, sending Owens into the ringsteps and then tossing him into the ring. Owens uses his attorney as a human shield, which is the best use of a lawyer I’ve ever seen. Kevin skedaddles, so Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds on the lawyer. King makes Better Call Saul joke, and current references get outdated in that man’s mouth.
Oh yeah, beacause Stardust’s minions were going to be a challenge
Ryback will be facing both members of the Ascension tonight, because these guys are barely relevant when they perform as an actual tag team. Rusev and Lana are at ringside, because Fearless Leader has given them orders to destroy Moose and Squirrel.
Ryback starts off against Viktor, who takes a fallaway slam after making a blind tag. Konor takes Ryback down with a clothesline, but Ryback dodges Konan’s next charge, stumbling into a spinebuster. Viktor gets another blind tag, but gets taken down too. Meathook takes Viktor to the mat; Ryback throws him into Konor to knock the larger man out to the floor, then Viktor takes Shellshocked.
That was exactly what I thought was going to happen, and what should have happened. 2 Stars.
Ryback heads out of the ring, approaching Lana and Rusev. Oh God, get ready for woman-beating moment number 3… The two of them hug, as if to rub their relationship in his face? Does Ryback want to sleep with Rusev or something?
Turns out the Dudleys recruited Rhyno. Because Sabu, RVD, Tajiri, Super Crazy, the Sandman, Taz and SPIKE FUCKING DUDLEY were unavailable.
There needs to be a time limit on how long you can be officially ‘distracted’ for
Becky shows up for a match, and she’ll be facing Paige. On Monday, Paige slapped Ric Flair, and I can’t be the only one surprised that Ric didn’t blade during that interaction.
Paige and Becky lock up, with Paige hitting a headlock takeover. Charlotte’s watching on a monitor, that fucking stalker. Armdrag from Becky, and Paige runs out of the ring. Becky argues with the ref, leaving herself open for a superkick from Paige. Paige knees Becky in the face a few times, then throws her into the corner and hits another running knee to the face.
Paige starts choking Becky with her own arms; Becky throws Paige off her and rocks her with some clotheslines and a big calf kick. Exploder suplex sends Paige across the ring; Becky misses a charge and both women hit a clothesline at the same moment, knocking them both down.
Charlotte’s music hits, distracting Becky and Paige in equal measure. Paige boots Becky in the face, then taunts Charlotte before going for the RamPaige; Becky counters into the Disarmer, and Paige taps quickly.
Paige is actually making sense: Becky is a third wheel. I’m not thrilled about that, but at least she’s in the action. Paige and Charlotte should be a good match at the PPV, and I am interested in this story. 2.5 Stars.
Jerry Lawler says that if you don’t have the WWE Network, then you’re a fucking idiot. I don’t have to take that kind of talk from a statutory rapist, WWE.
The actual League of Nations had better entrance music than that
It’s time for our main event, and Roman, Ambrose and the Usos make their way to the ring. They’re followed by the League of Nations, and…holy shit, did their music get ripped from a video game soundtrack from the fucking nineties?
Del Rio and Jimmy Uso start off together. Alberto gets the headlock, is shot off the ropes and takes Jimmy down. Del Rio’s next trip off the ropes leads into an armdrag from the Uso, then some chops and an uppercut. Tag to Jey, who hits Del Rio off the top. He nails Jey with a spinning heel kick, then Sheamus boots him in the head whilst the referee’s back’s turned. Jey gets his throat slingshotted into the ropes by Rusev, then thrown into the barricade by Del Rio.
Back from a quick break, Sheamus has Jey in a headlock, then rocks him with a back elbow. Ten Beats of the Whosit is interrupted by Reigns, and Sheamus is pissed off by it. Ambrose comes in, taking Sheamus down and hitting a shoulder to the gut. Sheamus runs into an elbow, then takes an missile dropkick. Running forearm and then a running bulldog, and Ambrose is on a roll before Barrett trips him up and Rusev tags in.
Rusev brutalises Ambrose before Del Rio comes in for a headlock. Ambrose jabs his way out of it, then boots Del Rio in the chest before getting caught with a backstabber. Sheamus tags in, beating Ambrose down before hitting his throwing suplex. Sleeper hold is locked in, but Dean headbutts his way out of it, only for Rusev to tag back in and go after him with a bearhug. After several agonising moments, Dean finally neckbreakers his way free.
Del Rio tags back in, misses the Fucking Beautiful Enzuigiri and eats a tornado DDT from Ambrose. Dean manages to tag in Roman, who goes after every single League member, Samoan Dropping and clotheslining the shit out of Rusev. Rusev manages to catch him with a knee, but Roman still fucks him up with another clothesline and then a Superman Punch.
The League break up the pin, but Barrett and Sheamus eat superkicks from the Usos, who then dives out onto them. Roman misses a stinger splash, but catches Rusev with a spear for the win.
Fun match, which absolutely demonstrates why the Usos are my favourite tag team: they’re marketed as being more dangerous as a team than single main eventers are when teaming together. 2.5 Stars.
Really, quite a steady week. Nothing that totally stood out, but at the same time nothing offensive. Just solid, really. 7/10.
Tags: Alberto Del Rio, Becky Lynch, Booker T, charlotte, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Jerry Lawler, Kevin Owens, Lana, Lucha Dragons, New Day, Paige, Rich Brennan, Roman Reigns, rusev, ryback, Sheamus, smackdown, Summer Rae, The Ascension, the usos, TLC, Tyler Breeze, Wade Barrett, Zeb Coulter