It’s time for the SmackDown Report, with a very special appearance from Brock Lesnar. I’ve literally no idea what to expect, but I’ve set my standards to ‘bouncing’ and possibly even ‘screaming’.
So hey: SmackDown!
Our intro is a recap of the Passion of Dean Ambrose. You know, Jesus Christ never nut-shotted enough dudes. And fuck Stephanie right in the left ear for coining the phrase ‘Fatal Five-Way’. Death’s too good for some people. Also, props to Tyler Breeze for those goddamn tassles.
We start things off with Kevin Owens, and I don’t know whether to be happy for the guy or not: that’s an indicator of how badly that white belt’s been treated over the years. In other news, Mauro Ranallo is not here tonight, and we have been given Michael Cole as a replacement. I don’t know where our God is now, but I really hope he’s nut-shotting dudes.
Are we calling this a Fatal Three-on-Three-Way now?
Looks like Owens is on commentary, and we’ve got Ziggler and Lucha Dragons (fun name for an eighties cartoon) taking on all of the League of Nations, minus Wade Barrett. Who, for some reason, just doesn’t wrestle any more. And could Kevin Owens please stop bullying everyone except Lawler?
Rusev starts things off against Kalisto, who uses his speed to evade the big Bulgarian for a little while, getting a dropkick to the knee and a tornado DDT to kick off the offence. Sin Cara tags in, monkey-flipping Kalisto on top of Rusev before the Bulgarian bulls his way to a tag. Alberto Del Rio comes in, but Sin Cara retains the offence, chopping away at the larger man with kicks and then hitting a springboard moonsault.
Del Rio powers back, but Sin Cara makes the tag to Kalisto, who hurricanranas Del Rio out of the ring, then both Lucha Dragons send Sheamus out too, before diving through the ropes onto both of them! Dolph low-bridges Rusev and then dives from the top rope onto everyone as we go to a commercial break!
When we come back, Rusev has Sin Cara in a sleeper. How do the faces always manage to fuck things up during the commercial break? Bodyslam to Sin Cara, and then Del Rio tags in, hitting a right hand from the top rope before cheap-shotting Kalisto. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to Sin Cara, then a sleeper hold. Sin Cara fights back, but a headbutt and a stop puts and end to that.
Tag to Sheamus, getting his feet wet for the first time tonight, and he beats the Lucha Dragon down in the corner. Couple of Irish Curse backbreakers get a near-fall, and the Irishman tags out to Rusev. Rusev hits some knees to the gut and holds him as he tags in Del Rio; Alberto comes off the top rope…right into a dropkick from Sin Cara! Sin Cara crawls over to his corner, and Ziggler gets the tag!
Dolph and Sheamus are both legal, with Dolph taking immediate control, hitting a stinger splash, neckbreaker, elbow! Sheams catches a superkick; Ziggler flips out of a back suplex, dodges a charge and scores with a big DDT! Del Rio breaks up the pin with a superkick; Sin Cara takes him out of the ring, but Rusev runs the Lucha Dragon over with a superkick of his own on the outside. Just for the tally: that’s three superkick/superkick attempts in one match.
Kalisto tries for a hurricanrana on Del Rio, but Alberto catches him, and tosses him into the barricade! Dolph dodges a Brogue Kick, and tries to roll Sheamus up, but the big Irishman kicks out, and then kicks out again following a Fameasser! Ziggler fights off both Rusev and Del Rio, but a distraction by Kevin Owens allows Sheamus to hit the Brogue and get the win.
Fair match. No idea what’s up with Barrett, but the promise of a Ziggler/Owens match this Sunday added some extra complexion to this one. 2.5 Stars.
Promo for Brock Lesnar being on SmackDown. It’s been twelve years, and it feels like longer, even though I’ve only been reviewing this show for just over two.
Sasha don’t need nobody
Naomi and Tamina make their way out to the ring, and this is going to be a Tamina match, and that’s definitely a lesson about counting chickens before they hatch. Before RAW, Team BAD jumped Becky, because their entire motivation is ‘be a dick’. I mean…that’s not a criticism. I love nuanced backstories and characters as much as anyone, but it’s kinda refreshing to have wrestlers who just enjoy being douchebags.
Tamina is facing Sasha Banks, and whilst we might bemoan the lost opportunities of the Divas Revolution, any match involving Tamina would have been a lot worse about a year ago. Naomi immediately tries to get involved, despite Tamina being the Diva closest to emulating Brock Lesnar’s physical presence and frightening intensity. Tamina and Sasha then lock up, with Tamina immediately getting the upper hand. She hurls Sasha across the ring a couple of times, getting a two count.
Sasha flips out of a back suplex, hitting Tamina with a back elbow to knock her down. Three pairs of double knees to the face in the corner, and they looked fucking badass. Naomi gets up on the apron, so Sasha just straight-up smacks her before hitting a wheelbarrow bulldog into the Banks Statement! Tamina taps!
Not a whole lot of offence from Sasha (or, for that matter, Tamina) but she looked hella intense whilst doing it. 2 Stars.
Naomi jumps Sasha immediately, and both Team BAD members put the boots to The Boss before Becky shows up to eject both of them. When Becky tries to lift up Sasha, Banks shoves her away, pissed off. Man, Becky’s got to be confused: in Ireland, you’re best friends with a guy or girl right after you hit them in the face.
Backstage, Becky finds Sasha and tells her that if they’re not on the same page on Sunday, they are F-U-K-T fucked. She then tries some reverse psychology by walking out, which actually works, as Sasha says that she’ll work with her on Sunday.
Did they just give the Miz the ‘long, decent match’ slot?
Here’s Chris Jericho, here to answer Styles’ challenge for Fastlane. I do love the whole ‘hot-blooded’ thing that Styles has going on: when he’s pissed, you absolutely know about it. Chris calls for AJ to come out, so that he can give his answer to his face, but the Miz comes out instead. Miz complains about them stealing all the screentime that he could use to bore us.
Miz also has an announcement, and it’s that he’s wrestling Chris right now. He tries to throw a sucker-punch, but Jericho catches it, punching him out of the ring. When we come back from a commercial, the match is ready to go; Miz shoves Chris, who chops him so hard that he falls over. Miz is sent off the ropes, but bails, running away from Jericho on the outside, runs back into the ring and then heads right into a chop again.
Delayed vertical suplex from Y2J, then a punch and a clothesline. Bunch of blows to the head has Miz reeling, but he ducks a charge from Jericho, who crashes and burns in the corner. Miz quickly goes on the attack, stomping the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla. Jericho’s locked in a headlock, but he fights his way out; Miz shoulder-tackles him off the ropes, but then runs right into a dropkick!
Miz elevates Jericho over the top, and then catches him on the second rope, attempting a superplex; Jericho fights him off and hits a crossbody for two! Chris low-bridges the Miz, then hits a perfect springboard dropkick: Jericho really hasn’t lost a step. A pair of boots sends Miz reeling off the outside, and Chris sends him back into the ring. The Miz catches him unawares, and stays on the attack as we go to a commercial break.
When we come back, the Miz has Jericho in a nasty-looking chinlock. Jericho fights out, but winds up in the back/neckbreaker for a two count. Another chinlock’s applied as the crowd rallies behind Jericho. Chris is sent off the ropes, gets sent out to the apron, and comes off the top rope with a double axe-handle! Jericho reverses a back-breaker, attempts the Walls, and hits a running enzuigiri for the near-fall!
Miz catches Jericho with a boot to the knee, but still eats a running bulldog. Miz avoids the Lionsault, scoring with a DDT, but Jericho still kicks out! Miz stalks Chris, going for the Skull-Crushing Finale, but Jericho hits a butterfly suplex-backbreaker for two! Jericho runs into a big boot, and Miz works him over in the corner; he goes for his big clothesline, but Chris catches him in the Walls of Jericho, and Miz taps!
Thought this would be a quickie, but I was pretty impressed: Miz really brought it tonight. 3 stars.
Jericho gets back on the microphone and calls out Styles, who actually shows up this time. Chris talks for a while before getting to it: he’s not giving him the match. Styles then beats the fuck out of Jericho, because he learned the subtle art of negotiation from Goodfellas. And apparently that movie was onto something, because Chris changes his mind!
In other news, Heyman recently jumped on the ‘Dean and Roman’s friendship has to die’ train. How do people not get that these two are chill with the idea of beating each other up? Also, the Dudleys attacked Roman, because they need relevancy or they’ll be selling DVDs at indie shows inside of a week. I’d love it if they lost every match because they refused to use the tables.
Backstage, Roman is being the Julian to Dean’s Ricky, only without holding a drink whilst doing so. Dean says that he’s cool, and they’ll beat the shit out of each other on Sunday. Ambrose then walks around the corner and finds Paul Heyman, who is absolutely genuinely scared of Dean: apparently word gets around. Heyman says that Brock’s on SmackDown tonight, in part because he has violent and darkly-sexual designs on Dean. Ambrose pretends to panic, managing to genuinely confuse Heyman by begging him for advice, and then chilling out before messing with Paul again. Holy crap: Dean out-performed Paul Heyman.
JoJo is backstage with the New Day, and asks them about being guests on the Cutting Edge this Sunday. They seem pretty pumped up for it, past all the geekiness, and do what I think is supposed to be a Five-Second Gif. Good God: that was obscene.
Ric exists solely to WOOOO and throw his jacket
Here’s Charlotte, accompanied by Ric. She’ll be facing Natalya, and let’s get this underway. They lock up, exchanging holds too fast to call before having a stare-down. Charlotte WOOOs Natalya, who hits a headlock takeover before Charlotte tosses her away. Charlotte takes an inverted atomic drop, and Natalya almost dropkicks her out of the ring as we go to a break.
As we come back, Charlotte catches a kick, but Natalya takes her over with a leg; Charlotte transitions into a headlock, only for Natalya to hit a double-underhook suplex, baseball sliding her once she’s out of the ring. Charlotte manages to hit a big boot to Natalya on the outside, getting herself some breathing room. Back in the ring, Charlotte vines her legs around Natalya’s waist, as Jerry makes a joke about Byron’s father attempting infanticide.
Charlotte applies a front facelock with the legs still locked, but Natalya powers her way out, hitting a Discus clothesline and a German Suplex! Charlotte catches Natalya by jerking the apron away, and she locks in the Figure Eight! Natalya, after a token effort, taps out.
Not a bad one: the problem is that we’ll always compare it to their NXT match. Still, though. 2.5 Stars.
Charlotte mocks Daniel Bryan’s ‘YES’ pose. It’s probably supposed to be mocking Brie, but she stole that from Bryan in the first place. Brie then shows up, and goes right the fuck after Charlotte, hitting a bunch of kicks and nearly kicking Ric in the face. Almost makes you feel bad that Brie’s a stepping stone in the whole ‘Charlotte/Sasha’ epic showdown.
Oh wow, this whole Goldust/R-Truth thing has finally skirted into sort-of racist territory. At least when John Cena and J-Roc did the whole ‘white rapper’ thing, it wasn’t this awkward. I don’t blame R-Truth for saying no.
You can see the longing for tables and relevancy in their eyes and it’s sad
Here are the Dudley Boyz, ready to irrelevance up the place. Ambrose and Reigns arrive, and it’s Dean vs. D-Von to start us off. Dean ducks a clothesline, hitting a crossbody, forearm and a bulldog. Bubba tags in, and then shoves Reigns. Roman calmly tags himself in, and I think we’re about to watch Bubba Ray die.
Bubba and Reigns slug it out before the Dudley goes downstairs. He scoots out of a Samoan drop, but eats a neckbreaker. Roman tags in Ambrose, and they hit double suplex to Bubba and then D-Von before clotheslining both men out of the ring.
When we come back from a commercial break, Bubba has Ambrose in a neck hold before tagging in D-Von, who chucks Dean out of the ring. Bubba whacks Ambrose’s head out of the announce table as the ref’s distracted, and D-Von locks in a sleeper hold. Ambrose jawbreakers out of it, but runs into a clothesline. Bubba tags in, hitting a fist to the gut and then scoring with a neckbreaker off the top rope, then another on the mat.
D-Von tags in, choking Ambrose on the ropes. He hits a snapmare, then applies another sleeper. Bubba comes back in, hitting a bodyslam and heading up to the top, but Dean catches him off-guard, attempting a superplex; Bubba shoves him back to the floor, but Ambrose dodges the senton, tagging in Roman!
Roman takes out the now-legal D-Von and Bubba, hitting a Samoan drop to Bubba and then a bunch of clotheslines and an uppercut to D-Von! He winds up for the Superman Punch, and Brock Lesnar’s music hits!
Lesnar comes out and bounces, so I at least predicted that, and the Dudleys try to hit a 3D to Reigns, who comes back with a Superman Punch to D-Von! Ambrose hits an elbow from the top to Bubba, and then takes out D-Von with a dive to the outside! And then Lesnar is on him, hurling him into the barricade!
That was alright, but there’s a reason the Dudleys were treated as a nostalgia act. 2 Stars.
Roman jumps Lesnar, and the Shield Brothers start working the big fucker over. But inside the ring, Lesnar catches them both with German suplexes! Suddenly, Roman hits a Superman Punch to Lesnar, but misses a Spear, hitting Ambrose! Dean tries to hit Dirty Deeds, but Reigns turns it into a Samoan Drop, right before Lesnar scores with an F-5!
Triple H’s music hits, and he comes out with the belt. If Lesnar had a shred of self-respect, he’d charge up there and rip Hunter’s throat out with his teeth. I’m still convinced that Triple H is attempting some sort of suicide-by-wrestler by holding the championship.
That was an alright SmackDown, but even Brock wasn’t enough to give it the pop that the previous episodes have had. Fastlane‘s got some good matches though: could be a really decent show. 6/10.
Tags: AJ Styles, Alberto Del Rio, Becky Lynch, Brock Lesnar, byron saxton, charlotte, Chris Jericho, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Jerry Lawler, JoJo, Kalisto, Kevin Owens, League Of Nations, Lucha Dragons, Mauro Ranallo, Michael Cole, naomi, paul heyman, Ric Flair, Roman Reigns, rusev, sasha banks, Sheamus, Sin Cara, smackdown, Tamina Snuka, The Miz, The New Day, Triple H, Wade Barrett