Good golly Miss Molly, I am hung-the-fuck-over. Suffice to say that, when one is invited to two parties at two different portions of the same night, it’s probably for the best to wonder about the long-term consequences for about ten seconds.
But, considering the fact that I’m glued to my couch for the next couple of hours with a steady stream of coffee coming my way, it’s as good a time as any for some SmackDown.
We recap the whole Fastlane deal, of course. I thought that triple-threat was a pretty fair match, really. And I don’t even mind the result too much if Reigns starts behaving like the mad psycho he was starting to resemble when he won the Championship for the second time: that’s the only way he’s going to be able to outperform ‘Badass Mode’ Triple H.
Speaking of Triple H. the man himself shows up right now, wearing a suit rather than that godawful leather jacket/t-shirt combination. I mean, I know it was a reference back to the whole ‘when he was an active wrestler’ thing, but he looked like he was dressed by a fourteen year old. And I know that because I used to dress like that when I was fourteen.
Trips starts by quoting Sympathy for the Devil, which is possibly one of the best ways ever to start a segment. He says that some people consider him to be the devil, and I’m pretty sure that Satan cuts shorter promos. If Reigns thought that he could attack Triple H and get away with it for any longer than several months, then he was so wrong, and we see a video of the beatdown from Monday. And, honestly, props to everyone involved in writing that for not allowing Roman to lose the brawl due to any interference. Admittedly, that was probably because Triple H wanted to look strong, but I’ll take what I can get.
Hunter says that he shattered Roman Reigns’ nose, which seems like a terrible way to treat one half of your WrestleMania main event. He then says that he’s still the law, even when he’s banging Steph and wearing a dope-ass suit, and you can’t beat authority. Unless you’re in DX, if I recall: then you can get away with near-crippling Vince and Shane inside a cell.
Roman wants to be the WWE World Heavyweight Champion more than anything, Triple H says, but it’s the hardest thing in the world to do. He’s also carrying rags covered in Roman’s blood around in his suit jacket, which is both creepy as hell and the worst place you could possibly store bloody rags, you fucking loon. At WrestleMania, Trips says that he’s going to make Roman cry. That sounds threatening, but for all we know he’s going to go out there and start chopping onions. I’ve no idea why he’d do that, but it would be a serious swerve.
Wow, so Roman actually had nasal reconstructive surgery. Did one of you sick bastards make a voodoo doll? Because that’s some hilarious timing.
Holy moley: Barrett’s wrestling!
We’ve got the Lucha Dragons out here, along with Neville. So, this is officially the Kingston vs. Ziggler of teams. Oh, and speak of the devil (not Triple H): Ziggler’s part of the team too. They’re facing the League of Nations, and I feel like calling the team that and going with the whole international-gimmick was a sure-fire way to make sure they dropped this low on the card.
Well, Dolph starts off against King Barrett, who decides to hit Neville instead, causing a huge brawl in the ring. Del Rio and Rusev get thrown out of the ring, but catch and destroy the Lucha Dragons as the latter try to dive out onto them. In the ring, Sheamus eats a big DDT from Ziggler, who turns right into the Winds of Change from Barrett for a near-fall before we go to the break.
When we come back, Barrett has draped Ziggler over the turnbuckle and boots him in the gut. Del Rio tags in, stomping Dolph and knocking Kalisto off the apron. He puts Ziggler down with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, then tags in Rusev, who laces Ziggler with elbows. He taunts Dolph for a while, telling him to tag, but then drives him back to the International corner to tag in Sheamus.
Sheamus hits his tossing-suplex to Dolph. He taunts Mr Ziggles some more, right up until he eats a huge superkick from Dolph, who tags in Neville! Neville takes out the whole League, going after the legal man, Barrett, booting him in the head to send him to the floor. Sensing the opportunity, Neville heads up to the top. Sheamus races over the apron towards him, but Neville leaps over him and nails Barrett with the 450 Splash!
Rusev breaks up the pin, and is promptly ejected by the Lucha Dragons, who dive out onto him. Neville hits the Red Arrow, gets superkicked by Del Rio, who gets superkicked by Dolph! Sheamus tags himself in, Brogue Kicks Neville and wins.
Really sudden victory, but the match itself was chaotic enough to be pretty fun. 2.5 Stars.
Earlier today, Renee Young interviewed Kevin Owens, because she loves sarcasm and verbal abuse. He says that Dean Ambrose’s ambulance-theft skills impressed him so much that he’s going to offer him a title shot. Only, the thing is, Dean’s not there. And apparently he’s got a match with the Big Show tonight. Alright, call me madly optimistic, but I’m intrigued by how they’ll play this match. Kevin Owens is enough of a dick to make Big Show genuinely angry, and that’s when Show’s at his most entertaining.
Just get the fucking tables
We recap the Dudley Boyz taking out the Usos, and then saying they’re not going to give us literally the only thing we like them for. Tonight, Jimmy Uso will be facing D-Von Dudley. Bubba gets on the mic and expands on my point that they’re only popular because of a) tables and 2) nostalgia. Also, Bubba sounds like he spent his entire TNA run smoking thirty a day. D-Von says that they’re going to be the best tag-team ever, whether people like it or not.
Jimmy starts off with a kick to the gut and an uppercut, and on some level we are watching a young athlete in the prime of his life physically assault an old man. Dragon whip enzuigiri puts D-Von down, but he runs into a boot, right before superkicking him (that’s four). Bubba grabs a table, distracting the referee, then shakes the ropes to crotch Jimmy. D-Von rolls him up, and…seriously?
To make this perfectly clear, I’m lying on my sofa, in my pyjamas, drinking coffee and eating bacon sandwiches and even I think that was lazy. 1 Star.
Okay, so that’s what the Dudleys are all about? Really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, bad matches?
We take a look back at Shane McMahon’s return. And, really, whose heart didn’t skip a beat when they heard that music? And I suppose we’re getting a match with Shane vs. the Undertaker, which is either going to be really bad or insanely, psychotically incredible. And, seriously, it’s kind of heartwarming to see that Shane, who really is forty-six years old and not a professional athlete, is willing to step inside a cell for our entertainment: it is impossible to ignore the physical lengths that him and Vince go to in the name of entertainment; hell, that goes for Stephanie too at times.
AJ Styles and Chris Jericho are backstage, and Y2J apparently has designs on the World Tag Team Championships. Which I can’t believe didn’t register with me until he said it. They’re facing the New Day in a six-man tag match, with Mark Henry as their partner. Well, Kevin Owens was too much to hope for, even if that would have totally cured this hangover.
The Road to KO-Mania
Here comes the Big Show, ready to punch an Owens. Kevin Owens comes out, and immediately gets beaten down by show. Big hip toss sends Owens across the ring, but he comes back with an uppercut, then hitting a dropkick to the knee to take Big Show down. He hits a back senton and then an enzuigiri to the giant, who suddenly bulls back to his feet, slapping KO across the chest, sending him out of the ring.
Owens hangs Big Show up on the ropes, but runs right into a big chokeslam. He rolls back out of the ring, with the Big Show heading out after him, tossing him back inside. Big Show then starts climbing the ropes, because what the actual hell? Owens tries to stop him, with the struggle ending up pulling Show nuts-first down on the ring ropes. Owens wins via count-out.
Well, that was certainly one way to do it. The opening flurry demonstrated that Owens could take Big Show without it being so unbelievable, and it indicates that a full match between these two could be decent enough. 2 Stars.
Could have been an awesome match, but whatever
It’s Becky Lynch vs. Natalya. The two women circle each other before locking up; Natalya takes Becky over with a headlock, outwrestling the Irish Diva early on, before Becky catches her with a dropkick and hits some leg drops. Natalya avoids the last leg drop, German suplexing Becky, sending her out of the ring.
Suddenly Team BAD appears, beating up Natalya for the DQ.
Don’t tease me like that, WWE. 1.5 Stars.
Team BAD try to take it to Becky, but Sasha appears to help clear the ring. Charlotte comes out, announcing that the match between Sasha and Becky is this Monday. Sweet.
So much irrelevance in and around one ring
The Social Outcasts are here, with R-Truth facing Heath Slater. Before anything happens, Goldust appears, and R-Truth tries to back him off. The crowd chant for ‘Golden Truth’, because they’re idiots is what they are.
Heath grabs a waistlock, Truth reverses it and applies a headlock, comes off the ropes, gets leapfrogged several times, and then dances at Heath. Slater runs at Truth, who hip-tosses him, and then takes it to Heath in the corner…right before Slater boots Truth’s head off.
Slater beats Truth down for a few seconds, but runs right into a leg lariat. Truth hits the sit-out inverted suplex, the Social Outcasts try to cause a distraction, and Goldust pops Slater in the face to allow Truth to pin him.
Goldust’s weird comedy is the only thing which could make this ever work, ever. 1.5 Stars.
Because Mark Henry was totally the obvious choice
It’s time for our main event, featuring the New Day vs. Y2AJ and Mark Henry. Woods rips on the League of Nations, because they are the easiest of easy targets. They then target their opponents before admitting that they take baths together. I mean…they actually say that. Out loud.
Styles, Jericho and Henry make their way to the ring, and Kingston starts things off against Chris, getting sent off the ropes and knocking Jericho down. He runs into a dropkick, then eats a chop. Langston tags in, taking Chris down with a shoulder tackle. Henry tags in, getting in Big E’s face before taking out all three of the New Day. Jericho and Styles dive out onto Kofi and Woods and pose with Henry as we go to a commercial break.
When we come back, Woods is in trouble, with Styles and Jericho taking him out with a double elbow. Styles hits a backbreaker before tagging in Jericho. Woods tries to fight back, running into a back elbow. Kingston eats a springboard dropkick, until Langston makes a difference, allowing Woods to tag him in, and the New Day take control.
The New Day beat Jericho down with the Unicorn Stampede, with Kofi then trying to keep Jericho under control. Woods tags in, and the pair both hit drokicks to Y2J before Langston comes in to hit a splash/leg drop combination. Abdominal stretch is locked in by Big E; he goes for the Big Ending, but eats a step-up enzuigiri instead and Jericho tags in Styles!
AJ is all over Woods, taking it to him hard and fast. Woods flips out of a back suplex, and eats a springboard moonsault inverted DDT! Henry comes in to wreck Big E’s shit and eats Trouble in Paradise! Kingston tries to hit AJ with it, but Jericho takes the kick! Woods hits the Discus Elbow, but somehow Styles gets the Calf-Crusher locked in, and Woods taps!
Good match, and a really nice taste of a possible WrestleMania match. No complaints. 3 Stars.
Any other time, this would have been a fine SmackDown, but the stakes needed to be raised, and raised high. We’re only a few weeks from WrestleMania, and at this stage the programme should really be showing that more. 6/10.