Urgh, I don’t know how it’s possible that I’ve gotten no work done today. Tomorrow is going to suck for certain. But, rather than try to play catch-up, I’m going to devote myself to doing something that matters even more than my PhD: reviewing SmackDown.
I really hope no-one from my department reads this.
But hey: SmackDown!
We kick things off with Dean Ambrose, fresh from his jacket-murdering spree this Monday. He grabs a microphone and says that Jericho is saying that he owes him $15,000. If that’s a stipulation at Extreme Rules, then this has all gone too far. Ambrose says that the jacket thing makes him and Jericho even, which is damned decent of him, considering the fact that Chris shattered a plant pot across the back of his head: shit like that can kill people. He says that, at Extreme Rules, he’s going to make Jericho question whether wrestling is even for him any more. Considering that Jericho is forty-five years old, that’s probably a good question for him to ask himself.
Suddenly, Y2J’s music hits, and then the lights go out. When they come back on, Jericho is standing over a downed Ambrose, holding a duffel bag. Out of the bag comes a straitjacket…really? I mean…like, really? A fucking straitjacket? Do you think that you’re being metaphorical, WWE Creative? Do you somehow think that this is poetic?
Chris puts the awkward plot symbol on Ambrose, which Mauro calls a ‘draconian measure’ (now that’s fucking poetic). Then Y2J beats on Dean, yelling at him to ‘get crazy’. So, what we have here, at first sight, looks like an over-the-hill rock star beating up a mental patient. God knows what someone who just switched this show on thinks. Dean tries to fight back, but gets dropped by two Codebreakers. Jericho grabs the microphone, and says that he’s going to give us the Gift of Jericho. The more he says it, the more it sounds like something that Indiana Jones is looking for.
And the world is as it should be
Sin Cara is in the ring and Kalisto is on commentary. I suppose it’s too much to ask for the United States Champ to beat King into bloody unconsciousness after the stupid fuck makes one dumb comment too many. Sin Cara will be having a rematch against Rusev, after the upset from Monday.
Sin Cara starts off with a kick, but Rusev takes him down quickly, hitting strikes and elbows. Sin Cara looks bad early on, and Rusev takes the time to talk some trash. Kick to the chest of Sin Cara, and I think tonight might go a little different to Monday. Bodyslam to Sin Cara, then a bunch of punches. Lawler is making height jokes again, and you know what? I’m happy that Michael Cole officially beat him at WrestleMania. There: I fucking said it.
Sin Cara is currently turning in a fantastic audition for a government mule. But he does manage to catch Rusev with a dropkick to the knee, following it up with some quick strikes. Rusev is staggered, and can’t quite regain the offence: Sin Cara is hitting and moving, following it up with a senton from the top to a standing Rusev!
Suddenly, Lana throws water at Kalisto. Hit her, Kalisto: she’s a wrestler. Somehow, Sin Cara is more distracted than Rusev is (not sure if it’s because the Lucha Dragons are closer than Rusev and Lana, or because Sin Cara doesn’t think that Kalisto could take Lana), and Rusev takes Sin Cara down before laying Kalisto out with his fucked-up version of a superkick to the back of the Champ’s head. Back in the ring, a kick to the face and the Accolade ends it.
At least Rusev got back some of his threatening demeanour, which really took a pounding with the whole League of Nations debacle. 2 Stars.
Renee Young is backstage with Emma, and she asks her about the debut of Dana Brooke. Dana shows up and starts self-promoting. Renee asks Dana why she attacked Becky, and it’s apparently because people liked Becky more than Emma. Jesus, Dana: get some self-esteem.
Eye see what you did there
Here’s Dana and Emma. SmackDown really is getting a lot of debuts lately: fuck you, people who review RAW. Becky shows up too, and we’re underway.
Dana starts off with a knee to the gut, but Becky comes back with some blows, hitting a flying forearm to Brooke. Dana dodges a charge from Becky, and pounds her into the mat. Beatdown from Brooke, including a nice handstand-elbow drop. Bow and arrow-esque submission hold is locked in; Becky is able to counter it with a roll-up. A kick to the chest knocks her down, but Becky is getting fired up with clotheslines.
Massive forearm to the corner, then a spinning kick. Dana throws Becky throat-first into the ropes, and when the ref backs Brooke off, Emma thumbs Becky’s eye again, Becky gets rolled up, and that’s that.
Not yet impressed by Dana: her offence seems to consist of punches, kicks and stomps. Also, kind of a lame way to win your first match. 2 Stars.
Styles, Anderson and Gallows are backstage, being all redneck/white supremacist. Seriously: Anderson and Gallows look like they walked off the set of American History X.
And making for an awkward juxtaposition off that joke: here’s the New Day! Testament to the fact that talent, enthusiasm and a good sense of humour can get a surprising amount of gimmicks over.
Woods says that, on RAW, they were jumped by the Vaudevillains. They say that those moustachioed pricks can bring it on at Extreme Rules, and this brings out said moustachioed pricks. English says that they will take the belts, and Gotch backs him up.
Moustaches like that mean you really love this business
When we come back from a break, it’s English vs. Kofi Kingston. Kingston starts right out of the box with a massive dropkick which sends English into the corner. English manages to regain a little more control, but eats another dropkick, sending him out of the ring. Kofi misses a baseball slide, which allows English to rough him up on the outside.
Back in the ring, English continues his assault, hitting elbows and punches to Kofi before crushing Kingston’s head under his knee. More blows in the corner, but Kofi catches English with a pendulum kick; he follows that up with a flying clothesline and a dropkick. Springboard crossbody gets two, and then a leaping clothesline takes English down for a Boom Drop!
Kofi stalks English for the Trouble In Paradise. Gotch tries to cause a distraction, but Kofi remains in control, hitting a frogsplash to the back of English. English kicks out, and Gotch tries to charge the ring. The New Day stops him from interfering, and all three of them are ejected from ringside! Kofi rolls out of a back suplex and rolls up English for two; English is able to roll Kofi back up, and holds the ropes to get the win!
Nice win for the Vaudevillains, making them look credible: the manner in which they advanced to this spot left that a little in doubt. 2.5 Stars.
Backstage, the Usos and Roman are having their own family meeting. Up next, Skinheads vs. Samoans: hot topic stuff.
Fuck. You. Ref.
Both the Usos and Gallows and Anderson show up to the ring, sans their bestest buddies/cousins. Jey smacks Anderson around a little, raining some blows on the Nazi bastard. Jimmy comes in, continuing the assault until Anderson catches him with a dropkick. He makes the tag to Gallows, who shuts down Jimmy Uso’s shit. Massive splash to Uso in the corner, then a couple of big old bodyslams. Uppercut to the jaw connects, but his leg drop doesn’t. Jimmy crawls to his brother, but is caught with a clothesline which puts him down.
Anderson tags in, rocking Jimmy’s head against the turnbuckle before throwing some hands. Jimmy returns the favour, but Anderson regains control, tagging Gallows back in. Gallows puts a hurting on Jimmy for a second, but Jimmy is able to break away and tag in Jey! Jey comes in hot, rocking Gallows with a kick and an uppercut. Anderson gets the blind tag, but eats a powerslam after Gallows is sent out of the ring. Anderson throws Jey to the outside, but the Uso catches him with a fist to the face before Gallows lays him out with a big boot on the outside. We head to a commercial break.
When we come back, Anderson is in total control, hitting a knee drop right to the head of Jey Uso. Gallows comes in, hitting a snap suplex which gets two, and then whacks Jey with some elbows. Anderson tags in and applies a sleeper hold. Jey tries to drag Anderson over to his own corner, but Karl pulls him back and knocks Jimmy off the apron. Jimmy’s reaction distracts the ref enough for Gallows to hit a cheap shot, and now Gallows tags in again, throwing some hands at a cornered Jey. He misses a charge, turns around, and eats a superkick to the face!
Jimmy tags in, as does Anderson! Jimmy takes control immediately, hitting Anderson with a flurry, then laying him out with the Samoan drop; Anderson avoids the Samoan Wrecking Ball, but runs into a superkick! Samoan Splash connects, but Gallows pulls Jimmy Uso out of the ring and throws him over the announce table…which somehow is enough to merit a DQ? The fuck?
That referee can burn in hell: I once watched the Rock put Brock Lesnar through a fucking announce table, and he sure as hell didn’t get disqualified. Aside from that utter shitfuckery, this was a decent match. 2.5 Stars.
Jey dives out of the ring onto Gallows, but eats a Rocket Kick from Anderson. Jimmy hits a flying clothesline, only to get walloped with a chair, courtesy of Gallows. If I was any of these four men, I’d be going after that referee. Anderson smacks Jey, and Gallows and Anderson stand tall.
Bob Backlund is trying to Make Darren Young Great Again. I assume he’s going to build a wall and make Tyson O’Neill pay for it.
It’s R-Truth and Tyler Breeze vs. Goldust and Fandango. I’m exercising my fundamental right as a human fucking being not to review this in-depth. Basically, Fandango and Breeze are apparently fed up of being used in this will-they-won’t-they homoerotic metaphor, so beat the shit out of R-Truth and Goldust. Not only can I not fault them for it, I both applaud and thank them for it. Thank you, you underappreciated, incredibly attractive gentlemen.
Renee Young is backstage with Charlotte and Ric Flair. She asks how having her father escorted away from ringside like the crazy old man that he basically is makes her feel. Charlotte is at least looking irritated with Ric: I’ll take that as a hopeful sign.
I feel like I’ve seen this match a few times already
It’s main event time, which is Sami Zayn and Cesaro vs. The Miz and Kevin Owens. Cesaro and Zayn argue about who’s going to start, with Zayn allowing Cesaro to kick things off against the Miz. Cesaro goes behind the Miz, locking the waist and taking him down to the floor before raising him up in a deadlift gutwrench suplex. Headlock to the Miz, who shoots Cesaro off him; Cesaro runs the ropes, catches Miz’s leapfrog attempt and slams him to the mat. Miz scores with a punch, but Cesaro catches his leg and screws it over. He goes for the Swing before Miz escapes, tagging in Kevin Owens.
Owens comes in; Zayn tags himself in, and Miz doesn’t allow Owens to tag out! Zayn hammers Owens in the corner and off the ropes; Owens boots Zayn in the head, but Sami lays him out with a clothesline. Bunch of shots to the skull of Owens in the corner, who elbows his way clear of Zayn to tag in the Miz. Miz jumps Sami, but ducks out of the ring when Zayn recovers. Sami tries to dive out onto him, but Maryse makes the save. Miz and Owens argue on the outside, but are taken out by dives from Cesaro and Sami Zayn!
When we come back from a commercial break, Sami Zayn takes some shots from Miz before low-bridging him out of the ring. Zayn follows the Miz, but Maryse protects him long enough for Kevin Owens to jump him. Miz takes control back in the ring, tagging in Owens. Snapmare to Zayn, with Miz supplying a kick to the face before Owens hits a back senton. Cover gets one, and Miz tags himself in. He mocks Zayn, not allowing him to tag, locking in a rear chinlock with Sami facing Cesaro.
Zayn works his way to his feet, but eats Miz’s neck/backbreaker. Sami rolls Miz up, and then practically beheads him with a clothesline! Miz is down; Sami goes for the tag; Miz grabs his leg and Zayn takes him out with the Blue Thunder Bomb! Zayn crawls to Cesaro and gets the tag! Owens comes in, and Cesaro opens up a can of uppercuts! Owens is dazed and dizzy, BUT THERE ARE NO BRAKES ON THE UPPERCUT TRAIN! Owens eats a dropkick, and Miz takes a boot off the apron. Owens throws Cesaro over the top rope, but Cesaro lands on the apron, and boots Owens in the face before uppercutting Miz on the outside, and Owens through the ropes! Crossbody to Owens from the top rope, and Owens only just kicks out!
Cesaro wants the Swing, but Miz grabs him from behind, looking for the Skull-Crushing Finale! Cesaro fights back, but suddenly Zayn hits him with a Helluva Kick! Miz keeps Zayn on the outside, and KO hits the frogsplash to get the win!
Really good match, which should in no way come as a surprise. Looking forward to Extreme Rules for this one. 3 Stars.
Post-match, Zayn wails on the Miz, but eats a Pop-Up Powerbomb, right before Miz lays out Kevin Owens with a Skull-Crushing Finale, standing tall to end the show!
Tonight was a fun show. Nothing spectacular, but a solid main event and not too much one could take offence to. Good times all round. 7/10.
Tags: AJ Styles, Becky Lynch, Bob Backlund, byron saxton, Cesaro, Chris Jericho, Dana Brooke, Darren Young, dean ambrose, emma, Jerry Lawler, Kalisto, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Lana, Luke Gallows, Mauro Ranallo, Roman Reigns, rusev, sami zayn, Sin Cara, smackdown, The Miz, The New Day, the usos, The Vaudevillains