Once again, I’m in a tremendous rush what with three years of my life converging onto a single day in which I must some-crazy-how drag a thesis out of my butt. So, once again, you’re getting a review that’s over so quickly you’ll mistake it for losing your virginity.
But before we get started, let’s address the elephant in the room. Because I can admit when I’m wrong, and I was wrong: you can stick a whole pinecone up your ass; you just probably shouldn’t. Plus, Jeff Hardy is capable of putting on a quality Hell in a Cell match. And I don’t want you to come away from my nigh-constant mockery of Jeff thinking that it irks me to have to admit that. When I was a fresh young lad of eight years old with none of the bitterness and fury that currently powers this lean, muscular form, Jeff Hardy was my favourite fucking wrestler. I used to play as him on that PlayStation masterpiece, SmackDown 2: Know Your Role. He was a sexy young man who was willing to put his body on the line for my entertainment. But now I see him all but shambling around most weeks, spouting incoherent promos and filling me with a sense of disappointment and betrayal; it’s like getting raped by my favourite uncle.
I mean…I assume that’s what it’s like. Having no concrete comparison to make at all.
So yeah: Jeff Hardy can still wrestle really well, and I’ve never been molested by a family member.
The show starts off with a recap of Becky beating Charlotte clean, something which I’d not expected and which I was ecstatic to see. And of course, she’s throwing herself a coronation, because WWE is desperate to make this gal a villain.
Miz and Maryse’s kid is going to have some weird family movies to watch later
We then move on to MizTV and the continuation of the feud that’s determined to get the wives involved but not teach them how to wrestle. Miz makes the announcement that there’ll be a number one contendership match at Super Show-Down between him and Bryan for the WWE Championship. Miz rails against Bryan for a while, then introduces his guest: it’s Maryse.
There’s a whole lot of wank between these two as the crowd waits to see what’s going to come of this. The only real news we get is that it’s Maryse’s last night on SmackDown. Miz eventually gets pissed off when the crowd boos his wife and unexpectedly calls out Bryan. Bryan arrives, furious at Miz for implying that his wife is as bad a wrestler as she appears to be and the two start swinging at each other.
Bryan manages to hit a running knee to the Miz, knocking him into Maryse’s stomach. For a second, I literally forgot that Maryse wasn’t pregnant anymore and assumed that we were going to do Kane vs. Gene Snitsky 2: Miscarriage Boogaloo. Daniel looks distraught that a woman who was almost wrestling on Sunday night just got a man knocked into her; Maryse is selling it for all she’s worth and Miz is acting like she’s on her deathbed. WWE: your female employees can be strong, active women or frail wisps of smoke, but you can’t keep hopscotching like this.
Oh, okay: Maryse was faking and this was a plan to catch Bryan off-guard. Fair enough, WWE: you tricked both me and Bryan very effectively. Bryan fights off Miz’s SCF attempt, and this time it’s the Miz who causes Maryse to take a tumble. The distraction allows Bryan to clothesline Miz out of the ring, standing tall to end the segment.
Backstage, Bryan gets interviewed by whoever-the-hell-that-is. Bryan repeats that the Miz is a coward, and says that whenever he acts brave, it’s always an act and there’s always a plan. He promises to batter the shit out of Miz in Australia and become the new number one contender.
I’m still in mourning that we never got the Bar vs. the Bludgeon Brothers
The Bar are in the house, ready for Cesaro’s match against Kofi Kingston in advance on their title match in Australia. The New Day arrive and mock the Bar by pretending to be Australian and acting like the Bar are some species of animal. Sheamus and Cesaro have no time for this shtick, promising to take the titles and be actual serious Champions.
The match gets started during the commercial break, and we return as Cesaro beheads Kofi with a clothesline. The Swiss Cyborg works over the leg, eating an enzuigiri for his trouble. Kofi’s speed allows him to keep ahead of Cesaro for a while, but the leg slows him down and lets Cesaro dropkick him on the turnbuckle.
Kofi rallies with a tornado DDT, sending Cesaro out of the ring and diving onto him. Back inside, the SOS nearly gets the job done, but the Neutraliser wins it for Cesaro.
Good, hard-hitting match, but brief. The eventual title match should be something to see. 2.5 Stars.
Rusev and Lana are backstage, and Aiden English is here to ring the bell on the Apology Express. Rusev exiles him to the backstage area, telling him that he’s not good enough. Goddamn it, WWE: stop breaking the things that I care the most about.
English rants to a random dude in a suit and a headset about how Lana’s this total bitch who ruined a perfectly good friendship, and she’s right goddamn behind him. Christ, Aiden: probably don’t yell about people right after they leave. English tries for another apology – his signature move – but Lana says that she’s telling Rusev. Oh shit: everyone with a younger sibling knows how English feels right now.
Apparently there’s some commotion in the production truck, and Randy Orton is bullying the talented technical people they have in there. He’s demanding that they pull up images of him tool-fucking Jeff Hardy’s ear, presumably so that he has something to jerk it to later. Hard to say how this qualifies as a “commotion”, but I don’t make the rules.
We see a recap of the controversial ending of the Styles/Joe match from Sunday, with the rare double-finish. AJ is backstage, being interviewed by honestly-who-is-that. Styles claims that he knows that he was lucky on Sunday, so they’re going to do this one more time, and this time there’ll be no rules and no disqualifications.
Ouch, my soul
Here’s Shinsuke Nakamura, who tonight is putting his US Championship on the line in a match against Rusev. All I want is to see the Rusev Day implosion happen as Nakamura stands there, confused.
But I can’t have nice shit, so Lana and English catch Rusev backstage. But Rusev is too focused on his match, not wanting to hear anything from Lana or English right now. English announces Rusev, managing not to call Lana a bitch or a slut, showing admiral restraint.
Bell rings, and away we go. Both men start off cautiously, grappling and reversing before Shinsuke baits Rusev into charging and takes it to him with strikes. Rusev’s power lets him bull back into the match until he kicks Nakamura out of the ring. Shinsuke hangs him up, then decks him with a flying kick as we go to a break.
When we come back, Nakamura has Rusev in a facelock as English gets a “Rusev Day” chant going. Rusev bodyslams Nakamura, working his way back into the match and building momentum. Machka Kick misses, but Rusev catches Nakamura with a roundhouse to the skull. Rusev continues to work the champ over, but Shinsuke gains some measure of control as he dodges a charge, stomping the challenger.
Rusev dodges a knee strike, then tries to suplex Nakamura onto the apron. Shinsuke rakes the eyes, then hits a flying knee to the face on the outside. Back in the ring, the Kinshasa attempt is met by a Machka Kick, but Rusev takes his time working his way back into it. English gets up on the apron and demands that Rusev CRUSH. This confuses Rusev, and he gets rolled up by Nakamura for the loss.
Weird that Rusev is that easily distracted. Otherwise, this was a really fun match: didn’t expect us to get so much action before the obviously-screwy finish. 2.5 Stars.
English attacks Rusev post-match with the microphone, setting up what will be the most one-sided squash match in history once Rusev wakes up. At least Lana doesn’t beat up Aiden in retaliation, because we’ve been seeing a lot of that recently.
Almas is the future of this company
And now we take a look back at Style’s much-discussed victory from Hell in a Cell, where Joe was pinned whilst making Styles tap out. But right now, Styles is facing Andrade “Cien” Almas. Both men make their way to the ring, then Almas jumps Styles before the bell.
Once the bell rings, Styles fires back, but the assault has managed to rattle him, allowing Andrade to overwhelm him in the opening moments of the match. His dominance continues through the break, but AJ finally catches him with a tornado DDT. A spinning back elbow takes Styles back down, not allowing him to build momentum, and Almas punishes him some more before Vega slaps him.
Andrade is caught with a fireman’s carry neckbreaker, followed by Styles running through his signature moves. Andrade counters the Styles Clash and goes for a moonsault; Styles dodges one and then gets his knees up for the second. Almas almost gets caught with the Phenomenal Forearm, but he catches Styles on the ropes and his able to hit a stomp right to his chest, sending both men out of the ring. Styles is in trouble as we go to another break.
Following the commercial, Styles has managed to regain some control; he sends Almas out of the ring and catches him with a knee to the face. Styles hits a Phenomenal Forearm to the back of the neck, then goes for the Styles Clash again; Andrade is able to use the ropes to counter, hitting a springboard dropkick to Styles and then the running knees. The hammerlock DDT is countered, with Styles going for a roll-up, then transitioning into the Styles Clash for the win.
Like Bryan, these two just had to make magic in here: the eventual PPV clashes will be spectacular. 4 Stars.
Joe jumps Styles after the match and AJ fights him off, beyond sick of this shit. Joe makes his escape through the crowd as Styles celebrates.
It is going to be weird hearing a pop for the IIconics in Australia
The IIconics are in the ring, providing the visual definition of “hatefuck”. They run down Asuka and Naomi without any racism whatsoever, causing me to see WWE in a new and better light.
This match is Asuka vs. Billie. Billie gains the advantage following a distraction from Peyton, but after a couple of minutes of offence, the Asuka Lock gets Asuka the win whilst being her sole move in the match.
Anything involving the IIconics is unlikely to be compelling wrestling. 1.5 Stars.
Badass Leather Jacket Becky = Best Becky
It’s time for a Championship Coronation, and apparently this one has the express support of Paige, because she’s there for it. Makes her treatment of Carmella look really shitty.
Paige congratulates Becky and gives her the belt as the crowd chant “you deserve it”. Becky rants about how much she deserves this, then calls Charlotte out to really push the “I’m a heel now” buttons. Charlotte does arrive, and Paige demands that there be no violence on this: a wrestling show.
Charlotte admits that Becky was the better woman on Sunday, but tells her she’s getting her rematch at Super Show-Down, so Becky better appreciate the moment whilst she has it. Becky rebuffs everything that Charlotte says and tells her that she didn’t want Charlotte to raise her hand on Sunday because she didn’t want Flair to steal her moment. Tonight, however, she may raise her hand.
Charlotte says nah, and so Becky tells her to put the Championship around her waist. This manages to piss Charlotte off, so of course Becky decides to go one step further and tells Charlotte to call her “Queen”. Actually it’s two steps further, because she then calls Charlotte a bitch. And yet it’s still better than Samoa Joe and AJ Styles’ relationship.
Flair decks Becky, but the Lasskicker fights back, slinging Charlotte around the ringside area before sending her back into the ring and then locking in the Disarm-Her. Becky raises the Championship, then heads back to hit a Bexploder to Flair before leaving the ring.
Tags: aiden english, AJ Styles, Andrade "Cien" Almas, Asuka, Becky Lynch, charlotte flair, Daniel Bryan, Lana, Maryse, naomi, rusev, Samoa Joe, shinsuke nakamura, smackdown live, The Bar, The IIconics, The Miz, The New Day, WWE