Dr Spain’s SmackDown Report and Review for May 15th 2020: It’s Otis’ World and We’re All Just Living in It

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Otis is Mr Money in the Bank. This now forms one component of the world in which we currently exist, and it’s one I’m very cheerful about. The whole Money in the Bank match was a tour de force of WWE’s recent cinematic efforts, particularly the part where King Corbin murdered two men and no-one made any mention of it. I get that Aleister Black probably knocks out a visit to hell on his way back from the shops, making killing him the equivalent of any attempted assassination of the Undertaker you care to mention, but Rey Mysterio died on Sunday night. Not even the fact that he was on Monday Night RAW can convince me otherwise. Mysterio is now a spectre: a trapped soul forced to wrestle for the rest of time. No wonder he was last seen tag-teaming with a Satanist.

Also, Braun Strowman beat Bray Wyatt, admittedly in his sweatered, smiling form. I’d say that he used trickery, but the period between Braun literally dropping the mask and powerslamming Wyatt was long enough that The Breakfast Club could have filled it without much overlap. It certainly seems that this feud could be filed under “unfinished business”, judging by the Fiend’s mask flashing up onscreen. I’m at least cheered by the fact that Braun Strowman didn’t lose the Championship within a month of getting it. We’ll see how it goes.

We, of course, cover the Money in the Bank Eventually-A-Ladder match, with all of its videogame logic and hilarious moments. What’s important to remember is that King Corbin would rather fuck over someone else than win himself, which at least explains the lack of World Championships.

Charlotte Flair will be here tonight as part of some new initiative called the “Brand-to-Brand Invitational”. I’m picking up subtle notes of desperation, as well as the heady scent of “Wild Card rule”.

Miz hates it when you respond to his insults like an adult

Before that, however, Miz and Morrison are in the ring, dressed for that moment in the wedding reception when the booze has been flowing for an hour or two, but it’s still just warm enough to be outdoors. Morrison really does give off “the guy friend your fiancee reluctantly agrees to make a groomsman but who is definitively barred from being your best man” vibes in his get-up.

Before MizTV can get off the ground, Otis shows up with his briefcase. He’s as happy as Larry, if one takes the existence of a particularly cheerful individual designated “Larry” as a known fact. Once in the ring, Otis takes a seat and breaks the chair, and Miz immediately gets the claws out by dropping audible quotation marks as he congratulates Otis on “winning” Money in the Bank.

Otis says that while Money in the Bank is his biggest win professionally, getting to slowly reduce the structural integrity of Mandy Rose’s pelvis daily, nightly, and on King Corbin’s bed whenever they get word that he’s nipped out to the shops, is still the best thing that’s ever happened to him. This causes Jon Morrison to speculate on the size of Otis’ heavy machinery, aka Lil’ Tucker, aka his big old dick.

Miz and Morrison then show baby photos of Otis while calling him fat and trying to persuade him to lose the briefcase. This goes on for some time as Otis takes us through the story of how his mother helped him stay in school despite a learning disability and how he managed to find success in wrestling. Miz and Morrison take shots regardless, but it sounds like Otis’ mother is a wonderful person who must be protected.

Otis’ good-natured responses to the jibes finally get to the Miz, who rants furiously about how his guest shouldn’t be Mr Money in the Bank based on how he looks and how he acts. He’s so angry that he challenges Otis to find a partner tonight (Tucker is clearly fighting his nemesis outside City Hall) for a match with Miz and Morrison.

In other news, there’s a tournament for the Intercontinental Championship after Sami Zayn decided that this pandemic isn’t something that you can just ignore.

King Corbin is the Dick Dastardly of professional wrestling

The first match of that tournament is Corbin vs Elias, the participants of which were last seen fighting each other atop a building, which sounds more dramatic than it was. Both men get to the ring, starting off aggressively in the opening moments. Corbin tries to lock in a half-crab, which Elias kicks his way free of, but the King remains in control with some vicious back elbows, locking Elias in a chinlock and bringing him down to the mat. The commentators refer to this as a “WrestleMania rematch”, which hurts my soul.

Elias finally catches Corbin with a mule kick, dodging the monarch’s attempts to retaliate before dumping him to the outside. The guitar-and-rasslin’ enthusiast follows that up with a dive from the top rope, wiping Corbin out. The King manages to lure his colourful opponent to the outside, however, quickly seizing the advantage with some hard strikes.

And then Corbin once again defaults to his standard “be a dick rather than win” protocol, picking up Elias’ guitar and pretending to play it. And that clearly means something beyond surface appearances in wrestling and/or guitar circles, because Elias beats the hell out of Corbin on the outside as we head to a commercial break.

When we come back, both men are still trying to establish dominance over their opponent, and Corbin gains some advantage after tripping up Elias as the songster goes for Old School. Elias gets beat down for a spell before fighting back, but Corbin’s signature clothesline shuts that down pretty promptly. A spinning neckbreaker gains Elias some separation, and he turns up the heat from there, hitting Corbin with everything in his repertoire.

Elias misses a dive, counters Corbin’s chokeslam attempt, then counters a clothesline before getting planted with a spinebuster, only just kicking out. A chokeslam follows, with Elias popping the shoulder up once more. Corbin’s showing frustration now, alternating between punching and screaming at Elias, then he heads out of the ring and shatters his guitar against the ring post.

Elias responds to this by hitting Corbin in the head with a knee and then…rolls Corbin up for a pin?

This was mostly alright, but I think if you’re going to tell me that Elias is enraged by someone fucking with his guitar, don’t have him then win the match with a roll-up. 2 Stars.

Backstage, Otis comes across Sheamus and suggests making the strongest team ever. Sheamus turns him down because his eugenicist and anti-dopehead principles do not allow for any distractions.

Mandy approaches Otis, asking how’s it goin’, dude. She suggests that he ask Braun Strowman. There really seems to be a trend in WWE of spoiling the identity of “mystery partners” for some reason. I used to enjoy the suspense, at least when it wasn’t immediately apparent whom they’d pick,

Meanwhile, our “Mysterious” Hacker is still desperate for attention. He’s revealed only one secret so far, so I’m not sure why he thinks we’re so interested.

Still backstage, Otis finds Strowman and asks if the pair of them can tag together tonight. Braun is quite rightfully wary of Otis trying to engineer a situation in which the two of them are in the ring at the same time but says that he’ll think about it.

I can’t not like Dana Brooke

Here’s Naomi now, set for singles action. Her opponent is Dana Brooke, who beat her several weeks ago to qualify for the MITB match, and who joins her in the ring.

Both women lock up, with Naomi trying to win quickly with a roll-up. She doesn’t let up, hitting Dana with kicks and clotheslines before Dana retaliates, backing her into the corner and scoring with a handspring elbow. Naomi manages to foil a second attempt, hitting a flying crossbody that scores two.

Naomi tries to hit her wheelbarrow stunner, but Dana drops down for the cover, and she wins again!

I’ve found it very easy to get behind Dana, and while I’m happy with unexpected pins like this happening early in matches, I wish we could have seen these two in action for longer. 2 Stars.

I’ve missed that giant, blonde ego

Here comes Charlotte Flair, for whom NXT is clearly not enough. She gets into the ring and mics up, lauding herself for working on all three brands and being the obvious pick for this new brand-to-brand invitational bollocks.

Anyway, take the talking up of herself by Charlotte as read, and then Bayley and Sasha show up. They run her down, and I’m not sure if we’re supposed to like Charlotte now, but it really does seem like there’s nobody in this ring who we can support. The three women exchange catty remarks for a while, and it is riveting stuff, but the long and short of it is that Bayley and Sasha think that Charlotte can just fuck off.

Charlotte draws comparisons to Sasha’s role in Bayley’s NXT and SmackDown Women’s Championship reigns before asking Banks if she’s really content with being a lackey after all she’s done in this industry. Bayley gets riled up, talking over Sasha’s attempts to respond by challenging Charlotte to a match.

Charlotte accepts the match, then asks Sasha if she’s “her own woman”. What’s with this new-age, joy-sparking bullshit? This can apparently be considered the last word, as Charlotte leaves the ring without Bayley or Sasha jumping her. Banks does, at least, seem thoughtful.

Backstage, Braun Strowman is working out with his shirt off. He takes a brief interview, in which he says that he’s still thinking over Otis’ proposal.

We then get a segment from the Forgotten Sons, who are here to whine about the fact that they didn’t get free blowjobs just for being soldiers. I know America’s got a big old boner for armed forces veterans, but in the UK we’re at least free to admit that soldiers are as capable of being twats as the rest of us.

Elsewhere, Miz and Morrison give an interview to Renee, promising that Strowman knows better than to try to take them on. They then dance away, singing their homemade theme tune. Little scamps.

There are no professorships in wrestling, but there definitely should be

It’s time for a wrestling clinic now, which hopefully makes a bit of a change for all those people who are both of sick of and sick in Covid-19 clinics. Daniel Bryan is taking on Drew Gulak in the first round of the IC Championship tournament, and both bearded, brilliant badgers get themselves down to the ring and start grapplin’.

The match develops slowly with some mat wrestling, neither man gaining an advantage immediately as Cole and Graves remind us of the history and prestige of the Intercontinental Championship, which can also be used to stop Dolph Ziggler running off every few months. It’s like dangling keys in front of a baby if that baby has blond hair and the personality of a ladykiller, by which I mean a man who murders women.

Both Bryan and Gulak try the Yes Lock and the Gulock respectively as they try to catch each other by surprise and otherwise wear their opponent down. Bryan continues to work the arm, forcing Drew onto the defensive before both men trade roll-up attempts. It’s a real clinic in technical wrestling that’s interrupted by Gulak back-suplexing Bryan over the ropes and into a commercial break.

When we come back, Gulak has some control over Bryan, working off that last back suplex. He tries to keep Daniel down, but Bryan switches his focus from Gulak’s arm to his leg, managing to snatch some of the control away. A German suplex plants Gulak, who tries to grab a win with a roll-up. A surprising and vicious-looking Michinoku Driver plants Bryan, but Bryan is able to respond with another German suplex, keeping himself in the match.

Gulak rolls under the running knee, powerbombs Bryan, trading covers with him before suddenly applying the Gulock. Bryan rolls through, applying the Yes Lock; Gulak escapes only to eat a dragon screw before Bryan applies the heel hook. Drew’s in real pain, and soon he’s forced to tap out.

This was a great match, even without any story behind it. If these two ever do end up taking each other on in a true feud, it could be Match of the Year. 4 Stars.

Post-match, Renee asks Bryan what it would mean to him to win the Intercontinental Championship. He reminds us of being forced to relinquish the title years back before teasing us with an Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge. Well, my chinos just got a little tighter.

Drew and Bryan shake hands after the match, apparently not willing to destroy a friendship in the name of good wrestling. Bastards.

We’re told that Mandy and Otis are going to take on Sonya and Ziggler next week. DeVille and Ziggler shoot a goth-aesthetic video backstage where DeVille promises to humiliate Mandy like she thinks that winning via roll-up humiliated her last week. She tells Rose that she’ll never be a winner like her: 0-time Champion, Sonya DeVille. And then she calls her a bitch, because that word’s been super-important to this storyline.

Do it, Otis

Miz and Morrison are here in an attempt to force Otis to acknowledge and be affected by their insults. Otis arrives, but will Braun be with him? And, more importantly, will Otis blindside Strowman after the match and become Universal Champion in what would be the GREATEST SMACKDOWN OF THE CENTURY? Can you imagine Otis vs the Fiend? Can you think of a single reason not to do that feud?

Braun does show up, which is step one of my plan for Otis to fuck him over and become Universal Champion. I refuse to believe that Otis would even be considered a heel if he did that; I’d regard it as heroic.

Morrison starts things off against Otis, relying on his agility to try to force an opening. A few strikes that do little against the Heavy Machinery member seem to make Morrison realise that he’s not taking Mr Money in the Bank as seriously as he needs to. Otis slams Morrison, tagging in Braun to try to do a Caterpillar in stereo with him. Outstanding stuff.

After a break, the Miz has gained control of Otis; I can only assume by shooting him in the spine like Barbara Gordon. He continues to lace Otis with offence, clearly aware that he needs to keep the big man staggered and unable to gather himself. The IT Kicks follow as Miz pays tribute to a demonic clown that lives in a sewer before applying a sleeper. Otis manages to rise to his feet, carrying the Miz, but the A-Lister is able to tag out to Morrison before he’s in trouble. The Miz and Morrison go for a double suplex, but Otis reverses it without apparent effort, slamming both men down to the mat.

Braun Strowman receives the tag, battering bitches in a businesslike manner if your business happens to permit roaring. He runs over Miz on the outside as Morrison literally dives for cover, but Morrison is able to drag the Miz out of the way of a charge, tagging in to hit a Disaster Kick that staggers the Monster Among Men. Morrison unleashes rapid offence against Strowman, but a rebound off the ropes sees him brought up and down again for a Running Powerslam that ends the match.

A fun match that portrayed Miz and Morrison as a dangerous tag team while portraying Braun and Otis as two big, strong men. Morrison, in particular, looked good in defeat. 2.5 Stars.

There’s some comedy as Mandy Rose comes out to distract Braun, and Otis clearly thinks about cashing in before Strowman catches him: that’s some Macbeth shit right there.

I personally think that Otis should hold onto that briefcase before he can cash in on the Fiend, which I think is the thing most likely to break professional wrestling.

David has a jaded and cynical view of wrestling, which complements his jaded and cynical view of practically everything else. He spends his time writing novels and screenplays, lifting heavy things while listening to classical music, and waiting with bated breath for his next opportunity to say "it's Dr. Spain, actually".