After last week’s SmackDown left me as sick as a dog (geddit?) and this week’s RAW covered me in so much bull-honky that I started sprouting roses, I’ve been a little burnt out on wrestling these past seven days.
So much so, in fact, that I handed off AEW Dynamite duties to Connor O’Donnell- and you can read his excellent review here and completely skipped NXT UK altogether, feeling that I needed at least 48 hours where I didn’t find myself screaming at my TV like a crazy person.
Seriously, folks, it was pretty touch and go as if I’d even bother to carry on with my lifelong obsession, thanks to the senile ravings of some old bastard in Stamford, but with the knowledge that he’d be to busy with the brand new XFL season, I sucked it up and sat down to watch WWE Friday Night SmackDown with all the enthusiasm of a condemned man watching as they build his gallows.
So, what did I make of it? Well, let’s lace up our boots and head to the ring to find out.
Tag-Team Match: The Usos vs. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler
I’m not quite sure what the long game is here.
It seems that The Usos, Roode, and Ziggler are locked in this never-ending feud, along with Reigns and Corbin, that just repeats every seven days while we’re supposed to accept it and pretend that it’s a brand new program each and every time.
There’s no pay-off.
One team wins, then the following week the other team gets their victory back and nothing advances any further than the rinse and repeat formula.
Logically, after The Miz and Morrison win the SmackDown Tag-Team Titles, then The Usos will enter a feud with them while The Glorious One and The Show-Off can move onto staring at the lights for The New Day, but this is the WWE and logic doesn’t live here, so this whole situation will just continue on until the world finally spins off of its axis and plunges us all, screaming, into the empty void.
The match was pretty good though, a fast-paced, spot-fest that only had one major problem.
Remember when a finisher was just that?
Here though, Ziggler hit two Zig-Zags, including one that was part of a Spine Buster combo, but both times Jimmy Uso kicked out.
Yeah, way to go to protect a finishing move there, WWE.
Winners: The Usos
Elias vs. Cesaro
Holy crap! Elias actually wrestled!
Holy crap! Elias actually won!
It’s been so long since The Drifter has done anything other than stand in the middle of the ring, strumming his banjo (not a euphemism, by the way) that I’d totally forgotten that he could actually go when it came down to it.
This was a highly enjoyable match, if for no other reason than Sami Zayn.
The way he jumped up and down with glee, like a child that’s just absconded with a biscuit behind his parent’s backs, when he cold-cocked Elias was a joy to watch and is part of the reason that he’s becoming the MVP of SmackDown.
I know he had dreams of going his entire career as a Babyface, ala Ricky Steamboat, but since turning Heel he’s embraced it with such vigor that I’m surprised it didn’t happen earlier.
Last week I questioned if Elias was fully ready for an in-ring return as he seemed to be suffering from a little ring rust, but there was none on show here as both he and Cesaro put on a good fight that ended with The Swiss Cyborg taking one hell of a Randy Savage elbow drop for the loss and as we’re in Wrestlemania season, I’d like to see this particular feud go all the way to the Show of Shows.
Vince McMahon Bull-Honky Alert #1
This just isn’t going to die, is it?
After last week’s episode, that nearly killed my love of wrestling, King Corbin came out to decry his loss to Reigns.
He demanded a re-match, spilled some beer over an out of work wrestler, Roman came out, chased him off, and agreed.
Blah, blah, blah, blah, f*cking blah.
The only saving grace to this whole thing is that if the Steel-Cage Match is going to be the ending this program desperately needs, then I don’t have to sit through it as I have a soul and f*ck Super Showdown.
Goldberg/Bray Wyatt Promo
When Goldberg announced that he was going after The Fiend at Super Blood Money…er…I mean Super Showdown, I was ready to pull out the second Vince McMahon Bull-Honky Alert of the night.
This was because I just couldn’t see any way that Bill would agree to this without the stipulation that he walks out with the title at the end of the show.
Then I got to thinking.
It’s going to be a win via DQ, isn’t it?
Unless the WWE is intent on taking the belt off of Wyatt and sticking it around Goldberg’s waist just to please a man who didn’t know that Yokozuna was dead when he started making demands on who should be on the first Super Showdown, which would kill The Fiend’s momentum in its tracks, then the only way out of this is for Bray to cheat.
I’d love it if Big Bill came out, hit his two moves of doom, and then ended up falling victim to the Mandible Claw as everyone else has, but it ain’t gonna happen.
So Wyatt is going to have to get himself disqualified which will help protect an aging character that only gets rolled out whenever the ratings need a spike, while at the same time taking away a little of the mystique built up around a monster that can take out anyone put in his path.
Except, of course, Bill Goldberg.
Daniel Bryan vs. Heath Slater
The reason I’m now convinced that The Fiend will still be SmackDown Universal Champion heading into Wrestlemania is because of this little squash match that followed his face-off with Bill.
While trying to console D-Bry after his beating at the hands/strap of Wyatt at the Royal Rumble, all Heath Slater did was piss the G.O.A.T off, leading to a beatdown of epic proportions in the ring.
This showed a vicious side to Bryan that we haven’t seen since he turned Face again, with him using Slater’s head as his own personal stomping mat, and leads me to believe that we’ll get a lot more of it leading up to Wrestlemania where I fully expect him to face, and defeat, The Fiend for the title.
Yup, calling it now.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Vince McMahon Bull-Honky Alert #2
This isn’t about the segment between Braun Strowman and Shinsuke Nakamura that proceeded it, as that was handled in a way that makes me excited for the rematch, but because of the two that followed it.
First up, we had Otis in a training montage for his date next week with Mandy Rose and for the love of God, somebody, anybody, shoot me.
You’d be doing me a favor.
This was then followed by Sheamus beating a jobber…no…wait…sorry..Apollo Crews in about six seconds before kicking the shite out of Chad Gable after he tried to make the save.
We get it Vince, a big guy beating on a little guy is funny to you, but to the rest of the world, it just makes Sheamus look like a douche bag who gets his jolly’s by picking on people smaller than himself.
Vince Russo Says “What A Swerve, Bro”
Alright, who the f*ck let Vince Russo in the back?
That can be the only explanation for what occurred during the Fatal 4 Way Match to determine the #1 Contender for Bayley’s SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Since her return at the Royal Rumble, Namoi has been positioned as the one who will dethrone Bayley for the title.
She bested her on SmackDown last week and when this match started, she was the only wrestler who got a full introduction, at least for those of us watching at home.
Hell, they even included Dana Brooke in the bout to eat the pin when Naomi won.
So what did they do?
Gave the win to Carmella.
What the actual f*ck WWE?
Make your goddamn minds up.
Either run with the person that you’ve led everyone to believe you’re fully behind or don’t bother wasting our time trying to get us invested in a character you have no intention of doing anything with.
Swerving fans when it makes sense is acceptable, but doing it just for the sake of doing it is WCW levels of stupidity that can seriously damage your product.
If it wasn’t for NXT, I’d give up on the WWE.
I know it might seem as if I shit on SmackDown and RAW every week, but I really don’t want to, it’s just that the company seems so intent on making their two major brands almost unwatchable at times, that there’s nothing else that I can do.
There is so much talent on both rosters just going to waste, where the ones they use all end up caught in some bull-honky story-line somewhere down the line, that you do find yourself questioning whether or not it’s worth the hours you have to put in each week just to keep on top of it all.
I’ll tell you now if I wasn’t doing these reviews, I wouldn’t bother.
I’ll also bet you that I could sod off for a couple of months and when I returned we’d still be in the middle of the same horseshit programs, like Corbin and Reigns, that we were when I decided to go do something more interesting with my life.
Like swallowing sulphuric acid.
But it is what it is, and I’ll be back Tuesday with my RAW Review.
Unless I get lucky and the planet explodes before it airs.