I may as well make a template for this review that starts with, “Smackdown this week kicked off with Roman Reigns coming to the ring.” Don’t go back and see how often that happens. Just take my word that it’s at least 260% of the time. I’m shooting low here.
This is the return of Roman Reigns. Because if someone isn’t on Raw once then they need to promote their return as if they’ve been gone for a while. I mean, it’s not like every single Monday they promote the return of John Cena or Triple H or Randy Orton because all of those guys miss Smackdown most weeks. I’m not against another brand split soon, so long as they push the show a little more.
ANYWHO, Reigns announced that he’s entering Money in the Bank. That’s actually cool, since that’s like a whole PPV away still. It’s rare that WWE promotes a show other than Wrestlemania if it’s not their very next show. It makes it feel like they actually plan stuff in advance. *Spoiler* They don’t.
Ambrose interrupted and said he doesn’t need to enter Money in the Bank because he will already be WWE Champion. *Spoiler* He won’t. Then Kane came out because he’s the Triple H of this show. I was going to write in that it annoys me that Superstars can just book themselves in matches whenever they want, but Kane actually pointed out that Reigns has already failed to capture the title twice so he goes to the back of the line. They sometimes remind us of booking logic, but 260% of the time they don’t. Common statistic. Kane also gave Reigns the night off. That makes two in a row! *Spoiler* He’s not taking the night off.
There was a shot of Titus O’ Neil dancing with some little kid and Lawler said, “That’s not his father, but I bet that kid wishes he was.” Jerry, you bastard. That kid probably loves his dad for bringing him to this show. His dad watched the broadcast and probably said, “Wow, Lawler is a real c**t.”
The Ascension vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Tyson Kidd/Cesaro vs. Los Matadores
*This is a four corners match and they didn’t make this the main event. I get that they need the WWE Title in the main event, but after this is over I’m going to have nothing to look forward to except Dean Ambrose being awesome for the rest of the show. Woe is me.
*Because only two teams can be in the ring at the same time and there are four teams, I’m confused why anyone would choose not to tag their own teammate in. I mean, the concept of Konnor from the Ascension tagging in Cesaro means Konnor is taking a risk that Cesaro is going to pin Sin Cara and get the win.
*The Lucha Dragons sell big moves like they are being fired out of a cannon into a fat man’s stomach. Brutal stuff.
*The Ascension (at this particular point in the match) is being booked to actually look strong. I mentioned in my article about tag team wrestling earlier in the week that they’re the least popular of the teams in the title picture, but they’re actually extremely talented if you know of their careers in NXT.
*Literally the moment Cesaro entered this match the pace picked up to a whole other gear. That man can do anything.
*I am more than fine with the Lucha Dragons being pushed a little more heavily. They are insanely entertaining to watch and make excellent opponents for the bigger teams. Especially since I assume they will eventually collide with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in some capacity. That will make for a beautiful train wreck.
*Kalisto got the win for his team with some jumping around shenanigans.
Winners: The Lucha Dragons
They recapped the angle regarding Lana defecting to Dolph Ziggler from Rusev. The only opinion I have until this plays out is that Rusev and Lana are dating in real life, so mad props to Rusev for letting this whole thing play out. It shows that he and Lana can separate their personal and professional lives and clearly he trusts her. He shouldn’t. Because as soon as I meet her she’s mine and he can go straight to Hell if he doesn’t like it.
King Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler
*Well, here’s a fresh matchup. *Heavy sarcasm*8
*I like both of these guys, but I decided to play Clash of Clans for a few minutes because it’s just the same old thing I’ve reviewed 260 previous times. Don’t judge me. I’ve got wars to win. 260 wars.
*What I did catch was a very aggressive Barrett, which is good.
*Judging by the addition of Lana to Ziggler’s character and the clean win over Barrett here, I am leaning toward him being the guy who takes the belt at Elimination Chamber.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Paige came down to deliver a promo. I’ll go on record saying that Paige is the most adorable Diva in WWE history. She’s not Lana hot or Trish Stratus hot. She’s cute. She’s the kind of girl you want to take on a date to a Dairy Queen and tuck into bed then boop her on the nose as you leave her nightlight plugged in and close the door most of the way on the way out, but not all the way so she doesn’t get scared.
Paige called Tamina a man. That would be bad if she was cuz of all the women-beating and whatnot. Naomi came out and said something about how she deserves to be the top Diva. I have headphones on and a guy in the crowd right behind her kept saying, “That’s right! You’re right! You’re absolutely right!” Shut up, guy. You’re distracting me from Naomi. Shit. Now she’s done talking. I’m assuming she talked about how she beat up Paige and therefore is better than Paige. This may be the sassiest promo I’ve seen in a while. These two are mocking each other. Can’t decide if it’s juvenile or well-written. Little of both, I reckon.
Nikki Bella came down for the save. She tripped and somehow that knocked Naomi and Tamina down with the utmost awkward ease. Then she attacked Paige with the Rack Attack. I think what this segment was trying to say was that these fine ladies do not see eye to eye.
Bray Wyatt promo, complete with fireflies and a little eerie soundtrack. I like that fella. I like the way he’s promoted, but I disagree with a lot of his booking. He’s deserving of a place higher on the card. He’s somehow managed to maintain a mystique and it feels special whenever he shows up. It works for me.
Stardust vs. R-Truth
*Why am I still typing the name “Stardust?” This gimmick died months ago and Cody Rhodes is the only one who hasn’t realized it yet.
*As long as I’m asking questions, I may as well ask why I’m listening to the announcers talk about how R-Truth is on another PPV. Why? What’s he done? These two guys are the two most aimless characters who are featured somewhat prominently on WWE television. Drop the Stardust gimmick and replace R-Truth with Cody Rhodes, for f***sake.
*Why am I typing that R-Truth just won a match? What even is happening in my world right now?
I don’t normally write in the recaps unless they’re relevant to what’s happening on the show, but the Cena/Owens segment from Raw was phenomenal. Owens is going to be a megastar and he absolutely deserves it. He’s the right character at the right time with the right work ethic and the right booking. If you know anything about his personal life and his family devotion then you can’t help but be happy for him.
They also recapped NXT Takeover: Unstoppable. This show was taped on Tuesday and Smackdown aired on Thursday, but the NXT show was Wednesday, so it’s cool that they squeezed that in there. It included the debut of Samoa Joe. Yes, it’s exciting to see Joe in WWE, but I have to hope that his being in the company gives him a rejuvenation because if you know anything about his past then you know he was really losing that spark that he had in his younger years. TNA sucked a lot of life out of him. Watch his ROH stuff from before TNA and you’ll see a guy with a lot more passion than TNA Samoa Joe. He’s a great wrestler, so let’s hope that he is coming to WWE/NXT with the passion that he used to have.
I love the crappy Tough Enough auditions. One guy said people call him “Flex” because he flexed his arms. As someone with a lot of knowledge of working out, I can see synthol injections from a mile away. Then there was another guy who bragged about his 250lb bench and 300lb squat. That’s cool. I’m at least 20lbs lighter than him and could do more than that before I got injured. One of my friends just benched 450lbs the other day, and can squat over 600. Tough guys, man.
Adam Rose and Heath Slater vs. The Meta Powers
*Remember that time when there were a ton of tag teams in WWE’s tag division but they thought this match needed to happen?
*It’s super strange, but I like every single guy in this match, yet this match is below all of them.
*Hey, at least it was over fast when Axelmania hit his leg drop on Heath Slater.
*I wonder if this angle bothers Lanny Poffo. He’s a sensitive guy. He either loves it or hates it. There’s no middle ground.
*Spoiler* They’re going to say “The Meta Powers explode!” 260 times per minute as soon as they break that team up.
Winners: The Meta Powers
Bo Dallas interview. Just watch it because he’s amazing. His gimmick has him doomed to be in a midcard comedy roll, but God damn is he ever great at it.
Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt
*Dean Ambrose has only been getting some of the biggest babyface pops in the company for like a year, so I guess it’s about time WWE does something with him.
*Bray Wyatt’s entrance gets 10 out of 10 possible points. It never gets old. What does get old is the announcers talking over it. There’s something to be said about shutting the Hell up, guys. I say it every single time, but it kills the mood of the entrance for them to not understand the subtlety of silence. Apparently all WWE fans are idiots and can’t handle just one minute of ambiance in an entrance built on ambiance.
*Ambrose has really stepped up his game in recent weeks. It’s more than feasible that his amazing chemistry and familiarity with Wyatt and Rollins is the main culprit, and I’m by no means saying that he doesn’t normally have good matches, but in the past month or so he has just been on a whole other plain.
*Both of these guys do so many little subtle things with how they sell, their facial expressions, and their quirky mannerisms. I love both of them as characters and performers.
*Seth Rollins was going to run interference, but Roman Reigns’ music started up. Remember when I said he wouldn’t take the night off? I don’t like to say “I told ya so,” but…I told ya so.
*Reigns hit Wyatt with a Superman punch right in front of the ref but it didn’t mean a DQ because Ambrose was booked to win so they need to overlook any rule infringements in order to get that finish.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
What We Learned This Week
Here is what we learned on Smackdown this week.
* “260” is a very common number for some strange reason not related to me having a random urge to use it.
*Jerry Lawler is a c**t.
*Cesaro turns everything he touches into gold, except for gold. He turns that into plutonium.
*Dolph Ziggler and King Barrett have an occasional match.
*R-Truth is still a thing.
*Stardust is still a thing.
*I’m still confused over why R-Truth is a thing.
*I’m still confused over why Stardust is a thing.
*I play Clash of Clans when something isn’t interesting enough to hold my attention.
*I play Clash of Clans a lot because I have the attention span of a squirrel.
*Damien Sandow has yet to achieve anything near what his potential would allow.
*Bo Dallas is a thing, but I have few questions regarding why.
*Vince McMahon finally watched one of his own television shows and said, “Wait, these people sure do cheer for Dean Ambrose a lot. Let’s do something with him.”
*It’s hard to write hyperbole regarding Ambrose and Wyatt. I may need a thesaurus if they’re going to be featured prominently every week.
*If Roman Reigns or Kane are involved in any way, shape, or form in a match then f*** the rules.
*Following me on Twitter (@JakobDraper) can help to end world hunger and automatically cleanses your entire body of all toxins that may lead to accelerated aging, hemorrhoids, gross feet, or an itch on that one spot on your back that you can’t reach no matter how hard you try.