Last week I had a run-in with Storm from X-Men and my state was wiped off the map until Wolverine went back in time and fixed it. She had a heel turn. Villains and heroes are all over the map in comics. This could happen. Either way, I’m back this week and ready to tell all of you what you either missed on Smackdown, or what you watched and now you want to read something about it. People are weird. Wrestling is weird. Cats are weird.
This week they open up with the “Rowdy” Roddy Piper tribute that they played on Raw. So much has been said about Piper in the past week, and you can read a lot of it here on TJRWrestling, so I’ll just add in that there’s not enough hyperbole to describe what kind of character he was. He would do ANYTHING to make you hate him, even if it meant putting himself in harm’s way. He never seemed over 25 years old because he had so much energy and was so alive. It’s a tragic thing, and with him joining Randy Savage, Andre, Ultimate Warrior, and Dusty Rhodes, it’s just a shame that generation couldn’t live forever.
The somber mood comes to an end when Roman Reigns kicks off the show. I’m a little over his entrance. He is still hanging on to the Shield thing when Rollins and Ambrose have had to find their own thing. Either let them all come down the ramp together again or make Reigns come down the ramp. They’re clearly playing favorites and their opinion doesn’t match mine so I’m going to throw a hissy fit on the internet. That will show them, those bastards.
The crowd is crazy loud for Reigns. Where was that earlier this year when WWE wanted it? His promo set up the SummerSlam match between his team of himself and Dean Ambrose against Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper. I approve. It’s 2/3 of a Shield vs. Wyatt Family feud, and we all remember how fun that was. Or some of us. I guess some of you might be new fans. Pandering is hard.
Rusev interrupted Reigns’ promo and Reigns made fun of him for dressing Summer up like Lana and it’s creepy. I guess somehow his arrogance reminded Rusev of Lana. Rusev’s been strange lately because he’s been carrying himself in his promos and they don’t know what kind of character to establish him as. Whatever, man. Put the guy in matches and I won’t complain much. I mean, I will, because complaining is funny. I won’t remember that I wrote it next week when I complain. Or by the end of this review.
The New Day vs. The Prime Time Players and Mark Henry
*So, trust me, I’m not at all racist. It doesn’t matter that they don’t feel like adding Bo Dallas to The New Day. I think he would be a fun addition, but they’re fine on their own. But did it HAVE to be Mark Henry that they added to this match? I swear to Christ they’re in the writing room and they’re like, “What black guy can we add to the Prime Time Players?” There’s a slew of other talent back there and it’s so obvious. And Mark Henry? Why Mark Henry? He just shows up randomly as a face or heel as he’s needed and gets pinned or beats someone up, looks really tough, then gets pinned later.
*Everything Big E does makes everything WWE does wrong just a little better. If I could just hang out with him for like one day I would feel so complete.
*The announcers kept discussing who could possibly be a good number one contender for the tag titles, even though The New Day is clearly established as the only real threat to the Prime Time Players right now. And they’d better win them, since there aren’t many heel teams for the PTPers to face after SummerSlam.
*The match is pretty cookie-cutter, with the babyfaces hitting a couple big spots to keep the crowd happy, but it mostly being the face in peril (in this case Darren Young) in order to set up a hot tag. It’s a very formulaic setup but it works every time to get the fans riled up. Most of the entertainment comes from The New Day’s showboating, which still isn’t old.
*Hot tag to Titus ‘O’ Neil. Told you so.
*Mark Henry tagged in for the finishing sequence where ‘O’ Neil caught Kofi and tossed him, Henry caught him, then slammed him for the win. I digress. That was pretty cool.
Winners: The Prime Time Players and Mark Henry
Jerry Lawler tried talking us into the Network by talking about how much it saves you instead of paying for PPV’s. That’s fine, but it’s also telling people to not give money to companies who have business relationships with them. Jimmy Uso said it was a better value than Netflix, which I would agree with if you literally watched nothing but wrestling ever. At all. If you do, please seek out help.
The New Day got interviewed backstage and said that The Prime Time Players didn’t beat them because Mark Henry did. And, I guess they’re technically right. The promo was gold because they’re awesome. It ended with them singing and with me being happy. That’s what matters here.
More of Jimmy Uso nodding while Tom Phillips did all of the actual commentating duties. Ha. Duties.
A video package for Charlotte. She’s a beast and she’s basically born to be a wrestler. WWE clearly is a bit higher on her than the other Divas, but I personally love Becky Lynch because I’m a sucker for anything steampunk related. I’m a nerd. She’s not as good as Charlotte or Sasha Banks in the ring, but she’s cooler to me.
Charlotte vs. Naomi
*This is, essentially, a match between a girl who claims she’s the most athletic Diva ever and the one who is being pretty universally referred to as that. Oh my God, I’m a mark.
*The Submission Sorority thing is supposedly getting changed. Someone finally thought of the children on this one. Oddly enough, it’s not going to alter how often that phrase gets Googled.
*The match never really got going before Sasha Banks came in for the disqualification, which set it up as a tag team match. Which instantly made me think of Teddy Long sitting at home in a suit tailored for The Big Show as he cries and remembers when it used to be his job to make tag team matches on this show.
Winner: Charlotte by DQ
The Sorority Sisters vs. Team BAD
*God, the names of the Divas teams are just so bad. I feel like these are Dora the Explorer character names or something. Except less Latino. Is that racist? Naw. I think I’m in the clear. Can’t be going all Hogan out here.
*This match started off a lot faster than the previous match ever had a chance to get.
*Sasha Banks is probably the best of the three new Divas in the ring because she has a bit more of the psychological aspects of professional wrestling down. Charlotte is extremely athletic and she knows how things works, but Banks has a lot of little things that make her stand out. To be fair, being a heel gives her a little more freedom to explore those things, so the daughter of one of the greatest villains of all time could probably have a lot of fun with the role. But Becky Lynch has goggles still, so I can’t really stop loving her. If those bad boys are on the WWE Shop then I might get some for my dog to wear when I take him for car rides.
*The match in general was a great platform for all of the Divas to show off a bit, except Tamina. She’s mostly relegated to standing outside and hitting people who come to close. She’s like one of those invisible walls in video games that won’t let you pass until you beat up all the other people first.
*So many Rhonda Rousey references. WWE loves to ride the dick of whoever they are trying to recruit. Rousey is one of the premier names in all of sports right now, so kudos to WWE for having a good relationship with her. Anyone remember that time her boss referred to this company as “Fake shit that should only be $9.99.” I bet it chaps Vince’s ass to look the other way when he’s trying to promote her right now.
*I bet Charlotte has sooooo many siblings in this very crowd that she has never even met. What? Daddy’s played the odds, man.
*Banks’ offense is just so damn vicious, despite her being smaller than the other Divas. She’s just so insanely aggressive. She’s like that one tiny girl that we all know who is dead set she can beat up ANYONE. Except she probably can. Don’t test it.
*An inside cradle from Charlotte got reversed by Naomi for the pin. Strange finish since Naomi is so irrelevant in this feud. BUT, she had the tights and wasn’t legal. So whatever. Heels are bad.
Winners: Team BAD
Stardust vs. Zack Ryder
*El oh el. Zack Ryder is on so he’s going to hit a signature move to get the crowd excited then get crushed in one minute.
*They hyped Stephen Amell’s appearance on Raw Monday, which I am actually pretty excited about. Cody is selling this “comic book” feud so well that I am pretty invested in where they’ll take it.
*The announcers discussed how there are actors playing villains, like Jared Leto playing The Joker or Tom Hiddleston playing Loki and Cody Rhodes doesn’t get that and he’s stuck as Stardust. But really their entire point fell completely flat, considering anyone over three years old is fully aware that Cody Rhodes is playing a villain here in literally the EXACT same way. They actually used the exact argument they use when people take wrestling too seriously. I’m so angry about this. You have no idea. I want blood.
*Stardust got the win after Ryder hit his Broski Boot because I’m right about everything all the time.
Stardust cut a promo about how Neville let him down and Stephen Amell doesn’t need to on Raw. So, did they drop the Neville angle because Amell agreed to feud with Rhodes? Am I supposed to be asking that? Is that the point? What’s the point of anything any more? Was Patrick Bateman actually a murderer? Was Leonardo Di Caprio dreaming? So many questions, so few answers.
I’ve been cutting past the Raw recaps, but I can’t just gloss over the awesome promo that Heyman cut on Raw. He’s on his own level. I’m not saying in the current WWE landscape. I’m saying that, once it’s all said in done, he’s in the run for the greatest talker in WWE history.
Big Show promo. He was sweating because he was shadow boxing and talking too much. Calm down, big guy.
Roman Reigns vs. Rusev
*They’re still doing the intros and the one thing I’m hoping here is that Roman doesn’t phone this shit in. He’s very good when he does more than clotheslines and punches, and Rusev has 100% sold me in the past month or so. I saw potential, but he has completely surpassed what I thought he could do because I didn’t think he could have such endurance to go the distance with a guy like Cesaro or Cena. There’s so much I want to say about how impressed I am with Rusev’s ability as of late, but this Summer Rae thing is going to have to be dropped because his promos are blah and Lana would give him that final thing that he needs.
*The beginning of the match was all rest holds, which makes that first point completely ignorant and now I’m just left cursing under my breath. Even though I’m all alone right now. I mostly do things for dramatic effect.
*So. Many. Clotheslines.
*Reigns did a strange modified suplex that I haven’t seen him do before, so I am calling this one a victory. And he hit a powerbomb. Which makes me forgive the early rest holds. It’s like when I forgave Dragon Ball Z for making me watch Goku run down Snakeway for 100 episodes because he came back and beat up Nappa. Yay for references that only a few people get but they really, really love. It’s like a cult. We are small, but we are devoted.
*Summer got jumped by Lana outside of the ring, which led to a distraction. Glad they paid Lana to come out here for all of one second.
*That also led into Rusev getting angry and Reigns hitting the Spear for the win. I would have been much happier with an unclean finish because beating Rusev meant A LOT when Cesaro did it. This actually serves to cheapen that victory and any victories that anyone claims over him down the road now. I think about things too much.
Winner: Roman Reigns
The show ended with a quick promo from Bray Wyatt that just said he accepts the challenge or something. Right there would have been a great time for a teaser or cliffhanger to get us to tune into Raw. I don’t know what because I don’t know what all they have planned, but it just didn’t get me to go, “No way! Don’t leave me wanting like this!”
What We Learned on this Week’s Smackdown:
*I did, in fact, forget that I said I wouldn’t complain about stuff as long as Rusev was in matches, precisely as I had predicted.
*The feud between The New Day and The Prime Time Players is Hulk Hogan’s worst nightmare. Too soon? Naw. It’s all in good fun. But seriously, I do not at all care about their race, especially considering The New Day is one of my favorite things in the company for a while now, but it’s so insanely in-your-face here. Cesaro wasn’t doing anything. Neville? F***ing Alex Riley? Dean Ambrose? They all could have been used…but Mark Henry did it.
*”Submission Sorority” is the worst idea since a movie called “Get Hard.” It’s not easy to look things up when you troll us, WWE.
*I’m establishing that Cody Rhodes is playing a character named Cody Rhodes who’s playing a character named Stardust. That’s the story he’s in right now. When I write it out like that it’s way cooler, isn’t it?
*Don’t you dare comment on the ending to Inception. I know. I already f***ing know. Let me have fun without being a pretentious bastard who read some interviews with Christopher Nolan and now understands all ambiguity in the universe. You know who you are.
*Rusev is good. Lana is good. Rusev + Lana is great. This is actual math from a second grade Merill Mathematics text book. WWE best read up.
*Bray Wyatt says lots of stuff to make us think he’s got something up his sleeve but he never does. I mean, he doesn’t even have sleeves. But really, he’s all cryptic 100% of the time and 5% of the time it actually pays off.
That’s it. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. We’ve done it. If I had a whole bunch of banana stickers then I would ship one to each and everyone one of you. How about you go add me on Twitter @JakobDraper and I send you one? Or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JakeDraperRulesTheGalaxy and I’ll send one of those cute little stickers from my iPhone of a banana doing something? I won’t let you down. I’m here for you, so long as you’re here for me. Until next week, don’t get struck by lightning or make racist comments when you’re secretly being recorded having sex with your best friend’s wife. Oddly specific, I know, but if I had written it weeks ago then I could have save a lot of hearthache.