The first hour of Smackdown was a recap of Raw. I may be exaggerating, but less than you might think. So much intense music and blue/red filters and Michael Cole talking. Apparently there aren’t other announcers allowed on replays? I dunno. Look! The show is starting!
Jerry Lawler starts the show to introduce the King of the Ring winner, Wade Barrett. I get it. He was the first King of the Ring. Awesome fake heat for Barrett as they recap more stuff that’s not on this show. Jesus. Barrett starts his heel promo. I’m not sure who’s going to interrupt him to set up a match. If I guess wrong I’ll just go back and claim I guessed it right, I won’t pretend that’s below me.
Jerry Lawler’s face is a leather handbag with a glossy, orange finish. It was Dolph Ziggler. That’s totally who I was going to guess. Man, I am so on the ball.
King Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler
*There was a claim from one of the announcers that Barrett is the most powerful man in WWE now. What power did he win? Can he book matches now? Can he get a title shot? Can he do anything that anyone else can’t do?
*After a while of seeing this match you can pretty much predict the whole thing. Barrett takes control and then Ziggler hits a big move. Then the finish is a random Barrett finisher from nowhere, Ziggler winning, or an interference. Every time. There’s never more back-and-forth than that. This time it was Sheamus running in for the DQ.
Winner by DQ: Dolph Ziggler
Wondering who’s coming out for the save? I’m going with Neville.
Oh, look. There’s Neville. Guys, if I can predict it then why can’t Sheamus or Barrett? They play this game a lot.
Neville and Dolph Ziggler vs. King Barrett and Sheamus
*They decided to start this match during the break. I didn’t watch on the app because deep down in my heart of hearts I know Teddy Long came out and set it up. Do not break my fantasy if you watched.
*I won’t complain about Neville being in a match, but I will. I just lied to you. First of all, I want him to be on offense a little more. Second, I want to see him against other opponents. The dynamics he could have with some of the other guys on the roster would be so awesome, but instead we just see him against some variation of Sheamus or Barrett every week.
*I like heel Sheamus and I like Ziggler getting the hot tag and going jump crazy. I don’t love this “chip on his shoulder” thing they keep saying. I mean, the man’s career is in a great place and he’s proven how awesome he is to millions. It’s like Metallica trying to be angry after the Black Album. They were trillionaires. They had nothing to complain about.
*I wonder if Neville even knows what “fear” is. I bet his middle name is Danger. I know it is.
*Ziggler got the win after a Zig Zag on Barrett.
Winner: Neville and Dolph Ziggler
Dean Ambrose cut a promo claiming that he’s the Joker. Or something. I’m close.
I think WWE is the only company that uses like 1/3 of their TV time to show graphics that talk about how great they are through cleverly-worded “facts” that make them seem like they’re far more popular than they are. Sure, they’re popular, but they’re sure to make you think they dwarf all other shows and promotions in the world, including the NFL.
Luke Harper vs. Fandango
*Should I write that Luke Harper won before the match starts or is that unfair?
*Good crowds for the Fandango entrance make or break his whole gimmick.
*Luke Harper did a moment of Fandongo-ing and I got excited over the prospect of him doing it for like ten minutes and dancing back to the backstage. I would have rated it the best match of the year.
*It was short. It was ultra-predictable. But Luke Harper is cool and it looks like he’s mutilating whoever he’s up against, so I’m fine with it.
Winner: Luke Harper
Erick Rowan comes out after the match. He does his heel turn on Fandango, which hopefully means he’s rejoining Harper. That’s what’s best for both of them. I can only hope that they rejoin Wyatt soon, too. Also, does Rowan just walk around backstage with the mask on? Is that what we’re supposed to believe? Does he drive in it? Go out to dinner in it? I’m shutting up because Lana is on.
She says the crowd cheering angers Rusev. There’s no way they don’t want us to believe he mercilessly tortures her for disobedience. He came out and told her to walk away, which was okay because…it wasn’t okay. There I go, lying again. Rusev, you evil, Russian bastard. Good thing she came to work and got paid more than I make in a month to say three words and then go away again.
Rusev talked about how he’s gonna beat up Cena. That’s all anyone ever says on any wrestling shows. Including Roman Reigns, who is about to say the exact same thing in the interview with him. I’m going to leave it at that without more of a recap. Little note: I did read a rumor floating around that Ambrose and Reigns were going to rejoin Rollins and reform The Shield at Payback. This is most likely untrue, but I think I’ll stop watching WWE and just assume it is what happened so I can live in a fantasy world.
A New Day vs. Tyson Kidd, Cesaro, and Ryback
*Ryback was the surprise partner. This match is going to be good and it’s going to end with Wyatt making an appearance. I win all around.
*Tyson Kidd and Cesaro are so cool. Ryback is okay, I don’t mind him, but Tyson Kidd and Cesaro are SO COOL. There was a point where all three of them hit hanging suplexes at the same time (Kidd’s was more snappy, but it was cool anyway). Cesaro’s was the never-ending suplex.
*Still love the “New Day Sucks” kicks in the corner. That’s going to be hard to make old.
*I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Big E deserves more credit. He’s a great athlete. He’s insanely quick for his size and he looks believable. Against someone like Kidd, who can make anyone look like a million bucks, he has had some cool moments.
*The moment Cesaro got tagged in and did his first uppercut I was happy. These matches are so good. I have been saying it for weeks because we see it so much, but the chemistry of New Day, Cesaro and Kidd is absolutely unrivaled by anything going on in WWE right now. It doesn’t matter that they keep having the match because they always entertain and they genuinely trade wins enough that it’s unpredictable.
*The Wyatt cameo was just a little flash on the screen. I wasn’t totally wrong, but I’m not scrolling all the way back up there to change that.
*New Day got a rollup win.
Winners: New Day (Sucks)
Emma vs Naomi
*Why even put such predictable matches on shows? I get that they need to make Naomi look strong, but Emma hasn’t had even a slight push that makes her look like a contender. It’s like having a match with Brock Lesnar against Zack Ryder. The Hell does that even prove?
*Naomi’s hair is cool as shit.
*The lack of Naomi’s light-up shoes is uncool as…whatever the opposite of hot shit is. Maybe those are reserved for PPV’s cuz…budgets.
*Despite my annoyance with how they handle the Divas division, Naomi’s build has been pretty good. She looks like a very dominant competitor, much more so than Nikki and Brie Bella.
*She one with her “Butt-in-Face” move that would do more damage to her butt than someone’s face. Then Tamina and her beat down Emma for a few more minutes.
I would pay WWE to be the guy who watches all the hilarious Tough Enough videos.
Los Matadores vs. Lucha Dragons
*On paper this should be good, but Los Matadores is just a comedy team so it’s not.
*The fact that there was even one single rest hold in a Lucha Dragons match is almost heartbreaking.
*Sin Cara’s ringpost headstand spot could have went terribly awry very easily. I don’t think that should be done much in the future.
*There’s a tiny minotaur running around the ring and it’s hilarious…and stupid. Lucha Dragons are above this. As are every other team Los Matadores faces.
*Kalisto is so much fun. Sin Cara holds his own, for sure, but Kalisto is out of his mind. Him and Neville should have a match sometime…on the moon.
Winner: Lucha Dragons
They teased a split for Los Matadores after the match. Someone, somewhere cared. Like, some kid in some random third-world country who had just enough signal to watch that one single match and get really invested in it because it was an escape from an otherwise terrible life. It’s a very, very specific fan.
*I guess I’ll recap this like a match, but I don’t even want to. Here’s what’s going to happen. They’ll come out. Cut promos. Fight. Show ends. That’s four promos with an introductory promo. This is all talk and no walk. All bark and a little bite.
*Also, f*** Randy Orton’s Jumbo Tron video. They made that in Clip Art in 1996.
*At least the chairs in the ring look super comfortable. Since they’re going to be in a boring segment it’s only fitting that they be in a place that’s excessively easy to take a nap.
*Rollins didn’t come down to the ring so there was more Ambrose referring to him as Justin Bieber. Oh, Justin Bieber. Those Canadians gave him to us and now their shame has become our shame.
*It was nice of each of these guys to go in a circle and talk. It was like share time in Kindergarten. Except with excessive use of the word, “Ass.” Sooooo naughty, guys.
*Since when the Hell has Kane been able to sign a name on the contract for someone else because he’s an authority figure? If that’s the case then why don’t they bypass this entire segment and have him sign everyone’s name? And on that note, what happens if Rollins doesn’t sign it? Clearly he doesn’t want to have this match at Payback, so why not just refuse to sign it?
*Rollins trying to turn them all on one another was the only remotely intelligent thing that anyone did here.
*That table looks primed for RKO’in’ to me. Dean Ambrose clearing it off and getting set for the brawl is hilarious. He broke the fourth wall a little there. “We all know how this is gonna end anyway.”
*I take it back. That table looks primed for Spearin’ now.
*That table didn’t get broken. This was a complete bust as a contract signing. I want death. I want carnage. I want blood. I want tables. Rollins ended up as the last man standing, if you’re wondering.
That final segment was predictable, and at least Ambrose acknowledged it. The whole show was rather “meh” with the exception of A New Day and Cesaro/Kidd/Ryback. That’s not a shocker. If you aren’t keeping up with anything in WWE, go watch their matches with each other. Each one is excellent.
The lack of Daniel Bryan is starting to put a dent in how good this show is. He’s the one that the crowd is always going to light up for, so the whole energy of the show is lower without him around. A little-known fact is that I’m actually a surgeon. I will fix his neck for him. I mean, I’m not a trained surgeon, but I did cut a grasshopper open with a razor when I was little. Can’t be much different.
Anywho, you’re reading this, so you probably want to write your own little mini review in the comments. I’ve noticed that’s something that happens. Do it up. Agree with me though. Then follow me on Twitter and agree with everything I say there, too. @JakobDraper is the place, now is the time.