WWE SMACKDOWN RANT
June 24, 2011
Hello, readers, "Great" Scott is here, and he's relatively on time, despite and extraordinarily busy weekend. Saturday, I bowled in a celebrity bowling event with some awesome folks that I used to watch on television, including Haku from the WWE and Johnny B. Badd (Marc Mero), Glacier, Asya, and Dale Torborg from the WCW. So Cal Val and Jesse Neal from TNA were there, too. It was a cool event that supported Rock Pink (www.rockpink.com), an organization that helps support the fight against breast cancer. It was hard having all of these former wrestlers asking me for pictures, but I was glad to oblige. Seriously, though, every one of these folks was awesome and seemed happy to be there. It was a really good time.
Speaking of really great times…or the lack thereof, let's get to this week's show…
The show starts with the opening theme song, which it hasn't done in a long time. I guess they were sick of rubbing in the fact that Christian will never beat Randy Orton.
We're taped this week from Hershey, Pennsylvania, chocolate capital of the United States. Speaking of chocolate, Teddy Long starts things off by jive soul bro'ing his way to the ring. Teddy admits a mistake was made at Capitol Punishment, and he "axes" Christian to come to the ring. Christian obliges and makes his way out. Christian immediately says he deserves another chance to compete for the championship. Since Christian's a heel, Teddy won't award Christian a rematch right away…to get a rematch, Christian has to beat Kane. Wait a minute…five minutes ago, Teddy Long said he cared about WWE fans…if he did, he wouldn't have put Kane in a match. Hypocrite.
And, speaking of hating the fans…Ezekiel Jackson's taking on Wade Barrett later tonight!
Sin Cara vs. Ted DiBiase
Well, this balances out the two potential crapfests that will most likely take place later.
DiBiase starts by working the arm of Sin Cara. Sin Cara flips and kicks a lot and then spends about 30 seconds flipping and spinning around DiBiase, who eventually ends up on the floor. Sin Cara, who apparently isn't very patient, launches himself onto DiBiase. Sin Cara rolls DiBiase back in the ring and gets two on a pin attempt. Sin Cara lands a pair of kicks, but eats a dropkick when he tries for his second rope springboard elbow. DiBiase takes over with a chinlock and then goes for what looks like a gutbuster, but awkwardly ends up in a sunset flip by Sin Cara. That was all setup and no payoff. Anyway, DiBiase kicks out of the pin attempt and boots Sin Cara in the face as the two men stand up. DiBiase stays in control with a stomp and a kick, and then grinds his forearm in Sin Cara's face. DiBiase hits a clothesline and then goes for another pin attempt. After an Irish whip, DiBiase runs into an elbow by Sin Cara. DiBiase tries for a second charge, but Sin Cara gets his feet up and then dropkicks DiBiase. Sin Cara lands a trio of kicks, pulls of a flying head scissors, and then hits his springboard elbow. Sin Cara stays on the attack with an odd leaping wristlock move that almost looks like R-Truth's finisher. Sin Cara kicks DiBiase in the head, but then leaps right into a spinebuster. Sin Cara kicks out of the pin attempt that follows. DiBiase punches Sin Cara and sends him off the ropes, but Sin Cara ducks a clothesline and gets DiBiase in Kelly Kelly's flying head scissors. The difference? Sin Cara ends by slamming DiBiase's head into the mat (in the Crippler Crossface position). Sin Cara rolls DiBiase over and gets a three count.
Winner: Sin Cara
This match had bright spots, but could've been a five-star affair. As it stands, it was good, if not a little on the slow side. DiBiase had such great chemistry with Daniel Bryan, I would've thought this match would've moved a little more quickly.
On RAW, Rhodes and DiBiase put a paper bag on Daniel Bryan's head…the DRAMA. However, this will at least lead to another decent match on this show.
After the RAW Rebound, I sit through what feels like 204 commercials. I'm rewarded for my patience with…
Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan
I'm still kinda' confused by this angle. Are we, the fans, the ugly ones, or is Cody Rhodes the ugly one? If we're so ugly, why does Rhodes still hide his face? You would think that if we were so ugly, he'd still be so much more handsome than us, even as "disfigured" as he is. I think mokeys think more about how they sling their crap than the WWE writers think about how they develop characters and storylines.
Anyway, Bryan interrupts Cody's boring slow talk, which scores points with me right away. Daniel Bryan instantly becomes my favorite face on the roster by saying that looks aren't everything, and backing that up by showing a picture of Dusty Rhodes…ouch. Bryan cuts a spectacular promo, telling Rhodes that he'll never live up to his father's legacy.
The match finally gets underway, and Rhodes begins by working the arm. Bryan turns the tables with a pair of arm drags, but Rhodes moves out of the way of a third and goes for a rolling craddle pin attempt that gets…nothing, because Bryan reverses it. The two men exchange pin attempts until Bryan dropkicks Rhodes out of the ring. Rhodes has a spaz attack until DiBiase comes out to offer some assistance. Didn't he just lose? Anyway, we head to commercial so Rhodes and DiBiase can relive their Legacy days.
When we return, Rhodes is in the process of tossing Bryan out of the ring. DiBiase instantly takes advantage of the situation. Rhodes rolls outside and beats on Bryan a little bit before rolling Bryan back in the ring and clotheslining him in the corner. Rhodes stomps and headbutts Daniel Bryan, and then snapmares him and lands a knee to the back. Rhodes clamps on a chinlock, half nelson combo hold, and then hits a side Russian leg sweep when Bryan tries to escape. Rhodes stomps Bryan, and then hits a pair of knee lifts to the midsection. Rhodes front suplexes Bryan down, but then misses on a knee drop. Bryan strikes back with a European uppercut, but Rhodes clotheslines him and stomps him some more. Next up, Rhodes applies a pretty nifty hold in which he twists Bryan's arm, and then uses his leg to chicken wing the arm while he sits on Bryan's back and applies a camel clutch type hold. Bryan fights his way out, but Rhodes punches back. Bryan ducks a clothesline, hits his leaping forarem, a kick in the corner, and a bicycle kick after escaping a Rhodes corner charge. Bryan props Rhodes on the top rope, and then hits a (sorta' sloppy) hurricanrana off the top rope. Bryan pumps up and then proceeds to kick the crap out of Rhodes. Rhodes ducks a kick, but Bryan grabs him and tries to apply the LaBell Lock. Rhodes escapes, but Bryan still manages a roll up pin attempt that gets two. Bryan goes for a sunset flip, but Rhodes sits down to get a two count of his own. Both men miss clotheslines and then collide on a double cross body attempt. DiBiase gets involved when both men get up, grabbing Bryan's leg. Bryan, however, kicks Rhodes in the stomach and then suicide dives onto DiBiase. As Bryan tries to get back in the ring, Rhodes leaps off the ropes and kicks him in the head. Bryan's leg gets caught in the ropes and DiBiase gets some shots in while the ref moves Rhodes back to free Bryan. Rhodes gets in another leaping kick and then hits CrossRhodes to end the match.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
That match was pretty cool. I don't know if the ending was clever or stupid, but the match was decent and had some good psychology to it…which is a rarity in the WWE these days.
Is Johnny Curtis's gimmick really that he takes stupid clichés literally? Sweet Jesus, are they even trying anymore?
In the back, Matt Striker interviews Big Show, who is even more boring than usual. Matt Striker says that Mark Henry is "on a tear" as of late…but all the clips they show of him happened months ago. When was the last time "on a tear" Mark Henry even won a match? Well, at least Bog Show isn't fighting with Del Rio anymore. As I'm typing, Mark Henry sloppily tackles Big Show and then almost trips and falls of the remains of the crappy backdrop. Is Nunzio a referee now? Awesome!
Well, I guess this is the point where the show falls off a cliff…
Ezekiel Jackson vs. Wade Barrett
Barrett jumps Jackson on the way to the ring. Barrett's got a rose on his tights; remember when he used to wear that jacket with the rose in the lapel? I thought that was a cool gimmick, but the WWE doesn't like guys with cool gimmicks…just boring ones.
Barrett rolls Jackson in the ring, but he's "wounded" after Barrett essentially just kicked and punched him a few times. The referee says he's not going to start things until Jackson is ready, and then makes sure Jackson wants to fight. Isn't this the same guy who fought off three guys a few weeks back?
Eventually Jackson gets up and the match starts. Barrett kicks away at Jackson and then hits a JBL super-slow neckbreaker. He lifts Jackson back up, and Jackson responds by no-selling everything and punching Barrett until he runs into a boot in the corner. Barrett follows up the boot by landing a big clothesline. After a failed pin attempt, Barrett stomps Jackson and clamps on a rear chinlock. Jackson fights out, and then hits a running kick on Barrett. Unfortunately for Jackson, he walks straight into a Big Boss Man side slam. Barrett follows this up by choking Jackson in the ropes and landing a series of clubbing blows. Barrett stays in control for a little bit longer until he walks into a Rock Bottom. Somehow, Barrett is the first to recover, despite the fact that Jackson delivered the move. Jackson, however, hits three clotheslines and then one more in the corner. Barrett retreats to the outside and then boots Jackson when he follows. Barrett rolls Jackson back in the ring and lifts Jackson into Wasteland. Jackson slips out and puts Barrett in the torture rack. Even though he has it applied wrong, Barrett taps out.
Winner: Ezekiel Jackson
That match had pacing issues out the wazoo…Jackson sold the "beating" from the beginning, but pretty much nothing else. Ugh.
An interview with Randy Orton follows the match…I almost fall asleep.
After the commercial break, we head to the back, where Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel delight in Wade Barrett's failure. Wade Barrett uses WWE logic and says that he's got bigger and better things on his mind after LOSING the intercontinental belt. So, he thinks he deserves BETTER after LOSING? I love the WWE.
The Usos vs. Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel
Ummm…before the match, the Usos do some weird Samoan tribal dance. Remember when the Usos first arrived and said they weren't stupid and tribal like the Samoans before them? Yeah, I guess the WWE doesn't remember that, either.
Gabriel starts with one of the Usos. The Uso wallops Gabriel with a pair of chops before tagging his brother. Jey Uso comes in, hits a slam, and then goes for a pin with a northern lights suplex. Slater distracts Jey, which allows Gabriel to get one move in, but Jey fights back quickly. Gabriel, however, catches him with a leaping kick as he mounts the corner turnbuckles. Gabriel tags to Slater, and Slater hits a leaping forearm off the apron to the floor. He rolls Jey back in the ring and stomps away at him until he tags to Gabriel. Gabriel and Slater take turns beating on Jey until Jey catches a leaping Gabriel in a Samoan drop. That was actually a nice spot. Both men tag, and Jimmy gets the advantage with a quick series of moves, including a full nelson drop and a corner splash. NOW IT IS TIME ON SPROCKETS WHEN WE DANCE! Jimmy follows up with an ass splash in the corner. Gabriel makes the save on a tag, Jey tosses Gabriel, and then Slater tosses Jey. Slater, unfortunately, turns and walks right into a thrust kick. Jimmy heads up top…and splashes right onto the awaiting knees of Heath Slater. Slater rolls up a stunned Jimmy Uso for the three. Nice ending.
Winners: Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel
That was a perfectly acceptable match. I was worried after the Jackson/Barrett match that things were headed to Doodooville, but this was a pleasant surprise.
Don't be Big Bully Busick, be a star!
Yoshi Tatsu (with Jobber Entrance) vs. Jinder Mahal (with The Great Khali)
Oh wow, a squash rematch! Seriously, there aren't any more jobbers Mahal can fight? Was JTG busy?
Nunzio can't get control! Khali stands in the ring like an idiot while Mahal beats the crap out of Tatsu. What the hell is going on here? That wasn't even a match.
Winner: No Contest
I'll give that a star because it actually helped push Mahal and Khali as legitimate threats.
After whatever that was, Mahal has Khali get him a microphone. Mahal gets a good promo that would've been better if it didn't sound like Mahal had laryngitis. He says that the beatings are going to continue until someone recognizes how dominant he is. Considering he's ACTUALLY BEATEN PEOPLE, that makes sense. However, I'm sure Barrett, who hasn't won in like two months, is going to get a title shot first. Mahal will probably get stuck in a feud with Kane or something and be made to look like a tool.
Well, tonight's show hasn't been all that bad. Let's see if the main event can pass muster.
Kane vs. Christian
This match has "No Selling" written all over it.
Christian starts with punches and Kane doesn't sell them. Kane proceeds to beat on Christian until Kane misses an elbow drop. Christian tries for a move, but Kane immediately continues beating on him. Christian stuns Kane over the top rope and then manages a missile dropkick. Christian stomps away on Kane, chokes him over the middle rope, and then stands on him in the corner. Christian follows with what sorta' looks like a sleeper, but Kane punches his way out and then lifts Christian up for a press slam. Christian slips out and then low bridges Kane as he charges. Outside the ring, Christian rams Kane into the security wall. Christian rolls back in and waits until Kane slides back in at eight. Christian heads up top and hits a flying headbutt that gets him about a one count. Since we have a ton of time left, we head to a commercial break.
After the break, Christian is still miraculously in control. That doesn't last long, as Kane no sells some punches and sidewalk slams Christian. Christian kicks Kane when he puts his head down, but then leaps right into the waiting arms of Kane, who slams him down. Christian stupidly tries to hit the Killswitch, but Kane shoves him off and hits a tilt-a-whirl slam. Christian tries to regain control by stopping a charging Kane, but when Christian goes for his sunset flip off the middle rope, Kane grabs him by the throat and hoists him up and shoves him to the corner. Christian, though, hits his upside-down flippy kick and a really nice tornado DDT (considering the sack of manure he's DDT'ing). Christian actually pins Kane for a two count, which should be considered a moral victory. Christian signals for a spear, but he runs into a boot instead. Kane heads to the top, but is yanked down by Christian. After another failed pin attempt, Christian throws a hissy fit. Christian heads to the top, but leaps into a Kane uppercut. Kane goes for a pin, but only gets two. Kane goes back to the top AGAIN, and connects with his (I reeeeeally didn't hit the ground first) flying clothesline. He signals for the chokeslam, but Mark Henry waddles down to ruin this relatively tolerable match.
Winner: Kane (by DQ)
That would've gotten three stars if Mark Henry wasn't involved, but he makes everything worse.
After the match, Henry begins to beat on Kane, but Christian takes umbridge with the fact that Henry cost him the match. Christian, however, realizes he's getting mad a huge black man, so he points at Kane and they both attack him until Teddy Long comes out again. He makes a tag match of…
Christian and Mark Henry vs. Kane and Randy Orton
I really didn't think Christian and Henry stood a snowball's chance in Hell of winning, so I fast forwarded to the end. I must say I'm amazed that they let the heels win…not so amazed that I'm going to rewind and watch a match that involved Orton, Henry, and Kane, but amazed nonetheless.
Winners: Christian and Mark Henry
I'll give this match two Tonys just because the heels won.
So, let me hand out some awards and close up shop for this week's show.
The Really Great Thing of the Night: There really wasn't anything super horrible on this show. Daniel Bryan and Cody Rhodes stand out as match of the evening.
The Not-So-Great Thing of the Night: There were some real logic brain farts tonight, but the Mahal/Tatsu match unnecessarily buries Tatsu even further.
Thanks again for reading…see you next week!
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).