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LOWDOWN ON SMACKDOWN
(07/31/09)
BY IAN SPARKE

Howdy doody, here I am again with a belated SmackDown recap, belated due to a weekend spent in the bustling non-stop thrillride metropolis of... Rhode Island. Yeah. The campground I was at is seriously the least interesting place in America. I got fucking annihilated by mosquitoes. My fault, I suppose, for getting drunk and deciding to sleep outside. I'm an idiot.

ANYWAY, we're kicking off tonight of course with a recap of Night Of Champions which wasn't at all bad. Hardy/Punk really delivered and Jeff's win gets a nice dramatic video package. I guess Jeff's contractual mysteriousness will end now he's got the big gold belt. We shall see. Hardy is also out to kick off the show, to an absolutely insane reaction which all but drowns out his music. He's gone for jeans and white t-shirt and is carrying the belt as if it were a sack of dog shit. Dignity, Jeffrey, dignity.He's facing John Motherfucking Morrison tonight - for the title. Colour me excited. We are reminded of the awkward handshake between Hardy and Punk which did have me confused - Punk MUST stay heel.

I go for a cigarette and make a pot of coffee, and when I return Hardy's pop is still going. He has a mic. He says some stoner psychobabble about dreams and imagination. He thanks all the outcasts, rejects and freaks. He assures everyone that the only thing he's high on is being champion. Hmmmmm. This is a pretty good promo, actually. He puts over Morrison, and the crowd is eating it up. He wraps up and out comes... Cryme Tyme. Smooth transition! Oh dear. Hardy joins in Cryme Tyme's dance, looking for all the world like a homeless stripogram.

Ah yes, Jericho and Big Show. Cool, I guess. Helps keep the World Title picture wide open for the young guys. Show's new Bam Neely tribute beard is amusing also. Cryme Tyme of course faced Jericho and Show on Raw. I won't go into Raw except to assure you that this guest host idea completely sucks. The ZZ Top episode was one of the worst I've ever seen. And if I have to see fucking Chavo wrestle a midget again I'm going to cry. Cryme Tyme are facing the Hart Dynasty with the winner taking on Jericho and Show for the tag titles at SummerSlam. Okay.

Cryme Tyme vs The Hart Dynasty (again)

Shad and David Hart Smith start out. These two are both very capable considering their size. Especially Shad. Shad hosses all over Smith, who goes for an early tag out which Kidd amusingly avoids. Smith does manage to tag out without Shad seeing, and Kidd responds by screaming a lot and attacking Shad's leg.
 
ADVERTISING.

BACK and Smith is now in and working on Shad's leg with many Canadian-looking leg holds. Kidd tags back in for more of the same. Shad escapes because he's bigger and JTG, who has been hopping around like a maniac on the apron, tags in. Awesome springboard blockbuster from Kidd gets two. JTG is a very capable technical wrestler, I think. I wish the fucking cameraman would ease off on the crash zooms on every move. I feel like I'm watching this whilst strapped to a tumble dryer. Back and forth between JTG and Kidd before JTG hits some sort of leaping bulldog thing which is apparently called the Shoutout. It looks good, and it gets three. Cryme Tyme are goin' to SummerSlam!
 
Winners: Cryme Tyme

As Cryme Tyme are celebrating, Jericho and Big Show come out - to some sort of horrible, horriblefinlay mashup of both their theme tunes. Show is wearing a suit, and resembles an oversized Amish lawyer. Jericho does his usual monotone arrogant shtick. Suddenly Shad responds by saying Jericho and Show look like Han Solo and Chewbacca. What's wrong with that? How is that a dig? Shad then claims to speak Wookiee, and does so. Wow. JTG reminds them of the horrible, cruel names Shaq called them on Raw. JTG also suddenly has a lisp. This promo is going on forever. Show says Jericho is a "five time WWE Champion, Heavyweight, World." Eventually JeriShow's ultra-shitty theme signals the end.

At SummerSlam, Rey Mysterio will defend the Intercontinental title in a four-way against Dolph Ziggler, Finlay, and Mike Knox. Uh, okay. Ziggler better fucking win this time. Oh great, Divas. 2:13pm, too early for booze?

Women's Champion Michelle McCool & Layla vs Eve Torres & Melina

Pretty big pop for Melina. Tard says he "still wakes up at night" thinking about Eve and Layla's danceoff. That makes one of us, Tard. Ugh. Sorry, without being a bigot, Diva matches by and large bore me to despair. The only Divas on the roster who are consistently interesting are Mickie James (who is nowhere near as good as she was), Melina, Natalya, Beth Phoenix (badly underused) and Gail Kim. Eve is improving a lot to be fair. Pretty much all the others are shit. And having two Women's titles was always going to be godawful. Oh, look, Melina just pinned Michelle McCool after a sunset flip/powerbomb thing. Absolutely nothing interesting happened in that match whatsoever.

TO THE BACK where everyone's favourite cross-eyed cadet Josh Mathews is gonna talk to CM Punk. Alrighty. Aside from wishing everyone were straightedge, he's disappointingly un-heely, basically wishing good luck to both Jeff and Morrison tonight. Hmm. ADVERTISING.

BACK and HE IS PERFECTION, it's Dolph Ziggler, who was wandering around with Maria before the break but comes out to the ring alone. I don't like how the announcer says his name. He doesn't drag out the word 'Dolph' enough. I also preferred Ziggler's old theme tune. Oh well. Still one of my absolute favourites on SmackDown right now. It's a tag match, Zig's teaming with Mike Knox. I really like Knox's theme tune because it sounds like the Melvins. Following this up with Finlay's theme tune is just soul-dest
roying.

Dolph Ziggler & Mike Knox vs Finlay & Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio

So Ziggler was due to win the IC title at NoC until the 11th hour. "Political reasons". Fuck that shit, Heel Intercontinental champions are always the best. Ziggler and Rey start out. Quick to-and-fro before Knox comes in and levels Mysterio with a crossbody. Wowch. That's a new word I invented which is a cross between 'wow' and 'ouch'. Mysterio soon escapes and Finlay is in to stiff the shit out of Knox, even hitting a rolling fireman's carry slam on Knox. Impressive. Knox is a genuinely big bastard, but I never noticed until he grew his hair and beard. Odd. During his time offscreen he also seems to have improved his skills, as he looks genuinely fearsome against Finlay. I guess the Mike Knox/Charlie Haas 'Hard Knox Connection' ain't happening. Oh well. The heels are working over Finlay. I tell ya, if you want to make a guy look good, have him beat the shit out of Finlay. You could probably drop an anvil on Finlay's head and he'd be fine after a couple of aspirin and a Guinness. Indeed, as JR points out, Finlay is tougher than a two-dollar steak. Y'all. This is dragging a little bit. The heels are still beating Finlay 'to an Irish pulp' as Tard suggests. Finally Rey tags in against Ziggler and does his usual flippy shit. Springboard crossbody gets two. you know, after all these years I still find myself remarking on how fucking tiny Rey is. Rey hits a 619 and a splash on Ziggler but Knox breaks up the pin, only to be roughly clotheslined over and out by Finlay. Ziggler goes for his finisher (the ZIG ZAG, thankyou readers) on Finlay but Rey hits a really really pathetic sunset flip which gets three.
Winners: Finlay & Rey Mysterio

Crazy-eyed Josh is here to talk to John Morrison. Good. Morrison needs more mic time. The crowd do like Morrison now, but his "I respect the ridiculously popular face champion but I plan to beat him this evening" talk falls on deaf ears. There is absolutely no way Morrison is winning tonight, but it should be a fucking cool match.
 
ADVERTISING.

BACK and CHARLIE HAAS is in the ring! Hello Charlie! How are ya. Who are you wrestling tonight? Oh dear.

Charlie Haas vs The Great Khali w/ Ranjin Singh

You can probably guess how this goes. This exchange made me laugh. Tard: "Khali's hands are the size of a laptop computer" JR: "God, not a laptop." Kane appears out of nowhere and attacks Ranjin Singh, and the match is just sort of abandoned as we cut straight to Jeff and JoMo getting ready. What?
Winner: not me

With over 25 minutes to go, here's the main event. JoMo is out first. Tard says this is the biggest match of Morrison's life.
 
ADVERTISING.

BACK. The Aerosmith song they're using for SummerSlam is one of the most hideous pieces of shit I've ever heard. The nameless Night Of Champions music was pretty cool. It was like the A-Team or something. Here's Jeff wearing a girl's top.

John Morrison vs Jeff Hardy (c), World Heavyweight Championship match

Dramatic in-ring introductions always add a little weight. JoMo gets a nice little pop, Jeff gets a far bigger one. JR says Billy Graham beat Bruno Sammartino in this arena, as if it happened last week. Christ. THE WWE UNIVERSE HAS NO INTEREST IN HISTORY. Compelling stuff from both guys to start out, no need to recap, you know how good they are. I will put it out there that Morrison is a far better worker than Jeff, the only thing which needs a little work is his connection with the crowd. Jeff is a little inconsistent in the ring these days but is over like a motherfucker. Swings and roundabouts; these two have very good chemistry. Springboard moonsault to the outside from Morrison gets so much air that he lands on his feet, but Hardy sells it and both men are down as we go to
 
ADVERTISING.

BACK and Jeff's in a headlock. This is apparently Morrison's very first World Title match (uhhh, E-C-Dub!)... Things have very suddenly sped up, with Morrison going for Starship Pain, Jeff dodging it, Morrison landing on his feet and then getting flattened by Whisper in the Wind, which got two. Phew, time for a chinlock. Tard says Jeff is the "sympathetic favourite"... erm, no - he just won the fucking World Title, there's no sympathy required. I'd be behind Morrison 100% here if I, y'know, thought it was real. It's not. What am I doing with my life. Morrison is working on a comeback, with a backbreaker leading into an absolutely stunning standing shooting star press which got two. This is a superb match, actually. Better than Hardy/Punk, perhaps. I'm a total Morrison mark though, so yeah.
 
ADVERTISING AGAIN.

BACK AGAIN and it's to and fro as if the match has just started. Both guys have a lot of energy tonight. Really good crowd worth mentioning also. Both guys go to the outside and Hardy uses the steps to dust off the crash-and-burn thing into the barrier. Hardy misses a huge Whisper in the Wind back in the ring, Morrison hits his awesome running knee which gets a long two. Morrison misses a springboard leg lariat but rolls back onto his feet. A second leg lariat off the ropes gets two, and Morrison is on a roll. Hardy tries to turn it around but gets crotched onto the ropes, getting hit by the Chuck Kick which looks fucking harsh. Another two. Moonlight Drive attempt gets reversed and soon Hardy goes up and hits a Swanton - and Morrison kicks out at two, to audible gasps. Fucking awesome. Jeff goes to the corner for the mule kick which Morrison blocks. Morrison goes for Starship Pain but Jeff gets the knees up, then hits a Twist of Fate and a second
Swanton which gets three. Brilliant match.
Winner: Jeff Hardy

With quite a few minutes to go, out strides CM Punk, smirking and applauding, slapping JoMo on the back as he leaves. Boos turn to cheers as Punk raises Jeff's hand. Keephimheelkeephimheelkeephimheel. Jeff doesn't know what the hell to do. Punk gets the mic, saying 'you know, Jeff, the last few weeks...' before abruptly snapping and beating the everloving shit out of Hardy for about five minutes. Fuck yeah. He finishes by throwing Jeff over the announce table and striding away. Solid boos. They even cut to some shocked-looking girls and children in the crowd. Punk finally gets on the mic to tell us that he has his rematch next week, and that's that.

YES: Main event was superb, four stars at the very least. Punk is finally a full-on heel, and is a natural. The tag match wasn't too bad either. And Cryme Tyme finally have a high-profile PPV match coming up. Also, NO WORD UP! AND NO PRETTY RICKY! THANK YOU GREAT SPIRIT!

NO: Quite a lot of recaps and shit this week. Khali/Haas was completely pointless, I hate no-contest shit like that. Kane's appearance was mercifully brief but he still pisses me off.

WHAT? Jericho & Big Show's music is the laziest, messiest piece of shit ever. Why not just give them a completely new piece of music rather than clumsily fusing their individual themes together?

Overall, a decent show. Things are good in SmackDownland. Till next week, I'm Ian Sparke, and I'm starting to wonder if you can OD on root beer.
 
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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

by Sean Carless

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.).