Monday, June 16, 2014

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

Enemies, or passionate lovers in waiting?
Photo Credit:
What's the most magical part of watching professional wrestling? Friendship, of course! But seriously, think about it; friendship matters. Why do we all currently hate that vile traitor, Seth Rollins? Because he didn't just back-stab anyone; he back-stabbed his VERY BESTEST FRIENDS. While most wrestling friendships must inevitably end in stunning yet predictable betrayal, we can still enjoy the heartwarming bonds of fellowship while they last. A good friendship and a good friendship-gone bad make for a more compelling narrative. It means we're not JUST watching a load of improbably fit people in strange attire pretending to fight each other; we're watching a load of improbably fit people in strange attire pretending to fight each other AND having relationships and, therefore, stakes that matter. Thus I present Smackdown reviewed according to the most sacred categories of friendship.

Best Friends

A tie between the Usos and Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. Jey Uso and Rowan had a disappointingly short match that honestly took the wind out of my sails after the great opening number put on by Reigns and Barrett. However, it remains clear that the members of both teams reinforce and care about one another. While the Usos are more visibly affectionate, the silent support that Harper and Rowan give to each other is equally inspiring.

Worst Friend

Alicia Fox. She clearly has no regrets about betraying Aksana and ruining the only enduring friendship in the Divas division. It's a shame that Aksana's last appearance occurred without either reconciliation or revenge. Side note: Michael Cole referred to Alicia as being “bipolar.” Don't do that. Bipolar disorder is a real thing and it is not shorthand for “LOL women and their mood swings, amirite?”

Most in Need of a Friend

Bad News Barrett. Roman Reigns and BNB had a pretty rad match to start off Smackdown. And JBL and Cole would not shut the fuck up about Triple H throughout the entirety of Barrett's early onslaught. The guy's out there putting on a great show and doesn't get a word said about him. Of course, once Roman's renaissance kicked in, they talked about HIM, but Barrett could have been any old schmo, for all they cared. Considering that he's been one of the best parts of The JBL and Cole Show for ages, you'd think they'd show him some respect. Barrett needs a friend who will sing his praises when he earns them.

Most Devastating Friendship Break-Up

3MB. I mean, they didn't break up on air, but valiantly throwing themselves at Roman Reigns and then being viciously speared by him was their last appearance together on WWE TV, since Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre have now been released. It's a sad day both for music and friendship lovers.

Does Not Deserve a Friend EVER

VILE TRAITOR SETH ROLLINS. There were Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose having a perfectly lovely match, making me just want to watch the two of them go at it forever and ever (and take breaks to deliver promos every now and then). Basically, their match was going straight into the “Should Be Friends” category because who knows? Maybe Dean's and Bray's particular eccentricities would have complemented each other. But then Rollins had to come along and remind us why he deserves to be FOREVER ALONE AND FRIENDLESS.

Should Be Friends

Fandango and Adam Rose. These two should be friends because it makes no sense for them to fight. They are both fabulous men who love to dance. Their differing dance styles would only complement each other. Also, Layla and Summer Rae. Please give me LayCool Part Two. These friendships have no downsides. If Summer and Layla are friends we don't have to listen to obnoxious commentary about boyfriend stealing and women being cray-cray, while if Adam Rose and Fandango are friends we DO get to listen to JBL and Cole squirm while desperately trying to not expose their homophobia on air.

Should Be More Than Friends

Cesaro and Sheamus. These two had a pretty enjoyable match that was underscored by their obvious relationship potential. I mean, they fight like two guys who either hate each other or are secretly in love. Seriously, there's, like, regular manly aggression and then there is DEEPLY MEANINGFUL manly aggression. This is totally the latter. Watch Cesaro, standing on the apron, gaze down at Sheamus, helpless on the ground, before hauling him back into the ring. Watch Sheamus get fired up the more Cesaro hits him. Yes, you can say that Sheamus always thrives on combat, but I swear there is more going on here. And Cesaro winning with the VERY SAME small package that he complained about Sheamus using? Malicious irony, or symbol of unacknowledged love? YOU BE THE JUDGE. Actually, no. Let me be the judge. It's unacknowledged love. When Sheamus watches Cesaro walk back up the ramp... those are some hungry eyes, yo. This feud is going to end with them getting hammered together in a pub one night, starting a bar fight, and finally realizing and proclaiming their love over the smashed skulls of unfortunate bar patrons.

Friends in Danger of Breaking Up

Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter. Swagger and Big E also had a disappointingly short match. Colter didn't even get any mic time before the match, and then Swagger lost after Zeb went to have words with Lana. Swagger's loss was possibly due to his being distracted by Colter, who was distracting Lana from her own distraction. Apart from being dreadfully confusing, could this mean trouble between Swagger and Colter?

Couldn't Get a Friend if He Tried

Bo Dallas. I mean, obviously. Even though him dancing along to R-Truth's theme was fucking ADORABLE, as was “Green Bay! What's going on?!,” R-Truth refused to do anything but dance inappropriately at him and refuse to extend the hand of friendship. Side note about Bo: I agree with those who say that he needs to be more aggressive during his matches and less of a cowardly weenie? That would make his shtick outside the ring far less adorable and far more subtly menacing, as it should be.