Monday, September 15, 2014

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

The announcers' "WIMMINZ BE KRAZY AMIRITE?" shtick is taking away from a great feud
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Smackdown was pretty fun this week, with a bunch of tag matches and no monologues or verbal confrontations to start the show. There were still a couple low points, of course, but for the most part is was nice to feel like I finally have “my” Smackdown back.

Weirdest Friendship—The Dust Brothers and the Wyatt Family 
Goldust and Stardust teamed up with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan to take on the Usos, Big Show, and Mark Henry. The match was a fun way to open the show, but it was very strange to see the Dust Bros. with the Wyatts. I'm not even completely sure how I feel about it. On one hand, the Wyatts have kind of been the ultimate evil in the tag division for a while and no one should really team up with them if they can help it, particularly not usually beloved figures like Goldust and Stardust. On the other hand, it makes sense that the Dust Bros.' admitted single-mindedness regarding their pursuit of the tag titles could cause them to form less than savoury alliances. And maybe they were just drawn to the Wyatts' own special brand of weirdness. Who knows? The important part is that I enjoyed the match. I can work out this puzzling potential friendship at a later date. \

Deserves a Friend—Justin Gabriel
Justin Gabriel popped in to have a match against Bo Dallas. It was nice to see Gabriel again, and he certainly put a ton of effort into the match, which was over relatively quickly, but had a fast, hard-hitting pace. It might be nice to see Gabriel a bit more often, whether solo or as part of a team. Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter were present at ringside, but they pretty much ignored Gabriel, and I wouldn't want him to hang with them anyway. Speaking of the Real Americans, what, exactly, is their deal with Bo Dallas? Does Jack Swagger want to be “America's Sweetheart?” I know Dallas has been disparaging Swagger for his failures, but here the Real Americans just came off as petty and out of touch (nice stumble over the Ariana Grande reference, Zeb. Way to speak the kids' lingo). I'd much rather see Justin Gabriel develop some kind of conflict of his own with Bo Dallas than continue the farce that is the Real Americans being pushed as faces.

Best Friends—Summer Rae and Layla
I was so happy to see Summer Rae and Layla again, and to see that their friendship still appears to be very healthy. I was also looking forward to Summer's match against Paige, which was fine, though over far too quickly. Of course, what women's match would be complete without rage-inducing commentary? AJ Lee was once again on guest commentary and JBL and Michael Cole, the two chucklefucks (I'm giving Tom Phillips a pass because I don't think I heard him say much), were straining so hard to provoke her that I thought one of them was sure to do himself an injury. They went on and on about how Lee and Paige kissing the championship on Raw was “creepy,” even though we've seen plenty of men kiss their championships as well. Lee referred to the Championship as her baby, which she was trying to get back from Paige, and Cole adopted this fucking terrible super concerned, hushed tone as he commented that it's weird that she thinks of the title as her baby. He was talking to her as though she LITERALLY thinks that the belt is her child, because they have to hammer home the thought that AJ Lee is “crazy,” even though the commentators are the ones who look like fucking idiots because they can't tell when someone is using a metaphor.

Then when Lee quite rightly just ignored them and silently watched the match, Cole kept needling her, remarking that she goes through so many mood changes in five minutes. Just....what are you even talking about you horrible, horrible man?!? Finally, when Paige made Summer tap to the Black Widow, and Lee promptly took out Layla with the Paige Turner, the only comment was that “This is the strangest, weirdest thing.” Yeah, because using your enemy's signature move as a means to taunt and rattle them is something that never happens in wrestling EVER. What are these wacky women even doing? They are so craaaaaaaazy. Fuck off.

Something Friendship Something—Mark Henry and Rusev
Mark Henry and Rusev had an arm wrestling contest and I did not pay attention. Like, at all. My brother and I started talking about what type of Pokemon various wrestlers would favour. Look, I love Mark Henry and I like Rusev and I am excited to see them wrestle, but the combination of patriotism and arm wrestling was way too much for me. Sooo, think of your favourite friendship related thing and pretend that it took place during this segment.

Most Unexpected Friendship—Dolph Ziggler and R-Truth
For his match against the Miz and Damien Sandow, Dolph Ziggler trotted out his own stunt-double, who turned out to be R-Truth. I did not want to be charmed (Ziggler has been ranking high on my Enemies of Friendship list for a while), but, damn it, I was thoroughly charmed. The ensuing match was super enjoyable and Truth appeared to have a ball as Ziggler's double. I'd love to see more of their adventures together.

Probably Won't Remain Friends—Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns or Randy Orton and Seth Rollins
Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns teamed up to take on Randy Orton and Seth Rollins, in yet another excellent tag match that closed the show. However, it's unlikely that any of these alliances are going to last. As we know by now, Roman Reigns doesn't even know what friendship is, and he and Jericho didn't really seem to connect at all. Orton and Rollins are both in with the Authority, but we've seen them butt heads in the past and, as I've posited before, Rollins appears to be gelling far more with Kane. However their future relationships pan out, I'm just grateful that I once again felt pleasantly satisfied after Smackdown ended.