Monday, September 29, 2014

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

Show gets "Best Friend" honors this week
Photo Credit:
This was the last Smackdown that I'll see before I get married, so I was hoping for a good episode as a wedding present of sorts, and I wasn't disappointed. Fun matches all around!

Needs No Friends—Dean Ambrose
I've said this about Dean Ambrose before and I'll say it again. Despite the fact that he is still upset about Vile Traitor Seth Rollins breaking up the supportive and successful friendship of the Shield, Ambrose is doing pretty well as a solo act. On Smackdown he first triumphed over the still-entertaining duo of the Miz and Damien Sandow. Then, when confronted with the emerging partnership of Rollins and Kane, Ambrose got away and swiped the Money in the Bank briefcase to boot. In the face of two solid partnerships, Ambrose stood alone and once again made me question my “Friendship or bust!” policy.

Most Disappointing Lack of Friendship—Big E, Xavier Woods, and Kofi Kingston
The Battle Royal to decide the number one contender for the Intercontinental Championship was an enjoyable match, but it sadly doused my lingering hopes for any continuation of the Big E/Xavier Woods/Kofi Kingston team-up. There didn't seem to be any teamwork or communication going on between the three of them, even though their attire was pretty colour-coordinated. Alas, I had such anticipation for their burgeoning stable, and I'm really disappointed that its brief appearance has fizzled out. Another weird friendship omission: Cesaro and Jack Swagger made it to the final three, yet no mention was made of their former teammate status as Real Americans. However, I'm not too fussed about the lack of acknowledgement; the Real Americans didn't do much for Cesaro in the end and he's way better off without them. His match against Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship was solid and even though he lost, I doubt he sheds many tears for his lost patriotic pals.

Most Stable Friendships—Jimmy and Jey Uso and Goldust and Stardust
I know that I keep slapping the same label on these two teams week after week, but it's true. Both teams keep trucking along, putting on matches that I enjoy and showing no signs of cracking. All hail unbeatable sibling friendships!

Worst Friend—Natalya
I don't really want to spend much time talking about Total Divas, but Natalya is the absolute worst person on that show. However, we were apparently supposed to be on her side during the Total Divas-influenced match on Smackdown that pitted her and Rosa against Summer Rae and Layla. The friendship between the latter two is still one of my favourite things, and contrasted starkly with the complete lack of connection between Natalya and her alleged super close friend, Rosa. Not only that, but if Natalya was any sort of real friend she would have at least shown poor Rosa how to do a proper clothesline. True story: My brother and I chat on Skype during Smackdown and he typed “Rosa, what is that clothesline?” to me just as I typed the exact same thing into my notes. That's how noticeably bad it was.

Best Friend—Big Show
In contrast to Actual Worst Person Natalya, consider Big Show, who was completely understanding of Mark Henry's frustration and then undertook to take up his friend's mantle in a match against Rusev. I enjoyed their match and I am pretending that any continued entanglements will be because of the epic friendship between Show and Henry and not because of the honour of America or whatever. I quite like Rusev, but if every one of his feuds is going to involve vigorous “USA” chants, I may not be able to stomach it.