Monday, October 13, 2014

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

Team Teddy! Team Johnny! TEAM ANNIVERSARY!
Photo Credit:
This episode was the 15th anniversary of Smackdown, but it was a pretty lacklustre celebration. Nothing had much to do with the history of Smackdown, other than the Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny match to decide who was the greatest General Manager. And clearly no thought was even put into that, because Booker T only showed up to be on commentary during the match and Vickie Guerrero (obviously the greatest GM) wasn't even there. (Ed. Note - She was invited but declined.) Not to mention the fact that, thrilled as I was to see John Laurinaitis, his crack executive team of David Otunga and Eve Torres was nowhere to be found, which was disappointing.

The Rock showed up, but just to do a backstage bit with Triple H. And there were a bunch of video packages cycling through some Smackdown events of note, but other than that...nothing. At first I was kind of bummed, because I'm used to RAW taking any excuse possible to have huge blowouts. However, then I remembered that I always find RAW anniversaries to be pretty fucking obnoxious. So good for you, humble Smackdown. Some might say that the lack of hoopla was due to no one giving a flying fig about you, but I know it's because you prefer to keep things low-key. This is why we're such good pals.

Does Not Deserve the Friends It Has—The Bunny 
After Adam Rose lost his match against Kane, the Rosebuds all rushed to check on their leader in a touching display of friendship. When Kane decided to dispose of all of them, several of the Rosebuds valiantly threw themselves between him and the Bunny, sacrificing themselves in the name of friendship. However, the Bunny itself provided no such service for its supposed friends, instead scurrying away without so much as a backward glance. What a cowardly cottontail! It doesn't carrot all for anyone but itself!

Probably Won't Remain Friends—Alicia Fox and Paige
So did anyone else notice that none of the Smackdown in Review clip packages contained any women other than Stephanie McMahon? Because I noticed that. In what I'm sure is a totally unrelated coincidence, AJ Lee and Alicia Fox had a frustratingly short match that was summed up with “maybe you can fight crazy with crazy” by the crack commentary team. However, the single note of interest was that Paige has apparently acquired Alicia Fox as her new best friend. I liked Fox getting a share of the spotlight and I loved Paige spending the entire match yelling encouragement and exclaiming about how great her new BFF is. Sadly, however, this is bound to fall apart sooner rather than later.

Should Be Friends—Seth Rollins, Jamie Noble, and Joey Mercury 
I am already a fan of Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury as bumbling Authority cronies. Now I would like to see Seth Rollins bond with them and form an unlikely friendship. It would be a beautiful thing. Unlike Rollins' match against Kofi Kingston, which was...well, not beautiful.

Best Friends—Rusev and Lana
Rusev beat Dolph Ziggler in a match that had absolutely no meaning or consequences for either of them. Then we had to sit through a recap of the Rock doing his thing, but this was at least topped by Lana's amazing eye rolling abilities. She proceeded to get SO ANGRY over remembering Rock's ramblings that she had to hand the mic over to Rusev, who, despite not having the best verbal skills, still gamely took over while she composed herself. It was a heartwarming display of teamwork and solidarity.

Should Be More Than Friends—Sheamus and Cesaro
Sheamus was a member of Team Teddy and Cesaro a member of Team Johnny during the eight-on-eight tag match (Torito and Hornswoggle do not count as “half-people.” Jesus Christ, WWE, stop being so awful). Now, Sheamus did try to play it coy, at one point having Cesaro, Stardust, and Heath Slater caught in the ropes simultaneously, as though they all meant the same to him. Cesaro, however, was seemingly done playing games, as he later snuck in the ring specifically to attack Sheamus and then broke out the Cesaro Swing just for the Irish man. After going ages without swinging anyone, Cesaro was clearly saving it for someone special. He's such a romantic. Side note: The “We Want Miz-dow” chants warmed my heart.

Deserves a Friend—The Miz
Poor Miz.

He hosted a Miz TV segment featuring Dean Ambrose and John Cena and got beat up for his trouble after doing absolutely nothing wrong. He did ask provoking questions and got annoyed when Ambrose and Cena didn't go after each other, but as he also pointed out: It's Miz TV. He's SUPPOSED to stir the pot and everyone expects his guests to eventually throw down, which they did in this case anyway, after first dispatching their hapless host. Miz really deserved to have someone take his side. I hope he and Damien Sandow (who unfortunately took the pin for Team Johnny) went out for ice cream after the show. Side note: Cena was pretty much the worst here, wasn't he? When he pulled out the baseballs and was all like, “I like you, Ambrose. Because you've got THESE,” I seriously had no idea what he was talking about because I am not an emotionally immature, hyper-masculine man-child.

My inner monologue: “Ok, baseballs. That's...relevant to the MLB post season, I guess. So he's telling Ambrose that he needs to have at least two perfect pitches in his arsenal. Like, a wicked curveball and a fastball. Good advice, but kind of a weird metaphor for wrestling....oh. Balls. He's literally talking about testicles. Fuck you, John Cena. I'm flipping back over the Orioles/Royals game.” So that was Smackdown's 15th anniversary. It sure was a thing that happened. I'll end by wishing everyone a Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! Celebrate with Friendship!