Monday, November 24, 2014

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

Pictured: Four men who shouldn't trust John Cena
Photo Credit:
Disclaimer that I wrote this before Survivor Series.

Worst Friends – John Cena and Team Cena
John Cena really is the worst team mate. On this episode Triple H dropped the bomb that if Cena's team loses at Survivor Series, then the team mates will all lose their jobs...except for Cena. Apparently this is supposed to be a stake for Cena because it might make him feel bad or something. Anyway, this resulted in, like, five minutes of soul searching for Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, and Erick Rowan, after which they decided to stick together because of “freedom,” whatever that's supposed to mean. And guess who didn't show up at all, either to convince his crew to band together or to help out against the Authority? Captain Cena.

Why should ANYONE want to be on his team? Aside from the fact that he has feuded with every member of his team (and fairly recently in Rowan's case), what are any of them getting out of this? Ziggler and Show have more reason than most to want the Authority gone, but who says their replacement bosses would be any better? You're seriously going to trust in the benevolence of Mr. McMahon, of all people? And even if they had decided to abandon Cena at the threat of losing their jobs, they'd still be marked as trouble-makers by the Authority. They lose all around. Also, these guys are just really bad at being friends. Immediately after Triple H's announcement, Ziggler had a match with Rusev, with Ziggler suffering the Accolade after the Bulgarian/Russian had won the match. A pretty open opportunity for one of his team mates to rush in and help, yet no one came out. They were all banned from ring side during Big Show and Ryback's match against Kane and Seth Rollins and I just laughed because there has been no precedent for this team wanting to protect each other. Team Authority, meanwhile, always has each other's backs and they're smart enough to have extras hanging around (Noble and Mercury). Why on earth should I not be cheering for the team that actually acts like a team?

Secretly Still Friends – Damien Sandow and Stardust
The Miz and Damien Sandow lost their match against Los Matadores, with the Usos and Goldust and Stardust on guest commentary. As could perhaps have been expected, it was mostly cacophonous chaos, with too many voices at once and too little concentration on the conflict in the ring. And then JBL summed up the whole thing by declaring that “this is the weirdest group of tag teams [he's] ever seen.” Well, they're all we have at the moment, so could you maybe do your job and build them up as something worthwhile to see? No? Well, fuck you, then. However, the silver lining was a glimmer of team Rhodes Scholars shimmering ever so faintly. When Miz immediately tagged himself back in when his stunt double had just gone into action, Stardust remarked that “The people [didn't] like that,” while sounding faintly disapproving himself. Then, whilst performing his stunt double duties, Sandow hurled himself at Stardust after Miz had been thrown into the Usos. How interesting that Sandow just happened to launch himself into the arms of his former best friend when he had other options. They secretly still support each other and want to be together and no one shall convince me otherwise.

Most Pointless Friendship Alienation – AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella
AJ Lee has made it pretty clear that she has no wish for any friends among the women's division, and that's fine. Despite my love of friendship, a good lone wolf is always valuable, and Lee's disparaging of the other women in the division has its place. On this episode she had a match against Brie Bella and continued the grand tradition of dressing up as your opponent (or, in this case, as her opponent's puppet master sister) as a mortal and cutting insult. didn't really work here. Lee padded both her chest and her butt, but, first of all, Nikki Bella does not have a big butt. Like, at all. Definitely not enough to caricature. Second of all, Nikki absolutely does have an enormous bust, but so what? She's never made any bones about the fact that she wanted bigger boobs, so she paid for them, and now she loves them and showing them off. It's not something she's tried to hide. Trying to shame a woman for something that she does not and should not feel shame for doesn't make you look too bright and kind of makes you look like a jerk. Man, I never thought I'd see the day when I was constantly chiding AJ Lee and defending Nikki Bella.

Most Heartbreaking Loss of Friendship – Erick Rowan and Luke Harper
I am not prepared to see these two former members of the Wyatt Family go up against each other. Erick Rowan (whose membership in Team Cena makes the least amount of sense) won his match against Cesaro (poor Cesaro) and then made threatening motions towards Luke Harper when the latter came out. And my heart clean broke in half because if two giant bearded men can't remain friends after being ejected from their cult then what hope do any of us have? I feel like Rowan is just confused about everything (as am I. Why did Bray Wyatt apparently decided that Rowan and Harper don't need to be saved anymore? Why did Harper throw in with the Authority?) and is acting out, like a large ginger child. Feeling abandoned, he joined up with Team Cena, but is still just trying to get some sort of reaction out of Harper.

Harper, meanwhile, doesn't need Rowan anymore and can't give him what he wants, yet also can't bring himself to hurt his former family member. During the end-of-show clash of the teams, Rowan once again made straight for Harper, with the latter yelling, “What are you doing?” at him. And even then, Harper still wouldn't take Rowan out, instead letting Kane do it. It was all weirdly moving. THESE TWO GIANT MEN ARE JUST CONFUSED AND HURTING INSIDE AND I CAN'T DEAL WITH IT.