Friday, February 6, 2015

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

Uh-oh, was Reigns a bad friend again this week?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Worst Friend – Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns did nothing to ingratiate himself with me this week. He was supposed to start things off being interviewed on Miz TV with Daniel Bryan, but he immediately ruined things by first rudely having his entrance music cut off the Miz while he was still doing the introduction, and then promptly knocking the Miz down as soon as he entered the ring. What a jerk! There's only one person who deserves to get revenge on Miz right now and that's Mizdow, who spent the episode mildly minding his own business and being as adorable as usual. After dispatching his host, Reigns proceeded to be an ass to Daniel Bryan as well, claiming that he went through 29 other guys to get his spot at WrestleMania. Um, Mr. Reigns, I do not recall you starting at number one during the Rumble match, so you can quiet down with that nonsense.

He didn't even have the courtesy to look concerned when Bryan was put into a handicap match against Seth Rollins and his security team. Reigns' match against the Miz later in the show was fine and something that I probably would have enjoyed under different circumstances. I'm just trying to remember when Roman Reigns was cool and he LOOKED like he was cool, and didn't act like a douchebag who LOOKS like he's a douchebag. Seriously, what is that look that's always on his face now? It's like a horrible mixture of smugness and petulance, I swear. Ugh.

Friendship Break-Up With Most Potential – Goldust and Stardust
While I agree with those who think that the Dust Bros. dust-up should have happened long before now, I'm still enjoying where this could go. I'm really digging Stardust's anger at Goldust calling him “Cody,” to the point of straight-up abandoning his brother during their tag match against Dolph Ziggler and Ryback, resulting in a win for the latter team. Were there ever any two people more adept at spinning straw into gold than the Rhodes boys? I trust them to make something cool out of this, even if the writing leaves them hanging (which is more than likely, let's face it). And, as I said last week, the prospect of Goldust/Cody Rhodes matches has me positively shivering with anticipation.

Most Hilarious Lack of Friendship – Curtis Axel
Poor Curtis Axel. On this show he had to watch his former tag partner, Ryback, come out with Dolph Ziggler, apparently the bro-iest of bros and thus seeming to indicate that Ryback and Axel are never getting back together. So what's a guy left without his best bro to do? Fail to get AxelMania off the ground and then get soundly beaten by Dean Ambrose, it would seem. If it was anyone else, I'd probably be pleading for someone to offer the hand of friendship, but it's Curtis Axel. He's so tone deaf to his own mediocrity that it's somehow adorable. His lack of friendship is a boon to the rest of us.

Most Boring Friendship Break-Up – Adam Rose and the Rosebuds
Week 43 (or so it seems) of the Adam Rose and the Rosebuds break-up and it was still horribly uninteresting. At least Fandango got a win out of it.

Least Hilarious Lack of Friendship – Erick Rowan
Like Curtis Axel, Erick Rowan also appears to be out of friends. While Ryback and Ziggler appeared to be best pals, it seems Rowan is out of the group and on his own. His best buddy Cena wasn't around and he couldn't even have a match against a former Wyatt family friend. Instead, Rowan was thrown out against Rusev and his loss didn't count for anything other than a warning to Cena of what Rusev is capable of. Unlike Curtis Axel, Rowan doesn't have any of the former's hapless charm, resulting in Rowan really floundering on his own.

Least Convincing Lack of Friendship – Paige
In a backstage interview Paige stated that the Bella twins can keep embarrassing her all they want, but she'll just keep marching to the beat of her own drum. That declaration of independence would have all been very well if Nikki Bella hadn't done a pretty good job of pointing out that Paige really isn't that different from the rest of the women's division. She's on Total Divas, for heaven's sake! Her image is just as much a part of her appeal as the rest of them. Because of this, Paige's assertions about being not like other girls just rang hollow and her insistence that she wouldn't even want to be friends with the other women had me rolling my eyes. She should have just been confident in her ability to take the title and laughed about the Bellas being so weirdly obsessed with her skin tone (seriously, the spray tanner thing was way more embarrassing for them than her. Why do they care so much? And they keep calling her a vampire but vampires are cool and also can definitely kill you. So...good insult, ladies).

I've said this about Nikki Bella before, but she can be such a good villain because on one hand she's absurd with her spiky backwards ball cap and her lack of clever insults, but on the other hand she can destroy you. This feud between her and Paige should be about Paige not being intimidated by the Bellas' Mean Girls shtick and forcing Nikki to depend on her in-ring skills. Instead we're getting a title match based around physical appearance and internalized misogyny. It's doubly a shame because Paige and Alicia Fox had a match that I enjoyed a lot while it lasted. Both women came out strong and put on a good show before Fox tapped. I know Paige and Nikki Bella will have a similarly good match at Fast Lane, I just wish there was more substance behind it.

Best Friends – Seth Rollins and J and J Security
Like anything else was going to get this spot this week. I hugely enjoyed Bryan and Rollins' match on RAW, and on Smackdown I got to see these two lock up again but with the addition of FRIENDSHIP, with Rollins being joined by Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. They were predictably adorable, with pre-match fist bumping and mutual support throughout. Friendship aside, J and J were a pleasant addition in the ring as well. I can't see myself getting tired of Rollins and Bryan any time soon (oh god, I hope I didn't just jinx us all), but it was still nice to mix things up, since we'd already seen a couple of the same match-ups that were on RAW. I especially enjoyed Rollins snarling to Bryan: “You want to fight Brock Lesnar? THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE,” and then German suplexing him. A+ taunting. Eventually Mercury tapped and Bryan won. It was a really fun match and pretty much a perfect way to end Smackdown. I was all set to end the show with a smile on my face thanks to all of the friendship and good wrestling, but then Kane had to come in to rough up Bryan and ruin everything. They promised me it was over! I made that “nail in the coffin” joke and everything! Damn it, Kane!