Friday, February 27, 2015

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

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Should Be Friends Again...Or Rivals...Or Whatever – Daniel Bryan and Bad News Barrett
Whenever two or more former Nexus members interact in any way, my mind immediately goes to “OMG Nexus reunion!” and it's all I can think about for the rest of the night. On Smackdown, Barrett came out to interrupt Bryan just as he was about to tell us his new and improved Wrestle Mania plans in order to awkwardly segue into his own current dilemma involving Dean Ambrose. Bryan teased not giving the Intercontinental Championship belt back to Barrett and then helped Ambrose deliver some physical bad news to the hapless Brit (seriously, how do I not feel terrible for Barrett in this situation?). This seemed to indicate that Bryan might get inserted into the Intercontinental picture. The match between the two that happened later in the show was a lot of fun, though entirely too short (the same can be said for the match that Ambrose won against the Miz), and I'd like to see them face off some more. Or they could team up and re-unite the Nexus. Either way I win. All of these Intercontinental shenanigans are undoubtedly part of the Nexus' mysterious master plan anyway.

Most Imaginary Friendship – Natalya and Naomi
They're doing that thing again where two people are fighting and we get bombarded with “Oh no! They used to be best friends and now it's come to this!” Natalya and Naomi were acquaintances at best. Maybe they were occasionally chummy. They were not best friends. I have to say, though, that I appreciate the attempt to manufacture a history for them so that their feud isn't so blatantly an accessory to their husbands.' The two women had a decent match. It wasn't particularly well paced and felt a bit choppy in nature, but I still enjoyed it. I like Natalya morphing into a villain rather than playing the put-upon wife and I like that, even though the Usos and Tyson Kidd and Cesaro did get into it at ringside, it didn't totally detract from the women's match, which was my biggest fear going in. If Naomi can develop a character other than “supports her awful husband for some reason” I will be happier still.

Deserves A Friend – Byron Saxton
Byron Saxton has really endeared himself to me since joining the Smackdown commentary team. He's the heel commentator that my soul needed – delivering calm, measured analysis that is clearly bullshit, but he delivers it in such a convincing way that you almost believe that the Miz really is looking out for Mizdow's best interests. Saxton never feels the need to shriek about anything and he just stonewalls all of Jerry Lawler's stupid jokes. I love him. Unfortunately he is frequently the brunt of everyone else's bullshit, from Lawler and Cole to R-Truth, who, while on guest commentary during Bryan and Barrett's match, started up a bit wherein he mistook Saxton for Jonathan Coachman and referred to him as “Coach” throughout the match. It was painful, particularly when punctuated by the other two chowderheads' chortling. Saxton kept up his glorious deadpan (“would someone notify this man of my true identity?”) and kept valiantly trying to steer the conversation back to the match at hand, as well as the valid concern about people just swiping the Intercontinental belt whenever they feel like it. It was all in vain. Saxton's struggle, coupled with Barrett's terribly tired and defeated look when he found his title had been stolen yet again just made me want the both of them to run away together to a place where they will never have to deal with any of these idiots ever again.

My New Friend – Curtis Axel
I never had much use for Curtis Axel in the past. I still don't, really. And yet something about him screaming “AxelMania!” like a maniac, accompanied by a clock keeping track of how long he's been in the Royal Rumble, is oddly charming to me. He lost to Fandango, but won a place in my heart.

Best Friends – The Rosebuds
The Rosebuds are so helpful to everyone. I mean, aside from Adam Rose, whom they have taken to dropping. They let Tyson Kidd, Cesaro, and Summer Rae disguise themselves in their midst. One of them lent Paige her clothes in a time of need. They briefly saved Kofi Kingston from elimination during the Royal Rumble. And this week Stardust joined in as a sock monkey in order to attack Goldust after yet another short match that had a promising beginning against Adam Rose (the theme of this week was apparently matches that started out strong and then abruptly finished so we could get to as many recaps and promos as possible). Commentary was shocked and insisted that “No one even saw this coming!” because apparently none of us have ever watched wrestling or anything to do with the Rosebuds before.

Most Stagnant Friendship – Ryback, Erick Rowan, and Dolph Ziggler
Enough with these three and the same old song. Survivor Series was almost three months ago, but from the way their matches are billed you'd think they'd just been fired and re-hired yesterday. It's over, and despite what commentary desperately wants us to believe, none of them have done anything remotely defiant since coming back. This week, Ryback won against Kane, Erick Rowan lost to Big Show, and Dolph Ziggler lost to Seth Rollins, with the matches allegedly occurring as yet more “punishment” for not agreeing with the Authority or whatever. None of the matches were particularly interesting, with perhaps the exception of Ziggler/Rollins, though since J&J Security were barred from ringside, thereby depriving me of FRIENDSHIP, I wasn't feeling very charitable towards their match. There was no point to any of it other than to set up a match at Fast Lane and I'm completely over this whole thing. The true Authority – Stephanie McMahon and Triple H – haven't done anything particularly villainous lately that requires standing up to. It's time for everyone involved to move on. “Hey, isn't that the exact same thing you wrote last week even though this week was a three-on-three match?” YUP. If they aren't going to try, then I'm going to try even less. We'll see who wins this battle of apathy. I will give the least amount of fucks, WWE. Do you hear me? I WILL GIVE THE LEAST AMOUNT OF FUCKS.