Friday, April 17, 2015

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

This week's headlining friendship
Photo Credit:
Most Valiant Friends – Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (and Natalya)
Cesaro and Kidd had a match against John Cena and Daniel Bryan. It was billed throughout the show as some sort of epic clash – the Tag champs against the United States and Intercontinental champions – but was there ever any doubt as to how the match was going to turn out? We all knew Cena and Bryan were going to win and so they did. However, Cesaro and Kidd still persevered through the match, which was a good one. I mean, of course it was, given who was in it, and the foregone conclusion didn't detract from it too much. It was irritating that the show ended with Cena and Bryan both being declared “ready” for their respective opponents at Extreme Rules, while the Tag champs were...just there, I guess. There was really nothing at stake for Cesaro and Kidd, other than cementing the idea that no one in charge actually cares about the Tag division. If you're going to spend the whole show acting like all members of a match are equal champions, you'd better treat them like that during and after the match as well. And then there were poor Natalya's continued valiant efforts to be a part of her team: being just a little too late joining in on the “fact”s, not having a microphone with which to inform Cena and Bryan that the match was on, distracting Bryan and accidentally getting hit by Kidd, caught by Cesaro (I cheered at that part. No shame.),and promptly dumped on the ground when her saviour tried to get back into the match.

Most Familiar Friends – Bray Wyatt and R-Truth
Commentary didn't mention it at all, but Wyatt and Truth have a long history of matches behind them. But then these are the same people who stated twice that this was a “rare in-ring appearance” from Wyatt, even though he just had a match on Smackdown last week. And the same people who didn't pick up on the fact that Wyatt looks spider-ish when he does his upside down maneuver and Truth is afraid of spiders, thus the exaggerated freak-out on Truth's part. These are the easiest dots in the world to connect, guys. At any rate, the match was quickly over, with Wyatt taking out Truth. One more notch in their apparently eternal feud that comes back around whenever Wyatt has nothing else to do.

Most Perplexing Friendship Fall-Out – The Miz and Damien Mizdow
I'm pretty sure I handed these guys Best Friendship Fall-Out or something like that before, but now I'm not sure. The Miz's match against Bad News Barrett was lost in the blink of an eye, and in a backstage segment it was decided that Miz and his former assistant will have a match with the Miz's name, music, moveset and whole shebang at stake. But...why? First of all, given that showing against Barrett, not to mention most of his history, who honestly thinks the Miz will win that match? Second, why does Mizdow even want to be the Miz? When was the last time the Miz won anything important? I adore the work the Miz has done lately, but it's not like his character has been at all successful. Nobody wants to cheer for the image-obsessed would-be movie star. His illusions are all the Miz has left, and Mizdow kind of looks like a jerk for threatening to take them away. To me, a far more satisfying conclusion to this story would be for Mizdow to realize that obsession with fame and appearances ultimately doesn't get you anywhere and that you need intelligence to get ahead, thus becoming once again the Intellectual Saviour of the Masses. And then he can pass on his newfound wisdom to Stardust, who will realize that he needs to reconcile with being Cody Rhodes and then Team Rhodes Scholars will ride again and EVERYTHING WILL BE ALL RIGHT.

Best Enemies – Neville and Sheamus
I don't think Neville (the “sensational Neville.” Nice adjective; still a silly name for a wrestler) and Sheamus had the best possible match they could have, but I still really enjoyed them together and I think they gave a good indication of how well they can work together given increased familiarity. They make so much sense as enemies – the big guy versus the little guy, the Irish guy versus the English guy...though I kind of hope they don't stick with this route. Not that I expect WWE to have a firm grasp of history, but there ARE plenty of valid reasons for the Irish to be wary of the English. Your Irish guy should definitely be the face in this situation. At any rate, Sheamus is absolutely the guy that guys like Neville and Daniel Bryan should run up against. Sheamus is a big guy who hits hard, but he's also a wily opponent who can move a lot quicker than someone such as, say, Big Show, so he doesn't look ridiculous against smaller, faster opponents. Likewise, it's believable that Neville could get the upper hand, but he's going to have to work extra hard to put Sheamus away. Neville won their match via disqualification when Sheamus tossed him into the announce table, but there's every reason to believe that Neville could eventually overcome Sheamus. This could be a great, interesting feud. Or we could throw Sheamus into a “Kiss Me Arse” match against Dolph Ziggler. That would be swell too. Aaaaaaaaaaaargh.

Saddest Friends – The New Day and Los Matadores
Ooof. I don't know if there's anyone else in the company for whom I feel more sorry right now than the New Day and Los Matadores. Apparently we're running with the New Day's heel shift, which is fine, but I still hate that it's come to this. Their slogan is seriously “we clap so that we don't snap” now. That's what their lives have come to. Hopeless, helpless clapping in order to fight off the thought of how meaningless their existence is and any anger they might feel about it. That's awful. Meanwhile, Los Matadores were the faces here, but no one actually cared about them and they took a loss without much of a fight. And a giant "fuck you" to commentary (except Byron Saxton) for turning on the New Day, too. There was this godawful shot of Cole and Lawler with unimpressed faces while New Day celebrated their win while Saxton clapped along. Oh, what, you guys are too cool for New Day now? What happened to harassing the fuck out of Saxton to clap along with the happy black men? What happened to obnoxiously chanting along? I hate you both, you horrible old men.

Should Be Friends – Alicia Fox and Natalya
I certainly hope Alicia Fox and Natalya learned a valuable lesson when Cameron won their triple threat match, namely that Cameron, inept as she is, should not be ignored. She stole a win right out from under both of them. Fox and Natalya work well against each other, but it's clearly time to work WITH each other instead. I enjoyed the match overall. Wisely, most of the action came from Fox and Natalya, while Cameron either stayed out of it or tossed one of the other two women out of the ring. It disappoints me how little she's progressed, but at least she wasn't in there all by herself. We were told that this was an important match and that things are heating up in the women's division, but I'll believe that when I see it. For now, I'll be satisfied with a fine match and a surprising win.

Most Repetitive End of Friendship – Fandango and Rosa Mendes
Fandango unceremoniously dumps his dance partner: we saw this EXACT SAME STORY with Summer Rae. I am not amused, WWE. At least back then we eventually got Summer Rae teaming up with Layla. This time around we've just got Rosa Mendes confusedly interfering in matches. I thought she was going to cost Fandango his match, but he still ended up beating Adam Rose, so that was pretty pointless. Also, Mendes' acting: yikes. And one final "fuck you" to Lawler and Cole for falling all over themselves in enthusiasm for “Fandango-ing,” in direct contrast to their turning up their noses at New Day. You guys are the worst.