Friday, August 28, 2015

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

The Dudz are back, baybay
Photo Credit:
Best Returning Friends – The Dudley Boyz
I tend to side-eye any re-emergence of wrestlers from days gone by. I can reminisce about the past on my own time, and I don't want to wallow in remembrances when there are plenty of younger or newer people on the roster who deserve attention. So even though I loved the Dudley Boyz when they were last with WWE, I'm still a little hesitant about their return. However, I don't actually want to rain on anyone's parade, and it was extremely cool to see Bubba Ray and D-Von together again. It also helped that their match was a win against the Ascension. Yeah, I know I just stood up for the young folk, but the Ascension are just...not great, and trouncing them is a good way to win me over. The Dudleys looked good, too, especially D-Von. I hope their coming interactions with the New Day and the rest of the tag division will bring good things for us all.

Could Have Used A Friend – Neville
Neville lost a match against Kevin Owens. It was a perfectly fine match, which seemed to be the MO for this episode of Smackdown – everything was fine and nothing was mindblowing, but, frankly, at this point there had already been three straight days of wrestling broadcasts, and I'm just thankful they didn't decide to completely phone in Smackdown. Neville looked good, but it was clear that Owens, despite being in danger of becoming aimless in the midcard, is still too powerful to be taken on without assistance.

Best Friends – Charlotte and Becky Lynch
This is the episode wherein Charlotte and Becky Lynch became my favourites in the Revolution. We had the two of them being completely blasé about the Bella Twins' feeble attempts to turn them against Paige, complete with Charlotte snarking, “Oh, are we still in high school?” (and Brie's weird comeback: “No, actually I graduated 13 years ago.” Um, okay? Good for you? Way to...put Charlotte in her place? Why is Brie ever allowed to talk?) Then there was Lynch doing what I choose to believe was an (unexpected) homage to Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition sketch: “We have one thing you don't have: Respect...and integrity. Wait, that's two things: Respect, integrity...and loyalty.” Amazing.

Finally, there was Charlotte doing the unthinkable in actually bringing up the unresolved plothole of the Bellas just magically being over the “Brie is Nikki's servant” storyline and never referencing it again. References to continuity will win me over every time. Paige has had legitimate reasons for not appearing on Smackdown during Tough Enough's but her absence has made it feel like Charlotte and Lynch are the ones holding down the fort for Team PCB, and I'm perfectly fine with that. Charlotte ended up pinning Brie, and once again there appeared to be absolutely no consequences or stakes for anything in the women's division, but at least I can appreciate some of the friendship positives that are coming out of the stalled revolution.

Justified Lack of Friendship – Rusev and Big Show
For some reason, even after the Big Show weirdness on Monday, he was still paired with Rusev to take on Dolph Ziggler and Ryback. Not so shockingly, Rusev was not a fan of his frequent turncoat tag partner, and he spent the match ordering Show around, waving away his attempts to tag in, and letting him know that “I don't trust you, giant!” AND HE WAS TOTALLY RIGHT TO DO SO. Show did indeed end up clocking Rusev and then just bailing on the match, leaving his partner to be pinned by Ziggler. Rusev was completely justified in this situation, but I guess we're supposed to sympathize with Big Show having no fucks left to give. Or maybe we're not, I honestly have no idea where this is all going.

Least Intelligent Friends – Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose
Good lord, these two. Their friendship is beautiful but also it also makes them do really, really silly things. Reigns and Ambrose decided to confront the new Wyatt trio at the start of the episode, but after making a big show (ha, “Big Show,” I didn't even mean to do that) of wanting to crush the Wyatts RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW they just...stood and stared at them. Even when the Wyatts backed out of the ring through the ropes and were at their most vulnerable. And the foolishness does not stop there! Ambrose was scheduled to face Sheamus, and beforehand Reigns told him not to worry about the Wyatts, as Reigns would be hunting for them. So, you guys were too intimidated to jump the Wyatts when it was two on three, but ONE on three is doable? Or was Reigns just going to try and scope out the hideout of the guys who can LITERALLY APPEAR OUT OF NOWHERE? Either way, great plan, guys! I bet nothing will go horribly awry!

As it turned out, Reigns was NOT able to do whatever it is he was planning to do in time (you had one job, dude), and the Wyatts interrupted Ambrose's match. Their tried-and-true method of standing around doing nothing distracted Ambrose so much that Sheamus was able to pin him and then shuffle off because he is basically pointless right now. Reigns hilariously entered way too late to actually be of any use, but he still somehow managed to get the jump on Luke Harper. In the end, though, the Wyatts stood over the bodies of their foes, and if the former Shield boys are ever going to come out on top, they'd better recruit a strategist (an architect, one might say), and quickly.