Friday, September 18, 2015

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

Poor Becky Lynch
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Most Unfairly Maligned Friend – Becky Lynch
Once again the women had a good match marred by a confusing and unnecessarily complicated finish. Paige and Becky Lynch took on Naomi and Sasha Banks, and most of the match involved Lynch getting stomped by her opponents, though occasionally getting her own back. It was a pretty fun match: Lynch looked like a tough cookie who simply could not combat the combined power of Naomi and Banks, who controlled the match with a vicious attack style that I enjoyed watching. It was left to Paige to be the hero when Lynch was finally able to tag her in, but she was almost immediately rolled up by Naomi. The reason given for this was Sasha Banks attempting to distract Paige by jumping on the apron, only for Lynch to compound the situation by yanking Banks away. I assume this is setting up some sort of contention within Team PCB (though who the hell knows with this division), except...Paige didn't seem distracted at all. From what I could tell, she hardly looked at either Banks or Lynch, and once again the women's match fell victim to needless drama. Poor Becky Lynch had to spend the entire match getting beaten up and then when she still had the strength to try and help out her partner, she allegedly just made it worse.

Best Friends (To Tables) – The New Day
There's not a whole lot to say about Kofi Kingston's match against D-Von Dudley. It was pretty typical pre-pay-per-view fare: quick, but acceptable, and with nothing earth-shattering occurring. However, the New Day continue to be perfectly delightful. Every time I think I can't love them more, they do something to top themselves. This time, they offered the Dudleys the chance to sign their petition to save the tables, declaring that the paper and the clipboard it was attached to were really a “mini-table.” During the match Big E pulled a table out from under the ring in order to protect it from being used, and after Kingston pinned Dudley, the New Day scampered off with the table in tow, saving it from the clutches of the Dudleys. These men are pure magic.

Too Grumpy For Friends – Big Show
I don't know what the deal is with Big Show lately, but he just seems to grump around and lash out at people for no reason. I think it's safe to say that the man who gave us Jeri-Show and Show-Miz has pretty much exhausted his options as far as alliances go. Who would want to hang out with him at this point? At any rate, his match against Cesaro was actually pretty fun. Cesaro is just an absurdly impressive human being, breaking out multiple dropkicks against the giant and reversing a chop to the chest and a chokeslam. Show still won, but it added up to approximately nothing.

Worst Friend – Ryback
Up until the end of the match (oh, heck, even including the end), Kevin Owens versus Dolph Ziggler was the best match of the night. Ziggler came out without any obnoxious promo-ing beforehand, and though we got a recap of the latest installment in his little soap opera, Rusev and Summer Rae did not show up. Thus, Ziggler got to just wrestle unencumbered by any bullshit. Mostly he got tossed around by Owens, but he also got his own amount of scrappy offense in, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. My favourite part was Owens just batting him out of the air during a dropkick attempt. I can't even remember the last time I enjoyed Dolph Ziggler so much. And then, appropos of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, Ryback ran out to attack Owens. Owens wasn't even doing anything particularly egregious, but I guess Ryback was bored or something. It accomplished nothing. Owens was hardly even fazed, while Ziggler, whom Ryback held close like a tiny, damaged kitten after the disqualification was called, was cost a win. If Ryback was acting out of friendship he sure has a hell of a lot to learn. Maybe actually let your friend decide when he needs help and don't ruin his chance of winning a match?

Most Confusing Offer of Friendship – Sheamus to Seth Rollins
For some inexplicable reason, Seth Rollins and Sheamus were paired up to take on Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. Yes, Rollins had to be on a team with the guy who's made no secret that he's gunning for Rollins' WWE title. They did at least address the weirdness of the situation with Rollins declaring that he wasn't botherd because of the whole “keep your enemies closer” thing (but maybe don't keep them close when you need to rely on them to win a match, Seth, you beautiful, foolish snowflake). However, then Sheamus made things even weirder by doing a whole song and dance about how Rollins SHOULD want him as a friend and he just wants to be friends and friends friends friends. Even for me, a supreme lover of friendship, it was all a bit much, though Sheamus' chipper yet creepy delivery of, “So! See you in the main event...friend,” cracked me up. Of course, it was all a vicious lie, as Sheamus ended up playing Rollins for a fool during their match, refusing to let himself be tagged in. Rollins managed to tag him in anyway and then immediately bailed, resulting in Ambrose pinning Sheamus.

I'm not really sure why Sheamus played it so coy. It's not like Rollins was ever really going to trust him, and we all saw the sudden but inevitable betrayal coming a mile away. I wanted to believe that Sheamus was sincere in his offer of friendship but is just really bad at making friends, but then he had to go and trample all over what could have been a beautiful thing. Maybe he was just trying to drum up some drama, given that the end of the show didn't even focus on him or Rollins, instead closing out on yet another Wyatt warning to Reigns and Ambrose. I can't blame a guy for trying to make things interesting, but I will not tolerate the casual abuse of friendship. Speaking of abusing friendship, shouldn't it have been more meaningful for Rollins to be facing Reigns and Ambrose again? I don't think their history was mentioned once.