Friday, September 25, 2015

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

Cesaro and Dallas had a fun little match this week
Photo Credit:
Better Without Friends – Roman Reigns and Luke Harper
Reigns and Harper faced each other in singles action, and both had their compatriots banned from ringside. Normally I would protest such blatant disregard for the bonds of friendship, but in this case I think it was a good idea. We had to wait 15 minutes for the first match and then it lasted for less than five, but I still think it was worth it. Reigns has finally been coming into his own as a singles performer, while Harper has kind of been playing second banana to the novelty of Braun Strowman. However, Harper remains one of my favourites, and I liked getting to see him on his own again. He and Reigns had a good little match; very physical and fast-paced. And while Reigns did the usual Reigns thing of taking a lot of damage only to pop up without any sign of fatigue when it was time for him to win, I still enjoyed it.

Possible Friendship Replacement – Neville and Sin Cara
Neville's been teaming up with the Lucha Dragons lately, and I'm seriously wondering if he's gunning for Sin Cara's spot. I'm not nearly as down on Sin Cara as many other people, but Kalisto has outshone him since the beginning, and now here's Neville seemingly making a better match for his partner. Kalisto and Neville pulled out a pretty nifty looking sequence as a duo early in the match, and they looked pretty comfortable together. As if in response, Sin Cara did seem more motivated during the trio's match against the New Day than I've seen him in a while. It didn't stop him from being pinned by Xavier Woods, though, so maybe some further Dragon Drama is on the horizon.
Also of note: I've noticed for the past few weeks that Eden Stiles' attire seems to match the New Day's. Of course, now that I've pointed it out she'll probably stop doing it, but if it turns out that Stiles is secretly a member of the New Day, you heard it here first.

On a more negative note, the gay panic emanating from Booker T and Jerry Lawler when the New Day jumped up on the announce table to dance in celebration of their win was unbelievable (well, maybe not so unbelievable given the sources). Can we please, PLEASE get rid of them? Listening to the two of them trying to articulate any relevant point at all is the most auditory pain in which I've ever been.

Without Friends, But Still Doing Fine – Cesaro
As The Wrestling Blog's big boss man himself wrote earlier this week, there are plenty of reasons to be annoyed with Cesaro's current situation, but at least he's still here. Yes, lately he's mostly just been doing God's work by manufacturing engaging matches against an intensely unmotivated Big Show, but we also got this match on Smackdown against Bo Dallas, which I actually enjoyed. It helped that I love both Dallas and Cesaro to start with, but outside of the main event Cesaro is free to have these fun little matches that won't amount to much in the grand scheme of things but are entertaining as hell. He doesn't have to wrestle to a formula; he can be innovative and fresh every time he comes out, and he's not bogged down by shitty narratives. I look at Seth Rollins going in circles, and I'm just glad that Cesaro isn't in that position, so I'll gladly take a hard-fought win against an increasingly vicious Bo Dallas (I love matches where he's obviously outmatched, which cause him to drop the smarmy facade). Cesaro is still cool as hell and sometimes that's the best one can ask for.

Most Helpful, Yet Still Worst Friend – Kevin Owens
At one point during their tag match against Dolph Ziggler and Ryback, Kevin Owens started instructing Rusev on how to properly slam Ziggler: “See that? Slam him good!” It was amazing. Owens' “no fucks given” expression when it came to Ryback and the Ziggler/Rusev/Summer Rae drama was also great and should have been a lesson to Rusev on how he should handle people trying get under his skin in the future. Of course, Owens was still Owens and he eventually abandoned Rusev, who was duly pinned by Ryback. I keep expecting poor Rusev to pull a Johnny from The Room: “Everybody betray me! I'm fed up with this world!”

Most Repetitive Friendship...Enemy-ship? I Don't Even Care – Seth Rollins and Kane
Huh, would you look at that. Looks like we've travelled back to four months ago. And yet my apartment looks exactly the same... Oh, silly me. It's not wibbly wobbly timey wimey, it's just WWE's stunning lack of originality. Here we've got Kane swearing up and down that he's devoted to the Authority and therefore Rollins as champion while sabotaging him at every turn. We've got Rollins taking on his former Shield brethern (in this case, Dean Ambrose) in the Smackdown main event and, despite mentions of their history, there isn't actually any continuation of their feud. We've got Rollins losing due to a distraction and looking like a chump. When will he stop falling victim to that classic blunder? Never go in against an executive fire demon when NOTHING is on the line! I will say this: cheerful worker bee Kane is hilarious. However, unless you're going to give me back J&J Security, I have less than zero interest in doing this whole Kane versus Rollins shebang over again.