Friday, October 2, 2015

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

Owens the turn-tail is really getting old
Photo Credit:
Most Beneficial Friendship – Naomi and Sasha Banks
Say what you will about whatever's going on in the women's division and whether or not Sasha Banks deserves more of a spotlight, but I really am enjoying her and Naomi together. I've liked Naomi for a long time, but I think she needed someone around to help her polish up her skills. Banks can help her refine both her character work and her in-ring instincts. Mind you, I have absolutely no confidence that it's going to pay off for either of them any time soon, but for now I like seeing these two together (and relegating Tamina to a background role). Team BAD scored a victory over Team Bella, with Banks making Nikki Bella tap out. Commentary declared it a “huge” victory for Team BAD without saying why or how we're moving forward. Considering that Team PCB are the only ones with an actual narrative right now, it looks like everyone else is still just going to be spinning their wheels.

Absolutely Nothing Friendship Related – Ryback and Kevin Owens
Ryback and Kevin Owens faced each other and the latter bailed on the match yet again, leading to a win via count-out for Ryback, who took out his frustrations on Owens after the match. Way to Be A STAR, Ryback! But seriously, can we end this trope of Kevin Owens just walking out of his matches for no reason? It's become tiresome. It's absolutely in his character to try and protect his title at all costs, but he's also been shown to be a pretty unstoppable opponent. There's no reason why he couldn't take on Ryback, and there was nothing to indicate that he was in immediate danger of losing. Instead we're just going to keep dragging this thing out, with increasingly unsatisfying results.

Most Stable Friendships – Neville and the Lucha Dragons and Stardust and the Ascension
These two teams faced off again, Kalisto pinned Konnor, and, just like with the previous two matches, commentary insisted that it was a “big victory” without expanding on why. It was actually a pretty fun match, particularly when Kalisto came in at the end, and I think I'd like him and Stardust to have some one-on-one matches. At the very least, since these teams are pretty well established at this point and we've seen them wrestle several times, I'd like to actually see the “comic book proportions” that their feud allegedly entails.

Most Positive Friendship – The New Day and Seth Rollins
The New Day were obviously the highlight of Smackdown, and I absolutely loved them giving poor, beleaguered Seth Rollins some support. They joined forces to take on the Dudley Boyz and Demon Kane, but since Corporate Kane was also supposed to sit at ringside, the Dudleyz were without a partner. The match was fine as far as I could tell. Things quickly devolved into the Kane Show, with the camera focusing on him at ringside, then his “injury,” then his reappearance as Demon Kane and his confrontation with Rollins. Bubba Ray pinned Kofi Kingston, but lest we think this match actually had anything to do with the tag division, the show ended with Kane dispatching everyone and Rollins scampering away without any thought for his new support group, which was par for the course for Rollins.