|Owens should be everyone's friend|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
I don't normally deal with the talky bits on this show, but I need to talk about Smackdown's opening segment this week because it was so weird. Roman Reigns started the show in the middle of the ring for some recap theatre and then Sheamus came out on the Authority's behalf to tell Reigns to leave. And Reigns refused. But like...why? He didn't have a match scheduled, and he wasn't looking to have one, so why NOT just leave? What was he planning to do? Just stand there all night? Is the power of being WWE World Heavyweight champion going to his head? He even fought off security just so could retain the important right of...standing in the ring and preventing the show from starting. Way to deprive all the other performers of their paycheques and the audience of their show, buddy! Keep fighting the good fight! I've also noticed that since winning, his close family and friends the Usos and Dean Ambrose are nowhere to be found. Can't find a place in the sun for your bestest best friends, eh? (Please note that I do actually like Reigns, but his friendship record remains spotty at best)
Best Friends – The League of Nations
So after all the kerfuffle that opened the show, we came back from commercial to find that Roman Reigns had, in fact, left the ring, though on his own terms, I'm sure. Once he ran out of authority to defy he probably realized how boring it was just standing in the ring doing nothing. Unfortunately, he left in order to make way for a Ryback match, so no points given there. Has anyone else noticed that Ryback, like...enunciates words with his entire face? Everything moves when he talks. It's fucking terrifying. Anyway, he lost to Alberto Del Rio, who seems to be getting some fire back since ditching Zeb Colter and joining the League of Nations, who continue to be adorable. They ran out to support Del Rio, which was enough to distract Ryback into losing (Del Rio looked absolutely vicious when locking in the cross armbreaker, which I liked to see) because I guess some wrestling lessons can just never be learned. Then the League all took turns brutalizing The Big Guy and supporting each other, and it was a beautiful thing all around.
Friend Missing in Action – Darren Young
Titus O'Neil once again had a singles match with Darren Young nowhere in sight, and I really hope we haven't quietly lost the Prime Time Players yet again. O'Neil's win didn't really even matter here, as he was just fodder in an apparent burgeoning feud between Tyler Breeze and Goldust, which, for the record, I am all for. The Prime Time Players can be such a fun and valuable part of the tag division, and I don't want to see Young vanish while O'Neil is just a space filler in matches. (and the deeply suspicious part of my mind worries that certain people might have seen the Players as too similar to the New Day. TWO charismatic, all-Black teams good at ad-libbing? Can't have that!)
Most Deserving Friends – The Lucha Dragons
Whenever the Lucha Dragons hang out with the Usos they turn into terrible people who humiliate others on American holidays and ruin celebrations for no reason. When the Dragons are on their own against the New Day, they're valiant heroes fighting (and, in this case, winning) against constant cheating and taunting (though Big E yelling “Do some flips, Kalisto!” while Kalisto was getting stomped will never not make me laugh). They're also low-key adorable, with their lil' wing accessories on their arms! What I'm saying is: I love the New Day. I've made that abundantly clear. However, I'm tired of the Lucha Dragons always popping into the title scene and never quite going all the way. Give them a title run already! And free them from the bad influence of the Usos!
Friendship Cornucopia – The Women's Division
The women's division is still kind of a directionless mess, but at least this week we got to see several examples of friendship. There was Brie Bella apparently having been abandoned by even Alicia Fox, which delighted me. Run free, Foxy! Then there was Charlotte as Becky Lynch's overbearing pageant mom. In response to Lynch once again insisting that she wants to win or lose on her own terms and doesn't want Charlotte to interfere, Charlotte protested that she just wants her friend to win...at any cost. Finally, there was Team BAD in the crowd, not doing anything but having an awesome time and holding up signs. Sasha Banks' hilarious overreaction to Belle doing the “L” to the forehead thing made my entire night. I like to think that Team BAD is always just off-screen having fun friendship adventures.
Should Be My Friend – Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens is a Canadian of not particularly striking appearance who gives no fucks and is deeply resentful (perhaps not entirely justly) of people he feels have wronged him. I'm not saying I can identify...but I can identify. Thus, watching him throw Dolph Ziggler around to the point of disqualification brought me great joy. I'm pretty sure he kept beating on Ziggler after the bell had been rung solely in order to flout the ref's authority. FLOUT OWENS FLOUT. Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler proved that he can never stop being a terrible person by super kicking Dean Ambrose, who had run out to stop Owens. Oh, sure, he was “confused” and “blindly lashing out.” Dolph Ziggler has always been and always will be a friendship ruiner.
And with that, I'll see you fine folks on the other side of Christmas. Merry happy, everyone!