Friday, February 12, 2016

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

Smackdown was all about these two
Photo Credit:
Emphatically Not Friends – Chris Jericho and AJ Styles
This show was pretty much all about the Jericho and Styles re-match – their first match was interrupted so they had a tag match and then their original match – and I'm honestly not sure why. By all means, give AJ Styles all the spotlights you want, build Smackdown around him, but their tag match against Curtis Axel and Adam Rose was really just an elaborate dick-measuring contest, which both men came out of looking pretty equally good so...what was the point? Poor Adam Rose just had to keep running into Jericho's offense near the end, and I felt bad for him. Maybe if you would build a story properly you wouldn't have to do the “Oh noes! Epic enemies now have to WORK TOGETHER!” thing AND the “Epic enemies even the score!” thing on the same episode. Spending time on this shit tends to naturally lend these moments the significance that you so desperately want them to have.

HOWEVER, the main event match between Jericho and Styles was pretty great. It actually felt like a main event. Styles lost, but he definitely looked the more spry and snappy of the two. Jericho has pretty noticeably aged and slowed down, but he still held his own and came off as the sly veteran, which is kind of hilarious given that Jericho isn't that much older and doesn't have that much more wrestling experience, but whatever; I like the story. I have no doubt that their rubber match will be something to see.

Also of note, “the radical mongoose” is exactly the kind of ridiculous nickname that can move a person up in Lacy's Official Social Outcast Rankings (always behind Bo Dallas, of course).

Also, also of note: The numerous passionate protestations from Jericho about how much he doesn't like Styles and wants to see him prove himself and all the heated glances between the two are starting to make me think the gentlemen doth protest too much. The Should Be More Than Friends heading might be making a comeback, just saying.

Either A Really Good Friend or Straight Up Doesn't Need Friends At All – Sasha Banks
Last week I was optimistic about Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch becoming reluctant friends, but this week Banks decided to show us that she is, in fact, a Legit Boss, just in case anyone was questioning it. During Banks' match against Naomi, Becky Lynch was on guest commentary and took it upon her Hufflepuff self to stop Tamina from interfering. Unfortunately, she apparently bit off more than she could chew, so Banks incapacitated Naomi, got out of the ring to take care of Tamina with a god damn vengeance (THAT KICK THO), then promptly got back in the ring and made Naomi tap. Like. A. Boss. She looked proud as hell of herself after the match, and so she should have.

So was she buying into the Help Thy Neighbour Becky Lynch lifestyle or just showing off? I don't know, but I'm fine either way. If it's the latter, though, I don't really see the need for the upcoming tag match at Fast Lane. Banks can clearly take care of herself and, unfortunately, Lynch looked kind of helpless here. Naomi, however, looked fantastic, and I'm so glad we got to see her in the ring again. I'd love if the Fast Lane match is just another one-on-one affair between her and Banks.

Friends and Stuff – The Lucha Dragons and Neville and the Cosmic Wasteland
I don't even know what to do with this. When a match starts out with the announce team going “Hey, remember last summer when this was kind of a thing,” you know you're in for some nonsense. Was this match fun to watch? Absolutely. Is Viktor's facial hair a fascinating display? YES. But what even is this? If you just want to run a fun trios match, fine, but don't tell me there's a story here when there emphatically is not and never has been other than for a one-sided beginning that went absolutely nowhere but that we're apparently supposed to remember every couple months. After pinning Konnor, Neville didn't interact with Stardust at all, so once again it appears this is going nowhere. Do more with Neville. Do more with Stardust. Do more with Kalisto. DO MORE.