Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

Rusev remains strong with the power of friendship
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Second-Best Luck Without Friends – Alberto del Rio
Post-League of Nations, Rusev is probably doing the best. He's got a pretty dominant hold on the United States title for now. Winning a slot in the upcoming Money in the Bank match may not be super comparable, but it is at least leagues ahead of LOSING a slot in the upcoming Money in the Bank match, which is what happened to poor Sheamus. In beating Zack Ryder and securing himself a chance for the prize, del Rio at least has a chance to shine. It does feel weird to have him in the match, though, if only because everyone else in it has some recent history together.

Winning Friendship – Rusev and Lana
Rusev successfully defended his title against Kalisto, and I can't believe Kalisto continues to come out for his singles matches sans Sin Cara, especially when Rusev has Lana on his side. She didn't even interfere, but friendship alone is power. Kalisto should know to use all his resources. This will teach him to try and strike out on his own. The same goes for Titus O'Neil, who ran out to save Kalisto post-match. It was great to see him again, but I predict that without Darren Young by his side he, too, will fall short. Friendship! It is the way of the true United States champion.

Best New Friends – Charlotte and Dana Brooke
I saw a lot of people express disappointment over the segment on RAW where Charlotte kicked her dad out of her life. I didn't see it, but I love it based on two things. One, I don't have to see Ric Flair stumble around anymore and I don't have to hear people insist that everything he does is still so great simply because “Ric Flair.” Old Ric Flair is terrible and adds nothing of value. I said it and I'm not sorry. And now we don't have to fight about it because Charlotte made him go away. Two, the only thing better than a great villain is a great villain with a great minion, and that's what I think Dana Brooke can be to Charlotte. Of course, Brooke needing to be bailed out almost immediately after her match with Natalya started doesn't bode super well. Shouldn't her failure be a black mark against her in Charlotte's eyes and shouldn't she kick her new ally to the curb just like she did her father? My head says yes but my heart says no. Please be terrible together forever. And then Emma can come back and take revenge on both of them for palling around together behind her back.

That being said, WWE, you do remember that we let the women wrestle now, right? By all means, have Charlotte leap to Brooke's defense, but maybe let us have an actual match first?

Failed Friendship – Goldust and R-Truth
So the payoff to the past few months of skits and failed alliances is... a losing streak. Well, for the Golden Truth, anyway. Fandango and Tyler Breeze are doing just fine, and their finding each other is the best thing to come out of all of this nonsense. Fandango smirking while Breeze mangled a bunch of fairy tales – “looks like Goldilocks fell off the beanstalk and cracked his own eggs” – was just beautiful.

Look, you guys know that I love Goldust and I like R-Truth, right? Because I do. I truly do. But I look at this extended and honestly pretty involved story that they've had going and, no, it's not like it was ever main event or must-see television, but it was still more than Damien Sandow or Stardust got and that just kills me. Imagine if Cody Rhodes and Tyler Breeze had a chance to work together. Don't you think they could have had a bunch of really good matches? I do, but none of us will ever know now. And that sucks.

Worst Friend – Sudden Incompetent Ref Disease
Sudden Incompetent Ref Disease affects five out of five refs at least once in their careers. It can strike at any time and there is no cure. Its only friend is Chaos. SIRD is what causes an otherwise perfectly able ref to not notice someone untying a turnbuckle cover until it's too late. SIRD is what causes a ref who is presumably able to tie one's shoes to suddenly forget how to tie string together, and moreover to simultaneously lose the ability to multitask. Retie a turnbuckle cover AND keep an eye on the match? “Impossible!” crows SIRD, and so both jobs are done haphazardly. Thus it was that the shoddily repaired turnbuckle is what led the Miz to retain his Intercontinental Title once again at Cesaro's expense. Won't you join the fight against Sudden Incompetent Ref Disease and prevent this from happening to anyone else?