Friday, June 17, 2016

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

RAW hiccup aside, they're still the (genetically) superior friends
Photo Credit:
Best Friends – The Tag Division
For a lot of the show I kept thinking about how this inter-pay-per-view period has been spammed to death with the same competitors over and over, but I feel like that hasn't as much been the case for the upcoming tag titles match, and all the teams look the better for it. They all still look fresh and are working well together. Nothing new has really been added to the mix; just solid team work. This Smackdown match showcased everyone's abilities well, with Kofi Kingston, Aiden English, Big Cass, and Luke Gallows in the ring, Simon Gotch, Big E, and Karl Anderson on the outside, and Xavier Woods and Enzo Amore on commentary. My only complaint is that I feel like the Vaudevillains are kind of getting lost in the mix, which is a shame. I find them way more entertaining than the Club.

Desperately Wants To Be Friends – Dolph Ziggler
Okay, Dolph Ziggler clearly just wants the Baron of Corbin to notice him, right? I'm not the only one seeing this? Because unnecessarily being on guest commentary AGAIN and talking SUPER LOUD so that Corbin could hear him plus screaming after him like a desperate weirdo while Corbin just calmly walked away all point to this. His Lordship Baron Corbin von Wrestlehoff quickly dispatched Zack Ryder, whom Ziggler is best bros with, and Ziggler didn't even check up on his alleged friend post-match! He only had eyes for Corbin. This ridiculous feud all makes sense now. I still have zero interest in it, but now at least I understand it.

Least Effective Friends – The Lucha Dragons
Poor Lucha Dragons. Kalisto's uneventful United States Championship run has all but faded from people's minds and his match against Rusev, the man who took the title from him, began with Rusev snatching him out of the air mid-entrance, which looked cool as hell but did not bode well for Kalisto. After he lost, Sin Cara finally took my advice and showed up to help his partner...and it did not help at all. Titus O'Neil had to run out to save them. Somehow constant interference in Rusev's business has earned O'Neil a title shot, while the Dragons aren't involved in the tag titles picture at all and now have to live with the knowledge that their combined forces didn't even make a dent in Rusev's armour. At least they still have each other?

Friend With The Worst Influence – John Cena
Urgh, John Cena the character is the worst. “I'll never be a heel because being a role model to children is too important to me....If you dare to challenge me and don't do exactly what I want and say then you're a bitch with no balls.” URGH. This is where Smackdown normally has its benefits because he never shows up 'round these parts, but sometimes his influence does. That's what I'm blaming the New Day's pretty horrendous insults to AJ Styles on. He has “emo hair?” He's constantly whining? Way below your usual standard, guys. Cena wrote all of that, didn't he?

At any rate, the match we got out of that cringeworthy confrontation was at least pretty great. Xavier Woods doesn't usually have one-on-one matches, and he clearly loved going up against Styles. Of course, the match once again made the case against Styles pretty laughable. The New Day were the ones who insulted HIM, so he asked for a match to defend himself, and he won it fair and square with Anderson and Gallows nowhere in sight. Oh man, that cowardly coward with all his whining and not being able to back up what he says. Yup, that suuuuuure is what I keep seeing. You know it's bad when Jerry Lawler, of all people, was the voice of reason, calmly laying out counterpoints for all the criticisms against Styles. Byron Saxton, meanwhile, was spewing utter nonsense like that the match was clearly the result of John Cena “getting into the head of AJ Styles.” What on earth are you talking about? See if I ever stick up for YOU again, Saxton!

Still The Better Friends – Charlotte and Dana Brooke
Even with Dana Brooke's apparent misstep on RAW, she and Charlotte are still miles ahead of Becky Lynch and Natalya in the friendship department. Byron Saxton (why were you being the WORST on this episode, my dude?) can make the excuse for Natalya's loss that Charlotte was just bending the rules as usual, but, frankly, all I've seen is that Charlotte is just better at playing the game, and I honestly don't know why she and Brooke have to face the other two women at Money in the Bank since they've both consistently failed to get the better of her.

Broken Friendship That Broke My Heart – Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho
And here I was actually thinking that we could get to Money in the Bank with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho's beautiful, implausible friendship still intact. They were on the same team during the six-main tag main event, and during the (hugely unnecessary and utterly pointless, I must say) confrontation that started the show I loved Jericho yelling “Owens, do something!” in his agony at Dean Ambrose spoiling his very expensive carpet. I even made a note that Jericho turning to Owens in his time of distress was now the purest canon.

The match itself started off well, with Owens and Jericho basically ignoring Alberto del Rio. At one point Owens pretended he was going to tag in del Rio only to turn to Jericho instead. Oh, those lovable Canadian scamps. And then everything went horribly wrong. After a chaotic match, Del Rio apparently had enough of feeling like a third wheel and tagged in Owens, snarling at him to “do something,” so Owens promptly kicked him and then took out Jericho, too. NOOOOOO. He immediately paid for his betrayal and was pinned by Ambrose, leaving Jericho feebly stirring and probably wondering how it ever came to this. Or maybe that was just me. I am still trying to convince myself that it was just the heat of the moment and that Owens was just lashing out at everyone. The alternative, that he knowingly attacked the one friend he had, is too much to handle. You may win Money in the Bank, Kevin Owens, but you can never replace winning friendship in the bank of your HEART. *sobs forever*