Thursday, September 1, 2016

Learning To Live With Smackdown

Miz is not right, but he is passionate
Photo Credit:
This week on Smackdown I am learning to live with:

The Miz Being the Best at Being the Worst
This episode started off with a FIRED-UP Miz storming to the ring and delivering a righteous tirade, his blistering delivery scorching everyone in his path... and he is completely full of shit. This is the genius of the Miz as a villain. He's so great at being engaging but also terrible, making it impossible for us to do the thing where we insist that the alleged bad guy is actually in the right. So as much as I loved his yelling about hating being pushed aside, it's also clear that this is coming from a narcissistic need for the spotlight. He can declare over and over again that he's no coward, but doing whatever you can to avoid getting hit is the DEFINITION of being a coward. He wants to be the leading man SO BAD but he has no sincere interest in being a hero. Bless him.

Rude Interruptions
Who better to ruin the Miz's and everyone else's day than the man who does it best? Yes, Dolph Ziggler came out in the midst of Miz's rant to rain on his parade. I found it hilarious that Ziggler berated the Miz to try and prove himself as though Ziggler himself doesn't reek of desperation right now. Can't win against anyone important so you come out to pick on the guy that everyone picks on? Real nice. I should not have been on the Miz's side at the end of the segment, but I was because why on earth SHOULD he waste his time with Ziggler?

Apparently Ziggler's rude behaviour set some sort of precedent because Apollo Crews also saw nothing wrong with coming out to interrupt AJ Styles. Will the poor man NEVER get to finish gloating about beating up John Cena? I'm pretty sure we were all taught not to interrupt when we were children, and I will not stand for this behaviour.

HOWEVER, Crews' interruption did lead to my favourite match of the night, so I guess I forgive him. He and Styles had an awesome bout with Crews looking great and Styles getting another decisive win. I'm sure that when Cena comes back he'll find some way to emasculate Styles, but right now I'm enjoying the victory lap of solid matches.

Mounting Evidence
AJ Styles said that he wanted Dean Ambrose to see him in his nightmares (and his dreams???) and also while he's “on his back.” I am not the crazy one for reading into this. Rather, I don't even have to read into it because it's so blatant.

Not Being Hype
The Hype Bros are really not my thing, so I was pretty disappointed that they beat the Vaudevillians to advance in the tag team tournament. The match was fine, and I don't think I'm in much danger of the Hype Bros going on to win the whole tournament, but I just can't get behind them. The Vaudevillains have cloaks now! CLOAKS! All the Hype Bros have is incoherent yelling.

Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Oh man, did you laugh SUPER HARD at Heath Slater's fat wife and the fact that he lives in a trailer? Fat women! So gross! Poor people! So trashy! Laughs for days and days and days.

No, I don't expect WWE to be better than this, but I want them to be, and it is so easy to be better than this body-shaming, classist unpleasantry. There were some genuinely funny and heartwarming bits here. We still don't know how many kids Slater has (if any) because they were strategically kept off-screen: That's funny! Rhyno's strong but silent support because he and Slater have somehow become so close that he's just always at the Slater home: That's funny and heartwarming! Rhyno's meticulous application of spray cheese to his crackers: That's funny! (for real, though, I didn't know that Rhyno can be so low-key hilarious. This segment was a comedy clinic from him). Slater being SO EXCITED to show off his home and contemplate what winning the tag titles will do for him: That's heartwarming! There was more than enough here to make Heath Slater a lovable weirdo without Renee Young acting disgusted by everything.

Please stop ruining the purity of the Heath Slater Saga, WWE.

Abandoned Abandonment Stories
Apparently we're just not following up on Bray Wyatt turning his back on Erick Rowan a couple of weeks ago. I would much prefer to pick up that plot thread than to continue Wyatt's gab-fests with Randy Orton wherein they both brag about how messed up they are and how their scars remind them that the past is real.

The Nikki Bella Show
Having Nikki Bella back is fine; spending a perfectly decent tag match talking about Total Bellas and how the “girls'" locker room (fuck your infantilizing bullshit, JBL) is probably jealous of her is not fine. I know that this division is still treading water until the title match at Backlash, but we can still prioritize wrestling over reality shows featuring wrestlers. Right now Nikki Bella is the only woman in the Smackdown division with a focus (her comeback from injury) and a defined feud (with Carmella), and that makes me nervous. I like Nikki Bella, but I don't want to see everyone else taking a backseat to her.

Also it made no sense whatsoever for Becky Lynch to be so distracted by Carmella's attack on Bella that she lost her match. Likewise, why on earth would Lynch and Naomi crowd concernedly around Bella afterward? They JUST had match against her at Summer Slam and neither of them has any reason to like her given their past interactions. All of the faces automatically being friends is one of my least favourite things.

Confusing Feelings About Baron Corbin
I think Baron Corbin was my favourite thing about the main event? I question him getting a match against the champ while poor Kalisto is languishing in parts unknown, but I think he came off really well against Ambrose. I liked him standing up to Styles' interference, and I think he did a good job maintaining a presence in the post-match chaos. I even liked the adolescent delivery of “You don't tell me what to do! NO ONE tells me what to do!” I even forgot to make fun of his name. I need some time to process this.