Thursday, July 13, 2017

Learning to Live with Smackdown

Spoiler alert, they coexisted
Photo Credit:
This week on Smackdown I'm learning to live with:

Commentary beat this term into the ground on this episode, starting with AJ Styles and John Cena when they had to team up against Kevin Owens and Rusev. It was clear that Cena and Styles' confrontation to start the show was tinged with mutual respect, and they only ended up in the tag match because Styles came to Cena's aid...BUT COULD THEY COEXIST AFTER WE JUST SAW THEM COEXIST??? Mostly their main event coexistence just made me think about how much I'd like to see a Styles/Rusev feud. At any rate, I hope that in the coming weeks the United States Championship open challenge is actually able to happen and we can just see AJ Styles take on a bunch of new people. Providing he can coexist with them, of course.

The announce team was also very concerned about Becky Lynch and Charlotte being able to coexist during their tag match against Natalya and Tamina, even though they've been backing each other up, not to mention laughing at their own jokes, for quite a while. I guess clearly being best friends is completely different from coexisting. Frankly, the only coexistence on the show that worried me was Maria Kanellis' hair coexisting with her dress and also Mike's shirt. So many shades of red! CAN THEY COEXIST?!?

Watch for WWE: Coexist, a new pay-per-view coming next year. Whichever uneasy tag team stays together the longest wins.

Canadian Content
Tye Dillinger finally got to have a match on Smackdown again (I believe he was in last week's battle royale, but I didn't see that so it doesn't count). True, it involved him being decisively beaten by Jinder Mahal, but something is better than nothing. Mahal was able to look like a dominant champion, Dillinger got a small amount of offence in, and, best of all, Randy Orton didn't show up, so even though the match itself was just okay, I still liked it quite a bit.

Also I got a huge kick out of a guy from Alberta taking on a guy from Ontario. There WAS a real east vs. west thing going on, just not in the way that anyone in the audience was aware of. Frankly, I don't know why WWE doesn't play up the nationality of its Canadian talent. We've got regional conflicts and quirks for days! The CRTC would approve!

On another note I really don't know what WWE is trying to achieve with Jinder Mahal's talking points. Do... do you WANT people to boo “class, diversity, and excellence?” Are you acknowledging that those things are the opposite of America? Do you want non-Americans to cheer for him because he's right while encouraging American audiences to cheer against him because he's foreign? Again, they're trying to have it both ways with him, and it's confusing as hell.

A Landmark Moment
Shocking and delighting the world (or at least me), at the first hint of interference in the Jey Uso/Xavier Woods match, referee Charles Robinson ejected Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Jimmy Uso. A ref being proactive and doing something logical? That's unheard of! And did the announce team talk about how this was an “historic” moment or something that had happened “for the first time on Smackdown Live?” They did not. Well, I appreciated this great gain for the referee community, and I won't forget it. Cookies for everyone!

Of course, the match pretty much ended right after that when Uso got caught in the ropes and apparently tried to climb up them instead of just, you know, getting out, leaving him an easy target for Woods' leaping elbow drop. You know, the cool factor is reduced a little bit when the set-up just looks goofy as hell.

Umpteenth Verse, Same as the First
Another women's tag match leading to a multiperson match at the next pay-per-view. We have seen this so many times in Smackdown's women's division and, worst of all, nothing has changed since Money in the Bank except that Lana is in the number one contender's match instead of Carmella (and instead of getting YET ANOTHER championship match). The talking points are still the same. The escalating arguments are still the same. No one is standing out and no one is gaining any ground, not even Naomi (though her Glow-infused belt is the greatest thing). There is the new development of Lana and Tamina having some sort of connection, but we're not going to explain it, and Natalya is apparently just fine with having Lana in their little club even though she has nothing to offer. Charlotte was the only one to point out that Lana still has no business being anywhere near the title, but that was quickly brushed aside. There's no cohesion to any of this. You can't call it a “Women's Evolution” when nothing is evolving! Words mean things, WWE!

Wordsmith Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin, master of wordplay, was at it again this week, admitting that he WAS afraid... afraid of what he was going to do to Shinsuke Nakamura, that is! Oh, snap! He also came out with “sayonara, Nakamura,” complete with a lil' smirk that betrayed how proud he was of his non-rhyme. I bet his journal is full of clever zingers like that.

Ghost Alien Horse Thieves
I'm not going to recount everything about the latest installment of the Fashion Files, but I just wanted to note that Tyler Breeze and Fandango continue to be my purest source of delight on this show (them and Chad Gable's brief but adorable appearances). I did not appreciate the Hype Bros throwing their drama all over the place, but Tyler Breeze's matter of fact “of course, I'm not a hippie” in answer to Zack Ryder smarmily asking if he wears a bra while undercover was the best possible response to that shit. Also, the two of them (especially Breeze) visibly trying not to crack up at the end was the most adorable thing. I love you, Sexy Fashion Rangers.