Monday, July 27, 2015

Smackdown: Friendship is Magic

What if Ambrose embraced the fireflies instead of fought them?
Photo Credit:
Should Be Friends – Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt
Last week I wrote about Ambrose being the third wheel in the developing Wyatt/Roman Reigns love story, but this week I'm more confused than ever about what the point is of having Wyatt antagonize Ambrose. They've already had their feud, and Ambrose is no worse off because of it. It's clear that Ambrose can't be physically taken out; he'll always pop back up, and putting him in peril just adds fuel to Reigns' fire. So if Ambrose will always be there for Reigns, if Reigns will never be truly alone as long as Ambrose is there, if physically hurting Ambrose would just spur Reigns on, then why not try to recruit Ambrose into the Wyatt Family?

This is where Wyatt should be at his most dangerous anyway. Forget the pseudo Undertaker spoooooooooooky bullshit. Wyatt should be scary because he can convince anyone to do anything, even if the other person knows it's wrong. More of the charismatic, evil cult leader, and less of the flashy but ultimately pointless turning all the lights off. How effective would it be to have Ambrose as a Family member? He's had intense interactions with both Wyatt and Harper, as part of the Shield and on his own. He and Reigns have remained best friends since the Shield broke up and remain fiercely protective of each other. I think it would be a great twist to throw a wrench into their dynamic.

I know we're going to be in for a bunch of tag matches featuring Ambrose and Reigns against Wyatt and Harper, and I know those will be good (seeing Harper with Wyatt again brought joy to my heart), but I just think that something new would be welcome, if only to halt the seemingly endless cycle of Wyatt interrupting Reigns and Ambrose's matches. Ambrose faced Sheamus on this episode, and while the two men don't really have a reason to fight each other it still could have been a good time. Both men have very physical styles, and their characters are both down for a fight at any time. However, their match lacked any intensity, and they seemed to just be going through the motions in anticipation of the inevitable Wyatt inference resulting in a disqualification.

Most Depressing Friendship Situation – Adam Rose
It finally happened. Adam Rose has apparently even lost Rosa Mendes, as she didn't appear with him this week during his match against Neville. Said match was quick and resulted in a win for Neville. Poor Adam Rose. I have a soft spot for him, and I don't like to see him all alone.

Friend With Regrets – Summer Rae
At least, I imagined Summer Rae to be having some regrets as I watched her struggle to speed-walk while wearing heels and carrying the Bulgarian flag in Rusev's wake. She ditched the flag as soon as she got to the ring and continued to be nothing but supportive to Rusev, but I bet she's still wondering what she's gotten herself into. As for Rusev, he faced Kevin Owens in what was kind of a bizarre match-up since they're both heels. Owens had bailed on their tag match earlier in the week, so it kind of made sense that Rusev would be angry about it, but the crowd was clearly confused as to who they were supposed to cheer for. That said, I did enjoy the unconventional match-up, and the match was perfectly fine right up until Owens once again bailed and Rusev won via count-out.

Best New Friends – Naomi and Sasha Banks
First of all, I do want to say that I think it's shitty that Naomi never did get a title run after her heel turn, and she likely won't get one out of this “Divas' Revolution.” With that being said, I am loving her and Sasha Banks getting to hang out together. I've heard people complain that Banks is too good to be paired with Naomi and Tamina or that Naomi's heel character was just a rip-off of Banks.' I don't care. Out of the three women's trios, Team BAD is my favourite, even though it's hilarious watching Tamina just kind of stand there while Naomi and Banks get their attitude on. By far the best part of Naomi and Banks' match against the Bella Twins was the two of them gleefully destroying Brie. Of course, once Nikki entered the fray she quickly dispatched Naomi, which really makes one wonder why the hell Brie keeps getting to represent Team Bella when she's so utterly useless, but whatever. I'm not going to tell Nikki how to run her squad when she's still the one with the title

Better Off Without Friends – Seth Rollins
The main event featured Seth Rollins against Cesaro. Rollins, still being without the benefit of Authority cronies surrounding him, was forced to rely on himself. He ended up winning after poking Cesaro in the eye, but even with the cheating it was clear that he'd had to work hard for the win. Rollins looked competent for once, but Cesaro looked phenomenal. I like this. I like Rollins being increasingly abandoned by the Authority and floundering against superior opponents. It's forcing him to be strategic and actually build on his character, though, as has been pointed out by others, said character is pretty Flair-esque. However, I hated that, in addition to the eye-poke, they also had Rollins try to bail on the match. I suppose you could look at it as the impetus for his cheating – “this giant Swiss guy is just going to toss me back in the ring if I try to leave, guess I'd better actually try to win” – but I am so, so tired of this cowardly heel trope, especially since Kevin Owens had already done the exact same thing earlier in the show. More fighting dirty, less refusing to fight, please. Also, more Cesaro in the main event.