Rehash · smackdown

Jax Snax: SmackDown 18th Feb ’16

Hellooooo everybody, Jax here with your Jax Snax, and welcome to Thursday Night SnaxDown! Tonight we’re going to take an abnormally small amount of time to yell about sweaty dudes and ladies and also cry about not having Mauro around. Shush, he’s my fave, okay? Get well soon, dude.

Anyway, SmackDown opens with the usual ‘a few nights ago on Raw…’ as if we don’t already know what happened. Dean lost his title and attempted a Dirty Deeds on Roman, it’s not like I’m gonna just up and forget that! To quote the wise words of the philosophers, les Boys du Backstreet: quit playin’ games with my heart.

Kevin Owens shuffles out in very Dean-like attire, schlepping around in jeans and a tee while smooching all over his (re-)adopted child, the Intercontinental Belt. I guess he’s so pleased with this turn of events that he forgot to dress for a fight tonight. He also takes it upon himself to literally shove the title into Cole’s face for about half a minute, which is great because if you cover Cole’s face then I won’t remember that Mauro is out with the flu and thus not calling tonight’s matches. Sorry, just… just give me a minute, I’m okay, there’s just something in my eye. And my other eye. And sobbing sounds coming from my mouth.

KO squishes poor Byron over and joins them on commentary while Dolph ‘butt wiggler’ Ziggler wiggles his way into the ring, followed by Kalisto! Oh, and Sin Cara’s there too, sure. Ziggler and Sin Cara do the LU-CHA arm thing while Kalisto strikes a pose in front of them and Zig’s pretty in sync, d’awww. Then the League of Nations saunters out, as they do, and Rusev looks particularly dreamy tonight. While Rusev and Kalisto do their thang in the rang ring, what’s way more interesting is KO sassing damn near everybody at that commentary table. No seriously, can we just have Kevin sass everyone when he’s not in a match himself?

Ziggler shows this fabulous ring awareness, making sure he’s there to pull the ropes wide for the lovely Luchas to dive through, then lowering the rope so an angry flailing Rusev goes tumbling out. Ziggler does the ‘dive off the top outside the ring with a flying elbow onto the entire League’ thing, and a salty KO tells a gently ribbing Cole to shut up. I’m starting to ship KO/Cole, y’all. There is clearly something wrong with me. IN MY DEFENSE… *trails off, walks away*

Things to take from this match:

  • Byron is a nerd and nobody likes him EXCEPT ME.
  • KO supports Del Rio! Bonus: he also respects the Authority! I didn’t know he had it in him. Heels stick together, yo. If you want a friendship to last, clearly you should turn heel early in life. Don’t be Seth! (Oh god come back soon Seth please aaaaa.)
  • KO’s perfect description of Mauro: “The new guy with the glasses and the hair and the thing.” He can’t be Milhouse because that’s Rich, so I wonder what nickname Mauro’s gonna get from KO. The suspense is killing me.
  • Y’ALL THIS WAS A PRETTY GOOD MATCH. I capslock this because I did not expect a good match. I don’t know WHAT I expected, really. But I was pleasantly surprised!
  • KO interrupts in the end, which was expected. He then takes Ziggler’s vest, which was decidedly NOT expected. Does he have a closet full of trophy clothing he took from people he’s beaten or just hates? If it’s not filled with El Generico and Sami Zayn merch I’m gonna be SO disappointed.
  • Del Rio quite literally tears up one of the green Lucha shirt things the Lucha boys wear, and that almost makes me more upset than all the times he’s almost taken off Kalisto’s mask. It’s absurd! Which I guess means Del Rio is a fabulous heel. Huh.

So the smallest of video packages tells us that Heyman’s client, Brrrrrrock… Lesnarrrrrr… is going to return to SmackDown after a whole dozen years away. Cool story, bro. Were they going for the message of ‘SmackDown wasn’t important for twelve years, but Brock’s here now so you know the quality’s getting better’? Because that’s kinda what I got out of that.

Graphic and commentary tells us that an Ambreigns vs Dudleyz tag match is tonight’s main event. I’m… interested. In what happens to Roman and Dean, I mean. I feel bad that I don’t care about the Bubba and D’Von, but to be fair they were basically props for the tables since they came back. I get why they’re heeling it up, at least.

Quick clip of Sasha stalking around backstage, which I only mention because I did a double-take on her cleavage. I normally don’t notice that, but for a second I wondered if the camera made it a point of displaying that because she was hiding weapons in there or something. Pocket sand, maybe? I dunno. Shashashaaaa.

Yet another Black History Month powerpoint slideshow! I wish I could care about this, but they don’t seem to, soooo…

Oh hey, a match! Tamina vs Sasha, with Naomi standing around looking prett– jesus fuck her butt is huge. No seriously, I don’t know if it’s the lime green pants doing it, but christ on a pogo stick. Are we entirely sure her Rear View move isn’t fatal? Anyway, Tamina looks vaguely angry, and curiously, Sasha looks… concerned. Maybe determined, too. But certainly not her usual hundred and ten percent cocky self, y’know? Hmm.

This is such a short match I can’t really say too much about it except that it wasn’t necessarily bad, just short. Tamina puts up a hell of a good fight, but Sasha wins via submission, as usual, and then gets blindsided from behind while celebrating her win. I mean, why else was Naomi here, right? Cue the two-on-one beatdown, at least until good ol’ Bex Express comes a-chargin’ in to save her future Fastlane tag partner. She chases the bitter remnants of Team BAD out of the ring, leaving Sasha to catch some ‘tude and yell “I didn’t ASK for your help!” Which just confuses and frustrates our heroine Becky. Because hey, if this were fanfic, they’d have been secretly making out backstage by now. But as the wise philosopher Jagger once said: you can’t always get what you want.

Lucky for us, Becky knows the rest of that lyric, so she chases after Sasha backstage to woo her make her feel guilty because The Bo$$ is letting her ego get in the way of actually winning a match. Not cool, Sash’! Sasha comes to her senses and admits that while they’re not friends, she hates losing. The two temporarily end their metaphoric headbutting with hands clasped. “Let’s kick some ass.” “Like a boss.” Holy shit, I think we just got character development in a divas storyline. Excuse me while I fan myself. I’m gettin’ the vapors. Swoon.

Oh boy, time for amateur magician dad Jericho! Twelve year old Byron really wants Jericho’s jacket for his birthday. Kickstarter that thing, dude. Also, blingy jacket + trunks = Jericho does not actually own clothing and instead steals random stuff backstage on his way to the entrance. This is my headcanon. And I like how Jericho wanted AJ but got the Miz instead. I could almost hear Xavier doing the ‘womp womp womp woooomp’ on Francesca II in the distance.

Miz alludes to AJ and Jericho playing footsie. AJ/Jericho is canon, guys! Also: Miz is jealous they don’t want a threesome with him. I am now imagining Miz getting jealous at every couple on the roster because they’re not including him in their sexytimes. Miz just wants to be loved, y’all.

Jericho panders for a Yes chant to ask Miz to quit the business. C’mon now, that’s just mean. Also you’re not even dating DBry, you don’t get to do a Yes chant. It’s not your word! Bonus points for Jericho’s ‘aw shucks’ fingersnap when Miz refuses to quit, though. Tee hee. And I like how Miz fails even at getting in a surprise cheap shot, confirming that he is only a good actor when cameras are not on him. Otherwise he’s just gonna telegraph everything and chew scenery like he hasn’t eaten in a week.

And now, as there’s no way I’m going to call a match with Cole in my ear, I’m gonna write this exactly the way I did in my notes:

  • Miz looks good? Miz looks good! I AM PLEASED
  • oh shit Miz counters Walls of Jericho
  • SO MANY KICKOUTS WHAT IS GOING ON OMFG
  • “Come on, A-list, come on!” don’t u yell at cranky mizbutt omg rude~
  • MIZ IS V ANGRY this is like that NXT Riley fellow but actually GOOD
  • WALLS OF JERICHO! TAP’D 😦 gj mizbutt tho

So this match is actually great, and I say actually because the Miz is in it, and while he’s really good at being really angry, he’s only decent in the ring when his opponent is amazing. Jericho pulled off one hell of a magic trick here.

Jericho is on the mic again (sigh) and he puts over the Miz for actually putting on a good show, unlike whatever B movies he’s made over the years. (I kid! He’s actually decent.) But Jericho really, really wants AJ now, so AJ finally comes out (heh) so Jericho can let him know if they’re going steady at Fastlane or not. Jericho’s yakking boils down to ‘I like you, but I don’t like like you, so nah.’ AJ asks if that’s his final answer, Jericho says Jeri-no, and — oops, AJ’s fist seems to have slipped and hit Jericho’s face. “NOW what do you say?” Cue ‘AJ Styles’ chant, because the piped-in crowd did not like Jericho dashing our hopes of AJ/Jericho part three of fifteen thousand. Jericho… man, I can’t even tell if this is me being a weird shipper or something, but Jericho says, and I quote: “You want it? YOU WANT IT? You got it.” And he does that little half-smirk thing and I swear Jericho can you be anymore overtly homoerotic? I’m just saying, this isn’t even subtext anymore! Sheesh.

And now for what I’ve been waiting for all night: a glimpse of Roman and Dean. What can I say, I’m a sucker for shared history, continuity, and interesting interpersonal dynamics, and they’ve got both in spades — or at least more so than anyone else on the active roster. Anyway, our heroes Ambreigns are discussing their current situation, and Roman is very sorry Dean lost his title. However, he ain’t havin’ this whole Dirty Deeds thing again. “I can take a good joke,” Roman says with a ready grin, “that wasn’t one.” Hello, foreshadowing, my old friend.

But Dean, being Dean, shrugs this off and shuffles his way down the hall, and he then runs into none other than… good ol’ Paul Heyman! Paulie! Who is very uncomfortable and twitchy and increasingly quietly horrified at Dean touching him. Or breathing the same air as him. Or existing in general. Of course, Heyman goes on to call Dean Roman’s “little brother,” which is probably not a good idea, but I suspect this is a calculated move on his part. Heyman informs Deano that his client, Brrrrock Lesssnar is looking for him. Not Roman, mind, but him. Dean feigns horror and panic for a while, throwing Heyman for a loop, until Dean grins and decides he should probably just deal with Lesnar himself. By himself. Dean is the most beautiful train wreck.

Next up, Jojo interviews the New Day, but it’s really just an excuse for Xavier to tease his trombone playing. Also of note: everyone debates how to pronounce ‘gif’. They then dance. Wildly. Like, really wildly. No, just… just see it, okay? I’m not sure what they’re smoking, but I kind of want some.

Oh hey, a match is next! Sorry, I was really distracted by Big E’s big D for a minute there. Okay, so this one is another divas match, making this match two of the night, eyyy! So far we’ve got character development and 200% more matches per show, which ain’t too bad. Keep it up, WWE! Next we’d like longer matches. This one is not a long match, unfortunately. I don’t know about y’all, but I for one would love to see Natalya for more than three minutes at a time without having to watch Total Divas. Hell, this time around Nattie doesn’t even get her entrance televised. Which isn’t fair, as I want to take a minute to swoon at her adorable smile and see which sexy-BDSM-mistress-Halloween-outfit ring gear she’s wearing this time. Anyway, short match gets short notes:

  • Charlotte’s the most spoiled of brats and entirely full of herself, while Nattie plays the vet role, no-selling a few of Charlotte’s moves and giving her the best ‘I am not impressed’ look. I need more of this Nattie, please and thank you.
  • Charlotte runs the ropes, stops in front of Nattie, ‘woooo’s in her face and screams, “MY RING!” Nattie responds by… hauling her over a shoulder and slamming her down on the mat, immediately getting her in a headlock. Bwa ha ha ha.
  • Charlotte grabs Nattie’s leg, leans in, ‘woooo’s in Nattie’s face again. Nattie’s response: flipping and tossing Charlotte nose first into the mat. Bwa ha ha ha!
  • Charlotte shenanigans outside of the ring, noooo! Charlotte with the Figure 8, nooo! Nattie taps, nooooooo! Fun fact though: I am pretty sure Nattie lasted the longest against that Figure 8, at least in non-PPV matches. I’ll have to look that up, though.
  • Charlotte mocks the Yes chant. Gurl, you’re just asking for it now — yep, here comes Brie! Yes kicks! Yes kicks turn into BRIE MOOOODE, but the running knee doesn’t connect because Charlotte’s a dang coward. Booooo, etc.

All in all, this match made Natalya look good, kept Charlotte a sneaky but powerful heel, and gave Brie some time to shine, all in the space of a few minutes. Imagine what they could do with more time! Oh, and bonus: Brie looks adorable in flannel. I just needed to say that.

The last segment of the night is the ever so cringeworthy Golden Truth ship, which isn’t a ship so much as it is stalkery and sometimes bordering on tonedeaf racism. But, y’know, this is WWE, and they think that’s funny, so here it is. I don’t expect better out of Goldie at this point, but I lowkey miss R-Truth’s run as the faux King of the Ring complete with the plunger scepter. Ah, the good ol’ days.

Okay, look, I’ll be honest with y’all: the Dudleyz bored me to tears in this main event. I literally only watched this for any Dean and Roman interactions and the possible Lesnar sighting. I want to be excited by the Dudley Boyz, don’t get me wrong! But to me they’re in the same category as the Usos (and Sin Cara, to an extent): lots of energy in the ring, but the lack of unique personalities or character traits makes me lose interest after their entrance. It frustrates me, because I’ve been getting that feeling from a lot of faces lately. It’s almost as if personality quirks are seen as an inherently heel trait.

Now, all that being said, these are my actual notes on the match itself:

  • zzz dudz why zzzz
  • Another mention of the ‘slurpee full of crazy’ descriptor for Dean. Gonna run this into the ground too, guys?
  • Roman gets yelled at by Bubba and Is Not Amused. Proceeds to tag himself in for vengeance. Good on you, Roman.
  • Ambreigns team moves! This supposed inevitable implosion of the duo doesn’t seem to exist in the ring. Hmm.
  • Dean isolated by Dudleyz, oh nooo. They focus all moves on his neck for Ring Psychology Reasons. Acceptable.
  • Roman finally gets vengeance on Bubby by trash talking him to distract him. Pfft.
  • Roman is finally tagged in by a majorly disoriented dean. Roman looks pissed, dang. Do not fuck with his bro.
  • Roman dominates and– oh. Lesnar. Oh. Uh. Uh-oh. Dudz take advantage of distraction, because why not?
  • Superman Punch to D’Von! Elbow drop from top corner to the outside from Dean to Bubba!
  • Lesnar proceeding to attack now. Bell rings because DQ. Dudz apparently ghost the fuck outta there. Smart move.
  • SUPLEXES FOR EVERYBODY!

And this is where things get interesting.

So Roman comes out with a Superman Punch to Lesnar, which I didn’t think would connect. He attempts to spear Lesnar next but it’s a complete miss, instead hitting Dean. Of fucking course. A rightly pissed and also highly disoriented Dean (remember that ring psychology from earlier?) attempts to lock Roman into a Dirty Deeds, but Roman reverses it into a Samoan Drop, hitting the back of his head on Dean’s face as he does so. Roman holds his head in pain afterwards, and Dean’s mouth is bloody. Roman goes to check on Dean, because ow, what the fuck bro? And Lesnar takes advantage to deliver an F5. Lesnar stands tall and heads out of the ring, Heyman trotting behind him… until a gloating Triple H shows up at the top of the ramp, carrying the title everyone wants.

We end with our heroes Ambreigns, one step away from being crumpled heaps in the middle of the ring. Roman is half-curled and groaning in pain, evaluating his life choices, while Dean is mentally calculating how many of those Samoan Drops he can take on top of whatever F5s and suplexes Lesnar is no doubt going to gift him with.

And good ol’ Trips is at the top of that ramp, grinning in amusement. He cannot fucking wait to watch these three tear each other apart, just to get the chance to face him.

On your knees, dogs.