What’s up, y’all, and welcome to Thursday Night SnaxDown! Brought to you by the bronchitis medication I wish I had and the barbed wire Dean Ambrose probably sleeps in at night. Yes, like Dean, I too live on the edge. Welp, let’s get started!
We start with a two minute recap of Roman’s shenanigans on Raw, which were less shenanigans and more a lukewarm brouhaha culminating in a backstage beatdown on Triple H, only stopped when Swagger and Jamie Noble showed up to calm Roman down from his vague stomping down fury road. Oh, and Mark Henry and the Usos were there too. I guess we’re supposed to be excited about Roman finally cutting loose, but this really feels like too little too late — not to mention the fact that Roman only chose to come out after Ziggler got his ass beat, so it looks for all the world like Roman waited until Zigs softened up Trips for an easy hunt, and that just ain’t fair play. I’d be fine with unfair play, mind you, but call it like it is, yeah? At least Cena winked at the audience whenever he noticed the dissonance. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but: come back, Cena. Sigh.
Anyway, here comes Roman! Down the ramp, like a normal dude! And the weird hairblower sound that I’m supposed to be convinced are live cheers don’t actually… cover up the live boos. This is slightly concerning, considering this guy’s supposed to headline WrestleMania. Even your friend and mine, our captain of commentators Mauro Ranallo can’t get me excited about Roman’s match against Trips. The crowd continues to ‘cheer’ and eventually the ‘cheers’ morph into chants of ‘Roman! Roman!’ Except the cameras make the mistake of staring at the audience for a second too long, and unless Roman’s name is pronounced ‘booooooooo’ I don’t think the crowd is saying what they want me to think they’re saying. My concern levels have increased.
“This is what happens when you run your mouth,” Roman says, referring to what he did to Trips on Raw, and the hairblower cheers do their best to cover the continued boos. He’s going to eat the catering in the back and collect his paycheck, and Trips can’t do anything about that, though why he’d want to is anyone’s guess. Eventually the king of kings will heal and return, and Roman says he’ll just keep on beating his ass right up until ‘Mania, during which he’ll destroy The Game. The boos continue, right through Roman’s theme again, as Roman strikes a pose in the direction of the WrestleMania sign. I shift uncomfortably in my seat. Roman says everything he’s supposed to say here, sure, but there’s such a disconnect between what he does and what the audience thinks about it.
This cringey segment is over, but now we have to get a recap of jilted ex-lover Jericho and his object of twisted affection, AJ Styles. Thankfully this is short, mostly because the team of Y2AJ lasted about a week. Lovely ray of sunshine Renee says hi to AJ backstage, and he basically says Jericho’s a little off his rocker because the fans can chant whatever the hell they want! That’s how this works, right?
Sorry, give me a moment to ram my head against a brick wall for a second.
Okay. I’m good.
So AJ’s about to say how Jericho made this personal when who should show up but good ol’ KO! Who’s going through his own little ex-lover thing right now. He compares AJ to Sami, says they should totally make out, and then says nothing matters but his pretty, pretty title. AJ decides that, like Jericho, KO too is a jackass, and he’s gonna shut KO’s big mouth in their match later. KO can’t think of anything to say, so he blusters about Renee and AJ having the same haircut and stomps off. Renee is left touching her hair like ‘Dammit, it’s true. Maybe I should cut mine.’
And now, time for Butt Wiggler Ziggler! Who shows off his arm muscles to Eden while The Miz struts out, looking like an alternate palette Kanye West in a fighting game (so the usual).
- Nothing will stop this match from being boring to me, as 1) The Miz is far better on the mic than in the ring and 2) Zigs is better than this midcard fight, so this match feels like a waste of time for the both of them.
- There’s a nice half second shot of Ziggler and the ‘Mania sign which just makes me really sad.
- Miz’s boots are good looking but also vaguely remind me of a bullfighter?
- At one point they both turn their backs to us as they stand up so it looks like Miz and Zigs are just showing off their butts for the cameras. tee hee hee
- Figure 4 by Miz? Not bad!
- Dat beautiful Ziggle superkick~
A quick replay of Raw’s events culminates in an announcement of Kofi versus Barrett tonight, and we’re also told there’ll be a segment with Charlotte, Bex, and Sasha. Let’s hope it’s more than the two minute match the Divas had on Raw. Ahem.
There’s another replay of Sin Cara getting pummeled by a curiously heelish Ryback, and I just get more and more annoyed that Kalisto isn’t in an interesting feud. On the bright side, Cole interviewed Kalisto, so I guess that’s… good? Kalisto has accepted Ryback’s challenge for the US Championship. so I guess that’s a ‘Mania match. Here’s hoping it actually shows up on the show proper and not the pre-show this time around.
Yet another replay shows Dean and Lesnar’s crowbar incident, followed by Foley’s gift giving moment. Take good care of Barbie, Deano! Or Foley may come after you, and I’m not sure either of you would survive that. Bang bang.
“Down there? Every day is WrestleMania.” Earlier in the day Dean rambled on about Cincinnati while on a hill overlooking his hometown. He learned a lot about himself, and he’s going to pass some violent knowledge onto Lesnar at WrestleMania. He hopes Lesnar’s ready, because: “in my experience… nothin’ hurts like an education.” What I want to know is if Deano took that poor cameraman to lunch afterwards, because I’m sure stumbling around after Dean is an exhausting job that requires a lot of caloric intake. Feed your pets, Dean! Or Foley may come after you for this too, because why not.
It’s apparently time for a Dudley match, Bubba specifically, against Goldust, who comes in with a hooded coat I kinda want the WWE Shop to sell, not gonna lie.
- Mauro calls the Dudleyz hypocrites for using tables as a distraction. Byron backs him up, and now I want Mauro to adopt him. Byron Ranallo has a nice ring to it.
- Bubba calls Goldie a ‘freak’ and compares him to the Usos because they all paint their faces? I guess?
- I’m not sure if those are piped-in boos or piped-in cheers. Um.
- That was the sloppiest cover, jeez.
The Dudz attempt to deliver a beatdown to Goldie, when R-Truth comes in to make the save on his quasi-buddy! And then promptly gets a beatdown of his own. The Usos do a run-in to save them both, and there’s a quick tussle before the Dudleyz exit with their collective tail between their legs, the Usos yelling after them in the ring. We’re supposed to be excited by that, I guess!
Time for the Divas segment! Charlotte comes out, escorted by lich king Ric, and Charlotte lets out a forced chuckle before ignoring his existence and entering the ring. She talks about her history with both Sasha and Becky and then asks them out to talk. Becky’s out first, in jeans and a tee but still looking amazing because it’s Bex and she always looks amazing. Bex says she’s gonna take that title, and before Charlotte can say anything to the contrary out comes Sasha, also in casual clothing and looking like… well, like a boss. There’s a bit of bickering, but it quiets down.
Charlotte talks about their time in NXT, how she called them the horsewomen, and how she’s wrong and is sooooo sorry for that, you guys. I can’t help but wonder if anyone’s going to mention Bayley here, considering she’s the fourth horsewoman, but nope! Instead Becky gives zero shits about what anyone calls her. Sasha doesn’t think Bex even belongs here, Bex insults her ‘dollar store jewelry’, and before we know it they’re shoving each other. Charlotte’s cackling on the side — until the other two figure out what’s going on and pull a few moves out on HER. She scrambles out before they can do anymore damage, her creepy dad wheezing in triumph next to her.
Time for the New Day, and they dance in carrying a bunch of… bags? We get a replay of last Raw’s brutal attack by the League against the poor New Day, and it makes me so worried about poor plucky Xavier all over again. But they tell us they did some recuperating and ate their Booty-O’s (“They Make Sure You Ain’t Booty!”) and after Big E cuts a great promo accepting the League’s WrestleMania challenge, they compare the League to the four bags of garbage they brought into the ring. They literally kick the bags out one by one, and then the League of BAEtions come out. Here we go, I guess!
- I like Barrett. I like Kofi. They’ve both done better than they’re doing here. I am disappoint.
- Mauro played the accordion as a kid and that makes me so absurdly happy, y’all, you don’t even know.
- Barrett’s on the floor and his boys come in to save him, but Kofi’s boys pull hijinks before Kofi rolls up Barrett for the win.
The New Day scramble up the ramp and hip thrust victoriously from the floor. Short and boring match, but on the bright side, hip thrusting!
Sidenote: King looks like a teenager compared to Mauro and Byron. At least put on a damn jacket, King.
Dean is in a bar. Cutting a promo, in a bar, with bar patrons just sitting around chillin’ out, watching him cut this promo, listening him talk about how he’s gonna bring it to Lesnar. Can you say you’ve been in a Cincinnati bar, drinking a beer next to Dean freaking Ambrose? Well they can. Be jealous, because I know I am.
There’s a recap of that Shane/Vince/Taker segment from Raw, and man, Shane’s got some big brass ones. Shane looked scared as shit, but he also proceeded to call Taker ‘Vince’s bitch’. Stupid, or brave? The answer is yes, and that’s coincidentally also a pretty good summary of Shane in the ring. But we’ll see once we get to see their match.
In the meantime, #SOCIALOUTCASTS are in the house! And they proceed to bicker with each other about Axel’s huge head and who’s going to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Out of everyone to come out to interrupt them, it’s… Dean Ambrose! With a kendo stick! Axel and Adam shove each other towards Dean, and he proceeds to beat them both with the stick, effectively shooing them outta the ring. He takes this moment to call out Lesnar, because he knows damn well Lesnar’s not in Cincy — Lesnar knows better than to show up in Dean’s town — but Dean wants another go at the Beast Incarnate. He’s got a lotta new toys to test out before their match, after all.
The last match of the night is an angry ranting KO versus the ever cool and collected (except when he’s not) AJ Styles.
- AJ with dropkicks for days!
- Mauro mentions IWGP Championship, niiiice.
- KO kicks AJ, sending him under the ropes and onto the ground outside, and as he yells “Get the hell out of my ring!” I realize this is a match I didn’t know I wanted.
- AJ’s quick strikefest!
- KO looks like he did his homework because he’s reversing a shit ton of AJ’s moves, but AJ still looks fantastic because he’s still pulling out a bunch of cool shit.
- Pop-up powerbomb reversed into sudden pele kick!
- Argentine backbreaker by AJ! Two-count!
It’s a great match until a sudden Jericho appearance causes AJ to be distracted just enough for KO to pull off his pop-up powerbomb for the pin and the win. KO gnaws on AJ’s gloves while Jericho golf claps, slowly entering the ring and circling AJ’s prone body. He delivers a vicious codebreaker but continues to be silent for a minute, the boos swelling. Finally: “AJ Styles… AJ Styles…” Holy shit, dude’s looking creepier and creepier.
And uh… that’s… how we end SmackDown. Jericho, hovering over AJ, chanting his name like a haunted doll running out of batteries.
Thanks, Jericho. I never wanted to sleep again anyway.