Hey, it’s WWE Smackdown! Live! Because snow!
The show started with HHH cutting a long talky about stuff. He talked about Raw being cancelled because of snow, and how the network had made it to one million subscribers. He made jokes about the NFL’s ball controversy, and then began to address the Royal Rumble.
It was odd. He put over the Triple Threat match between Lesnar, Cena, and Rollins as one of the greatest of all time – it was pretty good – and got a totally babyface reaction for the first ten minutes he was out there.
Then he talked about the Rumble match itself, and how there was some controversy about the ending. I don’t know about controversy – I think everyone can agree it was awful.
But HHH was adamant. They showed the ending of the Rumble, and then HHH said he would make an announcement on Raw next Monday to settle it once and for all. I can only think it’s something to do with The Rock, but I am but a humble scribe.
This brought out Roman Reigns, who received a – and I’m being extremely generous here – lukewarm reaction. Then he spoke and the crowd told him exactly what they thought of him. Poor guy.
To a background of boos, and chants of “Daniel Bryan”, Reigns said that he won the Rumble and is going to Wrestlemania, and doesn’t see a controversy at all. HHH said that he may have won that match, but could he win this one, and brought out the Big Show.
Okay, you’ve planned for Roman Reigns to step up onto the next level and the fans have rejected it. No big thing, it’s nothing that can’t be rescued, right? So why would anyone in their right mind think that a plodding match against the king of “fuck you heat” do anything other than more damage? Bewildering.
Man, this was awful. Far too long, far too much of Reigns being beaten down by someone the audience no longer see as a credible threat, and LOTS of boos. There were boos when Reigns did stuff, boos when he didn’t. There were especially loud boos when he botched moves. In the end I don’t know if I wanted it to be over more because it was terrible or because I feared Reigns may break down and cry.
The finish came when the Big Show went up top – yeah, I know – and Reigns cut him off with two Superman punches (ugh) and a press slam to the mat. A spear later and Reigns was your winner. The crowd counted 1-2-3 and then resumed booing.
Backstage, Vince McMahon announced the free month on the network for new subscribers. He was extremely animated, almost like that time your uncle came round for tea, high on cocaine.
Hey, it’s Seth Rollins! He came to the ring with his goons and his tiny golden suitcase, and bragged about his performance at the Royal Rumble. Yeah, he did good. He issued an open challenge to the back, which was answered by The Ryback.
The Ryback was attacked by J&J Security – two tiny, non-wrestling men – before anything could start, and that brought out Erick Rowan, but Rollins fought him off. Finally, Dolph Ziggler came out but Rollins escaped through the ropes.
Rollins and his goons escaped to the back without retribution, while the babyfaces stood in the ring, probably wondering how the three of them had failed to lay a hand on one man, and lamenting their loss of balls.
Remember when the Usos were feuding with Miz & Mizdow? What do you mean, no? It was only last week! Anyway, they’re not anymore. Now they’re feuding with Tyson Kidd & Cesaro.
And because tag-team matches between tag-teams are gauche, it’s Jey Uso versus Tyson Kidd, with Jimmy & Naomi, and Cesaro & Natalya, at ringside.
I’m not gonna lie, this was really good for what it was. It was too short, and the crowd couldn’t have cared less about it, but they had a decent contest. Cesaro was wearing a plain black t-shirt on the outside. I guess someone didn’t like Brass Ring Club.
Kidd won with his spinning fisherman’s buster, and this feud WILL continue. Good.
After the break, Rusev and Lana were in the ring, and Rusev was not happy. He ranted at the WWE, saying that he should be facing Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania but instead he is fighting John Cena at Fastlane. He called Cena a man from the past, and a man with no titles. That is true. And also the first wrestler on these shows in an age to actually have the proper motivation for fighting – winning titles.
Cena came out and told Rusev he needed to learn respect. He said that he had been US Champion before Rusev had pubes and Lana had boobs. That was funny. He challenged Rusev to a match right there but Lana told Rusev not to waste his time and they powdered. This was good and Rusev came off strong without doing anything but talking.
They announced Nikki Bella versus Paige for the Divas’ Title at Fastlane. Backstage Renee was with Paige, who has this good schtick of acting like everything is goofy and beneath her. That’ll work as long as the segments she’s involved in are awful so I imagine she’ll be doing it a while.
The Bellas interrupted the interview and Brie instantly became the biggest heel ever by sending Backstage Renee away. They made fun of Paige’s complexion and she mock laughed along before attacking them. They came back and left her lying. Nikki is using that hard elbow a lot now. Good girl.
Hey, it’s the Dust Brothers! They’re teasing dissention between these two and maybe it is time for Cody to go it alone. Although I hope that doesn’t mean the end of Dustin.
They’re fighting The Ascension, fresh off their win against the New Age Outlaws at the Royal Rumble. You know what? This wasn’t bad. Certainly The Ascension’s best since coming up, although that’s hardly a ringing endorsement.
The finish came when Goldust had things under control but Stardust tagged himself in and then fell victim to the Fall of Man. The crowd didn’t care.
Backstage, some magician guy from some magic TV show was showing off for assorted lower-carders. Miz & Mizdow came in and the magician was excited to meet an A-Lister. Miz was made up but, of course, he meant Mizdow.
The magician showed Miz a trick involving an egg and if you didn’t already work out that the egg was going to end up on Miz’s face, you’re an idiot. Mizdow laughed. Miz was not happy.
Bray Wyatt cut a promo saying he didn’t fear anyone, alive or dead. Dead, like a dead man. Or the Dead Man. Which is The Undertaker. And undertakers put things in the ground, like you would put something in the bin. Yes, that’s right, it’s Dusty Bin! 3-2-1. What?
Hey, it’s our main event! It’s a CASKET MATCH between Daniel Bryan and Kane. All night they’d shown Kane with a casket backstage, saying goofy stuff and making goofy faces, and instead of making me want to see this match it made me want to PUNCH KANE IN HIS GOOFY FACE. SHUT UP KANE! SHUT UP!
Anyway, they had a match. And it was very long. And very caskety. Which, if you’ve never seen one before (and if you have never seen one before I really envy you), involved one man – usually Kane – trying to put the other one – usually Bryan – in the casket but somehow never quite managing it.
I have to confess, dear reader, that I reached for the FFW button because it went on FOR FUCKING EVER. Bryan won. The crowd were happy. Let’s never speak of this match again.
This was an Okay Show. It turned my (newly) beloved Smackdown into an episode of Raw, which should be a positive but isn’t. Everything they did moved things forward – except that fucking Casket Match – but there wasn’t enough of it because HHH’s talky, Reigns versus the Big Show, and Kane versus Bryan went too damn long.