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Standing in there with Two Strikes
August 4, 2012

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
Read Pyro's Words
at Blogspot --/-- View Pyro's Videos at Youtube


I enjoy the First Amendment and I support relative free speech in all its forms, with the usual common sense restrictions. I despise censoring, and usually I’m against anything that even slightly infringes on our right to express ourselves, even if 95% of the people say nothing but crap (and the other 5% usually say nothing but crap).

Yet I don’t think I’m a hypocrite for this bill that’s being introduced. For better or worse, it targets more or less a specific group, the ridiculous Westboro Baptist Church, making it illegal to protest at a military funeral within a certain time frame and physical radius. Although the anti-protesting has been pretty damn funny and, perhaps, makes a bigger point than the law ever could, I’m fine with the idea that outward respect of the dead is mostly backed up by law.

Westboro can still do their little song and dance 300 feet away and out of a four-hour period encompassing the service, where we will as always pointedly ignore or mock them. But during the service? Leave the grieving family alone. They have enough problems than you four psychotic bitches, and that has nothing to do with God or a theoretical gay agenda.

And with that, I’m going to force a transition to SmackDown, where fun awaits, and annoying protests are actually entertaining. Let’s roll…

Segment 1: Well shit, we’re starting strong tonight as none other than Vince McMahon hits the ring to open the show. Apparently he’s here to address who the SmackDown general manager will be, which makes me pleased that they’re actually covering that plot hole. He says he wanted to find someone who would be fair and respected, so our new GM is… Booker T!

Michael Cole says that’s fantastic as Booker T hits the ring, since Cole says that as long as Booker T is the GM, he won’t be on commentary, so hooray. That, interestingly, will make a lot of the stupid IWC wankers happy too. Vince immediately leaves as Booker T makes his acceptance speech, and he starts to give us his first decision…

But that’s when Alberto Del Rio hits the ring looking extremely pissed off. ADR starts to suck up to Booker T immediately and that he’s going to love working with ADR since he’ll totally be the new World Heavyweight Champion. Booker T calls him out on his crappy sycophantic blathering, then brings up that ADR said on Monday that “Sheamus is below ADR.”

ADR stands by what he said: Sheamus is a hooligan, while ADR’s destiny is greatness. So really, he doesn’t need to kiss Booker’s butt to—

Wait, here comes Sheamus to the ring now. They exchange some uninteresting words, but then Sheamus says that he’s not going to be a pussy and hold out on being in matches. ADR dismisses that and says he’s sticking with his vow on Monday that he’s not going to compete in any match until SummerSlam.

Booker T says that’s not going to happen. They both have singles matches tonight, and ADR will compete tonight, so there. And his opponent? Will be Randy Orton. Huh, I guess Orton is getting his push restored.

ADR runs off as Sheamus laughs and smiles. Booker T tells him not to get comfortable, because his singles match is right now, and it’s against Tensai.

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Sheamus defeats Tensai (w/ Sakamoto) by pin. A punchy-kicky brawl, and a mostly entertaining one, but not exactly something I was into. The story here is that Tensai absolutely beat the shit out of him (cleanly) even though he won with a Blarney Boot out of nowhere. They worked the match pretty stiff, and Tensai walked away with a bunch of welts, bruises, and other discolorations on his body. Sheamus’s damage was more being sold than visual, but he did a good job of doing so.

Segment 3: Eve is waiting in an office in the back, and when Booker T comes in, she immediately sucks up to him and wants to be his assistant. He says he’ll think about it, but then Teddy Long comes in and shows him respect for his position. They exchange some friendly words, then Long offers him a job as his assistant. Long takes it, and everyone is happy.

Except Eve. Booker T turns around and is surprised she’s even still there, then “regrets” to inform her that all the positions for his staff have now been filled. He asks Teddy to escort her out, and he even offers his arm, but Eve just storms out as the others giggle.

Pre-Segment 4: Antonio Cesaro is in the ring with Aksana, and he wants to say hello to us in five languages, because he’s super-smart and charismatic or something. So he does, no one cares, and then Santino hits the ring.

Segment 4 [Singles Match]: Antonio Cesaro (w/ Aksana) defeats Santino Marella by pin. So, this happened as a return match because Santino thought it was a fluke that Cesaro beat him last week. This time, Santino basically had the match won after reversing the squash. Santino even hit the Cobra, but Cesaro’s foot was under the rope (after he wiggled that way rather obviously, showing that he fell in the wrong spot in the first place), and the ref had to break the pin attempt.

From there, Cesaro rolled out of the ring, and Santino followed him like an idiot. Cesaro threw him face-first into the barricade, then slid in the ring. Once Santino followed, Cesaro hit him with his finisher (a piledriver-to-facebuster, not sure if it has an official name yet), then made the pin. There’s two in a row against the United States Champion, so I better that puts him as the #1 contender.

Segment 5: Matt Striker interviews Daniel Bryan in the back. After a video replay of the “psychiatric evaluation” from Monday, DB says that he has no comments, and will in fact be saying “No” more often. He doesn’t want to hear anyone in the audience chanting “Yes!” anymore, damnit, because it’s his catchphrase! Naturally, that makes everyone cheer it.

DB’s shirt is even a new “No! No! No!” shirt, and he… well, keeps screaming “No!” as the fans chant “Yes!” This goes on until the lights die, because Chris Jericho is hitting the ring for an unrelated match.

Segment 6 [Six-Man Tag Match]: Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, & The Miz (w/ Vickie Guerrero) defeat Chris Jericho, Kane, & Christian by pin. Solid match, pure formula; executed well but without any high spots. The finish was pretty exciting, as it descended into a Pier Six Brawl that might have featured Kane blaming Christian for taking him out accidentally outside the ring. (No word or indication that that, indeed, will be a storyline pursued.)

Jericho was the final legal man and slapped the Walls on DB, but then Vickie distracted the ref. Dolph also ran in with the MitB briefcase, but Jericho was quick to defend himself with a smooth Codebreaker. Still, it broke the hold, and by the time the ref turned around, DB had rolled Jericho up and took the win.

After the match, DB got into a hilarious argument with someone who must have been a plant, some big dude in the front row who was chanting “Yes! Yes!” at the exact opposite cadence as DB’s “No! No!,” until they settled on just screaming their respective word in the other’s face. Amusing little aside, there.

Segment 7: Striker interviews Orton in the back, who says that he’s super-happy and excited to be back, and that the only reason ADR is the #1 contender to the World Heavyweight Championship is because he’s been gone. So he’s going to do something all of us totally want to see: he’s going to hit ADR with a “perfectly executed” RKO. Sounds like someone is unhappy with his shitty move from Monday!

Pre-Segment 8: Ewww, Ryback again has the bloodshot weird thing going on with his left eye. He also does a to-camera pre-taped interview, and he says this verbatim: “The only reason I’m in the WWE is because I see food everywhere.” So, uh, that explains the whole “feed me more” bullshit? So, so stupid.

Segment 8 [Singles Match]: Ryback defeats Jinder Mahal by disqualification. Standard Ryback match, until Jinder left the ring. Once Ryback followed him, Jinder smacked him with a mic, thus drawing the DQ.

Jinder then ran the hell away, so this marks, apparently, the second time Ryback has “been unable to get his hands on Jinder Mahal,” according to the commentators. I gotta be honest, I completely forgot about that until he said something because I care that little about Ryback. But I guess these two are feuding, in case you actually care.

Cut Scene: The Prime Time Players are in the back with AW, and they all mock Some Guy in the back with a couple random T-shirts. See, they’re pissed that they don’t have merch when even Little Jimmy has his own T-shirt. So Titus O’Neil throws the shirt in Guy’s face, as if that accomplishes anything, and then they make their way down the hall as we go to commercial.

Segment 9 [Singles Match]: Darren Young (w/ Titus O’Neil & AW) defeats R-Truth (w/ Kofi Kingston) by pin. It took both AW and O’Neil to distract the ref and Kofi, but Young managed to eke out a win after getting his ass kicked for five minutes.

Segment 10: Recap of RAW, where CM Punk recaps and explains RAW 1000. And I damn sure am not recapping a recap of a recapped recap that I’ve already recapped in a different recap.

Segment 11: …Followed by Touts about it.

Segment 12: Booker T is in the back and talking to someone on the phone, but immediately hangs up to talk to Layla. Where the hell have the divas been, anyway?

Oh wait, I guess they’re still persona non grata because Cody Rhodes immediately enters, dismisses Layla, and then congratulates Booker T on the promotion. After all, it’s great that someone of his age can get a job after Cody totally ended his career earlier this year!

Well, that was stupid. Booker makes a match between Cody and Sin Cara for next week, and Cody finds that stupid annoying.

Cody leaves, and Booker continues talking to Layla, who hasn’t left yet. Then, in a bit of accidental serendipity that I think perfectly personifies WWE’s current-era business practices, Layla says “So anyway, I was thinking we should change some things up, and…” and they fade out to cut her off in mid-sentence so we can see Randy Orton’s entrance. Silly women, thinking they have opinions or some shit. We’re all about the steroid-taking, military-abandoning, charismatic black holes of douchebaggery, baby!

Segment 13 [Singles Match]: Randy Orton defeats Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) by disqualification. Decent enough match I guess. Orton is still way over with the fans, but he seems to have lost a step with his in-ring skills. He’s still watchable, but all of his moves were slow (the commentators called it “calculating”), and were all punchy-kicky-stompy.

Orton started to gather momentum with a late hope spot. He hit the Hangman’s DDT and started humping the ring, but that’s when RR came in the ring and stopped him from hitting the RKO.

Post-Segment 13: Orton discharged RR, but ADR started to fight back. But Orton was on it and countered back. ADR found himself sitting on the top rope in a corner, and Orton hit him with a slick dropkick that send ADR over the rope and to the outside. RR checked on him, and ADR decided not to seek revenge yet.

But that’s when Sheamus hauled ass to ringside, tossed ADR in the ring, and let Orton hit indeed a beautiful RKO. Then Orton smiled at Sheamus while drooling over himself, and no, I’m not joking.

Final Thoughts: Meh. This episode was standard WWE affair, as always with tons of filler. No match really thrilled (although the six-man tag match was pretty solid), and while the stories advanced nominally, it’s nothing that makes me excited to tune in next week. Booker T as GM might be interesting, but probably won’t be any better than when T-Long was GM. So… meh.

I’ve got nothing else, and I’m a little hungry, so I’m going to bow out for the weekend. See you on other side for RAW, guys.

Episode Grade: C-


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