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SD!: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Making the Most of Jericho
May 11, 2013

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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Version 2 of my pasta salad happened yesterday, and boy, were the results awesome. Taking lessons learned from the last go-around, I added more cheese and chicken from the beginning, and this time I added black olives (which I left out last time at the request of a guest) and mini-pepperonis. Sure, this gave the pasta salad three meats (including the real bacon bits and the chicken), but it tasted absolutely fantastic! It was easier to eat too, because I actually took the time to cube the chicken (rather than just leaving it in strips) and slightly dicing the onions.

 
The only problem this time, like last time really, is that I made way too much. Not in the sense of that I couldn't eat it, because making that much means I have tasty dinners and lunches for days. No, the problem is that my biggest bowl is still too small to contain a freaking pound of pasta, let alone adding a bunch of other ingredients in it too. [Ed. Note: there's no law that says you have to make the whole box, you know. I can't remember the last time I made the whole box; even cooking for two, half is plenty.]

I have all the ratios right though, and I'm very satisfied with the output. And it's not nearly as expensive as I thought, especially given the sheer quantity... It's a hell of a lot better than meals at McDonald's or Taco Bell every day.

So now that what remained of my pasta salad is in my tummy, and I'm ready for SmackDown. Shall we get started?

Segment 1: After the stupid montage opening, we pretty much smash-cut to Chris Jericho in the ring, as he's doing his Highlight Reel segment. His guest is Ryback, who comes down presently, which makes me worry about the obscenely expensive Jeritron 6000.

CJ surprisingly takes a tweener view and says he gets where Ryback is coming from, that Cena wasn't there for him when he was getting his ass kicked by The Shield et al. Ryback is angry for no reason, declaring he doesn't need CJ's approval. CJ ignores that and gets to the point: he thinks of Ryback as being a dude who will do literally whatever it takes to get to the top of the mountain as WWE Champion. CJ did that, developed a chip on his shoulder, and drew enemies including “John Cena, Shawn Michaels, and Bob Flippin' Barker.” Heh, cute. CJ's just worried that Ryback is biting off more than he can chew, or at least doesn't realize what it actually takes. “After all, there's a difference between beating The Rock and Steve Austin on the same night, and beating up a one-legged John Cena in a Last Man Standing match.”

Excellent points, but Ryback isn't known for his big logical brain, so natural he rejects CJ's thesis. CJ concludes that maybe, just maybe, the ends justify the means: maybe being a ruthless and cowardly champion is better than the smiling do-gooder who always finishes second. But either way, Ryback will totally lose respect of the fans if he wins at Extreme Rules to a wounded Cena.

Ryback responds the only way he knows how: a generic threat that doesn't impress CJ. So before anything happens, Teddy Long pops out and books the obvious match, and then Ryback punches Jericho in the face when he wasn't looking.

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Kofi Kingston defeats Cody Rhodes by pin. Solid match without any noteworthy spots, but as always, I qualify that with “Kofi and Cody being normal” is still better than half the roster at their best.

The ending sequence was curious. It looked sloppy, but it really wasn't. It was counter after counter after counter, and it looked a little stilted. But really, but the jerkiness of the spots seemed justified; if you whiff on a move you rely on, after all, it takes you a split second to reorganize yourself for another attack. Good, realistic flow; if it looked smoother, it would be more of a dance and reek of choreography, which is certainly something to avoid in professional wrestling.

Anyway, the very final sequence saw Cody dodge the Trouble in Paradise, then Kofi slip out of the Cross Rhodes. After another exchange, Cody went for the ropes and rebounded off with the Disaster Kick. However, Kofi had it scouted and did a Trouble in Paradise anyway, catching Cody in midair in the ribs. That probably didn't feel very fun, especially given that Cody stayed down for a three-count.

Segment 3: Replay of Brock Lesnar beating the shit out of inanimate objects from Monday.

Segment 4: Interview Girl talks to Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter. Colter blathers his thinly veiled racist things as usual, then issues a generic threat to Big E. Langston and Dolph Ziggler.

Segment 5: This was supposed to be a match consisting of Swagger versus Dolph, and Alberto Del Rio was out on commentary. After entrances were made, but before the match started, ADR got right the hell up, pulled a ladder out from under the ring, and slid it in the ropes. Swagger and Dolph, dumbasses that they are, fought over the ladder and kept smacking each other with it.

Once Dolph flung Swagger out of the ring, ADR only then got in the ring and started beating the crap out of Dolph. ADR used the ladder as well, then exited the ring and pretty much threw the ladder Jack's face, putting him down. Hooray, violence! [Ed. Note: it is somewhere during this exchange that Dolph got a concussion. A real life one. And a pretty bad one. Status for the PPV ladder match is still up in the air.]

Segment 6 [Singles Match]: Dean Ambrose (w/ The Shield) defeats Daniel Bryan (w/ Kane) by disqualification. Given that both of these guys are “indy darlings,” I expected the match to be better. It wasn't bad, but Kofi/Cody was better. Ambrose especially seemed to lose his mind just after the commercial break when his entire offense for two minutes was a Nerve Hold of Doom.

Things looked better as they progressed, but the match overall didn't really strike me as exciting until the final sequence. DB had his final hope spot, and he set up for a missile dropkick off the top rope. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns tried to intervene, but Kane was there to stop them. DB hit his kick, but only got the two.

With the other members of Shield screaming at Ambrose to recover, DB wasn't one to wait around, so he quickly slapped on the No Lock. That's when Shield wised up: Rollins tried to get in the ring from the east side, but Kane (and the ref) stopped him. So then Reigns slid in from the west side of the ring and attacked DB to break the hold.

Chaos happen then, as Kane fought both Rollins and Reigns. Surprisingly, Kane did well: he tossed Rollins onto the announcers' table, which must have magic powers in the form of a combination of super glue and knockout gas, making Rollins basically go limp and unconscious instantly. Kane and Reigns then exchanged brawl punches, which generally saw Kane winning.

In the ring, DB and Ambrose tried to get back on track with a back-and-forth exchange. Then Kofi Kingston came down and beat the shit out of Ambrose, drawing the DQ, which seemed silly. I mean, I get the storyline reason, but the act itself seemed random.

The Shield, sensing a moral loss, just packed it in and called it a night. They escaped up the ramp with the faces content to just stay in the ring and watch them go.

Segment 7: We get an “earlier today” segment that fixes a problem right off the bat that has repeatedly pissed me off. WWE has this thing about calling something a “WWE.com exclusive” video that they show on TV, showing they have no fucking clue what the word “exclusive” means. So now, with this “earlier today” bit, they're now saying the footage comes courtesy of WWE.com. I mean, it's still silly since it's all WWE and you wouldn't need to get permission from yourself; it would be like putting a “Courtesy of Steve” bug on your drunken Facebook photos, if your name was Steve. (Also: I feel sorry for you, Steve. That's a terrible name to be saddled with.) But at least they're making an effort not to be entirely retarded.

Anyway, tonight we're going to have another boring-ass “test of strength” contest between Mark Henry and Sheamus, or something... You can't possibly pay me enough to care. But this “earlier today” footage shows Henry warming up for it out in the parking lot. It also shows that Damien Sandow apparently will wear his robe in the middle of day, in public, during warm weather. The implications of that are more interesting than Henry.

Henry shows off his strength by strapping a semi truck to himself and pulling it just by walking, and everyone who's standing around is duly impressed. (And it's definitely impressive if it's real. I know active strong men do shit like that, but I just have a weird feeling WWE wouldn't want Henry to risk himself doing it, even for an angle. Or am I being too much of a wuss and that was all legit?)

The point is that Henry is going to try pulling two of those trucks with him to break a world record. Can he do it? We'll see (and not care) after commercials.

Cut Scene: Well, there goes my happiness. They show the results of Sheamus's body after getting strap-whipped on Monday by Henry, and all the welts. And they call it “WWE.com exclusive footage” and show it on TV. They really don't know what the word “exclusive” means, do they?

They announce that it's going to be a strap match at Extreme Rules after the aforementioned strap-whipping.

Segment 8: Henry is strapped to two trucks, and Matt Striker allows him to cut a shitty promo before he tries to pull the truck. He fails with his first couple tries, cuts another shitty promo against Matt Striker, then tries a third time and succeeds... then falls on his face. EMTs arrive, but Henry doesn't seem injured or anything.

And... that's it. No surprise appearance from Sheamus, nothing weird at all. They played it straight, which is interesting; that makes it seem legit, whether it was or not.

Segment 9: RAW recap of Cena/Ryback.

Segment 10: Okay, Michael Cole confirms that the new Interview Girl's name is Renee Young. I can't remember what Rick said her real name is, but Renee Young is easy to spell and remember, so I'm happy. [Ed. Note: she's Renee Paquette. So one out of two ain't bad. In completely unrelated Announcer Pseudonym news, I just watched a History Channel show about the death of Princess Diana, and the guy who was the Family Spokesperson/Representative of the guy she was dating was named "Michael Cole." Our Michael Cole would almost certainly have been familiar with him from his work as a legitimate journalist in the late 90s. I wonder if there's any connection, or if it's just a name assigned to him by the WWF back then?]

Anyway, Renee interviews Randy Orton, who cuts a generic promo against Big Show. Moving on...

Segment 11 [Singles Match]: Big Show squashes Tensai (w/ Brodus Clay & Funkadactyls) by pin. Message received, big man... but I'm still not recapping it.

Post-Segment 11: After the match—which ended with a WMD on Tensai—Brodus checked in on his dancing partner. Show decided to beat the crap out of him, including a Spear, and geared up for a second WMD. Then Orton came down and made the save, hitting an RKO without bothering to stop running (which I mean as a compliment), which Show oversold. Good stuff.

Segment 12: Kaitlyn is in the back, texting her secret admirer, when AJ arrives. AJ asks if Kaitlyn “ever found out who that desperate soul was who is sending you ugly hats,” an absolutely adorable and bitchy line. Kaitlyn suggests it's Dolph, who totally must be “done with spider monkeys and eager to be with a real woman.” AJ counters that a “real woman” isn't one who can out-bench press her man, which pretty much explains why I've been single for three years. Kaitlyn then clarifies that it seems AJ's idea of a real woman is “soulless eyes and the body of a ten-year-old boy,” which also explains why I've been single for three years.

AJ starts with the crazy eyes, and Natalya arrives to ask if there's a problem. AJ backs off, tells them “Later, gentlemen!,” and runs off.

With the adorableness and bitchiness now lowered, Nattie asks if there are any updates with who the secret admirer is, for realsies. Kaitlyn says there isn't, despite all the Simpsons stuff he apparently keeps sending. This apparently doesn't include the secret admirer asking Kaitlyn to touch him in his “special area,” since she probably wouldn't mind rubbing his shoulders. (Aside: How the hell do I remember that Ralph line from like 20 seasons ago?) [Ed. Note: because The Simpsons' became less frequently quotable/memorable after about Season 10 or 11 or so. But we all remember the classics.] Regardless, she's totally going crazy trying to figure out who sent it.

Kaitlyn starts to ask if Khali succeeded in his infinitely stupid undercover mission, and though Natalya starts to answer, we see Khali's (clothed) gut in the background. They face him, and the camera pans up... and he's wearing a Rey Mysterio mask that is totally not on his face correctly. Okay, that's funny, especially when Khali announces he is Rey Mysterio. I must have a contact high somehow to think that's as amusing as I do.

Pan to Kaitlyn trying to explain to Natalya that “undercover” doesn't have to be taken so literally. Nattie reassures her, and Kaitlyn runs off. Natalya turns and basically relays the message, adding: “You don't have to look like Cody Rhodes.” Camera pans up, and he's wearing a fake mustache that actually looks realistic, which again is funnier than it has any right to be.

Segment 13 [Singles Match]: Chris Jericho defeats Ryback by disqualification. The first 90% of this match was boring as heck. Ryback's offense consisted of punchy-stompy, followed by entirely too many rest holds. He managed to somehow make the bear hug look even weaker than usual by doing it while both he and Jericho were sitting, making it look like they were riding a motorcycle together rather than having a legitimate contest. The fans were super into it, but I was not.

Josh Mathews got a little schizophrenic on commentary, somehow channeling a heel commentator by basically mocking Cole (and Jim Ross by proxy reference) when Cole dared to suggest that it's hard to keep a guy like John Cena down for a ten count, referring to the Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules. He accused Cole of being a “homer” for Cena, a statement that makes no goddamn sense. He also became increasingly agitated when Cole or even JBL challenged whether Ryback could defeat him.

Back to the match proper, things picked up a bit toward the end when Jericho hit a Lionsault but failed on a Walls of Jericho. Ryback countered with his Meathook Clothesline, but Jericho stayed alive. Jericho slipped out of a Shellshock, slithering behind Ryback and applying the Walls in a weird, twisty motion that was pretty cool. Ryback got to the ropes and forced a break, but Jericho got up and hit him with the Codebreaker... a really, really shitty Codebreaker, like among the three worst he's ever done.

The awkward angle of the Codebreaker helped Ryback shimmy out of the ropes. Jericho apparently decided a countout victory wasn't a victory at all, so he slid out of the ring in pursuit. As he neared Ryback however, Ryback recovered and exchanged some blows. Then, Ryback lifted Jericho up as if to deliver an Atomic Drop, but instead basically threw him crotch-first into the ring post. The ref wasn't happy about that mess, so he called for the DQ.

Post-Segment 13: Ryback walked away, but not too fast. Jericho eventually regained feeling to his thighs and stood in front of the table, and Ryback came running back to clothesline his head off, making him slam himself onto the table. Cole mentioned something about Ryback looking strong and possibly being able to defeat Cena, and Mathews screamed “You're damn right he will!” What the hell?

Final Thoughts: So, what, are they turning Mathews into a heel commentator? Isn't that what JBL is for? Or was this just maybe a test to see if Mathews can pull it off? If we assume “heel” equates to “annoying as a coked-up ADHD toddler,” then sure, he can do it. But if you're talking about a way to make the commentary team objectively better with give-and-take and competing views... well, this wasn't a good result. We'll have to see if they continue with that experiment, or if Mathews (or the voice in his headset) just lost his mind for a match. [Ed. Note: it was definitely awkward. But it could also be as simple as Mathews standing up to JBL -- either by design or spontaneously, I don't know, but I'd lean towards the former -- who really does take the verbal bullying to an extreme sometimes.]

Overall, this episode bored me. Kofi/Cody was the only good match, and there were only four matches total... including one squash and two cheap finishes. [Ed. Note: I guess I'm easy, since I'd put it at three equally-good (each in its own way) matches, and the one squash. Still, not the best use of 2 hours, and plenty of work for your FF finger.] Definitely not a good night for work rate, and there wasn't enough story progression to make it worth it. Khali's antics were funny, but not enough to save this one from being worth your time. Pass on it.

It's late, so I'm getting the hell off my computer so I can hit the sack. [Ed. Note: Sleep! That's where you're a Viking!] Have a good weekend, all, and I'll see you on Tuesday for the RAW recap.

Episode Grade: D+

 
E-MAIL PYROFALKON


  
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