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All Hail the Sultan of Soggy!
July 27, 2013

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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After two straight weeks of blathering for paragraphs upon paragraphs of personal stuff, I have basically nothing to say this week. I was going to weigh in on the Zimmerman trial, then decided against it, but now I think I'll blather a bit just to fill space to the ad box.
It would be more timely to say this last week when the case was still relevant of course; I'm not one to hold a grudge against someone I don't actually know, since that's a waste of time for everyone involved. But the one juror's comments to CNN struck me: she said that Zimmerman got away with murder, and how she was the one to fight to the end for a guilty verdict, but ultimately they couldn't convict based on the options they were given.

Look, I'm with Rick, generally speaking: we should operate based on logic and common sense above everything else. Not just in law, but in all aspects of life; and yet I see that common sense not being so common anymore. But for the Zimmerman trial, just like the Casey Anthony trial from a couple years ago, I'm buying the argument that the lack of a conviction isn't an indication of the system being broken, but that it's working as designed. It may be designed poorly, and certainly there are flaws, but that doesn't mean the whole thing will collapse in on itself. (Note that I'm not saying Rick said the system is broken, but that is the sentiment among a bunch of idiots right now.)

Given the way our laws work, if the jury said “We want to convict him, but there simply isn't enough evidence to do so,” then it's working as designed. This is that whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing that is the motto of the system. If I was in trouble with the law, and especially if I was innocent, I'd want the jury to make its decision based on facts and evidence, not emotions. (My last name is Habib for crying out loud; I heard plenty of bullshit about how “my people” were ruining the nation post-9/11, regardless of the fact that I wanted bin Laden dead as much as anyone else did.) You can blame the prosecution's lawyers all day for not presenting a strong enough case, but I don't believe it's the jury's fault for acquitting him if there wasn't solid evidence that Zimmerman wasn't defending himself that night.

Of course, I also don't believe a thing Zimmerman says; in my opinion (that doesn't mean jack shit), he probably knowingly went overboard, especially given that he ignored the 911 dispatcher's orders. Second-degree murder, maybe not; manslaughter, probably so. And his being a murderous jackass isn't erased by pulling a few people out of an SUV, because lives and actions don't appear on any score cards.

But my opinion, and the collective opinion of the public, doesn't mean anything. The juror's declaration that she hopes the laws get changed, however, does mean something. I hope for clarity or redrafting or anything else to make sure tragedies like this don't happen again, but this is Florida we're talking about, so I'm not exactly a paragon of optimism.

I am however optimistic about SmackDown, since WWE has been on a decent run this month. Let's see if they can continue...

Pre-Segment 1: We're starting off with a match tonight. Randy Orton makes his full entrance to the delight of Corpus Christi, and then Damien Sandow pops out as his opponent. Sandow calls the fans a bunch of stupid rednecks (thanking them for taking the time to stop watching the bug zapper on the front porch), and makes his entrance. We're welcome.

This is cool, a Mr. Money in the Bank vs. Mr. Money in the Bank match. Have they done this before?

Segment 1 [Singles Match]: Randy Orton defeats Damien Sandow by pin. Decent match, nothing special. Feeling out to start, then Sandow with early offense (and a rest hold 30 seconds into the match), then Orton started a mini-rally, got a near-fall, and flung Sandow out of the ring. Orton hit a falling slam onto the barricade, tossed Sandow in the ring, failed a pin, then started getting his ass kicked as we enter the heel beatdown sequence. After a near-fall, we have an awkwardly timed ad break.

Back, and Orton is the one on offense for a bit, but Sandow takes over presently, including with the Elbow of Distain. Orton gets another mini-rally, hits most of his Moves of Doom, but when he goes for the Hangman's DDT, Cody Rhodes arrives. Sandow back body drops Orton over the top rope, then notices Cody, who steals his MITB briefcase. As Sandow jaws at him, Orton recovers, slides in the ring, hits an RKO, and makes the pin.

Segment 2: CM Punk is in the buildings and hitting the ring now. Punk is confident about his win over Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, mostly because he knows Brock's biggest weakness: that he trusts Paul Heyman. Punk concedes that Heyman went to bat for him and defended him for a decade, but it was for Heyman, not for Punk; that Heyman could always point to Punk's success and say “See what I was able to make happen?”

Punk then directly says he's going to kick the crap out of Lesnar so much that he's going to “lie in the ring and be an unrecognizable pile of failure,” and then will have something in store for Heyman.

And then Summer Rae and Fandango pop out for some reason, which confuses Punk more than irritates him. Fandango shimmies his way into the ring... and takes Punk's mic to the face, then eats a GTS. Thanks for playing, Fandango!

Segment 3: New 1-800-FELLA segment, where Sheamus appears out of nowhere to scare a dude's hiccups out of him. When that doesn't work exactly, Sheamus gives him a Brogue Kick in the back of the spine. Except it sorta kills the dude, so Sheamus slowly backs away. A little amusing, but seriously: what's the point?

Segment 4 [Six-Man Tag Match]: Mark Henry & The Usos defeat the Prime Time Players & Wade Barrett by pin. Meh; decent match, nothing special, and no surprises. Feeling out to start with the faces taking advantage, and they maintain offense with quick tags among the Usos only. But Titus O'Neil as the illegal man is able to keep Jimmy Uso under control, and the heels take over by cutting the ring in half. But then Mark Henry got the hot tag, followed by a Pier Six Brawl. One World's Strongest Slam later, and that's that.

It gives the faces some momentum since they'll be facing The Shield on RAW.

Segment 5: Vickie Guerrero is in the back and chatting on the phone, and Alberto Del Rio comes in to kiss some ass... and then says that Vickie totally owes him. See, since Brad Maddox gave Cena the chance to choose his opponent for SummerSlam, he feels like he should have the same chance. Vickie shrugs and says sure, but he'll have one week to think about it.

Then Rob Van Dam appears and says he totally should get the shot. ADR says that RVD can't just waltz back in here after seven years and expect a title shot; he needs to earn it! And RVD thinks that he'll totally prove it tonight... but beating ADR in a non-title match. ADR is upset, but I guess agrees, since everyone leaves wordlessly.

Segment 6: Fade cut to Sandow, in his civilian attire, running around the back as he looks for Cody. No one saw him, and that includes Sin Cara, who just wordlessly nodded to everything Sandow said. It was fairly amusing, but you'd have to see it.

Segment 7 [Singles Match]: Alberto Del Rio reverse-squashes Rob Van Dam by pin. RVD with the early offense, so ADR played chickenshit and kept checking his boots for problems, and complaining that his ribs were a little sore. [Ed. Note: Alberto actually has a for-real broken rib, suffered on Monday night. That's why a match with RVD -- which I just assumed would be an awesome main event -- was, instead, a 3-minute mid-show match that consisted of 2 mintues of del Rio stalling.] The ref held RVD back so he could check on ADR, and then ADR stole a page out of Shawn Michaels's playbook by hitting Sweet Chin Music out of nowhere. Pin, three, done, the crowd is real unhappy.

ADR then ran around like a lunatic and celebrated like he beat everybody on the roster for the World's Most Awesomest title.

Segment 8: Sandow is still looking for Cody.

Segment 9: AJ has pigtails. I don't think it's possible for her to look not cute, but the pigtails are making her look extra cute today.

Oh, and Big E. Langston is with her, but who cares?

So she hits the ring with Langston, then we go to ads, and then we're back, because this is her “State of My Mind Address.” She starts of by shrieking in Dolph Ziggler's general direction for being such a jerk... but that she so totally doesn't care that he smashed her heart. And unlike stupid jerk men, her Divas Title will never leave her.

To show how fine she is, she produces her keychain—which features a little mini shoe, adding to the cuteness factor—and says that it includes Dolph's house key. Sure, she was going to use it to break in and burn everything to the ground, but she's totally mature and is ready to let them go!

And then Dolph pops out onto the stage to feign being upset, then points out that he's totally handed out “hundreds or thousands of those keys before,” making me wonder who exactly the face and heel is in this situation. But then he points out that he changed the locks, so just chill.

AJ asserts she's the smart one in the relationship, so she has Langston produce a suitcase. Dolph isn't concerned, since his clothes are meaningless and “everything in that ring it totally replaceable.” Ouch. AJ scowls, then produces a pair of scissors, then cuts up his driver's license. (“Is that all you've got? A day at the DMV would be a picnic compared to spending any time with you, including an actual picnic.” Ha!)

So then AJ cuts up his passport, but that's fine too, because the woman at the passport office owes him a favor since he taught her this thing her leg over her head... but that's totally not so PG, sorry guys. Also heh.

AJ starts cutting up his credit card and cash as the fans starts up a “You're a psycho!” chant, one that gets some massive cheers and momentum. So she tears into his clothes and starts flinging it everywhere as Dolph just laughs with pity. The fans start up the chant again, and Dolph just shrugs and agrees with them.

As AJ's tantrum takes her out of the ring, Dolph says “Oh babe, watch out” with absolutely no emotion in his voice, and Kaitlyn appears from absolutely nowhere and cuts her in half with a Spear. As Langston helps her up, Dolph runs down the ramp to give him a Famouser onto the black mats. Ouch.

So, uh... yeah, again, who's the face and heel here, exactly? The segment was funny and incredibly entertaining, don't get me wrong, but it didn't seem to really have power or meaning behind it.

Segment 10: RAW recap of Daniel Bryan's matches.

Segment 11 [Tag Match]: The Wyatt Family (w/ Bray Wyatt) squash Tons of Funk (w/ Funkadactyls) by pin. I say this for my own reference... Luke Harper is the one with black hair, while Eric Rowan is bald with the red beard and goat mask. [Ed. Note: Also, Harper is the one who is quite talented, for such a big dude. The Other One is still very green, but is definitely improving.]

The match was nothing with just a bunch of punches to take Sweet T down. T had a moment of a rally, but that was cut short, and a monster splash with a pin ended that nonsense.

Post-Segment 11: After the match, Bray got in the ring and nailed T with his twisting drop neckbreaker (which is a pretty sick finisher) after giving T a literal kiss of death. He grabs a mic and says he'll be here when Kane wants to find him, so Kane just needs to look to the sky and follow the buzzards. Bray poses over T's body, we get the one frame of the goat mask, and we're off to ads.

Well, they've got charisma and the look no doubt. For an in-ring debut, it was poor in the sense that we saw nothing but clubbing punches, but that doesn't mean the segment was ineffective. It helps sell their power and momentum, and I'd wager they'll somehow get involved in Kane's match against DB on Monday.

Segment 12: Sandow bursts in on Vickie's office, demanding to know where Cody and his briefcase are. Vickie says it's being handled, so just chill. Sandow isn't having that, he's going to find it tonight, so there! He exits stage right, then screams “Has anyone seen my briefcase?” at the top of his lungs. Somehow, that's funnier since I can't see him.

Pre-Segment 13: Rick mentioned on Monday that Christian is in his 40s. I can't believe he's that old... I hope I look that good and fit in my 40s. Hell, I wish I look that good and fit now.

Anyway, Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger pop out. Colter, whose mustache looks bigger and even more ridiculous now, says that they're in Texas, and to get here, they had to drive through a border station. And the guard totally said to him, “No need to inspect your car, Mr. Colter, because you're a real American!” So in the spirit of that truth, Colter is going to tell us two truths: we need to take our country back, and Christian needs to go the hell back to Canada since he overstayed his welcome. We the people.

Heh, good stuff; Colter keeps it short and simple, rather than blathering for a half-hour, but still sells his insanity.

Segment 13 [Singles Match]: Christian defeats Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) by pin. Above-average match, but a little too short. Early taunting offense by Swagger, and Christian's mini-rallies don't amount to anything at first. A mistake by Swagger though allows Christian to send him to the floor, and he follows up with a vaulting body press. Back in the ring, Christian wants a top rope move, but Swagger hops up there and belly-to-belly suplexes him off the top rope. Christian oversells and rolls out of the ring on the opposite side to take us to the ads.

Back, and Swagger is in control. Christian gets a mini-rally, but whiffs on a top rope body press. After an exchange and some triple-reversy stuff, Christian gets the advantage and hits a reverse DDT, but can't get a pin. He does however get some momentum, and he signals for a Killswitch (for the second time), but gets countered... also for the second time. I guess we're in the end game already?

More back-and-forth action as they counter out of each other's finishers, but Christian finally hits the Killswitch on the third attempt to makes the pin.

Post-Segment 13: During Christian's post-match celebration, Sandow pops out to the back and charges down to the ring. Christian leaves in peace as Sandow grabs a mic and declares that he's issuing a warrant for Cody's arrest, which doesn't seem possible unless Sandow is a Texas judge, but whatever.

Then we see Cody on the Titantron on the banks of the Gulf of Mexico. Blathering ensues, and Cody says that he'll totally give him the briefcase... if Sandow comes out to him. Given that the “beach” is basically across the street, it's not a long walk, and Sandow storms out of the ring and up the ramp. And then we have ads.

Which also means we're going to have a main event promo. That doesn't happen very often on SmackDown, does it?

Segment 14: We're back, Sandow storms through the back area, then out the door, then... ugh, why am I doing the play-by-play?

They find each other, they blather, Sandow sucks up (and even says Cody is smarter than him!), then Cody flings it into the Gulf. Sandow's wailing is fucking amazing.

But then Cody wishes him luck (by calling him “my little mermaid”), then says he hopes the case floats. Which, uh, it is clearly doing. Sandow declares he can't swim, jumps in the water anyway, repeats he can't swim, then swims to the convenient ladder nearby to haul himself out.

Our last image is the case taking on water and sinking into the Gulf. I guess if the contract is truly in it, then it's done? And there is no Mr. Money in the Bank for SmackDown?

Regardless, the commentators didn't say a word, even during the replays, which seemed really fucking creepy. Also, Sandow wept.

Final Thoughts: The last segment poses more questions than answers. Did it really need to go on for like five full minutes plus an ad break? Does losing the contract actually mean anything, or does it cancel Sandow's win at MITB? Will Sandow ever get the taste of the Gulf out of his mouth? And the most important question: who gives a crap about any of this?

I mean, Sandow being knocked down a peg is good character development, and adding fuel to the fire of the feud is a good idea. It's just, the exact execution was dodgy... but hey, I guess it was entertaining, so that's a win.

The rest of the night was decent but nothing special. The matches did what they needed to do, but there were no significant developments, and none of the angles were overly important. I guess it's par for the course when WWE goes overseas, but either way, it's probably not worth taking two hours out of your day for.

I got nothing else here, folks. But I'll have more next week, as will Rick, as usual. See ya then!

Episode Grade: C+


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