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Bryan Bests the Boss
January 26, 2013

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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This is one of those days that I have nothing to talk about. Or rather, I do, but it's stuff that isn't for public consumption. About the only noteworthy event—one that summarizes the whole day, really—is that as soon as I got home, I poured myself a drink, then went to the living room without it and forgot about it for fifteen minutes. It's been one of those days.

It's probably going to be another of those days tomorrow, so I'm going to try to enjoy SmackDown while I can for a few hours of peace and distraction. Given that this is the last SmackDown before SummerSlam on Sunday, it should be pretty good, right?


Right? [Ed. Note: Right.]

Segment 1: Michael Cole tries to introduce the show and give us a rundown of the matches, but he's cut off by the Wyatt Family's Titantron video hijacking the scene. They're here.

They get most of their entrance, but Cole starts talking over it when they're about at the bottom of the ramp, and from there we get a smash cut to a montage of their shenanigans concerning Kane. Once they're back from that, they're in the center of the ring, with Bray Wyatt chillin' in his magic rocking chair of doom.

Bray starts (in his crazy way) that he and the others have come to realize that their recent actions in WWE have been misinterpreted, so he's here to clarify. He tells a creepy story about a boy who got bullied incessantly in school, and that boy finally found strength in being masked. We get a quick cut to Eric Rowan and his goat mask, but no: the story is about Kane. And Bray says that we're done with lies; Bray doesn't wear a mask because he likes who he is, even though he “walks on water just to prove his point” and “bites the head off a snake just to taste the poison.” Holy crap, that's a dark line.

Bray insists that this Sunday at SummerSlam, he'll prove that “one man's Hell is another man's paradise.” Follow the buzzards.

Weird. That was a whole lot of nothing, but done such for the right reasons.

Oh wait, there go Kane's pyros in the corner. The Wyatt Family forms ranks, but the Wyatts don't pay attention to CM Punk's shenanigans on RAW, and Kane attacks them from behind. He quickly dispatches Eric Rowan and Luke Harper, then makes eyes at Bray.

Bray, rather than running, just invites him in with a smile. Pregnant pause, and Kane obliges. Bray charges, but gets his ass kicked. However, Kane can only inflict a few shots before the other two recover and charge the ring. They get taken down again, but it gives Bray a chance to recover and do a running elbow to the side of Kane's head.

From there, we get a three-on-one beatdown, ending with Bray hitting his finisher which I refuse to call “The Kiss Goodbye.” Follow the buzzards. Again.

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Christian defeats Damien Sandow by pin. Solid match; might be YouTube-worthy if you particularly like either guy, but nothing you need to go out of your way for.

Standard formula, with Damien doing the most early offense. Christian had a few hope spots, but they were snuffed out, causing Damien to go for the Elbow of Disstain. But Christian scouted it during Damien's theatrics, and rolled a short distance away. When Sandow went for him, Christian quickly rolled him up for a flash pin.

Post-Segment 2: Sandow was upset that he lost like that, so he went for Christian... and just ate a Spear.

Christian talked some shit to Sandow, but his back was away from ramp. Alberto Del Rio was unseen as he ran down and floored Christian. ADR grabbed a mic and talked some shit, then picked up Christian for the Cross Arm Breaker. But Christian slipped out and hit the Killswitch instead! Yay!

...Except that probably means he's going to lose on Sunday, since he's been tearing it up otherwise. So it goes.

Segment 3: Renee Young is in the back and interviews Rob Van Dam, who says that he's totally going to win the United States Title on Sunday, but he's not worried about the other members of The Shield due to Big Show and Mark Henry, who materialize on cue.

Show and Henry then cut a promo against Shield, and it's pretty vanilla. They insist that they're going to watch RVD's back. Solidifying face turns for all!

Pre-Segment 4: Kaitlyn seemed to get massive cheers when her music fired up. Weird... It was so loud, I wondered if WWE was sweetening the sound for some reason, but it's not something they do for the divas. Dunno what that was all about, but I'm complaining.

Segment 4 [Tag Match]: AJ & Layla defeat Kaitlyn & Natalya by pin. Decent match, nothing special. A little slow-paced, and I don't mean the women's movements: too many rest holds all the way around.

Despite the fans' interest in Kaitlyn's entrance, they quickly stopped giving a shit as Natalya started and became the face in peril. The hot tag to Kaitlyn was met with a lukewarm reception at best, but she made a go of it, and hit her alternate finisher (the military press drop to kneeing gutbreaker).

Kaitlyn went for the pin, but Layla literally gave her a kick to her ass. Natalya then entered to even the sides and promptly got destroyed, allowing Layla to kick Kaitlyn's knee from the back. As Kaitlyn went down, AJ hit a flying Shining Wizard, which was awesome. Pin, three, done.

Segment 5: Renee Young is doing double duty, this time interviewing Ryback, who does a second-grade mockery of Young's voice (but somehow even stupider), and says that he's not on the SummerSlam pay-per-view because he's so awesome and too strong.

But then Ryback gets distracted, so he walks over to intimidate Some Guy who's a stagehand or something. Big punch to the gut, then a slap, then a push over a nearby table. Because Ryback is a bully, and for no other reason.

Whatever. Cheap heat is cheap. To me, this is just a sign that Creative has nothing for the dude, but still want us to remember he exists for some reason. When I was younger, this random bullying worked and made me buy the cheap heat (maybe because I went through it, no matter how much the bullying was correctly justified?), but now, I just roll my eyes.

Segment 6: Long video package retelling the story of CM Punk and Brock Lesnar's feud.

Segment 7 [Six-Man Tag Match]: Rob Van Dam, Big Show, & Mark Henry defeat The Shield by pin. Very solid match, you'll probably want to YouTube this one too.

Granted, it didn't quite have the “click” of some previous six-man tag matches that The Shield has been a part of, especially since Show and Henry have similar move sets. But it was still a well-done match, and the ending was a particularly awesome clusterfuck.

Basically, we had a Pier Six Brawl, but not really; the six fought, but they sort of went off in pairs. Actually, it was basically between the Pier Six Brawl and that sequence where everyone does their finishers rapidly... because there were no finishers here, just a bunch of heavy moves. Show was sent out of the ring and oversold the hip, Reigns stalked him, Henry threw Reigns over the table (and nearly forced Reigns's legs to kick Cole in the face), and Rollins took out Henry and himself with a suicide no-hands vaulting senton over the top rope.

Show recovered and hit Dean Ambrose with the KO Punch, then tagged RVD to hit the Five-Star Frog Splash and make the pin. Good stuff, shows team unity, and will likely not matter when RVD inevitably loses to Ambrose on Sunday.

Pre-Segment 8: The Real Americans make their way down to the ring, and Zeb Colter talks shit. Also, Antonio Cesaro is now wearing the “Don't Tread on Me” flag around his shoulders like a cape, which just makes me think of Mario from Super Mario World. I don't know if that makes me clever for a classic reference, or a dork who should get beaten down for being a social outcast.

Colter's rant is a little boring as he basically insults The Miz and his “Hollywood friends” since it should so totally be Swagger starring in movies, but then says it's probably best if they didn't, because Swagger starring in anything would be “too real” for the mainstream. I think this makes Colter the first person in the whole who's a far-right douchebag and a hipster.

Segment 8 [Singles Match]: The Miz defeats Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter & Antonio Cesaro) by pin. Meh. Miz oversold his “fatigue” during this one, and the crowd just didn't give a shit. The ref ejected Colter and Cesaro right near the end, but then Miz scored a pinfall out of nowhere. Just... just... why? Why did any of this exist?

Segment 9 [Singles Match]: Curtis Axel (w/ Paul Heyman) defeats Zack Ryder by pin. Went on much longer than I thought it would, and it wasn't much of anything. The crowd started chanting “CM Punk!” toward the end, but nothing helped, and Axel hit the twisting neckbreaker to end it.

Then ads, though the heels stay in the ring.

Segment 10: Back from ads, and Axel is gone so Paul can chat about the events on Monday. He's not happy that he was “outsmarted” by Punk, but thinks that Punk made a mistake by being on top. See, since Punk did so much damage to Lesnar, it'll be Lesnar who wants revenge on Sunday, and that'll just give him that extra bit of motivation to kick Punk's ass.

Short and sweet. Good.

Segment 11: Video montage of the John Cena/Daniel Bryan feud. I'll say this: thanks to DB's momentum and the awesome double promo on Monday (the retarded flop ending excluded), this really does have a big fight feel.

Segment 12 [No-Disqualification Singles Match]: Daniel Bryan defeats Wade Barrett by pin. Overbooked and unnecessarily distracting.

Halfway through the match, Vince McMahon decided to make an appearance. And holy mother of fuck... you know, I'm not one of those guys who incessantly talks about other guys' wardrobe or hair or anything, since I dress like a homeless Japanese-obsessed sociopath most of the time. But who the hell thought brown slacks and a red plaid suit jacket, powder blue dress shirt, and yellow tie was a good idea? Ever? I can't even come up with a metaphor strong enough to convey how ungodly retarded he looked, so instead, watch a puppy roll down some stairs.

Anyway, the match itself was all right. It was basically what you'd expect, except that no one bothered to make much use of the no-DQ stip. Sure, a kendo stick here, brawling outside the ring there, but nothing special.

And then Vince arrived. He just stood around for a bit until DB applied the Yes Lock to Barrett. Barrett wanted to tap, but Vince pulled the ref out, and the ref, despite catching himself by his feet cleanly and slowly sinking to the floor, immediately sold like he had been run over by a car. Gotta love professional wrestling physics.

So DB complains, which is stupid, because Barrett recovers and takes him out. Then he makes a pin, but getting pulled out of the ring made this ref develop pancreatic cancer, so in comes another. Oh, and it's Brad Maddox, who decides the best course of action here is to do a normal pin count instead of another fast count even though there would be every reason in the goddamn world to do a fast count, so of course DB kicks out at two while Vince sheepishly holds up three fingers like he's a toddler only now getting used to cognitive functions. It's so literally mind-numbingly painful that even the military guy in the front row nearest Vince is suffering a spontaneous aneurysm.

Man, I hate WWE sometimes.

Wade and Vince scream at Maddox for choosing the wrong time to be fair, but Wade gets on the right page quickly and recovers. DB counters out of Wasteland though and lands a roundhouse kick, then makes a pin... which Maddox refuses to count, and instead just stands there.

DB gets all in his face, but doesn't touch him, since he's wearing the Immunity Logo. Barrett recovers and grabs the kendo stick, then goes for the back of DB's head. DB must have spidey sense because he ducks out of the way with perfect timing for no reason... how about we say he picked it up with his peripheral vision on the Titantron? I'm reaching here, folks.

So Maddox takes a sick shot to the face, and just goes unconscious while standing and leaning in the corner. Wade winds up with his back to Maddox's front, so DB dropkicks Wade, smushing Maddox in the process. Everyone falls down.

Triple-reversey stuff, Wade goes through a table, Vince steals the ref shirt from the original ref and holds it, and he starts to enter the ring. Then Motorhead starts singing, Vince backs off, and Trips arrives wearing his own ref shirt. DB is all smiles, hits a flying headbutt of the top rope, makes the pin, neutral three count, that's the win.

Cole tries to sell Trips as an impartial referee, but then does the DB “Yes” Fingers to celebrate with him.

Post-Segment 12: And then Orton pops out of the back just to hold up the briefcase. Because we can never have enough Orton in our lives.

Final Thoughts: Well, I still think there's a big fight feel, but the extra crap is weighing it down. We don't need to be continually reminded that Orton has the red briefcase, and we get that Trips is supposedly an impartial ref while Vince doesn't want him to be. Who cares? Just have the damn match! This feels like the premise flirted with the Summer of Punk storyline, except that one stayed about just the two guys and their goals; this one is also about the McMahons and freaking Orton. Blech.

The rest of the show was subpar. Feuds advanced, I guess, but nothing major happened. And we all know the SmackDown Rule when it comes to pay-per-views, so it's looking like the heels will be winning most of the matches. I mean, that's fine and all, but it seems silly to basically blow your load for basically all the faces two days before the PPV. But what do I know, I'm not part of the WWE “Creative” Team.

I'm tired, and I'm getting pissy. Early to bed, folks... you have a good weekend, and check out Rick's recap of SummerSlam shortly after it airs on Sunday.

Episode Grade: C-


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