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Champion vs. Champion
June 1, 2014

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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Sunday (or “today” by the time you read this) is my last working day until I get a 10-day vacation. And it couldn't come soon enough... I'm burned out, I'm tired, I'm pissed off, and I need a break. Well, a break from Walmart, anyway... I'll still be going all out for my YouTube channel and OO recaps and everything.

Still, my body has decided to pre-ruin the experience for me by flaring up my bad too, and it's increasingly looking like I'm going to have to spend one of my vacation days getting a root canal. I shouldn't put it off, but it's annoying as balls and I don't want to go through with it. Plus, the worst part of any dentist's visit is dealing with the lecture about how my shitty my teeth are, as if I don't know consuming soda is obliterating my chew-tools.


Ah well, I'll deal with that later. Right now, let's get to SmackDown, which sadly doesn't feature pre-production audio this time...

Segment 1: The Shield hits the ring through the crowd to open the show. Seth Rollins takes the mic first and swears revenge against Evolution after they (Shield) got their asses handed to them thanks to Sweet Lady Sledge. Dean Ambrose agrees with Rollins's take, and is glad the “hounds will be off their leashes” on Sunday.

Rollins takes the mic again and takes a direct shot at Randy Orton, promising that he may need to ride a stretcher out of there. Hopefully too will they eliminate Orton and Batista, leaving Triple H by himself to face The Shield, and they'll take their time to shred him. “At Payback, the end of Evolution will be extinction.” That line sounds badass but doesn't quite seem true.

Roman Reigns finally takes the mic to issue some general threats, including the absolutely hilarious line, “We're going to break every single announce table that we have available,” which means I want to see the returns of the French, German, and Italian announce tables to join the usual Spanish and English announce tables. It'll be a veritable table-a-plooza!

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Cesaro (w/ Paul Heyman) defeats Kofi Kingston by pin. Too short of a match to be anything worth watching, but it does give Cesaro a little more momentum.

Chain wrestling to start, which I haven't seen in entirely too long. They exchange for a moment, but then Cesaro counters an arm drag by just straight lifting Kofi straight up during the attempt. With one arm. Crazy.

From there, Cesaro goes on the offense for about one minute. Kofi scores a hit with a rebound dropkick and hits a rally, but can't close the deal. Still, Kofi's quickness continues to do the work and keep Cesaro off-balance. Then Kofi makes one mistake as a rebound cross body is countered with a European uppercut, and that's that: pin, three, done.

After the match, Cesaro hit Kofi with the Neutralizer just to be a jerk.

Segment 3: Renee Young interviews Bad News Barrett, who says that Rob Van Dam's best years are way behind him, so RVD is no threat to his title. Also, the Irish have never been a threat to the British, so Sheamus tonight won't be a threat either. Barrett points out that Sheamus is just the US Champion, and that's just one country; Barrett is the Intercontinental Champion, which “encompasses all the continents around the globe.” Good way to avoid saying “world” there, since it would call attention to the fact that the WWE World Heavyweight Title and the Intercontinental Title are redundantly named. Maybe the WWE World Heavyweight Title includes the oceans too?

Pre-Segment 4: If the sound is accurate, all the fans think Paige is just the greatest thing in the divas ever. But after watching last week's SD, I don't trust the crowd noise anymore. Also, Michael Cole calls her upcoming Payback opponent, Alicia Fox, “wacky and unpredictable.” Uh... why? Was there a gimmick change that I wasn't aware of?

And because these are the things I notice: Paige has changed her top to a tiny cut-off tank top, rather than the intricately designed bikini top. I'm a little displeased; the old top was unique, and this is just half a shirt.

Segment 4 [Singles Match]: Paige defeats Tamina by pin. Decent match for the divas, nothing special, and too short as usual.

Paige scores about two hits, then Alicia Fox wanders out to take pictures of the fans, including selfies, and make duck faces at the cameras. This, for some reason, completely distracts Paige, who gets the crap beaten out of her as a result.

The only time the distraction would actually make sense is when Fox steals her Divas Title belt and starts wandering around the ring with it. Tamina counters by super-kicking Paige's face off, but surprisingly can't close the deal.

Paige gets her hope rally with a trio of short-arm clotheslines followed by knees to the face... then slows the offense just to yell at Fox again. Tamina tries to take advantage, but again Paige is able to deal with it and counters with a Paige Turner, then slaps on her submission, which I've been calling the Paige Layout. Michael Cole gives it a proper name, calling it the PTO, or “Paige Tap Out.” First of all, “PTO” to me brings to mind “Pacific Theater of Operations,” the informal name for the naval war between the United States and Japan in World War II. Granted, that's esoteric (since I loves me some military history), but calling the move the “Paige Tap Out” also makes it sound like it's Paige tapping out, which is downright idiotic. Plus ten for someone on the WWE “Creative” Team giving the move a proper name, but minus several million for making it stupid.

After the match, Paige continued to yell at Alicia for stealing her title belt, but didn't actually, you know, do anything about it. So Fox just did a very Bella Twin-like hip dance halfway up the ramp, then unceremoniously dropped the belt there and blew Paige a kiss. Weird.

This might be a case of me taking things too seriously; I get that wrestlers have to “be distracted” for silly reasons to set up stories. But Paige went way overboard with it, and she looks like she has trouble walking and breathing at the same time without being incredibly distracted with one activity or the other.

Segment 5: Renee is back to interview Sheamus, who says a whole lot of nothing about Cesaro, then says that he's going to Brogue Kick Barrett's teeth down his throat and send him back to England, or something.

Pre-Segment 6: Bo Dallas makes his entrance and gets a mic to talk some stupid platitude bullshit, as he does. It's over the top and false, which annoys me, but for the right reasons. He also pimps that he's so totally undefeated at 2-and-0.

Segment 6 [Singles Match]: Bo Dallas defeats Xavier Woods by pin. Too short, nothing special.

Dallas hit one hip toss and jumped to ringside to celebrate. Heh. Woods got in a few moves, but Dallas took the momentum right back, including his trio of knees, which is a nice theatrical move. Woods got a “hope spot” from there with running clotheslines and a dropkick, and the crowd didn't give a crap. Tried a pin off the Honor Roll clothesline, but only got a one.

Woods tried a top rope something-or-other, so Dallas dropkicked him out of the air. Nice move, and then he followed up with his Stratusfaction/Dudley Dog, except he calls it a Bo Dog.

Also, he probably fucked it up, because there was a weird edit when he tried it. First, the camera did a sudden snap from one camera guy to another; second, just before the odd smash cut, you can see that Dallas's second step doesn't quite reach the top rope, and he has a look of panic on his face. Huh.

Well, whatever. Pin, three, done. After the match, he tells us to Bolieve, uncomfortably hugs Woods, then takes a victory lap.

Segment 7: RAW recap concerning Bray Wyatt accosting the announcers.

Segment 8 [Singles Match]: El Torito (w/ Los Matadores) defeats Jinder Mahal (w/ 3MB) by pin. I'm not getting into why this match exists, nor what happened in it, since it's all idiotic. You're being wasted, Drew McIntyre.

Pre-Segment 9: Paul Heyman joins commentary for the next one.

Segment 9 [Singles Match]: Sheamus defeats Wade Barrett by pin. Decent match, nothing special.

Power-versus-power to start, punchy-kicky almost the whole way with a little roughneck thrown in for good measure.

The offense was pretty even until Sheamus went for the 10 of Clubs from the apron. Barrett countered by elbowing Sheamus off the apron, then followed up with a diving elbow off the apron to ringside. Sheamus retook momentum with a rolling senton followed by a clothesline that sent Barrett to ringside. Sheamus's exclamation mark was a flying battering ram off the apron.

Barrett tried to get a breath by Irish Whipping Sheamus into the stairs. Sheamus reversed, but Barrett hopped over the stairs. When Sheamus tried to follow, Barrett kicked the stairs into him, then beheaded him with a clothesline. Barrett slid back in the ring, and we went to ads.

Back, and Barrett is going for head-targeted offense since that's Sheamus's weak point after Monday. Sheamus had a couple breathers, but Barrett was always there... until Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick absolutely out of nowhere.

After the match, Sheamus stared down Heyman and grabbed his suit jacket. Heyman begged, and Sheamus eventually let him go without incident.

Segment 10: Renee is here for the third time, and I'm not complaining. She interviews the Usos, who downplay getting the crap beaten out of them by the Wyatt Family, and they've got confidence in the main event.

Segment 11 [Singles Match]: Big E reverse-squashes Titus O'Neil by pin. Titus had the early punchy-kicky offense thanks to a pre-match interruption and distraction by Lana and Alexander Rusev. But once Big E got a breath, it was punchy-kicky-finisher, and that was that.

After the match, Rusev waved the Russian flag from the stage while Big E waved the star-spangled banner from in the ring. It's like Hulk Hogan and Iron Sheik all over again~! FEEL THE DRAMA!!!

Segment 12 [Singles Match]: Adam Rose extend-squashes Jack Swagger by pin. Zeb Colter was on commentary and was amusing by calling all the rose buds just “millieals with no job, no passports, no dreams, no ambitions... this the future of this country” and it makes him sick. Heh.

So Rose basically was a “chickenshit face,” if such a thing exists. He pranced around and frustrated Swagger, until Rose hit a side kick out of nowhere, countered a back body drop, then did the stupidest pinning combination I've ever seen in my life. It works for his character, don't get me wrong... but it was a little too silly.

Still, for a comedy match? Solid stuff. Adam Rose is poised to exude the Goldust effect.

Segment 13: RAW recap of Stephanie McMahon's ultimatum, and Daniel Bryan's reaction to it.

Pre-Segment 14: They rushed the Wyatt Family's entrance for the main event, though they let the Usos and do their whole thing. Only 12 minutes left and the match hasn't started yet, so it's definitely a time compression thing.

Segment 14 [Singles Last Man Standing Match]: Bray Wyatt (w/ the Wyatt Family) defeats Jimmy Uso (w/ Jey Uso) by 10-count. Solid match, for the first time tonight.

Jimmy has all the early offense and puts Bray down with a suicide vaulting dive to the west side of ringside. Bray stayed down for six but didn't really seem like he really needed it, and he heavily breathed as we took our final ads.

Back, and Bray is in midair as he does a running body splash to the corner. This draws a count, which is kinda dumb, but I suppose there isn't time on the weekly shows to dick around with the gimmick. He's up at eight, takes a suplex, then takes another count. Really?

An exchange, a Samoan Drop out of nowhere by Jimmy, another counter. Again: really? Seems rushed. I mean, I get it, it's just that the timing feels so rushed that I'm surprised this type of match was even booked for a weekly show.

We have our first moment where the count seems to make sense. Bray is outside the ring on the west side. Jimmy stood on the north side, then ran and jumped up to tight rope-walk the barricade. He tried a jumping knee, but Bray ducked it; however, Jimmy followed up with a superkick that relocated Bray's beard to his brain. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan ran over to make sure Jey didn't help out, and the count was on.

Bray managed to get to his feet at six, and he scrambled into the ring. Jimmy tried to attack, took an elbow, drew a count. Okay, I'm not going to mention the counts anymore until it matters. Ugh.

Bray continued the offense with an elbow to the head, then teased a superplex. Jimmy fought him off, then countered with a top rope splash. After selling, Bray knees Jimmy in his INJURED~! ribs, then chucks him out of the ring. Bray teases a piledriver on the mats, but Jimmy counters by slipping out and hitting a spinning enziguri. This puts Bray on his butt as he leans against the barricade; although the ref starts a count, Jimmy follows up anyway with a running hip check. It may reset the count, but it'll help.

Doesn't pay off though: he's up to his feet at nine. Meanwhile, Harper and Rowan take out Jey Usos. Jimmy temporarily fights off all three, and manages a kick to send Bray down to sit against the steps. Jimmy goes for the running hip check again, but this time Bray moves. Jimmy crashes hard into the steps spine-first, and Bray follows up with a Sister Abigail on the mats. As the ref counts, Bray does his crabwalk stance through the ropes so his feet are in the ring and his shoulders are on the edge of the apron. Weird, and I think he broke gravity.

Final Thoughts: Meh. Only the last two matches were worth it, for different reasons. Rose's win was the first entertaining match of the night in a vacuum, and the main event was pretty solid, albeit overly time-compressed. Everything else just fed into feuds for the pay-per-view, which is fine and all, but didn't really jazz me up for any of it.

Not that there's much room to complain about a $10 pay-per-view, so I'll be checking it out on the WWE Network this Sunday. You can expect Rick's recap shortly after it concludes as well. Otherwise, pending toothy bullshit, I'll see you all again next week.

Episode Grade: C


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