IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #276 - Thoughts on SD Live - 3-14-17
By Marissa Laiman
Mar 15, 2017 - 12:35:12 AM
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS #276 - Thoughts on SD Live - 3-14-17
We got two feet of snow here in central Pennsylvania. Hope nobody else has been entirely buried (No JTG). Getting here a little late, but let's get started and see if Smackdown can once again make up for a RAW with more questions than answers, and not in the fun way.
1. Last week, instead of having a triple threat, they made them face each other. Fair enough. Randy won. Joy. We're not supposed to be on AJ's side, right? Ohai, Michael PS Hayes... What's with this video editing?
2. We come back with Daniel Bryan on his weekly phone call giggling about the Miz for some reason. He's running down the card on the phone for the convenience of... Shane? I think? But AJ's not calmed down from last time. I just hear Jake Morgendorfer in my head: "Why do people keep telling me I'm stressed? If I weren't stressed, I'd get stressed FROM EVERYONE TELLING ME I'M STRESSED!"
3. AJ opens up the show coming out as well, with JBL singing his praises. That's so weird to think about, given his 2005-era promos about ECW and indy shows. I know I haven't been a fan of this angle as it was pitched, but listen to that crowd chant for him! He's intense, and he needed something other than "I beat up John Cena!" I like it. They're making him a sympathetic character, even with the arrogance factor, but when you look at the one who is headlining WrestleMania, arrogance has never detracted from that either.
4. AJ's John Cena voice makes him an early HAM contender. Two straight nights of HAM contenders busting out in the first segment. I can live with this.
5. AJ makes a legitimate case; not only for his contendership, but for Orton committing arson and being rewarded for it. Another laugh at AJ's kale chips with D-Bry joke, and AJ says that he and Shane are gonna have a conversation about his career... if he even has one. But he was given a shot with the WrestleMania sign! He must have a thing, right?!
6. A two-person commentary table for Smackdown? YES! Please keep this a thing, for the love of JBL!
7. Steampunk Clementine might as well put her name on segment two, match one on the Smackdown Live card, so it seems. Wow, Natalya did a shitty thing? What a shock!
8. Only four women on Smackdown are available now? I suppose some are already booked and some are injured. Fair, but still, that seems... minute? Becky seems mighty mad (No Molly) at Natalya. Somehow it didn't take getting attacked backstage or run down with a car to do it either. Weird. Then we get the most anti-climactic commercial lead-in of all time.
9. You'd think Natalya would've learned at this point in her career not to talk shit. She always ends up eating a fist or a turnbuckle or something when it happens.
10. Curious, how is 205 Live? Does anyone watch it? Not being snarky here, I'm genuinely curious. Better yet, how many people stay after Smackdown to watch Cruiserweight matches?
11. Becky wins by submission and we get... Carmella? Briefly overshadowed by a cameraman... I think I missed something. Ellsworth is also selling a neck injury like he just tried to throw someone out of the game but wasn't warmed up. Silly little bitch, you!
12. Meanwhile, on Gotham, AJ paces back and forth in front of Cadillacs. At least he's not watching a championship match.
13. John Cena hosted a thing... Skip. Once we come back, holy shit is that "Neon Ninja" Michael Facade talking with someone backstage behind Carmella and Ellsworth? I was at his debut match and hung out with him a lot! There can't be another dreadlocked suburban wonder that looks like that! Go Facade!
14. Miz's eyes are super blue, so he must be in full Clark Kent mode as he introduces himself. Even the crowd sings along with him now, so that's barely a sign of something being over anymore I think. Maybe they need to bring back Say What? Karaoke for WWE promos.
15. Last week, Cena and Nikki beat Ellsworth and Carmella, in the shocker of all shockers. Nikki gets attacked from behind for the 3854th time this year and still doesn't see it coming. He uses an old line from Jaded Hope to recap another thing that was on Smack Talk while Miz jacks off an invisible giant. Miz's Cena voice is even better than AJ's. Is it a Smackdown thing now to do a Cena voice? I'm okay with it if it is.
16. EXTREME CLOSEUP on Maryse's wedding ring. Damn, was she in the Jetson's movie? Now they're talking about a third different thing. This feels like one of those episodes of a sitcom where they're just showing clips from previous episodes at this point. Apparently there was something about a contract? "Did you try to get a negotiate starting?" Miz words good.
17. Miz being a pretend newslike interviewer is freaking hilarious. Maryse sure took a long time after being back to get really pissed off at Nikki Bella, and you know she's super serial cause she used a bad word!
18. Nikki decides that Cena's said enough, and she's gonna talk. They bicker back and forth, but who comes out to show them all what a real pop is? Daniel Bryan of course! Bryan unleashes on Miz about wanting to punch him in the face, and everyone in the arena would love to see that. Instead, we get the presumed mixed tag match for WrestleMania with WM27 throwback implications. I dig it.
19. Mickie James gets a match against Alexa Bliss, and when she didn't get it, kicked Alexa right in the fuck. Bitchin'.
20. LOL at JBL saying it's a collar-and-hair tie-up. Somehow he's less obnoxious with only one person to play off of. The crowd isn't sure what to do here, and the silence is deafening.
21. We come back with them talking about the championship picture being clouded. Did you know the title match would involve "all available" women on the roster? I'll be damned. They should market that!
22. JBL in with a Moolah reference for the win. Where has this guy been for the last several years?
23. They're giving this match the mid-match feature treatment, but the heat just isn't there. I feel bad, because it's plenty technically proficient. But maybe bringing back Mickie just to lose a bunch maybe wasn't the best idea. Mickie James ends up hitting the slowest spinning kick ever, and YET AGAIN the champion is pinned in a non-title match. For fuck's sake, you guys...
24. Another hard sell for the Network, running down the WrestleMania card while pleading for new signups.
25. Meanwhile, AJ intends to get some thrill rides with Shane apparently. Can't blame him, he's been pacing for an hour. AJ's thrill ride involves beating the fuck out of his boss. All right then. He puts his head through a car window, and someone states the obvious "he's bleeding." Finlay yells at AJ for a while. PARAMEDICS!!!! Damn, that's one hell of a gash for WWE to show on TV in the last ten years, I'm impressed.
26. After seeing what we just saw, Shane is backstage with enough blood that HBK would call it a nick, and he gets led off by... cops? I guess the paramedics were busy.
27. Then AJ gets confronted by... The Usos and Curt Hawkins in the locker room? The A-Squad for such things. Daniel Bryan then tells him to go to his room and think about what he's done. Wow, the crowd boos it! You don't hear something Bryan does getting booed very often. That says something about AJ's rising popularity.
28. After such drama, and JBL continuing to use his super serious voice, we get... The Headbangers? No, Mojo Rawley. And they're in Pittsburgh, that had to have been Facade! That's the most exciting thing I've seen all night! Sorry, little excited about seeing an old friend.
29. Dolph Ziggler's on screen, so I'm about to hear growls. "You have a manbun now, can you ascend further into douchery?" Yep, my favorite part of watching Smackdown is hearing him growl at Dolph Ziggler.
30. In the greatest act of wrestling hyperbole of all time, JBL compares Michael Cole... to Orson fucking Welles. Wow.
31. Dolph continues to show his Not Impressed face as he gets unofficially eliminated repeatedly. Dolph, who is apparently more tired of his own crap than anyone, decides to walk away from the match. He hates clean finishes as much as RAW did last night. He has no time for this shit.
32. That car had an inside camera? Shane's Headcam? They just happened to have a camera in that particular car in case someone put the boss's head through it? Weird.
33. Neville comes on to do his best to sell 205 Live tonight. Another multiman match to see who gets to face the champion. Did something happen to Jack? Please tell me something didn't happen to Jack.
34. Anyway, next is the man named after a snake who is also a fucking arsonist comes out. He's got his hood back down, so he's no longer a Wyatt... or something. Right after Tom reminds us that he also desecrated a corpse, JBL talks about how Orton was born to be a champion. Ugh. And he's gonna speak.
35. Orton uses a metaphor about himself being a snake in the grass... Again, the good guy. Wow, this is bad. I'm trying not to watch it through my biased lens, but I can't help it.
36. Finally, Bray Wyatt comes on the screen with his super stoic face. He describes himself to be... Santa Claus, I think... And he uses the word "infidels." Ooh, ixnay on the fidelsinay! This whole thing is weird. He covers himself with the contents of Boogeyman's lunch box and breathes really heavily. Magic dirt, our main event. Magic dirt and an arsonist. It cuts out with no commentary to an image of Alpha and the Usos? What the fuck was that?
37. Now we get a flashback of someone else getting attacked backstage. Nice decoy with the security guy. He then gets an assist from Mick Foley's tag team partner in the empty arena match on Sunday Night Heat in 1999. Clever Corbin. Then he's backstage hanging out with that tag team partner, but I thought he was a loner?
38. Man, everyone wants to take everything from everybody this WrestleMania season.
39. It's still so strange seeing the Usos in all black. We interrupt your regularly scheduled match to show Shane after he finished hulking up to walk with Fit Finlay and Jamie Noble.
40. After we get the commercial spot, they're still talking about Shane McMahon. Good JBL... We come back, but to a silly wrestling match and not Shane limping with a torn shirt. What gives? That's not what I was promised!
41. Is the crowd chanting for tables? No wait, I think they're chanting for Angle. That makes sense, it's Pittsburgh. How could he not be associated with Alpha? Nah, we need more Shanecam. Man that guy is busy tonight. But he's on his way out here? Whahwhahwhwhwhaaaaaat?
42. The commentators finally remember that there's also wrestling going on, and their hardon for Shane can wait until after the match is over. And for the second time tonight, the champions get pinned in a non-title match. All right then, last night it's DQ in contenders matches, tonight it's champions being pinned cleanly in non-title matches. I can't believe we're filling out our RAW bingo cards on Smackdown too. This show feels like an extension of RAW from last night. I am disappoint.
43. Shane comes out with no music, my goodness! The bravery! The show awkwardly cuts off right after Shane says he's the opponent at WrestleMania. But didn't he get fired? What a mess.
44. Normally Smackdown is my reprieve after RAW. This show sucked, by Smackdown standards and in general. It feels like they're biding time until WrestleMania, which I get, but it doesn't make for interesting television. Neither do three DQ matches one night and two champion clean pins the next. The opening segment and the Miz/Cena segments were decent enough, but they weren't enough to save this one.
HAM OF THE NIGHT
I'm giving it to AJ, only because Miz's Cena impression was a replay.
2012 - Daniel Bryan
2013 - Paul Heyman
2016 - Chris Jericho
1-2-17 - Kevin Owens
1-3-17 - Jack Gallagher
1-9-17 - Shawn Michaels
1-10-17 - Dean Ambrose
1-16-17 - Sami Zayn
1-17-17 - John Cena
1-23-17 - Xavier Woods
1-24-17 - James Ellsworth
1-30-17 - Mick Foley
1-31-17 - Daniel Bryan
2-6-17 - Goldberg
2-7-17 - Daniel Bryan
2-13-17 - Chris Jericho
2-14-17 - Alexa Bliss
2-20-17 - Lana
2-21-17 - Maryse
2-27-17 - Mick Foley
2-28-17 - Bray Wyatt
3-13-17 - Paul Heyman
3-14-17 - AJ Styles
Ris Laiman, In Laiman’s Terms, and Inciting Incident are owned by It’s a Shameful Thing, Lobsterhead, LLC. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. For media or inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.