Notes In Observance – WWE Smackdown 4/2/15: You’re A Runt, Fella

WWE Smackdown“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.




(Aired 4/2/15)

You’re A Runt, Fella

– The opening video did a good job of recapping the chaos that went down on Raw when Brock Lesnar didn’t get his immediate rematch against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins and kindly destroyed ringside equipment, announcers and cameramen, setting up his indefinite suspension via Stephanie McMahon.

– The in-ring segment with Rollins, Kane, J & J Security, Big Show and Randy Orton gave us the awaited bragging promo from the new Champ, which was good. Rollins does a great job of making himself sound like a mastermind while also manipulating those around him into doing what he wants, making excuses behind his intentions. Of course, this set up Orton’s part of the segment, where he reminded us why he was due a Title shot and for some reason, really targeted Kane for having no “WrestleMania presence.” What’s that, Kane? You’re going to book an awesome match?! Nah. Just Orton-Show for right now. That’ll surely steal the show. Sigh.

– The Orton-Show was just a set-up for The Authority to do their Authority thang. Shocker. Orton had his brief moment by playing possum before getting Chokeslammed by Kane. Nice moment for Ryback to make the save, who seems more over every time he comes out. We can smell a future Rollins/Kane-Orton/Ryback tag match from a country away.

– They did a great job all night of emphasizing the magnitude of Sheamus’ return, heel turn and brutal attacks on fan favorites Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler. They even altered the Smackdown card to have Ziggler fully sell his injuries. Makes sense, and we can expect the original match to probably occur on Raw.

– With AJ Lee’s sudden retirement and the fact that Paige has already feuded with the Bella Twins, we need another new top face of the Divas Division. Apparently, that lady is Naomi. Now, she’s not a bad performer and she makes a good sidekick to the Usos. Only problem is this: her finisher. She knocks people out with her ass. How is that even remotely convincing? Let’s hope this push comes with a slightly revamped maneuver repertoire. For God’s sake, even if you change the finisher, that would make half the difference. Her boxed promo came off grotesquely rehearsed and almost like that one obnoxious cheerleader who tries too hard. With some more promo work, she could rise to a passable level, but at the moment, at least the idea of a singles push is encouraging for her character, as she seemingly has no character outside of being tattooed to the Usos by way of marriage to Jimmy.

– The Bella Twins have the advantage of being good-to-great talkers and have immensely improved their act in the past couple years. They made some good jabs at Naomi, that she had no identity and made perfect people to prove wrong as she took down Natalya rather quickly. A Nikki Bella-Naomi Divas Championship feud appears to be the new direction.

– So, Kane learned to finally throw his weight around and appear to want to make an Orton-Rollins Title match at Extreme Rules a reality. At the same time, Rollins was great in trying to get out of it while sounding confident. Dean Ambrose coming into the scene as that guy who uses the executive bathroom without permission fit his “unpredictable” character, but on top of his convincing Mania performance, did we need to saddle him with toilet humor? At the same time, he should use it more often if it sets up matches like him and Luke Harper. It’s obvious they’re using the ladder powerbomb spot to light a spark between the two in the form of a feud.

– Of course it’s Smackdown, so we need another Roman Reigns pre-taped interview. He approached what happened with Mania with one message he kept repeating: I took the brutal beating and came closer than ever to beating the beast. Word selection was kind of key here, working against him at moments. How exactly do you “come out swinging” by taking a beating? How does that work? His attempts at humor were grin-worthy (Let us know Suplex City condo prices while you’re at it, huh?) but this made it clear his new focus was Rollins and gunning for him made sense. If he’ll go full force as Extreme Rules gets closer, than this “quiet rage” is a good start.

– The Miz-R-Truth match saw the old Awesome Truth tag mates face-off. With all the Mizdow talk, it was obvious Truth went back to enhancement talent status just to make Miz look strong. No complaints about that. At the same time, Damien Mizdow got his revenge from Raw as he came out, hit the Skull-Crushing Finale on Miz and put his sunglasses on to a big reaction. Solid.

– The segment with John Cena, Rusev and Lana was a good way to emphasize Cena’s desire to be a literal fighting United States Champion – taking on all comers, particularly “underdogs and B-plus players.” With Cena set to the future, this was a good time to have Rusev come out with Lana and be the one to challenge this time. The patriotic exchange was expected at this point. The thing with the American flag was cutesy, but bordered on slight ridiculousness.

– Good placement of the Neville hype video for Smackdown, making it appear that Raw will be his current stomping grounds for now. Between that and Cena’s weekly open challenges, they’re really hyping Raw as the place to be to see big developments.

– The Ambrose-Harper match was a nice little bout with some harsh kicks and hits, topped off with Harper powerbombing Ambrose through the announce table, their match going to a DQ in Ambrose’s favor. A feud between the two appears to be on the rise. No complaints, but what will the winner get?

– The Prime Time Players promo ripping New Day was a pleasant throwback to their old parody segments, and it appeared they were playing the pandering faces here. Good thing Creative finally capitalized on The New Day’s lack of popularity. This likely leads to a match and with Big E’s recent “heel” tweets, the lines for fanfare should be clearly drawn.

– They’ve really amped up Sheamus, huh? His new music will take some getting used to, but it fits his “tough Irish asskicker” gimmick. He arrived on the WWE scene as a heel, one who grinned particularly, beat Cena for the WWE Championship and even had a match against Triple H at Mania at one point. He did big things. Being a fan-pandering bland face for the last four years did call for a shakeup, but this was more on the extreme side. You can’t help but feel he tries too hard at times to be hated, but at the same time, they’ve given him the ball and he’s making the most of it. His promo was good stuff – basically saying he picks on underdogs “because he can” and “wants to crush hopes and dreams.” That’s as mean as it gets, no? The main event match with him and Bryan was good – he looked tough and Bryan provided the appropriate comeback spirit. Bad News Barrett out on commentary was a good way to use him in the meantime, practically breathing down Bryan’s neck, vying for his rematch clause, likely to come at Extreme Rules. Him getting involved towards the finish, hitting Bryan with the Bull Hammer Elbow, busting him open and allowing Sheamus to take advantage for a countout victory was a good start.





Quick Results

– Randy Orton def. The Big Show (w/Seth Rollins, J & J Security, Kane) via DQ 

– Naomi def. Natalya via pinfall

– The Miz def. R-Truth via pinfall

– Dean Ambrose def. Luke Harper via DQ

– Sheamus def. Daniel Bryan via countout 

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on April 4, 2015, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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