Facts from Friday Night Smackdown, Manchester Arena, Tuesday 12th November 2013

As always, a brief round-up of my reaction to the episode of Smackdown that’ll air this Friday, and which we saw filmed last night. Spoilers abound. (We also saw Main Event matches but I don’t care about that because if it’s not on Sky Sports, it doesn’t really exist.)

  • We were treated to the sight of Brad Maddox in his wrestling gear. (Sadly no ‘Beef Mode’ branding.)
  • He was wrestling the masked El Local, which sent British smarks who don’t watch NXT into a frenzy because they thought this rather stocky individual with a host of distinctive tattoos down his arm might be El Ligero, a somewhat smaller wrestler with equally distinctive ink.
  • Natalya wrestled AJ for the Divas’ Championship on Main Event, lost thanks to Tamina’s interference, and promptly spent the next 15 minutes weeping – in the ring at first, then backstage all over her husband Tyson Kidd. Seriously, Nattie. You used to be better at wrestling, and I’m sure you didn’t used to cry all the time. Get a bloody grip. You’re a HART. Go and wrestle a bear or something.
  • Kidd himself wrestled Justin Gabriel in the Main Event main event. Good to see Gabriel, but I’ve yet to work out what the point of Kidd is. He’s a great technician but I don’t care about him as a singles competitor. Maybe Total Divas was supposed to give us some interest in him, but so far it just seems to have made him and Nattie look dreadful.
  • Smackdown was its usual self – brief periods of brilliance interspersed with awfulness and a hell of a lot of RAW recaps.
  • Luke Harper and Erick Rowan battered the Usos as Bray Wyatt looked on and rocked gently.
  • Nattie avenged herself on Tamina while the Funkadactyls faced the Bellas, and the world wept for the state of the Divas’ division while wondering why we couldn’t see Paige on this UK leg of the tour, just as a treat.
  • 3MB remained ‘The Union Jacks’, facing off against the Prime Time Players and R-Truth (because…ethnic, I guess?).
  • I was delighted to see Hunico and lol Camacho, although the fact they got a jobbers’ entrance at a live show did not bode well. And, indeed, they lost to Khali in about 35 seconds.
  • CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are branding themselves ‘the beard and the best’, and they faced Ryback and Curtis Axel (no Heyman, though). Obviously, after the Survivor Series announcement, the lights went out with the accompanying BLEP! noise, but when the lights came up to reveal the Wyatts ready to attack their opponents, Punk and Bryan were nowhere to be found. They launched a sneak attack and then promptly legged it, which seems a good idea, frankly.
  • John Cena and Alberto del Rio did an arm-wrestling competition. That is all I have to say about that.
  • However, the bonus dark match between the pair was pretty hilarious, with William Regal as guest referee, who got sick of Del Rio’s whining and decked him, allowing Cena to pin him. Brad Maddox came out to complain; Regal got sick of his whining and decked him. Regal then raised Cena’s arm and did a short laudatory address; then got sick of him and decked him.
  • This would have been the best night ever if it had been left at that, but obviously Cena got his revenge on Regal (and Tony Chimel, for reasons I have not yet ascertained) to leave the kids happy.
  • Also, if you’re into sinister merchandise and terrifying your loved ones, you can now buy your very own Erick Rowan sheep mask at WWE shows.
  • You can’t buy Shield t-shirts in ladies’ fit, though, so apparently they don’t want my money or the money of the scores of the other ladysmarks who screamed every time their name was mentioned – and they didn’t even appear on Smackdown.

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