Botched!: Bayley’s Swing & A Miss, Alberto El Patron: Over or Not Over?i, SD Runs Out Of Time, More
Welcome back to the column that nobody in the world of professional wrestling wants to be mentioned in, Botched! It was another great week in the world of wrestling, but there were a handful of moments that weren’t so great. Let’s take a look at them!
1. Ariya Daivari Damn Near Breaks His Neck
The Cruiserweight Division was off to a slow start, but things have picked up recently. One main reason is the return of Austin Aries to in-ring competition. Aries was solid as an announcer and the time behind the microphone gave him an opportunity to introduce himself to the WWE Universe & establish his character, but he’s far more valuable to the division in the ring.
Aries is an explosive wrestler that’s full of intensity. Sometimes, he’s a little too intense for his own good, not to mention his opponent. His match with Ariya Daivari was pretty good stuff, but featured a close call for Ariya near the end.
Aries went for a cool kneebreaker into a back suplex, but either Aries lost his grip or Daivari over-rotated on the suplex attempt. I hate guessing on these things, as I’ve never tried to deliver a kneebreaker into a back suplex, or had somebody try to do a kneebreaker into a back suplex to me. Either way, Daivari ended up nearly going into the mat like a lawn dart, a la Sabu off of a Chris Benoit backdrup in 1994. Scary moment, but fortunately Daivari ended up taking the impact mostly on his arm & shoulder and suffered no negative effects.
Sometimes the adrenaline gets flowing and disaster nearly strikes. Fortunately for Daivari, it didn’t on this evening.
2. Swing & A Miss
I really don’t want to pick on the Raw women’s division. Last week’s column featured too much of them for my liking and I don’t want it to be a trend. But they’re back this week thanks to this spot in the Bayley vs. Nia Jax match.
Bayley isn’t at fault here. The alternative would have been Bayley blasting Nia in the face with a kick and maybe messing her up. The party at fault here is the director telling the cameraman to zoom in on these angles where you’re sure to see that the wrestler isn’t actually eating a kick to the face. Shot at the right angle, this would look good. Nia did a good enough job selling it…honestly, it was probably a little bit more than she should have sold for Bayley. HD cameras & poor direction makes it tougher for wrestlers to do their jobs of making things look good while protecting their opponent.
3. There’s No Overrun on SmackDown Live
I’ve been as big a critic of the idea of AJ Styles wrestling Shane McMahon at WrestleMania as anybody, but Tuesday night’s SmackDown Live did as good a job of selling it as it possibly could. AJ’s beatdown of Shane backstage was a good piece of business, Daniel Bryan firing AJ backstage added some good heat to the angle, and Shane coming out at the end of the show to tell AJ that he would have a match at WrestleMania with him was a pretty great way to end the episode.
There was a slight issue.
SmackDown Live doesn’t have the luxury of an over-run the way Raw does thanks to the Monday Night Wars when both shows would routinely run long in an effort to outlast the other. USA never got the memo that WCW no longer exists and there’s no good reason for Raw to run longer than three hours on a Monday night, but God forbid SmackDown Live runs into the sacred Chrisley Knows Best time slot! My best friend tried to ask me about the significance of the Chrisleys & I had no idea how to answer that question. I’ve actually watched maybe three minutes of the show scattered about however many times it’s accidentally been left on my TV. I don’t know who any of them are, nor do I care.
But USA does, and that’s why SmackDown Live goes off the air at 10 PM sharp. I don’t know if the American Alpha/Usos match ran long or if WWE thought the challenge would work better this way or what, but we ended up with Shane stumbling out there with no music announcing his intentions for AJ Styles at WrestleMania, and the feed cutting out right after he finished his sentence.
I guess we should give them props for ending the show with a bang, but it sure seems like somebody lost track of time there. It’s not like anybody cared about the Alpha/Usos match once they figured out that Kurt Angle wouldn’t be involved. Weird stuff going on there.
4. A Lady Like That…
I’m starting to get the feeling that people have decided that the best way to treat the Noam Dar/Alicia Fooooooooooooox angle is to act like it isn’t happening. That’s why I was unable to find a video clip of the tremendous 205 Live backstage promo segment with Dar and Ariya Daivari where it seemed like Dar was one of those CDs with a scratch in it that kept repeating.
Remember CDs? Those were pretty cool.
Anyway, Dar was trying to motivate Daivari for their big rematch with Rich Swann & Jack Gallagher, and was going on about how they needed to win this week. Part of his motivation was keeping Alicia Foooooooooox happy, but he needed a minute to remember exactly why.
“You know, I’ve been trying to keep Alicia Fox happy. All those wonderful gifts. But a lady like that…a lady like that…a lady like that…is the only one…is only going to stay while winner.”
He should have just yelled “LINE!”
Dar’s a talented guy and definitely has his strong points, but live promos isn’t one of them just yet. He sure does get a lot of chances to do them though, as he seems to talk as much as anybody else on the show. I think Vince likes his accent and wants to hear it over and over again.
5. Alberto El Patron: Over or Not Over?
We’re going back a week on this one, but it deserves mentioning here. Alberto El Patron made his big Impact Wrestling debut last week, and more than one person on the Internet pointed out that the Impact Zone didn’t exactly go crazy over it. For my part, I didn’t really notice because by this point in the telecast I had deliberately tuned out the sound as Josh Mathews & Jeremy Borash were driving me insane with their incessant yammering. It looked like the fans were reacting so I didn’t think twice about it. But take a listen to the audio track here & you’ll hear what I mean.
Indeed, the crowd noise sounds like Al Snow is making his entrance. So what happened? Turns out what happened was Alberto did his first entrance and got a huge pop from the audience, like you would expect for a debuting former WWE star coming out by surprise. The problem was that whoever does the entrance graphics for Impact Wrestling botched Alberto’s name.
So they had to re-shoot the entrance. The fans weren’t quite as excited because the surprise factor was gone, and we got what we got on Impact.
See, this is what Dixie Carter meant all those years ago when she referred to the Impact Zone audience as “cast members”. If those darn fans would have popped like they should have, nobody would have noticed a thing!