The Ronda Rousey antihero arc continued on Friday Night SmackDown this week.
Check it out:
You know what’s great about this? By the end of the segment, I was a bigger Adam Pearce fan than Ronda Rousey!
My man is just out here trying to do his best, working with all these big personalities, with the likes of Rousey in his face flaunting being “the most recognizable female athlete in history.” He finally snapped, called out her entitlement, spoke openly about how ungrateful everyone is, and how fully fed up with everyone’s bullshit he is, and you know what? To hell with her!
Then he called her “the world’s biggest bitch,” which is very bad, and then sold like crazy for her in all the best ways. First, she dropped the microphone by her side and he made a big show of seeing it and INSTANTLY changing his tune.
Insert “it was at this moment he knew, he messed up” meme.
Then he started profusely apologizing to her, and, I shit you not, literally reached out like he was trying to grab the words he had just said and physically take them back. It was amazing.
Rousey still ended up putting him down, because that’s how this always had to go. The fans in the joint seemed to eat it up — though it’s possible there was some sweetening going on here, it was a taped show, after all — and it went over how they wanted it to by the time it was over.
I just have to give Pearce his flowers after this segment. He was incredible here in every way he could be.
If you watched this show and weren’t thoroughly entertained by all things Sami Zayn, especially when he was hamming it up in support of Jey Uso, you and I are not alike.
Meanwhile, this felt like a proper go home segment, with Drew McIntyre putting down the entirety of The Bloodline in impressive fashion, like this:
Before cutting a promo with a memorable line:
That’s a pretty damn good way to send us off to the big show coming up tomorrow!
All the rest
- THE VIKING BOAT. Or DRAGON BOAT, as commentary made sure to tell us. A Viking Rules match, it turns out, was just the ring becoming a makeshift boat with shields on the ropes, anything goes, falls count anywhere. It made for a hilarious visual that tickled me pink. At one point, Kofi Kingston used a pink sledgehammer on Ivar’s dome piece. Watching them dump each other on the deck of the makeshift boat was also just a delight. There were chairs and tables and even more shields. By the end of it, I couldn’t help but wonder if this should have been done in front of a stadium full of people. That Woods powerbomb through two tables would have went over huge! Detroit was great with it, though, and it was a fun time. The Viking Raiders win would make you think these two still have some more fighting to do.
- We got an interview backstage with Liv Morgan and Shayna Baszler vowing to rip each other’s arms off. It was fine, it just felt … low effort? Considering this is the only women’s championship match we’re getting at Clash at the Castle, you’d think they would have wanted to do more here. Maybe I’m just disappointed they didn’t.
- Karrion Kross is back to being presented like he was while dominating NXT. The overly involved, drawn out entrance is a bit much for my tastes but it’s a gigantic upgrade over what we saw from him the last time he was here. He beat up Drew Gulak, though it didn’t look nearly as good as it could have considering the talent in the ring. Still, the point was made.
- Maximum Male Models wrestled their first match, taking on Hit Row. It wasn’t terribly interesting as a match itself — Hit Row won easily, of course — but it gave us a couple fun details, like Hit Row deciding who would start the match with a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Then, mån.sôör did literally one move before breaking into a pose, giving Pat McAfee the chance to say “that’s what models do, they just pose all day.” It was all worth it just for those two things alone.
- Happy Corbin issued an open challenge, one Shinsuke Nakamura answered. Corbin was soundly beaten in a relatively short match, and they’re back to talking like he’s hitting rock bottom again. The return of Sad Corbin incoming? Maybe not, because it sure looked like JBL picked him up and took him away.
- Hey Triple Game, when the hell are you going to get around to making him Pete Dunne again? He at least got the gear back and was decidedly more Pete Dunne on this show in his win over Ludwig Kaiser.
This was a taped show, so it was up against it, but it was still enjoyable.