Dean Ambrose already has got nine Intercontinental Championship defense matches under his belt. This week on SmackDown was only his second shown on TV. Time for me to write another article about this very match, the new voice of SmackDown, Mauro Ranallo, and my annoyance about people being annoyed with the Pendulum Lariat done by Dean Ambrose.
The showdown towards SmackDown
With only this Gif you can watch on the left hand side, you can pretty much tell that this rivalry between Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens is getting more and more intense, week after week, day after day. As Intercontinental Champion, Dean Ambrose was able to lean back, having quite a relaxed day away from fighting while he was able to watch Kevin Owens having his go on Neville while Dean Ambrose sat on commentary. It was about time having him sat there again.
So, he hyped Kevin Owens, told everyone what a good fighter – prizefighter – he was, also that he just should come if he wanted to have another championship match. Of course, Kevin Owens won against Neville and he was about to leave the arena when he made up his mind again. Owens returned and was about to powerbomb Neville onto the apron, when Dean Ambrose had enough from just sitting around. Both men had a nice little brawl around the ring back to the commentators table when Dean Ambrose finally hit Kevin Owens with a flying elbow from the barricades.
Mid-week, Michael Cole sat down again for his interview with Kevin Owens (is it Dean Ambrose next week again? can we just alternate these two from one week to the other?). Kevin Owens did a good promotion for the coming SmackDown episode. And, of course, I also liked the way he spoke about Reigns. For my liking, WWE killed the Royal Rumble match that is supposed to be a 30-men fight for the #1 contendership for the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania. So, having Reigns defending the WWE Championship belt against 29 men there, makes me not care about this match at all. Because it’s rather clear that Reigns will contain – just to make him look even stronger. I just hope we don’t have to see Dean Ambrose playing little proud brother again.
So, like I said, I don’t really care about this Royal Rumble match but I’m actually a bit angry about a few fans, saying that it would be “funny” to see Kevin Owens get that WWE Championship belt while Dean Ambrose “only” having the Intercontinental Championship around his waist. Maybe you can tell me what’s so funny about it because I don’t get it. Gimmick-wise Kevin Owens is a prizefighter, so it would make sense to throw just another prize at him in just a little amount of time. I mean, just look what this man already won in WWE. But when he has to lose one match, people yell and scream about injustice. It’s the same with Neville fans. I’m actually glad for him that he wasn’t given a fun gimmick like this ridiculous degrading of The Ascension. I still don’t really get why Damien Sandow isn’t used at all, so his fans actually have all the right in the world to have a go at WWE officials.
But not on other wrestlers. There are even so-called fans out there who laugh about wrestlers’ injuries. I can say that I don’t like Reigns because I don’t like his booking and how he’s presented. Almost the same goes for Cena. But injuries happening to them are personal tragedies, not for the wrestlers but the persons behind them. So, you can have a go at WWE officials about bookings, lame storylines, treating of female wrestlers, etc. But laughing at one wrestler or having a go at one because your favourite for one time only isn’t treated better than his opponent, is just ridiculous.
The new commentator of SmackDown, Mauro Ranallo, actually calls the matches
I actually did see this picture before I watched SmackDown. But I didn’t pay much attention. I only did when I actually had to listen to Mauro Ranallo for the first time. It was unusual for sure, having someone on RAW or SmackDown actually call the matches and not being annoyed by commentary because of all the repetitions and calling wrestlers certain names.
I was quite reminded about a young Jim Ross (without having listened to him when he was young). I also have no idea what experience Mauro Ranallo has got, what he did before or where he came from. But I almost straight up liked him, at the latest when the man called a lariat as an actual lariat and not a clothesline. When I heard him call a lariat an actual lariat, I instantly thought: this man is really good. He also didn’t overdo calling Dean Ambrose a lunatic but he actually hyped the intensity of the moves, the speed and all around competition between him and Kevin Owens. What Mauro Ranallo does is sports commentary and I hope he’s allowed to continue doing it like this.
Dean Ambrose’s second shown Intercontinental Championship defense already sets up a third defense as a Street Fight Match
For some reason, WWE had to put two commercial breaks into this championship match. Granted that it had a good duration to it with about 15 minutes (including the commercial breaks), but the two breaks happened in short succession, so it was rather annoying.
Apart from that I enjoyed this match because once again we saw two competitors who are able to fight, act to their gimmick and tell a good storyline. And like I already said in the headline to this article, this feud between Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens works so well because they are so different, character and gimmick wise. Kevin Owens pretty much is a very serious competitor, straight forward with his words, throwing threats around, not caring much for other people apart for his family. And on the other side we have the slightly off Dean Ambrose, not caring about his body or his mind. That makes for intense matches, especially since Dean Ambrose won the Intercontinental Championship from Kevin Owens. Because Owens, the prizefighter, lost against Ambrose, who just took the belt as some kind of benefit for a good fight. Dean Ambrose still cares for the title but more because Kevin Owens doesn’t have it instead of himself having it. If Kevin Owens would still hold the title, this feud and their matches wouldn’t be that intense.
So, it was pretty clear that this feud would continue the moment the referee counted out both men when they started to brawl their way through the entire arena. They went through the audience on the ramp where Kevin Owens hit the WWE sign and then on to some equipment far from ringside. Finally Dean Ambrose threw both of them into a table and SmackDown ended this way, having a good view on both men laying out on their backs peacefully together.
Dean Ambrose now only had two defenses shown on TV and both of them happened to be on SmackDown. That’s not the way to make the Intercontinental Championship important again, booking wise. There needs to be a defense at least on a RAW. And since this very defense on SmackDown didn’t have a clear result, I almost expect a re-match on the coming Monday.
What’s wrong with the Pendulum Lariat?
Right here I need to get something out of my chest. Because I’ve seen not just a few but an enormous amount of comments that read how annoying and / or boring and / or overdone the Pendulum Lariat by Dean Ambrose supposedly is. If I wouldn’t have watched any of his matches, I’d assume he would do it three or four times per match. And even if he’d do it, what would be wrong with it?
Actually he doesn’t overdo it really. He sometimes teases it and sometimes it doesn’t work on first attempt because an opponent counters or reads it – like it happened again during this very championship match against Kevin Owens. Owens actually mocks the Pendulum in the Pendulum Lariat and this was hilarious. It’s not called “signature move” for nothing. But I guess people are just annoyed because Dean Ambrose uses it because it’s not his invention but originally done and used by Nigel McGuinness.
But guess what? Nigel McGuinness is a good friend of Dean Ambrose and this Pendulum Lariat (WWE really should call it Lunatic Lariat) clearly is a tribute to him. People who are annoyed probably say, Dean Ambrose stole that move and he can’t invent own moves, etc. pp. Maybe you are one of them, so I’d really like to know about your very reason. Sometimes I read, Dean Ambrose can’t wrestle or he only has got a narrow moveset, he only throws punches, he overdoes his expressions, he should change his wrestling gear, etc. pp. What is all this arguing about? Please tell me because I don’t understand it. Because everyone in WWE was given his or her narrow moveset to fit character and to make the very moveset unique for one character.
Dean Ambrose usually hits the Pendulum Lariat at the closing end of his matches. Most of the time there are variations in the storytelling, so it’s not just the move itself, it’s also about the selling of his opponent and what happened right before. Sometimes it’s used as a comeback move; sometimes it appears in a countering situation. Most of the times I read complains about this move being done, I feel that people just see the move but not what happened before and after. I also feel people are annoyed because it’s such a unique move and no-one else uses it, so they are jealous because their favourite doesn’t have such a move.
But, please feel free to tell me. Because I’d really like to know.