I’ve heard of being pushed to the moon, but this is ridiculous.I wish I could get into it. I wish I could believe. Next thing you’ll tell me Breezango are Number One Contenders. Oh.. wait…
Welcome back to the Smackdown Shakedown, where we run through the Scores, the Flaws and the Snores on the blue show. Let’s get right down to business.
- Shinsuke Jackson? Michael Nakamura?
Tonight’s opening segment wasn’t amazing by any stretch, Dolph was fine, the content of what he was saying was hit and miss, but it’s undeniable that Shinsuke is a charisma machine. I did like that they gave a nod to Nakamura’s love of Michael Jackson, and I particularly enjoyed Shinsuke, with his broken english, translating for Dolph into Japanese. The segment itself was fairly run of the mill, but Shinsuke is on another level.
- AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin.
Excellent match. Baron has come a long way in the last 12 months, and he looked massive in there with AJ. Kevin Owens on commentary is always amazing, and he was right. He was the best part of the commentary for that match, and for the night (which I’ll get to later). AJ’s surprise win was good, Baron doesn’t lose much momentum in that way, and the post-match shenanigans were good as well. KO came out on top, as he should have. It was strange that that was the only time we saw Sami Zayn all night though.
- The Beat The Clock matches.
I thought both matches were great. The Beat The Clock challenge always makes things more interesting, usually moreso in the countdown match/es than the first one that sets the time, but I enjoyed both tonight. Alpha’s finisher looked stupidly dangerous tonight, and it appeared that Epico was dropped on his head, which they have to be careful of. Other than that, great match. Loved the story. I also didn’t expect to enjoy the second one, but I was pleasantly surprised, possibly because it was so short, and because of the surprise win for Breezango. I’m not sure they’re the right choice, but at least the “land of opportunity” catchphrase rings true.
- Title means Main Event.
The Women’s Title match being the main event was perfect. It made the title feel more important, as did the build up throughout the night, and the interviews with each competitor. The first half of the match was great as well. BUT……
- The Main Event Finish.
So, I guess Charlotte Flair is going to be a babyface now? Arrogant, dirtiest player, second nature Charlotte is going to be a babyface? And now we have a stable of female wrestlers who have been kind of the “B players” on Smackdown, and someone who has only been around ostensibly for 2 weeks? I guess the one thing we can take from it is both the Champion and Challenger still both look good at the end of it and maybe a proper rematch down the line somewhere? And where was Becky? It just didn’t work for me. And they really can’t be “The welcoming committee” can they?
- CM Rusev?
Rusev’s video message was weird. He said something along the lines of “The only way I’ll wrestle on Smackdown is if I get a title match at Money In The Bank. If not, I’ll walk”. Title match, Money in The Bank, threatening to leave the company… Is this a shot at CM Punk? If it is, it’s needlessly petty. If not, it’s just boring. We need more heels on Smackdown, but we need them to be monsters, not whining.
- Rowan… Get The Tables!
So, a No DQ match. Randy Orton vs Erick Rowan. Ok, I’ll go with it. Randy getting hit with a Kendo stick. Yes, I like it. But then, Rowan goes through a table, and we cut to commercial. Surely he can’t come back from that. Right?
Wrong. We come back from commercial and it’s in fact Rowan in control, moving around like nothing happened. IT WAS A TABLE. It’s meant to be a little more impactful than a regular move, to say the least. Why that wasn’t a part of the finish is beyond me. And it didn’t work.
- Didn’t that Gronk guy beat him up a few weeks ago?
Ok strap in folks, this is going to be long. Jinder Mahal as number one contender is maybe the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen in the last 5 years. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m talking about the CHARACTER Jinder Mahal. The man, I think should be commended for the work he’s put in, and dedication to get better and get stronger and in amazing shape. But, I literally burst out loud laughing when he interrupted Randy Orton. That character (regardless of the work the man has put in) is not a main event character. Especially when not a month ago he was being beaten up by a football player.
And then there’s the content of his promo. “How dare you overlook me Randy!” Jinder, Randy’s match with Bray happens before yours. That’s not overlooking you. And of course, Jinder is not from North America, so therefore he is an evil foreigner, right? At least put a little more work into the character than “he is from somewhere else so you boo him yes?” Oh, and it’s the WWE World Championship, not the world WWE championship. But he’s totally ready for the main event.
Also Jinder, unless you were holding the title upside down to make it look like it said “M” for Mahal, or Maharaja, please learn which way the belt is supposed to go
- Commentary to nap to.
With Mauro’s unfortunate departure, we’re left with the very average, plain, and sometimes annoying commentary team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and JBL. Tom does a decent job, but being stuck between overly naive Byron, and pompous bully Bradshaw, he’s struggling to find a real voice. So we get this cookie cutter, lame, boring commentary that is mindnumbing at times. Kevin Owens said it best when he said he was the best part of the commentary team. And he was. For the entire night.
- Randy Orton vs Erick Rowan (in general)
I’ve talked about the Table spot specifically, but in general this match really didn’t do anything for me. There were a couple of highs, but Orton as champion is about as interesting as watching paint dry to me. It’s like he took all the interesting aspects of his character and threw them away and now we just have crazy faces and RKO’s. Where’s the psychological snake-like guy gone? And going up against Erick Rowan. It just wasn’t interesting, even with the stipulation. Rowan is decent, but I never thought for a second he had a shot at winning.
Just a quick extra note folks, make sure you go and watch Talking Smack if you have the WWE Network this week. It’s 24 minutes of pure enjoyment. Especially the end.
And there we have it folks, the weekly shows are wrapped up for another week. We’ll do a quick Payback Preview this weekend, and our first list post will be up in the next couple of days.
What do you think of our assessment of Smackdown Live? Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!