Hey, kids. So, here’s what’s happening. We’ve had our very own draft here at Wrestle Royalty. Given that we’ll soon have a network version of NXT, we’ve shifted a few things back here. The result as pertains to this blog is that I have the pleasure of writing about Smackdown Live every week! Cool, no? I’m excited to take this on. In fact, I lobbied for it as I can’t be consistent on Wednesdays as I had been before. Queen will be writing about NXT going forward which should be fun. It’s not a program she was watching that much of and I think this new situation is gonna blow her mind…LOL! She’ll get to regularly see what so many of us already know. We’ll make an NXT convert of her yet! I just know it!
Okay, on to this week’s episode!
The New Day vs. The Revival & Randy Orton
Every single one of these participants brought it during Clash of Champions. Even with the non-story that got New Day into their match with The Revival, the match was still quite good. The match with Randy & Kofi, though, had quite a bit more story. I was quite surprised that it ended as cleanly as it did.
This match was a lot of fun. Randy is at his most fun when he’s attacking slowly and he did plenty of that here. The Revival is Minnesota Wrecking Crew (ask your parents) remixed for 2019. They can be fun to watch to watch too as long as they aren’t talking. It was fun watching them all fly around too.
In-ring segment – Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, & Kofi Kingston
So it appears we’re gonna get Kofi/Brock. They’ll go at it on the very first Fox broadcast of Smackdown Live. I can hardly wait…or something. If Brock is the one to end Kofi’s title reign, it’ll be the WWE Championship we don’t see forever. Of course, there are few things better in life than listening to Paul Heyman talk. He tells a story better than absolutely anyone. The end of this was quite predictable with Kofi catching an F5 from Brock.
Backstage segment – Bayley & Sasha Banks
Sasha is now beginning to flourish as a heel. She had a rough start but she got there. She’s great slime. Bayley, on the other hand, is truly terrible. She offers nothing on the mic…ever. Oh well. At least she didn’t talk much here.
Cinéma de Madman – Erick Rowan
Who saw this coming? Erick has been a bit player since debuting with the WWE and all of a sudden, he really matters! I love it! He’s been given the ball and he’s running with it.
Erick has been ignored for far too long and that’s how this is being handled. Erick bit back hard when Michael went to a question about Luke. He even checked him and told him to “lower his tone”. Loved that too!
This was good and Erick handled it well. Believe it or not, the one who failed here was Cole. He showed nothing and gave nothing. He read his scripted questions and reacted to nothing. When Erick told him to “lower his tone”, he didn’t even react. I know I would. Why he didn’t confuses me.
Ali vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke’s cape. I can NOT! LOL!!! Shinsuke badly needed a mouthpiece and now, with Sami, he has one. This combo has been fun so far. I’m not even sure we can call this a match as the bell didn’t ring. I’m not loving that Ali was annihilated like that but perhaps, it’s the beginning of a story.
In-ring segment – Shane McMahon & Kevin Owens
Shane has been a particularly poor heel. I think they know it and they’re trying to fix it. He just won’t be slimy enough. I mean…it all looks right and he’s doing all the right things. It just doesn’t work. He’s not a heel and that’s that.
Kevin was amazing here. He delivers every single time and this was no different. He told the story brilliantly here. He also did all the talking which was far for the story here.
AOP (Akam & Rezar)
Apparently, they’re being repackaged here. Dre & Sam are intrigued; I’m not. No one will pick a fight with them because they’re not man enough or whatever. We did this already and have been doing it for decades with other guys. I’m willing to see it play out but so far, so boring. “The future will be written in pain”. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks (Offset on announce)
Offset? Seriously? Why not, I guess. Cool robe though. Anyway…
This match continued to tell the story of Sasha and Bayley – together again. I’m enjoying it too. Bayley displays heel-isms fairly well, though she still can’t talk no matter face or heel. Sasha is far more fun as a heel than as a face, though she’s fun in any capacity, really. This was a fun match. Charlotte even nailed the moonsault that she can’t always count on. I enjoyed Carmella’s run-in too. She got in the ring and Bayley goes, “What do you think you’re doing here” with zero personality. UGH! Still, I’m interested in seeing where this goes.
King of the Ring Coronation – Baron Corbin & Chad Gable
A few backstage find Baron Corbin completely useless and they don’t like that he’s King of the Ring…and they’re completely wrong. Baron is great slime and, on top of that, he’s also great in the ring. His last few matches in the King of the Ring tournament have proven that without question.
The short puns were stupid – one and all – but that’s what happens when you script. Chad attacking Baron using all the King of the Ring props was just great. Just like that, we have a feud. The crown, scepter, and robe, however, are all dead now.
Of course, the King of the Ring stuff means absolutely nothing so it doesn’t matter. This will get a legitimate Gable/Corbin feud going which, based on the match they gave us, I am ALL for.
Heavy Machinery vs. B-Team
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. B-Team were given a gimmick (we win…somehow) that had a finite life span. Once over, they’ve virtually disappeared – only occasionally appearing on TV in one utilitarian role or another.
Heavy Machinery are on the way up and B-Team aren’t going anywhere. This is a team for Heavy Machinery to run through and nothing more. Otis is an absolute gas and Tucker, while not being anywhere near as naturally charismatic, is getting it.
In-ring segment – Daniel Bryan, Erick Rowan, & Luke Harper
Daniel is never less than engaging on the mic and he was great here too. Erick is still running hard with the ball in ways we never saw coming. Luke & Erick are together again, although not under the silly auspices of the Bludgeon Brothers. So much for “Vince not liking Harper and having nothing for him” which has been the line other sites have been reporting for a while now. There was zero proof of that so we didn’t go there.
Roman came out to make the save here and, of course, it ultimately failed. Harper and Rowan are on the loose and no one can stop them. The poor indie guys playing security caught damage as well. They even threw Tom Phillips around which was quite unexpected. A very interesting way to close out “Smackdown Live”.
Well, this was fun! It was nice getting to write about a show again. I hope you’ve enjoyed one of the last Royal Flush’s here at Wrestle Royalty. Once the show debuts on Fox, this blog will go by a brand new name, though carrying on with me as its writer. See you next week for the final Royal Flush!