Hey, kids. It’s the Botching one with the very last Royal Flush. Next week, Smackdown Live! begins anew on the Fox network and this blog will get a brand new look and title. Until then, let’s check out the very last Smackdown Live! on the USA Network, shall we?
In-ring segment – Erick Rowan
This is working out so well for him. He’s giving us articulation – something he was never able to do before. He was stuck to a script because he has no choice but he’s not nailed down to it facially. He reacted very well to the crowd. Daniel came out and we have a match!
Erick Rowan vs. Daniel Bryan
This was fun! Big vs. Little doesn’t always work this well but they are both athletic enough to make a match like this work…and they absolutely did. It was totally believable from beginning to end. Erick had to win and he did. They even added Luke (hey, wasn’t he out in the cold because WWE had nothing for him and Vince “didn’t like him”?) This has been handled so well – even down to the fact that Daniel Bryan wouldn’t accept Roman’s hand when he offered it. It would have made no sense if he had. I’ve really enjoyed this story and how well it’s been told.
Chad Gable vs. Mike Kanellis & Elias
Well, that happened, didn’t it? Moving on…
Charlotte Flair, Carmella & R-Truth
This was short (sorry, Chad) but kinda fun. Charlotte was rather stiff but Carmella and R-Truth are a blast.
Charlotte Flair & Carmella vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley
Bayley’s heel turn has, thus far, not worked as well as I’d hoped. She’s still showing almost zero personality. I mean…she does heel things but there’s been little spark to any of it. So far, so uninteresting. This match, though, was pretty good. How could it not be given the participants – yes, even Carmella. She was more than up for this and looked quite good in there both taking damage and delivering offense. She’s taken a completely unjustified drubbing for her ring work and I don’t get it at all. The woman can go and that’s that. She was placed here to do the job, of course, and she did her thing very well. I loved watching Truth put her on his shoulder and get her out of there before the other women could pin her. I dearly love the 24/7 title and all that goes with it. Of course, Becky had to come out to sell her match with Sasha and that was done well too. No complaints here.
Take I can fit nowhere else:
Why are they hyping a “season premiere” of “Raw”? The show doesn’t get an off-season last time I checked so why are we classifying the mere continuation of a show as a season premiere”?
Ali vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (w/ Sami Zayn)
I know people are divided on this but I think Sami is a scream with Shinsuke. He gives Shinsuke the personality and mic work that he doesn’t have. He certainly makes him more fun. Ali has yet to get going again since his injury. He was essentially used as bait here to sell the chemistry of Zayn & Nakamura. This certainly wasn’t a bad match but it felt like a holding pattern for Shinsuke and it did Ali no real favors.
New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E.) vs. B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel)
Another holding pattern of a match. These make sense to some extent. They’re moving to a new network effective next week and we’re on the heels of a draft so they might as well throw in some filler. Imagine: New Day in a filler match. Yet, here we are. B-Team essentially jobbed which is less than shocking so there you go.
Fire & Desire Cinéma – Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Tucker & Otis
Otis is awesome! I have died…and yet, somehow, I type.
Kabuki Warriors (Kairi Sane & Asuka) vs. Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville)
The Kabuki Warriors have been rendered completely inconsequential. There’s absolutely no reason to care about them as they’ve barely been featured and when they have been, they’ve done nearly nothing of any consequence. Rose & Deville have been getting a bit more attention lately so that’s good. They won the match but it’s hard to know if it means anything. It’d be great if it does but I’m not optimistic.
Shane McMahon & Kevin Owens (w/ legal team)
I know they want this to be compelling and watchable but it’s not. I mean…Kevin is but Shane isn’t. He’s been a terrible heel on the whole because he just won’t really give himself to it. He’s also been severely overexposed. I just don’t want him on my TV screen anymore and that didn’t have to happen. I really enjoyed him as a face. They may be aiming to get Shane out so maybe that’s what this is about? Either way, hopefully this comes to an end sooner than later so Kevin can do something truly enjoyable.
Cinéma de Beatdown – Becky Lynch & Sasha Banks
This was a fun little attack. It just adds a little more fuel to the already rather potent fire.
All in all, this episode of Smackdown Live! meant nearly nothing. It felt pretty phoned in and I cared about very little. They’ve burned it off and next week should be much more fun. See you next week for a brand new Smackdown blog!