Faster than anyone predicted, here is my second-to-last regular “Deep Dive”. To be frank, I tried to take this on and give NXT to Queen because of her scheduling conflicts but I just can’t do it. Smackdown simply isn’t as much fun to write about on the whole. In fact, it’s not even close. The lateness of this blog is as an indicator of that. Some of this was time getting away from me (a rare occurrence but last week was non-stop) but some of it is also that it just wasn’t interesting enough for me to do it.
What an intro, right? Makes you wanna read it? Sorry to be such a downer. This wasn’t a terrible episode of “Friday Night Smackdown” by any means. This show just screams “Queen” more than it ever did me. Anyway, let’s get to it!
In-ring segment – King Corbin
I gotta be real here. Corbin incurs the wrath of a great deal of the IWC and I have absolutely no idea why. It’s kind of like the people who dislike Corey Graves for doing his job really well or Queen who doesn’t like Keith Lee because…because…umm…??? (had to, Queen…LOL!). That makes no sense either. Corbin was g-r-e-a-t on the mic here. He was fluid and he told a great story in there. Love how he blamed the entire NXT invasion last week (the most fun Smackdown has been in ages) on Roman Reigns. The tron dog destroyed me. The perfect dog bark. Nicely done, WWE. Corbin honestly couldn’t have done anymore here and I enjoyed all of it.
Backstage segment – New Day (Big E. & Kofi Kingston)
This may feel petty but I just can’t see the New Day the same way anymore. Kofi Kingston went from being a main event WWE champion to being a midcard member of the New Day again in 9 seconds. I just can’t reconcile a fall from grace that happens that fast. It makes zero sense to me. I feel a bit like a scorned lover but I just can’t pretend that didn’t happen the way WWE wants me to. Kofi and Big E. were fun here because they always are. Kayla being manhandled by Big E. was an absolute riot. They are both amazing performers. Still, no matter how great they are in whatever situation WWE jerks them back into, I just can’t buy it. Their current placement just defies a bit too much logic for me to swallow.
The New Day (Big E. & Kofi Kingston) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
The most exciting tag team in WWE versus the most boring. I promise I don’t hate The Revival – really, I don’t. I just feel and have always felt that they’re wrong for WWE’s operating philosophy. Neither of them are showman in the least bit. They’re just kinda there. Even the boots are a direct tribute to Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard – two guys who didn’t matter that much as a team in the glitzy world of the WWF/E when they were there. They didn’t quite translate from the NWA. We know where both of them are now and perhaps…well…you know the rest.
Kofi landed RIGHT onto poor Dash on that leg drop. They did the “oh my gosh, Dash is hurt” thing which I’ve seen a bit too much of lately elsewhere (no, WWE is not responsible for my wrestling viewing patterns..LOL!) but because of them, I knew it was fake from the moment Dash started writhing on the mat. The tag team DDT on Big E. was botch-y as Scott was late going down and it looked messy. The finisher on Dash was really cool and the New Day are the 7-time champs! Not a bad match by any means but nothing special, really.
Backstage segment – Sami Zayn & Daniel Bryan
Man, this was good. Sami has truly found his niche. Yes, he’s a great worker but he’s also one heck of a talker and he proves it every week. He told a perfect story – taking credit for Shinsuke’s run and advertising himself perfectly to Daniel. Daniel was subtly expressive and said nothing which was perfect. Great job from Sami here.
Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker) vs. well…
They came out and WALTER, Marcel Barthel, Alexander Wolfe, & Fabian Aichner as Imperium (or, as I like to call them, WALTER and those other dudes). Apollo Crews, Shorty G, Ali, Kofi Kingston, & Big E. were there to make the save and chase Imperium off. Kind of fun but I don’t care about Imperium so not as much fun as it could have been. I really only care about WALTER so that part was fun.
Backstage segment – Sasha Banks & Bayley
Bayley is as good as she’s ever been since she turned heel. She’s still figuring it and and she’s still too stiff but she’s definitely better. Sasha was great there too – reacting to every syllable Bayley uttered and getting in a few words too. Nice segment, though it’s clear who’s more comfortable as a heel.
Shinsuke Nakamura (w/ Sami Zayn) & Cesaro vs. Ali & Shorty G
Sami dancing (or is he seizing?) is amazing! He echoes Shinsuke’s energy perfectly. This match was a lot of fun too. Loved Shorty G’s victory roll into a tag to Ali. His belly-to-belly on Shinsuke to to the outside of the ring was fantastic too. So much fun action here that I can’t possibly count it all. Loved Sami’s interference too – further selling what he “does” for those he works with. Daniel was standing at the top of the ramp watching all of it too. Fun story being told here of “will he/won’t he?”
Sasha Banks vs. Nikki Cross
Fun match here for sure but much of this was about Bayley on commentary. She acquitted herself fairly well here. She’s too stiff but I think she’ll continue to get better. She’s been told to “be heel” and she’s doing it. Loved Nikki’s unhinged attack on Bayley. She even took the headset and screaming something into it (I think it was Gaelic but I can’t be sure – let me know in the comments if you know). She seems to be returning to her former course a bit more lately and I really like it. I was sure Bayley would run in and make Nikki pay for her…ahem…indiscretion but she let the match finish and then went in. ‘Course, when she did, Shayna came for Bayley again. Love that when Shayna was beating Bayley down, Sasha stayed away – selling her fear of Shayna.
Backstage segment – Sami Zayn & Daniel Bryan II
Another excellent Sami talking segment. ‘Course, it wasn’t about that. This was about a Fiend. He hasn’t forgotten what Daniel did. The Fiend’s memory is long…and his memory shall now begin operating at Daniel’s detriment.
In-ring segment – Tyson Fury & The B-Team (Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas)
Tyson’s charisma is well-known so getting into a ring with a microphone is quite natural for him. As could be expected, he did quite well here. Braun Strowman simply doesn’t matter anymore. He loses every big match he’s in and he was called out for exactly that in our DD this past Friday night. I do like that this went in a totally different direction than we were imagining.
“We’re stupid enough to fight you!” The B-Team are golden on the mic. They even gave us our title this week. Cole & Graves died when it was said and I did too. Bo nailed the Braun impression too. ‘Course, they had to pay and they did. Both Curtis & Bo did their jobs extremely well here and I really enjoyed what may have otherwise been a throwaway segment under virtually any other circumstance.
Dana Brooke & Carmella vs. Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville)
Sonya, in particular, is full of potential but thus far, that’s all we’ve gotten. She’s hit the glass ceiling and can’t get past it. She’s not always crisp in there but she is good and deserves better. Carmella has lost R-Truth and is now directionless. They haven’t done much with Mandy Rose either and Dana Brooke hasn’t mattered one bit since she was called up ages ago. She’s so athletic and fun so I’m not sure why either. Her senton isn’t particularly pretty but she took a win I was sure she wouldn’t even get. Just like that, Carmella and she have made it to Team Smackdown’s Survivor Series team.
King Corbin vs. Roman Reigns
Corbin had to pay for all the talking he did at the start of the show and he did. Roman went in for bear immediately. Love hearing Corbin trash talk during the match too. Ziggler & Roode came out to have some fun too. All in all, a very good match between both of them. Of course, it couldn’t end cleanly and it didn’t. Lot of interference later and Roman went down to Corbin. Not much to write here, really. A solid match all around. Both of them always deliver in that regard.
So ends my regular coverage of Friday Night Smackdown. Short but relatively sweet. See you this week at my usual spot and one more time for another Deep Dive.