WWE had a really good chance this week to build on the fantastic NXT invasion angle they set up last week for Survivor Series. However, while NXT did make their presence known, this show seemed to only want to repurpose last weeks thrown out-script and give their audience another dose of bland go nowhere weekly television. I’ll be covering for Bradley this week to review SmackDown, apparently for my sins…
- The New Day’s Big E & Kofi Kingston defeated Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder of the revival to become the new WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions
- Heavy Machinery got beaten down by the invading Imperium
- Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro defeated Ali & Shorty G
- Sasha Banks defeated Nikki Cross
- Tyson Fury and Braun Strowman bulldozed through the B-Team
- Dana Brooke and Carmella defeated Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose
- King Corbin defeated Roman Reigns
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It was good for the New Day to get a win here, especially considering the fact Xavier Woods has had to be put on the sidelines due to injury (he shouldn’t be back until Summer of 2020…), plus Kofi has taken a lot of unnecessary pins lately and not just from Brock Lesnar.
It’s unclear what this will mean for The Revival going forward. So much of WWE’s booking is so short term that it becomes hard to have any investment in anyone and the tag division is a prime example of this. There’s no story in the New Day continuously taking the pins in tag matches and then all of a sudden winning the title on a random episode of SmackDown (even if it was out of the USA…). There was no underdog story here, just another meaningless title swap.
It was actually a very entertaining TV match overall however with some very creative tag team wrestling and frantic spots marred slightly by the finish which was a little awkward. Big E countered the Revival’s attempt to land the Shatter Machine by sort of catching Dash Wilder’s legs and pinning them down with Scott Dawson spinning around bemused looking for the next spot. Kofi took out Dawson as Big E set up Wilder to be hit with an assisted Trouble in Paradise to become the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
Giving credit where it’s due, the temptation for Daniel Bryan to side with Sami Zayn and his crew is interesting when paired with another shocking development, a blindsiding attack from the Fiend.
While the prior booking hasn’t made either Shinsuke Nakamura or Cesaro look very strong, they have been doing well under the services of Zayn, with Nakamura being in firm control of the Intercontinental Title and Cesaro picking up a much-needed win here tonight with a strong victory over Ali and Shorty G.
Having the Fiend attack Bryan and putting a legitimate threat in his way is a clever way of him gravitating towards Zayn’s offer.
Also, the idea of a Fiend vs Bryan feud is salivating but definitely should have come well before he obtained the Universal Championship. This would have been a perfect building feud for the Fiend that was desperately needed before being catapulted to the title scene. Still, hopefully, this feud can regain some much-needed heat for the Fiend that’s been lost in atrocious booking decisions for him.
SmackDown continued to set up their hottest angle in the Triple Threat between Bayley, Becky Lynch and Shayna Baszler with a beat down angle from Baszler again after Sasha Banks took on Nikki Cross in a fun TV match.
As a side note, Sasha Banks came out to a remix of her theme with the Snoop Dogg rap she had at WrestleMania, that is a real banger of a theme.
This was somewhat of a repeat of last week but the Triple Threat is so exciting to be happening that any build for it is welcome with open arms.
Nikki Cross looked good here in defeat making a run at Bayley, who was on commentary, during the match but ultimately being bested by Banks tapping out to the Bank Statement and beat down by Bayley afterwards. This will hopefully only endear her further with the crowd as the underdog. Hopefully, Cross gets incorporated into the tradition Survivor Series match to keep some aspects of this feud going to build to a future PPV match.
For FOX sake
Baron Corbin’s opening promo was a microcosm of the trash writing and booking that Jon Moxley spoke about in his podcast shoots, pooper-scooper reference and all. Corbin spoke about Roman Reigns having not done anything of note following his fight with Leukaemia and said the Big Dog had become more of a Chihuahua.
This may have been fine in isolation but then Corbin put a video of Roman Reign’s dog logo on the Titantron and replaced the sound with a yapping bark much to his own amusement and to mild chuckles followed by near silence from the Manchester crowd. When things couldn’t get any worse, he spoke about Reign’s big balls turning into little marbles and showed people some “doggy poop bags” he had that they could use to pick up his excrement as a souvenir.
In the same week, AEW has given us potentially the best promo of the year, SmackDown may have given us the worst. This was atrocious.
Walter and Imperium came out to beatdown Heavy Machinery before they could have a match, which should have been positive but the crowd just didn’t click with it unfortunately with a rather mild response. These simple beatdowns will get old quick and they need to find some more creative invasion moments.
Tyson Fury had an awkward exchange with his Crown Jewel opponent, Braun Strowman as the pair buried the hatchet and Fury said he wanted to see the pair be a tag team now. Braun, however, pointed out that no one would be stupid enough to face them, enter the B-Team who proceeded to get bowled over by Braun and knocked out by Fury. This was fine for the Manchester crowd to see their hometown boy but everything about this was as hockey and awkward as Fury’s worked punches. Props to the B-Team who were funny enough to make this bearable.
Finally, in a stinker of a main-event, Corbin and Reigns had a boring one on one match with another finish provided by Corbin utilising random mid-carders to aid a distraction victory, this time in the form of Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. The pair distracted Reigns as he took them out with a Superman Punch and Spear before Corbin blindsided Reigns with the End of Days.
Corbin must make delicious brownies backstage or something because he’s always got so many friends who are willing to turn up and bat for him no matter where he goes in WWE. This is just more rehashing of Corbin’s prior feuds and does nothing to build anyone. Corbin doesn’t look good, Reigns doesn’t look good, Ziggler and Roode look like chumps and this does absolutely zero to build for Survivor Series.
There’s an incredibly hot angle with the NXT invasion and WWE are wasting time with a go-nowhere feud with Corbin yet again. They keep building heat constantly with him but he never gets his comeuppance and as a result, never serves to get the good guys he’s facing over.
This whole show was just perplexing and felt like WWE had accidentally struck oil last week, ignored it and started drilling back in the same spot they’ve failed to gain anything from previously.
Where’s the Survivor Series build? Where are the shocking and creative match-ups from last week where they had no choice but to think on their feet? Where’s the incentive to want to tune in next week? I certainly couldn’t find it this week on SmackDown.
Can I go back to AEW now?
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