BRM Almost Dies of Boredom & Frustration While Watching the 12/12/2017 Smackdown

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Almost Dies of Boredom & Frustration While Watching the 12/12/2017 Smackdown

Post by Big Red Machine » Dec 14th, '17, 00:09

OWENS & ZAYN HAND OUT FLYERS BACKSTAGE- They’re dressed in altered Daniel Bryan shirts (they say “YEP! YEP! YEP!” on them), handing out flyers advocating an “end to Shane McMahon’s tyranny” and saying they are going to “Occupy Smackdown” tonight. Sounds good to me. And apparently to Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable as well.

AJ STYLES PROMO-
He builds up his WWE World Heavyweight Title defense against Jinder at Clash of Champions on Sunday. He also becomes the first person to mention that The Great Khali showed up to help Jinder win the Punjabi Prison match since the week after it happened. Please remember that that was supposed to be the gimmick match PPV main event blow-off for the world title.
AJ also mentioned the Singh Brothers always interfering to help Jinder win. The Singh Brothers came out and said that not only are they done with Jinder because of his attack on them two weeks ago, but they want to be in AJ’s corner at the PPV.
AJ seems to be thinking along the same lines as me, which is that this is some sort of trap for the PPV, but at the moment he knows the Singh Brothers are no threat to him, so he gets them to play it up by admitting the terrible things that Jinder does to them/makes them do and getting them to insult Jinder… and then AJ pulls up pictures from the WWE show in India and asks them if they’re done with Jinder like they claim, why were they his lackeys at the India show? While I do like them addressing what is otherwise a kayfabe problem, AJ’s statement that “social media; it’s everywhere” seems to make everything I can find on social media part of the storylines, which runs into problems of its own like why certain wrestlers will get title shots over the entire loop of house shows even though they lose cleanly each time. You can’t be selective with this sort of thing. You can’t encourage your fans to talk about your product on social media and then say “only what we decide to show you is real.”
Or, for a more concrete example, you can’t ask me to consider these pictures of the Singh Brothers accompanying Jinder to the ring for his match to be kayfabe, but then go out of your way to ignore the fact that Jinder, the #1 contender, lost that match cleanly. And to a legendary WWE figure, no less. How does that even make sense that they wouldn’t talk about Hunter’s matches this past weekend- one against #1 contender Jinder Mahal in the main event of WWE’s big return to Jinder’s home country for the first time in something like fifteen years, and another as the main event rematch of last year’s WrestleMania main event with him challenging Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Title- and yet go out of their way to show me Alexa Bliss retaining her title against Sasha Banks?

Anyway, the Singh Brothers swore they were done with Jinder. Jinder then came out and AJ basically said “I’m not an idiot; everyone can see through your plan.” Then AJ beat up the Singh Brothers. Yes, it was kind of a sucker-punch, but it was a two-on-one situation (potentially about to become a three-on-one), and these guys had just tried to lure him into a trap to screw him out of his world title at the PPV, so I’m fine with it. Jinder teased fighting AJ but then backed down.

CHARLOTTE FLAIR vs. RUBY RIOTT (w/the Riott Squad)- 0.5/10
Both women’s entrances got cut… but once both of them were already in the ring, they cut to a three-minute-long video package about the Riott Squad while Ruby and Charlotte apparently just stood there twiddling their thumbs. Even worse, the camera-shaking in this video package made me nauseous.
Also apparently having had her entrance cut was Nattie, who was on commentary. While they were showing us Nattie, the referee ordered the bell to be rung so the match could finally start. Then we got about two spots- during which they cut away to Nattie once and cut away to Morgan & Logan on the outside at least twice (although, to be fair, one of them was right after Liv had caused a distraction)… and then we went to another commercial.
Nattie's presence on commentary dragged this down in two ways. The first is the fact that her “heel who thinks she is tricking everyone into seeing her as a babyface” gimmick is fine when she is being hypocritical or being frustrated by people not reacting to her the way she wants (her performance in her “Celebration of Women” segment from the 9/19 Smackdown being a good example of this), but gets tiresome extremely quickly in every other situation, so having her out here jabbering away with empty platitudes rather than being able to listen to the announcers talk about the match at hand was very annoying.
The other reason Nattie’s presence brought this match down was, of course, her role in the finish. After the aforementioned commercial break we got about forty seconds of wrestling before Charlotte followed Ruby to the outside, forearmed Liv when Liv stepped up to her and ran Ruby into the apron when Ruby tried to take advantage of this. Then, no reason at all other than to be a heel, Nattie got up and started talking trash to Charlotte so Charlotte forearmed Nattie, too. Then Charlotte turned around and hit Sarah Logan with a (bad) clothesline, kicked Liv in the stomach, and then got attacked from behind by Nattie for the DQ. And you knew Nattie was going to affect the outcome of this match the moment you saw her on commentary because, in WWE’s limited mindset, they haven’t done something to build up the PPV match if one person doesn’t do something to the other. If they didn’t have that PIP commercial-vision thing, I would have given this a DUD.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- horrible
Nattie knocking Charlotte down let the Riott Squad pounce on her and they dragged her back into the ring where Charlotte was inexplicably allowed to temporarily fight her way free from all three of them to need to be overwhelmed by the numbers game a second time (that’s now twice that Charlotte has managed to temporarily fight off all of members of our vicious three-woman gang of heels all by herself). When the Riott Squad finally got control of Charlotte again, they dragged her out of the ring by the ramp and set up to give her the guillotine into the ring steps draped across the barricade like they did to Naomi two weeks ago. If that was their grand plan, why did they take her into the ring at all instead of just doing it with the steps on the other side of the ring that they started out right next to?
The reason, of course, was so they could be closer to the ramp for Naomi’s big return from injury, which was infuriating.
1. Despite her friend being in danger, she still happily skipped the first few steps out from behind the curtain before breaking into a run to save her buddy.
2. Naomi got took a move that resulted in her getting stretchered out and is back two weeks later. Becky got shoved into a door a couple of times and has now been out for at least three.
3. Naomi ran down to the ring, nailed Liv and Logan with a double-dropkick, then proceeded to beat the crap out of Ruby Riott, the leader of our dangerous new heel faction, including laying her out with her finisher.
Sarah and Liv then pulled Ruby out of the ring and they retreated up the ramp, only to be attacked from behind by the Lana, Tamina, and Carmella trio, who shoved them down to the down and then… just let them go.
The four groups of women (well… three groups, and the lonesome Nattie) stare at each other from across the various distances, while Corey Graves tries to get me hyped for this Sunday’s title match by saying “If the Lumberjacks can’t get along, what does that mean for this Sunday? If these six women want to destroy one another while there’s a match going on in the ring, this could be pure chaos.”
First of all, this makes Daniel Bryan look an idiot. He had two trios that wanted to fight one another but instead of just booking them in a trios match, he booked them to all stand around ringside for his title match… which also means trusting these two gangs of heels- one of which has been on a violent rampage- to not take liberties with their roles as lumberjacks in a match for two other women they dislike (and while one of the women in the violent gang has insisted that she deserves to be in the title match).
Secondly- and more problematically- as Corey Graves’ statement makes clear, WWE thinks that this certainty of “chaos” at ringside in this match is a big selling point. Or, put another way, they think that telling me that there is going to be almost certainly be a non-decisive finish in this title match will make me want to see it more than when it was just a singles match. That’s like f*cking TNA logic right there!
This segment is the one that finally has me buying into the theory that the new female call-ups were done not with any real plan in mind but rather for the sole purpose of having more women on the main roster so that they can do the rumored women’s Royal Rumble. If they had any sort of real plan for them, they wouldn’t have had Ruby get beaten up so badly and they wouldn’t have thrown this stupid Lumberjack Match together, which is yet another time they’re shove all of the women in the same big segment, and the way they’ve often done it (either in title matches or as a #1 contendership match to set up the PPV) seems to indicate that they aren’t planning more than a month or so ahead. And that’s insane because this is the time of year that you should be locking in your WrestleMania plans and starting to figure out the nitty-gritty of how you’re going to get there.
It’s such a waste, too, because the pieces are all right there: Ruby Riott is a great promo also happens to be the leader of a gang of vicious heels. How is she not your big bad?
On this show they should have given us Charlotte vs. Carmella, with Charlotte winning cleanly but the Riott Squad assaulting both of them afterwards, with Charlotte taking the brunt of the beating, especially to her back. Later in the show Nattie cuts a promo saying that she is confident that she’ll win the belt from Charlotte on the PPV. On Sunday not only does Nattie win the belt from Charlotte via Sharpshooter, but Charlotte suffers a worked injury to her back.
Next week on SD we get Nattie having a celebration and a medical report telling us that Charlotte will be out for a while. The week after that Nattie will have another celebration, not only for winning the title but also for “vanquishing” Charlotte and putting her out. This celebration will be interrupted by the Riott Squad, who will say that they were the ones who did the major damage to Charlotte and say that Nattie wouldn’t be champion right now if not for them. Nattie tries to suck up to them and give them “partial credit” for injuring Charlotte, but insists that she would have been champion anyway. The Riott Squad would then assault Nattie. Ruby would use her pinning Charlotte on TV two weeks ago to argue that she deserves a title shot (and Nattie can turn things around on her by claiming that Ruby never would have won that match is she hadn’t walked out on Charlotte and Naomi), leading to the Ruby winning the title at the Rumble. The next night on Raw Ruby promises a “celebration” of her own, “Riott Squad style,” which turns out to mean beating the sh*t out of Nattie and putting her on the shelf.
For the February PPV you can either give the title shot to the returning Naomi (and play off the fact that Naomi won the belt for the first time at this PPV last year, and also that the last time she returned from an injury to challenge for a title was last yea’rs Mania, where she also won the belt).
As we begin our built to Mania, Charlotte makes her big return and gets over on the Riott Squad her first week back, but the second week back they beat her down. They are beating her down the third week as well until Nattie makes her big return and saves Charlotte, and we build to a three-way at Mania where you can either have Charlotte get the big babyface win and win her belt back, or you can have Ruby keep the belt and still be the big bad after Mania.


At this point we are over half an hour into the show, and the only thing that has happened is that Naomi returned.

DANIEL BRYAN BACKSTAGE- He’s on the phone talking to Shane, who once again can’t be bothered to show up to work, seemingly just because he doesn’t feel like it. It took me two seconds to come up with the cover story that Shane has been called before the Board of Directors for a hearing as to why he seems to be so blatantly stacking the deck against two of his employees in an attempt to get them fired, and although they have accepted his reasons, they have removed him from power until after the PPV match. Two seconds. A third second gave me the idea that you could even continue the Raw vs. Smackdown thing (you know… that rivalry that you just spent an entire month telling me that everyone cares so much about, to the point of being able to put aside their differences with their hated rivals to conduct gang-style assaults but now hasn’t been mentioned since?) by saying that Hunter was the one who called for the inquiry, and at Steph’s request. But no. WWE “Creative” couldn’t even put two seconds worth of thought into explaining why Shane hasn’t showed up to work.
Bryan assures Shane that he will make sure that everything stays under control during the main event by being at ringside to do guest commentary. Owens & Zayn drop off one of their anti-Shane flyers, then leave. Bryan looks at it thoughtfully.

DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. BARON CORBIN- DUD!
Bobby Roode is on commentary for this match, which makes it the second straight match with someone on guest commentary, with the only other match announced for tonight also having someone on guest commentary. This is also the second straight week they’re having someone in this feud do guest commentary for the match between the other two. Again… these people work in a department titled “Creative.”
They did a double-down. Then the guy on commentary got into the ring and attacked both guys to cause a DQ. In other words, THE EXACT SAME THING THEY DID LAST WEEK! Wait. No. Sorry. It’s not exactly the same thing. It’s actually worse, because this time the guy who did it was the nominal babyface, and he hit his pose first, just to come off like as much of a douchebag as possible. If I was Hunter and they had shown me this script for the show, I would have taken my sledgehammer to the desk in their conference room, then told them that if they ever came to me with something this bad again I would shove the sledgehammer up each and every one of their asses. And not handle-first, either.


FASHION FILES- apparently they are streaming an episode of the Fashion Files on various social media platforms right now. Yes, right now. As in DURING THE SHOW. These morons are actively counter-programming themselves. Not even WCW ever did that (to my knowledge, anyway, though I wouldn’t put it past them).
The Ascension were talking to Breeze & Fandango. Yes, the very same Ascension who were murdered with poison gas a few weeks ago. So if they’re not really dead then we’re forced to ask: what, within kayfabe, are the Fashion Files? They’re clearly not kayfabe real events like everything else on the show is, so what are they? Are they Breezango and The Ascension doing sketch comedy and Bryan and Shane are letting them waste time on their wrestling show with it?

BLUDGEON BROTHERS SQUASH- DUD!
We are almost an hour into the show and we have had zero real matches.

They’re doing the Bludgeon Brothers vs. Breezango at the PPV. They want me to care about guys on their second reboot (maybe third, if you want to count their second run with Bray separately) doing squashes facing off against comedy geeks. This match is getting a spot on the PPV, but they had to shove the women all in one segment by pointlessly turning a title match into a gimmick match designed to give us a f*ck finish rather than booking two trios against each other in a six-woman tag.

Then we got a graphic telling us that “up next” would be Owens & Zayn occupying Smackdown. Yes. They’re trying to reproduce a kayfabe spontaneous protest by having it be an officially sanctioned and scheduled segment on the show. Here’s an idea: why not start to show your dumb Fashion Files crap, then have to cut away back to the ring because Owens and Zayn and their followers are taking over the ring? That would not only make this supposedly spontaneous and unauthorized protest actually feel spontaneous and unauthorized, but you could also let the fans know that our cameras were still recording the Fashion Files while this was happening, and we’ll upload it to social media later, so that people who want to see this sh*t have to go to your social media to see it like you want, but it doesn’t interrupt the show for those of us who hate it?

We’re now an hour into the show. We’ve had eleven minutes of wrestling, including two DQs and a squash, and the only thing of note that has happened is that Naomi returned from injury after missing a grand total of one show.

OCCUPY SMACKDOWN- fine
Owens & Zayn come out and cut their big promo and make all of their totally reasonable points. Then they called for people to come out and join them and no one did. Eventually Bryan comes out. They think he’s joining them but instead he tells them they’re not like him because “the Yes Movement was never about me. It was about [the fans].” These guys managed to make this work. Bryan told them that he would make sure that the match at the PPV would be fair by making himself a second guest referee. Thus, over an hour into the go-home show, we finally got our first event that will have any sort of consequences at the PPV.

AIDEN ENGLISH & RUSEV vs. THE USOS- 3.5/10
New Day were on commentary, so they’re going back to this YET AGAIN. Why can’t they just have someone cut a f*cking promo telling that they’re going to win at the PPV?
English sang a song again. It was the same joke as last week, which wasn’t actually funny last week (I liked it because it was an effective use of a gimmick to plug new merch and went on only as long as it needed to and no longer). Then the Usos cut their promo. Then Benjamin & Gable showed up and cut a promo. The Usos were meh. Shelton & Gable were atrocious.
New Day rambled incessantly and insufferably on commentary while Gable & Benjamin watched from the ramp. The match was short, but managed to be the best match of the night so far. English pinned one of the Usos after a superkick from Rusev, then English’s terrible-looking finish (I think Adam Rose tried it for a few weeks early in 2015).

RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS AJ STYLES- AJ starts to cut a promo telling us that unlike Jinder he doesn’t need help to win his matches. Then Jinder jumped him from behind and choked out and told him that he would beat him at the PPV. Finally a good angle!

They announced Ryder vs. Mojo for the pre-show, and they don’t even get any sort of go-home angle.

RENEE YOUNG ASKS ORTON & NAKAMURA FOR THEIR THOUGHTS ON BRYAN BEING A SECOND REFEREE IN THER PPV MATCH- great promo by Orton. Nakamura just said “yup,” which worked because he’s Nakamura.

KEVIN OWENS (w/Sami Zayn) vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA (w/Randy Orton)- 6.25/10
Bryan was on commentary for this match. In a wonderful exchange, Byron Saxton asked Bryan how he could make himself a second referee in a match he didn’t even “know how that’s going to work” (I guess Byron has never seen a match with a multiple referees stip. You know… like the main event of WrestleMania). In a response that I’m sure will get him some heat, Bryan said “we do a lot of things where we don’t know how they’re going to work here in WWE, but we always figure them out.”

Byron Saxton would later go on to say things on commentary that I think had Bryan and Graves ready to murder him out of frustration. Basically what happened is that Saxton asked Bryan how he thought Orton would feel about him being the guest referee even though they feuded in the past. Bryan responded that he hasn’t forgotten that, but he also hasn’t forgotten Steen trying to gouge his eye out when he had a detached retina (PWG’s Roger Dorn Night, for those who want to check it out), to which Saxton tried to say “yeah, but that didn’t happen in the WWE” which set Dragon off. He’s lucky he didn’t wind up getting shoot elbowed in the face.
Corey Graves would eventually tell Saxton that he was “bringing matches to a napalm fight.”
Dragon would eventually go off even more and tell Saxton “you don’t understand how this business actually works. You just believe that ‘whatever they tell me to say, I’m just gonna say it. Whatever they tell me to think, I’m gonna think it.’”
Anyway, the match was going well. Then we got a ref bump and Bryan took the referee’s shirt took over his refereeing duties. Orton and Zayn started to brawl on the outside. Zayn managed to distract Nakamura and eat the Kinshasa meant Owens, allowing Owens to hit the pop-up powerbomb for the win. Bryan was very much in a “let them play” mode, although it should be noted that no one actually did anything that should have warranted a DQ, either. Owens cut a promo after the match on which he said he and Zayn were the best and no one would ever take their contracts away from them.

There have been episodes of Smackdown that have been stupider than this one, but this is certainly the most boring episode of Smackdown I can ever remember seeing, and has got to be one of the worst in the ring as well. The first hour and a half of this show had a grand total eighteen minutes of wrestling, including two DQs- one of which was a repeat of the same thing they did in that feud last week- a squash, and a seven minute tag team match. Of tonight’s five matches, only the squash did not feature a guest commentator, and as I have stressed many times in this review, the only two things of note that happened were Dragon making himself a second referee for the PPV match, and Naomi returning, and only one of those actually matters for the upcoming PPV that this was supposed to be a go-home show for. This felt like the same angle over and over again, both internally in this show, and with what we have gotten over the past few weeks. This all but seals my vote for Smackdown for the Worst TV Show of the Year… and as I’ve stressed before, this is a year in which I mostly gave up on both TNA and ROH TV. Dragon and Graves going off on Byron was entertaining though, and at least I didn’t have to hear Shane run his mouth tonight.


Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
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FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
TNA Victory Road 2008
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
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KILLdozer
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Re: BRM Almost Dies of Boredom & Frustration While Watching the 12/12/2017 Smackdown

Post by KILLdozer » Dec 14th, '17, 07:32

Maybe that'll finally be what it takes to get Saxton off of commentary lol.
When they come, they'll come at what you love.

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Big Red Machine
Posts: 19804
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 15:12
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Re: BRM Almost Dies of Boredom & Frustration While Watching the 12/12/2017 Smackdown

Post by Big Red Machine » Dec 14th, '17, 09:28

KILLdozer wrote:
Dec 14th, '17, 07:32
Maybe that'll finally be what it takes to get Saxton off of commentary lol.
More likely is that it will get Bryan in trouble, which I think is exactly what Bryan wants.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
WWE in 2005
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
TNA Victory Road 2008
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
ECW Guilty As Charged 1999

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KILLdozer
Posts: 3771
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 22:54
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Location: Ocean Springs,MS.

Re: BRM Almost Dies of Boredom & Frustration While Watching the 12/12/2017 Smackdown

Post by KILLdozer » Dec 14th, '17, 14:15

Big Red Machine wrote:
Dec 14th, '17, 09:28
KILLdozer wrote:
Dec 14th, '17, 07:32
Maybe that'll finally be what it takes to get Saxton off of commentary lol.
More likely is that it will get Bryan in trouble, which I think is exactly what Bryan wants.
I moreso meant it'll show exactly unsuited and horrible he is for the position lol.
When they come, they'll come at what you love.

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