BRM Reviews the 1/2/2018 Smackdown

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 1/2/2018 Smackdown

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 4th, '18, 02:55

OPENING SEGMENT-
AJ cuts a promo, then Dragon comes out, then Shane. Shane apologizes to AJ for playing a part in his loss last week. It’s nice to see Shane actually apologize for something, and he even seemed sincere about this one, too. Then he goes back to being unlikeable by dismissing accusations of himself having a personal vendetta against Owens & Zayn as a distortion of facts, but accuses Bryan of having a “kinship” with them. Well… yeah. And so does AJ, too, I’d warrant. Similar career journeys and all. Being his usual bumbling self, Shane actually first said that Bryan had a “likeness” to Owens & Zayn, so Shane should either get his eyes checked or make sure he knows what words mean before he uses them.
He then asked Bryan if he is really, as people have supposedly been saying, “turning the YES! Movement into the YEP! Movement.” Even in a company that routinely requires its performers to say dumb things, this sounded extremely f*cking dumb. And the worst part is that they think this sounds good and catchy.
Shane said that because Bryan wouldn’t be willing to prevent Owens from interfering in the AJ vs. Zayn match, he himself will have to be in AJ’s corner tonight in order to do so. He’s not going to bar Owens from ringside and tell him that if he so much as appears on the hard-cam during the match his ass will be suspended for months. He doesn’t book a cage match. He’s going to come down to ringside himself, which is essentially going to recreate the situation that caused AJ to lose last week. So basically, Shane has learned nothing from his past mistakes. It’s either that or the idea here is that Shane is choosing this course of action that could very likely lead to a repeat of last week’s mistakes because his personal vendetta against Owens & Zayn is getting in the way of his ability to make good decisions... which should make Shane the heel. He’s Bryan’s boss, after all. He doesn’t need Bryan to lay down the law in such a way that prevents Owens from interfering; he can just lay it down himself. But instead he has chosen the only option that will give him an excuse to put his hands on Owens, regardless of the effect it might have on his career.
Bryan responded to this by ordering Owens to be at ringside for the match, which was kind of odd. He also declared that he would be at ringside. Shane says that they are going to “start 2018 off with a bang” and Bryan started a “YES!” chant. My frame of mind was more in mind with AJ’s who was quite unhappy about this because I really don’t want to see a f*ck finish in the main event.

WWE SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: The Usos(c) vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin- 5.75/10
The match was short and a big chunk of it took place during the commercial. Gable and Benjamin won, but apparently the other Uso was legal… and then not only did a second referee come out after the match to tell this to the first referee, but they then checked a replay up on the TitanTron. WHAT THE F*CK?! Why doesn’t this happen every time there is a blown call?
Anyway, the match was restarted, though the Usos pretty much jumped the bell on Gable & Benjamin. The Usos won the match a few minutes later.

RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS KEVIN OWENS & SAMI ZAYN- good promo by Owens.

TYLER BREEZE & FANDANGO vs. THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS- no rating.
The Bludgeon Brothers jumped the bell on Breeze & Fandango. The Ascension ran out to try to make the save but they got beat up, too. I laughed.

NEW DAY BACKSTAGE- Xavier implied that the Freebird Rule will apply to the US Title if he wins it. Aiden English and Rusev showed up to be mean to them to build up the Xavier vs. English US Title Tournament match.

MOJO RAWLEY PROMO- a meh promo to build up their US Title Tournament match, which will apparently happen next week instead of this week like I had assumed.

RUSEV SINGS FOR AIDEN ENGLISH- he was wonderfully bad heel singer.

WWE UNITED STATES TITLE TOURNAMENT FIRST-ROUND MATCH: Aiden English (w/Rusev) vs. Xavier Woods (w/The New Day)- 4.75/10
Woods won.

KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS NATTIE, TAMINA, LANA, & CARMELLA-
They’re back to using that awful “Welcoming Committee” name. This was SOOOOO much better than what we usually get with women backstage on Smackdown. It wasn’t great or anything, but it was so much better than usual.


THE RIOTT SQUAD vs. NATALYA, CARMELLA, & TAMINA (w/Lana)- 4.5/10
Sarah Logan pinned Tamina with a goofy-looking handstand into a knee drop to the back of the head. I know it sounds cool, but it wasn’t.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Ruby Riott cut a promo in which she did an excellent job with the material they gave her. If it wasn’t for her use of the phrase “each and every one of you,” I wouldn’t have known she didn’t come up with it herself. She then said that they were going to be in the Rumble. Charlotte came out and gave a Disney speech about the magical power of dreams, which is appropriate for a show in Orlando.
Charlotte told the heels that “actions have consequences” and said that she was about to bring out someone who wanted to teach them a lesson. I figured this would be the big return of Becky Lynch, who the Riott Squad injured the night they debuted and we haven’t seen since. Instead, Naomi came out. What was the point of that big intro? Naomi is on the show every week!
Oh. Okay. Now they’re doing a separate thing for Becky. If these two want to beat the Riott Squad up so badly, why did they waste time with Charlotte giving them introductions and then both doing their entrances on the stage? They finally charge at the heels and we get yet another big schmoz in the Women’s Division. Snore. Can we have an actual story, please?

BARON CORBIN PROMO- he is entering himself into the Royal Rumble. He “can’t wait” for the Royal Rumble. He said that a lot. It was not good.

SAMI ZAYN (w/Kevin Owens) vs. AJ STYLES (w/Shane McMahon)- 7.5/10
Daniel Bryan was also at ringside, trying to keep Owens and Shane apart. Owens distracted the referee when AJ had Zayn pinned. Well after the fact, Shane comes over and shoves Owens like a total dick. Then, like a total idiot, he turns his back on Owens to order the referee to eject him, which was the same thing that lead to Owens beating AJ last week. Bryan then demands that Shane leave, too (to even the playing field). Meanwhile, Owens tries to interfere but gets knocked down by AJ, but this allows Zayn to hit him with the Helluva Kick and get the win.

AJ STYLES PROMO- he’s tired of all of this bullsh*t so he says that he’ll face Owens and Zayn at the same time in a handicap match. Bryan decides to not only book this for the Royal Rumble, but also make it for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Bryan came off like a total heel here (he even had a big grin on his face while making the announcement). This felt like something that was done just to make Bryan seem like a heel. I am not looking forward to this at all.

Smackdown starts 2018 the same way it spent most of 2017: with a bad show… but at least there was nothing that made me want to punch a hole in the wall, so maybe it will be a better year for Smackdown. Then again, it’d be pretty hard not to.


Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/2/2018 Smackdown

Post by KILLdozer » Jan 4th, '18, 12:43

I almost feel like they've second guessed Carmella winning the Mitb case and now they just DON'T WANT TO do anything with it. It's become so boring and ridiculous when you're always intrigued for the possibility of it , every single possible time, only for literally nothing to happen every time.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/2/2018 Smackdown

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 4th, '18, 12:55

KILLdozer wrote:
Jan 4th, '18, 12:43
I almost feel like they've second guessed Carmella winning the Mitb case and now they just DON'T WANT TO do anything with it. It's become so boring and ridiculous when you're always intrigued for the possibility of it , every single possible time, only for literally nothing to happen every time.
Agreed on both fronts. I think whatever they wanted to do with Carmella and the belt was supposed to be tied in to Ellsworth but then they decided to switch directions with Ellsworth so that mean those plans had to change. The problem then become that I don't think they wanted to put the belt on her alone but also didn't want the first female MITB winner to fail her cash-in (and/or maybe also didn't want both MITB winners to fail in the same year) so they haven't just had her cash in an lose yet, either.

The teased cash-in thing is one of the things that bugs me the most about WWE because it shows how limited their storytelling mindset is. Their goal- much like TNA's when it was at it's most desperate- seems to always be to create intrigue, with the thinking that a supposedly intriguing storyline will magically bring back lapsed fans. Combine that with their belief that the best way to get an idea over is to repeatedly bash you over the head with it, and we've got MITB teases what feels like every time the champ is down and/or Carmella is out there with her (especially in the first two or three months after MITB) and Carmella has to mention it in every single promo.
This might come as a shock to some people, but the "surprise" style of MITB cash-in works best when it' surprising, and the more cash-in teases you do, the more people start to expect it any time the champ is down, so it's less of a surprise (and might even result in a smaller pop when the person does come out because some chunk of the people will be assuming that this will be another false start).
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/2/2018 Smackdown

Post by KILLdozer » Jan 4th, '18, 13:34

Why can't we just have a story revolving around the Mitb holder and Champion actually having competitive matches against one another at the same time, or even with a 3 person mixed in?
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/2/2018 Smackdown

Post by XIV » Jan 5th, '18, 01:18

Big Red Machine wrote:
Jan 4th, '18, 12:55
KILLdozer wrote:
Jan 4th, '18, 12:43
I almost feel like they've second guessed Carmella winning the Mitb case and now they just DON'T WANT TO do anything with it. It's become so boring and ridiculous when you're always intrigued for the possibility of it , every single possible time, only for literally nothing to happen every time.
Agreed on both fronts. I think whatever they wanted to do with Carmella and the belt was supposed to be tied in to Ellsworth but then they decided to switch directions with Ellsworth so that mean those plans had to change. The problem then become that I don't think they wanted to put the belt on her alone but also didn't want the first female MITB winner to fail her cash-in (and/or maybe also didn't want both MITB winners to fail in the same year) so they haven't just had her cash in an lose yet, either.

The teased cash-in thing is one of the things that bugs me the most about WWE because it shows how limited their storytelling mindset is. Their goal- much like TNA's when it was at it's most desperate- seems to always be to create intrigue, with the thinking that a supposedly intriguing storyline will magically bring back lapsed fans. Combine that with their belief that the best way to get an idea over is to repeatedly bash you over the head with it, and we've got MITB teases what feels like every time the champ is down and/or Carmella is out there with her (especially in the first two or three months after MITB) and Carmella has to mention it in every single promo.
This might come as a shock to some people, but the "surprise" style of MITB cash-in works best when it' surprising, and the more cash-in teases you do, the more people start to expect it any time the champ is down, so it's less of a surprise (and might even result in a smaller pop when the person does come out because some chunk of the people will be assuming that this will be another false start).
The problem with MITB is coming up with new angles for it and new ways for it to be done. I would be interested to see somebody win the MITB match and then just not carry the briefcase around and phase out mentioning it... a heel would be ideal for this and then 6/7 months later, the champ is down and out comes Mr or Miss MITB to cash. This brings back the element of surprise. You could even use it in the promo that follows.
"While you're looking at Bop, I'll hit you with Bang. You day see that coming"

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Big Red Machine
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/2/2018 Smackdown

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 5th, '18, 02:22

XIV wrote:
Jan 5th, '18, 01:18
Big Red Machine wrote:
Jan 4th, '18, 12:55
KILLdozer wrote:
Jan 4th, '18, 12:43
I almost feel like they've second guessed Carmella winning the Mitb case and now they just DON'T WANT TO do anything with it. It's become so boring and ridiculous when you're always intrigued for the possibility of it , every single possible time, only for literally nothing to happen every time.
Agreed on both fronts. I think whatever they wanted to do with Carmella and the belt was supposed to be tied in to Ellsworth but then they decided to switch directions with Ellsworth so that mean those plans had to change. The problem then become that I don't think they wanted to put the belt on her alone but also didn't want the first female MITB winner to fail her cash-in (and/or maybe also didn't want both MITB winners to fail in the same year) so they haven't just had her cash in an lose yet, either.

The teased cash-in thing is one of the things that bugs me the most about WWE because it shows how limited their storytelling mindset is. Their goal- much like TNA's when it was at it's most desperate- seems to always be to create intrigue, with the thinking that a supposedly intriguing storyline will magically bring back lapsed fans. Combine that with their belief that the best way to get an idea over is to repeatedly bash you over the head with it, and we've got MITB teases what feels like every time the champ is down and/or Carmella is out there with her (especially in the first two or three months after MITB) and Carmella has to mention it in every single promo.
This might come as a shock to some people, but the "surprise" style of MITB cash-in works best when it' surprising, and the more cash-in teases you do, the more people start to expect it any time the champ is down, so it's less of a surprise (and might even result in a smaller pop when the person does come out because some chunk of the people will be assuming that this will be another false start).
The problem with MITB is coming up with new angles for it and new ways for it to be done. I would be interested to see somebody win the MITB match and then just not carry the briefcase around and phase out mentioning it... a heel would be ideal for this and then 6/7 months later, the champ is down and out comes Mr or Miss MITB to cash. This brings back the element of surprise. You could even use it in the promo that follows.
Coming up with angles for MITB is relatively easy. The trick is just to ask yourself what the specific set-up of someone being allowed a title match in any time and place of their choosing allows you to do. What stories does that let you tell- or at least tell coming out of it. That's the key to at least letting the same physical angles feel different

That is certainly a unique way to take it, though.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
WWE in 2005
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
Beyond Flesh
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
ECW Guilty As Charged 1999

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