BRM Reviews the 1/30/2018 Smackdown (bad)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 1/30/2018 Smackdown (bad)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 31st, '18, 13:11

OPENING SEGMENT- meh
Nakamura comes out and gives a victory speech, talking everyone he kneed in the face at the Rumble and how he will beat AJ for the WWE World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania. Owens & Zayn came out and complained that they got screwed at Royal Rumble because Owens got pinned even though Zayn was legal. Remember the last time that happened on Smackdown (less than a month ago!) and how another referee immediately came out and used instant replay to overturn the decision? Why didn’t that happen at the Rumble? Is this just sh*tty booking, or am I supposed to believe that Shane really is the vindictive jackass abusing his power like these heels claim? You know what? Even if the latter is what they’re going for nit’s still bad booking because Owens & Zayn should have been specifically told to mention that.
Owens & Zayn want another title shot. Nakamura says that they’re losers and AJ is a winner. AJ comes out and proposes a tag team match, playa. Owens & Zayn troll them before declining the match so AJ and Nakamura punch them off the apron. Seriously, though… a much better way to end this segment would have been with Bryan or Shane actually coming out and booking the damn match!

FATAL FOUR-WAY MATCH FOR A SHOT AT THE WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP: Zack Ryder vs. Jinder Mahal (w/Sunil Singh) vs. Kofi Kingston (w/The New Day) vs. Rusev (w/Aiden English)- 6.25/10
So this #1 contendership match has two guys who haven’t won a single match since being eliminated from the tournament to crown this very US Champion, a guy who hasn’t won a single televised match in a month and a half (Rusev), and Kofi, who has been on the winning end of a few tag matches, but hasn’t won a singles match in almost three months. Can we please try to build someone up before having a #1 contendership match? Or at least use guys who don’t make the title seem like a joke?
Hell… why isn’t Ziggler the #1 contender? He is the former champion. If he’s not getting his rematch because he vacated the belt and walked out of the company then just freakin’ say so! They seem to be on a mission to make this look like a jobber belt.
Before this match they showed us a bunch of still from the Rumble, including Ziggler making his return… and the announcers made no comment about it whatsoever. Also before this match got started- EVEN THOUGH THEY HAD ALREADY SHOWED US ALL OF THE WRESTLERS IN THE RING- they cut to a backstage segment with Owens, Zayn, and Bryan which I will get into below. But first… the match:
After these guys all presumably stood around scratching their asses for over two minutes while the fans watched a segment on the TitanTron, these guys finally got to have their match. Again: only one of the four wrestlers got his entrance shown, and then they all had to stand around and wait for the real stars to have their talking segment before they could start wrestling. What a bunch of jobbers.
Bobby Roode was predictably on commentary because that’s the only thing WWE knows how to do. Big E. was throwing pancakes at Corey Graves even though Corey had clearly indicated that he did not want Big E. to do so. How does this make Big E. a babyface? He’s such an asshole. Dumb sh*t happened on the outside with the seconds (and third, in New Day’s case) to get them ejected.
The match was fine. Rusev made Kofi tap, then had a stare-down with Roode. Their title match is next week. I really hope WWE is prepared to make Rusev a babyface and put the belt on him because otherwise they’re just setting themselves up for yet another situation where the fans are cheering for a heel and getting pissed because he’s not getting pushed.

OWENS, ZAYN & BRYAN BACKSTAGE- bad
Owens & Zayn complain about AJ trying to book a match. Bryan says that AJ can’t book matches, but he can so he books the match anyway. Owens & Zayn then complain to Bryan about the finish at the Royal Rumble. Bryan tells them that “the referee’s decision is final.” No it’s not! If the referee’s decision is always final they how did that other ref come out and get the first one to overturn the title change in the tag title match between The Usos and Gable & Benjamin that I referenced earlier?
Bryan then says that he watched the footage from a bunch of different angles and “the referee made a mistake.” Okay. Well then it’s your job to fix it, isn’t it? Isn’t enforcing justice what babyface authority figures do? So book a rematch!
Instead, Bryan is a dick and strings Owens & Zayn along and makes them think they’re getting a rematch next week but instead books them to face each other next week with only the winner getting a rematch. That’s bullsh*t. You booked them in a title match and they lost because the ref blew the call, so they should both get rematches (and preferably under the exact same stipulations)! To cap this all off, we heard a weird voice shouting in the background during the end of this.

USOS PROMO- they told us they were coming out next. The words “day one” and “on lock” appeared on the screen in big blue letters when they were uttered. This was like the sort of thing you’d do in someone’s TitanTron video, not in an actual promo on the TV show.

FASHION FILES- Gable and Benjamin show up and bury Breezango and the ghosts of The Ascension for being clowns and losers obsessed with social media, so I assume this was supposed to be them turning babyface, right? There was a challenge laid out for a match tonight.

IN-RING USOS PROMO- meh
They ran down the list of all of the teams they had beaten, saying “lockdown” each time, and whenever they did, a goofy graphic of a prison cell door would slam shut on the screen. Do they think this stuff looks cool? Because this is stuff that any loser can do with an app on their phone. It’s stuff so basic that even I know it’s common and basic and my phone is too old to be able to do any of that crap.
After months and months of saying the phrase, then finally explain to us that “Day one-ish” is not about selling t-shirts but rather about being real and overcoming struggles, and they assured us that we all emerge from our struggles stronger than we were before. They said they were the best tag team in the company.
This was the type of promo where you expect someone to come out and interrupt them (especially because they weren’t wrong about having beaten pretty much everyone there is to beat). The Bludgeon Brothers were the one who came out, but at least they were nice enough to wait until the Usos were done. Or maybe they’re not interested in the belts and they’re just coming out for their match, because that’s what Tom Phillips was saying when they came out.

THE BLUDEGON BROTHERS vs. TWO JOBBERS- squash
One of the jobbers was Rory Gulak but they were never officially given names. You’d think WWE would have thrown the Philly fans a bone and named them something along the lines of Tom Belichick and Bill Brady to give the fans some fun.

DANIEL BRYAN PROMO- horrendous
This was another one of those selfie promos that WWE has become obsessed with over the course of the past few weeks. Bryan shot this at what had to be the least flattering angle possible, so he look like… well… a goat.
He told us that “on Smackdown Live we are “always exploring for new and different ways to the make the show more interesting for our fans and more engaging for our Superstars, which is why I’m proud to announce, for the first time ever, the official Smackdown Top Ten List.” This means that the wrestlers will be able to vote for “who they think is the most deserving of future opportunities. Criteria include most talented, locker room leadership, and who has the most athletic skill on the roster.”
Bryan says that neither he nor Shane will have a vote because “this isn’t about us. This is about the Smackdown locker room having their voices heard.” Also, you can’t vote for yourself.
This is SOOOOOOOOOOO dumb. First of all, you need to make the show “more engaging for [your] Superstars?” They’d better be f*cking engaged in it already because THIS IS HOW THEY FEED THEY FAMILIES. If they’re not engaged in it, FIRE THEM. And speaking of people not engaged in their jobs, this show has two authority figures who can’t even be bothered to show up to work a quarter of the time, and now they’re passing part of their job off to someone else.
Next, why are we assuming that the wrestlers will vote impartially? “You can’t vote for yourself” is a decent rule, but what’s to stop, say Owens and Zayn or Rusev and English or Breezango or New Day from voting for each other every time, whether they deserve it or not. Hell, both Ruby Riott and Jinder seem to have two votes already locked up for themselves every single week! And I wouldn’t be shocked if The Ascension vote for Breeze and/or Fandango every week to try to curry their favor so they will be friends with them.
And let’s have a look at the criteria, shall we: “most talented,” “locker room leadership” and “athletic ability.” Do you want to know what I DON’T see on this list? “WINS WRESTLING MATCHES.” Shouldn’t that be the major factor in determining who gets an opportunity? A quantitative measure of merit via success at your job? This sh*t smacks of every time TNA tried any sort of rankings concept and promised that this would make things more sports-like but it always failed, and this will fail for the same reason: The criteria are nebulous and thus it’s impossible for fans to understand how the things we see on the TV show might affect the voting, and if we don’t understand what effect the events of the show have on the voting then the results will always feel random at best and at worst (as was always the case in TNA) like these rankings are just an excuse for the company to randomly give someone a title shot even though they’ve done nothing to deserve it, which makes them feel like bullsh*t.
A good plot device serves to drive the plot in a certain direction. An example of this would be ROH’s old Pick 6 Challenge, which had simple and relied entirely on who won and who lost, thus giving the matches more meaning than they otherwise would have had, even in a match where two main event wrestlers faced off against each other. A bad plot device is something that feels like an excuse that exists for the convenience of the plot, such as the last time TNA tried to institute a rankings system, in which we were given no rules there would regularly be situations where a guy would win his match clean and drop spots while guys who lost their matches clean would go up spots, simply based on where the story needed them to be in the rankings that day. I have no doubt that this will be one of the latter and not one of the former.
And, of course, to make all of this even worse, as Bryan was speaking a few important words from each sentence would pop up on the screen like in The Usos’ promo from earlier. It’s like closed captioning, but designed to be as obnoxious and intrusive as possible.

But, Mr. General Manager, if you want to know how to make the show more interesting to fans, here’s a suggestion: MAKE WINS AND LOSSES MATTER. If I know that the result of a match is going to matter, I’m going to be a lot more interested in it than if I know it won’t, and you’ve spent the entire year making the results of matches feel totally irrelevant by giving guys title shots or #1 contendership matches or for no reason at all, even if they are on a losing streak, while not giving title shots to people who have done things like beaten the champion or been screwed out of a title match and deserve a rematch.

SHANE MCMAHON, BARON CORBIN, & TYE DILLINGER BACKSTAGE-
Dillinger shows up in Shane’s office (Shane was on his phone telling someone how great the Royal Rumble was. Of course.) and begins a grand speech about how “the Royal Rumble was an opportunity to distinguish myself” or something along those lines and “it was taken from me” and blah blah blah. Instead of trying to give a f*cking inaugural address, why don’t you sound like a real human who actually CARES that he got ASSAULTED FROM BEHIND, TWO-ON-ONE AND HAD A MAJOR OPPORTUNITY STOLEN FROM HIM! Be ANGRY!
Before Tye can finish reacting all of Act II of Antigone, Baron Corbin comes in to complain to Shane about this new Top Ten List. I laughed my ass of when Tye tried to force his way back into the camera shot and Corbin said “you’re still here?” because Tye Dillinger is, in fact, a complete and total afterthought. Shane books Corbin vs. Dillinger for tonight. Corbin leaves, and then we fade out with Dillinger not resuming trying to make his case to Shane about getting screwed out of his place in the Royal Rumble.

RONDA VIDEO PACKAGE- this was really just stills of Ronda showing up and pointing to the WrestleMania sign, intercut with press clippings about Ronda signing with WWE. One of them from Newsweek BLATANTLY BROKE KAYFABE, talking about how “WWE storylines can change on the fly,” and talking about “early rumors” from Cageside Seats (who I’m sure were elated for the free plug) that Ronda would face Charlotte.

WOMEN’S SEGMENT- bad
Renee interviewed Charlotte in the ring. She asked one question and then Charlotte grabbed the mic and just started cutting a promo so why was Renee even out here?
The first sentence out of her mouth was about how proud she was of all of the women for making history and that she wishes she could have been in it, then puts over Ronda.
The Riott Squad interrupted her and Ruby cut what would have otherwise been an excellent promo except that she either didn’t listen to what Charlotte had been saying or is so deluded that she misinterpreted it in ways that make her seem out of touch with reality.
The Riott Squad attacked and Charlotte fought them off at first but then they came back and beat the crap out of her. None of Charlotte’s friends came out to help her. Hell… forget her friends; even her enemies like the Welcoming Committee have come out just to fight the Riott Squad in the past, but I guess none of them care about that feud anymore even though it never blew off.
The Riott Squad head up the ramp and Carmella came out to chase in her Money in the Bank contract. Or not. While the ref was giving the ring announcer the briefcase, Carmella tried to kick Charlotte a dropkick to the face but Charlotte avoided it and Carmella dropkicked the referee out of the ring. To give credit where it’s due, this was at least a creative and different way to have the cash-in not happen, but I still don’t understand why a different referee didn’t simply come out. Even Shane or Bryan would have worked, and those two should be watching everything that happens on their show.
Anyway, Charlotte got up and Carmella ran away so we got YET ANOTHER false cash-in.

AJ & NAKAMURA BACKSTAGE- Nakamura was kind of a dick for no reason.

MIXED MATCH CHALLENGE PROMOS- Sami Zayn was a complete and total babyface here and appears to be on perfectly good terms with Becky. This just makes it look like Shane actually is a f*cking dick and Owens and Zayn are in the right. Both promos were good, although I didn’t need their new “words on the screen” gimmick invading a promo from my tow favorite talkers on the entire roster. Also, I think they took my advice and Alexa legitimate was standing on a counter.
As an aside, which idiot booked Zayn in the main event of tonight’s show when he also has to wrestle in the Mixed Match Challenge?


RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS CARMELLA- she claims things went exactly the way she wanted them to because she wasn’t actually planning on cashing in because she had a broken nail. This was a fine lying heel promo, but I think the best part of it was Renee clearly understand that Carmella was full of sh*t and quickly cutting in to wrap up the interview the moment Carmella stopped talking.

TYE DILLINGER vs. BARON CORBIN- 4.75/10
Dillinger’s entrance happened before the aforementioned interview. Do they realize how dumb doing this makes them look? Corbin beat Dillinger clean.

RUSEV & AIDEN ENGLISH PROMO- a promo shot on a phone.

BOBBY ROODE PROMO- short, sweet, and great. He’s also got a fancy graphic to introduce his promos now.

OWENS & ZAYN BACKSTAGE- the first teases of dissension between the two due to having to face each other for a title shot next week.

TYLER BREEZE & FANDANGO vs. CHAD GABLE & SHELTON BENJAMIN- 4/10
Gable & Benjamin win.

KEVIN OWENS & SAMI ZAYN vs. AJ STYLES & SHINSUKE NAKAMURA- 6.5/10
They skipped these guys’ entrances, too. Stuff happened until Owens & Zayn started arguing when Zayn wasn’t on the apron for Owens to be able to tag. They were on the outside forever but weren’t counted out. Zayn went up to the stage for a while but eventually came back. Things between them broke down again and Zayn walked out on Owens. Owens lasted a while before getting pinned by Nakamura. They showed us Zayn backstage looking conflicted and upset.

RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS SAMI ZAYN- AWESOME babyface promo by Zayn about not wanting to be overlooked anymore.

Another bad episode of Smackdown.


Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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cero2k
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/30/2018 Smackdown (bad)

Post by cero2k » Jan 31st, '18, 13:50

They ran down the list of all of the teams they had beaten, saying “lockdown” each time, and whenever they did, a goofy graphic of a prison cell door would slam shut on the screen. Do they think this stuff looks cool? Because this is stuff that any loser can do with an app on their phone. It’s stuff so basic that even I know it’s common and basic and my phone is too old to be able to do any of that crap.
I honestly do believe they think it looks cool, like those snapchat filters that look like little puppies.
Image

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KILLdozer
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Re: BRM Reviews the 1/30/2018 Smackdown (bad)

Post by KILLdozer » Jan 31st, '18, 14:54

Yeah the cash-in attempt was agreeably different, but pretty much ridiculous in how it happened and the fact that's how it ended.
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