BRM Reviews the 4/17/2018 Smackdown (Superstar Shakeup: Part 2)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 4/17/2018 Smackdown (Superstar Shakeup: Part 2)

Post by Big Red Machine » Apr 17th, '18, 22:57

OPENING SEGMENT- horrible.
AJ Styles comes out and calls out Shinsuke Nakamura for a fight. He gets Aiden English & Rusev instead. Aiden English tells us that Nakamura is on vacation this week. That’s f*cking stupid. AJ says that in that case he’ll fight Rusev, and a referee, who was already out here for some reason, rings the bell, apparently without any authorization from Shane McMahon or Paige.
AJ and Rusev go about five seconds, with AJ immediately putting Rusev in the Calf Crusher and Aiden English attacking AJ for the DQ. Dragon then comes out to make the save for AJ. This was all an idiotic waste of time that seemed designed solely as an attempt to get Rusev booed and to bury him. It succeeded in the latter but not in the former.

AUTHORITY FIGURES BACKSTAGE- bad
Shane was watching his TV WAY too intently for what was just AJ and Bryan standing there. Paige shows up to embarrass herself by doing an awful Teddy Long impression to book Rusev & English vs. AJ & Dragon as the main event. Shane tells her. “Two huge main events, two weeks in a row. You’ve been doing an amazing job. Congratulations.” Yes. Shane praised Paige for doing something any nine year old wrestling fan could have done. And I love how Shane’s definition of being a great GM doesn’t include HAVING A MAIN EVENT BOOKED BEFORE THE SHOW GOES ON THE AIR.
He also praises her for the “trades” she has been making with Kurt Angle, so that’s how the Superstar Shakeup works in this segment. Paige then did another horrible Teddy Long impression and walked off. Then Shane also embarrassed himself by trying to Dance like Teddy. Then Paige came back for no reason whatever, then walked off again.

I just saw a commercial that says we’re back to Taker vs. Rusev in the Casket Match at Greatest Royal Rumble.

SHELTON BENJAMIN PROMO- meh.
This was the first on-screen acknowledgement we got of Chad Gable going to Raw. Shelton then cut a promo in which he went heel on Gable. Yes really. This is the second time in two days that WWE has used someone moving to the other show to start a feud that they can’t possibly deliver on. I am utterly speechless.
Shelton says he is a top singles threat and wants competition, so he asked Paige to send him some “big competition.
Out came Randy Orton. Then Orton’s music just stopped playing and Randy just stood in the aisle, so you knew someone else was about to come out even though no music was playing. Then Jeff Hardy came out. I don’t like this solution to the “Smackdown needs a secondary title” problem. If Miz is already coming over and he has an IC Title shot coming up at Backlash then why not bring Seth Rollins and his IC Title over to Smackdown so that you don’t make the finish of that PPV match completely obvious?

SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. JEFF HARDY- 5.75/10
Yes, just Shelton Benjamin vs. Jeff Hardy, with no Randy Orton in the match at all… so why did Randy come out? Anyway, Shelton insisted he wanted competition, then proceeded to lose his match. What a dork.

MIZ PROMO- Good promo.
He cut a phone promo on Bryan. It turns out he’s not in Providence. He’s at home in LA. Why is he allowed to not be at work? He’ll show up next week, though. Maryse made an appearance, as did the baby. They were amusing.

MANDY ROSE & SONYA DEVILLE ARE COMING TO SMACKDOWN- makes sense. If The Riott Squad goes to Raw then of course The Other Group Like the Riott Squad goes to Smackdown. It makes sense… but it’s not good, because it makes it feel like they’re just shuffling around interchangeable pieces rather than creating a whole new feel.

JEY USO (w/Jimmy Uso) vs. LUKE HARPER (w/Erick Rowan)- squash
Harper’s graphic said “The Bludgeon Brothers” rather than A w/B like Jey Uso’s did. Harper squashed Jey, then Rowan attacked Jimmy. Jimmy got one shot in with a mallet to the stomach but was then quickly destroyed. The Bludgeon Brothers picked up their mallets again and I guess we were supposed to think they were about to murder The Usos with them because Naomi came out and begged them to stop. Well… at least someone finally remembered that she and Jimmy are married. I think this might be the first time that has mattered on screen since Naomi turned heel back in the spring of 2015.

SIN CARA vs. SAMOA JOE- squash
Dude… Bryan, AJ, Nakamura, Orton, Joe, Jeff Hardy… I think Smackdown has the most stacked top of the card anywhere outside of New Japan.

SAMOA JOE PROMO- f*cking awesome

RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS DANIEL BRYAN- Good promo by Bryan. He respects AJ Styles and wants to wrestle him. Big Cass showed up to emphasize how much taller he is than Bryan, and also be a dick. All parts of this were effective.

A “MELLABRATION”- F*CKING AWESOME!
Carmella went on for a good ten minutes just putting herself over. She’s like Alexa Bliss! if instead of sneaky and dangerous, Alexa was delusional and goofy, but it’s that difference that makes it work.
Charlotte came out and cut a great promo on Carmella. Then the IIconics came out and they were… mostly very good, aside from the few cringe-worthy parts (although the best part of it was the camera cutting to show Carmella laughing uproariously at them insulting Charlotte).
Charlotte attacked Billie & Peyton but got beaten down until Becky Lynch came out to make the save. Refs came out to pull them apart, and when we returned from a commercial break we got…

BILLIE KAY (w/Peyton Royce) vs. CHARLOTTE FLAIR (w/Becky Lynch)- 4/10
Carmella sat by the commentary table but didn’t actually do commentary, which was disappointing. Charlotte won clean, which really feels like it was the wrong move to have Billie lose in her debut. Carmella clobbered her from behind with the belt. Becky tried to make the save but got beaten down, but then Asuka came out to make the save.

During the aftermath of all of this, Corey Graves lowered his voice to a whisper and said that with Asuka now on Smackdown “I hate to say this, but I think Carmella might be in trouble!” At this point, in what will undoubtedly be the single greatest moment of his entire life, Byron Saxton but his hands on his head in panic, then threw them up in there air and with perfect mocking sincerity said “Oh no! What are we gonna do?!” I was rolling with laughter.

GALLOWS & ANDERSON ARE COMING TO SMACKDOWN- cool

SHEAMUS & CESARO ARE COMING TO SMACKDOWN- they cut what would have been a good promo if it wasn’t ruined by stupid screen effects. What I wouldn’t give for Kevin Dunn to just stop showing up to work.
Also… how the hell are these guys coming to Smackdown if they’re in a match for the Raw Tag Team Titles? Doesn’t that just ruin the finish of that match? Also, I don’t like Sheamus & Cesaro coming over along with Gallows & Anderson. I don’t want them, New Day, and Gallows & Anderson to ever be all on the same roster at the same time again. This immediately mate the SD tag division feel stale to me. It’s Raw 2016 all over again.

NEW DAY ARE WALKING AROUND BACKSTAGE- they were in shirts that said “let’s wiggle it” and then got excited because they saw “the legend,” so of course I was disappointed when it was R-Truth instead of Normal Smiley.
Also, Tye Dillinger showed up. He and R-Truth stared at each other like they hated each other, then did a long, complicated handshake while New Day cackled in the background. R-Truth thought it was Raw and not Smackdown. This poor guy forgot the name of a city ONCE and WWE turned him into a clown for life because of it.

SAnitY ARE COMING TO SMACKDOWN- sans Nikki Cross for some reason.

ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS & ZELINA VEGA ARE COMING TO SMACKDOWN!- dude. Smackdown appears to have traded a bunch of midcarders and below in exchange for a whole bunch of top names, plus Mandy, Sonya, and R-Truth. Steph should just fire Kurt right now.

AIDEN ENGLISH & RUSEV vs. AJ STYLES & DANIEL BRYAN- 5/10
AJ made his entrance first, then the heels, and then Bryan. That was weird. They got about halfway thought what probably would have turned out to be a decent match when Nakamura came out of nowhere and clobbered AJ in the nuts while he was standing on the apron. Then Big Cass came out of a different nowhere and booted Dragon in the head for the DQ. This now makes two straight weeks of DQs in the main event… and I’m perfectly fine with it. I thought this was done quite well.

Despite a weak start, no good matches, and a lot finishes I thought were mistakes, this managed to be a pretty good show. Smackdown definitely feels new and fresh, and with a top-notch roster, too. The only flaws in the roster right now 1) the presence of Shane McMahon, and 2) a lack of Alexa Bliss!


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Re: BRM Reviews the 4/17/2018 Smackdown (Superstar Shakeup: Part 2)

Post by XIV » Apr 18th, '18, 04:27

I didn't mind the finish of AJ/Bryan vs English/Rusev. (Sidenote. I can take English a lot more seriously now he's ditched the bad combover hair. He looks a little bit like Woody Harrelson from Natural Born Killers and I am on board with that!).

What I'm not on board with. is that I can't see why they're using Cass in the role against Bryan.... They should have brought him back and started getting him over as a heel dominating others. doing it with Bryan means he's going to lose and therefore Bryan gets far more out of it than Cass. Odd.

But I like what the storyline with Nakamura is doing... it gives us more AJ and Nakamura which I'm totally on board with and then it's like the whole thing feels like it could be AJ vs Bryan planned for Summerslam or maybe even WM next year, and they'll keep them apart until then allowing AJ and Bryan to put on an absolute masterclass when that match does finally happen and I am absolutely okay with that.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 4/17/2018 Smackdown (Superstar Shakeup: Part 2)

Post by cero2k » Apr 18th, '18, 08:19

XIV wrote:
Apr 18th, '18, 04:27

What I'm not on board with. is that I can't see why they're using Cass in the role against Bryan.... They should have brought him back and started getting him over as a heel dominating others. doing it with Bryan means he's going to lose and therefore Bryan gets far more out of it than Cass. Odd.
What i'm kinda actually hoping is that Miz and Cass end up together. Miz should had gone straight to feud with Bryan anyway, and we know that Cass needs a mouthpiece. I also think that Miz should take a break from the midcard, either by going main eventer or tag, and in Smackdown, he really would bring down the Styles/Joe/Bryan/Nak main event scene.

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Re: BRM Reviews the 4/17/2018 Smackdown (Superstar Shakeup: Part 2)

Post by Big Red Machine » Apr 18th, '18, 09:30

cero2k wrote:
Apr 18th, '18, 08:19
XIV wrote:
Apr 18th, '18, 04:27

What I'm not on board with. is that I can't see why they're using Cass in the role against Bryan.... They should have brought him back and started getting him over as a heel dominating others. doing it with Bryan means he's going to lose and therefore Bryan gets far more out of it than Cass. Odd.
What i'm kinda actually hoping is that Miz and Cass end up together. Miz should had gone straight to feud with Bryan anyway, and we know that Cass needs a mouthpiece. I also think that Miz should take a break from the midcard, either by going main eventer or tag, and in Smackdown, he really would bring down the Styles/Joe/Bryan/Nak main event scene.
My thinking on all of this is as follows:
While I agree with XIV about it not being good for Cass to lose his first feud back, such a thing would set him up for a role as Miz's enforcer nicely (and would work well for Miz because a large enforcer to run behind is not something he has ever had before).
Does Cass get anything out of the feud with Bryan? Not really. I think the loss will negate the rub, but if they wind up giving Cass some sort of minimal protection in the Bryan feud (like Bryan wins their big singles match with a roll-up), combined with that transitioning into a four-way title match the next month between AJ, Nakamura, Dragon, and Cass could get him something of a rub and you would be able to avoid him losing to Bryan again right away if you immediately transition from that to Bryan vs. Miz w/Cass.
But I think that "what does Cass get out of it?" is the wrong question to ask here. The right question to ask here is "what does WWE get out of it?" and I think the answer to that is:
1. A feud for Bryan to win that keeps him away from the world title until they're ready for him to challenge AJ/Nakamura/both.
2. They get an important evaluation of Cass that they really haven't had before. We know the guy isn't a Ric Flair who can carry anyone to a great match, but he also hasn't ever really been in there with anyone who has the ability to carry others. Bryan can do that. WWE knows that Cass isn't Ric Flair, but now they get to find out if he is at least 1988-89 Sting or Luger who is at least capable of being carried to an excellent match by a top-notch worker (of which the company- and Smackdown in particular- has a whole bunch of right now).
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Re: BRM Reviews the 4/17/2018 Smackdown (Superstar Shakeup: Part 2)

Post by cero2k » Apr 18th, '18, 11:07

Big Red Machine wrote:
Apr 18th, '18, 09:30

While I agree with XIV about it not being good for Cass to lose his first feud back, such a thing would set him up for a role as Miz's enforcer nicely (and would work well for Miz because a large enforcer to run behind is not something he has ever had before).
it only lasted about 4 months, but there was MizShow

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Re: BRM Reviews the 4/17/2018 Smackdown (Superstar Shakeup: Part 2)

Post by Serujuunin » Apr 18th, '18, 13:30

Hold on. So they were setting up Joe for a feud with Roman and then moved him to the other show...?

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Re: BRM Reviews the 4/17/2018 Smackdown (Superstar Shakeup: Part 2)

Post by KILLdozer » Apr 18th, '18, 15:20

That's pretty much what they did with everything from Raw. Tag team, US, are both cross shows. I'm not too sure they didn't just do it to promote the great royal rumble.

Plus it all kinda takes "double ppvs now", to an even further extent than originally thought. I could actually see Gable V Benjamin somehow, with that said.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 4/17/2018 Smackdown (Superstar Shakeup: Part 2)

Post by XIV » Apr 20th, '18, 05:58

Big Red Machine wrote:
Apr 18th, '18, 09:30
cero2k wrote:
Apr 18th, '18, 08:19
XIV wrote:
Apr 18th, '18, 04:27

What I'm not on board with. is that I can't see why they're using Cass in the role against Bryan.... They should have brought him back and started getting him over as a heel dominating others. doing it with Bryan means he's going to lose and therefore Bryan gets far more out of it than Cass. Odd.
What i'm kinda actually hoping is that Miz and Cass end up together. Miz should had gone straight to feud with Bryan anyway, and we know that Cass needs a mouthpiece. I also think that Miz should take a break from the midcard, either by going main eventer or tag, and in Smackdown, he really would bring down the Styles/Joe/Bryan/Nak main event scene.
My thinking on all of this is as follows:
While I agree with XIV about it not being good for Cass to lose his first feud back, such a thing would set him up for a role as Miz's enforcer nicely (and would work well for Miz because a large enforcer to run behind is not something he has ever had before).
Does Cass get anything out of the feud with Bryan? Not really. I think the loss will negate the rub, but if they wind up giving Cass some sort of minimal protection in the Bryan feud (like Bryan wins their big singles match with a roll-up), combined with that transitioning into a four-way title match the next month between AJ, Nakamura, Dragon, and Cass could get him something of a rub and you would be able to avoid him losing to Bryan again right away if you immediately transition from that to Bryan vs. Miz w/Cass.
But I think that "what does Cass get out of it?" is the wrong question to ask here. The right question to ask here is "what does WWE get out of it?" and I think the answer to that is:
1. A feud for Bryan to win that keeps him away from the world title until they're ready for him to challenge AJ/Nakamura/both.
2. They get an important evaluation of Cass that they really haven't had before. We know the guy isn't a Ric Flair who can carry anyone to a great match, but he also hasn't ever really been in there with anyone who has the ability to carry others. Bryan can do that. WWE knows that Cass isn't Ric Flair, but now they get to find out if he is at least 1988-89 Sting or Luger who is at least capable of being carried to an excellent match by a top-notch worker (of which the company- and Smackdown in particular- has a whole bunch of right now).
Well now, that could work and if this happened, I would be happy with the outcome.

With the death of the Miztourage, there is a space for Miz to have some kind of back up. Miz is one of the better characters I've seen at using his back up (I suppose it's that superior arrogance type attitude!).
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Re: BRM Reviews the 4/17/2018 Smackdown (Superstar Shakeup: Part 2)

Post by Big Red Machine » Apr 20th, '18, 07:43

cero2k wrote:
Apr 18th, '18, 11:07
Big Red Machine wrote:
Apr 18th, '18, 09:30

While I agree with XIV about it not being good for Cass to lose his first feud back, such a thing would set him up for a role as Miz's enforcer nicely (and would work well for Miz because a large enforcer to run behind is not something he has ever had before).
it only lasted about 4 months, but there was MizShow
I totally forgot about this.
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