BRM Reviews the 5/15/2018 Smackdown

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 5/15/2018 Smackdown

Post by Big Red Machine » May 16th, '18, 01:00

OPENING SEGMENT- decent
Renee Young is in the ring for an interview with Daniel Bryan. Renee brought Bryan out and he got a huge pop. The fans would rather just chant for Bryan than let Renee speak. She powered through them, which made it hard to hear her, but I totally understand why she didn’t stop. With the way fans are nowadays, I can totally see them trying to turn it into a “game” where whenever they quieted down enough for Renee to try to speak, they would start cheering again and trying to get her to stop (a la Zack Gibson or BJ Whitmer).
Bryan cut a great promo vowing to become world champion once again. Big Cass came out to interrupt him. Cass cut a pretty good promo (I could have done without the bit in the high-pitched voice, though) taking credit for all of Bryan’s setbacks. This did decline in quality the longer it went on, but I think it was still good. Bryan appears to be bleeding from the outside of his nose. I have no idea why.
Cass got into the ring so Bryan charged at him and beat him up, working over Cass’ previously-injured knee. Referees tried to stop him but Bryan got away from them and started to work Cass’ knee over in other ways. Bryan almost seemed heelish here, and it was in his mannerisms, too, so it was very clearly something done on purpose. The referees were totally infective at keeping Bryan away from Cass. Doesn’t WWE have actual security personnel to do this sort of thing?

ONE MEMBER OF THE WINNING TEAM QUALIFIES FOR THE MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH: Sheamus & Cesaro vs. The New Day (w/Kofi Kingston)- 6.75/10
Miz came out to do guest commentary because he, too, is in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. The match was very good, but I just can’t get over how much I hate this stipulation because IT MAKES NO SENSE. MITB is a singles accolade and every other qualifier so far has been a singles match, so why is this spot being determined in a tag team match? They could have at least set it up by having these teams argue over MITB last week instead of arguing over the merits of f*cking pancakes and say they want to have a tag match where the winners qualify but then have Shane or Paige come out and tell them “sorry, but between the four of you I can only give you one spot, so instead a member of the winning team will get the spot. That would at least give us some sort of reason for this, although it still wouldn’t explain why the winning team gets to choose which of them gets the spot rather than just having the guy who wins the fall get it. I mean… New Day could give the spot to Kofi and he wasn’t even in this match so he didn’t do sh*t to earn it, and we have been told time and again that you have to earn things on Smackdown, so why have Shane and Paige set up a system where such a thing could occur? And having it be the guy who scores the fall getting the MITB would also allow for some actual teases of the idea that guys will act selfishly, which seemed to be what the commentators hinted at might happen with the MITB spot.

BLUDGEON BROTHERS VIDEO PROMO- bad.
They said things like “family is a weakness” and then the screen would show a picture of The Usos and “joy is a disease” and then the screen would show a picture of New Day. They also said something similar about friendship and showed a picture of Gallows & Anderson. Sheamus & Cesaro, Rusev Day, SAnitY, and the Shining Stars were left off for no discernable reason. It’s not like the Bludgeon Brothers are on good terms with them or anything.
This is the sort of thing that you can do in a PPV-hype video package with voice-over promos, but to have these guys standing in their red-tinted room looking at the camera and saying it, then having the screen cut to the picture of the team in question, but to do this as the initial promo not only comes off lame, but it also makes it look like the Bludgeon Brothers shot their own promo in front of a green-screen, then edited in the pictures and sent the file to the production team, which isn’t good because the Bludgeon Brothers are not the type of guys I should ever be envisioning sitting at a computer using video-editing software.

PAIGE IS ON HER PHONE- She is apparently talking to Carmella, who wants a horse-drawn carriage to deliver her to her “Royal Mellabration” tonight. Well… at least she’s actually doing her job as opposed to just randomly being on her phone hyping up WWE events to some mysterious second party like the authority figures usually do, so that’s a plus. Paige tells Carmella that she can’t have a horse-drawn carriage bring her to the Royal Mellabration. That is a missed opportunity on WWE’s part as far as I’m concerned.

PAIGE, MANDY, & SONYA BACKSTAGE- terrible
Last week Paige told Mandy that she wanted her to prove that she could win on her own, so she barred Sonya Deville from ringside right before Mandy’s match against Becky Lynch. Mandy then went on cleanly defeat Becky. Mandy argues that she should be qualified for MITB but Paige tells her she’ll be able to do that tonight when they both face Becky Lynch in a qualifier. They did the gimmick where the heels think they’re getting a handicap match against Becky but Paige tells them it’s a three-way just to make the heels look dumb, but the important part here is that Becky is in this match at all, because that is total bullsh*t!
Sonya hasn’t wrestled on TV since the Superstar Shakeup. Mandy is 1-0 (last week’s clean win over Becky). Becky is 1-2, but it should be noted that she was the one pinned in both of her losses, and that she did not score the fall in the match her team won (Asuka made Peyton Royce tap out in a six-woman tag in the main event of the show two weeks ago). Paige said she wanted Mandy to prove that she could win on her own so Mandy went out and did just that… and Paige responds by booking her in a match specifically designed to make Mandy’s victory irrelevant. What a heel!
Not only that, but she is also specifically putting Sonya and Mandy in a situation where it is possible that their friendship will be damaged when there are many other women out there who could be in this spot. Why is Paige going out of her way to be such a huge asshole to Mandy?

RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS AJ STYLES- good
She wants to know what he’ll pick as the stipulation for MITB if he beats Nakamura tonight. AJ suggests that he might pick either a “Pole on a Pole Match” or an “Inverted Scaffold Match.” THIS ASSHOLE IS STEALING MY GIMMICK! (Also, wouldn’t an “Inverted Scaffold Match” be the same as a regular Scaffold Match? If so, that just makes it funnier. Personally, I’d like to see a Reverse Scaffold Match, where you win by throwing your opponent from the ring all the way up onto the scaffold).
AJ also references Kennel From Hell… and that would actually be the ultimate heel move from Nakamura: to make fans sit through another one of those. Renee makes some comment about referees dressing up as Elvis, at which point AJ told her she had taken it a step too far. I enjoyed this. AJ then went on to cut a good promo. He said that although Nakamura might have forgotten English, AJ knows “the universal language of Forearm to Face.” I took a semester of that my sophomore year of college. It f*cking hurt!

We got a random fact about Chad Gable… who is on Raw, not Smackdown.

JAKE CONSTANTINO vs. ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS (w/Zelina Vega)- fine squash
Speaking of facts, their “Smackdown Facts” for Almas were his home town (which the ring announcer was already telling us anyway) and the fact that he made an appearance in the 2018 Royal Rumble. Nothing about him being a third-generation wrestler, his NXT Title run or anything he accomplished in Mexico, because surely none of that will make him seem any more important than telling us that he did something that is so impressive The Hurricane was also able to do it after many years away from WWE.

ZELINA VEGA PROMO- good

RUSEV DAY BACKSTAGE- dull
The news coming out of this was that Lana has an MITB qualifier next week against Billie Kay. Do you know who hasn’t been booked in an MITB qualifier yet? Naomi, who won the supposedly important WrestleMania Women’s Not The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royale, and has been completely irrelevant since then… which actually puts her on the same path as all of the winners of the men’s version, so score one for gender equality. Hooray for the Diva’s/Women’s R/Evolution!

ROYAL MELLABRATION- Carmella did her thing and the crowd just didn’t want to engage. They didn’t cheer her much and they didn’t boo much, either. It’s not like Carmella’s promo was bad. The crowd just decided that they didn’t care.
Eventually Paige came out and interrupted Carmella to tell her that she was defending her title at MITB against Asuka. This felt totally random. It’s not that Asuka hasn’t been winning or anything lately (she’s got a relatively high winning percentage since Mania) but she hasn’t really even been having singles matches or done anything that would move her in the direction of a title match, either.
Asuka came out and Carmella ran away from her. This felt like Paige let Carmella do all of this just to interrupt her with this announcement. Again… why is Paige being an asshole?

RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS SHINSUKE NAKAMURA- awesome heel promo by Nakamura, describing the injuries his will inflict upon AJ Styles.

MONEY IN THE BANK QUALIFYING MATCH: Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville vs. Becky Lynch- 4.5/10
The two heel friends beat up the babyface until their desire to win the match caused one to try to pin the other, at which point their alliance fell apart… in other words, exactly the same story as the women’s MITB qualifier we saw on Raw last night. Unlike Bayley, Becky was able to win her match, making Bayley look like even more of a chump after the fact. Becky got the win by making Mandy tap out, totally erasing Mandy’s win from last week. This booking sucks.

We’re getting Joe vs. Cass in an MITB qualifier next week, which is odd because I could have sworn that Kurt Angle said on Raw that all qualifiers for the men’s MITB match had to be finished this week. You know… it almost seems like they needed to come up with a reason why the match couldn’t be postponed until next week so that Roman’s attack would be costing Jinder his chance to qualify for MITB, and thus they just had Kurt say something with no explanation that sounded idiotic and didn’t stand up to moment’s worth of thought. Again… the booking in this company sucks.

SAMOA JOE SELFIE PROMO- AWESOME!

ICONIC SELFIE PROMO- bad

WINNER GETS TO PICK THE STIPULATION FOR THEIR WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH AT MONEY IN THE BANK: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles- 8/10
These two had an awesome, dramatic match with an EXCELLENT heel finish that plays off of the main point of the feud in a way we haven’t seen yet.

A pretty bad show from Smackdown aside from the main event and one or two of the promos.


Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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Serujuunin
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/15/2018 Smackdown

Post by Serujuunin » May 17th, '18, 10:16

I think the reason Paige is being mean to Mandy and Sonya is because they both assumed they’d get special treatment with her being in a position of authority, and when Paige told them that wasn’t going to be the case they started copping an attitude like spoiled children. She even said to them that if they kept having an attitude with her they wouldn’t get a qualifying match at all. I also think she’s trying to prove that old allegiances don’t matter and that she’s not going to let a preexisting bias influence her decisions as GM.

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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/15/2018 Smackdown

Post by Big Red Machine » May 17th, '18, 10:32

Serujuunin wrote:
May 17th, '18, 10:16
I think the reason Paige is being mean to Mandy and Sonya is because they both assumed they’d get special treatment with her being in a position of authority, and when Paige told them that wasn’t going to be the case they started copping an attitude like spoiled children. She even said to them that if they kept having an attitude with her they wouldn’t get a qualifying match at all. I also think she’s trying to prove that old allegiances don’t matter and that she’s not going to let a preexisting bias influence her decisions as GM.
I see what you're saying (which is why I liked the first segment they did a few weeks ago a lot), but Mandy was asked to go out and prove herself by beating Becky on her own and she did that cleanly. Combine that with this segment and it feels like in her effort to show them that she wouldn't give them any special privileges, she is actually showing favoritism towards Becky. It's a recurring problem on SD that every time they decide it's necessary to have their babyface authority figure lecture the heel about how "opportunities are earned here on Smackdown Live" they wind up just making their babyface authority figure a hypocrite and making me think the heels are right. This is just a new incarnation of it. I guess I was hoping that they would write Paige differently because she's not Shane or Bryan, but I think they basically see her as Bryan (beloved wrestler who had to retire due to injury) except instead of an over chant, she has boobs.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/15/2018 Smackdown

Post by KILLdozer » May 17th, '18, 11:43

So she told them she's no longer Asolution. That should have been it. None of this "I told you Absolution was over." And shit.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/15/2018 Smackdown

Post by Serujuunin » May 17th, '18, 15:17

Big Red Machine wrote:
May 17th, '18, 10:32
Serujuunin wrote:
May 17th, '18, 10:16
I think the reason Paige is being mean to Mandy and Sonya is because they both assumed they’d get special treatment with her being in a position of authority, and when Paige told them that wasn’t going to be the case they started copping an attitude like spoiled children. She even said to them that if they kept having an attitude with her they wouldn’t get a qualifying match at all. I also think she’s trying to prove that old allegiances don’t matter and that she’s not going to let a preexisting bias influence her decisions as GM.
I see what you're saying (which is why I liked the first segment they did a few weeks ago a lot), but Mandy was asked to go out and prove herself by beating Becky on her own and she did that cleanly. Combine that with this segment and it feels like in her effort to show them that she wouldn't give them any special privileges, she is actually showing favoritism towards Becky. It's a recurring problem on SD that every time they decide it's necessary to have their babyface authority figure lecture the heel about how "opportunities are earned here on Smackdown Live" they wind up just making their babyface authority figure a hypocrite and making me think the heels are right. This is just a new incarnation of it. I guess I was hoping that they would write Paige differently because she's not Shane or Bryan, but I think they basically see her as Bryan (beloved wrestler who had to retire due to injury) except instead of an over chant, she has boobs.
I can see where you're at also. I just see it more like punishing a misbehaving child (or children) in this case, but if it carries on to other superstars, it'll be just like that too. Which it probably will, because WWE.

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