WWE Smackdown Live
August 29 2017
Normally I only watch the odd thing on WWE TV and skip most of the shows. After all there is a tonne of wrestling and I barely have time to watch stuff without getting bogged down in WWE weekly shows. But hey, I loved the Cena-Reigns segment from RAW yesterday so I’m dropping into Smackdown today to see how WWE is doing.
We’re in Little Rock, Arkansas. Hosts are Raging Boner, JBL and Byron Saxton.
Promo Time: Jinder Mahal
We’re kicking things off with the champ. Jinder’s title reign may have been a disappointment from an in-ring perspective but at least it’s been memorable.
Jinder’s voice is weird. It gnaws away at me and I genuinely don’t heard any words. It’s like hearing someone saw down a tree outside your house. It’s slightly annoying but it’s just background noise. The Singh boys snap me back to reality by declaring themselves ignorant and unskilful in getting beaten up by Nakamura last week. Grovelling continues until they’re interrupted by Shinsuke Nakamura. He gets out-numbered, Randy Orton runs in for the save and Rusev runs in to sway things back to the heels and set up tonight’s tag team main event. This was typical TV fare. A way to kill ten minutes and set up the main.
The Ascension vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable
The Ascension put in a lot of hard work to be jobbers. Pairing Gable with Benjamin is some sort of reward for losing Jason Jordan to RAW. The whole angle has been a complete shambles. They had a killer team in Jordan & Gable and have thrown it away in ridiculous time. How do they keep turning hot acts on NXT into useless filler on the main roster? This new team immediately has no chemistry. Shelton gets nostalgia pops and Gable does all the work. That’s to say; he eats heat for an ad break. A mixture of crowd killing chinlocks and the odd power move. Hot tag to Shelton and he throws all his spots in there one after another until the pin. This was formula to a tee. Shelton looked decent in his comeback match but I still don’t understand why Chad and Jason Jordan were split up.
Final Rating: **
US States Championship Open Challenge
AJ Styles (c) vs. Tye Dillenger
My first thought was that Kevin Owens would answer it, just to screw with AJ. Baron Corbin is interviewed backstage implying he’s about to challenge. Instead we have the Perfect Ten, who got to the curtain and had his music synced up before Corbin got there (sans briefcase). As with Cena’s Open Challenge the aim is to use AJ to get over the newer talent and showcase their abilities. There’s nobody better for the spot as Styles can work great matches with any warm body. They don’t get the chance here with AJ beating Tye with a Calf Killer in a few minutes.
Final Rating: Squash
Mike Bennett vs. Bobby Roode
TNA! TNA! TNA! One of these guys has been booked to look like a star. One has been booked as an afterthought. Bennett is the poster boy for the ‘NXT builds stars’ epithet. He went right onto the main roster and has done nothing. To be fair, WWE only mainlined him because of Maria. She’s the actual attraction. There’s a feeling that TNA guys need less grooming because they’ve already done TV. Despite this Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode spent lengthy time in NXT and benefitted from it. Roode basically treats Bennett like the jobber he is and finishes with the Glorious DDT.
Final Rating: Squash
Aiden English vs. Sami Zayn
Aiden sings for a bit, clearly missing Simon Gotch. As a team they weren’t setting the world on fire but without Gotch our boy Aiden is reduced to relying on his singing gimmick. Which is like the Drifter’s singing gimmick only worse. Before we get underway Owens interrupts to cut a promo about how bad Shane McMahon is at being an official. Can’t wait for their big PPV match! /sarcasm. Owens does make this squash match more interesting by taking over as the ref!
Sami doesn’t like it so KO gives him the Pop Up Powerbomb and gives Aiden the cheap win. Kevin Owens is great.
Final Rating: *
Video Control takes us backstage where Dolph Ziggler bitches and moans about being treated as an afterthought after ten years of being the best. The trouble with Dolph complaining about gimmicks and such and shooting on other acts is that he’s been a total flop when put in high profile spots. At the end of the day what he’s best at is making others look good with his bumping. He promises “all flash and no substance” from now on. Hey, that sounds genuinely entertaining, bring it on.
The New Day vs. The Usos
This is not for the Usos recently reacquired tag straps. Anyone else think it’s weird that Xavier won the belts and Big E lost them? Big E blows it again here, missing his big apron splash and destroying himself. The Usos have been getting in some sneaky good matches this year, sometimes shamelessly abandoned to the pre-show like at Summerslam. They dominate this match from start to finish. They eliminate Big E and then blind tag and pull the tights on Kofi. They get to pick the stip when these teams meet again for the belts. Good little showcase for the Usos. Weird to see New Day get beaten yet again. It’s as if their mojo is gone.
Final Rating: **1/2
Video Control takes us backstage where Carmella gets pissed off with James Ellsworth for blowing her surprise cash-in last week and then stealing flowers from a funeral. Natalya shows up and promises to make Carmella the “Baron Corbin of the women’s division” if she cashes in on her. Oh shit!
That would have been a harsher burn if she wasn’t wearing her CAT’S MERCH. After she’s run off Carmella, she’s interrupted by Naomi who points out she’s triggered her rematch clause for two weeks time.
Tamina vs. Tina Jobber
Lana introduces Tamina. She’s Lana’s surrogate. Lana can’t win the title herself because she’s not a good wrestler but she has a lot of heat so they’re hoping that rubs off on Tamina. Jilly Bootsntights gets the “let’s go jobber” chant. Tamina finishes her with a superkick in about 30 seconds.
Final Rating: Squash
Tamina’s look towards Lana when she raises her hand suggests this is an uneasy pairing. Lana is blatantly using Tamina and Tamina, despite her depiction as a simpleton follower, is aware of it.
Video Control takes us to Season Two of the Fashion Files. This is continually one of the best things about Smackdown and they’re not even pushing these guys in the ring.
“I know what this is, it’s a title”
“No, that’s a belt”
The clue they get is “Two B or not to be”. Wrestling is Shakespeare. They feel the clues point to Aiden English.
Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jinder Mahal & Rusev
This is a blending of two feuds from Summerslam. Apparently the Rusev-Orton feud will continue despite Rusev losing in seconds at Summerslam. There is a wrinkle in the booking as Orton faces Nakamura next week with the winner getting the next WWE title shot. That’s how thin the main event scene is on Smackdown with AJ Styles and Kevin Owens busy elsewhere and Cena on RAW. Teaming two random heels against two top tier babyfaces creates a ‘house show’ environment. Everyone is going through the motions. Like everything else on this show it merely exists to set up something else down the line. There’s nothing to get invested in and the work is, at best, pedestrian. Jinder is particularly embarrassing blowing Orton’s draping DDT. Kinshasa puts Rusev away and then Orton lays out Shinsuke with the RKO to tease next week’s big match.
Final Rating: *1/4
My interest in checking in with WWE’s TV has ended after one show. This was routinely bad and pointless. And people wonder why I don’t cover more WWE stuff. If WWE really wanted to pique my interest they would have good matches on these shows regularly. Then I could tolerate the squash-heavy nature of the line-up and all the promos. If you spend every TV show setting up other shows there’s no point watching the show. At least have a main event. This main event was only here to set up next week. Maybe I picked a bad show to sit through but I couldn’t do this every week.