Hey everyone! Normally I zip through the show after it’s begun to avoid commercials, but since I’m eating a delicious bowl of ‘Tortilla Soup’ (their name, not mine) I thought I’d have a side of Smackdown as well!
I’ll be posting results and my review as the action happens, so if you’re stuck somewhere and can’t watch, I’ll be right here in your pocket.
Mahal and the Punjabi Prison Preview
We see the golden-colored Punjabi Prison and are reminded of terrible PP (‘pee-pee’ :|) matches before.
Mahal and his boys come out and talk about how the Pee-Pee match has only one rule “there are no rules!’. He claims he’ll do his Khallas from the top of the Pee-Pee and send a shockwave.
Mahal is a smooth and confident talker but his voice sounds hoarser than a pubescent teenager that pulled an all-nighter vaping and drinking Mountain Dew. If it’s because of the ‘evil voice he’s putting on, it’s making him sound less powerful than he looks.
Orton hypes Mahal, calling him either the bravest or stupidest. He says the Singh Bros. were the only reason he lost and will make up for it in the Pee-Pee.
Orton slowly climbs the Pee-Pee which gets the crowd jacked, but he pauses every few steps to deliver more of his promo. Everytime he climbs a few steps a guy near the camera yells ‘Ah here we go!’…everytime.
Orton perches on the top of the Pee-Pee and says this will be his view, after he dumps Mahal’s ‘jacked-up ass!’.
I think Orton is a bit afraid of heights because his promo was the most animated I’ve heard all year.
I haven’t enjoyed this feud at all and the matches have been lackluster. Perhaps they go all out and use the Pee-Pee to it’s fullest potential, delivering a brutal grudge match to end this feud once and for all.
Uno Uso vs A New Day
Super excited to see The Usos stroll down the aisle until I learned it was yet another singles match between the feuding teams.
Why not have The Usos ruthlessly destroy jobbers, looking dangerous. Have them continue to beat on the losers after the bell until The New Day run down to make the save.
Although I’m a cranky old man about how WWE books their feuds, this is a pretty entertaining match. Kofi and Jimmy fly around with great energy and passion. I loved Kofi’s spot from the corner where he kicks his legs at a running Jimi who delays the charge, only for Kofi to cycle around and hit him with a Capoeira-like roundhouse.
We get the usual end of Kofi getting distracted while on the top rope, giving Jimi enough time to take the move but roll through for the pin-fall.
Jimi pins Kofi
What did we learn here? That Kofi and Jimi are talented and Kofi is easily distracted.
Shane sets up Becky vs Charlotte tonight!
The girls had an entertaining banter/interview with Shane making a Becky/Charlotte match for tonight.
Glad to see a 1-on-1 Women’s match not involving Lana and Naomi. I’m assuming the other women will make their presence felt, but I’m excited to see what Charlotte and Becky can deliver in what feels like a showcase.
Angle’s Son Recap
For part of Smackdown’s two hours we get several minutes of what happened on RAW. Angle revealed the big secret was an illegitimate love child he just found out about: None other than American Alpha’s Jason Jordan.
The connection to Smackdown is that due to the big reveal, Jordan joined his dad on RAW, splitting up with American Alpha partner Chad Gable.
Gable interviewed with Renee Young. He talked about how the new information was a huge shock for him too, but that he’s excited for a singles run on Smackdown. He mentioned AJ Styles, hinting at a feud to come.
There didn’t seem to be much room for AA so why not split them and see what they can do. Smackdown could use another singles competitor to freshen up the scene.
Sami Zayn vs Mike Kanelis
Zayn aims to get revenge after Kanelis broke a vase over his head last week. Zayn played the angle well, coming out more aggressive than usual. We’re used to his natural babyface-in-peril role, so this was a nice change of pace. Zayn feels stuck at the moment, and looks to be making the most of this opportunity to showcase a new side.
After Zayn dominated the first half, Maria Kanelis entered the ring, blocking Zayn from Mike. Zayn remained distracted enough for Mike to sneak a hard right hand and his finisher: An AA-type with the opponent’s body rotating up and over like a suplex.
Mike pins Zayn
I loved seeing Zayn show a more aggressive side. He’s been booked a dork for too long and he needs to remind WWE why he was regarded one of the best in the world.
John Cena promo
Cena hypes Battleground’s matches with Nakamura gets the biggest cheer while the Pee-Pee match gets a lukewarm ‘yehhhhhhh’.
Cena is damn good on the mic. He can be cheesy of course, especially with that accent he puts on, but he absolutely elevates the situation. He made Battleground sound interesting and riffed on how important a flag match was. Cena has fully embraced the haters and even sets them up with big spaces and reasons to boo, while still appearing the ultimate face.
The segment ends predictably with Rusev sneaking in and clamping on a Camel Clutch. Cena tried to stand up twice unsuccessfully, but eventually passed out.
Cena is a part-time superstar and it feels like a waste of his limited time to run through a feud we’ve recently seen. I thought we were done with U-S-A chants when Hacksaw Duggan retired.
Becky vs Charlotte
WWE loves muddying great confrontations by adding a wrestler on commentary who never talks about the match. I like Natty, but I muted the audio to focus on two of the most talented wrestlers in the company.
Some wresting minds claim the best heels are never flashy, criticizing Charlotte for taking attention away from the faces with her impressive offense.
I think an impressive heel appears dangerous and adds drama. It also plays into the fact that this is a legitimate athletic contest between two skilled competitors.
I bring this up after Charlotte double backflipped out of the corner and pinned Becky while arched over backwards like Bray Wyatt’s crab walk.
Of note – The way Becky escapes a pin by shoving Charlotte’s shoulder off. It’s unique and realistic. A nice subtle touch.
There’s a fantastic sequence featuring Charlotte and Becky rolling through sequential counters. It’s like Hart Dungeon wrestling at its finest.
In a shocker, Becky cleanly makes Charlotte tap to her arm submission.
Post-match, Charlotte gets up looking angry, but shakes Becky’s hand just as…
Tamina’s Music hits
Tamina and Lana walk down the aisle as Becky and Charlotte get ready, allowing…
Natalya to attack from behind
For some reason, Natalya tries to put Tamina in to the Sharpshooter, but faces the wrath of Tamina and Lana. Tamina walks out strong while Lana stays in the ring with the laid out Natalya.
A short but sweet match and a very confusing finish. I suppose this sets the tone that every woman is for themselves, but I don’t see why Natalya was so willing to attack Tamina immediately after they were both aiming to hurt Charlotte and Becky.
Fashion Files – X-Files Parody
A red-wigged Breeze tries to convince his partner Tango that there are no ghosts or aliens.
Just then a very ghost-like ‘ooooooooohhhhhh’ is heard. But this turns out to be Aidan English warming up his golden voice behind a curtain.
Then a light from up high, as if from a spaceship shoots down, but this turns out to be a delivery guy who turned on the light.
Tango still believes the delivery man is an alien, stunned that the alien breathes air and looks so human-like.
Breeze opens the box but warns Tango to not do the same. Tango uses this opportunity to perfectly mimic Brad Pitt’s ‘what’s in the box’ scene from Seven. It turns out to be their beloved horse’s head…A note crudely states “BATTLEGROUND”.
It ends this sunday…
Breezango have been one of the best segments of Smackdown every single week since Fashion Files started. They continue to innovate, offering broad comedy mixed subtle easter eggs for fans of wrestling and pop culture.
Happy to see them shine and turn a non-title tag match with only one known team into a curious mystery I’m looking forward to see resolved.
AJ Styles & Nakamura vs Kevin Owens & Baron Corbin
Corbin and Owens attack Nakamura as he enters, starting the contest with an outside brawl, but fortunately, the match takes place.
Although we’ve seen these four interact for weeks, they still managed to entertain thanks to the supreme talent of the big three and Corbin’s ability to keep up.
It’s fast and furious with many highlights. The finish is quite nice. Styles backflips out of Corbin’s End of Days and nails a Pele kick. Unfortunately for Styles, Corbin slaps a blind tag and KO takes advantage. While Styles goes for his Clash, KO pounces with a pop-up powerbomb and scores the pin.
KO and Corbin win via pinfall.
The bad news is that WWE is mired in booking the same show for months, the good news is that Styles/Nakmura/Owens can churn out excitement even without time or a meaningful build.
I’m more convinced that WWE is not interested in providing truly great shows for weekly tv, and instead wants to frustrate the viewer into excitement for the PPV.
After the same four shows I’m truly excited for Battleground just for the simple fact of watching 1-on-1 matches that have enough time to tell a story.
Overall, the show wasn’t bad, but it squandered any chance of being great with routine setups and frustrating finishes.