BRM Reviews the 3/19/2019 Smackdown (bad)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 3/19/2019 Smackdown (bad)

Post by Big Red Machine » Mar 20th, '19, 10:27

I could have sworn they announced that Kofi’s gauntlet would start the show, but instead we got a…

THE MIZ PROMO- great!
KI really liked the way he tied the need to earn his father’s approval into the big mea culpa “I’m a babyface now and recognize the wrongness of my previous actions” part of the promo. If you had told me even five months ago that the crowd would accept Miz as a babyface over Shane I’d have thought you mad, but here we are. Also, I was gratified to learn that other people aside from myself have thought that Shane is a hypocrite and a heel this whole time.

IICONICS PROMO- passable. They’re doing a better job of being annoying heels that get the right kind of heat rather than people who make me want to change the channel when they come out.

SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY vs. THE IICONICS- 4/10
They wrestled for a minute or two before Lacey Evans came out to do her thing, making these new titles seems less important than a lady whose only job appears to be to wear outlandish outfits and walk down the ramp and back once a show. Bayley, one of those champions, was a weak-minded idiot who managed to be distracted by someone who we all know by now isn’t actually going to do anything, letting the heels cut her off and get the heat.
Sasha got the hot tag, but got beat with one of those “illegal leverage” finishes that doesn’t actually stand up to the scrutiny of physics (if anything, Billie pulling Sasha’s arm in that direction would aid Sasha in getting her shoulder up, not hinder her), so really the heels didn’t cheat at all to beat the champions.

KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS REY MYSTERIO JR.- fine
Rey introduces us to “his” son Dominic, “all grown up.” Yeah… unless Rey’s wife is six feet tall, there is no way in hell that isn’t actually Eddie’s kid. Just saying.
Rey announces that he is going to challenge Samoa Joe for the US Title at WrestleMania. Dominic will be sitting in the front row (get ready for an angle there) and actually cut a pretty decent promo saying that his father would beat the bully Samoa Joe and win the title.


THE KEVIN OWENS SHOW WITH SPECIAL GUESTS CHARLOTTE FLAIR & BECKY LYNCH- bad
A fan has made a hand-drawn poster of the bloody-faced, broken-nosed image of Becky Lynch. There is something cool about the actual image of Becky fighting through blood dripping down her face, but the idea of drawing it on a poster came off as more disturbing than anything else.
Owens just recaps things Ronda said, then eggs them into cutting promos on each other. Then he tells them that everyone wants to see them fight and they say “okay” and start fighting. This felt pointless and repetitive. It was an excuse to get these three on the show and get Becky and Charlotte in the same segment together even though WWE didn’t have a way to actually develop the story. It was a completely transparent stalling tactic and nothing more. I’ve seen these two women brawl 732 times in the past seven months. The 732nd time was not much different from the 731st.

KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS AJ STYLES- fine
When AJ told us that Randy is 6’5, 250lbs and then told us that he is “as agile as someone half is size,” my mind couldn’t help but picture someone who is 3’2, 125lbs, which I’m sure is not what AJ meant.
AJ became the third babyface to mention Kofi tonight, and I’m sure whether I like all of the babyfaces finally coming together to show support for someone, or whether the fact that they’re only doing it in one angle makes it feel more phony and heavy-handed.

DANIEL BRYAN PROMO- very good

KOFI KINGSTON GAUNTLET IN WHICH KOFI GETS A WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE SHOT AT WRESTLEMANIA IF HE WINS: Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus vs. Cesaro vs. Erick Rowan vs. Samoa Joe vs. Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan- as a match… 7.5/10. But as a segment, this was a terrible idea.
Big E. & Xavier have been barred from ringside. They occasionally showed us them watching backstage, with more babyfaces there each time.
Rowan got himself DQed on purpose and beat Kofi up on the outside, while Tom Phillips told us that Big E. & Xavier were “helpless” to do anything about it because they had been barred from ringside. Okay… well what about the Hardy Boyz, the Usos, Ricochet, Mustafa Ali, R-Truth, and all of those other babyfaces they showed us watching the match with New Day? Why aren’t any of them coming out to stop this? Ditto for when Joe attacked Kofi and choked him out after Kofi eliminated him. Instead of coming out to help, this big group of babyfaces just stood there and chanted like marks for a guy who couldn’t even hear them.
I also couldn’t help but notice that not included in this gaggle were AJ Styles, The Miz, and Kevin Owens, all of whom pushed Kofi as someone deserving of this Mania main event and being screwed out of it. None of them showed up to help, either (even though Owens specifically said “I will be watching that match very closely”), which just goes to show you that WWE knows that appearing backstage in a back like that makes the people involved look like lesser stars… but they’ll do it anyway when it’s someone they don’t care about. Ironically, if they had but the big stars in this gaggle, too, it wouldn’t make the others look like such geeks next to the kids who are too cool for school.
The match itself was exactly what you expected it to be, complete with Vince adding Bryan in at the end after we all thought Kofi won. Ending the thing that far away from the top of the hour made that kind of obvious. If they had started at the beginning of the show like they had advertised they would, this wouldn’t have been an issue. My best guess is that when they made that announcement, the plan was for Kofi to win, but they changed it when they changed the decision to Kofi losing so that they could go off of the air with their big cliffhanger. I’ll get back to the result in a minute, but for now I want to talk about the biggest reason for why I thought this was such a bad segment despite it being a solid hour of mechanically great professional wrestling.
The biggest strike against this was that I just saw this same f*cking thing last month! Yes, technically the idea that Vince is trying to screw Kofi and that all of the babyfaces are rallying backstage in support of Kofi makes it different, but the fact remains that a mere five weeks ago I watched an episode of Smackdown where Kofi Kingston ran a big gauntlet Smackdown wrestlers. Tonight they gave me the same thing with the same guy in the same spot on the show, but with the finishes even more predictable, and with no real kayfabe benefit to it.
Watching this show it felt like WWE’s mindset going into this was “if the last time we did this and just let Kofi win a few matches it made the crowd love him, then doing it again but with all of the babyfaces cheering for him and making it clear Vince is try to screw him and with a world title shot at Mania on the line and letting him get even more wins and fight through even more post-match beat-downs will make the crowd love him even more!” But when everything you are doing to fuel this is so transparent, then it doesn’t work as well, and doubly so when it’s something we’ve just seen you do.
This problem is then compounded by the fact that this angle has become not just repetitive within itself but has also been twisted to become so similar to the other big angle in the promotion. Kofi earned a title match but then Vince took it away. Then Vince teased us that Kofi would be back in the Fastlane title match anyway, but then took that away. Now Kofi does the thing he’s supposed to once again, and then Vince screws him yet again. It’s the same thing they’ve done with Becky. She wins the Royal Rumble, but then gets suspended so she won’t get her title match. Then the suspension gets lifted and she gets the match back… but then Vince takes it away from her. Then she winds up suspended, but then gets unsuspended and earns the title match again. It’s the same damn thing!
I just don’t understand why they even felt the need to do this. They did this last month and it already accomplished its goal and got all of the fans behind Kofi, and to a degree that WWE never would have expected. So why are they now repeating it while doing the sort of things that you would do to help a babyface who fans aren’t behind as much as you want them to be (like having all of the other babyfaces endorse him)? Something that was working spectacularly fell right into their laps, and instead of just going with it in the form that was clearly working, they decided that the best course of action was to try to fix something that wasn’t broken. And just like with Ronda and Becky, they have, at this point for me, “fixed” Kofi’s story and kept “fixing” it until they broke it. Hopefully they don’t break this one beyond repair like they did with the other one. When the iron is hot, you need to strike! You don’t stand there and say “let me try to keep this iron at the same temperature for ten more minutes and then I’ll strike.”
The finish here was incredibly annoying. We all know Kofi is getting the Mania match, so why do we keep dragging this out when the story has already been told. Vince screwing Kofi out of the title shot for the second time in a month doesn’t add any fuel to the fire.
When we look at other storylines, the decision to book this match gets even worse. First of all, they’re feeding five guys to Kofi to build him up for a title shot when he doesn’t need those wins to build him up because he already pinned the champion and the fans are already 100% behind him. It also undermines two big WrestleMania matches that have been announced in the past week. It’s hard to make it feel like such a big accomplishment for AJ Styles to beat Randy Orton Rey Mysterio to beat Samoa Joe if I just saw Kofi beat both of them in the same night in his fourth and fifth matches of the night. It’s also US Champion Samoa Joe doing yet another job, and while WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan finally managed to not do a job, he had trouble beating a guy who was wrestling his sixth straight match. I see absolutely no benefit in this segment for ANYONE.

And it wasn’t just this match that felt repetitive. As I noted above, we’ve seen Charlotte talk at and/or fight each other every pretty much every week for MONTHS. Could they not have come up with SOMETHING different to do? Like maybe have Becky actually wrestle a match on TV for once and have Charlotte pay off her opponent to work over Becky’s injured knee or something like that? Miz’s promo was worth watching and The IIconics’ win adds them to Mania match (which I don’t like for reasons I detailed in my Raw review, but at least it wasn’t something I’d seen a million times before), and the rest of this was re-run of The Kofi Show, but this time with the word “applause” appearing on the screen to make sure we all knew we were supposed to cheer for Kofi. WWE’s ability to destroy the most simple and ready-made storylines is truly stunning.


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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/19/2019 Smackdown (bad)

Post by cero2k » Mar 20th, '19, 10:40

one day, all of the roster will have their own talk show and there won't be matches anymore, just talk shows, and Vince will finally transition into WEE, World Entertainment Entertainment, Inc.

Why does Kevin Owens, a prize fighter, have a talk show!?

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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/19/2019 Smackdown (bad)

Post by KILLdozer » Mar 20th, '19, 10:49

I'm not into this Mix turn at all. It felt just like all of his other "freak the hell out during a promo, super intense speeches", we've seen time and time again, and he in particular...just adds WAY TOO MUCH emotion into almost every promo...like the guy can't even control himself.

Now I'm supposed to get behind him as a mega face? No way!
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/19/2019 Smackdown (bad)

Post by KILLdozer » Mar 20th, '19, 11:09

No, evidently it was supposed to start the show...I actually got up thinking it would be interesting to start off watching that...

Or not...lol

What a bunch of fuckin' assholes...
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/19/2019 Smackdown (bad)

Post by cero2k » Mar 20th, '19, 12:58

so apparently this Kofi story is going the 'shoot worked' racist route now


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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/19/2019 Smackdown (bad)

Post by KILLdozer » Mar 20th, '19, 12:59

cero2k wrote:
Mar 20th, '19, 12:58
so apparently this Kofi story is going the 'shoot worked' racist route now

Obviously. Since there's some white dude makin' the black dude fight a bunch of other white dudes over and over again...that must be the case.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/19/2019 Smackdown (bad)

Post by KILLdozer » Mar 20th, '19, 13:06

Isn't this title they're chasing technically considered the same one Booker T and Mark Henry won? And even if it's not...."that was only the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT....NOT THE WWE TITLE! THAT'S NEVER HAPPENED WITH A BLACK DUDE!"...

There's always that and I'm sure they're just playing that up. Fact is, not a lot of black dudes had the total skills necessary to win it all in WWE, that's all there is to that.

Lashley could be getting closer, but he's required assitance.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/19/2019 Smackdown (bad)

Post by Big Red Machine » Mar 20th, '19, 13:28

cero2k wrote:
Mar 20th, '19, 12:58
so apparently this Kofi story is going the 'shoot worked' racist route now

Except that Kofi was given a spot in the Elimination Chamber without earning it, and he lost cleanly. And if Kofi winds up with a title shot at Mania and he wins, it will because the supposed racist booked him to win. Either that or the racist booked him to win to get everyone to stop complaining about his racism... which means he's still a racist, which is not the image you want your company to have.

Also, once you start moving this into shoot territory, it's clear that Vince's biases aren't racist- or at least not any more racist than they are xenophobic or anti-Southern. Straight white cisgendered European male Cesaro was famously de-pushed for being "too Swiss" a few years ago. Vince and Dunn always thought J.R.'s voice was "too Southern." Vince has many problematic biases, but I don't think this one in any way stands out. Part of the whole angle has been that Vince is trying to do the same thing to Kofi that he tried to do to Daniel Bryan for being "too small."

I also agree with Dozer that the way they talk about this buries the World Heavyweight Title (which has been merged into this belt) that was theoretically an equal championship that two African-American wrestlers won (and in the case of Mark Henry in particular, it's burying the pinnacle accomplishment of his career).
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/19/2019 Smackdown (bad)

Post by KILLdozer » Mar 20th, '19, 13:37

Big Red Machine wrote:
Mar 20th, '19, 13:28
cero2k wrote:
Mar 20th, '19, 12:58
so apparently this Kofi story is going the 'shoot worked' racist route now

Except that Kofi was given a spot in the Elimination Chamber without earning it, and he lost cleanly. And if Kofi winds up with a title shot at Mania and he wins, it will because the supposed racist booked him to win. Either that or the racist booked him to win to get everyone to stop complaining about his racism... which means he's still a racist, which is not the image you want your company to have.

Also, once you start moving this into shoot territory, it's clear that Vince's biases aren't racist- or at least not any more racist than they are xenophobic or anti-Southern. Straight white cisgendered European male Cesaro was famously de-pushed for being "too Swiss" a few years ago. Vince and Dunn always thought J.R.'s voice was "too Southern." Vince has many problematic biases, but I don't think this one in any way stands out. Part of the whole angle has been that Vince is trying to do the same thing to Kofi that he tried to do to Daniel Bryan for being "too small."

I also agree with Dozer that the way they talk about this buries the World Heavyweight Title (which has been merged into this belt) that was theoretically an equal championship that two African-American wrestlers won (and in the case of Mark Henry in particular, it's burying the pinnacle accomplishment of his career).
Yeah, Mark Henry....that man was goin' off better than ever...for the first time in 20 YEARS he wins it...says "THAT'S WHAT I DO!" , over and over again...kills anything and everything in his path...and it's "big deal! That's not the WWE title so idc!"
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