BRM Reviews the 8/20/2019 Smackdown (well... that sure was a trippy ending, wasn't it?)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 8/20/2019 Smackdown (well... that sure was a trippy ending, wasn't it?)

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 21st, '19, 20:44

OPENING SEGMENT- great, but…
We open with a rundown of our KOTR matches for tonight (Owens vs. Drifter and Andrade vs. Crews) and then a video package recapping Orton and The Revival beating up New Day. We were then told that Woods is not here tonight because he was injured in that heinous assault.
Randy Orton then came out and cut a promo that was completely awesome until that awful catchphrase at the end. New Day’s music played and Kofi came out from the crowd behind Orton and hit him with Trouble in Paradise. Kofi then told Orton that “we’re going to find out who the stupid one is tonight,” grabbed a chair, and went to Pillmanize Orton’s leg. Fortunately for Orton The Revival made the save for him, but they then suffered the brunt of Kofi’s rage with a steel chair.
As a segment, this was extremely well-executed, but I am quite unhappy with The Revival once again playing the role of someone’s lackeys. Also… where was Big E.?

Oh. By the way, David Otunga is on commentary in place of Graves. He noted that he has heard from “a lawyer friend of mine that Daniel Bryan has indeed done extensive research” into who Roman’s attacker was, but I think they are really failing to use Otunga to his fullest capacity by letting him be a heel lawyer character who can show up and be part of the story when required. It’s certainly a much better use of him than as a kick-off show panelist or a commentator.

NXT MEDIA BLITZ-
The Forbes article describes the NXT to USA move as “part of the wrestling promotion’s suddenly blossoming partnership with it’s longtime television partner.”
“Suddenly blossoming?” How is it “suddenly blossoming” if they are merely replacing the show they’ve lost to Fox? Aside from about three weeks, WWE will have the same exact number of hours of TV on USA as they have had for the past four and a half years.
He articles from Hollywood Reporter, Yahoo! News, Variety, ESPN, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, and CBS Sports were actually embarrassment-free, which is quite the shock based on what we’ve seen from these articles in the past. That being said, half of them used the same exact quote from Vince, and, if I had to guess, in those cases the three paragraphs we were shown were the entirety of the article, rather than a mere snippet of it as WWE wanted it to appear.

SHANE MCMAHON & KEVIN OWENS BACKSTAGE- didn’t like it
Shane has summoned Owens here to threaten him with more fines and suspension. Owens tries to tell him that he’s “not here to make things worse,” and implies that he just wants Shane to leave him alone. Shane was a great abusive jerk, trying to goad Owens into getting angry while retaining plausible deniability. Owens kept his cool and was very diplomatic.

Also, we’re back to the “pretend they’re not there” cameras, which is disappointing. All you had to do here was have Shane explain to Owens that he has brought a camera crew in here to document Owens’ behavior so that if Shane has to fine him again, there will be no disputing that Owens deserves it.
While this was a very well-acted segment, I really don’t like the look of Owens being summoned to Shane’s office and then having to all but beg Shane to please rescind his fine. I’m not saying it doesn’t work for the storyline, but I don’t think this is the best way to take this storyline (particularly because you’ll eventually have to come up with a reason for why Shane can no longer control Owens’ behavior via threats of fines that doesn’t add up to “Owens is so angry he doesn’t care about his family’s wellbeing anymore”).
The other thing that I think was working against this segment is that as well as they played their parts here and came across as wonderfully human, it comes on the heels of five months of Cole and Roman being us over the head with a much more blunt version “Shane is privileged/spoiled/whatever” narrative being pushed, which taints the foundation of this angle with that phoniness that WWE scripting can give things, even when the idea in question is the shoot truth.

Andrade’s entrance was shown before the commercial break after the opening segment, which means that his entrance went on for SEVEN STRAIGHT MINUTES. Could you really not have waited with the backstage segment or NXT video package?

KING OF THE RING FIRST-ROUND MATCH: Apollo Crews vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/Zelina Vega)- 7/10
A great match where Crews was able to look very strong in defeat. Almas won with some help from Vega.

DANIEL BRYAN & ERICK ROWAN HAVE THE SUPPOSED CULPRIT BACKSTAGE- dumb
This guy has a sheet over his head even though the cameras supposedly aren’t there. Also, he’s not resisting AT ALL.

24/7 TITLE STUPIDITY- stupid
The Drifter finds a referee in disguise backstage. He demands to know where the hiding wrestler is and the referee instantly gives him up. It’s Drake Maverick hiding in a box. He was made to look like a goof, with Elias throttling him, instructing him to read a letter from Shane announcing that the 24/7 Title has been suspended tonight so that The Drifter can focus on beating Owens, then being choked again and slammed back into the box.
1. If Shane is so worried about no one messing with The Drifter so that he can beat Owens, why didn’t he make this announcement publicly, before the show went on the air?
2. F*ck you for this stupid bullsh*t, Vince. F*ck. You.

A MOMENT OF BLISS (& CROSS) WITH SPECIAL GUEST CHARLOTTE FLAIR- bad
Alexa is now suddenly a sh*t-stirring heel, which makes this about her twenty-third turn this year. Charlotte cut a very boring promo during which she said that she is face of the division because she is someone you can put on the red carpet or send to do interviews. Also, she accidentally Alexa’s shoot name.
Bayley came out to dispute Charlotte’s assertions. Her promo was decent. Charlotte responded by saying that she was getting a title shot at the next PPV, to which Bayley responded “if that’s a challenge then challenge accepted,” meaning we are getting yet another challenger who didn’t do squat to her earn her title shot. Then Bayley pushed Charlotte over in her chair and left. No one came out of this looking good.

ROMAN REIGNS & BUDDY MURPHY IN THE LOCKER ROOM- meh
Roman demands to know the truth. Murphy says he is “pretty sure” he saw Rowan try to run Roman over. Roman threated to beat Murphy up if he finds out that he’s lying again. They continue to tread a fine line with Murphy, making him as unlikable as possible while still indication to us that he has now earned Roman Reigns’ respect.

BUDDY MURPHY vs. DANIEL BRYAN (w/Erick Rowan)- 7.75/10
Yes, Rowan is out here with Bryan, leaving their captive alone where anyone can come along and rescue him (assuming that they even bothered to restrain him in the first place). These guys had had a GREAT match, and Murphy won clean.

THEY SHOW US CAMERA FOOTAGE OF THE CULPRIT- And he’s just sitting there with the sheet over his head, EVEN THOUGH NO ONE IS STOPPING HIM FROM LEAVING. If Roman Reigns can’t tell that this is a trap, he’s a f*cking moron.

KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS BUDDY MURPHY- Or not. Instead he gets assaulted by Erick Rowan as Bryan shouts at him that he “deserves” this beating and that he is “a liar and a coward.”

THE REVIVAL PROMO- good
Dash’s ribs are taped up from the earlier chairshots. They say New Day are cowards. They challenge New Day to a tag title match at the PPV. They claim that they are going to “revive the division and restore glory to the titles” that bad champions New Day have disgraced. Isn’t that basically the same promo that Charlotte cut on Bayley earlier?

HEAVY MACHINERY vs. THE REVIVAL- 4/10
The “pass the guy to your partner” bearhug that Heavy Machinery did was SOOO much better than the stupid suplex spot that was all the rage on the indies a few years ago. The Revival overcame the disadvantage of Dash’s injured ribs to get the win.

KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS CHAD GABLE- Gable cuts an awesome promo, while, in the background, Shelton Benjamin sets up a short joke to make fun of Gable. Well… at least now we know who the babyface and the heel are. The crowd laughed at the short joke, so I’m going to guess that the symbolic significance of Gable defying the “you must this tall to…” sign and walking into the locker room anyway was lost on all of their low-brow asses.

MORE FOOTAGE OF “THE CULPRIT” CALMLY SITTING THERE, UNGUARDED- I’m serious, guys. If Roman doesn’t see through this, he’s just hopeless.

MIZ TV WITH SPECIAL GUEST SAMI ZAYN- Why are two Raw wrestlers doing a segment on Smackdown? For those keeping score at home, our wildcard count is now at three.
Anyway, Sami apparently asked for this TV interview because he wants to get TV time to cut a promo rather than because he cares about Miz. If that’s the case then why didn’t he just stroll on out here with a microphone like everyone else does?
Sami cut a promo saying that he is going to start helping people and then brought out Shinsuke Nakamura. A lot of talking happened, then Nakamura attack Miz from behind and beat him up. Despite the natural set up for it, Mustafa Ali did not come out to make the save, nor did anyone else. This was extremely boring. Nakamura, the heel, came off like the coolest guy in the room by far.

BRYAN AND ROWAN TALK TO “THE CULPRIT”- Again… MORONIC

SHANE MCMAHON & KEVIN OWENS BACKSTAGE… AGAIN- snore
Shane demands that Owens apologize for putting his hands on a WWE official. Owens does so. Shane tells him that he is reconsidering the fine, but warns him that he will be fired if he ever intentionally puts his hand on another WWE PPV.

KING OF THE RING FIRST ROUND MATCH: Kevin Owens vs. “The Drifter” Elias Sampson- 6/10
We got a rare televised entrance for Elias, including an even rarer playing of his actual entrance theme. Shane came out right before the commercial break to watch the match from ringside. He would later ruin an otherwise good match by revealing that he was wearing a customized referee shirt and distracting Owens, then replacing the referee and fast-counting Owens. This thing feels like it’s going around in circles already. And why should Shane need a referee’s shirt. Isn’t he already a company official by virtue of being a McMahon with some kind of decision-making power?

Otunga’s commentary style was weird. He was being a heel commentator but wasn’t trying to be larger than life or over the top with it, so he almost came off as sincerely believing that winning KOTR would make The Drifter as big a star as Elvis. When he was making good points he came off almost like the babyface commentator, but when he was saying the usual heelish things he came off as laughably misguided rather than evoking anger from his colleagues the way a traditional heel color commentator would.

ROMAN REIGNS COMES TO FIND OUT WHO THE CULPRIT IS- I don’t even know what to say
Bryan rants for a while, then pulls the towel off the guy’s head… and he’s a tall bald Caucasian man with a big red bear just like Rowan’s. That certainly explains why Murphy made the mistake he did, but it doesn’t explain why this guy just sat here and made no effort to escape. We ended the who with Roman looking just as confused as I was.
Also, this sort of cliffhanger doesn’t make sense because while the show might be off the air, the kayfabe real world doesn’t pause. Roman should be demanding answers from Bryan and/or this guy right now, not waiting until next week to get them.


This was a pretty good episode of Smackdown. Aside from the two very bad talking segments and the goofball comedy crap, I thought everything was, at worst, solid, even if I don’t necessary think they’re taking certain things in the right direction. Main Roster WWE has definitely improved since SummerSlam.


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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/20/2019 Smackdown (well... that sure was a trippy ending, wasn't it?)

Post by KILLdozer » Aug 21st, '19, 22:30

Yeah I have no idea. Unless that bald red beard dude is someone Rowan knows or some shit...his brother...Idk...

There's gotta be some sort of tie-in to everything...but I have no clue either lol.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/20/2019 Smackdown (well... that sure was a trippy ending, wasn't it?)

Post by XIV » Aug 22nd, '19, 01:32

The cliffhanger would have worked if Roman was in the ring demanding that Bryan & Rowan reveal the mystery culprit and then Bryan and Rowan pop up on the tron and revealed the Rowan looking guy because then at least you could end the show and use social medias (as WWE does) to show an aftershow video of Roman walking backstage trying to find them, only to be told that Bryan, Rowan and Fake Rowan had been seen leaving and couldn't be found when Roman went backstage.

At least that way you can open the next show with the next part of the story...

As you point out BRM, this is useless, because why didn't Roman say "you expect me to believe this bullshit?" Did he fight the guy? What did he actually do after the initial confusion died down? Did he ask questions? Did he get beat up by all three? Did Bryan & Rowan just leave Roman with the obvious fall guy and head off safe from Roman's wrath for another week?

This is a cliffhanger, but not the kind of cliffhanger you want, because it just looks stupid.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/20/2019 Smackdown (well... that sure was a trippy ending, wasn't it?)

Post by Bob-O » Aug 22nd, '19, 10:40

Anyone else notice that Rowan got his first name back!?

Thank you Mr Bischoff.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/20/2019 Smackdown (well... that sure was a trippy ending, wasn't it?)

Post by cero2k » Aug 22nd, '19, 10:55

Bob-O wrote:
Aug 22nd, '19, 10:40
Anyone else notice that Rowan got his first name back!?

Thank you Mr Bischoff.
how else would you distinguish between Erik Rowan and Merik Rowan

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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/20/2019 Smackdown (well... that sure was a trippy ending, wasn't it?)

Post by cero2k » Aug 22nd, '19, 11:17

If anyone gets a chance, check out WOL from wednesday where Alvarez retold the Owens/Shane story from this episode changing the names to Austin/Vince respectively. It was fantastic.

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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/20/2019 Smackdown (well... that sure was a trippy ending, wasn't it?)

Post by KILLdozer » Aug 22nd, '19, 12:03

Alright...enough lol...

Let's get down to it...who do we really think this guy is/or is going to be?

Really far out there...but is it TOO MUCH to think..."See? It wasn't Rowan. Just a guy that looks JUST LIKE HIM. Easy mistake.", like they went out if their way to keep bullshitting and now they're just blaming him lol.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/20/2019 Smackdown (well... that sure was a trippy ending, wasn't it?)

Post by cero2k » Aug 22nd, '19, 12:06

KILLdozer wrote:
Aug 22nd, '19, 12:03
Alright...enough lol...

Let's get down to it...who do we really think this guy is/or is going to be?

Really far out there...but is it TOO MUCH to think..."See? It wasn't Rowan. Just a guy that looks JUST LIKE HIM. Easy mistake.", like they went out if their way to keep bullshitting and now they're just blaming him lol.
it's just the straight up stupid scape-goat that Bryan pulled out of his ass to try and trick Roman because everything pointed to the real Rowan.

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Re: BRM Reviews the 8/20/2019 Smackdown (well... that sure was a trippy ending, wasn't it?)

Post by KILLdozer » Aug 22nd, '19, 12:08

cero2k wrote:
Aug 22nd, '19, 12:06
KILLdozer wrote:
Aug 22nd, '19, 12:03
Alright...enough lol...

Let's get down to it...who do we really think this guy is/or is going to be?

Really far out there...but is it TOO MUCH to think..."See? It wasn't Rowan. Just a guy that looks JUST LIKE HIM. Easy mistake.", like they went out if their way to keep bullshitting and now they're just blaming him lol.
it's just the straight up stupid scape-goat that Bryan pulled out of his ass to try and trick Roman because everything pointed to the real Rowan.
That's what I was pretty much getting at. It seems like the easiest and most simple answer.
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