BRM Reviews the 5/29/2020 Smackdown (the one where Elias gets hit by a car)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 5/29/2020 Smackdown (the one where Elias gets hit by a car)

Post by Big Red Machine » May 31st, '20, 10:40

We open with Renee Young reporting live on the scene. Elias is being loaded onto a stretcher. A police officer is searching this car and find an open bottle of booze. Renee is telling us that a witness saw the driver get out of the car and run away, and that we’re looking for someone wearing a black shirt and black pants. The cop finds a registration saying that this rental car belongs to Jeff Hardy. Renee then pitches to Kayla Braxton, who is standing by with another eyewitness.
Said witness turns out to be BRAUN STROWMAN. He says that he saw a crash and saw the driver run away and called 911 for Elias. This has all been handled very well so far, but I find it completely impossible to believe that Braun Strowman can fit into that car he was standing beside.
We see a bunch of cops running and go to follow them… and running with them are road agents and referees. One of the referees acting as a liaison before was fine, but having Jamie Noble there along with a flock referees made this feel like a backstage segment that happened to be taking place outside.
They find Jeff Hardy lying in the bushes. He is clearly hurt. He says his head his spinning. He denies having drank any alcohol when he is asked about it, but one of the cops says he smells like booze. Actually, his exact words were “he smells just like the bottles in the car,” so maybe Jeff was drinking peppermint schnapps or something like that which also has a distinctive smell.
Jeff Hardy is arrested and loaded into a police car, then driven off to jail. When they brought him past Elias being loaded into the ambulance Jeff screamed “ELIAS!” like he was seeing this for the first time.
I don’t know where this is going or when it was taped, but I do know that airing it this week is pretty f*cking tone-deaf. I don’t care that the situations are extremely dissimilar. Doing something like this wasn’t a good idea.

ADAM PEARCE TELLS EVERYONE WHAT HAS HAPPENED- This led to AJ saying that he and Bryan should get byes to the IC Title tournament finals because their opponents are both unable to compete. Bryan instead suggested that they each be given new opponents. AJ said Bryan was dumb for turning down a free ride, while Bryan said that AJ was being cowardly. Various wrestlers started arguing over who should face who. Sheamus kept bringing up that Jeff has a bad history of stuff like this.
Eventually Adam Pearce ruled that if Bryan wanted to compete, he could do that, but he also wasn’t going to take AJ’s bye away from him. Tonight, there will be a battle royale, with the winner facing Bryan in a semifinal match, and the winner of that facing AJ in the finals two weeks from now.
This wasn’t particularly good or anything, but everyone should go watch it for this one reason: They shot it like normal people would! The wrestlers weren’t standing all in a straight line and turning their heads sideways to took at each other because they all had to be facing the hard-cam. They were mostly shoulder-to shoulder, yes, but that’s because they were crowded around Adam Pearce as he gave his big announcements. When they were going to talk, they turned and faced the person they were talking to, and the camera moved to make sure it was shooting the face of the person talking. The acting here was passable, but just the fact that they weren’t standing in this completely unnatural formation made this segment with just passable acting so much more bearable because at least the wrestlers were behaving like real human beings.

BATTLE ROYALE TO FACE DANIEL BRYAN LATER TONIGHT: Sheamus vs. Baron Corbin vs. Jey Uso vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Chad Gable vs. Lincé Dorado vs. Gran Metalik vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Drew Gulak- 6.5/10
They’re so proud of putting NXT trainees around the ring that they briefly cut away from the action to show us these people randomly clapping. This should be a firing offense.

The match was very good for what it was. Having Jey Uso eliminate Corbin after Corbin got three eliminations did a great job of making him feel like he had a real shot at winning when it came down to just him and Sheamus at the end. The other person who got some focus was Gable, who eliminated both Cesaro and Nakamura, and then eliminated when Cesaro snuck back into the ring to throw him over the top rope while the referees were distracted by Nakamura, so that’s a feud that we’re probably going to be seeing soon.

SONYA DEVILLE PROMO- Sonya’s actual promo was fine, but the person who thought it was a good idea to have Lacey Evans walk into the background of Sonya’s promo while Sonya cut a promo on her, then shove her down from behind and say “see you in the ring, you nasty” should have been flogged for suggesting it. It made Lacey look and sound like a heel, and I just didn’t buy that Sonya wouldn’t get right up, run after her, and choke her out.

There is a referee between them, trying to keep the peace. Nakamura is also here. Gable is angry at Cesaro for screwing him out of the battle royale. Cesaro makes fun of Gable’s height (is this really the only idea for this guy that Vince will let on TV?), so Gable punches him. I figured Nakamura would jump in and attack Gable, but instead he just laughed, then held Cesaro back when Cesaro tried to get at Gable. Anyway, it looks like we’re getting these two against each other, which should be awesome if it is given the time.

This was a good little match for the time it got that escalated well. By the time it ended in a double-count-out as they brawled on the outside, I was eager see the rematch. They brawled a bit afterwards, with Sonya eventually chickening out and trying to cover it up with the usual heel “I’ll fight you on my own terms” excuse.

FORGOTTEN SONS PROMO- The words were fine, but Blake was the one who did almost all of the talking, and it looked like he was about to break into a smile the whole time while cutting this grim, angry promo.

Between New Day and Nikki Cross, I was expecting full-on embarrassing wackiness, but they actually kept it relatively tame. That doesn’t mean this was good, though. It was eventually interrupted by Sasha and Bayley. Barbs were exchanged. Alexa pointed out that Sasha was the only one with no title. Bayley volunteered for Sasha to face Alexa tonight, and apparently that makes it official. Bayley left, and Alexa hit Sasha with a dropkick for no reason at all.

Sasha wrestled in sneakers because she came out for the previous segment in heels. So she had time during the commercial break to go back and get her sneakers, but not to get her wrestling boots?
The referee ringing the bell when Sasha was tying her shoes didn’t bother me because 1) she only went down to tie them after the referee turned his back to her, so he didn’t see it, and 2) it’s her job to let the referee know if she’s not ready. She easily could have shouted “HEY! WAIT! I need to tie my shoes!” but she didn’t.
Nikki Cross and Bayley were both on commentary. They bickered, and it was very annoying. Nikki in particular was annoying. 90% of what she was doing was the usual ringside cheerleading that most seconds will do, so why not just have her at ringside and let Bayley be the one on commentary to focus on the dissension between her and Sasha?
Sasha worked the back. Bliss went up for Twisted Bliss but Bayley distracted her. Cross came to deal with Bayley, but the distraction bought Sasha enough time to recover and get the win. So after feuding with nobody, the women’s tag champs are now in two feuds at once! Hooray for trying to make these belts actually matter!

CHAD GABLE vs. CESARO (w/Shinsuke Nakamura)- 4/10
This was another short match. There was a bit of a story with Cesaro having a nagging knee injury, but that felt more like just a little touchstone for an on-going story with that rather than something that really mattered much in this particular match. Gabe won clean with a roll-up.

MANDY & OTIS CELEBRATE- dumb, bad, and pointless
They’re sitting lounging at poolside with some champagne and fruit. Otis is trying his best to be Chris Farley. Things are going so well that Mandy decides to go to sleep, and we soon fade into a dream sequence. HOW THE F*CK ARE WE SEEING A DREAM SEQUENCE?!
In the dream sequence, she is fantasizing about Otis. Then she gets woken up when he shouts “CANNONBALL!” (even though the only other person around is his sleeping girlfriend) and jumps into the pool, splashing her, meaning that either Otis is so inconsiderate that he didn’t make sure to jump far enough away from Mandy, or so comically fat that no matter where he jumped into the pool, Mandy would be in the splash zone. Otis apologizes for waking her up, and then Mandy gets in the pool so that they can make out. This was TERRIBLE! It created an inexplicable scenario where we seeing into someone’s mind, and it did so for NO REASON. This segment served no purpose other than some poor excuse for comedy, and if comedy is your only reason for doing a segment, DON’T DO IT! (And no, I don’t consider shots of Mandy Rose in her bikini for the purpose of sex appeal to be serving a purpose, simply because if anyone wants to see Mandy in her bikini, all they have to do is Google “Mandy Rose” “bikini” and a million pictures will pop up.

KURT ANGLE ANNOUNCES MATT RIDDLE’S CALL-UP- They put him in the same category as Angle, Taker, Brock, Cena, Orton, Edge, Hogan, and Eddie. That’s a BIG push right there.

MATT RIDDLE VIDEO PACKAGE- I have no idea how this would come to a casual fan, and casual fans are the ones who need to be sold on him.

First Graves earlier tonight and now Sheamus here have said that “the Intercontinental Title is the one title I have never won here in the WWE.” Um… what about the Universal Title? You know… the other men’s singles title on this show? Or the 24/7 Title? Is it that hard to check Wikipedia before doing a storyline like this?
Making things worse, Sheamus says that winning this title will make him the “first-ever WWE Ultimate Grand Slam Champion.” Based on Sheamus’ title history, apparently the definition of an “Ultimate Grand Slam Champion” is winning the WWE Title, World Heavyweight Title, Raw and SD tag titles, and US and IC Title. To be as generous as possible to Sheamus, I decided to include only people who had won the WWE Title and World Heavyweight Title while they were separate belts (as opposed in their current unified for a the WWE World Heavyweight Title) and to only include people who won the US Title in WWE. Even using this strict definition, it took me approximately ten seconds to come up with one man who had already won all of those titles… AND IT’S THE GUY THEY DID THE BIG ANGLE AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS VERY SHOW WITH (Jeff Hardy)!
If you wanted to be REALLY f*cking stingy about it and say that Sheamus is only counting people who won the WWE Title and World Heavyweight Title while they were separate and then again while they were unified then I suppose Sheamus is technically correct, but the fact is that WWE has not portrayed the unified title as a separate title (their own official title history has the WHC being merged into the WWE Title when they were unified), so I don’t think I was being unreasonable by not doing so.
That one line took an otherwise great promo and killed it for me, because it’s indicative of a painfully shoddy approach to storytelling born out of a complete and total disregard for both the facts and the audience. And I was actually liking this show!
It just so happens that as Sheamus was finishing his promo up, Daniel Bryan walked by. Kayla left because I guess she’s worried they’re going to start fighting… and yet somehow, even without Kayla’s microphone, we could hear Sheamus just as clearly as we could when Kayla was holding the microphone right there.
Sheamus pokes Bryan in the stomach and talks some trash, so Bryan kicks him in the knee, smirks, and walks off, while Sheamus hops around screaming “YOU DIRTY BASTARD! YOU’LL PAY FOR THAT!” I laughed at that part.

They replayed an angle from last week involving Braun, Miz, and Morrison, then announced that Braun will be defending the Universal Title against them in a handicap match at Backlash. I hate titles being defended in handicap matches, but I am willing to go along with it, so long as it is handled in a sports-like “if this were real…” manner. And if this were real, the first thing that should have been decided- and, just as importantly, communicated to the audience- is who gets the title if Braun is pinned. That wasn’t mentioned here at all.

They did their stuff. Bryan won when Jeff Hardy came out and distracted Sheamus.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- didn’t like it
Jeff assaulted Sheamus. I guess the idea is that Sheamus attacked Jeff, doused him in alcohol, stole his keys, put the unconscious Jeff in the rental car, ran down Elias, then left?
Yeah… that doesn’t work for me. The reason is the eye-witness, who said that they saw the driver run off. Is the idea that Jeff woke up like this and then ran off (and the eye witness only saw Jeff get out of the car but not Sheamus? Or is the idea that Sheamus changed into identical clothes to Jeff, ran off carrying Jeff, and then dumped him in the bushes… and the eye witness didn’t notice that there were two people there, and didn’t notice that the man he saw running off had a big, distinctive shock of red hair?
Also, if you’re Sheamus, why not just MOVE JEFF TO THE DRIVER’S SEAT AND THEN LEAVE?
But on the bright side, at least they didn’t have Jeff come back driving a police cruiser.

This was a meh episode of Smackdown. It had a lot of promise, but just didn’t pan out (and that’s ignoring the poor taste in doing an angle with an arrest this week).
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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Re: BRM Reviews the 5/29/2020 Smackdown (the one where Elias gets hit by a car)

Post by KILLdozer » May 31st, '20, 15:24

Where's the mystery hacker guy vignette shit of the week? How long has that been going on now? Enough already. People said it's Ali "because the light thing is the same as the one he wears." Yeah sure.
When they come, they'll come at what you love.

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