Okay… they can’t really think that giant floating CGI Roman Reigns stuck at the end of his pose enhances anyone’s experience, can they?
PAUL HEYMAN & ROMAN REIGNS PROMO- very good
Am I crazy, or is the belt a lot more sparkly than before?
The idea here seems to be that Roman is angry at the company, not the fans. He seemed to make a point of referring to his title as the “Universal Heavyweight Title” and didn’t say “WWE” at all (as in “WWE Universal Title,” which is official name of the title).
Tonight we’re getting a rematch for the women’s tag titles, plus a four-way #1 contendership match between Corbin, Riddle, Sheamus, and Big E. I’m sorry, but none of those guys sound like particularly appealing match-ups for Roman. I guess Big E vs. Roman is the one I’d want to see the most.
ROMAN REIGNS & JEY USO BACKSTAGE- fine
We went to a commercial while seeing Heavy Machinery’s entrance, but of course we come back with the camera pointed at Roman and Heyman walking down a hallway. That definitely makes sense.
Jey referred to his sister-in-law by her shoot name. Not cool, bro. He’s happy for Roman and says that Roman is making the whole family proud. Does he not realize that Roman’s a heel? Shouldn’t he be criticizing the way Roman won the title? Also, Roman hasn’t returned his calls or texts all week. Methinks Jey might be a little slow on the uptake.
Roman sends Heyman away and Heyman says “yes, sir.” Jey wants to know why Roman is allied with Heyman. Roman assured him it was “all under control.” Jey offered to watch Roman’s back but Roman didn’t seem to need it.
HEAVY MACHINERY vs. JOHN MORRISON & THE MIZ- 4.25/10
The babyfaces won clean, but Morrison runs off with MITB. Remember when Otis stole Corbin’s stuff a few months ago and Michael Cole was all “it’s just a prank!” Well why isn’t this “just a prank,” Cole?
BABYFACES BEING GOOFY BACKSTAGE- terrible
Big E. is telling everyone that’s Woods’ birthday, and also he’s coming back to tonight to hist Talking Smack. Also present are Lucha House Party and Drew Gulak. Then Big E. starts cutting this promo telling all of these other wrestlers who we really haven’t seen him be that friendly with about how he’s going to win his #1 contendership match later tonight and earn a shot at the Universal Title. This is the sort of promo he should be cutting into the camera and telling the fans, not something he should be saying to a bunch of guys lower on the card than himself, making himself look like a self-important jerk, and surrounded by the humorous settings of a birthday party, complete with cake and hats.
A security guy comes up to Big E., and before the guy says or does anything, Big E. tells him “this is a private party.” Well then why are you having it in the middle of a big open area, you asshole?
It turns out this guy is here to alert Big E. that Woods has arrived. I bet you feel like a dick now, huh? No apology, of course, because Big E. is a dick. He takes the cake and follows the security guard. The other wrestlers stay put, which also makes no sense if Big E. is taking the cake with him to give to Woods right now.
It turns out that this was a trap that Sheamus convinced this security guard (presumably with money) to lure Big E. into. At this point, Big E. deserves it. Shemaus sets Big E. up for White Noise on the windshield of a car. A referee and Pat Buck show up to wave their arms at him and order him not to do it, but he does it anyway. Maybe waving your arms and repeatedly telling someone not to do something would be more effective if you actually punished someone for disobeying those orders?
After a commercial break, Big E. is still being tended to. Michael Cole and Corey Graves wonder if this might have been a set-up. Ya think?
KAYLA BRAXTON IS ON THE SCENE AS BIG E. IS BEING LOADED ONTO A STRETCHER- Big E. has suffered serious lacerations ad probably other internal injuries. But then again, the last time we had a situation like this was less than two weeks ago, and they thought Drew McIntyre had sustained injuries that could be “career threatening or worse,” but it turns out he’ll probably be back in a few weeks, so I’m not inclined to be quite so worried about Big E.
Sheamus showed up and cut a promo, so Kayla asked him if he set Big E. up because Big E. beat him at Payback. My first thought was that he was trying to take out a competitor in tonight’s #1 contendership match, which makes a lot more sense than being angry at Big E. for beating you in a meaningless match at a PPV. And yes, it was meaningless, because even though Big E. won cleanly, both guys are getting the same opportunity tonight in a #1 contendership match.
Graves declared that Sheamus had “cross a line” by doing this to Big E. It’s funny how neither Cole nor Graves reacted that way two weeks ago when Braun Strowman chokeslammed Bray Wyatt off of a loading dock down to the concrete floor.
Moments after being astounded that Sheamus could deny that the attack on Big E. was a set up with a straight face, Michael Cole tried to tell me that a match with NIA JAX in it could be “the greatest tag team title match in the history of this program.
ALYSE ASHTON INTERVIEWS SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY- good
Bayley told us why the outcome of this match would be different than the outcome of their previous match. Sasha then put Bayley over huge and said that they would always be friends through all of the highs and lows.
KAYLA BRAXTON GETS AN UPDATE ABOUT BIG E. FROM ADAM PEARCE- He’s going to the hospital. We’re still getting a four-way, and WWE officials are trying to figure out who will replace Big E. Paul Heyman showed up and asked to speak to Pearce.
WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler(c) vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley- 7.75/10
For no reason other than to get them on the show, we got an in-set promo before this match with Cesaro and Nakamura where hyped up this match and made fun of Big E.’s injury.
I’m not a wrestler, but to my untrained eye, it looked like Nia was not being careful with Sasha at all on those whips into the barricade.
Okay… they obviously didn’t have the best tag team match in the history of Smackdown, but they did put in a good effort for the time they were given. Sasha’s knees were worked over and Cole put her over huge for her effort… and between this and the way Sasha was putting her friendship with Bayley over earlier, I assume she’s getting tuned on next week.
Medical personnel are out here to look at Sasha. Bayley is telling them to “be careful!” as we head into a commercial break. Sasha pushed the medical people away and Bayley went to help her down from the apron but then assaulted her and smashed her knee into the steps. The announcers are talking about how Bayley could permanently injure Sasha’s leg, but not one person is coming out to help. Not company officials, and not security, whose job this theoretically is. We’re not even getting referees coming out and waving their arms at Bayley.
Ah. Here is finally one referee to stand thee and impotently order Bayley to stop. Now Bayley is setting up to PILLMANIZE SASHA’S NECK! Still no help. And there’s the Pillmanizer. If I’m Sasha Banks and I recover from this injury, I’m going the Roman Reigns route and telling this company to f*ck off. Bayley could have KILLED HER with that move!
Sasha was sent to the hospital, so that’s now two wrestlers send to the hospital in the past hour.
IC TITLE SEGMENT- fine
Sami Zayn comes out and complains about not being announced as the IC Champion. It has been a whole week since he showed up and said “I’m the real champion.” Has no one in the company sat down with him and hashed this out? Really?
Jeff Hardy comes out and says he’ll give Sami an IC Title shot. They argued over who would had the power to give title shots until AJ Styles came out and declared himself the “uncrowned” Intercontinental Champion. AJ took a cheap-shot at Jeff and beat him down. Sami Zayn tried to join in the beat-down but AJ attacked him, too. Jeff gave AJ a Twist of Fate, but Sami Zayn countered a Twist of Fate and hit a Helluva Kick to win the segment. That was all fine, but if I was booking this, I would have had Sami steal Jeff’s “fake” IC Title belt, too.
THE FOURTH MAN IN THE FATAL FOUR-WAY WILL BE JEY USO- Yes, really. JEY USO, a career tag team wrestler who doesn’t even get used as a singles wrestler when his brother isn’t here, is getting the shot. Wait…
Jey Uso actually does deserve to be in this match because he pinned the WWE Champion on a Smackdown I went to in 2018 and hasn’t gotten a title shot for it. I hereby rescind my criticism because this now does make sense… but I’ll still bet you anything that Creative has no memory of the incident I’m talking about and so it didn’t factor into their decision to give him a title shot.
For the record, the first entrance for the main event took place here. Then we went to a commercial.
SIGNAL INTRUSION BY SOMEONE WITH A HIGH-HEEL FETISH- We were subjected to music and a close-up of someone’s feet as that person walked back and forth in heels. Also, they were dragging some sort of fur thing.
HEAVY MACHINERY BACKSTAGE- bad
Tucker is worried that JoMo stole the MITB contract because apparently in WWE if you steal something, you get to keep it. Otis tells him not to worry because Otis doesn’t keep the MITB contract in the briefcase; he keeps it in that dumb MITB-themed lunchbox he had last week. Be prepared for your Money in the Bank contract-holder to be walking around with a lunchbox on a TV show that takes place at night, because Vince thinks that a weird fat man being obsessed with food is funny.
Tucker asks Otis what he keeps in the MITB briefcase. We cut to Morrison and The Miz, who, as luck would have it, decided to open the briefcase at the very moment Heavy Machinery were talking about it. Miz points out that stealing the thing doesn’t mean Morrison is the recognized contract holder. Morrison disagrees and opens the briefcase to reveal…
Vials of Anthrax! SWERVE! Otis is a bio-terrorist! He is the one responsible for COVID!
Just kidding. But you already knew that. This is WWE. They’d never do that. Instead it was a swarm of bees that Otis has enslaved to make honey for him. The bees emerge from the briefcase and sting Miz and Morrison many times.
Okay, fine. It was the dumb, predicable joke of it being food. Morrison went to eat the food but Miz told him not to.
ROMAN REIGNS & JEY USO IN ROMAN’S LOCKER ROOM- Wow… I was expecting cliché bullsh*t, but this was pretty damn good.
First things first, I wasn’t okay with Jey Uso being so happy that Roman pulled strings to get him a title shot (although I guess I should be fine with it because, as I explained above, he actually does deserve it). Instead of Roman being an arrogant dick or telling Jey “I only got you the shot because you will lie down for me” or something dumb like that, Roman told Jey that he did it because Jey deserves it and it’s about time that the office started showing him some respect. Jey would love to face Roman at the PPV. Roman says “we’ll see” and tells Jey to go out there and win something without his brother.
We now cut back to the ring for Corbin’s entrance. At this point Matt Riddle has been standing around for well over five minutes.
FATAL FOUR-WAY #1 CONTENDERSHIP MATCH: Matt Riddle vs. Baron Corbin vs. Sheamus vs. Jey Uso-
Corbin runs up the ramp and attacks Riddle, and they brawl on the stage. Again… there is no security. Sheamus runs out and attacks Riddle, so Jey Uso runs out and attacks Corbin. They brawl around for a while including with two guys in the ring… and it turns out that they did the entrances for the main event but THERE IS NO REFEREE OUT HERE! Then we go to a commercial, and when we come back we see…
AN EPISODE OF THE FIREFLY FUNHOUSE- ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME?! WHY ARE YOU DOING THESE THINGS IN THIS ORDER THAT MAKES NO F*CKING SENSE?!
Anyway, Bray announces that there will be a new character next week. You know… because they’ve done such a good job with all of the others. F*ck this stupid sh*t.
Time for the main event yet?
NOPE! Instead we’re getting a…
NIKKI CROSS & ALEXA BLISS! SEGMENT- bad
Nikki is backstage, having just watched the Firefly Funhouse. Without Alexa to guide her, she is reverting to her crazy ways. So crazy is she that she is actually standing facing the TV like a f*cking normal person, instead of standing next to it and turning her head to look at it like people do in WWE.
Alexa walks up next to her. Alexa seems to purposely trying to look evil. And look! There a f*cking pupped in the background! Remember all of the other times the Firefly Funhouse puppets showed up in the background in backstage segments and everything that let to? Nope. Good. That means your memory is working fine, because the puppets appearing in the background of backstage segments HAS NEVER LED TO ANYTHING.
Alexa asks forgiveness. Nikki forgives her and tries to say something else but Alexa interrupts her with a hug and then leaves. This is all very stupid. The horribleness of Bray Wyatt is so strong that it’s making me not like want to see Alexa Bliss! on my TV.
FATAL FOUR-WAY #1 CONTENDERSHIP MATCH: Matt Riddle vs. Baron Corbin vs. Sheamus vs. Jey Uso- 6/10
For real this time! These guys were all brawling before, but they’ve apparently managed to calm everyone down and get them to go to their corners. I want to know how, and I don’t think that that’s an unfair question because as we’ve seen tonight, security doesn’t actually seem to do anything, and even when Bayley was about to do something that could possibly END SASHA’S LIFE, they only sent out one referee to tell her not to do it, so how did they stop four angry wrestlers from fighting each other?
The match was a bunch of stuff happening. The highlight for me was Corbin picking Jey Uso up and dumping him over and behind the first row of screens. I don’t even know why I found that so entertaining, but I did.
The finish saw Riddle hit Corbin with the Floating Bro but then immediately get hit by a top rope splash from Uso and pinned. Whatever story they’re telling here, they’re not afraid to take a risk with it, so at least that’s good.
KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS JEY USO- good
This was mostly not a good show from WWE, but the Roman/Uso stuff does at least have me intrigued.
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