BRM Reviews the 6/12/2020 Smackdown (AJ VS. BRYAN!)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 6/12/2020 Smackdown (AJ VS. BRYAN!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Jun 14th, '20, 19:31

JEFF HARDY VS. SHEAMUS CONTRACT SIGNING- mixed
Sheamus comes out with a doctor and security guards and wants Jeff to take a piss-test before he signs the contract match, and he says that WWE has agreed to this as well. Sheamus says that these tests usually take 24 hours to get results, but Sheamus has found this doctor who can get the results much faster than that, and he has paid for the whole thing himself. Do neither Jeff nor WWE see either of the obvious traps here? Jeff says that this is BS, but he’ll do it because he wants to be a symbol of hope to recovering addicts. Jeff’s promo was just about the only good thing about this.

What I’m having trouble understanding is what Sheamus hopes to gain from this. You might say that he’s hoping to frame Jeff with a failed drug test (or, if the whole thing is actually on the up and up, just hoping that Jeff will fail) in order to get out of facing the angry Jeff at Backlash, but that doesn’t fit with Sheamus’ character at all. In fact, it seems to me like the thing Sheamus would like the most in the world dis for Jeff Hardy to show up to their match impaired by drugs because that would make it much easier for Sheamus to beat him. After all, drugs are not known for improving your coordination or reaction time, and most of them aren’t going to make you think more clearly, either. Is Sheamus worried that Jeff is going to show up to their match on PCP? And if Jeff was going to do that, what good does testing him now do?
Anyway, Jeff steps into the enclosure makes Brian Pillman smile by whipping out Johnson and taking a piss in a wrestling ring. Speaking of ECW and urine, this calls to mind something Joey Styles said at CyberSlam 99 which was that a wrestler “publicly urinating” was in “poor taste, even for us.” And here is WWE doing it in 2020.
To my utter shock, Sheamus and his lackeys didn’t attack Jeff from behind while he was stepping into the enclosure. Instead, they let him piss in peace, which I assume means that they’ve set the other obvious trap, which is that the doctor (who is on Sheamus’ payroll with a test that he claims gets results much faster than the normal one) will just fake the results.
Sheamus tells us to just say no while Jeff pisses… and he pissed A LOT. So much that I was suspicious, so I Googled how much urine a human bladder can hold and the answer is that during the day, up to two cups. And the Jar that Jeff filled looked it was pretty close to that, if not more. Could they really not just find a normal specimen cup?
Either way, the doctor dips his testing stick in the pee (there’s a phrase I never anticipated typing in a wrestling review) while Sheamus says mean things to Jeff, so Jeff delivers the cliché “it’s better to be pissed off than pissed on” grabs the container of piss, and throws it in Sheamus’ face. Fox decided it was necessary to mute the “pissed on” part of this. I will point out that the aforementioned ECW segment also wound up with the heel getting the urine sample thrown in his face.

When we got back from a commercial, Sheamus was washing his mouth out in a bathroom. The doctor showed up and told Sheamus that Jeff’s result were negative. So why the hell did hey throw in that detail about everything being paid for by Sheamus if it wasn’t going to matter. All it did was make Jeff and WWE management look foolish, and raises my opinion of the heel by showing him to at least be slightly honorable.

NEW DAY vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA & CESARO- 4.75/10
Big E. nailed Graves in the face with his entrance jacket. I am shocked at how fast that thing flew. It speaks to both Big E’s strength and his ability to pack that jacket so tightly before throwing it.
New Day took knee and a raised fist before their match. The announcers didn’t acknowledge this, but the camera certainly made no effort to shy away from showing it. They also lost cleanly. You can draw a connection if you want to, but Kofi got pinned by the Asian guy, and it’s two days before a PPV with very few matches announced, and this sets one up, so I don’t think the two had anything to do with each other. This was short, but the idea of a full-length match between these two teams will be INSANE.

HEAVY MACHINERY ARE GOOFS BACKSTAGE- bad
Mandy Rose showed up give Otis the MITB briefcase, implicitly suggesting that he should cash in on Braun tonight in the middle of the Heavy Machinery & Braun Strowman vs. Miz, Morrison, & Ziggler six-man tag. And I case you didn’t get the implicit suggestion of Mandy’s words, Tucker Knight was nice enough to explain it to us so that you couldn’t possibly be surprised when it happened… which tells us all in advance that this thing you want us to think is going to happen, won’t happen.

SHEAMUS & JEFF HARDY BRAWL BACKSTAGE- Devon Dudley, Jamie Noble, and a referee run in to break it up.

IC TITLE VIDEO PACKAGE- great!

WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE TOURNAMENT FINALS: Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles- 9/10
It’s almost forty minutes of AJ and Dragon, working body parts and reversing submission and so forth. You know it’s going to be awesome, even within the WWE style.

BRAUN STROWMAN PROMO- great!
The only part of this I didn’t like was the beginning bit when he started to give us jovial recap of everything that had happened so for tonight and that which was to come. It was one of those things that you could see John Cena at the beginning of a show and everyone groaning because he’s playing emcee instead of being a professional wrestler.

WOMEN’S TAG TITLE HYPE SEGMENT- meh
Sasha and Bayley threw themselves a celebration for winning the belts. They were interrupted by Alexa Bliss! & Nikki Cross in person, and by the IIconics on the TitanTron. The Iconics cut a promo and warned Sasha & Bayley not to turn their backs on Alexa & Nikki, who then attacked Sasha & Bayley as they turned around. I was not a fan of the babyfaces being part of what seemed like a set plan with a group of heels to attack their enemies from behind.

KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS JOHN MORRISON & THE MIZ- I laughed at Miz telling Kayla that sliming her last week was “an early birthday present.” That’s more than being a dick. It’s a whole different level of “f*ck you, I don’t care.”
Miz & Morrison now have a music video for Braun, but we got to see almost none of it because it was interrupted by the show cutting to the ring for Braun’s entrance. I think that’s for the best.

MATT RIDDLE VIDEO PACKAGE- meh
They need to establish a character for him beyond “guy who says ‘bro.’”

DOLPH ZIGGLER, JOHN MORRISON, & THE MIZ vs. BRAUN STROWMAN & HEAVY MACHINERY- 5.75/10
Was into Tucker Knight as the babyface in peril but that was really the only notable thing about this. The big moment here was when Baron Corbin used his magic powers take over the TitanTron and ordered the cameraman to follow him as he went to talk to Mandy. Otis ran off to save Mandy from whatever Corbin was going to do. While obviously Corbin did this specifically to distract Otis during his match, and his insistence that Mandy must be fantasizing about him was arrogant and skeezy, the fact remains that he was not wrong to confront her about Otis stealing his crown last week, and to tell her off for not telling her boyfriend off for this theft.
Otis eventually showed up and shoved Corbin into a fence… and then came back out with Mandy in tow, ending the handicap situation. Then the babyfaces won the match, so where is heat? Where was the go-home angle here that’s supposed to make me want to see the PPV if the babyfaces all got their revenge here in this one segment?
Another problem I had with this was the way Michael Cole kept phrasing Otis’ actions. While we all understand that Otis had reason to be fearful that Corbin might attack his beloved Mandy (why else would he do whatever he was about to do on the Tron in the middle of Otis’ match if he didn’t want Otis to see it), Cole kept using the phrase that Otis was upset because he saw Corbin “talking to Mandy,” which makes Otis come across like that borderline-abusive overprotective jock boyfriend from tweenage Nickelodeon shows. Not good.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- bad
The babyfaces all celebrated together, with no teasing of an MITB cash-in. What a waste of time.


My initial reaction to this show was that it was a decent episode of Smackdown, but then I realized that the reason for that was that they gave ALMOST ONE THIRD OF THE SHOW to AJ STYLES VS. BRYAN DANIELSON. It’s really hard to do that and not have a show that’s excellent, so this really wasn’t a good show because they gave us one amazing match and dragged it down with a bunch of other stuff. To be fair to those who don’t deserve blame, if you excise everything involving Heavy Machinery (i.e. their backstage goofiness and the main event), it was a very good show (or at least an effective one at setting up what needed to be set up for the PPV), with me having some reservations about the angles for Jeff vs. Sheamus and the women’s tag titles, but nothing being too bad (which is a major accomplishment for a WWE show). Anyway, in a little over two months they’ve taken Otis from a lovable underdog dealing with bullies to an obnoxious goof who I don’t want to see on TV ever. I know I’ve rambled a lot in this paragraph, but I really need to start watching the PPV now so I don’t have time to clean this up. Bye!
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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