The SmarK Rant for WWE Friday Night Smackdown – 10.04.19
Back on the weekly TV recapping horse.
Live from Los Angeles, CA
Your hosts are Michael Cole and Corey Graves. THANK GOD they’re going back to 2 announcers.
Man, that pre-game show did a hell of a job hyping this thing up. Really came across as a sporting event.
Vince and Stephanie join us to start, of course, to introduce the redesigned set and new AC/DC opening.
Becky Lynch opens the actual show and she wants competition, but King Corbin answers. And then thankfully the Rock’s music hits before we can any more jibber-jabbering to open the show, although putting him on first seems kind of short-sighted. So Rock calls Corbin a “broke ass Burger King on crack”, but Corbin declares himself to be the most electrifying King and wants the Rock to shut his mouth. So Rock points out that he’s not ACTUALLY a King, even if he dresses like a 35 year old virgin at Comiccon. And just because Becky is “The Man”, she doesn’t walk around carrying a pair of testicles. Baron points out that his testicles are perfectly adequate. Rock clarifies that Corbin is in fact a super tough dude. Or STD for short. I don’t know if that catchy-phrase is gonna catch. And then Rock and Becky double-team him and we get a People’s Elbow and Rock Bottom for him. This was fine but didn’t feel like anything super-special to kick off a super-special show. And obviously it’s not leading anywhere.
Becky Lynch & Charlotte v. Bayley & Sasha Banks
Charlotte gets double-teamed in the heel corner and Sasha gets the double knees for two, but Charlotte fights back with chops and dumps Sasha to the floor. She teases a dive, but Bayley shoves her to the floor and SMACKDOWN ROLLS ON as we take a break. Goddamn there’s been a lot of commercials already for this show. Also, I don’t know if it’s the Fox feed or what, but the show is shot at a weird framerate that’s tripping me out. We return with Becky getting a hot tag and cleaning house with a legdrop on Bayley for two. Charlotte comes in with the Natural Selection on Bayley, but Sasha saves and everyone slugs it out as the heels bail. Charlotte follows with the moonsault, which misses as usual but they still sell it, and back in for the figure-eight on Bayley at 8:14. Why would you job the Smackdown champion on the FIRST EPISODE?!? This was no good. *1/2
The New Day are interviewed by Erin Andrews backstage, and Kofi has politely asked his team to stay in the dressing room tonight.
Seth Rollins v. Shinsuke Nakamura
Seth’s entrance is interrupted by the Firefly Fun House, which results in a cage match between Mercy the Buzzard and Ramblin’ Rabbit (as Seth Rollins) which goes about as you’d expect it to. And then we do ANOTHER commercial break. I know it’s on Fox but it feels like the show can’t get any momentum going because they keep going to break. So we come back with the match starting and Hulk Hogan making an entrance and sitting at ringside, and Shinsuke quickly takes Seth down with an armbar attempt. Seth escapes and dumps Nakamura for the dive. Back in, Rollins with the sling blade and the flying knee to set up the superkick, but the lights go out and Seth runs away from the Fiend again, but gets taken out with the mandible claw at the entrance. So the match just kind of ends without a finish at 2:20. And Seth Rollins looks like such a huge loser in this feud that they might as well just change the title on Sunday.
AND WE GO TO ANOTHER COMMERCIAL.
Ladder match, loser gets FIRED: Shane McMahon v. Kevin Owens
Owens tosses Shane and runs him into the stairs, but tries to climb and gets taken out by Shane. Owens tries a stunner, but Shane escapes, so KO grabs a ladder and Shane dropkicks it back at him on the floor. Shane preps the table and beats on KO for a bit, then follows with the flying elbow AND WE TAKE ANOTHER FUCKING COMMERCIAL BREAK. Back with Kevin now recovered and he puts Shane through a ladder with a frog splash. That’s some fortuitous timing to return from the break. Kevin makes a climb, but Shane pushes him over and gets a coast to coast dropkick into a ladder. Shane makes the climb, but Kevin powerbombs him onto another ladder and he climbs up and wins the briefcase at 11:54. So Shane is fired, apparently. What does that mean, exactly? Usual Shane trainwreck match. **1/2
Meanwhile, Paul Heyman points out that people who get in the way of Brock Lesnar go away.
Braun Strowman, Heavy Machinery & The Miz v. Robert Roode, Randy Orton, AJ Styles & Dolph Ziggler
Dolph attacks Miz in the corner and hits the Zig Zag right away, but Miz comes back with the short DDT and makes a hot tag to Braun. Corner clothesline for Dolph gets two and then everyone runs in and hits their finishers to clear out the ring. Braun hits everyone with shoulderblocks on the floor and stops to challenge Tyson Fury at ringside, but then throws Dolph into the railing to jostle the boxer. Back in, Strowman casually powerslams Dolph and pins him at 3:14. Nothing to this one and a complete waste of all the star power. ½* OH NO TYSON FURY MIGHT FIGHT BRAUN. Maybe Braun can job to the Boxing heavyweight champion in addition to all the wrestling World champions he’s lost to.
Meanwhile, Marshmello pins Carmella to win the 24/7 title, but he’s already lost it. What’s with all the wacky DJs who have crazy shit on their heads these days? Back in my day, only super stoned guitar players had crazy shit on their heads! Kids these days.
Lumberjack match: Roman Reigns v. Erick Rowan
Roman gets tossed and the heels beat on him and send him back in, but Reigns puts Rowan on the floor and the loser babyfaces all get beat up. Roman attacks and Rowan sends him into the railing, and back in for a spinkick that gets two. And we take a break. Back with Rowan doing the dreaded DOUBLE NOOGIE OF DOOM, but Roman fights back and gets some corner clotheslines. Samoan drop gets two. He tries the superman punch and gets caught, but recovers with another one and both guys are out. This prompts a brawl between Luke Harper and Daniel Bryan, and Roman hits all the lumberjacks with his tope. Rowan powerbombs one of the geeks into Roman, and back in for a crossbody that gets two. Rowan leads up the IRON CLAW, but Reigns gets the superman punch and then Harper runs in to save. Spear finishes at 8:52, however.
WWE title: Kofi Kingston v. Brock Lesnar
F5 and we’re out at 0:10. Hope everyone enjoyed Kofi the main eventer because that’s done. Poor Kofi certainly deserved a better end than that.
But then Rey Mysterio brings out CAIN VELASQUEZ so that’s pretty awesome. Although he needs some better gear and maybe some steroids. Just saying. And we’re apparently done early tonight as Brock gets chased off and Kofi disappears into the ether.
So the good: I really liked the non-Bucky presentation of the show. Better camera work and presentation, much better commentary. The show didn’t drag too much.
The bad: Man, what a shitty way to end Kofi’s title reign. Also the show ran out of momentum after the ladder match. And after all the hype for the legends and celebration of 20 years of Smackdown, what did we get? The Rock and a 10 second cameo from Hulk Hogan?
For me, this was a pretty weak debut on Fox. Your mileage may vary, but I was way more into Dynamite this week.