Tribute to the Troops 2016

Tribute to the Troops 2016
Date: December 14, 2016
Location: Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

I try so hard to care about this show but it feels like WWE puts in less of an effort every single year. This is the annual show for the members of the United States military, meaning almost nothing of consequence will happen and the big main event will be Americans vs. foreigners. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – July 19, 2016

Smackdown
Date: July 19, 2016
Location: DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Jerry Lawler

Now this is a big one. Tonight we’re not only going live but also splitting the shows into two rosters again for the first time in a few years. There’s only been one other draft like this in company history and it wasn’t the greatest show in the world. The interesting things here tonight are the potential returns of former stars as well as the guaranteed NXT callups. Oh and a rematch from last night’s World Title match as a bonus. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – July 14, 2016

Smackdown
Date: July 14, 2016
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton, Jerry Lawler

This is the end of an era as we’re at the final taped episode of Smackdown before it moves over to the live world of Tuesday nights on USA. We’re also closing in on Battleground but we can’t actually do much about the main event since Roman Reigns is still suspended. That sounds like fodder for a tag match. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – June 30, 2016

Smackdown
Date: June 30, 2016
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, David Otunga, Byron Saxton

We’re running out of Smackdowns on Thursday nights as we only have two more weeks before heading over to the live world for a major change. It’s also interesting to see how things go without Roman Reigns around, though the more interesting thing will be seeing how he is when he comes back. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – June 2, 2016

Smackdown
Date: June 2, 2016
Location: BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, Illinois
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton

Things are rapidly changing around here as we have the new Brand Split in less than two months. More importantly for now however is the freshly heel AJ Styles who has set his sights on the returning John Cena, likely setting up a huge showdown at Money in the Bank. This show will likely focus on the build towards the ladder match so let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – May 26, 2016

Smackdown
Date: May 26, 2016
Location: Norfolk Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton, Mauro Ranallo

It’s actually a big night here as we have two title matches on a single show. First of all we have Miz defending the Intercontinental Title against Cesaro after the champion lost a non-title match this past Monday on Raw. The second title match will see the new US Champion Rusev defending against Kalisto in the masked man’s rematch. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – May 5, 2016

Smackdown
Date: May 5, 2016
Location: Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton

We’ve hit the ground running on the way to Extreme Rules with a fairly action packed Raw earlier this week. The big story continues to be AJ Styles vs. Roman Reigns but now we also have the Usos and Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows much more closely involved. It should be interesting to see what they can throw in here before the pay per view in two and a half weeks. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – March 3, 2016

Smackdown
Date: March 3, 2016
Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton

We’re coming off a not great Raw this week and we could be in for another edition of that tonight on Smackdown. It’s always hard to guess what’s going to happen on one of these shows as they’re more wrestling based but if last week is any indication, they’re going to be recap based. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – February 4, 2016

Smackdown
Date: February 4, 2016
Location: FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton

Monday really didn’t offer us much to see this week as the main event didn’t change a lot. The big story continues to be Brock Lesnar, who isn’t likely to show up on this show. Other than that we’ve got Miz vs. AJ Styles scheduled for tonight which could be good if Miz is allowed to control for a bit. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – December 22, 2015

Smackdown
Date: December 22, 2015
Location: Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T., Jerry Lawler

This is the special live show that follows the age of rule of “don’t have a show on Christmas Eve”. It’s also a stacked show as WWE tries to get some more attention on Smackdown before the move to the live broadcast just after the new year. Therefore we have two title matches as Dean Ambrose and the New Day defend their titles. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – December 10, 2015

Smackdown
Date: December 10, 2015
Location: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Jerry Lawler, Booker T.

It’s the go home show for Tables Ladders and Chairs and the show isn’t looking like the most interesting in the world. Most of the card is set though and that means tonight is all about the build. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more about the main event, which is a bit of a shame as Smackdown was getting good about building up the midcard. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – October 15, 2015

Smackdown
Date: October 15, 2015
Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Jerry Lawler, Booker T.

Somehow we’re ten days away from Hell in a Cell and it’s time to put the finishing touches on the build. The announced main event for tonight is hometown boy Dean Ambrose teaming up with the Dudleyz to fight New Day in a bit of a preview for the pay per view. We might even get more speculation of what Cena is going to do there as well. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – October 8, 2015

Smackdown
Date: October 8, 2015
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Booker T., Jerry Lawler

Things look a bit different coming out of Raw as New Day got all aggressive and violent to end the show. They even left John Cena and a few others laying in their first real display of dominance. It should be interesting to see where they go from here as they’ve been so goofy but now they have a new edge. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – September 24, 2015

Smackdown
Date: September 24, 2015
Location: American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan, Booker T.

We’re getting closer to Kane vs. Rollins, likely inside the Cell, as they blow off their feud from months ago on a show where the other Cell match is the real main event. Then again, given that the World Champion is coming off two losses in two days (though he did beat a 56 year old), maybe it’s better that he isn’t main eventing. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – August 27, 2015

Smackdown
Date: August 27, 2015
Location: Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Uso, Rich Brennan

It’s hard to say what’s going to happen tonight as the big story coming out of Raw is the return of Sting, who I can’t imagine is going to be here tonight. There’s always a chance of some fresh Wyatt Family stuff, as this show has become the main ground for the Shield vs. Wyatts feud, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – August 6, 2015

Smackdown
Date: August 5, 2015
Location: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California
Commentators: Jimmy Uso, Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler

Summerslam is mostly set at this point so it’s time for another supplemental show that can help firm up the midcard a little bit. We aren’t likely to see much in the main event scene tonight after everything we saw on Monday, but that’s what Smackdown does these days. The show has been fun lately so hopefully that keeps going. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – July 30, 2015

Smackdown
Date: July 30, 2015
Location: BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Commentators: Jimmy Uso, Jerry Lawler, Tom Phillips

Smackdown has the potential to be interesting this week as we could get some more midcard build for Summerslam, which could be some of the more interesting stuff going on in WWE at the moment. The big story is likely to be Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens, which could be the match of the night at the pay per view. I don’t like that many could’s. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – July 23, 2015

Smackdown
Date: July 23, 2015
Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, Jimmy Uso

This is an interesting show as Raw went off the air with a closed story for a change. The big story is of course the announcement of Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar…..we’re probably at V or VI over the years now. There’s no chance either guy is on this show so we should get some new stuff set up for Summerslam instead. Let’s get to it.

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Cesaro booking strong…ish

Why on Earth did they have Rusev win the triple threat if only to pull the Owens angle??? Why on god’s earth wasn’t that Cesaro winning and getting screwed to set up a monster face run OR a triple threat with Cena? The crowd pops for every move the guy does and after an awesome 25-minute match he jobs to a kick?! To a guy feuding with Ziggler?!?! To set up nothing at Battleground?!?! Cesaro could be the next D-Bry as he has the organic fan support and sympathy with using injured Kidd’s moves. Meanwhile Cesaro (with 3 **** TV matches) and Ambrose (in main event at MITB) have NO matches for Battleground. For every 2 steps forward, this company takes 3 back. I don’t get it. Do you think there are any plans for Cesaro at this point or should I just hope he’s fired and in next year’s G1?

​Well now the problem is that they’ve seemingly written Ziggler off of the show for some reason, so Rusev is also suddenly lacking in an opponent. ​I think if there’s a silver lining, it’s that ratings are going to continue bottoming out until finally Vince will wake the fuck up and start pushing new people for serious this time, because obviously the current set of guys isn’t getting it done. Which isn’t a knock against them, but they’ve clearly ruined Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt and even Brock Lesnar as potential top draws and something’s going to have to happen soon.

Smackdown – July 9, 2015

Smackdown
Date: July 9, 2015
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Jimmy Uso, Jerry Lawler

We’re back after this Monday’s classic of Cena vs. Cesaro and Lesnar squashing a Cadillac with….maybe Cesaro and Rollins if we’re lucky. My guess is we’ll get more of a focus on Reigns vs. Wyatt, which is a far more interesting story than the World Title situation. Hopefully the wrestling will be good. Let’s get to it.

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Fall of Rusev and Lana


Hi Scott,

Great article on creative's destruction of the great Lana and Rusev act.


All the best,
Oh yeah, I HATE what this feud is doing to everyone involved.  Poor Rusev has to travel on the road with a broken foot, too, in support of this abomination.  For a while there might have been an interesting dynamic if Lana had used her boob powers to make Ziggler into a Russian sympathizer or something different like that, but having to buy these two as an onscreen couple is even stretching the bounds of believability for a show where Nikki Bella is supposed to be a dominant champion.  Does any human being who actually watches the show buy that DOLPH ZIGGLER, who even in storyline has always been portrayed as a shameless poonhound, would suddenly be a virtuous white knight for Lana?  It's completely ridiculous and out of character for everyone involved.  And yeah, it's killing Lana as a character, like, completely.  They had the moment to turn her and make a big star, and they blew it, and now it's gone, probably forever.   

Rusev = Kozlov

As many predicted, the Cena feud has as usual killed all the work they did with Rusev. Now he's likely going to yell I Quit, lose his primary heat getter, Lana and then what is he and what's left?  No title, no push, no heat, no manager.  Now I read he's jobbing to Ryback at house shows!  He's essentially a more talented Vladimir Kozlov, and it's basically a matter of time before he's the latest member of a comedy jobber team like 3MB.  I know you defend Cena booking sometimes, but doesn't this pattern seem destructive to any long term booking?
​Let's not go crazy here.  Rusev is young and talented and the easiest character in the world to rebuild with a few more beatings of Jack Swagger. He's a midcard heel and they lose a lot in WWE, unfortunately.  Not to say it ISN'T destructive booking, because really we didn't need all four matches and really would have been fine with Wrestlemania and Extreme Rules, but I wouldn't write him off just yet.  ​