The SmarK Rant for WWE Smackdown – 08.21.20
I’m pretty interested to see what this is gonna look like. Doesn’t mean I’m gonna keep watching, but they’ve got me intrigued at least and that’s more than I can say for the past few months.
Live from THE THUNDERDOME in Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Corey Graves and a shitload of LED boards. It’s a lot of a lot.
Vince McMahon joins us and he’s like something out of the Walking Dead at this point. But before he can even hype Summerslam properly, the Fiend decides to interrupt. And then Strowman interrupts that interruption and FUCK THIS LED SHIT IS GONNA GIVE ME A SEIZURE. So they have a staredown, but those Retribution scamps storm the ring, and Fiend turns out the lights and vanishes, leaving Braun to get beaten down until the entire locker room hits the ring to make the save. But then Strowman decides to turn on his saviors and walks off. This was so weird. At least in the Performance Center you had SOME auditory feedback. This was just creepy video of people watching silently. Also this did nothing to make me the least bit excited to see Strowman and Wyatt stink up the ring again. So the Vince appearance went nowhere and meant nothing, and I still have no idea what Retribution is supposed to be representing or why I should care.
Big E v. Sheamus
So we take a break and return with this match happening, and the locker room geeks still hanging around at ringside. They fight to the floor and Big E pounds on Sheamus with forearms on the apron, then follows with a splash on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING. Back in, Sheamus gets a clothesline off the top and pounds the back, and we take a break. Back with Big E hitting a belly to belly and big splash, but Sheamus gets a high knee for two. Big E with a uranage for two and he tries the Big Ending, but Sheamus escapes and sends him into the post. White Noise follows while King Corbin goes after Matt Riddle, but that triggers a brawl on the floor and Big E gets the distraction rollup at 9:12 for the pin. This was OK but overly long, and the ending was the usual garbage finish. **
Meanwhile, Jeff Hardy has a knee injury for some reason.
Smackdown tag team titles: Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro v. The Lucha House Party
Metalik gets a rana on Nakamura to start, but walks into a knee and the champs double-team him as Cesaro drops an elbow for two. Metalik pops to the top, but gets caught with a powerbomb for two. Meanwhile we get an inset promo from Miz & Morrison where they do “comedy”. Metalik gets beat on in the corner but fights off Cesaro and makes the hot tag to Dorado. High cross on Nakamura and he boots Cesaro off the apron. He hits Nakamura with a triple moonsault, nearly smashing his knees in Nakamura’s face on the first one, and that gets two. Metalik hits Cesaro with a sloppy dive to the floor, nearly hitting the top rope on the way down and killing himself. Cesaro comes in with a sunset flip on Dorado, and then reverses a rana into another sunset flip for the pin at 5:40. This was REALLY sloppy. *1/2 And then the luchadors all get into a shoving match because they’re a tag team and I guess it’s time to split them up for something to do.
Meanwhile, a replay of the opening segment reveals that AJ Styles kicked Jeff Hardy in the leg to injure him. AJ is quite proud of himself backstage, and he stops to toast belts with Bayley & Sasha.
Mandy Rose really wants things to go back to how they were with Sonya. What happened to Mandy? She looks totally different from the last time I watched this show.
Bayley & Sasha join Corey Graves for an interview and they want to stress that they’re not splitting up. Naomi interrupts and she wants to face both of them, so Corey suggests a Beat the Clock challenge and Naomi dropkicks them out of the ring as we take a break.
Naomi v. Sasha Banks
So whoever can beat Naomi the fastest gets to face Asuka second at Summerslam. Man they can just overcomplicate anything. Naomi gets a full nelson bomb into a rolling cradle for two and tosses Sasha, but Sasha catches her on the way into the ring with the double knees for two. Sasha with a chinlock, but Naomi fights out and goes up with a bodypress, and Sasha rolls through for two. Naomi with a springboard kick out of the corner for two, but Sasha rolls her up for two and then takes her down with the Bank Statement for the submission at 3:39.
Bayley v. Naomi
Bayley attacks in the corner and gets two, and a snap suplex gets two. Snapmare gets two. Clothesline gets two. Naomi comes back with SHE CALLS IT THE REAR VIEW out of nowhere and gets the pin at 2:01. Whole thing was like **. This brings out Asuka to mock them in Japanese and clean house, as Bayley and Sasha run away. Asuka was delightful here but it just comes off so terrible without any crowd noise whatsoever.
Meanwhile, the “doctor” is like “Well, Jeff, if you can stand the pain I’ll clear you to continue.” Really earning your pay there, doc.
Meanwhile, Sonya Deville has nothing to say to the robotic interviewer and then hauls off and slaps Dana Brooke for good measure. How can you seriously book her as a heel after everything that happened?
Sonya Deville joins us and wants to up the stakes, because she doesn’t care if she’s bald, so the Summerslam match with Mandy is now a no DQ, loser leaves town match.
Nikki Cross offers her thoughts on Alexa’s state of mind after whatever bullshit happened with the Fiend, and she’s apparently just not the same person.
Intercontinental title: AJ Styles v. Jeff Hardy
Didn’t Jeff repeatedly get his ass kicked by Sheamus for the past few months and now he’s getting a title shot? Anyway, they’ve at least fixed whatever mixing problems they had with the fake crowd noise, as you can now hear some reactions. AJ goes after the knee in the corner and beats on that for a bit, but Jeff backdrops him over the top and then hurts his knee when he tries to follow up. We take a break and return with AJ continuing to work the knee, but Jeff fights back with a splash for two and a front suplex for two. The announcers are going way over the top with the inspirational comeback story for Jeff, but I mean, AJ kicked him in the knee two hours earlier. Once. It’s not like he was in a car accident or had major surgery done on it. Jeff goes up and slips on the top rope, which allows AJ to set up the forearm, but Jeff hits him on the way down. But then AJ rolls him into the calf crusher, and Jeff quickly makes the ropes. AJ goes for the Styles Clash to finish, but Jeff accidentally clips him with the knee brace on the way up and knocks AJ down. Twist of Fate and swanton finish and Jeff gets the title at 9:38. Is either guy even doing anything at Summerslam? Another OK match. **1/2
Meanwhile, AJ freaks out on his poor statistician Joseph Park. I feel like we’ve seen that guy somewhere before…
Meanwhile, at the Firefly Fun House, Bray Wyatt is here to teach us about love and how it hurts. So we get a puppet melodrama about Braun and Alexa, but then Braun storms the Fun House and we take a break.
Back with Braun and Bray fighting backstage, and Braun throws him off a ledge to a concrete floor, although of course they don’t show anything and then Wyatt magically appears on the floor in the next shot. So Bray gets taken away on a stretcher in an ambulance, but then the ambulance backs up again and the Fiend magically appears while everyone stands around all shocked and horrified. I have no idea how this is supposed to get me excited for Summerslam.
Yeah, I’m out again after one show. It was slightly different and interesting for one segment to be in THE THUNDERDOME, but the show was so hard to watch with the strobe lights and flashing boards that it was giving me a headache after the first hour. And it was just the same boring shit that we were getting in the PC. I give them credit for trying something different, but it’s not for me.