Smackdown – March 27, 2018

Smackdown
Date: March 27, 2018
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We’ve got two episodes of Smackdown Live left to go before Wrestlemania XXXIV and that means two episodes featuring Daniel Bryan. It’s not clear what he’s going to be doing in New Orleans but if the Shane McMahon health issues are true, a lot of things could be up in the air. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – March 20, 2018

Smackdown
Date: March 20, 2018
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

And then, Daniel Bryan was cleared to medically return to the ring. I’m really not sure what else there is to say here as now we wait to see what this means for Bryan at Wrestlemania. There’s a good chance that he gets the spot in a tag match with Shane McMahon against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn but maybe it’s something else. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – February 27, 2018

Smackdown
Date: February 27, 2018
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

It’s time for some crossover appeal as John Cena is making his return to the show in an attempt to find a way to get to Wrestlemania. You know, because that’s just so hard otherwise. Other than that we have to get ready for Fastlane because it’s cool to have a pay per view four weeks before Wrestlemania. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – February 6, 2018

Smackdown
Date: February 6, 2018
Location: Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

As is often becoming the case around here, it’s a big night with some major matches set for the show. This week we have Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn for the #1 contendership to AJ Styles for the Smackdown World Title at Fastlane. In addition to that, US Champion Bobby Roode is defending against Rusev on Rusev Day. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – January 30, 2018

Smackdown
Date: January 30, 2018
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

It’s the final night of the Philadelphia Story and Smackdown is in a very different place than Raw. The blue show has the men’s Royal Rumble winner and as a result, the World Title match for Wrestlemania XXXIV is already set. There are a lot more details to get through though and that starts tonight. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – January 23, 2018

Smackdown
Date: January 23, 2018
Location: Capitol One Arena, Washington DC
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips

It’s the night after the Monday Night Raw 25th Anniversary so now we need to bring things back down to earth a bit. This time around though it’s also the go home show for the Royal Rumble and we need to get things ready. There’s also the issue of Enzo Amore, who Daniel Bryan will address for some reason. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – January 9, 2018

Smackdown
Date: January 9, 2018
Location: Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton

Things are getting a little dicey around here as the battle of the bosses continues. The big story is Daniel Bryan making a handicap match for the Royal Rumble where AJ Styles will defend the Smackdown World Title against the combined forces of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. This seems to hint at a Bryan heel turn, which would seem to hint at WWE being really stupid. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – January 2, 2018

Smackdown
Date: January 2, 2018
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips

It’s a new year on the blue show and that means it’s time to get ready for the Royal Rumble. There are a handful of names already announced and there’s a good chance that we’re going to get more of those set up tonight. At the same time, AJ Styles needs an opponent and will be having his second non-title match tonight, this week against Sami Zayn. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – December 26, 2017

Smackdown
Date: December 26, 2017
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We’re still in Chicago to wrap up the year and the big story seems to be finding AJ Styles’ next challenger for the Smackdown World Title. We also need to find out what’s going on with the United States Title, which was left in the middle of the ring by champion Dolph Ziggler. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – December 12, 2017

Smackdown
Date: December 12, 2017
Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips

It’s the go home show for Clash of Champions 2017 and things are starting to pick up. The most recent weeks have focused on the Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon and company feud. Therefore, tonight is probably going to be more centered around the World Title match between champion AJ Styles and Jinder Mahal. You know, the title match on the show about champions. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – November 28, 2017

Smackdown
Date: November 28, 2017
Location: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We’re still in the fallout period from Survivor Series and that means it’s still Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn. However, the big question continues to be Daniel Bryan, who seems to be leaning a bit more towards the villains, which could make for quite the power struggle down the line. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – November 21, 2017

Smackdown
Date: November 21, 2017
Location: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves

So the battle between brands is over and now it’s time to find out where we go from here. In theory we go towards Clash of the Champions in just shy of a month, which could mean multiple things. AJ Styles is likely going to have to deal with Jinder Mahal again, though the title match won’t be taking place tonight. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – October 24, 2017

Smackdown
Date: October 24, 2017
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Corey Graves, Michael Cole, Byron Saxton

So this show looked one way coming into last night but has now completely changed. This week’s show was focused on the return of Shane McMahon, but last night Shane led most of the roster in an attack on the Monday Night Raw roster. That’s likely to be the focus tonight, and really it’s all they could do. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – June 20, 2017

Smackdown
Date: January 20, 2017
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Commentators: Tom Phillips, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton

We’re past Money in the Bank and there are two briefcases floating around the blue show. In addition to that, we also saw Jinder Mahal retain his Smackdown World Title when he defeated Randy Orton for the second time. There’s a chance we’ll be setting up a third match between the two as we head towards Battleground in just over a month. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – March 14, 2017

Smackdown
Date: March 14, 2017
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Tom Phillips

We’ve got three Smackdowns left before Wrestlemania and now we have a #1 contender to Bray Wyatt’s Smackdown World Title. However, that means we have issues between Commissioner Shane McMahon and AJ Styles and there’s an official confrontation scheduled for tonight. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – November 22, 2016

Smackdown
Date: November 22, 2016
Location: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, John Bradshaw Layfield, David Otunga, Tom Phillips

It’s two days after Survivor Series and less than two weeks to Tables, Ladders and Chairs, meaning it’s time to make up a card. Thankfully Smackdown is ready for that and has already announced a tag team turmoil match to determine who will challenge Rhyno and Heath Slater. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – November 1, 2016

Smackdown
Date: November 1, 2016
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, John Bradshaw Layfield, David Otunga

Survivor Series is coming up soon and Raw has announced a lot of the participants on its teams for the promotion vs. promotion matches. As luck would have it, tonight we’ll be getting most of the announcements for the Smackdown counterparts with the help of General Manager Daniel Bryan. Let’s get to it.

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New E-Book: KB’s Complete 2014 Monday Night Raw and Smackdown Reviews Part I

raw-2014-part-i
 

A comprehensive look back at every episode of WWE Monday Night Raw and Smackdown from the first half of 2014, starting at the beginning of January and wrapping up at the end of April. This is a very interesting time in WWE history as we witnessed the rise of Daniel Bryan and the Shield as the new generation was taking the company by storm. The first part of the year culminated in the huge Wrestlemania XXX and was followed by a game changing fallout. In this book, every episode of both shows in the first half of 2014 is reviewed in full, complete with analysis, ratings and complete content included.

The book sells for $3.99 or the equivalent in other currencies. In case you don’t have a Kindle, there are plenty of FREE apps you can get from Amazon for pretty much any electronic device, all of which are available at this link.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here.

From the UK Amazon here.

From the Canadian Amazon here.

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon page, just search “KB Raw 2014” and it should be the first thing to come up.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.

Thomas Hall

Smackdown – September 13, 2016

Smackdown
Date: September 13, 2016
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Mauro Ranallo, David Otunga

Backlash has come and gone and a few things have changed. In addition to having inaugural Smackdown Tag Team Champions (Heath Slater/Rhyno) and an inaugural Smackdown Women’s Champion (Becky Lynch), AJ Styles has finally won the big one and become Smackdown World Champion. No Mercy is in less than a month and tonight we start dealing with all these new developments. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – September 6, 2016

Smackdown
Date: September 6, 2016
Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, John Bradshaw Layfield, David Otunga

I’m not sure how but we’re already at the go home show for Backlash. At this point there are five announced matches (assuming you count a tournament final as an announced match) which means we’re going to get a lot more stuff announced tonight or Sunday’s matches are going to be very long. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – August 23, 2016

Smackdown
Date: August 23, 2016
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, John Bradshaw Layfield, David Otunga

It’s an interesting time for Smackdown as we’re past Summerslam and the brand is really starting to come into its own. Tonight we’ll see the unveiling of the new Smackdown Women’s and Tag Team Titles but possibly more importantly we should get an update on Brock Lesnar attacking Shane McMahon to end Summerslam. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – July 26, 2016

Smackdown
Date: July 26, 2016
Location: First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York
Commentators: David Otunga, Mauro Ranallo, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re into the new era of Smackdown now and it should be interesting to see where they go now that they’re all on their own. Given who they have on the roster, there’s a chance we’ll have to get some new titles or at the very least some new stars to challenge for the titles that already exist. 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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The SmarK RAW Rant–02.10.14

The SmarK RAW Rant – 02.10.14 Live from Los Angeles, CA Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler Betty White joins us to start, showing that Vince still has his finger on the pulse of America’s youth. This quickly leads into the usual Authority interview to start, as they’re RECONSIDERING other people as the Face Of The WWE. Is that like the new replacement for the dead World title now? Stephanie is wearing white so I guess they’re the babyfaces this week. Randy Orton comes out to protest as usual as we repeat the same skit it feels like we’ve seen for months. This “Face of the WWE” storyline is so stupid. Daniel Bryan now comes out and reminds us that he beat Orton last week, and he wants a match with Kane tonight. Sadly, Kane is on leave for a week and has a strongly worded letter coming to him. And HHH gives Bryan the week off as well. Wow, that was a thrilling open to the show. The Wyatt Family v. Cody Rhodes, Goldust & Rey Mysterio Rowan pounds on Goldust, but he comes back on Harper with a rana! Harper bails and Cody tosses Rey onto him in a cool spot as we take a break. Back with Goldust getting the heat, but he powerslams Harper and makes the hot tag to Rey. He runs wild with a tornado DDT for two and the 619, but Bray trips him up. Cody hits Bray with a dive and Goldust hits Rowan with one, but Bray catches Rey with a running Sister Abagail to finish at 8:35. I feel like a LOT was cut out of this match, as they came back from the break really late into Goldust’s heat segment. Hot match, though, as Goldust continues to be ridiculously motivated. *** Let us take you back to Royal Rumble, where Roman Reigns kicks everyone’s ass and sets the new record for eliminations. The Shield has no fear of the Wyatt Family, but Roman seems to give Renee the funny feelings in her special place. Renee questions Ambrose on his lack of title defenses, and Roman tells him to get on that shit. Meanwhile, the New Age Outlaws rescue Betty White from the Divas, because there’s rumors of someone playing a prank on her. Whoever said that RAW without the matches would be the worst show on TV is so completely right. The Real Americans v. Christian & Sheamus The crowd actually starts doing the “We The People” chant as Cesaro throws Christian around. Swagger comes in and walks into the corner kick, and a missile dropkick gets two. Over to Sheamus, who puts Cesaro down with a clothesline for two. The babyfaces work on Cesaro while the crowd chants for the heels, and then Cesaro and Sheamus get into an awesome slugfest with the crowd cheering Cesaro the whole way. Sheamus actually seems pretty amused by it. Sheamus gets clobbered off the apron as we take a break. Back with Christian taking the beating and it’s a GIANT SWING to get Cesaro even more over. That gets two. Swagger with a powerslam for two. Christian is finally able to fight them off and make the hot tag to Sheamus, and the Regal Roll on Swagger gets two. Cesaro breaks up the Brogue Kick to a big pop, and Swagger puts Sheamus in the anklelock. Christian saves, and the Brogue Kick finishes poor Swagger at 13:01. Hot crowd + Good tag team wrestling = Happy Scott. ***1/2 As usual, you follow the formula and good things result. It’s the like the opposite of the Lego Movie’s lesson. Alberto Del Rio v. Dolph Ziggler What a change from a year ago. Ziggler gets a quick burst of offense and a fameasser for two, but Del Rio finishes him with the superkick at 1:30. We’re getting into Zack Ryder territory now. Stupid fans, thinking that cheering Ziggler will lead to anything. Don’t you know he works too fast and tweets the wrong things? Batista saves poor Ziggler and the crowd boos the shit out of him. Batista puts Del Rio through the table with a powerbomb to continue this feud that literally no one cares about. US title: Dean Ambrose v. Mark Henry Ambrose gets overpowered to start, as expected, and bumps around the ring for Henry. We take a break and return with Ambrose going up and getting slammed off. Powerslam and the Shield runs in for the DQ at 9:13. * The Wyatts come out for a confrontation, and wouldn’t you know that Reigns is the one to call their bluff. And the Wyatts walk away. It’s kind of amazing in that they seem to have forgotten how to make anyone a star, except for Reigns, who they are doing everything completely right with. So clearly they know how to, and just choose not to. Libertarian Kane joins us, still on TV despite getting a week off. And Daniel Bryan attacks, also on TV after getting a week off. Cole calls Kane “the so-called Big Red Corporate Sellout”. I have literally never heard anyone call him that. Bryan chases Kane off. Randy Orton v. John Cena Whereas last week the importance was the possibility of being considered the new face of the WWE, this week the importance is that both men are looking to build momentum towards the Elimination Chamber. Cena works a headlock and Orton bails. Sign in the crowd: “Batista and Orton have great tattoos”. See, the fanbase isn’t ALL negativity! Back in, Cena with a bulldog for two. Orton pounds him down and tosses him and we take a break. Back with Orton in control and they do a slugfest where, god bless them, THE CROWD BOOS BOTH GUYS. That was awesome. Orton tosses Cena again and continues having a snarky dialog with the crowd, and we hit the chinlock. Orton with a DDT for two. He stops to antagonize the crowd some more and Cena makes the comeback, but Orton gets the backbreaker for two. Cena tries the FU and Orton reverses to the powerslam for two. They fight to the top and Orton brings him down with a draping DDT and then yells about how he’s never done that before. Nice to see him having fun with it for a change. Cena blocks the RKO with an STF, but Orton makes the ropes. He POINTS TO SIGN to show he means business, but misses the punt and then comes back with the RKO for two. Cena gets the FU for two. Back to the top, and the guillotine and FU finish at 22:18. CENA HAS SUCCESSFULLY BUILT MOMENTUM! It was a match. ***1/4 The Pulse This was basically cut down to three good matches and a minimum of crap, which makes for a really good show, even if it’s not building to anything I care about. The Real Americans match was clearly the highlight and they should have been the tag champions ages ago, though.