Smackdown – April 21, 2016

Smackdown
Date: April 21, 2016
Location: O2 Arena, London, England
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton

It’s the last show on the UK tour and we’re in the same building we were in on Monday for Raw. These shows can range from nothing special to more interesting than usual but Smackdown tends to be just your run of the mill show. We’re getting closer to Payback though and the card is looking stacked. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – April 21, 2016

Smackdown – March 10, 2016

Smackdown
Date: March 10, 2016
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton

It’s the go home show for Roadblock and the big story for this week seems to be the main roster debut (well full time debut at least) of Sami Zayn. Tonight we’ll get to see Zayn and his longtime rival Kevin Owens together on MizTV, possibly to set up something between the two (or three) of them at Wrestlemania. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – March 10, 2016

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.

Read moreSmackdown – February 4, 2016

Smackdown – January 21, 2016

Smackdown
Date: January 21, 2016
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Attendance: 3,000
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the go home show for the Royal Rumble and Roman Reigns is already in trouble tonight with a handicap match against the entire League of Nations. This show is almost destined to end with a big brawl between most of the different major factions in the Rumble and it wouldn’t feel right if things ended any differently. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – January 21, 2016

Tribute to the Troops 2015

Tribute to the Troops 2015
Date: December 23, 2015
Location:
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators:
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole

It’s the annual holiday special with the WWE putting on a show for the military. This is also going to include some comedy and musical performances, plus a few appearances from various celebrities. WWE treats this like a big deal and it’s the big finale to WWE Week every year. Let’s get to it.

Read moreTribute to the Troops 2015

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.

Read moreSmackdown – December 22, 2015

Smackdown – December 17, 2015

Smackdown
Date: December 17, 2015
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Booker T., Rich Brennan

It’s kind of amazing to see how fast things have gone from boring to a lot more entertaining in the span of a few days. Going into Sunday’s pay per view, things were ice cold and had nowhere to go but up. Now things are hot again with a new World Champion in Roman Reigns as we’ve hit the road to the Royal Rumble running. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – December 17, 2015

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.

Read moreSmackdown – December 10, 2015

Smackdown – November 12, 2015

Smackdown
Date: November 12, 2015
Location: Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Booker T., Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan

For the first time in a long time, there’s actual important stuff going on tonight. We’re getting the final three first round matchups in the WWE World Title tournament, which hopefully is the start of a shift back to making Smackdown mean ANYTHING. Then again it could just be laying the groundwork for the move to USA in January so they can pretend it means something and then drop it back to reality. I’ll take what I can get though so let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – November 12, 2015

Smackdown – November 5, 2015

Smackdown
Date: November 5, 2015
Location: World Arena, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan, Booker T.

As inconsequential as Smackdown is most of the time, this show is even moreso than usual. Last night at a house show in Ireland, Seth Rollins ripped his knee to shreds and is out until next summer. The title has been vacated for a tournament at Survivor Series but this show was already taped in advance so most of this isn’t going to matter. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – November 5, 2015

Smackdown – October 29, 2015

Smackdown
Date: October 29, 2015
Location: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan, Booker T.

We’re coming off a good Raw and we now have a fresh #1 contender in Roman Reigns. The other big story however is Bray Wyatt kidnapping both the Undertaker and Kane in order to feast on their souls. It’s pretty clear that this is leading to a Survivor Series match but the Brothers of Destruction need partners. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – October 29, 2015

Smackdown – October 22, 2015

Smackdown
Date: October 22, 2015
Location: Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas
Commentators: Booker T., Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan

It’s the final show before Hell in a Cell and we might get some build towards the World Title match after it got little more than lip service on Monday. Aside from that I’d assume we’re in for a lot of video packages on the other big matches and maybe another cryptic promo from Bray, possibly including the prophecy he was supposed to give on Monday. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – October 22, 2015

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.

Read moreSmackdown – October 8, 2015

Smackdown – October 1, 2015

Smackdown
Date: October 1, 2015
Location: Times Union Center, Albany, New York
Commentators: Booker T., Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan

Oh joy it’s another Smackdown. We’re getting closer to the show moving to USA in January, meaning the show is the same lame duck that it’s been for years now. I’m really hoping this show gets a new life on the new network but for some reason WWE is perfectly happy to have the show just exist on Fridays with nothing important happening. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – October 1, 2015

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.

Read moreSmackdown – September 24, 2015

Smackdown – September 17, 2015

Smackdown
Date: September 17, 2015
Location: Verizon Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Booker T., Jerry Lawler, Rich Brennan

It’s the final show before Night of Champions 2015 and that likely means we’ll be focusing on the midcard matches. If the past few Smackdowns before pay per views are any indications, that means it’s likely going to be about Ambrose/Reigns vs. the Wyatts while they tease who the third man might be. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – September 17, 2015

Smackdown – September 10, 2015

Smackdown
Date: September 10, 2015
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Booker T., Jerry Lawler

We finally got to the point and had Sting destroy the statue on Raw to end the teasing for the last few weeks. Other than that we also have John Cena vs. Seth Rollins II coming up, which should be a better match and might even get us the US Open Challenges back on Raw. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – September 10, 2015

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.

Read moreSmackdown – August 27, 2015

Smackdown – August 20, 2015

Smackdown
Date: August 20, 2015
Location: Resch Center Hall, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Uso

It’s the final show before Summerslam, meaning it’s time to find out how many times they can talk about Brock vs. Undertaker in about an hour and a half. It’s going to be a mixture of matches getting the hype this week as the main event is an eight man tag with three feuds being combined into one match. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – August 20, 2015

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.

Read moreSmackdown – July 9, 2015

Do you think fans determine wrestlers ultimate positions in the business?


All the topics about who drew and who didn’t lately on the blog have been fascinating to me. My question to you is do you think the fans determine what positions wrestlers are to be in before an organization decides to push or not push someone. Meaning, if the WWE lost their minds today and decided to put the WWE title on, let’s say, David Otunga, gave him a Goldberg-like winning streak along with a good storyline while at the same jobbing the daylights out of John Cena, it wouldn’t matter. To us, Otunga will always be a jobber while Cena is a main-eventer to us (the usual complaints about him aside).

What brought this about was being kind of surprised about who didn’t draw but you would think should have, Mr. Perfect and Ricky Steamboat. I think we can all agree that those two are two of the best wrestlers ever. Yet, according to you, Perfect’s feud with Hogan bombed while Steamboat’s trilogy with Flair (while classics) didn’t quite do great business. Does that mean that no matter what, in our minds, we WANTED them to be nothing more than midcarders. They had almost no chance of going up the card (and in Steamboat’s case, staying there) because we didn’t want them there.

​That’s one way to look at it. Perfect was an interesting case because he drew really well in the AWA given what state they were in and WWF pushed the shit out of him on TV all the time and gave him a win streak of a year or so. And yet fans just didn’t buy him at that level and I don’t think anyone is really sure why. Even PWI was acknowledging back in 1990 that the program was dying, so you know it was obvious.

That being said, I’ve long maintained that wrestling is the snake that consumes its own tail to survive. Foppish JTTS Hunter Hearst Helmsley gets repackaged a million times until he gets over as The Game being the most extreme example. Goofy surfer the Sandman gets repackaged into ECW hardcore legend The Sandman, etc. Look at Ryback, who would have bought him in this role back in the Skip Sheffield days? They stuck boring Ron Simmons and Butch Reed under masks and barely even pretended that they were anyone different, and even that got them over. So maybe if you called Otunga something else and pushed him as a killer, he’d get over. I wouldn’t bet against it, because above all else wrestling fans are WEIRD and fickle and you never know what’s going to get over or who they’re going to turn on.

Ryback in 2012


Scott,

What did you think of Ryback's run in 2012 where he got over huge? I don't think he was ready to win the belt when they put him into that title match vs. CM Punk, but he was consistently getting huge reactions and looked like a star in the making. What could they have done differently with him during that time? Keep him away from the title picture, keep having him squash guys, and then win the belt off of Cena after WrestleMania?

​That was a really weird situation for everyone.  They were really backed into a corner by booking Ryback into that match, even though it did business.  It really, REALLY should have been some sort of screwjob DQ, however.  It's not like Hell in a Cell isn't compromised enough as it is that you couldn't make an exception and just have both guys fight out of the cage and call it a no-contest or something like that.  
That being said, I don't think I ever would have put him over Cena, but you certainly could have done pretty well by keeping him unbeaten until after WM and then doing the Cena program.  What was REALLY baffling, though, was getting out of the match with the cheap finish and then beating Ryback four more straight PPVs afterwards.  If they were just going to destroy him anyway, why bother with the banana peel win for Punk?  ​

Ryback & Reigns

Hi Scott,
I understand that the chances of this happening are slim to none, but I have a simple solution regarding the future of WWE. Make Ryback and Reigns the last two men standing at Royal Rumble, and let the fans decide who wins based on crowd reactions for both. The winner dethrones Lesnar at Mania. If it's Ryback, then turn Reigns heel for a post-Mania program. If it's Reigns, then put him against Rollins after Mania and/or a heel Ambrose and too bad for Ryback. Thoughts? Thanks,
Brian
Ryback?  REALLY?  

Look, I know there's all this imagined backlash against Reigns and such, but really pussyfooting around like that is what killed the Luger push.  If they want Reigns to be the Guy, then great.  Have him win the Rumble and beat Lesnar and see what happens.  I can assure you that any perceived aura of main event status that Ryback has is only going to last as long as he's not doing a bunch of jobs, whereas Reigns is a guy that they're seemingly committed to for the long term.  

Ryback = destined to fail, again

Hey Scott,
Not to sound overly pessimistic, but isn't it unwise to do the EXACT SAME THING with Ryback that failed so spectacularly last year? They've literally had him come out and squash a few people and then thrown him right into an angle with John Cena – basically a condensed version of what happened last time, which only served to expose Ryback's limitations in singles matches that go over 5 minutes. Literally nothing has changed about Ryback since then, but they seem to be going for it again anyway. I get that Vince has a hard-on for him because he has an impressive appetite or whatever, but is there any way the Ryback experiment works this time or is it doomed to fail like it did the first time?

​I find it hilarious that the people who literally own all of wrestling history now and make documentaries about all the stupid stuff that their dead competition did now continuously repeat the same mistakes themselves.  And yes, Ryback is doomed to fail again, but they have no other alternatives for top guys (in their mind) and so they trot out the same muscle-heads hoping that this time lightning strikes.  And they'll get him to the top and then decide to randomly beat him when they book themselves into a corner one time, and the self-fulfilling prophecy will repeat.  It's kind of their thing now.  ​

Face Ryback


Ryback's return as a face last night got me thinking of a Royal Rumble spot they just HAVE to do this year(should have done it 2 years ago).  They need to give Ryback the '1994 Diesel' spot.  Have him come out at #10, clear the ring and as he's alone waiting and the countdown clock is winding down, he leads the crowd in a 'FEED ME MORE' chant.  Do this 3 times.  Feed him an Uso, a Matador, Heath Slater and then have a guy like Ambrose or Rusev come out to finally end it(anyone but Triple H).  I think that would be an awesome moment and it would really get the crowd into the match.  Not only that, it would put Ryback over huge.  I'm not saying Ryback should win the Rumble but that spot just has to happen.  That 'feed me more' chant is just made for that 'Diesel' spot in the Rumble.  Your thoughts?

That assumes a lot more thought and caring into the Ryback character than the creative team has put into him.  But yeah, there's a lot of fun spots they could do with him assuming he doesn't get injured again or say something really stupid on Twitter and get fired.