Cleat Geeks

Smack Talk Review of Smack Down

Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day to everyone!  Hope everyone had a safe, enjoyable Irish celebration. Welcome to my Smack Talk column, where we cover the main takeaways from Smack Down every week.


Road to Wrestle Mania

With Roadblock behind us now, the WWE is now full steam ahead on the road to Wrestle Mania.  This episode featured many Raw recaps, that reset every storyline for the card headed into Wrestle Mania.  Reigns v HHH, Shane v Undertaker, Ambrose v Lesnar, Dudley Boyz v Usos, Owens v Zayn, Charlotte v Becky Lynch v Sasha Banks, Styles v Jericho, Kalisto v Ryback, and the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.  In this episode, we also got an announcement that the League of Nations will face The New Day for the Tag Team titles at Wrestle Mania.  Amidst the plethora of key injuries facing WWE right now, that now include Neville & Bray Wyatt, it’s hard to criticize the card for Wrestle Mania.  Hopefully, these matches will get more time as a result and we could be looking at some incredible instant classics.WrestleMania-32-Logo-WrestleMania-2016


Great matches from this episode

Smack Down offers a different program than Raw, but is often more enjoyable to watch than Raw.  The matches on Smack Down get more time, so we really get to see more of these wrestlers’ talent.  I think a good metaphor would be having a lot of things to do on a Saturday, in order to enjoy your Sunday. Then talking with your friends about some of the stuff you had to do on Saturday. On Monday nights, WWE tries to cram as much creative into the show as possible. Often the matches are short or commercial interrupted, which can be very frustrating. The announce team is trying to promote things, be funny, & call matches at the same time.  Every aspect about it feels forced.  Smack Down is a WWE fan’s Sunday.  They cover the events from Raw, but nothing about it feels forced.  It’s organic to the show.  Mauro-Ranallo.vresize.1200.675.high.48The announce team of Mauro Ranallo & Jerry Lawler are so good.  They are the perfect ying and yang & play off each other very well.  We saw some great matches in this episode: Kevin Owens v A.J. Styles, Wade Barrett v Kofi, Dolph v Miz, & Bubba Ray Dudley v Gold Dust. Sure they weren’t all clean wins, but the matches had time & all were truly enjoyable to watch.


Dean Ambrose Homecoming

This week, Smack Down was shot in Cincinnnati.  Hometown to one WWE’s fan favorites Dean Ambrose. The episode featured 2 vignettes around the city with Ambrose, one in front of the city’s skyline and one at Madonna’s bar.  Let me just take a moment to vent here.  Throughout this episode, Ohio was referenced many times.  In the Dolph v Miz match, Mauro & Lawler both said it was a “Battle for Ohio.” Both wrestlers hail from here in Cleveland, where I live.  Let me now circle back to the Ambrose Cincinnati skyline vignette I mentioned.  Dean talks in this piece about how Cincinnati raised him to be tough, how to fight for everything, etc. Basically pandering to the fans at Smack Down, while focusing on him as an emerging superstar. That’s all well and good. What doesn’t sit well with me is the cheap shot Ambrose takes at Cleveland. He points to the sky line of Cincinnati and calls the city “a good looking Cleveland.”  ambrose_cinciWhy?  What on earth provoked him to say that?  Is Cincinnati suddenly not upper Kentucky?  Does Dean want to rid the civic moniker of “Cincinnasty?”  I’ll digress back to the his homecoming, but the cheap shot was unnecessary.  Especially by someone WWE certainly is pushing.  The next vignette shows Dean in a bar called Madonna’s, with about 7 people, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day…..on a Tuesday, when this episode was shot. None of this felt anecdotal, as I’m sure was the objective, just more pandering to the fans at Smack Down. As if he needed it.  Dean next appears with a Kendo stick, to interrupt a Social Outcasts promo at ringside. Dean beats members of the Social Outcasts with the Kendo stick & the crowd eats it up.  Mission accomplished.


All in all, another great episode of Smack Down this past Thursday.  Thanks for reading!





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