Cleat Geeks

Straight Up SmackDown!


I couldn’t take it anymore….somebody had to blink.  I blinked.  Last week, WWE premiered their post Smack Down recap show on the WWE Network.  The show is called, Talking Smack.  This column, that I have been so privileged to write for the last 5 months, was titled Smack Talk.  I didn’t want to be associated with that impending train wreck.  So now we have Straightup Smackdown.  On to the show:

Hello Ladies……

As a gentleman, it’s always ladies first so let’s start with the women on the show this evening. Tonight was take #2 for the match-up of Becky Lynch versus Eva Marie.  Last week, the match never began as Eva apparently hurt her knee during her in ring entrance.  This week, an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction again prevented the match from beginning.  As Eva scampered to the backstage area, an irate Becky Lynch said she would not leave the ring for a second week in a row without a match.  Well, Alexa Bliss obliged.

Alexa Bliss is & has been an underrated wrestler.  Many females received more attention than she did at NXT.  If you watch Alexa’s matches, really watch them closely, there’s a lot of little nuances that she does that separates her from many other competitors. During the Bliss/Lynch match, Eva’s entrance & announcer would declare that she was ready to return. This caused a distraction to Becky & would ultimately allow Alexa to hit her “Twisted Bliss” finisher for a debut win.  Happy Birthday Alexa.

I believe this angle for Eva Marie is fantastic. Her in-ring ability is average. Her look is undeniable. So this angle to give her exposure by setting up matches, then creating excuses for her not to wrestle & hide her shortcomings, is nothing short of brilliant. The deep voice announcer immediately comes off as offensive. The entrance is completely over the top.  It’s extremely condescending to her female opponents, instantly giving them a reason to be fired up in the ring. Then, the opportunity for retribution is quickly removed & replaced by an even higher level of frustration. It’s the perfect gimmick for Eva Marie.

That was the good.  Then there was Carmella versus Natalya.

Poor Nattie, she must have drawn the short straw after the draft to be in a feud with Carmella. To boot, Carmella made Natalya tap out in her debut match.  If you couldn’t tell, I’m not a Carmella fan. I don’t think she offers very much, other than she’s hot.  Maybe WWE can pair her with Eva Marie.

Tag!  You’re it!!

American Alpha faced a couple of local jobbers. Last week on the “Talking Smack” show (grrr….) Jason Jordan said that they were the best tag team on Smack Down. Tonight American Alpha got their supposed payback for that comment.  Just before the match began, The Ascension, Hype Brothers, & Vaudevillians all surrounded the ringside.  After a fairly quick match, the 3 tag teams converged on American Alpha in ring.


Summer Slamboree

The rest of tonight’s episode was dominated by Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler, & Dean Ambrose. Orton appeared at the beginning of the episode & a “chance” encounter with Alberto Del Rio would eventually lead to maybe the best match of the evening:

Throughout the match, Ranallo went out of his way to mention Del Rio’s MMA background. As if this was a qualifying match for Randy’s Summer Slam match against Lesnar. Even through the DQ win for Orton, the chair shots on his surgically repaired shoulder signified that he could physically withstand a major amount of damage to that area & still prevail.

Bray Wyatt, accompanied by Erick Rowan, also kicked off tonight’s episode. Bray delivered a monologue that included an excuse for his loss to Dolph Ziggler last week & a proclamation that he was an immortal god. I couldn’t make that up if I tried. Bray said there is a corporate war going on & it’s not red versus blue (Raw vs. Smack Down) but it’s Bray versus the whole damn world. This would prompt Dean Ambrose to appear. Dean says that he would love to run in & beat both of them up, but decides against it. Dolph Ziggler then would appear to immediately begin fighting both Bray & Erick.  Dean would follow & after a short commercial break, we had our match set for tonight’s main event.

Dolph Ziggler & Dean Ambrose versus Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan.  There were some missed spots in the match, but it was decent overall.  Dean got Dirty Deeds on Dolph at the end to circle us back to their impending match-up at Summer Slam.

I’d have to say Smack Down out performed Raw this week. Not like a blowout victory or anything. There’s always room for improvement. I give this week’s Smack Down 3 wardrobe malfunctions out of 5.


Thanks for reading!

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