Cleat Geeks

Straight Up Smack Down

 

Normally following a pay-per-view, the next Smack Down Live would have a lot of carryover segments based on the event’s outcomes. Well this week’s episode was a little different. There was a lot of Fastlane fallout in Indianapolis on Tuesday, but that did not include the World title program. A.J. Styles began the show, only to be interrupted by Shinsuke Nakamura to talk about their Wrestle Mania match. There was zero reference to the 6 man title match at Fastlane……

Shortly after, Aiden English & Rusev interrupted Nakamura with some unfinished business to attend to from their Fastlane match. If you would had missed Smack Down Live from the past few weeks and/or Fastlane itself, you needed to pay close attention to Tom Phillips during Rusev’s entrance. Here’s why:

There was almost no precursor or set up for this altercation, if you were just checking in this week. That’s a bad job by WWE, who spends so much time being repetitive on many other things. Second, there was no announcement of any match…..AT ANY POINT. The closest thing that said was that “Rusev was looking to celebrate Rusev Day with a victory over the WWE Champion.”  Rusev just created his own match by appearing & walking to the ring. When we returned from commercial, the bell rang for Styles & Rusev to begin the match. I guess when the General Manager is absent, certain talent can just make their own matches?

Really good match & the interference by English was a nice way to get Nakamura involved. But Shinsuke had his reasons to help A.J. this week & according to him, every week leading up to their Wrestle Mania match:

Let’s now go from that segment, to down the hallway backstage, so we can catch up with Jimmy Uso & Big E:

Yes, the Bludgeon Brothers beat up the other members of New Day & Jey Uso at Fastlane so bad that they couldn’t make it to Indianapolis on Tuesday. Some people just don’t learn. Big E & Jimmy Uso teamed up to avenge their fallen compadres & even attempted to use steel chairs as weapons:

Silly boys, chairs are for the Attitude Era. This is 2018, you need to get yourself a medieval times mallet. No surprise, the Bludgeon Brothers won. I’m pretty excited to see what kind of crowd chant the international fans have in store for the Bludgeon Brothers at Wrestle Mania. They really outdid themselves a few years ago with the chant for the tag team of Sheamus & Cesaro:

 

After Charlotte’s victory over Ruby Riott at Fastlane, Asuka appeared to let both Charlotte & the WWE universe know that she has chose her opponent to face in the championship match at Wrestle Mania:

If Nakamura/Styles is the number 1 must-see match for me this year at Wrestle Mania, this would just about be tied with it. 1A & 1B. There’s a lot of expectations for Nakamura/Styles to live up to, so there’s a good chance that Queen versus Empress COULD steal the show at Mania. I can’t wait. Asuka was advertised to appear on Smack Down Live this week & again confront Charlotte but this is all we got:

I’m not going to lie, near the end of that when Asuka said “BECAUSE…” I thought for sure she was going to say “New Day ROCKS.”  The segment ended with Randy Orton’s entrance playing, then Randy appeared & he began walking to the ring as the graphic for a match between Bobby Roode versus Jinder Mahal was shown……

Maybe it’s just me, but I just don’t see any heat to this United States title picture. Outside of Orton winning the title this past Sunday, this whole scene is just very uninteresting.

Smack Down Live’s biggest storyline of the year has been anything but “uninteresting.” Fastlane further drove the wedge between not only Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens’ relationship, but also their already bitter relationship with Commissioner Shane McMahon. Following the incident at Fastlane, Sami was first to vent on this week’s episode……

Then a little while later, Owens blew up in an interview:

Shane McMahon appeared at the end of the night’s show to announce that Kevin Owens would face Sami Zayn at WrestleMania & that he (Shane) would be taking a leave of absence himself from the brand. Sami & Kevin both showed up to make sure that Shane wouldn’t change his mind on taking that leave of absence:

Despite all of the match stunts, rope-a-dope dancing around, Jordan brand shoes & somewhat contemporary clothing, Shane sure sounded like an old man on that sell job at the end. I joked on Twitter that if you looked away from the visual, it sounded like he was passing a kidney stone. We’ll see where this leads, but my guess is it ends up a triple threat match at Mania.

 

Thanks for reading!

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