Cleat Geeks

Straight Up Smack Down

 

Happy 4th of July everyone!  Following the dramatic send off from last week’s show, with the reuniting of Team Hell No, the Smack Down Live crew rolled into Omaha, Nebraska this week to pick up right where they left off. Renee Young began the show by inviting both Daniel Bryan & Kane to the ring for an interview:

You know, The Usos brought up a very good point; just because Kane & Daniel hugged last week shouldn’t immediately grant them a title opportunity. Kudos to WWE for making Team Hell No prove that they even belong in this upcoming title match at Extreme Rules, by first making them prove themselves against The Usos. Bryan was still angered at Kane after this segment & rightfully so, given their last go around. Daniel figured out a way to make himself get over all of that:

If someone were to ask me, “What do you hate most about WWE?” I would show them this clip. This embodied everything I despise about WWE programming. Bad premise, bad script, bad jokes, forced tagline, means to tying up a loose end, robotic execution, & formulaic, unoriginal format. I’m just super happy for Kane that he is able to be an equal, full participant in these filmed conversations. He’s come so far! He wasn’t able to speak when he initially debuted from his damaged vocal chords & then he slowly began to work his way towards being a full fledged sports entertainer:

Maybe 2018 fans wouldn’t be as accepting of this version of Kane, but one thing’s for certain: they would not accept those horrible chokeslam sell jobs by Farooq, Bob Holly, & Edge. Sometimes it’s good to glance back at the past to see how far we’ve came! So now, let’s take a moment to watch this week’s main event: Team Hell No versus The Usos…..

Ugh, Kane barely dropping on that double foot sweep by The Usos & then his double choke grab from the back near the end looked really bad. The Usos & Daniel looked great, I thought. Finally, The Bludgeon Brothers just appearing at the end, to stare down Team Hell No was very simple. Not a whole lot of thought behind the show’s closing moments.

Jeff Hardy looked like The Patriot’s nephew this week with his red, white, & blue face paint. Jeff issued an open challenge to his United States CHampionship & The Miz accepted:

Good match by both ring veterans, with Captain America’s rebellious offspring retaining his title. Jeff was interviewed following his victory on what his thoughts were regarding an upcoming match against Shinsuke Nakamura:

It’s so odd to see Jeff do his pre-match promos in a different cadence & vocabulary than this post-match version, while both are in the same get up. If you were wondering what Shinsuke Nakamura might say to this, wait no longer:

Confident, as usual but also added what sounded like Bray Wyatt’s tag line of “RUN!” at the end there.  That’s pretty cool, if you ask me.

Shinsuke’s recent nemesis, A.J. Styles, was in action against Aiden English this week with Rusev very close by:

As always, good to see A.J. in action but this was merely just a means to an end segment. Just a feud refresher, meant to turn the dial one notch as we head toward the Rusev versus Styles title match at Extreme Rules.

Becky Lynch set out to add to her recently high number of victories, as she faced the other half of the IIconics, Peyton Royce:

Not a bad match by either, but definitely not a banner match that either one will want to watch again. After some initial momentum, the IIconic train has come to a screeching halt.  They could easily become pigeon-holed into this situation where they consistently lose, a la Becky Lynch of 2017.

The New Day & Byron Saxton attempted to have their own version of the Hot Dog Eating Contest by instead competitively eating pancakes…..until SAnitY’s music hit:

I have to say, this was a pretty good beat down on TV. Even though the move cameraman was bouncing & zooming all over the shot as usual, the New Day did one hell of a sell job for SAnitY & they also laid in the beating pretty well. I wrote about this confrontation eventually happening in last week’s article, but this seemed really soon. The newcomers were interviewed backstage & had these words on why they attacked New Day:

I wish one of them would have said’ “We just obliterated The New Day because they were about to have a pancake eating contest on live TV. You’re welcome.”

Asuka was given her chance at revenge against James Ellsworth this week. Spoiler alert: she didn’t beat him!

So part of me is happy about how the segment ended for Carmella. That’s the type of segment that works great for her. The other part of me is really sad about how far Asuka’s character has fallen. She isn’t being treated as one of the all-time greats……she’s not even being treated as a serious contender in this storyline. Good luck Asuka.

 

Thanks for reading & happy birthday America!

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