Cleat Geeks

Straight Up Smack Down

 

Smack Down Live was in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday night for what became an incredible show. The 2 hours of air time flew by as segment after segment, superstar after superstar, delivered home runs for the audience. Tuesday night’s episode was one of the most enjoyable shows of Smack Down Live that I can remember……without any exaggeration.

The night began with Renee Young introducing Becky Lynch for an in-ring interview segment. Becky gave a great, passionate, thoughtful interview & further endeared herself to the WWE fan base.  Of course, this face time couldn’t be without an interruption from the Smack Down Live women’s champion Carmella. However there was another few surprises that followed that interruption:

I completely expected Charlotte to return here & come in for the save, but I didn’t expect her to do it those high heel boots! Well done Queen. I also totally bit on the James Ellsworth entrance spot. It happened so quick that I didn’t even have a chance to doubt its authenticity. Well played WWE.

Not shown in these clips was an interaction between Paige & Carmella, where Carmella mouths off to the Smack Down Live General Manager & tells her that she will never be able to be a champion again. Paige, in turn, then tells Carmella that she will have to face Charlotte in the night’s main event. If Charlotte defeats her, she then enters Carmella’s Summer Slam as the third participant.  That will teach you to mind your manners, champ. So without any further ado, let’s jump to that main event match:

What a way to end the show! Tons of excitement from Charlotte’s victory. Tons of disappointment from Becky, watching on TV. Carmella looks like she can almost feel her title slipping away, since she no longer has to be factored into the decision in her championship match at Summer Slam. In the coming weeks, I could see Carmella trying to further build a split & animosity between Charlotte & Becky. Seems only natural for the story. This story line is already very good & is going to get REALLY good over the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

Speaking of REALLY good, Samoa Joe delivered quite possibly the best in-ring promo of his WWE career on Tuesday night. Joe spoke of A.J. Styles desire & determination to sustain his WWE Championship including the toll it takes on his family. Joe was so well laid out in this verbal assault, I mean just listen to him & tell me which part of his message that you DON’T believe here:

Absolutely incredible. Bravo, Joe. He’s right too, you know? That belt needs to change hands now. A.J. has had a fantastic run & should develop a program with Joe where he is chasing after the belt he loses at Summer Slam, going forward. Next week, Styles will respond to Joe’s eviscerating promo.

 

More mic work! Daniel Bryan was in the ring this week, responding to Miz’s ambush last week.

This was the perfect segment for these two. They chronicled every important moment of their feud, painted each other in negative ways that made sense, & also touched on outside factors surrounding their upcoming match. Just fantastic. Now WWE can use this outline to build a LONG video montage to promote the contentious history between these two.  Mission accomplished. There’s still a few weeks before Summer Slam, so with an eye on over-saturation, maybe next week WWE just airs the video montage to reference this feud & lets the drama breathe just a little bit before we really heat them up before Summer Slam? It just seems like there’s going to be a lot happening next week & allowing some other feuds to rev up could be beneficial for Miz & Bryan. Besides, the on screen chemistry between these two is like peanut butter & jelly. You can take a couple bites out of it, walk away for a while, come back & finish the rest off later. Why? Because it’s still AWWWWWWWESOME. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

 

If you’ve been enjoying the “Randy reboot”, raise your hand. I just raised both. Jeff Hardy made an appearance to address his desire to regain the United States title & also addressed the vicious attack by the Viper 2 weeks ago. After a few short minutes, Hardy called out Orton. Things did not go very well for Jeff after that:

This attack by Orton was so twisted. He rinsed the makeup off of Jeff’s face, seemingly allowed Shinsuke to both attack Jeff then vacate the ring on his command, & then as if he were Aquib Talib, he snatched Jeff’s necklace from his neck:

Is that Randy Orton or Dee Bo from Friday? Either way, I love it. This dude has done a complete 180 from the Randy that was mailing it in for months against Jinder Mahal last year. I hope that these are the times that people can remember of Orton once he retires…..when he was a top tier wrestler & must watch entertainer.

 

The Usos faced The Bar & The New Day had their very own announce table for this match. While the team of Saxton, Graves, & Phillips were calling the match as usual, the camera would occasionally pan over to The New Day’s announce table. The TV audio also panned at the same time, so it gave the illusion that The New Day were having their own commentary of the entire match. I think they just hammed it up on queue from the production truck, but who knows? Maybe they actually just called the whole match?  “A” for originality though:

So there we have it: The Bar defeats The Usos, so now they face The New Day, for a chance to face The Bludgeon Brothers. The amount of “The” for these names in Smack Down Live’s tag team division is out of control. Let’s switch it up, huh?  How “Thee Bludgeon Brothers”? Or “Dem New Day”?  Or ” O’ Bar “? C’mon……something guys. Get over yourselves just a little bit, even though you all are already over.

 

Finally, the battle of letter “R” tongue rollers ensued this week as The Rrrrravishing Rrrrrussian, Lana squared off against the business associate of Andrrrrrade “Cien” Almas, Zelina Vega:

I’m not sure if these two women have worked any house shows together yet, but this match was definitely a reflection of my curiosity. They just seemed to lack a lot of chemistry here & perhaps this isn’t really going to become a Mixed Match Challenge match at Summer Slam because here’s what happened immediately after the match ended:

If I had to bet money, this felt like Rusev versus Aiden English will happen at Summer Slam. If that’s the plan, then I’m going to be real here for a second. I have never liked Aiden English. I thought his gimmick was very late 80’s-early 90’s WWF when he was a singles act in NXT. That’s basically what he’s back to now, since Simon Gotch has been released from the company. That Vaudevillians gimmick was exactly that, a gimmick. The mainstream WWE crowd never got it. Let’s be frank, the mainstream crowd would likely never catch onto Moustache Mountain either. Smarks will seemingly latch on to the latest & greatest, if it’s unique to them.  The mainstream audience that WWE appears to cater to now & will definitely cater to next year on FOX, is a different animal. When you think of it like that, it’s less frustrating as a fan. Just remember that the core of this is wrestling, so that always SHOULD prevail in the event of bad writing, character development, and/or booking. So this is the long way of me saying it would be financially prudent for WWE to rid themselves of Aiden English in the near future. He’s like a cat with 9 lives. The opera singer gimmick didn’t have legs at NXT, so before it seemed like he was going to be gone like C.J. Parker, but then The Vaudevillians got hot with the NXT crowd. That then turned down to a simmer just before they were called up. Once the main roster WWE & their fans their fill of the Vaudevillians, it seemed like both were gone. Aiden hung around (somehow) while Rusev was searching for something. Rusev knew he was talented, but was looking for how he could be recognized:

Now that he’s been established for over a year on Smack Down Live & definitely over, what’s the use for Aiden? The intro? WWE can just pipe that in recorded, through the speakers, during the entrance. They own that. What else? The wrestling of Aiden English? You’re kidding, right?

Holy over selling, no selling, & anticipating moves too early. Show me one portion of this match where Aiden looks good & I’ll point out how Kofi MADE him look good. Granted, this was when he was first called up, but there hasn’t been much improvement since. Bottom line, just move on WWE. These are the dead weight cuts that you NEED to make moving forward.  Don’t release performers or contributors that are more than just a gimmick.

Sorry for the hatchet job on Aiden, but hey everyone…………thanks for reading!

 

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