Previously on the Best and Worst of Friday Night Smackdown: Sonya Deville did that one promo everyone does when they break up with their tag team partner, Dana Brooke and Daniel Bryan qualified for a Money in the Bank ladder match inside and on top of an office building, and Big E won a singles triple threat match to become Smackdown Tag Team Champions. Things are going great.
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Here’s the Best and Worst of WWE Friday Night Smackdown for April 24, 2020.
Money In The Bank Qualifiers Of The Week
Did you think it was weird last week when Dana Brooke defeated Naomi to earn a spot in the ladder match at Money in the Bank? Well, here’s Lacey Evans pinning Sasha Banks to do the same in a sort of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Karens scenario.
To catch you up to speed, Banks is becoming too aware that the “friend” she keeps around because she’s sycophantic easily manipulated (Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley) foolishly believes that friendship goes both ways, and that she has the right to manipulate Banks back when necessary. That’s not how it works, but Banks hasn’t been able to find the right moment to rise up and betray her like she always does so she’s stuck doing the champion’s light, misguided bidding. Previously that meant being fed to Tamina. This week, it means being fed to Lacey Evans.
Banks is paranoid and waiting for the other shoe to drop in one way or another, so she’s really defensive and weird about everything that goes wrong. That causes everything to go wrong. For example, she’s about to lose clean to goddamn Lacey Evans when Bayley swoops in and puts Banks’ foot on the bottom rope, saving her. Lacey goes after Bayley and gets distracted, allowing Banks to roll her up. That would normally win the match as the Divas Roll-Up does a minimum of 50% damage, but Evans has pulled Bayley too far into the ring, and the referee’s HEY GET OUTTA THE RING priorities have taken over. The ref misses the pin completely, and Banks doesn’t have the capacity for abstract thought necessary to assume it’s anyone’s fault but Bayley’s. This distracts HER, and Lacey sneaks up like the best Solid Snake at Dillard’s and knocks Sasha out with her dreaded Anti-Sasha Fist*.
*Lacey’s also holding the picture of her daughter Sasha and Bayley brought out on a Popsicle stick, Summer Rae-style, when she punches and you’d think hitting your opponent in their face with a stick would be a disqualification, but whatever, it’s quarantine, we’re making it up as we go. I really appreciate the Summer -> Summer analogue, though.
After the match, Tamina’s music hits and there are TAMINA graphics everywhere, but Bayley is still somehow blindsided when Tamina shows up and kicks her. Tamina’s like white noise, I guess. But yeah, to recap, the Smackdown women’s division has Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville feuding over who Mandy should date, Lacey Evans and Dana Brooke going over Sasha Banks and Naomi, and Tamina knocking out Bayley in a title feud. One more bad idea and they’ll summon Kelly Kelly like the Planeteers summoned Captain Planet.
In the other qualifying match with loosely the same plot, King Corbin — the Lacey Evans of men — defeats Drew Gulak when Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro attack Daniel Bryan and cause a distraction. Gulak’s doing the best he can out here but doesn’t even get to use his own entrance theme. Corbin is better in the ring than we’ve probably ever given him credit for, too, so this is solid despite Corbin’s character stink making everything he does feel like a chore to sit through. I’m excited to see him hit Apollo Crews with a fax machine, or whatever.
Tag Team Divisions Ballyhoo Of The Week
The show opens with the time honored tradition of the Smackdown promo parade, with New Day trying to talk about their Smackdown Tag Team Singles Triple Threat Championship win only to be interrupted by the Lucha House Party, and then The Miz and John Morrison, and then, LOL, the Forgotten Sons.
Two major highlights here:
- Lince Dorado trying to get over the phrase, “lucha lit.” “Eight time Tag Team Champions, yo … that’s what I call LUCHA LIT!” Yeah, but it is a-a a good, good luchas, lucha … thing? God damn, woo!
- The Forgotten Sons having All-American Grade-A beef with The Miz because they’re Marines — well, Steve Cutler and Jaxson Ryker were — and Miz only plays a Marine in the movies. I wish Miz had just said, “do you know how acting works,” and went back to addressing teams that aren’t just here because they live close to the building.
The Forgotten Sons attack New Day because they’re the champions (or other reasons!), which sets up [checks notes] Miz and Morrison versus Lucha House Party for later in the night.
That ends up being pretty good, if only for the closest look we’ll ever get at what Miz would’ve looked like in Lucha Underground. Miz gets overconfident and gets his Skull-crushing Finale reversed into a victory roll for the upset, taking a loss to 2/3 of the losing end of a Lars Sullivan squash. Now that’s Lucha Lit.
Note: My favorite Lucha Lit song is ‘Mi Propio Peor Enemigo.’
In more important tag team news, the Women’s Tag Team Champions win a six-minute match with a four-minute commercial break in the middle. The first half’s fine, but the second half is rough. It mostly seems to be here to establish Bliss Cross Applesauce’s tag team finisher, a “modified 3-D” that used to be The Snapshot. So what are we calling it, the 3-DDT?
Speaking of signature moves, I can’t see Dana go for something like this and not imagine Pentagon Jr. just running up and dropkicking her in the back of the head. Usually those cartwheel moves are done in the corner to create the illusion that your opponent can’t get out of the way. The next time she goes for this on the floor, her opponent should take a step to the right and let her go twirling into the ring post.
Also On This Episode:
Sheamus kicks former Australian Rugby star Daniel ‘UHF’ Vidot, then returns to intimidate Michael Cole a little. It’s not Cole’s fault you accidentally got stuck in the Viking Raiders and Erick Rowan spot where you’re the only person on the brand winning jobber squashes every week, man. Not that I’m dying for a Sheamus main-event program or anything, but a guy with his resume should have something better to do 14 years into his WWE career than pick fights with announcers and win empty arena matches on the lowest difficulty.
This video package will be important for the Firefly Fun House match between Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman, where we learn all the deep psychological reasons why a big aggro hillbilly in a sheep mask became a big aggro hillbilly without a sheep mask.
Worst: Old Man Take A Look At My Life, I’m A Lot Like You
Finally, an actual episode of Smackdown in the year of our Lord 2020 ends with Vince McMahon cutting a promo about how WWE is stupid and boring. Then he literally turns off the lights in the building and we hear crickets chirping. No, seriously. It’s clearly just a weird rib to pop Triple H, but to anyone that isn’t him or Vince it just looks like a senile old man wandered out and rambled about how much he hates everything, and then turned off the lights when he left without thinking anyone still needs them. It felt like sitting down with your relatives at Thanksgiving as a WWE segment.
The rest of it is what you’d expect from Triple H Appreciation Week. Video packages about D-X invading Nitro (by riding around in a jeep in the parking lot and not actually interacting with anyone from WCW), long unfunny improvisational bits between him and Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair Facetiming in to cry on the telephone. OH, and before they turn off the lights and play “boring” sound effects, there’s a blooper reel and a retrospective on how many times Triple H has lost at WrestleMania.
We … really need the fans back soon, don’t we? Holy shit. At least two people in the world enjoyed it! Congratulations on your billion dollar investment, Fox!
Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
That made Lashleys Sisters look like Citizen Kane.
During the heat death of the universe, they will still be doing DX reunions
A quick Google search reveals Mantaur debuted 25 years ago. Why aren’t we celebrating him tonight?
HHH has the same feeling these days watching Vince on a live mic as Fauci does watching Trump talk
Baron Von Raschke
Weird that a group with a Revolutionary Leader helped a Monarch…but, that’s probably just me.
“Hey Booker T, what’s your favorite HHH Mania match?”
*Awkward 23 second pause*
Has Vince McMahon become Grandpa Simpson?
Me: HHH appreciation night? Not sure I can handle this…
*Lucha House Party music hits*
Me: Bring on the GAME!!
King of Smark Style
As a member of the WWE Universe, and ranking member of the TRUE AUTHORITY of the WWE, I feel it’s fair to say that this show has really gotten away from us.
Who left Bigfoot in charge of the company?
That’s it for this week’s Best and Worst of Smackdown. As always, thanks for getting through this with us and checking out the column, especially during this pandemic. It’s hard to keep a lot of this in context, especially with what’s going on with the company in the real world. We appreciate you, as well as your comments in our comments section below, and your social media shares. Next week begins UPROXX READER APPRECIATION WEEK, where I drink a bottle of NyQuil and then cut a promo about how terrible you all are.
Join us here next week for Daniel Bryan vs. King Constable, and Money in the Bank qualifying matches between Otis and Dolph Ziggler, and Mandy Rose and Carmella. And 25 minutes of Stephanie McMahon’s new Netflix stand-up special, I don’t know.