Previously on the Best and Worst of Friday Night Smackdown: The show was rebranded as “Super Smackdown” in the hopes that you wouldn’t notice it was all the same shit they’ve been doing for a month. Plus, King Corbin “ate” dog food by having it poured all over his head! He’s YOU-MILIATED, COREY GRAVES!
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Here’s the Best and Worst of WWE Friday Night Smackdown for February 7, 2020.
Best: Miz & Mister
[extreme Stefon voice] If you want to watch people who get kicked in the head for a living bag on the Academy Awards, I’ve got just the place for you. New York’s hottest club is Once Upon A Time … On The Dirt Sheet. Opening this week’s Friday Night Smackdown, The Miz and John Morrison decided to do a shockingly well put-together parody of Quentin Tarantino’s snail’s-pace Hollywood and dead hippies epic. This trailer has everything; Miz’s dad doing the fighting stance from WrestleMania, John Morrison introducing “Slamtown” into WWE’s vernacular, PEOPLE POWER, Bruce Lee being a fan of The New Day. And if you liked Lance Storm in WCW, you’ll love him randomly showing up to ask if he can, “be serious for a minute.”
The segment quickly gives way to your standard Smackdown Thing — Miz and Morrison are interrupted by The New Day, and something random they say brings out The Usos, which causes a musical distraction from Dolph Ziggler and allows Miz and Morrison to attack New Day, which leads directly into The Usos vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode — but I’ve got to be honest, that trailer hit me in the sweet spot. I’ve read some show recaps that described it as another example of unfunny WWE “comedy,” and I don’t know … I think it was too well done for absolutely no reason and too packed with Inside Baseball-ass wrestling references (like John Laurinaitis saying the WWE Universe is going to “dig” John Morrison when Laurinaitis is the one who kayfabe released him in the first place) for me to not enjoy it. Plus, Worldwide Underground is now canon in WWE. We’re so close to God gauntlet-assisted ab shredding, and Taya showing up to decapitate Randy Orton with a broadsword.
Worst: WWE’s Creative Metronome
From last week’s column:
Last week’s show featured Roman Reigns and The Usos defeating King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode. At Sunday’s Royal Rumble, Roman Reigns (with help from The Usos) defeated King Corbin (with help from Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode). This week’s announced main event? Roman Reigns and The Usos versus King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode. I guess everyone hasn’t seen that match enough? I’m sure they’ve got a lot more to say with their art. The opening segment of this week’s show adds a stipulation, however. Adding a “super” to the Smackdown to make it different, so to speak. The loser has to eat dog food! Anyway, Roman Reigns and The Usos defeat King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode.
This week: The Usos defeat Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, and Roman Reigns is going to have a steel cage match where he defeats King Corbin. Adding “Saudi Arabia” to this feud is definitely what it needs, instead of ending. The person in WWE Creative who thinks feuds should be six weeks of the same match with the same result done in slight variations, be it Vince McMahon himself or someone else, needs to put on the dunce hat and go sit in the corner for the next forever.
Speaking of feuds that do the same thing on every episode with slight variations, Sheamus kicks Apollo Crews’ ass in 30 seconds (as he should, as sad as I am to type it) and runs afoul of a wild SHORTY G. Sheamus, who defeated Shorty G at the Royal Rumble and defeated him again on the following Smackdown, also manages to defeat him here. I assume this will be settled on next week’s show, when Sheamus defeats Shorty G. Or worse, he loses by count-out or disqualification or something, and that makes him so mad we have to see this three more times.
Speaking of feuds that do the same thing on every episode with slight variations, Braun Strowman does an interview explaining how much winning the Intercontinental Championship means to him, only to be interrupted by Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn. After roughly a month of pinning Nakamura without winning Nakamura’s championship, Strowman pinned Nakamura to win the championship. Now Nakamura wants it back! There’s no more “rematch clause,” sure, but in WWE all you have to do to get around that loophole is show up on the next episode and interrupt the speech of whoever beat you.
Strowman ends up getting attacked by Nakamura, Zayn (who is seriously just liberal Canadian Jim Cornette at this point), and The Revival (who have officially joined Team Sadness). They’re them, though, so Strowman manages to Hulk Up and kick all of their asses. The only thing that stops him is a second sneak attack, this time from Nakamura while Strowman’s chasing Zayn around the ring. Will Nakamura’s ability to hit one good offensive move per month lead to him regaining the Intercontinental Championship? Probably not! See you next week!
For more “oh my God what the fuck happened to Sami Zayn, seriously,” content, here’s Elias getting a clean victory over Cesaro, who should be able to Alpamare Waterslide God himself if he wanted to, in a lightly competitive seven minutes. It’s at this point in the column I feel the need to reiterate something I want to make sure is coming across clearly: when I’m complaining about these guys devolving into the stupidest possible characters and having matches with zero intensity on loop for weeks in a row, I don’t think it’s their fault.
I know it’s not Cesaro who decided the most physically impossible man in professional wrestling should lose a championship to a 10-year old boy at WrestleMania and basically be as threatening as Drake Maverick. I know it’s not Elias’ fault for making his songs corny and pandering to get WWE fans to cheer for him instead of booing. There’s just not a “match by:” or “angle by:” or “strange creative decision by:” credit for any of these matches, so we have to speak in broad terms that sometimes do the hard work of the people involved a disservice. WWE is a true murderer’s row of talent from top to bottom, whether it’s in the ring, or in the production truck, or in the writers room, or in the front office. They all know what they’re doing and have a lifetime of passionate experience. That’s why these half-assed episodes of Smackdown (or whatever) are so frustrating. There’s no discernible reason for them to not go anywhere, not make sense, not remember what happened a month ago, or not showcase the strengths of the performers instead of seemingly obsessing over their weaknesses. At this point it’s not even upsetting, it’s just confusing.
Best: Heath Slater Wrestles On TV For The First Time Since 2018 And Daniel Bryan Kicks The Ever-Loving Shit Out Of Him
I’m a fan of both of those things.
I also like that the, “The Fiend changes people,” thing makes so much sense. The idea’s supposed to be that he’s super spooky and he’s done something bad to their psyches, or whatever, but in practice it’s guys who went into a big match with a lifetime of love for the sport (Bryan, Seth Rollins, Finn Bálor, Miz) and got their hearts broken because the champion of the universe is a teleporting Pee-wee Herman clown who just no-sells everything and negates the sport and goals they’ve spent their lives working for. Complete disillusionment in the process. That’s my head-canon, at least. I know it’s just, “the puppets and mask scared me.”
Anyway, I approve of both miniature Nexus reunions and Daniel Bryan sports-entertaining people to death.
Best: Otis Readying
Otis gets ready for his Valentine’s Day date with Mandy Rose in a combination workout/fashion show/teach the lowborn some manners montage. Highlights include Otis doing sit-ups while eating pizza, Otis accidentally knocking over the dinner table with his belly with a full movie trailer record scratch sound effect, and Otis thinking the way to impress Mandy is to be Mandy. Which, I mean … maybe?
I still think Tucker’s a little too invested in and/or turned on by his simpleton friend’s love life, but in a promotion where usually only evil people and the New Day get to have friends, I’ll take what I can get.
Worst: Golden Oldie
First of all, it’s not your show, bro.
Mostly WCW But Also WWE Legend Bill Goldberg returns to the show, kind of, via satellite, to challenge The Fiend Bray Wyatt for the Universal Championship. Nothing gets you a championship match faster than not actually working for the company. Drew McIntyre had to bust his ass for like 13 years, in and out of universe, to get a title shot. Garbage ass Goldberg doesn’t even physically come to the arena and gets a one-on-one match for the top title on the brand by just kinda shrugging and being like, “you know, I should probably have a match.” How funny would it be if Goldberg actually won, though, and they ran Goldberg vs. Undertaker for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania? The opening match could be the WWE Championship match between Ricochet and Drew McIntyre. But yeah, no, my only hope here is that he gets completely no-sold and squashed — this is the one guy who actually deserves it — and shows up on the following Smackdown in a leather jacket reading a copy of The Bell Jar because The Fiend changes people.
Best: Carley Reunites
The best match of the night for me (and the only one with any consequence on the entire episode) is the Smackdown Women’s Championship number one contender fatal four-way match involving Naomi, Carmella, Dana Brooke, and Alexa Bliss. Bliss and Nikki Cross are officially BLISS CROSS APPLESAUCE, which is stupid and incredible. The point of the match, as it should be, is to highlight Naomi. She got a “seems cool to non-wrestling fans in real life” bump with her return in the Royal Rumble, so even though she doesn’t win, she’s the one who got the shine. I hope that momentum continues, because Naomi’s way up on the list of people who deserve more than being a jobber to the stars and getting called a “great athlete” every time she wrestles. Bring back the glowing Women’s Championship while you’re at it, so we can give folks a second chance to properly appreciate it.
Carmella’s the one with the most history with Bayley here, though, having been her good friend since way back in 2016 NXT and currently joining the rest of us in wondering exactly what the hell is up with her these days. Bayley jumps her after her victory, because of RUTHLESS AGGRESSION, and that match will be happening soon. Presumably on that Smackdown scheduled for the day after Saudi Arabia, in case everyone gets stranded again and the Women’s Championship match has to go two hours.
Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
Great. They showed all the best parts in the trailer.
Bray Wyatt may be the most reputable news anchor Fox has
Graves: “Why are we being forced to relive this?
Petition to make that SDL’s slogan
Tucky: “Let’s practice a good night kiss next”
happy fun loving superstar history month
Baron Von Raschke
Heath: Remember when we were in Nexus?
Daniel: The Dragon has no memory if that
Dave M J
“Abby the Witch to star on the Bachelorette”
Kermit’s single now, go for it frog.
Sami Zayn really knows how to pick the saddest guys in the lockerroom
Cole: “Hey Goldberg, what’s up?.”
Goldberg: “Nothing much.”
Cole: “Thanks for joining us.”
Dean Pelton, depressed: Oh, Goldberg’s in this?
That’s another Best and Worst of Smackdown in the books. The show honestly wouldn’t be in such bad shape if they kept any sort of records and didn’t do the exact same thing on loop for months at a time. The fresher stuff still plays well. Bryan, Naomi, Otis and Mandy (somehow), and others are doing their best to BUILD MOMENTUM™ or whatever, even if part-timers who couldn’t work a three-minute match 20 years ago get title shots via satellite and the announce team’s so regressively dumb they think “eating dog food” means you got dog food poured on your head. Hooray for the Fox wrestling show giving us the hard sell on the Saudi Arabia pay-per-view, I guess.
As always, thanks for getting through this with us and checking out the column. We appreciate you, as well as your comments in our comments section below, and your social media shares. And just you, in general? How have you been? You doing okay? See you next week, for more Roman Reigns and The Usos vs. King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode action!