Previously on the Best and Worst of Friday Night Smackdown: WWE continued to fart around and put out the most basic product imaginable to maintain the terms of their agreement with Fox while running sad, empty arena shows during a global pandemic. This week: something different, we hope!
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Here’s the Best and Worst of WWE Friday Night Smackdown for May 8, 2020.
This Week On The Show I Can’t Believe Some Of Us Are Still Watching
Up first this week, Fire takes on Desire in the most tumultuous tag team break up since Vicious had to wrestle Delicious.
I appreciate the intensity Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville brought to this. You can tell they don’t have a lot to work with, but are sincerely doing their best to make something of it. Sonya would be wonderfully threatening if she hadn’t been saddled with a “you’re just jealous (actually I’M the one who’s jealous, don’t tell!)” character beat. You can see in their body language and chemistry that Sonya and Mandy are intimately familiar with each other (not like that) and have probably practiced together enough that they’ve got a real natural flow to their fighting. I thought the finish with the double counter from Deville was really well done, too. Oh, and bonus points! Deville won the match without Dolph Ziggler showing up and causing a distraction on the ring apron. I would’ve bet the farm on that. Way to subvert my expectations, five minutes of one Smackdown!
For a Mandy Rose-adjacent follow-up, Otis is too much man for rung support:
Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. I know you’re “blue collar solid” and all, Otis, but ask someone to pull the Big Show Money in the Bank 2010 ladder out of storage. That thing weighs 350 pounds and can hold up to a ton.
Although honestly Otis is only billed at 330 pounds. A normal ladder should be able to hold him. Kane’s billed at 323 and he could climb a regular ladder fine. Comparatively bodied Mark Henry was just over 400 and a normal ladder could support him with 200 pounds of Evan Bourne on his back. I dunno, maybe just don’t step so hard?
What’s the best way to use your billion dollar, prime-time, network television show to promote your weekend’s pay-per-view? How about King Corbin and Tamina Snuka standing tall?
“Tamina has pinned the Smackdown Women’s Champion” was this week’s easiest bet. It’s a tag team match for “momentum” with the champion and challenger on opposite sides. Not to mention they did “champion pins the challenger” on last week’s Raw when Apollo Crews pinned Andrade, and again on last week’s Smackdown when the Forgotten Sons pinned the New Day, and again on this week’s raw when the Viking Raiders pinned the Street Profits. In case that’s not a clear enough paragraph, that’s four consecutive “main roster” shows in a row using the same bullshit booking trope in place of actual effort and storytelling. They hate us, man. They think we’re the dumbest motherfuckers that ever lived. And here I am wasting the remaining years of the prime of my writing talent trying to tell people on the Internet about the 19th bad Smackdown of the calendar year, so maybe they’re right.
Anyway, Tamina pins the Smackdown Women’s Champion on the go-home show for Money in the Bank, which at least means she won’t pin her at Money in the Bank. Imagine a world where Tamina Snuka is your best option in the year of our Lord 2020, and you’re using her push to say how Bayley and Sasha Banks suck but Lacey Evans is great. It’s the darkest timeline, folks, deal with it. Mandy and Sonya have to fight each other about jealousy.
King Corbin wins this year’s Money in the Bank go-home segment, which is like every other Money in the Bank go-home segment they’ve ever done. I’m sure they’ve switched it up at some point over the past 10 years, but it’s the segment your brain writes when you think about it. People who are supposed to be in the ladder match fight with the ladders WWE’s used to decorate the set, and someone ends it by climbing up, pulling down the symbolic briefcase and posing with it. On the list of WWE moments you should expect, it makes “the locker rooms empty out and fill up the ring for a big impromptu battle royal only DAYS before the Royal Rumble” look like the Montreal Screwjob.
The only positive I can find here is that Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro managed to win a match under King Corbin’s wing, which is something they could rarely do under the supervision of the vanishing socialist Intercontinental Champion. Shout-out to Daniel Bryan traveling around with a guy to take pins for him, I guess.
The worst segment of the night for me was this Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman “face-to-face confrontation.” To say that nothing happened is an insult to nothingness. Paint drying at least has a fundamental action powering it.
Nothing new is established here. Bray Wyatt thinks he created Braun Strowman, which he kayfabe completely did, and he wants the Universal Championship again. Shouldn’t have lost it to Grandpa Tackles in the first place, Bray. Strowman’s title run so far has been him holding a belt on his shoulder and gruffly soliloquing into a microphone about nothing in particular. Bray gave Braun back his black sheep mask via a mid-interview Christmas present, but Braun didn’t put it on. So this week he offers it to him again, this time with a P2P hand-off, but Braun doesn’t put it on. And then some puppets gave him a pep talk. AND THAT’S THE SEGMENT FOR YOUR SHOW’S WORLD TITLE MATCH ON THE PAY-PER-VIEW. I HOPE NOTHING ALSO HAPPENS AT MONEY IN THE BANK.
Also On This Episode
The stuff in the middle is the hardest to talk about. For example, there’s a fatal four-way for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship on Sunday, so there was a 100% chance of the go-home Smackdown would have an eight-man tag with the four tag teams. The most positive thing I can say is that Miz and Morrison won by pinning the Lucha House Party instead of the Tag Team Champions.
Jeff Hardy returned after weeks of promotional video packages and kicks Sheamus’ ass for taking an interest in him. The sad state of WWE creative is that the only thing you can really do here is have Sheamus beat up Hardy or Hardy beat up Sheamus. Sheamus’ motivation here is “snuffing out weak flames,” but Jeff’s already survived a pyro explosion and a fall from the top of a giant flaming cross in his weird brother’s backyard, so maybe Sheamus should reconsider his choice of elemental metaphor.
The only other things to mention from the episode are the Mysterious Hacker getting us ready for WWE Payback — it’s definitely CM Punk and AJ Lee and not just Chad Gable wearing a toddler’s basketball outfit with clip art of a computer on the chest — and Dana Brooke booking another main-event quality match between her Ohio accent and the paragraph they want her to read.
Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Night
go home show? More like Stay Home Show!
Baron Von Raschke
We made a bot watch five years of WWE programs last week. Here is the script that it wrote for tonight’s SmackDown!
I started to say that there should be a Senior WWE (like the Senior PGA), but then I remembered that’s what WrestleMania is.
Dave M J
If Bayley manages to get even a semi-watchable match out of Tamina on Sunday, build a statue of her outside of Titan Towers.
Starting next Friday, Greg Hamilton better be prepared to announce King Corbin, First of his Name, Mr. Money in the Bank, Baron of His Local T.G.I.Fridays
Bryan: “Hey Vince, so since Gulak and I go way back into the indy scene; Ring Of Honor and Chikara and all that I was thinking our partner could fall into that category.”
Gulak: “Like Brian Kendrick or—”
Vince: “THE BIG SHOW!”
*Vince walks off*
Bryan: “Do you think he was even listening?”
Gulak: “I don’t even think he knows who I am.”
This is why banks shouldn’t be bailed out
I don’t understand, how can I tell that these two are in a heated blood feud if this match didn’t start with a collar-and-elbow tie-up?
Fox should make a show where Gordon Ramsey goes around fixing different Indies. Then Paramount can copy the concept and have Jon Taffer fix other Indies but get stabbed by Joey Janela.
This is still going on? Please send out Vince to tell them it’s boring and turn off the lights.
Here’s an exclusive first look at the next five episodes of Smackdown.
That’s it for this week’s Best and Worst of Smackdown. One of these days the show will be good again, and maybe Raw will be the worse show again, and we’ll look back like, “wow, remember how depressing it was that they kept doing worse and worse episodes in an empty gym?” Maybe the cinematic office building fight is the creative turning point, I dunno.
Anyway, thanks as always for your Internet patronage. Your comments, shares, and readership are appreciated tremendously, and we hope you’ll be here this weekend for our complete coverage of In Your House: Elevator Action. Stick with that paint video, by the way. It starts getting good after the first hour.