Previously on the Best and Worst of Friday Night Smackdown: Like, do you even remember?
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Here’s the Best and Worst of WWE Friday Night Smackdown for October 25, 2019.
The Crown Jewel Build Lumbers On
“Brother, I’ve led troops, the Four Horsemen, and now I’ve got a team that’s going to Saudi to Crown Jewel.” — Ric Flair, accidentally reading the saddest line of his career.
Bruce Prichard is, for better or worse, the best person in the world at putting together the exact WWE® brand™ episode of television a disinterested 74-year old billionaire wants to see. Last week it was a show-opening match ending in disqualification to set up a tag team main event. This week, it’s a show-opening talk show segment featuring characters from 35 years ago to set up a tag team main event. It’s so lacking a soul that it might as well have crawled up from the Hellmouth under Sunnydale.
I can’t imagine paying a billion dollars for this show. I also can’t understand the mindset of someone who can stay home on a Friday night, tune in to FS1 because Fox preempted WWE for real sports, and “shut up and enjoy” Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan screaming catchphrases at each other in the year of our lord 2019 as we build to a Thursday morning pay-per-view celebrating the one year anniversary of the time a corrupt regime hacked an American journalist to pieces with a bone saw.
Also, Chad Gable is now named “Shorty G” and dressed like one of those Ninja Turtles figures that plays sports. He looks like a bottle of Gatorade, and he’s cutting promos about accepting yourself that sound like he’s trying to justify coming out of the closet to his parents because he’s an inch shorter than Ali. On the same brand as former World Champion Rey Mysterio, who is five inches shorter than both of them. This is … this is not getting better any time soon, is it?
At Least There’s A Tag Team Main Event!
(Mustafa) Ali, Da Lil’ Homie Shawty G, and Roman Reigns defeat King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro in the main event. It’s a perfectly enjoyable house show kind of main event. If you’re wondering, Cesaro’s on Representative Team Flair because I guess we really are enforcing the brand split and aren’t Wild Carding people across the brands just because they’re in a marquee match at an upcoming pay-per-view. Again, everything between Hell in a Cell and Survivor Series (and probably TLC) is a wash. None of this matters to the company or the performers, so it shouldn’t matter to us.
Around now is when I feel like I have to type that paragraph explaining that I’m not outwardly trying to “hate” or “complain” about the product. This shit just makes me feel like I’m stuck in somebody’s pitch-black catacombs and my torch has burned out, and I can’t find my way back to the surface. “Darkest timeline” feels like too much of a meme to describe it, but shit, imagine if McDonald’s put every other restaurant in the world out of business, and then changed their menu so “regular hamburger covered in water from the mop bucket” was the only item available. And the McDonald’s CEO and front office and employees called you ungrateful if you didn’t eat one-to-three dirty mop burgers six days a week and tell them how happy you are to have them. It’s a fucking bummer to anyone with eyes and ears and a basic desire to be entertained and challenged by entertainment, and has nothing to do with “hating wrestling” or “being a wrestling fan” or any of the dismissive crap you’re gonna read in tweets. This is frustrating not because it’s bad, but because it could so easily be good, if anyone wanted or prioritized it.
The Best Angle On The Show Is Between A Guy Who Doesn’t Want To Go To Saudi Arabia Because Of What He Believes In, And A Guy Who Can’t Go Because Of Who His Parents Were
That’s such a depressing use of an on-screen graphic.
The best moment of the night is this exchange between Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan, wherein Sami tries to keep Bryan from wandering back into the crowd-pleasing “yes movement” and remember that there are like-minded people in the company who ALSO care about the planet, and society, and the job they’ve chosen to dedicate their lives to as an artform. Shout-out to WWE for turning “wrestling can be artistically and professionally fulfilling” into a heel trait.
But yeah, this works because it actually challenges the characters involved and the audience to think about what’s being said. SHOULD Bryan go back to being universally beloved and hitting his “I didn’t do it” catchphrase to make everybody happy, or should he continue coming off as an asshole because he actually gives a damn about the world around him? Zayn being the guy to put it to him is great, too, because Zayn’s pretty much 2010 WWE Daniel Bryan right now. He’s 0-10 despite being the best wrestler on the show and about to get eliminated and fired, or maybe shuffled into a romance angle with Gail Kim and the Bella Twins because an old man thinks it’s funny when dorky guys are “ladies men.” He’s Bryan without the magical run and everything working out for him in the end. He’s a Bryan that would’ve just stayed retired. It’s interesting, because these are people I like doing something other than calling each other pussies for 10 minutes to set up a tag match.
Dear Rey Mysterio, Stop Bringing Your Son To Work If You Know He’s Gonna Get Beaten To Death Every Time
The other highlight of the show (because there were two) is Brock Lesnar once again tossing around the Family Mysterio like a bunch of crash test dummies. Rey Mysterio can’t stop bringing his 10-year old 22-year old son to work with him every week, and man, I hope Dominick’s dream of one day becoming a WWE Superstar like his father involved him looking like the world’s most helpless little punk for the first year of his career. 10-year old Nicholas Cone has a championship WrestleMania win over Cesaro and Sheamus. The kid who showed up to AEW Dynamite dressed like Orange Cassidy pinned Cody Rhodes. Adult-ass child Dominick can’t walk up a flight of stairs without someone meeting him at the top to hurl him back down.
There Were Some Matches
New Day has a Tag Team Championship match set for next week, so they … [checks notes] lose to Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. How will this affect their momentum heading into the Greatest Tag Team Turmoil at Crown Jewel? Furthermore, how will this affect their momentum heading into that title shot? Are we making it a triple threat right now? Because I’m sure when Fox bought the rights to Smackdown they were like, “do whatever you want, seriously, but PLEASE make sure we get more Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode tag matches.”
P.S. remember when Kofi Kingston was WWE Champion?
Pro-tip: If you don’t have the balls to turn her into a full-on Colonel DeBeers racist, maybe don’t have the already living boudoir dog whistle Lacey Evans refer to her black opponent as a “nasty?” I’ve watched long enough to know that Evans thinks everyone who isn’t as classy as her (or whatever) is a “nasty,” but this feels weirdly sinister when it happens between Fox Nation Tyrus commercials. And when you’re headed to Saudi Arabia next week. I don’t know, WWE’s main roster feels like a weekly 5-hour long version of that Mitchell and Webb “are we the baddies?” sketch.
By the way, remember when Seth Rollins burned down the Firefly Funhouse? It’s fine now. Don’t worry about it.
Nikki Cross defeats Mandy Rose in a perfectly fine match that the announcers completely (and I mean completely) ignore to talk to Sasha Banks and The New Bayley. Bayley is wearing a black jacket over black clothes and heavy black eye makeup, so I’m pretty sure we’re a bungee cord and a powder attack to the face from her literally being Sting.
Sasha should start Torture Racking people to complete the mood.
Finally, here’s Drew Gulak continuing his complete character regression by doing another PowerPoint presentation and losing to Kalisto — Kalisto — in under two minutes. I don’t even know what to say. Was it more valuable to have another in your endless line of jokey jobbers who lose in 70 seconds instead of having a respected cruiserweight who wrestles great matches all the time? See, this is the kind of shit that happens when you book a boxer who doesn’t work for your company to go over one of your top stars in a million-dollar overseas cockfight and barely ever have him around to do the build.
And that’s Smackdown.
Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
Son Of Tony Zane
I could literally be doing anything else on a Friday night but instead I’m here.
Bayley looks like she bought everything at Hot Topic except The Elite merch
Chad’s dressed like a 2K Career Mode protagonist
Baron Von Raschke
Sami: Someone I have a close personal relationship with…
Kevin Owens: Am I supposed to be in Kansas City tonight?
For as much as we complain that Cesaro has never had a legitimate push or a Title run, I feel like we don’t mention it enough. There should be “Push Cesaro” signs at every live show and every network cancellation should list “CESARO IS NOT CHAMP” as the reason
Turns out bad acting really is a universal language.
Me: Poor Gulak.
GULAK: Yeah…poor Gulak.
GULAK: Let me show you HOW poor in this POWERPOINT PRESENTATION!
Are there any other words as cursed in the WWE than, “… loves to have fun!”
If the match can’t be stopped for any reason, how do you win it?
the moral of this story is to never leave Wednesdays
seriously what the fuck is this shit pic.twitter.com/GOaFpUcpQc
— Brandon Shroud (@MrBrandonStroud) October 26, 2019
Thank you for reading about Smackdown. It’s only 75% as joyless as actually WATCHING it!
Drop down into our comments section below to let us know what you thought of the “episode,” and toss us a social media share if you don’t mind, so we don’t throw ourselves off any local bridges. Join us next week for our complete coverage of Crown Jewel, which includes none of us watching it and maybe putting up a results post. And then it’s time for SURVIVOR SERIES!
See you then!