Previously on the Best and Worst of Smackdown Live: We recapped the boring ol’ 999th episode with Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. an LED board, The Miz’s very difficult mission to make two stupid WWE babyfaces hate each other, and an appearance from the babyface Big Show (which becomes important later).
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And now, the Best and Worst of WWE Smackdown Live’s 1000th episode for October 16, 2018.
Best: After 48 Years, Vince McMahon Finally Explains To His Kids That WWE Is Supposed To Be Entertaining
After 999 episodes of practice, Smackdown Live opens with R-Truth interviewing Stephanie McMahon while she backhandedly shades the shit out of him the entire time. She’s interrupted by Shane McMahon, and then they’re both interrupted by VINCE McMahon, and if Linda wasn’t currently the Executive Joint Chief of Burning Down Elementary Schools or whatever I’m sure she’d be out here too. A McMahon in every corner!
The good news of it all is that (1) R-Truth is so over right now he can make almost anything watchable, as long as he stays out of those Sherlock Holmes costumes, and that (2) Vince either calls an audible or crescendos the segment into the statement that “the E (in WWE) stands for Entertainment” and a dance break. So instead of 20 minutes of McMahon arguments, old man Vince pulls a metaphorical “haul ass to Lollapalooza” and breaks it up. Good times.
Plus: Stephanie McMahon briefly attempting to floss (like I’m guessing she’s seen Shane’s kids do, because I imagine Shane’s kids flossing all day every day, even in their sleep) and giving up to do her go-to “hand up, drop it medium” mom dance.
Also, +1 to Shane for forgetting the wacky Shane McMahon dancing in favor of flirting with Carmella. Brother’s gonna have to drink a tall frosty glass of Mazola oil when he gets home.
Best: Bullet Club Bearded Dad Division Vs. The Uso Firing Squad
This week’s first match is one of those Smackdown specialties: a very basic, watchable, perfectly serviceable match that on paper looks like the most incredible dream match you could imagine. See also: the main event. HOT TAKE ALERT: AJ Styles is the fourth best worker in this match.
So yeah, it’s Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles teaming up to take on Los Usos in a “can they co-exist???” match. Short answer: no, no they cannot. Bryan accidentally forearms Styles in the face, then turns to duck an Uso superkick and Styles gets blasted in the face AGAIN. Then the Usos, who are a legendary tag team and should be able to beat any assembling of random singles stars in a tag team match 99 out of 100 times, pop D-Bry with stereo superkicks and pin him clean.
I’ll be cold in the dead, dead ground before I give a Worst to a tag team beating singles stars in a tag team match because they’re good at tag team wrestling. Especially when the singles stars are confused dads who are easily emotionally destroyed and can be pitted against each other using even mild inconveniences.
Best: Evolution Is Still A Mystery
While I wouldn’t call the Evolution reunion a “good segment” or “purposeful in any way,” I’d liken it to a really enjoyable comic con panel. Like, if you go to WrestleMania this weekend, you’d see this between Jim Ross’ one man show and Mick Foley tap dancing. It’s four people we haven’t seen together in a long time, including one legitimate greatest-of-all-time-legend we’re glad is still alive and one of the goddamn Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Randy Orton briefly attempting to heel on his friends because they made him wear pants to work
- A “Bluetista” namedrop
- Dave Batista deciding to give his WWE Hall of Fame speech for some reason (and doing a good job)
- Batista making dick jokes about Ric Flair to thunderous applause
- Batista putting over Triple H by saying “business” over and over, which Triple H couldn’t have written better himself
- a tease of Batista vs. Triple H, which would at least keep Triple H from ruining somebody cool’s WrestleMania
- Randy Orton corpsing, and going from stoic jerk to spazzy kid who wants to see somebody fight
- all of this leading to nothing but them patting each other on the back and leaving
Like I said, there wasn’t really a reason for it to be happening, but it was fun. I just wished they’d done a followup where Orton doesn’t realize Batista’s standing next to him, because Dave has mastered the ability of standing so incredibly still that he becomes invisible to the eye. Like John Cena!
Speaking Of BMJ
Happy Harry Haircut takes a moment out of his busy “getting so ripped my muscles turn into snakes” and filming heartwarming firefighter family comedies to send in a video congratulations. To show he’s still a bigger star than John Cena, The Rock doesn’t have time to film a selfie video and sends them a quote-tweet.
One of these days, WrestleMania’s going to be headlined by Cena’s people calling Rock’s people and explaining that they’re too busy for lunch today, but maybe next Wednesday would work.
Best (But Not Really): YOU STILL EXIST Cameos
While I don’t love “this person is still alive” cameos where they just show up and stand there for applause instead of like, doing anything, I can’t get through this without showing love to John Laurinaitis and Vickie Guerrero, two of my favorite characters ever. Also, Teddy Long was there. Damn, how do you have Vickie there and not do something with her? She should’ve at least shown up to have Becky’s back against Edge.
Also Johny Ace should defeat Shinsuke Nakamura with an Ace Crusher. Sorry, I let the Widow Baba send me notes for this report.
Worst: The Match You Get When Big Dave Goes Long
Match two of the show, happening like an hour in, is Miz pinning Rusev off a distraction in about 45 seconds to advance to WWE World Cup at Crown Jewel in Unannounced Country. No part of that is enjoyable. It advanced the Rusev/Aiden English beef (I guess) and got Miz into a tournament he should definitely win if we’re crowning someone other than Bryan Danielson or CM Punk the “best in the world,” but yeah, it might as well have been Brie Bella vs. Cameron from 2012.
Best: Edge With Long Hair Again, Thank God
Worst/Best: Live Bex Celebration
First of all, the world just feels a little better when Edge doesn’t have short hair. That was just a crime against humanity. He went from the Rated-R Superstar to somebody’s nice cousin. Second of all, before I get into this segment, I want to say how much I like and appreciate Edge as an on-mic performer, and thought he did an awesome job with the material he was given.
That said, the material he was given was total bullshit. He tries to explain to Becky Lynch that she shouldn’t have thrown away her friendship with Charlotte Flair to become Women’s Champion, and uses himself as an example, saying that it won’t be worth it in the end. Did things really end up so bad for you, Edge? You were the “ultimate opportunist” and were once legitimately in a vampire cult (or a Bite Club, or whatever) and you ended up an 11-time World Champion, getting inducted into the Hall of Fame, and being married with a family you love. What, are you worried her guest appearances on the SyFy channel aren’t going to be good enough? Give me a break. Becky was right to tell him to stop disrespecting her and to get out of The Champ’s ring.
Also, bonus points for Charlotte Flair showing up to defend Edge’s honor and still being so naturally unlikable as a character that she gets booed for thinking you shouldn’t make fun of a retired guy for his broken neck. Tom Phillips says we should be excited for the “first-ever” Last Woman Standing match, but he also says Rey Mysterio doing an Ultimo Dragon move from 1993 is “innovative,” so we should’t expect any astute shit to come out of his mouth.
Best/Worst: Fish Gotta Swim, Birds Gotta Fly, WWE Gotta Ask Why Big Show, Why
Man, it wouldn’t be an episode of Smackdown without The Big Show randomly turning on somebody. Show finally gets that final punch on his “turn 99 times, the 100th turn’s free” card by randomly showing up and turning on The New Day to help The Bar win the Tag Team Championship. In the backstage followup, Show’s explanation for the turn is [shrug], and all I’ve got to say is that when you’re looking for a beloved global ambassador for children’s charities, maybe don’t select the 7-foot-tall monster born from a mountain to destroy Hulkamania on behalf of a Satantic George Costanza, a team of cartoonish super villains, and an old Hawaiian guy covered in flour.
At least this ends New Day’s “whoops, Erick Rowan lost one of his limbs, sorry everyone” title run that probably should’ve transferred the belts onto someone who needed them a lot sooner, and now we can either work on that Big E singles push, or that Kofi Kingston WWE Championship push, or … more video game videos, I don’t know. Probably the third one. New Day’s great, but they definitely don’t need those belts. I mostly just want them to move onto another comedy food.
Rey Mysterio Has Pinned The United States Champion!
Finally we have World Cup Something Something between Shinsuke Nakamura, who believe it or not holds a championship in this company, and “Rey Mysterio.” I put “Rey Mysterio” in quotes because the actual Rey Mysterio Jr. died in a jail cell in Boyle Heights a while back.
Like most of us predicted, this on-paper dream match turned out to be totally fine — see the trend? — and while it’s great to see Rey Jr. back on television, it’s kind of a shame that it has to be at the expense of Shinsuke. WWE’s version of Mysterio is occasionally completely unstoppable, which becomes a little stressful to watch when he’s facing guys who should at least be kicking his ass before he surprises them with something. He’s like a reverse Meng. In WCW, Meng would be a jobber until it was time for a push, and suddenly he’d be able to kill anybody single-handedly and break chairs with his forehead. For Rey, he’s basically Goldberg until he wins a championship or actually gets a push, at which point he’s a total jobber, and anyone from Cena to The Great Khali can kick his ass. It’s weird.
Anyway, independent of the depressing undercurrent here, Mysterio still rules, and that sliding splash to the floor was great. Tom Phillips needs to watch a couple of lucha libre matches during the entirety of his life so he doesn’t think every single mannerism Rey performs is groundbreaking, but it is what it is. Mysterio moves on to Don’t Mention The Country to defeat The Miz in round one of the World Cup tournament before getting Attitudinally Adjusted by John ‘Bradshaw’ Cena.
Worst: Great Job, Undertaker
The final segment of the show features The Undertaker taking fie minutes to walk to the ring and “deliver a message to D-X,” which is literally just the last sentence from the pre-taped promo they showed on Raw. D-X had three words for him and Kane: are you ready? He has three words for them: rest in peace! The Jerk Store called, they’re running out of guys from 1998!
Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Night
Undertaker: I’ve got three words for DX:
The Real Birdman
Country Dominance? I thought that was WWE’s World Cup field
It’d be funny and a nice change of pace if Mysterio hit Nakamura with a 619 to the balls.
I’m surprise WWE didn’t run a #LosingYourHomeIsUnacceptable at the end of that Hurricane Michael Relief ad
Big Show heel turn, McMahons starting off the show with a pointless talking segment, a roll up finish. If Mysterio blows a knee we get Smackdown bingo
IC champion Pdragon619
It would be perfect if Show immediately turned face again by attacking the Bar
Becky Lynch: “I support the Republican Party.”
(GOP wins all open Senate races and all 435 seats in the House)
this wouldn’t have happened on The Peep Show
If Becky celebrates her Evolution win by having live sex with Lita on Smackdown THEN she learned from Edge
It isn’t Blue-tista, for one night, it is You-tista!
That’s it for The Best and Worst of Smackdown 1000. Here’s to 1000 more episodes, and like 150 good ones!
Make sure to drop a comment below to let us know what you thought of the show, and share the column to keep us in the business of watching TV for a living. At least you didn’t have to read about Raw, right guys?