Previously on the Best and Worst of Smackdown Live: Is it even possible to differentiate Smackdown from Raw at this point? The rosters, matches, finishes, and stories are all the same. They might as well call Smackdown “Hulu Raw” until it goes to Fox in the fall.
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Anyway, here’s the Best and Worst of WWE Smackdown Live for June 24, 2019.
Shane McMahon Update Of The Week
Remember that part of Monday’s Raw where The Undertaker showed up from out of nowhere to save Roman Reigns from a 2-on-1 Authority beatdown, presumably sick and tired of watching the guy who little-brother-punched him inside Hell in a Cell dominate and treat everyone on the roster like crap? Well, it turns out that was a special favor for Roman, as The Undertaker doesn’t give a shit about what happens to The Miz.
At least Roman Reigns gets to pin Shane’s henchmen when Shane isn’t directly involved. Miz can’t even seem to accomplish that, as his character’s been reduce to a complete dipshit in the face of three straight losses to Shane and a loss to pretty much anyone Shane puts him front of him, because of Shane. Here, Shane causes him to lose a fall to Elias by grabbing his foot before he can springboard. Then, between falls two and three, Shane just gets in the ring and kicks Miz’s ass for several minutes while the referee stands there making angry faces, forgetting he’s a referee and could just restart the match and disqualify them. But Shane’s The Boss, so any rule-breaking situation boils down to the corporate equivalent of, “a wizard did it.” Also, Shane kicks Miz’s ass again after the match, in case 13 minutes of Miz being a loser wasn’t enough.
To their credit, at least the crowd attempts a, “no more Shane,” chant, which is about as close to putting, “we aren’t booing because he’s an effective heel, we just really hate that you keep doing this unbelievable garbage with a non-wrestler who got completely gassed throwing some punches and doing a spear,” into words as a 4,000-strong collective can get. Shane probably went to the back and high-fived people about how much heat he gets.
Also, Hey, More 2-out-of-3 Falls Matches!
WWE’s wrestling during commercials phobia from Raw continued on Smackdown Live, and yes, they’re already in way over their heads and out of ideas.
On this one two-hour episode of Smackdown we get a pretty great non-title tag team match ending, going to commercial, then continuing as a less enjoyable 8-man tag* (note: one of two “blank has pinned the champion” matches in the episode), and two (2) 2-out-of-3 falls matches. WWE’s gonna keep on until they’ve completely ruined the reputation of NXT’s best match type, and we’re gonna see NXT announce ADAM COLE VS. MATT RIDDLE 2-OUT-OF-3 FALLS and wonder why the main event of a TakeOver needs a commercial break.
There are also two instances of Smackdown doing their trademark picture-in-picture commercial breaks, which isn’t ideal, but seems like a super easy solution to the problem. Go to commercial break whenever you want during the meaningless stuff, and give us picture-in-picture breaks for matches somebody might actually wanna watch.
* only current WWE booking could have Daniel Bryan and Rowan vs. New Day end with Sami Zayn getting pinned.
About That Other 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
Look, I know Stomping Grounds wasn’t terrible, but did anybody watch that show like, “oh wow, I hope literally ALL of these feuds continue into Extreme Rules and SummerSlam?” Do we need more of Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin, more of Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans, and more of Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler? I honestly can’t care how “good the match is” when this is legit the 31st, 32nd, and 33rd singles matches I’ve seen between the two on TV. I don’t want to see ANYBODY wrestle ANYBODY 33 times, under any circumstances.
At least Smackdown had the decency to have Kofi win (again again) and make the match at Extreme Rules one-on-one with Samoa Joe, instead of turning it into a triple threat. For the billionth time, Ziggler is a talented performer who pretty much lost all the good will he had from jerks like me years ago, and has been dead in the water as a character since he was the star of the show at Survivor Series 2014 and creative immediately gobbled him up about it. Brother needs a Jon Moxley fresh start more than anyone in wrestling.
Best: Small Scale Character Developments
To discuss some positives, hey look, WWE remembered that Finn Bálor, the Intercontinental Championship, and Shinsuke Nakamura all exist! All it takes is a good wrestler we want to watch wrestle wrestling matches show up, another wrestler we wish we could see wrestle good wrestling matches show up to challenge him, and something on the line. Of all the things WWE seems to take for granted from fans, this instant forgiveness when we think something hopeful and positive is going to happen is number one with a bullet.
As an interesting note, I checked every resource I could find online, and the last time Nakamura showed up on weekly TV and won a match (not counting pay-per-views) was the October 30, 2018, Smackdown match against R-Truth. Other than that, it’s just an assload of tag team losses. Imagine paying Shinsuke Nakamura to work for your company and treating him like Konnor of the Ascension.
Someone finally knocked on the door of the Stardust Memorial Promo Cell to challenge poor Aleister Black to a match! Good for him! I really liked Black’s charisma and acting here, even if the context is ridiculous. Couldn’t he, like, get a match the way everybody else does? Are Sami Zayn and Dolph Ziggler taking all these pinfalls because some of their co-workers got locked in a janitor’s closet two months ago and didn’t show up to work? I hope Aleister at least had some snacks in there.
The Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss friendship question mark story gets some forward momentum as well, with Cross signing up for a match with Bayley and actually pinning her fair and square — Nikki Cross has pinned the Smackdown Women’s Champion! — to earn Bliss another title match at Extreme Rules. Aleister Black should become friends with Alexa Bliss and ask her how she easily gets a free title match every time she thinks about wanting one.
Not that it’s an especially clever story, but I really do hope Natalya and Naomi constantly pointing out what a jerk Alexa Bliss is to her supposed “friends” causes this to be the tale of the one time Bliss found a co-worker who actually cares about her well-being, and helps her become a better person. A better feral anarchist? One or the other.
The most interesting interpersonal development for me was after Sonya Deville defeats Ember Moon with the Dana Brooke Driver ’19 in fewer than 90 seconds, confirming that Fire and Desire as the winner of the monthly Nintendo Switch and donuts feud. There should be a rule in WWE that if you lose a grudge match in under two minutes you don’t get any more chances. Just to say it, Ember Moon should probably be having awesome wrestling matches with everyone right now instead of being Helpless Backstage Dork, but I digress.
The interesting bit comes after the win, when Fire kinda sorta turns into Desire:
That’s some actual chemistry! This could go any number of ways, a lot of them very bad, but I hope it just works out for Sonya and she gets a pretty girlfriend to eat donuts and shade nerds with backstage. And if she gets rejected, I hope she introduces Mandy to her new best friend, Shayna Baszler, who would like to speak with her at length about how easy it is to boot a woman’s arm into confetti.
Who Let Them In
Sonya and Mandy are also present for one of Smackdown’s Firefly Funhouse character cameos, continuing the theme from Monday’s Raw. Abbie the Witch and Mercy the Buzzard popped up in the background of backstage segments on Monday, so Rambling Rabbit (seen here) and Huskis the Husky Harris Pig (seen behind Daniel Bryan while he’s walking) show up on Tuesday. I hope one of the depressed Funhouse kids is the one knocking on Aleister Black’s door.
Best: Spud Gets Cooked
The best moment of the night (surprise!) is probably the far too short 24/7 Championship segment, in which Drake Maverick attempts to bare his soul, either in a sincere way or like Todd Chavez trying to guilt his way into J.D. Salinger’s pen, and gets Bugs Bunnied by R-Truth.
“UH UH! SIIIIIKE! I LOVE THIS CHAMPIONSHIP MORE THAN YOU LOVE YOUR WIFE! ARRIVEDERCI!”
All he needs now is a Daffy Duck crazy goodbye laugh to cement himself as a living cartoon character and the greatest WWE champion of our generation.
Also I hope they do a full Macho Man and Elizabeth bit with Drake Maverick eventually winning back the 24/7 Championship and his wife running into the ring to hug him, because it means they can finally consummate their marriage. Bonus points if Truth figures out how to pin Drake while he’s consummating his marriage.
Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
Bryan will continue feuding with Heavy Machinery until they change their finisher to “The Composter”
I want Aleister to get fed up, open the door only for it to lead into another room set up just like the one he’s in.
He will then go through successive doors, each leading back into the room, until he has a full on mental break, as he realizes, the reason no one is coming to his door, is because his room doesn’t exist on our plane of reality.
Seth: WWE has the best wrestling!
Haven’t seen Maverick this emotionally devastated since Goose hit the canopy.
These 2 out of 3 matches are causing me to doubt both my love of wrestling and Meat Loaf power ballads.
I absolutely trust the WWE to tell a story centered on LGBTQ elements, especially since it will be depicted entirely through the medium of 12 second promos and sub-2 minute matches.
Ember’s extra mad because Sonya asked if she wanted to smash and it reminded her that her Switch was broken.
In retrospect, Undertaker getting involved in the Shane McMahon storyline makes perfect sense. You can only beat a dead horse for so long before the dead horse’s soul gets tired of it and asks for help.
Maybe Aleister thinks people know where he is, while in reality a stagehand took his name off the door over a month ago.
Son of Tony Zane
With all this talk of not pissing people off, it’s pretty obvious Jeff Jarrett’s writing this week’s episode of SmackDown.
All I want before I die is a 22-minute version of this Carmax commercial with the IIconics improvising all of their dialogue. You know one exists.
That’s it for this week’s Best and Worst of Smackdown. Thanks for reading, as always. They’ve got me feeling like Slippy the Toad, because all I can do is hope Fox saves us. Drop a comment down below to let us know what you thought of the episode, and give us a share on social to help keep us in business.
See you next week, same Shane time, same Shane place, same Shane channel!