Previously on the Best and Worst of Smackdown Live: Tea-generation X got passive-aggressive with each other, Samoa Joe LOL’d, and New Day won a tournament to be number one contenders to the Smackdown Tag Team Championship at SummerSlam. Also, Daniel Bryan punched Miz in the face, and Miz brained him with a vase.
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Here’s the Best and Worst of WWE Smackdown Live for August 14, 2018.
Best: Destined To Do This Forever, Or At Least Until Sunday
Before we talk about anything this week, we have to talk about what might’ve been the greatest series of video packages WWE television’s put together in years: The retrospective on the past eight years of Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz, from NXT Pro vs. NXT Rookie to world title runs to their one-on-one match at SummerSlam. It’s one of two one-on-one matches on the 13-match card that doesn’t have a title or some kind of object as a prize, and in my mind (and everyone else’s, I’d imagine) it’s still the main event, no matter where it ends up on the card.
If you missed Smackdown, take 15-ish minutes out of your day and watch these. They’re incredible.
I use up a lot of (free) real-estate in these columns venting my frustrations on how WWE seems so terrified of being viewed as “old” or alienating to its audience of babies and America’s Heartland™ or whatever that it rarely ever accepts its own history, or use it to make the current product better. There are so many rivalries that could be improved by simply going back and explaining where they came from and how they came to be; establishing clear, consistent character motivations to allow us to, you know, actually feel shit about these fiction people and want one of them to beat the other in a wrestling match. You don’t need dates and match times and star ratings, you just need to sometimes say, “Here’s what you need to know about the rivalry at play and its stakes, and isn’t it cool that the history goes back farther than the last couple of months?”