Previously on the Best and Worst of WWE Smackdown Live: Smackdown spent a month invading Raw and insisting they weren’t the B-show, only to lose both elimination matches AND the champion vs. champion match at Survivor Series. Price Is Right loser horn dot mp3.
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And now, the Best and Worst of WWE Smackdown Live for November 21, 2017.
Worst: A Raw Re-Run
So, I gave Raw a pass for a lot of things I’d normally complain about because I considered it a “rebuilding” show. The build for Survivor Series made everything about Raw vs. Smackdown to the point that Braun Strowman was helping Roman Reigns win fights, so it was like, borderline non-canon. I can’t do the same thing for Smackdown, though, because … well, they just re-did Raw.
Remember how Raw started with a McMahon in the ring, talking about how they feel about what happened with their sibling at Survivor Series, and then some wrestlers interrupted to get in their face and got put in a match for later? That probably happens ever week, sure, but Smackdown starts with — get this — a McMahon in the ring, talking about how they feel about what happened with their sibling at Survivor Series, and then some wrestlers interrupted to get in their face and got put in a match for later.
Remember on Raw when an angry, tattooed goth brunette from NXT showed up and attacked the women’s division with help from her pretty blonde fitness friend and a brown-haired brawler? Well, on Smackdown — get this — an angry, tattooed goth brunette from NXT shows up and attacks the women’s division with help from her pretty blonde fitness friend and a brown-haired brawler.
They beat up Charlotte and Natalya during their championship match, and I’m not sure the Smackdown creative team even remembered Carmella having the Money in the Bank briefcase was a Smackdown thing.
Remember on Raw where they built to a Tag Team Championship match by having a one-on-one match between one-half of the champions and their top challenger, and the challenger won? Well shit, get this you guys, on Smackdown they built to a Tag Team Championship match by having a one-on-one match between one-half of the champions and their top challenger, and the challenger won.
Hell, they even had their charismatic heel tag team do the WWE Shop commercial, just like Raw did the night before.
All of this isn’t to say that I don’t want to see Daniel Bryan interacting with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, or that I don’t think Owens and Zayn vs. the New Day is a good idea, or that I don’t like the idea of bringing in Ruby Riot with some friends to freshen up and expand the Smackdown women’s division, or that I don’t want to see The Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin and heel-ass little Chad Gable. All of that is and/or could be good. But we watched this all on Monday, man. Did they forget to write Smackdown on Tuesday, change the names on the Raw script five minutes before air and hope nobody would notice?
It doesn’t stop there. Raw ended with one of the show’s biggest mid-card heels getting his comeuppance thanks to a popular trio, who sent the fans home happy by triple-teaming him. Smackdown ends with one of the show’s biggest mid-card heels getting his compeuppance thanks to a popular trio who sent the fans home happy by triple-teaming him.
Even the stuff that isn’t directly lifted from last night’s Raw is lifted from recent ones. Remember just over a month ago when Enzo Amore got punished by being put in a lumberjack match to keep him from running away? And the match started to fall apart when the lumberjacks all started fighting each other? And that’s not even mentioning the whole payoff to tonight’s episode, which is the authority figure of the show threatening to fire someone and then being like, “just kidding, I was never going to do that,” removing all stakes and drama. That’s what last year’s Survivor Series build was about, and a little of this year’s.
Best, Mostly: Stop, Hammer Time
The Bludgeon Brothers finally arrived after a month and a half of wandering around in the woods to squash the Hype Bros, and I liked all of it except for two things:
- Their gear. The hell is that? Burgundy Kane jazzercise clothes? They look like Team Hell No had a pair of ugly babies. I can’t believe they managed to downgrade Luke Harper from “jeans and a tank top.”
- Their finisher. It’s a double crucifix powerbomb, except they aren’t hoisting you especially high — look where Mojo is in that still, his butt’s lower than it would be for a normal powerbomb — or slamming you especially hard. If they don’t learn anything else from Braun Strowman, Harper and Rowan need to figure out how to put a little elbow grease into this shit and at least try to make it looks like it hurts.
I know I’ve gone to the “remember when” well a little too much in this column, but hey, remember when Zack Ryder was United States Champion? Remember when he was Intercontinental Champion for a day after winning a ladder match at the biggest WrestleMania in history? Now he’s the fourth most important guy in a tag team squash.
Worst: Let’s Go To Mahal, Today
You know, you’d think AJ Styles would be all about Monday Night Raw right now. When he’s on Raw, he’s having critically acclaimed matches with Finn Bálor and going toe-to-toe with Brock Lesnar. On Smackdown, his pre-Survivor Series beef was beating up the Singh Brothers because Jinder Mahal was too scared to face him one-on-one. Now on this post-Survivor Series Smackdown, his beef is beating up the Singh Brothers because Jinder Mahal is too scared to face him one-on-one.
On next week’s show, AJ Styles must face the Singh Brothers in a handicap match because Jinder Mahal is too scared to face him one-on-one. You see this, right? I’m not crazy. I feel like I’m Jack Torrance trying to write about WWE from the Overlook Hotel.
And that’s it, man. I don’t know what to tell you. It’s a shorter column than usual this week, but they gave me literally nothing to write about that I didn’t see done first or better yesterday.
Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Week, If We Even Have Enough
And SmackDown comes full circle by again just being a recap of Raw
“Bryan, if you fire us…we’ll see you in New Japan when your contract is up.”
Baron Von Raschke
Nattie’s Internal Monologue: Take the Punch…Take the Punch….Pick up Charlotte. Step to the middle of the ring..Another step to the middle of the ring…..Another step to the middle of the ring…Turn to the hard cam…..Turn to the hard cam….turn to the hard cam…TOO FAR!!!! Oh well, POWERBOMB!
Reminder: Main roster now has Dana Brooke and Liv Morgan, but they fired Emma.
The Real Birdman
HHH: “Alright, guys. What’s your plan for your new gimmick?”
2B: “So we’re gonna get these sledgehammers..”
HHH: “Love it. Let’s do it.”
2B: “…Don’t you want to hear the rest?”
HHH: “Nope. I’m sure this can’t miss.”
Fortunately at Survivor Series you also don’t get trophies for first place.
Roman won the Grand Slam last night, but AJ just hit a solid Singh-le.
Natalya’s promos are like Mad Libs recited by an automated switchboard voice synth for a lousy cable company.
So if somebody kicks out at two after a Bludgeon Bro is covering them would that make it a Mjol-near fall?
I’m waiting for the Bludgeon Brothers to tease the eventual appearance of Sister Sledge
That’s it for this week’s show. Join us next week for this week’s show.
Thanks for reading. Share the column to help validate my personal onset of madness, and drop a comment to let us know what you thought of … Raw, I guess.
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