Previously on the Best and Worst of WWE Smackdown Live: The John Cena and Randy Orton of the 24/7 division, R-Truth and Drake Maverick, came to a brief emotional understanding about the difficulties of wearing the ugly crown. It didn’t last. Plus, Shane McMahon and commercial break avoision!
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Anyway, here’s the Best and Worst of WWE Smackdown Live for July 2, 2019.
A Quick Note About MON-day NIGHT RAW!
WWE’s weekly shows are under a microscope this week due to the big news of Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff taking over as executive directors of Raw and Smackdown, respectively, and being, at least we assume, given some expanded wiggle-room under the senile old Republican thumb of Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Raw differentiated itself on Monday by increasing the focus on chaotic action in and around the ring, and keeping the pace of the show moving forward. Smackdown differentiated itself on Tuesday by … talking a lot about Raw.
When I say, “talking a lot about Raw,” I mean talking a lot about Raw. The first thing you see when *completely different brand* Smackdown Live starts is the announcers talking about the LED board explosion incident from Monday and throwing it to a lengthy replay from Raw, in Raw colors, with Raw graphics. In the second segment, Kevin Owens talks to Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre about what happened to them on Raw two weeks ago. A match happens (hooray!) and the next three live segments are R-Truth talking about what happened to him on Raw, a talk show segment where Nikki Cross and Bayley talk about what happened with Carmella and Alexa Bliss on Raw, and Kofi Kingston arguing with Samoa Joe about how he got choked out on Raw.
Granted, I’m not against episodic storytelling, but it kills the image of both a brand split and an, “unpredictable wild card,” when you’ve got the same 10 people on every show and Tuesday only exists to recap Monday. Maybe this will change when Smackdown’s on a different network, and maybe USA Network is just focused on using their last few months of Smackdown to put 100% of the focus on Raw, but it’s not exactly engaging television.