Previously on the Best and Worst of Smackdown Live: Daniel Bryan revealed the real attacker in the Roman Reigns mysteries: some guy we’ll never see again. Storytelling!
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Here’s the Best and Worst of WWE Smackdown Live for August 27, 2019.
Best: King Of The Ring Continues
If there’s a reason to watch this week’s Smackdown, it’s Buddy Murphy vs. Ali. It’s also a reason you should’ve been watching 205 Live for the past year and change, the reason you should tune in to WWE pay-per-view kickoff shows, and why cruiserweights and Cruiserweight Championship matches should have appearances and stories on the main shows. As it turns out, wrestlers who move quickly and do exciting things can have great wrestling matches that the crowd will care about if you put any effort into explaining who they are and why they’re here. Crazy!
Let me see if I can recap WWE’s idea, instead:
- have Ali pin Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura on Smackdown
- never follow up on it, put serial loser Dolph Ziggler over Ali the following week, and have Nakamura start feuding with The Miz
- build up Buddy Murphy instead, by accident
- have Buddy Murphy take Roman Reigns to the limit and pin Daniel Bryan clean on Smackdown
- bring Ali back and put him over Buddy Murphy
Got it. The match was great, though, as you’d expect. If WWE had any foresight, they’d continue building up Ali, Murphy, and Cedric Alexander for a few more weeks, move them all back to 205 Live when Smackdown moves to Fox, and use the time you’d devote to some soulless backstage interview to be like, “want to see more of those awesome dudes you loved? They’re on 205 Live! That’s a show worth watching!”
Or they’d just move them back, merge the 205 and NXT rosters, and have the craziest, L.A. Lakers-colored brand ever.
Less engaging was Chad Gable vs. Shelton Benjamin, unfortunately, mostly because it only got three goddamn minutes.
They make good use of what they have, though, like they always do. I don’t think Chad Gable’s gotten to wrestle a match longer than four minutes in years. Shelton Benjamin only seems to wrestle on TV once every six months. They’re GREAT, though, and I seriously could’ve happily enjoyed another 8-10 of this. I hope they let Chad Gable and Andrade have all the time they want next week, and that “all the time they want” is the first half hour.
Vince was tearing up tonight's show. Good or bad, this is a heavy Vince show tonight.
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) August 27, 2019
Is there a way to tell if this is true? I mean, I couldn’t-
… okay, but how could you-
Yeah. Bayley’s got a Clash of Champions match against Charlotte Flair coming up, so he warms up by taking on Bad Charlotte Flair, Lacey Evans. Bayley versus Nikki Cross from Raw was only four minutes long. Bayley versus Ember Moon in a Smackdown Women’s Championship match at SummerSlam only went 10. Bayley vs. Lacey Evans — who is increasingly, visibly struggling with even the basics of where to be and what to do in every match she wrestles — goes almost 15. Chad Gable got THREE. It starts with Bayley yelling “ARMDRAG!!!” at the top of her lungs for everyone to hear, and Lacey angrily running into an armdrag.
Bayley with the most confident spot-call of the year pic.twitter.com/oi82YMHYAD
— MaffewBotchamaniaGuy (@Maffewgregg) August 28, 2019
As a positive, at least Bayley got to show Charlotte Flair that she could defeat her if Charlotte completely forgot how to wrestle. It’s worth noting that this is the second match in a row Bayley’s won with a secondary move, the top rope elbow drop, which suggests she’s gonna break it out at Clash of Champions for her biggest near-fall, or miss it at a dramatic moment and get Figurely-Eighted into oblivion.
Worst/Best: Treading Water
Shane McMahon screwed Kevin Owens out of the King of the Ring tournament last week, but isn’t on this week’s show …
… so the characters currently revolving around him — Owens and Elias — have to improvise and do something in his absence. This leads to a backstage segment in Shane McMahon’s office where everyone’s asking, “where’s Shane McMahon?” After that, Owens hides behind the King of the Ring Throne and jumps Elias, because the formerly anarchic hero of the people who meekly cowered in the face of his boss last week can only get his heat back by beating up one of his boss’ lackeys. It’s not like Shane is ever going to face any consequences.
Weirdly, this is all just to set up another 24/7 Championship confrontation involving the only three people still interested in the title: Elias, R-Truth, and Drake Maverick. It’s a three-man race at this point. I still don’t know what any of them “win” by being champion, but maybe this time Drake Maverick will at least get to have sex with a woman he’s been married to for two months. Assuming he doesn’t wait until like, 9:15 on Monday night and book her a room in a hotel across the street from where Raw’s being held again.
I appreciate that they at least filmed a backstage segment for YouTube explaining why Owens didn’t pin Elias and win a free championship. It’s also funny to hear Owens basically explain that he doesn’t want the 24/7 Championship because only lonely weirdos want it, and he’s got better things to do.
Revisionist History Of The Week
This video is titled, “Randy Orton brutally attacks Kofi Kingston.” That’s such a biased read of the segment. In case you missed it, Kofi Kingston opens the show with a promo about how Orton made things personal by bringing his family into it, which as you probably know is the most unforgivable sin in WWE. You can shoot someone in the balls with a shotgun and they’ll tag with you two weeks later, but if you say “your wife” or “your child” in a sentence they will haunt the halls of your life forever. Orton hilariously chimes in with a pretend letter from Kofi’s son asking the bad man to not do the mean Diamond Cutter to daddy.
“Hold one. STOMP. Hold two. RKO! Hold three. ANOTHER STOMP. Thank you for listening to my complete list of holds.”
This prompts Kofi to run backstage and attack Orton, which gets him DDT’d on the concrete because, and I quote, “stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid.” But WWE’s still like, “Randy Orton brutally attacks Kofi Kingston.” The first rule of writing is, “tell, don’t show.”
This injures Kofi enough that he’s unable to be at Big E’s side for a 3-on-1 beatdown from Forever the RKO, or whatever we’re calling them. Snake-handling Revival? I like the story here, with Orton teasing attacking Kofi Kingston’s “family” only to manipulate Kofi into madness so he can attack the ACTUAL family, namely Big E and Xavier Woods. Those are the “family members” standing between him and opportunistic WWE Championship glory.
I really liked the Revival here too, from their jackets to the “super RKO” that should seriously be called the “Slither Machine.” I just think it would’ve worked better if 24 hours earlier we hadn’t watched Dawson and Wilder job out clean to a team that’d never teamed before in the middle of a tag team gauntlet. Does WWE think we don’t watch both shows? We don’t have to pretend fans have “team loyalty” to Raw or Smackdown until November, right?
Best: Art Of Wrestling
This week’s Miz/Sami Zayn/Shinsuke Nakamura segment is more or less a retread of last week’s, but it’s still entertaining. Zayn enthusiastically backing a cool wrestler from Japan and explaining at length why WWE fans are cretins for not appreciating him and his style is pretty on the money, and is closer to my personal brand of pro wrestling fandom than his previous talking point, “you’re all dumb idiots for watching this product at all.” It’s easier to watch without turning off the television and feeling badly about myself, at least.
Nakamura should’ve been a weird ass-kicker from the start instead of … whatever he’s been, as that’s more or less what made us love him so much in Japan. Dude could wear leather suits and a big pointy cartoon crown and look like the coolest person on Earth. Feeding Miz to him’s probably a good idea as well, as it looks like Miz has once again given up on being important and is leaning into his updated personality of, “guy who got outsmarted and straight-up defeated by a gasping, 49-year old non-wrestler on multiple occasions.”
Worst: Row Vādis?
Finally, we have Roman Reigns “cracking the case” on his own murder mystery. It was ERICK ROWAN who did it. You know, like Buddy Murphy told him three weeks ago and everyone already assumed was the case. How does he crack it? By remembering he could check the tape from the eight cameras that were mysteriously filming the spot where he was attacked.
Daniel Bryan tries to pimp-slap Rowan out of his life and insist that he had nothing to do with it, because he “hates liars.” I’d like to believe that, and to be able to type that Roman Reigns was a jerk for immediately spearing Bryan instead of listening to him, but if we take Bryan on the level, he honestly believed a similar looking bald man with a red cotton beard attacked Roman Reigns for some reason. It’d be like OJ Simpson claiming it was actually Floyd Little who killed Nicole.
To put it another way, this entire Roman Reigns story has been-
Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
A Lacey/Charlotte friendship would end as soon as Lacey asks Charlotte why her gardener travels everywhere with her.
Having Ali, who lost the spot of a lifetime due to injury, facing a guy whose finisher is Murphy’s Law is pretty spot on.
Lacey: Folks, how the hell is Ali even allowed to be able to compete to be king in these United States? He should just go back to where he—
FOX: why isn’t she champion
The Real Birdman
Zelina super excited she gets to hurricanrana someone without jumping
Andrade and Zelina Vega dress like sexy villains who turn out to be vampires in a Robert Rodriguez movie
The fact that Owens only punched and stunned Elias – nary even an apron bomb – proves without a doubt that KO never loved him.
Does anybody else want to see a camera zoom in on Benjamin’s face during his match, mid-suplex or something, and ask him if he left his oven on?
Only a company lead by Vince McMahon would have us boo a person that wears a shirt saying no to violence racism sexism and homophobia
VINCE: So you’re telling me that putting 205 Live matches on the main roster is a sure fire hit, eh…?
NEXT WEEK ON RAW: Lucha House Party vs. The Singh Brothers in an iron man match!
Bayley really wants to get an edge she should just spend the entire match yelling at lacy in Spanish
That’s it for this week’s Smackdown. The butler did it!
Thanks for reading. Drop a comment down below to let us know what you thought of the show, throw us a share on social media if you’re a pal, and make sure you’re here this weekend for our complete coverage of AEW All Out and NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff: Cardiff Subject To Change!