Previously on the Best and Worst of WWE Smackdown Live: An episode so bad and derivative of the previous night’s Raw that *I* got shit for being a bad writer for noticing how bad it was. One day the Internet will learn that you can not enjoy episodes or observe negative patterns and trends in a thing you like and still “like” it, but it is not this day.
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And now, the Best and Worst of WWE Smackdown Live for November 28, 2017.
Worst: Shane McMahon Thinks Skanking Is Doing The Charleston
Wanted to start this week’s column by noting that Shane McMahon, a character defined by his inability to think of make constructive decisions for himself and others, blaming Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens — two characters he’s treated like shit since he met them — for “betraying Smackdown” because they attacked him for like 30 seconds and got beaten up 1-on-2 in the middle of a Survivor Series match. He would think that. This is the guy who will “condemn you to a vicious beating at his hands” and attack with “massive vengeance” because you beat up the dad he tried to blackmail out of power a couple of years ago and has been fighting in one form or another for like 20 years.
Shane’s big thing (as a character, if I have to clarify) is that he doesn’t take blame for ANYTHING. If you go back and watch the video package about the Owens/McMahon rivalry, you can see him contradicting himself because the only video they have of what he’s talking about is of him doing the opposite of what he says. That part where he’s like, “you picked Baron Corbin to be the referee, and he didn’t even FINISH THE MATCH” is over footage of Shane interfering in that match, pulling Corbin out of the ring, arguing with him until he left, then inserting himself as ref to cost Owens. It’s not my heel homerism at play here … Shane is being OVERTLY selfish and deluded, and it’s gotta be on purpose. Right?
Anyway, all you need to know about how good this guy’s decisions are is that he changed Daniel Bryan’s idea of Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton to a match where Sami Zayn is “barred from ringside,” that is also no disqualification. So, uh, what’re the consequences if Sami still gets involved? Is it NOTHING? If it were normal like Bryan had it, interference from Sami would at least make Kevin lose the match, if that matters. Barring a guy from ringside and then making a match no DQ is like putting up a sign that says “no dogs allowed” and then building your house out of fucking Milkbones.
Note: Smackdown really needs a new kind of opening segment.
… Best?: Wait, What Are We Doing In The Tag Division
First of all, an obvious Best to Big E managing to Tupperware out an entire breakfast pancake platter with plates, syrup and napkins in his singlet. The Usos asking if the syrup is supposed to be warm is hilarious and 1000% unsanitary.
Second of all, the New Day vs. American Beta match was fun to watch, but … what are we doing in the Smackdown tag team division? All this time we’ve been building to the Usos vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin, but now the New Day’s pinned Gable and Benjamin, so … are we doing a multi-team match? Haven’t we done enough of those? And isn’t it important to give the Usos some challengers that aren’t The New Day, since those teams had half a dozen matches over the summer and their last match was booked to be the blow-off to the feud? Are we back there ALREADY? It’ll be good, but come on, guys.
Also in the tag team division, Kane’s Hardy Boy sons The Bludgeon Brothers squashed the Hype Bros again, triggering (finally) the breakup of Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder. How pitch-perfect for Ryder’s character is it that they spent MONTHS teasing that he’d get fed up with Mojo and turn evil, only for him to get right on the cusp of it and have Mojo turn on him instead?
I’ve been saying this for a while, but I sincerely believe that with the right character tweaks, Mojo can be one of the biggest stars in the company. Punching the physical manifestation of “bro” malaise in the face is the first and most important tweak. I am all in on evil Mojo. Or just common sense “who would want to hang out with Zack Ryder” Mojo.
The other big news in the tag team division this week is that The Ascension is dead. We haven’t seen a tragedy like this on WWE TV since back in 2010 when R-Truth was heinously exploded by MacGruber.
I will only accept two followups:
- The Ascension being kayfabe dead forever and never appearing again, or
- A “Sawed” 2 where Tyler Breeze and Fandango push Jinder Mahal into a pit of steroid needles
Best (Worst): The Singhs Have A Death Wish
Jesus Christ. Somebody teach the Singhs how to take a back bump so they stop flipping onto their brains and almost dying. Watching it live, I seriously thought he’d broken his arm with that.
The handicap match between AJ Styles and the Singh Brothers was better than I was expecting, mostly because they handled the logical loopholes coming in from both directions.
From a WWE storytelling perspective, the Singh Brothers have overall ratings of like 15 and only exist to be living “foreign objects,” so Styles should be able to destroy them, even 2-on-1. The announcers clarify this. By having Jinder and his incredible suit that’s better than any match he’s never had jump Styles before the match, the Singhs have an opening to dominate. From a wrestling fan perspective, unless you’re a giant or whatever, you should always struggle in a 2-on-1 fight. Especially if there are no tags. I like that they balanced it well, and that Styles even won with a miraculous, smart counter that simultaneously took out both opponents without making him look like he picked them both up on his shoulders, mugged for the camera and Attitude Adjusted them through the ring.
I also like that he had to actually flee Jinder’s post-match attack, and that he couldn’t just win the 2-on-1 match AND easily dispatch the third guy.
Worst: The Extra T Is For Talking
Point The First: Ruby Riott’s name change is pretty stupidd.
Point The Second: Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan should change their team name to, “How Did We Get On TV.” I think we learned in this segment why Ruby’s the one who’ll be doing all the talking. Like, imagine if Seth Rollins got called up and the other two guys in The Shield were Lucky Cannon and Percy Watson.
Point The Third: why does every backstage women’s segment sound like an episode of Xavier: Renegade Angel?
So, last week’s column wasn’t very popular due to me eschewing most of the jokes to say, “please notice that Smackdown was the Hulu version of Raw.” For example, Raw two weeks ago featured the debut of a new female trio led by a pale, tattooed, black-haired NXT favorite and her friends, a rough-and-tumble brunette as muscle and a pretty blonde fitness enthusiast. Then Smackdown featured the debut of a new female trio led by a pale, tattooed, black-haired NXT favorite and her friends, a rough-and-tumble brunette as muscle and a pretty blonde fitness enthusiast.
On this week’s Raw, they announced a six-woman tag team match so the people who got attacked by the new trio could get revenge. It was supposed to be this new team against the popular multi-time champion (Sasha Banks), a colorful babyface (Bayley) and the division’s most experienced veteran (Mickie James). The new team got the advantage by taking out two of their three opponents before the match, making it a 3-on-1 attack on Banks.
On this week’s Smackdown, they announced a six-woman tag team match so the people who got attacked by the new trio could get revenge. It was supposed to be this new team against a popular multi-time champion (Charlotte Flair), a colorful babyface (Naomi) and the division’s most experienced veteran (Natalya). I thought things were gonna go differently from there because the match actually happened, but then Natalya walks out and Naomi gets injured and stretchered away. Meaning, you know, that the new team got the advantage by taking out two of their three opponents, making it a 3-on-1 attack on Flair.
Really surprised they didn’t call the Riott Squad “Also-lution.”
Best: It’s What You’d Expect!
I don’t need to tell you what happened in the main event, because if you’ve EVER, EVER watched wrestling before, you know what happened. They announce Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton and he’s scared about it because nobody can help him. And then the authority figure who hates Owens bars Owens’ friend from ringside … then makes the match “no disqualification,” so the guy who is barred can still show up and interfere as much as he wants. The announce team might start shouting about repercussions or whatever, but (1) it’s technically playing by the rules, Air Bud style, and (2) you were about to fire them to their faces last week, why shouldn’t they stand up for themselves and go out swinging?
Aside from Randy Orton’s funny overgrown John Cena hair, I thought the match was about as entertaining as it can be. I don’t trust Randy Orton with my time anymore, but he took a pin (after several extremely ginger chair shots from Sami “please don’t fire me for injuring Randy Orton” Zayn), and all the muted audio due to selling kendo sticks with curse words was fun.
So what’s next week’s punishment? Sami Zayn having to go one on one with Smackdown’s #1 star Shane McMahon?
Best: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
Sami Zayn can’t interfere, but what about a certain masked superstar who was last seen at an orphanage in Mexico?
Baron Von Raschke
Fashion Files is better at continuity than WWE booking is.
The Real Birdman
Liv Morgan is like if they somehow fused the wrestling ability of Brie Bella with the speaking ability of Nikki Bella
I guess the Singh Brothers have roles in The Marine 6 as well
AJ: Man, Randy was right. These guys are fun to throw around!
Every time they roll the R in Maharaja I expect Cena’s trumpets to hit directly afterwards. Anyone else, or just me?
Mojo: “I don’t need this! I won the Andre!”
Cesaro: “Youthhhh thelll himthhh!”
Mojo just bludgeoned his brother!
They went shopping at Kane Bryant.
God damn that’s a terrible joke.
Shane McMahon preaches losing your temper only in justified situations. Shane McMahon also led an all out assault on an unsuspecting roster simply for being referred to as the B Show.
That’s it for this week. Not a perfect show by any means, but WrestleMania 30 compared to last week. So, all in all,
As always, drop us a comment and share the column on social for ultimate sports entertainment karma. And join us in a couple of weeks when Zayn and Owens are forced to compete in a “Blitzen Brawl” or whatever where twenty guys in Santa outfits beat them to death with oversized candy canes.
And make sure to listen to the McMahonsplaining podcast this week with Carmella