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Thread: The Official Friday Night Smackdown Thread

  1. #1001
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    Quote Originally Posted by virms View Post
    You can't quit!
    I reassigned myself, haha.

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    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    He’s a prize fighter now.

  3. #1003
    [[be gay]][[do crimes]] mth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    *Tapping out*

    No more Monday/Friday recaps for me. While the good stuff is good, there's too much of the same things happening each week on these shows so the recaps seem pretty redundant and probably boring to read.

    I'll be around Tuesday's and for the PPVs. Thanks for those who read these.
    There's not really a need for a full recap since show results are readily available but I'd certainly appreciate a quick pros/cons like Tyson or even just the pros half but it's obviously your call.

  4. #1004
    [[be gay]][[do crimes]] mth's Avatar
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    Dude, I just saw a pic of Otis sans beard and is it just me or does he look like Francis from Pee Wee's Big Adventure?




  5. #1005
    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    Dude, I just saw a pic of Otis sans beard and is it just me or does he look like Francis from Pee Wee's Big Adventure?



    Not just you

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald
    He looks like Francis from Pee Wees Big Adventhre

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    What a great way to make Otis look like more of a monster heel. Have him look like Francis

  7. #1007
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    I reassigned myself, haha.
    As long as we don't have to wish you well in your future endeavors, as that would mean you're gone gone Steve Austin taking your ball and going home gone.

    I can't rep you again but wanted to let you know how much I've appreciated what you have done with your recaps. I certainly understand how the repetitiveness can make it seem like a chore.

    As for Smackdown thoughts this week - I keep expecting a lull in the bloodline storyline, but even when they don't really give us much progress, they are still delivering compelling stuff. I LOVED Jimmy's reaction to both the bad ref call and then Roman's interference last week, and him telling Jey to tell Roman he'll be waiting in OUR dressing room. Later, Jimmy standing up to Roman, asking Roman if they wanna throw down, this was something we all know has been coming, so the fact they didn't delay longer was excellent. And Roman sidestepping the issue entirely, convincing Jimmy to go care for his brother, his responsibility as the older brother, was just another reason to love this work by Roman. Jey finally gave the promo we've needed for a while, showing how conflicted he is, and how he doesn't want to be stuck in the middle. Great work by Jey here.

    Carmella is the most beautiful woman in the WWE (now that Lana is gone).

    Rey delivered a solid promo and challenge to Roman for a match he knows he doesn't have much of a chance going into, Hell in a Cell. The intensity of a father looking out for someone who's messed with his family came through crystal clear. Rey is a terrific worker and I have high hopes that he and Roman will be able to tell a great story. I liked Rey having a plan for Roman, as I bought into the idea that Dom wasn't there selling his injuries from last week. The kendo stick stuff was good, and I liked Dom's taking the big bump (even if there probably was a crash pad as they didn't show the impact).

    I saw that Heyman accept the match on Roman's behalf on Talking Smack - Heyman is terrific on this show.

    Chad Gable is coming into his own as a heel instigator and mentor to Otis. I doubted it was going to work at first, but both he and Otis - with his new look - are really stepping up to the plate. At first, I would've been upset at Otis for missing the cue so Gable had to kick out of Ford's finisher, but if Ford is going to be out with an injury, this will be forgottten, and maybe only makes Gable look a little better as well. I enjoyed Talking Smack immensely this week. I like how they are using Ford's rib injury to further get Otis over as a monster, but if they were going to do that, they should have realized that it makes Bianca look like an uncaring bitch wife to be talking about how she's having a great night after getting the laugh at Ding Dong Hello set destroyed.

    Which leads me to Bayley/Seth segment. I loved how they put each other over to start, and then how Seth played the gentleman to answer the door on her show. They finally seem to get that Cesaro shouldn't talk much, so his surprise to Seth was done well. This was an over-the-top cheesy segment that both Bayley and Seth recognized wasn't the best stuff either has done, but they both went all-in so it made it entertaining. We probably didn't need to see Seth lose his pants, but Vince must've thought that was funny.

    Corbin and Nakamura/Boogs continues. They can't get to a live audience soon enough. They've been wrestling each other forever it seems, so next week we will get them to face off again.

  8. #1008
    Just one ‘ship, ferda... Tyson's Avatar
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    canada
    I’m more of a Sasha Banks type dude, she’s a legit sniper.

  9. #1009
    World Champion Donald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    *Tapping out*

    No more Monday/Friday recaps for me. While the good stuff is good, there's too much of the same things happening each week on these shows so the recaps seem pretty redundant and probably boring to read.

    I'll be around Tuesday's and for the PPVs. Thanks for those who read these.
    This is horseshit. Please continue the recaps

  10. #1010
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    Otis new look reminds me of that slow guy in Leprechaun, Ozzie I think was his name. But I see the resemblance with both.

  11. #1011
    World Champion Donald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone View Post
    Otis new look reminds me of that slow guy in Leprechaun, Ozzie I think was his name. But I see the resemblance with both.
    Same actor as Francis. I think he was in the latest Leprechaun too?

  12. #1012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Same actor as Francis. I think he was in the latest Leprechaun too?
    I think you're right. About both parts. That's what I get for not paying attention to film credits.

  13. #1013
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    This is a weird one...
    The match between Roman Reigns and Rey Mysterio at the PPV has been moved to Smackdown, meaning SD is getting a HIAC match.

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    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    This is a weird one...
    The match between Roman Reigns and Rey Mysterio at the PPV has been moved to Smackdown, meaning SD is getting a HIAC match.
    Huh?

    Disregard my post. I thought you meant the BRAND not the show lol. Too much green.

    Kind of dumb. Obviously an attempt to pull in some good ratings on Fox. But also kind of takes away a match that people would have more than likely watched on Peacock.

  16. #1016
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    i guess that could bring in a higher rating. not sure how much with basketball tonight.

  17. #1017
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurePlayer View Post
    i guess that could bring in a higher rating. not sure how much with basketball tonight.
    It's the only explanation I can think of as to why you would take this match off the ppv 3-4 days prior aside from the typical "It's Vince what do you expect?" reaction lol.

    The fact is, WWE have always competed against real sports so it's nothing new. Many fans think if a show sucks that goes up against the NBA or NFL that WWE purposely wrote a shit show thinking "Oh nobody is going to watch they're all watching basketball" Maybe. It's why I don't really subscribe to the idea that AEW is only getting 4-500k viewers because of the move. Ehhh, if you have a good product they follow you. Thursday Night Raw had a better rating than the Raw before and after when Shawn vacated the belt.

    So I think there will be fans tuning in tonight because I dont believe there's much of a crossover these days with NBA fans and WWE fans. If you're watching WWE on a Friday night you are a die hard wrestling fan. No NBA game is going to matter. Not to mention, NBA's tv ratings haven't been that great either. That's what you get when you get a little too woke for the masses.

  18. #1018
    Main Eventer Jarrod1983's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be surprised if we still get Roman vs Rey at the PPV.

    Rey could win the title and drop it back Sunday.

    There could be some Uso interference that sets up the rematch with Rey challenging again or even a tag HIAC with Roman/Uso vs. Mysterios.

  19. #1019
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    I don't see Rey getting the title but I could see something that puts Roman on the ppv.

    You know, this could just also be a sign of the times where what we expect to be on tv, ppv, and house shows isn't what we're always going to get. I remember wondering why aren't the big feud enders on ppv back in the late 80's early 90's. Then you hear people say well, at that time house show business was still pretty big so you might not get Tito v. Rick Martel blowoff on Prime Time or WrestleMania....but if you go to MSG you'll se the steel-cage match. I never understood why Diesel's win wasn't on tv but now I get it.

    We've already seen WWE put big matches on Smackdown before the ppv or the night after Raw. The IC tournament finals for example, the finals were not on ppv but the SD prior.

    But Roman Reigns not on the ppvs.....He has the best story going in WWE and is FINALLLLLY the top tier player they've pushed him to be after all these years. Not having him is very strange.

  20. #1020
    Main Eventer Jarrod1983's Avatar
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    Yeah don't see Rey winning the strap but just going through scenarios.

    Yeah I agree Roman not being there after all this is weird.

  21. #1021
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrod1983 View Post
    Yeah don't see Rey winning the strap but just going through scenarios.

    Yeah I agree Roman not being there after all this is weird.
    I will say this it would be WILD if he did win it. Roman's been very dominant, maybe something where Jimmy causes the loss. I'm still holding out for The Usos to go full blown heel.

  22. #1022
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    Since Roman has a storyline brewing with Jimmy, perhaps the two of them will face off at the PPV (after some shenanigans in Rey's match tonight)

    Roman and the Usos belong on the PPV.

  23. #1023
    Main Eventer Jarrod1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nash Diesel View Post
    I will say this it would be WILD if he did win it. Roman's been very dominant, maybe something where Jimmy causes the loss. I'm still holding out for The Usos to go full blown heel.
    I've been rewatching old Nitros and I find this pretty similar to Lex/Hogan where they had the match scheduled for Road Wild 97 and Lex won the title the Monday before then dropped it back that weekend.

    So Rey winning could happen! All depends on how that old codger McMahon felt last night/this afternoon.

  24. #1024
    dude it's iron man.. man
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    azeez apollo is your team mate..

    he also needs to lose the jacket

  25. #1025
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    What a waste of two hours. Fucking embarrassing.

  26. #1026
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    Other than coming in slow to break up a pin, Commander Azeez looked pretty good in the ring, but he needs to lose the jacket when he's wrestling. Funny 'Suns in 4' acknowledgement by Pat McAfee for the finish. Don't mind Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn fighting at the PPV but they've messed with the timing/pacing to where that could have been a cell match. Kind of feels like Owens is going to be set up to beat Crews for the IC Championship and that works for me.

    McAfee is pretty much as integral to Shinsuke Nakamura's entrance as Rick Boogs now.

    The build for Bianca/Bayley hasn't been as bad as the Mania build with Sasha but this has been lacking a bit, though no fault at all of the participants. Bianca resonates by being authentic with her promos. Based on the fact that this is getting the cell treatment and is essentially the main match for SD on Sunday, I imagine they're going to have a banger.

    Seth Rollins has the drip for his suits but Cesaro has the damn drip for his tie knots, apparently.

    Roman Reigns' message to Jimmy Uso last week seemed to be enough to turn Jimmy but that feels a little too sudden for how long this story has been going. Part of me feels like it's somewhat of a ruse and we're building to Jey vs. Jimmy at SummerSlam. As for the match, I still don't have a good reason as to why they suddenly moved this off the PPV other than they wanted to try to pop a rating. Of course, they didn't execute that properly. Less than ideal to have two sets of commercials for this, for whatever its worth. I thought the two of them had a good match for what they were working with. Cool spot after the fact for Reigns to do the powerbomb to the outside like he did to Dominic last week but doing it into the cell. Curious to see what the placeholder is gong to be for Reigns at MITB.

  27. #1027
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    I thought that this episode of Smackdown worked well. The opening promo setting up the HIAC match on free TV for the first time ever was a bit long, but I get it. Rey and Roman set up the story well.

    I agree that Azeez looked silly wrestling in his jacket, but I suspect he has jiggly man boobs or something he wants to cover. For a big man, he moved better than I expected (I feared he'd be the next Great Khali) but I think credit should go to KO for making him look like a menace.

    I hope we're done with Corbin/Shinsuke, as the battle for the crown has been settled. Not sure where either of them go next.

    I am not a big fan of Bianca on the mic but she had a good promo here, and I look forward to her and Bayley at HIAC.

    Kudos to Dawkins for making clean shaven Otis look like a mean SOB.

    Rollins interrupting Cesaro's interview with nothing but contempt/disdain, while Cesaro taking the higher road and saying he respects Seth as a wrestler and competitor was okay. I normally prefer it when guys simply say they hate each other's guts and then they beat the snot outta each other. Which is where Sami/KO are going.

    Jimmy claiming he couldn't find Jey was weak, but I liked how he told Roman he's right - he may not agree 100, but he's family. Roman dismissing him - I got this - you go find your brother - was well played.

    As for the main event, I really liked the story they told, even if it was predictable, it worked well. We didn't really expect Roman to lose to the much smaller Rey, but Rey's opening with the chair shots and the fire extinguisher both helped tell the good story.

    This was well worth the couple hours I invested in it.

  28. #1028
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    Now that they've established that Otis is a monster heel, can he and Gable hurry up and beat the Mysterios for the Tag titles?

  29. #1029
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    Roman v. Rey was phenomenal. I liked the story told. I didn't like no fans being there but it didn't matter. Digging that Roman has ditched the guilltine choke for the cravat

  30. #1030
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    Kind of amazing at the thought of Seth Rollins/Bayley and Cesaro/Bianca Belair being legit mixed tag teams. There's very little to dislike when looking at them. The former can really roll and the latter has Bianca there to covering Cesaro's shortcomings verbally and they would rip it up with combo moves. Rollins saying to Bianca "High five, throw it up. Just like The Kliq" was goofy but funny. The fact that this mixed tag happened makes me think Cesaro and Rollins aren't going to be in the MITB picture.

    “What’s the point” were the words from Baron Corbin and that never rang more true for him. They've given themselves an opportunity to go multiple routes with Corbin so I hope they go somewhere decent with it. Strong continued commitment by Pat McAfee for his bit.

    Big E and Apollo Crews love using the apron. Feels like that's always used in their matches. While these two have had well over five matchups in the last few months, they had a good match. Of course, E couldn't win previously when the Intercontinental Championship was on the lyne but Commander Azeez was taken out of the mix this time. With E vying for the briefcase, we're entering a universe that is super compelling. E could realistically win the briefcase and be drafted to Raw, where Kofi Kingston is entering the championship picture.

    Kevin Owens’ self-announced break was not very long lol. Rematch City next week as he takes on Sami Zayn for a spot in MITB. At least they put a Last Man Standing stipulation on next week's match.

    Very roundabout way to get two women from SD into their MITB match but I'd say that Liv Morgan and Carmella actually had a decent match together. Mixing up the overindulgence with saying Carmella is the the most beautiful woman in WWE, a need for depth, and recent appearances (whether it be dark matches or Main Event), I'm intrigued that they may be sprinkling crumbs for someone to put Carmella in her place in more than one way.

    Labeling Dolph Ziggler as Jimmy Uso's test for stepping up to the plate for Roman Reigns and having that as the main event match of the show is a flex. I will say, Ziggler still working at a top tier level despite being at this capped level for several years in WWE is impressive. Taking a Zig Zag on the ring steps doesn't sounds like a day at the beach but good on Uso for taking it. The match was good for what it was but it was random and had a sudden finish.


  31. #1031
    Judge Virms - 9th Realm virms's Avatar
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    germany
    Are you back?

  32. #1032
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    Quote Originally Posted by virms View Post
    Are you back?
    No. Reassigned.

  33. #1033
    [[be gay]][[do crimes]] mth's Avatar
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    While I'm glad Edge is back, i have to admit I'd prefer it were as a heel and that he weren't going against Roman as I wasn't particularly excited about this program before Bryan got added to the Mania mix. But whatevs, it'l probably still be pretty damn good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    While I'm glad Edge is back, i have to admit I'd prefer it were as a heel and that he weren't going against Roman as I wasn't particularly excited about this program before Bryan got added to the Mania mix. But whatevs, it'l probably still be pretty damn good.
    If they're really going with the one no one can see for Reigns at Summerslam, then the investment is a 3-week sprint for Edge. With that, just give me hot promos and I can work with it. None of the 'climbing the mountain again' Edge. Give me the one who was under the spotlight and called Reigns a Samoan Edge.

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    I'll never understand this company. Only a week after Belair is victorious in HIAC, one of the most grueling matches in the company's history, she gets pinned in a random mixed tag. That's Smackdown's Women's Champion. How embarrassing. On top of that, the US Champ also got pinned when they easily could have found someone else for E to beat.

    Rollins has way better chemistry with Bayley than Becky.

    I must have been missing something when Deville just gave Carmella a spot in the MITB match. Was she just playing up the heel side of her character or did they lay the ground work last week? I missed the first half hour of Smackdown, so I don't know if this was addressed.

    I was just thinking when the hell Edge was coming back and I got my answer, lol. I guess he's sticking with the unhinged character.

  36. #1036
    [[be gay]][[do crimes]] mth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    If they're really going with the one no one can see for Reigns at Summerslam, then the investment is a 3-week sprint for Edge. With that, just give me hot promos and I can work with it. None of the 'climbing the mountain again' Edge. Give me the one who was under the spotlight and called Reigns a Samoan Edge.
    Yep. Promos should be good and the story can be good if it's not just "SPEAR VERSUS SPEAR!" which it shouldn't be.

  37. #1037
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasori View Post
    I'll never understand this company. Only a week after Belair is victorious in HIAC, one of the most grueling matches in the company's history, she gets pinned in a random mixed tag. That's Smackdown's Women's Champion. How embarrassing. On top of that, the US Champ also got pinned when they easily could have found someone else for E to beat.

    I must have been missing something when Deville just gave Carmella a spot in the MITB match. Was she just playing up the heel side of her character or did they lay the ground work last week? I missed the first half hour of Smackdown, so I don't know if this was addressed.
    Bianca had the match won (more or less) but Rollins ran in inadvertently and stopped the flow of the match. Heel gets a cheap win. The problem is that this is still going, but don't have a problem with the execution based on that setup.

    No groundwork was laid out. They literally have next to a skeleton crew in terms of depth so they have to get creative to build to four women for Smackdown. Imagine we're getting Liv/Carmella vs. the tag champs within two weeks with the champs winning to get the spots and build further angst between Liv and Carmella.

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    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    It’s interesting to see Edge back but I was hoping he’d go full-on heel but the match will be good regardless.

    The Bloodline storyline is still by miles the most interesting storyline as you can’t tell where it’s going. At first Jimmy was frozen out but now he is trying to take Jey’s place. Will they all align? Will Jimmy and Jey fight for Roman’s affections or will they both eventually walk out on him? So many directions they could go and it’s not straightforward to predict like most storylines. The most interesting by far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    Bianca had the match won (more or less) but Rollins ran in inadvertently and stopped the flow of the match. Heel gets a cheap win. The problem is that this is still going, but don't have a problem with the execution based on that setup.

    No groundwork was laid out. They literally have next to a skeleton crew in terms of depth so they have to get creative to build to four women for Smackdown. Imagine we're getting Liv/Carmella vs. the tag champs within two weeks with the champs winning to get the spots and build further angst between Liv and Carmella.
    Even if Bayley won because of interference, I still don't think champions should be losing on TV. They'd never do that to Roman, so in general I'd rather see champions booked stronger. Bayley no selling HIAC was weird. I get that Roman v Rey got moved, but if the match wasn't going to be the end of the feud, then don't put it in the Cell. We ended up getting 4 HIAC matches over the weekend. Did we really need two on Sunday?

    So no setup. Even if it's lame, the least they could do is come up with a reason for Deville to choose Carmella. I didn't get why Nattie and Tamina were watching the match, but since you speculated on a tag match down the road, that could be the reason. Like you said, the women's roster is really light on Smackdown. There's almost no one left to give the last two spots to.

  40. #1040
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    It’s okay for champions to lose non-title matches on TV…..now and again if the feud and contender warrants it.

    They overuse that plot device to build PPV title matches ad infinitum though.

  41. #1041
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    Corbin inadvertently summed up all of WWE pretty well. "What's the point?" But given that Smackdown has been better at longer-term story development, should we be optimistic that we're going to get something different/better from Corbin?

    The best part of Big E's win over Smiley the Nigerian was the ref sending Commander Azeez to the back.

    I got worried for Jimmy Uso when Ziggler gave him the zig zag into the steps.

    I liked how Jimmy is interacting more with Heyman and less with Roman himself. Giving Heyman something meaningful to do, even if it is simply translating Roman cryptic comments, is far better than replaying the same thing.

    I want Mella to win another MITB.

    Stoked for Edge's return. Jimmy acting as the right hand man for support was a good development - Will he wear Jey's Right Hand Man shirt next week?

    Rollins interaction with Pearce/Sonya, getting them to "consider" his request for a title shot at Roman was played well - and as it played out on Talkin' Smack, this may lead to Edge vs. Seth, which to me is better than Edge/Roman.

    Bayley getting a needed win

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    Where is Sasha Banks? Did she get hurt in her match at Mania?

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    [[be gay]][[do crimes]] mth's Avatar
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    Don't think so. Probably the same as Edge and just taking some time off.

  44. #1044
    Just one ‘ship, ferda... Tyson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3puppies View Post
    Where is Sasha Banks? Did she get hurt in her match at Mania?
    According to the main page from a couple weeks ago, just taking a mental break.

    She’ll probably be back post-MITB…

  45. #1045
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyson View Post
    According to the main page from a couple weeks ago, just taking a mental break.

    She’ll probably be back post-MITB…
    Thanks. I wasn't sure if she had more stuff lined up with the Mandalorian, that would take her away from WWE.

  46. #1046
    Just one ‘ship, ferda... Tyson's Avatar
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    Positives:

    -Edge on the stick.
    -Owens/Zayn
    -Liv getting the W
    -Zelina returning. I can think of 6-8 dudes who would definitely benefit from Vega talking for them.
    -Jimmy being used to get Edge over further, even though Edge still needs to do the job at MITB.

    Negatives:

    -This angle about Corbin struggling financially, at the tailend of a worldwide pandemic. As Carlito would say: “That’s not cool…”
    -not sure what the Bayley/Bianca end game is
    -Otis squashing Angelo
    -angry shouty heel interviews

    Average show, 5/10.

  47. #1047
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    No Father's Day, No 4th of July weekend...The Head of the Table respects and values holidays.

    I do like the commitment to the bit they're working with Corbin. I am a bit pessimistic that they can keep this going to an interesting/fresh conclusion for Corbin but him breaking and turning into something new is very welcomed. I'm more interested in what could come of him versus what they're doing with Otis.

    They really screwed things up in terms of sequencing Bianca/Bayley but I must say, these two finally delivered a really solid face-to-face promo. I'm not sure if they can hit a proper peak for MITB but they at least found some footing to keep this going.

    Absolutely fantastic Last Man Standing Match between KO and Zayn. Good callback to KO's Rumble LMS Match with Dean Ambrose back in 2016 with stacking the tables on the outside, near the ring post and having that burn him. Funny call by McAfee with STACK DEM SUNUM BITCHES UP. The banter between Zayn and KO before the finish was great, then the beautiful callback to NXT with the powebomb onto the apron. What a banger. The fact this was a TV match and got multiple commercial breaks somehow didn't kill the momentum of the match. Definitely go watch this.

    Zelina Vega was in the news a few weeks back by being at the PC. It was quite surprising then to hear that she was on the way back, considering her exit. It became even more surprising to see her return now, considering her husband suddenly got the axe a few weeks back. They're running a hell of a nuanced angle here with Liv. For starters, the match between Zelina and Liv was just meh, but she's getting wins (though she cheated to win this one). She's seeing people being granted entry into MITB and she's beating them, but still not getting in (right now). If she can stay interesting, that's an easy to way get her some sympathy. She's clearly being built to be a fan-favorite pick but I don't think she's ready for what comes of winning MITB right now but this will put her on a trajectory to be more of a player by the end of 2021.

    Seth Rollins did have a point with his gripe with management as to seeing Edge get a crack with Reigns when Rollins brought it up initially last week. Not ideal to see Cesaro/Rollins as MITB qualifier but maybe they'll have an inspired match and result.

    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    If they're really going with the one no one can see for Reigns at Summerslam, then the investment is a 3-week sprint for Edge. With that, just give me hot promos and I can work with it. None of the 'climbing the mountain again' Edge. Give me the one who was under the spotlight and called Reigns a Samoan Edge.
    Well, we're not really getting either of these incarnations of Edge directly but we're getting a hint of both of them. It's a testament to him but also a disparaging state of affairs for the other talent when I say Edge is probably the best guy in the company who can play unhinged, obsessive yet heroic when he's in chase mode.

  48. #1048
    [[be gay]][[do crimes]] mth's Avatar
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    Happy to see that Zelina is back. Last I read, the PC visit was not an indication of anything and she hadn't re-signed so I figured that was it. Hoping that maybe things can still turn around for her husband, as well...

  49. #1049
    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    "Welcome back Zelina, we got you a present! You get to job to Liv Morgan to the roll up of death in record quick time! Enjoy!"

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    It was really confusing last week because it seemed like Liv had earned a spot in the MITB match by beating Carmella, but that turned out not to be the case. I'm glad they've turned it into an angle. With Liv solo once again, she needs to get some momentum going.

  51. #1051
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    When does Bayley's contract expire? I hope she isn't going away, but the "I quit" angle, coupled with many recent releases, makes me worried. She's been killing it both in the ring and especially on the mic, and the women's division really needs her.

  52. #1052
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3puppies View Post
    When does Bayley's contract expire? I hope she isn't going away, but the "I quit" angle, coupled with many recent releases, makes me worried. She's been killing it both in the ring and especially on the mic, and the women's division really needs her.
    lol. You're reading wayyyy too deep into a stipulation. This isn't 1977 where an I QUIT or LOSER LEAVES TOWN match was sort of legit-they'd just go to a different territory.

    But you can't get worked up thinking someone is getting released because they're in an I QUIT match lol. The WWE release wrestlers every single year, every year they've released many many wrestlers. Calm down brother she's not going anywhere!

  53. #1053
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    Was Bayley vs Bianca their first match Hell in a Cell? I definitely did not feel like that feud warranted the Cell, neither did Roman and Rey for that matter. Is I Quit a bigger type match over Hell in a Cell? I feel like it's the opposite.

  54. #1054
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurePlayer View Post
    Was Bayley vs Bianca their first match Hell in a Cell? I definitely did not feel like that feud warranted the Cell, neither did Roman and Rey for that matter. Is I Quit a bigger type match over Hell in a Cell? I feel like it's the opposite.
    Personally I think an I QUIT match is a bigger type of match. HIAC hasn't been consistent with what warrants being inside the Cell for probably 20 years.

    For me the top 3 gimmick matches are I QUIT, LAST MAN STANDING, and HIAC. Personally I might put LMS as the #1 gimmick match. You're literal goal is to beat the opponent to where they can't function.

    I will say this....Bianca and Bayley have had a rivalry for awhile. Kind of like....Did Taker/Mankind warrant a HIAC? Not if you look at where they were both at in 1998 when that match was made. But they had a history. Obviously Bianca and Bayley's history was pretty much the end of 2020 into early 2021 but shit for women that's huge lol. 4 months=4 years in divas time.

  55. #1055
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    Not a very good episode, the only bright spot was Cesaro v Rollins.

    Am very disappointed in the lack of repercussions for Jimmy. Do an injury angle that puts him on the shelf for the rest of the year so he can get his head out of his ass. An underwhelming debut for Blackheart/Nox, can’t wait to see how they screw up Storm’s promotion to the blue brand. This Carmella/Sonya angle really needs an explanation.

    Both brands really seem to be dragging their asses creatively as they head back onto the road, which isn’t a good look. Maybe the writing staffs are mailing it in because they know that the live crowds are going to dictate who’s popular and who’s not?

  56. #1056
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    Not too excited having 'Mella replacing Bayley, but with her previous accomplishments, she's really the only option. Stoked that Liv gets her spot in the MITB match.

  57. #1057
    [[be gay]][[do crimes]] mth's Avatar
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    Surprised Tegan would have her big return to NXT only to immediately be called up to SmackDown. I'm curious if these NXT folks appearing are full-on call-ups or if they might be pulling double duty for a bit while they wrap up loose ends in NXT (Nox and Candace blow off and Toni still has a match with Sarray before she debuts on SD). Also surpised that it's Shotzi and Nox and not Shotzi/Ember.

  58. #1058
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    Seeing Jimmy Uso on TV, just days after he got popped for a DUI, was a trip. It doesn't seem like WWE has even taken their usual stance of saying 'X is an independent contractor and X is responsible for their own actions' so it's kind of a surprise that things just kept moving like nothing happened. Granted, there's not a tried and true way to punish talent for something like this, but there has to be a way to punish them. I'm just curious 1) if that happened, 2) what exactly happened if he did get punished.

    Still in on Broke Baron for now.

    It really has to be apparent now that there is a notable disconnect between the main roster and NXT. While it makes sense for a majority of those who were called up, it still is disorganized. They called up a tag team that actually isn't a tag team and NXT literally had their women's champion call out Shotzi and her now former tag partner this week on TV. As for Tegan, it's pretty evident that they wanted to capitalize while the getting is good. She's had three ACL injuries in the last couple of years so they have to make the most of what time she may have left. That said, just going with Nox as her name is a choice. Shotzi is going to have a chance to be a big deal as long as they don't get too zany with her. Toni never really clicked when she moved to NXT from NXT UK. That has to be one of the more notable duds NXT has had with a can't-miss talent but hey, Toni is worthy of being on the main roster. Can't wait until the Battle for Time: Boss vs. Toni.

    Getting Zelina, Tegan, Shotzi, and Toni is going to do wonders. It'll certainly help SD in the interim but there's a decent chance some of these ladies will go to Raw. Disjointedness aside, I don't have a problem at all with ladies moving up if they are here to stay. Ember is fine in NXT and can played a souped-up version of Mercedes Martinez within that division.

    My tune on Liv may change ever so slightly. I still don't think she's ready to be pushed for MITB and potentially become champion but she actually may need the briefcase. With at least 1-4 of the aforementioned ladies being in the mix on Smackdown, others floating from Raw to Smackdown, or Liv moving to Raw, she may need a hook to have her stand out. Regardless, I imagine Bianca is going to get pushed to her limits with someone like Becky as soon as Summerslam.

    Morrison, Ricochet, Riddle, McIntyre, E, Owens, Nakamura, and Rollins. That's actually very respectable and better than I thought they would muster up for the field. Feels like Riddle and E are the top options. Very good final qualifying match, but poor Zazzaro. It appears that push has climaxed and now it's downhill a bit for him. Feels like a move to Raw is needed for him. Will that fix things and correct course? Unsure, but he's apparently hit his ceiling on the blue brand.

    Edge can still cut a good promo and shows versatility in how he can deliver them. Reigns must have been serious because he changed his shirt at some point over the course of the show lol. I did enjoy the sequencing of the final bit where the Usos saw enough and wanted to gang up on Edge but Rey Mysterio's music hit and they froze and looked to the stage, only to see the Mysterios jump them. Pretty cool/deep callback with the connection between Edge and Mysterio.

    McAfee is a sports entertainment treasure and must be protected at all costs.
    Last edited by BGMaverick; July 10th, 2021 at 12:22 AM.

  59. #1059
    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Broke Baron is an intriguing one. Actually he is more interesting to me than his king gimmick to see what the end-game is with him here

  60. #1060
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    Carmella was the best (only?) available option, an upper card heel who can do the job to Bianca on Friday without taking damage.

    As much as I want Edge to win the strap, it would be completely counterproductive; spending almost a year building up Reigns to lose all that heat to a HOFer. Edge’s whole purpose is to be putting over this generation (and the next). Roman needs to go over at MITB and beyond, whomever ultimately takes the strap from him gets permanently legitimized as a main eventer. The company cannot afford to waste this heat on another Sasha beats Bayley or Lesnar beats Taker at Mania.

  61. #1061
    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyson View Post
    Carmella was the best (only?) available option, an upper card heel who can do the job to Bianca on Friday without taking damage.

    As much as I want Edge to win the strap, it would be completely counterproductive; spending almost a year building up Reigns to lose all that heat to a HOFer. Edge’s whole purpose is to be putting over this generation (and the next). Roman needs to go over at MITB and beyond, whomever ultimately takes the strap from him gets permanently legitimized as a main eventer. The company cannot afford to waste this heat on another Sasha beats Bayley or Lesnar beats Taker at Mania.
    I agree. Roman needs to keep that strap for as long as possible. Would even be okay him holding it until Mania if they can stretch it out that long. That could be someone like Big E getting a Kofi-Mania moment.

    Next week (depending on how things really are with Jimmy) they could do Bloodline vs Edge/Mysterios 6-man tag because that will be a fucking banger!

  62. #1062
    [[be gay]][[do crimes]] mth's Avatar
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    Doesn't seem like they're ditching Tegan Nox's first name to me. In the YouTube clip alone they called her Tegan four or five times and the clip has her first name in its title and she's still called Tegan Nox in the SD results on WWE.com. Seems like the team's name is "Shotzi & Nox" but she's still Tegan Nox herself. Shotzi does seem to have lost her last name, though, which isn't a big deal to me as Shotzi's unique enough on its own.
    Last edited by mth; July 10th, 2021 at 7:04 PM.

  63. #1063
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    Doesn't seem like they're ditching Tegan Nox's first name to me. In the YouTube clip alone they called her Tegan four or five times and the clip has her first name in its title and she's still called Tegan Nox in the SD results on WWE.com. Seems like the team's name is "Shotzi & Nox" but she's still Tegan Nox herself. Shotzi does seem to have lost her last name, though, which isn't a big deal to me as Shotzi's unique enough on its own.
    Why randomly switch Shotzi’s normal partner with someone who just came back and (no offence to her) has been injury-prone instead of letting her work off the rust in NXT? Frying pan into fire whereas Ember is more ready.

    Their call-up system/criteria is strange to say the least.

  64. #1064
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Their call-up system/criteria is strange to say the least.
    You mean the crazy old unorganized MAGAhole is crazy and unorganized? I. Am. Shocked.

  65. #1065
    Judge Virms - 9th Realm virms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Why randomly switch Shotzi’s normal partner with someone who just came back and (no offence to her) has been injury-prone instead of letting her work off the rust in NXT? Frying pan into fire whereas Ember is more ready.

    Their call-up system/criteria is strange to say the least.
    Gotta get your money's worth Badger.

  66. #1066
    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virms View Post
    Gotta get your money's worth Badger.
    The following is strong with this one hmmm.

  67. #1067
    [[be gay]][[do crimes]] mth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Why randomly switch Shotzi’s normal partner with someone who just came back and (no offence to her) has been injury-prone instead of letting her work off the rust in NXT? Frying pan into fire whereas Ember is more ready.

    Their call-up system/criteria is strange to say the least.
    Feel like you should've quoted my earlier post where I was asking the same basic question. Shotzi/Ember were an established team with chemistry and felt like a package whereas yeah, Shotzi and Tegan teamed together that one time a year or so ago and uh..... Feels like if they called up Joaquin Wilde and teamed with with Bronson Reed to go after the RAW tag titles...

  68. #1068
    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    Feel like you should've quoted my earlier post where I was asking the same basic question. Shotzi/Ember were an established team with chemistry and felt like a package whereas yeah, Shotzi and Tegan teamed together that one time a year or so ago and uh..... Feels like if they called up Joaquin Wilde and teamed with with Bronson Reed to go after the RAW tag titles...
    I was subtly referencing it without quoting

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    [[be gay]][[do crimes]] mth's Avatar
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    I'll subtly reference you in a minute...

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    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    I'll subtly reference you in a minute...


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    I would speculate that they didn't bring Ember back because she's already been on the main roster and they wanted two women who were completely new.

    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    My tune on Liv may change ever so slightly. I still don't think she's ready to be pushed for MITB and potentially become champion but she actually may need the briefcase. With at least 1-4 of the aforementioned ladies being in the mix on Smackdown, others floating from Raw to Smackdown, or Liv moving to Raw, she may need a hook to have her stand out. Regardless, I imagine Bianca is going to get pushed to her limits with someone like Becky as soon as Summerslam.
    With the exception of Carmella all the previous women to win MITB had already held either the RAW or Smackdown title. If Liv does somehow win, I don't see her cashing in successfully or keeping it long term. I can totally see them giving the briefcase to Liv and then having her lose it later to get massive HEAT.

  72. #1072
    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasori View Post
    I would speculate that they didn't bring Ember back because she's already been on the main roster and they wanted two women who were completely new.



    With the exception of Carmella all the previous women to win MITB had already held either the RAW or Smackdown title. If Liv does somehow win, I don't see her cashing in successfully or keeping it long term. I can totally see them giving the briefcase to Liv and then having her lose it later to get massive HEAT.
    #Fantasybooking Carmella challenges for the case but wins thanks to the return of James Ellsworth

  73. #1073
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Next week (depending on how things really are with Jimmy) they could do Bloodline vs Edge/Mysterios 6-man tag because that will be a fucking banger!
    That is officially on the docket.

  74. #1074
    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    That is officially on the docket.
    That is going to take off like a rocket

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    #Fantasybooking Carmella challenges for the case but wins thanks to the return of James Ellsworth
    If it means the return of Ellsworth, I might support the idea of screwing Liv out of the briefcase.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasori View Post
    If it means the return of Ellsworth, I might support the idea of screwing Liv out of the briefcase.
    Ellsworth did more with less than anyone since Mick Foley. There was only so far they could go with him, though. I seem to recall he pretty much lasted a year and his contract was not renewed, but there was also some controversy about him that made me think he wouldn't be welcomed back. Was it MeToo or something?

  77. #1077
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    Looks like, for now, Tegan is keeping her full name on Smackdown. Shotzi was not as lucky, however, since she'll just go by her first name.

    Whenever they appear, Mia and Thorne won't have their old Retribution gear or names.

  78. #1078
    IT'S CLOBBERIN TIME Bert's Avatar
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    Balor is the only reason I'm watching smackdown right now.

  79. #1079
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    Top pops:

    1) Edge
    2) Finn
    3) KO

  80. #1080
    [[be gay]][[do crimes]] mth's Avatar
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    Davey Boy Smith, Jr. fka DH Smith wrestled a dark match before SmackDown.

    Last edited by mth; July 16th, 2021 at 11:09 PM.

  81. #1081
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    I have to admit, I like what Seth is doing now. I didn't like the Monday Night Messiah gimmick at all, but now that he's just being an annoying prick and wearing loud, ugly suits, it works for me.

  82. #1082
    Fuck you Roman... Tim's Avatar
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    I was into SD all the way up until they started with the womens matches, for me the momentum died with the womens tag match and never really got back to where it was the first 45 minutes or so. The KO elbow was cool though.

    Anyone else surprised Roman got booed? There was some cheers from women or kids I'm not sure which. I'm not a big Roman fan but I will admit he's been the best thing on either show for awhile and Jey as well, so I was surprised the fans didn't cheer him out of respect for carrying the company even as a heel.

  83. #1083
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    Looks like they've given the stage a facelift and I like the scale of it and the simplicity. The AR stuff is very hit or miss. Seemed like there were a few bits where they actually tried to pipe in some crowd sweetening. McAfee wearing the cowboy gear was a pretty fitting touch. He's someone who is going to feed off the live crowd and I thought he handled things pretty well. Pretty interesting to see reports that Aliyah worked a dark match with Xia Li. Also Davey Boy Smith returned and tagged with Austin Theory against Odyssey Jones and Daniel Vidot.

    Good on them to start hot with the six-man tag, after McMahon appeared. Loved that Reigns was the first real guy out and the crowd ate him up. Will be fun to see him with a promo segment but was happy to see that the crowd, more or less, played their role and booed him. Minus the AR, his entrance looks absolutely magnificent. What a crazy scenario for Dominik, wrestling for the first time in front of a crowd. Can't imagine the gratification Edge had for his entrance. He was building his return to Mania two years ago and has been on a stop and start ride, but I imagine it was all worth it for that entrance and the raucous reaction he got and rightfully deserved. The crowd was hot and the match delivered. Reigns just manhandling the Mysterios is so fun to watch. Makes sense to get a cheap finish for the heels to win but I'm somewhat surprised they teased Reigns losing by having him tap to the Glasgow Grin but I imagine that's just setting up a tease to the finish on Sunday. Rollins was very good in his bit afterwards as Edge was being interviewed. It's pretty apparent they're on a collision course and they're setting that up well.

    Zayn was great hamming it up for the audience and that was smart because it riled the crowd up and led to wanting that tension to be transitioned. I was hoping Bálor would make his way to Smackdown but Raw seems like the brand that needs desperate help with faces. Be that as it may, I'm happy they're missing the big picture and a top guy is on the blue brand. He's clearly a go-to answer in the eyes of booking. Need proof that they see him as a top guy? NXT moves to two hours and goes live and who appears? Bálor. First night back wth the crowd on network TV and who appears? Bálor. Way too early to get a feel for if his NXT persona will work Fridays but this is going to be a good reintroduction feud for him. Zayn sold his emergence very, very well. If the full-on NXT Bálor doesn't make his way to Smackdown that will be a disappointment, but let's see how it plays out.

    Dumb to see challengers beat the women's tag champs TWICE in two weeks...to earn a championship opportunity. Promising sign for her that Shotzi had moments where the crowd got behind her. Liv and Zelina were not very entertaining on commentary. Liv certainly is building momentum towards Sunday. I've been back and forth on her as MITB but she's probably the top choice next to Nikki.

    Think they kind of lost the crowd after that match but Bianca and Carmella tried as hard as they could get them back. Promising for Bianca at this point that the crowd does seem to be entirely behind her.

    Glad they're not taking there time with Toni like they did for Rhea. With the void on the brand, feels like the peppy, colorful vignettes are a swerve and we're getting a heel Toni.

    They really are making it a point of emphasis to push Otis as an imposing heel. Shoutout for Cesaro having a Da Party nod with his promo in the back. The match was trash but they clearly didn't book this to be much of anything. This is absolutely a big step back for Cesaro, especially if the endgame is to get Otis over.

    CorbinFund is hilarious.

    I knew the crowd would get behind Boogs and Nakamura but honestly forgot how they'd be behind them because of the actual theme. Crowd went nuts for the elbow drop by Owens (and a pretty savvy setup to get to that point and allow Rollins to be "resting" but brace the ladder). Heck of a sprint to the finysh as that was less than 10-12 minutes of action, with less than that shown on TV.

    Great to have the crowd back. Show lost steam midway through but the show they're probably going to have a hell of a show Sunday.
    Last edited by BGMaverick; July 17th, 2021 at 1:13 AM.

  84. #1084
    [[be gay]][[do crimes]] mth's Avatar
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  85. #1085
    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post


    Broke Corbin is so much better than King Corbin.

  86. #1086
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    Now that the crowds are back, Rick Boogs seems unnecessary. The whole point of Nakamura's theme is for the audience to sing along, but Boogs guitar playing mostly drowns them out.

    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    Zayn was great hamming it up for the audience and that was smart because it riled the crowd up and led to wanting that tension to be transitioned. I was hoping Bálor would make his way to Smackdown but Raw seems like the brand that needs desperate help with faces. Be that as it may, I'm happy they're missing the big picture and a top guy is on the blue brand. He's clearly a go-to answer in the eyes of booking. Need proof that they see him as a top guy? NXT moves to two hours and goes live and who appears? Bálor. First night back wth the crowd on network TV and who appears? Bálor. Way too early to get a feel for if his NXT persona will work Fridays but this is going to be a good reintroduction feud for him. Zayn sold his emergence very, very well. If the full-on NXT Bálor doesn't make his way to Smackdown that will be a disappointment, but let's see how it plays out.
    I read that Balor returned and didn't know how I missed it. Then I remembered that I left the room briefly when Sami came out. I don't watch NXT, so how was Balor different from his run on the main roster?

  87. #1087
    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Unless they want to bust out the Demon for an occasion like Mania but yeah should be going by the Prince otherwise.

  88. #1088
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasori View Post

    I read that Balor returned and didn't know how I missed it. Then I remembered that I left the room briefly when Sami came out. I don't watch NXT, so how was Balor different from his run on the main roster?
    NXT Bálor was not the "extraordinary guy who does extraordinary things" from the main roster. He was a tweener or face with a very notable edge. Talked with big confidence and knew he was untouchable and was ready to put people in their place if they wanted to step up to him. So in short, a VERY notable difference lol. He was also on a slightly improved level (which is saying something because he's already top notch) as a worker in the ring.

    So it should be pretty apparent if there's been a character change because I'd say he changed substantially in NXT...for the better.

  89. #1089
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    Can’t say I’m overly impressed with this Corbin angle, it feels very out of touch given how many people are experiencing that predicament in real life at the tail end of a global pandemic…

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post


    Broke Corbin is so much better than King Corbin.
    I didn't think he could be a fresh character again but this Broke Corbin thing, he's really nailed it. I haven't really enjoyed him for shit but have to say he really does well with the character part of things, the in-ring work pretty meh.

    Solid show in front of live crowd again. I think some of that made it better but other than missing the women's tag match there wasn't anything for me to nitpick about being a disappointment. I'm sure they're a little motivated with a live audience instead of a bunch of screens surrounding them, hope they don't flop through the rest of summer.

  91. #1091
    Judge Virms - 9th Realm virms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyson View Post
    Can’t say I’m overly impressed with this Corbin angle, it feels very out of touch given how many people are experiencing that predicament in real life at the tail end of a global pandemic…
    Some of the best angles wwe has ever ran have been real life based angles but let's be honest here. Million dollar man was way worse making poor people compete for money and screwing them out of it.

  92. #1092
    Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyson View Post
    Can’t say I’m overly impressed with this Corbin angle, it feels very out of touch given how many people are experiencing that predicament in real life at the tail end of a global pandemic…
    I don’t really view it as that tasteless tbh. It’s an egomaniacal heel who got his comeuppance and now everything has been taken away. Begging for sympathy from the crowd while still insulting them and they obviously aren’t buying it. Trolling them and drawing heat in a new way.

  93. #1093
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    Yeah I mean, it's Karen Corbin now.

  94. #1094
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    NXT Bálor was not the "extraordinary guy who does extraordinary things" from the main roster. He was a tweener or face with a very notable edge. Talked with big confidence and knew he was untouchable and was ready to put people in their place if they wanted to step up to him. So in short, a VERY notable difference lol. He was also on a slightly improved level (which is saying something because he's already top notch) as a worker in the ring.

    So it should be pretty apparent if there's been a character change because I'd say he changed substantially in NXT...for the better.
    Wow, that's a complete 180 from what Balor was doing on the main roster. With that kind of character, he'd be perfect to finally dethrone Roman. It's nice to hear that he tightened up his ring work too. I always felt like he was missing a step on the main roster so it sounds like he's turned a corner in that respect.

  95. #1095
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasori View Post
    Wow, that's a complete 180 from what Balor was doing on the main roster. With that kind of character, he'd be perfect to finally dethrone Roman. It's nice to hear that he tightened up his ring work too. I always felt like he was missing a step on the main roster so it sounds like he's turned a corner in that respect.
    Yup, which is why we need to see how this plays out. If he keeps relatively true to that version, it's got a lot of potential. To be fair, the earlier version does too but they got incredibly lazy with it.

  96. #1096
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    I was curious so I watched the end of Smackdown. That was a genuinely good segment.

  97. #1097
    Fuck you Roman... Tim's Avatar
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    It’s crazy how natural Roman has become on the mic, his promo was better than Cena’s and the swerve at the end was a nice touch.

  98. #1098
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    Well, that was sooner than I expected, but please don't feed Balor to Roman

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    Balor/Roman have a history dating back to the Universal Title on RAW.

    Hopefully they're not setting this up just so Roman can get his win back on Fin.

  100. #1100
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    It's crazy how much control Cena has of the audience. Heyman was such a great foil for Cena at the start of the show, too.

    If anything, at least E didn't lose in his first appearance since being crowned the MITB briefcase. Honestly, the biggest takeaway from the segment was the fact that the Otis/Cesaro thing may be a one-week thing and Cesaro/Crews could be the direction. I'm good with that.

    Rolling Loud was an experiment I appreciate them trying but it didn't seem to click. Hip hop and wrestling should mesh together relatively well but the audience just didn't seem to be fully on board with anything WWE was offering. The crowd and the venue presented a pretty cool setup so it's a shame this wasn't a resounding hit on TV. Apparently the six fellas from the previous segment had a match yn Cleveland to tide that crowd over during the Rolling Loud segments.

    KO actually working as a face and staying one within a pairing could be a fun surprise and doubling down on that by having it be a means to get Corbin, of all people, over as a face is a hell of a stretch but they can pull it off. The bit with Shotzi's tank missile and Corbin was predictable but still funny.

    The stuff between Rollins and Edge was very good but it was taken to a much different level because of that crowd. Rollins calling him Grandpa Edge is a nice touch, and it's obviously fantastic that they're calling back to when Rollins had the chance to eliminate Edge seven years ago. Really, this was a good segment but the crowd really helped amplify the characters.

    Zelina got a jobber entrance. Goodness. This has to be the weirdest return in recent history. Commentary did a good job putting Toni's accolades over and made her feel like a big deal. Being stuck in the 80s seems to be the early approach for a gimmick for her and we'll see if that sticks. Seeing her reminded me of that wild new finisher she has (now Storm One, good nod by McAfee there). That thing is wild. The best way to describe it is as a hip toss into modified cutter. Crowd oohed it so it's definitely fresh.

    Minus the one flub before the finish, Dominik had a pretty good match with Jimmy Uso.

    Reigns and the crowd are simpatico which is absolutely lovely to see. Reigns calling Cena out for not being fresh was great but then he just knocked it out of the park by suggesting it was like missionary position every single night.

    A week-long tease of Cena/Reigns to get thrown off the path with Bálor stepping up to the plate and joining the fray was a nice surprise. It was so good that they got the shot of Reigns confused and Heyman mouthing a presumption of "he's acknowledging you" and Reigns agreed. It appears Smackdown isn't beating around the bush and wants to get Bálor cooking right away as they rushed through the (entertaining) match with Zayn and had him call out Reigns. That's welcomed from what we saw on Raw with mired debuts and re-debuts. As I said last week, they've got something in Bálor and the important thing, for now, is that appears the decision makers seem to know they've got something in him. With Cena in the house and supposedly the assumed choice, Bálor was very hot and over with the crowd.

    The obvious question now is do they blow this en route to Summerslam, or Mania it and go with a triple threat? There's probably variables in play but Edge is a blueprint you can use for Bálor. Get a triple threat here, get a feud with Rollins, and circle back to Reigns straight up. Blowing it with a definitive finish prior to the PPV is the least desirable result but not getting Cena/Reigns one-on-one is undesirable as well.

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