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Thread: The Official Friday Night Smackdown Thread

  1. #701
    Just one ‘ship, ferda... Tyson's Avatar
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    A side note: how awkward did Asuka look, who I’m a big fan of, just standing there while Carmella jumped Sasha?

    FTR, not a fan of this Carmella heel turn, actually thought she was more entertaining as a face/R-Truth ally...

  2. #702
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyson View Post
    A side note: how awkward did Asuka look, who I’m a big fan of, just standing there while Carmella jumped Sasha?

    FTR, not a fan of this Carmella heel turn, actually thought she was more entertaining as a face/R-Truth ally...
    Agree with that.

    That could’ve been way more interesting if Asuka laughed at Sasha, but yeah no reaction whatsoever. You’d think she react one way or the other. Either care and preserve Sasha so she can face her at her best or be heelish and just laugh.

    She did fuck all. Way to promote the match against two of the best in the company!

  3. #703
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    I feel like they’ve just turned Asuka into a spouting “haha me speak English occasionally!” losing the fact of how badass she was in the first place.

    That shit with her spouting catchphrases....ughhhh!!!

    Btw just in case that seemed harsh to some folk, was a point about how WWE are having her act. She can talk fine if they let her.
    Last edited by Badger; November 21st, 2020 at 11:52 PM.

  4. #704
    Just one ‘ship, ferda... Tyson's Avatar
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    Asuka is who Vince wants Ronda/Nia/Shayna to be.

    Dumbfuck Deplorable Vince pandering to the lowest common denominator with the “Me Japanese, no speak English” act. Was she booked this poorly on Paul’s NXT?

  5. #705
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyson View Post
    Was she booked this poorly on Paul’s NXT?
    Quite the opposite

  6. #706
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    Absolutely not. She was fucking badass and killing everyone in her path. The first bad step was at Mania instead of keeping her mystique by having her defeat the seemingly unbeatable Charlotte, they did the complete opposite and made her mere ordinary losing to Charlotte. Charlotte’s owned her in meetings since. Then there was the stupid shit with Ellsworth/Carmella and it all went to shit from there.

    One of if not the best pure skilled technical females women’s wrestling all over the world and they made her into a joke with more occasional flashes of being badass. Not her fault at all but a shadow of her former self who’s become a punchline despite being Raw women’s champ

  7. #707
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    They definitely fumbled with Asuka for awhile but I feel like they rebounded with her a fair bit with her run with the Kabuki Warriors and getting back on track as a singles star afterwards. She was carrying RAW and SD when this Covid shit started. Also, she has beaten Charlotte. She's kind of been treading water as of late but she hasn't really had a real feud in a hot minute.

  8. #708
    Just one ‘ship, ferda... Tyson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    She was carrying RAW and SD when this Covid shit started.
    If by Asuka you mean Bayley, then yes.

  9. #709
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyson View Post
    If by Asuka you mean Bayley, then yes.
    Bayley didn't hit her stride until a few weeks after COVID started. Asuka was killing it ahead of Bayley. The first few weeks without a crowd, Asuka was fantastic, playing to the cameras even while she was in the background.

  10. #710
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    They definitely fumbled with Asuka for awhile but I feel like they rebounded with her a fair bit with her run with the Kabuki Warriors and getting back on track as a singles star afterwards. She was carrying RAW and SD when this Covid shit started. Also, she has beaten Charlotte. She's kind of been treading water as of late but she hasn't really had a real feud in a hot minute.
    Eventually got a piece of revenge on Charlotte, but that didn’t matter so much as Charlotte was still on a higher pedestal and that’s how they always will portray her even though she’s absent. Don’t get me wrong, Charlotte is fucking great but I still feel as soon as she’s back, it’ll be back to square one.

    Also I feel they missed a real opportunity to have her beat Charlotte at Mania and really establish her properly but instead just another stepping stone for Charlotte. Add Rhea Ripley to that list.

    Do also agree with you on the Kabuki Warriors though, but whenever Kairi Sane went singles, she was still fodder for the likes of Nia Jax and I’m not even covering the botches there. She was just low on the pecking order.

  11. #711
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    Rhea Ripley greeting: “Oooh she was better than me!” What the hell was that? She prior owned War Games and Shayna Bayzler!!!

    She has regained traction but fuck that was still cringe.

  12. #712
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    Good opening segment, allowing Reigns to continue to rag on Uso. It shouldn't have been that way, considering Uso helped tip the scales in the match with McIntyre but Reigns wasn't going to allow Uso to feel like there was some shine available for him. Reigns knows he has Uso under his thumb so now it's just about breaking and motivating him more to do his bidding. That paid dividends in a hurry as that mean strike hit Otis.

    Still hate the trope of the champions being pinned to create No. 1 contenders. That's not how it is supposed to work lol. The match between Roodolph and Street Profits was good, at least.

    Going to Zayn was one of the routes they suggested Bryan could take once he came back. It wasn't the one I expected immediately after last week but I appreciated it because the match was really fun. The brain buster one the apron looked gnarly. Not a finish I was thrilled with but it did a nice job weaving everything together that's been displayed over the last few weeks (Uso/Bryan, KO and Bryan pairing up).

    I hope they take their time in getting towards Bayley and Bianca. Just let Bianca stack up some wins and have Bayley on commentary.

    Rollins is gone, Mysterio's eye is magically good to go! I'm not sure why they wanted to have the Mysterios outright playing interference for Murphy. Not a very noble thing to do. Weird role for all of them so I'm curious to see what plan they have there.

    Just based off the optics, they made good on Bryan/Zayn and they're finally setting the table for E to make his next move. I was hoping Bryan or E was going to be the the thorn in Zayn's side after Survivor Series. We got both, but it's looking like E is going to have the bigger emphasis and potentially the best chance to make the most of it. They've steadily done a nice job giving Zayn wins in very nefarious ways, so that makes you want to see him get beat. E is going to have the chance to do so and it should be interesting to see how they book it to see how he outsmarts Zayn. Good opening chapter there.

    At least Sasha got hers over Carmella.

    Main Event Uso AGAIN! I'm pretty sure this was the fifth episode of Smackdown that has had him in the final match. This was a different kind of physicality from last week's match with Bryan for Uso. It was quite clear that the theme of the match was not really to see who could pin the other and KO/Uso were really out there to inflict some damage on each other. We got a Steen Breaker. The finish was silly but it played into the story. This all does seem to be leading to Uso breaking into a darker level. Reigns broke his spirit but now Uso's going mad.

    It does seem like Owens hit a sudden breaking point of sorts for himself this week too. I guess because Bryan is someone he's outright said he respects and KO didn't like how Reigns' need to run everything directly interfered closer to the orbit of Owens. Either way, there was more attitude in Owens tonight...which was good to see. Owens hit Reigns with the Alex Riley and finally has some direction. Good stuff.

  13. #713
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    Oh...Lars Sullivan has NOT been missed.

  14. #714
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    Jey's doing a terrific job showing how tormented he is. It comes across perfectly in the the way he rubs his head and talks to himself.

    I was really confused as to why the Mysterios were interfering so much in Murphy's match. I can't remember if Corbin cheated to beat Rey in the SS qualifying match. That's the only explanation I can think of.

    Smackdown's line up for TLC is starting to take shape:

    - Bayley vs Bianca (might end up on the pre-show)
    - Sasha vs Carmella
    - Sammy vs Big E
    - Roman vs KO

    Roman and KO could have a TLC match. I don't know if they'll go with gimmicks for the other matches.

  15. #715
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    I think they'll go schmozz finish in the Raw #1 contenders match and it'll be them 3, Drew and Braun in a 5 way TLC. Reigns and Owens get the chairs match, Lana/Asuka vs. Nia/Shayna gets the tables and I guess E and Sami gets the ladder match maybe with Cesaro and Nakamura reuniting with Sami to cost E.

  16. #716
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    With chairs being featured so prominently on Smackdown I thought about a chairs match, but would they really saddle Roman with that kind of gimmick?

    I thought I would share it simply because Alvarez went through the trouble of counting. The Mysterios interfered 9 times in a 4 minute match. Bizarre.

  17. #717
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    Where's Sullivan?

    If Kayla's job was to make Reigns sound insufferable prior to him coming out, kudos to her. If Kayla's job was to make herself sound insufferable, kudos to her. She can't have an "exclusive" interview and then be the ring announcer too. It's too much and she was too over the top and she was made a fool by the end of the segment lol. Dig the new shirt Owens has and the tagline fits. I like Owens and Reigns going at it, Uso being too big for his britches, and Heyman being flummoxed at Uso being out of his league. All good stuff...minus Kayla lol.

    Cole or commentary in general had to do most of the leg work to get the point across when it came to Bayley and Bianca. The point being that Bayley was distracted with Bianca on commentary while Bianca wasn't phased when Bayley was on commentary last week. Bayley's lost her title and clearly now feels threatened by an upstart in Bianca. Also telling that Bianca and Bayley had a common opponent and Bayley fell short as Bianca did not.

    Nice touch to book a six-man tag amongst previous IC champions and the current one as a tribute to Pat Patterson. Wale dropping a new track for E is a good touch and nice callback to the old days for him to have the chalk there. Like all of it. The match didn't light the world on fire but it was certainly entertaining. The way they're booking things, it feels like they're hedging with Bryan and E. Bryan got the pin on Zayn but E got the final finisher on Ziggler afterwards. Kind of interesting. I imagine that's going to clear up and E is going to have more of an emphasis after TLC. We'll see.

    Not sure what the point of Kalisto walking into the frame for Owens' interview was but it wasn't that funny.

    I'm not sure if it's telling or not that Carmella hasn't wrestled since she came back. The talking segment between Carmella and Sasha was fine but it's just kind of there for me because Carmalla just puts a ceiling on things for me.

    Corbin found some forgotten friends. I guess it's good those two were able to find a new role while the other one probably remains toxic to everyone in the locker room. Still not a lick of sense made as to why the Mysterios were so adamant to be involved last week in the Murphy/Corbin match, but at least they found a way to advance things with Cutler and Blake backing Corbin.

    Really enjoy how it's a big deal when Reigns actually wrestles, especially on TV, because it doesn't happen that much. Not surprising, Uso and Reigns worked well together (even when the story is portrayed that there's a disconnect). I like the disdain Reigns was showing when Owens was trash talking or Uso wasn't performing. I'd like to think the way Reigns manhandled Otis is a sign for how things would have gone if they attempted to run with Otis having the briefcase in the current landscape. The finish was supremely done but I think they were able to get away with it in some ways due to the storytelling after the fact. Reigns is just so damn good right now.

  18. #718
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    I haven’t read all of that but “Where’s Sullivan?” already gives me hope the episode will be good.

    Maybe in the sandbox with Retribution complaining about being called a freak?

    I will read though when I wake up from my sleep after this and watch this then comment. First sentence just caught me lol.
    Last edited by Badger; December 5th, 2020 at 12:36 AM.

  19. #719
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Last bit of news I read re: Sullivan was that they have no plans for him. Kind of makes it a head scratcher as to why they brought him back then...

  20. #720
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    Roman fears the Dozer. He saw Otis go toe to toe with Lee and Strowman at SS and didn't want none of that. That's why Roman and Jey keep jumping him. They know they can't beat Otis in a fair fight. Make no mistake, come January, Otis is going to win the Rumble and then squash Roman in the main event of WrestleMania becoming Universal Champion. The following Smackdown, he'll unveil his custom belt made out of a giant piece of beef jerky. The first edible championship. Oh, YEAH!

  21. #721
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Make it out of ham...ch-HAM-pionship.

  22. #722
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    Otis is quite fond of Ham, so I'm sure he would approve of this.


  23. #723
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    Gable posted the entire training video with Otis on twitter. The full version is even better.

    https://twitter.com/WWEGable/status/1337194918805204998

  24. #724
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    Oof, Ziggler has some pretty crappy material prior to the match. Good to see Ford have an opportunity to run solo. Despite the terrible banter, Ziggler was a good opponent for Ford to have in a solo outing. Really nonsensical spot with the cups but I guess I have to give them credit with a unique spot to go to break. There's clearly stuff to work with there for Ford. Some more time and a hot story and that guy is going to be a big deal.

    Liked the idea of Zayn/E crossing paths and expected the finish to be frustrating but it was more than I anticipated. Why does WWE fail so frequently with making smart babyfaces? Why was E chasing Zayn under the ring? It just didn't do anyone any favors here.

    Nice, simple segment with Bianca and Bayley. Have to imagine that eventual PPV match (because the one next week will clearly have a stupid finish) will set the stage for another breakout moment for Bianca. Hard to find a better foil for her to present that opportunity.

    Subtle but effective acting by Reigns and Use as they were "catching up" to see instant and respective levels of disdain hit their faces when Owens' music hit. That helps tell a lot with very little and it wasn't corny or overdone. Owens spiel about his friends could have been bad but the range of emotions Owens displayed helped convey that message. Heyman was fantastic with his talking off of Reigns and not taking the bait. Reigns looked vicious as he attacked Owens in the back, then looked smooth and chilling when he talked to Owens' family through the camera. There is only one small concern I have about all of this: Owens' willingness to wreck his body. This story is the oasis Owens has been looking for. He's been stuck in terrible stories so this is likely rejuvenating him, It's a championship spot against one of the top/hottest guys in the company and there's nothing holding them back. I remember Ambrose/Owens from 2016 at the Rumble and it had some gnarly stuff in there. Hopefully the ambition doesn't get too wild.

    Yikes. The women's tag match was thankfully kept brief because it wasn't that clean. Maybe this is a further entry point for more comedic shenanigans by Billie.

    Otis essentially got the Peyton treatment but worse? Broke a tag team up only to possibly create a new one AND lose his girl and the briefcase? I imagine this stuff with Gable and Otis is going somewhere but they probably could have done that without breaking up Heavy Machinery and Mandy. Kind of fitting for displaying the missed opportunity as this match essentially had three iterations of teams involved and HM was the only one that didn't win gold on the main roster. Give me more of Gable and Cesaro in the ring. Great chemistry and potential between those two.

    Knights of the Lone Wolf is a decent enough way to tie Corbin's gimmicks together (though it doesn't make sense). At least this creates a six-man tag that eventually get Murphy and the Mysterios back on track.

    Carmella's new entrance was certainly something. This made me think about how we often lamented the fact the likes of Triple H, Cena, Reigns and others would instantly come back and get a title shot...and here we were with Carmella. Her first match since April had her in a title match. The match was fine. Carmella did show some signs of improvement prior to disappearing so the fact she was more than serviceable in the ring was welcomed. But come on...these finishes are so stupid. Stop booking matches where you don't want someone to take a pin or submission.
    Last edited by BGMaverick; December 12th, 2020 at 12:57 PM.

  25. #725
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    Love the Street Profits but Ford definitely has the charisma and potential to go solo. Doesn’t hurt to be married to Bianca either.

    Bold prediction but he has it. Will catch up with the rest tomorrow but that got my attention.

  26. #726
    Just one ‘ship, ferda... Tyson's Avatar
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    I think both members of Street Profits have the chops to go solo, Ford seems to be a natural face.

    That Carmella v Sasha booking was curious, for sure. I know it’s typical heel behaviour/bravado, but Carmella yelling that she’s the best when it’s Sasha who ended the longest ever women’s title reign is interesting. Cue the mega eye roll if Carmella gets the title rematch at TLC because “I scored a DQ victory”...

  27. #727
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    If they break them up amicably, Dawkins might have a chance. If they do the jealousy routine he may be left for dust.

  28. #728
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    I was pleased that Carmella didn't look lost in the ring, as she's always had "it" on the mic. She deserves another title match, especially since Banks has always been overrated. They signed a contract, after all. I want the contract details to reveal that Carmella had changed the contract before Banks signed it without looking at it - and Carmella will win after a one-count. Because she put it in the contract, and Banks signed it. Get creative, and show a heel being smart for a change. They can have a 3-way challenge for the #1 contender and Bayley/Bianca can distract each other while Banks wins another title shot.

  29. #729
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    Banks overrated? How?

    Carmella is very good on the mic. The problem is then the bell has to ring.

  30. #730
    Just one ‘ship, ferda... Tyson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3puppies View Post
    ...since Banks has always been overrated.

  31. #731
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    Sasha Banks should main event the next 12 ppvs based on her outfit last Friday alone. That is a fuckin BOSS.

  32. #732
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3puppies View Post
    I was pleased that Carmella didn't look lost in the ring, as she's always had "it" on the mic. She deserves another title match, especially since Banks has always been overrated. They signed a contract, after all. I want the contract details to reveal that Carmella had changed the contract before Banks signed it without looking at it - and Carmella will win after a one-count. Because she put it in the contract, and Banks signed it. Get creative, and show a heel being smart for a change. They can have a 3-way challenge for the #1 contender and Bayley/Bianca can distract each other while Banks wins another title shot.

    Well then you have to explain why the WWE didn't bother to let Sasha know about any changes to the contract. And anything in the contract that was changed would be null.

  33. #733
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    At least Carmella signed the contract before the match. Roman didn't even do that.

  34. #734
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    Carmella with the busted face and can’t wrestle

  35. #735
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    Dirty Dawgs? Who thought that was a good name for Ziggler and Roode? Tag title match wasn't bad by any stretch. Not really thrilled with the turnabout is fair play approach for the win but I guess they're booking lazily and just want to keep this going. Graves was funny by calling the champs The Cheat Profits.

    Somehow Riott Squad/Tamina and Billie was significantly worse than versus the pairing of Natalya and Billie. The Riott Squad actually got worse after leaving Raw, which is surprising. The storytelling played out on Mondays but it's really evaporated since then.

    Sasha/Carmella segment was fine for what it was but it was just too long. They could have trimmed 20-25 percent off that and produced a better segment.

    They really could have used that extra time for even the Otis/Nakamura match. Nakamura really just has fallen off dramatically over the last couple of years. It's wild.

    Did we get a modulated Strowman or Sullivan voice for the voice of 2020? Either way, that segment of superstars taking out 2020 was...something.

    The Sami Awards was a good spin on the Slammy Awards but it did make me curious. He mentioned the actual awards are being handed out on Wednesday via social media. Why wouldn't WWE actually do that over actual WWE programming on Monday and Friday? Seems like an easy way to fill time and create a launching point for your agenda for matches for the night. Zayn was insufferably delusional during this segment but that fits him perfectly. Thankfully they're keeping things going with E and Zayn. I just hope the match isn't stupid again.

    Bayley/Bianca was really fun for what it was but it the finish was annoying. Bianca wasn't made to look stupid like E did against Zayn last week, but why did WWE want to shoot their wad here? Why build stuff up over time and have them compete against mutual opponents and then waste a cheap finish and ruin sizzle for Bianca's eventual 50/50 return win? Just seemed a bit misguided here. At least they have pretty solid chemistry together. More time, less commercials, clean finish...it'll be solid.

    For better or worse, the rest of a show can be troubling but it certainly helps when the top feud of that program hits all the right notes. Heyman has been relatively quiet (comparing to when he was with Lesnar) so this moment for him to put over Owens subtly and also put over Reigns was just really solid. They also continued to tease that Owens just sacrifice his body for the championship, thus continuing to not expect Owens to do some gnarly and physical stuff Sunday. Love how everything just continued while not being overkill in the closing segment with the beatdown on Owens.

    They've booked themselves a convenient story with the attacks. Owens clearly won't be 100 percent on Sunday and that's going to be enough to create the opportunity for Reigns to retain. Like he did at the end, Owens will keep rising from the ashes, which just makes him that much more of a badass so he'll still look awesome in defeat.

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    Otis getting a clean win over Nakamura should be a big deal, but this isn't the Swagsuke we once knew so it came off kind of flat.

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    Friday's Smackdown:
    Owens vs. Reigns - Steel Cage Match for the Universal Title
    Big E vs. Zayn - IC Championship Match

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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post

    Somehow Riott Squad/Tamina and Billie was significantly worse than versus the pairing of Natalya and Billie. The Riott Squad actually got worse after leaving Raw, which is surprising.
    .
    You were the only person on the entire planet of 7 billion+ that was surprised a match with Tamina was somehow worse than one with Natalya. That's like looking back at Undertaker's career and going "I was shocked his matches with King Mabel weren't as good as his matches against Shawn Michaels".

    Switching brands doesn't improve talent. Riott Squad were whack on SD, whack on Raw, back to being whack on SD. The most logical step is to make them a couple then when Sonya comes back she can be the 3rd wheel that breaks them up, steals Liv from Ruby and we get a Sonya-Liv tag title run.

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    A lesbian love story would be better than anything the Riott Squad are doing at the moment. Lana's been teasing, or threatening depending how you look at it, that her storyline with Liv could pick back up at any time. Sounds mostly like she's going into business for herself, but considering Liv is going nowhere in the Riott Squad, rekindling this romance would be an improvement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasori View Post
    A lesbian love story would be better than anything the Riott Squad are doing at the moment. Lana's been teasing, or threatening depending how you look at it, that her storyline with Liv could pick back up at any time. Sounds mostly like she's going into business for herself, but considering Liv is going nowhere in the Riott Squad, rekindling this romance would be an improvement.
    Lana is horrible and that entire storyline including Rusev and Lashley fucking sucked. I wouldn't be shocked if Lana was trying to go into business for herself, nothing unusual there. Straight up that was the worst storyline in WWE history.

    If WWE wants to keep the Riott Squad around they need to evolve the relationship in some way shape or form. I don't think we're at a stage where we can have them break up again and feud with each other. They tried to bring that element to the table when Liv was doing the stuff with Lana and it was terrible. I mean, right now they're the only real tag-team in the women's division. They're not just 2 top singles stars smashed together. But if that's how they want to do it, then they should have Riott Squad dethrone Charlotte/Asuka or if Nia/Shayna regain the titles, have RS next in line.

    Then we can work on building a tag-team title division. Even if it's simply a couple legit teams but then 3-4 teams of singles stars that team up now and then, at least it gives us something to work with.

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    Smackdown Friday:


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    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    That's actually a pretty good sounding show. I'd probably watch it if it were on any day other than Christmas.

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    Really good but a few caveats/ personal points which I will keep spoilerised as this is fresh out:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nash Diesel View Post
    Lana is horrible and that entire storyline including Rusev and Lashley fucking sucked. I wouldn't be shocked if Lana was trying to go into business for herself, nothing unusual there. Straight up that was the worst storyline in WWE history.

    If WWE wants to keep the Riott Squad around they need to evolve the relationship in some way shape or form. I don't think we're at a stage where we can have them break up again and feud with each other. They tried to bring that element to the table when Liv was doing the stuff with Lana and it was terrible. I mean, right now they're the only real tag-team in the women's division. They're not just 2 top singles stars smashed together. But if that's how they want to do it, then they should have Riott Squad dethrone Charlotte/Asuka or if Nia/Shayna regain the titles, have RS next in line.

    Then we can work on building a tag-team title division. Even if it's simply a couple legit teams but then 3-4 teams of singles stars that team up now and then, at least it gives us something to work with.
    The Nia/Lana storyline would have been better if they changed one thing. Replace Lana with Liv. Now they've got someone fans can get behind. Fantasy booking time: The Riott Squad never gets back together. Liv is drafted to RAW and is eventually targeted by Nia. The same scenario plays out minus the ridiculous Survivor Series nonsense. Maybe Liv isn't even on the team. Anyway, Liv finally gets a singles match against Nia, but loses due to interference from Shayna. The only way Liv can get her hands on Nia again is in a Tag match, but she needs a partner. The clock is ticking for her to find someone to team up with. Ruby is then revealed to be Liv's partner at TLC and they win the tag titles with Liv pinning Nia. On RAW, Ruby can explain that Liv earned her respect when she was soundly beaten by her back in the Summer. That's why she stepped up to be her partner.

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    I do like the fact that some common sense was put into place in regards to production of the show. This had an incredible lead-in with the NFL game so they put a top-level match on to start the show with those viewers who might have hung on. In addition, I like how commentary helped set the stage with the rules of the cage match for those potential casual viewers. While this match didn't have the captivating drama from the TLC match on Sunday, this match delivered the goods with Reigns and Owens telling a good story and it was certainly a PPV-quality match. Once again, Owens was right there with the head of the table but Uso turned the tide and allowed Reigns to move forward.

    Pretty formulaic way to get to the women's tag title match but I can't say I'm disappointed with the list of competitors. The match had some lag to it in some ways because you needed it to play out to get the first team out of the way, and the right team did exit first. Carmella had a fine Sunday but Bianca had a wonderful Friday. She looked solid in various portions of the match and there was the very innovative save by throwing her hair to Sasha to bail out of the Figure 8. The finish didn't do any favors for the champs but the booking was more interested in causing future headaches for Bianca and Sasha, which makes sense. They also left it open for the champs to return to SD with The Riott Squad watching backstage.

    Not a shock but Uso and Bryan told a fun story with their match. The first time they squared off a few weeks back felt more like a bitter brawl and while this didn't have that intensity until the finishing stretch, this was still compelling as more of a wrestling match. Uso getting the edge early with the sneak attack allowed Bryan to show the will and perseverance get over Uso. Even though that finish was fairly predictable it was good for the story to see that Bryan continually was cusp seizing momentum but Uso kept cutting that off at the pass before he was able to break through.

    The stipulation for the main event proved to be the equalizer that Zayn couldn't account for after the initial wave Not really sure why the good lumberjacks weren't really down for helping E when it was clear the bag ones were out to attack him when they could. It was a partial missed opportunity with the lumberjacks. There were clearly Raw guys there but no Kingston and Woods. It could be telling from a comedown feud perspective that Crews was the one to catch Zayn before he tried to escape. Good to see E get the ball and have the IC title now. Nice touch with the babyfaces lifting him on their shoulders and the confetti coming down for the celebration. Hopefully it's not a waste opportunity and he can make good use of it for himself and for the title.

    Rollins will be back next, so it'll be interesting to see which route he takes as he returns.

    The episode does seem to kind of make a path for the next several months. They had left it kind of open ended out of Bryan and E as to who was going to be open for a path to Reigns while the other would slide in with Zayn and likely become the IC champion. E made good on catching Zayn and Bryan made his proclamation that his goal is to win the Rumble for the first time. That's always been the thorn in the side for creative when it comes to booking Rumbles: the audience wants Bryan to win. Bryan and Owens have had issues with Reigns and Uso for the last several weeks and Owens has pretty much exhausted what he can do with both parties in The Bloodline but Bryan still has Reigns. With that all laid out, the opportunity is there to pull the trigger and make good on Bryan winning the Rumble to take on Reigns.

    Good to see WWE put their best foot forward for a holiday episode.

  46. #746
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Really good but a few caveats/ personal points which I will keep spoilerised as this is fresh out:

    I haven’t watched much lately but Roman/KO was one of the better Cage matches I’ve seen. And I think its good they had it on SD, for me there’s no motivation to watch and I think Raw and SD need more high profile matches like this to get people to tune in. There’s a severe lack of Championship matches on TV (mostly because of Brock being Champ) but the only shows I’ve watched recently were the Raw with Orton/Drew and KO/Reigns. Not saying they should have title matches every week like they did during the Attitude era, but throw them in every now and then.

  47. #747
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    Great match between Reigns/Owens, both men came out looking real strong. The screwjob ending put over Owens as a legit tough guy babyface, gave Uso (who has been on absolute fire) some mega heel heat and solidified Reigns as the opportunistic heel. Reigns/Owens III at the Rumble, I’m totally down. If not that, I’d really like to see an Owens/Uso program.

    The women’s tag match was amazing, four great workers and two who are really stepping their games up; it served its purpose so far as advancing the SD feuds (Bayley/Bianca and Sasha/Carmella).

    Bryan/Uso was real good, it built up both competitors.

    Let the Big E era begin, I am super pumped about that. The post-match celebration was a great touch.

  48. #748
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyson View Post
    Great match between Reigns/Owens, both men came out looking real strong. The screwjob ending put over Owens as a legit tough guy babyface, gave Uso (who has been on absolute fire) some mega heel heat and solidified Reigns as the opportunistic heel. Reigns/Owens III at the Rumble, I’m totally down. If not that, I’d really like to see an Owens/Uso program.
    Doesn't really seem like you need to walk away from Owens/Reigns. Owens/Uso would certainly be a big step down, despite the leveling up by Uso, and it creates a void for Reigns and the Rumble. I doubt you can heat someone up in a month that's going to be hotter than Owens. You have one choice on the brand and it's probably being saved as a potential Mania option. I will be curious to see what comes for Owens after the Rumble if he's fully out of the Reigns/title picture. He's clearly a guy that delivers when you give him big stories but they're prone to letting him float more often than not.

  49. #749
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Christmas SmackDown's first hour had the highest rating of any WWE show in 2020, apparently...

  50. #750
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    Well done, was a great episode for them overall, maybe the best this year

  51. #751
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    Christmas SmackDown's first hour had the highest rating of any WWE show in 2020, apparently...
    It certainly helped that the NFL postgame coverage bled into the first quarter of Smackdown.

    Quote Originally Posted by kdestiny View Post
    Well done, was a great episode for them overall, maybe the best this year
    It was something I mentioned earlier in regards to booking in the sense that this episode relied much more on the performers working in the ring rather than long-winded promos or silly skits. What I mentioned was that while WWE booking in the sense of episodic TV has been dreadful, the PPVs have been pretty good because it's not relying on those terrible segments. They rely on one of the deepest pools of talent they've had to do what they do in the ring. That's more or less what this Smackdown was.

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    Reigns just looks so damn comfortable in the ring for talking segments. He comes off absurdly smug and it flows naturally. Owens has a gripe but it's a frustrating one from a storyline standpoint, but it's good that he was looking to address the thorn in his side.

    Shame to see the chalk leave E's entrance but I'd say the first week with him as champion was fine enough. Zayn must have had some incredible burst to jump from the booth to the ring to break up the three count on Corbin. It was silly in the sense to have that finish because they could have just given E the win because he hit his finisher but hey...gotta protect Corbin. Good to see that Crews, who has been hanging around E for several weeks, came out to help even the odds. Should be a good match next week between Crews and E.

    Billie probably has a better future as a manager than wrestler. It was pretty funny to see her float on both sides, attempting to advise both teams. Either way, she has personality and comedic timing so I don't have a problem with her being on TV. I do like the idea of getting the Riott Squad some wins to build to the eventual match with Charlotte and Asuka.

    The alliance of Sasha and Bianca has a lot of potential and that can veer off in a lot of different directions. This women's tag match was much better than the one before it. I can live with the finish because it was clearly a distraction finish and that's eventually going to backfire for Carmella.

    DADDY IS BAAAAAACK! It's so great to see Sonya back, and she's reportedly back much sooner than many anticipated. I'm extremely interested to see where she fits in. She was on top of her game prior to having to take time off. The blood feud and top rival is on the other brand so she might need something for a little bit to bide her time since being "reinstated" until she has something significant she can sink her teeth into.

    Too over the top with the predictions act by the Street Profits. Their improv can be hit or miss and this just didn't quite hit the mark. The beatdown by ...ugh... the Dirty Dawgs was fine. Just not that interested in seeing these two teams square off some more.

    Cesaro's fake laugh actually made me laugh. Pretty good tag match with Bryan/Otis and Nakamura/Cesaro. They are really reiterating that Bryan is focused on the Rumble and that he hasn't won it. If they keep talking about it, that really doesn't inspire a lot of optimism that he actually will. Someone loves hips and The Three Amigos.

    Main Event Uso was back! Definitely a gritty-ass battle between Uso and Owens. The viciousness by Owens was quite welcomed. He should be awfully pissed with how Reigns and Uso have been able to run amuck and made things miserable for him. Reigns, as always now, was opportunistic and did things on his time. The beatdown on Owens went on for quite a while, being capped off with a gnarly table bump. This means this is pretty much hitting its climax at the Rumble, still thinking via Last Man Standing.

    Seth Roll--well, I guess that advertisement went absolutely nowhere. That's quite odd to announce he was returning and then not follow through.

  53. #753
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    Oh, yeah. Smackdown was on last night. Completely forgot.

    I predicted Sonya would be back by MITB, so it's a nice surprise to see her return to kick off the new year.

  54. #754
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    Am I completely fucked reading this headline or in one of RVD’s trips reading this headline having not watched Smackdown?

    Adam Pearce vs Roman Reigns at the Rumble?

    Please stick to it!
    Last edited by Badger; January 9th, 2021 at 3:10 AM.

  55. #755
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    Quick Hits:

    -I feel like this “Adam Pearce gets a Universal title shot” is a great time and place for the returning face Seth Rollins; either he subs in for Adam or wins the Rumble and utters “Roman”.
    -Love they gave Shinsuke some singles shine, I would have been down for Nakamura v Reigns.
    -Both E and Crews looked great, am a fan of both men. Can Cesaro get a shot at E next week?
    -Good for Roode/Ziggler, two underutilized wrestlers; a lengthy run as heel champs would be neat. The Mysterios up first?
    -Two hours of TV and we get two segments totalling a couple minutes for the woman’s division? Fucking embarrassing. Don’t waste so much fucking time on Reigns walking to the ring, maybe?
    -Carmella is still boring.

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    Well, Adam Pearce is a former NWA World Champion. So he's got some credibility...


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    I hope we at least get “Adam Pearce in training” videos a la Vince Royal Rumble 1999. Give the guy some personality.

    Royal Rumble with all the talent and depth in the roster they have yet Adam Pearce and Goldberg are challenging for the World titles.

  58. #758
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudz Mackenzie View Post
    Well, Adam Pearce is a former NWA World Champion. So he's got some credibility...

    to quote Booker T five time

    Side note, it has been almost 25 years since his last match in a WWE ring

  59. #759
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    The Rumble is always the main draw, so they might as well go with a couple of duds for title matches.

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    Where is Murphy? Another week and no mention of Rollins.

    It's clearly a hypothetical but I would really be interested to see how Reigns would be able to sustain this heel run in front of a crowd. There's a lot of facets to it that would garner praise from the audience but the majority of it does hammer home that a heel could really be a heel in 2021.

    Props to E and Crews for making the most of a questionable decision to have a draw and build off that. The pace was fast and the action was good. Crews hasn't really had in-ring work as of late to validate the effort/amount of the match he took but he's at least been on TV for the weeks leading up to this. E took care of business after the restart and rode through the storm from a game contender, which kept his arrow trending in the right direction. More from these two works.

    Very interesting wrinkle to see that Sonya isn't back in an in-ring capacity right away. Considering Pearce is now potentially on the chopping block, Sonya instantly becoming an authority figure is an intriguing option. Not a lot of in-ring time for the women this week but you saw efforts from Sonya, Bayley, Bianca, Carmella, and Billie (with the Riott Squad) to make the most of their time.

    Really surprised but pleasantly surprised that they opted to go ahead and pull the trigger on flipping the tag titles off Street Profits. You can say it's the creative but Street Profits have pretty much been stagnant since the build to Survivor Series with New Day. They also put some effort in by telling a story leading up to this match that their foes had a gripe based on previous matchups and that they went after Ford's knee, which played a role in the match. SD gets the benefit of the doubt so I'm interested to see what wrinkles they can create for the former tag champs.

    The promising thing is that WWE does still know that a gauntlet match can tell a good story and help elevate people within the course of one episode. There's intriguing ripples that come from it. Zayn is probably out of the IC picture but will find ways to be a compelling pest as long as he's still booked to be on the show. Nakamura got the red carpet treatment with impressive/clean wins within the gauntlet, a nod of respect to Bryan after their really good match, and then was taken out by Reigns via Pearce. This creates questions going forward that they'll have to answer.

    Having Pearce involved the way he is now is a mixed bag to me. It's the Rumble so the PPV is generally considered bottom of the barrel for the Big-4 PPVs for title matches so I can see the value it trying to manufacture something as transitional. It's also presumed by me this is all a ruse and biding time until bringing Owens back into the mix for the Rumble. Pearce is someone who has been on TV and has a logical role so trying something makes sense. Pearce really doesn't make sense for a casual viewer because the thought is, what is this guy going to do? I guess that's some of the allure to the setup. It's always stuck in my craw that WWE hasn't bothered to explain why Pearce has been in this authoritarian role but I must say he does a pretty good job in that role. He doesn't make things about him, he tries to stay in the background more often than not and he does his job fairly well.

    The stuff with Nakamura and Pearce and other things going on during the show continue to help build Smackdown. You can like or dislike the Pearce stuff but I appreciate the fact it follows suit to what Smackdown does by adding layers to an established foundation. Raw, however, just trends to fly by the seat of its pants and hope for the best. Smackdown can give that impression but again, it's built off stuff they've laid the groundwork for over time.
    Last edited by BGMaverick; January 9th, 2021 at 1:13 PM.

  61. #761
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    Face Nakamura...wonder what his new Def Rebel entrance theme will sound like.

  62. #762
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Nakamura vs. Jey Uso has been announced for next week. Methinks that Nak might be taking Pearce's spot at the Rumble after a few things happen over the next couple weeks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    Nakamura vs. Jey Uso has been announced for next week. Methinks that Nak might be taking Pearce's spot at the Rumble after a few things happen over the next couple weeks.
    Heat check if that's the case, considering outside of the gauntlet, the last time Nakamura won a singles match was in September. Tags in play, yes, but he also lost a singles match recently to Otis lol. Certainly creates another question in regards to what Nakamura's tag partner thinks of it all, and why he wasn't there Friday.

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    Seeing Nakamura kill it was so awesome. I just wish they'd change up his attire though, I miss his NJPW look. The bell bottoms just don't look good IMO.

  65. #765
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    Where is Murphy? Another week and no mention of Rollins.
    I wish we'd get some news on Murphy. Without a clear opponent for Roman, I would totally go with Murphy as the next challenger. He has history with Roman and can remind the tribal chief that he took him to the limit in their match. The Mysterios can back him up and deal with Jey. Even if it's just for one PPV, it could do wonders to help establish Murphy.

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    Anyone else think they're swerving us with all the talk about Roman/D-Bry being the big plan for Wrestlemania? I think we'll see Brock Lesnar back in by then, as a babyface, and he and Reigns have their big rubber match where Lesnar wins and becomes a part-time champion again.

    Let's face facts: This Covid shit isn't going away. And depending on what part of the country you're living in, its only getting worse. I could absolutely see Roman reading the tea leaves and deciding to take some time off for his own health and well-being if this shit continues being a clear and present issue. Pass the buck to somebody who won't be around full-time to build a return match with right away and come back when things in the world are a little safer for a guy who almost died of cancer twice.

    Hell, we all know that Covid is infesting the WWE already. Drew Mac has it. If I were Roman, I'd tell them to get the belt off of me at the Rumble and I'll be back when WWE gets its sloppy shop in order.

  67. #767
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    I could definitely see that happening, Spudz.

  68. #768
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    Oh god I hope not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    Oh god I hope not.
    In Covid land, where you obviously don't want one of your main events to be fucked over when somebody gets too sick to wrestle, a part-time champion who only works a few dates a year is the perfect kind of champion. Book Brock a few times a year and have him come in and work dream matches against all the guys he's never worked with before.

    Advertise it ahead of time. Brock's going to work 7 times in one year.

    Do an entire episode of Smackdown! where they do 7 matches. And the winners of each of those matches are seeded, in the order they win and based on how much or how little time it takes to beat their opponents. Like a Beat The Clock challenge.

    They could call it "The Lucky 7 Championship Tournament Series".

    Then you've got an entire calendar year of matches booked for Brock. And he just has to show up and wrestle.

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    Fuck, do three matches from RAW, three from Smackdown!, and one where RAW, Smackdown!, and NXT have a triple-threat to determine the 7th contender.

    NXT could have a tournament or a battle royal or a ladder match or something to determine their representative.

  71. #771
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    That presumes of course that Brock wants to return, which he doesn't. He's done everything he can do in WWE, including telling a heckuva story on his way out, elevating Drew in a HUGE way. I don't think Brock gets enough credit for that - his performance last year in the Rumble destroying everyone until Drew came along, and Plus, Brock has never been comfortable without "the Jew" talking for him, and Heyman is occupied right now.

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    I suppose.

    I wouldn't mind seeing a Drew Mac/Brock rematch at some point. In front of a few people.

  73. #773
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudz Mackenzie View Post
    In Covid land, where you obviously don't want one of your main events to be fucked over when somebody gets too sick to wrestle, a part-time champion who only works a few dates a year is the perfect kind of champion. Book Brock a few times a year and have him come in and work dream matches against all the guys he's never worked with before.

    Advertise it ahead of time. Brock's going to work 7 times in one year.

    Do an entire episode of Smackdown! where they do 7 matches. And the winners of each of those matches are seeded, in the order they win and based on how much or how little time it takes to beat their opponents. Like a Beat The Clock challenge.

    They could call it "The Lucky 7 Championship Tournament Series".

    Then you've got an entire calendar year of matches booked for Brock. And he just has to show up and wrestle.
    Nope, that still sounds terrible. Sorry but I have no Brock dream matches unless it's Brock vs. What To Do Outside of WWE. I get what you're going for and why but I've absolutely loathed Brock's past few years.

  74. #774
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    I see Fox is spreading the wealth with those 8k cameras they use for sideline shots during NFL games. You could see those on display for tight shots for some of the entrances.

    Uso is firmly established as a lackey now who gets a chance to go in the ring and I dig it. I love how Use snuck in an "Oldberg" line for the potential champion for Raw that he will take out after he wins the Rumble. Hey-o, guess Nakamura has fully turned since he got his old theme back. Glad to see that they attempted to tie up the loose end last week by having Cesaro explain his absence last week. He also gave a nod to Da Party by saying he had a lotta respect for Robinson's decision not to call for the match when Uso cheated. Uso/Nakamura had a good match and it helped in what seems to be the continued effort to heat Nakamura up.

    Liked seeing a little more intensity from The Street Profits in their promo. Hopefully that can be a positive sign of things to come.

    Billie was hilarious in her role, mixing in with The Riott Squad. Natalya and Liv actually had a pretty good match but it had a stupid finish.

    The stuff with Corbin/Mysterio reeks of stalling. No idea what they are stalling for, but this doesn't feel like a very inspiring story they're trying to tell other than Corbin is a pest. That said, Smackdown has FINALLY gotten it to where Corbin is properly used. He doesn't need to be plastered all over the show and be in main event segments. Just let him fit in his role as a midcard heel. I'm glad they finally got the proper depth or just came to their damn senses with that. So there's a reveal of sorts coming. At least there's hope of something there.

    Ding Dong, Hello - 1
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    These talk show segments can be pretty dreadful but Bayley's got the personality and awareness that will allow these segments to have a chance to be productive. Good start with this one with Bianca and keeping the feud going.

    DAMN, Cesaro and Bryan was fabulous. I'm so happy that they sequenced this show to give this match a lot of time to play out. Really fun spot where Bryan attempted a hurricanrana off the top rope, but Cesaro blocked the move, then Cesaro adjusted and countered into a vertical suplex off the second turnbuckle. Great, great stuff. Creative but fitting finish where Cesaro countered the running knee with the uppercut. They probably could have done a little more after the fact with emphasizing that it was a momentum-building win for Cesaro. Bryan might be showing everyone else how to the handle Bryan treatment of booking as he might be taking Ls leading up to a moment at the Rumble.

    Interesting to see Crews under Reigns' learning tree earlier in the show. Subtle but effective touch and helps put more of emphasis on Crews as he's been on TV more lately, whether it be hanging around E prior to E winning the title, being the equalizer for the IC title match where he was a key lumberjack, and then his own pursuit for the IC title. The match between Zayn and Crews was fine enough but helped put over that the impressionable Crews might be getting bad guidance from Reigns.

    An intergender match should be interesting between Sasha and Reginald.

    Raw told a story during the duration of Monday's show and it led to a dud finish. Smackdown told a story during the duration of Friday's show and it actually led to a payoff! The technical snafus with the mic for Pearce had to make them livid in the back but they made the best of it. As expected, this stuff with Pearce led to the return of Owens. I imagine a real pop for Owens would have been pretty awesome. I'm actually a little disappointed we're not going to see Pearce in the ring but he deserves quite a bit of credit for his performances over the last two weeks. The stage is set for Owens/Reigns at the Rumble in a LMS match and that should be fantastic.

    Seems like Reigns will have his hands full after the Rumble. Nakamura is going to be a problem. Depending on how far they want to take things with Crews, E could be a problem for him. Of course, the winner of the Rumble (if it's a SD guy) will be a problem. The slate is set for fun the next few months on the blue brand.
    Last edited by BGMaverick; January 16th, 2021 at 2:12 AM.

  75. #775
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    Now that you mention the 8k cameras, I thought something looked different during Roman's entrance. The depth of field was crazy.

  76. #776
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasori View Post
    Now that you mention the 8k cameras, I thought something looked different during Roman's entrance. The depth of field was crazy.
    They're amazing...

  77. #777
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    Maybe Nak and Cesaro help Owens against Reigns at the Rumble?

  78. #778
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    Maybe Nak and Cesaro help Owens against Reigns at the Rumble?
    Nakamura is probably getting the long(er)-term push over Cesaro, so Cesaro is feigning a 'This is Fine' friendship at the moment before he ultimately betrays his partner. Nakamura eventually gets a match with Reigns, maybe in February and then veers off to something with Cesaro.

  79. #779
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    Makes sense. I think the Cesaro turn on Nak is almost certain the only question is when. Is he an obstacle for Nak to overcome en route to a match with Roman? Or does Nak get the match with Roman first and that's where Cesaro stabs him in the back?

  80. #780
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    Makes sense. I think the Cesaro turn on Nak is almost certain the only question is when. Is he an obstacle for Nak to overcome en route to a match with Roman? Or does Nak get the match with Roman first and that's where Cesaro stabs him in the back?
    He just said he's Nakamura's friend way too much lol.

    If it were me, I'd want to have Nakamura hang tough with Reigns in the build to the match (more than Owens) but then Cesaro ultimately betrays Nakamura during the match with Reigns. Heat on Cesaro, heat on Reigns, keeps the ball rolling and momentum is there.

  81. #781
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    2021 Scoreboard: Smackdown 2, RAW 0.

    -Love that Pearce got over Reigns, Owens/Reigns III (with the LMS stip) should be amazing. If Spudz’ Roman Reigns idea were to come to fruition, I’d totally be down with a face Owens title reign; E would then have some more time to percolate with the IC title.
    -Very intrigued by this Apollo Crews progression. How did he get into Reigns’ inner circle?
    -Two very good matches between Nakamura/Uso and Cesaro/Bryan, the right guys went over while the losers still looked strong.
    -Love me some Bayley but it feels like she’s been drifting since dropping the Smackdown Women’s title; her talk show was a swing and miss, I really don’t want to see that obstacle course next week.
    -Natalya should be putting over the Liz Morgans not going over them.
    -Is Dom going to wrestle soon? He looked so good coming out of the Rollins feud.
    -Speaking of Rollins, I guess they’re saving his return for the Rumble?

  82. #782
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    Cesaro turning does seem to be the way they are going and that match will no doubt be awesome. However if they didn’t go the obvious route and remained with Nakamura, that’d be great too.

  83. #783
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    Face Cesaro would be refreshing.

  84. #784
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    It still blows my mind how Cesaro hasn't become a thing after all this time. I mean he did take a while to come out of his shell, but man is he good. Glad he finally FINALLY has music that fits him. Strap a rocket to this man.

  85. #785
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    Caught up on like 2 months of Smackdown, damn the show got better every week, it’s excellent. RR & Uso have been killing it. How good as Uso been though? Really started his single career so sting, legit upper carder. I’d love a feud with him and Big E. Speaking of Big E I don’t know why but he’s be the one for me to finally beat RR, after RR beats Rock at Mania(if that happens). To me Big E is perfect, I know people will be wanting DB but it’s the perfect spot for E.

    What’s the news on Jimmy Uso, how long is he still out for?

  86. #786
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    Actually just remembered Seth Rollins, surely it could be him and Reigns feuding then?

  87. #787
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    I had read that Jimmy Uso has not been cleared yet, but he and Jey are hoping to battle each other at Mania. On the one hand, they are a tag team that I never want to see break up, but given how they've accomplished everything a tag team can do, and how Jey has been killing lately as a single, I think they deserve a high profile match.

  88. #788
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    I think them and maybe New Dat are the only team who can have a feud and a high profile match and then going back to teaming up. I’d love this for Jimmy and Jey.

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