SDL 2019: Jun 18th

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krizbiiNot content with my first Raw review in over 4 years, I thought I’d give Smackdown Live a try to see which show is best worst.

New Day/Ziggler Promo
Kofi fighting Dolph brings back fond memories of RRCs past when WWE was fun to watch. I don’t hate Ziggler like a lot of people do and think his current bitter long-time midcarder act is quite good, using basic jealousy as his motivation.

Ziggler vs Woods
A decent match that made Ziggler look strong going into Sunday, unlike how Corbin was made to look on Raw.

Recaps/Backstage
Boring rehash of the Rollins crap from Raw put an immediate downer on a decent show up to this point. The finding the ref garbage being dragged over to Smackdown isn’t good, even though it did get a Senor Benjamin reference in.

Alexa’s Coffee Club
While the Kofi/Dolph match is straight-up jealousy from the heel, this rivalry is much more nuanced (by WWE standards at least). The simple way to look at it is Alexa being Alexa, manipulating Nikki and being as evil as ever, but the more fun way to view it is Alexa being genuine and bullied by the nasty hugger woman. Option 2 is far better than just turning Nikki heel, or spinning this off into an Alexa/Nikki feud, while Bayley saying she’s never needed anyone has obvious Sasha Banks potential if she ever shows up to work.

Kicking Ass and Taking Names
It’s a shit tagline, but it literally happened backstage with Apollo, Andrade and the List of Gable.

B-Team vs Heavy Machinery
A simple win to build Heavy Machivery for their tag title shot. Followed by some boring guy from Raw showing up and hitting the B-Team with a chair. Dull.

Not Particularly Mean Street Posse/Miz Promo
WWE being deluded about how good their product is would explain how bad it is, instead Miz’s promo made it clear that their well-aware of why both shows are steaming piles of crap: too much Shane and his goons and no opportunities for anyone else. Miz being on both shows is equally unnecessary, it’s not like he adds star power that the unused Smackdown midcarders don’t have.

Awesome Truth vs Elias/McIntyre
Truth gets good crowd reactions, so of course he was eliminated first leaving a boring handicap match for Miz to lose. The 24/7 title gets some of the 205 Live guys on TV I suppose. Elias will never amount to much as a wrestler, but does take a beating quite well. McIntyre tries so hard to be intense that he just comes off incredibly bland instead.

Backstage
Hi, have you seen Mandy and Sonya, even though they’re directly in front of me when I keep walking in a straight line a few seconds later? They weren’t even hidden by the stack of empty boxes, I’m worried Ember’s dumb comtacts are affecting her vision.

Not sure why they repeat the entire Firefly Fun House segments from Raw, they’re weird when watched once, kind of stupid and over-long when watched again.

24/7 Title Change!
Maverick losing his tits over winning the title was the kind of thing you’d get in peak Attitude Era.

Owens/Zayn vs Kofi/Rollins
For the second day in a row, Owens and Zayn ended up in a 2 out of 3 falls match for no reason and for the second day in a row, Sami got pinned in the extra fall. A decent main event match, Rollins is good at the wrestling, it’s just everything else about him that sucks right now. As the closing for a show before a PPV it was weird, sure Heyman was there to remind you Brock will probably be the mystery ref, but there was no link between the match to anything happening on Sunday.

Final Thoughts
Raw and Smackdown are very alike at the moment, lots of the same people appeared on both shows, both had main events unconnected to anything else going on and both did a poor job of promoting Stomping Grounds. Despite all the people on both shows, Smackdown’s Roman Reigns didn’t appear on Smackdown.

The first hour of Smackdown was actually fine, despite being stale and played out over the years, Ziggler felt fresh just because he wasn’t on Raw. As soon as Shane and the gang showed up, it just became the fourth hour of Raw.

Being an hour shorter definitely helps, but effectively being Raw 2 hurts Smackdown from being as good as it could. Lets call it a 5, the score doesn’t really matter as reviewing these is a one-off. Better than Raw isn’t much of a compliment.

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Score: 5