The Aug. 30 episode of SmackDown Live continued the unlikely rise of Heath Slater as an extremely over mid-card babyface, with both a victory for the hottest free agent in sports entertainment & his “big ol’ refrigerator of an angel” partner in the tag tournament and a pre-taped comedy segment where Renee Young traveled to West Virginia to interview the Slater family in their single-wide trailer.
The latter bit, embedded above, seems to have gotten mixed reviews - or at least left viewers unsure what their reaction to it is. Which sounds a lot like some TNA segments from a couple months back. And while it’s not something anyone would accuse of copying the Hardy’s Contract Signing for Final Deletion, I think it definitely follows their lead in some interesting ways.
SmackDown is using a scene like this to build an in-ring story but also break-up the monotony of a show which takes place mostly inside the squared circle. They’re also intentionally walking a so-bad-it’s-good line which attracts attention and encourages viewers to discuss afterwards.
Also, of note is how the blue brand has been quietly making Young one of their main Superstars. Props to WWE for recognizing what a talent they have in the Canadian and continuing to find new ways to feature her that maximize her strengthes and don’t shoehorn her into situations where she doesn’t belong (like traditional wrestling feuds, a la 2012’s Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler, or Jonathan Coachman’s mid-aughts run as a heel).
Last, but certainly not least, is the magic which is the Republican nominee for 15th District seat in Michigan’s House of Representatives eating Saltines...
August 31, 2016
I’ve never been the biggest Rhyno fan, but he’s turning me into one. His work in NXT over the last year-plus has been solid, and I laugh out loud at every one of the Man-Beast’s facial expressions in this bit. There’s more meaning in his shrugging with a mouthful of cheesy cracker than in your average Apollo Crews interview (sorry, Apollo).
Seriously, the frown-face Cheese Whiz is in response to Renee asking Heath about interrupting Brock Lesnar on Raw a couple weeks back. How great is that?
Like many in the internet wrestling community, I’m quick to loudly criticize WWE for doing the same things over and over again - and not just in booking. They’re trying new things right now, particularly on SmackDown Live, so I wanted to quickly praise them for that.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to watching Rhyno eat Saltines and giggling.