WWE Friday Night SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (July 18, 2014) from Fayetteville, North Carolina, with a taped show featuring the go home episode to the Battleground pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for this Sunday night in Tampa, Florida. That's about what there is to say about this filler show.
Click here to go back to read the live blog. Let's get to reacting to it:
You can't kill me cause I'm already inside you
Remember back on Raw on Monday night when John Cena and Roman Reigns couldn't get along so Dean Ambrose popped in from the Titantron to appeal to their senses, namely that they had to team together that evening so they should unite against common enemies? And remember how those common enemies, Seth Rollins, Kane, and Randy Orton, all showed up as if from nowhere to beat the ever loving shit out of Ambrose and Cena and Reigns did absolutely nothing to stop it? And remember how WWE didn't even acknowledge this, never once showing what the hell it was exactly that Cena and Reigns were doing in the ring while Ambrose, their partner that night, was getting stomped by three guys?
Well, SmackDown opened with Ambrose full of piss and vinegar, a mic in his hand and hatred in his heart.
And he didn't say a damn word about it.
Outside of the fact that this looks like WWE conveniently forgot to fill that particular plot hole, I actually like that Ambrose couldn't care less about getting any assistance and is far more concerned with his overwhelming disdain for Rollins. He is so wrapped up in the contempt he feels for his former stablemate that he's completely ignorning the fact that his other former stablemate left him high and dry.
He doesn't see the forest, he sees the tree and he wants so badly to cut it down he can't see the dangers lurking around him. Or if he can, he's unconcerned with them.
As for Rollins, he completed his turn to Triple H underling the moment he propped up how attractive a match between the two would be at the box office. Because apparently his primary concern is with how well they draw.
Greed will imprison us all. Just in different forms.
Segment grade: C
But not least:
- Hollywood Miz is likely going to lead to some of the best work of his career but the word "moneymaker" is already so played out on WWE television it's on the fast track to what I call a "flip off" word. I will immediately flip off my television upon hearing it.
- Everything about the Eva Marie-Alicia Fox-Nikki Bella segment felt forced, and awkward, and not at all like anything that should be appearing on a go home show to a pay-per-view. Alicia and Eva work a regular match for a short time then just suddenly decide to go after Nikki? If the idea was for Eva to get mad at a slow count that wasn't slow just to back Nikki into Alicia, who would gut shot her, why not skip all that and just book a regular match? This was silly.
- At what point do we wonder if WWE actually has no clue what to do with Stardust and that's why we're getting these wacky backstage segments with Twilight Zone references?
- Luke Harper proved last night he's one of the better workers on the entire roster and he's the best of the big men. He's got sneaky potential if WWE figures out a way to get him away from Bray Wyatt down the road and finds the right character for him. I don't know that he's main event level but he's already had good matches against main event level guys like what he did with Chris Jericho last night.
- What was with the uncharacteristically bad promo from Zeb Colter? He was stumbling over his words, putting emphasis in the wrong places, and his timing was all wrong. He looked tired and generally disinterested.
- Also, there is no more indication that SmackDown is a "B" show than the big go home angle for the Rusev-Jack Swagger match is to have the two vigorously wave flags at each other.
- Alberto Del Rio has made me laugh twice in his career. The first time was when he attempted to injure John Cena with a teddy bear and the second was last night when he said the Intercontinental championship has "eluded me for a very long time". Right. Because they can't say "They pushed me to the moon for years, I never did quite catch on despite multiple world title reigns, a Royal Rumble victory, and a Money in the Bank, and now I'm left fighting the Zack Ryder's of the world in battle royals for a title no one cares about".
- Be the fan you want to be and all that but if Bo Dallas isn't your hero, you're doing it wrong.
- During the Paige/AJ vs. Summer Rae/Layla match, there's a sequence where Layla and Summer hit the ropes to hit kicks on Paige. Layla does the old Kelly Kelly "just make sure my back touches" while Summer actually attacks the ropes and lets them spring her over for a far more effective looking spot. Go Summer, go.
- The AJ-Paige feud, by the way, still feels so very fresh that having the two wrestle at Battleground might be a mistake. There's a lot of mileage to get out of this good friends, better enemies schtick they have going. Another straight singles match feels too soon with the new angle on the story.
- We know times are hard in Stamford for a major multimedia corporation like WWE but this Sonic push? No, thanks.
This was a super underwhelming effort for a go home show. Another week, another SmackDown you could skip and not miss anything.
Overall Grade: D
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?