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SmackDown results, recap, reactions (Apr. 24, 2020): Triple H, this is your life!

Shawn Michaels came out and talked about Triple H’s career. He showed a DX blooper reel of past promos and segments from the late 90’s to DX’s last run. Stephanie McMahon, Ric Flair, and Road Dogg FaceTime into the segment, with Stephanie chastising Michaels for mocking her and called him a no good lazy eyed something as Triple H hung up.

A video package was played of him losing a bunch of times at WrestleManias and then the all mighty Vince McMahon made an appearance. Vince mocked the segment and said that Triple H was boring, while listing off old segments like Katie Vick and Bayley, this is your life, which he said wasn’t Bayley’s fault. (Phew!) He said he loves his son in law Paul and then made the lighting crew turn off the lights to end the show.

This was a light hearted fun segment for Triple H’s 25th anniversary. They didn’t go back to the usual DX reunion type of a thing they normally do with Triple H and Shawn. My oh my, have we lost the Vince McMahon we knew and loved years ago or what? I admire the man, but he’s been more miss than hit on the microphone in the past few years. You can clearly tell that he’s not scripted, and if he is, he’s not following it. He was all over the place. Nonetheless, a fun time and no fan favorite was buried! Yeah I’ll never forget that random Wade Barrett pedigree, Paul.

Aside from that, personally I’ve always enjoyed Triple H. I’ll never forget, before my long hiatus from WWE from about 2001 to 2012, watching Triple H get his ass whupped by Rock and Stone Cold and even back then, I loved his My Time entrance theme. I had the benefit of falling out of love with wrestling and missing the infamous Reign of Terror, but have watched a bunch of stuff from back then, including the Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H match for the World Heavyweight championship on the last Raw of 2003 which ended up being my favorite of theirs. The Authority was great, too. Well, until Seth Rollins had his own little Reign of Terror and I couldn’t watch WWE for weeks, late in 2016.

I want to thank Triple H for something very important to wrestling though, and that’s NXT. Love him or hate him, he deserves praise for getting that promotion up to where it is today and giving us incredible men like Balor, Owens, Undisputed Era, The Shield, Gargano and Ciampa, and also a reinvigorated main roster women’s division because of Sasha, Bayley, Becky, Charlotte, Asuka, and many others. Congratulations, Papa H!

New Blood

Big E and Kofi came out to start the show and talked up their tag title victory. They named teams like the Hart Foundation, British Bulldogs, New Age Outlaws, and Edge and Christian as teams they’ve had more reigns than. As Big E lauded over Tom Brady signing with Tampa, Lucha House Party interrupted. They congratulated the New Day for becoming eight-time tag champs, but mentioned having to wait in a never ending line to get a shot at the tag titles. Miz and Morrison interrupted them and walked right by without acknowledging them.

Miz took issue with New Day claiming victory as the result of a singles match, which as I said about the Usos previously, is silly because you did it anyway and never once said it was unfair! I digress. Miz said they don’t deserve the titles and that New Day makes the titles and the tag division look like a joke.

As all this is going on, the Forgotten Sons came out and Steve Cutler introduced himself and his brethren. He was mad that they’ve been treated like trash after serving their country. Jaxson Ryker called Miz a poser for playing a Marine in the movies and they attacked New Day and all hell broke loose.

Someone must have read my pleas for new teams in the past few weeks, because it was quite refreshing to not have the typical New Day, Usos, and Miz and Morrison reprise. That silly trope of everyone needing to cut a promo however… yeah that wasn’t necessary. That other silly trope of interruption after interruption made this segment way too long. Lucha House Party you could argue deserve a title shot, but they did lose their last match. Forgotten Sons, yo, y’all just got here! And you need to work on your promos.

The Forgotten Sons were the highlight here, naturally. Grizzled, new to the main roster, and apparently literal, vets who can strike at any time. Ok, fine. I’m not quite sure exactly what them being vets is supposed to add to this story but hopefully we don’t get their families thrown into storylines like Lacey. No one wants that.

Revisionist History

There’s a problem that must be addressed that needs its own special slot for my recap. Alright, so Braun and Bray have history together. That’s definite. Braun was recruited for the Wyatt family in Harper’s absence after he got injured. He was in the family for a year, and then suddenly was on his own on Raw when the brand split came back in 2016.

There was no reason given for this. At all. They just moved on. Bray would drop Rowan but then Rowan would get injured and Harper came back, Orton joined the group, then turned on the group, and so on. Braun became a hit with his squash matches, and then his wonderful feud with Roman Reigns as a damn horror movie Michael Meyers like character. Never giving up, always around the corner, “I’M NOT FINISHED WITH YOU!”

All the while, neither person mentioned one another. Now all of a sudden, Braun betrayed the Wyatt family. He… didn’t. Not what happened. Going back and looking at their history is great and all, but when there’s a five year gap between then and now, with no in between, that’s a problem. It won’t be addressed and this is what we’re getting but I feel like this is WWE’s problem that they can’t unfortunately get out of, because they never provided an angle where this would make logistical sense. They just dropped Braun from the Wyatt family and that was it. This has always been one of my biggest issues with WWE’s start and stop pushes and occasional nonsensical way of booking. Be better at this.

The Rest

Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross def. Carmella and Dana Brooke - Dana and Carmella started really strong before the break. Really awesome spot where Nikki tagged in as Carmella did the Frankensteiner. This was quick and I did not expect Dana and Carmella to get that much offense in. The finish looked real weird though, with a “modified 3-D” as Corey Graves called it.

Corey, stop trying to make modified 3-D happen. It’s not going to happen.

King Corbin def. Drew Gulak - This sucks. Corbin sucks. So, if you like Drew Gulak, you liked this match. Drew’s a great mat based wrestler and Corbin is a decent wrestler with probably the most protected finish in WWE. For some reason Sami’s crew decided to side with Corbin here which ok cool, but WHERE’S SAMI?!? I miss you, man.

Also, I will LOSE IT if Corbin wins the briefcase. Absolutely lose it. No. No, please God, no. Noooooooo.

Lucha House Party def. Miz and Morrison - This was a surprise! Here I was just sittin’ here enjoying a fast paced match, already having typed out Miz and Morrison def. Lucha House Party and I was swerved! Dorado’s springboard stunner was wonderful and Morrison looks perfect in matches like this. Miz ate the pin for the second week and that leads me to believe that we’ll start seeing some dissension soon. My biggest hope is that this continues LHP in the tag title scene and it’s not just dropped because, as I mentioned before, that is definitely something that could happen.

Lacey Evans def. Sasha Banks - Sasha walked down the ramp with Lacey’s daughter as a makeshift fan and I am smitten. I appreciated the wrath that came from Lacey. Great finish that saw Bayley assist Sasha without the ref seeing it, but it wasn’t enough and the ref is distracted by her in the ropes while Sasha could have won. This was better than I expected.

After the match Tamina came out and superkicked Bayley on the stage. Sasha being the great friend she is… just stood there. More dissension teased from two teams that were in that intriguing hacker video last week.

Sheamus def. Daniel Vidot - We knew what was happening here. Decent showing for Daniel Vidot. That stare into the camera as he pinned Vidot though. That looked real good. No Sheamus bickering about it this time though, which I was looking forward to.

SIKE! Sheamus destroyed Michael Cole’s headset after the break.

Jeff Hardy’s Redemption - After his downfall, we are treated to the surprise return of the Hardy Boyz at WrestleMania 33. Possibly the loudest pop of the modern era. CM Punk returning in Chicago will be the next one, if that ever happens. Next week will be the conclusion, or rather The Comeback, of Jeff Hardy.

SmackDown was a fun show! There were a few low spots, like Forgotten Sons’ promo, Corbin winning against Drew Gulak, continuous lack of Sami Zayn, the “modified 3-D”, and Vince’s jumbled promo.

My favorite match ended up being LHP and Miz and Morrison. I always knew that type of match is Morrison’s best and we need more of those. Dorado and Metalik were really good in this sprint and I’m really hoping we get more of them. I’m also intrigued to see Sheamus’ next move regarding Jeff Hardy. Michael Cole might want to refrain from even saying his name next time. The lack of Braun Strowman was odd but I think what they did, even though it’s revisionist history, was better than generic promo, throw to a video package, “At (enter PPV), (enter opponent’s name) is gonna Get. These. Hands.”

Grade: B

What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?

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