That’s a word that could accurately describe the opening segment of SmackDown.
While there was some truth, like the fact that really anyone could have gotten a Universal title match against Goldberg at WrestleMania, and the absolute fact that Bray Wyatt isn’t done with Braun, it fell flat. You’re not going to get a segment with puppets making fun of puppets and get me slappin’ my knee and guffawing.
So when Morrison said that Miz could beat Braun, while Miz was trying to get Morrison to stop talking because he, and we, knew where this was going, Braun happily accepted.
And Braun happily whooped that ass.
It was interesting to see Morrison throw his best friend to the wolf like that. He stood up to Braun as if he was going to fight him, but instead kept throwing Miz in and that part I liked about this segment. Lends to the break up angle the hacker’s been teasing.
Nothing of note happened during the match, but after, Johnny Ding Dong (thanks, Cole!) announced that he and Miz want a 2 on 1 handicap match for the Universal title at Backlash. Braun happily accepted that, too.
Continuing the trend of losers getting important matches, I see! Miz and Morrison just came off as total goofs in all of this. Shiloh and Dookie the rejected puppets, acting like kids who provoked the bully thinking they were not going to get repercussions for it, and they’ll get rewarded for it. Sure, that makes sense.
Nothing really offensive about Braun in any of this. If anything he was the smartest man in the room. For the opening segment, at least. Accepting a handicap match for your title when there’s a Money in the Bank holder on your brand, that decision is a head scratcher.
Also, does Braun not remember how he lost the Intercontinental title?
Broken Sonya Deville
Sonya broke into Matt Hardy’s wardrobe, while Mandy seemed to have broken into Daisy Duke’s wardrobe on another set.
The pairings of both Mandy and Otis and Sonya and Dolph are great. I was intrigued to see how Mandy and Otis would be in the ring together and I loved it. They look like a real life couple. Otis tried to hype up Mandy and Mandy tended to Otis while he was hurting on the floor. Sonya grounded Mandy and I hoped for there to not be a 50/50 here, and I was pleasantly surprised! Dolph deviously held Otis back as Sonya finished Mandy off.
Sonya has a nasty running knee and it works in her arsenal. She is well on her way to being a top heel in this company. Just to put a period at the end of the asshole sentence, Dolph superkicked Otis as he checked on Mandy after the match. What I really liked though, was that Otis was given time to be Otis, and not a turned up to 11 crazy man. Otis was more serious, and got in Sonya’s face when she was hurting Mandy.
That’s how it’s done. All 4 people here were booked to perfection on this show, as they have been for weeks. Tucker was not mentioned this week, and I feel like that’s by design. The longer he’s not shown or mentioned, the longer I feel he will be the one everyone thinks turns on Otis, but the real turncoat will have been in front of us all along.
AJ Styles def. Shinsuke Nakamura - AJ Styles has officially been traded to SmackDown, right after WWE was making a big deal about wrestlers being able to bounce around 4 times a year and whatever dumb rule they decided on this week.
Who else was waiting for the dick kick? Continuity, man! Really awesome spot here when Shinsuke locked a triangle choke and Styles countered with a Styles Clash. AJ hit the Phenomenal Forearm to win and I feel like I haven’t seen that move in forever! So we get AJ vs. Elias next week for the semi-finals and I believe that’s a first time match up? Google seems to agree.
Bayley def. Triple feature Charlotte Flair - Bayley has Elite level trash talk in her matches. One moment from the match Charlotte grabbed her hair and she said “That’s cheating! We don’t do that here” and I cackled. Charlotte calling for Sasha over the headset was a great moment too. I think she has really benefited from the no crowd era. I did not see Charlotte losing here. Though, it was not a clean win, as Bayley grabbed the ropes without the ref seeing it. Bayley had told Sasha to hang out in the back for this one, which immediately made me peg Charlotte as the winner, but this way was much better.
The right person won, and for a well booked reason! Charlotte tried to cheat, so naturally Bayley had to get her back. And what this did was establish Bayley as a cheater who will hide behind her supposed best friend when she can. If booked right, the turn should be unexpected, and has to be Bayley to Sasha.
Jeff Hardy def. Sheamus - Sheamus trash talked Cole and I loved it. Him and Bayley laying into him every show is hilarious and something we don’t see too often. Sheamus dominated for a nice portion of the match, even jogged around and smiled when he thought he had it in the bag. I love seeing Sheamus leaning into the smugness of this heel character. When Jeff rolled him up, he got BIG TIME MAD.
Bet I know what’s happening next week! Jeff Hardy will face Daniel Bryan and the winner will face the winner of Elias vs. Styles.
The following announcement has been paid for by tFs - The Forgotten Sons blood is on our hands, and its only fair that our blood is on theirs. Clearly they’ve had tough times adjusting to life at home. I don’t know where this is going and I’m not really liking it at the moment. These guys are on TV. Let them wrestle! Why has the tag division been put on the shelf for the past few weeks?
SmackDown was easy viewing tonight, and I think we can thank wrestling over talking. Raw was super talk heavy, while SmackDown took the wrestling approach with only one major talking segment for the whole show. Thank you! What I don’t thank WWE for are the weird ways that we get to certain matches, like Miz and Morrison getting a co-championship opportunity after losing. I get the circumstances but do better with this. The tag division should have something on the show every week, instead of one tag team facing the Universal champion for his title. They just had one person from three teams facing each other in two matches for the tag titles.
The matches with stakes tonight featured men and women who have history with each other and that made them even more enjoyable. Next week, my bet is AJ Styles wins and Daniel Bryan wins because Sheamus won’t stand idly by and let Jeff get away with embarrassing him. Let’s keep Jeff Hardy and Michael Cole in our thoughts.
Drew Gulak is gone and that makes me sad.
I personally thank WWE for a King Corbin-less show. That alone was refreshing.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?