These last two weeks were rough. Did WWE get better? Can it get worse? Did I just jinx it?
I don’t know what to think honestly. The last two weeks were rough and now we have two Go Home episodes that are taped. Seems like odd scheduling…but I guess we’ll see?
Firefly Fun House is always a high point. Roman and Miz being on the babyface side of an angle together, and being effective is interesting.
There are elements that can make this work. Let’s see.
- The Miz & Roman Reigns vs Bobby Lashley & Elias: Reigns & Miz win via DQ – ** ½
- Mojo Rawley vs Apollo Crews: Rawley wins via Alabama Slam – N/A
- Ricochet vs Baron Corbin: Corbin wins via End of Days – ** ¼
- Dana Brooke vs Natalya vs Nikki Cross vs Naomi: Cross wins via Hangman Spinning Neckbreaker – **
- Rey Mysterio vs Cesaro: Mysterio wins via Frog Splash – **
- Fall Count Anywhere: Braun Strowman vs Sami Zayn: Zayn wins via Claymore – ***
We start off with Miz TV, and honestly this was done very well. Miz tried to go back to cocky and fun, but Roman stuck a plug in that. Said he came out for the Miz last week, showed the clip and Miz’s personality became more serious. Roman was so relaxed and natural in this it was fantastic.
Then we get Shane interrupting them, saying it’s over cueing Lashley and Elias to attack them from behind. This version of Shane is great. He feels he’s above the law, and the fact that Vince said as much last week just adds a nice wrinkle to this Shane heel character.
As for the match, it wasn’t bad at all. Little bit on the loose and fun side, but who’s going to complain about fun?
Speaking of bad promos, Braun is on TV. Apparently Shane wants to talk to him. Sami convinces Shane that Braun should put up his MiTB availability in a Fall Count Anywhere match. Braun accepts, and I pray that something happens so Braun loses.
Mojo and Apollo are next. Do you want people to change the channel? Sheesh, I get the last two segments had “main event names” but none of them are interesting enough to capture attention, and then a match no one cares about isn’t helping. I like the fact they’re doing something with Mojo, but no one knows why he’s got the face paint or a reason to care about this.
Okay finally a golden segment. Alexa is complaining her gear was lost on her flight and who happens to be around to lend the Goddess a helpful hand? Nikki Cross! Alexa grins at some point thinking she’s manipulating Nikki into doing her dirty work, but once Alexa walks off, Nikki smiles and goes into crazy mode.
God this contract signing was hard to sit through. Becky saying nothing new, Lacey doing great character work and Charlotte struggling on the mic and trying to jam in extra words when Lacey is giving moments a second to breathe. The matches will most likely be alright, but Charlotte is a travesty on the microphone. Lacey is the best thing in a pretty little bonnet, and Becky is…just Becky. Sad to think that The Man was the hottest gimmick for a few months and now since she’s at the top…that character plateaued hard.
Ricochet and Corbin was fine. Nothing special, because no matter how good of a job Corbin may be doing with his character – he’s still boring as hell in the ring. It’s always neat to see how he finds new ways to hit the End of Days, but nothing really noteworthy in this match.
Cesaro approaches Mysterio because well, Samoa Joe isn’t there, so I guess Cesaro is the fill in. Ok.
This 4 way ladder match was alright. Not bad, not really good, but Nikki again did great character work. Bliss was on commentary being surprised, but acting like she won after Cross picks up the win. So Nikki helps Alexa put the ladder up in the ring and when she goes to climb, Alexa stops her and proceeds, but Nikki lets it happen. This could be a wonderfully nuanced story with Alexa thinking she has a new minion, but Nikki is basically just borrowing Alexa’s spotlight so ‘Nikki can play’. I hope this is more than a one week throw away. This could be gold.
Now I’ll preface this with, I really do enjoy Cesaro’s work. I know what he’s capable of, from Claudio Castagnoli to NXT to the main roster. This match, just really didn’t stand out to me. The ring work was fine, save for the super botched Swiss-1-9, but this really just blended into the background. No offense to either, but a match with no real weight and just two good wrestlers, really gets old when WWE likes to pride itself on stories.
YAY! Firefly Fun House! We start by playing some hide and go seek, we see Rambling Rabbit has a big bandage on his face, but he’s no longer torn asunder. Then Bray wants to show us his secret! Is it balloons filled with candy? A new painting? The blueprints to a bank that he recently robbed and then turned into a strip club? Oh none of that? …there’s still darkness in his mind? Ok. COREY TAYLOR! BRAY IS ACTUALLY THE LEAD SINGER OF SLIPKNOT!!! OMG!!
In seriousness, Fun House was great, it’s a great reveal and ideally can only ascend to even greater things.
We get a video package that shows old NWA Wildside footage and just generally well done. The video package did a better job hyping the match than anything Seth and AJ have said and will say. WWE should’ve just stopped the package there, because those two talking doesn’t get anyone to bite in. More good video packages, less bad promos please.
Now y’all shut up! This was a damn good match, and I’ll explain why. It used…wrestling…LOGIC! *GASP*
The heels, which have issues with Braun and wouldn’t want him in the match for selfish perseverance, go out of their way to insure that Braun loses. This is fantastic. MADE PERFECT, because Corbin throws Zayn out after Braun comes to, as to feed him to the now rampaging monster. Wonderful. Plus, Braun sucks, so taking him out of MiTB just makes me happy.
Overall Score: 7/10
Anyone that listens to Raw Reaction knows that I have some biases that add or subtract to the total. No Lucha House Party and a tremendous Fun House, added a full point to what is more objectively a 6 out of 10 show. So I give it a 7, because my extra credit scoring methods give me a way to always get some enjoyment out of this. Good show!
SmackDown Live Ratings:
- Randy Orton vs Finn Balor vs Andrade vs Ali: Andrade wins via Hammerlock DDT – ***
- The Usos & Roman Reigns vs Elias, Shane McMahon, Rowan & Daniel Bryan: Shane wins via Coast to Coast – ** ¾
- Asuka & Kairi Sane vs Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville: Asuka wins via Crucifix Pin – ** 1/4
Big Dog and A Lister back at it again! The best sequel in WWE this week! After some banter Shane, Elias and Rowan & Daniel Bryan show up to beat them down. The Usos slide in for the save, so we’ve got the Bloodline back together. A match gets made that sees Shane ban Miz from ringside and schedules a 3v4 Handicap Match, calling himself a hands on owner. So yeah…super power trip Shane is interesting.
This was a damn solid 4 way. You’ve got 4 great participants that can work, a few built in dislikes and the amusing point that everyone is starting to fake out Randy at least once, when they assume he’ll go for an RKO, is just great stuff. A lot of action ending in a great sequence with Ali eating an RKO, Orton eating a Springboard Dropkick and then Andrade hit’s the Feint Back Elbow on Finn to lead into the Hammerlock DDT and the win! Before Andrade can climb the ladder and pose, Ricochet’s music hits, he springboards on the ladder, knocks Andrade off and runs away with the briefcase.
Generic hype for the SmackDown Women’s title match. Meh
Lacey shows up too! And gives…I guess a promo. It wasn’t bad, just felt super unnecessary and didn’t really do much but hit the same points from Monday.
Handicap match was really solid. Jey Uso took a beating, but the Bloodline fought back nicely. Had a bunch of solid hope spots including the Young Bucks Superkick Party. But the numbers were too much and Shane hits a Coast to Coast on Jey for the pinfall. Good stuff.
SmackDown lies too all of us calling the Firefly Fun House a new episode, but it was the same from Monday. BOO! BOO!
I am not calling Asuka and Kairi the Kabuki Warriors. What the hell is that? Sure yes, Asuka comes out in Kabuki masks, but Kairi is a pirate. It’s a crap name. The match was fine, but the name is crap. IIconics were on commentary and I agree with them, the name sucks. Kabuki Warriors, why does it need to be Japanese influenced? Why couldn’t they just be The Pirates of Tomorrow?
KO Show closes things and honestly is really paint by numbers; until Sami Zayn comes out at the end to help KO beat down Kofi. So yeah, this did nothing for me, aside from make me happy that Sami is being used fairly well.
Overall Score: 6/10
Average show, nothing great, just a generally skippable episode. AND HOW DARE YOU LIE ABOUT FIREFLY FUN HOUSE! The first week I understood running it back to back to make sure to get maximum exposure, but the big Demon reveal and then lying it was new during this episode like SmackDown’s audience is really THAT much different than Raw’s.
Also this show lost points for Kabuki Warriors…almost as bad as Viking Experience. What happens next? Io Shirai gets called up and we call them the Patriot Experience?
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE 205 Live (5/21/19)
Did the 205 Live Crew deliver this week?
Tiffany Takes time to look into this week’s edition of WWE 205 Live. Did the Cruiserweight Division deliver?
After a tough bout at Money in the Bank, where does the Cruiserweight Championship (and all of the WWE 205 Live crew) go now?
Singh Brothers vs Jack Gallagher and Humberto Carrillo: I was a little disappointed that Lucha House Party’s RSVP got lost in the mail, but I’m assuming that they’re selling the beatdown from Lars Sullivan. However, it was nice to see that things are good-ish between Carrillo and Gallagher after last week. However, it sucks that the Singhs still lost! Sure, they look like cut rate male strippers in their ring gear, but they’re really talented should be getting better than being beat every week, didn’t they suffer enough of that working for Jinder Mahal?
Fatal Five Way: Akira Tozawa vs Brian Kendrick vs Mike Kanellis vs Oney Lorcan vs Ariya Daivari: Before I discuss this match and how much I hate multi-man matches that aren’t for a title or a contendership, I want to praise Maria Kanellis for her tribute to the late Ashley Massaro, who passed away over the weekend. During Maria’s first run in WWE way back when, she and Massaro were friends and sometimes on-screen partners and allies, including the storyline of Ashley convincing Maria to pose for Playboy, over the objections of Maria’s onscreen boyfriend, Santino Marella. Yes, THAT Santino Marella. Maria wrote Ashley’s name on the palm of her left hand and showed it as she and Mike Kanellis did their pose. I know Maria has talked about how much Ashley meant to her, but it was nice to see her pay tribute to her former friend, especially since WWE has made no further mention of Massaro outside of a ‘In Memory Of’ at Money in the Bank. Plus, I loved her outfit.
Back to the ACTUAL match. I really hate when WWE does multi-man matches that don’t really have a purpose. This match wasn’t for a #1 Contendership, it was just to put the five top-ish guys in the ring and see what happened. I was actually stunned that Tozawa won since I still think Daivari is going to be going for the championship in Saudi Arabia, but it was interesting to see Tozawa and Kendrick mix it up a little. Kanellis’ bad luck continues to be frustrating, it’s hard to see what, if anything, WWE has planned for him other than just having him lose every week.
Overall Thoughts: So, how was 205 this week? It was a little…lacking. It had two great matches but it felt like there wasn’t a real direction they were heading. The Fatal Five Way was just to see who was the best but that logic was a little dumb because it was more about who was opportunistic than who was better in the ring.
I did enjoy the team of Gallagher and Carrillo, but I can see Carrillo’s gimmick, whatever it is, getting old really quick. Hopefully the teaming with Gallagher will give Carrillo more of an edge, like teaming with Sasha Banks gave Bayley more of an edge.
I still think it’s going to be Nese vs Daivari II at Super Show Down, but we’ll have to wait and see.
That’s it for Tiffany’s 205 Takes! Tune in tomorrow for my takes on the NXTs!
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE SmackDown Live (5/21/19)
Did Smackdown deliver in your eyes?
WWE followed up an eventful edition of Raw with another eventful edition of WWE Smackdown Live, and Tiffany has her Takes on the entire thing!
After the shocking events of Money in the Bank, how will SmackDown move into SummerSlam season?
Money In the Bank: I’m already over this. The yapbox for Mr. Money in the Bank managed to be so obnoxious tonight, it made want to do things with that briefcase that are physically impossible. Hopefully the fact that there hasn’t been a successful men’s Money in the Bank cash-in since Dean Ambrose in 2016 will hold true.
WWE Championship: I felt really bad for Sami Zayn. Here he is, becoming a top heel, but he gets sacrificed after a great match with Kingston, just so Dolph Ziggler, who hasn’t been on TV since January, can walk in and get a title shot. Really? Plus, what was Ziggler’s malfunction? Way he was acting, you’d think Kingston double crossed him or something.
As for Ziggler, I actually rolled my eyes at his explanation. Ziggler got the shit knocked out of him by McIntyre back in January and hasn’t shown his face since. WWE wasn’t denying him a damn thing, so the idea that he was more deserving of Kofi’s spot is nonsense. Sit down, Dolph.
One thing I found interesting was the whole situation with Big E, the real one, not the fake schmuck that came out first. Big E and Ziggler were once business associates when E first debuted on the Main Roster, the fact that E got conveniently taken out, leaving Kingston without his New Day pals raises some serious questions.
WWE 24/7 Championship: There’s a lot of things you can say about Carmella, but she’s a good friend. Not only did she spend most of her evening trying to help R-Truth keep the WWE 24/7 Championship, sacrificing a chance to pummel Mandy Rose in the process,she even tried to help him with his disguise and didn’t take advantage of him to try and grab the belt for herself. That’s friendship.
Women’s Championship: So, Emmie Slattery (Lacey Evans) and India Wilkes (Charlotte Flair) took on Scarlett O’Hara (Becky Lynch) and…I hate to refer to Bayley as Melanie Wilkes, but I’ve painted myself into that corner with the ‘Gone with the Wind’ references. ANYWAY, the two Women’s Champs took on the women they beat on Sunday. Charlotte was clearly still mad about losing her title less than five minutes after she won it, but not only did she and Emmie not win, but CHARLOTTE took the pin. However, don’t be fooled into thinking things are rainbows and unicorns between Scarlett and Melly. Becky and Charlotte are owed rematches and Becky’s coming to collect hers.
Mustafa Ali vs Andrade: God love Mustafa Ali. He took a hell of a beating on Sunday and lost the opportunity, that RUMOR says he was promised, to be the Money in the Bank winner, but then he and his poor back got another pounding at the hands of Andrade. However, unlike what happened at Money in the Bank, Ali refused to let another victory be snatched away and fought through what looked like serious pain to pin Andrade and leave Rhode Island a winner.
Roman Reigns vs Elias: Remember when everyone predicted that Drew McIntyre would be a world champ and the best thing since sliced bread last year? Well, he’s back in the position he always seems to end up in: Lackey to someone with more personality than him. It was revealed on Monday that Shane was using McIntyre as his new muscle and used him to punish Roman Reigns after Reigns defeated Elias yet again. Problem is that Reigns is great at getting guys over, but unless he can manufacture a personality and charisma for McIntyre, this feud is going to be a waste of time because McIntyre is as interesting as beige paint and barely gets a reaction.
Overall Thoughts: So, how was SmackDown? Well, it was actually pretty good. There was a lot of of story progression as WWE gears up for Saudi Arabia, Mudhole Stomping, or whatever the next US PPV is, and SummerSlam season.
I will admit to being hesitant about the 24/7 championship and there are some issues I see with it long term, but right now it’s a hoot to watch and definitely helps break up the show.
I’m ‘bleh’ on Ziggler vs Kingston. They always have great chemistry, but this whole situation is uncomfortable and weird. It feels like whoever WWE actually wanted to put with Kingston in Saudi Arabia is refusing to go and so they’re putting in Ziggler just so the match will be on the card.
Becky and Bayley was a great team up, but it’s clear that Becky isn’t going to be leaving SmackDown anytime soon, RAW Women’s Champion or not. Charlotte taking the pin was odd, but very satisfying to see.
The whole thing with Reigns and Shane is good, but it seems that WWE hasn’t given up on trying to get McIntyre over with the crowd with or without a personality. Vince is a stubborn one.
That’s it for Tiffany’s SmackDown Takes! Up next is 205 Live!