Off the backs of a decent Stomping Grounds, we might see the WWE main roster string together something cohesive!
Is that asking too much?
I mean yeah, the last few matches of Stomping Grounds were the worst part of the show. Oh no, so will we get more focus on the boring stuff?
Well dammit, right?
- The New Day & The Usos vs The Revival & Rowan and Daniel Bryan: Usos win via Splash – * ½
- 24/7 Championship Match: R-Truth (c) vs Drake Maverick: R-Truth wins via Lie Detector – N/A
- Shane McMahon & Drew McIntyre vs Roman Reigns: No Contest? – *
- Viking Raiders vs Gallows & Anderson: Raiders win via Viking Experience – * ½
- Kofi Kingston vs Sami Zayn: Kofi wins via Cradle – **
- Kofi Kingston vs Kevin Owens: Kofi wins via Countout – (-*) – Yes that’s Negative
- Alexa Bliss vs Naomi: Bliss wins via Bliss DDT – N/A
- Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs Naomi & Natalya: Alexa wins via The Purge – **
- Ricochet vs AJ Styles: Styles wins via Phenomenal Forearm – *** 3/4
So Raw starts the same way Stomping Grounds ended with Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch, Lacey Evans and Baron Corbin. None of this was engaging, Becky and Seth have no chemistry together during the segment…just wow. The surprising highlight of this segment was Baron Corbin. Regardless of non sequiturs, he made reference of understanding Lacey’s perspective and they actually have good chemistry together. I have less than zero interest in an Mix Tag Winner Take All, but Baron and Lacey saved the segment from being a complete waste of time.
Well this tag match was also the first we get to see this new concept of no commercial breaks during match action, and it sucked. The match was very awkward, the tension with the Champion side felt awkward and forced. Then the weird “restart” to a normal tag after the first 2 eliminations seemed like too obvious of a device to enforce the commercial concept. The match was kind of crap too on top of just awkward with these commercials.
Braun pulling a truck, Jesus why. This is complete crap.
Miz TV starts off okay enough with R-Truth claiming people are trying to trick him, dressing up like cops to tell him his music is too loud or his car is on fire. Then Drake Maverick comes out, which is all fine. I love the fact he’s still in his wedding attire. But he loses the match in like 5 seconds and something that could’ve been a different spin on the 24/7, just becomes more of the same.
Shane and Drew did exactly what people expected. Undertaker making the save seems EXTREMELY forced. Unless they try to run some kind of respect angle between him and Reigns, coupled with his general issues with McMahons, it’s still loose at best. Yes yes, try to suspend disbelief. But after a heavily panned match against Goldberg and now a match involving Shane McMahon…it’s hard to care about.
Ugh Tug of War…get the hell out of here. Figure it out. This is a terrible feud with pointless Strongman competitions when they have made it obvious that Braun is superior.
The only good thing to come from this AJ segment was this concept that while No Way Jose chases the 24/7 Title, his conga line is just wandering aimlessly backstage looking for a new leader.
Vikings weren’t going to lose to a spiraling Good Brothers. The match was fairly enjoyable until Machine Gun decides to go into cocky crap. He needs to drop this extra cheese because they have big stacks and remember who the hell they are. A Big Mac may help…
Mojo and Heath Slater get interrupted by 24/7 shenanigans. That’s definitely insulting to me since they are two characters with no real direction and something more tangible than hot potato and Benny Hill chases would be good. It was a little nice to see Slater, Cedric Alexander and EC3 pick up a title win before Truth eventually gets it back. But the allure is starting to wear off.
Ricochet needs to not talk until he gets better at it. Someone get him an acting coach or something.
Kofi and Sami have a decent match after a cringe worthy verbal back and forth. Owens challenges him to a second match, and it’s beyond stupid. The countout was hard to swallow, the whole short stint of whatever that was supposed to be, just made Sami and Kevin look like jabronis.
Naomi loses by dumb crap and then Natalya comes out. Nattie really has no persona of her own cause from Ronda to Beth Phoenix to Naomi (and I feel like I’m missing one), but Nattie is always the good friend or best friend of the face in peril. Moronic. I’m not even gonna talk about the tag match, this whole segment was just dumb with decent ring work interspersed in the stupidity.
Ricochet versus AJ Styles was a great TV main event. Ricochet is basically AJ 10 years ago, and AJ acknowledged that, but also showed the veteran savvy by taking a few veteran short cuts. Leaning on Ricochet during the Arm Ringer attempted escape, little near misses, the Reverse DDT adjustment and catching him for the Forearm were just nice little crafty maneuvers. This sets up nicely for a bigger better title match down the line.
Overall Score: 5.5/10
A decent show that loses a half point because the Lucha House Party was around too frequently, but still okay. The commercial timing hurts the flow of the show though. Especially when you stop at a low point, have a 3 minute commercial break, come back for 7 minutes and then go out for 3 again (yes I kept track in the third hour). Profressional sports have ebbs and flows and occasional long stretches between TV timeouts or legit timeouts. All of this stop and start is awful, and will just cause people to wander through the channels.
SmackDown Live Ratings:
- The New Day vs Rowan & Daniel Bryan: New Day wins via Up Up Down Down – ** 3/4
- New Day & Heavy Machinery vs Daniel Bryan, Rowan, Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens: Heavy Machinery wins via Compactor – **
- 2 out of 3 Falls: Elias vs The Miz: Elias wins via Elbow Drop (2-1) – ** ¼
- Bayley vs Nikki Cross: Nikki wins via Sloppy Cradle – **
- Ember Moon vs Sonya Deville: Sonya wins via Ring Post – N/A
- 2 out of 3 Falls: Kofi Kingston vs Dolph Ziggler: Kofi wins via Trouble in Paradise (2-1) – *** ¼
Shane comes out and really says nothing. It doesn’t add to excitement or tension, it really just explains what everyone can see and already knows. Roman and Taker, blah blah, I’m not scared, blah blah, McMahon.
New Day comes out and then so does Dolph and I immediately stop caring. No matter how many decent matches Ziggler can put on, he’s not a convincing or engaging character. If I ever see him wrestle after tonight, it will be too soon.
Elias and Miz have a decent back and forth. Shane comes out and even he’s marginally amusing. So this set up was fine, even though we all saw the writing on the wall.
So the tag match was definitely solid. Even though New Day is coming off the loss to Owens and Zayn, and a fairly quick loss in the Elimination match on Raw, with them picking up the win it restabilizes why they’re in the picture at all.
Owens and Zayn attacking New Day for Heavy Machinery to make a save, sure I suppose. It keeps the main players involved for what may devolve into a Fatal 4 way for the titles. But for now we get an okay 8 man tag since excuses are needed to commercials.
It’s at this point that we learn Nikki has earned a match against Bayley. If Nikki wins, Alexa gets a rematch at Extreme Rules.
The second fall in the Elias/Miz match has the most consistent action, so that’s where most of the rating comes from. First was tainted and third was a complete clown fiesta. I get the point of Shane’s heel owner character, it’s just too much and too often for my tastes. I’d love for him to get thrown into electrical wires or something and be written off TV for the rest of the year.
Hey look Finn is alive and the insinuation is Nakamura is next in line for the Intercontinental belt! Okay…I can get behind this.
You know what’s sad about Bayley versus Nikki? It was a pretty solid match, up until the ending sequence. Botched Crucifix Pins, slow and sloppy roll-ups and cradles…it was all just really hard to watch. I’m glad Nikki won, cause she’s an adorable psycho. But that match ending ruined a solid match.
R-Truth being kind of a dick to poor disheveled and defeated Drake Maverick. The man peed himself for our amusement, “ruined” his wedding and can’t have sex with his wife all for us. Mean R-Truth is mean.
Ember and Sonya in a throw away match just to get us to the obvious direction of Carmella backing up Ember and then a tag match probably. Color by numbers is fun kids.
Aleister is now a whiny bitch that him sitting in a dark room hasn’t given him a queue of suitors. But someone finally knocks at the end. Ugh, unless it’s Bray, I want nothing to do with this.
Kofi and Dolph follow the obvious commercial set up for the first 2 falls, but the third fall was pretty damn good. I still don’t care, and I’m tickled that Kofi hopefully ended Dolph’s involvement on SmackDown. But when I don’t really care about the participants it’s hard to get sucked into the match.
Overall Score: 5.5/10
Honestly? I zoned out through this entire show. It felt like a Kindergarten puzzle from the 80s with those big obvious pieces. I’d glance up, and feel like I missed nothing. SmackDown has been a rolling doughnut of disappointment for the last month or so.