Wednesday, March 27, 2019

4123 - Smackdown (March 26th, 2019):



So, in celebration of Kurt Angle's farewell tour that sees him have matches with guys that he faced in TNA, I decided to DVR last night's Smackdown and gave it a watch. Unlike RAW, this was a much easier viewing experience at a mere TWO hours. However, I've little to say on this show beyond the four points that I'll bring up after the break.



1. It Was A Countout And A Forfeit That Got Kofi To Mania
So there was another Gauntlet match to try and get poor Kofi his World title shot at Mania... except it was the other New Day fellows, E The Big and Woods The Creed, going at it against other tag-teams. They beat the Bar, they beat the evil Foreigners, the Usos forfeited the match, and then in the final round against Bryan and Rowan, they buried the poor vintner under the table and they got a countout victory. So yeah... Kofi's friends got lucky in that one team were their best buds and decided to take one for the team and the other team had the big guy buried under a table. But hey, Kofi made it to Mania and has his title match... and he didn't have to do a damn thing to earn it. Wow, what an incredible story being told here. B+ player my ass; this is barely crossing C- territory.

Here's the thing. I want to be excited about this match; Kofi is a good guy, Bryan is a good guy. Both guys can put on a good match that I'm sure will keep me awake on this ten-year-long PPV. The problem is that the build to this match that is supposed to generate interest is actually doing a far better job of killing it. There is very little to look forward to on this Mania card and even the few matches that I am looking forward is losing the shine due to shit storytelling.

2. Baby Flair Gets A Participation Championship
So they had this Beat The Clock challenge on RAW, where Ronda beat a Riott girl in a minute and change, which meant the other two girls had to beat the clock. Becky managed to beat the clock by a few seconds while Charlotte came up short. So, of course, the girl who came up short not only gets a shot at the Smackdown Women's title held by Asuka (remember her?), but of course, she ends up winning said title because fuck things making sense. So Ronda has a title, Baby Flair has a title, and Becky, the one who beat the clock remember, gets a T-shirt. This sure has the makings of a headliner match at Wrestlemania.

In a way, this doesn't bother me too much. If you don't have anything for your other champion, might as well give it to the other piece of that main event. And while the storytelling has been complete and utter shit, the match does hold some interest... perhaps moreso because it might mean an undisputed women's champion to come out of this. And if it ends the way it should end with the right woman winning, then it'd be a worthy main event indeed and the journey doesn't really matter.

As for Asuka? I wouldn't worry about her. Yeah, she's been an afterthought for the most part... but she'll be back... I guess... I'm holding out a fool's hope, aren't I?

3. Another Advert For The Global Wrestling Network... Also, Angle Is Old.
So they had another TNA reunion match between Kurt Angle and AJ Styles; a slow-paced, back and forth match that seemed sad and pathetic. Fortunately, here comes Randy Orton to save the day by RKO'ing AJ and getting poor Kurt disqualified. There goes his winning streak on this farewell tour. I suppose, all things considered, it's probably a good thing that his last match is going to be against Baro... wait, never mind. I almost said something I was going to regret dearly.

Now this AJ/RKO match, on the other hand? You know, I usually don't hold Randy in that regard; sometimes, his matches tend to be difficult to sit through. But when he's got his working shoes on, he can put on a good showing and maybe AJ is one of those guys that can get Randy on the run.

4. And Then, There's The Rest Of The Crap
So the 2Conics are apparently challengers to the Tag Titles for some reason... Shane vs. Miz is now Falls Count Anywhere... and I don't care a damn about any of this stuff. But on the bright side, the show is only two hours and that makes it better.

And listen, despite my misgivings in terms of the storytelling, at least the matches were alright. Charlotte/Asuka was a fine rehash of their Mania 34 match, the Angle/Styles match was kept short and had a fuck finish to protect AJ (too bad Joe didn't get that same benefit), and the Gauntlet match was fine for what it was... though let's not make a habit of it. I'm done with Gauntlet matches in much the same way I'm done with handicap matches.

This sort of thing is why FOX bought Smackdown rights... because they don't need a three-hour show to fill

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