Thursday, March 21, 2019

Smackdown (March 19th, 2019): He's A Loser! Yes, He Is!

Yeah, so I watched Smackdown via DVR. And well, let's just call it one step closer to skipping Wrestlemania.

Was going to post a Slideshow Movie Review, but fuck it, I need to spend the one post on this.

The main focus of this post will be the gauntlet match since that's half the show and really, the only reason why I bothered to watch this; my first Smackdown since, I guess, the anniversary episode. I skipped the opening promo from Miz pushing his match with SHANE MCMAHON at Mania, which I heard was good, but... it's Miz vs. Shane-O-Mac. It's not a match that screams must-see. I also didn't care for the newly-annoited Women's Tag-Team Champions getting beat by what was essentially a GEEK tag team that nobody cares about other than to serve as fodder for the bigger stars. And then there was the KO Show segment with Baby Flair and Becky Lynch where the best part of the segment was Kevin Owensteen.

The whole story is that Kofi Kingston has to beat Sheamus, Cesaro, Rowan, Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton in a continuous Gauntlet match to earn himself a WWE Championship match against Daniel Bryan Danielson at Wrestlemania. So the odds are against him and Kofi puts on a good showing; managing to beat Sheamus and Cesaro before running into Rowan, who whacks Kofi with a chair to get himself DQ'ed. Rowan continues the pain by iron clawing Kofi and slamming him through a table, leaving him easy pickings for Samoa Joe. He tries to mount an offense, but Joe proves too much and it takes a roll-up to beat Joe, who chokes Kofi out, leaving him easy pickings for Randy Orton.

And then Kofi roll-ups Randy for the fluke win and goes on to Mania... as long as he beats the champion in a non-title affair... and so we have another match you'd figure Kofi would get the win over the champion to cement his spot on the card (which is stupid, but whatever) or maybe Kofi gets fucked over with outside interference allowing Bryan to steal the win or something to that extent. Neither option is "good", but they'd make sense in some form or fashion.

Turns out they went with the finish that makes this entire affair pointless; Bryan pins Kofi clean.

So Daniel Bryan Danielson beat Kofi Kingston fair and square; no bullshit, no fuck finish, no nothing. Kofi Kingston had a chance to win and he gave a valiant effort, but when all was said and done, he dropped the ball and he proved to be a loser (yes, he is.) Oh, but don't worry; he'll get his shot through some convoluted means because of course, he is. And so that whole hour of Kofi overcoming the odds and getting the duke, only to fail at the end because he wasn't that good enough, was a complete and utter waste of time.

And yes, it was a good showing; I'm not going to take that away from Kofi and if he ends up getting his first World title down the line, that would be a worthwhile moment because the guy earned the chance to get at least one reign under his belt... but I like wrestling with context. And in context, Kofi lost this match and he shouldn't (but probably will anyway) get the title shot.

It's such an easy story to tell; hero overcomes odds to reach the final stage, beats final boss, wins the prize, end of story. But somehow, we have to do this sort of overthinking to extend the story further because we got several more weeks of TV to fill and we can't think of anything more creative to further this story. They've taken a story that I was initially looking forward to seeing reach its conclusion at the showcase of the immortals and they killed any and all interest in it.

This Wrestlemania may very well be the first that I skip entirely... there's not one match that I've seen on the card that I'm looking forward to and the matches that I was looking forward have been diluted by the pretty wretched build and storytelling.

But yeah, if you want a showcase of Kofi at his best, the Gauntlet match is worth checking out when this episode hits the Network in a month or so.

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