Saturday, October 5, 2019

Smackdown (Oct. 4th, 2019): Brock Beats Kofi In Six Seconds, Faces Off Against Chubby Old Guy

So I saw some of the new Smackdown recently; the first episode to air on the FOX Network, which means a fancy new logo, a fancy new set, more of them 3D graphics that I hate so much, and an attempt to make the show feel more like "sport" than "entertainment." At least, that's the theory.

Well, I wish I could say that they certainly tried... and in fairness, there were aspects of the show that I did like... mostly the new set and logo, but in terms of the entertainment bits, it pales in comparison to the AEW show I saw this past Wednesday and somehow, I wasn't all that surprised. It didn't even compare to the little bit of RAW that I saw before giving up on that program, which was shocking.

Regardless, here are five points I've noted...

1. The Rock Comes Back To The Rock's Show And Plays With GeeksThe show opens with Becky Lynch cutting a totally generic promo before the Rock shows up to show everyone how to cut a promo and show some semblance of charisma that make you a star. And then KING CORBIN shows up where Rock shoots out the obligatory BURGER KING jokes, drops an IT DOESN'T MATTER, and kicks Corbin's ass with his stuff. This is the Rock being the Rock while a couple geeks join in on the fun and pretend they're on the same level. They're not.

2. Kevin Owens Beat Shane McMahon In A Loser Leaves Town Ladder MatchSo apparently, Shane McMahon is no longer going to be a character going forward. I wish I could be excited at the prospect of no more Shane on TV going forward - his act has been a bit stale and his complexion has been a bit purple and sickly, to be honest - but if there was ever a lamer climax that left no emotional resonance than this match provided, then there's a real void out there that I haven't seen yet. As a ladder match, it was a spotfest and not a really good one, either. KO doesn't need to be doing this kind of shit and Shane needs to lay off the stuntwork and focus on important bits. I felt nothing watching this match and I didn't care one bit that this feud was over... or was it?

3. Roman Reigns Beat The Vintner... Oh WellAfter weeks of sitting through a shitty whodunnit with a lame payoff, Roman Reigns beat the Vintner Erich Rowan in a Lumberjack match featuring some outside interference from Harper and Daniel Bryan Danielson. For what it is - a match with two sizable fellows hittin' each other - it was perfectly acceptable fare that was mildly entertaining and a good enough sampler for the upcoming PPV tag-team match... why, yes, there is a PPV this Sunday. Didn't you know?

4. Brock Lesnar Beat Kofi KIngston in Six Seconds To Win WWE ChampionshipWell, after months of hard-fought victories and efforts to make him out to be a credible champion, reigning and defending WWE World Heavyweight Champion Kofi Kingston ate an F5 and six seconds later, Brock Lesnar is your new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

I suppose I should be upset that Kofi was treated like a complete and utter afterthought after a rather lengthy reign, but on the other hand, I'd probably be more upset that Brock had to spend more than a minute beating the guy who tosses pancakes out of his scrotum, so all things considered, this was an excellent match for what it was. Now Kofi can continue to toss pancakes like nothing's happened - because you know that's what he's going to do - and Brock can move on to bigger and better things like...

5. Brock Lesnar Scared Of Pudgy GuySo out comes Rey Mysterio after the match and then I see some other guy that at first, I thought was his son... but then announcers say it's Cain Valenquez or whatever and I go "Who?" Turns out that Cain and Brock had history in UFC, so they're using a real MMA fight as a basis for a future fake wrestling match... which would be fine if not for the fact that Cain is a bit on the pudgy side and has a knee brace. And all of a sudden, Brock Lesnar is scared of this pudgy, knee braced fellow because of some past in a sport I don't watch.

Look, I know there's this crossover appeal between wrestling and MMA fans and vice versa. And I know that FOX wants a nice sports program of sorts... but not everyone who watches wrestling watches MMA and certainly not everyone who watches MMA watches wrestling, let alone views in in the same light as their beloved human cockfights. I, for one, don't watch UFC nor do I particularly care for the so-called sport, so my interest in this feud is basically zero. I'm sure some folks will tune it to see a match pay off in that country we're not supposed to talk about, but I've no interest going forward.

I'll give the show some props; as far as the production goes, it's perhaps the slickest I've seen out of a WWE production outside of Wrestlemania, making use of those ugly 3D graphics. I liked the set, I like that the character cards have some additional statistics to highlight their high points, I like that Renee Young has been removed from commentary so we can have a simple two-man booth... nothing against Renee because I actually like her due to her enthusiasm and personality, but she felt like a third wheel on that team and did more to take away from the commentary than add to it. Cole and Graves on their own might not be ideal, but it's a small step up at least.

As far as the actual content goes, a women's tag match took place, as did a multi-man tag match whose only purpose is to tease a potential feud between Braun Strowman and some boxer whose name I don't remember. There's some business with the 7/11 championship that's still a thing apparently... nothing that has me excited or looking forward to the next episode. It was just a thing that happened and took up two hours of my time.

I'm not going to say that the show was bad, because it really wasn't... but it didn't hold my interest all that much, either.

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