Monday, October 25, 2021

Crackdown On Smackdown (October 22nd, 2021): It's A (Supposed) New Era

I'm experiencing some audio problems at the moment, so we're doing these wrestling TV musings in the interim since they're easier to cook up. There might be more "phantom posts" being done of this ilk.

So apparently, I had Smackdown on the ol' DVR and decided to give it a whirl, since it's a supposed new era and all that. And whenever I would try to jump onto a first show of a new era, I would've liked to go through the whole thing and bring up some good points, bad points, or whatever. And I was hoping to do the same here.

WWE just did their draft a while ago and this episode of Smackdown was supposed to be the begining of a new era where the RAW and Smackdown rosters wouldn't be crossing over. Except we got Survivor Series coming up and we need to start building up to our annual "brand supremacy" stuff that only a minute group of people outside the WWE bubble would actually care about. But still, it was a new era and with a new era - allegedly, there is a new freshness.

As it turns out... that's not quite the case. Because at the end of the day, it's still WWE. And a new era may as well be another coat of paint over the same aging table that's starting to crack. A lot of the stuff that irked me about the show relates to production; the awful 3D graphics used for the entrances, the constant camera cuts, the insufferable commentary that spews out many words and says absolutely nothing, and the main event angle was fucking stupid. We'll get to that.

Show opened with Roman Reigns cutting a promo on Brock Lesnar, whom he beat to retain the title the day before in Saudi Arabia. It's a good Roman promo that I've heard a thousand times in some form or fashion because it's pretty much the same thing he's done for the past year, but it's paint by numbers. So out comes Brock Lesnar to kill dudes and one of the WWE officlals suspends Brock, which prompts Brock to beat up said official. So there goes any reason for me to watch this show, but then again, that shouldn't have been a surprise.

The only other thing of note was the corontation of Xavier Woods as King - an over-the-top bombastic presentation where Kofi Kingston reads out a royal proclamation while Woods just basks in the glory. Look, I ain't gonna shit on this segment. This was Xavier Woods savoring the moment he had been wanting for a long time. For him, winning King Of The Ring was the most important thing in the world and as I'm glad to see that WWE had the good sense to give him that big win over Finn Balor. Let him enjoy the moment. Embrace it. Have fun.

There were a couple matches; Drew killed Sami, Happy Corbin pinned Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title match to set up a later title match, there was a women's match with two women I'm not familiar with. And for those who missed the Saudi show, we got a rematch between Mustafa Ali and Mansoor - the latter being the Saudi hometown hero - with Mansoor getting a win. Nothing really stand outs here and they were fairly quick affairs as to not take time away from the number of promos that played during the show... none of which stuck, so that's something that could use a little work.

And then we get the main event angle where Smackdown Women's Champion Becky Lynch and RAW Women's Champion Charlotte Flair trade belts because they're on opposite brands... and look, there's been some kerfluffle backstage that I'm not going to touch here because I honestly don't care... but let's think about this for a minute. We're trading BELTS because the people wearing them are on the other show. It begs the question as to why we have RAW Champions and SMACKDOWN Champions. This isn't the first time they did this either; something like this occured last year with the tag titles and it was equally monumentally stupefying.

So Becky Lynch gets back the RAW title she never lost - she gave up that title last year due to pregnancy - while Baby Flair got another title to add to the pile - and she scratch another item off the Ric Flair Impersonator bucket list; she was given a title as opposed to having won it. All she needs now is to suffer a fake heart attack for the sake of a silly storyline, because that's the only thing that's going to make me care about anything involving Baby Flair for the foreseeable future.

Anyway, that was Smackdown. And for a supposed "new" era show, it felt like something familiar. Not a terrible show or anything like that; if anything, it was probably one of the easier episodes of a WWE show I've seen in recent memory and I suppose my not watching the shows regularly helped. But this isn't going to be on my regular watchlist for the foreseeable future.

On the bright side, it's nice to be out of that fucking Thunderdome.

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