WWE Smackdown July 26, 2016
I refuse to call it Smackdown Live, just saying. I have a handful of questions about the start of the new era on Smackdown.
What are your thoughts on the new intro song and video? Here it is, and it’s a pain in the ass to find on WWE’s website, but it’s there.
Kent: The video is fine. The song isn’t as good as past ones. I feel incredibly let down to be perfectly honest. Spend some money like you did for RAW and get a song that people know. GAWD!
Thoughts on the battle royal?
Kent: I liked it. I would have had Rowan get all the elimination that Kane got. Rowan is not a throwaway guy, he does need some protection, but he has improved significantly and could be a solid mid-card performer or he can stick with Bray, but it didn’t seem like they wanted to go that route. Rowan can speak well, so I say give him a shot, just not as a face. When Luke returns, then shit gets better. Kalisto shouldn’t have lasted as long as he did, Alberto should have had that spot. Zack made sense. Basically, my final four would have been Zack, Apollo, Rowan, and Alberto. That makes more sense to me. Then eliminate Rowan, Zack, and Alberto. Alberto vs. Apollo would be a fun feud. Anyway, I hoped Apollo would get the win. He needs to get better on the mic and stop smiling so damn much.
What are your thoughts on the clusterfuck after match scene of the Natalya vs. Becky Match?
Kent: Well, that ovation that Carmella and Eva got was deafening. Well I thought I had gone deaf momentarily because I didn’t hear a damn thing. Yeah, this was not the way to introduce these girls. I would have run vignettes all throughout the first hour introducing the 3 new girls, and then done a 6 girl tag match. Eva, Alexa, and Natalya vs. Carmella, Naomi, and Becky would have done way more good than this travesty. Absolute low point of the show due to piss poor booking. Off to a terrible start.
Shelton Benjamin is on his way back to WWE. Rhyno is back, and we know Curt Hawkins and “Don’t Hinder” Jinder Mahal are all coming back. Rumors are still swirling around about MVP, Tommy Dreamer, Carlito, John Morrison, and Melina. Out of the free agents available, who would you want back?
Kent: I assume John Morrison is not available, so I am not gonna bother. I would try to get Jay Lethal. WWE missed the boat on getting Moose who is in TNA and seems like a really solid addition. MVP or Carlito could be useful I suppose. Melina would be useless without Big Dave Batista around. HA! Here’s my suggestion. I would wait until Survivor Series, the land of screw jobs. I’d put Heath Slater in one final match where he can win a contract. But stack the deck, maybe a 3 or 4 on 1. Heath can get over with the crowd, let him show resilience. When all looks bleak, the lights go out, and all of Heath’s opponents are laid out. When the lights come back on, Heath is left standing, and he gets the pin. Shane reluctantly agrees to give him a contract. Heath says something about ”something in the language of the contract and he says, “Oh, it’s just me.” The lights go out and they come back on and Shane is surrounded by Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, and Damien Sandow. They start to beat down Shane, but earlier in the week, rumors swirled that WWE was welcoming Hogan back. “When it comes crashing down and it hurts inside” plays and the crowd fucking pops. Hogan comes down with a chair. The guys scatter, and then Hogan wails on Shane. He grabs the mic and basically says he is here to mentor a group that never got a fair shot by WWE and kinda cut a grey area promo mixing a lot of truth in to make it sound really personal, and this was a message to Vince. Hogan is the mentor, Heath is the centerpiece, Barrett is the enforcer, and Cody and Damien reunite as a team. Tell me that you wouldn’t watch that.
Moving forward, how do you book Orton and Cena with both on the same roster?
Kent: I have read the Cena isn’t scheduled to do many more house shows, which is smart. I think you use them to get over your big names, but it’s tough because you can’t have them pull a Jericho where he loses all the time because then the wins are useless. I would consider giving each 2-3 month breaks every few months with them alternating, to keep them fresh. You need to get Bray, Dean, AJ, Baron, and Dolph over. I would love to see Randy against all of them in feuds. They can’t have Randy beat the IC champ in 2 moves though. That shit needs to stop immediately. Hype for Summerslam or not, Miz should be hard to put down. Cena vs. Baron could be good for Baron, even in a losing effort, as long as it’s not a burial, which it probably would be. Damn. Cena vs Dean seems inevitable down the road, and Dean needs that win.
What are your thoughts on the 6 pack Challenge and the Summerslam main event?
Kent: I liked the match more than Roman’s 4 way and Roman’s one on one, but not better than Finn’s 4 way. I was really impressed that the veterans really stepped aside and gave Baron and Apollo a lot of time to show off their skills. That was incredibly important. Dare I say, Baron looked like he belonged as shocked as I am to say that. I loved what I saw between him and Cena, and I see that as a solid feud. AJ and Cena did great with their limited time. Dolph and Bray were given ample time, and I thought Bray would win, until Dolph cut his promo. I admit, I had my doubts, but I was optimistic suddenly. Dolph should have Baron as his bodyguard and continue emulating HBK along with Diesel. I still kept waiting for Bray to pull off something, or AJ to introduce new members of the Club, like Dolph and Baron, or the Ascension or Usos. But Dolph did it and now I am unsure who I am cheering on at Summerslam. If Dolph turns heel, I am hard pressed to not cheer him on. Dean will get numerous opportunities down the road, but this is Dolph’s prime. I say run with this man. He is so underutilized.
Overall, do you like the direction of Smackdown? Do you have a preference of brands after the first week?
Kent: I like everything going down on Smackdown except the women’s division and how they are booking Orton. I know they need him to be a threat for Brock, so I am just going to accept that for now. Next week, they need to really shape up the mid card in my opinion. With only 2 hours, they achieved everything RAW did, and got me pumped for American Alpha, as if I wasn’t already, and Shelton’s return. Between RAW and Smackdown, if I’m looking at the full picture, and I think a year down the road, I think Smackdown will be the better show to watch. It feels more exciting, less retreads in the main event scene who have actually gotten pushes, once you get passed Cena and Orton who aren’t going to hog the main event scene as much as Rollins and Roman will. If they figure out how to book the women better, this young crop of ladies will fucking shine. Eva is money if done right and is Becky. Why the hell did Eva go to Smackdown when she is everything red? Logic man. My interest in Smackdown is about a 9, my interest in RAW is at a 7. I am cautiously optimistic. Just keep the McMahon’s off screen as much as possible.
Bonus question: Have you seen TNA’s Final Deletion? Any thoughts on it?
Kent: Yes, and it was fantastic. Somehow, the Hardy’s made the compelling thing in wrestling in a very, very long time. Matt is killing it. I have to give props when they are earned. They have brought me back to watching TNA. On another thought, I think WWE dodged a bullet when James Storm left NXT. The dude is really out of shape and has lost a step. It’s sad to watch.
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