Wrestling’s 4Rs: The Right, Wrong and Ridiculous of WWE Smackdown
How the 4Rs of wRestling Work!
Here is a quick explanation of the 4R’s. The column will run TWO-THREE times a week. We will group our feelings on the shows in various categories: The Right, the wRong and the Ridiculous. The Right is stuff that worked very well: a great promo, a great match and so on. PuRgatoRy is a section between the right and wrong. It shows equal traits from both sides that cannot be ignored and needs discussed. It is not a bad place per say, as things can get remedied or go the wrong way the very next week. The wRong is what it sounds like: bad matches, bad or boring promos and so on. The Ridiculous is stuff that had no right on TV: Stupid angles and so on. And there is always a possibility of a 5th R, which is as bad as they come. This column is supposed to be analytical, and at the right time very critical of the shows, it was the whole reason it was created. This is not a “mark” column, nor a “smark” column, our goal is to analyze the show from many different fronts, reward the good and call out the bad. We will not apologize for our opinions, they are as they are, whether positive or negative.
– WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship- Naomi © d. Alexa Bliss [**1/2]
– Tye Dillinger d. Curt Hawkins [¼*]
– Street Fight – Baron Corbin d. Dean Ambrose [***1/4]
– Randy Orton & Luke Harper d. Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan [**]
WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship- Naomi © vs. Alexa Bliss: Bliss attacked to start but Naomi caught her with a bulldog into the corner. Naomi connected with a leg lariat on the floor and when they came back from commercial, Bliss began to work over the leg of Naomi. Naomi fired back and hit the Benedryller for a near fall. Both women traded near falls, leading to Bliss trying to cover her using the ropes but the ref refused to count. This allowed Naomi to roll her into the Anaconda Vice, forcing Bliss to tap out. This turned out to be a nice little match. Naomi has looked great since her return and she put forth a solid effort in her first defense as champion. The crowd bought into the near fall stretch in the final few minutes and they were into Naomi as the hometown girl, so this was a good way to kick off the show.
Street Fight- Baron Corbin vs. Dean Ambrose: Corbin grabbed a chair to start but Ambrose caught him with a baseball slide and followed out with a suicide dive knocking Corbin across the announcers table. A forearm off the announce table knocks Corbin into the front row and they brawled in the crowd for a bit. Back in the ring, Corbin drove Ambrose through a table in the corner and began whipping him with a leather strap. Ambrose returned the favor and he caught Corbin with the flying standing elbow to the floor. Ambrose puts Corbin on the table and he hits a flying elbow drop off the top through the table on the floor. Back in, Ambrose went up top but Corbin threw a chair at him, causing Ambrose to get crotched on the ropes. Corbin immediately followed up with the End of Days for the win. This was a good action packed brawl. They went right after each other from the bell and it was clear both men’s intentions were to hurt the other. I liked that during the commercials most of the plunder was already set up, so the majority of the match wasn’t taken up by both men setting up their big spots adding a good flow to the match. They gave Corbin a strong win to set him up for one more chance as the Intercontinental Champion, so this was well booked on top of being a fun match.
Shane McMahon Address The Roster: Shane McMahon came out and discussed the upcoming Superstar Shakeup. He talked about making Smackdown the land of opportunity for anyone who joins the show next week. AJ Styles came out and made it clear that he didn’t want to go anywhere since Smackdown is the house he built. He says he owed Shane something after the battle he had at Wrestlemania and shook Shane’s hand. He faked out an attack on Shane and posed to send his final message. I’m glad they didn’t make this a absurdly long monologue from Shane. He made his address quick and to the point and the Styles portion provide some nice closure to they’re feud. Despite the fact that Styles made it clear he didn’t want to get moved, this came across as a farewell for him from SmackDown and the fake out and pose the final chapter on his run. It’ll be unfortunate to not have Styles around if he does get moved to Raw but he needs a new slate of opponents right now and Raw would certainly provide that.
Curt Hawkins vs. Tye DillingerCurt Hawkins complained about the lack of attention he has been getting and issued an open challenge which was answered by the debuting Tye Dillinger. Hawkins attacked Dillinger but Dillinger fired back with a flying forearm. He quickly connected with the Tye Breaker for the win. I thought this was a nice simple debut for Dillinger. The “10” gimmick is super over and will clearly give him some longevity on the main roster. This was a good start for Dillinger and I hope for nothing but the best for him going forward.
Miz and Maryse Address Crowd: Miz & Maryse came out dressed as John Cena & Nikki Bella, complete with Cena’s entrance theme and their mannerisms. They expressed their love for each other and “Cena” was glad that he finally got a moment that made him seem like a relatable human being. “Cena” & “Nikki” declared that they were leaving WWE and you wouldn’t be seeing them for a long time. As they were about to walk out, someone comes out playing the violin. The lights go out and Shinsuke Nakamura made his debut. He went through his entrance and did his signature pose to end the segment. This was another segment that seemed to close a chapter on a feud as Miz & Maryse gave Cena & Nikki one last parting shot as they were about to being their sabbaticals. Nakamura’s debut and entrance got over huge but I kind of wish he got the better of Miz in a brawl or something, as I felt just having him come out for his entrance and nothing else seemed flat for a guy that going to be a big part of Smackdown’s future going forward. I’m excited for the prospects of a Miz/Nakamura feud but they could have done a little bit more to get this feud really rolling.
Randy Orton’s First Appearance as Champion: Randy Orton kicked off the show with a promo saying that he proved he was Bray’s master at WrestleMania. Wyatt appeared on the screen and reminded Orton that he had a rematch coming, but he wanted to push Randy both physically and mentally first. Bray challenged Randy to a House of Horros match and Randy accepted. He called out Bray but the lights went out and when they came back on, Wyatt appeared behind Randy, triggering a brawl. When Orton started getting the better of Bray, Erick Rowan returned and attacked Randy. Luke Harper came out and joined the brawl, taking out Wyatt & Rowan. This led to a tag team match in the main event, where Harper got the better of the Wyatts in the early going. Harper connected with a suicide dive on Rowan but Wyatt drilled him on the floor to take control. They worked over the sternum of Harper for a bit but Harper came back with a spinning power slam and he tagged Orton. Orton cleaned house and hit a drapping DDT on Rowan before the lights went out. They came back on and Wyatt was laying on the ramp, watching as Haprer super kicked Rowan into an RKO from Orton for 3. Wyatt seems OK with the lost afterward. I have no idea why they did the lights going out gimmick here since it played no role into the finish. They just doing these stupid little tricks just for the sake of doing them now and they are adding nothing to Wyatt’s in-ring work. The opening segment actually wasn’t that bad, as they waited until AFTER WRESTLEMANIA to finally have Orton and Wyatt brawled and they did a decent job bringing Rowan back into the hold. The tag match, however, was flat and messy. The crowd seemed to have stopped caring about feud or anyone involved in it. Erick Rowan made his return and was immediately defeated in the main event, so they killed any chance they had of making him any sort of threat once again. I’m just over this program and hopefully they’ll have this stupid House of Horrors gimmick and finally move on because this is dragging the show down on a weekly basis.