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Wrestling’s 4Rs: The Right, Wrong and Ridiculous of WWE Smackdown

September 5, 2017 | Posted by Dylan Diot
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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.

– Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin d. The Ascension [**1/4]
– WWE US Championship – AJ Styles © d. Tye Dillinger [¼*]
– Bobby Roode d. Mike Kanellis [¼*]
– Aiden English d. Sami Zayn [¼*]
– The Usos d. The New Day [¼*]
– Tamina d. Tina Stock [SQUASH]
– Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton d. Jinder Mahal & Rusev [**1/2]

THE Right:
The Ascension vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin: Gable and Benjamin went on the attack early on Viktor with a series of suplexes but Konnor pulled down the top rope, sending Gable crashing to the floor to gain control. Konnor hit a spine buster for a near fall and he charged in the corner but Gable moved, allowing him to tag Benjamin in who ran wild. Benjamin hit the flying clothesline for a near fall as Konnor saved and he hit the Pay Dirt on Viktor for the win. The was a good debut for the new tag team. The crowd was into them and they got plenty of time to shine. Benjamin looked pretty good in his in-ring return to the company and once he and Gable fully develop their chemistry and create an arsenal as a unit, I think they will do great things in the tag division.

Mike Kanellis vs. Bobby Roode: Roode outwrestled Kanellis early so Kanellis threw a cheap shot and stomped away in the corner. Roode fired back and hit the Blockbuster. Spinebuster by Roode and he hit the Glorious DDT for the win. Naturally, the atmosphere for Roode was down a bit from last week moving from the Brooklyn crowd to Little Rock but the crowd caught on to his mannerisms and got into him as the match progress, so this ended up being a good follow up week for him. I really like the structure of these Roode matches so far, with him being super cocky early on but when his opponent catches him off guard, he quits screwing around and takes care of business. Hopefully they’ll give him a program soon, but the short exhibition matches haven’t worn out their welcome yet.

Kevin Owens Complains/Sami Zayn vs. Aiden English: Kevin Owens interrupted English’s singing and told him that the Arkansas crowd didn’t appreciate his singing, so he should step aside for the moment so he could speak. Owens complained that he never picked Shane McMahon as the referee for his match last week and yet he got involved in the finish. Owens said on Raw they wouldn’t abuse their power and he claimed Smackdown is Shane’s personal playground. Shane came out and told Owens that Corbin handed him the referee shirt so he took it upon himself to take over and call the match down the middle. Owens continued to claim that Shane screwed him but Shane said the conversation is over as English is set to face Sami Zayn. Owens joined commentary still pissed off as English went on the attack on Zayn. Zayn clotheslined English to the floor and followed up with a summersault plancha to the floor. Zayn went up as Owens entered the ring and took the referee’s shirt and put it on. Zayn confronts Owens about this so Owens laid him out with the Pop Up Powerbomb. English covered and Owens made the fast count. I liked this way more than I probably should have. Owens is doing a tremendous job of playoff off that he is going off the deep end and I liked that he forced himself into the match as ref and intentionally screwed Zayn as a way to send a message to Shane McMahon. I hope that coming out of this Sami Zayn plays a big role in the Shane/Owens program, as an alignment with Owens or a transition back into an Owens feud will have give Zayn some juice again. Again, we’ll see how this all plays out but this single segment did more for me getting interested in the Shane/Owens match as anything did during the Owens/Styles feud, so it’s a big step in the right direction.

Jinder Mahal & Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton: A brawl breaks out to start and Orton and Nakamura dominate them in the ringside area. Mahal worked over Nakamura but Nakmaura caught him with a jawbreaker and tagged Orton who ran wild on Mahal. The Singhs distracted the ref, allowing Rusev to send Orton into the post. Rusev caught Orton with a spinning heel kick for a near fall and Mahal charged in the corner but missed and hit the post. Orton made the tag to Nakamura who fired away with some kicks to Rusev. Nakamura caught Rusev with the cross arm breaker but Mahal was quick to break it up. Rusev blocked the RKO but he walked into a second rope Kinsasha followed by the original Kinsasha for the victory. Orton laid out Nakamura with an RKO after the match to send a message for their match next week. This was a fine TV main event. It didn’t light the world on fire from an in-ring standpoint but the layout was good with Orton taking the beating and Nakamura making the hot run at the end so they continued to present Nakamura as one of the most dominant forces on the roster. The finish gave Nakamura another strong win and they did a good job building up the Nakamura/Orton match for next week which I’m actually excited about.

Jinder Mahal Promo: Jinder Mahal came out and complained about the disrespect he continues to get when he should be revered. The Singh Brothers apologized for failing Jinder and the people of India last week but make a promise that they won’t let Shinsuke Nakamura put a hand on him again. They asked to kiss Mahal’s but before they do, Shinsuke Nakamura interrupted. The Singh Brothers tried to block Nakamura’s way but he just pushed them aside and went on the attack. The Singhs held on to him, allowing Mahal to throw a super kick and began a 3 on 1 assault. Randy Orton came out to save but Rusev laid him out. Mahal laid out Nakamura with the Khallas to end the segment. This was the typical set up the main event tag match segment we usually see to start the show. The main participants in the tag didn’t do anything to really build significant heat to the main event but I will say the performance of the Singh Brothers was strong here, so it was a bit more entertaining than normal if anything.

AJ Styles US Championship Open Challenge: Before the match, Baron Corbin made it clear he intended to answer Styles’ challenge but Tye Dillinger came out before he did, so he got the shot. Corbin attacked Dillinger as he came out but Dillinger knocked him off the apron and he wanted to continue with the match. Dillinger fires away early and went for the Tye Breaker but Styles countered into the Calf Crusher. Dillinger tapped. Corbin drove Dillinger into the barricade after the match but Styles nailed him with a basement forearm, forcing Corbin to bail in frustration. The match was nothing as everything centered on Corbin trying to find his way into the match. I’ll say the same thing I said about the Natayla/Carmella team dynamic last week, it’s a cute idea for one week to have Corbin outsmarted out of a title shot but if this becomes a weekly thing, Corbin will continue to look like a total moron and the eventually Styles/Corbin match will have no heat when it finally occurs.

The Usos vs. The New Day: The winners of this match will name the stipulation for their Smackdown Tag Team Championship rematch. Kofi & Big E. represented the Usos here. The match started during the commercial break and when they came back, Big E caught Jimmy with an Urinage. Tag to Kofi who cleaned house and hit the Boom Drop. Kofi attempted to roll Jey up but Jimmy made the blind tag and rolled Kofi up with the tights for the win. I liked the idea of doing a warm-up tag match with the stipulation being on the line but unfortunately the match wasn’t good at all. It was way too short and it just came across really sloppy for the amount of time given. The finish was in line with how the Usos have been winning matches lately and it’ll be interesting to see what stipulation they choose for the championship rematch and if that stipulation will come back to bite them.

Tamina vs. Tina Stock: Stock charged at Tamina but Lana called for Tamina to crush her. Tamina fired back and hit the super kick for the win. A quick squash for Tamina that the crowd really didn’t care about. Lana barking orders in a microphone at ringside already annoyed the hell of me and hopefully they make a drastic change to that gimmick going forward otherwise these Tamina matches will become even more unbearable.

THE wRong:

THE Ridiculous:

The 1164th edition is over…

The final score: review Average
The 411
Normally I would rip apart of episodes of Smackdown with a collection of mediocre in-ring matches such as this but I was weirdly into this week’s episode. Despite the lackluster matches, most of the storytelling and build throughout the show came through the matches rather than in promos and skits. I liked the transition from the Owens/Shane promo into the Zayn/English match as it made the match an important element in the bigger picture. The criminally short matches such as Styles/Dillinger and Usos/New Day tonight at least made scene in building up more long-term stories and of course the main event tag perfectly set up next week’s Nakamura/Orton encounter. It was a very strange edition of the show but it was certainly a productive one, so I would recommend it from the standpoint that it’s a good long-term building episode but don’t expect to be blown away by any of the action on this night.

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Smackdown, Wrestling's 4Rs, WWE, Dylan Diot