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

January 9, 2018 | 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! (WWE Smackdown Edition)
Here is a quick explanation of the 4R’s. I will group my feelings on the show 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 Tag Team Championships- The Usos © d. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable [**1/2]
– Breezango vs. The Bludgeoning Brothers Never Started
– Xavier Woods d. Aiden English [**]
– The Riott Squad d. The Welcoming Committee [*1/2]
– Sami Zayn d. AJ Styles [***]

THE Right:
The Welcoming Committee vs. The Riott SquadDiscus clothesline by Natalya to Morgan got a near fall and Morgan was quick to bail. Logan grounded Carmella for a bit but Carmella broke her hold with a jawbreaker. Tamina got the tag and she cleaned house. Tamina hit a Samoan Drop on Logan and she went up top but Morgan shoved her off. Cartwheel knee drop by Logan gave the Riott Squad the victory. After the match, The Riott Squad declared their entry into the Royal Rumble but Charlotte came out and warned the Riott Squad that actions have consequences. She brought out Naomi and the returning Becky Lynch to brawl with the Riott Squad. This was a decent little match for the time they were given. I thought pinning Tamina was a smart call as it gives the Riott Squad a big pin fall victory over on the of the perceived most dominant women on the roster. The match did a good job showing how strong a unit the Riott Squad is supposed to be and having them dominate another women’s unit made them look all the better, so this turned out to be an incredibly well booked little tag match.

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships- The Usos © vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable: Benjamin ran to the top rope and took Jimmy off the top with an under hook superplex and Gable quickly followed up with a moonsault for a near fall. Jey took out both Benjamin & Gable with suicide planchas and Jimmy looked to dive but Benjamin blocked with a knee strike. Benjamin & Gable hit the Doomsday Powerbomb on Jimmy for the victory. Jey argued after the match he was the legal man and they looked at the replay, which confirmed it, so they decided to restart the match. When the match restarts, Jey hit a Samoan Drop on Benjamin. Gable leapt off the top but ate a super kick from Jimmy. Double super kick to Benjamin and Jimmy hit the Superfly Splash for the victory. I’ve made it known before but I despised the match is restarted troupe and I’m think the only reason they did it here was to mock the NFL replay system heading into the playoff weekend. It’s a shame they decided to that here cause the action we got was awesome and consistent with the great action the tag division had been delivering for the past few weeks. The match layout made Gable & Benjamin look dominant prior to the restart so despite all the overbooking they at least made them worthy of a rematch coming out of this.

Breezango vs. Bludgeoning Brothers: The Bludgeoning Brothers went right on the attack before the match began, with Rowan crushing Fandango with a cross body. The Ascension came out to confront them but the Bludgeoning Brothers took them out as well. This was probably the least heated of the Bludgeoning Brothers segments to date but it was still booked well with them laying out two teams fairly easily. Even without the confines of an official match, the Bludgeoning Brothers continue to look like unstoppable monsters so this achieved its’ desired goal.

US Championship Tournament Match- Aiden English vs. Xavier Woods: Rolling elbow by Woods gets a quick near fall and he went for the Honor Roll on the floor but English blocked by driving him into the steps. Woods came back with a super kick and he hit a back breaker for a near fall. Death Valley spine buster by English got a near fall and they went off top but Woods took him off with a backdrop. Flying elbow drop by Woods gives him the victory. This was my least favorite of the tournament matches so far but it was still decent. This dragged in places and they took a little too long setting up their big spots, taking away from the drama of the near falls. That being said, this tournament continued the great trend of giving guys more time then they usual would in single matches, which made a Woods/English match ten times more serious than it would be in other situations.

THE wRong:
AJ Styles Opens The Show: AJ Styles kicked off Smackdown, discussing his New Year’s Resolutions which include beating Sami Zayn. He called out Daniel Bryan to find out if Kevin Owens will be allowed at ringside for the match. Bryan came out but Shane McMahon immediately followed. Shane said that last week he had the best intentions when he came down to eject Sami Zayn from ringside but he apologized for his actions costing Styles the match. Shane questioned Daniel Bryan’s decisions lately and asked if he is showing favoritism to Owens & Zayn. Shane said he would be at ringside for the Styles/Zayn match if Owens was allowed to be at ringside and Bryan said not only was that going to happen, but he would be at ringside as well. I wasn’t a fan of this at all. I don’t like that Styles is being dragged into the bickering figure heads storyline and the decision to put everyone and their mother at ringside to disrupt a potentially great Styles/Zayn match is disappointing to say the least. Little did I know that this would get much worse later in the show.

THE Ridiculous:
AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn: Styles drilled Zayn with a clothesline to start but Zayn came back with a backdrop. Styles hit a dropkick on Zayn and Zayn answered back with a Fisherman’s Buster for a near fall. Styles fired back on Zayn, hitting the pump handle gutbuster for a near fall. Styles hit the DVD back breaker on Zayn but Zayn came right back with the Blue Thunder Bomb. Styles rolled Zayn into the Calf Crusher but Zayn was able to fight his way to the ropes. Styles hit the Pele on Zayn and went for the Phenomenal Forearm but Zayn blocked. He drove the ref to the outside and Owens held on to him, preventing him from counting a Styles roll-up on Zayn. Shane McMahon shoved Owens at ringside and Shane ordered Owens to be ejected. Bryan ejected Shane from ringside as well and during the chaos, Styles knocked Owens off the apron. Zayn immediately followed with the Helluva Kick for the victory. After the match, Styles was fed up with everything and said at this point he should just face them in a handicap match. Daniel Bryan agreed, and said the match would take place at the Royal Rumble with the WWE Championship on the line. Everything involving the outside interference just flat out sucked. It was a total mess that really took away from the big victory Zayn pulled on Styles and the three active competitors in this program are forced to take a backseat to the Shane/Bryan garbage. I hate the handicap match idea as well, it just kills the chances for a great match that we would have had it just been a Styles/Owens/Zayn three way and it makes it perfectly clear that more of this trash is going to occur in that match as well. It’s just an absolute shame, as these two are good as it gets in the ring and they weren’t allowed to have even half the type of great match that I know they could pull off.

The 1180th edition is over…

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
For as strong a note that 2017 ended on last week, 2018 was almost the complete opposite, as the overbooking and creative decisions this week really marred what could have been a really solid show. They just couldn’t help themselves by being too cute with the overbooking here, as the Usos tag and Styles/Zayn matches had all the potential in the world and they just threw it in the trash. The most tolerable parts of this show were not great from an in-ring standpoint but the booking and logic on those matches at least made sense. It’s going to take a miracle for them to get me to care about the Styles vs. Owens & Zayn match at the Rumble because based on everything I saw tonight; I’m just expecting more of the same crap at the PPV. This was just a frustrating episode to watch and you make sure to avoid it this week.

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