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

January 16, 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.

– Becky Lynch d. Ruby Riott [**]
– The Bludgeoning Brothers d. The Ascension [SQUASH]
– US Championship Tournament Match- Mojo Rawley d. Zack Ryder [*1/2]
– Breezango d. Rusev Day [*]
– AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura d. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn [**1/2]

THE Right:
The Ascension vs. The Bludgeoning Brothers: The Ascension jumped Harper at the bell but Harper drilled Viktor with the big boot. Double power bomb on Viktor gave the Bludgeoning Brothers the victory. I loved how this was laid out. The Ascension got the jump to give them a tiny glimmer of hope but they were still destroyed seconds later by the unstoppable monsters. The Ascension is expendable and this ass kicked continues the tremendous build they have been doing with the Bludgeoning Brothers.

AJ Styles Sit-Down Interview: Renne Young brought AJ Styles for a sit-down interview to kick off Smackdown. AJ Styles said being put in a handicap match isn’t fair but then life isn’t fair. Styles refused to put the blame on either Shane McMahon or Daniel Bryan as he needed to focus on dealing with Owens & Zayn at the Royal Rumble. Owens & Zayn came out and said Styles should have regret about requesting the handicap match, as it’s going to take a miracle for Styles win at the Rumble. Shane McMahon came out and questioned Bryan’s decision making but it inspired him to book a handicap match for the show, with Owens & Zayn vs. Styles, Orton & Nakamura. The opening segment was fine, it was a breath of fresh air that the focus was more on the competitors in the handicap match than on the Bryan/McMahon bickering. All parties involved made quick points to build up the Rumble, so they were in and out at a decent amount of time, so while nothing earth shattering occurred, it didn’t overstay its welcome.

Becky Lynch vs. Ruby Riott: Lynch controlled in the early going, dumping Riott to the floor. Riott made a comeback during the break and worked a body scissors eventually making her way into the abdominal stretch. Lynch came back with a series of exploder suplexes and she locked Riott in the Disarmer, forcing Riott to tap. The match was fine but this was too soon for Riott to lose in a singles match. They would have been better off giving Lynch the victory over Morgan or Logan to start her revenge on the Riott Squad, leading to the final confrontation with Riott. Instead, they blew it off in a forgettable TV match and wasted an opportunity at a good long-term storyline.

US Championship Tournament Match- Zack Ryder vs. Mojo Rawley: Ryder caught Mojo with a dropkick at the start of the match but Rawler overpowered him to come back, ramming him repeatedly in the corner. Ryder countered a suplex into a neck breaker but Rawley caught him with the running forearm in the corner for the victory. This match felt flat as they didn’t get enough time to build heat on Mojo or to make Ryder a sympathetic figure leading to a hot comeback. They just did a few things and then quickly went into the finish; this was unfortunately the only first round match that really didn’t get the time to try to produce a more interesting match.

Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin Demand Justice: Gable & Benjamin came out and compared Georgia’s loss to Alabama to their loss to the Usos last week, as they were robbed due to poor officiating. They said a crime was committed out of jealousy and they ordered that the Smackdown Tag Team Titles be returned to them. Daniel Bryan came out and reminded them that the referee’s decision is final. Benjamin responded by saying the referee counted three so that decision should be final but Bryan told Benjamin that he pinned the wrong member of the Usos, so the ref made the right call. Gable asked if they needed to beat the Usos twice in one night, which gave Daniel Bryan an idea. He booked Usos vs. Gable & Benjamin in a 2 out of 3 Falls match for the Smackdown Tag Titles at the Royal Rumble. I appreciate that they gave Gable & Benjamin plenty of time on the microphone since it’s very rare that we get to hear them speak and it really gave them a chance to flesh out their characters. I thought they did a good job, they didn’t go over the top with the whining and complaining and they had some decent counterarguments to Daniel Bryan. They might have went a little too long to get to the point but the promo work was solid and the Usos/Gable & Benjamin match can easily steal the show at the Rumble.

AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn: Orton went on the attack to start and he worked over Owens on the floor. Nakamura caught Zayn with a spinning heel kick and he threw a series of kicks at Zayn. Styles fired away on Owens but Zayn pulled him out of harm’s way. They tried to walk out but Shane McMahon declared the match will have no count outs. Zayn & Owens grounded Styles coming out of the commercial break but Styles caught Owens with the DVD Back breaker. He made the tag to Orton who fired away on Zayn, culminating in the drapping DDT. Orton went for the RKO but Owens drove a chair into the midsection of Orton for the DQ. He nailed Styles & Nakamura with the chair as well but Shane McMahon came out and made the match a NO DQ match. Styles attacked Owens with the chair and they made their way to the back, leaving Zayn alone with Nakamura & Orton. Zayn tried to run away but he got caught and Orton drilled him with the stairs. Orton hit the back suplex onto the announce table and in the ring, Nakamura hit the Kinsasha. Orton hit the RKO for the victory. Last week I mentioned my distain for restarts, so naturally they gave me two restarts in this match to really make me happy. The idea of the match made a little sense since this was Shane’s response to Daniel Bryan’s Royal Rumble decision but it’s hard to pull off a good match when the heels are in the underdog position. The action was solid during the match but again, everything was marred by the ridiculous overbooking and involvement of authority figures. I’m really beyond sick of it at this point and I’m counting down the days until the Rumble so they finally move in a different creative direction with these main events.

THE wRong:
Rusev Day vs. Breezango: English worked over Breeze at the start of the match but Breeze escaped his clutches and tagged Fandango who fired away. Rusev tagged in and he drilled Fandango with a series of kicks. Spinning heel kick by Rusev and he drilled Breeze with a high kick. Fandango caught Rusev with a roll-up for the shocking victory. So Rusev Day is getting super over, everyone one loves it so naturally they have get pinned by one of the lowest teams on the Smackdown totem pole. There really aren’t words, the booking is mind boggling and really the only thing it could possibly set up is some mediocre TV rematches in the weeks leading to the Rumble. This was just a frustrating decision on multiple levels.

THE Ridiculous:

The 1181st edition is over…

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
This week’s show was barely a step up from last week’s edition. On the bright side, this was a more in-ring heavy show and they toned down the Bryan/Shane stuff just a little bit. Unfortunately, the matches on this show were pretty mediocre for the most part and really this was just a boring show to sit through. Nothing interesting happened storyline wise and there was some really questionable booking decisions throughout the show. To top it all off, we had another main event that was overbooked to hell and made the in-ring action largely forgettable. Smackdown is off to a really poor start to 2018 and sadly I don’t see things improving until after the Royal Rumble, but I’ll be more than happy to be wrong about that. Easily pass on the show this week, nothing here is worth your time.

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