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

February 6, 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.


SMACKDOWN 1.30.18
– #1 Contender’s Match- Rusev d. Jinder Mahal, Zack Ryder & Kofi Kingston [**1/2]
– The Bludgeon Brothers d. Chris Wylde & Rory Gulak [SQUASH]
– Baron Corbin d. Tye Dillinger [**]
– Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable d. Breezango [*1/2]
– Shinsuke Nakamura & AJ Styles d. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn [**]


THE Right:
The Usos Cut A Promo/ Bludgeon Brothers Destroy People: The Usos came out and talked about their sweep of Benjamin & Gable at the Royal Rumble. They listed off all the teams they have defeated over the past year and how they lived up to their Day One catchphrase. They declare themselves the best tag team in the entire WWE but they are confronted by the Bludgeoning Brothers who came out for their match. They proceeded to destroy Chris Wylde and Rory Gulak tried to walk out but Harper blocked his path. Harper creamed him with the big boot and Rowan power bombed Wylde. T-Bomb on Gulak gave the Bludgeon Brothers another quick victory. This was a perfect little segment. The Usos cut another great promo claiming to be the best tag team and they were met by the most dominant team on the roster before they laid waste to another set of jobbers. This was a great set-up for a new tag program without both teams getting into a promo battle or physical confrontation. They haven’t done Usos vs. Harper & Rowan in a few years so this tag feud feels fresh and already as a great story of the Usos trying to cement their greatness against two monsters in place.

puRgatoRy:
Shinsuke Nakamura Opens The Show: The winner of the men’s Royal Rumble, Shinsuke Nakamura, came out to open the show. Nakamura talked about how he drilled John Cena & Roman Reigns with a knee to the face and he promised to do the same to AJ Styles at WrestleMania. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn came out and complained about being screwed at the Royal Rumble since Owens’ wasn’t the legal man in the handicap match. Owens and Zayn warned Nakamura that they will get another crack at the WWE Championship and that Nakamura will face one or both of them at WrestleMania. AJ Styles joined in and offered to team with Nakamura against Owens & Zayn. Owens & Zayn refused, so Styles and Nakamura knocked them off the apron. The match would be made later in the show. This was the basic set-up the main event opening segment. It existed to remind everyone of the events of the Royal Rumble and to begin to put Nakamura in the WWE Championship picture as we begin the build to Styles/Nakamura. It wasn’t long or didn’t overstay its welcome, so as kick off the show segment, it was perfectly fine.

#1 Contender’s Match- Jinder Mahal vs. Zack Ryder vs. Rusev vs. Kofi Kingston: Mahal and Rusev dominated in the early going but Ryder and Kofi fought back, leading to Ryder hitting the suplex into the neck breaker on Kofi for a near fall. Kofi hit a suicide plancha onto Ryder & Mahal and Rusev looked to dive but Sumil Singh stopped him. Aiden English, Sumil & the New Day got into it at ringside, so the ref ejected them. Mahal worked over everyone on the floor but Rusev fired back when they made their way into the ring. Ryder caught Rusev with a second rope dropkick but Kofi caught him with the SOS for a near fall as Mahal saved. Mahal hit a knee strike on Rusev but Ryder caught him with the Rough Ryder. Rusev hit the high kick on Ryder and he rolled Kofi into the Accolade, forcing him to tap. I’m thrilled Rusev got the win, as he and Bobby Roode could have a really US Championship program if they choose to extend it beyond next week. The match wasn’t as good as it could have been, the first half of the match was based around the antics of the parties on the outside and then when the match solely focused on the competitors, the action was kind of flat. Not to say this wasn’t an entertaining TV match, but I just feel they could have had a more thrilling and exciting match than they produced.

Charlotte Flair In-Ring Interview: Renee Young interviewed Charlotte in the ring and asked her about her thoughts on the Women’s Royal Rumble. Charlotte said she was proud of the match and said it was the one time she wished she wasn’t the champion, as she wanted to win the match like her father did. Charlotte began to address Asuka and Ronda Rousey but is interrupted by the Riott Squad. Ruby Riott called Charlotte arrogance and unoriginal, nothing more than a cheap imitation of her father. Riott promised to make sure Charlotte didn’t make it to WrestleMania and the Riott Squad went on the attack. Charlotte actually holds her own but after a quick regroup the Riott Squad overpowered her. They lay her out and Carmella came out with the briefcase. Carmella began to cash in and looked to dropkick Charlotte but missed and she dropkicked the ref out of the ring. Charlotte made her way to her feet so Carmella decided that this wasn’t her moment after all. A mixed bag of a segment, the promos by Charlotte and Riott weren’t all that good but the beat down was solid and it was good to remind everyone that Carmella’s briefcase is still in place. They got over the idea that the next few weeks will be about Charlotte trying to get to WrestleMania as the champion and she’s the target of four different women, so I like the story they’re telling they just have to improve on the promo work to get me really invested.

Tye Dillinger vs. Baron Corbin: Dillinger went on the attack to start, hitting Corbin with a forearm off the steps. Corbin regained control back in the ring, hammering away on Dillinger and dumping him to the floor. Dillinger fought out of a half nelson and he sent Corbin shoulder first into the post. Dillinger fired back but Corbin hit a forearm to the back of the head and the choke breaker to end that run. End of Days gave Corbin the victory. This was fine for a time wasting match on the show, but the crowd was dead for it since neither guy has any momentum right now. I have no idea what they’re doing with Corbin and no one else does either, they need to decide whether they’re going to push him or not.

Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs. Breezango: Benjamin hit a spine buster on Fandango and he and Gable took turns working over the arm of Fandango. Fandango hit a wheelbarrow bulldog for a near fall and every time he looked for a tag, Breeze was taken off the apron. Breeze finally got the tag and he fired away on Benjamin and Gable. Benjamin blocked a hurricanrana attempt and he and Gable hit the Doomsday Powerbomb for the win. This match existed to give Benjamin & Gable a win back after the loss to the Usos. The match itself was a mess; Fandango in particular was pretty sloppy so this really didn’t give Gable & Benjamin that dominant victory that they probably needed.

THE wRong:
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & AJ Styles: Styles and Nakamura got the better of Zayn & Owens early, with Styles connecting with a dropkick on Zayn. Zayn & Owens worked over Nakamura in their corner of the ring and miscommunication caused Owens to knock Zayn to the floor. Owens screamed at Zayn to get back to their corner and they got into an argument on the floor. Zayn had enough and decided to watch the match from the stage, leaving Owens to go it alone. Styles fired away on Owens, hitting the pendulum facebuster for a near fall as Zayn returned to make the save. Zayn worked over Styles but Owens ordered him to tag him in. Owens and Zayn take turns aggressively tagging each other into the match and Styles used that to try and roll Owens up for a near fall. Zayn again decided to leave but this time, he left for good. Owens hit the gut buster followed by the Vader Bomb elbow drop for a near fall. Styles caught Owens with the Pele and Nakamura got the tag. Nakamura threw a series of strikes at Owens and Owens tried to leave through the crowd but Styles stopped him. Spinning heel kick followed by the Kinsasha by Nakamura gets him the victory. You know you are doing something wrong from a booking standpoint when a tag match involving this far is as far away from great as humanly possible. If they just a competitive tag match and then did the Owens & Zayn arguing stuff at the finish, that would have been a million times better than what they did here. Instead, they spent the entire match having them argue and get into it, making anything happening in the actually match mean absolutely nothing. This is way too soon to already do the Zayn/Owens break-up, so this didn’t get be interested in the slightest, in fact is continues to turn me off to an act that had so much potential back in October and is now dying a slow, painful death. I can’t remember a match that was as disappointing as this was; it was a horrible way to end the show.

THE Ridiculous:
NOTHING

The 1182nd edition is over…

5.0
The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
After the Charlotte/Riott Squad segment, I was ready to praise this show for the fresh directions and stories they were starting up but boy did this show fall off a cliff in the second hour. The second hour featured two incredibly flat and dry lower mid-card matches and the main event just infuriated me to no end. The Zayn/Owens booking is atrocious and I have zero interest in their one on one match next week coming out of this show. You can pick out some of the interesting ideas and fun programs sprinkled throughout the show but the main stuff they’re building up seemed to already be dead and we’re not even close to Fastlane yet. Coming off a hot Royal Rumble show, this week’s episode was a massive letdown and an easy one to skip.
legend

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Smackdown, Wrestling's 4Rs, Dylan Diot