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    Sunday, August 1, 2021

    The SmackDown BreakDown (7/30/21): #LOLCenaSigns

    Don't expect a review this week. This will be just me ranting like a madman because I can't believe I was tricked into watching an episode of RAW when it was clearly Saturday (Manila Time), and the graphic at the start of the show clearly said SmackDown. This was supposed to be my happy place, a safe haven from all the atrocities happening on RAW. I always forget that SmackDown is still under the WWE umbrella, and it's fair game to whoever's fucking everything up. Spoiler alert: it's Vince. *cough cough* 

    Sorry, John Cena, no amount of sex position jokes could save the stupidity that happened this week. The Blue Brand was doing so well! Cena opened the show with this usual shtick; that was nice. Then the contract signing began with Roman Reigns trying to control the narrative again and it got even better. I was hooked! And yeah, Finn Bálor was there being recognized as a main event player. I literally had no reason to worry because everything seemed perfect. How could they fuck up a contract signing?

    Look, I fucking get it. Roman Reigns vs. John Cena at SummerSlam is pretty much set in stone even before this contract debacle happened. And believe me, I'm not against that. But SmackDown had a lot of time to kill before the big event. They knew that, that's why they added Finn Bálor to the mix as a red herring. They knew that they needed to stretch this story and fill in at least five more TV episodes. Cena and Reigns can't just trade sex position jokes every goddamn week. So I expected an excellent slow-burner of a story that only SmackDown is capable of. Who the hell wanted to rush this storyline two weeks in?

    I certainly didn't expect them to advance this storyline in the dumbest way possible—by throwing logic out of the window and devaluing two Superstars in the process. WWE never ceases to amaze me in the worst possible ways. Why couldn't we just get Roman Reigns vs. Finn Bálor before SummerSlam? Why not have this contract signing this week and have them come up with a reason to have the match in advance, preferably two weeks before SummerSlam? Are you telling me they're not capable of doing that?

    If they had, Finn Bálor could've left the goddamn world title picture with some dignity. Imagine him wrestling the match of his life against the company's biggest name. Even if he would've lost, it could have still improved his stock, while helping him maintain his relevance on the main roster, which historically hasn't give much of a shit about him. Instead, they sent him packing towards a dead-end storyline with Baron Corbin. Are they really doing this again to Finn Bálor after squandering him for three years? Just send him back to NXT where he clearly belongs. Give us Prince Bálor again, please.

    Are authority figures even allowed to be this irrational? I get that babyface authority figures should subtly side with the good guys, but they shouldn't be this openly biased. I don't even have to google the specifics to know that you can't just sign someone else's contract. Do you think Adam Pearce would react the same way if Baron Corbin successfully signed the contract? I bet my entire life savings he would have been livid and would've instantly thrown it in the trash. He'll probably have fired him, too. That's how biased he is to me.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Roman Reigns sued Adam Pearce after SummerSlam, and as much as I hate lawyer-based storylines, I would actually enjoy watching Adam Pearce get fired or get thrown in jail for being an incompetent commissioner. I used to think Adam Pearce was a breath of fresh air as an authority figure. Who knew after a few months' time, he'd be the Adnan Virk of General Managers? Was Mike Adamle this stupid? I can't remember. Either way, Adam Pearce has fallen from grace.

    And did I mention they pretty much ruined Baron Corbin's trajectory, too? I feel like an idiot believing that they actually knew what they were doing with this Sad Corbin storyline. You'd think getting bodied in the dick with a missile and getting mugged in the process would humble a man. But nope, Corbin's back to being an asshole again. One step forward, two steps back. And of course, Kevin Owens was nowhere to be seen. Forget about the intriguing friendship thing they started last week.

    So I guess this is the extent of this downward spiral gimmick then? He'll just basically come out and get booed for being down on his luck, and whatever comeuppance he gets will be justified by him being an asshole? Great stuff. And now he'll start a feud with Finn Bálor. Can someone find the logic in that? If you don't want Finn near the title, at least give him a proper feud with someone actually worth beating. But fuck it. Why do I even bother? Enjoy five weeks of Finn Bálor vs. Baron Corbin, everyone!

    Thank heavens for Sasha Banks making her triumphant return. Her fantastic heel work saved this week's episode from being a total shit show. I'm really glad they didn't wait for next week to reveal her true colors because of course, we know what her true colors are. I was legit convinced they were going to make Sasha face again because of that prolonged post-match celebration. And when the other shoe finally dropped, it was perfection. Sasha Banks looked like a proper monster giving the cookie-cutter champion a proper beatdown. 

    Great, can't wait to see how they're going to ruin this one—again.

    FINAL BREAKDOWN: What the fuck happened here? Are you telling me last week's almost miraculous week of programming was just a fluke? I can expect RAW to drop the ball—and they pretty much did—but et tu, SmackDown? This was just disappointing.
    But hey, WWE gotta WWE. I guess it can't be helped since they really hates having nice things, for some reason. After all, this is the same company that fired one of the most creative minds in recent memory because of "budget cuts." God, I hope Windham Rotunda makes it big somewhere else. Someone please stick it to Vince, please.

    Show Grade: D

    BreakDown Thoughts That Can Also Get World Title Matches Because Literally Anyone Can Sign Contracts, Apparently

    • At least we still have Seth Rollins and Edge keeping things spicy on the Blue Brand. I especially enjoyed the "We want Becky" chants during Seth's promo. It must be nice to have that kind of heat that people would actually prefer seeing your wife instead of you. I really hope they continue chanting this during every Seth promo and only there. It's just rude if they chant it for someone else.
    • Yo, when did Reggie start looking like a million bucks? Sure, he's pretty much holding a paper title, but he legit looks like a proper babyface anyone can root for. Just don't give him five pages of script because the man can sure babble for hours. I also loved how Otis caused the DQ to save his buddy Chad Gable from being stuck in 24/7 limbo. I guess there's still a good guy inside of him after all.
    • It's also nice to hear the crowd singing along to Shinsuke Nakamura's theme song again. Who else has that kind of star power right now? Does this mean they're going to strap the rocket on him again? That wouldn't be the worst idea in the world.

    Header image taken from WWE.com


    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) is Smark Henry's seasoned veteran and resident SmackDown reviewer. He's a sucker for well-written promos and fast-paced matches. While he enjoys nitpicking shows, he now prefers enjoying wrestling for what it is instead of stressing himself over things he can't control. He's anxious about the future, now more than ever. His potential haunts him.

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    Item Reviewed: The SmackDown BreakDown (7/30/21): #LOLCenaSigns Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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