Smackdown Live Recap: Psycho Orton Strike Again, Charlotte Makes a Statement.

Smackdown Live, much like Monday Night RAW, had a few loose ends to tie up before heading into WWE Super Showdown this Saturday on PPV. The show kicked off right away with the cliffhanger from last week, with Paige addressing Samoa Joe’s actions towards AJ Styles and his family.

Paige explained that WWE management wanted Joe fired but after speaking with AJ Styles, who begged her to let him have a match with Joe on Saturday, decided not to fire him and made the title match official. She then showed us a pre-recorded clip of AJ Styles from his house, saying that he would not be on Smackdown Live in order to stay home and protect his family from Samoa Joe.

This was a really strong promo from AJ because you could see and heart both fear and anger emanating from him. His promo portrayed Joe as, literally, the monster under his daughter’s bed, but he also held his head high and vowed to bury Joe alive at Super Showdown. That match is absolutely a must-see come Saturday.

The show took a lighter turn with Carmella & R-Truth facing Andrade Cien Almas & Zelina Vega in a mixed tag match. I actually really enjoy both of these teams. I think Carmella & R-Truth are a good combination, and Almas has star potential written all over him, especially after watching his one-on-one matches against Daniel Bryan.

Carmella & Truth would pull out the win after this beautiful transition by Carmella into the “code of silence”.

Seriously, that was an awesome transition. Carmella was one of the most unique finishers in the game right now, and I’m glad to see her still picking up strong victories despite being bumped out of the title picture for the moment.

The New Day and The Bar hyped their match on Saturday with a short but entertaining segment that basically devolved into one big food fight. The Bar came away looking strong and ready for the title match this weekend. These two teams always put on pretty good matches, so I expect nothing less this Saturday.

Earlier in the night, Tye Dillinger demanded a one-on-one match with Randy Orton, and he got his wish in the worst way possible. Psycho Orton was back in full force this week, beating the hell out of Dillinger all around the arena, and eventually finding a new way to gross us all out.

It’s still not as disturbing as the ear thing he did to Jeff Hardy, but this was still nasty, and I love it. I hope Psycho Orton stays around for a while because when he is dialed in like this he is one of the best heels in the business.

Now on to the soap opera part of this show, as Aiden English came out to show Lana and Rusev his evidence pertaining to what happened during that “one night in Milwaukee” that he teased last week.

Okay… So, there’s… Something there? Obviously, just Lana saying “I want you” with no follow-up isn’t exactly concrete evidence on infidelity, but in WWE world it certainly is. English said he wouldn’t show the rest of the video due to legal reasons, and the segment ended with Rusev chasing him to the backstage area, leaving Lana alone in the ring looking guilty as all hell.

I did love Corey Graves’ reaction to the whole thing, though.

“Getting hot in here…You guys want some tea?”

Shelton Benjamin faced Daniel Bryan in a singles match, apparently due to some social media feud, with The Miz commentating at ringside. The match itself was fine for what it was, but we all knew that this was going to end with Miz attacking Bryan from behind from the ringside position. Bryan would end up losing to Benjamin as a result of Miz’s distracting presence, and Miz would follow that up with an attack of his own, leaving Bryan beaten and broken in the middle of the ring. Miz left him with a simple message.

Asuka took on Peyton Royce in a singles match. It was… fine. It was just fine. I still think that WWE has completely screwed and wasted Asuka since calling her up to the main roster. Unless this current run she’s on ends in a big heel turn or something I can’t see her getting back into the championship picture on either show. Ronda has a vice grip on the RAW title, and I can’t see them taking the title off Becky right now given how white-hot she is.

Again, I’m hoping she turns on Naomi this Saturday in their tag match and goes on a heel run because that’s the only way I can see her getting back into a prominent role on Smackdown Live.

Speaking of Smackdown’s white-hot women’s champion, Becky Lynch closed out the show with a “surprise announcement”.

That surprise came in the form of WWE’s newest poster for the Super Showdown PPV this Saturday.

Unfortunately, Becky’s celebration was cut short by Charlotte Flair, who came out to confront and attack the Smackdown women’s champion.

It speaks volumes about both Charlotte and Becky that WWE is using the main event of the Smackdown before a PPV to promote their title match. Becky and Charlotte have just as much momentum and drama heading into their match on Saturday as AJ Styles and Samoa Joe do, and that’s awesome.

It’s nice to see a women’s championship being treated with respect on at least one of these WWE shows…

RAW Recap: The Good, The Bad, and The Bizarre

This is going to be a bit of a different recap than the previous ones because for once I actually decided to watch most of Monday Night RAW rather than fast-forwarding through the whole thing.

RAW was actually decent this week. It wasn’t a complete waste of my time, and I haven’t been able to say that about the flagship show in quite some time. We were given some above average one-on-one matches and an all-time crowd reaction from Seattle. However, as always, there were some major low points in the show, and I cannot just simply ignore those.

For now, though, let’s start with the positives from this week’s episode of RAW.

The Good:

The singles matches between The Shield & Strowman/Ziggler/McIntyre

For the most part, I have been enjoying the feud between these two groups, and they did a nice job of pumping up the 6-man tag match at the PPV on Saturday by having three separate singles matches this week on RAW. The pairings were Strowman vs. Ambrose, Reigns vs. Ziggler, and Rollins vs. McIntyre. Every single match was influenced by outside interference, but that was to be expected and I still don’t think it took too much away from the actual quality of the matches themselves.

It’s becoming obvious that we’re going to get a Dean Ambrose heel turn at some point, but I’m not convinced that it happens on Saturday. Either way, enjoy The Shield while it’s intact because apparently Vince just loves to split these guys up again and again.

Owens & Elias vs. The people of Seattle

This was fantastic, and good for you, Seattle. It’s been a long time since we’ve heard a massive crowd reaction like this, and it works so well for heels like Elias and Kevin Owens. Other heels within the company may not have handled a reaction like this as well as these two did. Can you imagine someone like Jinder Mahal trying to cut a promo in that environment? YIKES. No way. Luckily, Owens and Elias held their own and turned it into a good segment.

Ruby Riott

Yes, Ruby Riott. Not “Ruby Riott vs. Ronda Rousey”, just Ruby Riott. Ronda still sucks, and I still have no use for the Bella Twins being on my television screen for any reason. However, Ruby Riott pushed Ronda more than anyone else has since she joined the RAW roster. Riott controlled most of the match and came off as a dangerous, up-and-coming talent which is exactly how she should be portrayed. We all knew she wasn’t winning the title on RAW, but at least she didn’t get whipped around like a ragdoll the way all of Ronda’s other opponents have been. I truly hope this is a sign that WWE officials are high on Ruby Riott because she absolutely has the talent and the character to be a top star in the WWE.

Another positive from this match? Brie Bella didn’t touch anyone, so nobody got injured this week.

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Yayyyy!!!!! Let’s all give Brie a big round of applause! She didn’t viciously and carelessly injure any of her co-workers this week!

The Bad:

Lio Rush

Am I supposed to like this guy? I still don’t really know who the hell he is, but apparently, he’s supposed to be cool? I don’t see it. His mic work this week was atrocious, and it was obvious he was rattled by the crowd. Is he good in the ring? I have no idea. I honestly don’t know who or what Lio Rush is supposed to be but I’m already bored with him.

The Tag Team Division

What a dumpster fire the RAW tag team division has turned into. The B Team vs. Chad Gable & Bobby Roode. Woof. But hey! At least it looks like AOP is finally getting somewhat of a push. Unfortunately, with the actual RAW Tag Team Titles being wrapped up in the main event storyline it leaves the rest of the division without much direction.

The Bizarre:

The Ending segment with Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker & Kane

I’ve watched this segment a few times now, and I’m still not sure if I like it or not. On one hand it was cool to see Shawn Michaels back in the ring doing what he’s always done best, cutting a good promo for the Super Showdown on Saturday. It was also cool to see Kane and The Undertaker do an old school ambush attack just like the Brothers of Destruction used to do.

One the other hand, though… Do we really need the old guys highlighting Monday Night RAW? I mean, I get it, they’re promoting what they believe to be the biggest match of the Super Showdown PPV this weekend, but shouldn’t The Shield, as well as your Universal Champion, be highlighting the show?

Don’t get me wrong, I will always love these four men for what they have given us as wrestling fans over the years, but I’m just not sure I need this feud right now. I’m hoping that I’ll be proven wrong and that Triple H and The Undertaker will put on an all-time classic this Saturday. Recent history, however, dictates otherwise.

Smackdown Live Recap: Queen Becky Still Rules, Samoa Joe Makes a House Call.

After a 3-hour tooth extraction of a Monday Night RAW, it was refreshing to sit down on the couch tonight for an episode of Smackdown Live. With AJ Styles & Samoa Joe highlighting the show it was clear right off the bat that we were in for another entertaining Tuesday night.

The show opened up with the Miz TV set and Miz’s music, but it was R-Truth and Carmella that were standing in the ring. Truth and Carmella had essentially hijacked Miz’s show and used it as a way to interview Daniel Bryan about this match with the Miz at Super Showdown. This is where R-Truth is at his best. He’s a funny, charismatic guy who can elicit genuine laughter from the crowd without having to try too hard.

Oh, and the mandatory 7-second dance breaks? I’m into it.

This was a fun, light-hearted way to introduce the Bryan-Miz rivalry for this week. Miz would then take out his humiliation on R-Truth by taking him on in a singles match. Miz won the match, all the while taunting Daniel Bryan who was sitting at the commentary table. Miz is definitely gaining momentum heading towards WWE Super Showdown, but there’s still a ways to go. Don’t be surprised to see Daniel Bryan turn the tides in the coming weeks.

This was then followed up by a brief cut-scene featuring Charlotte Flair being attacked at a photo shoot by Becky Lynch. After the attack, Lynch demanded that the photographer take a picture of the champ.

I’ll say it again — All Hail Heel Becky.

Sheamus and Big-E had a singles match as the feud between The Bar and The New Day continues on the way to their Tag Team Championship match at Super Showdown. The match was pretty decent and was a nice back-and-forth between the two, but it was Sheamus who took the win after hitting the Brogue Kick on Big-E.

Rusev, accompanied by Lana, then came out to the ring to address Aiden English’s betrayal from the previous week. English came out and responded to Rusev by saying that everything was going well until Lana got involved. He also made an insinuation about, “that one night in Milwaukee” which drew a big reaction from the crowd.

I love that this seemingly scandalous night took place in Milwaukee, by the way. It doesn’t get more random than Milwaukee, Wisconsin for something like that to happen. We don’t know yet what English is hinting at but this certainly adds a new layer to his situation with Rusev. I’m still not sure what the endgame is here for either superstar, but I’m at least mildly intrigued so I guess I’ll just see where it goes from here.

We then got a women’s tag match featuring the team of Naomi & Asuka facing Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. I still wish Asuka was in the title picture as she deserves to be, but pairing her with a legit talent like Naomi isn’t the worst thing either. I also still like Deville and Rose, but more as a tag team than anything else. I’m not sure how either would do as a singles competitor, but as a team, they have a strong dynamic.

Naomi & Asuka won without much trouble, as one would expect, but this served more to continue their feud with The Iconics who were on commentary during the match promoting the Super Showdown.

Shinsuke Nakamura took on Tye Dillinger, though that did nothing but provide the setting for a Randy Orton ambush. Orton interfered in the match and beat the hell out of Dillinger, who I guess he had targeted as the “next victim” that he alluded to last week.

Becky Lynch took on Lana in a singles match after the two of them had a brief exchange backstage following Lana & Rusev’s segment with Aiden English. The reasoning behind this match, despite their backstage exchange, was still a bit unclear. Corey Graves alluded to Lynch believing that Lana was, “bad for the Smackdown women’s division” but that was about it. Regardless, Lynch dominated the match and submitted Lana with the “Disarm Her” to pick up the victory.

This led to the show closer which featured the contract signing between AJ Styles and Samoa Joe for their match at WWE Super Showdown for the WWE Championship. Styles came out to the ring looking confident and ready to sign the contract. Samoa Joe? Nowehere to be found..

.. Until he appeared on the titantron. Joe revealed that he was at AJ Styles’ house. It felt like something like this was eventually going to happen. Joe had been hinting at going after Styles’ family for weeks now, and not only did he finally do that but he also showed the most sadistic side of him. He wanted AJ to feel helpless and enraged knowing there was nothing he could do to stop Joe from going to his house.

The show ended with Samoa Joe ringing the doorbell to AJ’s home and saying, “Daddy’s home” just as the screen went to black. That is a cliff-hanging ending like you read about, and it was an awesome way to enhance this rivalry. Samoa Joe is really rounding into form as the top heel on Smackdown Live, and this gives us something intriguing to look forward to next week.

RAW Recap: Brie Goes Botch Mode, Concusses Liv Morgan

Did you watch Monday Night RAW this week? If so, did you watch it live? Commercials and all? If so, then God bless you. You must have the patience of a saint (or legitimately nothing else to do with your night).

I watched Monday Night RAW via my DVR recording, as I usually do because I would rather staple my ears to a horse than sit through 3+ hours on what RAW has to offer these days. Most weeks I usually end up fast-forwarding through roughly 1.5-2 hours of the show and only watching the worthwhile parts.

This week was a much different story. Do you want to know how much of it I fast-forwarded through this week? All of it except for the opening segment. I’m not joking, I did not watch a single part after the opening segment featuring The Shield and Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre. That’s how bad this show was this week.

Despite the fact that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were in the building it was still Baron Corbin who was in charge. He announced that the main event would be a 6-man tag match between The Shield and Corbin plus a mystery team, which made it painfully obvious that it was going to be AOP. This opening segment also showed Ziggler, Strowman, and McIntyre trying to sway Dean Ambrose over to their side, teasing a potential heel turn for Ambrose in the main event.

Spoiler: there was no heel turn, and the main event was as lame as one would expect. Go ahead and toss AOP in with the pile of soulless tag teams that occupy the RAW roster. Ever since they were stripped of their full name and Paul Ellering they have not been the same, and I doubt they will ever recover given WWE’s current pace of destroying talented tag teams.

Let’s see, what else did RAW offer this week? Well, we had Finn Balor against Jinder Mahal to promote the Mixed Match Challenge, because what’s the sense in putting Finn Balor in a real feud where he can showcase his awesome talents? Pffttt, who needs that? No, this is great, let’s just keep sticking Finn in these useless matches against bums like Corbin and Mahal. That’s what the WWE fans want!

You can’t see it but as I wrote that my eyes rolled so far into the back of my head I would make The Undertaker tremble.

It is usually at this point that we are treated to The Ronda Rousey Ass-Kissing Hour, but she was not on the show this week. Interesting, isn’t it? I guess Mrs. “I’m not just doing this for fun or part-time” couldn’t be bothered to show up this week.

But fear not! The WWE made up for Ronda’s absence with a truly scintillating 6-woman tag match featuring The Riott Squad vs. Natalya & The Bellas. Before I go any further let me just say this: I like The Riott Squad. I think all three of those women have potential and I despise the fact that they are forced to job out to talentless hacks like The frickin’ Bellas.

So let’s get to our little reality stars, shall we? Want to know what it feels like to watch The Bellas run around and imitate what they believe to be wrestling in the ring? Do this: take your hands, hold open both your eyelids and then have somebody spray Windex directly into them. That’s what it’s like. It’s painful, it’s damaging to your eyesight, and it will make you want to close your eyes for the rest of the night.

The worst part about The Bellas is that they are legitimately dangerous to their opponents in the ring. Luckily, Twitter was all over it last night when Brie botched her patented (actually stolen from her husband) YES kicks.

Brie went full “Botch Moooooooode!” on this one:

That’s right, she kicked Liv Morgan directly in the face. DIRECTLY in the face. And even worse was that she absolutely knocked Liv out by doing so. Liv Morgan was out cold in the middle of the ring thanks to Brie Bella and her incompetence.

Here’s my question: what do you suppose would happen if this was a mid-card superstar who didn’t have their own reality show on the E! network? The answer is simple: he would be god damn fired. The WWE has fired wrestlers for a lot less and knocking out an opponent due to an unsafe, horribly executed kick would absolutely be a fireable offense.

But not if you’re Brie Bella. No, no, no. Not when you have a reality show on the E! Network that WWE gets to promote. Is it even a successful show, though? I mean, are people really watching that slime? The ratings can’t be that good if Brie & Nikki had to come crawling back to WWE so that they could leach off of the company’s marketing power.

I will, however, give credit where it’s due. Brie took to Twitter after the show and (sort of?) apologized to Liv Morgan for her carelessness.

Apology or not, the fact remains that Brie Bella does not belong inside of a WWE ring. Period. End of story. Send her, her sister, and their trash fire of a reality show away from the WWE for good, for all our sakes.

Anyway, I said it in the title of this recap and it’s true; nothing else particularly interesting happened on RAW. The Revival had a tag match against Ziggler & McIntyre for the RAW Tag Team Championships, which I would have watched had it not been for WWE systematically burying The Revival for the past several months on TV.

Spoiler: The Revival lost (shocking, I know).

Ho hum, another lame-ass Monday Night RAW with little-to-no action. But be sure to tune in next week! I’m sure Ronda will be back from vacation (maybe, she might be too busy) and she’ll team up with The Bellas in a “let’s see who Brie murders this week” match!

Static Rift EP 147

Its been forever since we have had a battle segement on the show, so Jensen returns to be battle master again. Jemsen give us the parameters of some of the hardest hitting what if battles, pitting against some of the best characters in all of comic book history, with Jason, John, and the listers picking the winners of each fantasy battle match up. Thats not all before our hosts get into all the crazy intense battles, they have a discussion with Jensen on whether or not Netflix should give the Defenders a second season.

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