WWE Friday Night SmackDown Review
Ludwig Kaiser vs. Shinske Nakamura
Gunther was present in Kaiser’s corner. The bell rang, and Ludwig set about hammering his vis-a-vis in the corner, not bending to the dirt. In all, the European was completely behind him until Schinske caught him with a kick to the body, adding a few more kicks in the corner and a knee drop. A hold to 2, a couple more attacks in the corner, one of which Kaiser reversed with a butterfly suplex and a hard RK to 2. After the snap suplex, Nakamura lunged again, and the rare fans in the audience began cheering the Japanese man on. It worked, he caught the moment for a kick to the back of the head, spending a crowning knee to his opponent lying on the top turnbuckle. Rolling back on the apron, Ludwig blocked RK from the apron, bringing his opponent face down on that same apron and then knocking him into the steps. Back from commercial, we saw that Kaiser was still dominating, but Sheen walked away from the suplex with a crowning step-up kick to the head. A series of strikes from Nakamura and a sliding knee followed, and then Shinske also came out for a crowning sliding German to 2. Fighting off the second German suplex, Kaiser ran into a big boot and got a knee off the ropes, rolling out of the ring again. King brought his vis-a-vis back in, but Gunther got in the way of Schinske’s four-corner. “Come On!!!!” – Nakamura shouted to him in his unique style, but the Intercontinental champion had no intention of even touching him. Shinske got back in the ring, hit a wrap-up to 2 and charged with another kick. Kinshasa’s preparations were disrupted by Gunther climbing the steps. Nakamura got distracted, Ludwig wanted to take advantage, but got himself rolled up to 2. Breaking out, Kaiser guided his opponent to the ropes, where he was attacked by Gunther. Crown DDT, and Kaiser won. Reaching the stagger, Ludwig celebrated the victory, but WALTER interrupted the celebration. He demanded that the underling prepare to take another chop. Kaiser meekly obeyed… but Gunther patted him on the shoulder to charge the chop when Ludwig relaxed.
A solid nine-and-a-half minute televised fight with some nice in-ring work, and an understandable but very battered finish. I mean, I can justify such an ending, but I’m not at all sure it makes the match any more enjoyable. The most interesting thing is that globally, all this action only improved Gunter. Nakamura lost, so what good would that do? Ludwig “bounced back”, but was “killed” by a chop all the same. And only WALTER looks powerful. Well, at least something.
After the highlights of Morgan taking the SmackDown championship away from Ronda at Money in the Bank, we were shown interviews with the girls. Kayla Braxton was supposed to do it, even asking Rhonda how their match at SummerSlam would be different from what we saw at MitB, but Rhonda sent the interviewer out for a walk, saying she would talk to Liv herself. The former champion said she respects Morgan and doesn’t hold a grudge for Liv taking the opportunity to see her. Rhonda thinks Morgan is a good champion and a breath of fresh air, but will beat Liv at SummerSlam simply because Rhonda is Rhonda and Liv is not Rhonda. And after her win, the UFC Hall of Fame member expects Morgan to accept defeat with dignity and shake hands with her opponent like Ronda did at Money in the Bank. The champion appreciated her opponent’s self-confidence. Liv, for example, can’t stand up like that confidently, look Ronda in the eye and say she’ll beat the MMA woman at Slam. However, Morgan can look into her opponent’s soul and promise to win because she loves both wrestling and the belt more than Ronda does, and needs it all more than Ronda does. As for the handshake, Liv promises that she will shake Ronda’s hand after she beats her…again. The challenger stated that this is why Morgan is loved, because of how much passion she has for what she does. More passion than anyone…except Rhonda. Well, that was our typical little behind-the-scenes segment in which the girls generally did well. Not that they stirred up much interest in the fight, but at least they did a good job of reading their text, once again telling us who has what role here.
McAfee is as ready as he can be to meet Corbin
Pat McAfee and Michael Cole were about to tell us something when Lucky Corbin attacked Pat with a big boot. After throwing a few more punches, he left. McAfee came to his senses and went in pursuit of the “son of a bitch” (as he said himself). Finding Corbin backstage and dodging a punch with a chair, Pat tried to attack, Corbin started to fight back, and the PLE opponents were separated by the backstage staff led by Adam Pearce, sending us to another commercial. After the commercial, we were shown highlights of the whole thing one more time, and McAfee went up to the ring and took the mic. Before he goes back to the commentary panel, Pat has something to say to this jerk. At Slam, Corbin won’t be able to hide, attack from the back and use diaper annoyance as an excuse. In eight days, the man will fight a big, dumb, bald kid, and after McAfee’s leg flies into Corbin’s head, it’s all over for Baron. “See you in Nashville, bitch!” – McAfee concluded.
I don’t watch “Smack” as in-depth, and sometimes skip issues altogether, but I have to admit that Pat as a performer rather than a commentator is a breath of fresh air. He doesn’t seem to have done anything outstanding, but this little promo of his is a delight. All in all, for me, this is one of the highlights of the issue so far.
Viking Raiders (Eric and Ivar) vs. Jinder Mahal and Shanky
Before the match, we were reminded of how the relationship between the Vikings and New Day has evolved for the foreseeable past, and then Kingston and Woods joined the commentators. Mahal and Eric started the match. The former led the tag team, switched with his partner, and they beat their opponent together. Jinder got away from the slam with a kick to the head, but Ivar immediately subdued him with a seated senton. As they left with Mahal outside the ring, Ivar was distracted for a second by “New Day,” Jinder started throwing punches, but Ivar wasn’t so much feeling his punches as throwing his own. Eventually, not without a little help from Eric, Ivar steered his vis-a-vis into the steps, then sent New Day flying. “The Vikings returned to the quadrangle, and Mahal and Shanky lost the count. Kofi and Xavier were a little surprised by this behavior from Eric and Ivar, headed for the quadrangle…but the Viking Raiders just left.
I honestly don’t quite understand why we needed this. This squash that VR won by countout doesn’t promote them much, the parody of the scuffle with “New Day” basically doesn’t develop their confrontation, but allows that very confrontation to somehow stomp in place… All in all, this is our typical WWE fusion that even WWE themselves don’t care about with the very strange booing.
Adam Pierce backstage informed someone on the phone that Corbin had escaped the arena. He (Adam) was approached by Sonja DeVille to taunt him. After all, whatever Pierce tries to do on any of the brands, the shows turn into a disaster and the employees start doing whatever they want. That wouldn’t have happened under Sonia. By the way, Deville paid the fine that Adam imposed on her, and she remembered it because now Pierce could use that money and hire someone to, roughly speaking, clean up the messes for him. Finally, Adam had had enough humiliation. He certainly appreciated his former colleague’s concern, but Sonya had better take care of herself. After all, Pierce had scheduled her fight with Raquel Rodriguez for tonight’s show.