Let me get this straight.

Bradley Tiernan, who consistently disappoints in the ratings and is really the living reason “The Raw Review” has crumbled in stature in recent months, gets to continue dishing out his mediocre analysis and jokes about your mum in Vulture Hound’s coverage of the WWE’s flagship show?
I pointed out this obvious mistake to our editors at Vulture Hound, expecting to be rewarded with the slot I so clearly deserve, but instead, I received this response:
“Elliot, it’s 3AM. Please stop pestering me about this. You can review Smackdown Live if you want. Just, please, let me sleep. Also, how did you get my home phone number?”
If I have to start at Smackdown, prove myself and climb the ladder here at Vulture Hound, so be it. Brad, be warned – I’m coming for your spot.

SO ANYWAY, Smackdown Live undoubtedly got shafted in the draft last week. Or maybe the viewers got shafted. Let’s all try and keep an open mind about this and maybe it’ll turn out okay. One thing I refuse to be open minded about, however, is the incessant use of Daniel Bryan’s “Yes” chants. I’m done with it. We saw “Yestlemania” and now he’s the GM of Smackdown. We know he’s there, we don’t need to be constantly reminded.

The first real episode of Smackdown Live began with… eugh. “Yes” chants. Then the faces in charge announced a “6 Pack” (Why?) number 1 contender match for the “most prestigious prize in sports entertainment”, which is currently sitting around the waist of the craziest ruddy man alive, Dean Ambrose. I just can’t get over how unhinged he is! WOW! Remember that time he named a plant? MADNESS!
Shane and D-Bry threw John Cena, Bray Wyatt, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler and AJ Styles into this “6 pack” thing. “But that’s only 5 people, Daddy!” Ain’t that the truth, kiddo. They really have screwed the pooch with this one. They forgot someone! AHAHAHA! Oh, no, wait, they’re doing a battle royal again to determine the 6th guy.
Apollo Crews won it, because the last 4 people in the ring were Kalisto (no chance), Kane (no chance in hell), Zack Ryder (Mojo’s friend) and the aforementioned Crews. So yeah, Crews won. Oh, and Zack Ryder managed to botch an elbow drop. Digest that for a minute.

You know how you thought Smackdown didn’t have much going for it? What if I told you it’s soon to feature Shelton Benjamin and Rhyno? What if I told you Rhyno appeared during a promo by Heath Slater and gored the “hottest free agent in sports entertainment”? Yeah, I agree. rhyno-nxt

“Smackdown has a hollow women’s division!” cried the Internet last week. Well, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Alexa Bliss, Naomi, Carmella and Eva Marie beg to differ. They’re wrong, but they still beg to differ. So, maybe these guys are getting a belt? I don’t know, I’m not on WWE creative. If I was, I sure as shit wouldn’t have split up the women’s division and we wouldn’t be here right now.

The Miz is the best thing about Smackdown. I say that 100% seriously. BUT, this week’s Miz TV segment was pretty done to death. The star of Marine 5 did that shtick where he was interviewing himself and oh would you look at that – Randy Orton is here to deliver the same promo he gave at Battleground. Then he had a match The Miz, RKOd him twice and pinned the IC champ clean. A guy whose finisher stands for “Randall Keith Orton” beat The Miz in about 5 minutes.

He hears voices in his veins or something
He hears voices in his veins or something

Let me ask you something. Sure, it’s something you won’t be able to answer because this isn’t a conversation like my laid back, award-winning writing style would have you believe, but still, let me ask you something. If you wanted to build Smackdown as a legitimate equal of Raw (the home of Seth Rollins, Finn Balor et al), how would you go about it? Would you make Dolph Ziggler the number one contender for your top prize? YOU WOULDN’T!? Well that’s what happened in this week’s main event.

"I'm as surprised as you."
“I’m as surprised as you.”

Now, realistically, the match to crown a number one contender shouldn’t have been one, hastily thrown together match at all, but instead a tournament. I don’t even care how many people would be in this tournament, but at least when you get to the final of said tournament, you have seen some justification for why these wrestlers are in the running. Sure, Apollo Crews earned his spot in this multi-man spot-fest, but everyone else? Cena and Styles I can accept, and I’m happy to see Bray Wyatt anywhere near a title picture, but Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler? How do you justify handing them this golden opportunity? If you’re Smackdown Live, you don’t. You just ignore it. They’re in the match and that’s that.
With all that said, the match itself was pretty good. But Dolph Ziggler won – by pinning AJ Styles, no less. And here we are.

What a bleak image of the future we were handed by this, the very first episode of Smackdown Live. Now I really want Brad’s slot on VultureHound.

By Elliot Dyson

Prize writer.