Last night saw the premiere of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX. As I make my grand return to SteelChair Magazine, this is also the season premiere of my weekly SmackDown review. What a time to be a wrestling fan! As yet another AC/DC intro for a WWE show goes – “are you ready for a good time?” Welcome to the most must-see VultureHound review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.
– Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair defeated Bayley and Sasha Banks in a Women’s Division tag team match.
– Seth Rollins vs Shinsuke Nakamura ended in a no-contest after Rollins was attacked by The Fiend.
– Kevin Owens defeated Shane McMahon in a ladder match which resulted in Shane O’Mac being fired from WWE.
– Heavy Machinery, Braun Strowman and The Miz defeated AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode and Randy Orton in a 4-Man tag team match.
– Roman Reigns defeated Rowan in a Lumberjack match.
– Brock Lesnar defeated Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship.
Bradley’s Best Bits:
Things got off with a bang as The Rock and The Man opened the show by laying the smackdown on King Corbin. From the moment the two icons shared a special fist bump, you know it was game over for the King of the Ring 2019 winner. Corbin endured such insults as “you look like a broke-ass Burger King on crack” and a few comments about his “perfectly adequate” testicles before he finally got hit with the People’s Elbow and a Rock Bottom for good measure.
The dynamic between the Four Horsewomen never goes stale as the NXT originals put on an impressive display in their tag team match. A brawl broke out between Sasha and Becky which did well to add fuel to the fire for their Raw Women’s Championship match inside Hell in a Cell whilst Charlotte making Bayley tap to the Figure Eight sets up another angle inside this already ever-developing feud.
Finally, there is an end to Shane McMahon’s reign of terror in WWE which is rather symbolic as we’ve had the season premiere’s of flagship WWE shows this week. “The Best in the Woooorld” lost his ladder match against Kevin Owens which means he is no longer working for WWE. In a kayfabe sense at least.
The match itself was great too. Shane continued to defy death when he leapt from the top turnbuckle to land an elbow drop on Owens who was lying prone on the announce table. The mad b*stard – himself the son of a mad b*stard – also landed a Coast to Coast on Owens, dropkicking a ladder into the Canadian in the process. Owens finally managed to turn the tide and smashed Shane through a bridged ladder across the corner which gave him time to ascend and retrieve the briefcase with his WWE contract.
There was a seemingly throwaway eight-man tag team match between Heavy Machinery, Bruan Strowman and The Miz against Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, Randy Orton and AJ Styles. Strowman was the one to pick up the victory with a powerslam to Ziggler. However, it was what happened outside the ring which garnered the most attention.
British Heavyweight boxer, Tyson Fury was at ringside and, at one point, was confronted by fellow giant Strowman who did his best to wait for someone to break the tension whilst he taunted the legitimate fighter. After the match, Fury jumped the barricade before being quickly ambushed by security. Now, I don’t want to get ahead of myself but Braun Strowman vs Tyson Fury at WrestleMania 36 might not be *the worst* idea for the trademark celebrity involved match on the card.
If marketing and promotional material are anything to go by then Roman Reigns is clearly still Vince’s boy. Whilst it’s a matter of when the Big Dawg will return to the championship picture, he seems to be having a good time elevating those around him at the moment. In honesty, the lumberjack match last night wasn’t brilliant, but it has temporarily helped bring back Daniel Bryan as a babyface.
The pair team up to take on Rowan and Harper at Hell in a Cell which I really do see going either way; Vince was hot on The Bludgeon Brothers before their injury, putting the SmackDown tag team titles on them instantly. Whereas Roman is THE guy and Bryan is his best all-around performer.
For FOX Sake:
We didn’t get much of a match between Seth Rollins and Shinsuke Nakamura before The Fiend got down to business once again by making the lights go out and attacking the Champion Rollins. Whilst this is good to build their Universal Championship match for this Sunday at Hell in a Cell, it has been a repetitive performance from Bray Wyatt in the last couple of weeks.
Aside from the brilliance of the Firefly Funhouse episodes, it feels like we have seen The Fiend appear and attack Rollins every week for the last month. What started off as an intriguing concept – and in many ways still is – it will begin to fade in its allure if in the build-up to every PPV match with The Fiend there are weeks of [blackout] -insert Mandible Claw here- attacks on opponents. Yet, things get could very original if the psychotic character does become Universal Champion on Sunday night.
In a turn of events that no one in their right mind saw coming, Brock Lesnar instantly hit Kofi Kingston with one singular F5 in seconds to become the new WWE Champion. I have literally seen gifs longer than the time it took Lesnar to beat Kofi to win the title. It was *that* bad.
This was all to set up the debut of The Beast’s former UFC rival, Cain Velasquez, who came charging down to the ring with Rey Mysterio to attack Brock as if Rey’s son Dominik had transformed himself into a UFC Heavyweight in the space of a week.
The saddest part about this is the blatant level of disrespect Vince McMahon has shown here for Kofi’s legacy as the first black WWE Champion in favour of an easy payday. WWE didn’t need to have him drop the title so quickly in the match in order for it to be used as a prop in what will be a glorified UFC heavyweight match in WWE.
With or without the title on the line, the question should be raised as to why Lesnar and Velasquez aren’t just having the match inside the octagon – I believe that is where they fight in UFC. I don’t know, I don’t watch “real sports”. Is it possible that they will feud in both brands? Who knows? Who cares? Because I certainly don’t. In fact, the only way they could make me care more about this is if they made it a triple threat with Ken Shamrock and throw them all in a Lion’s Den match. Now I’m having a “good time”, AC/DC.
Hell in a Cell Match Card:
Yet another WWE PPV is happening this Sunday and so far there have only been 4 matches confirmed via the WWE website:
– SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley vs Charlotte Flair
– Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan v. Rowan and Harper
– RAW Women’s Championship (Hell in a Cell): Becky Lynch (c) vs Sasha Banks
– Universal Championship (Hell in a Cell): Seth Rollins (c) vs “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE