Jay's Ways - MSG SD Live Review Submitted by Justin Watry on 09/11/2019 at 11:57 PM
After a historic Monday Night Raw, we are back for round two from Madison Square Garden! This time, the blue brand gets their chance to impress. Using my popular good, bad, or ugly theme, let's take a look at the Tuesday night show just weeks before the big move to FOX.
WWE Smackdown Live Review 09.10.19
THE GOOD: The Undertaker Appears - If Stone Cold Steve Austin gets to open up RAW by beating up a current pest heel, so does Taker dang it! All kidding aside, I had no clue what The DeadMan was going to do here. After weeks of being advertised, apparently WWE also came up with nothing. The theory online during the day had been an attack from The Fiend (11.19 tease). However, that may have to wait for another time. This was Taker paying respects to his legacy in MSG, getting interrupted by the ever annoying Sami Zayn and then eating a chokeslam. I thought Shinsuke Nakamura would have ran out to help his buddy but nope. He seemed to show no concern for his manager (?) minutes later after the commercial break. Good segment. Obviously filler and a pointless prop to try and pop a television rating by hyping up a legend though. Long-term, this meant nothing. Short-term, it was a cool one two punch for the New York City crowd on back to back nights. Quite the year for Taker on Smackdown.
THE GOOD: Shane McMahon Is Back - If you were following me on Twitter, you knew the big 'Shane Is Off TV' mystery was nothing all along and he'd be back soon. Well, he is back. Non story. Here he did a short skit with Chad Gable and promised him a King of the Ring tournament opponent later since Elias is injured. Sucks for Elias but props for the decision. Gable's character SHOULD want to earn his way to the finals versus Baron Corbin. No free pass here. No immediate guesses on the replacement besides Shane O'Mac.
THE BAD: The Miz VS Andrade - In a bubble, this made sense. Miz is challenging for the IC Title at Clash of Champions, so him getting a TV win over a quality win is logical. Paint by the numbers stuff we see every single month. Looking a bit closer though, I was not a fan of this entire thing. First off, as mentioned, Nakamura was at ringside appearing to be just fine after watching his buddy Sami Zayn getting decimated minutes earlier. The argument could be that he doesn't care one bit about Zayn. However, it sure looked like they had suddenly got close the past few weeks. Now he doesn't care? Um, alright. Let's not even discuss about Shinsuke no longer wanting to talk yet sitting ringside for commentary. Then came The Miz getting a win over Andrade. Last week it was Chad Gable. This week was Miz? Andrade was a big time favorite to win the King of the Ring. Now he is back to losing weekly without much of a story. Come on! Hima and The Stud Drew McIntyre need to get going here. Zelina Vega is a potential STAR for the new FOX audience. Let's stop wasting time. Last but not least is the entire Wild Card Rule complaint (Miz?). This needs to get sorted out also. What a mess that became in a hurry.
THE GOOD: Shane VS Gable??? - Hey, Matt Hardy is still on the roster. Apollo Crews too! I could say a lot about those two but won't. Shane announced himself to wrestle Gable later. I suppose with the Crowd Jewel "Best In The World" history from last November I should have seen it coming. Time will tell if this is all a big swerve to rile up the crowd or the unthinkable is about to happen. Again.
THE GOOD: Mandy Rose VS Nikki Cross - Normally, the lame "I'm hot, you're ugly!" nonsense doesn't work in 2019 wrestling. For Mandy Rose though, it fits her character and was okay. I don't think her and Sonya Deville have much of a chance against Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross this Sunday for the WWE Womens Tag Team Title. Feels like one of the more clear foregone conclusions planned at the pay-per-view. I felt that way before Rose vs. Cross, and I feel that way even more afterwards. Almost an hour into the show. So far, nothing ugly but also nothing memorable five days away from a PPV. Remember folks, that major jump to FOX/Fridays is less than a month away...
THE GOOD: Ember Moons/Bayley Backstage - Yes! WWE has not completely given up on Ember Moon following Summerslam. She is excellent and deserved more than she got in Toronto. I love the fact that she is questioning Bayley's motives. It made sense and fit with her character. Same with Bayley defending her friendship with Sasha Banks and claiming (true or not) that this is all about the Smackdown Live women's division. Match later. Hope it is entertaining.
THE BAD: Heavy Machinery Match - I enjoy Heavy Machinery. As noted before, they won me over in NXT and have done a great job getting the crowd behind them on the main roster. Unlike The Viking Raiders who have struggled a bit. There was no point to this quick tag bout though. Stalled a few minutes of time and two local talents got a payday. In Madison Square Garden, days before a PPV, sorry if I want a little more. Higher expectations than usual.
THE GOOD: Kevin Owens The Ref? - I think we all see where this is headed. Still, gets the Owens/Shane feud back on track and allows Gable to advance. Win-win for both sides. Hoping the KO momentum is still there.
THE GOOD: Roman Reigns/Eric Rowan Brawl - First off, a Watry Bold Prediction. Much like Rowan's late 2014 solo run, I am calling this to be a bust. He will either reunite with Daniel Bryan or flounder in a hurry. This will NOT be a Braun Strowman breakout success story. I said the same when he was 'Big Red' five years and say the same now. For this brawl though, he was intense and came through in the clutch. He and Roman Reigns beat the heck out of each other and actually added some intrigue into their match at Clash Of Champions. Something I thought to be impossible. Good start here. Is the mystery attack story line really over? If so, that ranks right up/down there with Rikishi running over Stone Cold Steve Austin. Ugh.
THE BAD: Bayley VS Ember Moon - Over before it even started. Bayley defeated Ember Moon and then had a brief staredown with Charlotte Flair before walking away. Considering the face/heel lines are still a bit blurred, I understand not wanting to do too much. The only problem with that is the PPV is THIS Sunday! The crowd will be jacked regardless. It is in Charlotte after all. I just worry about what happens once the bell rings. Will Bayley be cheered? Will Charlotte be cheered? Will either be booed? How does this change the newly re-formed Buss And Hug Connection? Quite the mess to clean up if you ask me. Personally, I had Charlotte getting the title coming out of her big Trish Stratus victory...but now with Bayley turning up her attitude? I see the champ retaining. Then we all shift our attention to the REAL main event of Clash Of Champions: Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch for the RAW Womens Championship!
THE GOOD: BoomDrop Ten Years Later - Were The Revival out of town or what? Geez. I will say this about the infamous MSG moment from November 2009: I still remember nearly a decade later. I had that Raw on a VHS tape and re-watched it a bunch. Even in the days of the internet, I still kept my recorded wrestling shows. That was a moment worth watching back over and over. Unfortunately, it seemed like the MSG crowd did not really care. After the footage was aired, the live audience was silent. Kofi Kingston paused and looked around waiting for cheers, and that never happened. Once the trip down the memory lane finished, this was good. Randy Orton had another set up in mind, but Kofi turned the tables (literally) on him and boom dropped him again inside the world's most famous arena. Going into Summerslam, I thought there was ZERO chance Randy Orton would walk out as WWE Champion. A month later, I give him a great chance. Going into FOX, I will assume Kofi retains...but the buzz and excitement from WrestleMania 35 over him winning the big one is long gone. Would not shock me one bit if WWE has other ideas in mind Sunday night.
THE GOOD: Shane McMahon VS Chad Gable - Ladies and gentlemen, Chad Gable has main evented a main roster WWE show! Mark it down. In all seriousness, the company was clearly in a bind with the Elias injury, so they used the KO/Shane feud as a backdrop to further the King of the Ring tourney. Tough spot, clearly a decision made on the fly. Owens screwed Shane the same way he got screwed in the first round. Very fitting. I wasn't a big fan of everything after the initial pin fall. However, it served its purpose. Gable makes Shane tap out, and KO is fired. Okay! That issue will be resolved down the road, perhaps another Heck on a Deck showdown? Before that can happen, all eyes are on the KOTR finals - this Monday on Raw. I thought it was set for Clash Of Champions? Either way, we have Chad Gable vs. Baron Corbin. Oh boy...
SUMMARY: I was feeling a little generous with my breakdowns. While most of the show was good, it never reached its full potential. Hyping up a PPV at Madison Square Garden? I expected a lot. Right or wrong, WWE delivered a decent run of the mill show. That may work on any other random week. When you are moving to FOX in less than a month and are inside such a historic building, you need to bring your A-Game. It really is time for Smackdown Live to get some kind of momentum going. Time is ticking.
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