All right, we kick this episode off love from Las Vegas. This episode of Smackdown is the first night of the WWE draft.
Match #1: Roman Reigns v. Seth Rollins
Time: 14 minutes
Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Roman comes out to his usual mix of boos and cheers that end up being just a muted crowd response. Even after his “cool” move and pyro at the top of the ramp, the crowd is totally dead. And is Roman’s logo a bloody severed dog’s head?
Next is Seth Rollins. The crowd gives a good initial pop and love to scream “Burn it down.” But, after that? Nothing that great.
Michale Cole and Corey Graves really push the narrative that representatives from FOX and USA will be involved in the draft tonight and later on Monday during Raw. The stipulation for this match is whoever wins their show gets to draft first. So, if Seth wins Raw drafts first. If Roman wins Smackdown drafts first. The only question is will Vince’s hard-on for Roman make him job the Universal champion to Roman in this match?
Wait a second. Why would Seth or Roman care who gets the first pick? Also, isn’t it possible that the winner of this match ends up on the show that doesn’t get the first pick?
This match starts off really slooooooow. The crowd is pretty dead. We get some chain wrestling and lots of standing around and staring at each other. Rollins goes for a quick roll up and gets a two count. Rollins goes for a suicide dive out of the ring and Roman pops him. Roman goes for his drive-by and Seth dodges it.
We get another face-to-face stand-off in the middle of the ring. Seth and Roman trade punches. Reigns tosses Seth out of the ring. And we cut to a commercial break. Exciting.
We return from commercial break back with Roman and Seth taking turns trying to suplex each other. Roman goes for a quick roll up and gets a two count. Roman hits a sit-up powerbomb on Seth and goes for a pin and gets another two count.
Roman sets up for a Superman punch and the crowd boos. Seth dodges it and tosses Roman out of the Ring. Seth then delivers not one but two suicide dives on Roman.
Seth pulls Roman back into the ring and then hits a high knee on him. Rollins hits a frog splash on Roman. Rollins goes for a pin and gets a two count. The crowd starts chanting, “Let’s go Rollins.”
Rollins gets up and smacks the mat with his foot signaling for a curb stomp. Roman dodges it. Roman and Seth then trade blows. Rollins does a buckle bomb into the corner and Roman rebounds out of it and hits a Superman punch. Roman goes for the pin and gets a two count.
And now it is time for both wrestlers to take naps in the middle of the ring. Roman gets up on his feet first. Roman calls for a spear and does his silly yell and gesture. Roman goes for a spear and Rollins counters with a sloppy Pedigree. Rollins goes for a cover and gets a two count.
Rollin sets up for a curb stomp. Suddenly, the lights go out. A spotlight shines on Rollins and the Fiend comes out of the mat and puts Rollins in a mandible claw and then pulls Rollins under the ring. Michael Cole exclaims that the Fiend has dragged Seth “to Hell.” And Cole continues to make anything remotely cool suddenly extremely not cool.
The lights come back on and smoke comes out of the hole in the mat. Rollins then comes flying out of the hole. The Fiend then peeks out of the hole and then goes back under the mat. The lights cut out again. We hear the Fiend laughing. We then get a strobe light at the top of the ramp where The Fiend is standing and staring at the ring. The lights go back out and we go to commercial.
HOW WILL WE EVER DECIDE WHO GETS TO PICK FIRST IN THIS DRAFT?!
And I cannot believe that WWE is returning to the Fiend/Seth Rollins dude after the utter debacle during Hell in a Cell. It would have been wise for WWE to just pull the plug on this feud. It is only going to further damage an already weak babyface in Seth Rollins. And I just don’t know how WWE makes the Fiend fit within their narrative structure.
We get back from commercial. Cole tells us that Rollins won the match via disqualification. Wait, so the Fiend attacks Roman and that means Roman loses and Raw gets the first pick? Lame. I would imagine this means there is zero chance that Smackdown would want to draft the Fiend since he cost them the #1 pick in the draft.
Winner: Seth Rollins
This match was slow and plodding. It also hurts that the crowd is always so dead and apathetic to any match involving Roman Reigns. The ending also sucked. WWE continues to leave fans unsatisfied with how they book endings to matches.
We get the rules for the draft are:
- Over 70 wrestlers have been placed into the draft.
- 30 wrestlers are eligible to be drafted tonight. 40 wrestlers are eligible to be drafted on Monday Night Raw.
- For every two picks, Smackdown has, Raw will get three.
- Tag teams will count as one pick unless FOX or USA Network specifically wants to pick one wrestler from the team.
- Any undrafted wrestlers will be immediately declared free agents and will be able to sign with the brand of their choosing.
Sooooo, why would you want to get drafted? Wouldn’t it be better to be a free agent and go to whichever show you prefer? WWE never tells us that there is any advantage to getting drafted. It would be easy to say that drafted wrestlers getting signing bonuses and larger yearly salaries. But, WWE doesn’t care about logic and the details.
Stephanie McMahon walks out to a podium at the top of the ramp. Steph then asks why the crowd is not booing her. It’s because WWE has made their crowd apathetic to everything.
Stephanie says it is time to announce the first round of picks.
With the first pick, RAW drafts Becky Lynch. This is WWE continuing to try and push their women’s wrestlers as being as big a deal as the men’s champions.
Smackdown then drafts Roman Reigns. We all knew Reigns was going to be on FOX. And this is the signal that Smackdown is going to be the A show going forward. At least in Vince McMahon’s eyes.
Raw then draft the OC including AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows.
Smackdown then drafts the Fiend Bray Wyatt. Why?! He cost Smackdown the first pick in the draft. And he showed that he is disruptive and uncontrollable!
Raw then drafts Drew McIntyre. I totally forgot about Drew.
We then see the FOX draft room with their executives all fake celebrating while a schlump in the FOX NFL Robot costume high fives people. This is just awful. Just awful.
We cut to Renee, Beth Phoenix, Booker T, and Samoa Joe at a desk discussing the first-round draft picks. This is also a bowl of no good.
Match #2: King Corbin v. Chad “Shorty” Gable
Time: 9 minutes
Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
King Corbin comes out with a mic. Oh, goddammit. Corbin then cuts his pre-packaged and scripted promo as he slowly walks to the ring. We then cut to commercial.
We come back from commercial and see Joe Buck and Troy Aikman talking about how special it was for Aikman to get drafted #1 in the NFL draft. Troy then says that his finishing move would be the pile-driver. Jesus. This is horrendous.
Shorty Gable then comes out to the ring. I cannot believe they are really going to call Chad Gable “Shorty Gable.” This is so stupid.
We then get a replay of Corbin beating up Gable backstage during Hell in a Cell.
Corbin takes control of Gable quickly. Cole gets way too animated when calling Gable “Shorty.” It makes me want to punch Cole in the face.
Gable makes a comeback and works away on Corbin’s left leg. Corbin then makes a comeback and goes for a pin and gets a two count. The match slows down to a crawl and Corbin methodically beats on Gable and stands around.
Gable makes a comeback and the two wrestlers brawl outside of the ring. Corbin then choke-slams Gable onto the announce table. And we cut to another commercial. It feels like we are always going to a commercial.
We come back from commercial and Corbin is in control. Gable then makes a comeback and Corbin rolls out of the ring. Gable follows and tosses Corbin back into the ring. Gable hits a moonsault and then goes for a pin and gets a two count. Damn! That was a pretty moonsault.
Corbin makes a comeback and goes for a pin and gets a two count. The match slows down again and Corbin plods along. Gable hits a German suplex and gets a two count on Corbin.
Gable then delivers a German suplex. Gable goes for a second one but can’t do it. Gable grabs his lower back. Gable then goes for an ankle lock. Corbin breaks free. Corbin then hits the End of Days and gets the pin and the three count.
There is that 50-50 booking. WWE is determined that none of their wrestlers are special at all. This match had a few cool moves by Gable. But, since this is a Corbin match it is mostly plodding and average. This match did nothing for either wrestler. And the crowd didn’t care.
We then go to the FOX NFL crew of Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Tony Gonzales, and Curt Menefee. They talk about how important draft day is to building great franchises. Terry says his #1 pick would be Dusty Rhodes. I actually believe that. Howie Long says his #1 pick would be Bruno Sammartino. Does Howie Long really even know who Bruno Sammartino is? Michael Strahan says his #1 pick would be Ric Flair. The crew then says how about Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan.
We cut back to Stephanie at the podium for the second-round picks.
RAW drafts Randy Orton.
Smackdown drafts Sasha Banks. This means that Becky and Sasha will be in different shows. That sucks.
RAW drafts Ricochet.
Smackdown drafts Braun Strowman.
RAW drafts Bobby Lashley.
We cut to the USA executives in their war room all celebrating their pick of Randy Orton. Yeah…this is still awful.
We shift to Renee, Booker T, Beth Phoenix, and Samoa Joe talking about the second-round draft picks. Boring and pointless.
We then get a replay of the scuffle in the ring between Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury from Smackdown last week. We then go to another commercial break.
We come back from commercial and Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman take the ring. Heyman talks about Cain Velazquez beat Brock Lesnar for the UFC championship nine years ago. Heyman talks about how Lesnar embraces his fears and he conquers his fears. Heyman says that on October 31, 2019, at the Crown Jewel PPV Lesnar will conquer Cain Velazquez. Heyman says this is not a prediction. And before he can finish his trademark saying he is interrupted by Rey Mysterio’s music.
Rey and Cain walk out to the top of the ramp. Rey then uses his magical powers and has the Jumbotron roll the footage of Cain beating Lesnar for the UFC championship.
Cain then says that he will beat Lesnar again and give Lesnar a matching scar on the other side of his face. Look, I know Cain is a legit badass ex-UFC fighter, but his physique and general look sucks. He looks like my middle-aged uncle.
We then cut to the New Day holding pancakes and being silly. We then go to another commercial break. Sooooo many.
We come back from commercial. We see the Fox NFL Kick-off guys including Brady Quinn, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and Urban Meyer. They talk about the importance of being a first-round draft pick. What? Leinart and Quinn don’t mention what it is like to be first-round busts? Oh, well.
We then cut to the New Day at the top of the ramp with Susan G. Komen belts. We then get a video package about Susan G. Komen. We then shift back to the New Day presenting pink and white Championship belts to two breast cancer survivors.
For those keeping count, we are now 1 hour and 15 minutes into the show and have only had two average at best wrestling matches.
Match #3: The New Day v. The O.C.
Time: 6 minutes
Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
The New Day then head to the ring for their match. Kofi throws pancakes to the crowd. Glad to see Kofi has rebounded so nicely from losing the WWE Championship last week. The OC then make their way to the ring.
The O.C. quickly take charge of the match and we immediately cut to a commercial break. I mean, c’mon! We almost got wrestling on a wrestling show!
We come back from commercial break and it is Kofi versus A.J. Styles in the ring. Kofi takes control and works over Styles. Kofi goes for a pin but Anderson breaks up the pin attempt. Big E then takes out Anderson. Woods then takes out Gallows. Woods then dives out of the ring while Anderson and Gallows stand there ready to catch him.
Styles then makes a comeback on Kofi. Kofi breaks out of a Styles Clash. Styles goes for a roll-up and gets a two count. Kofi then hits the Trouble in Paradise and gets the pin and the three count.
Winner: The New Day
Not sure why you would want Styles to take the pin when you have Anderson and Gallows there for that duty. This match was short and nothing special at all. The wrestlers were just going through their moves. This match didn’t do anything for either tag team.
We then get a video replay of the Fiend attacking Rollins and dragging him under the ring from earlier in Smackdown.
We cut to Stephanie at the podium for the 3rd round of the draft.
RAW drafts Alexa Bliss.
We cut to the FOX war room all upset that RAW got Bliss. Even The NFL Robot is sad.
Smackdown drafts Lacey Evans.
RAW drafts Kevin Owens.
Smackdown drafts The Revival.
RAW drafts Natalya.
We cut to the USA executives all celebrating their third-round picks. Ugh. We then go to a commercial break.
We come back to Stephanie at the podium for the fourth-round picks.
RAW drafts the Viking Raiders.
Smackdown drafts the Lucha House Party.
RAW drafts Nikki Cross. This keeps Bliss and Cross on the same show.
Smackdown drafts Heavy Machinery.
RAW drafts The Street Prophets. Are these guys finally going to actually wrestle on RAW?
We cut to the FOX executives and the NFL robot celebrating their picks. Lord. Just end it now.
We cut to Renee, Booker, Beth, and Samoa Joe talking about the draft picks. Beth thinks that FOX stole this first day of the draft. Booker thinks that RAW’s best draft pick was Ricochet. LOL. Really? Renee then says that the wrestlers in the pool of wrestlers eligible for the draft today are now free agents and viewers can go to WWE.com to see where those wrestlers end up. Yes. That is exactly what I want to do right now.
We then see Charlotte Flair coming to the ring. Charlotte stands in the middle of the ring.
We go to a commercial break.
We come back from commercial break and see Jay Glazer of FOX NFL giving us the WWE Edition of Inside Scoop. Jay says that he has word that there is going to be a blockbuster trade at some point. Jay then talks about the injured superstars like Samoa Joe and Elias on the injury list. Then Jay hypes the women’s division and how stacked it is. Really? Jay then gets a phone call from his mom asking for help with her fantasy football team. Jesus. This is just so stupid.
We then get a video package on Tyson Fury. Then they plug the match between Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury at Crown Jewel.
We then cut back to Charlotte still standing in the middle of the ring. Jesus. Has she just been standing there in the middle of the ring doing nothing for all this time?
Bailey then comes out all smiley and happy and sending hugs to the crowd. The inflatable balloon people come out at the top of the ramp. Bailey then gets all serious. Hey, Bailey got a middle-aged soccer mom haircut. And her hair is now dyed black. It doesn’t look good. But, that’s okay. She’s a heel now.
Bailey then suddenly attacks the balloon people with an ax handle that had two small blades on it. She “slaughters” the balloon people. Oooooookay. This really goes on way too long. And the crowd is dead.
Match #4: Charlotte Flair v. Bailey for the Smackdown Women’s Championship
Time: 10 minutes
Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Charlotte takes control at the start. The two wrestlers go out of the ring and Charlotte continues to work over Bailey. Bailey then mounts a comeback. This match is slowly paced. Bailey rolls back in the ring to stop the ten count. We then go to a commercial.
We return from commercial and Bailey is in control and methodically working over Charlotte. Bailey puts Charlotte in a side headlock. I am pretty sure the crowd has fallen asleep at this point.
Charlotte then comes back and tosses Bailey out of the ring. Charlotte then dives on Bailey. The wrestlers return to the ring and Charlotte unloads a bunch of chops to Bailey’s chest.
Charlotte continues to control the match. Charlotte gets a big boot that knocks Bailey out of the ring. And we see Charlotte bleeding from her nose. Charlotte then hits a moonsault that barely glances Bailey, but Bailey sells it anyway.
The wrestlers return to the ring. Bailey makes a comeback and hits a Bailey-to-Belly slam. Bailey goes for the pin and gets a two count.
Charlotte comes back. Charlotte then goes for a moonsault and it is a sloppy looking one, Bailey gets her knees up. Bailey goes for the pin and uses the ropes for extra leverage and gets a two count.
Bailey hits Charlotte with a running knee. Bailey slides Charlotte into place. Bailey then hits a flying elbow drop off the top turnbuckle. Bailey goes for a pin and gets a two count.
Bailey complains to the ref and then Charlotte hits the Natural Selection. Charlotte goes for the figure four. Bailey then quickly grabs two hands full of Charlotte’s hair and rolls up Charlotte for the pin and the three count.
This match was a bit sloppy. I appreciate the wrestlers trying to hit high sports, but if they can’t be done properly then I would rather a technically sound match with no big spots. The crowd was not that into this match. It was not bad, but it was not good, either.
I’m fine with putting the Smackdown Women’s Championship belt on Bailey. Maybe the title belt will heat her up with her new look and heel turn. Plus, Charlotte doesn’t need the belt at this point. She has had it so many times and for so long that she is already well established as one of the top wrestlers in the women’s division.
Bailey stands on the announcer table and holds the Women’s Smackdown Championship belt.
Bailey goes back into the ring and grabs a mic. Bailey tells the crowd, “Screw all of you.” And the show ends.
Overall: Smackdown was a terrible show. The wrestling matches were meh at best. The pacing of the show was poor. This was a slow show that lumbered from segment to segment. In a two hour show, we got a whopping total of 39 minutes of actual wrestling. It also is disappointing that none of the commercial breaks offered the viewer a second screen with the action in the ring during the commercial.
The stories continue to be stupid. All of the segments involving the FOX and USA war rooms and the segments involving the FOX football talent were horrendous. They were stupid and cheesy and did nothing to improve the quality of the show. WWE is so desperate for mainstream approval that they will do anything for it even if it hurts the quality and presentation of the show. It is so stupid that it makes the viewer embarrassed to watch WWE. I would much rather WWE have more confidence and treat its product with more respect.
AEW Dynamite continues to offer more action, a faster-paced show, and a second screen showing the action in the ring during many of the commercial breaks.
Okay, now let’s judge the first day of the draft and see which show did better tonight.
Male Single Wrestlers
Female Single Wrestlers
The Viking Raiders
The Street Prophets
Male Single Wrestlers
The Fiend Bray Wyatt
Female Single Wrestlers
The Lucha House Party
Let’s talk about the male singles wrestlers. I think Vince McMahon feels that he totally stacked Smackdown with better male singles wrestlers. But, me? I like AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, and Ricochet the most so I think RAW got the edge in this category.
Looking at the female singles wrestlers and it is clear that RAW got the upper hand. Sasha is great, but RAW got Becky and Bliss. Advantage RAW.
Looking at the tag teams and it seems that RAW again edged out Smackdown. I like the Revival, but the combination of the O.C. and Street Prophets give RAW the advantage.
So, after the first day of the draft, I think that RAW did better even if Vince probably thinks he stacked the rosters in favor of Smackdown.
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