Gleed’s Blog: Thoughts From Across The Pond – WWE Smackdown creative woes, NXT shines, Bully Ray as the ROH enforcer, Jeff Jarrett in the WWE Hall of Fame

By Haydn Gleed, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)

-I wrote a couple of weeks ago that Smackdown was in a bad place, but somehow they have managed to make the show even less watchable. I could write about twenty paragraphs on what is really bothering me about Smackdown at the moment, but instead I’m going to go through the show from Tuesday and make my observations:

*So before the show started the main event wasn’t booked? What would have happened if nobody interrupted AJ Styles? Would the show have gone off the air after the Bludgeon Brothers squash?

*The top challengers for WWE Fastlane are Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, who couldn’t beat the champion while having a 2 on 1 advantage. Baron Corbin talks a big game, but very rarely backs it up in the ring. Then there’s the man who dropped a title in the middle of the ring, disappeared for a few weeks and offered no explanation as to why he did what he did. Right……

*The big secret reveal by Jinder Mahal was somebody didn’t like somebody else enough to put them on a top 10 list. Oh my, where can I pay money to boo this guy?! #sarcasm

*Bobby Roode was made to look like the guy in a smack talk contest who doesn’t know how to talk smack. His big line was, “Well, I know a secret, you’re not even on anyone’s list.” Ohhhhhh BURN! Where can I pay money to cheer this guy?! #moresarcasm

*Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon don’t like each other anymore. Where exactly is this leading? Does anybody care at this point?

*The Riott Squad avenged their losses to Charlotte by winning a six-woman tag match, and parity is restored to the world of the female roster on Smackdown where wins or losses don’t matter because ultimately the result will be flipped the following week.

*New Day’s current gimmick is that they like to eat pancakes. Yes, pancakes, ladies and gentleman. Oh, and the match that we have seen a million times between The Uso’s and New Day (which were pretty good to be fair)? Yeah, we are back to that already.

*WWE wants to take you out of the moment even more by showing ridiculous graphics that make the show look like a farce. So instead of listening to Baron Corbin’s promo, I was left cringing at the tackiness of the on screen graphics.

*Quiz time: Shinsuke Nakamura won the Royal Rumble and since then they have established him as a top talent ready to take on the champion at WrestleMania by a) showcasing him in the ring and letting him connect with the audience while also showing he’s on a winning streak and gaining momentum or b) showcasing him in two minute videos and exclusiding him for the rest of the show?

That’s my abridged version of my complaints with the show. Now since I try and be positive about pretty much everything, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel that being the Superstar Shakeup after WrestleMania, but I’m staggered that twelve months after from being one of the best shows to watch Smackdown has sunk to the level that it has.

-Is there a brand better at presenting emotional and compelling storylines backed up by tremendous action than NXT at the moment? Velveteen Dream is a tremendous talent and character. The fan in me is salivating over the prospect of a Dream vs. Tyler Bate match. But nothing can touch what they have done with Johnny Gargano and Andrade Almas. Tremendous work all round and the culmination of the story arc was perfect this week. Both men came out of the feud looking ten times better than they did going in and we had a match of the year candidate to boot. What more could you ask for?

-ROH TV took an interesting turn this week with the introduction of Bully Ray as an enforcer. I’ve been banging the ROH drum for the better part of the past twelve months since ROH changed their philosophy of how to present the television show from random matches to storytelling. Part of the appeal of the show has been the fact that there hasn’t been any authority figure per se. Yes, we see Joe Koff from time to time, but mostly it’s invisible voices speaking through the broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana that have served as the main authority figures.

With this latest development, I’m surprisingly not as down as I would have been with anyone else playing this role. I have faith that Bully Ray can play this part and play it well. He was insistent in his promo that he wasn’t an authority figure he was just someone who was there to stop the chaos that ROH has become at times with cheap finishes, etc. That’s fine and as long as Bully plays this straight down the middle in a William Regal type of way in terms of being as fair to heels as he is to the babyfaces. I am fearful based on the way he said that it would be him and the fans who decide things moving forward, and how we will get a heel wrestler or faction against the boss style storyline. At the same time, I’m willing to give this a chance to play out before rolling my eyes at yet another authority type figure being the centerpiece of the show.

-Finally, congratulations to Jeff Jarrett for becoming the latest entrant in the WWE Hall of Fame. No matter what your thoughts are on the performer and of the wrestling company(companies?) that he’s built, it’s a nice reward for the hard work that the man him has put in, not to mention that he’s coming out the other side of his personal problems from last year.

-That’ll do me for this week. After the earthquake last week, I’m not sure what the next week will bring (except Cardiff City are going to destroy our local rivals Bristol City on Sunday). No matter what, I hope you have a wonderful weekend and week ahead.

As always, feel free to get in touch if you wish to discuss anything about the blog or wrestling in general. You can find me on twitter @haydngleed or via email haydn.gleed@gmail.com


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Readers Comments (3)

  1. It’s a shame what’s happened to Smackdown. They have arguably some of the most talented workers in the company, but every show is just plain boring. Really hoping they either get rid of Road Dogg as booker or guys like AJ, Roode, and Nakamura get moved to Raw after Mania.

  2. I’ll cut Smackdown a little bit of slack just because we don’t know how much Vince is controlling the show. Road Dog could be writing great shows but how do we know that Vince doesn’t change it.

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