Welcome to The Smackdown Reaction where I offer my take on the happenings this week taped in the UK. You can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
An NXT invasion recap from last week starts us off to lead into the opening video and pyro. There’s a new UK set that’s rather plain-looking. Since we are in the UK, let’s hope the show doesn’t suck too bad.
King Corbin kicks us off this week with a horribly boring promo. The promo was so terrible that you could tell canned boos had to be added in post-production. Corbin makes fun of Roman to promote their match later, but it falls flat. Corbin finally leaves after killing the crowd of boredom. Not a good way to start the show.
New Day up next to revive the crowd with their title match against The Revival. Quick promo beforehand to get the crowd woke back up. Big E had a funny line about tying to break Charlotte Flair’s title reign count. As expected, the match was pretty good with New Day picking up the win and titles. The ending came when Big E blocked the Shatter Machine and Kofi disposing of Dawson before finishing Wilder off with a Hart Attackesque Trouble in Paradise. This gives New Day their seventh title reign and I’m assuming they will be aiming to break the Dudley’s ten WWE titles (8 WWF, 1 Raw, and 1 WCW) and will exclude their eight ECW tag titles. We’ll see, though.
Quick “recruiting” promo between Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan. Zayn mentions a tag match for later.
Heavy Machinery is out next to get beat up by Imperium of NXT UK since we are in the UK after all. This does not last long as New Day leads the babyface reinforcements to send Imperium retreating through the crowd.
Quick promo by Sasha Banks and Bayley to hype the NXT Takeover, Survivor Series triple threat, and Sasha’s match with Nikki Cross.
Tag action is next with Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro taking on Ali and Shorty G (ugh). The match was really good but far too short. Nakamura picked up the win for his team after a Kinshasa on Ali. Hopefully a rematch happens and they are given more time. Bryan was shown on the ramp observing.
Boss Time is next as Sasha comes out to an awful remix to her song. It keeps the poppiness of her original theme with Snoop Dogg’s rap from WrestleMania 32 mixed in. Go either pop or rap, not both. Nikki Cross comes out and Bayley is on commentary. The match itself wasn’t all that special with Sasha getting Cross to tap to the Bank Statement. After the match, Shayna Baszler shows up and destroys Bayley to provide a highlight. Baszler leaves before Sasha can run back down the aisle to help Bayley.
Backstage, Zayn was still pestering Bryan when The Fiend showed up. Zayn figured he was going to get beat up again and ran, leaving The Fiend to attack Bryan with the Mandible Claw to end the bit.
Promo time with the hometown hero, Tyson Fury, is up next. Tyson runs down his upcoming fights and calls out Braun Strowman. Tyson puts Braun over and hints that the next time they fight, it should be as a tag team. The crowd liked the idea and I can already see the tag titles going on them. The B Team comes out to get beat up to end the segment.
Quick women’s tag match to determine who will join Sasha Banks on Team Smackdown between Fire and Desire and Carmella and Dana Brooke. Dana Brooke picked up the win for her team by pinning Sonya Deville with a senton bomb. Glad to see Dana get the chance she’s been looking for. They need to build the face girls up to take on the heel Bayley after Survivor Series.
Roman Reigns and King Corbin will close us out as the main event. The match was a bit on the meh side as we’ve seen it several times on Raw already. Corbin picks up the win after help from Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler. Corbin is really nothing special and I don’t get what Vince sees in him. Granted, Vince still thinks it is 1987 and just being tall is all you need to get over, but the crowd hasn’t cared about that since the mid-90s.
Let’s look at the highs and lows from the show.
New Day winning the tag titles was really the only bright spot match wise. I’m really happy for them, but they need to break the record so they can move on to other things.
The Tyson Fury promo was a nice touch for the local fans. I’m sure we can pencil him in for WrestleMania.
With it being a double taping and in the UK, the show as a whole just sucked. Corbin bored the crowd to death in the opening promo and his main event match with Roman. It’s very telling when some of WWE’s biggest markets always seem to have lousy shows anymore.
That’s all I’ve got for today. I’ll be back with the Raw Reaction on Tuesday. I already saw the spoilers and am not looking forward to it. It’s gonna be a long night.