SmackDown Live was very much nearly the exact same as last week in terms relative to it lacking a sense of urgency. The biggest difference between the two shows, though, is that this week’s version did (finally) advance a couple of storylines that have been lingering for months.
Randy Orton defeats Kane in a No Disqualification Match
What actually happened
Second week in a row we are gifted a No DQ match everyone knows will come with interference from The Wyatt Family.
Orton and Kane would go to the outside as soon as the bell rang and began brawling around ringside. Kane, being the sneaky devil that he is, would smash Orton in the back with a steel chair before tossing him back in the ring.
While Kane was setting up for a chokeslam, the lights went out and The Wyatts interfered. Suddenly an unstoppable monster, Kane held his ground for a bit against three men, but the distraction allowed for Orton to hit the RKO for the win.
After the match, Luke Harper (please push him) hit a spinning lariat on Kane. Harper and Orton push Kane into Bray and he hit the Sister Abigail. The trio would celebrate together before the cameras cut away.
This is a bit nitpicky, but that’s the point of these things.
Anyway, it shouldn’t be that hard for three men to wallop Kane. It just shouldn’t be. This isn’t Kane circa 2006. It is Kane now. Let’s stop forcing him to look like a monster, especially at the expense of three other guys who can use the logical rub of being able to overwhelm a singular man with ease.
The change here is simple: Instead of allowing Kane to overcome those odds for a few moments, don’t even it allow it to be of the fleeting variety, and have The Wyatt Family destroy him in a few seconds.
Wyatt Family gets to keep their credibility, Kane doesn’t lose any of his, and we all get to move about our lives with a smile on our face.
American Alpha defeats The Spirit Squad
What actually happened
This is to see who makes SmackDown’s Survivor Series five-team, uh, team. Basically, this match is to tell us that American Alpha is advancing, as no one in their right mind would believe The Spirit Squad was winning here.
The Spirit Squad got some offense in on Gable in the opening minutes, but Jordan would get the hot tag and begin destroying humans.
You would think that would be enough, but alas… the WWE.
Jordan hit a series of suplexes, but then missed a spear on Kenny in the corner. Gable and Mikey tag in, and Gable throws Kenny outside. Gable and Jordan hit the Grand Amplitude for the win after a short match.
The actual fix is no Spirit Squad, but if we are going to keep them around, then let’s make use of them.
As noted during the match by the announcers themselves, The Spirit Squad hasn’t been around for roughly a decade. For those numerically inept, that is 10 years. If we are meant to believe AA is all that and a bag of chips, which they are, they shouldn’t struggle — even if only briefly — with a team that was ho-hum during their own peak and should be fighting off some form of rust.
This should have been a squash match.
Considering the WWE is dedicating a billion segments to James Ellsworth each week, and The Headbangers had a bout later in the show, making this a very short match to open up another segment for one of the more rarely used SmackDown talents (Crews), wouldn’t have been as bad as watching this hogwash.
The Wyatt Family-Orton backstage promo
What actually happened
Yes, we are double-dipping in the Orton-Wyatt pond, but this is incredibly important (relatively speaking, of course).
Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Randy Orton are in a dimly lit room.
Wyatt says that Harper is hesitant about letting Orton in The Wyatt Family because he’s a snake (sure play up “The Viper” thing to even more absurd levels). Orton says he was born with the devil whispering in his ear, then says that Bray Wyatt is a god.
To cap off this already odd promo, yellow graphics flash in Orton’s eyes.
This is 2016. Realize this. Then realize that this is the second time Randy Orton has horrible graphics distort his face during a live broadcast. First it was his entire face — rather hilariously — being morphed in a mirror, and now he has yellow blinky things happening in and around his eyes.
Can we just not do that? That’s the fix.
Whoever is in charge of “graphics” or thinks it is a good idea to do these worse-than-Papa-Shango magic tricks needs to be fired. Simply let the story play out without the extra bologna.
For real. This stuff comes off more unintentionally funny than it does scary, which is what the WWE is going after.