WWE SmackDown Live – May 14, 2019 (Review)

The Worst of SmackDown Live

Return to being the B-Show

The Wild Card Rule was ostensibly introduced as a vehicle of allowing WWE’s biggest stars to float between both Raw and SmackDown. It’s a tactic the company has used before with some of its truly transcendent stars. The best of the best, like John Cena… and the Bellas.

Somehow though, with the same names appearing on both brands each week, it’s simply devolved into the same angles playing out on consecutive nights. Remember when we started Raw on Monday with Roman Reigns and The Miz in the ring, before they were interrupted by Shane McMahon? Then Shane used the powers bestowed upon him by the gods of the mid-card to summon Elias and another random goober to attack Reigns and Miz? Only for the babyfaces to fight off the dastardly heels? Well, that’s almost exactly how SmackDown started this week, except in addition to Elias, Shane was somehow able to lure Daniel Bryan and Rowan to join his cause.


I have no idea why the tag team champions felt compelled to join forces against Reigns and Miz. Surely the B-Team would have been the obvious choice, given that they recently helped Shane beat up Miz. But anyway, it was what it was. Eventually The Usos intervened to help Roman and Miz chase off the ragtag group of villains, setting up a four-on-three handicap contest for later in the evening. Why four on three? Because The Miz had been inexplicably banned from the building by ‘definitely not authority figure’ Shane McMahon… I’m sure we won’t be seeing him again for the rest of the broadcast.

SmackDown is not helped by being a simple rehash of angles we saw one night earlier on Raw. If this is how the Wild Card Rule is intended to play out on a weekly basis, then colour me apprehensive.

The Dutch Procrastinator

Aleister Black again turned up last night to deliver some more spoken word poetry. As we’ve become accustomed to seeing in recent weeks, the ‘Dutch Destroyer’ sat in a poorly lit room and endlessly rambled about darkness, his enemies and eternal torment. Or at least it was something like that; admittedly, I stopped listening about three weeks ago.

He should be kicking people’s heads off. Not auditioning for a role in an off-Broadway production of The Dark Knight.

The Ups and Downs of Handicap Matches

As had been set up earlier in the night, Shane, Elias, Bryan and Rowan took on Roman and The Usos in a four-on-three handicap match. This match ticked every handicap cliché in the book. The majority systematically isolated and wore down every member of the disadvantaged team. Then Jey Uso tweaked his knee after landing awkwardly, reducing their chances of winning even further.

The match did heat up towards the end, as it descended into chaos (as they generally tend to do), but it was too little to recapture my interest by that stage. The Usos superkicked everyone for a bit before Shane tagged himself in and hit the coast-to-coast on Jimmy Uso.

Then The Miz – who had been banned from the building earlier – immediately ran down with a chair to prevent any further attack on his comrades. Apparently, had he interfered before the match ended, Shane would have cancelled their cage match at Sunday’s pay-per-view. I’m not sure why Shane would want to do that. No one forced him to accept it in the first place. But regardless, if he’s feeling trepidatious now, what’s stopping him from simply calling the match off anyway? From what we’ve seen in recent weeks, he has the power to make matches, award titles and add stipulations. Surely he can cancel any match he chooses.

This was a fairly bland encounter with nothing on the line and a strained premise.

The Kabuki Warriors

See the introduction above. This name is ridiculous. So ridiculous in fact that when Paige finally managed to cough up the new name, it was met with a collective “huh?” by both the crowd in attendance and the collection of FIVE commentators at ringside. Even The IIconics were left speechless.

The Women’s Tag Division

The… oh man… Kabuki Warriors took on Fire & Desire in what was destined be a perfectly serviceable match. And for the most part that’s what it was, particularly from Kairi Sane and Asuka’s end.

Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville (as much as they’ve improved in recent times) just looked to always be a step behind their more established counterparts. Every move seemed a bit out of sequence. Each exchange slightly off kilter.

Overshadowing the match too were The IIconics on commentary. Look, I enjoy the Australian pair, I really do. But I don’t need them screeching into my ears throughout every tag match on SmackDown Live. They are purposely annoying, I get it, but their incessant whining completely overshadows the match playing out in the ring.

Crowning off this turd omelette of a match was the finish, in which Asuka rolled up an overconfident Mandy Rose, leaving an exasperated Deville on the apron. The supposedly surging Kabuki Warriors couldn’t even win decisively, instead playing second fiddle to the next chapter in the Rose / Deville disfunction.

4 years ago by Nicholas Holicki


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