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  1. #1

    Burn In My Light - Smackdown Review 11/06/2018

    What's up!!!! It's been a while!

    I jump in and out of the forums and WWE(especially WWE) as its quality and my personal life wax and wane. But when I heard the news about Roman I wanted to immediately write a piece detailing my feelings about his diagnosis, wishing him well, etc.

    That's when I found out about the technical issues the forums had been experiencing. Such a bummer to lose all of that old content. But hey, the show must go on!

    I haven't written a review of a regular show in a long time, so I figured instead of getting all weepy-eyed about Joe's prognosis, I'd go back to the old-standby, shake the rust off so-to-speak. Back when I started writing, the forums were LITTERED with episode reviews. Now we get these awesome, long-running threads with insane research and cool graphics, and...the review seems to have disappeared.

    Burn In My Light's Smackdown Review for 11/06/2018!

    (I really need a cool title for these).

    ************************************************** ***

    One of those classic, semi-awkward expository opening segments that kills crowd momentum from minute one until Miz came out. Shane wins the CM Punk Memorial Trophy in Saudi Arabia, and tries to spin it away. Decent explanation(had to win for Smackdown, doesn't think he's actually the Best In The World) but Shane's in-ring delivery is always a little shaky. Also, why is Paige even there except to get a cheap pop from the hometown crowd? Paige is great on the mic, use her as an actual talent, not a fucking prop.

    As usual Miz's, semi-shoot, smug, fake confidence style saves a promo segment. Love them continuing the Bryan-Miz rivalry/feud without making them fight every week. Or worse, involving their wives.

    ************************************************** ***

    Good backstage follow-up(and timed well, as of course it would happen right after the ring segment not like 2 hours later). Shane giving a pep talk, which he is MUCH better at than in ring promos; I think he gets nervous out there, which is totally understandable. Also love the "Wait, what?" moment from The Miz after they agree with one another. More on that later.

    ************************************************** ***

    New Day vs Usos - These two teams are incapable of having a bad match together. Insane jump from the turnbuckle to the outside by Kofi. Big E is such a freak and people forget how good he and Kofi are in the ring because they're in a tag team. The Usos are a top3 tag team in WWE and still fresh as heels, which is impressive considering how stale they were as faces. Because WWE sucks at booking faces? Probably. But now they are truly great.

    ************************************************** ***

    Love Miz and Bryan agreeing with one another again, and then awkward silence, in their next backstage segment. The best rivals always have a little in common and this was an example of Miz and Bryan doing so. Miz isn't opposed to fighting, he never has been. He just wants an advantage before or during.

    ************************************************** ***

    I didn't watch RAW so this Ronda promo is all new to me. That promo recap from Ronda was...ok. Love the passion, love her saying "I was a badass at REAL fighting while you were wrestling and acting" but...come on. You got your ass kicked completely out of the division as soon as it had more than like 1 other legit fighter in it. If you were in UFC right now you'd probably be ranked like 6th, so no, you aren't the "Baddest bitch on the planet." Cyborg would fucking snap you in half and drink your bone marrow for fun.
    Becky gets a massive ovation, I assume both because they're in the UK and because people love Becky. You try to turn her heel, doesn't work. You try to turn Charlotte face, doesn't work. Just give up and let the fans react how they want already. Becky Balboa 4 Lyfe.

    Becky delivers an awesome promo, as usual. And she makes a great point; who HAS Ronda beaten? Alexa and Nikki? Who gives a shit, that doesn't even count. Becky says she wasn't "MEANT" to be the main event, the top of the industry, and yet here she is. The best promos are those that are overflowing with confidence and dripping with truth, and Becky delivered both here.

    And THEN, as she's about to leave, she says she's gotten herself too fired up and fuck it, she wants to fight someone! Hell yes!

    Creepy "let's play" lines from Nikki Cross. I've never gotten fully invested in her during her time in NXT; she's solid in the ring and has something unique going on, but it's just hard to care much about people who get little-to-no mic time.

    Love when people use the ring skirt as a weapon; The Revival used it a lot and Nikki does here. I've never understood, though, why exposing the turnbuckle and throwing your opponent into it is a DQ, but slamming them into the ring steps or using the skirt is not. The steps are just as hard as the turnbuckle!

    ************************************************** ***

    OMG that "My guy always comes through...IN THE CLUTCH" pun about Joe. Just great work.

    ************************************************** ***

    Ummmm, Rey Mysterio is still wrestling in 2018? I was watching that dude IN WCW. Is he still good? Because Almas is a fucking beast. Shinsuke also cuts a weird promo and is US Champion? That's fine but I'm sad he's not wrestling tonight.

    Rey is getting carried through this match but he isn't dragging ass like the old men in the tag match at Crown Jewel. So there's that. Also, come on, in kayfabe that double-knee to the face should ALWAYS win the match. But instead it's the new Blue Thunder Bomb. That sliding, face-first DDT to the outside is a really cool move. So basically Almas does 85% of the work in this match and loses to literally 3 moves 12 minutes into the match? Meh. Pretty classic WWE booking of an older star, but it's still disappointing.

    RKO to Rey. Meh. What year is this?

    ************************************************** ***

    AJ cuts a very solid promo about his match with Brock. I don't want to go too deep down the booking rabbit whole, but WHY THE FUCK DID BROCK BEAT BRAUN? WWE had a chance to put the belt on its biggest newcomer(literally and...literally) of the last year, and instead they put the belt back on a part timer? Jesus christ. Put the belt on Braun, let him rebuild his reputation after 2 months of getting clowned by The Shield and dragged into the dark side by the real World's Greatest Tag Team. Instead you just have him lose to Brock AGAIN. That's so fucking damaging to him, and so dumb, and so short-sighted, and so...

    ************************************************** ***

    Paige is back out to announce the Smackdown Women's Survivor Series team. I'm sad that they are spending the whole episode building the men's team, and then spend 3 minutes announcing the women's team. That team started WEAK too, but once they announced Asuka it was over. Sorry RAW, you're done. Corey cutting everyone off to "Admire" Mandy is always hilarious. I'm glad Mandy didn't just get to magically take Charlotte's spot, and she made a good point about Sonya being on the team but she's not. Mandy throwing shade, also scathing. But come on, if you talk shit to Asuka she should IMMEDIATELY kick your head off like Naomi finally did.

    I don't understand, is WWE building a decent feud between two midcarders, Mandy and Sonya? I mean they're breaking up partners, which is like their favorite thing to do, but still, that was totally solid!

    ************************************************** ***

    Why is Bryon still on commentary? Dude is milquetoast.

    ************************************************** ***

    Joe vs Jeff, good match. Joe is so great, he and Miz are basically perfect modern heels that are also almost polar opposites in their heel styles: Joe is the ass-kicking end boss that can lose and still maintain his badass aura, while Miz is more strategic and cheating without being pure chickenshit, which is really WWE's go-to heel template for the last...15 years. And even though Bryan and Miz spent some of their co-commentary time bickering, it works in the context of the entire night and their rivalry. Joe taunting Bryan prompting Bryan to attack Joe was just classic, and then the team blows up with Bryan taking down EVERYONE. LOVED that moment. You never see Bryan snap like that. So Miz ends up being the voice of reason, trying to break up a teammate fighting a teammate, and Bryan blows up on his team. That just worked to perfection in my opinion.

    ************************************************** ***

    One more note before I go, goddamn I missed Phillips-Graves on commentary. They actually ADD to the show instead of distracting or detracting from it. NXT would not be what it is today without those two calling big matches for years, and they are still great on Smackdown.

    ************************************************** ***

    Speaking of great, that was a legitimately great show. No title matches and yet there were big moments and several important segments to set up the next several months of TV(Sonya and Mandy, Miz and Bryan, the entire Survivor Series team, Becky's promo). Super duper solid. Maybe Hulu cut some crap out, but I didn't see real wasted time on the show, which you can never say about RAW, and part of what makes NXT so special.

    Well done, WWE. Unsurprisingly, Smackdown wins the week.

    Hope this wasn't too jarring for those of you that haven't read my stream-of-consciousness pseudo-reviews. If you're looking for results, check out the front of the main page. If you're looking for a semi-smarky opinion you can digest while eating your oatmeal in the morning, this may be just what you were looking for.


  2. #2
    Agreed, SmackDown Live was rather great this week.

    Oh the days of weekly reviews before WWE broke me and then set the bridge on fire with Jinder Mahal. Maybe one day the awards will return, I'm just not that big of a fan of 'suffering pain'. So good luck, Burn. Not reviewing RAW was probably a very wise decision.

    The LOP CF has greatly missed your streams of consciousness organised into a column.

    As you asked, some 'cool' alternative titles:
    Burn's RAW Rev- Oh fuck I'm not watching that shite- Burn's SmackDown Review
    Burn In My Light's Smackdown LIVE Review
    Burn Doesn't Review RAW (oh wait, that's just a Bearly column)
    Burn After SmackDown
    SmackDown After Reading
    Burn's SmackDown Reading
    Burn's After SmackDown Reading
    Reading Burn's Review After Watching SmackDown

    I'll be honest, I got a bit stuck moving past that Burn After Reading film by the Cohen Brothers. Oh well, they can't all be winners.

  3. #3
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Burn! You're right, we're sorely lacking in weekly review columns these days, and it's great to have you back to fill the gap. Definitely some interesting thoughts here. I hope Rey is not doing too badly, he was looking real good even just at All In, but WWE can have a curiously dulling effect. I think it's cool he's mixing it up week to week though, instead of showing up for a big paycheck once or twice a year. Hopefully they figure out how to make the most of him. Loved the bits with Miz and Bryan though, what a classic feud.

    Digging this, interested to see how it evolves next week!

  4. #4
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Burn, good to have you back and nice review to read.

    Gotta say you nailed it with tee first segment, Shane's delivery told me they absolutely knew how distasteful winning that tournament was. I really hope they can work out a way to have these Saudi shows but not have it come off in such a jarring manner.

    I do not like it at all when mma fighters say stuff like Rhonda did, totally breaks the fiction of the show and makes everyone from the opponent, to the commentators, to the competitor themselves look silly. If this isn't real then why are you in pain? Why do you care if your champ? So so so stupid and I have been a big fan of Rhonda's work so far.

    Finally I have to say that I was a little disappointed that they put Almas v Rey on with no build. That is the kind of thing they really coukd have done something cool with. Have Almas dominate the Lucha House Party, cut a promo disparaging lucha and then have Rey come out in response. Could have been a cool angle given Almas is a luchador who has lost his mask.

    Anyway, good to have you back here man keep up the good work.

  5. #5
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    I enjoyed the review. I mean, I don't watch either of the main shows anymore so in some senses it was a bit meaningless to me, and I do have a hard time imagining that I would agree with you that the show was 'great', but I enjoyed the review none the less. Some good lines in there, for sure.

    I actually think we've gone too far the other way with regard to review columns and I'd like to see more people trying them. I do think if you were to make it a weekly staple, to come back and do them that way, you could probably clean up. Definitely a way to stand out in the current environment, and the reason they became so popular in the past is that they work, and you always have fresh material to talk about.

    Good to see you back.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  6. #6
    @Prime Time - Thanks buddy! I got pretty burned out by watching RAW + Smackdown + NXT + writing 2 columns + radio show every week, that is SO MUCH WRESTLING. But maybe like 1-2 shows, a column, and the occasional radio show can keep things fresh and not set my brain on fire again

    @ SirSam - Thanks! Yeah the Ronda stuff just shatters my suspension of disbelief. Like, I watched you get your ASS KICKED multiple times before you bailed on MMA, don't talk shit about how tough you are when you jumped to fake fighting(and I say that as a semi-loving fan). Plus the fact that it just diminishes every other competitor. Maybe it's selective memory but I don't remember Brock(Heyman) talking about how he's gonna win every match because....he won some MMA fights 3 years ago.

    @ Mizfan - Yeah I saw some other people talking about the Almas/Mysterio match like it was one of the greatest 8 minute matches of all time, and how good Rey looked. That's just confusing to me; he was solid, but he really didn't do much for 7 of those 8 can you tell? Maybe this was just a warmup or whatever, but I was never the biggest Mysterio fan so he's not getting much benefit of my doubt.

    @ Imp - My brother from another mother! While I do like "Burn Doesn't Review RAW" "Burn After SmackDown" is both a good USA Network pun AND an STD joke! And if I get wild and decide to review RAW..."BURNed RAW"?

  7. #7
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Aside from Bearly Reviewing, we haven't had anything like this for a long time, hope you manage to keep it up

    Know what you mean about getting burned out watching so much though - I'm purely a PPV watcher these days, the weekly content is too much when it's essentially just all a big advert for the events I do watch. A decent review each week would definitely help me keep up to date, so if you keep doing them I for one will be appreciative.

    FACT or FICTION: The Future of Smackdown
    PM me to get involved.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Burn! Where the hell have you been. The last time you were around me, you and Imp were doing the LOP draft. Ah, good times.

    I think Smackdown overall was a good show. Almost every segment had a meaning to it and you can't ask for more than that really. Things were set up for the coming weeks to keep us interested and there a show-running angle happening which is always good.

    I think there was 2 important things that you didn't mention. The first being the respect The Usos showed New Day. Those two teams are fantastic and they had the greatest feud of the modern era and it awesome that they embraces like that. Also, how could you not mention Beckys line about Ronda being the baddest bitch on the planet but at SS Becky will be making Ronda her bitch. Classic. Becky is fucking awesome. I hope WWE doesn't job her out to Rousey.

    It's good to see you back dude.

  9. #9
    @ DynamiteBellington - Yeah I've also been reading reviews/recaps of shows I don't watch, and really only paying attention to the PPVs. It's funny that even when we get burned out, it's hard to tear ourselves away completely. Just in case something amazing happens

    @ Don Franc - I love the LOP Draft, we'll have to run it back next year. The issue we run into is that the draft is SO MUCH FUN, and writing about it is is super fun, and then we start booking, kinda burns out. I think the writers and readers lose interest, so I gotta shore up that weak spot, change the format, something.

    Maybe in addition to the Royal Rumble game, we'll do a Royal Rumble draft with just a few of us; that way we're not booking it, we're just predicting who will win and scoring it. Now that I think about it, that makes a lot of sense!

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