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John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE SmackDown coming out of WrestleMania featuring the ascension of Cesaro, Bianca Belair’s Victory Party, and the debut of Pat McAfee on the show’s commentary team.
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Intro & Announcements
On the SmackDown coming out of WrestleMania, the show heavily focused on Cesaro with a main event match against Jey Uso. Plus, The Street Profits challenge Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, Bianca Belair’s Victory Party, Roman Reigns addresses his win over Edge and Daniel Bryan, a challenge is issued by Bayley, a WM rematch between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn and the debut of Pat McAfee on the commentary team.
I thought it was a pretty good show. Now, with that said, I only watched two matches, the main event and the tag title match as none of the other matches seemed to have any consequence, and I refuse to watch matches that have no consequence.
Cesaro needed to have a strong follow-up post mania, and they definitely did that I like how they played up the idea that the swing was a trigger of PTSD for Rollins. In storyline the guy was humiliated at mania by this move, and it makes sense given his character and is something different.
Dirty Dawgs/Street Profits had a good TV match, I like that they are finally starting to give a heel team some wins. What I’m hoping for is to keep building DD up while simultaneously doing the same with the Mysterio’s which in a perfect world will lead to a title match at possibly Summerlslam where the Mysterio’s can get the big win. Doubt that happens though.
Good promos by Bianca and Roman, though I would have liked Bianca to open the show and the Roman promo to go in the middle, but not a huge deal. Good non promo by Sasha, though I personally would have held her off TV. I like the idea of WM losers missing the next show, just sells the loss more.
I know some people in the feedback thread complained about the constant WrestleMania recaps, I have one word for all of you…DVR! I refuse to watch any of that shit, I cant imagine getting through a WWE show live and watching every nothing match and recap video, that would be brutal.
Lastly, I liked McAfee a lot, I thought he brought a freshness to the broadcast, and he definitely isn’t generic. There were some lumps along the way (like apologizing to Vince for saying tag wrestling lol) but for night one, I thought he did well. Does he stick around long term? Sadly I say no. I just have a feeling Vince won’t like him because he is different.
Pollock always talks about [paraphrasing] “this big thing happened last night and we’re already moving on past it today” with how WWE tends to run through their storylines, etc…but Mania is one of the few times a year they do remember to soak in the weight and magnitude of the event we just saw…so it’s skippable to us who have seen it, I completely understand why they do it. “Hey Person Just Watching Smackdown Today, here’s this enormous thing you missed over the weekend that has changed the landscape of this program. Spend $5 on Peacock next time around so you come along for the ride.”
I really liked McAfee and legit laughed when they cut back to him and he realized he was standing next to a sitting Cole. This is the exact type of attention-getting character they love to have around and I think he’ll be there so long as his schedule permits and/or a match comes calling again. This almost feels like them getting the main brand fans acquainted with him before that next match actually happens on the main roster. And that Smackdown roster is littered with guys who can make a great Summerslam program with him (::whispers:: Owens Owens Owens).