0
Photo Credit: World Wrestling Entertainment

Smackdown Hat Tips And Tap Outs: Super-de-Duper!

It’s SUPER Smackdown! Get it? Because they are on FOX and FOX is hosting the Super Bowl this Sunday…

Wait, does the NFL and Super Bowl really need extra promotion? Like doesn’t everyone regardless if they are a football fan or not kind of find themselves watching anyway? This is more of WWE just piggybacking off the NFL but not really because this entire show has nothing to do with the Chiefs or the 49ers or the game or even the city of Miami.

By the way, the XFL kicks off in a week and there has been ZERO mention of it on any WWE TV which is a little surprising. Maybe not so much on this night when you’re trying to cozy up to the NFL, but FOX is also carrying XFL games…

Maybe next week can be “X-Smackdown”

I’m kind of tipping my hat: But we already knew who the number one contenders were..

Turns out SmackDown has a pretty robust tag division! I mean, relatively speaking to Raw of course, but it’s not as deep or developed as it could be (which has been a huge non-kayfabe point of contention for The Revival during their still ongoing contract negotiations) and I legitimately forgot Lucha House Party was still a thing.

The real issue here is we’ve now had three weeks of Miz & Morrison beating both members of The New Day in singles matches. Three in a row to be exact. How does that not get them an automatic bid for a title match? They shouldn’t have to fight it out in a crap-shoot four-way match where they could have absolutely nothing to do with the pinfall and end up being shutout completely.

Of course, that’s not what happens here and of COURSE it’s one of the Revival guys being pinned! We can’t risk having the Top Guys looking like Top Guys at all lest they leave for greener, more tag-team friendlier territory after all…

Anyway, Team Mizorisson wins, gets a date with The New Day at the next Blood Money show in Saudi and Lucha House Party can go back to the Lucha House Show circuit.

And as for Otis and Tucker? Well they move on to matters of the heart…

 

I’m tapping out, but that doesn’t mean you have to: It’s a date?

A wise wrestling friend of mine once surmised that all wrestling fans have “their own box” and their box is the things they really like to see in wrestling that might not be the same as other fans. For instance, I love supernatural type stories in wrestling like The Undertaker, Kane, and “The Fiend,” whereas my aforementioned friend (and others I know) do not, and that’s fine. WWE is largely a variety show with wrestling as the main thread and not everyone will like everything, but not caring for it doesn’t mean that it’s bad.

I say all this because I really am not a fan of “love” type storylines most of the time and that would include what’s going on between Otis and Mandy Rose. But, at the same time, based on how I see others react to it, it’s obviously not bad.

This week Otis asks Mandy on a date for next week and she turns him down… Only to suggest that she’s free and clear the following Friday which also happens to be Valentine’s Day…

Wait, did she actually accept a date? She just pointed out she’s free the following Friday. I’ve gone through enough rejection in high school to know the signs of being led on by a girl who is clearly out of my league and I feel like this is just a set up for poor ol’ Otis…

And while Otis has also played a factor in pretty much everything Mandy has done wrestling-wise the last few weeks, including the Rumble, he’s nowhere to be seen this week as Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross along with Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose actually get to have a good ‘ol fashioned tag team match without any shenanigans or garbage and put on a decent enough match. BlissCross wins which helps set them up for a “future tag team title” opportunity – one wonders if they too will have to win a Fatal Four-way match – while as Cole meekly points out at the end, at least Mandy has a date in two weeks.

… Which I am not convinced she actually said YES to.

 

I’m tipping my hat: Find yourself someone who loves you as much as Daniel Brian loves “this”

Brief thought on the video recap of the Fiend / Bryan match at the Rumble, and not so much about the recap itself but the clip of Bryan’s post-match talk where he mentions that his wife Brie was bothered by the scars left on Bryan’s back by the leather strap. The full video was posted to their YouTube page and it’s about a minute long and just.. it’s… Just watch it:

This is why Daniel Bryan’s heel run last year never really got the kind of reception he or the WWE wanted, we just can’t hate Daniel Bryan even when we know we should because he played a condescending tree hugger. Everything about Bryan is genuine and comes from a place of passion and heart and even when it’s used to point out how flawed we are, as he did last year, all we can do is just look at ourselves and go “damn, he’s right…”

I don’t know where they are going with this, but I’m already all in. I only want the best for Daniel Bryan… We all do.

 

I’m tapping out: This couldn’t have been done last Sunday?

Braun Strowman finally has his first ever singles championship, the WWE Intercontinental title and it’s well deserved and it’s about time and… It really feels like it should have been done a few days earlier in front of a bigger crowd at Royal Rumble or a few weeks later at Super Showdown.

I’m all for title changes happening on regular weekly TV once in a while, but for the most part I’m ok with title defenses and changes happening during major shows. It just feels like that’s the profile it should be given and the build towards getting Braun the IC title feels pretty underwhelming if I am being honest.

And it was a decent match between Shinsuke Nakumara and Strowman, at least for being on regular TV. Again, like everything else, it could have been even better if given a little more time which it would have gotten at a major event like Royal Rumble. It’s not like WWE used either of these guys well during the Rumble match as they were both fodder for Brock Lesnar, so why not let them shine in their own match? At least that way when Brock disposes of both of them within minutes, you can at least justify it by saying they both had a grueling match beforehand.

All of this was ok and there was nothing wrong with it. It just could have been better is all.

Also, I’ve come to realize that Elias is still a jerk as he’s always been, but now he’s just a jerk to the wrestlers we hate, so that makes him a good guy I suppose.

 

I’m indifferent: As close to an enhancement match as we’ll get all night.

Just in case you missed the Royal Rumble pre-show (and chances are good you did) then allow WWE to show you a condensed version of Shorty G vs Sheamus with the same end result… Sheamus kick and pin and *yawn* let’s move on.

 

I’m tipping my LED fishbowl hat: On to Naomi

Very paint-by-numbers sequence of champion who won at the big Sunday event now bragging the following show about how she’s unstoppable, only for a new challenger to step forward and claim – correctly of course – that the champion hasn’t beaten them.

And with that we now have Naomi and Bayley set up as a new feud that will be settled anywhere else in the world other than Saudi Arabia.

Much like the tag team divisions in WWE, SmackDown’s women’s division feels pretty shallow and underutilized. Naomi comes out and all I am sure anyone else thinks at that moment is “well of course she did, she’s the only other female that hasn’t been seen tonight other than Lacey Evans who Bayley just beat.

I’m trying to think back through the last few years and I can’t recall ever seeing Bayley in active matches with Naomi let alone against her. If they were in the ring together, it was maybe a one-off match, so this feels like a fresh rivalry which is kind of rare with most of the main-roster women. I also don’t know how this one will play out and I could see a strong case for putting either of these ladies over in a program, so I am very much intrigued by what the next few weeks between these two could bring.

 

I’m.. Wait, are we finally done with all this here?

I honestly thought we were done with the whole Roman vs Corbin thing at the Rumble, but for whatever reason at the start of the show when we get 15 minutes of entrances and promos and bad one-liners traded, a dog food eating stipulation is added because… Well why the hell not?

And for some unknown reason… Corbin, accepts? Clearly his buddies Roode and Zigglier don’t want any part of this stipulation and why would they? The match is already signed for later in the night and didn’t they just force Roman to wear a bunch of dog food a few weeks ago? They didn’t need a stipulation to do that then, so why would they need it now? it’s like Corbin just forgot that he’s a jerk who will do bad things to people he hates, but now that he’s agreed to it, by the rules established I believe during the 1964 Zurich Wrestling Summit, he has to do whatever the agreed stipulation says.

No stipulation? Do whatever you want. Stipulation? You have to do whatever the stip is, and no take-backsies. That’s just wrestling fact.

Of course, Roman and the Usos win and post-match Roode and Ziggler are “conveniently” stuck under an announce table, but did we not see how these two were when the idea of a loser eats dog food stipulation was brought up. I bet we could have asked them after the match “hey, want to try and stop them from feeding your pal Corbin dog chow?” and they would have denied even knowing any guy by the name of King Corbin.

Corbin also doesn’t “eat” the dog food as much as he does wear it much like Roman did a month ago, but that’s just semantics at this point. The bottom line is that comeuppance was served, the king was humiliated and now maybe FINALLY we can move on.

Hopefully.