So since WWE was in Toronto, I decided to go to the live taping of Smackdown Live. It was tons of fun, and it was worth the money, but sadly, due to going to the show I did not do a full review. Since I haven’t been able to write a review, I will just give you my thoughts on the segments, without the results part of it. Let’s start with the opening segment.
The opening segment of the show was different, but fun. This opening segment that happened between Baron Corbin, John Cena and Daniel Bryan had a lot of banter in it. It also set up the Summerslam match between Corbin and Cena. Even though this segment was good, I felt the match at Summerslam doesn’t make too much sense. During this segment, Cena said that he wanted to fight, while Corbin expressed no interest in a fight. Cena had challenged Corbin to a fight since he wanted him to prove something. If Corbin had no interest in proving himself, then why even have the match? So far, there isn’t much to build around this match since Corbin doesn’t even care. They could do more next week, but how much impact would it really have when it’s the go-home show to Summerslam.
It is also worth noting that 2 whole sections on the side of the camera were mostly empty, and just under half of the upper level seating was curtained off. It was still a very lively crowd, but it was much more empty than what I would expect for Toronto.
After the opening segment, the first match was The Usos versus Sami Zayn and Tye Dillinger. Both Zayn and Dillinger got huge pops, most likely because they are Canadian. Also, the city that overused the 10 chants has still kept the trend alive tonight. I thought this match was fun, but it was very obvious that The Usos were going to win. You would have to be crazy to think that they would slow down The Usos’ momentum right now.
What happened after the match with The New Day was great. I remember being slightly confused when looking at the ramp where Big E was, then being super surprised when Xavier and Kofi attacked out of nowhere. I thought that was great.
Renee Young was backstage interviewing Randy Orton. Renee got a huge pop from the crowd. It was way louder of a reaction than I expected for a on-air personality. After the interview we saw the latest episode of Fashion Peaks. The crowd loved the segment, and I enjoyed it too. It was goofy. What I didn’t necessarily like is that The Ascension’s gimmick, or what is left of it, was pretty much demolished in this. The guys who are supposed to be creepy, scary dudes, were shown in a way that made them look like witty, normal dudes who just wanted doughnuts. I mean it’s not a big deal since people will eventually forget it, but that’s just what I thought.
Lana is facing Charlotte after she challenged her last week. Charlotte gets the win in under three minutes. This match had awkward grappling at the start then it ended very quickly. I felt this match was a little out of place on the card. I don’t know where the Tamina/Lana rivalry is going. I doubt it will go on the PPV, so maybe it fully happens on Smackdown?
Next talking segment is Shane McMahon addressing AJ Styles and Kevin Owens on their Summerslam match. I thought this was a great talking segment. It had good callbacks to last March on Smackdown and Shane McMahon reffing in 1998. I felt this segment did a good job for promoting the match and showing that nobody in this match really trusts eachother. Kevin has been very vocal about how he doesn’t trust Shane, and AJ said this week that he never trusts a McMahon. I overall thought this was good.
The next match is Naomi versus Carmella. Before the match I saw someone sneak under the ring when the lights were out. I didn’t guess who it was, but I did make note of it before the match. Naomi’s entrance is pretty cool live. Her whole outfit glows in real life just like how it looks on TV. The hair is really cool because it really glows in real life. Carmella won this match due to Ellesworth coming out from under the ring and pushing Naomi’s foot off the top rope or something like that. Ellesworth celebrated with Carmella after the match. I thought this was a great way to bring Ellesworth back. By the time that the interference happened I had completely forgot that someone was under the ring. I did not guess that it was James Ellesworth. I thought this was great.
Shinsuke Nakamura got interviewed by Renee Young. To be honest I couldn’t hear the interview too well. A mixture of the crowd and bad acoustics made it hard for me to pick up any of the interview.
The main event is Randy Orton versus Jinder Mahal. What I found crazy is that Toronto is very, very pro-Jinder. Jinder got a huge reaction and Randy got boos because of that. I don’t know if it’s because Jinder is Canadian, or if it’s just because the crowd likes him unironically or ironically. I’m leaning more towards the reasoning of him being Canadian. I thought this was a well fought match, but it had a odd feeling at the end since in a sense the heel won. Even though Randy won, it felt like the wrong guy won to the crowd. Like, it’s not really WWE’s fault or anything, it’s just Randy was met with so many boo’s that it felt like a heel ended off the show. Just before the show went off air, Rusev attacked Randy Orton at the ramp. When the show went off-air, Rusev did not attack any more. He stood and stared at Orton for a few more moments, then walked away. Orton laid down on the ramp and sold his pain for nearly another 45 seconds.
After 205 Live there was a dark match. Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin teamed up to face AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura in a “Toronto Street Fight”. Not sure what makes it any different from any other type of street fight, but whatever. I thought this match was super fun. Kevin Owens looked like he was having lots of fun during this match. A steel chair was used and they did a table spot in this match. If I remember correctly, the match ended with Shinsuke hitting a Kinshasa for the win. I would say that staying for 205 Live and the Dark Match were worth it. Overall it was a fun night, and from a spectators perspective it was a good Smackdown. I might have a some bias since I was there live, but I would still say that I thought it was a good episode.
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