Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 4/28/16: The Truth’s Gorgeous
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
The Truth’s Gorgeous
– The opening video chronicled the Raw ending where we got more development in the “Is he or isn’t he?” saga that engulfed the rivalry between WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns and AJ Styles and the arrival of his former Bullet Club buddies from New Japan in Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows. Basically, Reigns got laid out by the Phenomenal Forearm after Reigns Superman Punched him when he tried to tell Anderson/Gallows to stop attacking Reigns. Echoing words from Anderson/Gallows of them telling Styles they “only wanted to make sure it was a fair fight” lasted throughout the video.
– The opening in-ring segment with Reigns and WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz/Maryse served to follow-up on Raw as Reigns came out to a heavily mixed reaction (even by post-production standards) and continued to out Styles as a liar and demanded he come out and tell the truth. Miz fit right into the segment since he was loosely tied to the storyline since he hosted Styles on Miz TV last week and wanted the recognition of being the first to call Styles a liar. Of course, Reigns wasn’t out to play games and punched him, clearing him out of the ring and counting the Smackdown tradition of using the opening segment to set up the main event.
– After each having separate matches on Raw, we wondered if The League Of Nations was quietly being disassembled. Sadly, that wasn’t the case (initially) as they picked right back up on the LON story, hyping a six-man tag where they’d willingly take on any team of three guys to prove they were “stronger than ever,” also as per their backstage promo. Ugh. Let’s just get to the coverage. The six-man tag between LON and their revealed challengers, WWE United States Champion Kalisto/Sami Zayn/Cesaro served as time-filler while also loosely hyping each of the babyface challengers’ separate high-profile Payback matches. Luckily, they also spelled dissension upon LON, who bickered throughout and ended in a three-way shoving match, with members walking out on the match, first with Alberto Del Rio and then Rusev. Sheamus, being left alone, fell victim to the upstart offense of Kalisto’s high-flying maneuvers and the Uppercut prowess of Cesaro before walking out on the match himself, giving the babyfaces easy momentum headed into their respective Payback matches.
– The backstage segment with LON confirmed a breakup, as the three yelled at each other, before Sheamus officially announced they were “finished.” What is it all leading up to though? Nobody turned and there’s nothing on the line. However, hallelujah to the idea of LON being no more. They were doomed from the start.
– Another clever idea to air the Kevin Owens-Zayn hype video from Raw but it seemed like they wanted us to forget Zayn’s May 2015 Raw main roster debut against John Cena. Sort of an odd observation, but just wanted to voice that.
– The Baron Corbin-Damien Sandow match was a logical squash to build Corbin up for his Payback showdown against Dolph Ziggler. Poor Sandow though.
– Styles’ backstage promo was good, as Styles always is in small doses, promo-wise. From his perspective, he was more concerned with taking Reigns’ Title than being referred to as a liar. The “Step on his cape” line was interestingly crude for the occasion.
– The Ambrose Asylum segment with Dean Ambrose, WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte, Ric Flair and Natalya served Payback hype all-around. Ambrose was a bit more on the serious side thankfully and used that tone to address what Jericho did to him on Raw when he applied the Walls Of Jericho on the announce table and let go, something he called a “huge mistake.” His line of wanting to “Turn Bon Jovi into Meat Loaf” was cutesy-ish, but still hyped their match. The exchange between Charlotte, Ric Flair and Natalya also gave their Payback match good hype as Natalya looked strong on the mic, using her “Uncle Bret” as the answer to anything Flair could try out while Flair confidently exclaimed he used to “own Bret in WWE and WCW,” while Charlotte used heel logic in accusing Natalya of “parading around her uncle” even though she herself did the same with her father. Natalya got a solid final line in saying she’d be the face of “the new era and the Champion people deserved.” Also a good standoff to end it.
– The WWE Tag Team Title also got some good simultaneous hype by bringing Tag Champions The New Day out to perform their mock-styled commentary of the match between Bo Dallas/Curtis Axel and Enzo/Cass. The usual Team SWAFT schtick came off well and we got a kick out of the “Muscles Marinara” nickname. To further heighten the tension, The Vaudevillains, whom Enzo/Cass would face in the WWE World Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament Finals at Payback, stood onstage. As you’d expect with the match, it was solely to display the power of Cass, whom took over the hot tag and ended with Enzo getting the pinfall. They sent a clear message to The Vaudevillains at the end. Good stuff.
– The backstage segment with Goldust, R-Truth, Tyler Breeze and Fandango served as the next chapter of the ridiculous “Golden Truth” storyline as Goldust was finally warming to the idea of teaming with Truth when they “developed chemistry” by dancing on Raw when he saw Truth get a new partner in Breeze, and he’d call them “Gorgeous Truth.” Yup, then Fandago walked over to check in on Goldust and danced while sitting down. Yup, only in WWE. What is this crap?
– Primo/Epico again showed us how Puerto Rico likes to get down.
– The Apollo Crews-Stardust match was standard fodder as commentary tried their best to make the bout feel personal by mentioning Stardust’s beef with his father Dusty Rhodes giving Apollo his name and how he was bothered when Apollo called him “Cody,” but this was little more than your next showcase bout for Crews.
– The Reigns-Miz main event was billed as “Champion Vs. Champion,” where the IC Title holder almost never wins, yet Miz hung in there with Reigns through most of it, while Styles sat at ringside to be a presence and hype Payback. Styles/Reigns teased early physicality, but held off until after the match, when Reigns won with the spear. The post-match development closely mirrored that of Raw, where Anderson/Gallows saved Styles from getting Superman Punched again, coming out to attack Reigns before Styles again tried to stop them, before standing around when The Usos attacked Anderson/Gallows, but intervened when Jimmy Uso punched him. A fine continuation that didn’t add more to the story but kept things full of drama headed into the Payback match.
- Six-Man Tag – Sami Zayn/Cesaro/Kalisto def. The League Of Nations via countout
- Baron Corbin def. Damien Sandow via pinfall
- Enzo Amore/Big Cass def. Curtis Axel/Bo Dallas (w/Heath Slater) via pinfall
- Apollo Crews def. Stardust via pinfall
- Roman Reigns def. The Miz (w/Maryse) via pinfall
Posted on May 7, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Bo Dallas, Byron Saxton, Cass, Cesaro, Charlotte, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow, Dean Ambrose, Enzo, Epico, Fandango, Goldust, Heath Slater, Jerry Lawler, Kalisto, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Luke Gallows, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Natalya, Payback, Primo, R-Truth, Ric Flair, Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, Stardust, The League Of Nations, The Miz, The New Day, The Vaudevillains, Tyler Breeze. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.