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Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 7/26/16: Superkicking The Glass Ceiling

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 7/26/16)

Superkicking The Glass Ceiling

– On the SmackDown side of the WWE Brand Split, we were promised live shows on Tuesdays and a crew led by Commissioner Shane McMahon/General Manager Daniel Bryan. As for the announce team, gone were Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler, replaced with JBL and David Otunga. Mauro Ranallo is great as always, but that’ll take some getting used to. SmackDown started in similar fashion to Raw, but with Shane/Bryan backstage as they led the camera to the ring, already filled with roster inhabitants. Of course they hit Bryan’s music so the crowd had an excuse to chant “Yes!” and act all crazy on camera. SmackDown also had new generic rock music and a montage for its theme. Shane revealed that SmackDown would have its first exclusive Pay-Per-View on Sep. 11 entitled “Backlash.” After that, they introduced WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose and announced the goal was to find him an opponent for SummerSlam, which would be done via a Six-Pack Challenge, that’d involve Dolph Ziggler, John Cena, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt and AJ Styles thus far. The last contestant would be decided though an impromptu Battle Royale. Not a bad start to the show, since it set the table for what we could expect and this played into the “Break The Glass Ceiling” mission objective of the show.

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WWE Battleground 2016 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

In many ways, Battleground personified the end of the modern era in WWE as we knew it.

With the last quarrels left to settle before the official WWE Brand Split took place, this marked the final time Raw and SmackDown superstars would appear in the same ring together.

The same rule was also in play for the main event, which put The Shield’s former members in an anticipated triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first and last time.

Washington D.C. was primed for a long night and came to life when they needed to, but with nothing truly groundbreaking outside of a Sami Zayn-Kevin Owens classic, a notable Women’s Division debut and Randy Orton’s return, this Battleground left us with a slight case of trenchfoot, ready for the new era to truly take over already.

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Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 7/19/16: You’ve Been Drafted

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 7/19/16)

You’ve Been Drafted

– The big day was here. From this point forward, WWE was set to go live on Tuesdays for SmackDown and used the first episode as the platform for the WWE Brand Extension Draft, where Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon/General Manager Mick Foley and SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon/Mick Foley would make their respective picks. We got some explanation as far as why Raw got three picks for every two SmackDown picks, from it being related to the number of hours of the shows. Okay then. It shouldn’t had been a surprise that Raw’s first pick was Seth Rollins, who could use the bragging rights. Definitely a big one right there. SmackDown’s first pick of WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose was also big, yet logical given his standing as a major Champion. WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte being Raw’s next pick put big emphasis on Women’s Wrestling and we’re all for it. Charlotte looked like a big star alone for that. AJ Styles as SmackDown’s next pick was a good catch for them, as he can propel far on the blue brand. The night’s biggest pop came from Finn Balor as Raw’s next pick. That gives Raw must-see ability there. This was then interrupted by John Cena, unpicked at this point and apparently he had a match.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 7/18/16: Holy Foley And The Yes Man

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 7/18/16)

Holy Foley And The Yes Man

– With Battleground six days away and the WWE Brand Extension Draft even closer (the next day), there was a feel for change in the air. What better way to bring that out than to start the show with a long-winded talking segment that involves the McMahon clan? Original stuff, guys. The one saving grace here was that it served a purpose for us to find out who Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon each selected for their respective General Managers. Are you keeping up with the authority figures? Hope you like it, because there’s a lot of that here. There were also some half-assedly explained Draft “rules” – Raw got the first pick and for every two SmackDown picks, Raw would get three. Why? We don’t know. Better news was that six picks would come off the NXT roster. Oh, make them good. After some pointless sibling bickering, Steph announced that Raw would feature a new cruiserweight division exclusive to them. She then introduced her GM, which was Mick Foley to a nice pop. Foley’s promo here leaned more towards the humbled and appreciative as he used his experience when he partook in the Monday Night Wars to compare it to nowadays. That’s a bit of a stretch, but okay. More or less, the segment was stolen when Shane announced his pick, none other than Daniel Bryan. Yes, that one. The place went bonkers as you’d imagine. Bryan’s promo revolved around the “underdogs” and there were some moments where he stuck it to Steph, as she had her own responses that underdogs always end up at the bottom despite their rise. So, some more pointless bickering to end it but we got our big news.

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Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 7/14/16: The End Of The Taped Era

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 7/14/16)

The End Of The Taped Era

– A SmackDown novelty the past few weeks, we had another “promo mash-up” as a cold open to the show, which previewed the Kevin Owens-WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose/Sasha Banks-Dana Brooke matches and the MizTV segment that’d star Darren Young/Bob Backlund. This was also regarded as the “end of an era” by commentary, as this was the last SmackDown to air on Thursdays, since from this point forward, it’d be live on Tuesdays. As for the promos, they were fun. Owens focused on a card Sami Zayn gave him last December for his son that had $20 in Canadian money and how it was horrendous since they were best friends at the time and promised to send Zayn to a hospital if he stuck his nose in his main event match with Ambrose. Good stuff. WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte did most of the talking in her open promo outside of a limo with Brooke as she again referred to Banks as a “Nicki Minaj knockoff” and Brooke swore that lightning wouldn’t strike twice. Next was WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz/Maryse, as they prepped for MizTV and he lightly insulted his soon-to-be guest. Lastly, we had Ambrose who soaked in the last Thursday SmackDown as he embraced the chance to do something he loved with someone he hated. All sounds about right and then some simultaneous hype. Hopefully they keep these cold opens when they go live.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 7/11/16: Rollins The Reporter

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 7/11/16)

Rollins The Reporter

– We applauded the Battle Royale opener to decide who’d challenge WWE United States Champion The Miz at Battleground that featured the likes of Darren Young, Apollo Crews, The Usos, The Dudley Boyz, The Vaudevillains, The Ascension, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, Alberto Del Rio, The Golden Truth and Jack Swagger. It switched things up and also gave us Young’s long-awaited “re-debut,” who now had Bob Backlund at ringside. Thankfully, Crews also got a televised entrance and even Corbin was pushed like a beast here to the end. Miz’s pre-taped promo was well-delivered and he stood on commentary, even if he messed up a few lines. The finish was okay, just wasn’t a fan of how Young was the winner mainly for how he stood in the background as Crews/Corbin went over the top rope together. Perhaps it wasn’t the planned finish? Crews looked like he tried to hold on, but fell with Corbin. Luckily, the crowd bought into it and they chanted for Young as he and Backlund celebrated in the ring. Young was later hyped for a SmackDown appearance on MizTV, so that could also be fun.

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Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 7/7/16: Scarf Hold

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 7/7/16)

Scarf Hold 

– Just like last week, we had a cutesy promo mashup package to start things off, as Chris Jericho sought his lost scarf and mentioned that Sami Zayn would get “it” later in the main event. Zayn’s response promo questioned the result if he actually beat him. We also had an encounter between Seth Rollins and Jey Uso (actually didn’t know which Uso it was until he dropped his name) in the parking lot, as Rollins made a joke that the Uso family fell apart and insulted Jey’s father Rikishi for his posterior-esque career. Just like that, Jey challenged Rollins and it was on. Say what you want, but two matches were announced in one minute, so we had something to look forward. Will they keep these when SmackDown goes live?

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 7/4/16: Independence Dud

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 7/4/16)

Independence Dud

– WWE and holidays never mix if you seek quality television. It was the Fourth Of July and America celebrated it’s 240th birthday with greasy grilled goodness and such. WWE threw on a three-hour Raw with the agenda of half-assedly pushing Battleground with holiday filler. It worked in some ways and was missable in many others. Case in point – the opening segment was your general locker room food party. The Golden Truth performed on stage before The Vaudevillains forced them off and then Aiden English had food thrown at him. WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz/Maryse warned everybody not to let it end in a food fight and sure enough, that’s what happened. Kevin Owens also got pied by someone in the face off-camera, Heath Slater went through a table, Darren Young sat with other heels and we knew we were in for one of “those” nights.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 6/20/16: The Dude Abides

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 6/20/16)

The Dude Abides 

– Affected by flushed ratings and maybe an attempt to shake things up, WWE firmly decided to put the WWE World Heavyweight Championship around Dean Ambrose’s waist with the story of the latest Money In The Bank cash-in. At the same time, they’ve used the circumstances of a Roman Reigns-Seth Rollins Title feud as the catalyst for all three former Shield members to intertwine once more. WWE portrays Ambrose as an edgy carefree renegade who enjoys a good drink. Of course, he’s uber-over with the fans, so this was a perfect time to make the change and let the “Ambrose Asylum” lead the way. What better way to start the show off than to have a taxi with the rebel Champ to come out of, looking like he had a rough night? It was quite Ambrose.

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Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown! 6/16/16: Pardon The Interruption

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 6/16/16) 

Pardon The Interruption 

– The opening “Highlight Reel” segment with Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro and Sami Zayn had obvious Money In The Bank hype implications with a keen mix of light-hearted spilled coffee comedy via Ambrose and over-the-top fashion sense from Jericho (who bragged about his new Jeri-Tron 6500 and $20,000 carpet made out of one-hundred percent serengeti yak hair) while also keeping the tensions high between Cesaro/Zayn and Owens/Del Rio. Jericho reminded us how much he hated Ambrose with thumbtacks and lite-brite jackets coming to mind. It was expected that Ambrose would spill the coffee onto the set and Jericho’s crazed reaction was priceless. The physicality to end it made sense, as we knew headed in there’d be a six-man tag with the MITB competitors. Decent segment to fill time (a common SmackDown! problem) but this was all things we already knew.

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