Complaining about WWE's shoddy pay-per-view go-home shows is almost moot at this point. The company aren't under pressure to sell PPVs anymore: they already have your Network subscription fee, so why would they bother putting the effort in to make sure their product is as hot as possible heading into the big show? They don't care, and rarely give their audience little reason to do so either.
That being said, last night's pre-SummerSlam SmackDown was particularly shoddy. It had a couple of minor highlights, and therefore wasn't a complete shambles, but it was definitely one of the brand's least enjoyable offerings of the year, and another off night for a show that is rapidly losing steam.
Baron Corbin's Money In The Bank cash-in was the night's biggest talking point. Elsewhere, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal had a stinker of the evening, predictable 50/50 booking ran amok, and even the Fashion Files, so often one of SD's biggest highlights, failed to deliver. A bad night as a whole, and one the performers would do well to put behind them.
Which segments contributed to this week's SmackDown slump, and which ones swam against the tide of negativity? Let's have a look.
Last night presented the Fashion Files’ weakest instalment in a while. The past couple of Twin Peaks riffs were bags of fun, but WWE have an undying habit of taking something that’s well-received and running it into the ground. This is what’s happening here. The jokes didn’t land as intended, the surrealism is wearing off, and we’re no closer to solving the mystery.
Breezango’s performances were fine, and the segment certainly wasn’t terrible, but it was a clear step down from the usual standard. The real downer, however, is the impenetrable bubble that these two seem to live in. Aside from The Ascension (and The New Day a few weeks ago), these segments never lead to meaningful interaction with other roster members, leaving Breezango on an island of their own on SmackDown. This problem wouldn’t exist if it led to the odd backstage segment or match every now and then, but they never do.
The Fashion Files have been a regular highlight on SmackDown these past few months, but the series’ flaws are really starting to show, and it desperately needs a refresh. Otherwise, they may become a more regular fixture in our ‘Downs’ section.