7 Ups & 2 Downs From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (Aug 14)
2. Tired Trash Talk
There's no denying Rusev and Lana's respective charisma levels, and they have bags of chemistry as a double-act, but their post-Almas vs. English promo didn't come across well.
It started with Zelina Vega delivering a typically fiery diatribe against the couple. Out came the popular duo, with Rusev running though clichéd trash talk lines ("your luck runs out on Sunday"), Lana promising to "crush" their pay-per-view opponents, then a forced, stilted, and unnatural shoehorning of their two big catchphrases ("SummerSlam falls on Rusev Day"/"Lana is the best, Lana is number one"), because branding.
Though this interlude lasted no time at all, the delivery was distractingly poor. Why don't feuding wrestlers on this show ever do anything other than talk at each other these days? It's an issue prevalent through all levels of the card, and Almas, Vega, Rusev, and Lana will be better off when this story concludes (even if the past few weeks have been mostly positive).
WhatCulture's big bad wrestling news baron. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.