The following editorial was written by Tyler Treese and does not reflect the opinions of WrestleZone as a whole. We encourage you all to discuss Tyler’s thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post and follow him on Twitter @tylertreese.
WWE announced a new WWE Network special earlier today. Taking place on Saturday, July 27, the card will be headlined by a triple threat match for the WWE Championship between Kofi Kingston, Samoa Joe, and Dolph Ziggler. On top of that, Shinsuke Nakamura will have a rematch against Finn Balor for the IC Title, and will hopefully get more time than their Extreme Rules encounter.
That is all great news, but there’s one huge caveat. The event is called WWE Smackville. I get it. It’s a SmackDown-branded show and it is taking place in Nashville, so they combined the two. It makes sense, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the worst event names in years. It might not top WWE Great Balls of Fire or “WWE Super ShowDown as Good or Better Than WrestleMania,” but it’s cringeworthy. What is next? WWE RAWlanta? WWE Smacklando? Good lord. Anything would’ve been better than this terrible attempt at a pun.
Despite how bad the name is, I do have to give WWE credit for actually using the WWE Network more. This company has an infrastructure that nobody, not even All Elite Wrestling, can replicate. They can pick and choose particular house shows and turn them into bigger deals if they wish. These are great reasons to subscribe, and even if we don’t get a title change, it gives television a clear direction prior to the next actual major event, SummerSlam.
It’s also great to see a brand-focused event taking place. We’re in an era where the brand split has never meant less due to the “wild card rule” and people constantly popping up wherever without explanation. So, these house shows turned specials can allow for more wrestlers to get televised time and not just focus on the same couple of main event superstars.
These sort of specials are always a fun time as Beast in the East, The Shield’s Final Chapter, and their 2015 Madison Square Garden special showed. The performers appear to get a bit more free rein over the matches, commentary isn’t constantly being screamed at by Vince McMahon, and they’re low-stake but fun ways to spend a random evening. If you aren’t going out that Saturday night or watching UFC 240, then this seems like a fine use of your time.