News I don’t know why so many episodes of SmackDown begin with Baron Corbin

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Baron Corbin has invaded my TV for two consecutive weeks with some godawful talking segments that involve poking fun at Roman Reigns’ “Big Dog” moniker. These segments have included the kind of things that embarrass me to watch WWE’s product in front of other people - poop bags, shrinking testicles, a giant dog mascot, and high-pitched yappy barking overdubbed on Roman’s theme music.

I’ll readily admit that I do enjoy my fair share of testicle jokes most days. But if you watched this specific material from Corbin, you probably understand why this was much more cringe than humor.

After the poop bag segment kicked off the Nov. 8 episode of SmackDown, our own reviewer at Cageside described his immediate reaction as “I emotionally checked out of the show.” I can’t blame him, the segment was just so bad.

Just a couple days ago on the Nov. 15 episode, I tuned in about 7 minutes late to SmackDown. When I tuned in I was instantly greeted with King Corbin in a talking segment with Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler, and then the ensuing dog mascot nonsense already mentioned above. I was just shaking my head wondering, how does WWE not understand? Do they just not get it? Or do they simply not care?

Roughly one year ago, Raw’s ratings were in really bad shape during a time when Baron Corbin dominated the show as an authority figure. This actually prompted the McMahon family to come out on the Dec. 17 episode of Raw and apologize for their underwhelming television product. In kayfabe they ended up throwing Baron Corbin under the bus for the situation, and this included a massive beating that he received at both TLC 2018 and that Dec. 17 episode of Raw.

But the last year has shown us that the McMahon family can’t quit Baron Corbin, and they think he is a top guy. At Elimination Chamber 2019, he became one of the very few men to ever pin Braun Strowman. He then retired Kurt Angle at WrestleMania 35, challenged for the Universal championship in multiple pay-per-view main events during the summer, and then won the King of the Ring tournament in September.

Corbin has been smothering the product on Friday nights ever since SmackDown moved to Fox in October. It seems like nearly every episode kicks off with this guy. I looked through our live blogs at Cageside to see how often he has appeared in the opening segment or match.

He took a beating from The Rock and Becky Lynch in the opening of the Oct. 4 debut episode. On Oct. 18 he caused a disqualification in the opening match between Roman Reigns and Shinsuke Nakamura. The Oct. 25 episode began with a talking segment between Team Flair and Team Hogan, which included King Corbin. The terrible first segments of the Nov. 8 and Nov. 15 episodes have already been discussed in the beginning of this post, and Corbin actually defeated Reigns in the main event of the Nov. 8 episode.

That’s five out of seven episodes where he has been involved pretty much right from the get-go. Who knows, maybe it would have been six out of seven episodes if he wasn’t stuck in Saudi Arabia for the Nov. 1 episode.

There’s just way too much Baron Corbin on WWE’s television show right now. He clearly wasn’t a top guy last year at this time, Chris Jericho called him out for not being a top guy during this summer, and he’s still not a top guy right now. But Vince McMahon insists otherwise with his booking decisions, and it’s to the severe detriment of the product.

The McMahons already apologized to the audience for this nonsense last year. But it looks like that was all just a work, because Baron Corbin continues to dominate WWE television in 2019.

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