TV Club: SmackDown knocks another rushed pay-per-view build out of the park

Once again, SmackDown! Live is tasked with creating a competent and compelling build for a pay-per-view out of just two weeks of programming. While the blue brand continued its streak of always being prepared by at least mentioning the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view before this past Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view, the official build for the Chamber starts with this week’s episode of SmackDown… in Corpus Christi, Texas. Yes, Corpus Christi, a city infamous for its lackluster reactions to televised WWE events, is the first of two stops in the build for the next SmackDown pay-per-view. It’s already difficult enough for WWE to sell these pay-per-views (in terms of literally putting butts in seats) on such short notice, but when the first crowd to get a certain amount of storytelling isn’t down for much reacting, that makes for an even tougher upward battle.

So SmackDown starts with the …

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