I think the opening segment was very well done in terms of story telling. Dolph coming off as jealous and arrogant of Nakamura’s hype is the best way to go for this. Dolph is shining as a heel and letting him have mic time like this is great.
However, Nakamura was hard to understand at first. He shouldn’t keep the mouth piece in during promos. It doesn’t come off well on the main roster.
None the less, I’m excited to see where this feud will go and if they can really hold off until Backlash to have Nakamura wrestle.
AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin:
First off, how awesome is AJ Sykes attire for this match. I think it’s his first time with that color scheme but it looked great. Styles is one of the best when it comes to changing up his attires.
The match was your usual AJ Styles match. It was pretty solid with Styles picking up the win. Owens was on commentary during the bout. The bigger story is the post match brawl.
Owens assaulted Styles with Corbin until Zayn made the save. Zayn cleared the ring momentarily until Owens jumped him from behind. Owens then hit Styles with his finisher.
I love love loveee how Smackdown Love is booking Owens. He’s getting mic time, he’s able to be a predatory bully heel, and above all else he’s being the Kevin Owens we deserve. This is way better than watching him get superman punched for 6 months.
American Alpha vs The Colons
This was a solid bout. I feel like the “beat the clock” is a great concept that isn’t used enough. American Alpha work as one and this really showed here. I feel as if they are what a tag team should be, two halves to a whole.
I like how the Colons were booked as more than just jobbers. The finish came when Alpha hit Grand Amplitude in impressive fashion.
New day Promo:
If rumors are to be believed then we will be seeing these promos often as the stable won’t debut on smackdown until Kofi recovers from surgery.
On the bright side of things, the debut could come as early backlash.
This is exactly what he needed and something at which Raw fails to do. Rusev gave a clear reason as to why he should have a championship match. He’s right to when you think about it.
The man single handedly made the United States championship relevant again before passing it off to Cena. He was undefeated for a year. I’ve been saying this since he lost the belt, Rusev deserves a main event spot.
This was also great long term booking. With Rusev still injured, it gives a reason for his absence. It also gives us a reason to anticipate his debut, the result of Orton vs Jinder, and the MITB ppv.
Here’s hoping that he gets his title win at MITB.
Randy Orton Vs Eric Rowan:
I want to believe Eric Rowan is a believable monster but I can’t. The guy walks around the ring like a good and his signature moves are pretty weak.
That being said, this match was solid. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either. They used the noDQ stipulation to their advantage with some cool spots.
The finish came when Orton hit the RKO after Rowan’s goofy ass ran into a chair.
I’ve been a fan of Jinder Mahal since he debuted years ago. I always thought he would make a great Ic champion but I would have never thought I would be rooting for him to beat Randy Orton.
This promo was good. Orton is looking past Mahal but Mahal is refusing to be overlooked. I think that will be Randy’s downfall.
The Bollywood Boys and Jinder jumped Racist Randy and stole the championship.i think it’s great Jinder is getting a stable. Racist that they clumped them all together but still good for Jinder.
Breezango #1 contenders:
I won’t rate the match because it was fairly quick win over The Ascension but again, THIS IS WHAT SMACKDOWN DOES.
They take stars and give them their shine. It isn’t a bunch of rematches and pointless contests. I think it’s great that two hard workers like Fandango and Tyler Breeze (should have been NXT Champ) are getting title shots. Applause for this.
Naomi vs Charlotte flair:
Naomi entering first really ticked me off. Not in a major way but just a little. I’m a visual guy, the champion should always enter last. I also didn’t like how the announcers kept making it seem like Naomi had to beat Charlotte as if Naomi isn’t already the champion of the women’s division.
The match itself was good, not great, but it was good. There were some times where they moved a little to slow and you could tell the set up for a move was coming, mostly when Naomi was on the offensive.
I do like Naomi using that kicking version of the GTS. The FTG (feel the glow) would make a great name if she replaced that awful rear view move with that. Also, Charlotte had some wicked chops. Naomi legit curled up after taking like two of them.
Mid match run in:
the match never finished as the rest of the smackdown’s women roster (minus lynch) interfered.
They pulled Naomi out of the rung and all ganged up on Charlotte. Naomi tried to help and got tossed right back out. Tamina and Carmella both hit superkicks on Charlotte as Ellsworth cheered them on.
I feel like this should have been way more…aggressive. This felt very watered down in terms of assaults and I think two things played into that.
The first being that Everyone already does the superkick and having Tamina AND Carmella do it didn’t really had the impact it would have had they done their normal finishers.
The second being that Natalya led the charge. She might be a good wrestler but good god she’s boring to watch. All she does is smile. Heel or face that’s all she does. That’s her one facial expression.
Smackdown Grade: B
Smackdown gets a B for a few reasons. This episode was mainly focused on setting up stories. With the tag title having new contenders and Rusev cutting his promo. Zayn and Corbin are headed into a feud after Corbin jumped Zayn on Talking Smack. I look forward to that because their matched in NXT Were great.
It also moved some along such as Randy and Jinder. Jinder stealing the title is a old school heel move and one we haven’t seen a heel do in a while. It also will explain the WWE title not appearing at Payback. Dolph and Nakamura finally exchanged words. Here’s hoping WWE won’t jump the gun and have Nakamura wrestle before the PPV.
Expect Charlotte Flair to turn face soon. She sold that beatdown like a champion man. Her and Lynch will team up with Naomi to take on the Vanilla Villains (cause Ellsworth is the most charismatic of the bunch)
The only Negatives to take away from are Namakura’s weird promo, the short matches, and the lackluster beatdown in the championship main event.