Hello WNW People! Mitch “Big M” Adams here welcoming you to another edition of…The Smackdown Breakdown. I’m going, to be honest with you guys, there was a lot about Smackdown I did not like this week. Vince McMahon obviously oversaw this week’s episode a lot more than he usually does. So I’m going to keep this short.
In-Ring Promo: Charlotte & Naomi > B
Oh, wonderful, I now get to cover Charlotte’s screechy promos every week! Charlotte coming out and saying that it’s a crime that she hasn’t been given a title shot after only a week is one of those rare moments where Vince’s narrow world view actually behooves good storytelling. Charlotte looked like an epic heel here. Naomi’s rebuttal was good as well, but I think the brawl these two had kinda fell flat.
#1 Contenders Match: Sami Zayn, Mojo Rawley, Erick Rowan, Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler & Jinder Mahal > A & F/b>
You will never hear me complain about the quality of this match as it was fun and exciting. But I and most other WNW writers have a BIG problem with Jinder Mahal being pushed as the #1 Contender for the WWE World Title! I get it, WWE’s expanding in India, but the fact remains Jinder was Jobbing no less than a week ago. But that’s not the reason why we are upset. The reason why we are upset is that after Jinder’s reckless and dangerous actions in the ring with Finn Balor on Raw he should be punished. But instead, he is being given a main event push for crying out loud! I’ve already spoken at length about this on social media, and Kendra Bunyon let her thoughts known on Raw is Blogged. So I thought I’d ask WNW writers Thomas Fenton, Jake Ares and Elizabeth Sherwood what they thought!
Thomas Fenton- This is on Vince and Hunter when Jinder injures Orton ...or for that matter blows a spot and Orton flips on him!
Jake Ares- Pushing Mahal after he quite possibly intentionally injured Finn Balor in a match is not only an insult to Balor but to anyone WWE forced onto the shelf due to injury. In doing this, they've clearly set the precedent that they don't care about their superstars' health like they once claimed. This is a clear slap to face for guys like Corey Graves and Daniel Bryan.
Elizabeth Sherwood- Listen, I more than anyone else, as a former WWE shareholder, understand that WWE is an international corporation and has to promote themselves in many different regions. Part of that promotion obligation is to make an earnest attempt to elevate stars from countries that are in your expansion audience. But regardless of that philosophy, there are certain cardinal rules in the back you cannot break. And VKM is breaking one of the biggest right now in giving Jinder Mahal a WWE Championship opportunity. We are just over a week and a half, as of this writing, removed from Jinder nearly putting Finn Bálor back on the shelf with a concussion due to unusually excessively stiff work. I'm sorry, but if there is one thing you absolutely do not do, it is reward a guy, especially one that you have booked the majority of the past year as an enhancement talent, with headlining a PPV after he tried to injure one of your top money draws! Yes, the India market is a massive area of growth for WWE, especially with them now having their Shop up and running there and a new EVP in charge of growth in the country. And yes, out of the entire roster, Jinder is the only main level superstar who is of Indian descent. But give him a secondary title chance, something that can make him still look good but not be seen as a massive slap in the face to all of the boys in the back and all of the fans who saw and knew what happened with Bálor. Yet again, this just shows how VKM is losing his grip on what made him popular with the boys in the back and the fans and is finally being shown that he only cares about the money we throw at him each week.
Winner: Jinder Mahal
Post Match Shenanigans: Mahal, Orton & Wyatt > F
Jinder doing a race-based heel promo in the current social and political climate where positively diverse characters on TV are needed more than ever, Orton clearly not caring about this program and just going through the motions with his promo and Bray Wyatt was barely able to hide his frustration with his current booking. This segment was a mess!
Backstage Segment: The Women’s Division (And Ellsworth) Confront Charlotte > B
Charlotte being public enemy #1 amongst the Smackdown Women’s division! I can get into that. But I still don’t understand what Ellsworth and Carmella are still doing together.
Charlotte vs Naomi > A
While the storylines on Smackdown sucked this week at least the matches were still good! These two put on a clinic in there, and they both looked like a million bucks.
Backstage Segment: Charlotte Gloats In Front Of The Women’s Division (And Ellsworth) > A
Don’t you just love classic heel moments like a wrestler walking past her competition gloating about her success with a s**t-eating grin on their face? Charlotte’s promos may be painful to listen to but man alive she is just such a great heel!
Primo & Epico vs American Alpha > F
Ok, you want to repackage Primo and Epico, so they are no longer jobbers but a legit Tag Team instead fine! But you don’t do that by having them beat the best Tag Team on your show in the first bloody week! That has to be built up to for goodness sake.
Winner’s: Primo & Epico
Kevin Owens Face Of America Challenge & Promo > D
I was actually looking forward to this “Sigh.” That Local Jobber botched the pop-up powerbomb so badly that not even KO could save it!
AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin > A
Thank goodness the Blue Brand's talent pool is incapable of delivering a bad main event! This match honestly saved the show in my opinion. AJ Styles once again proved why he is one of the very best in the industry and Baron Corbin once again proved he can hang with the best. The count out win was done with the purpose of keeping both men looking strong. Usually, I can’t stand that stuff as I feel a loss is a loss no matter what, but I think it actually worked well here.
Winner: AJ Styles via Count Out
Overall Grade > C+
It’s painfully obvious Vince had his grubby hands all over Smackdown this week! And the end result was a lesser show this time around! But don’t take my word for it, just take a look at the massive drop in ratings the blue brand had this week.
And that ladies and gents was the Smackdown Breakdown. I hope you have enjoyed it. Feel free to follow me on twitter @WNWBigM and make sure to join in the fun and discussion that is WNW’s Facebook group created by Richard Gray and administrated by yours truly! The group URL is www.MMAPW.com, and it’s all about pro wrestling and MMA discussion. I hope to see you there!