The Smackdown Breakdown: Featuring WNW Reacts To Jinder Mahal!

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.
Winner: Charlotte

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, and it’s all about pro wrestling and MMA discussion. I hope to see you there!

  • Shadowfox

    So it was an accident when Seth injured Finn and got rewarded with multiple title shots but everyone wants Jinder out of the WWE. That makes sense.

    This is why wrestling isn’t fun for many people anymore. People complain when they don’t make any stars, then when WWE tries to make one people are up in arms about it because it’s not Nakamura or Owens or Styles. Trust me, they will get plenty of opportunities down the line, Jinder possibly won’t. Which is why I’m hoping he succeeds. Did he get a proper build? No, and that’s the only thing we should complain about. Not because he injured someone ON ACCIDENT. Believe me, if Braun Strowman injured Roman Reigns the Internet will demand they put the Universal title on him.

    People are complaining that Primo and Epico won against America Alpha too? They’re not even the tag champs. I’m 100% certain if the Colons beat any other team they won’t be looked at as legit until they beat a tag team that is actually beat, which they did. Again, I’m pulling for them so we get fresh matches and more legit tag teams.

    I hope there comes a day when we all stop being hypocritical of what happens and let things just play out. Until then, wrestling won’t be fun for many people anymore.

    • Xavier


      • Shadowfox

        Thank you my fellow wrestling fan. Glad to know someone knew where I was coming from. And read most of that haha.

        • Xavier

          I wrote a pretty long response myself above. I didn’t even check for spelling by errors so I hope it’s not a total wreck lol

    • Buzzkiller73

      It really for me has nothing to do with the fact he injured Finn accidents happen and so do injuries it is the nature of the art. However Mahal has been jobbing for way to long to be suddenly injected into top contention for a world title. Maybe a mid card title would work for this angle but no build whatsoever for a World Title is bull and we all know it. Justify it anyway you want but it is just not a smart business move as it will show in ratings,ticket sales, and buy rates for ppv not on Network. Ratings for smackdown already have begun to prove this and this angle just started.

      • Shadowfox

        Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t like that either, I also feel like he should have been built up before getting this opportunity. It definitely would make him more credible. I just don’t like how people don’t want to give him a shot at all.

        • Buzzkiller73

          All for giving him a shot he has the ability. Just WWE creative dropping the ball again and expecting everyone to swallow what they are pushing.

  • Xavier

    I wanted Sami or Harper to win but I’m not upset that they didn’t. Mahal going over was one of the most unpredictable out of the box things the WWE has ever done and absolutely no one saw it coming so that in itself as my interest. As far as Mahal goes, I’ll be honest I really have never cared for him as a wrestler one way or another. He was just kind of there, he’ll I’ve never seen the dude wrestle a match longer then 4-5 minutes before outside of a handful of NXT matches. I guess he’s been wrestling since 2002 and worked in some Candian based promotion prior to signing with the WWE in 2010. Everything about him going over is super risky and left me scratching my head, but that’s what I loved about it. In an era of dirtsheets/spoilers and podcast that pretty much giveaway results of try to give away angles weeks/months in advance this decision flee completely under the rader. Now the question is can Mahal deliver in this spot (doubtful) but if he does deliver a solid performance even if he loses at Backlash which is 99.9% more then likely the WWE may have something. His Muhammed Hussan type promo after the match was good and if that’s the direction they go with him going forward then I’m all for it. It’s WWE’s opportunity to rewrite a wrong of a gimmick that was so great and so polarizing ruined by bad timing. Orton/Mahal won’t go on last at Backlash in pretty sure of, that spot will go to AJ/KO and we are talking a B level PPV in the middle of late spring so if there were ever a time to try something completely out of the box then this is one of the more safer times to do it. SMACKDOWN is the land of the opportunity and that’s what fans have loved about it since the brand split was brought back, those opportunities aren’t just exclusive to Zayn, Harper, Ziggler etc etc that includes Mahal, The Shining Stars, Sin Cara etc etc. My thing is if Ellsworth (a guy nobody ever heard of the size of my little sister) can be inserted into a world title feud with the likes of AJ and Ambrose then I’m cool if Mahal gets a 1 off title opportunity at a B level PPV too. And as far as him hurting Balor, that was clearly Mahol’s fault but him doing it purposely is such a huge stretch, I won’t even entertain the idea. Botches are apart of this sport, it happens often. Rollins botched and hurt Balor last year which was also an accident. And in the case of both instances, Balor took to Twitter in a light hearted manner and kind of joked about both situations letting everybody know that he held no hard feelings or ill will towards neither guy so we all need to chill on he did it on polities allegations. If Mahal flops in this spot then oh well, move on to the next no big deal, it’s a 1 off match at a B level PPV but if makes it works then kudos to him in the WWE for successfully taking a guy who’s never come close to being a main eventer and turning him into a big deal like they did with JBL back in the day.

    • Shadowfox

      Really good points here. Especially the last part talking about that if it doesn’t work then at least they tried. Absolutely agree with that.

  • Joseph James

    It appears to me as if Vince is once again playing the heat of the fans. He trolled the entire world when he put Reigns in the rumble at 30, now he’s at it again. He damn sure knows that Balor has a huge fan base and was probably counting on a negative reaction from it. If Jinder doesn’t screw this up he could be one of Smackdown’s top heels.

    • Buzzkiller73

      Delusional to think he can be a top guy.

  • David F

    I cannot wait for Chicago to give Jinder a steroid chant. I was actually thinking about going to Backlash prior to this but now why bother.

    • Buzzkiller73

      Why waste the$$$$$

  • Buzzkiller73

    If WWE wants someone for their India demographic then I would rather they called back Rujan Singh and see him get a title push. Rather than Jobber Mahal. HA!!!


    I really wonder if WWE is pushing Jinder to appease Indian audience. He has no or little following here thanks to his shit booking. I don’t kno how seriously they do take Indian market because their shows are broadcasted with irregular show times many times.

    WWE is just using Jinder, a guy that people will boo because they dont think he deserves this [just like with Reigns] to make people cheer for Randy. They did the same with Roman in Rumble when they thought Orton woud get booed & now they are doing it again with Jinder.

    From what I have read this spot was supposed to be for Rusev. But he got injured so Jinder got it. Jinder has a good look & his promo was good & suits what we here about atmosphere in USA right now. He does need to work on his expressions & not try too hard. If Jinder can use this opportunity to impress people then he will improve his position on Roster in long run & WWE will have killed many birds in 1 stone.

    • 1molly23

      Jinder’s look is pure ‘roid.

  • ldb

    heres my take. yes we ask for new faces all the time. however, we dont want crap. so many would have been better here than jinder. some say its out of the box. i say yes and no. yes it was a surprise, but so is a std. no its not fresh to me as were back to the worn out shcitk of the angry foreigner. could we just once debut a strong non American as a good person? or is that asking to much. i believe this is vince doing two things. one is pushing the 1980s typical steroid type performer. second is tearing down a show that is better than the flagship. i respect everything vince has done, but even old yellar had to be put down when he lost it. im not saying put vince down, but needs to step aside.

  • conan_kun

    Before Superstar Shakeup, they make Slater, Bray, Naomi as tag team, WWE and women champs respectively, now Mahal becomes No 1 contender for WWE title, Primo & Epico won their first match since when, more than 6 months ago?

    Something fishy that Becky doesn’t on the show. Last week Becky was breaking her kayfabe character a bit and showing happiness for Charlotte moving to SDL, this week Charlotte doesn’t even meet Becky backstage, Becky didn’t complain about Charlotte gets instant title shot.

  • Sarosh

    I have been visiting this site for the past 11 years now, and I fail to understand these keyboard junkies always have an issue with the product. How many indy guys / Internet darlings does WWE need to make champions to make you guys happy. Look at the long list in the past 10 years. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Sami Zyan, Nevile, The whole NXT division, The whole 205 division and the list goes on. Any guy the WWE wants to create of their own, this stupid Internet Community sh*ts on them and wants one of their guys being in that position. Ryback / Reigns are the prime example. You are only behind strowman because he took out reigns. Why in the blue bells are you not letting WWE create their own stars.

  • Mandy

    Jinder’s title shot came out of nowhere, okay you want to appeal to your fans in India that is fine but make things look more realistic, there was no build. It was poorly put together and obviously not something that will last very long. I doubt Orton will drop his title to Mahal.

    As for AA losing to Primo and Epico, couldn’t agree more! It is fine building them as a tag team but why not have them win opposite Ascension or Fandango and Breeze?

    Charlotte has been great as a heel minus her mic skills but I am wondering if they will turn her face soon. Becky was not shown complaining and I can definitely see one of those women costing her the match. Ellsworth just needs to go!