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The Smackdown Breakdown: Battleground Build-Up Begins

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Hello WNW People! Mitch “Big M” Adams here welcoming you to another edition of…The Smackdown Breakdown. Which is, of course, an opinion based review of Smackdown Live each week if you did not know that before! So without further ado, let’s get stuck into what happened on Smackdown Live this week, shall we?

In-Ring Segment: Styles, Cena, Owens & Rusev > B+

I admit it's pretty bloody cool to see AJ Styles as U.S. Champion, but I wish he had one the Title on TV or on the Network. I guess WWE higher-ups wanted to do something surprising to help boost future house how attendance.

As soon as AJ said he was starting up the open challenges again, we all knew Cena was going to come out and make the challenge, but I think we all would have been fine with that. What we got instead was Cena burying KO with his promo as soon as he came out and Rusev doing the run-in attack afterward.

An ok opening segment to start the show, but I think we all would have preferred seeing Cena and AJ Styes mix it up again!

Jinder Mahal [w /Singh Brothers] def. Tye Dillinger > F

Jinder putting on another lackluster performance and someone far more talented than he was forced to put him over “sigh.” At least Dillinger got some TV time.

Xavier Woods [w /New Day] def. Jey Uso [w /Jimmy Uso] > B+

It was really cool to see Xavier Woods in a one on one match on WWE TV. I only wish it could have gone a lot longer. You all know I can’t stand the New Day as a group, but individually they have so much raw talent. Unlike The Usos who will be a Tag Team for the length of their careers, guys like Xavier and Big E have the potential to be big solo stars one day!

Backstage Segment: Shane McMahon & The Smackdown Women’s Division > A

I LOVE the Smackdown Women’s Division! So much talent both in and out of the ring. Every single woman in this segment (except Lana) can hold their own in the ring and on the mic, and it shines through in every match and segment they ever have. But the highlight in this segment wasn’t the announcement of a Fatal Five-Way to determine a new #1 contender for the Women’s Title. It was actually Shane tearing up Carmella’s legal petition to reinstate Ellsworth and her hilarious reaction to it.

Canceled Match That Turned Into A Brawl: Nakamura & Corbin > B&F

I understand why they didn’t go through with this match (they want to save it for Battleground) but the tease was a little cruel. I think most fans would love to see a match between these two happen sooner or later. But at least the brawl looked ok!

Natalya & Tamina def. Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair > B+

As I said, I LOVE the Smackdown Women’s Division, and these matches only serve to reinforce that love. And I actually like how this storyline with Lana and Tamina is progressing with the former providing the distraction that allowed the former to get the W! But I wish WWE would give Lana a decent gimmick instead of giving her the recycled “Diva” thing they gave to Eva Marie and Emma before her!

Someone who honestly can’t work and tries to get by on her looks is an archaic method of pushing someone, and it doesn’t work anymore in the age of the Women’s Revolution. And yes, I absolutely include Nikki Bella as someone who fits that archaic “Diva” mold.

Backstage Segments: Chad Gable, Sami Zayn, Mike & Maria > B 

Maria knocking on the door of the men’s locker room sounds like the start of a bad joke when you consider her former backstage reputation. It was Interesting seeing Chad Gable answer the door and call Sami by a nickname that my non-american brain couldn’t understand (even though it did sound funny). But Chad should be rocking the Tag Division with Jason Jordan not providing comic relief backstage!

I don’t know where this program with the Kanellis’s and Zayn is going, but if it leads to match between Mike and Sami, I’m willing to go with just about anything WWE creative comes up with to get there. Although, I would suggest they stop doing spots involving glass and mirrors because they look so obviously kayfabed in HD!

Fashion Files: Walker Texas Ranger Edition > F

These skits are always a mixed bag for me! Some I find hilarious, and others I find absolutely horrible. And this one, in my opinion, was absolutely horrible. And I know this is considered sacrilege in America, but I can’t stand Chuck Norris, and I HATE Walker Texas Ranger. There, I said it!

AJ Styles & John Cena def. Kevin Owens & Rusev > B

Maybe I’m just in a bad mood this week, but I honestly expected more form this match given the talent involved. But on the plus side, Cena and Styles seems to have as much chemistry as tag partners as they do as opponents. If WWE’s higher-ups ever wanted to build up their Tag Division a bit, they could potentially give Styles and Cena a Tag Title run!

The tease at the end as well as the show of mutual respect is what is going to get people tuning into Smackdown next week. And I for one can’t wait for next week to come along so that I can see this two mix it up once again.

Overall Grade > B

Another solid show this week, but it could really have been a lot better overall!

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!

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