What an exciting past 72 hours for the wrestling world! So much to write about and discuss, yet Summerslam is still nearly a month away...
I already wrote my WWE Battleground and Raw reviews. That means it is time to give Smackdown LIVE some love. The B-Show no more. As seen on Sunday, the company is doing everything imaginable to give each brand an equal footing. Both live on USA Network and loaded with star power, it will be interesting to see them battle it out going forward. With a great RAW on Monday, how did the Blue Brand stack up on Tuesday? Let's see
Pro - I loved the fact that the WWE Championship match at Summerslam was instantly set up. No reason to waste time. Dean Ambrose needs a new opponent, and the pay-per-view is next month.
Con - Ugh. Like RAW, we immediately began with the authority figures. No, no, no! I know everybody loves Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon, but I really do not wish to see them a lot. They can even take weeks off for all I care. Luckily (like Raw), that nonsense did stay off the screen for the most part. Just not a good omen when both shows start off the 'new era' with the on air authority figures talking...
Pro - Good for Apollo Crews. Really hope he gets a chance to shine. Him and Kalisto were my pick to win the battle going in, so it was a nice payoff. Smackdown really is going to provide these guys a real opportunity to be a breakout star.
Con - Right off the bat, you noticed a real lack of star power and depth to the roster when the battle royal began. It is no wonder Rhyno and Shelton Benjamin are coming back (and more?) to Smackdown. Both good hires to round out the card.
Pro - Count me as one of the few who like the new logo. The pre and post match interviews are a nice touch. Not a fan of the new theme song or the other changes. At least it shows that the brand has indeed got a reset, something it desperately needed.
Con - Becky Lynch beat Natalya. No surprise. WWE likes to do pay-per-view rematches and just flip the outcome days later. In this case, Becky should have just beat Nattie at the Battleground event and moved on. To do this AGAIN on Smackdown? Eh. You can only do the same matches over and over and over again, until fans realize there is no Womens Title on the brand. This and the tag team title situation need to be sorted out fairly soon.
Pro - The "other" women's division on Smackdown had a very entertaining introduction on Tuesday night. Alexa Bliss showing up was pretty unexpected. Carmella, Naomi, and then EVA MARIE too!!! Big fan. If WWE lets 'All Red Everything' run wild as a heel, I guarantee it will be a success. So great in her role. While Raw may have the Womens Title and the more high profile names, do not forget about all the new/fresh names here.
Con - Uh, The Miz TV reminded me too much of the stale product we have seen for the past few years. No more Mix TV segments. I like The Miz and Maryse. I even love that act with the IC Title right now. Just no more interview segments...not exactly riveting television.
Pro - As noted above, I am a fan of The Miz despite his talk show gimmick. Having him get beat up by Randy Orton for the next month is not exactly a bad thing. Gives him a quality spot on Smackdown and gets Mr. RKO ready for Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. He can find an opponent for the IC Title at a later date. Welcome back Randy!
Pro - American Alpha will debut NEXT WEEK! Excellent idea to hook in viewers for next week. Can't give away all the good stuff in one week folks, have to save some. These two are legit and if a second set of tag title belts are created, they would be my choice for champs.
Pro - Heath Slater as the lovable loser is fun to watch. I know some fans think of him as under rated and really talented, and blah, blah, blah. He is good at getting beat up. This is a fine slot for him on the card. Come out, whine and complain, and then get taken out by a returning star. Loved it. Rhyno this week...Shelton Benjamin next week?
Pro - The six pack challenge was the main event. Winner faces Dean Ambrose at Summerslam for the WWE Championship. We had Apollo Crews (who won the battle royal earlier for the spot), Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt, AJ Styles, John Cena, and the eventual winner...Dolph Ziggler. Lots of star power in the match, with a nice mix of established veterans and up and comers. Two thumbs up on all six selections. Entertaining bout with a surprise finish, as I had Bray Wyatt pegged as the winner.
Con - The winner was Dolph Ziggler. The guy who spent the past few months losing to Baron Corbin. If this was ANYBODY else, fans would be in an uproar over this shocking upset and chance at a top title at Summerslam from out of nowhere. Yet, since it is internet favorite (who is 36 years old) Dolph Ziggler, everybody is eating it up. Look, I am a fan of the guy. I am...but this is ridiculous. The match will no doubt deliver, and yes, it signals a 'new era' for Smackdown, but this makes zero sense.
I know Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose have fought a million times, but nobody can argue this bout belongs on Summerslam. It instantly confirms Smackdown is still below Raw and continues to dampen Ambrose's title reign. A big Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte rematch would overshadow this match, AJ Styles vs. John Cena in their last battle would as well, and The Viper vs. The Beast would too.Let's go even further. Obviously, Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor will be higher up on the PPV card. Heck, I could even argue a Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens/Chris Jericho match may also mean more than Ambrose vs. Ziggler. Sorry folks, this screams mid-card PPV slot to me, and that is not a good thing. At all.
Unless Ziggler is going to shock the world and become some huge main event star in the coming months for WWE, this feels like a one and done bone being given to diehard wrestling fans at a pay-per-view that is already sold to the masses on a Lesnar vs. Orton main event.
Sorry, big fan of this week's Smackdown, but the main event outcome is puzzling to say the least.
What do you folks think? Leave feedback below in the comment section.
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