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!
Well, WNW people, after the less than enjoyable show that was Battleground, I was amazed Smackdown was able to recover so quickly. Let’s review shall we?
In-Ring Segment: Kevin Owens, AJ Styles & Chris Jericho > A
Kevin Owens and AJ Styles were brilliant as always, but the return of Chris Jericho (Drink it in Mannnn) was a wonderful surprise. And the Triple Threat main event announcement just got every fans blood pumping.
Shinske Nakamura def. Baron Corbin > A
Now, this is the match these two should have had at Battleground. A hard hitting affair with lots of striking and a little action outside of the ring. I don’t know if they were allowed to do more in this match then the one at Battleground, but this was so much more enjoyable.
I know I heap praise on Baron Corbin every week, but it needs to be said that he is still VERY young in the industry! And yet, he was in there with one of the very best in-ring workers today and looked like he instantly belonged. Plus, he’s clearly a tough SOB as Nakamura wasn't gentle with him in there with those Puroresu style strikes. Although, they may have been a receipt for that clothesline to the outside that made JBL proud.
Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair def. Lana & Tamina > A
One thing that is constantly a joy to watch on the blue brand is its Women’s Division. These Women kill it every single night, and put the boys to shame most weeks!
Becky Lynch and Charlotte bringing their off-screen friendship on-screen is fun, but it’s hard for me to see Charlotte as anything but a heel! Even with her screechy voice promo style, she played a great villain.
Taming and Lana’s partnership is one of the oddest parings I can remember! A tough chick from the Pacific islands who could beat the crap out of any Woman (or Man) she meets taking in a girly girl who gets by mostly on her looks and is honestly unless in a fight? But after seeing how things played out with Lana losing the match for her team after taking just one shot. And then looking sheepish while Tamina chewed her out before telling Lana to follow her to the back kind of gives me an idea where they may be going with this.
So far we really haven’t seen much of what Lana can do in the ring, and this partnership with Tamina could be a sign of a long term storyline that ends with a gimmick change for the Ravishing Russian. After all, the “hot chick who can’t wrestle” gimmick has been done to death by Women like Nikki Bella and Eva Marie has it not?
In-Ring Segment: Jinder Mahal, John Cena & Daniel Bryan > B
I am really really really am trying to get on board with Jinder being WWE Champion, but it just feels so bloody wrong to me! His ring work is average at best, and his promos are nothing to brag about honestly. But most of all, I still can’t get over the fact that the person holding the biggest Title in the industry was jobbing to Mojo Rawly four months ago! No matter how hard I try, I just can’t put all that aside and get on board with his push (so sue me).
John Cena’s promo was interesting for the simple fact it was kind of an ironic shoot so to speak. I mean “I’m going to beat you because I’m Super-Cena” COME ON! That has to be the first time someone didn’t break kayfabe, but actually kind of did if you understand what I mean. Ok, you probably don’t, but it's one AM here in my part of the world, and I’m writing this after watching another night of New Japan’s G1 Climax so I can write results for it later. So please forgive me if I’m not making my points as clearly as I normally would.
The HUGE announcement by Daniel Bryan of the number one contender match next week between John Cena and Shinske Nakamura didn’t excite me as much as you’d think. I mean yeah, it’s a dream match for sure. The problem is we all know what the result will be, won’t we? I mean let’s face it, there is no chance that someone who made their name outside of WWE will go over one of Vince McMahon’s home grown creations!
Sami Zayn & Tye Dillinger def. Aiden English & Mike Kanellis [w/Maria] > B
With Smackdown’s Tag Division looking light even before American Alpha’s sudden split, I sincerely hope this match was a prelude to a potential Tag Team creation. Zayn and Dillinger had great chemistry here and looked like they have been a team for years.
As for Aiden English and Mike Kanellis (nee Bennett), both have been lumbered with gimmicks that will go nowhere fast!
The Usos Attack New Day > A
People who’ve read my work on WNW know that I am no New Day fan. I am a huge fan of the individuals in the group, but I HATE the group’s gimmick with every fiber of my being. So sue me, but I just don’t understand why people love it so much!
So when I see the Usos tear a page out of the Young Bucks book and start a Superkick party on their arses, I screamed at my TV with pure joy. More to the point it made Jimmy and Jey look like legit bad ass heels! I will never understand why WWE's higher-ups face up to reality and turn Roman Reigns heel. Put him on Smackdown and start a Samoan heel faction with his cousins. I think that would be EPIC!
U.S. Title Triple Threat Match: AJ Styles def. Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho > A+
WHY THE F*CK DIDN’T THEY BOOK THIS MATCH FOR THE BATTLEGROUND MAIN EVENT? I mean honestly, this was one of the best Triple Threat matches I have ever seen!
With each passing week, the U.S. Title looks more and more important than the WWE Title. And the reason for this is the fact that the talent working programs for the U.S. Title right now are in a whole another league compared to the talent working for the WWE Title at the moment. I’m sorry, but it’s true!
Overall Grade > B
I don’t wish to pour any accelerant to the fire that is the #FireRoadDog movement currently raging on social media because I think it’s honestly pretty dumb. But I also have to be honest, I’m convinced Battleground must have been written exclusively by Road Dogg and this week’s Smackdown must have been written exclusively by Ryan Ward!
It’s the only possible explanation why this week’s Smackdown was such a colossal improvement to the utter disaster that was Battleground. Only the man who helped make NXT the success it is could have saved the blue brand after it put on one of the worst PPV/Network specials of all time!
And that is all I'm going to say on the matter.