Trust me when I say it felt good to write this review. I felt rusty at first, but once I got going it felt like riding a bike.
As much as I wanted to do Raw as my first show back, I figured it would be best to start with Smackdown, considering MITB is coming up this Sunday.
The New Day & Breezango vs The Usos & The Colons
So often us fans are subjected to opening promos, and having match open the show was fresh. Not only was it a good change of pace, the New Days entrance was spectacular. I for one didn’t see it coming, and it had me invested in them off the bat. Fortunately, the fun didn’t end there, as all teams involved cut a solid opening promo. Hopefully this is only the start of the New Day/Usos feud, because both parties have been amazing at exchanging insults.
All of the words that were exchanged only made it easier for the fans to care about the in ring action. I thought it was smart to allow the Colons open on the heel side, because that gave the babyface team a chance to get over. None of this made the Usos look weak, but it still kept the New Day looking strong, especially with Xavier picking up the win.
As much as I dislike multi-man tag matches, this one in particular was a great fit for this show. It built context, which only gave the fans a reason to be invested. My only criticism against this match is that it could’ve been shorter.
Naomi vs Tamina
I’m sure this has been said before, but Tamina is in serious need of a new theme song. The one she currently has sounds incredibly lame.
It’s strange to think that Tamina and Naomi used to be part of a stable at one point. What makes matters stranger is that there hasn’t been a single mention of team BAD. The actual match wasn’t anything great, but it was great to see the champ walk out with a win. Along with that, it gave Lana a chance to have a simple ambush, which only promotes their match for MITB. It’s safe to say this segment was a good use of time.
Jinder Mahal/Randy Orton Face to Face
I must admit, it’s weird how the WWE title went from being the main story to a secondary story. If I just started watching Smackdown yesterday, I’d assume the US title and the MITB briefcase were held in higher regard than the WWE Championship. While it’s worth noting that Jinder is getting better in his overall delivery, it’s a shame he never has anything of substance to say.
I didn’t expect much to come from this face to face, but I was wrong. Orton’s RKO out of nowhere was simply a mark out moment. I had a feeling he’d attack Jinder from behind, but I didn’t expect a lightning quick RKO. Kudos to the WWE for giving this feud a solid segment heading into MITB.
Charlotte vs Natalya
During my break from blogging, I still kept up with wrestling. I believe the Smackdown women’s roster has been presented better than their Raw counter parts. However, I can’t say I was excited to see Charlotte vs Natalya. This is matchup the company has spammed over and over again.
By now, us fans have seen this match too many times for it to be anything special. I’d consider it to be the equavilant of Owens vs Zayn to the women’s division. Sure, the match itself was strong, but it didn’t do anything for me.
Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, & Baron Corbin vs AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, & Sami Zayn
Truth be told, I was more excited to hear each man’s entrance than I was to see the match.
While I’m glad the MITB ladder match is considered the first priority by the Smackdown writing staff, a six man tab isn’t the best way to promote it on a go home show. If anything, these six could’ve used a strong promo to get their match over. At this point, these types of six man tag matches just feel lazy, and most viewers know that as well.
It’s great that Sami picked up the win, but that only lead to the expected brawl. For the past few weeks, I’ve very much enjoyed this MITB build up, but everything was far too predictable on this show. Also, why were each of these men fighting to climb the ladder when it didn’t matter?
I’d certainly say this show started off strong, but it slowly became dull. The last two matches didn’t allow for the PPV matches to feel special. This may be the right time for the WWE to change their format.
The low point of the show was Charlotte vs Natalya, while the high point was the open promo and match. Overall, I’d give this episode a 6/10.
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section!