SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
This week’s episode of WWE Smackdown has wrapped. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the madness.
-Roman Reigns and Edge have chemistry. Thus far throughout his heel run, Reigns has lifted his opponents up to his level. Reigns and Edge feel like equals. They both come across as alphas that are openly confident in themselves. Their opening promo together exemplified those strengths. Reigns whispering to Edge was a brilliant nuance that adds yet another layer to his intriguing act. The more they hit with segments between these two, the less of a real choice they’ll have as to who Edge faces at WrestleMania 37.
-Good to meet you, Apollo Crews. Because of how Crews has been presented for so long, it will take an even longer time to rebuild him. This was a giant step in the right direction. The angle with the stairs framed Crews as dangerous and a threat to Big E simply because of the fact that he’s clearly hanging on by a thread.
-It’s time to see some development and range out of Seth Rollins. He’s almost at first iteration Bray Wyatt levels of spewing words just to spew them. Example. This week Rollins ran down Cesaro and said he deserved what happened to him as if he put him on the shelf for months. Cesaro wrestled in the main event without issue and has a potential championship match on Sunday. Bottom line? Rollins needs to quickly connect his words, act, and gimmick to something real on the show. He’s directionless right now.
-Edge was all over the show this week in terms of being in the ring, on commentary, and in a variety of vignettes. It works because its understated, but WWE needs to be careful. There is a long time until WrestleMania and they need the novelty of seeing Edge still to be a thing when the big event happens. Vince McMahon melts when he hears things like this, but less is more.
-Sasha Banks is firmly planted in tweenerville and its probably the best spot for her at this point given the obnoxious laugh and her inability to make the edgy “Boss” act likable. She has chemistry with Bianca Belair and the fact that they’re tagging on Sunday and wrestling for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships is a massive clue as to who Belair is facing at WrestleMania. This is the groundwork for the story of Banks and Belair to build on and both women are playing it perfectly to this point.
-Ok, it’s nice to see Otis show a little range and it’s smart to have legitimate storylines on the bottom of the card. C’mon though. Rey Mysterio and Otis in a storyline where both are equals? This really defines Rey down and will crush his equity as a star each week it goes on.
-Thumbs up on the main event. It was an effective road to go down to build the Elimination Chamber match that was all constructed on short notice anyway. Everyone has seen it, I’m sure, but there is a viral video around on a finish to an early 2000’s Smackdown in which Stone Cole Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Undertaker, and others all traded finishers like these guys did to close this week’s Smackdown. This was fine, but watch that and then watch this. Different times, folks. Different times. The angles were exact replicas and sure, the star power was enhanced back then, but the fans in the arena made the moment. Raise your hand if you miss them around.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S SMACKDOWN REPORT: LECLAIR’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 2/19: Alt perspective, detailed coverage of six man tag Elimination Chamber preview, Edge appearance, Jax & Baszler join Bayley’s talk show, more