WWE SMACKDOWN HITS & MISSES 10/1: The A Show, Feeling Drafty, Losing Liv Morgan, more

BY NICK BARBATI, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

Hits

Feeling Drafty

The draft itself was probably presented in it’s best possible format without too much complication or shenanigans interfering with a straightforward delivery by Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. For the most part, the draft order made sense and also featured a few surprises. I also liked that it was a pretty contained amount of drafts in that it wasn’t confusing and too much information for a viewer to take in.

The A Show

Well, if it wasn’t clear before last night, it is clear now that Smackdown is Vince’s favorite child. With the retention of Roman Reigns and now arguably the biggest move of the night in Charlotte Flair paired with other pick ups like the New Day and Drew McIntyre, Smackdown firmly took the lead as the brand that feels the strongest by a mile. That’s not to say the Raw doesn’t (so far) feature a line up that has potential for new starts to break through – it does – but on the surface this was a big night for the blue brand.

Oscar Worthy

Tell me that Paul Heyman doesn’t deserve an Oscar, Emmy, Tony and a Golden Globe for that performance tonight? The WWE has managed to turn the long suffering programming of Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns into the most captivating storyline in their arsenal, and Paul Heyman is the lynchpin holding it all together. The crying and his fright over how Monday night will go was spectacular, as was the surprise appearance by Lesnar complete with a solid backstage promo that explained his movement between shows. Well done indeed.

AutumnSlam

So we didn’t get Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair at Summerslam, but it was great to see the two share with ring together on a big night like this show. The match was fine enough, but most important was the moment that closed the show with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair getting involved. It felt like the most depth the women’s division has had at a high level in perhaps ever, and each of the four women felt like major, major stars. Knowing that the four will likely be split in half come Monday is a bummer, but it was a reassuring sign that great things await WWE women’s wrestling.

Rollins Whiplash

The apparent abandonment of Seth Rollins’ awakening from the MSG show has given way to a mega heel run that is likely getting him ready for a program opposite Big E on Raw. The segment at Edge’s home was very well done with the appropriate amount of creepiness and invasion. Edge was okay in the segment, but it really was Rollins at his very best. I anticipate the entire program moving over to Raw where eventually both acts will branch out and serve as fresh opponents for the Raw ensemble.

Misses

At the Expense of Owens

I enjoyed the work of Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss. They were fun and irritating as intended. It, however, was entirely unnecessary to spotlight at the expense of Kevin Owens, whom suffered an inexplicably definitive loss. If this was Owens taking the leaving-the-territory loss, then it is what it is, but it’s a shame regardless.

Missing McIntyre

Drew McIntyre feels lost. His backstage promo was forced and his high draft pick felt like a stretch given how far he has fallen – on the card and in the eyes of fans. McIntyre feels very stale at this point, and I’m not sure a fresh Smackdown setting is enough. A real evaluation on his overall presentation is in order, and it needs to look a lot less like Kevin Nash circa 1995.

Losing Liv

That was a nice visit to relevancy for Liv Morgan. Back down the card she goes.


CATCH-UP: 10/1 WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: Keller’s report and analysis of Draft Night One, Belair vs. Sasha, Edge returns

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