SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Return to Form
After last week’s pointless, damaging edition of Smackdown, WWE returned to form with a newsworthy show that featured good-to-very-good action and top quality promos. This show was also exponentially better than last year’s October FS1 visit with a clear effort being shown to make this destination viewing for the WWE audience. Mission accomplished.
It is not out of the ordinary for a major program to include a contract signing segment. In fact, it is downright repetitive on WWE TV. With that said, this week’s edition featuring Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and Paul Heyman was downright brilliant. With such little actually said, the intrigue of where Heyman actually stands was flawlessly executed by all involved and truly created questions where they hadn’t previously existed. The Lesnar/Reigns feud feels major because it is major in that the implications for the Reigns character are more uncertain than any of his other recent feuds.
Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch was beautifully done. The match itself was very, very good and the surprise, relatively clean win by Banks was a necessary win for her. It is such a shame that the women’s triple threat match will take place at Crown Jewel in a setting that is not going to complement the tremendous performers, but this was a great effort to set the stage on the very best foot.
On the Edge of a Miss
Okay so the promos for Edge and Seth Rollins are good. But they are tiring. We need to get to Hell in a Cell and then move on because the work here was really good and it needs to just stay there. This feud is veering into exhaustion especially with the impassioned Edge promos, which still are impactful. Let’s not push our luck.
The Street Profits vs. Uso’s and Finn Balor vs. Sami Zayn were excellent matches to raise the overall quality of the show. Matches like this are important for WWE to not enter the territory they were the previous week of having an undercooked show that loses focus of the backbone of what we are tuning in for. The King of the Ring tournament was elevated by Balor and Zayn’s performances tonight, and the tag match was a reminder – because it is just assumed at this point- just how good both teams (with particular emphasis on Montez Ford and Jey Uso) are.
It is impossible not to feel resentment that such a good card and a quality show like this is being wasted for Crown Jewel. There are major matches and angles leading into them here that have the stench of not going to be able to reach a fitting, quality conclusion due to the terrible presentation we know they will soon face. That’s the shame of it all. Shame, indeed.
Don’t Get Used to It
This was a good show. Let’s hope there is no one backstage at WWE or at Fox looking at this as a template of making it okay to advance to 2.5 or 3 three hours. That would be a nightmare scenario for Smackdown.
Not Fit for a Queen
The women of Smackdown that are not in the championship program are not exactly getting work worthy of queens. Sonya Deville was strong this week, but it is all just inconsistent with her character with no real clarity on what is even happening. I understand that is intriguing but it also comes across as poorly planned. I have hope for Shayna, but I need for her to look less sloppy. I don’t have the same hope for Naomi, whom I find more annoying to watch by the week. Zelina and Carmella are just going nowhere.