SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Roman Reigns was in many ways the only hit of the show. As always, everything that Roman touches feels important, and the showdown with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman to start off the show felt light years bigger than anything that came after. Admittedly, some of the luster is beginning to wear off as his character is evolving out of the obvious heel traits that made him so strong. Roman himself, though, still carries a bigger aura than anyone else on the WWE roster, and for Smackdown, that remains a hit.
Losing It’s Way
Smackdown is the not the same show we all knew and loved for the past year and a half. Starting with the roster shakeup, the show has felt like a total comedown especially thanks to the departure of Jeff Hardy, the rush to get the WWE championship onto Brock thus jumbling the WWE’s top storyline, and a horribly weak women’s division. There is not one person that is the answer to righting this ship, and in fact, the show itself isn’t unable to be saved. Smackdown just feels like it is losing its way which is the first major sign that it actually is.
Roman Reigns was feeling an awful lot like a babyface this week, while Brock seemed to be embracing his inner heel once again. Roman not caring about who his next opponent was, letting anyone walk into his room, and coming to the ring standing tall without back up? None of that seems like a heel worth booing. Meanwhile Brock was just chirping on the microphone in Roman’s face, stopping the ever-over introduction by Paul Heyman, and just disappearing after the first segment. Why is that worth rooting for? The biggest resentment for Lesnar comes from him actually winning the championship which brings to mind the fact that he literally won’t be here for much time. That is a major hurdle for these two to overcome to hold the line.
The Never Ending Miss
The match between Charlotte Flair and Naomi seemed to last 5 years, and the program between Naomi and Sonya Deville is about 3 months beyond its expiration date. That pair of staleness created a terrible run of segments on the show that did no favors to anyone involved. How exactly was Sonya able to just jump right into her serious, respected decision making role after screwing Naomi so blatantly? It is a hole a mile-wide in a show that used to spend so much time on the small details..
Too Much of a Good Thing
It is a major problem when the sure-fire hit of New Day vs. the Uso’s gives off the feeling of staleness that this week’s show experienced. What should be a captivating inter-brand match is now a run-of-the-mill match that actually is can-miss. What a shame that there is established main event level talent in this match that are being wasted every week at a time when WWE could be using someone like Jey Uso more than ever.
What a Freakin Choice
So we have officially set fire to the brand split once again with Seth Rollins now being Roman Reign’s next contender. One of the very best elements of the Royal Rumble is the need to have a modest sized card that lets the actual Rumble matches shine. This year seems like WWE is throwing as any dream matches it can into a small period of time for no good reason. This feels like a tremendous waste of a would-be money program to fill a void that didn’t need to be filled. Add facing Seth Rollins to the list of things that makes Roman a babyface.
I hate seeing Sami Zayn lose. He is so good that he should be on a shady win streak that fans want to see ended. The rise of screen time for the Viking Raiders feels too little too late.