WWE SMACKDOWN HITS & MISSES 5/6: Flair and Rousey deliver in final Backlash hype, end Happy Corbin, more

BY TONY DONOFRIO, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Charlotte Flair comments on Sasha Banks and Naomi
Charlotte Flair (art credit Joel Teach © PWTorch)

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WWE Smackdown Hits & Misses

Hits

Charlotte Flair opening segment: The Flair promo didn’t do much for me and having Aliyah have to come off as dumb as she did when Charlotte asked her to get closer only to get pummeled felt a bit silly. Having said that, Flair and Ronda Rousey had a decent brawl. This feud has built best this year when the two decide to get physical. I’ve said before, you can’t do that every week and they haven’t because the returns would be diminishing but it worked here because we haven’t seen them go at it since WrestleMania. Sunday’s match should be a good one and I expect a title change.

Sasha Banks vs. Shayna Baszler: A solid match better Banks and Baszler. Baszler is vastly underutilized and tonight showed that off. I’m glad that they had Naomi selling her bad shoulder a week later but shouldn’t she be in a sling? I don’t understand the weird wrapping with no sling but maybe I’m just being picky here. This should be a solid match next Friday for the Women’s Tag Titles. I also hope Sasha wearing the headband is a one-time thing because it’s not a good look.

The New Day vs. Sheamus & Ridge Holland (Tables Match): This was a well worked table match. There were some good spots in terms of action and table saves. I wasn’t surprised to see Butch show back up here considering there’s no DQs in a table match. It felt like the logical place for him to re-emerge. I still don’t care much for the Butch petulant child character but this was booked properly considering the story that they’re telling.

Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: These two have good chemistry and I don’t think they could have a bad match with each other if they tried to. I assume this feud will help jumpstart Nakamura and get fans behind him before he heads into a feud with Roman Reigns. I’m for a short-term feud between the two even if the means to get to it was a big convoluted (more on that below). I also liked the cleverness of having Zayn win the first match by count-out considering Zayn’s recent history of being involved in a plethora of them.

Lacey Evans Chapter 5: So last week wasn’t the bow on this but this week certainly was. Lacey talking about breaking the cycle of what had been most of her life was a good final touch here. She did lay out that the Smackdown Women’s Title was her goal which was also important for her to touch upon. Much like Gunther, I’m curious to see who she’ll feud with first. Will we get a series of showcase/squash matches or will she jump right into a feud? Perhaps we’ll find out next week.

RK-McBro and Bloodline main event segment: The “acknowledge” bit was very humorous. Why can’t we get the same comedy writers for Madcap Moss? The brawl itself was done well enough. I still hate the idea of this going from a Tag Title Unification Match to a six-man tag match with zero stakes but I suppose maybe we’ll get that match next month. I’d love to add more here but the segment didn’t give me that much to talk about.

Overall Show: It was mostly an easy WWE Smackdown to watch despite it having some spots that were basically throw away type segments. I’ve come to expect that though from most WWE “go-home” shows. Over the past few months, Smackdown has lost momentum though and Raw seems to have picked up some momentum as the pendulum seems to have swung back the other way a bit on which show seems to be the stronger one.

Misses

Happy Talk: Let this end already. The Madcap Moss jokes are still terrible and don’t land. At least if Moss was gonna keep this awful gimmick they could find someone to write him better jokes. His new entrance music is also very generic and I can’t believe this is the best they could do with Moss post-Mania. I’ve given up hope that Moss is going to move on from this bad gimmick.

Drew Gulak vs. Gunther: I don’t understand what they’re trying to do with Gulak here. The only role that he “failed” at some was as Adam Pearce’s assistant when he forgot the contract. He was fine as a broadcaster asking the tough questions and made no mistakes as a time keeper at ringside. Because he was attacked after all of these tasks by someone we are to believe that means that he failed? I don’t get it. This week he was fed to Gunther. If I’m the real life Drew Gulak I don’t know if I’d be answering my phone at home anytime soon. This feels like the type of thing that gets done to someone that will be getting the “we wish you well in your future endeavors” line over the phone. Other than that, I’m curious to see who Gunther’s first real main roster feud will be against now that he’s slowly moving up the pecking order week-by-week in terms of strength of opponent.

Shinsuke Nakamura interview: Four weeks later and Nakamura “hasn’t forgotten” what Roman Reigns did to him? Well, that’s great. He’s been on TV since as a lumberjack and this hasn’t been even referenced in a month. This is so disjointed and doesn’t make any sense. This could’ve easily built to a match between Roman and Nakamura for this Sunday even if there still would’ve been little-to-no belief that Nakamura could win. For the time being I guess it will lead to a quick feud between Nakamura and Sami Zayn since Zayn’s new gimmick is to spy on other wrestlers that are being interviewed and then finding a way of twisting things to get in the good graces of The Bloodline.

Tony Donofrio is a Contributor for PWTorch.com. You can contact Tony at TonyDonofrio@icloud.com and follow him on Twitter @TonyDonofrio.


CATCH-UP: 5/6 WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: Keller’s report on Sasha vs. Baszler, New Day vs. Sheamus & Holland, plus Backlash hype with Bloodline, RK-Bro, Drew

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