HEYDORN’S SMACKDOWN RECEIPT 5/20: WWE perfectly hypes tag team unification main event

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

Analysis on this week's Smackdown featuring tag team unification match
PHOTO CREDIT: WWE

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.

-Throughout the entire show this week, WWE did a tremendous job selling the unification match between The Usos and RK-Bro. Given their history of not delivering on hype during television shows, it will be interesting to see what the rating ends up being. A great build, but WWE has conditioned their fanbase to expect non-finishes.

-Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman laid the hype on thick for the match and gave it significant credibility. Heyman was wonderful as usual.

-Can Michael Cole stop calling Shinsuke Nakamura “Shin?” It’s incessantly obnoxious. Like, it’s “Shinsuke,” Cole. Just like “Roman.”

-Is it just me or was that a damn good promo from Happy Corbin? He got some nice heat, but wasn’t silly. Because of the work Corbin did here, when Madcap Moss returns, it’ll be a thing.

-More squashes Gunther. The absolute right call until Vince has something significant for him. So far, he’s translated nicely to the main roster.

-LA Knight is now Max Dupree. The name isn’t great, but hey, neither was LA Knight. Dupree is a really great talker and can get this act over if given some freedom to work with it.

-The forced smiling for Raquel Rodriguez is having the same impact on her as it did not Finn Balor when he was playing that card. A showcase of inauthenticity.

-How long is this New Day/Butch, Sheamus, Holland stuff going to go on for? I know I shouldn’t think this, but the stuff with Butch has been enjoyable thus far.

-Man, Michael Cole really laid the Sasha Banks and Naomi burial on thick. It was clear he was reading a statement written for him, but wow. WWE and Vince McMahon are taking the walkout pretty darn seriously. Fair? Unfair? It remains to be seen. There is a reality of doing business inside of WWE that talent needs to figure out. At the same time, this type of verbiage around the situation has an unnecessary amount of sting behind it. So much that it could sever relationships permanently.

-A good main event, though I wonder if thing would have went differently if Riddle didn’t get rocked the way he did. Both teams built to the hot tag perfectly and Orton hit the ring with fire. Roman Reigns getting involved makes perfect sense given the story with him and The Usos. The Usos deserve to carry the undisputed champ banner too.

-A tremendous post-show angle to close the show. It’s nice to see WWE not hedge 50/50 with The Bloodline. They are the top act in the company and get treated as such with big wins and only big wins. Major business in beating both Reigns and The Usos as this point, business rooted in how they’ve been booked for the last year.


CATCH-UP: 5/20 WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: Keller’s report on RK-Bro vs. Usos in Tag Team Title Unification match, Sasha and Naomi update, Butch vs. Xavier

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