SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE SMACKDOWN HITS & MISSES
Opening Segment/Usos in-ring promo with challenge from Shinsuke Nakamura and Riddle: The Usos thanking the fans and then turning right back on them was a tremendously fun bait and switch! For a brief moment I did wonder if they were attempting a babyface turn but kept waiting for the switch. Fortunately, it did come because it was a fun moment. Connecting the dots with Riddle and Nakamura both losing a partner to injuries via the Usos was a nice touch when it came to the challenge as well.
Raquel Rodriguez & Ronda Rousey vs. Natalya & Shayna Baszler: The finish to the not worth mentioning Rodriguez vs. Rousey match was heavily teased with backstage segments lead by Shotzi agitating Natalya & Baszler. The match itself was fine enough and the women all worked hard. With Baszler & Rousey now being a bit directionless due to the lack of Women’s Tag Titles, I wouldn’t be surprised to see these four women end up in a four-way for the Women’s Smackdown Title. I’m still hoping that the overly smiley Rodriguez will turn heel as I’m sure not I’m quite a fan of her babyface work even going back to when it was tried on NXT.
Los Letharios vs Jinder Mahal & Shanky: Maybe I’m being optimistic this week but this was a “fine, little match.” If WWE respected their tag division beyond the teams that were challenging for the titles, both of these teams would be a good fit for the division. Unfortunately, this seems to be used more as a vehicle for Jinder and Shanky breaking up and Los Letharios are used as a vehicle to get other acts over continuously rather than being pushed.
Max Dupri: I missed this last week so here goes. I don’t hate the name for the former LA Knight (I actually like it better than the name LA Knight). I’m curious to see what Dupri can do on the main roster. He’s always been a solid talker even back to his TNA/Impact days. I’m playing “wait and see” on this but am optimistic.
KO Show w/ Sami Zayn: It’s always a blast when these two get together whether as friends or foes. Owens promising to have “a member of the bloodline” on his show and it ending up being now Bloodline stooge Zayn was just tremendous. Getting to see them go through the love-hate that is basically the history of these two guys through various promotions was a ton of fun. I’m not sure if this’ll lead to another story involving these two directly but it does have me very intrigued especially since the muddying of the waters between Raw and Smackdown continues to blend more weekly. The segment with Sami and The Usos later in the show though has me convinced that this’ll eventually turn Sami babyface after he figures out that The Bloodline is just using him.
Ricochet & Drew Gulak vs. Gunther & Ludwig Kaiser: The ultimate utility guy now, Drew Gulak has been officially turned into fodder on the Smackdown roster. He’s definitely a guy, that if I were him, probably wouldn’t answer my phone when it rings(if you know what I mean). The match itself was well enough and, if I were a betting man, I’d bet that we’ll see Gunther (sooner, if not later) wearing the Intercontinental Title.
The Brawling Brutes vs. New Day & Drew McIntyre: The choice of McIntyre as the mystery partner due to his connection with Sheamus in the past was a good one. The match was solid-to-good and a good choice for a television main event. I’d like to hope that this’ll really conclude the New Day-Brawling Brutes rivalry for now and both teams can move on. However, I’ll believe that when I actually see it.
Overall Show: No misses from me on this week’s WWE Smackdown?! Maybe I’ve gotten soft after missing a few weeks with prior obligations. But seriously, the show was mostly enjoyable. It also didn’t include any silliness from Madcap Moss or Happy Corbin. However, they do return next week. This time I hope Moss really is repackaged though because, since the feud won’t be over, they need to give Moss more and perhaps have him return with an edge. Here’s hoping. Other than that, this felt like an easy show to watch and felt like it was setting up some interesting things to come. So, no real complaints here.
None: See above about the overall show.
CATCH-UP: 5/27 WWE SMACKDOWN TV RESULTS: McDonald’s “alt perspective” report on New Day & Mystery Partner vs. Sheamus/Holland/Butch, Rousey vs. Rodriguez, KO Show
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