Welcome to the Smackdown Rendezvous, It’s Lord Lewis here and I am back for a brief moment to bring you my thoughts on tonight’s Smackdown. After a great Hell in a Cell, I personally have high expectations going into the show. Can it deliver? Let’s see…
FALL IN LINE
I just want to start off by saying what a great storyline this has been. At Hell in a Cell, the match was far from stellar, but it wasn’t about the wrestling; it was about the story being told, and it’s the same here again. You really feel for Uso, but strangely you understand Reigns; you may not like it, but you understand that this is their culture and you truly believe Reigns is doing this out of love. A great way to open the show, leaving you excited to see how this will culminate by the end of the night.
KEVIN OWENS vs DOLPH ZIGGLER /w Robert Roode
This was a qualification match to be a part of the men’s Survivor Series team, but personally I had no interest going in. Kevin Owens has been without a direction for far too long, he had his feud with Aleister Black that never really went anywhere, then he had the match with The Fiend and I thought, “here we go”. Now, they both switch shows and KO is back being directionless again. As for Ziggler… Actually don’t get me started. The match was solid enough, and Ziggler really sells like no one else, but did anyone really think Ziggler was winning? No, me neither.
THE FREAK AKA LARS SULLIVAN INTERVIEW
No, no, no, no… Just no. This did nothing to elevate Lars, in fact, for me it removes his mystique. The interview was just bizarre and came across really weird and awkward. When you build a monster, the best thing to do is keep them silent, keep them obscure. I really don’t understand what they were trying to achieve with this interview, but I can certainly say whatever it was failed, hard.
NATALYA vs BILLIE KAY vs BIANCA BELAIR
Before the match, we got a [sort of] fun segment, Natalya is among many who’s time (in my opinion) is over and the less I see of her the better. Billie Kay and Bianca pretty much led the segment and I’m excited to see what these two can do on Smackdown. As for the match, Billie Kay and Bianca really got to show off their talent. While Billie Kay still has a lot of work to do on her personality, her ring work is solid. Bianca got the deserved win and I’m happy to see that after a tough start moving to the main roster, they’re finally giving her somewhat of a push, putting Bianca straight into the women’s Survivor Series team.
I seem to go hot and cold with Carmella, and right now I’m freezing cold. This new gimmick just doesn’t do it for me, I hope she proves me wrong, but I’m bored already. It seems she’ll finally be on Smackdown next week from the sounds of it and whether it’s in a match or not, I hope she can give me a reason to care.
ALL MY CHILDREN
I was really hoping when Seth Rollins was drafted to Smackdown, we’d see an end to this storyline, alas, that didn’t happen and I fear it’ll never end. This was pure cringe at the highest telenovela level. I don’t know why they thought it was a good idea to have Murphy and Aalyah become a ‘couple’ but it’s coming across as tasteless to me. When Aalyah screams “I love him”, I’ll be honest it made me recoil… Then they kissed. Anyway I feel this is doing nothing for the careers of Murphy and Dominik and I really want it to end, like now.
THE STREET PROFITS vs CESARO & SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
Other than Ziggler and Roode, these two teams are the only thing keeping the Smackdown tag team division alive. I mean no disrespect to either team as I really enjoy both, but WWE really need to start investing into creating some new teams to make the division a bit more exciting. As for this match, it was everything you expected. the pace never slowed and all four men all got moments to really look great. Sadly, I felt it ended too soon, but this was a way to make the Street Profits look strong heading into their match with the New Day at Survivor Series.
My first thought when Zayn popped up was if maybe Cesaro and Nakamura may slink back into a team with Sami to try and get on top again, and you know what? I wouldn’t mind it. The promo was quick and to the point, all to big up his match with Bobby Lashley at Survivor Series. I always worry when it comes to Zayn, as I never know if WWE really are behind him or not, and I just worry he’s about to be buried by the Hurt Business.
SASHA BANKS and BAYLEY
I am so ready for this feud to continue. These two gel so well together and while I know it’ll have to end sometime, I really want them to find a way to keep it going all the way to a big payoff at WrestleMania 37, but that’s just me. There’s not really a lot to dissect from this, it was all to set up a rematch for the title next week, although it does bring up the problem Sasha’s had as a champion… Will she be able to hold onto the title for once?
DANIEL BRYAN vs JEY USO
If anyone thinks Jey isn’t a star, you clearly can’t see talent. Not only is he brilliant in the ring, but he can sell a story just with his facial expressions. This feud with Reigns has really highlighted what a talent this man is and when you put him in a match with a phenomenal wrestler like Bryan, you’re only going to get gold. This is easily my match of the night, not just for the stellar in-ring work, but the story being told throughout. I honestly thought when Reigns came down to ringside, he would tell Jey to sacrifice his place in the match so he can be at his side for his match with Drew McIntyre, but a clean win against someone like Bryan is a massive statement on how WWE see Jey.
We did get a nasty bump (as you can see from the gif) from Jey hitting the corner of the announce table, and while he was up and moving, he clearly looked in pain. I hope there’s no serious injury and will be good to go for Survivor Series, but time will tell. I feel Jey aligning with Reigns will end with Jey and perhaps Jimmy turning on Reigns, but for now this beat down on Bryan made me feel uncomfortable, for all the right reasons.
AFTER THE BELL
There we have it, a strong Smackdown following the heels of Hell in a Cell, nothing really bad to say, the matches were great, the promos worked well and Jey Uso stole the show once again. My thumbs up has to go to Jey Uso’s work tonight while my thumbs down is more difficult but I guess I’d have to give it to Carmella. Nothing wrong with her promo, I just don’t care about her.
Finally, with Survivor Series just three weeks away, I do wonder what’s in store for Smackdown’s two teams, I hope we get matches more like Jey/Bryan, rather than Owens/Ziggler.