By: Troy Boesen
The fist has returned! Or at least it returned to the opening. The opening was great. We got the new theme song and the new opening as well as a new set. The commentary team still has JBL on it, but otherwise Otunga and Mauro were pretty good all night.
The night started off the same way as RAW, with the Authority in the ring. We get the announcement that on September 11th we will have WWE Smackdown: Inside Job. I mean Backlash, the first Smackdown only special event of the New Era. They announced that we will get a Six Pack challenge for number one contender for the WWE Intergalactic Championship. We find out that Cena, Wyatt, Ziggler, Corbin and Styles will be in the match and we will have a battle royal for the final spot.
This match had Erick Rowan, Tyler Breeze, Alberto Del Rio, Fandango, Konnor, Viktor, Aiden English, Apollo Crews, Simon Gotch, Kane, Kalisto, Zack Ryder, Mojo Rawley, and….Just one of the Usos? For whatever reason, we decided to not showcase the Tag Team division and instead but them all in this match, and we still do not have another set of tag belts. Simon Gotch continues his punishment for being a pussy by getting dumped 10 seconds into the match. The Ascension gets dumped followed by Jey Uso. Jacked up math teacher and Rowan were eliminated during the commercial. Del Rio gets heat for eliminating fuck face Mojo Rawley. Breeze and Fandango get eliminated. Kane, Ryder, Crews and Kalisto are the final four. Kalisto is tossed by Kane, Ryder is tossed by Kane and then Kane gets eliminated by Apollo Crews. We also get after match interviews on Smackdown Live! Renee interviews Smilin’ Black Guy.
Becky Lynch vs Natalya
Becky and Natalya have another battle. The match was good, but it was never going to follow Sasha v Charlotte. There is still no real prize for the women and I was hoping we would get a new World Women’s Championship.
Becky is interviewed post match by Renee Young and actually interrupts Renee. She gets in a dumb pun before the Glitter Goddess Alexa Bliss makes her entrance. Bliss gives a short but on point introduction to herself and actually looked polished. She is interrupted by the returning Naomi. Bliss has a pitch perfect reaction to Naomi coming down. Naomi’s “New Look” appears to just be a rip off of Alexa Bliss. She now has bright yellow tips to her hair. It’s at this point that Carmella’s music hits. Carmella comes out with Enzo Amore type energy. She even moonwalks a bit. Carmella gives her entrance before she is interrupted by Eva Marie. Marie has a ring announcer now? Bliss does a great job of selling anger here, Becky looks annoyed, Naomi looks bored, and Carmella looks like she has no idea who Eva Marie is. This was a perfect way to use Eva Marie’s go away heat and make every other woman here pissed that she is even on the roster. Eva thankfully doesn’t talk, but instead just poses on the ramp. While this was a great way to showcase the entire women’s division roster, unless they have a title to go after, this whole thing just feels like filler. Give the women something to fight for and these six women can run the division.
MizTV w/Randy Orton
MizTV happened. Yep. This leads to a match vs Randy Orton.
The Miz vs Randy Orton
This would have been more interesting if it was for the Title. Orton wins with an RKO.
We get a video package for American Alpha. Why would they not have American Alpha on the show? Heath Slater tosses some random guy and gives a marble mouthed promo. Slater is a really good promo guy but his inability to talk straight holds him back. He goes on about being a free agent before Shane comes out. Shane says he is looking at the hottest free agent as Rhyno enters the ring. If Rhyno is there, does that make him a free agent? Or did Shane already hire him and that is why he is there? Rhyno gores Slater. Decent segment.
We also learn that Shelton Benjamin will be returning to Smackdown. Again, why spoil the surprise? It would have been a far bigger pop for Benjamin to show up randomly.
Wyatt does a promo before saying, "I’m here."
Wyatt vs Crews vs Corbin vs Styles vs Ziggler vs Cena
The match had a great deal of near falls and some great wrestling. In the end, it was Ziggler who picked up the victory over Styles. I’m happy for Ziggler and this felt like a surprise, but him beating Styles felt like the wrong move here. Corbin or Crews winning would have felt too soon for either. Styles or Wyatt made the most sense here and Cena would have been a disaster. Ziggler still feels a little too late for me, but the match at SummerSlam should be really good.
Smackdown Live was a letdown for me. They could have set up a Tag Team tournament to introduce new Tag belts, or had the women’s segment end with Brie Bella coming out and introducing a new women’s belt. Instead we got four matches in two hours. Raw had 8 matches in 3 hours. The “Wrestling” show featured very little wrestling and only accomplished setting up the WWE Championship match. Nothing else really happened. The natural thing we will keep doing is comparing the shows. In terms of comparison, RAW took week one. Smackdown has a great deal of potential, but we need to see new storylines be created and some new title belts as well.
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