Welcome to The Smackdown Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show from Wichita. It’s the start of the new WWE rosters being in place after the draft earlier this month.
As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth review here.
Some highlights from Crown Jewel play to lead us to Promo Time with Roman Reigns. Reigns is out bragging about all of the people he’s smashed throughout his Universal Title reign. Roman wondered where Lesnar was since he tweeted that he’ll be there to beat Roman senseless. Lesnar finally arrives to wreak havoc. He mauls Reigns, giving him a surprisingly good beatdown until the Usos show up for their beatings. Officials try to restore order before Adam Pearce sends out the locker room to break things up. Once the order is restored, Pearce turns heel and suspends Lesnar indefinitely, i.e. until the Royal Rumble. Lesnar returns to the ring and gives Pearce two F5s as a parting gift.
The Reigns/Lesnar fight was a pretty good opening segment. Although I would have had Reigns take the F5 through the announce table before the Usos showed up. Pearce could have still taken his two and still make the spot effective. This is just a rehash from a few years ago to explain Lesnar only showing up for the Saudi check. I think the Uso crutch is going to hurt Reigns in the long run.
Our first match has Drew McIntyre issuing an open challenge to the Smackdown locker room. Sami Zayn answers the challenge. The match was good for the time given and it was interrupted by a commercial break, so we got to see less of the match. Both are veterans and could do more, but it was just to give McIntyre some momentum before challenging Reigns for the Universal Title.
Up next is the coronation ceremony for King Xavier Woods. Kofi Kingston read the royal proclamations. You could tell Woods was enjoying every moment of it. I’m interested to see what direction they take with this. It could be fun having a face king for a change.
In-ring action returns with Mansoor taking on Mustafa Ali again. We got a more back and forth match where I felt their Crown Jewel match was a bit more one-sided before Mansoor found a way to win. The result didn’t change though, Mansoor picked up another win over Ali. I’m thinking this isn’t the last match in this feud.
The new Smackdown superstars Ridge Holland, Aliyah, Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo, and Sheamus got a quick backstage “introduce yourself” spot. I have high hopes for the new talent coming in. Aliyah’s only problem is Charlotte Flair will likely dominate and wreck the women’s division, as she did on Raw.
Hit Row gets an introduction video package before coming out to the ring. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and Top Dolla squash some local jobbers. I’m hoping they can continue their positive momentum built in NXT as a face group. I think they could easily hold the Tag and IC titles at the same time.
Rick Boogs is out to play the Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke “Don’t Call Me King” Nakamura to the ring for his Championship Contenders Match against Happy Corbin in the rematch nobody wanted to see. The match was okay by Corbin standards. Boogs and Moss got into it on the outside to set up the Corbin victory. I still don’t get what Vince sees in Corbin. He doesn’t look all that special to me and his finisher doesn’t look devastating enough to be protected like it is. With Damian Priest a face holding the US Title, Corbin might pick up the IC title before Survivor Series, even though Nakamura/Priest is the better match.
Our “main event” is the Women’s Championship Title Swap Ceremony between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. It was a very poor segment with both Lynch and Flair acting like children out there. Act your age ladies, not your shoe size. Sasha Banks shows up to reinsert herself into the title picture as a face, since she’s a Horsewoman and Charlotte would put her over. Banks and Flair scuffle a bit before Sonya Deville separated them to close the show. I thought the segment sucked and have more thoughts below.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The main focus of the show was the opening fight between Reigns and Lesnar. It was a good way for Lesnar to get some revenge for what happened at Crown Jewel and to simmer their feud until the Rumble.
I liked the idea for the new Smackdown superstars to get 15-20 seconds to introduce themselves to the audience. Hit Row got a really good introduction video. Not everyone follows NXT and are likely unfamiliar with Holland, Aliyah, and Hit Row.
The “Brock Lesnar is indefinitely suspended angle” is lame and has been played out a couple of times in the past few years. They really needed to think of something better.
The Title Swap segment came off really poor. Somebody seemed legit upset over something and it made both of them look like spoiled children. I’m not a fan of these title swaps to begin with. I think that (Un)Creative needs to do a better job at coming up with something other than this in the future.
You can catch me any time on Facebook or Twitter (@ciscowebwiz76) with any feedback or discussion.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.