Welcome to the WWE Smackdown Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Hartford, CT.
As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth review here.
We kick things off with Promo Time with The Bloodline (as usual). We get the same tired promo about how Reigns is the true king. King Woods shows up to save us from the boredom and cuts a promo about what happened last week. The Bloodline destroy the King of the Ring props and take out Woods to finally bring the segment to a close. It went way longer than it should have. Backstage, Woods promises to take the Roman Empire down tonight.
Our opening contest is a Fatal Four Way with Ricochet, Cesaro, Jinder Mahal, and Sheamus to determine the final member of Team Smackdown. Why didn’t we just have qualifying matches instead of announcing the team on some random Saturday afternoon? Can we just eliminate Jinder since he has two names? Shanky was out at ringside and surprisingly did not try to interfere. The match was pretty good for the time it was given. Sheamus wins after an assist from Ridge Holland. Cesaro and Ricochet both looked really good in the match. The Holland/Sheamus pairing just feels right now. Let’s see where it takes us.
Madcap Moss tells a terrible Jeff Hardy joke to Hardy backstage and gets put into a match with Hardy by Adam Pearce. Oh goodie.
We are treated to a video package to highlight the Becky Lynch/Charlotte Flair Survivor Series match. I think this is the only match that’s gotten any real promotion. The video package was really good as expected. I’m pulling for Lynch this Sunday.
We get a recap of the terrible feud Naomi is in with Sonya Deville and how Aliyah got sucked into it, costing her her Survivor Series spot. That leads us to a tag match with Naomi and Aliyah taking on Natalya and Shayna Baszler. Oh look, the old crooked referee with the fast count spot to cost the faces the match. Well, that was a dud. Just like this pointless feud. After the match, Deville tried to disavow the ref and sadly, this is going to continue until Creative beats it into the ground and nobody cares.
Jeff Hardy comes out for his match with Madcap Moss. Hardy pointed out that, since Moss has Happy Corbin in his corner, he should have someone in his corner. Out comes Drew McIntyre to be Hardy’s cornerman. Thank God the match was quick and Hardy actually won. After the match, Corbin eats a Claymore for his troubles.
Rick Boogs is out to play Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura to the ring for his match against Angel Garza to regain his and Humberto’s last names. Angel was not successful in this Two Minute Smackdown so him and Humberto still are last nameless. Does this mean their team name is now Los?
Sasha Banks takes on Shotzi next. They were given sufficient time to tell a pretty decent story. Shotzi focused on Sasha’s arm throughout the match, with Sasha selling it well. Shotzi proved she could hang with Sasha even though she came up short in this one. Sasha used her leg instead of her injured arm to apply the Banks Statement and got Shotzi to tap out. After the match, Sasha and Shotzi shook hands as Sonya Deville requested and Sasha dropped Shotzi with a backstabber as a parting gift.
Xia Li appears to be undergoing some sort of gimmick change as we get a comic book like back story on her. I really liked the samurai gimmick she was running in NXT and hoped they’d let her continue with it on Smackdown. I think she’ll do well if given a proper chance.
Backstage Promo Time with Toni Storm is next. This was another good “introduction” promo with her reasons for wanting Charlotte Flair. Flair showed up and accepted Storm’s challenge, which was all she wanted her to do. Please don’t screw up Toni.
It’s “main event” time with King Woods having a face to face with Roman Reigns. Reigns eventually makes it to the bottom of the ramp and Paul Heyman called for the Usos. The Usos didn’t come out at first because they were getting beat up by Big E behind the curtain. Big E and Reigns fight at ringside until it goes into the ring where Woods and Big E double team Reigns until The Usos come down to take Big Endings from Big E and Woods doing a dive on them outside. Reigns came back with a Superman Punch but the spear is countered into a Big Ending attempt that Reigns dodges so he can retreat to close out the show.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows.
It was nice to see some new character introduction of sorts for Ridge Holland, Aliyah (to a lesser extent), Xia Li, and Toni Storm. All four were highly visible in NXT, but we know that not everyone watches NXT so it’s good to fill a little backstory on people. I think this will help the audience get invested in them faster than just having them randomly show up one day.
The in-ring action was decent this week. Too many short matches hurt.
I know I’m in the minority here, but The Bloodline’s act is getting a bit tired. They’ve been dominant for too long once Roman finally gets beaten, the rub will likely go to Brock Lesnar who does not need it. I’m happy that King Woods is in a world title program, but we all know he’s just another person for Roman to smash. Roman has to lose at Survivor Series and give the rub to Big E. Big E can be a major player in the main event scene if given the correct opportunity.
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That’s all I’ve got, until next time.