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This week’s Smackdown will feature part two of the annual WWE Superstar Shake-up. If you missed part one on Raw, read my detailed WWE Raw Deal Review here or check out my news post about what talents moved from Smackdown to Raw.

Live from Providence, Rhode Island, this is Smackdown Live for episode #973. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top. Thank you for reading and remember you can always pick up a TJRWrestling t-shirt to support the site as well. We might get some new designs up soon.

The show opened with highlights from last week’s Smackdown with Shinsuke Nakamura attacking AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan in the main event. Nakamura hit Styles with a low blow punch to the groin of Styles just like he did at WrestleMania.

Let’s Hear From AJ Styles

AJ Styles, the WWE Champion, made his entrance to a big ovation like usual. The crowd was excited to see the champ. The Smackdown announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton were shown on camera welcoming us to the show.

The fans chanted “AJ Styles” before Styles could say a word. Styles talked about having a match with Nakamura at WrestleMania and when it happened, he was successful while Nakamura failed and Nakamura showed his true colors with his cheap attack. Styles said that Nakamura’s not just an artist, he’s a con artist. Styles said all he could think about was payback to Shinsuke Nakamura, but instead, he was given a real dream match against Daniel Bryan last week and that led to the “yes” chants for Bryan. Styles said Nakamura showed his true colors by ruining that match. Styles said he’s not leaving the ring until he confronts Shinsuke Nakamura. Styles pointed out that Nakamura claims he has forgotten how to speak English, but Styles is there for a fight. Styles called out Nakamura for a fight.

Aiden English interrupted the promo with some humming and he appeared on the stage with Rusev as the fans chanted “Rusev Day” for them. English sang about how Styles wanted Shinsuke, but he’s sorry to say that Nakamura has gone on an “anywhere but Providence vacay” aka vacation. English then sucked up the crowd asking them what day it is and the fans chanted “Rusev Day” right on cue. Bryan told them to come to the ring to fight right now.

Analysis: I liked the seriousness of the Styles promo. He is a fighting champion that wanted a fair fight with Nakamura at WrestleMania and he made it clear that he lost respect for Nakamura because of his cheap attack after the WrestleMania loss and last week on Smackdown. It’s easy to see the character motivation and it makes sense.

A referee ran down to the ring to start this impromptu match.

AJ Styles vs. Rusev (w/Aiden English)

Styles tripped up Rusev early on and went for the Calf Crusher submission. Rusev tried to fight it and English went into the ring to attack Styles. The match was under one minute.

Winner by disqualification: AJ Styles

Analysis: There’s no point in rating the match because it was just an angle to build to a tag team match.

Daniel Bryan ran out for the save with forearms for English and he dumped Rusev over the top to the floor. Styles worked over English with strikes and Styles hit a clothesline. The heels retreated while the fans chanted “yes” for this.

Analysis: It sets up the obvious tag team match for later in the show.

Shane McMahon, the Smackdown Commissioner, was in the office watching the television. Paige, the new Smackdown General Manager, showed up. Paige mentioned Teddy Long and said “there’s going to be a tag team match playa” leading to the Rusev/English vs. Styles/Bryan tag team match later. Shane talked about the trades Paige has been doing with Kurt Angle while noting The Miz is on Smackdown per Daniel Bryan’s request. Paige said she can’t wait for us to see what she has up her sleeve. She did a Teddy Long dance and so did Shane.

Analysis: There’s the obvious tag team match that I mentioned and every WWE fan could see coming. Good Teddy Long reference there. This was Paige’s only appearance on the show.

Still to come: Carmella’s title celebration that they are calling a “Mellabration.”

(Commercial)

Shelton Benjamin made his entrance alone without tag team partner Chad Gable, who was moved to Raw. Benjamin kept their theme song in the divorce…I mean tag team breakup.

Benjamin said that last night on Twitter, he said that Chad Gable was an inspirational partner and he sees big things in his future. Benjamin claimed that his Twitter account got hacked and he would never say anything like that. Benjamin said he never needed Chad Gable and that Gable needed him. Benjamin said he needs the respect that he deserves and the championship opportunities that he is owed while adding that he is one of the biggest threats on Smackdown Live. Benjamin claimed he talked to Paige and asked to send her some big competition.

Analysis: That was a solid heel promo from Benjamin. He is not known as a talker, but he got through it fine.

Randy Orton’s music hit. Orton walked towards the ring, then his music stopped and Jeff Hardy’s music hit.

Jeff Hardy walked out with the United States Title around his waist, which means he moved from Raw to Smackdown and brought the US Title with him after he beat Jinder Mahal for the title on Raw this past Monday. Orton had a surprised look on his face and he left.

Analysis: Jeff moving to Smackdown means that he’s separated from brother Matt and we won’t get the “Brother Nero” version of Jeff in the Broken Universe. I’m sure WWE sees value in Jeff as a singles act like he was in the past when he was a top guy in 2008 and 2009. Hardy slots in nicely on Smackdown as one of the top faces on the show. Hardy is one of the most popular guys in WWE due to his incredible career as well as his exciting wrestling style.

Jeff Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin

This is not for Jeff Hardy’s US Title.

Hardy with a jawbreaker, he ran the ropes and Benjamin tossed Hardy out of the ring as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Benjamin was in control with a forearm to Hardy’s back, but Hardy came back with a clothesline. Hardy was selling a leg injury as he came back with an atomic drop, double leg drop to the midsection and a low dropkick for a two count. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, Benjamin shoved him away and when Hardy went to the top, Benjamin shoved him leading to Hardy being crotched on the top rope. They battled on the top rope with Benjamin hitting a running knee lift. Hardy came back by sending Benjamin face first into the turnbuckle. Hardy hit the Whisper in the Wind dive off the top for a two count. Benjamin came back with a spin kick to the face for a two count. Hardy avoided Paydirt from Benjamin, but Hardy came back with a Twist of Fate. Hardy went up top and hit a Swanton Bomb for the pinfall win after about nine minutes of action.

Winner by pinfall: Jeff Hardy

Analysis: **1/2 It was a competitive match with Hardy getting the win to establish him as the new US Champion and a top talent on Smackdown. Both guys are in their 40s now and they are still very capable of having good matches whenever they get a chance to show what they can do. It will be interesting to see who Hardy’s first real feud is with as the US Champion. There are a lot of options.

The Miz did a cell phone promo talking about Daniel Bryan tweeting about how long he has waited to punch Miz in the face. Miz said he’s not in Providence, he’s in LA with his family with his wife Maryse and his daughter Monroe Sky. Miz said that next week will be the premiere of The Miz on Smackdown Live. Miz said if Bryan trolls him on Twitter, he’ll kick his ass and Maryse warned him about the language in front of the baby. She is a cute baby. Miz said next week on Smackdown Live will be awesome.

Analysis: I’m looking forward to The Miz on Smackdown and feuding with Bryan. It’s smart for WWE to do it right away rather than wait on it for too long.

Still to come: Carmella’s celebration and Jey Uso vs. Harper is up next.

(Commercial)

A graphic informed us that Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville are coming to Smackdown Live in the Superstar Shake-up.

Analysis: They were not there since they were on their way to South Africa for Raw live events (they posted about it on social media). That was an expected move since the Riott Squad moved from Smackdown to Raw. There’s a lot of potential with Rose and Deville, plus they were led by current Smackdown GM Paige in Absolution, so it makes sense. Paige is more of a face as GM, which should lead to problems with the heel act of Rose and Deville.

It was noticeable during the intro of the next match that the announcer Greg Hamilton said Luke Harper instead of just Harper. On WWE.com it just says Harper, so I’m not sure if Hamilton messed up or if they gave Harper his first name back.

At the Greatest Royal Rumble event on April 27, The Bludgeon Brothers will defend the Tag Team Titles against The Usos.

Harper (w/Rowan) vs. Jey Uso (w/Jimmy Uso)

Harper with a back elbow, Jey with a kick to the gut and Jimmy attacked Rowan on the floor to prevent interference. Jey jumped onto Rowan and Jimmy hit a superkick on Rowan. When Jey got back in the ring, Harper nailed him with a clothesline while on the apron and Harper pinned Jey for the win. The match went about one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Harper

Analysis: 1/4* That was so quick that it’s tough to rate it. Easy win for Harper.

The ring announcer said “Luke Harper” again when Harper won.

Post match, Rowan with a boot to the face for Jimmy while they were on the floor. Jimmy came back with a mallet to Harper’s ribs and Rowan whipped Jimmy into the steel steps. Harper and Rowan drove Jey back first into the side of the apron. The Bludgeon Brothers picked up their mallets. Naomi ran down to ringside telling them to stop since she is married to Jimmy Uso. Naomi pleaded with them to stop. Harper and Rowan slowly left.

Analysis: The vicious attacks by the Bludgeon Brothers continue. I like seeing Naomi out there to plead with them to stop the attack because she’s concerned for her husband. It gives the feud more of a personal feel since Naomi isn’t used in storylines with Jimmy that much.

Still to come is Styles and Bryan vs. Rusev and English.

(Commercial)

Sin Cara was in the ring to have a match…I mean lose a match.

Samoa Joe’s music hit, so there’s another name from Raw moving to Smackdown. Big reaction for him with the crowd chanting “Joe” during his theme song like usual.

Analysis: There were a lot of Smackdown heels that were moved to Raw, so it’s not a big surprise to see Joe making his way to Raw. It makes sense to me.

Samoa Joe vs. Sin Cara

Sin Cara hit a springboard back elbow early on. Joe came back with jabs followed by a hard chop. Sin Cara went for a springboard attack, but Joe knocked him down with a clothesline to the back. Knee lifts by Joe. Coquina Clutch submission applied by Joe and Sin Cara tapped out quickly. The match went about two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Samoa Joe

Analysis: 1/2* A quick win to put over Joe as a huge threat on Smackdown. The result was no surprise.

Joe did a promo about how Smackdown is the land of opportunity, but he thinks it’s the land of handouts. Joe claims that everybody on this roster has had it easy. Joe said that everybody there has been convinced that they are better than they are. Joe said that all changes because he is there now, he gets the opportunities and he will have the opportunity to put to sleep your beloved Daniel Bryan. Joe claimed he would de-fang the Viper Randy Orton and he will emasculate and decimate AJ Styles. The crowd booed all of that. Joe talked about what he’s going to do in Saudi Arabia and Backlash. Joe said that whatever is left of Roman Reigns after he’s done with Brock Lesnar, he will put Reigns out to pasture for good. Fans cheered that because they don’t like Reigns. Joe talked about winning the Intercontinental Championship at Greatest Royal Rumble and if Reigns wins the Universal Championship, he’ll get that too. Joe said “believe that” like Reigns tends to do.

Analysis: Awesome promo from Joe. He took shots at the three top faces on the Smackdown brand (Styles, Bryan and Orton), so the fans hated him for that. Joe will likely have feuds with all of them over the year, which are fresh although obviously, he wrestled Styles a lot in their careers in TNA/Impact. It’s been a few years at least. Joe could have a good rivalry with any of those three guys because Joe is a pure heel that knows how to get heat.

The commercial/song aired about the WWE pay-per-view events featuring Raw and Smackdown talent with Backlash on May 6. There’s one pay-per-view event per month the rest of the year.

Carmella’s “Mellabration” is up next.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for the Sanity group coming to Raw. It’s going to be Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain. There’s no Nikki Cross coming with them.

Analysis: I’m a big fan of Sanity, especially Eric Young. My fellow Canadian Young has wrestled for nearly 20 years and I’m glad he’ll make his main roster debut soon. I think they were in NXT for too long and should have been called up last year. It’s fine, though. They should do well as a tag team that could easily feud with The New Day when they get there in a 3 on 3 type feud.

Daniel Bryan was interviewed by Renee Young backstage. Bryan said he respected AJ Styles. Bryan said in the three years he was unable to wrestle in WWE, the guy at the top of the list of guys he wanted to face was AJ Styles because he’s the best. Bryan talked about how Shinsuke Nakamura ruined that and Bryan said he’s proud to fight side by side with AJ Styles because they will face eachother one day. Renee stopped talking and Bryan turned around with Big Cass standing right there, so this is Cass’ return after being injured last summer. Cass mocked Bryan’s height and said “you’re what all the fuss is about” as if he was unimpressed and Cass called him “little man.” Cass left.

Analysis: That’s another new addition for Smackdown. Cass tore his ACL last August and missed about eight months of action after knee surgery. A lot of us thought that he might return to win the battle royal at WrestleMania, but I think saving his return for the Superstar Shake-up is fine. Cass looks like he’s in the same heel role he was when he got hurt.

Carmella’s “Mellabration” as Smackdown Women’s Champion

Carmella entered for her celebration as the new Smackdown Women’s Champion. She put the championship on a table in the ring. There was a carpet in the ring. Some fans chanted “you deserve it” so she shut them down saying they didn’t support her and she doesn’t want their support. Carmella said she waited for the perfect opportunity after 287 long days and she seized the moment. Carmella said she took her rightful spot at the top of the women’s division. Carmella: “I beat Charlotte Flair” and she laughed.

Carmella bragged about how she beat Charlotte while talking about Charlotte as one of the best women wrestlers in WWE history and the woman that ended Asuka’s undefeated streak. Fans chanted “yes” so she told them to shut up. Carmella said she waited for Charlotte to be blinded by her own ego. Carmella added that Charlotte said to be the woman you have to beat the woman and Carmella said she is the woman. Carmella claimed her moment is the biggest moment in all of women’s history.

A video package aired about Carmella’s journey to the title by showing her Money in the Bank win on Smackdown last June. They showed her victory over Charlotte last week. That kick looked bad last week in terms of not looking like it connected and it was just as bad on the replay. She should have done more of a regular superkick.

Analysis: She was booked poorly while holding the briefcase, which is typical of how WWE books MITB contract holders. She didn’t even get much TV time while she was holding it either.

Carmella said she’s going to miss “Frankie” the briefcase for 287 days and she named the title “Cleopatra.” Carmella said that “Mella is Money,” which is her catchphrase and here comes Charlotte Flair.

Charlotte said that Carmella’s highlight reel is missing some big pieces of history. Charlotte said the only reason she had the briefcase was because of the chinless freak (hi James Ellsworth) and the only reason she won the title is because of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. Charlotte said she knows the dirtiest player in the game (hey Ric Flair) and game recognizes game, so she congratulated Carmella. Charlotte told Carmella that it’s much harder to stay on top than it is to get to the top.

Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, the beautiful Australians who are called The Iiconics, interrupted the promo. Billie mocked Charlotte for whining and Royce did a cheap imitation of Charlotte complaining. Billie asked what Charlotte was complaining about. Peyton said that Charlotte’s title disappeared from her waist. Royce said you are looking at the future and Kay joined her to say the future is iconic.

Charlotte went after Royce and Kay with forearms, but the Iiconics came back with a double team. Becky Lynch’s music hit and she ran out to make the save for her buddy Charlotte. Lynch sent Kaye into the barricade and referees ran out there to break up the women.

Analysis: Carmella’s heel celebration was okay. She’s good at being over the top and a selfish jerk. Charlotte pointing out that Carmella doesn’t mention others helping her was the right thing since the fans know it, but the heel Carmella doesn’t want to mention that. The Iiconics are annoying in an entertaining way as heels that like to mock whoever their target is. Last week on Smackdown, Lynch wasn’t there to save Charlotte (Lynch posted some goofy Instagram video to explain it) and referees didn’t check on Charlotte as she got beat up for like five minutes, but this week they were there. It’s not like WWE is going to attempt to explain any of that. I’m just pointing it out from a logic point of view and I want these storylines to make sense. The Money in the Bank last week was a good moment. It could have been booked better, though.

(Commercial)

The match was joined in progress.

Charlotte Flair (w/Becky Lynch) vs. Billie Kay (w/Peyton Royce)

The women battled on the floor with Charlotte working over Kaye with forearms. Carmella was seated at the commentary table. Charlotte with an overhead suplex on Kay. When Charlotte tried an attack, Kay hit a forearm to the chest for a two count. Kay pulled down Charlotte by the hair while slapping on an armbar. Kay with a clothesline for two. Kay worked over Charlotte with another armbar. When Charlotte tried the comeback, Kay pulled her down by the hair again. Royce got in a cheap punch and they went to break.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Charlotte hit a running knee. Kay hit an overhead suplex for a two count. Charlotte made her comeback with chops followed by a knee to the back of Kay’s head. Kay avoided the neckbreaker and hit the Eat Defeat move that Gail Kim used and also Enzo Amore. It’s a boot to the face. That got a two count. Charlotte came back with a boot to the face. Charlotte slapped on the Figure Eight submission and Kay tapped out easily without fighting it much at all. The match went about eight minutes.

Winner by submission: Charlotte Flair

Analysis: ** It was a solid match with Charlotte getting a win after losing the title last week. It would be nice if Charlotte worked over the legs a bit before doing the Figure Eight submission, but as the face she must sell for most of the match. Kay’s offense was fine with some nice moves in there as well as traditional heel tactics. I think Royce is a better in-ring performer of the two women.

Post match, Carmella went into the ring and hit Charlotte in the back with the title. Lynch went after Carmella, but Royce went after Lynch. Royce worked over Kaye with punches and Carmella punched Charlotte. The camera was shaking relentlessly because WWE likes to do that too much. Asuka’s music hit to make her official move to Smackdown. There was a big reaction for Asuka.

Asuka ran down to the ring. Carmella left the ring. Asuka hit a running hip attack on Royce, a strike and a German Suplex. Asuka nailed Kay with a kick to the head. Asuka posed in the ring with Charlotte and Becky to end it.

Analysis: Asuka is a nice addition to Smackdown. She feuded with most of the women on Raw, so it makes sense for her to move to Smackdown. That should set up a six-woman tag team match next week. We all know how much WWE loves setting up tag matches in the women’s division all the time.

A short video aired about Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson joining Smackdown.

Analysis: They needed a move after not having much of a role on Raw in the last few months. They were put with Finn Balor briefly as the Balor Club (going back to their history in the Bullet Club in New Japan) and it didn’t go anywhere. I’m sure their good friend AJ Styles will be happy to have them on Smackdown. That was a brief alliance two years ago in WWE and they were in the Bullet Club in New Japan before that.

The tag team match main event is still to come.

(Commercial)

It was announced that Jeff Hardy will defend the US Title against Jinder Mahal at the Greatest Royal Rumble event on April 27. It will also be Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns at the same event.

Sheamus and Cesaro did a cell phone promo. They talked about how for two years they ended the New Day’s Tag Team Title reign, they broke the Hardy Boyz and beat The Shield. They talked about the teams on Smackdown setting a high standard of competition. They did a promo about how they are coming to Smackdown Live with an assist from the WORDS ON THE SCREEN in the promo.

Analysis: That move makes sense since they feuded with all of the teams on Raw. There will be fresh rivalries on Smackdown for them. I could also see the team break up within the next year and both guys could do well in singles as they have done in the past.

The New Day trio of Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E were backstage with a poor guy in a suit giving Big E a piggyback. They let him go. They briefly talked about Sheamus and Cesaro. Big E said “look who it is, the immortal one.” No, not THAT guy. It was R-Truth, who moved over from Raw. Tye Dillinger was there and he had a staredown with R-Truth. They did some creative handshake together. Truth said he’s happy they are all together on Monday Night Raw…so Woods told him it’s Smackdown Live. Truth said “my bad” and he’ll see them tomorrow. They all wondered if he would be okay since there’s no show tomorrow.

Analysis: It’s good to see Truth’s gimmick as the guy that forgets things is still with him. He is a veteran that will put over younger talent. They could put him in a tag team with somebody like Dillinger too.

They showed graphics hyping up the additions of Smackdown: Jeff Hardy, The Miz, Samoa Joe, Big Cass, Asuka, Gallows & Anderson, Royce & Kay (they were not part of the Superstar Shake-up since it was last week as NXT call-ups) and the Sanity trio of Eric Young, Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe, who are NXT call-ups.

A video aired about former NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas with Zelina Vega. She said she was his business manager and they are taking over Smackdown Live.

Analysis: He’s a great talent and she has added to the act a lot as an interfering manager that can also talk well. Almas should get a pretty good push as a heel. Almas is awesome in the ring too. I rated Almas vs. Gargano at NXT Takeover Philly in January a five-star match out of five. It was amazing. Vega used to wrestle as Thea Trinidad or Rosita in TNA/Impact. She has been dating Austin Aries for a long time, who is back in Impact after he was released by WWE last year.

AJ Styles, the WWE Champion, made his entrance for the tag team main event match.

(Commercial)

Rusev and Aiden English made their entrance during the break. Rusev will challenge The Undertaker in a Casket Match at the Greatest Royal Rumble event on April 27.

Daniel Bryan made his entrance for the main event to a loud reaction like usual and an arena full of “yes” chants. It’s the first time Bryan and Styles have been a tag team in a WWE ring.

AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan vs. Rusev and Aiden English

Bryan with a shoulder tackle on English and he slapped on the surfboard submission on English. Styles tagged in with a double axe to the ribs of English. The fans were chanting “AJ Styles/Rusev Day” as Styles hit a gutbuster on English. Rusev went into the ring, so Styles and Bryan nearly slapped on submissions on the heels, but Rusev and English escaped. The heels left the ring as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Back from break, English worked over Styles with a headlock. When Styles broke free, English hit a back body drop for two. Rusev slapped on bearhug on Styles. When Styles tried to break free, Rusev drove Styles into the turnbuckle. English tagged back in with a corner clothesline. English worked over Styles with a kick to the ribs. Styles with a jawbreaker. English did a nice job of keeping Styles from tagging out. Styles got a rollup followed by a Pele Kick that knocked English down. Bryan got the hot tag against Rusev. Bryan worked over Rusev with punches followed by a running clothesline. Bryan nailed a corner dropkick on Rusev followed by a Yes Lock attempt, but English broke that up. Bryan with a back body drop that sent English out of the ring. Bryan with a dragon screw leg whip on Rusev. Bryan worked over Rusev with the yes kicks to the chest followed by the roundhouse kick to the head. Bryan hit the running knee. Nakamura showed up at ringside and gave Styles a low blow uppercut while Styles was on the apron. The ref and Bryan didn’t see it, but they saw Nakamura laughing. When Bryan turned back around, Big Cass was in the ring and he hit Bryan with a kick to the face. The ref called for the disqualification after about 13 minutes of action.

Winners by disqualification: AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan

Analysis: *** It was a pretty good tag team match that ended in a disqualification just like last week’s main event. I don’t think they can do DQ finishes every week, but they are trying to establish new heels on Smackdown and probably think they are necessary to piss off the fans. They worked over Styles for most of the match with some good tag team work leading to Bryan get the hot tag for the finish, which is smart because he fires up the crowd like nobody else. The gimmick of Nakamura is to do cheap shots as and when you cause DQ finishes repeatedly that’s going to upset the fans. It’s cheap heat that works.

Cass stood over the fallen Bryan in the ring. Meanwhile, Nakamura walked up the ramp with a grin on his face. Cass’ new music hit as replays aired of what happened.

Nakamura was on the ramp. Renee Young showed up to ask what’s going on with him. Nakamura: “No speak English.” That’s funny.

The show ended with the seven footer Big Cass standing tall over Daniel Bryan in the ring. That meant that one kick from Cass kept Bryan down for about two minutes.

Analysis: Big Cass nailing Bryan with the kick shows that WWE wants Cass to be in a main event position. The fans love Bryan more than anybody, so putting Cass against him gets Cass instant heat. It’s a smart move by WWE to position Cass that way. Now it’s up to Cass to prove he belongs.

Here are the names that debuted on Smackdown this week either in person or in videos/graphics. The reason some of them were only in videos/graphics is because some of them were on their way to South Africa for live events.

The Miz

Jeff Hardy (US Champion)

Samoa Joe

Asuka

Big Cass

Sheamus (The Bar)

Cesaro (The Bar)

Luke Gallows

Karl Anderson

Mandy Rose (Absolution)

Sonya Deville (Absolution)

R-Truth

NXT Talent that debuted in videos:

Andrade “Cien” Almas with Zelina Vega

Eric Young (Sanity)

Alexander Wolfe (Sanity)

Killian Dain (Sanity)

Analysis: It’s a good group of talent in terms of the names that came over from Raw and the NXT additions. I thought one of Braun Strowman, Finn Balor or Seth Rollins would move to Smackdown, but I guess not. Jeff Hardy is nearly at the same level of them as a face, so that’s fine.

I also think Smackdown has a better roster overall compared to Raw. That’s another column for another time, but I really like the moves they made on Smackdown.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Daniel Bryan
  2. AJ Styles
  3. Samoa Joe

What is this, mid-2000s Ring of Honor? Very nice.

 

The Scoreboard

6.5 out of 10

Last week: 8

2018 Average: 6.19

Last 5 Weeks: 8, 6.5, 6.5, 7, 5.5

2018 High: 8 (April 10)

2018 Low: 4.5 (January 2 and January 9)

 

Final Thoughts

It gets a 6.5 out of 10.

It was a good Smackdown with some fresh faces making some noise. They are using Styles and Bryan well as the faces that the fans love that got their asses kicked by cheap shots to try to establish Nakamura and Cass as two new heels. Samoa Joe made his presence felt as well.

That’s all for now. Go Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays.

My contact info is below. Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook

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