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Smackdown Rundown

1.The Return of The Uso's?

The Uso's return and face off against the Street Profits, and it was fantastic. They started with a promo segment where the two teams were jaw-jacking back and forth. The Street profits said the Uso's used to be great, but now they are washed, and they let it be known that they run this division now. Uso's said they never lost it, and they are about to lock down the Street Profits and stake claim to the division. I was so excited for this match after the promo segment the intensity of both teams sold it.

Then the match happened, and it completely delivered. This match was the match of the night and should have been the main event. The Uso's won, and now they earned a shot at the tag champions. However, Roman has been in Jey's ear trying to break up the Usos. Roman is giving toxic boyfriend. He sees Jey having any outside success or connection to anyone else as a threat to him. He is trying to frame it as wanting to make Jey a big singles star instead of an indistinguishable tag wrestler. He has a point, but only if you don't know his true intentions or respect tag teams, but on its face, it's a justifiable argument. However, one look at Roman grimacing as the Uso celebrating their tag shot shows you what he really wants. Jimmy wears the day one t-shirt for the Uso's, but Jey still wheres the right-hand man shirt. You have to wonder who's side he will choose next week, Roman's or Jimmy's?

2. More Women

I like that more women were on the show. Carmella is a talented woman who deserves more time on the show. I was happy to see her getting time this week, especially with the champion. However, what she needs most is a story. She hasn't had a story since Reginald. Also, they need to drop her sexy gimmick altogether. It wasn't good and clearly not fleshed out. Carmela is a talented wrestler with personality and charisma for days. I think she should either go back to her old song or pick a new one. Also, she should cut promos in her entrance like she used to. This will allow her the chance to get a character over whenever she comes out.

I was excited to see the Riot Squad getting featured on the card. However, I was not too fond of the one-off nature of the match. Tamina and Natalya are tag team champions. Anytime they have a match with another tag team, it's a big deal, so give me some story with the Riot Squad for how this came about and what this means to them. You could even do it with the backstage segment. Also, last week I suggested these teams feud. Just having a match is nice, but a rivalry would be better.

3. Seth Rollins

I'm really enjoying Seth Rollins insane suits. This week he looked like a Batman villain, and it was awesome. I liked the promo he cut because it showed us more of who Seth is. He is a delusional heel whose primary motivation is blaming others for his failures cause he can't look in the mirror. Cesaro is being attacked because Seth can't face the reality that he lost.

4. The King of Rings

I like that Chad and Gable had a match. I think their two styles make for an interesting clash. I also liked that they gave this match a different story with Otis hurting Nakamura before the match. Nakamura overcoming that to beat Chad Gable makes him look even better than just beating Chad Gable. Also, Corbin Steals the Crown during the match, but then Boogs attacks him from behind, and Nakamura takes the crown back. I expect Corbin will get some help next to overcome Boogs and Nakamura.

Rob’s What mattered

1. Tag Teams

I am really hot and cold on tag teams in WWE. Especially on SmackDown, the talent is tremendous but the storylines are either room temperature or non-existent. Watching this episode in a bubble, you could only come to one conclusion: on SmackDown, tag teams absolutely matter.

Opening the show, the Usos had a great backstage segment with Roman Reigns, and the Street Profits gave a fun promo to make this match with the Usos even more important. The two teams put on a 30-minute PPV quality match to open the show. The storyline with Jimmy, Jey, and Reigns is the most compelling part of all SmackDown. The Street Profits showed that they can make any feud feel important and make any match great. The Usos earned a tag team title match for next week, adding even more intrigue to their storyline.

Second on the show, Natalya and Tamina had a good match with the Riott Squad. Already, I feel better about Natalya and Tamina as champions to make the division better. I think the Riott Squad is the team that WWE should try to build and be a centerpiece of that division. After watching their division struggle with same old same old, it was nice to see something fresh and solid if not a little short.

The main event of the night was the SmackDown tag team championship, a rematch between the Mysterios and Dirty Dogs. They told an interesting story: this time the Dirty Dogs took out Rey Mysterio, targeting Dominik Mysterio who they have made clear they think is the weaker one. Dominik didn’t put on the same show Rey did, but the match was still solid. Dominik won after Rey came out and distracted them. It continued to make the Dirty Dogs really unlikeable heels. The Mysterios are exciting and fresh as champions, and they are set to clash with the Usos next week in what must be the most family-driven tag team title match of all time.

2. Apollo Crews vs. Kevin Owens

Apollo Crews and Kevin Owens had the best three-minute match you’ve seen in your life. They came out hot with fast-paced moves, signatures, and reversals. I actually got on my feet because I thought Owens was about to shock win the title before Commander Azeez interfered. The match resulted in booking a rematch for next week with Azeez barred from ringside. If this was any indication, the match should be great.

3. Bayley on commentary

The Women’s Championship feels like it is kind of on hold right now. Bianca Belair had so much momentum, but she doesn’t have any fresh challengers because all of the women’s singles stars on SmackDown have faced each other. Bayley continued to use her over-the-top character to make the segment entertaining. As soon as I heard, “Ding Dong, Hello!” Bayley leapt from the crowd, and I knew we were in for a good time. My personal highlight was Bayley chastising Michael Cole for saying “Belanca” instead of either Bianca or Belair.

4. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Chad Gable

This was a great spot for Chad Gable, and it allowed the Shinsuke Nakamura-King Corbin feud to continue without putting them in the ring together too. The way Gable smoothly hit those German Suplexes made me audibly gasp, and it made me want to see more of him in singles action. There was a lot weird things surrounding this match. Rick Boogs was so off on tone and timing playing Nakamura’s entrance. It’s a cool idea to have Boogs play live, but I would be for using a recorded version of the guitar if he can’t execute consistently. The feud over the crown is sort of silly, but Corbin’s character makes it work, and it gets Nakamura on TV, so I still think this is an overall what mattered.

Reverse Hipster What Didn't Matter

1.The Tag Team Championship rematch

This is the exact match we saw at Backlash, but this time it's Dominik who had to fight alone. This story was amazing the first time, the second time, not so much. First off, Dominik is good, but he isn't as good as Rey at being an underdog. Rey was way more entertaining in that role. Also, we have seen Dominik beat both Dolph and Roode, so I don't even know why this match was necessary. Also, it didn't help that there was a much better tag match on this same show.

2. Kevin Owens vs Apollo

I am excited to see Owen's face Apollo next week. However, this week wasn't good. The match was super short, and neither person looked excellent. The only person who looked good was general Aziz. Also, why does Kevin Owens deserve an Ic title match? He was one of three people who got screwed by Aleister. They should have taken this week to explain or establish that.

3. Aleister Black and Big E

Where are Aleister and Big E? They had a climactic ending to last week's episode, and then they just don't follow it up in any way next week? Big E wasn't that hurt that he couldn't show up and Call Aleister out, and Aleister has been on tv every week until he actually debuted.

Rob’s What didn’t matter

1. Have your cake and eat it too

I didn’t like Seth Rollins promo this week. It started delusional and self-congratulatory, which is a great tone for Rollins’s character. It turned into something that was sort of too silly and over-the-top to suit his character. He blamed the fans for letting Cesaro get to this level, which felt like delusional heel 101 with no real explanation. The segment reeked of WWE production with the cheesy fake audio of Cesaro in the hospital. Rollins with his annoying laugh did his best to sell it, but I just wasn’t here for it. Rollins has lost at every turn to Cesaro, so I don’t know why this feud is continuing or who it benefits. For some reason, the thing that bugged me most was the inconsistent theme of Rollins birthday. I felt like WWE was trying to get us to hate Rollins for trying to get us to sing happy birthday to him when babyface wrestlers do that all the time.

2. Intercontinental Title Contenders

After the Fatal Four Way last week, even knowing it had screwy elements, I wanted wins and losses to matter. Even though I liked the match, I didn’t get why Kevin Owens was booked to go right back in against Apollo Crews. Sami Zayn and Big E were completely absent. Most importantly, Aleister Black had no follow up after being the biggest part of the main event last week in my eyes. I don’t want SmackDown to go over two hours, but it feels like somehow they are running out of time every week to tell all the stories on their roster. I just can’t guarantee I will be as invested next week, and I want these stories and the pace of them to make sense.


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