Reverse Hipster What Mattered
1.Tag Team division
The Smackdown division is leading the race for both shows. Last week we got Profits vs. Usos, and now we get two Uso vs. Mysterio matches. After an exhilarating first match where a lousy call screwed the Usos, they had a second match. It looked as if The Mysterios had the Uso's beat and Roman destroyed the Mysterio's savagely. The Uso's just watched. I think there will be hell to pay to next week. I can't wait to see how the Meysterios strike back.
While all this is happening, American alpha has started feuding with the Profits because Gable tried to get them to join the alpha academy, and the Profits declined. I really want to see this match too.
I don't like that captain Aziz interfered again, but I'm not supposed to like it. That interference made for an excellent match story. Kevin Owens was heroically fighting through injuries to overcome, and Apollo punished him. It made Apollo look strong, and it made Ko look like a phenomenal underdog. I am a big fan of this match. Also, I liked Sami's interferences at the end. He made the most of his short time, saying, "how does it feel when you are down, and someone comes along and makes it worse?" I'm not thrilled that they are fighting for the 999th time, but it was good this time.
3. Bianca and Bayley
Bianca did a phenomenal job this week with her promo. She turned Bayley's silly laugh into a plot point about proving all the haters wrong. She cut a passionate promo about the putdowns shes' received in life and how she has never let it stop her from excellence. Bayley did her best impression of a 60's batman villain appearing on the big screen and taunting the hero and warning them of their imminent doom.
4. Carmella vs Liv
I don't love that this match was centered around who was the most beautiful woman in WWE. However, both Carmella and Liv delivered as well as they could have given the promo subject. I think Liv won the promo segment. However, Carmella won the match. The match was decent. As the only two other singles competitors on Smackdown, it will be interesting to see what Smackdown does with these two in the future. Personally, I've always thought they would make a good tag team.
Rob’s What mattered
1. The Usos vs. the Mysterios in-ring
I had high expectations for these two teams, and they lived up to it. Both of them have great chemistry among their teams and understand the pacing and storytelling of a tag team match. My personal favorite was in their first match of the night when Rey Mysterio slid out of the ring and Jey Uso caught him, hitting a samoan drop on the table. Jimmy Uso looks great in his return to the ring, and Dominik Mysterio continues to impress me every time I see him.
2. Roman Reigns
I think WWE has finally built their post-Cena megastar. In turning Roman Reigns heel, everything makes sense about how he has been booked. He’s a little entitled because of his family history. He’s good in the ring, and he knows it. He’s not flashy; he is effective with his moves. The result is the Reigns we see now. Everything he does backstage draws your focus back to the show. He knows how to do the little things to progress a feud. His storylines have been the highlight of SmackDown. Throughout the night, Reigns had moments that progressed the primary feud of SmackDown. In the opening promo, he put pressure on the Usos to win the titles and for Jimmy Uso to pledge allegiance. In the middle of the night, he mixed up the Usos to drive home the point that nobody can tell them apart and Jey would need to work harder to separate from his brother. At the end of the night, Reigns brutalized the Mysterios while the Usos watched on, leaving us to make our own assumptions. I’m sure Reigns will open the show next week, telling the Usos what point he was trying to prove, and I’m still looking forward to any Reigns promos with his current momentum.
3. Bayley on the small screen
This week, Bianca Belair challenged Bayley to another match. Even though this was a relatively predictable route, WWE found a way to make booking the match entertaining. Belair confessed that Bayley’s laugh was getting to her, and Bayley found a way to hack into all the screens of the Thunderdome laughing all around Belair. The Thunderdome offers a cool new venue to do something creative like this, and I feel like this was the first time we saw it used besides the Fiend. A lot of great feuds are built on psychological warfare. Belair never should have admitted Bayley’s persona was wearing her down because now Bayley can dial it up even more.
Reverse Hipster's What didn't matter
Seth Rollins interview
The interview with Rollins sucked. I get it; we are supposed to be upset with his disrespect of Kayla and the fact that he is holding back. However, it just feels like this was a missed opportunity. I thought this would be like the infamous interviews with Jr, which provided a unique perspective on a character. Instead, we got nothing; it was a missed opportunity. We all knew Cesaro would come back and seek vengeance. We didn't need this segment to tell us that.
I actually feel bad for Corbin. Besides the fact that he cheated in his second match, he is the babyface of this program. Nakamura has stolen Corbin's crown that Corbin earned. He has beaten him up in two-on-one attacks. Also, all this started because Corbin simply beat Nakamura clean. How is Nakamaura the good guy in this story? Also how many times can steal the crown before it becomes stale?
Rob’s What didn’t matter
1. Apollo Crews vs. Kevin Owens
Last week, I put their minutes-long match in the what mattered section, assuming they would build upon it this week. This was really a squash match to get over Apollo Crews, but I don’t think it made either guy look better. I know Kevin Owens was fighting hurt, but I didn’t think that was a good angle to play, so Crews looks worse because he couldn’t beat Owens healthy and Owens looks worse because one backstage attack injured him to the point he couldn’t compete. After the match, Sami Zayn attacked Owens. I love both these guys, and even I have to admit they need to get away from each other for a while unless the focus of their feud is a championship.
2. The Usos vs. the Mysterios booking
I loved everything they did in-ring, but their matches this week were a shitshow. It takes away from everything they did in-ring with the dirty finishes. Obviously, Jimmy Uso kicked out. It was a good way to progress the story between the Usos and Roman Reigns, but it was such an obvious kickout they didn’t even need to play it three times in a row. We’re not dumb. Then, Reigns interrupted their second match early, so he didn’t even get to see if the Usos would have won. I know they are likely building to a bigger match down the road, but if that’s the case, I would have preferred to not see these two teams in the ring at all. The second match was already weaker and less exciting. The more they over-expose this feud, the less I will want to see the eventual match where they go all out.
3. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin
This was another exact rematch of this feud on SmackDown. There was no progression and no point. Rick Boogs was there again (his guitar playing is getting better). There is still no decision on the direction of this feud. I would be in favor of making a stipulation match for the crown or making a whole new king of the ring tournament.
4. Carmella vs. Liv Morgan
Poor Liv Morgan. After losing her singles push and an underwhelming tag team run, she lost her partner when Ruby Riott was released this week. This match didn’t really help either woman because there wasn’t enough time. SmackDown needs more singles stars, and these two could definitely be it if they are willing to put in the effort to building their characters and time to deliver in-ring.
5. Aleister Black
After building him all the way back up out of irrelevancy, Aleister Black was released. Really, all the released superstars should be in the what didn’t matter section because it is such a waste to release this talent. Black was a special case though. His character was distinct from anyone on the roster, and we were all waiting for an explanation of why he targeted Big E. We’ll never get that answer, so I have to put it here.
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