Reverse Hipster What Mattered
5. Naomi vs. Sonya
Finally, these two have a confirmed match. Sonya set their match for next week. It pisses me off that we have to wait for another week for Naomi to get a match. However, it pisses me off in a good way. It reminds me of waiting for Daniel Bryan to get his opportunity. They have really built up the anticipation.
4. Edge and Seth Rollins Hell in the Cell
Seth Rollins seemed to be under the impression that Edge wouldn't be at Smackdown. So, Seth Rollins performatively called out Edge. However, then Edge showed up and beat Seth's ass. Seth narrowly escaped, and Edge challenged him to a Hell in the Cell. I love this progression. It will be the perfect blowoff to this feud.
3. Heyman Picks a Side?
Roman Reigns challenged Heyman to pick a side. He made Heyman look into the camera tell Brock how Roman was going to beat him. The funny thing is, this whole time, I never thought Heyman would choose Brock. I just thought Roman was pushing Heyman around like he always does. However, when Paul had to defend himself, he put doubts in my mind. It kind of seemed like he laid out a plan for when he hypothetically could betray Roman. Also, it seemed like he was winking to Brock during his promo. Did you all see the wink?
2. King of The Ring
King of the Ring is off to a good start. Finn Balor and Sami Zayn have both won pretty quality matches. Sami beat Rey after he was distracted by Dominik. Finn defeated Cesaro after a hard-fought battle. Although, I'm not going to lie, watching Cesaro lose again knowing he has nothing going for him was deflating as a Cesaro fan. I wonder how you all felt: happy for Finn or sad for Cesaro?
1. Bianca Belair
Bianca called out both Sasha and Becky during the contract signing. She said they keep taking cheap shots because Bianca is threatened. They know she is the best. She proved this when Becky and Sasha teamed up to take a cheap shot at her. Then, Bianca lifted not only Becky for the KOD, but Sasha as well. Sasha slipped off after the lift, but then Bianca used Becky to knock Sasha onto the table. After that, she slammed Becky on top of Sasha through the table. Bianca is everything that she says she is. I popped hard for this, Bianca's strength is unreal.
Rob’s What Mattered
3. Naomi Continues to Demand a Chance
I am glad that WWE is giving this storyline a little time every week. Naomi demanded to know why she wasn’t in the Queen’s Crown, and Sonya Deville continued to insist that Naomi wasn’t that good. If this feud doesn’t pay off in a big match and storyline for Naomi, this will be one of the biggest what didn’t matters of our review. As long as they keep letting it slowly boil, it stays here.
2. Edge and Seth Rollins are cell-ready
The last segment of the night ended SmackDown on a high note. Edge surprised the crowd with his presence and named the stipulation for their match: Hell in a Cell. Seth Rollins has done an excellent job as a heel goading Edge into this type of match. For the first time in years, it feels like the Hell in a Cell stipulation is being pulled out for a feud that has earned it. If Edge and Rollins follow their work from this year so far, this could be one of the best Hell in a Cell matches post-2000.
1. Kings and Queens
The brackets for the King of the Ring and Queen’s Crown tournament are incredible. It’s a testament to the depth of the WWE roster that they can field a tournament like this on such short notice that has such a quality roster and doesn’t pull stars away from pre-existing feuds. Sami Zayn and Rey Mysterio had a good match that built on the Mysterios storyline and built Zayn back up. The women got more time for meaningful matches. They went the opposite route I would have. I think Toni Storm needed a win more than Zelina Vega, and I would have booked Liv Morgan over Carmella. However, I am trusting their vision for whom they want to end up with the Queen’s Crown ultimately. Finn Balor and Cesaro had a great match. I felt like either guy could have won the whole tournament, but I like that WWE is leaning into Balor’s prince gimmick and trying to give him something fresh to work toward. Ultimately, I think Xavier Woods should win the tournament after beating his teammate Kofi Kingston and then facing either Balor or Zayn in the final. These tournaments are great for WWE, giving us meaningful wrestling on weekly TV and something new for non-champions to strive for. I only wish they committed to doing this annually with an expanded tournament, either 16 or 32, like they did with the Cruiserweight Classic and Mae Young Classic.
Rob’s What Didn’t Matter
1. Hold for Supersized SmackDown, Crown Jewel
Nothing in this show felt like it explicitly didn’t matter. I had some booking decisions I disagreed with, and some segments were less consequential than others. The biggest thing I noticed is that this was a SmackDown that was trying to keep feuds hot for bigger shows coming in the future. Bianca Belair, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch had a contract signing even though they are not fighting for more than a week, and this match was already official. The Bloodline and Paul Heyman had a solid promo segment, but they didn’t reveal anything we didn’t know already. We will have to wait until next week to see Brock Lesnar, more development in the women’s feud, and know our final for the King of the Ring and Queen’s Crown tournament.
Reverse Hipsters What Didn't Matter
2. Kevin Owens and Corbin
WWE is burying KO, and it's very obvious. First off, it doesn't matter where Kevin goes next; he will be well-received. They aren't going to care that he lost to Happy Corbin. He is going to be Kevin Owens, and fans will love him. However, in burying KO, they are wasting the whole program. Corbin is becoming stale. He is doing this laughing thing that is boring and unoriginal. Bayley did the same thing. Nobody cares about beatdown segment after beatdown segment. Where is the substance?
1. Queen of the Ring
In short, Queen of the Ring has been awful. It seems like WWE is just trying to check a box. It doesn't seem like they actually care. There is no reason that the tournament should only be eight women. They could have easily done 16, and started earlier and really build momentum for the challengers. Like, Sonya and Naomi should be in this tournament, and it's ridiculous that they aren't. Why wouldn't they want a shot at history? Also, they would only lend more credibility to the Queen of the Ring. Also, this is about building stars, yet they eliminate Toni Storm, a call-up they have wasted at every turn. They have nothing for her, and it's sickening she has already been champion and won the Mae Young Classic. However, she gets eliminated clean in the first round by Zelina, who won like one match. Also, Liv, whose fans have been clamoring for her, was wasted once again. They keep telling us how big her following is, yet they keep ignoring it. She was eliminated in the first round by Carmella, who she has beat repeatedly and easily. It was stupid to put them against each other because we have seen it a million times, but having Carmella win made it worse.
The Smackdown half of the women's bracket is now completely irrelevant. Also, the women's matches were a fraction of the men's matches. These women didn't get a chance to fight and show their skills. They had very quick non-meaningful matches. They are fighting for history, the first Queen of the Ring, but you would never know that with the way WWE presented it.