Smackdown Rundown: Sasha's Return
Reverse Hipster What Mattered
His gimmick has really turned his career around. He is now involved in segments with Cena and Reigns. Also, it's really entertaining each week.
I like that Reginald is getting singles matches and doing it with competent opponents. I think the fact that Reginald had the match won over Gable helped the 24/7 title scene.
3.6 Man Tag
I went back and forth on this one. It didn't really have stakes, but it ended up being more positive than negative. One Nakamura pinned the champion, so that is great for his character. Also, this is a good preview of how a good a midcard six-pack challenge would be.
2.Cena Strikes Back
Cena cut an excellent promo on Roman and went straight for the jugular. He said Roman has to change every 2 years because the fans keep rejecting him. Cena says he is like Austin and the Rock iconic; he doesn't have to change. The best part of all this is he makes an excellent point. Then Cena says Roman is ducking him and protecting Roman's image. He ends the whole thing on an excellent one-liner. "It's not about how I look. It's about how I would make you look."
Sasha's return was the biggest event of Smackdown. She came out and saved Bianca from a two-on-one beatdown by Carmella and Zelina. She would later betray Bianca after they won their tag team match in the main event. I think it was smart of the bookers to have Sasha run and save Bianca. It allowed Sasha to get her face cheers for returning. The main event allowed her to return to her heel character, so it was the best of both worlds. The only part I didn't like is the tag team match didn't really mean anything for either team, so it was hard to invest in, especially as the main event.
Rob’s What mattered
4. Reginald vs. Chad Gable
I am here for using Reginald as the 24/7 Champion and using him to get screen time for others who deserve it. I was just about ready to give up on the 24/7 Championship, but Reginald is launching it into relevancy again. R-Truth has a target on his back. There could be a new 24/7 king soon.
3. Edge and Seth Rollins
WWE is at a difficult point in this feud. It is hot and ready to go, but they have to keep it hot for three weeks without giving too much away or feeling repetitive. I think they did a good job this week with a surprise attack on Edge and Seth Rollins's promo. Delaying the gratification of even seeing Edge is a good way to keep Rollins the heel in this feud. The match will define if this feud is a flop or a dream match come true.
2. John Cena and Roman Reigns official
I said I was willing to go along for the ride on this feud, and I think it was still fun even if messy this week. John Cena kicked off the show, continued masterful promo work on Roman Reigns, and had a funny segment with Baron Corbin. Later, Reigns and Finn Balor had a contract signing, interrupted by Corbin attempting to insert himself in the match by attacking Balor and signing the contract, and finally ended by Cena signing the contract instead. It was a fun use for everyone involved. We always knew it was heading to Reigns/Cena, but now we potentially have a Corbin/Balor feud out of it too, and a reason for Balor to challenge for the Universal title later.
1. Sasha Banks is Back and Backstabbier than Ever
The return of Sasha Banks was the highlight for me this week. The women’s division is at its best with Banks. She gets the best work out of everyone on the roster. Banks has a great deal right now, disappearing until there are relevant feuds and shows for her to work. She returned this time to help Bianca Belair against Carmella and Zelina Vega. They had a great match, and she ended the night with a signature betrayal, hinting that Banks/Belair 2 will be on the Summerslam card. This is exactly what Belair needed to make her reign relevant again.
Rob’s What didn’t matter
2. Rey Mysterio vs. Jimmy Uso
I don’t think these singles matches are doing a good job of selling the rematch of this feud. It feels like almost an afterthought after the Usos and Mysterios were part of the main event feud with Roman Reigns and Edge. This is something WWE consistently struggles with, keeping feuds entertaining when they go on for multiple PPVs.
1. WWE officials
WWE is setting up a messy canon by letting Cena steal the contract and sign his way into the main event. They already have a problem with challenges. If anyone can return at any time and challenge for the biggest championships, why should any superstar put in the work to be full-time? What do WWE officials do if declaring yourself in a match is enough? The real loser in all of this is WWE officials. I think they need to be a more stern part of making these matches. Wins and losses need to matter, or WWE risks getting even messier in their booking.
Reverse Hipster What didn't Matter
Finn has been made to look like a Jabroni. Now I'm not saying he is buried or there is no coming back from this, but it's not good. First, he is run down by Roman and mostly sits there and takes it. Then boneheaded management characters prove that Finn is less than by just letting Cena steal Finn's match. How do you go from a contract signing to not being in the match at all? I hope Sonya and Adam get brought out by Vince next week as a thank you for all their good work, and they get higher positions in the company. However, right before they sign their new contracts Finn Balor comes out and signs instead, and he gets their raises and positions.
It was so stupid. Balor has a match with Corbin next week because Corbin beat up Balor. Yea, Corbin, the guy Cena casually attitude adjusted at the top of the show. How could anyone care about Corbin more than a universal title shot? Instead of this terrible convoluted mess, they could have had Cena just earn a title shot. Like, what if Finn and Cena had returned and fought for the number one contender spot. It would have been entertaining, and a loss to John Cena wouldn't hurt Finn.
2. Mediocre Smackdown
The crowd was back. Some big names were around, but I just don't feel like Smackdown was that eventful. Reginald's match ended in Dq. The main event was a woman's tag in the women's single division with nothing on the line. The 6-man tag, while exciting, had nothing on the line, no stakes. The Mysterio vs. Uso feud feels stale and off to the side with them just trading wins in singles matches. Seth vs. Edge, a big deal just felt like they did a placeholder beatdown that didn't really change much for the feud. I know Smackdown can do so much better.
3. Liv Morgan
Liv was arguably the hottest woman going into MITB, and now they just have nothing for her, and it doesn't make sense.
4. Bray Wyatts Release
One of the most creative and over-stars in the WWE, Bray Wyatt, was let go. It was a terrible choice to cut him. One of the consequences of that is Roman now has even less competition. We will never get to see the Fiend come back and get his revenge on Roman for attacking him. If shareholder's heads turned when they heard about Cm Punk and Daniel Bryan leaving, I wonder how they felt about Bray trending number one on Twitter because he was released from WWE.
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