Updated: Jun 4
Reverse Hipster What Mattered
1.Head of the Stable
Roman came out looking fresh this week in a tracksuit without his own logo on it. Also, he was just in his bag all Smackdown. First, his fake humble act was beautifully arrogant. He knew exactly what buttons to press to really rub in his victory over Cesasro. Also, I think the fight between Jimmy and him for Jey is very interesting. It shows that Roman clearly needs Jey, and he wants Jey to think that he needs Roman. Also, this whole story is providing like a slow and exciting build for the Uso's to return to tag team action.
2. Fatal Four way
The fatal four-way was really good. WWE built it up throughout the night with backstage promos. They delivered a really good tv main event. I think they were holding back a bit because I think maybe they will do this again at hell in the cell. However, this match was fast-paced and exciting. This match highlighted the midcard and the intercontinental championship as the main event, and that is a good thing.
I liked that Smackdown mixed it up a bit this week. First, they came out to a new Thunderdome layout which felt fresh and cool. Also, I liked the parade of champions. I thought it was cool to see the champions all together and being celebrated. I also think Roman not coming out and having Paul rundown the champions did an excellent job of making Roman look like a top Heel. I only wish all the champions would have like jumped Heyman; that would have been cool. I also Think Bayley did a great job taking a shot at all the champions and establishing herself as the top female heel on Smackdown.
Another presentation piece I liked was Nakamaura having his entrance played live. That was super hype. I was jamming out at home. Also, I laughed aloud when they cut to Pat playing air guitar on Michael Cole during Nakamura's entrance. I am glad they made Nakamura look like the star he used to be.
Aleister Black's vignette was also done well. I thought this week was edited very well, and I enjoyed the promo about pain being truth and it being time to separate the weak from the strong.
Rob's What Mattered
1.Intercontinental Championship Fatal Four Way
This was a PPV-quality match on SmackDown, and it delivered. Apollo Crews, Big E, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn are all superstars at the top of their game right now, and that says a lot considering the past success of those four. SmackDown gave them time, and they knocked it out of the park. They had creative, fast-paced spots throughout the match that made me want to just see more. Their characters are all immensely interesting, and it made all the in-ring action mean that much more. The somewhat screwy finish and predictable winner didn’t really hurt the match because everything else was that good, and it made sense to keep the title on Crews who just won it. More on that screwy finish though.
2. Aleister Black
After weeks of building a new character, Aleister Black debuted by attacking Big E during the main event. This is an awesome first feud for Black and best-case scenario for Big E to get an intriguing single’s feud if he isn’t going to win the title back. Black’s vignettes have been building to something sinister with the longest one airing this week. Black looked vicious in his return, and I forgot just how insane his striking ability is until he hit Black Mass on Big E. This could be one of the coolest feuds in recent WWE history. If Big E represents the power of positivity, Black represents the darkness and a drive to show the worst parts of human nature. THAT is a gargantuan conflict of values that makes me interested in the feud immediately. Those two guys in-ring will deliver as well as anyone on the roster.
3. Roman Reigns’s promo
If there’s one thing we have learned during this era of SmackDown, Roman Reigns’s heel character always hits on these shows. It’s a wonder they didn’t make this move sooner, but I’m just enjoying it now. Reigns and Paul Heyman had another good boasting promo this week. Cesaro came out to interrupt, and Seth Rollins brutally attacked him. I’m not sure where this is going, but I trust SmackDown creative and Reigns to tell these nuanced main event stories.
4. The Usos vs. Street Profits for next week
With the Usos coming back, we should all be excited to see them match up against some of the great new tag teams in the SmackDown division. This is a dream match they are giving away next week on TV. The story with the Usos and Roman Reigns is still the biggest draw on SmackDown, and the Street Profits gave a fun, fiery promo for this match next week too. Is this the Uso’s road back to a tag team championship or is it the catalyst for a bigger falling out in the family?
Reverse Hipster What didn't Matter
It just felt like there was a lot retread on Smackdown. First off, the six-woman tag was just plain lazy. We just had a tag team rematch for the titles on Raw. Tamina and Natalya won; it should be over. However, apparently, they are not allowed to move past Nia and Shayna cause now they have another tag team title match with them next Raw. This means that these two teams have faced off four different times in like two weeks. Shayna and Nia arent' the champions anymore. They need to move on. The woman's tag division needs more creativity.
I support Natalya and Tamina as champions, but I do not support them fighting forever with former champions. Also, it is such a bad look to have the tag champs lose to the former champs, but taping out right after they just won makes them look weak. Also, having Bayley and Bianca in this match barely helped because they also just fought on Backlash. It was basically two rematches for the price of one. There is a whole locker room full of talented women, where is the Riot squad, where is Sasha, where is Carmella build new feuds do something different.
Then there was Nakamura and Corbin. They had another good match, but I feel like they could have done something more creative than just having them have a rematch and having Nakamura win. I have not given up on this feud but this week was not the most interesting development. Also the tag division which has been really good just went back to doing the same old thing even thought their are new champions.
Then there is Cesaro. Now, disclaimer: I want to see Cesaro have a rematch and win the universal championship, and I would probably enjoy a Seth Rollins and Cesaro stipulation match cause they are great wrestlers. However, Why would they have Cesaro straight up lose to Roman clean if they were going to continue this feud? Wouldn't it make more sense to have Jey interfere and give Cesaro a valid reason to want a rematch? Also, wouldn't that interference preserve a second clash? I love Cesaro, but he did not have a leg to stand on. Roman beat him fair and square. Why should he get another shot? Also, Seth Rollins trying to ruin Cesaro's opportunities because he is salty he loss is interesting. However, what do we gain from Cesaro and Seth Rollins feuding again? Either Seth wins, and Seth undoes Cesaro wins, or Cesaro beats him again, and we know what we already know, which is Cesaro can beat Seth.
2. Back to Black
Black's presentation was great. He came looking like a star. He was menacing and made his presents felt in the main event. However, it is hard to get too excited about his debut. It seems odd to have Black save Apollo because even if he had a problem with E, wouldn't he rather Big E be champion so he can beat him for the belt? Also, while Big E seems like a target, that makes sense. With his positive mantra being pretty much the opposite of Black, it is still hard to get excited about the feud. Big E will most definitely lose to help boost Black, and is that really what E needs as he is making his singles run. Also, even if he wins, it will make Aleister look bad when he needs to look like a star. I just do not think this was the best pick.
Rob’s What didn’t matter
1. The champions’ showcase
The opening segment of SmackDown this week was a safe opening promo just showing off the champions and talking about what they would do later in the night. There was nothing creative to it, just a way for Sonya Deville to announce the news that WWE would be returning to touring this July. Apollo Crews came out as a way to sort of promote the Intercontinental Championship main event. Roman Reigns came out after everyone to draw heat, but here’s what made absolutely no sense. For some reason, Reigns came out to his old theme after having a new theme for over two weeks. The segment he had later in the night was with his new theme again, and that segment was much stronger to continue pushing his heel champion character. The segment ended with Bayley, Nia Jax, and Shayna Baszler attacking the respective champions to set up a six-woman tag match. Because this segment was trying to do so much, it didn’t really do anything well.
2. Six-woman tag match
The in-ring work was solid, but I feel like we have seen this match already. For WWE to promote their feuds, I want them to do something creative and not just find different ways to throw the competitors in the ring. In the women’s tag division, I absolutely do not want to see any more of Natalya and Tamina vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. This didn’t progress the story at all, and Jax and Baszler getting the win was another terrible example of WWE’s 50/50 booking. Natalya and Tamina just got the titles so it made them look weak. It feels like the challengers always win in non-title WWE matches just to drive the same-old narrative that a challenger is a threat. It’s lazy and not fun to watch. On top of all that, Jax and Baszler shouldn’t even be on SmackDown, as I think they are Raw superstars and no longer hold the titles that allow them to travel.
3. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin
I don’t want to make this a what didn’t matter on just a pessimistic view of the future, but this already feels like one of those weekly feuds where we will see this straight-up rematch multiple weeks in a row. I was kind of excited to see this feud develop after last week, assuming Shinsuke Nakamura would have other matches in the crown and maybe Corbin would come out to try to take it from ringside. They could have done something fun with this, but a straight-up rematch wasn’t one of them. I’m hoping this goes somewhere better like a new King of the Ring tournament over the vacant crown.