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The SmackDown Rundown:The New Bloodline

Updated: Apr 24

Opening Match: La Knight vs. AJ Styles 

Reverse Hipster: Mattered ***

LA Knight phenomenal forearm

AJ beat LA Knight in the opening match of SmackDown, earning the right to face Cody Rhodes at Backlash. The match was fine. AJ and LA did good things, and the crowd seemed into it, but there was nothing bad or great about it. I wish WWE hadn't had LA and AJ fight again. LA could have easily lost his match last week without being involved in the finish, and then we would have a fresh match without AJ and LA trading wins. 

Solo is the Captain Now 

Reverse Hipster: Mattered *****

Solo new Suit

This segment was excellent. Solo arrived in a suit instead of his usual get-up and announced that Tama Tonga would be on the Bloodline now. Paul just sold the whole segment so well by looking shocked throughout the segment. Solo has big boss energy. It reminds me of a new boss after a hostile takeover in a Drug Dealer show like Power. Solo has taken over, the old guard is gone, and it feels like anything can happen. Solo demanded to see Kevin Owens. I don't know why, but I can't wait to find out. 

Grayson Waller & Austin Theory Get New Titles 

Reverse Hipster Mattered: **.5

New WWE Tag Titles

Triple H gave Grayson and Austin new, remodeled WWE Tag Team Titles. This segment was important because it showed off the new titles and announced a fatal four-way for a chance to face the champions. However, it wasn't a very entertaining segment. I will admit that WWE played a strange dynamic as well as they could. Grayson and Austin aren't entertainers in the same way Awesome Truth is, and they are being rewarded, so there isn't much to be mad about. So they were just complete jerks throughout the segment. They refused to shake Triple H's hand, and Aldis got upset and reprimanded them, then announced all the teams fighting for a chance at their titles next. 

Naomi Speaks

Reverse Hipster: Didn't Matter **

Naomi Kayla

Kayla asked Naomi if her friendship with Bayley would affect her match for Bayley's title. Naomi said it had been a long time since she had fought for the title, and she didn't think her friendship with Bayley would get in the way. We didn't need this segment to know that. It's the championship, of course; Naomi is going to go all out. This could have been a recap of Tiffany losing to Naomi instead of an interview. However, hearing from Naomi and Kayla is always nice, so it gets two stars. 

The Street Profits vs. Legado vs. AOP vs. New Catch Republic 

Reverse Hipster: Mattered *****

This match was fantastic. If you have not seen it live, you must go back and watch it. Every team had so many incredible displays of athleticism. This match was more grueling and thrilling than the WrestleMania ladder match. There was a group powerbomb suplex off the top rope. Three people jumped over the top rope in the corner of the ring at the same time. Legado Gurrella pressed an AOP member off the top rope. The Street Profits did a stacked Blockbuster from the top. By the end of the match, any team could have won, and I would have said they deserved it. However, When the smoke cleared, it was the Street Profits, and that was the best outcome. 

Bayley Speaks 

Reverse Hipster: Didn't Matter *

Bayley WWE Title

Bayley got a quick word in about her title match coming up tonight, and it was even more irrelevant than Naomi's because Naomi's segment had already happened. Also, Bayley's segment was wedged between two interesting ones. Bayley vs. Naomi is still exciting, but not because of these interviews. 

Paul Heyman Tries To Stop Solo

Reverse Hipster: Mattered ***.5

Solo Paul Heyman

This is the interesting story of the night. Solo continues to look for Kevin Owens. Paul begs Solo to stop trying to take the Tribal Chief's place because it's not his time yet, and Solo gives him a look that says I'm the captain now. Solo doesn't give a damn about what Roman thinks about what Solo is doing. It's his time now. 

The New Bloodline 

Reverse Hipster: Mattered *****

Solo Gets Angry

The New Bloodline is Savage, and nobody is safe. Paul Heyman tried to call himself the Wise Man to the Tribal Chief, and Solo snatched the mic from him. Roman isn't safe, either. Solo, don't mess with him. Jimmy isn't safe. Solo, don't mess with him. We know Solo is a savage, so how tough does the guy that he brings in have to be? Toma Tonga is just as savage. He dragged Kevin Owens out to the ring, beaten and bludgeoned and bleeding. 

Toma Tonga

Kevin Owens fought back after seemingly getting carried to the back because he's a dawg, but Tonga and Solo beat him so severely security, and Nick Aldis himself had to come out and save Kevin Owens from further injury. Even with Aldis out there, it seemed like Tonga and Solo might drop him too, but they backed off. The crowd hates Solo. Solo's persona is getting over in a way characters haven't in decades. The crowd would barely let him speak before the altercation. Roman is gone, and the Bloodline is still the hottest thing on SmackDown. 

The Bloodline Has Gone Too Far

Reverse Hipster: Mattered *****

Car crashed Smackdown

Clearly, Roman and Jimmy were holding Solo back a lot because now that they are gone, Solo has gone completely off the rails. His new recruit, Toma Tonga, rammed his car into Kevin Owen's car, and that's how he got Kevin bloodied and dragged him to the ring. Nick Aldis physically grabbed Heyman, which underscored how serious this is, and warned him that if he didn't get his guys under control, there would be severe consequences for Paul himself. I love that WWE is doing thrilling and aggressive storylines. Wrestling is really back!

Carlito vs. Santos Escobar 

Reverse Hipster: Didn't Matter **

Santos Electra

So we were told that this match was happening to avenge Dragon Lee, whom LWO believes was taken out by Legado. However, this match didn't change anything. It wasn't very entertaining either. Carlito dominated Santos until Elektra beat up Zelina, which distracted Carlito long enough for Santos to take advantage. Even Elektra's distraction didn't go right because she very lightly tapped Zelina into the barricade instead of slamming her because the spacing wasn't right. I like everyone involved, but it didn't come together. 

Bianca and Jade Enter the Chat

Reverse Hipster: Mattered *****

Bianca and Belair

Damage Control was up in the top seats where Kayla interviewed them. Dakota, the group spokesperson, took a lot of offense to IYO being called former champion. She took the opportunity to remind everyone that Damage Control is the most dominant group in WWE, and they still have the Women's Tag Team Championships. Then Jade's music hits. Bianca and Jade arrive. The aura is at 10 million volts, and they park right next to Damage Control in their own section. You have to go watch it and feel it. I have wanted Bianca and Jade to team up from Day one, and I'm so glad it's going to happen. Nobody can stop this team. 

Cody Rhodes Overexposed

Reverse Hipster: Didn't Matter **

Cody Rhodes Title

Cody Rhodes has been overexposed since winning the title. This week, he was on SmackDown and Raw; based on the creative, he should not have been on either. On both shows, he had nothing to do. This time, he talked about how great AJ Styes is and how two Georgia Boys would fight it out in Paris. Then he talked about how he's not there cause he's fighting around the world with the title. 

It's okay for WWE to tell us why Cody isn't there. We won't forget him if he isn't there he just won the title. Also, Cody has a bad habit of becoming a narrator. Instead of being in a moment or scene, he will suddenly start narrating it as though he's talking about other people's lives in WWE, completely divorced from his own. In this promo, he began to talk about AJ and Paris like he was part of the corporate brass trying to sell the event to the board. If WWE keeps allowing Cody to slip into this corporate narrator mode, he will feel inauthentic, and fans will turn on him. It's okay to let us miss Cody and make his appearances impactful—quality over quantity. 

Bayley vs. Naomi Women's World Title Match

Reverse Hipster: Mattered ****

Bayley jumps over Naomi

This match was excellent. What stood out the most was Naomi. Naomi got off to a rocky start in her WWE return, but their faith in her didn't waiver, and now she is better than ever before. She reversed a suplex off the top rope into a cross body, hit Bayley with a Rear View, and seamlessly transitioned from pin to deadly submission. Naomi pushed Bayley to her limit, and several times, it looked like Bayley might lose, but she has the heart of a champion. She reversed the submission into a pin and hit a flying elbow from off the top to way across the ring on Naomi. Even as Naomi was beating Bayley up on the outside, Bayley turned the tide and hit her with a Bayley to Belly on the commentary table. 

Naomi Bayley SmackDown

These women kept switching back and forth, and it was unclear who would come out on top when Tiffany Stratton decided this match was Tiffy Time. She beat up Bayley and Naomi, ruining their title match by getting it called off, and then she laid them both out and hit them both with the Prettiest Moonsault in WWE as the show went off the air. I liked this main event because even though the match was called off, it was still entertaining, and this development can lead to an even bigger match at Backlash. I'd love to see a Triple Threat between Naiomi, Bayley, and Tiffany for the title. 

Reverse Hipster's Final Grade 9.2/10 A

Tiffany Stratton Pink

The Triple H Era is so much fun. Oh my god, I enjoyed this more than I have enjoyed a show in years. This whole run post-mania has just felt different. This show did have a few misses, but the good parts were so amazing that the misses couldn't detract from the show's overall feel. Also, the misses weren't very time-consuming. In fact, this whole show flew by. But time flies when you are having fun. 

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