WWE Smackdown Live Review w/ The Chairman 1.16.18
Hey everybody, this is the Chairman. I’m here to give you my thoughts on this recent episode of Smackdown Live. The past few months I would write up match summaries and give my thoughts. I then realized most of you probably already seen the matches and don’t need my detailed play by play. Therefore I’m going to give my two cents on Smackdown Live where I’m going to give my three hits and three misses of the week.
HIT: Bobby Roode wins his first championship in WWE.
You could argue with me that he was a former NXT champion, but this is his first title on the main roster that is WWE so therefore this is his first title. Bobby Roode secured victories over Baron Corbin, Mojo Rawley, and Jinder Mahal to win the vacant WWE United States Championship. Not exactly a road to glory by any means, but Roode took care of the hand he was dealt and was victorious. When the brackets were released, many predicted Roode and Mahal would be the finals and correct many were. What many didn’t expect was the finals to take place tonight when the semi finals already took place. Therefore Roode and Mahal did double duty in their conquest for the United States Championship. Roode had a lengthy match with Mojo Rawley, but was beat up in the process. After his victory, the Singh Brothers ambushed him softening him. Roode wanted Mahal tonight and Daniel Bryan made the match and announced the title would be decided tonight. Mahal had Roode ready for the Khallas, but Roode countered and finished Mahal off with the Glorious DDT to get the win. Roode is definitely a worthy champion, even though is face run isn’t catching on. Here’s to hoping Roode has a successful reign, because the United States title hasn’t felt important since Kevin Owens and AJ Styles were feuding over it during the summer while Jinder Mahal was WWE Champion. What a strange year 2017 was…
MISS: The United States Championship Tournament
This tournament had potential to be great. Then once I learned what all the matches were my interest waned quickly. Seeing how the brackets were setup, I predicted not only the finals, but the champion as well. In fact many people did. WWE and their predictable booking is getting worse and worse. Superstars such as Mojo Rawley, Zack Ryder, Tye Dillinger, and Aiden English have no business being in a tournament for a prestigious championship considering their spot on the card right now on Smackdown Live. I don’t want to look at a match and predict the winner every single time. This is where guys like Shinsuke Nakamura, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and Randy Orton needed to be used. Guys in the top of the card that have a chance to win every night out. These are the superstars that have been built up as credible threats to go toe to toe with a Bobby Roode or a Jinder Mahal. Hell guys like Big E, Kofi Kingston, Shelton Benjamin, Chad Gable, or Rusev would’ve been respectable entrants. You don’t see Roman Reigns or The Miz during his reign defending the Intercontinental Championship against Titus O’Neill or Curt Hawkins. Not to mention the finals were originally supposed to take place at the Royal Rumble. Okay that’s fine, makes sense. Then all the sudden the finals are supposed to take place next week, then all the sudden tonight? This is some bad writing right here folks. Figure out your tournament and stick with your guns.
HIT: Xavier Woods as a singles competitor
Being a member of the New Day, Xavier Woods usually finds himself outside the ring cheering on Kofi and Big E. Now and then Xavier finds himself involved in the action as well in tag team action. Rarely do we see Xavier in singles action, but with his opportunity in the United States Championship, he delivered. Xavier defeated Aiden English in his first tournament match. Tonight Xavier Woods faced Jinder Mahal in a semi final match. I wanted to see Xavier pull off the upset. I wanted to see if WWE was actually going to push Xavier all the way to the United States Championship and see if New Day would take turns defending the title. Sadly we were denied as Xavier went high risk with his flying elbow off the top rope and busted. This mistake cost Woods the match as Mahal took advantage and hit the Khallas moments later. Hats off to Woods though, he had a lengthy match with Jinder Mahal to open Smackdown Live tonight. I don’t foresee us getting many more singles matches with Woods anytime soon, but it’s always a pleasure to see him get in the ring. If there ever is a time when New Day ends, I think Xavier Woods is going to be alright as a singles competitor.
MISS: Smackdown Live Women’s Division
Once again we find ourselves tonight watching another six women tag match. Riott Squad take on Charlotte, Naomi and Becky again. Each week the factions are going to exchange meaningless wins and losses until something breaks. Let’s face it, this is all filler until the Royal Rumble. Worst part is it’s almost as if the women have completely forgot that Charlotte is the champion and would rather compete in a battle royal then just walking up and challenging Charlotte to a title match like everyone did last year to Naomi. Hell Lana was receiving title shots last year? Carmella is nowhere in sight lately and she still has the Money in the Bank briefcase. I hope she realizes that briefcase does expire in a few months? I’m interested in the women’s Royal Rumble for many reasons, same time I can’t wait until it’s over. I’m over the weekly six women tag matches and ready for a title feud again.
HIT: Very little Shane McMahon involvement
This wasn’t a good episode of Smackdown Live at all tonight and there wasn’t many matches other than all the United States Championship ones and the women tag match so I had to find something for a hit. I almost went ahead and just announced the hit being all the big WWE signings earlier in the day or the Finn Balor Sasha Banks vs Shinsuke Nakamura Natalya match for the Mixed Match Challenge. However I’ll keep it within the show and say that it was nice not starting the show with a Shane McMahon power trip to open the show, fill in segments throughout the night, and to close the show. The only time we had to deal with Shane was during the main event when he watched the match and presented Roode the title. I was fine with Shane in that capacity because that’s what he should be doing. What he shouldn’t be doing is having this several month long feud with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
MISS: No Kevin Owens or Sami Zayn?
I could’ve thought of many things for this, but I’m just going to put this. The two challengers for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble are nowhere to be found tonight? Not even a brief backstage selfie promo like everyone else was doing tonight? We all know how great Styles vs Owens and Zayn is going to be, but not getting them on the show at all is a disappointment. Should’ve had them attack AJ Styles backstage maybe instead of using that spot for Gable and Benjamin on the Usos? I’m sure something big is in store next week, perhaps a contract signing? Been awhile since we had one of those.
FINAL RATING: 3 out of 10. This show was bad. This was the worst show I’ve seen since I started reviewing here on HTC. I try to find some positivity, but I can’t find much. It’s tough enough to get Smackdown Live superstars on tv as it is and they literally made it the Roode Mahal show literally putting aside everybody else. Next week is the go home show and it’s following the Raw 25th show so I have low expectations. With that being said, thanks for reading. Let me know what your thoughts were on this episode of Smackdown Live.