Here is this week’s hits and misses from Smackdown Live
HIT: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens Get Payback
After the controversy that occurred at Fast Lane where Shane McMahon cost both Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens the WWE Championship, it was revealed Shane would have a major announcement on Smackdown Live. He came out and said he was stepping away from Smackdown Live, but his final act was to book Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn at Wrestlemania. Zayn and Owens were bashing each other in separate promos backstage, but most fans should’ve known better. Shane was brutally attacked by Zayn and Owens. Helluva Kick, Pop Up Powerbomb, using a steel chair around the neck and throwing Shane into the ringpost. Referees were attacked. Shane was laid out backstage once in for all and not a single superstar came to save him. Daniel Bryan returns next week and it’ll be interesting to see what he does with this situation.
MISS: Jinder Mahal the Third Wheel
Randy Orton became the United States Champion at Fast Lane by defeating Bobby Roode. For some reason however, Jinder Mahal still lurks around this title picture. Roode announced he wouldn’t invoke his rematch clause until Wrestlemania to face Orton so why is Jinder Mahal still hanging around? There’s no way they’d make this a triple threat when Raw is already doing that with their secondary title. Mahal needs to be removed from this feud and let Orton and Roode tell their story.
HIT: Big E and Jimmy Uso Join Forces
Something you don’t see very often in wrestling, but it happened on Smackdown Live. Two superstars from rival tag teams joined forces tonight to challenge the Bludgeon Brothers. As you know, Usos and New Day were having another classic tag title match at Fast Lane. Harper and Rowan however showed up ripe for the picking and laid waste to everyone. Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Jey Uso were all injured and not at Smackdown. Therefore the unlikely team of Big E and Jimmy Uso challenged Harper and Rowan. Things didn’t go well however for Big E and Jimmy Uso as Harper and Rowan continue laying waste on Smackdown Live. Who is going to step up and stop them?
MISS: Asuka Crashing Smackdown Live
At Fast Lane after Charlotte Flair defended her WWE Smackdown Live Women’s Championship against Ruby Riott, Asuka crashed the show and challenged Charlotte at Wrestlemania. While that was a cool moment and predicted by some. Asuka of course is still contracted to Raw, so why is she on Smackdown Live? Reason is obvious why she’s there and that is to build a program with Charlotte Flair. Thing is I felt the segment between Charlotte and Asuka was very similar to the one we seen earlier in the show between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura. Clearly both superstars are fan favorites, they respect each other, etc. This is one of those programs they should maybe not have face to face interactions and just let them do it in the ring at Wrestlemania to make it more special.
HIT: Rusev Day Still Going Strong
Rusev stepped into the ring against AJ Styles to kickoff Smackdown Live in a fantastic match. Rusev Day chants are still echoing in the crowd despite Rusev being paired up against Shinsuke Nakamura at Fast Lane and Styles tonight. No matter what WWE wants to do, they can’t stop the momentum of Rusev Day. Rusev has the talent and the tools to become a major player. It’s time to give into Rusev Day! I will say I was happy with the booking decision of having Aiden English get Rusev disqualified when Styles appeared to have him beat to protect him.
MISS: Half of the Fast Lane Main Event Absent?
Seemed weird to me that three of the six superstars involved in the Fast Lane WWE Championship match weren’t even on Smackdown Live. Just goes to show you maybe they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Well we all know John Cena was crying on Raw about his Wrestlemania issues so I didn’t expect him on Smackdown Live. But Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler? Not even a backstage interview or anything on their shortcomings? Dolph Ziggler weeks ago cut his usual promo of being held back and proving everyone wrong and how he wanted a Wrestlemania singles match. Well he must’ve not wanted one that bad if he wasn’t on Smackdown and I don’t even know what to think of Corbin’s booking? They already had him win the Andre the Giant Battle Royal a few years ago so where do you seriously go with this guy now? I guess in conclusion, if you’re going to put a superstar in a featured feud. Maybe they should have something to fall back on afterwards instead of just writing them off completely.
Overall Smackdown wasn’t bad tonight. I think what helped was finally getting Fast Lane done and over with and now the Smackdown brand can focus on building up Wrestlemania. So far we got AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura, Charlotte Flair vs Asuka, Randy Orton vs Bobby Roode, and since it was booked Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn (but I think that’s getting removed). I’m sure a tag team title match will get booked. Otherwise I’m guessing the rest of the Smackdown Live superstars go into their respective battle royals. Obviously the big question going into next week is what will Daniel Bryan do to Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn so I’m definitely tuning in to find out. Thanks for reading and follow me on twitter @chairmanpodcast for my insights on wrestling and other random things.