Hope everyone’s enjoying Wrestlemania week. We’re winding down as we’ve reached the end with Smackdown Live. While it was one of the better Smackdown Live episodes as of recent memory, there were a few misses. I’m here to break those hits and misses down.
HIT: The Iconic Cash In
The shows after Wrestlemania introduces new superstars to the main roster and Smackdown Live proved no differently. Charlotte Flair was addressing her huge Wrestlemania victory over Asuka when she was interrupted by Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. Those that follow NXT know exactly who these two are and their call up has been long overdue. I’m very ecstatic that they kept the duo together as well. This is the heel group Smackdown Live should’ve had invade last fall, not that thrown together Riott Squad. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce wasted no time making an example out of Charlotte and beat her within an inch of her life. There was nobody to save her and even the New Orleans crowd started a Carmella chant. Sure enough, Carmella ran to the ring to cash in her Money in the Bank briefcase. The ref for some reason was confused and this made me start doubting if Carmella was going to pull it off. The bell did ring though and Carmella with one move polished off Charlotte to win the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship. This was the perfect way to bring up the Iconics and we have a new champion in Carmella.
MISS: Lack of NXT Takeover on Smackdown Live
Many fans were expecting many more NXT superstars to join the Smackdown Live roster, however all we got was Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. No Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega. No Sanity. No Drew McIntyre. Nothing else. Raw was loaded last night with Ember Moon, No Way Jose, and Authors of Pain coming up along with a returning Bobby Lashley and Jeff Hardy. However I will say WWE may be saving some of these or others for the Superstar Shakeup next week. Hopefully there are a few more NXT superstars that make the jump to the main roster.
HIT: Heel Nakamura is Awesome
Shinsuke Nakamura didn’t leave Wrestlemania with the WWE Championship, but he left the WWE Universe talking after he attacked AJ Styles at the conclusion of their match. Renee Young tried to interview Nakamura, but he wasn’t having it. He was cocky, sarcastic, and made a comment about not knowing English. One night of heel Nakamura has been made more interesting than an entire year of him as a babyface on the main roster. Of course if this didn’t solidify his heel turn, having him interrupt a dream match between AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan did. Nakamura about kicked Bryan’s head off before he assaulted AJ Styles again with low blows, strikes, and whatever he wanted. This is a long term feud I can get behind if they can keep things interesting like this.
MISS: Jinder Mahal vs Randy Orton…. AGAIN!?!?!?
Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton are wrestling at Backlash. You read this right! We’re going down this same exact road again in 2018 that we did in 2017 with these two. Only difference is they’re feuding for the United States Championship opposed to the WWE Championship. I don’t know if they’ve ran out of ideas or if someone actually thinks this is a good feud? Rusev Day is the hottest thing in WWE and they could’ve took advantage by giving Rusev the United States title at Wrestlemania. Clearly though Vince doesn’t like how over Rusev Day is so he’s trying to squash it by any means necessary. Bobby Roode is lost and out of place right now and really needs to turn heel. Maybe we’ll get lucky and Mahal or Orton will get traded to Raw and put an end to this mess. Of course since all pay per views are co branded now, the match will probably still remain anyway. Either or, we’re all going to be stuck with another Mahal Orton feud for the foreseeable future.
HIT: New General Manager
With Daniel Bryan returning to the ring full time, Smackdown Live needed a new general manager. In a shocking turn of events, Paige has accepted the position of general manager on Smackdown Live. Little shocked because I thought she had a good thing going managing Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. This only means they’re probably ending Absolution and more than likely either Mandy or Sonya are going to end up on Smackdown Live with the Superstar Shakeup. With that being said, I’m curious to see how Paige does in her new role or for how long?
MISS: No Automatic Expected Rematch Clauses?
Everyone that watches WWE knows champions that lose championship matches get an automatic rematch clause. Now I for one hate these rematch clauses and wish they’d be done away with. My thought is you lose the title, you go to the back of the line. Plus how many times does the title flip hands during a rematch, it’s pretty rare. However because I’ve watched alot of WWE, I expect a rematch. Well instead of a rematch, we got number one contender matches. I’m a big fan of number one contender matches. Usos who lost their tag titles at Wrestlemania even though they didn’t even factor in the decision had to meet New Day. Usos did beat New Day and now they’re in line to face the Bludgeon Brothers. As for the United States title, I touched on that already earlier where Orton defeated Rusev and Roode to get a shot at Mahal. Be interesting to see if WWE does this going forward.
With that being said, that’ll do it for me. Next week there will be some major changes to the Smackdown Live roster and I’m anxious to see them. Follow me on twitter @chairmanpodcast and thanks for reading.