There definitely wasn’t a Superstar Shakeup hangover on Smackdown Live like there was on Raw last night. Smackdown Live is refreshed, rejuvenated, and it’s fun to watch again. Here are what I thought were the hits and misses of this week’s Smackdown Live.
HIT: Nakamura Going Full Heel
Shinsuke Nakamura’s heel turn just went to another level this week. His theme has been remixed with Japanese lyrics so the fans can’t sing along any more. Then in the main event he basically took out Luke Gallows execution style by dropping him to his knees and then delivering the Kinshasa to the back of his head. Nakamura then got ambushed by Styles only for Nakamura to use his go to low blow to take Styles down. Nakamura had AJ Styles lined up for a Kinshasa only to have Karl Anderson jump in Styles way and take the Kinshasa for him. Nakamura then started playing more mind games with Styles by delivering a second Kinshasa to Anderson for his troubles. Nakamura is a bad dude. The storytelling of this feud with WWE Champion AJ Styles is some of the best I’ve seen in a long time in WWE. Definitely better than what they’re doing on Mondays that’s for sure. I can’t wait to see Styles vs Nakamura at Greatest Royal Rumble and I’m fully invested in a Nakamura title reign.
MISS: Renee Young the General Manager?
Not sure where Paige was tonight? Or even Shane McMahon? Just found it rather odd that Renee Young was the one handling the Backlash contract signing for the Carmella vs Charlotte Flair Smackdown Live Women’s Championship match. Normally I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it until Renee started freaking out at Carmella to sit down and act professional. The segment was rather odd, but at least when Charlotte came out she was all business. I’m going out on a limb here and saying Carmella’s title reign is going to be a very short one.
HIT: Big Cass Delivers
Well there are times I’m right about things and there are times I’ve been wrong. I was wrong about Elias when he debuted on the main roster and now he has grown into one of my favorites on an entertainment factor. I was pretty critical of Cass getting the main event spot last week taking out Daniel Bryan. However maybe this Cass and Bryan feud could have some potential? Smackdown Live started with Miz making his return ready to invite Daniel Bryan to Miz TV being those two have unfinished business. Bryan however never made it to the ring and instead Miz received Big Cass as his guest. I don’t know what got into Big Cass, but the promo he cut tonight was money. He also had the look of a professional being he wore a suit to the ring. I was almost hoping Cass was hired by the Miz to portray his new bodyguard, but doesn’t look like that’s the road we’re going down. Cass hooked me with his story so I’m interested and I’m assuming Cass and Bryan will meet at Backlash so we’ll see if Cass can perform with one of the greats in Daniel Bryan.
MISS: Bludgeon Brothers Fear the Glow?
As the Bludgeon Brothers and Usos get ready for another encounter at Greatest Royal Rumble for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship. Rowan was scheduled to face Jimmy Uso one on one. Before the match Naomi was concerned about her husband’s safety. When things looked grim in the ring, Naomi’s music blasted. The distraction was enough for Jey Uso to take out Harper and Jimmy Uso to pin Rowan for a three count. Needless to say, the Usos have been doing great things the past year. Now it appears they’ve found a tough adversary and they need the assistance of bright colors and twerking? There’s definitely a better use for Naomi than playing sidekick to the Usos and the Usos shouldn’t need to rely on someone else to help them overcome Harper and Rowan, especially since they’re babyfaces.
HIT: Women’s Wrestling on Smackdown Live
For awhile Smackdown Live’s women division has been stale. Add the IIconics and Asuka and things freshen up real quick. Tonight we got to witness Peyton Royce and Billie Kay take on Asuka and Becky Lynch. The match was solid as expected. The shocker was Peyton Royce pinning Becky Lynch. Granted she used the turnbuckle post and feet on the ropes so it wasn’t exactly a clean pin by any means. However there’s those that are going to freak out that Asuka lost her Smackdown debut. The streak is over and for one I’m glad. Asuka is probably going to lose alot of these tag matches because this is the way of life on Smackdown Live. Trust me, Asuka will win the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship at some point in 2018. She’s going to be fine. I’m more concerned about Becky Lynch if she’ll ever get back to the title. As for Peyton and Billie, they’re doing great things for a heel duo. I’ve been fans of them in NXT and if WWE does green light women tag team titles, I couldn’t think of a better team to contend for them.
MISS: New Arrivals Postponed or Limited
Looks like the NXT call ups Andrade “Cien” Almas, Zelina Vega, and Sanity are going to postponed. Tonight we seen video packages for them which means we won’t be seeing them quite yet. As much as it sucks, it’s probably for the best. There’s nowhere for them to come in yet and Smackdown Live being two hours makes it challenging to fit everybody in. Hell Samoa Joe was limited to a brief promo video. Cesaro and Sheamus were limited to a brief backstage segment with New Day. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville were absent tonight as was R-Truth. This is the fear some fans of Smackdown Live having this new awesome stacked roster is getting everybody involved in their two hour window. It will definitely be interesting to see how things go in the coming weeks when Almas, Vega, and Sanity finally make their Smackdown debuts.
Well that does it for me. Greatest Royal Rumble is this Friday and Backlash is a week from Sunday. Definitely alot of content coming from WWE the next few weeks. Get ready for the ride followers and if you aren’t already follow my on Twitter @chairmanpodcast for my latest tweets. With that, thanks for reading and have a great week!