WWE Smackdown Live Hits and Misses 7.24.18 w/ The Chairman
Smackdown Live tonight had another great show. With Summerslam a little under a month away, we’re starting to see what’s on tap for the blue brand. Here are this week’s hits and misses.
HIT: AJ Styles Summerslam Opponent Is…
AJ Styles signed a contract in the middle of the ring with General Manager Paige to defend the WWE Championship at Summerslam. As we waited to see who Styles would face, James Ellsworth comes out. Everyone watching knew this was a joke of course, but remember Ellsworth did steal some wins over Styles once upon a time ago. Eventually things got heated with Paige and she had Ellsworth fired and tossed out of the building. AJ Styles of course was watching the titantron so you knew someone was going to ambush him from behind. Sure enough Samoa Joe arrived and attacked Styles. Joe signs the contract and our WWE Championship match for Summerslam is official. Pretty awesome that there’s a live contract basically for anyone to sign and Joe takes the opportunity. Granted Paige did pick him, but the start to this story was done to perfection. This is a match many folks want to see and I’m definitely a little more invested in Summerslam now after the disappointing booking decisions they’re doing on Raw.
MISS: Asuka’s Awkward Promos
It’s official. Asuka is ruined. Well she’s been ruined for awhile now. Her streak was the only thing she had going it seemed, but losing consecutive pay per views to Carmella finished the job. Then to make things worse she gave a really weird promo tonight. She was hopping around all hyper and screaming everything. Clearly they have no idea what to do with her now. Sure she can take down Billie Kay in a match, but if they ever want to build her back to what she was in NXT, they’re going to need to do some serious repair.
HIT: Becky Lynch Finally Gets a Title Shot
The last time Becky Lynch wrestled in a televised Smackdown Live Women’s Championship match was April 24, 2017 in a six pack challenge that Naomi defended and retained on Smackdown Live. Her last singles title match was February 21, 2017 when she lost to Alexa Bliss when the title was vacated due to Naomi’s injury. It has been over a year since Becky Lynch wrestled in a title match. Put this into perspective. Becky Lynch’s last singles title match opponent Alexa Bliss hasn’t been on the Smackdown Live roster in well over a year. Something is clearly wrong with this picture that Becky hasn’t been in the title picture, but that’s the harsh reality. If any die hard Becky Lynch fans I know seen this stat they would probably go ballistic. However she’s getting a title shot again at Summerslam. She defeated Carmella and with that she’s now the number one contender. Becky has been long overdue and hopefully she finally wins back the title at Summerslam. The success of the upcoming women’s pay per view Evolution depends on it.
HIT: Randy Orton Did It For Us
Smackdown Live started with Randy Orton cutting a promo. He hit a number of topics to trigger the WWE Universe. Talking about things such as not putting out new merchandise with different colored t-shirts, take dives in the ring, using a outdated hand gesture, or wrestling in the bingo halls. Judging from where this is going, Orton is treading towards heel. I’m totally okay with this because Orton’s best work is done when he’s a heel. Alot of people myself included have found Orton boring, but if he goes back to his maniac legend killer persona, I’m on board. Of course being he’s one of the oldest superstars in WWE, I don’t think he can say he’s a legend killer anymore. He might have to call himself the Killer Legend.
HIT: Almas vs Rusev
Smackdown Live’s first match was Andrade “Cien” Almas with Zelina Vega vs Rusev with Lana. Notably Aiden English was absent from ringside for this one. It appears Rusev hasn’t made amends with Aiden for costing him the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules. This was a decent match and got a respectable amount of time. As expected though, Zelina and Lana got into an altercation at ringside. This promoted Aiden English to come out. Zelina jumps on Aiden’s back and accidently knocks down Lana. Rusev is of course distracted and concerned for Lana and wondering why Aiden was out there? This was the door that Andrade needed to take advantage and takes Rusev out with the Hammerlock DDT to get the win. Huge win for Andrade “Cien” Almas considering Rusev was recently the number one contender for the WWE Championship. Will this lead to more matches between Almas and Rusev or is there another plan for Almas and Rusev respectively?
MISS: Pay Per View Wins Are Meaningless
I feel what I seen tonight between New Day and Sanity reminded me somewhat of the Lashley Reigns fiasco on Monday night. I’m going to go off topic slightly to make my point here in a second. Go back to Extreme Rules and Lashley beats Reigns. Getting a pay per view should be treated as a big deal. You should get a reward for that win in my opinion. Instead Lashley has to leap hurdles to get a title shot at Summerslam. He survives his first encounter. However what’s Reigns doing in this scenario? Dude just lost a pay per view match, shouldn’t be in the conversation for a number one contender match. Either or what’s done is done and he wins his match so it’s Lashley Reigns again on Raw. Learning this I refused to watch Raw and sure enough my prediction was right. Roman Reigns wins and is the number one contender. So now same thing with Sanity and New Day. Sanity wins their match at the pay per view against New Day. Paige now has a four team tournament with the winner getting to face the Bludgeon Brothers at Summerslam. What happens on Smackdown? New Day beats Sanity! So even though Sanity wins the pay per view match, they wrestle again a little over a week later with more on the line. I personally am not a fan of this type of booking. I really feel pay per views should have number one contender matches to an extent. I feel if you lose at a recent pay per view, you should get tossed to the back of the line. You have no business being in the conversation of a title shot. Either or, Usos and the returning Bar are next week. Very excited for that one. Hopefully the Bar wins the tournament because I’ve already seen the Bludgeon Brothers destroy both Usos and New Day.
That concludes another hits and misses of Smackdown Live. Overall a good episode. That does it for me. Follow me @ChairmanSV on Twitter. Keep checking HTCWrestling for the latest where I will continue my coverage of the B Block for NJPW G1 Climax. Thanks for reading!